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Chapter 3: The University

Ella Lattone’s POV

I have been preparing to get to the campus when Daisy offered me to go with her. She showed me how to get there by subway as it would be much easier and it will help me if I got accepted in the program here.

“Thank you for showing me around and how to get here,” I said as we were standing in the quad. Daisy waved her hand dismissively as we were walking toward the Geology department of the NYU.

“Nonsense. You will be one of the faculty as well. It was my pleasure that I will be working closely with you and we can see Lea with Barb as well,” she said happily before I turned to look at her.

“Lea and Barb are here? Where can I found them anyway?” I asked her before Dee laughed.

“Patience, you might need to get the tour first and ask some questions that you might have for the graduate that took your course,” she said as we were walking toward the building. It was much more than I expected.

The mirror paneled windows gave the vibe that it was huge and there were too many secrets that can be uncovered from here.

“Woah,” I said as I was staring at the building. Daisy laughed.

“Yeah, I know. I have the same reaction as you as well,” she said before I was smiling at her before she ushered me in. She stated there were 3 floors and I was to meet the graduate student on the second floor. She showed me the lounge before she had to go and prepared for her lecture.

I waved her goodbye and she told me that the person that will be meeting with me was Hannah, an ecology Ph.D. student. I can ask her anything as Daisy said she was very nice after all.

“Ella? Ella Lattone?” The familiar voice was coming from behind and when I turned, my eyes cannot believe it.

“Lea! Oh my God! How are you?” I asked as I was hugging my friend, Azalea Johnson. She did not age as she was still a black beauty with her long, straight black hair with her ocean blue eyes. They were enticing.

Then, something caught my eyes.

“No way!” I said as I snatched her left hand as I saw the engagement ring and her wedding band.

“Damn, is it what I think it was?” I asked her as she was merely nodded. I was laughing with her.

“Who was the lucky guy?” I asked as I was looking at her. She blushed before she was smiling as she bit her lower lips.

“It’s one of the professors here,” she said vaguely as I was narrowing my eyes at her.

“Yes, but who? I wanted to know a name, Lea,” I said as I was gripping her hands. She sighed.

“It’s Alexander,” she said as I was hugging her. She was so lucky to have landed herself a husband. But wasn’t she was in her preparation for her Ph.D. program?

“But, how can you work if you got…you know…pregnant during the research?” I asked with concern before she smiled at me.

“Don’t worry, we have advance technology for that,” Lea said before she was blinking at me. I laughed at her. Since when she was being courageous right now. I think her husband influences her.

“Well, I have to go now. I don’t want the graduate student to wait for me,” I said as I was looking around before Lea stopped me.

“Ella, I am the graduate student that you were supposed to meet,” Lea replied before I was looking at her, blinking.

“But, Daisy said that—“

“You know how it is with Daisy, she loved to prank people. Did she tell you to meet with Hannah?” She asked me and I nodded. I sighed.

“That was her colleague. She loved to use her name when she was meaning to meet me. She thinks I was similar to Hannah,” Lea thought with amusement in her voice. I smiled at her before we were taking a seat at the table.

“So, what would you like to know about graduate program?” she asked me as I was putting my backpack down.

“I have to say, I don’t know a bloody thing. You know my major for undergraduate. I don’t have any scientific background and yet I work for WWF magazine,’’ I said as I was looking at her. She nodded.

“Do not worry, we can help you out. I mean one of the faculty, I think it was Dylan for his name, he was one of the bachelor’s with History but he came here and he got his Master’s in Geology,” she said as I was nodding at her.

“I see. So we could get the Master’s in a different program than our undergraduate degrees?”

“Absolutely. It just you have to be willing to do it. Then, it will be easy from there on,” Lea said as she smiled at me.

“And also the money for tuition,” I added. Lea chuckled.

“And that as well,”

“God, I don’t know if this was the right decision. How do you know you wanted to continue this?” I asked Lea as she was folding her fingers together.

“Well, I must confess, it was the idea of having fun in doing something that was yet to discover give me such thrill, and the urge to get new knowledge helped as well,” Lea said as she was looking at me. I nodded at her.

“Easy for you to say, your father was a professor in that matter after all,” I said as Lea was shaking her head.

“That too but I think if you want to continue this road, El, you need to think very carefully as it was the thing that you wanted to do. That’s the best advice I can give you,” Lea said as I was looking at her fingers. The wedding ring was glistening in the lights.

“And maybe get some hunk for oneself as well. Tell me, is your husband handsome?” I asked as I was waggling my eyebrows at her. She blushed.

“Well, Barb said that he was drop, dead, gorgeous hunk of a man. Her words, not mine,” Lea said as I was looking at her. I nodded before we talked even more about what to expect from the Master’s program and TA program as well.

After talking too much with my friend and my guidance for the graduate program and what to expect, I was taking a deep breath as I was looking around the cafeteria. I saw some cold sandwiches that I wanted to eat for some time now but I was against it. I don’t think I wanted to eat bread for lunch. Then I decided to get some pho.

I was a few lines behind before I saw the familiar figure of a rugged person with her jeans. Combat boots and her blouse. It was Summer so I know Barb will not be wearing a sweater that she loved so much.

“Thank you,” she said as she was getting to the cashier to pay. I saw that she was having beef pho. Might as well get some of that. I thanked the student assistant before I was looking around for Barbara’s presence just now before I saw she was on one of the tables outside the cafeteria.

“May I join you?” I asked her as she was looking at the sight of the quad before she turned to look at me.

“Ella!” She said before she was hugging me after I put down my pho. It was great to see a familiar face around the campus. And I think that was the greatest to choose NYU after all.

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