Chapter 13: But That Was Months Ago

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Oh, God. I squeezed my eyes shut. So much for proving my sanity; I'd messed up on my first day!

I had to be more careful.

"Did you ever stop to think that maybe she could have been on the phone?" the younger girl asked.

"Yeah, but I heard her say, 'don't look at me like that.'"

"Um, there's these things called video calls."

I couldn't help smiling at that. I liked this girl.

"Shut up. I know I'm right."

The voices were getting closer so I quietly closed the door. I did not want to be caught eavesdropping.

"You're wrong about her. They've never put anyone in here that actually has mental problems. They only bring in Descendants so they can be properly trained, so she has to be one of us."

I couldn't make out what the other girl said after that.

An uneasy feeling crawled down my spine. What was a Descendant and what kind of training were they talking about?

I waited till they'd gone all the way down the stairs before I ventured out of the room. I'd gotten off to a terrific start and I hadn't even met them yet.

The wonderful smell of roast lamb hit me when I got halfway down the stairs and I picked up the pace as my stomach growled again. I didn't want to meet all these people, but the sooner I got it over with, the sooner I could eat.

Everyone was already seated and Anna-Marie stood as I entered. "Maddelyn, darling, I'd like you to meet Kellie, Justina, Laynee, Mitch, and Kaydan." She pointed at them as she said their names. "Guys, this is Maddelyn Johnson. She's come from Mirrabooka House in Katoomba. You all remember what it's like being the new person; please make her feel welcome."

Kellie smiled warmly at me as she said hello and I recognised her voice as the younger girl in the hallway. She was a fair-haired girl who looked like she could pass for a fairy or a pixie.

The tall, lanky guy next to her — Kaydan — lifted his chin and smiled in greeting.

Justina, the girl with long blonde, curly hair and dark eye makeup sitting opposite them had stared at me with her mouth hanging open when I walked in, but now she looked me up and down and made a non-committal noise in the back of her throat as she looked away. She was probably the one who'd said she'd heard me talking to no one.


Anna-Marie frowned. "Justina. Be nice."

"I don't see why I have to."

Yes. It was her voice.

"It's common courtesy."

She picked up her fork and stabbed a piece of carrot, but Anna-Marie put her hands on her hips.

Justina let out a huff and turned to me with a fake smile. "Hello, Maddelyn. It's so nice to meet you."

I could fake a smile too. "Hi."

I wasn't going to say that it was nice to meet her when she had that crappy attitude.

With that awkward moment out the way, Anna-Marie switched places with me by moving her plate to the spot next to Justina and gestured for me to sit in the seat she'd vacated. I thanked her and sat, feeling uncomfortable as all eyes — except for Justina's — were on me.

The youngest girl with the jet black hair and black clothing that had touches of lace here and there smiled shyly and gave me a wave. Laynee, was it?

The shorter guy with styled, blonde hair smiled, but it didn't look genuine. "Hey."

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