A Murder Of Crows {4}

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                I walked the path the next morning, hands in my pockets. The sky overhead was gray, threatening rain later on. A chilly breeze ruffled my hair.

                I spotted Jamison standing on the path with two other people, talking with them. He noticed me and said something to his friends before coming over to walk alongside me.

                "Thanks for the notes," he said.

                "Yea, sure," I said.

                Another breeze kicked in and Jamison pushed his hair away from his eyes. "You're pretty quiet, huh?"

                "Not particularly," I said. "I just don't have anything to say to you."

                "I guess we are strangers," he said.

                "No guessing about it," I said.

                "I'm just trying to get to know people in my new rotation. I figure getting friendly with the guy who takes good notes is never a bad thing." He gave a lighthearted smile, but I wasn't going to let that sucker me in.

                "You don't have to be my friend. Just tell me you need notes and I'll send them. That's all the communication you need from me," I said.

                "Friends never hurt," he said with a shrug.

                Well, wasn't that a lie if I'd ever heard one.

                "Not interested," I said.

                I glanced at him out of the corner of my eye. His uniform was neat and wrinkle-free. The pin that announced he was a Crow was standing out on his chest, a golden shine that matched the buttons on his dark blazer. A constant reminder that he wasn't like the other students. That I couldn't trust him.

                "Can I ask about the sunglasses?" he said, nodding towards my face. "I thought they weren't allowed in classrooms."

                "They're prescription, and my eyes are sensitive to the light. I have permission to wear them in class," I said.

                "Ah, that sucks," he said, looking up at the gray sky. "Cor, right?"

                I nodded, wondering when he'd give up this pointless conversation. It was going nowhere.

                "Cor!"

                Val ran up to me, and I couldn't tell if I was relieved to have an excuse to get away from Jamison, or annoyed to deal with Val this early in the morning.

                "I got so busy last night with homework I never even left my dorm," she said. She noticed Jamison and feigned surprise. "Do you have a friend, Jpeg?"

                "Classmate," I said. "He just needed some notes from me. Let's go, Val."

                "I'll see you in class, Cor," Jamison said.

                "See me, yea," I said, hoping he got the point that he could look at me all he wanted but that wouldn't make me talk to him.

                As we walked away from him, Val laughed a little. She tucked her hair behind her ear and grinned up at me.

                "You must be really annoyed if you're picking me over him," she said.

                "Well, you aren't trying to pin criminal activity on me," I said. "You just drag me into it."

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