Maya threw open the door to her dorm room with a flourish. She took two staggering steps then dropped face first onto her bed with a muffled groan. "Home sweet home." She mumbled into the pillow. She knew she reeked of sweat, could feel it sticking her tank top to her back. Maya probably needed to shower, but she couldn't bring herself to care. She was so tired. Every muscle in her body was trembling and there was no part of her that didn't hurt. It was beyond the kind of hurt she usually got after track practice. A little burning was a good thing after exercise. It reminded her of her hard work and gave her a feeling of pride and satisfaction. This, however was just pain- pure and simple. She might even have to go down to the athletic center and take an ice bath. The coach had been brutal with them today. They'd done thirty suicides across the field as a warm up. Thirty, and that was just the beginning. One of the freshman had cried. Maya had whispered to a friend that the coach's bad attitude was probably because her boyfriend had just dumped her. Just her luck, Coach Almer had overheard. Maya had run laps around the track until her lungs had screamed for relief and her legs gave out underneath her. After a long moment Maya sat up and yanked out her ponytail, sending hair tumbling down her shoulders like a caramel avalanche. It was thick, wavy and somewhat choppy. Maya always told people it was because she was growing out layers. She'd been 'growing out her layers' since about sixth grade. When she could no longer ignore her own odor, Maya dragged herself into a shower. She took her's so hot that her skin was pink when she came out. Today was no exception, and the heat was heaven to her sore muscles. When she got out she wrapped herself in a fluffy towel and pulled her hair into a bun to air dry. She was lucky to have her own private bathroom. Her parents had splurged for the single room and Maya had been thankful for it everyday. No need to wait every morning for someone else to finish their too-long shower or have to worry that her roommate would invite over her annoying friends the night before a big test. No, it was just Maya and The Cat. 'The Cat' was a stray the Maya had found last weekend outside the local shopping mall. Students at Eiken Preparatory school were only allowed to leave campus on weekends, holidays or for special exceptions. Like Maya, most of the stir crazy teenagers took the opportunity to go into the small local town. There wasn't a lot to do there, but it was better than staying in your dorm room. She had been on her way from the mall to the coffee shop when she caught large green eyes staring at her from between two dumpsters. Maya had regarded The Cat. He had regarded her. "Cat's aren't allowed at Eiken." She told him sternly. (Maya went home with a two new pairs of jeans, a shade of nail polish called 'summer breeze, and a smuggled cat.) She hadn't seen him when she'd come in, but he was there now, a fluffy white cloud among her blue color scheme. "How about Riceball?" Maya said, as she changed into a pair of short and an old concert t-shirt. "Riceball is cute." Ever since she'd brought The Cat home, Maya had been trying to give him a name. She'd gone through quite an impressive rotation, but nothing seemed to fit. She watched The Cat to see if he liked the name Riceball. Like always, she couldn't tell. "Oh!" Maya suddenly exclaimed. "I bought this online for you a few days ago." She dug in her mess of a cupboard before pulling out a red collar with a circular piece of metal dangling from it. "I left the tag empty. I'll have to get it inscribed when I figure out a name for you." She carefully tugged it on over his triangular ears. "Tada!"