Chapter 4: The Conversation

Ella Lattone’s POV

“Oh my gosh! What are you doing here?” She asked as I was taking my seat in front of her. I was getting my pho ready as I wanted to put some hot sauce and I heard they are the best.

“Well, I was visiting,” I said as she arched her eyebrow.

“Visiting or you were touring to see if this uni was the perfect fit for your graduate school?” She replied before I was looking at her, shocked that she knows my reason.

“How do you know?” I asked her before I saw that her eyes caught something as she smirked.

“Because I can read minds,” she replied before I rolled my eyes at her.

“Ugh, enough with The Sorceress’ Apprentice reference already. That movie was in 2010. A decade ago. Get a life, Barb,” I said before Barb was sipping on her water and she was smiling over the rim of the water bottle.

“So, how did it go? Have you choose your advisor yet?” She asked before I shrugged at her.

“I don’t know, girl. The prospect to be here was nice but I think I might have to hold off for one semester,” I said honestly as I don’t think I wanted to be here right now.

“Why?” She asked.

“I have something that I need to take care of,” something that you don’t want to know for sure, I thought with disdain.

“Like?” She asked again.

“Hmm, let see. I have to get some money to pay for my tuition fees, trying to maintain a job while trying to apply for graduate school and my expenses during the whole semesters. So I think.i have given you the general overview of my putting off one semester,” I said the reason and I hoped that she got it. But then, Barbara was laughing at me. I grimaced at her.

“Oh come on. I was trying to be serious,” I said as I was crossing my arms in front of my chest. Barbara was still laughing before she breathed out.

“Okay, I’m sorry. I will not laugh at you again. But I do have a solution to your dilemma. Why not you be a TA?” She asked before my eyebrows shot up. What was TA stands for again? I forgot after being explained just now.

“What’s a TA?”

“Teaching assistant? Have you forgot our undergraduate days where you were having a little crush on some TA name D—“ she said before I don’t want to remember that memory at all.

“Okay, I see the point. I might consider that but I don’t know how to apply,” I said as I just wanted her to shut up.

“Don’t worry, that’s why you have me as a friend,” she said as she continued to tell me more about this TA program thing.

“I hope it did not get into the way of the research,” I said to Barbara before she laughed. It felt like she was carefree and I smiled at that thought. This was Barb I was talking about. Of course, she will do anything for a friend.

“I tell you, you are in for a surprise. The payment did help me to get by but if I remember before, aren’t you being supported by—“

“No, that was not an option. I don’t want to think about that. It was enough that I have my savings to get me by with my education. I think the TA program will help me tremendously.” I said as I was smiling before Barb was arching her eyebrow at me. She shrugged.

“Okay, whatever you say,” she said before we were talking even more. Barbara did not have anything on as she was free for most of the day but she had to go after her lunch to do some office hours and prepared for her labs.

I smiled at her before we parted ways on the quad. I was looking at Barb that was ready to take on the world. I loved that about her and I think I need to be more like her. After I had explored the campus on my own,  I was staring at the Department faculty and I was smiling despite the gloominess inside me.

“Hey, are you lost?” Someone asked me as I was turning to see a man. He has silver hair but his eyebrows were dark. I don’t know why but I think he looked handsome in an old-fashioned way.

“No, I was merely looking,” I said as he was looking at me before he held out his hand.

“My name’s Silas. I would assume that you were looking around to look around our program?” He asked as I was smiling at him before I shook his hand. He smiled.

“How do you know?” I asked as he shrugged.

“Wild guess,” he said as he was showing me around. He showed me the collection of Rock Garden and there was some mineral collection as well. I nodded before I felt something crept on my back.

“Excuse me, sir. What are you doing?” I asked as I felt that Silas was snaking his hand around my buttock. What the hell!

“What?” He asked innocently that he was pretending to be innocent in the way that he was not.

“Get your hands off me, you jerk!” I shouted as I was twisting his hand before he was crying out as I was holding his hand out. I have to thank Aunt Lyana for my self-defense lesson. It was very helpful after all.

“I ask you nicely not to put your hands where they are not appreciated. And if you did not, you know what’s best for you,” I said before I was releasing his hand as he was crouching in front of me. I huffed at him before I turned away from him. God, this experience was thinking that I rather have Hayes’s than his hands on me.

Wait, what!

I was walking away from the man as I was holding my head high before I walked outside the building and I know that I was doing the right thing. The threat was nothing compare to him.

“Bloody males,” I said before I was walking out of the campus and I will be getting home without Daisy after all. I just hoped I don’t get bloody lost!

After that tour and meeting with Lea that talk about what should I do to get on their program, I did some calculation and I think I can do it. It was nice and it was within my budget. Maybe I don’t have to ask uncle Edmond to support me after all, considering the TA program and all.

I sighed as I was resting against the chair and staring at the ceiling. I was trying to calculate and maybe next semester will be possible for me to get in after all.

“Hey, I thought you would wait for me to come home together?” Daisy asked me as I was staring at the ceiling before I turned to look at her. She was disheveled but when did she be not?

“Where have you been? I see that you have better days than me,” I asked as Daisy was making face at me. I was sighing before I got out of the chair and I was looking at the stuff that she brought home. I nodded at the bag.

“What’s that?”

“Dinner,” she said before I got out and I looked inside the bag. It was Mexican food tonight with tacos and tortillas and salsa.

“Hmm, I hope they have a lot of hot sauce,” I said as I was taking out the food. Dee laughed before she was shrugging her coat off and we were preparing the table for our dinner.

“Well, I did ask the server to put so much of the hot sauce as they can. I don’t know how much you can get away with hot sauce. Don’t you feel like your stomach was churning or something?” She asked me as I was shrugging at her.

“I don’t feel anything like it. Maybe my digestion has been normal with the hot sauce and all of that. My aunt and uncle would not approve of this dinner,” I said as I was smiling, remembering Aunt Lyana and Uncle Edmond who were afraid like I was a delicate flower.

“Why?” Daisy asked me as I was back at the present before I was smiling at her. She did not know my story as I was pointing out that I was only a student from the British Isles.

“Nothing, so why don’t we tackle this? I have been starving!” I said as I was passing her the plates and we were taking some of the tacos as Daisy was laughing.

“Let’s. I have been waiting forever in the line,” she said as we were piling out the plates. I smiled at her before I was taking my bite and we were talking about our day.

“So, how did you find the campus? Pretty exciting right?” She asked before I scowled at her.

“You told me that my graduate meeting was Hannah,” I said before she laughed at me.

“And?” Dee asked while she arched her eyebrow. I might throttle her after this.

“Turns out it was Lea. You knew!” I said as I was laughing at her. She smiled.

“I know, you missed us so I might have been playing some pranks,” she replied as I was rolling my eyes before I took a bit and I told her about Silas. Daisy stiffened.

“Stay away from him. That man is good for nothing. He was the one that broke Lea’s heart and being lecherous with the females' graduates. I don’t even know why the faculty was being tolerable with him,” Daisy said as I was chewing the food while I was half-listening to her. I will be back in Seattle tomorrow and I think I will miss New York after all.

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