Norah Nilssen

Dec. 7, 2019, 6:40 p.m.

Star? More like a zoo exhibit.

Norah missed her brother, but she would never admit that to anyone. Now that he had graduated and was working on being able to do things without being able to hear, the blonde didn’t have anyone to bother at RMI. Break had been nice, because he’d been home. The thirteen year old never realized that she would miss him once she wasn’t around him all the time. She missed watching him try to eat his weight in pancakes at the Finer Diner all so that he could challenge Boot later and fail (her brother swore the man cheated, but never could prove it).

She found herself lost in the fact that she was lonely. Over her first two years at RMI, she hadn’t made very many friends and that was probably because she had been busy terrorizing her brother and trying to act better than him. While she was better at some things, she knew that she wasn’t better at everything. Even then, she hadn’t always been the most friendly, but some people just irked her (Georgina Philpot and her stupid plants and dirt and water came to mind).

So the Lyra kept to herself mostly. It was boring and that kind of made it all worse. Feelings sucked. She thought about writing a letter to him, but she knew that he was busy and didn’t want to bother him. It was too early in the term to actually bother learning anything and it wasn’t like she was doing anything else. Instead, she wandered, remembering all the fond memories she had with her brother and thinking of ways to make her life less boring.

It was how she found herself sitting by the edge of the pool in the Rec Center. Brynjolf had taken it up during his last year and she had come to splash around with him. They had bonded over water sports and things that didn’t take much talking. She was spacing out in her chair when a voice broke through her concentration. A blonde mop of hair on half a boy stood where she had been staring and her cheeks heated up in embarrassment.

The Lyra frowned almost immediately at the boy, flipping a perfect blonde ponytail over her shoulder. What was he even talking about? Why would she want to sell his picture? Boys were weird. “That’s a weird thing to say,” she said, voicing what she was thinking. “Why would I want to bother taking a picture of a half grown flamingo?”

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