Chapter 1:

Farewell Home

I closed the massive oak door with four carved rectangles in the middle with a lion doorknocker in between the carvings. I lightly stroked the wood one last time and pressed my palm against it. I took a step back and admired the structure before turning around to face Aunt Maggie leaning against her red Mini Cooper. Her eyes were watching attentively, her arms entwined with each other in front of her chest, feet pushed together in a thirty degree angle from the front wheel. I sighed and took hesitant steps away from the door that I will no longer open.

"Are you ready to say good-bye?" Aunt Maggie asked turning her head to her right to get a good look at my face.

"I don't think I'll ever be ready," I replied. She opened the passenger door for me. I put my right firm leg in first, slowly slid my ass down to the seat, and forced my left firm leg in. Aunt Maggie walked around the hood, stared at the one story olden house, and placed herself in the driver's seat. Once she turned the key in the ignition switch to the right the engine roared to life and became a sudden purr. We slowly pulled out of the driveway and I didn't dare look back.

"Sometimes, you have to spread your wings and fly away from everything you once hold dear to. If you don't, you'll never learn to let go, become independent, and strong," Aunt Maggie said a mile later.

"What if you just never want to let it go?" I asked.

"You can hold memories, but you have to be able to cope with knowing what was there no longer is there," she replied. I laid my head against the window pane watching every tree pass me by. I then starred up at the dull sky as it prepared itself to cry. I wouldn't mind. I needed to shed a few here and there. Aunt Maggie continued when I didn't say anything else.

"Mom and dad are at peace now. They would prefer that we not dwell in sorrow, but continue on with our life and fulfill our destiny. That's what they want, for us to be headstrong and keep moving forward. They are watching over us beside your mother. They are our guardian angels now." I didn't know if she was saying it to comfort herself, me, or both. She didn't seem so shaken up from my grandparents' death. I figured she must be putting up a shield so that I wouldn't worry myself, or maybe she was still in denial. Nonetheless, I am the only family she has now, and she's the only one I have.

"Where did you say we were going?" I tried to change the subject.

"Bradfield College, it's a boarding school for ages thirteen to eighteen. I happen to be the counselor and was able to pull a few strings to get you administered. That way you'll have a place to stay and I'll be around." I nodded.

"How much longer will it take to get there?"

"About two more hours," she shrugged.

"Whoopee," I said sarcastically with a twirl of my index finger in the air.

For the first hour we didn't speak. The only noise that filled the awkward silence was Aunt Maggie's radio that spilled Mozart and Beethoven. It was the same classical music that filled the old house whenever grandma was painting her random muses. It made my heart ache like if someone kept putting pressure on it. After the second hour, Beethoven chimed down and I noticed green open fields and trees a shade of green, brown, orange, and yellow dancing with the wind at the same time Mozart began to play. I spot an immense building that looked like a cottage. It had zigzag patterns in squares hiding behind an X with a line down the middle. Aunt Maggie pulled up to the front where there was a gate that looked like tall arrows pointing upwards. As she drove inside it looked like we entered a small village. Buildings looked like cottages attached to each other and street lanes on every corner. Some were brick houses and some the same texture as the entrance building. My heart sank to my toes and my green hazel eyes were pulling out of their sockets.

"Welcome home," Aunt Maggie said.

"This isn't home," I said after a minute.

"Well, soon it will feel like it," she said with shame. A humph managed to escape from my lips. Aunt Maggie drove for five more minutes until we came upon a scarlet three story brick building. There was a round octagon trampoline with a high net circling the trampoline on the edges near a tree in front. When we got inside, the walls were a dark red orange. There was a United Kingdom flag hanging from the ceiling next to a flag that had an image of an almost shield shape with two eagles on either side of an almost shaped diamond with an X inside and circling it is a strip that has the words 'Benedictus es, O Domine doce me Statuta Tua' meaning 'You are blessed, Lord: teach me your laws'.

We made our way to the elevator that took us to the second floor. There were a few girls lingering around wearing plain navy blue boxed skirts, and black panty hose. Some girls wore a long sleeve white buttoned up collar shirt with the skirt and panty hose. Others wore the same clothes but with a dark navy blue cotton vest over the white sleeved shirt, and others wore the same clothes with a dark navy blue coat over the vest and shirt. Not my taste in fashion.

We walked down the red orange halls passing by six doors left and right. We stopped in front of a door that had 7A nailed onto it. Once you open the door to your right a tall wooden closet furniture lays against the dark beige wall, to your left is a desk the shape of a right angle with a black right triangle on top of it. Further in, there is a twin bed parallel to the desk resting on top of a light wooden rectangular base with two drawers. Across from the bed is another right angle desk to the far corner wall, a wooden boarded nailed to the wall with shelves, and a big round clock hanging on. In between the desk and the closet was another similar bed from the first one. The first one; however, had a brown and dark turquoise zebra print blanket hugging the bed and brown pillows laying against each other. In front of the desk and the end of the occupied bed was a window with two sliding window shields and on both sides of the window were dark turquoise curtains hanging stiff.

"Welcome to your new room," Aunt Maggie said with a smile. I returned a half smile.

"Your roommate is Lexie. I'm pretty sure you two will get along just fine," she added. I was kind of pretty sure as well since above from the bed was a poster of Sleeping with Sirens on the wall.

"Well, I'll leave you alone to unpack. I have paperwork and students to attend to. Have fun." She disappeared through the door. Fun wasn't even part of my vocabulary right now. I let myself fall backwards with open arms on the naked bed. I turned my head to the right and starred out the window. The clouds began to disperse clear teardrops. I let mine fall as well.

"Farewell home," I whispered.