THIS CHAPTER IS DEDICATED TO MY BETA READER AND BEST FRIEND, KRITHIKA. YOU ARE AN AWESOME PERSON!
ARNEL'S POV :
The next morning, Anira was making coffee and aunt Barbara and I were seated at the dining table. She had insisted that we call her aunt Barbara so, we did.
She was a short, plump woman with grey hair that clearly reflected her age but at the same time, her rimless and delicate spectacles made her look modern. I yawned as I finished reading the file that she had handed me only a few minutes ago.
If I was in Hemrica right now then, I would probably have been still sleeping. I just graduated last month and again I'm joining school. Oh the joy!
Aunt Barbara looked up from the newspaper she was reading.
"Did you finish reading?" she asked.
"Yes I did, she has lived a very normal life, nothing interesting," I replied.
"I guess she will have more than her fair share of excitement from now on," she joked.
"Not funny," I said.
All these people think its just a game, they forget that she is a human like us, even if she is just an earthling.
I totally felt like a police officer as I read that file. You know like, reading about the life history of a missing person so that it becomes easier to find her? The only difference being I was just learning about her life a bit.
"Here," said Anira, handing aunt Barbara a cup of coffee.
"Oh dear, you don't have to do this. I can make my own coffee," protested the old woman.
"Not any more, atleast not until I am here," Anira replied, as she handed me mine.
"You are spoiling my habits," she said chuckling.
"Hey Arnel, can I ask you a question?" Anira asked as she took a seat across me. Her midnight blue eyes were full of confusion as she sat there fidgeting with the tips of her wavy, dark brown hair.
"Yeah," I said.
"Why am I going to school with you?" she asked. I was expecting this.
I took her hand between mine.
"Anira, I have promised to let you free. In less than six months, you will be on your own. To survive then, you obviously will need a taste of that life now. So, I want you to live a normal life while we are here." I explained.
"Won't I get into trouble? If-" I cut her short.
"No, you won't. This is earth not Hemrica," I grinned.
"You are the best," she whispered as she hugged me. I smiled ruefully as I hugged her back. This was the least I could do for her. She had sacrificed her entire childhood for me and, I really wanted her to at least live her last few teenage years normally.
A few minutes later, I was driving us to school. I could have jumped with happiness when aunt Barbara said I could legally drive here, princely behaviour or not.
Back in Hemrica, the legal driving age was 18 so, I couldn't drive there. Okay, I did drive once but the consequences I had to face taught me never to break the law again.
What happened was, all kids drove to school but never did anyone stop them. Once, just once, I drove and the news spread like wildfire. I do not remember one person besides Anira, Eneca and Inika, who did not tick me off. The worst was when father heard it. He kept me under house arrest, more like palace arrest, for a week...during school holidays. When I protested against the injustice, he said that as a prince, it was my duty to set an example for others, not break the law myself. Just how many duties did I have?
"Wow!" Anira gasped.
We had arrived at the school. It was just a small concrete structure that had 'SALCARO HIGH SCHOOL' written on top in big block letters. It had a massive ground with a fountain at the entrance. It was just like any other average school, nothing compared to my school in Hemrica.
Anira was awed by this? Maybe because this was the only school she had ever seen, considering the fact that she hardly ever went out of the palace. I parked the car and we got out.
SYLVIA'S POV :
"Why are you so dull?" asked Brittany. I shook my head.
"You are a terrible liar, Sylvia," said Hannah.
I looked down, hiding from their questioning looks. What answers could I give them? I had none myself. For the past few days, weird things were happening to me. Things which science didn't believe in. Apart from that, I was getting some weird notes too.
"Is it about the girl your parents are adopting?" Brittany asked.
"No," I looked at the students who were coming in for class, "I'll tell you guys in lunch, okay?"
Thankfully, they both said yes and took their seats on my left.
"Hi, I'm Arnel," said a smooth voice.
I turned around, an unfamiliar face. He was seated on my right.
"Hello, I'm Sylvia," I replied. He had piercing blue eyes and dark brown hair which perfectly complimented his flawless fair complexion.
"Are you new?" I asked. How foolish of me, of course he was. I had never seen him in SHS before and in Salcaro, practically everyone knew each other. Salcaro was a small town so, it was expected.
"Yup," he said.
"Class settle down and answer your attendance," Mr.Sean's loud voice ended our conversation. Mr.Sean was a very boring teacher. He taught maths and made even that seem very boring.
As Mr.Sean took attendance, I stole glances at Arnel. Can you really blame me? He was so ridiculously good looking.
"Ms Blanc?" Mr.Sean called out and I raised my hand.
A feeling of dread settled into my heart, my stomach was doing twists and turns.
"Mr.Necrozet?" called out Mr.Sean and Arnel raised his hand.
As I looked at him again, that feeling of dread changed into a warm one and I felt myself relaxing.
"Ms Mir?" called out Mr.Sean for the third time, he was visibly annoyed.
"Oh, I am so sorry Mr.Sean. Here," called out a timid voice from the back. Everyone turned back, she was sitting next to Amber. Her wavy, dark brown hair and blue eyes made her look like...Arnel.
Were they twins? No...they had different surnames. I guess she was also new like Arnel.
Poor girl, she was with Amber. Amber Jaze has been my archenemy, in and out of SHS, for as long as I can remember.
I guess Arnel saw me staring at that girl because I got a note from him just a few seconds later.
At first I was not going to open it, I was terrified because of the ones I had been recently getting. But seeing that it was from Arnel, I opened it.
In case you are wondering, she is Anira, a distant cousin of mine.
I smiled as I read that, he was such a nice guy. I wrote back a reply.
Thank you, I was wondering.
As I handed it to him, our hands brushed against each other. He was very warm to touch. The familiar feelings attacked me again. He must have seen me looking disturbed because I got another note.
What happened? are you okay?
I looked up at him, his eyes showed real concern. The feelings disappeared again. What on earth was happening? Another weird thing to add to my already long list.
It starts when I look at him or touch him but disappears when I see him again. Did it have to do anything with him? No...all this started before I even met him. I wrote another note.
Nothing, I'm fine.
This time I kept the note on his desk. He read it and wrote back.
Do you mind showing me around school in lunch?
Again his hand brushed against mine. I got that feeling again. Something was not right.
I felt negativeness inside me. I felt like my conscience was telling me to keep away from him but I somehow felt like I could trust him. I read his note.
I looked up at him, his eyes were anxiously waiting for an answer. His face was pleading. Should I say yes? Brittany and Hannah won't mind. But what about my weird...things. Oh god, I sound so pathetic saying that.
I shook my head.
"I'm sorry" I mouthed. He seemed surprised and...sad. He seemed really nice, I felt horrible for doing this to him. But he would probably have hundreds of girls ready to show him around school.
For the rest of the class and until lunch, I ignored him. I sat as far from him as possible in class, I hid from him in the hallways and never once looked at him.
During lunch, Brittany, Hannah and I were seated at the far end of the cafeteria.
"So, start at the beginning," said Hannah. I sighed and reached into my bag, I took out the notes and kept them on the table.
"These are some notes that I have been finding in my room. I found the first note three days ago. When I go home, I find a note stuck inside my desk drawer," I said.
"What?" cried Hannah.
"You didn't tell us for so long!" Brittany exclaimed.
Clearly they both were very angry and hurt.
"I'm sorry," I said.
Hannah reached for the notes, she frowned on reading them. Brittany did the same
"What do they mean?" they both asked to together.
"I wish I knew but I don't," I replied.
"We know the truth, You can't hide forever, Watch your back," muttered Brittany, reading them again.
"Did you tell your parents?" asked Hannah.
I shook my head, "They will simply worry and moreover, they are busy with the adoption papers, did you guys forget? My adopted sister is coming home today,"
"But this is serious!" protested Brittany.
"There is more to it guys. I get weird feelings, like something is wrong. I feel like I'm carrying a burden, like I'm doing something wrong or something is not right. Then yesterday, I suddenly got this horrendous headache, my nose started to bleed and then it stopped. It just stopped like it never happened!" I cried.
They looked shocked and I felt guilty.
"I'm sorry guys, I know I freaked you out. It probably makes me sound crazy or depressed or weird but trust me its true, I am not making any of it up and I'm not hallucinating," I said with more confidence than I felt.
My heart sank, it was that smooth, silky voice. We all turned back. Arnel was standing behind me, a turmoil in his eyes.
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