Chapter 1- Panic attack? ...almost
The clock radio blared music at full blast, arousing me from the calmness of my dream. I moaned, stretching across the bed, stubbornly resisting the urge to drift back to sleep. Could it be six already? The minimal sleep I’d gotten the night before was showing through in my morning grogginess as I sauntered irritably towards the bathroom. However, after a quick, but thorough, repetition of my morning routine, my sleepiness ebbed away and anxiety began flooding through my veins once more.
I paced my room back and forth, contemplating for about the fiftieth time whether or not my outfit was appropriate for the occasion. I admired my knee-length dark grey dress in the reflection. Twirling it around, I thought it was cute, with the way it hugged my figure and flowed about my legs. But was it presentable enough? I sighed; it would have to be.
I checked my face in the mirror, hoping that I wasn’t developing premature worry lines. Thankfully I was in the clear and hadn’t developed crow’s feet overnight. Mascara accentuated my already long lashes and a touch of eyeliner on the top lid made them appear even fuller. Other than that my face was bare; my naturally clear skin glowed with a runner’s tan and my cheeks were still a little pink from some excess sun the day before. Overall, I looked like my usual self, although I felt anything other than normal. My face was doing a good job at hiding my emotions, but my insides were churning.
I fidgeted, picking at my clothes and hair. My ride was supposed to pick me up at 10; I checked the clock…7.20. OK, I had time. Calm, breathe, relax, I told myself, taking in a deep breath. My fingers danced nervously across my desktop and I quenched my desire to crawl back under the covers.
It then dawned on me that I still hadn’t eaten breakfast. Today I ate like a bird, nibbling on my muffin for only a few minutes before throwing the rest away.
I found that I had too much time on my hands and was hopelessly unable to stay still. In an effort to keep myself occupied, I absently, grabbed a book I was reading from the top of my suitcase…maybe some Pride and Prejudice could get my mind off my nerves…
Mr. Darcy was just proposing to Elizabeth for the first time (and she was not-so-graciously refusing him), when my thoughts were interrupted by the characteristic ding-dong of the door bell.
I glanced up, surprised; I had almost forgotten about my trip.
“Sorry,” I said fumbling through my apology embarrassedly, as I realized I was supposed to have been waiting out front ten minutes prior, “I got a bit distracted.”
“No worries Miss,” replied a stout, graying man in a suit. “Are these your bags?”
I assented, nodding hastily.
Everything properly placed in the trunk of the car, I cast one last glance around the living room and shut the door for good. For the first time that morning, I regretted that my mother wasn’t there to say goodbye. Almost.
“So,” I asked the driver, trying to get my mind off of my mother’s absence, “how long until we reach Vland Academy?”
“Well, Miss, we will reach the airport in about an hour and from there it should be around seven hours of flight time. Add another two hours to drive back to the academy and then give or take a couple of hours for lunch and dinner.”
“Okay, cool, thank you.”
“Oh, no problem at all Miss – that’s my job.” He smiled warmly.
“You know, you don’t have to call me 'miss',” I scrunched my nose up at the title, while looking down at the seat, avoiding eye contact, and tracing patterns on the leather.
“What would you like to be addressed as then?”
“Melanie is just fine. Miss just seems too formal; excuse me for not being used to it.”
“Don’t worry…Melanie,” he faltered, unaccustomed to the casualness, “I use the title because most students feel offended if staff members address them by their surnames.”
|Anna Christine||as Melanie|
|Holden Nowell||as Ryan|