Chapter 1 x
On the train, I looked out the window as I waited for the emotions to pass. Tears rolled silently down my cheeks as my mind blanked, hazy. Later, once the tears had dried from my unmoved face, I read.
It was a long journey to BC.
Sighing, as I put my book down, I thought about when I’d seen Jasper, how all worry seemed to have evaporated, how it all seemed to be momentarily better. How I would live with that moment forever.
I woke, feeling disoriented. Sighing, I glanced at my watch. It was late in the day. I got out of the compartment, trying to find a trolley or a bar.
Minutes later, I was paying a fairly old looking lady. Her expression was questioning as I quietly muttered my order.
Back at my compartment, I ate. I’d slept a long time, which had been good, given my extreme lack of sleep the night before.
I ate slowly, trying not to be rash about the taste of the train food. I thought about my book, how the characters interacted. It was a method of distraction I’d used for years. Then, I’d thought about the speed of the train, how long it would take me to arrive to the station in Victoria, BC. Gulping as I tried to liberate my mind, I read.
It worked, because next time I paused to think about something other than the fiction novel in front of me, two hours had passed. I looked outside the window, only to see the darkened sky, lightened only by the moon.
I glanced at my watch, which indicated that the train ride would last a full twenty-four hours more. I smiled to myself nervously.
I slept for something else to do. I woke, getting up disoriented. It wasn’t dawn yet, but I didn’t bother going back to sleep. I read for a few hours, before going out to eat.
Afterward, I spent the next hours reading. then, I ate once more. And, feeling sick of reading then, I played games on my phone.
Next thing I knew, four hours had passed. I sighed, getting out of the compartment to stretch and find something to eat.
Outside, the woods surrounding seemed peaceful. The steam and polluted air of the train blew away, flowing the light June wind, in the middle of nowhere, where the tracks had been installed ages before.
Next, I slept, getting ready for the stop, in only a few hours. I fell asleep again, later. I woke harshly, standing automatically. My head spun. I read, waiting for the train to stop. Drowsily, I noticed in only had minutes to go. Only minutes before I’d get out, settling to find the school and its grounds.
Upon getting out of the train station, I hailed a cab, paying him as we approached the gates. The driver seemed surprised to hear that I was headed to the academy. He’d glance, bleakly my way. And I’d ignore him. I was used to it. I was odd, people knew that.
I parked for a girl, who seemed small and nervous. She had short hair, and she was pale.
“To the UVic campus, please.” She said quietly.
I nodded, keeping my–shocked–emotions to myself.
She was small and lean. She wore baggy clothes, her eyes distant, looking out the window.
I could see it. I saw a distant family, quiet and often empty-housed. I saw a girl, wanting a different life, away from prejudice and family.
I knew she saw me, imagining, assuming. She didn’t comment, though. She was evidently shy and quiet, but I knew there was more to the girl.
I sat and noted the driver of my destination as loudly as I dared. I hated doing this, they almost never heard, and never bothered to read lips.
He nodded, and if I’d blinked I wouldn’t noticed the slight twitch in his eyebrow, suggestion shocked curiosity. I pictured him thinking, watching me. Assuming things, noting of my petite shape and baggy, boyish style. I didn’t mind, in fact, I ignored it.
The drive was fairly short. The car stopped and I checked the meter as he told me price. I nodded and handed him the money, thanking him. I got out, and glanced around. The grounds were big, with a large field, which extended farther past the building. The place was large from the outside, so I could only imagine the inside.
I walked in, and went to the desk. The guy handed my a set of keys and an envelope. He pointed in the general direction of the residences saluted me. I nodded, smiling slightly.
Getting to my door, I unlocked it and peaked inside. It was clean.
My roommate sat on her made bed, glancing out the window. She turned as I closed the door behind me. I smiled shyly. She returned the favor, chuckling softly. “Hi. I’m Mercury Sanders.” She said quietly.
“Hello. I’m Evangeline Doukas.” I chuckled at her expression. “Call me whatever you like, I know the name is unsettling.”
She nodded and smiled warmly. “Where’d you come from?” She wondered.
“I’m from Toronto, Ontario.” I chuckled. “What about you?”
“I’m from Alberta, in the suburbs close to Edmonton.” She muttered.
I nodded and sighed, as I moved to unpack. I hadn’t brought all that much. Mostly, it was just clothes and books. Mostly books. I stacked them on the shelves and left one on the dresser. I unpacked the minimal clothes I had, which were mostly undergarments.
It took barely any time. Mercury seemed impressed at my lack of clothing, but I knew she had done something similar.
I settled on my bed, sighing. Picking up my book, I began to read. I was interrupted by Mercury, who had gotten up, and looked at me expectantly. “Want to get our things and get look at the grounds?” She suggested, I smiled and nodded.
The girl seemed shy. She was tall, but thin; agile, presumably. She hadn’t packed much. Her books had a variety of genres and there were some from the same authors. All and all with wide variety.
Her name, a mouthful for a kid, had many syllables. My name had usually the same reactions I gave her. She just laughed softly, openly.
I would call her Doukas, just as the Sergeants would. I wondered why she’s enlisted, but didn’t ask. I did it for the job itself and for the experience. I was studying to be a military doctor. Something told me she wasn’t just studying to be a soldier.
I thought she was decent.
The grounds were huge. I was excited to see what I would learn and how much it would change me.
For now, I just returned to our room and relaxed. Everyone already received a text. I would call them later.