“I’m just saying,” Suki whispers as Instructor Morley finally begins the class. “Terra’s old.”
Old? Not once have you looked at Terra and thought she was old. She’s mature, yes. Strong, for certain. And she was a confident figure leading your unit when you were filled with nerves, wondering if you were actually going to make it through the academy’s training. Age is about the last thing you think about with Terra – except maybe when she talks to you like you should still be in diapers.
Maybe Terra sees you the way Suki sees her. Maybe it’s all about age. But if she’s dating Mouse, then it can’t be an age thing, because Mouse almost looks younger than you do. Maybe there’s some kind of way you can prove to Terra that you’re not some silly little cadet. Maybe you just need to act more mature when you’re around her. Yes. Maybe that will work.
But is she really dating Morsey? You can’t really see them together. Or maybe you can. Morsey has a sweet, innocent attitude that you can imagine Terra liking. You’re not sweet so much as you are studious, or innocent, as much as you are determined to make it through the Academy. Maybe you should dye your hair red and giggle more.
“Thank you, class. See you next time!”
You look up and realize that you’ve spent the entire class ruminating about Terra and Morsey and not listening to a word Morsey said.
“Lunch time,” Suki says, practically dragging you out of your seat. “Come on, I’m hungry!”
You’re not particularly hungry, but you follow the arm Suki has and let yourself be drawn to the canteen where you end up sitting pushing your food around your plate as your friends chat.
The instructors also eat in the canteen. You see Terra come in and your heart skips a beat. She’s so damn hot. You love the way she looks in her instructor’s uniform. It fits her perfectly, making the most of the strong curves of her body. She has a presence, even when she’s doing something mundane like holding a canteen tray. And then you see her sit down… next to Morsey.
Your knife hits the base of your plate hard enough to make one of those horrible screeching sounds.
“Easy on the cutlery, cadet,” the canteen monitor says as he passes by.
“Sorry,” you mutter.
“Are you going to eat that?”
You look over to see Suki eyeing your lunch.
“No,” you say, pushing it over to her. “I’m not hungry.”
“Awesome,” Suki grins. “Thanks!”
You end up sitting there with an empty stomach while Suki devours your rations, watching the back of Morsey and Terra’s heads, wondering what they’re talking about.
“Something wrong?” Suki asks you the question through a mouthful.
“No,” you say. Suki wouldn’t understand what you’re going through. None of your friends would.
“Hey, cadet. Still on report?” Boris drops by your table with a big grin on his face. You notice that Suki stops shoveling your meal into her face as he does.
“Hey Boris, still stupid?” You reply. He grins and keeps walking, back to the table with his jock friends.
“Oh god,” Suki groans. “He’s so hot.”
You laugh. It’s the first smile you’ve cracked all day. All that stuff Suki was saying about Terra – and she thinks Boris is hot. You can’t stop giggling to yourself as you steal a fry back off your plate. Boris. Hot. Ha!