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^^^^ Up there is my favourite Christmas ornament: bookworm Jen.

The first thing I hear is Tristan's voice. The world around me is still dark, but I can hear him speaking.

"Is she awake yet?"

"No," I hear Aria say. "I'm starting to get worried."

I can hear you! Aria! Tristan! I can hear you!

"Do you think we should get help?" Asks Tristan.

"I don't know. There must be an infirmary around here somewhere, but I don't know what they'd do there. What do you think?"

"I don't know.  There is an infirmary, I know that.  For the most part it's run by older people, like Greyson and Jay.  Maybe I could find out who's working there today?"

Aria seems to like this idea.  "Yeah, that would be good."

I feel the little bit of consciousness that I have slipping away.

Aria continued her thought.  "I think that maybe-"

The hands of sleep pull me back under.


This time I really wake up. My eyes are open and I can lift my head. I decide that they must have brought me to the infirmary, because this is most definitely not my room.

I sit up and look around. I'm so tired, and I really don't know why. The door opens and I turn my head to look over there.

"Amber!" Aria exclaims. "You're awake!"

I try to say yes, but my throat is so dry that I can't make a sound.  So I just nod. 

"Amber?" She asks again.

I nod again.

"Oh!  Do you need some water?"

I nod a third time.

"Okay. I'll be right back." Aria dashes out of the room and returns shortly with a glass of water.

I gratefully accept the glass of water and take a few sips before asking, in a still hoarse voice, "What's going on?"

"What do you remember?" Aria asks me.

"I remember being outside, then there's a big blank space from there to when I overheard you and Tristan having a conversation about taking me to the infirmary. And I'm assuming that that's where we are now?"

"Yeah.  We talked to Mitchel and Kendra and they know the girl that's here today."

I nod.  "What happened to me?  I don't remember."

"I'll go get Tristan," Aria tells me, "And we'll explain together."

Aria leaves the room again, and I take this time to get comfortable. I push myself up into a sitting position, and everything hurts. 

I groan in pain and reach for my water.

Aria comes back into the room with Tristan and Quinn.

"Amber!"  Tristan exclaims.  "I'm so glad you're okay!"

I smile, glad I have friends who care about me. 

"Can you guys please explain what happened?" I ask impatiently.

"Yeah, yeah, don't get all anxious," Aria says with a laugh.  "No, I'm kidding.  We were out playing paintball, and then one of the guys from the other team slammed into you, and you fell down the big dip in the ground. Then-"

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