'Kaia! Get out of bed or you're gonna be late!' My brother banged on my door, jerking me out of my peaceful slumber and into reality. I blinked around my room, disorientated for several seconds. What had happened last night? My head pounded, my limbs felt like dead weights and my mouth tasted of dried vomit.
My phone buzzed beside me with an unread text.
I flipped it open, waiting for the words to become clear on the screen.
Gonna miss you Kai! Had a wicked time last night!xxx
It was from my friend Sam. I quickly tapped a reply back.
Sam! What happened last night? I don't remember a thing!x
I got a message back within seconds.
Wow. How drunk did you get?! Your going away party! You got pretty close with Riley last night ;) LOL. Gonna miss you babe xxx
Oh! My cheeks burned ferociously as everything flooded back to me. Riley, the guy I had spent literally all of summer crushing on had finally started talking to me. I remember hitting it off well with him, finding out we actually had a lot in common. Alcohol had played a major role in my confidence around him though I was sure. I wasn't normally that outgoing. If anything, I was the exact opposite. Very introvert.
'Kaia! Did you hear what I said?' My brother appeared at the doorway.
'Yes! I'm getting out of bed now, go away.'
'You're going to be late.'
'Late for what?' I asked, completely dumbfounded.
He sighed in exasperation. 'It's the first day of school!'
I was sitting in the passenger seat of my brother's car. The whole boot of the little Ford and the majority of the backseat was taken up by my belongings. We were driving down a narrow rural lane with a steep heart-clenching drop on one side. I tried not to look out the window too much, I was terrified of heights.
'Thanks for doing this,' I looked at my brother.
'No worries,' he replied, keeping his eyes firmly on the road. 'I only wish mum and dad were here to see you off.'
He sighed wistfully.
'So do I,' I murmured. 'You know, life doesn't get any easier without them, no matter what people say.'
My brother gave me an awkward one-armed hug.
'I know Kai, but they wouldn't want you to be upset. They'd want you to be happy with your life.'
I flinched at the direction this conversation had taken.
'I don't want to talk about it,' I pulled out of his embrace and stared at my lap.
'It's okay.' There were a few moments of silence. The trees passed by in a hazy blur, shades of green and brown merged into one another. They sheltered us from the sun, not that there'd be any where I was heading. I was used to it all, I'd done it before, but that didn't mean it would be any easier.
All too soon the journey was over and we were sat facing the huge iron gates, looming over us.
'This is it Kai.' My brother declared, almost like a death sentence.
I tried to be brave and scoffed. 'It's not that bad, Tom.'
I failed miserably though, my voice cracked and my eyes stung. Tom could see right through my facade and pulled me in for a hug.
'It's okay, sis. You're gonna be fine. This is a good thing.'
'I know,' I mumbled pathetically against his jumper. 'I'm just gonna miss you.'
'I'll miss you too, but you're gonna be alright! You have Beck, and Lucie. And everyone else.'
'Come on, I'll help you with your stuff.'
I climbed out the car, instantly being greeted by roaring wind, pounding against my body. My body shivered, not from the cold but something else entirely. I fought back the instinct that was surging throughout my body. I couldn't phase here. Not now.
I turned around and saw my brother in the same position as me, fighting back the unrelenting wind and chuckled. His door slammed shut and he jumped. Realization dawned on his features and he glared at me.
'Don't do that! You made me jump.'
I laughed in response and went round to open the boot.
'KAIA!' someone yelled. My head bobbed up and I saw a familiar figure running towards me.
'Beck!' I greeted.
She slammed into me, wrapping her arms around my neck, causing me to stumble back a few steps.
'I've missed you! How have you been?'
'Good thanks,' I laughed at her welcoming response. 'And you?'
'Alright thanks,' she grinned, holding me at arms length. 'You don't look any different. How is that possible?'
'I'm unique,' I winked at her. 'You on the other hand... you must have grown at least three feet taller!'
She beamed proudly at me, unfazed by my joke. The memory I had of Beck was a complete contrast to what I saw now. I remembered her being a lot shorter for starters. Her hair had changed too. Instead of the cornsilk blonde I had grown to love, it was now a shocking jet black. Her dark eyes, round and inquisitive, stared at me for approval.
'Loving the hair, by the way.'
'Thanks,' She replied, satisfied. 'Hey Tom.' She fluttered her eyelashes at my brother and although his reaction was comical, I nudged her.
'Don't do that!'
'Do what?' she protested.
'Use your power on him,' I whispered. 'He's my brother!'
'How do you know I am?' she winked. 'He might just have the hots for me.'
Beck's power was incredibly unique. She had the ability to make anyone develop an extraordinary infatuation for her. She could make anyone she chose fall in love with her with just a simple look. Whilst I was jealous, I reminded myself of the downsides. Sometimes Beck's power got out of hand. I remembered a story she had told me about a guy who had become obsessed with her. She realized the implications and tried to tell him it was over. But by then it was too late. He was drawn too far in and ending up committing suicide, trying to kill Beck in the process. His last words were 'if I can't have you, no one can.' She never likes to be reminded of her past, for obvious reasons.
I picked up several suitcases and ordered Beck to help. Between the three of us, we managed to carry all of my belongings up to the front door of the Home for Freaks. Or if called by it's correct name, St. Stargths School for the Supernatural. The latter was a bit of a mouthful for me though.
'This is where I leave you,' my brother smiled.
'Goodbye Tom, see you in June. Thanks for everything.' I hugged my brother one final time before he turned and left me.
'Let's do this,' Beck grinned beside me.