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It was the first day of class, and he was late. He tried to slide in under the radar, but the instructor pinned him in his chair with a look.
"What’s your name, cadet?"
"Well, Cadet Hendorff, class starts firmly at 0800 hours, so I expect that this is the last time I’ll see you at," he glanced at his watch, "0805."
"Yes, sir," Hendorff said, trying to ignore the fact that everyone else in class was looking at him. Thankfully, the instructor launched into his lecture at that point, and everyone’s attention was diverted. Hendorff tried to relax, but after that start, he was finding it difficult to do anything but fume at himself for being late.
He was so busy doing that, he didn’t notice that someone behind him was trying to get his attention until he was poked in the back. He turned slightly to see one of the prettiest faces he’d ever seen looking at him.
"That was kind of harsh," she whispered, her tone sympathetic. He felt better immediately. He didn’t want to get in trouble for talking, so he just smiled. She smiled back and suddenly this morning didn’t seem so bad.
The next day, when the instructor called roll, he paid special attention to her name:
Even the name was pretty, and maybe she’d never talk to him again, but he wouldn’t forget that she was the first person in this place to be nice to him.