Melded.

Late to class as usual...My bag bounced behind my back as I bolted up the stairs. I almost tripped on my shoelaces. Blasted thing! Always undoing itself! I would tie it when I was seated, head intact, in the hall.

My eyes were still steamed from sleep deprivation. Last night's COD campaign had been a grisly, enthralling, copacetic, and yet heart-wrenching experience—spending 17 hours glued to a screen and thwacking buttons just to lose, 5 minutes near victory, was a bummer, to say the least.

The glassy doors of the lecture hall loomed ahead. Chattering and nattering of various students buzzed in my ears. The class must have ended, or maybe I was lucky (a very rare occurrence, I might add), and it just started. In my hurried daze, I ended up tripping on my shoelaces and bumped into someone who had just emerged from the doors. I should have just tied the darn thing! Books and pens, and markers, were splattered on the ground. His iPad spun in the air like a professional acrobat. I twirled instantly and barely clasped it in between both my palms. I relieved my chest of the air pressure it had built up from the suddenness of the situation.

My heart pounded. As I handed my victim the iPad, I recognized him—his immutable snarl, his puffy white hair, although his glasses were crossed abnormally between his ear and his cheek. It was none other than Professor Ijurdia.

"Lector!" He growled as he readjusted his glasses, "You are late! As usual!" I melted like lard in a hot red frying pan. I scrambled to pick up the dislodged books and pens and markers and stuff. "You keep this up, and I'll have you extricated from my class!" He snatched his possession and started to stride away. I raised a finger, "I-I can help with that, sir" "Don't bother, boy," he spat. Boy? I was no boy. My beard was rabbi-quality. He took a turn and disappeared into the left hallway. I groaned and palmed my face. Skewered rats and apples! I was in for it now. I turned, and there she was—with her dark locks of hair, her freckled cheeks...yup! Enough describing. She leaned gently against the metal railing just outside the lecture hall. I walked slowly towards her, now wading through a wave of medical students.

She broke into a laughing fit. Her cackle always was the worst. I felt my ears warm up and my cheeks tingle. "Ec-ty," She called in between laughs, clutching her belly and her voice, a sickening gurgle. Confused glances were shot in our direction; I could feel the burning holes of people staring at my back. She straightened up, folding her arms behind her back. "Lector! I'll have you extricated!" She mimicked before bursting back into her cackle. I frowned a little and crossed my arms. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let it all out, Jaz. My horrible life is so funny," I grumbled. "Ecty. Dude! I'm just trying to imagine your horrific face when you woke up swimming in your drool late this morning. Ha!" said Jaz, as she flicked tears out of the corner of her eyes. "We played the same campaign up until dawn. How are you early for *_his_* lecture?" I pouted. She threw her arm around my neck as she led me into the hall, "I am a vampire, Ecty—" "Stop calling me Ecty."

She ignored me and waved her other arm in the air, "A nocturia—a creature of the night. I am the raven and the worm. I am the owl and the bark. I see all, know all, am all. I am well attuned to nature and its rigorous demands. I am the void that consumes your fears, your dreams, your joys. I am the darkness. I am the night. I am the zombie dissertation you forgot about that returns for vengeance, crawling at your mind to swallow you whole. I am obsidian; I am pitch. I am Batman, and you are my Catwoman."

I cringed at the last statement. "You haven't slept up until now, have you?" "Yup," she deadpanned. We sat. I furrowed my eyebrows, "What's wrong, Jaz?" "What—Me?" she pats her chest, "I'm peachy, dandy, randy, and never Blandy" "You only rant lines from comics, fantasy novels, and the sandman all at once when you are either stressed, angry and or bothered." "How did this become about me?" she stared at her dark-blue loafers, "Ijurdia is so flaying your back hide." I grinned. "I can handle him. I've dealt with worse. I have the scars to prove it." "So?" I looked at her, expectant. She smoldered me in a hug and sobbed. My eyes widened, my arms ajar. But she needed me. "It's alright. It's alright," I lulled as I curled my arms around her black shirt. I asked no further questions. I would not disturb this.

I just held her as tight as I could, and we drowned, silent, in Late as usual. My bag bounced behind my back as I bolted up the stairs. I almost tripped on my shoelaces. Blasted thing! Always undoing itself! I would tie it when I was seated, head intact, in the hall. My eyes were still steamed from sleep deprivation. Last night's COD campaign had been a grisly, enthralling, copacetic, and yet heart-wrenching experience—spending 17 hours glued to a screen and thwacking buttons just to lose, 5 minutes near victory, was a bummer, to say the least.

The glassy doors of the lecture hall loomed ahead. Chattering and nattering of various students buzzed in my ears. The class must have ended, or maybe I was lucky (a very rare occurrence, I might add), and it just started. In my hurried daze, I ended up tripping on my shoelaces and bumped into someone who had just emerged from the doors. I should have just tied the darn thing! Books and pens, and markers were splattered on the ground. His iPad spun in the air like a professional acrobat. I twirled instantly and barely clasped it in between both my palms. I relieved my chest of the air pressure it had built up from the suddenness of the situation.

My heart pounded. As I handed my victim the iPad, I recognized him—his immutable snarl, his puffy white hair, although his glasses were crossed abnormally between his ear and his cheek. It was none other than Professor Ijurdia. "Lector!" He growled as he readjusted his glasses, "You are late! As usual!" I melted like lard in a hot red frying pan. I scrambled to pick up the dislodged books and pens and markers and stuff. "You keep this up, and I'll have you extricated from my class!" He snatched his possession and started to stride away. I raised a finger, "I-I can help with that, sir."

"Don't bother, boy," he spat. Boy? I was no boy. My beard was rabbi-quality. He took a turn and disappeared into the left hallway. I groaned and palmed my face. Skewered rats and apples! I was in for it now. I turned, and there she was—with her dark locks of hair, her freckled cheeks...yup! Enough describing. She leaned gently against the metal railing just outside the lecture hall. I walked slowly towards her, now wading through a wave of medical students.

She broke into a laughing fit. Her cackle always was the worst. I felt my ears warm up and my cheeks tingle. "Ec-ty," She called in between laughs, clutching her belly and her voice, a sickening gurgle. Confused glances were shot in our direction; I could feel the burning holes of people staring at my back. She straightened up, folding her arms behind her back. "Lector! I'll have you extricated!" She mimicked before bursting back into her cackle. I frowned a little and crossed my arms. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let it all out, Jaz. My horrible life is so funny," I grumbled.

"Ecty. Dude! I'm just trying to imagine your horrific face when you woke up swimming in your drool late this morning. Ha!" said Jaz, as she flicked tears out of the corner of her eyes. "We played the same campaign up until dawn. How are you early for *_his_* lecture?" I pouted. She threw her arm around my neck as she led me into the hall, "I am a vampire, Ecty—" "Stop calling me Ecty" She ignored me and waved her other arm in the air, "A nocturia—a creature of the night. I am the raven and the worm. I am the owl and the bark. I see all, know all, am all. I am well attuned to nature and its rigorous demands. I am the void that consumes your fears, your dreams, your joys. I am the darkness. I am the night. I am the zombie dissertation you forgot about that returns for vengeance, crawling at your mind to swallow you whole. I am obsidian; I am pitch. I am Batman, and you are my Catwoman."

I cringed at the last statement. "You haven't slept up until now, have you?" "Yup," she deadpanned. We sat. I furrowed my eyebrows, "What's wrong, Jaz?" "What—Me?" she pats her chest, "I'm peachy, dandy, randy, and never Blandy" "You only rant lines from comics, fantasy novels, and the sandman all at once when you are either stressed, angry and or bothered." "How did this become about me?" she stared at her dark-blue loafers, "Ijurdia is so flaying your back hide." I grinned. "I can handle him. I've dealt with worse. I have the scars to prove it." "So?" I looked at her, expectant.

She smoldered me in a hug and sobbed. My eyes widened, my arms ajar. But she needed me. "It's alright. It's alright," I lulled as I curled my arms around her black shirt. I asked no further questions. I would not disturb this. I just held her as tight as I could, and we drowned, silent, in the murmuring vibrations of the hall, afraid to dissolve the closeness.

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