It felt as if the ‘no talking’ was meant for the first years little did they know so were the other rules.  Ellen never felt so humiliated and just kept her eyes down amidst the murmurings and slow laughter. Amanda felt so bad for her friend and just sat face down not talking or replying to the seniors at her table who were still asking questions about her and if that woman who dropped her off was her mother. The rest of the dinning was quiet that as nobody wanted to be punished like Ellen. Ellen just threw the food away after dinning was over and walked with Amanda as the first years pointed at her everybody wanting to know the girl who stood on the table and carried the pantry bowl. She felt bad that she had become the object of attention the very first day she arrived and Amanda just told her it was just ok and people will experience worse. 

Immediately they got inside they changed to have shower as the prefect had walked them through before they went dinning. Ellen thought there will be a bathhouses for individuals but on getting there anyone could tell the surprise on their faces as students bathed together all in one big bathroom. This was the first time both friends have ever had to bath with other people as at home everyone had their privacy. It was the same feeling for majority of the students except for the few who were kind of prepared. Ellen and Amanda found the corner of the bathroom and bathed as they were feeling shy. They knew had to get used to it as time went on as it seemed that was how they will bath for the rest of their study there. As they weren’t comfortable they rushed through shower and went back to the dormitory changing into the check attire and waited for the alarm to sound to go for preparatory hours which was precisely for private studies. It was the only time Ellen and Amanda got to know   girls they shared the room with. They just saw them briefly but didn’t know their names. Ellen and Amanda lay on the bed each lost in their own thoughts wondering as the never imagined boarding house to be this way. The other students were getting to know each other but Ellen and Amanda kept to themselves as the reality of the boarding house sunk in. They had barely lain down for 10 minutes when the alarm sounded at 7pm for prep hours which ends at 9pm. Since they had started learning yet they just picked up novels to keep them busy. 

They walked to the classroom and found a space to sit as usual keeping to themselves. Other second years and third years joined but basically the keep quiet sign didn’t apply to them so were the rules. Ellen started reading her book as Amanda laid her head on the table. It felt as if the boarding house system was obviously hard for her with most things being done for her at home. Ellen felt she couldn’t let her friend have such down spirits and tried to start a conversation but it seemed Amanda wanted to be left alone as she wasn’t fully engaging in her conversation. About an hour into preparatory hours most of the first years have dropped off to sleep and when their prep leader who was a third year had found out, she had made them stood for the next hour of the prep till it ended. 

Finally prep was over and as they walked off to their dormitories to sleep, they were hopeful it things will change for the days that followed. They changed into their pyjamas and all Ellen could say to Amanda was tomorrow will be better. They dozed off to sleep as soon as their body touched the bed. 


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