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I wake up warm and comfortable when my watch beeps that it's 5am.  I open my eyes and stretch. 

I'm on the couch in the back office, and a smile crosses my face.  I'm in a dance studio, and I get to take class later today!

I slip my pointe shoes on and let myself dance for an hour before taking one more luxurious bath.  I can't remember the last time I was this happy.  I make sure that everything is clean and orderly before slipping out in the early morning light.  It's a little before seven, and there's a fresh blanket of snow covering everything in sight.

I pull my scarf and hat tight and head over to the library on campus.  It's Friday, so hopefully there will be plenty of students who are willing to pay for my help.  The treads of my shoes are wearing thin, and I tread carefully, afraid of underlying ice.

I smile as I enter the Library.  Kota is sitting at our 'usual' table with two hot chocolates waiting.

"Good morning, Sang," he greets me as he stands.  "What has you in such a great mood today?"

It feels as if I float over to him, and as I take the cocoa that he's holding out to me, I answer, "I had a great night, and I get to take a ballet class this afternoon." 

I sway a little, and he places a steadying hand on my arm, which causes me to flinch.  His eyes darken for a moment, but he brushes it off and holds out my chair with a flourish.  "I didn't know that you dance.  You seem really excited."  I sit and he scoots the chair in for me.  "Will we still be able to have lunch together?"

I nod and pull out my sign.  "I'll have to leave around three so that I have time to get there and to get ready.  Hopefully that won't put anyone off.  I put an ad on Craigslist yesterday as well.  I need to check my email and see if there were any responses."

He's already nose deep in his studying, and I get up and go to a computer towards the corner.  When I'm sure that no one is looking, I hack past the student id login requirement and check to see if I have any new messages.

2 New Messages:

From: marie

Subject: safe?

S- I hope you're safe.  Mom told dad that you stole from her and that if you come back she'll report you to the police.  I hope you're okay.  McCoy was hauled out of school yesterday by the police.  He's been embezzling school funds.  As soon as graduation comes, I'm outta here too.


From: Mrs. J. Tanaka

Subject: Tutoring

I am interested in enrolling my twin 14 year old boys in Japanese lessons.  My grandfather will pay their college tuition if they spend this summer with him in Tokyo, but we haven't spoken Japanese in the home since before they were born, and my grandparents do not speak English.  I will pay twice your asking price if you can get them conversational by March.  Thank you.


I reply to Marie, letting her know that I'm safe, but not my whereabouts, and I let Mrs. Tanaka know that I will reserve Monday at 3:30 for her boys.

I return to my table to see Karen waiting for me with a grin on her face.  "I got a B!" she squeals.  "You are my new best friend, Sang.  I love you more than coffee right now!" She wraps me in a tight hug and I try to keep from hyperventilating with the contact. 


I only have one student this morning, so I spend most of my time reading through one of Kota's textbooks.  It's fascinating, and I hope that I one day get the chance to actually take the class.

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