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Gates of Heaven Pt. 1 (Working Title)
Ana sat in class taking precise notes as her instructor lectured his students. A bead of sweat trickled down her brow to her cheek, falling to her notebook without a sound. She sighed inwardly and wiped her face with the kerchief she held tightly in her other hand. Ana went back to trying to focus on her teacher but her head started to swim and the room begun to spin wildly before her.
It was happening again.
She flexed her leg against the hard wood of the desk, feeling the relative security of the bottle of retro-antiviral medications she kept with her in a pocket at all times. In college, no one cared if you kept your medications on your person so long as you didn’t sell them; in fact, you were more likely to find what you needed in the pharmacy pooled between the students rather than the medicine cabinets of dormitory infirmaries. The weight of the pill bottle comforted her and she checked her watch. Only twelve minutes before she could take another one--perhaps the fever would break and the dancing room could go away.
Ana counted down the minutes, jotting down notes as best she could. Her head swam more, blurring the edges of her vision. She concentrated on one spot, experience telling her that it would help gain her some stability, but the planes of the room seemed to undulate just ever so slightly beyond her control, like gelatin set into motion by some unseen force. Eventually she gave up to hold her brow in her hands, just waiting for the class to end. It was impossible for her to take down any ideas now, she reasoned; she could borrow from a friend.
A light touch on her shoulder a few minutes later brought her head up from where it rested, effectively giving her whiplash as she turned toward the contact. The hand rested on her shoulder, large against her small frame.
“Are you okay?” the hand’s owner asked in a question. “You look fairly, uh, pale.”
Ana nodded, raising her gaze to look into a set of warm green eyes ringed with brown flecks, set above sharp, high cheekbones. His dark gold complexion was a stark contrast to the lighter skin tones of the students around them, and for a moment she was lost in his gaze. He smiled crookedly and she realized she was blatantly staring at this stranger.
“Hi,” he said quietly, smiling at her. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
She knew she was blushing a violent shade of pink as she nodded jerkily. Students around her stood up suddenly, signaling that class was over, and she hurriedly shuffled her papers together to leave the class, unknowingly leaving her notebook behind.
Her neighbor watched her make a swift exit and reached to retrieve her notepad. Paging through the first few pages, he noticed she’d written her name and dorm in the front cover for in case someone had picked it up and needed to return it.
“Ana Mhala,” he murmured. The name pulled slightly from his mouth, a sensation and sound he relished. Her name was Ana, the girl he watched time and again in the History class. Ana… Such a beautiful name, he thought.
He quickly packed up his own supplies and left the lecture hall, a smile creasing his lips. Soon enough he would see her again, and perhaps get her to tell why she blushed.