It was strange, being back at RMI. Raja had gotten quite used to the Hyderabad School of Magical Learning. RMI had seemed like an automatic home based on the time he knew his parents had spent here together, but somehow, he never really fit in. But in India, he was still odd, but he felt more like he belonged. He had definitely forgotten how it felt to stick out physically like he did here; RMI was a big of a hodgepodge as far diversity went, but Raja matched the Indian kids. It was a sort of unity he didn’t have here.
And he missed his friends. He had people to talk to here, but he wasn’t close with anybody anymore. He was already worried about his friends in India. Who would stand up for little Kimmy? Who would guard Hasfah during her prayers? The girls needed him, and honestly, he needed them. Kimmy was like a little sister, and Hasfah was…. Well, he would miss their secret late night chats, the held hands masked by flowing robes, the stolen kisses when no one was looking…
Yes, he had, toward the end of the year, finally gotten brave enough to ask her the question on his heart. Maybe it had been easier, knowing he wasn’t going back. If she had said no, it would’ve been weird for a couple months, but then he would go home and he could leave it all behind. But she had said yes, and now he had a girlfriend across the world. Raja missed her more than anything.
But like it or not, here he was. The Aquila was determined to make the best of it, soaking in the ever-impressive sight of the Finer Diner even as he mentally penned the letter to describe it to Hasfah. After the speech, he took a plate with chicken on a stick, and just as he bit into a piece, the student beside him asked a question on that very topic.
Raja blinked, then glanced between his plate and his chicken stick (sticken?) “Well,” he said after a moment of thought, “I guess if you need to sit it down for any reason. Unless you’re planning on balancing the stick somewhere, you probably want a plate for that, or a napkin at least.”