Chapter 4: Selkies and Kobolds

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            In the end, by unspoken agreement, they waited until they had eaten a late lunch and were safely back in their room before talking. They both sat on the floor, their backs against their respective beds. Fiona was the first to speak. “So…you’re really not human?”

            Meredith nodded. “My mom’s human if that helps,” she said quietly.

            “What are you?”

            Her roommate winced slightly. When Fiona looked at her quizzically, she shook her head. “Don’t ask other people that. It’s kind of rude and it’ll make people suspect you.”

            Fiona frowned. “Why is it rude?”

            “Umm…ah! Would you ask Asahi if she’s Japanese-Canadian or Japanese from Japan?”

            “No, that’s…oh. I see. Okay, good to know. No asking people what they are. Sorry, I have no idea what I should or shouldn’t be doing. Hell, an hour ago I didn’t know there were anyone except humans here.”

            Meredith smiled a bit. “I know. It might be hard for you. I don’t think I could do it, if I were you. But I’m glad you’re staying. You’re the best roommate I’ve ever had.”

            “You didn’t like your last one?”

            “Oh no, Jordana’s very nice. It’s just she wasn’t around a lot, and she’s a very different person. I like having someone to talk to and eat with at lunch. I-I really don’t have a lot of friends.”

            Fiona nodded. From what she’d seen, Meredith didn’t have any friends besides her. At least she hadn’t seen her speak to anyone in the day she’d been there. “I’m glad you’re my roommate too. Though I guess that was all the Mr. Bishara’s plan.”

            “You acted like you’d met him before…?”

            She smiled. “Yeah. It was…I was sitting in a park and he showed. He looked lost so I asked him if he needed help finding something. He was looking for the theatre, so I got him where he only had one turn left to get there. I honestly never thought I’d see him again.”

            “That makes sense. The djinn are big on paying debts. He must have taken a liking to you too. My brothers said he does that every once in a while.”

            “You have brothers?”

            Meredith ducked her head a little but nodded. “Three of them. Dylan’s the oldest and Adrian and Wyatt are twins.”

            “That’s cool, I’ve always wanted siblings. Are they older or younger?”

            “They’re older. Dylan’s twenty-two and the twins are twenty-one.”

            “So four year between you and the next youngest, huh. Your parents must really have wanted a girl,” Fiona said, grinning.

            Meredith shook her head. “No. My parents don’t really get along. They were already separated when Mom had me. I was kind of a surprise. Dad was happy though, since it’s rarer to get a girl when the partner’s human.”

            “Wait, so does your mom know your dad’s not human?”

            “Oh, yes. She grew up on the coast and knew the stories. Every selkie clan has to bring human blood into the family every two or three generations or we won’t be able to take off our seal skins anymore.”

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