V. First Day

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The following morning came, and at 8:00 AM sharp, classes were to begin.

At 7:50, Lena had made her way over to the education buildings, and entered the third one.
She made her way down the hall, which was lined with doors, decorative plants, and a few windows.

She finally reached the door with "Jack North" written on the door. She sighed and opened the door, seeing many other young Gifted had already arrived. She avoided eye contact with everyone as she made her way through the aisle and took a seat at the very back of the classroom.
She leaned back in her chair and groaned.
"Чëрт побери," she muttered. She hardly got a good night's rest last night.

"What was that?" a male voice said from in front of her.
She looked to see a boy with somewhat curly and fluffy brown hair, hazel-yellow eyes, and a few freckles sprinkled across his nose looking straight at her.

Lena paused, unsure of what to say.
"Russian," she answered plainly.
"Oh wow!" the boy said, "By the way, I like your hair!"
Lena blushed at the compliment.
"I'm Max!" the boy said, "What's your name?"
"Lena," Lena answered.
"Nice to meet ya!" Max smiled, "Is this your first time at New Haven?"
Lena nodded.
"Cool!" Max said, "What kind of Gifted are you?"
Lena paused, then wordlessly held out both of her hands as a water bubble formed in one, and an icicle formed in the other.
"Double Gifted?? You're so lucky!" Max said excitedly, "You're rare, y'know!"
Lena blushed again, "I don't know about all that."
"Well of course you are!" Max persisted, "I mean, how many double Gifted do you know?"
Lena thought a moment, "None."
"Me too! You're the first I met! Don't worry too much about it, you'll fit right in here! After all, this is a place for Gifted to truly be themselves!"

Lena found herself smiling a little. She didn't want to admit it, but this boy and Aria both have a friendly energy she appreciated.

The door to the classroom then opened again, and Dai Fray quickly walked in, sitting in the seat in front of Max.
Lena took notice of him, remembering him from the ferry.
Max noticed him to, and strangely, his friendly and bouncy energy seemed to deplete.

An adult man then walked into the classroom. He wore a light blue suit and had snow white hair with a beard to match.
"Welcome everyone, to my class!" he said, setting the suitcase he had with him down by the instructor's desk in the corner, "I am Mr. North, and I will be your Gift History and Significance teacher, as well as your homeroom!"

He then moved to the whiteboard on the wall, picked up a marker, and wrote "Gift History and Significance."
"While learning the basic core subjects here at New Haven, you will also be learning about the powers you all possess!" Mr. North continued, "While not everyone on Earth has a Gift, they are pretty integrated into our society, and thus, have become a crucial part of our lives. The number one sport in the world is Gifted Battling, and we have laws and privileges that 'regular humans' wouldn't have. In this class, you will learn about where Gifts came from, what exactly they mean to us, and how our society has changed because of them over time."

The class just listened intently.
"Now," North said, "I know what you all may be thinking. 'Where do we learn how to fight and defend ourselves with our Gifts?'. That is where our physical education class comes into play! Instead of the regular exercises the public schools would have you do, you will learn methods and techniques to defend yourself from some who might try to hurt you. It is a sad reality that crime on Earth is at an all time high. It's the result of those who abuse their Gifts for selfish reasons, I'm afraid. Thus, it's important you know how to defend yourselves should you ever be attacked, and even more; to defend those around you."

North then grabbed the suitcase he brought and set it upon his desk. Upon opening it, he pulled out a stack of papers.

"And now," he smiled, "The syllabus."

🌊

The class ended an hour later, and everyone was getting up to leave.
As Lena was packing her stuff up, she saw someone stand by her desk in her peripheral vision.
She looked up to see Dai, waving awkwardly.

"Hey," he said, "Uh... do you remember me? From the ferry?"
Lena nodded.
"Cool, cool," Dai uttered, "Lena, right?"
Lena nodded again.
"Good, good," Dai uttered once again.

He patted his legs, unsure of what to say.
Lena noticed and sighed.
"I guess it is nice we have a class together," she said, "And we are neighbors."
"Oh, um, yeah!" Dai said, "Raina told us she was bunking with you. She can be a bit... much."
"Us?" Lena asked.
"Oh, uh, me and my brother Kai," Dai explained, "Twin brother, to be exact."
"Oh, right," Lena said, swinging her backpack around her arm, "I have heard of you guys but I don't pay attention that much."
"I'm... kinda grateful for that," Dai smiled, "Everyone makes such a big deal out of Gifted Battling, even the children's league."

The two walked out of the classroom and headed down the hall.
"What's your next class?" Dai asked.
"Math," Lena answered, "You?"
"Cultural Studies," Dai answered, "I have it with Kai, thankfully. I honestly prefer going to each of my classes knowing someone there already."
"I... have to agree," Lena nodded, but she then stopped upon looking ahead.

Hunter and Melany were walking in the opposite direction up ahead, Hunter's arm around Melany.
Lena looked from them to the ground, hoping neither of them would notice her.
Her hopes were dashed, of course.

"Leeeeena!" Hunter exclaimed in an overly friendly tone, "There you are! You kinda disappeared on the ferry yesterday!"
Lena said nothing and just hurried on ahead, leaving a perplexed Dai behind.

Hunter and Melany came over to him, watching Lena walk off.
"Geez, what's her problem?" Hunter asked.
"Just, leave it alone Hunter," Melany sighed.
Hunter then turned his attention to Dai, "Oh, it's one of the Gays-, oh sorry, Frays."
Dai's eyes narrowed at the shallow insult.
Melany smacked Hunter's arm, loosening his grip on her.

"Forgive him, he's an idiot," she said, "I'm Melany Topal."
"Dai," Dai replied unsurely, "Pleasure to make your acquaintance."
"Likewise," Melany smiled, "I see you met our other friend."
"Lena?" Dai asked, "You guys know her?"
"She was... a very dear friend of mine," Melany said, "But uh... things changed, I guess you could say."
"Oh..." Dai said, somewhat understandingly, "I see."
"Anyways," Melany said, "We best leave before we're late. See you around!"
"Goodbye," Dai waved slightly, as Melany dragged Hunter off behind her.

He watched them go, more puzzled than ever.

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