It was a Thursday morning. 8:15am. The Dining Hall. Two seniors were arguing over the Israel-Palestine conflict, ironic because they were both eating bacon, and watching the latest PR disaster of the Liberal Government on the TV hanging above them. Everybody secretly wished instead of the news, they played Disney movies like Mulan and the Lion King. But then too many students would miss their classes.
They were part of the infamous Breakfast at Tiffany’s Gang. A ruthless batch of scoundrels that wake up before 8am every morning, just to have breakfast. It’s where they plot their dastardly schemes. They’re the only ones who know about the secret Nutella deliveries every Wednesday morning. The secret common room on 1st floor Wadham. Disturb their routine and they might just push you off a building.
The leader, Rohit, was also the President of IH. Like Abbott, he had gone mad with power, proclaiming High Table to be the Pride Lands. He was always there at dinner times, looking over the kingdom, ruled with an iron fist and spectacles. His election was the stuff of legends. He’d only decided to run moments before the polls closed. It was a landslide victory. The local newspaper speculated that students were too afraid to vote against him. Intimidation, co-ersion, humour, self deprecation. Those were the tactics of the powerful. It lulled you into believing in the vision, then your little sister would be kidnapped.
None of the rival gangs would dare challenge their power. Their strength, like Superman, came from the sun. Even PC was terrified of them, choosing to have tea in the office.
A fresher, a small girl from the Phillipines walked into breakfast, sobbing. She’d just came from the Games Room, the place everyone goes for a good cry and a session of MarioKart when life gets overwhelming. She was experiencing the post OWeek Depression. It’s a well documented phenomena afflicting IHers at the end of Oweek. When they realise they’re spending their parents money to study not to have fun with friends. Symptoms include, paranoia, fear of cutlery, sadness, flu like symptoms. The local psychiatrist pretty much lives of it.
Another girl walked in, she was from Jamaica with thick frizzy hair. Everybody called her Goldilocks. She hated that nickname. It started when people found out she’d complained to Catercare about there not being enough Porridge in the mornings. And about the size of her bed. The name stuck ever since.
They both sat at a table away from the others. They still didn’t really know the seniors. And so were intimidated. They shouldn’t have been, everyone is pretty friendly round these parts. Especially in the mornings. They sat with Tae Kwan Do, a towering Singaporean guy who’d just come out of a stint in the military. Everyone thought he was a General.
Nobody knew how much of the war stories were true. They all were. Especially the ones about paperwork. They all sat, staring into their french toast, sadness drifting over them. They thought back to Oweek and the good times. The memories. The events, cascading into each other. Before the routine settled in. They all wished every week was Oweek.
Tae remembered his time in the war. Peace, that’s all he wanted. A little part of the world where he can live in peace. And that was breakfast. They all had class soon. 9 am lectures, the worst thing you could do to a uni student.