their work. Vida's people were the truly desperate.) I stepped into the empty classroom and sort of wandered into the fourth row, while the God of the Sea and the Goddess of the Moon were stationed near the blackboard, separated by pieces of a broken lightbulb, scattered on the floor.
Vida and Diego were both so unnaturally good-looking, I noticed. They looked nothing alike but there was something about them that felt the same, and I used to think it was a quality that all popular people had. They walked around like they owned the place.
Of course nobody realized that they owned the universe.
"My people?" I asked anyway.
"He's not hers ," Vida said.
I had to be careful around Vida, since I couldn't remember most of what happened when she visited me. I seemed to recall though that she smelled of jasmine, and her hair was shiny, and her fingernails were painted blue. That didn't help at all. So I just shrugged.
Diego stepped on a piece of bulb and it shattered under his shoe. "Jake Lalisan. Remember him?"
"Kathy's secret admirer. Now her boyfriend, yeah," I said.
"He makes lightbulbs explode now."
"How would I have anything to do with that?" Vida said, and it seemed like it wasn't the first time.
" Because you made him your plaything before New Girl and I sent him off to his true love. And now he can burst bulbs. I don't think that's a coincidence."
Vida shook her head and huffed a little too dramatically. "And this is why you are where you are, Diego, in the hierarchy of everything. Because you're not very smart." She crossed the space between them, crushing more glass under her heels.
Before leaving the room though, she tossed me a look. "How are you, Hannah?"
"I'm fine, Vida."
"Anything stressful happen to you recently?"
Only the sudden nausea, but I didn't understand how it had anything to do with her. Did she poison my food or something? Why would Vida even —
"I'm fine," I reiterated.
"Because you know you can always ask for my help, when you feel you're in over your head."
Wouldn't she just. "I can handle myself, Vida."
She smiled, flipped her hair, and left the room.
"She's always been a bitch," Diego said a second later.
"What do you want, Diego?" I asked, a bit wary. To be honest, I still didn't know yet where to place him in the filing cabinet that was my life right now. (I was thinking of the extra filing I had to do at the Guidance Office to make up for my hours.) He was there when I needed him, but not in the way that I probably should be needing anyone.
He was the only one who was always upfront and honest with me, and I didn't even have the power to read his mind.
But he was also the guy who ended up saying hurtful things, and strangling my fragile hope.
"Tummy's been bugging me lately."
"I need information. Maybe you saw something in Jake's memories that'll explain this new ability?"
"Why is breaking lightbulbs a power again?"
He rolled his eyes. "It's not. I suspect that what he can do is illumination."
"He can create light from nothing, New Girl. Or heat, at least. You remember how I made the bonfire?"
Yes, and then I immediately remembered how Diego kissed me right there in front of the senior bonfire and I coughed. "Yeah."
It was a great kiss.
"I think he's doing it, and he can't handle it yet, so the lightbulbs explode. This is his third incident. The dean's concerned about possible injuries."
"I can talk to Jake for you."
"Tell me if you remember something you saw in him. I think Vida knows what's happening but I'm out of the loop."
It was probably true, but I didn't really want to be involved in whatever drama they were having. "I need to go to Guidance now."
"I'll walk you there," he said, and I didn't want him to, but he did it anyway. And he deliberately walked a little too close to me, enough for him to "accidentally" nudge me every few steps, enough for students to gawk at us as we passed. Diego was, of course, a famous personality on
Ruth Wind, Barbara Samuel