Nobody would describe me as the perfect daughter. Good girls didn’t get thrown out of three perfectly good schools. I freed the school hamster in one. Got into a fight with a boy in the second. Accidently blew up the science department in my last. That one had been a complete accident. I poured the chemicals from vial one into vial two and boom. My father had me out of that school so quick my head spun. One minute I’d been in the headmaster’s office. The next I was in a car and on my way to Scotland.
Six or so hours later I was in my new school. Well I say school, more like nunnery. My things ended up Mother Superiors office. I got an itchy uniform and a stern talking to. Everything happened so fast that I got the distinct impression this had been my father’s plan for a while.
Dear old dad. He certainly liked to think three moves ahead.
I never considered myself to be a very social person. So being surrounded by nuns and other girls as odd as me isn’t that much of a hardship. I kept myself to myself. They leave me alone. It didn’t stop them from trying to figure me out. I’ve heard the rumors. The theories about why I got escorted to the nunnery by a man in an army uniform. No one got transferred to St. Mary’s School for Wayward Souls in the middle of the year for being a good girl.
A part of me actually liked the theories they came up with. A thief. A delinquent. The daughter of someone important being spirited away because she embarrassed her family. I was all three to one extent or another. I could have just told them. It wasn’t some big secret. The black sheep of the family. The one who went off the rails when her brother disappeared.
Dad hadn’t mentioned how long I’d be a resident in a place so remote it didn’t have an internet connection. I knew that if he had his way, I’d have grey hair before I saw any signs of civilization. He packed me a few books but my collection was in the office. The place had one book but I wasn’t planning on reading it. I kept lots of things hidden away between the sheets. Things I’d probably need at some point. I was just lucky that dad packed them. Not that he knew what was in them but still it could have been worse.
I had ways and means to get out.
I might not have been very forward about myself but I’d picked up some information about the girls. A lesson handed down by dad. All ways be aware of your surroundings. The blonde, Alison, was a makeup artist. She’d brought her things with her but like my stuff Mother Superior took them. The tall brunette with a nose like a pig had a drug problem. The little redhead had a case of the light fingers. I’d actually watched her in action. Her technique was good and she used distraction. I could still show her a thing or two. Not that I planned too. I’d serve my time and leave at the end of term. My parents couldn’t keep me here forever.
I fidgeted on the sofa as my skirt rubbed against my legs. The heavy fabric made my legs itch. The white blouse with its rounded collar wasn’t much better. The only redeeming part of it was the socks. Knee-high with blue and white stripes. If the nuns found out I liked the socks they’d probably take them away from me. God forbid that I found anything fun or interesting in this place.
I curled up on the sofa. My arm on the armrest, my hand rested underneath my chin. The volume on the television was just loud enough for me to hear it. The reporter wore too much lip gloss for me to take her seriously.
“The people behind me are taking part in a monthly event. An emotional plea for runaways to get in contact with their parents. This month the number of people reported missing has double. People are worried and demanding answers. The police are also talking about enforcing a curfew and a city wide search for the missing children, all between the ages of sixteen and eighteen.”
“Rachel, can you turn that down? You might have finished the Math’s assignment, but we haven’t.” The voice pulled my attention away from the report. A girl, Daisy, with dark hair cut into a bob glared at me from the desk. She broke the stare first. I’m about to reach for the remote to turn it off when I stop. A man has just stepped into view of the camera.
For a second I couldn’t breathe. I leaned forward to get a better look at him. Tall, dark hair and little rough around the edges. Startling blue eyes stared at me through the screen.