Edie got through the rest of her classes that day and left the theater with a sense of relief. They’d performed their scenes for the playwriting class, and now the playwrights were working on revisions; the acting class was supposed to get the scenes back next week so they could perform the revised scenes as a final exam. Right now, Edie was just glad to have a break from the scene. She hoped their performance had inspired the playwriting student to make some good revisions.
When she returned to her dorm room, Corrie wasn’t home. Edie wasn’t really hungry yet, so she sat down on her bed to relax. She read a few pages of her book, but it wasn’t holding her attention, so she went into her trunk for her knitting.
As she dug around in her knitting bag trying to find a dropped needle, she came upon another project. She pulled out the yarn and needles and her heart sank.
She remembered this bright, pretty green yarn and the scarf with the leaf lace pattern. She had intended to make a present for Leila. It was about halfway done. She’d gotten distracted with other holiday knitting, then must have forgotten to pick it back up.
It didn’t matter now. Leila was gone and wasn’t coming back. Giving her the scarf certainly wouldn’t have made a difference. Edie wasn’t even sure whether Leila would have wanted it, now that she thought about it. She might have accepted it to be nice, or because she was touched that Edie would make something for her, but a scarf wasn’t something she would wear. She was never around when it was cold enough to need one, and she never wore accessories anyway. It was always just the black turtleneck and black pants.
She frowned at the half-finished project. She didn’t think she could finish it now. She couldn’t wear it herself or give it to someone she cared about; it would just remind her of Leila every time she saw it. And the green silk yarn was much too nice to waste.
She pulled the needles out of the project and started carefully re-rolling the ball, pulling out each knitted stitch. She would find something else to do with the yarn eventually.
Just as she was finishing up, Corrie came in the room, her hair tousled. “The wind is picking up out there,” she announced. “Do you want to go get dinner before it starts to rain?”
“Sure,” Edie said, realizing that she was hungry now. “Just let me put this away.”
“I’ll go see if anybody else wants to come.” Corrie rushed outside again.
Edie put her knitting back in her trunk, tucking the green silk yarn away with the few other unused balls of yarn she had. If it took a long time for her to come up with a project, that would probably be a good thing.
Corrie collected Dawn and Annie to have dinner with them, and the four headed outside. Edie breathed deeply when the wind reached them. It was strong, but it didn’t smell damp. “Is it supposed to rain?” she asked Corrie.
“I don’t know,” Corrie said, shrugging. “It just seemed like a storm kind of wind to me.”
“Oh, let me check!” Dawn stood in the middle of the path, closing her eyes for a moment. Then she shook her head, opening them. “The rain’s coming from the north, and there isn’t a storm there. Not within a hundred miles of here.”
“Wow,” Annie said, her eyes widening. “Can you really sense a hundred miles?”
“That’s about how far away Professor Lal said the storm I sensed yesterday was,” Dawn said as they all started walking toward the dining hall again. “It might have moved between when I sensed it and when she checked the weather data, but it’s pretty close.”
“That is impressive,” Edie said. “I wonder if I’ll be able to do anything like that. I’m really good at creating water, but I can’t figure out how to make it vanish.”
“That’s interesting,” Corrie said. “Do you think it’s because of your great-grandmother?”
“It has to be,” Edie said. “Unless I’m just bad at making things vanish. I never tried with earth, and it’s not really something you can do with air magic. I kept making the candle flame go out, but that wasn’t on purpose.”
“What did the professor say?” Annie asked.
“Just to keep working on it.” They’d arrived at the dining hall; Edie was pleased to see that it wasn’t too crowded. “I do have a lot to learn. It was just something she wanted me to try.”
They found a table and left a few things there to claim it, then headed for the food. Edie tried to convince herself to get a salad and be healthy, but her nose and stomach drew her inexorably toward the pasta instead.
At least she could put some vegetables in it.