The first few days of living independently were confusing, I had to learn how to order items from catalogues, how to use a computer and how to pay the bills. I already knew how to use an oven because that was one of my many lessons, cookery, it was the worst lesson as my teacher was extremely strict and would throw everything into the dustbins if I made the tiniest mistake, still I did learn to cook. Anyway, it was also quite fun, I could stay up for as long as I wished, eat whatever, whenever I liked, and do as I pleased. This place was quite exciting…but that reminds me, you still don’t know where this place is, I will tell you, it is the perfect hiding place because no one would ever suspect me to be there. That place is Crowland, Lincolnshire. See I did say that it was a place no one would ever find me in, who would ever think that, Jessica, princess of a forgotten country would be hiding in the small, boring, countryside village of Crowland? No one. It was a perfect place, and to begin with I was happy.
After the first few days I became lonely, I had no one to talk to, I was just a teenager after all and I was desperate to make some friends. I had already managed to get myself placed on the register at the high school (it is easy to get in when there is a waiting list if you have the powers I do) but I couldn’t start there for another week or so because that was when the school opened back up after the summer holidays. I missed Annie and the other Charm Weavers, and I wondered if they were missing me, or if they had started looking for me. I decided that it was best not to think about it and that I should do something to take my mind off of things.
I was standing in the middle of a park, it was a bright sunny day, the birds flew around twittering away to each other, the grass and trees swayed with the breeze, children played happily together whilst their concerned mothers watched to make sure they didn’t scrape their knees. There were no other teenagers around me but I didn’t mind that, I had only gone to the park to clear my head; this was my way of forgetting about everything. I sat down on the luscious velvety grass a little away from the couples who snuggled up together, and began pulling up strands of grass one piece at a time. It may seem strange but that was how I used to relax, when I was younger I would sit in the palace grounds and pull out the grass, there would be huge patches where the grass had been ripped out by me when I was angry or upset. My parents hated that, which was also why I always did it.
“Excuse me young lady, but I would prefer it if you didn’t tear out the grass which I have just cut.” A voice said from in front of me. I looked up to see an elderly man who was dressed all in brown. His trousers were brown and covered in mud, his brown T-shirt was ripped in various places and also covered in mud, his shoes were caked in mud and looked like they had seen their end years ago. His eyes were brown and his hair was matted with dirt and it was…you guessed it, brown. His skin was very pale almost ghost like and it seemed to have a slight green glow to it.
“I’m very sorry sir.” I apologised, standing up ready to leave. I didn’t know that anyone would be upset if I pulled up a few pieces of grass, not that the man looked sad but the way he said it had sounded almost pained.
I was about to leave when suddenly the man took my hand and whispered “You are not all you seem, you try to live a normal life but fate will always catch up with you. Your life will never be normal Charm Weaver.” The man looked the same as he had before, his expression did not change as he told me this, but as the words came out of his mouth I felt my jaw drop and my face must have looked so surprised and afraid. So many questions entered my head like how did he know I was a Charm weaver? What did he mean by ‘fate will catch up with me?’ there were too many to be answered. The man still had a hold of my hand and his grip was tightening. “Come see me when you know this is true.” He said, his nails dug into my hand and drew blood, when this happened he suddenly let go. As he walked away I stared after him wondering who he was and how he knew. I turned on my heels and ran all the way home, I didn’t stop for anything. When I arrived home I locked all the doors and windows, then I ran upstairs and jumped into bed, fully clothed and just lay there huddled in my blankets, until, hours later when it was dark, I finally fell asleep.
It was finally here. The day I got to go to school was here! I had never been to a public school before, being a princess meant I had private tutors, so I didn’t know what to expect. In the morning, I got up at six o clock, and put on my new uniform which I had bought two days previous to this event. It was a strange thing to wear a uniform; it was nothing like my old clothes…but then again no one here wore the sort of clothing I used to wear, no pretty dresses, all the girls wore trousers! I thought they were only for men, but I found them comfortable enough. The uniform was a short black skirt with knee socks, a white blouse which buttoned all the way to the top, a black blazer with the name ‘Crowland High!’ written in yellow on the left side and a pair of black flat shoes, I bought a pair that had a pretty bow at the end.
I hadn’t looked at myself in a while, I got sick of seeing my reflection a week before I left because I thought that was why I was hated, because I wasn’t pretty or something. I had to guess when I did my hair and make up – when I decided to wear it – but I bought a mirror for the house so I would be able to make sure that I would look all right on my first day of school. I was shocked when I looked in the mirror, my black hair was a lot longer than I was used to, it was curly so and it looked perfect so I didn’t need to do anything with it, my blue eyes had a slight sparkle which I had never seen before, my lips and cheeks were rosy red, and my pale skin looked healthy. I was skinny, but I didn’t look so thin that it was unhealthy, I looked normal, it would be bad if I was overweight so my parents made sure I was the perfect size, ‘no one wants a fat princess’ is what they told me when I asked them for something that wasn’t healthy.
I washed my face and applied a small amount of eyeliner, not too much, just enough to make my eyes look brighter and stand out a little bit more. I painted my nails black to match my new uniform with the new nail varnish I saw in a catalogue and I brushed through my hair even though it looked fine. I felt really nervous, what would I do if people didn’t like me? What if I didn’t make any friends? What if I just wasn’t fit for normal life? I would be devastated if the day went wrong in any way.
At quarter to eight I was as ready as possible; the school started at eight thirty but opened its doors at eight for those who liked to be there early. I left before I had a chance to get too nervous, if I had gone any later I may have found a way to make myself go back home. The school was small. It had two stories and seemed to be made of glass, there were a lot of windows in the front but each showed a classroom. The grounds in front of the school were small; there was a fence at the left side which separated the school from a house, and a small walkway which took you to the main office. The rest of the grounds was a concrete floor which lead around the side of the building, but I didn’t go to see what was around there, I followed the walkway and went into the main office.
The main office was quite small, the walls were painted blue and were cracked and the floor was wooden. There were three wooden chairs to the back of the office and a door leading into what looked like the entrance hall. In front of the chairs was a desk and behind it sat a young woman, she was talking quietly to someone on the other end of the phone she held to her ears. The woman was petite, she had long blonde hair which was tied back in a neat ponytail, and she had green eyes. She wore a plain white blouse and a pair of dark brown trousers. She looked up at me as I approached the desk and waved to the seats. I sat down and waited patiently until the woman finally finished on the phone.
“You know students aren’t allowed in here.” The woman said in a stern voice as she stood up behind the desk and waved me over.
“Sorry I didn’t know, I am new here I’m supposed to start today and I didn’t know where to go.” Students weren’t allowed in the main office? That was just strange, were all schools like this?
“Ah, you must be Jessica errr…?” she began, oh man what was my fake second name? I had completely forgotten what it was; let’s see it was extremely common and ‘easy’ to remember… “Smith” I remembered suddenly.
“Yes, Jessica Smith, I have your name written down on the register and on a piece of paper…” she held up a piece of paper with my name on “to tell me you’re new.” She handed me a piece of A4 paper which had my class schedule, and a small book called a planner, it had hard plastic covers and it was yellow.
“Now, as you are just starting in year ten things will be a little hard for you as the other students started their GCSE coursework in year nine, but I’m sure you’ll be able to catch up with them. Your form tutor is Mr Carter, in the art room, he is the school’s art teacher. I will go get Mr Stevenson who will show you to your classroom and he will also find someone to show you around.” The woman walked around the back of the desk and out of a door to the side which lead into the hall, she then walked through double doors and out of sight.
“Ah miss Smith.” Came a voice from my side, I jumped as a tall man walked out of a small hallway next to me which I had not noticed before.
“Hello.” I said in a small voice, I hadn’t realised how nervous I was, I mean I had known I was nervous but I hadn’t realised how nervous I actually was.
“Come with me.” was all he said as he walked through the door next to the office, he held it open for me and I walked through. I looked up at the man who I assumed was Mr Stevenson, he was quite tall, well I guess it was the average size for a man, he wore a grey suit and black leather shoes, his tie was dark blue and placed neatly underneath his top button which was fastened correctly. He had dark hair which was greying a little bit at the top, and he had dark brown eyes. He looked very neat with his shirt tucked in and tie fastened all the way up.
When we were on the corridor, the bell rang and students of different shape, size and age came running past us, all of the older students stared at me for a moment before they ran on to their form rooms. A very hyper looking girl ran towards Mr Stevenson and I. She was smaller than me, only by an inch or so, but still smaller, she had frizzy brunette hair and dark eyes, she was pretty but didn’t wear any make-up. Her skin was a darker shade than mine and it looked even healthier than mine did, she wore a huge smile which gave her a very manic expression. She ran to Mr Stevenson and ruffled his neat hair and laughed.
“Christina! Again, don’t ruffle my hair!” Mr Stevenson brushed his hair back into place and glared at the mad girl in front of us. She was staring at me; it was very, very creepy how she stared. I turned away after becoming uncomfortable. She laughed again, it was a normal laugh but it sounded very strange and a little like a mad man’s laugh.
“Hi I’m Christina sorry I like to make people feel uncomfortable, I do it to the chavs all the time.” She said, her voice was soft and although she still sounded crazy, she seemed to have a strange sense to her, I could feel that she was a nice person, someone you could trust…this was another of my Charm weaver powers, to be able to tell if someone was trustworthy or not.
“Errr hi, I’m pr…” I stopped myself before I said the full word, I almost told her I was Princess Jessica, I don’t think that would have gone down well in this place “I’m Jessica.” I continued keeping my eyes fixed on the floor, I knew they could see how nervous I was but I couldn’t stop myself from looking down.
“Sir can I show her around? What form is she in?” asked Christina as another bell sounded around us.
After looking warily at the mad girl the teacher sighed “You can show her to lessons but she is in Mr Carter’s form and you are about to be late so hurry up and go.”
“Bye Jess, I’ll see you later.” Jess? Was she referring to me? No one had ever called me that before, it had always been ‘Princess’ or ‘Princess Jessica’ never ‘Jess’ I liked it though, it made me feel normal to have my name shortened by some random person, strange, I know.
“Goodbye.” I replied as the girl skipped down the hallway singing to herself.
“She isn’t as strange as she looks, just be careful though she is usually crazy. That is Christina Rogers she is one of the many sets of twins here, her sister Rachel is in the same form as her and I’m sure you will meet her soon enough. Shall we continue.” He told me as he led me down the rest of the corridor to the outside of an old looking wooden door which had a small square window in the middle.
Mr Stevenson opened the door without knocking, was that normal here too? Or was it just teachers that did this? I was led into the classroom to be stared at by about thirty other students who all sat at wooden desks.
“Mr Carter, this is Jessica she is starting today and is going to be in your form.” Mr Stevenson left the room where I just stood staring timidly at the see of eyes.
“Hello Jessica, I’m Mr Carter and I’ll be your form tutor just take a seat over there next to Marisa and Hannah, and welcome to Crowland high.” This was it, I was in, school the scariest place ever and I had finally got there.