I pulled into the driveway and parked Mom's car. I get out and open the car door, Lilac hopping out with a bright grin, jogging into the garage and dropping her gymnastics bag in the laundry room. I lock the car and walk in the house, pulling the door closed behind me. Lilac has vanished into her bedroom, and I hear the shower in the connecting bathroom turn on. I see Jackson walking out of his room with wet hair and a smirk before a disgruntled shriek is heard.
"Jackson, did you use all the hot water?" I ask.
"Again? Really?" I raise an eyebrow and he gives a cheeky grin.
"Mom said you got something in the mail." Jackson says, wandering towards the pantry.
"If you're hungry, eat an apple and not chips, Jackson!" I remind him. He pouts at me before turning towards the fridge. I walk towards the counter, grabbing an envelope addressed to me. I carefully open it, pulling out the letter.
Dear Cloud Istorí,
After reviewing your application and achievements at your current and previous schools, we have decided to welcome you to the new, providentially recognized boarding school, Griffinglass Academy. We believe your talents in academics, arts, or athletics will be a great addition to the school for blooming talents. The school is located in the forest of Shenandoah Virginia and will be schooling all year round, with of course your typical seasonal break and time off for religious and national holidays. Should you choose to accept your role in our school you will be picked up at your local high school on Sunday August 7th, between the times of noon and one o’clock. We hope to see you on initiation day. For more info visit our website:
Headmaster Jonathan Fouley
So it was set up. I remind myself to breathe, to not start glowing, pulling out the note informing me it was for my eyes only.
Dear Cloud Istorí,
I'm glad you accepted my offer to work for me as apart of a group of heroes. I look forward to meeting you and seeing your abilities that my older brother spoke so fondly of. Until I might meet your acquaintance, I shall do my best to make your job of arriving at your headquarters easier. The academy, or as you will know it as your home, is exactly where I said it would be and we will do our best to let you all have time off as I listed you would, though we will more than likely have some sort of system set up to inform you if there are extreme emergencies we need you for. We will be supplying you with new and improved technologies, such as a private, and secure, telecommunication line. I do hope you'll find it all satisfactory; we are trying our best. In a few weeks, as stated in the letter, you will be picked up by my older brother Richard, who will be disguised in whatever way he sees fit to make sure no one recognizes him from the hospital you treated at. I believe this day is the day before your school starts up again this year, thus giving us plenty of time to prepare for your arrival and not stripping you of your summer vacation which I recall loving as a child. The school you will be attending was one that was supposedly recently built and takes a few talented students from each state. If you visit the website, which I had set up by a trusted specialist to cover all of our tracks, you'll see this further elaborated alongside several pictures. These photos will detail the front gates, a fake sign, the surroundings from your house, and some faked classroom settings. You'll note the house is missing. The reasoning behind this is because the house not only is most definitely not a boarding house, but is also still currently under construction to meet your requests. I look forward to meeting you, and hope your trip is smooth and comfortable.
President Jonathan Fouley
I gently tuck the note for me in my pocket, forcing myself to stay calm.
"Jackson, is Momma home?" I turn to spot him with a large chunk of apple in his mouth. He swallows quickly, coughing a bit.
"Yeah. She's upstairs with Mom." He says, before biting the apple again.
"Thanks." I walk up the stairs, knocking on the study door. Momma opens it, looking confused.
"What is it, Cloud?" She asks. I don't trust myself to speak so I hand her the letter. She reads it over, and lets out a small gasp.
"Lilly-dearest, come look at this!" Momma says, and Mom gets up from the computer desk, pausing in her work.
"Yeah Amelia?" She drapes her arms around her, resting her chin on Momma's shoulder and reading the letter.
A beat of silence.
"Well, do you want to go?" Momma asks. No, I want to stay here with Lilac and Jackson and you and Mom.
"Yes." I say, forcing a smile.
"What are you waiting for? Go tell Jackson and Lilac, we'll go out for a celebratory dinner tonight!" Mom exclaims, giving me a bright grin. I turn towards the downstairs and let my smile drop. They were so supportive, and I was lying to them. The guilt was overwhelming. I force on a bright grin as I tell Lilac and Jackson, but I'm sure to pick my younger siblings' favorite restaurant when asked where I want to go out.
(so. last time around i never really touched on cloud being homesick or her family relations. i'm definently going to put more of an emphasis on that this time around.)(i'm sending through hyunjoo's next)
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