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Like a zombie, I make my way to my room, only to see Lina sitting on my bed, waiting for my arrival.

“Did you get – My, what happened to you? You look like you were crying!” Lina babbles and runs up to me, giving me one of the biggest hugs I’ve ever had in my life. I can’t believe that I’ve hugged a goddess and cry into her shoulders.

“It’s the interview,” I answer her. “It requires a specific test where you have to face your fears, I think.”

Lina pats me in the back after letting go of me. “So did you pass the test? It must have been difficult…”

“Yes,” I cut her off before she keeps talking again.

The 27-year-old frowns at me. “Yes what?”

“Yes, I passed the test.”

With that, Lina squeals. “So when are you going to Newborough? When are you coming back? What are you supposed to do?”

“Woah!” I say with a laugh. “One at a time, Li. I’m leaving today so I have to pack up. I’ll be back by maybe next year.”

Lina freezes, staring at me, which makes me confused.

“What?” I ask worriedly.

“By the time you are back, I’ll graduate along with everyone else,” Lina replies. “So this might be the last time I’ll ever see you.”

My eyes widen when she says that. “What? Really?”

She nods with a sad look, then hugs me, making me squeak a little in surprise. Boy, this guy loves to hug. “I’m going to miss you, Mel.”

“I’ll miss you too, Li. But I have to start packing,” I say when she lets go of me.

“I’ll help you,” Lina volunteers.

Together, we pack my stuff, which isn’t that much because all my clothes are white and none of them really matter to me except for the harmonica that Nate gave me for our birthday.

I stare at the harmonica that is in my hand. This is the only thing I have left of Nate.

He’s alive, I remind myself. So are Emma, Cassie and the others. Whatever I saw earlier is not real. It’s just a test.

“Oh yeah, before I forget…” Lina says out of the blue and walk out of my room. I look at the direction she left in confusion.

“Lina?” I call out, stuffing the harmonica into my bagpack.

“I’m back!” Lina announces with a big grin as she reenters my room, hiding something behind her back. “I bought this a while ago and I’ve forgotten to give it to you! Here!”

A second later, a box-like present is in my hands. I glance at Lina with shock.

“What is it?” I ask.

Lina rolls her eyes at me. “Open it!”

I give her a look before doing as she said. The first thing that is registered on my mind is ‘How to Play the Harmonica for Dummies’.

“Seriously, I’m a dummy?” I ask amusedly.

Lina grins wickedly. “Whatever you say, Melummy.”

I glare at her. “Stop right there. Do not use my name against me, Lina.”

“Sure, sure. The point is, you can learn to play the harmonica now! Where’s my thank you?”

“Thank you,” I echo monotone.

She frowns at me. “That doesn’t sound grateful at all.”

This time, I put on a smile and say as sincerely as I can, “Thanks, Lina. I really appreciate it.”

We are interrupted by someone knocking at our dorm room. Lina disappears to get the door as I put the book in my bag. I sling the bag across my right shoulder and then look at my room for last time before I leave. This is the room I’ve been living for the past one month. I realize how hard it is to live away from Nate.

Being a HQ agent is difficult and challenging. This is why it is better if the whole family is part of the HQ family.


I turn around to see Leo by the door, wearing his usual white attire. “Oh, hi, Leo.”

“Hey, so I heard you got the place. Congrats!” he says, walking up to me and mess my neatly tied ponytail.

I scowl at him. “Stop messing my hair!” I whine. “And thanks, I’m leaving for Newborough later.”

“Is it true that you’ll be back only next year?” he asks, looking up at me with sad eyes.

“Yes,” I answer softly. “I’m going to miss you.”

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to stick around by then to help my uncle or something,” he says.

“You shouldn’t! You should go out there after you graduate!” I encourage, patting his shoulder.

Leo shakes his head. Before I can say more, he cuts me off. “That reminds me, I was sent to inform you that you need to head over to my uncle’s office. He’s there with Goddess Athena.”

“Thanks, Leo,” I say, hugging him, which makes him stiffen in surprise. A second later, he melts into my hug.

“Be safe, Laney.”

Moments like this is a reason why I’m glad that fate chose for me to be an HQ agent, even if there are some side effects.

Author's Note

I'm sorry that it's short! I barely have the time to write these days... Question: Name one song sung by Celine Dion.





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