Amber Bright is trying to be a normal teen. But, as she will find out, living in an institution for most of her life and seeing things that aren't really there can make that difficult.
Its my first day at a real school. With only teenaged movies and books to base my possible encounters and experience off. Anything could happen. Something tells me that Mean Girls and Harry Potter are not accurate to real life teen culture.
I stare out of the window at the blurring of browns and greens, my father driving just a bit faster than he should be. I almost want to ask him to take the long way, or to just slow down. Even though I asked for this, have been waiting for this my whole life, now that it is here, I am scared out of my mind.
"We should be there right on time, about 5 minutes." My dad says, glancing over at me. I try to smile back at him, but he has already turned back to the road. Glancing back out the passenger side window, I try to calm my breathing. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Slowly, I can feel the exercises working on calming my heartbeat into a more normal rhythm. But suddenly, I know that I have made the mistake of calming down too much, of forgeting to focus on the present, the here and now.
Suddenly, I am moving much slower and much less smoothly. The bouncing of the carriage over dirt and the snorts of the horses confirm my fear that I am no longer safe on my way into my future. I am now in the past. And something bad is about to happen. Even with the knowledge that I am safe, I am worried about what is about to happen.
I don't have to wonder what is coming long. Soon I can hear the screams and yells, and feel the carriage slow to a stop. We are under attack. The door is opening...
"AMBER!" My dad is saying, probably not for the first time, and giving me that look. We are parked in a spot right in front of the school, with teenagers walking in bunches around the car, looking at me curiously. I try to smile at him, but he is already getting out of the car, waiting impatiently for me to emerge so he can lock his Bently. He doesn't trust children.
I pick up my backpack and step out of the car into the August heat. The wave hits me and frees me from the lingering effects of the past. I close the door and step with my father towards the open front door.