Lori’s pov.

“What do we have next?” Jody asked Susan after class.

“We’re scheduled to have a calculus tutorial next, but tutorials and labs don’t start till next week.” Susan looked at her scheduled. “That means we have a break until the afternoon class.”

“Oh, great! We can pick up our textbooks and have lunch.” Jody answered. “There’s probably time to check out the uniforms they sell at the Uni shop too!”

“That’s a great idea! There was a skirt I saw on an upper year girl yesterday, it looked so sophisticated.” Susan exclaimed.

“What colour was it?” Jody asked. “I saw a girl wearing a baby blue pleated skirt. It was so cute and formal at the same time.”

“We could be talking about the same one!” Susan walked out of the classroom with Jody hand in hand. “You have awesome taste!”

“I know. You too!” Jody answered.

“Umm…could you tell me where the class after lunch is?” I felt bad interrupting, but I felt even worse intruding on their conversation.

“Aren’t you coming with us, Lori?” Jody asked.

“Are you sure? I hope I’m not intruding.” I felt a little awkward.

“Oh, not at all. Let’s all hang out together,” Jody answered.

“Ok, I guess I’ll tag along then.” I would’ve preferred to spend some time on my own, but since I didn’t have my schedule…

“Lori, you know what?” Susan asked as we made our way to the University shop.

“Huh?”

“We could all get the same skirt and wear them to classes together.” Susan suggested. “Wouldn’t that be cool?”

“Yeah, we should get the same top and jackets too! That way we’ll look like sisters!” Jody added, walking next to me.

“That sounds nice.” I nodded.

“What do you think of the guys in our class?” Susan continued.

“Most of them are pretty nerdy looking.” Jody answered.

“I know. Most of them have zero sex appeal!” Susan added.

“This is what we get for coming to a super competitive University though.” Jody explained. “Most good-looking guys don’t have a brain. And the brainy ones are usually nerds.”

“Is that a law of the Universe? Are there no good-looking guys with a brain?” Susan sighed.

“There are some, but most of them are players.” Jody answered. “That type of guys know how to use their looks for their own advantage.”

“Are we doomed to date and marry geeks then? What a sad life we lead!” Susan exclaimed. They both burst into laughter.

“I think Professor Kwan’s pretty good-looking and he’s very smart.” The words slipped out of my mouth. “There’s still hope for us.”

“Lori, I didn’t know you were into older men?!” Susan looked at me funny, “too bad he’s already taken, by his longtime sweetheart.”

“I would agree with Lori though, Professor Kwan is good marriage material.” Jody added.

“That’s not what I meant…” My cheeks turned red. “I meant to say that we still have hope since Professor Kwan’s wife met someone like him.”

“Relax, Lori. I was just kidding!” Susan chuckled. “I know you didn’t mean it like that.”

“Hey, actually, I think that Mark guy’s pretty cute.” Jody stepped between me and Susan.

“He’s too perfect for my taste. I bet he’s a player with the kind of looks he has.” Susan said.

“That’s true.” Jody sighed. “A guy as handsome as him would never go for someone like me. I should be realistic with my expectations.”

“Don’t talk like that! I think you’re too good for him. Who knows how many girls he’s slept with.” Susan answered as if she knew Mark’s personal life. But then again, I don’t have much experience with guys.

“You make a good point…” Jody nodded. “Susan, what’s your type?”

“Me? Um… I saw the guy sitting next to Lori staring at her.” Susan suddenly changed the topic.

“Who was the guy that sat next to me?” I was so nervous that I didn’t pay any mind to the students who sat near me.

“He has a mushroom cut and a pretty cute face.” Susan explained. “He was looking at you and your notes.”

“Do you mean the guy with turtle green hair?” Jody asked.

“It’s not turtle green! It was a nice sea moss green.” Susan answered.

“You like him, don’t you?” Jody teased. “We’ll have to make friends with him so you guys can go out.”

“Jody! I never said I liked him.” Susan blushed and pushed Jody playfully. “I just think guys like him would be serious about relationships.”

“Really? Is that all? What about the guy who sat next you?” Jody teased. “He looked like someone who would be serious about relationships too. Right, Lori?”

I chuckled.

“Ewww, not him! He’s so unattractive! His teeth stuck out so much and his forehead is way too big!” Susan protested.

“So you do like the guy with turtle green hair.” Jody continued. “You should sit next to him in the next class.”

“Jody! Why are you teasing me so much? Why don’t you tease Lori?” Susan was a little offended.

“Because, I don’t know her as well.” Jody answered. “I don’t want her to dislike me on the first day we meet.”

“Are you saying you’re ok with me disliking you on the second day we meet?” Susan pouted.

“You two only met yesterday?” I was surprised. “I thought you were best friends from high school or something.”

“We look like best friends, don’t we?” Jody put her face next to Susan’s.

“You’re lucky that you’re just like my best friend from high school.” Susan warned with a smile.

“And you’re lucky that you’re just like my favourite cousin.”

“Hey,” a thought came to my mind, “maybe you two are like professor Kwan and his best friend that he met on his first day of school.”

“No way!” Jody and Susan answered in unison. “I want to meet my future husband here.” They let go of each other’s arms.

“But Professor Kwan called her his best friend…” I explained.

“It’s not the same, Lori.” Jody stepped into the University shop. “Only best friends of the opposite gender can be best friends for life.”

“Why?” I thought of my best friend Linda, whom I had met on the first day of junior high school. I was certain we will be best friends forever.

“Because, we all have to get married and spend the rest of our lives with a guy.” Jody answered. “That’s just how life works. Most best friends will part ways after they get married.”

“Hey, Jody! Lori! Come here! I found the skirt I was looking for!” Susan waved to us from down the aisle. “It looks even prettier in person!” She held up the skirt against her body to show us. It had a pleated design and baby blue in colour. The University crest was embroidered on it in gold.

“Waahh!” Jody let out a girlish scream. “I love it! I love it! I’m going to get 3 of them so I can wear it every day!”

“Me too!” Susan agreed. “Actually, I’ll get 5 so I can wear it on weekends too!”

“It does look pretty.” I put one against my body to see how it would look. “The blue is so pretty, like the colour of the sky.”

“That’s right! It’s just like what professor Martin said earlier today.” Jody did a pose with one hand reaching up to the ceiling. “Reach for the skies where there is no limit!”

Susan and I laughed at her imitation of our principal.

“We should get some tops too.” Susan held a thick stack of skirts in her arms while she looked through the jacket rack.

“Oh my, Susan! How many skirts are you going to get?” Jody’s jaws dropped at all the skirts Susan was holding.

“I found a couple of other skirts that looked really awesome too, so I thought I’d try them on too.” Susan smiled. “don’t worry, I won’t buy the whole shop.”

“Oh, these vests look so cute!” Jody picked up a white vest with a thick baby blue border. “Look how sparkly the school logo is! I love it so much!”

“I’ll get 2 of those too!” Susan took a couple of sizes to try. “And these lovely jackets would go really well with the vests when it gets colder. I’ll get two of them too.”

“Why are you getting so many sets?” Jody asked.

“Oh, it’s so hard to choose between the different styles. I’ll go try them on now. See you later!” She rushed off to the change rooms.

“Lori, what are you going to get?” Jody looked at my empty hands.

“Maybe a skirt.” I don’t wear skirts often, but these look so nice that I think they’d look good even on me.

“What about the jacket and vest? Which one would you choose?”

“Probably the vest.” I actually like the jacket more because it’s more practical, but considering their prices, the vest would be more practical.

“I agree.” She put the jacket back on the rack. “I’ll go try these on. Could you wait for me?”

“Sure. I’ll be around here.” I looked through the school uniforms more and spotted a baby blue hoodie with matching track pants. They were so comfy that I bought 2 sets. Mom wouldn’t get upset because they were much cheaper than the formal uniforms. I also bought a baby blue skirt to match with Jody and Susan, and also because it matched the hoodie.

“Where should we go for lunch?” Susan walked hand in hand with Jody after we came out of the University shop. Each of them held two shopping bags in their hands. Susan’s were twice as big as Jody’s.

“How about the cafeteria?” Jody suggested.

“Is that our only option?” Susan asked.

“Yes, for today.” Jody glanced at her watch. “The closest restaurant is a 10 min walk from here, and we only have 40 min until class starts.”

“Cafeteria is fine then, at least we got to do some shopping!” Susan hugged her shopping bags.

“Lori, are you ok with eating in the cafeteria?” Jody asked.

“Sure. I brought my own lunch, so anywhere is fine.” I was starting to see the difference between me and these girls. Maybe that’s why I’m not completely comfortable around them. They talk as if it’s nothing to spend so much money on uniforms and eat out at a restaurant every day. For me, it would be a dream to own a set of those formal school uniforms and eat at the school cafeteria every day.

Lori’s pov.

 “Now before we get started on the first lesson. I would like to congratulate you on entering the best university in this country for medical research. In fact, it’s one of the best universities in the world for studying all the disciplines of science and engineering. You should all be very proud to be here.” He clasped his hands together a few times. “Congratulations!” Read More

Lori’s pov.

“Where is my timetable?” I’m sure I printed it and put it in my bag last night. “Where is it now? Oh, please be here!” I mumbled to myself as I fumbled through my backpack a second time. I was starting to get anxious as I was the only one left in the auditorium now. Everyone had left minutes ago and gone to class already. Read More

Mark’s pov.

“Hello 7061!” Advisor 223 answered my call.

“Hello, Advisor 223! I’m sorry to bother you again so soon. But I need your advise urgently!”

“What happened to you?! Did they use you for an experiment?” He held back his laugh when he saw my blue neck. Read More

Mark’s pov.

The welcome ceremony was an exciting experience for me. Except for the beginning where two old men gave a one-hour long speech. One man spoke in English, and the other one repeated everything he said sentence by sentence in Japanese. Having heard the same speech twice didn’t reinforce my memory of what he said at all. In fact, it put me to sleep. Read More

Mark’s pov.

Mateo walked over to me with his head down. “There’s no prize for the competition. I’ve been looking forward to it for a whole month!”

“What’s are ‘cheers’? Isn’t that what people say when they drink alcohol?” I wondered how people would ‘do’ the ‘cheers’? Read More

Mark’s pov.

“Eh!” I felt a tap on my shoulder as soon as I stepped outside the auditorium.

“Hey, which team are you on?” A skinny Asian kid with thick glasses asked with the widest grin. He was a full head shorter than me, even with his hair standing up. Read More

Mark’s pov.

The registration hall was packed with students when I arrived. This is the first time I had ever seen this many young people in the same room all at once. I even heard different languages spoken as I waited in line. Read More

Mark’s pov.

The main campus building was just across the street, as the telephone booth guy had said. It’s a five-story bright-yellow building with a large “Felix Martin University” sign on it. I got onto Fountain Road, then made a left on Park Street. There were several tall buildings on the left and a huge field of grass with trees on my right. This must be the first time I’ve ever walked amongst so many trees. The air is so fresh that my lungs felt rejuvenated. Read More

Mark’s pov.

 “Are you ready?” Advisor 223 asked with a wide grin. He looked more awake than usual this morning. Even his usually messy hair was gelled.

“Yes, sir,” I answered with a nervous smile. “I’m ready as I’ll ever be.” Read More

Hi everyone,

First of all, I wanted to thank you for your continued support! It really means a lot to me and keeps going with writing. 🙂

Recently, I started posting my new book “A Deliberate Encounter” on Wattpad for free. But then, it hit me that I should post it on this website as well so that people who don’t use Wattpad can read it too. So starting from this week, I’ll be posting a chapter a week on this website too. (Three for this week to catch up with Wattpad. :P) And it’ll be free for all to read. So if you enjoy reading soft sci-fi (specifically time-traveling), romance, and campus life, please give it a try.

Here’s the Wattpad link if you’re interested in reading there: https://www.wattpad.com/user/aviyacarmen

Thanks again for all your kind support!

Much love,

Aviya

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