eight

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"I can show you the world," a light-hearted voice sang.

Nicholas glanced up from his book, adjusting his frames. Dina had casually strolled in with her set of books to return, a hand in the pocket of her gray hoodie and the other hand holding her books. Her scarf was purple today.

Goodness, how many colored scarves did this girl own? Every day it was a different color. Nicholas didn't mind, it was all part of who she was, a symbol she proudly wore.

"No, you can't," he replied dryly as he continued reading.

"Shining, shimmering, splendid. Tell me, princess, now when did you last let your heart decide?"

"Yesterday, when I was deciding on whether to have pasta or sushi for dinner," he remarked, not looking up at her.

Ignoring him, she continued, "I can open your eyes."

"My eyes are already opened."

"Take you wonder by wonder, over sideways and under on a magic carpet ride!"

Finally, he looked up from his book. Nicholas tilted his head at her, resting his cheek against the palm of his hand, as he wondered about Dina's level of sanity. She was lucky that there was no one present at the library. The heat wave had gotten stronger, so most of the students chose to be in their air conditioned dorms rather than the loving comfort of a library.

"I don't want to travel," he commented.

Dina's brown eyes shined with amusement and mischief. She reminded him of a hyperactive elf. There was never a day when she would come into the library with a frown. Dina was always happy, no matter the time, no matter the weather, she was pleased with everything life had to offer her. It was an admirable trait, one that Nicholas wished he could have.

"A whole new world! A dazzling place I never knew, but when I'm way up here, it's crystal clear that now I'm in a whole new world with you-"

"God, no," he groaned. "Tell me you're not going to sing the entire song."

Dina pouted, "You're such a bum."

"I'm not the one coming into a library and singing Disney songs."

She mockingly gasped. "You have a problem with Percy Jackson and Aladdin? I think we need to have a long and serious talk, Nemo. This is unacceptable!"

"Disney lies about happily ever afters, you know."

"Why can't you be the Aladdin to my Jasmine?" she asked with an exaggerated sigh.

"I like realism not magic carpets."

She narrowed her eyes at him. "This is why we can't have nice things, Nemo."

"I think it's dumb, sue me," he said, defensively.

"I will."

Nicholas smiled with a slight shake of his head, "You are one odd girl, Dina."

"That's why I'm awesome," she emphasized.

"Keep telling yourself that and maybe one day you'll actually believe it."

"Nemo," she whined. "Why are you so rude?"

"I'm not."

She gave him an annoyed look, huffing as she crossed her arms over her chest in a silent pout. Nicholas knew he shouldn't be this affected by her, but that one small action was too adorable for him to resist. He wanted to pull her into his arms, tell her he was kidding, and express himself. Nicholas sighed, that was an impossible reality.

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