Chapter 9

The dawn chorus is the herald of spring. It starts with a lonely, serenading minstrel, usually a blackbird. She is clear and harmonious, as fresh and sweet as the gardens she will later raid. In the neighboring tree, Her saucy fanfare dares others to match their salsa song of the canopy. The competition rouses from their slumber, opening their beaks to the heavens. The avian aria slowly becomes a fugue, bouncing through bough and bower. The lilting majesty of their song cascades into open spaces, through glassy windows, and onto the smiling lips of the dreamers within. Spring is here.

What are the triggers for the comforting cannon of tree music? Is the lace of morning fog slowly receding as the months roll by? Is it the gently unfurling flowers, velour soft and receptive to warmth? Is it the baked oven smell of grass as the sun purges it of water? It is this and more. It is the world moving from iron-grey to fairyland–green. It is the spools of lambs wool hanging from straggly bushes, a wedding card to the nesters. It is the mist of smells, the frill of flowers, and the scent of magic in the air.

Shoals of honeysuckle, primroses, and bluebells sway and weave a rich mosaic in the meadows. Harp strings of golden light touch steaming shadows and soften the frozen earth for the wildflowers.

Turtle-slow lawnmowers pedicure the grass while leaving their clippings behind for the fussy nesters. Gnarled hands with snipping shears scalp the hedges.

The world is young, and so was Angela, lush and bountiful again. It is a spirit-enriching, pastoral scene. Under the wraith-silver moon, the alchemy of balsamic scents swirls around the meadow.

Angela breathes in deeply, the calm morning breeze awakening her senses to the beauty of nature around her. The sweet fragrance of flowers in full bloom fills the air. She looks up as a flock of beautiful colorful birds flies past. Their chirping noises seem like music to her ears.

”How I wish I were one of these beautiful, graceful creatures. ” angela says to herself. ”I would spread my wings and fly so high, far away from this dreadful place Ive been sent to. ” Her heart feels heavy as tears start in her beautiful eyes.

Angelas fear of being in a strange place far away from her beloved family fills her with dread and anxiety. ”I miss you, mom, ” her heart whispers as she quickly wipes a rolling tear from her eyes.

Angela looks at the massive white building structure ahead of her. Its white brilliance seems to sparkle in the early sunrise .knowing she must go in and register, her feet feels heavy as if its frozen and cannot move. ”Is this to be my prison for the next three years? ”

All around the massive ground, about thirty little colorful dorms scattered.

All is still silent. ”I guess thats where the students are. ” She thinks to herself, ”I wonder what dorm is mine? ” Angela prays it is not too far hidden to the back; that would be scary; she loved open spaces. Angela is so deep in thought that she jumps with fright and turns, almost colliding with the stranger standing behind her.

Her mind in shock and stammering, she looks up at the most beautiful man she has ever seen.

His eyes, like gold, seem to mesmerize her.

Angela is speechless. ”Is this man real? Am I dreaming? Who is he? ” Why had she not seen him before? The thoughts race through her dazed, shocked mind

The stranger looks at the beautiful girl seeing her tremble and ready to take flight. ”Who are you, young lady? Are you a new student here? If not, then why are you trespassing on private property? ”

Angelas gaze takes in the immaculate navy blue suit with a white shirt and navy and white tie, gold tie pin, and cufflinks on the shirt sleeves. His hair was jet black with white sprinkles of grey; he looked like an older version of Brad Pitt or some greek God, her mind registered.

Still taking note of her dazed state of mind and feeling as though hes been x-ray from head to toe, he holds out his hand to her and says, ”my name is Brad; who are you. ”

Angela looks down at his outstretched hand, taking note of how bronze it was, his gold swiss watch sparkling in the sun

Finding her voice, she manages to say, ”I am Angela. ”

Angel fox ignores his outstretched hand. ”Why are you here? ” Brad asks her again, noting her beautiful eyes were darting all around as though shes looking for someone to rescue her.

Brads eyes take in her long golden hair almost to her waist, her figure beautiful and neat, her dress a powder blue with little white daisies complementing the bright blueness of her eyes, her dainty little feet in comfortable gold sandals; what a beauty he thinks to himself I hope shes, not a student here.

”Are you looking for someone? ” He asks again. Angela knows she has to answer, she confidently gains control of herself and straightens her body, ”yes, im looking for my friend, but I need to use your ladys room, please, if I may. ”

Its none of this strangers damn business what im doing here, angela says to herself, glaring at him with a frosty look.

Brad looks at her amused; well, ”my dear lady. ” Says Brad, ”may I know your friends name? May I let them know you are here? ”

”Her name is Michelle, ” Angela answers, breaking eye contact.

Mitchells who? Says Brad. Angela thinks of a way to escape this man hes asking too many questions that she is in no mood to answer.

Excuse me; she says I need the ladys room urgently. ”Can you please tell me which way it is? ”

Brad sensing her discomfort, points out a building standing on its own to the right side of the campus. ”There you go straight ahead. ”

Angela turns on shaky legs hoping to get away from this handsome man, her heart hammering in her chest.

Just as shes about to leave, Angela freezes in disbelief when she hears him say.

”Well, my lovely, you are not a student, then how about me taking you to lunch later? We can have a light meal with coffee or drinks, whatever you choose. ”

Slowly Angela turned back to face him, Realizing he could have been almost her fathers age. Still, then again, he has formally attired greasy hair and something about him that made him appear, Different from other men.

This man had class, and angela always had a thing for an older distinguished gentleman.

She needed someone to cheer her up; she assumed his visiting his daughter or someone on campus.

Looking at Brads left hand, she notices he wore no wedding ring.

”Let me see what he is capable of; he might then just tell her who he is. ” angela looks brad straight in the face and says. ”Does your wife allow you to lunch with strange women? ”

Brad looks at Angela, confused for a moment before she registers what she said.

Holding his left hand up, he says, ”Im so sorry I was not aware I was married. ” An amused smile shows deep dimples.

Angela is mesmerized by his beautiful smile and feels her face burning up.

Well, she thinks to herself, hes single, she is single, and age could use some company; its been so long that Ive been out on a date.

Brad looks at Angela, taking in the conflicting emotions in her eyes. ”There is a nice little diner not far from here; we can meet there later? ”

Brad was expecting her to say no; she would probably think he is weird for asking her to join him at the diner, A girl like this probably loves clubbing.

”Sure, why not? I have nothing to do. ” Why not?

Has he heard right? Did she say yes? He has not been out with a girl for over two years since his last divorce. Uncertain of what to say, all words he could squeeze out were, ” okay, great, see you then? ” he said awkwardly.

She was turning away. ”Bye, see you later. ” not bothering to look back, knowing he was staring at her, Angela hurried into the building brad had directed her to and saw a bronze sign on the door with ladies only written on it.

Beautiful long mirrors decorated the wall; it smelled fresh from disinfectant; the floor was gray marble, clean and shiny.

Angela walked to the mirror, needing to see if she looked as flustered as she felt.

Angela was about to take her hairbrush from her handbag when the door opened, and a cute girl with blonde hair cut into a bob entered; she could have been about seventeen years old, Angela estimated, seeing her, the girl walked over to Angela holding out her hand. ”Hi, im Chrissy; are you a new student here? ” Angela takes her hand, ”Hi, im angela. Yes, I just arrived here.

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