Empire State University, Dean Irvin’s Office:
The Dean tells Emma that her high school transcripts are an incredible sight. He claims that he is very glad that she has decided to further her education at Empire State University. Emma thanks the Dean for his compliments. The Dean tells her that he can’t help but notice that she is from one of Boston’s wealthiest families. Emma assures him that her father will pay for her stay at this University with no problem at all. Then he asks the obvious question: since Emma’s transcripts show her to be a straight A student (which gives her many choices when shopping for an institution of higher learning) why did she choose to attend Empire State University? Emma looks seriously at the Dean from across his wide desk of polished wood. She tilts her glasses giving him a look into her sultry blue eyes and simply states that she needs a change.
Campus at Empire State University:
Outside the Administration building, Emma looks around at her new home for the next several years. She takes in the large two-story classroom buildings on the campus. She glances nervously at the other students moving around her in a hurry. Some are talking in groups; others are on their way to class, while still others appear to be on their way to the dorms from class.
Emma takes a minute to mentally remind herself that this is the first day of the rest of her new life. After all, even if someone did recognize her, they would not suspect that she possesses the ability to eavesdrop on their most intimate moments or their most private conversations.
A small sampling of the thoughts emanating from the minds around her reveals a normal first day at college. Some students are worried that they forgot deodorant or smell bad. Others are deciding what classes to add or drop. There are even a few students still trying to find the building that houses their next class.
Emma finds herself so immersed in the thoughts around her that she fails to notice the handsome man she is currently on a collision course with. The actual collision causes both of them to lose control of their books, which land heavily on the red brick walkway.
Emma is very annoyed with this handsome stranger. The young man helps her gather her displaced belongings and calls the accident a “cliché for an academic setting.” Emma icily informs him that accidentally bumping into someone is no way to get a date with them. She informs him that the accident is both rude and cliché. She turns her back on him and strides off without a second glance backwards. He stands and watches her go with a sly, admiring smile on his face.
Later on that day on Campus:
Emma has located the elevator which will take her to the floor where she has been assigned a dorm room and a roommate. Emma catches the elevator and rides up to her chosen floor. Upon departing the elevator, she notices a student pushing her parents out of her dorm room. The girl’s mom tells her that she thinks her room should be checked for asbestos. The mother also refers to her daughter as “chipmunk”. The daughter frantically asks her parents to just go to the airport. The exasperated father interrupts his daughter by pointing to Emma and asking “Who is this?” The girl tells him she doesn’t know as she just got here and once more presses her parents to leave.
Emma introduces herself to the girl’s concerned parents and then turns to the girl and tells she thinks they are roommates. The father introduces himself as Jack Mc Dermott and his wife as Jill just like in the nursery rhyme. Before Emma can reply, he asks her if she will be sharing living quarters with their little “chipmunk”? Emma starts to repeat the nickname but the exasperated girl says “enough,” grabs Emma by the arm and ushers her into the dorm room while waving good-by to her smiling parents as they board the elevator and take one last look at their beloved daughter.
Once inside the dorm room, the girl slams the door shut, barricades it with her body, and introduces herself to Emma as Christine Mc Dermott. Emma introduces herself using her full name and the girls shake hands.
Emma turns to survey the room. She is shocked to see how small and plain looking it is. She also sees one bed piled high with Christie’s things while the other is empty. Christy only say “so, we are roomies then,” and follows up by asking if Emma likes scented candles.
The Next Day, Accounting Class:
Emma is seated in the front row of a large hall capable of holding two hundred or more students. The Professor asks if anyone can tell him what a balance sheet is. Emma raises her hand and gives a perfect textbook definition when she is called upon. The Professor compliments her on a definition that gets right to the point. Then he asks for a definition of accounts payable. Once again, Emma raises her hand. The Professor asks for another volunteer besides Emma but none of the other students raise their hands. Emma is then allowed to deliver another perfect textbook definition and even contrasts it with the definition of accounts payable. The Professor says “right” and looks extremely unnerved. He casually assigns four chapters from the text book and dismisses the class.
After class Emma is holding her books and walking back to the dorm when a familiar looking young man calls her name as he races after her. She doesn’t slow her pace or even turn to let him know that she heard him. She is annoyed that he even knows her name. He tells her he has a question for her. She turns and icily replies “I know”. He is clearly taken aback and she has to goad him into speaking with a “well…”? Shakily, he tells her he knows how not to ask her for a date, but she never told him how to ask for one. Emma starts her next sentence with “Look Max,”. The young man excitedly interrupts her and asks if she knows his name because he is well-known on the basketball team. He considers himself to be a celebrity on campus.
She tells him “no” and sarcastically mentions that she was paying attention during roll call in class. As she walks off, she admits the truth to herself, she is psychic. As she walks away, he calls after her to invite her to the game to witness him make a fool out of himself. Emma silently calls him a half-wit.
Same day, University cafeteria:
Christy comments negatively on the appearance of the cafeteria food to Emma. After they fill their trays and find a table, Christy asks Emma how many credits she is taking. She looks shocked to learn that Emma is taking 24 credits hours. Christy already knew Emma was majoring in education with a minor in business.
Emma asks Christy about her life in the Fine Arts Department. Christy tells her that she is amazed her parents were so supportive when she told them she wanted to be a sculptor. When Christy mentions her mentor, Emma reads her mind and tells Christy she has got the hots for him. Christy denies it but Emma calls her a liar. Christy replies that she thinks her mentor is” brilliant and sensitive and ….” The girls are suddenly distracted by a group of loudly cheering students at the other end of the cafeteria. A young man is balancing five lunch trays in various positions on his body and the crowd is loudly cheering him on.
Emma identifies him as Max and Christy informs her that he is one of the big men on campus. Emma asks Christy if she should be glad he invited her to the game? Christy says wow to this piece of news and asks Emma if she said yes to him? Christy and Emma rise from the table to deposit their trays in the proper place. Emma tells Christy to ignore him and walk away from where he is. Emma tells Christie that he is checking her out as they walked away from him. Emma telepathically picks up on Christy’s thoughts and lets her surprise show aloud when she asks Christy “You think I am cold?” Christy explains to Emma that she does not understand why Emma would ignore the most handsome jock on campus when she doesn’t even have a boyfriend to get in her way.
A crash is heard from behind them. The girls turn to see Max covered with cafeteria food and trays scattered across the floor. Emma states coldly; “Why indeed?”
Later that Night
Christy and Emma are sitting in the bleachers at the basketball game. Christy is clearly enjoying herself and Emma appears bored. Max is doing a fantastic job of stealing the ball from the opposing team and making a basket. He brings the home team score to 91 but the visiting team is still winning with a 93. Max runs in front of the bleachers and waves. Christy is sure he was waving specifically at Emma. Emma tries to tell Christy that he was just waving to the stands in general. As the crowd is cheering, Max steals the ball. Suddenly, Emma feels her power reaching out to help Max make the next basket which changes the score to: home 94, visiting 93.
The situation frightens Emma and she runs from the game followed closely by a concerned Christy.
Outside Christy asks Emma what happened. Emma is crying, clearly upset, but she has no idea what has just occurred to her.
Later that week in accounting class:
Emma does not answer the roll call so the professor asks if any of the other students have seen her. He also takes the opportunity to remind the class that three or more unexcused absences will reflect negatively on their grade at the end of the semester.
Later that week in the dorm:
Emma tries her best to figure out what is happening to her. She does not know why her powers went haywire at the game. She only knows that she hasn’t felt pain that severe since her powers first manifested. She doesn’t even know how she got her powers to begin with. She does know that she wants to keep her situation a secret. She realizes that if she cannot control her powers than her only alternative is to get as far as possible from people. Her mental anguish is interrupted by Christie’s cheerful arrival and the room's lights being turned on.
Christy gives Emma her dinner featuring fruit loops for desert. Christy reassures Emma that she does not mind bringing her food, but she is concerned because Emma has not left the dorm since the incident and it's been at least a week.
Emma gets up from the bed, opens a window, wraps her arms protectively around herself and sticks her head out the window into the daylight. Christy reminds Emma that she will be in danger of flunking school if she does not get to class soon. Again, Christy asks Emma for an explanation.
Emma only answers her with silence. Christy starts to tell Emma that Max is asking where she is, but a knock at the door interrupts her. Christy tells Emma that they will talk later, right now she is going someplace with her mentor. Emma agrees starts to close the window.
Christy opens the door and is greeted by a male voice very familiar to Emma. Christy invites Ian in as Emma turns from closing the window to meet him. She is shocked to discover that Christy’s mentor is in fact Emma’s old teacher.