Miss Aida
Fatigued. It is a chore just to rouse myself from peaceful slumber, from the lulling warmth of the sheets. Even as I see blue skies and golden sun through the crack of my curtains, I know how deceptive the weather is here; the untrustworthiness of an erratic adversary. Blood pumps through my veins slowly as I swing my feet around. The tiredness does not leave my body, it is a constant reminder of the late nights and mental fatigue that has plagued me of late.

The water sluices down my body. The fresh smell of scented soap and shampoo, too oft ignored as my mind whirs busily in the shower.

Her senses were on alert, the hairs on the nape of her neck prickling. Someone was watching. She was being hunted. She stilled, then ran through the rainforest in a sudden burst of energy. She could feel the hunter coming nearer, feel the sudden pain that sliced through her chest. She looked down and saw the arrow protuding through her breast. Felt her her steps faltering. Felt her heart beating wildly in her ears, then slowing down in a steady rhythm. Brought her fingers to where the blood flowed steadily down her body., Rich, warm blood, trickling down, ebbing away at life as the liquid dripped unto the floor.

I wiped away at the excess water shrugging on my bathrobe as I walked into the room. As usual, giving Chris a ring before going over to the lecture. An unfamiliar voice answered.

"Hello, Chris speaking."

"What have you done to Chris?" Her eyes narrowed behind the dark glasses she wore, as she gazed steadily at the stranger in front of her. She sensed he was taking her measure, as she was his. Her hand slipped casually into her coat pocket, feeling the cold steel of the gun she always brought with her. As much as she hated the idea of violence, a woman in her kind of profession needed protection on the odd occasion. "Where is he?"

"Hello Aida. Are you going to the lecture?"
"Great. Chris and I will meet you in the Vesti."

Greg mucking around with Chris's phone. I wished I hadn't gone to bed so late the night before. My body was taking too long to adjust, my brain working sluggishly slowly. Watching the regional heats for the Battle of the Bands competition was great, but it had ended a little past midnight. I never cease to be amazed at the amount of time I waste not doing anything at all.

I was tired. All I really wanted was to go to sleep. Radiology: The topic of the day. Then, as the lecturer continued, I was drawn into a world of possibilities. Chris and I exchanged looks of mutual amazement. It was impressive, this new world of imaging technology that opened up a whole new field of medical investigations.

The image was crystal clear, the contrast between the different soft tissues sharply defined. She pressed another button and the computer's hard drive computed the complicated algorithms, reconstructing a 3-D image of the skull, with a noticeably fracture on the right temporal side. Another button, and an image of the blood vessels of the brain came up on the screen. She tapped the white patch on the screen with her fingernail. "Haemorrhage. It's not going to be pretty."

Greg looked so sick, so different from the normally overly-outspoken, overconfident guy he usually was. The unusual silence was a dead giveaway. Greg was mouthy, more than most.

"You look so sick. I'm worried about you." I lie a hand reassuringly on his back.
"Aw.. I love you." He could be so affectionate at times.
"Nah, I just have a soft spot for sick kittens and such."
"Sick kittens, huh?" He smiled. We walked in companiable silence.

Flowers were starting to bloom, and the sun's rays were softly carressing her. The birds were chirping, and spring would soon come. She was content to walk along him, both of them exchanging the occasional smile; his bold grin answered by her slightly shy smile. She laughed to herself, the happiness bubbling inside her as they walked towards the hall.

I went through the routine of making a sandwich. Butter, cheese, salad, tuna, toast. Walked out into the dining hall and clashed eyes with the new American guy. I had spoken to him once, and once only. I met his gaze squarely, then turned my back and sat opposite Chris, who was in the middle of a conversation with Adrian. Adrian was going on about his relationship. How his girlfriend wanted to pretend that everything wasn't going to change, despite the fact that she would be leaving for the UK in a year. I wondered about that for a bit, then tuned back into the conversation.

"I heard her and her friend talk about a threesome."
Chris looked uncomfortable, my eyebrows shot right up.
Adrian laughed, and held up his hands. "Not with me! Just in general."
"Apparently it's a normal female fantasy. Another popular one is tbe rape fantasy," Chris' little contribution to the conversation.
"Yeah, I've heard of that one," said Adrian.

"WHAT?!" I was disbelieving. "Where the hell did you guys hear this?"

Adrian laughed. "Look at her face."
"Hey, it's true. I'm only repeating what I read," Chris shrugged in defence.
"What do you mean by 'rape'?" I challenged.
"You know. Dominance. Being overpowered by a large, vital male. All that sheer masculinity in contrast to the smallness and softness of a woman."

Sheer male. He was tall, so much taller than she was. He towered over her, and she mentally compared their sizes. She wondered if he was as strong as he looked, if his strength could overpower hers. The broad shoulders, firm with muscle, and those big hands. They contrasted so sharply against each other, each difference making her increasingly aware of her own feminity. Sheer male.

"I'm going to go now. You guys can continue talking about your fantasies."
"Your fantasies," corrected Chris.

I rolled my eyes as I left the table, giving them a fleeting backwards glance as I walked outside the hall. They were still in conversation, I wondered what newtopic they were discussing now.

I need a nap.
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