Emilia opened her eyes and was instantly greeted by the sunrise that barely filled her window. After stretching a little, the blonde girl sat up in her comfy, full size bed and looked at the clock that sat on her nightstand.. 6:33 it read, exactly 42 minutes before her real wake up time. Emilia took advantage of waking up early, sprung out of bed and silently walked over to her book shelf.
"What should I read today," The tiny blonde thought as she looked at the hundreds of books, each on bigger than the next. Letting her eyes wander across the thousands upon thousands of pages in front of her, Emilia finally found her book of the day, Little Women. Standing on her tippy toes, she quickly grabbed the book from the top shelf and hopped back onto her bed. After turning on her side table lamp Emilia began to read, getting lost in the world of Jo March and her Civil War New England…
Zelda sat at the kitchen table with papers in one hand and coffee in another. She was still in her pajamas, and her hair was tied up in a messy pony tail with her glasses hanging on the bridge of her nose. She had been up since the crack of dawn going over her lecture on her latest discovery of her newest element Emilium, which she named after her precious little girl. Today was the day she would be presenting her finding to the Other Realm Science Conservatory. Zelda was both excited and nervous, something she always experienced when presenting. She loved talking about her discoveries with her fellow colleagues. However, them being all men made it a little nerve racking to try and read their non verbal thoughts. Looking at the kitchen clock she saw it was 7:16, time to get the day started.
Zelda laid her papers neatly on the table and began to ascend the stairs to the upper level of the old Victorian she called home. When she reached the top she could hear racket from her niece's room, and knew she was up and about, getting ready for the last day of school before Christmas Vacation. As she turned left and walk down the hall, Zelda noticed her daughter's room was just as still and quiet as when she woke up at six that morning. Turning the doorknob to her daughter's room , she was not in the least surprised to see her daughter sitting flat on her belly, her knees comfortably flexed behind her and her arms propped up, holding a book almost as big as her. Although her daughter was oh so young and needed sleep, she couldn't help but smile at the sight.
"Emilia Hildegard Marie Spellman! How long have you been up?" Zelda asked, a chersire like smile on her face. As soon as the little girl heard her mother voice, her head jerked in her direction, realizing she had been caught. Looked at the clock she saw that she had lost track of time and forgot to put the book down to go back under the covers and pretend to sleep. After a few seconds of silence, she knew she wouldn't be able to lie. Her mother knew how fast she read and it was obvious by how far she was in the book she had been up far longer than a couple of minutes.
"Honestly, I've been up since 6:30, but I promise I'm not tired! I was so excited for it to be the last day of school before Christmas. And besides, I doubt we'll do anything excited in school anyway. Just do childish arts and crafts and play with glitter like we are 7 year olds." She said quite maturely. Although she was only a year older than that she still felt wiser than her age, as if she was a 40 year old trapped in a little girl's body. She looked at her mother, a witty smile shining on her face. She took a sign of relief when she heard her mother say "Fair enough." With that, the little blonde witch hopped out of bed and meticulously began to make it, careful to make sure that every corner was straight and there were no wrinkles. When her task was done, she changed into her school clothes with a flick of the finger. After the pink glitter of magic disappeared, Emilia was clad in white tights, a red sweater, a denim skirt that reached her knees, and her favorite black mary janes. Her blonde curls were pulled back with a matching red head band, leaving her looking cute but school appropriate. She then headed down the back stairway, her backpack dangling from her shoulder, but not before brushing her teeth and grabbing her novel to read during recess.
When she got downstairs breakfast was laid out on the counter as usual, her waffles on a plate with two slices of bacon and dripping in sweet maple syrup along with a glass of milk. A great start to a hopefully great day.
"Morning Everyone." She said quite cheerfully, giving her aunt a big hug and a peck on the check, and doing the same to her mother as she grabbed her breakfast and petting Salem on the head before sitting down. As she began to cut into her waffles, her aunt said
"Someone's cheerful this morning," It was true. Normally on the last day before a school break, Emilia was quite bitter sweet. She loved school, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, the sound of chalk on a black board, the feeling of raising her hand before anyone else. Summer vacation although fun, was still filled with the yearning to go back to learning and so her mother had no choice but to give her lessons over the summer to keep her mind from turning to mush!
"Well it is almost Christmas and this year was going on vacation to Jamacia! I'm over the moon," she said, taking a sip from her glass. She soon heard the footsteps from her cousin , the last to arrive as usual, and continued to eat as she made she good morning rounds. They would have to leave for the bus soon, and she didn't want to be hungry all morning. She did however put her fork down for her cousins good morning hug. As soon as she finished the last of her waffles, the clock showed it was time to head out. Hopping off her seat, the blonde girls began to dress in order to protect themselves from the cold weather. As she placed her black beret on her head, Emilia asked her mother quite innocently. "Can I ride my bike to school? It isn't icy out and Russell's parents are letting him ride his bike." She knew the answer would be no by the look on her face and the small shake of her head.
"I'm sorry sunshine, but there's a chance of snow today and I don't want you to get hurt if it does. And besides if Russell jumped off a bridge, would you." Emilia smiled at this question, although she knew her response would change a thing. "I think you can do that at some amusement parks for a dollar," She heard her Aunt, Sabrina, and Salem chuckle a bit, while her mother just shook her head. "My answer is still no, but I promise you on the first day of spring you can ride your bike every day if you want. Now good bye sweetheart and have a great day?" She said, hugging her daughter, making sure her hat was straight and handed her her lunch. And with that Sabrina and Emilia were out the door. Harvey was waiting outside in his car for Sabrina, and as she hoped in, Emilia couldn't help but be a little jealous her cousin didn't have to take the bus, but Harvey's car was only a two seater and so after a few hello's and goodbyes, the two teenagers were off, leaving the little blonde to walk alone to her bus stop. It was quite cold, but Emilia didn't mind it. Cold helped her think better and she also loved the smell of winter, the icy smell of snow, the icicle hanging from the trees and roof tops, although she couldn't help but be excited about spending a usually cold and wet Christmas in the warm and dry, salty aired island of Jamacia. She smiled at this thought and when she reached her bus stop, her best friend, one of her only friends, couldn't help but notice.
"Someone's happy," Russell said. Russell was Libby Chestler's step brother, and although his step sister made him seem like the spawn of the devil, he was quite the opposite. He was an outgoing and kind guy, smart too, who seemed to be able to make friend's with anybody. Not to mention the fact he knew how to torture his step sister like a professional. He was the one who stuck up for Emilia on the first day of third grade. She was the youngest in class, having skipped a grade, and after using jargon on their teacher could understand to describe a story they were reading, the kids began to tease her by calling her all sort of names for Encyclopedia Spellman to Emilia the Alien. Russell put a stop to that and they had been friends since.
"Is it really that noticeable?" She asked.
"Yeah! I mean usually you're all moppy when we have a snow day, let alone a break and today your acting, well, like a normal kid," She said jokingly and lucky for him Emilia realized he was kidding
"Haven't you heard? Normal is over rated. But well the reason I'm in such a good mood is because my mom one my family a trip to Jamaica so instead of being her in the cold, we are going to be basking in the sun and swimming in the warm Caribbean Sea on Christmas."
Russell's face seemed to light up as she talked, His eyes dancing at her description of her soon to be Christmas.
"Please pack me in your suitcase and take me with you."He begged quite dramatically. That was another thing about Russell. The years of acting hurt and fake crying to get his step sitter in trouble had made him a fantastic actor.
"Sorry Rusty, but how about I bring you back a t shirt," She compromised, patting the boy on the back
"Far enough." He smiled and as soon as he finished talking, the bus arrived to take them to school. Grabbing a two seater, the duo spent the short ride talking about what they hopped they would be getting for Christmas as well as what they though there teacher, Mrs. Knapik, would have them do on the last day in class. Russell hoped they would be making Gingerbread promised, like he heard she did on this day from older kids in the school. Emilia wished the opposite. She wanted to have a intellectual discussion on the evolution of Christmas, but she knew the world would set on fire before that would happen.
As soon as the two walked into the class room, Russell's prediction was correct. They smell of freshly backed gingerbread filled the air and right on the front desk was bottles of icing, bags of candy, and plates filled with mouthwatering cookies. Emilia took her coat and hat off and placed it on the hook with her back. She took her school supplies and her novel to her desk, which was sadly on the other side of the room as Russell's. She was stuck in front to Monica and Nicole, two girls that were beyond cliquey. The two best friends loved to gossip about everyone in the class that wasn't in their little pack, but Emilia tended to ignore them. The blonde believed she could find microbes smarter than them. Emilia read her novel, ignoring their cheeping and chattering until class was started. After taking attendance, Mrs. Knapik told the class they would be making ginger bread houses this morning, and that later they would watch the movie a Christmas story. The entire class cheered while Emilia stayed silent. The morning thankfully passed by quickly and Emilia build a her house right next to Russell, who's house looked like a hut hit by an earthquake. The bell rang signaling recess, and everyone split up in there little groups, Monica and Nicole sat with their group of friends, playing MASH, braiding each other's hair and obviously making rumors about someone in the school, the boys took out the legos and began to build some fort, and other kids played bored games. Emilia sat at her desk and read, another avid reader, by the name of Susan, joining her. Susan was the most like her, out of all the kids, she was shy and sweet to everyone. Today she was reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The series had proven to be a favorite of both girls and Emilia couldn't wait for Susan to finish it so she could discuss it with her and predict what the third book would bring. Emilia couldn't help but laugh though at the author's view of magic. Witches didn't use wands and no one flew broomsticks anymore, but that would be Emilia's little secret. She already got made fun of enough as it was. If the secret of who she really was came out, she would be done for. Her mother had warned her for the first day of school to never use magic around her classmates and so far she had kept that present, but on days where she felt like giving Monica and Nicole and beak to match their hen like attitudes was when she really had to avoid temptation.
As soon as recess ended, Emilia went over to the coat rack to grab her stuff. Because classes her had not proven challenging enough, it had been decided that every Tuesday and Thursday, Emilia would go across the street to West Bridge High to take Pre Calculus and Biology. She was grateful for the opportunity because she was able to stay with Russell and be with people her own age, without feeling bored in school all the time. After she got her outerwear on, she wished her teacher a Merry Christmas and placed a small box of chocolates on her desk. Although the walk was short, she enjoyed it none the less. The air was fresh and crisp and refreshing after being trapped inside all day. Walking into the high school she was greeted by warm, humid heat that made her want to take her jacket off immediately. As she took off her jacket, she was greeted by the stares she was quite used to after doing this gifted learning program for the last four months. She doubts anyone would ever be used to an 8 year old walking their halls. She wasn't here to make friends. She was here to learn. She headed to the Biology class and noticed that she was the first one there. The lunch bell rang soon after, though meaning the place would be flooded soon. She took a seat at the front of the classroom on her usual stool and smiled at Mr. Pool. She enjoyed the way he taught, humorous yet through. They chatted for a couple of minutes about life, him asking about her mother like every other class. She knew him and her mother had had a short relationship when she was 4, but it was to brief for her to recall. Her answer was always the same, fine and then she quickly changed the subject to the latest news of the science community. Emilia was saved from the awkwardness of their conversation by the start of class and as quick as it began, it was over, today it being a debate about cloning. Pre Calculus was next, but before she could reach her next class, she ran into her mother's boyfriend, Mr. Kraft. He had been giving a student detention when she saw him, and immediately after his emotion changed from mean to cheery. Emilia liked Mr. Kraft although her cousin called her crazy for doing so, but he had never been mean to her, not once. Her mother had been dating him for a year and a half now and she knew that they would probably get married someday; the whole family figured they would. Eventually he would be her step father, and thankfully they would be having a good relationship, unlike the horror stories she had heard from Russell about his step mother.
"Hello Emilia, How are you doing today," he asked quite nicely. Smiling she awnsered back
"Pretty Well. An yourself?" She asked in her usually mature tone
"Can't complain. I bet you're excited for Christmas! Your mother told me you got me the perfect gift," He seemed eager to know what it was, but Emilia refused to tell.
"It is but you're just going to have to wait and see like I'm going to have to wait and see the perfect gift you and my mother apparently got me," She said with a little smirk. She was always one to have a comeback.
"You are absolutely right! We will just have to wait and she when we open presents on Christmas morning," he said quite happily. That was when Emilia realized he didn't know that the Spellmans would be gone one Christmas Eve and Christmas day. According to the DJ, they had a flight from Boston to Jamaica on the 24th, leaving Willard to have to spend Christmas alone. She wanted to tell him, she really did, but she didn't want to ruin his good mood. Putting on the best face she could she said
"Yes! We shall. I better get going to class," she said quite hurried. She hopped this would get her out of this conundrum
"Of course. Well have fun leave some answers for the other kids." And with that he was off, immediately giving detention to some kid wearing a Yankee's hat to school. She somehow got through Pre Calculus despite her constant brooding. Mrs. Quick didn't seem to notice, but her cousin did. When question, she just said she was tired, and Sabrina stopped bothering her after that. As soon as the bell rang, she grabbed the candy cane Mrs. Quick handed her and hurried to the bus. Her cousin didn't bother her thankful as she had to go to work, but as soon as she sat on the bus, Russell began to interrogate her also and she knew that she wouldn't be able to escape him
"What's wrong Em? This morning you were all sunshine and rainbows and now you look as if you found out that J. K. Rowling isn't going to write again. Spill!" He said. She looked at him with her bright blue eyes, and he stared back at her with his own, sharper a gaze than hers. She knew that he wouldn't give up.
"Oh Russell. I just realized today that because my family is going away for Christmas, my mama's boyfriend is going to be all alone," she lamented
"Bummer." He said at first, leaving Emilia wide eyed and her jaw dropped to the floor
"Bummer? Really? Of all the things you could say you say bummer?" she asked quite seriously before shaking her head and laughing.
"Sorry missy but unlike you I have a limited vocabulary. But all kidding aside, you may think you're an adult Em, but you're not. You're 8. Your mom has to be the one to break the news. Don't be sad about it. Think about the amazing time you will have. And so what? He can spend a couple of days alone." Emilia smiled and then suddenly hugged the boy.
"Thanks Russell. That actually really helped," she said, and although she couldn't see his face, a huge grin from ear to ear appeared on the boys face.
As soon as they got off the bus, Emilia and Russell parted ways, wishing each other a Merry Christmas. It was a quick walk back to her house and she was excited to see her mother. She opened the front door in quite a rush, and stomped out her boots before stepping on the living room floor
"I'm home! She said, and looking to the couch, she saw her mother sitting on the couch. A sad and worried expression was on her face that changed the aura of the entire room. After hanging up her quote and a few moments of awkward silence
"What's wrong," She asked, walking over to her mother, and her aunt, who had a similar expression on her face.
"Sit down baby," her mother said, patting down to the spot right next to her on the couch
"The tickets for our trip came today along with the brochures for the hotel, but we have a little problem," She said quite seriously. "The resort we are staying at doesn't allow anyone under the age of 18 on their property." Emilia didn't need any explanation. As soon as her mother said that, the girl began to burst into tears. The trip she had been so excited for was ruined. She bet they would go without her, she knew Sabrina would force them. She wouldn't put it past her cousin to do such thing. She ran up to her room, and no one followed. She slammed the door to her room for one of the first times in her life, and began to sob into her pillow and fell asleep soon after from sheer exhaustion. Her perfect Christmas was now ruined and just like Mr. Kraft, she would be all alone.