At four-thirty sharp my alarm started blaring, scaring me to death and ruining any chance of sleep I had left. So, I rolled out of bed, almost hitting my head on the nightstand and falling on the floor, stumbled across the room thankfully without stubbing my toe but instead almost running into the bathroom doorframe, and when I finally got to the sink I splashed water on my face.
“Rylee, sweetie, are you awake?” Dad’s voice came from the door and I yawned loudly so he knew I was in the bathroom. He walked into the room just as I was walking out of the bathroom drying off my face and pulled me into a hug. “I know honey, you’re not used to getting up this early, but you can sleep on the way there, okay?” I made a whiney sound that made him laugh and he squeezed me once more before leaning back to look at me.
I looked sleepily up at his adoring and sympathetic face and he said, “I’ve got to go, but I took the liberty of making you the drink.”
“Really? Thanks Daddy, you’re the best.” I said, a smile slipping onto his face as I perked up. His special drink, or ‘the drink’ as we called it, was a mix of French vanilla cappuccino mix, coffee, cinnamon, whipped topping, chocolate shavings, and a couple other things Dad never let on to. It was so caffeinated, sweet, and delicious it tasted like a dessert, filled you up like breakfast, and could probably wake someone out of a coma. This thing was downright diabolical and was my favorite special treat since it was so rare.
“I hope you have a good first day, sweetie.” he said, giving me one last hug and kiss before running out the door to catch the plane he took every day to get to his job. Yeah, he wasthatkind of scientist.
I was right on his heels down the hall, but when he went to the left for the front door I went to the right for the drink. “Ahh,” I gave a deeply satisfied sigh as the liquid touched my lips and burned slightly on the way down. I made my way back to my room, holding the steal thermos to-go cup in a death grip.
I set it down on the nightstand right inside my room, closed the door, turned on the stereo to Good Charlotte, and went to my now almost empty closet. Just that small sip from the drink had woke me up quite a bit, so when I pulled out the uniform and shoes, the profoundness of what I was doing came to me and I realized fully what I was getting ready for.
I was getting ready to go to Atlas Academy of Special Talents, an academy my parents had gone to, an academy that turned out geniuses and spies. I was going to be trained in the art of being a spy. Could I do it, really? Were Mom and Dad serious when they said I had what it took to go to Atlas, or were they just giving me false courage and hoping I’d be able to do it behind my back? They hadn’t been back there in years, at least eighteen anyway, so even if they were serious, things could’ve changed to where I wouldn’t be able to make it there now. Though they said the headmaster called for me himself, a year early even, so I had to be able to make it there, right?
I sighed, closed my eyes, and pushed the thoughts away. I couldn’t do this now, not after I’d been so excited to go and was just hours away from stepping onto its grounds, onto the grounds of my new life. And so, taking a deep breath, I changed into the uniform and went straight to the bathroom mirror, not wanting to see what I fully looked like until I was completely ready.
After I applied my makeup I went to my nightstand where the two little boxes with the insignias in it were. I took a deep breath as I put them on, the big one on the left breast of the vest and the little one on the left lapel of my white shirt, as I put them on feeling kind of like a soldier. Then I went and stood in front of the full length mirror, surveying my reflection and liking what I saw. I’d curled my hair to have casual, loose waves, my eye shadow was a nice pink that went with the uniform pretty good, and the uniform itself looked better on me than what I expected. It accentuated my small waist and showed what little curves I had with surprising effectiveness.
I smiled, and then snatched up my purse and the drink as I swept off towards the kitchen for toast, finding Mom coming out of the opposing hall at the same time. “Hey Mom, where are my luggage bags? Did Daddy already put them in the SUV?” I asked, setting my stuff down and putting two slices of toast in the toaster while she filled another thermos with coffee.
“No, I sent them to Atlas last night after dinner.” she said, handing me a lid for my thermos and slipping another one on hers.
“How’d you do that?” I asked, not remembering anyone coming to the house to pick them up or either one of them driving to the post office. “When will they be there?”
“It’s already there now, waiting for you.” she said, turning around and starting out of the kitchen. She glanced at me with the hint of a smile and said, “I didn’t use regular mail.” I gave her a confused look, but before I could ask she added, “You’ll find out soon enough. Come on.” She waved her hand for me to follow and we jumped in the car, off towards, wherever Atlas was.
“Where exactly is Atlas?” I asked as we got on the highway.
“Hart, Arkansas.” she said, speeding up and merging with the flow of traffic.
“What? Why am I going there if it’s so far away?” I asked.
“The distance doesn’t matter because people from all over the country go here.” she said, glancing at me and then back at the road.
“Oh.” I said and was quiet for a moment. “Mom, do many other Atlas students have famous parents?”
“Most, if not all actually.” she said without looking at me. “Though of course there are some that have regular parents, though most of those being in the genius category. Why?”
“I was just worried about sticking out too much I guess, but I’m glad I won’t.” I said, smiling until I saw her suck in her lips like she was trying not to say something. “What?” Suddenly I felt a heavy lump drop into my stomach.
She glanced at me and then winced a little. “Well, actually you will stick out because you’ve got your dad’s last name and you look like me, but other than that it’ll be fine.” she said, trying to make it seem like not a big deal.
“Great.” I said, looking out the window. Now I had to worry not only about getting attention because I didn’t doubt they’d heard about my attack, I also had to worry about all the gawking I was going to get because I was now the most famous of the famous legacies.
I sighed and Mom patted my arm. “Just relax Rylee, it won’t be as bad as you think. Let’s just enjoy the ride there and listen to some music, huh?” she said and nudged me a little until I nodded and took over the job of picking out the right happy music.