6:53 P.M.

I collapsed backwards onto my bed. That's it. I'm done. I am so done. My limbs, lead bricks to be more precise, lay down my sides as dead weights sinking into the mattress. The area behind my eyes was throbbing softly, a slight intensity that was concentrated onto that one spot, making me groan and flip over on my stomach.

I feel like throwing up. Homework was bad enough, but detention had me in near tears from how boring it was, and the thousand year-long lecture from the school admin only made it worse. They were upset that a cabinet fell over, but they were downright furious when they caught me with a file in my hands, the kind that a student is not allowed to see. It contained "extremely sensitive information" so "snooping through the private details of fellow peers" is clearly an "invasion of privacy."

I inwardly scoffed.

What a joke. "Invasion of privacy?" What kind of stupid reasoning is that? They clearly knew that the file I was holding was mine and mine alone, but oh no. You can still yell at the person for digging through someone else's records because they don't give a single godforsaken care about the truth. It's not fair!

I sighed.

My annoyance and pent-up frustrations simmered, and I didn't bother to hide it on my face. No one to hide it from, I'm the only one that lives in this room.

I sighed again. The hurricane of fury receding into an ocean of tranquility. As the emotions that muddled my brain faded, another, more perplexing question popped in.

My file.

Or more specifically, what was written in it. I can't understand it no matter what angle I see it from. I want to know what those strange words meant, they're clearly not for academics, athletics, or artistic capabilities. What else is it supposed to stand for then? What does this mean for me? Let me think. . . It said something about me being "inactive" or something, right? And the word right next to it-Pre-epitholon or something it was called. It's definitely a word I have no recollection of hearing, let alone defining.

I yawned loudly. My mouth closed and I blinked. I just realized how sleepy I was. I was too lost in my thoughts to have noticed, but my body was screaming at me for rest. Well, it's been a long day, and sleep sounds wonderful right now.

I yawned once more and my eyes fell shut. I vaguely registered somewhere in the depths of my mind that I had forgotten to change out of my school uniform, and it would no doubt be wrinkled in the morning.

Oh well. Whatever. My alarm will wake me up in the morning Jeffrey . . .

" . . .ki. . . kki. . . Nikki! . . ."

I groaned and turned over in my bed. What in the world . . . ?

A hand pressed down on my shoulder and shook me gently. I groaned my protests even louder and buried my head into my pillow. Unfortunately, my attempt at denying them was vetoed. Whoever it was, they really persistent. They kept shaking me-some annoying person that wouldn't let up until they have thoroughly kicked me out of the world of slumber-until I finally relented. I shifted over on my back. I pulled my covers down and brought a hand up to my face. I rubbed my eyes and slowly forced them open. I couldn't see anything right. Everything was just a blur. A blob of color all mixed in together. I rubbed my eyes and blinked a few more times, my vision starting to adjust. I looked around me, a string of complaints and insults ready to fire from the tip of my tongue until-

"Wha-? Valerie?" I stared at her incredulously. Her wide, sparrow eyes bore into mine. She was leaning over the side of my bed with her face hovering over mine. In the dark, all I could make out was her silhouette, but I could somehow tell that she was wearing dark clothes and sneakers.

Where did the heck she come from? She just popped out of a spy movie. She was here, she was in my room, waking me up in the middle of the night for . . .

Wait. Hold on a second.

"Why did you wake me up in the middle of the night?" I stared at her, looking for an answer.

Her face fell. I immediately felt a pang of guilt surge through me, stabbing my conscious in torture.

God dangit, I must've let my annoyance slip through more than I thought.

I opened my mouth to apologize, but it died quickly when she cut in with, "You forgot."

"Huh?" I stared at her blankly, my eyes growing wide with shock and confusion. "Forget what?"

"The meet!" She said it like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Remember? Yesterday I say to you?"

I stopped for a moment. It took me a good moment to shift through the hazy photographs and films flying in the darkness above my consciousness, whizzing too fast for the eyes to follow, but just enough to catch the gist of what occurred in each frame. Then, I blinked. Then I realized what it was, and my face lit up. "Oh! That!"

Then I realized what it was. My mouth twisted and my face scrunched up. "Oh. That."

"Hurry!" She whispered, energy spilling from her words and urging me out of bed. "We is late! You sleep too good!"

"Ugh," I groaned and fell back onto my bed. "No. N-o. I am not going to some stupid initiation at-what time is it anyway? Ten-forty, what the heck man?!"

"Please?"

"No," I bluntly answered. I grabbed the covers and turned to the side, wrapping myself as my muffled voice yelled out, "Good night!"

"Nikki!" The bed sheets were ripped off of me. Almost immediately, I felt the chill of the early autumn night invade my skin.

Why did the heater on this floor have to be broken?

I turned and glared at Valerie, who stood over me with a fistful of the blanket and a rather disappointed face. "Nikki, you promised me!"

"Valerie, I did not. There's school tomorrow, and I don't walk around school looking like a zombie! Now let. Me. Sleep."

"I want to see what America things you do!" She argued. "I want to be with friend!"

"Then as your friend, I strongly recommend that you stay away," I warned. "Those initiation things suck. All they're going to do is humiliate you, or put you up to something absolutely stupid that would get you caught and suspended by the teachers. End of story."

"No, not end!" Valerie protested, grabbing my arm and trying (in vain) to drag me up from the bed. "I do not want fun with no you! Please?"

I grimaced and looked at her. She looked at me with big, wide eyes, lower lip trembling, her body shaking as if the tears were holding back.

"No."

Valerie's face fell and she asked, "Why?"

"I don't want to. Isn't that a reason enough?"

"Rock, paper, scissors!"

I did a double take and blurted out, "What?"

No, wait.

Ah, I see now.

The first time Valerie and I met was during the first week of school. Valerie was holding the storage key and delivering it to Mr. Benderwick when I accidentally smacked into her. She dropped the key and I kicked it by accident, and the key slid under the door and into Mrs. Heldreich's office. And that's not it. Mrs. Heldreich is one of the scariest dorm advisors I ever had the displeasure of meeting. We're both scared to death of her, and neither of us wanted to go inside. We ended up playing rock, paper, scissors to decide who will be the unfortunate victim that would risk being ensnared by her.

Suffice to say, Valerie was the one to run away unscathed.

From then on, whatever disputes we have would be settled with a game of rock, paper, scissors. Whether it be from who presents first or who gets first dibs on Ms. Lotti's cookies, the outcome is completely decided by a simple game of rock, paper, scissors.

Like now, for instance.

"Rock-"

"Paper-"

"Scissors!"

We both called out at the same time. Our fists slammed into the palm of our hands, the battlefield kicking up dust. We brandished our bets-I knew instantly how this was going to play out.

Valerie cheered loudly while I groaned. I fell back onto the bed in resignation. Rock beats scissors, Valerie's win.

I sighed.

"Okay, just let me change and then I'll go with you," I said, resigned to my fate, as her triumphant smile taunted me. I picked myself off the mattress and doodled my way over to my closet. Yes, doodled. Not walked. Walking would mean moving in a straight line without any rush. Doodling my over would be fumbling around in the dark, walking around in circles like a blind man, and then bouncing off the walls before tripping over a chair. I rummaged inside a little and pulled out a random set of clothes: a tee, a hoodie, and jean with socks. Of course, it was too dark to see anything, so I was practically color bind. This outfit could just very well be a color coordination disaster.

Oh well. If it looks bad, then it looks bad!

I quickly dressed and laced up my trainers. Valerie was already out of the door by the time I finished dressing, waiting for me, but I have to grab something first. I went over and swiped my SMD and dorm key off my desk. I pocketed them and hurried out the door, closing and locking my room behind me.

Valerie was walking briskly down the hall towards the stairs. I had to run to catch up to her, and when I reached her, I asked, "Val, where are we going?"

"Library," she simply said, as we descended the stairs to the first floor.

The library huh? I mused. Makes sense. The school's library is all the way on the side of the school, and it's pretty easy to sneak into, thankfully enough. Security is pretty lax there too-a lot of them fall asleep on the job, or they play mobile games in some obscure CCTV room.

Even middle schoolers like us can sneak past them.

We were walking through the foyer when I asked, "So, do you know who is gonna be there?"

"The older kids and the new ones!"

I had to keep myself from falling over. "Yeah, that totally answers my question."

"Yes?" She asked me. I don't blame her.

Valerie opened the front doors of the dorm. It was like a sudden shift, from the empty, dark rooms of a mansion into a magical world at night, illuminated by the moon. A slightly chilly wind blew through and ruffled my clothes, making me shiver. Man, am I ever glad I wore a hoodie!

"Hey Val, what are you doing down there?"

I leaned over to see what she was up to. Val was bent over near the floorboards, looking along the front porch that led to the dorm's entrance. She glanced back at me for a second, signaling that she heard, before turning her gaze back and resuming her search for . . . Whatever it is.

"I am look for the dorm key," she finally answered. "Before everyone go us, and we are last so we have to lock dorm door."

"Ah," I said, now getting it. "Makes sense."

"Here!"

She pressed her hand against a dried paint blob. It's the kind where the inside is hollow so the paint turns out to be this rubbery texture, kinda like a bubble. Valerie pinched the blob and started peeling it off. And lo and behold, the paint wasn't paint at all. It was a latex sticker that slowly gave way, revealing an old-fashioned iron key underneath.

Val picked it up and inserted it into the dorm's lock, and with a single flick of her wrist, (well, a few flicks actually) the door clicked. Valerie grabbed the handle and jiggled the door a few times, and once she deemed it locked, she put the key back on the floor and covered it with the paint sticker.

She turned to me, and we continued to the library. Through the garden, out the tall iron gate, and onto campus ground where we continued onto the library's back entrance.

"So," I started, attempting to fill the silence. I hated things being quiet-unless if I was completely focused on something. "Do you know what we're going to be doing at this 'initiation' thing?"

"No."

I whipped my head so fast I thought I got a cut. "You don't know?!"

"Everyone says it is a . . . A . . . Something you no tell to everyone . . ."

"A secret?" I supplied.

She lit up and exclaimed, "Yes! A 'se-cret'!"

My face scrunched up. "Well, doesn't that sound shady?"

"It is fun, promise!" Val reassured me.

I grimaced. This . . . This is a terrible idea.

End of entry log [1] part [3] from September 25, 2013