I looked at the plains rolling down past. I was on my way to St. Anderson's, a boarding school out in the middle of the countryside. I had searched for so long for the school, all for Marlene.
Marlene, who I call Marly, is my best friend. We've been so close since second grade that people thought we were practically sisters.
But Marly has been the sister I've never had. My own older sister died when I was just six, and it was meeting Marly that kept my spirits afloat. She stopped me from falling into that dark pit: despair.
And now I was finally going to see her again after a whole year. we still spoke over the phone, but my nerves were tingling again, knowing I was going to see her face-to-face. And it had taken a lot of hard work.
St. Anderson's is much unknown. There's not even a web page about it. I searched and sifted through old records for a month before finally finding its address. And then I sent an application, and filled out the form.
I still remembered the form. It was really weird. After a few basic questions like my name and age, they asked what my talent was. I just wrote 'singing'. I had an okayish voice. And then they asked what my parents' talents were. My mom is an excellent dancer, and my dad has a terrific voice. So I filled those in, too. And then they started asking me weird questions about my first word and my first great experience.
I glanced down at the acceptance letter in my hand. 'The school gratefully accepts Lara Smith as a student'. The brochure about St. Anderson said that it was owned by a Lord Anderson, who was so kind that the villagers called him a saint. When he died, the castle was handed over to the head of the village, and it became a university in 1923.
The brochure they sent me also said that they had special 'talent rooms' and they didn't keep people of the same talent in the same room. I gulped when I read the first line. Talent rooms. It was probably some special school for the super-talented. What would they do when they found out I was just semi-talented? Probably kick me out. And then Lara Smith would be home-schooled, because my old school didn't let students enroll after the admission window was over. I just couldn't let that happen.
So here I was in a crappy bus going towards the castle. And then, suddenly, it popped into view. It was a big, beautiful castle, with many towers. Wow, it looked like something out of a book.
It was the last stop on the bus, and the bus was the only one which went to St. Anderson's. I was the only person on the bus apart from the driver. He waved me out cheerily. I looked at the castle in awe for a moment, my bag slung over my shoulder. I wasn't into clothes or my appearance, mostly because I didn't look that good. I was semi-pretty. Everything about me is semi.
And then I started towards the castle. There was a weird feeling as I crossed the gate, a warm tingling. It almost was stronger than my growing nerves. Nothing to fear, I told myself. Just a school with regular, normal kids. People just like you. It's not like they're other species or something.
Little did I know how wrong I was.