Shaherazad did not talk to me, really, but just said, "Don't tell anyone," and sprinted away. I wondered why she seemed so jittery and eager to be some place, but pushed that thought away to talk to Elizabeth.

"You're actually going to do this?" I demanded.

"Shaherazad said I had no choice. I believe her."

"But . . . but . . . this is ludicrous! Spending the rest of your days in a Itower?/I"

"The Cauldron has shown me how happy I will be. The Cauldron never lies?"

"You've only been here ten minutes, yet you already think that a round piece of metal never lies?"

"I know that it is . . . hard to believe, but . . . soon you will understand. I have made many decisions in my life people might think foolish, like going to Thai-land, but every time it has turned out with happiness. And I won't be lonely or something. Look, there is another cauldron in the boy's temple. A man named Karachi stirs it."

"You're kidding, right?" There was a painful pause in which Elizabeth looked me straight in the eye (as best as an almost-blind person can) and slowly said, " . . .No, I am not kidding."

"Well, in that case," I said gravely, "I suppose I'll be leaving. Good-bye, old friend." I turned and left.

"Bye-bye!" called Elizabeth cheerfully.

The nice thing about Dorm G was that, though most of it was exactly like all the other dorms, it had one nice addition: a balcony. You could sit on the balcony railing, or sit on the ground and dangle your feet over the edge. The 5 beds were now 3 bunk beds, which took up less space on the wall and therefore we had room to put a balcony. I had often wondered why I saw so little older girls in the mess hall when I was 11, and it turned out to be because they were aloud to take there food upstairs and eat it on the balcony. I decided to go there to think.

Jasmine was already sitting on the railing eating a rice-cake, only a tank top in the warm night (how long had I been gone, anyway?) so I just sat under her, feet dangling precariously and trying to avoid getting hit in the face by one of her smelly feet or falling rice.

"Hey, where's the bat?" Jasmine asked, using her polite nickname for Elizabeth.

"Expelled," I explained shortly, hoping she wouldn't notice any lack of tears.

"What? No, no, can't be possible! I was the one who left that mess is the mess hall, and besides, nothing to be expelled about, how can a Malayan Monk be expelled anyway? This isn't a school, it's a temple-"

"Well, not expelled, kicked out," I said scathingly, "Means the same thing. And it's not because of some silly mess you framed her for, in case you haven't noticed she's becoming blind, and it's sort of hard to read the Media with dark glasses on, so I would appreciate it if you would stop blabbering for once in your life and let me THINK!"

"Uh . . . alright. Bye," said Jasmine fearfully. I rarely yelled. She jumped off the railing, landing gracefully, and wiped the last rice-crumbs from her lips. "I'll tell Tully and Mina when they get up here." She glanced at me again and hurried away.

I clambered up to the top of the railing and sat in silence, thinking. It was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard, of course. And so sudden! But, I realized, I didn't have any choice either. I would have to live with Elizabeth gone, like I had decided to live without my family except for the weekend. I wasn't happy with it, but that was fate had decided.

"Fate sucks," I decided out loud. I think only the wind heard me, though. And the accursed Cauldron.