Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)
By Kate Grey
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Who was Lisa? Alex didn’t know her, but there was no transfer student code by her name. That was odd. With several thousand students, the campus was large, but smaller communities formed. The Science Building had its own special heartbeat, and Alex thrived in it. She knew everyone. But she didn’t know Lisa.
Maybe her friend Rebekah could find out how this Lisa could suddenly appear. A sophomore, Rebekah was already a vivacious part of the science community. And as a dorm student, unlike Alex, Rebekah was around the Science Building most evenings.
Alex shook her head to clear it. She needed to get all these names entered into the preliminary email list for the new Premed Forum.
“Eugene, can I interrupt?”
Eugene looked up from his Biochemistry text with a slight smile. At nine-thirty Monday evening, the fourth day of school, he’d already been studying a long time and was ready for a distraction. Besides, the students here were good kids. He found Rebekah standing across from his spot in Sc 202, the large biology lab. “What’s up?”
“Do you know a Lisa Williams? Everybody’s talking about her, but nobody knows her.”
“I did hear about her. Sorry; I don’t know her yet. There is a new girl in chemistry class. Kind of quiet.” Not unlike himself. “I’m not sure what her name is yet. She wasn’t in Organic Chemistry last year. Interesting that she’s not in any of the upper-level biology classes.” Yet she was in senior-level chemistry. That was a puzzle. Eugene liked puzzles.
“She’s in my society.” On Fridays, instead of chapel, students met in smaller groups, literary societies. “At least, she’s on the list, but she didn’t come to the meeting.”
“Did you ask any of the teachers? Dr. Vogt would be a good person to ask. She would have taken Organic since she’s in Biochem.” Eugene wrinkled his nose. He wasn’t sure he would like the building grapevine talking constantly about him, but then again, some things couldn’t be stopped.
“Good idea, Eugenius!” Rebekah thought his Science Building nickname suited him. It seemed to amuse Eugene. Then, again, that amused slight smile her remark drew from him was a trademark of his.
Tuesday evening, Rebekah wrote her name on the after-hours study sign-in sheet at the hostess desk and said hi to Amanda, the new student hostess.
“Hey, Rebekah,” was Amanda’s easy greeting. “Studying Essentials tonight? Did you learn anything more about our mystery student?” Amanda was not a science person, but, as a hostess, she was already a fixture in the building.
“Dr. Vogt knows Lisa. He sounded surprised, but glad, that she is back," Rebekah replied. "I can’t understand why none of the students know her. Not even Mr. Davis, the GA, and he did his undergrad work here. If Dr. Vogt knows her, she had to be here at some point.”
Rebekah shrugged, laughing, and turned to go up the stairs. “See you later, Amanda.”
It was hot outside. Amanda could tell by the way the postal customers took a deep breath and looked relieved as they entered. This was her second job on campus, in addition to the job as hostess. She liked both jobs; she got to meet a lot of people.
Amanda took the ID card of the next customer. The name surprised her, but she merely smiled at the girl. “Got a package already?”
“Yes.” The girl smiled. Her eyes were tired, but light. “That’s what happens when you move across the country, even temporarily. They don’t let you take a whole lot on an airplane. I mailed myself some things.”
“What’s your major?” Amanda asked as she brought back the package.
“Biology,” replied the girl. “And yours?”
“Elementary education,” Amanda answered. “I’m a sophomore.”
“I’m a junior, but in my major I’m more of a sophomore, because I changed majors. Then I sat out for eight years, and some requirements changed, so finishing up should be interesting.” Her smile convinced Amanda that she meant “interesting” in a good way.
Amanda grinned. “It’s great to meet you, Lisa. The whole Science Building is buzzing about you.”
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