Jade didn't paint anything that morning. Instead she headed back over to the dorm to cook breakfast. It was very similar to the previous morning. Almost right when Jade was done cooking Iris woke up, and Jade could hear Skye snoring in the background.
"Good morning," Iris said as she began to prepare for her morning tea.
"Good morning," Jade replied with exhaustion in her voice.
"You seem tired. Did you ever manage to get any sleep?" Iris asked her.
Jade shook her head. "No, I didn't."
Iris gave her a confused look. It was clear to her that there was something on Jade's mind, she just didn't know what. "You seem troubled," she told her.
"I'm just thinking, that's all," Jade murmured.
Iris knew to stop there. Perhaps she could ask later, but she knew Jade wasn't exactly up for talking right now.
"I wonder if Mrs. Carter is going to be in class today," Iris said, trying to change the subject.
"Hopefully," Jade replied, "I still want to know why she wasn't here yesterday. I'll try to find out whenever I go this morning." She turned off the stove. "Eggs are ready," she told Iris.
Iris grabbed and prepared a plate as she heard the opening to the Lion King blast from Skye's phone. "I guess Skye's up."
Surely enough, a disheveled Skye walked into the kitchen with a tangled mane of hair. "What's for breakfast?" she asked wearily.
"Eggs, toast and bacon. Not much different from yesterday," Jade said as she gave her a plate.
"Fine with me," Skye responded with a smile. It wasn't long before her entire plate was loaded with food.
"How is it that you can eat so much and gain so little?" Jade asked her.
Skye shrugged. "Metabolism," she answered with a mouth full of toast.
Jade and Iris both laughed. "Well, for your sake I hope that metabolism stays with you for the rest of your life," Jade told her with a grin, "You two might want to start getting ready. Especially you Skye. It might take days to manage that mane."
"Will do captain!" Skye said as she shoveled down the last bits of her food. She hopped off her seat and headed towards the bath room.
"Whoa, you weren't kidding about my hair!" Jade and Iris heard her exclaim.
Jade shook her head and laughed. "That crazy kid. . ."
Iris smiled and looked at Jade. She looked exhausted, and it still seemed that something was still occupying her thoughts. "Do you need any help cleaning up?" Iris asked.
Jade shook her head. "No, but thanks for offering," she answered with a weak grin. "Besides, you still need to get ready."
"I guess you're right. Are you sure you don't need any help?" she asked once more.
Jade shook her head. "No, I got it."
Iris nodded and went back to get dressed.
Before long all three were prepared for their second day at Sonser.
Jade was bound and determined to make this day an improvement from the previous one. Mrs. Carter is sure to be here today, she thought to herself as she walked to class, I mean, she can't miss two days in a row, can she?
As she reached her destination she let out a sigh of relief. The door was open, and Jade took a long look at the room's interior. Walking in there was like a breath of fresh air. Around the room were chairs and easels, all of which revolved around one large pedestal that was in the middle of the classroom.
"Whoa," Jade said to herself. She found a seat and sat down. As she did so she looked through the people, trying to distinguish Mrs. Carter. Finally her eyes fell on a woman who seemed to be in her early forties. She was a very pretty woman, with sandy blonde hair and pale brown eyes. She was thin and willowy with elegant features. However, she looked very tired and very wistful, for reasons Jade did not know.
"Hello class, I apologize for my absence yesterday," Mrs. Carter said with a voice as clear as crystal. "My name is Mrs. Carter and I'll be your professor for this upcoming semester. This first day I want to get a good idea of how you are as artists. I want to be familiar with both your strengths and your weaknesses. So today I've brought in a model, and you will sketch them for the remainder of the class period. Don't worry about it being perfect, it's just the first day," she ended with a small smile.
The class nodded and prepared their easels. Jade smiled as she got out her charcoal. She had been so eager for her first life drawing, and she was determined to take full advantage of this opportunity.
As the model took her place on the platform Jade put her charcoal to her paper and started sketching a basic outline. As she emerged deeper into the drawing, the minutes flew like seconds and before she knew it, her time was up.
She took a look at her work. Jade was fairly pleased, and left the class with a wide smile. She couldn't wait to hear her feedback Thursday.
As she walked out of the classroom, she heard a group of students talking about something. Jade attempted to listen to the cluster of murmurs, but the only word she could make from it was "Mrs. Carter".
Maybe they know why she wasn't here yesterday.
She finally tapped on the nearest person's shoulder. The girl turned around.
"Hey, do you guys know why Mrs. Carter wasn't here yesterday?" Jade asked her.
"My guess is that is was something about her daughter," the girl answered.
Jade gave her a confused look. "What's wrong with her daughter?"
"You don't know?" the girl asked. "She has cancer."