SS) Better than Eating Alone
Aiden pulls out his phone and with a few swipes of his finger, opens a messenger app. He had invited Camillia to meet up for lunch earlier that week so they could catch up with each other. A lot happened over the summer that he wants to tell her, but according to the app, she never even bothered to open his text. He pockets his phone with a sigh. Figures…
That she wouldn’t accept, or even answer aren’t surprising. Camilla had been seeking him out less and less ever since last Christmas break. Regardless, he at least thought she’d read his message.
Aiden glances over at the special lunch platform reserved for the academy’s top students. It isn’t anything fancy, just an elevated deck with a nice view. A few spells keep it at a comfortable temperature year round just like the rest of the outdoor dining area. Maybe she’s already up there sharing stories with her new friends? He doesn’t know. Unlike last year, she hasn’t told him her schedule for the year.
Aiden clicks his tongue as he turns his back towards the deck. He gets a burger and fries from one of the stores, and after searching around, finds an empty table. Five minutes after sitting down, a girl with black, wavy, shoulder length hair sets a tray at the opposite corner.
She looks into Aiden’s eyes as she sits down and then, without a word, begins to eat. Okay, sure. Better than eating alone, I guess… Neither of them exchange a word. His only impression of her is about her dark eyes from when she sat down. They were radiating with uncertainty.
The next day, despite being a Saturday, is the same. Aiden sits at an empty table and she joins him, choosing the seat furthest away from his. The meal is again eaten in silence. Aiden looks around and sees that unlike the previous day, there are other open tables. Does she just want to eat with me or something?
On the third day, Aiden sits at the empty end of a half full table. The other students at the table recognize him as the scholarship student and stare at him as he eats. Since he chose to sit with them, he can only ignore their curious stares while waiting to see how the girl will respond. Maybe I should just go back to sitting at empty tables…
She, instead of sitting at the same table, claims the table behind him. She sits with her back to him. She isn’t watching him, but that makes him even more uncomfortable.
On the fourth day, she doesn’t appear. Does she have class?
Aiden sits at an empty table on the fifth day. The girl once more sits at the seat furthest away from him. He waits for her to sit down before saying, “So, are you eating with me because of a dare?”
She glances towards Aiden and shakes her head. “I just want to.”
“You just want to?”
She shrugs, “I don’t get it either. I’m all ears if you have any guesses.”
Aiden has no idea on how to respond. To be fair, her reason isn’t that strange. He stares at her for a few seconds before saying, “Are you a first year?”
“I’m a second year, just like you. I just had class during this time last year.”