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The night had been stressful for Meema. Every time she closed her eyes to sleep, she saw Jayson’s face. Normally, that would encourage her to sleep, but now, it was just bothering her. Who was that other girl?

That morning, she slipped out of bed, quickly got changed and did her hair, and then headed down to breakfast. Meema was fast when it came to getting ready in the morning.

Sure enough, everyone was down there. Jayson was chatting with the mystery girl, Elijah and the other boy were stuffing their faces with waffles, and one of Meema’s room-mates was there. Meema hadn’t had time to ask her what her name was, since she’d already been asleep when Meema went to bed.

Meema: Hey there. Your bed is next to mine, right?

Sierra: Oh, yeah! Sorry, you were asleep when I left this morning, I wanted to introduce myself. I’m Sierra, Sierra Jaden. I’m Eli’s sister.

Sierra nodded towards Elijah, who wasn’t paying attention.

Sierra: We’re twins.

Meema: Oh, that’s cool. I’m Meema G – uh, Shayan.

Sierra: Cool asian kid. So I guess you’ve already met the guys?

Meema: I’ve met Elijah, but the other one wouldn’t tell me his name.

Sierra: Other one? Do you mean Curt or Jayson?

Meema: Uh… Both.

Her stomach flopped around as she heard her say Jayson. This wasn’t a coincidence, it was definitely the same boy from her dreams. The one that kissed her and told her he loved her… The one cuddling the pretty blonde…

Sierra: Oi! Boys! You are all so rude, are Eli and I the only ones that have introduced ourselves to our lovely new dormmate here?

Olivia: Sierra, do I really have to introduce myself? I’m on magazine covers, enough said.

Sierra: Yes, Olivia, simply because I bet our new friend here doesn’t read the kinds of magazines you appear on…

Olivia: What is that supposed to mean?

Sierra: Nothing, nothing at all…

Meema rolled her eyes. Having finished her breakfast, she stood up to put her dishes away, and as she left the table, Olivia stood up as well.

Olivia: Hey, Meema. I just thought I’d let you know, the building for scholarship students and those of a… lesser… background… Well, anyways, that building is way down the end. I’ll have your stuff ready for you to leave after breakfast so you won’t contaminate my room any more.

Meema: Actually, Olivia, my daddy paid for my tuition in full. I come from a rich family.

Olivia: That’s funny, I thought rich kids could afford to be pretty. I know I’m beautiful, and my family probably has more money than you. Heck, we’re richer than Principal Gunner!

Meema: Don’t say things like that! I’m not ugly, despite what you think, and even if I was, I wouldn’t really care! Life isn’t all about money.

Olivia: Yes, sweetie, it is. Look at our families, lounging beside the pool in the most adorable outfits imaginable, without a worry in the world – that is, if that’s your definition of ‘rich’. Then, think of a poor family – starving babies in Africa, people living in boxes on the street… Meema, darling, money is everything.

Curt: Girls, girls, stop fighting!

Sierra: Speaking of Gunner, where is he?

The two girls argued on, and Jayson sat silently, contemplating whether he should do anything. It was nice to see that someone was putting Olivia in her place, though he didn’t want to see Olivia upset… but the mystery girl, Meema, captivated him. She looked just like the girl of his dreams – and it was amusing how her name was Meema, as well. But it couldn’t be her. Just now, Meema had introduced herself as Meema Shayan, when in his dreams, it was Meema Gunner he held in his arms… Unless…

Olivia: Jayson, we’re leaving!

Jayson: *sigh* Okay, babe.

As Jayson stood up, Olivia wrapped her arms around him and held him tightly. He hugged her back, gazing wide-eyed at Meema over her shoulder. Behind the reflective glasses, her eyes were growing wide, and he saw tears welling up.

Jayson: It’s okay, Meema. Olivia’s awful to everyone.

Jayson whispered the words, shooting them towards Meema and hoping that she would hear and Olivia wouldn’t. Sure enough, Meema gave him a tiny nod of acknowledgement, while Olivia simply continued to hold him. As she pulled away, she took his hand and led him out.

It was lunchtime at the Gunner Academy, but Meema wasn’t in the mood for eating, so she went to sit in their living room, admiring Curt’s shirt and watching him play video games.

Meema: I like your shirt.

Curt: I like your hair.

Meema: I like your hat.

Curt: I like your dress.

Meema: I like your shoes.

Curt: I like your earrings.

Meema: Why is Olivia so mean?

Curt: I like your – oh, we stopped. Olivia thinks she’s better than anyone because she’s rich and she’s Principal Gunner’s favourite.

Meema’s eyes grew wide.

Meema: Principal Gunner’s favourite?

Curt: Yeah. She gets whatever she wants, and he simply replies, “Anything for you, Olivia.’

Meema sighed, wondering whether or not to tell him who her father was.

Curt: Have you met Gunner?

Meema: Yeah, we go way back… He’s the only reason I came to this school.

Curt: Have you seen him at all today? He normally eats with us. He would have stopped that fight this morning, though he’d probably pin it all on you.

Meema: Oh, trust me, he wouldn’t…

Curt: So yeah… And Jayson’s only dating her for the perks. I wouldn’t know, but I’m pretty sure she’s hot, and Jayson probably gets plenty in bed. She’s also, of course, from a millionaire family, so she gets him stuff a lot. His bed and his two night stands are worth more than my house, which is saying a lot, since all our families are rich.

Meema: I’m still stuck on you not being sure whether or not Olivia’s hot. Even I know she’s hot.

Curt: Remind me to ask my boyfriend to visit sometime.

Meema: Ohhhh… I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Olivia might try to steal him.

Curt: Nah, she’s not interested, and he’s definitely not interested. He’s gayer than Christmas.

Meema: Christmas…?

Curt: Gay means happy, silly girl!

That evening as it started to get dark, Meema went to sit with Curt while he played video games. She liked watching, and Curt was pretty nice. If he wasn’t completely absorbed by the game, he would chat with her, and it felt nice to have a kind-of friend.

Sierra: Hey, asian chick. Come help me unwire Olivia’s TV.

Meema: Won’t we get in trouble?

Sierra: Not if we say it’s our room too and we were just trying to fix it.

Meema: Oh…

Sierra: Besides, Gunner up and left. Nobody knows where he is right now, since he wasn’t at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Now, come to our room and talk to me about Miss Crawley while we unwire a TV.

Meema: Miss Crawley? Oh, god…

Miss Crawley, an algebra teacher, had always been a good friend of Gunner’s. She was muslim, and always wore the full dress thing, even in the heat of the summer. She was a nice person, especially to Meema, but she was really sexist towards men. She treated the girls like angels and the boys like dirt – except Sierra, of course, who might as well have been a boy in Miss Crawley’s eyes.

Meema said good night to Curt, and then they headed off to their dorm room, because apparently, the third bed (the one empty when Meema went to bed and unmade when she awoke) belonged to Olivia Tylers.


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