The next two classes were uneventful, and Kris was able to find the corresponding books in the backpack.

Bark’s words kept resonating in her mind – in that she would find whatever she needed from there – and couldn’t help to wonder how and where these items were coming from.

It was almost like — magic?

She shook her head.

Nah, there was no such thing as magic. What appeared to be that was only an illusion.

At the conclusion of the fourth class, everyone stood up and began filing out of the classroom.

Kris followed Anya who followed Marc and Jaff as they made their way down the wide hallway along with the rest of the student body.

The mass continued through the double doors she seen earlier that day in the atrium which opened to another all-glass corridor.

From there, students went through an entryway to a spacious cafeteria.

Like the previous corridor, the walls here were mostly glass.

Through the enormous windows, Kris could see a large unattached building beside a football field.

She followed the other three to the food-serving counters on the back wall.

Anya was in a deep conversation with the two guys.

She felt like a shadow which no one saw. Or, worse – a third wheeler.

Grabbing a tray, Kris surveyed the food choices.

Wow, they spared no expenses here.

Chicken wings. Fries. Thick slices of ham. Hamburgers. Mashed potatoes. All kinds of vegetables. Fresh looking ones and not your usual frozen or canned types.

There were two separate stations nearby.

One for dessert while the other was filled with soups and all kinds of salads.

She noticed that the other three had selected their choices and were moving on towards the dining area.

Ah, shoot.

Without thinking, she grabbed a hamburger and a handful of fries and rushed after them.

As Kris meandered through the aisles of tables, she noticed a few students staring at her.

Not the blank, listless kind.

But the kind that clearly told her she wasn’t wanted there.

Hair on the back of her neck bristled as she hurriedly passed by those tables until she reached the intended one and sat down.

It was a round table with six chairs.

She took one of the vacant ones furthest from the other three.

“I can just see Principal Sharpe’s face when Judge Emetou called!” Anya was saying. “I bet he was livid!”

“Don’t care.” Marc replied as he shoveled mashed potatoes in his mouth. “Just doing my job.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Anya waved a hand at no one in particular. “I’m sure Mr. Boerne was thrilled though.”

“Served him and that low-life of a son right.” Marc sneered. “They’ve no business of living in our community.”

“Ah saw no reason for what was done to the property.” Jaff spoke up for the first time. “Ah thought we were just scoutin’.”

Kris heard the rich West African brogue in his words.

And caught herself smiling at the beauty of his accent before shaking it away not wanting to have to explain as to why she smiled.

Marc shrugged. “We sometime like to leave a calling card behind.”

“Sum callin’ card.” Jaff grimaced.

“Thank goodness for your mom, Jaff for getting us out of that mess.” Anya said as she stuck her tongue out at Marc.

“Ah hated for puttin’ her in that position to begin with.” Jaff said.

Marc shot him a look. “Not having second thoughts about joining the TJs are you?”

Jaff’s dark eyes met Marc’s hazel ones, and he slowly shook his head.

“Good.” Marc shoved his fork into the mound of peas. “You have one outing left before you get sworn in.”

Kris’ head was spinning slightly from things they were talking about.

None of which she had any clue.

Yeah, she definitely felt like a third wheeler.

Wanting to change topics – “What happened to Leia?” She asked.

“She left right after Algebra.” Anya frowned. “Guess she wasn’t feeling well.”

Kris swallowed the dry meat. “Hmm, she did look a bit pale earlier.”

“Did she?” Anya sniffed, “Hadn’t noticed.”

She cocked her head at the girl.

She can’t help but to be continually amazed as to how self-absorbed some of these teens were.

“I heard about Ms. Tudor.” Marc said. “Leia was close to the old lady. Maybe that had something to do with her leaving.”

Again, Anya shrugged. “Yeah, I suppose so.” She squirmed in her seat as her facial expression suddenly perked up. “Excited for you first day of practice?”

Marc shoved his empty plate away. “Sure. I think we can take the state title this year.”

At the mention of the word “practice” Kris instantly felt nausea.

Crap. She has track practice after school.

Should she fake being sick and go home to avoid having to attend?

It was her turn to push her barely-touched plate away.

Under Another Sky – Landing Page