“Well, I was there from a young age, as my parents died in a car crash. I learned to fend for myself. The nuns were incredible and took great care of me, and they taught me as much as they could. As I grew older I took on more responsibility, and helped them run the orphanage, and teach the younger children. I think this is a good example of my initiative and proof that I was able to grasp knowledge enough to teach it to others,” I replied, smiling proudly, as I thought I had given a very good answer.

“Why were you never adopted?” Headmaster Griff asked. My brow furrowed and my mouth dropped open. I couldn’t believe he had asked me such a thing. Mrs. Thorpe seemed shocked, as well, but she didn’t say anything. Mr. Hanon was unmoved.

“I…it was just one of those things I suppose. I don’t think there is a single reason for it,” I said.

“Are you a troublemaker? We have no need for troublemakers here,” the headmaster asked.

“No, in fact, as I said, if you look in this file there are reports from the nuns and they have all given me glowing reports.”

“Why did you apply to Angel Academy?” Mr. Hanon asked. I was relieved to be given a respite from Headmaster Griff’s interrogation.

“I’d like to better myself and make up for some of the lack of formal education in my life so far. I am tenacious and determined, and I want to make something of my life. I want to look back and know that I gave myself every chance to succeed. I want to learn and discover my passions in life. I want to cultivate a good understanding of all the important areas of the world and leave it a better place than when I entered. I also want to show other people in my position that anything is possible, that even if you feel like you have nothing, as long as you have a determination to succeed you can achieve anything you want in life. There were times when I used to feel that life was hopeless.”

The more I spoke, the more I realized how much I wanted to be at this academy for my own good, rather than just because Arthur suggested I go here. I realized that I had done little with my life and I did want to show other orphans that they could accomplish something. It suddenly all took on a new tension, as I realized that there was a chance I could fail. The headmaster had clearly taken a dislike to me for whatever reason; perhaps I wasn’t the right fit for the image of the academy, so I knew I had my work cut out for me to convince them all that I could be welcome here.

“You know, it was heartbreaking to see people come in to the orphanage and then to see them walk out again, to know that I wasn’t good enough, even though I hadn’t done anything wrong. I had no idea why people left without me and there were points where I thought it was going to destroy me from the inside out. I thought I would never have any worth in life and there was no point to me doing anything. The nuns helped show me that I could be someone. That no matter what, I always had myself and my own ambition, and the most important thing was to prove these people wrong, to show them that I did have worth and that they had made a mistake by not taking me. I changed my way of thinking and I poured myself into my studies. This academy is designed to help people like me have the best chance of a good life, and that’s all I’m asking for, a chance. I want to be better than I am.”

It was Mr. Hanon, who, eventually, leaned over and picked up my file. He perused it while Mrs. Thorpe made some notes. Headmaster Griff remained unmoved. My gaze darted up, but I averted it immediately as he stared at me. He seemed to be transfixed on me and I had no idea why.

“Do you think you’ll be able to meet the high standards we set here at the Angel Academy?” Headmaster Griff asked. “We only want the best of the best and we have a very rigorous code of behavior. Anyone in violation of this, is subject to termination, and anyone who doesn’t apply themselves to their studies is subject to termination as well. Do you think you can give everything you have to this place? It will require all of your concentration. There can be no distractions.”

I gulped and lied to him. “I promise I’ll do everything I can to succeed here.” It wasn’t a promise I was going to be able to keep, because I couldn’t surrender my duties as a Slayer, but I wasn’t going to blow this opportunity and I knew I’d be able to figure out a way to make this work.

“I think that’s all we need to know for now. Why don’t you step outside and we’ll come and talk with you shortly, we just need a few moments to discuss a few things,” Mrs. Thorpe said.

I nodded and thanked them for their time. I left the room and went back to the lobby. My knees quaked and my heart quivered. I returned to the safety of the bench and inhaled deeply, hoping that I had made a good enough impression, because I knew this place could really help me. I waited for about fifteen minutes, then Mrs. Thorpe came out, and by the smile that adorned her face I assumed it was good news, and indeed, she confirmed that I had been accepted.

“Thank you so much!” I said. “I was so afraid, especially after the headmaster seemed so…unimpressed with me.”

“I wouldn’t worry too much about him. He’s always an inscrutable man.” She lowered her voice. “He likes to put on an aura so that he can keep the students in line. I think it was more for effect than anything else.”

I accepted her assessment of the situation but something still didn’t sit right with the way he had acted around me. However, that was a problem for a later time. All that mattered was that I had been accepted.

Mrs. Thorpe offered to show me around, and since I still had a while to wait for Arthur to come and pick me up, I readily accepted her offer. She took me through one of the doors that led through a wide hallway with a varnished floor.

“I think most people are in class now,” she said. Indeed, as we passed by the rooms I saw them filled with students. It felt strange to be in this kind of setting. The classes at the orphanage had always been small affairs and usually there was a constant rotation of faces as kids got adopted. “Do you know what you’re going to study yet?”

“I haven’t made my final choice; I didn’t want to risk jinxing this interview, but I have made a shortlist, so when I get home I’ll whittle it down. I definitely want to study history, and perhaps English Lit as well. I want to try and get as broad an education as possible so I can learn what really interests me.”

“That’s a good way to go about it. I think life is better when it’s an adventure. I speak to some people here and they have everything planned out to the nth degree. They leave no room for anything unpredictable and life is always unpredictable.”

“I agree,” I said. Mrs. Thorpe seemed like a good sort and I was glad she was giving me this tour rather than either of the men. We didn’t go into any of the classrooms, as we didn’t want to disturb the classes that were in session.

“Are you going to live here?” she asked, resting a hand on a banister that led up a set of wide stairs.

“No, I’m going to commute. I live near here and, well, I couldn’t afford the extra accommodation fees,” I said. Mrs. Thorpe took her hand away from the banister.

“I suppose there’s no need to show you the dormitories then,” she said, chuckling to herself. The truth was that I would have liked to stay at the Academy, as it would have made things much easier for myself and Arthur, but it would have been almost impossible to keep up my extra-curricular nocturnal activities. The gates were such that it would have been difficult to creep outside, especially every night, and I didn’t want to have to try and explain to people where I was going. I also didn’t want to get a reputation of being truant. I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize my position here, as I got the feeling that the headmaster would be keeping a close eye on me.

“Now, this is what we’re especially proud of,” Mrs. Thorpe said, as she showed me to some huge double doors. She opened one of them and bright sunlight poured through a stained glass window, making colors dance across the floor. The hall was massive. There were two levels, and each one was crammed with books. There were tables where students sat, and shelves and shelves of books. “This is our pride and joy,” she said. “There are some rare books here. It’s a collection that has been curated over the generations and there’s always something of interest to be found. I did once make it my mission to read every book in the library but I don’t think I’ll ever succeed.”

“It’s quite a daunting challenge,” I said.

“Right now it’s quite empty, because most students are in class, but when it comes to assignment time this place is filled and you might have to reserve a seat. There are smaller study areas situated throughout the academy as well, and there are some private rooms you can reserve. I don’t want to stay here too long because I don’t want to disturb those who are here.”

I took a last, lingering gaze around and I caught a glimpse of three guys sitting at a table. Two of them had their backs to me but the one facing me smiled. I was caught off-guard because I was so used to going unnoticed but I offered a clumsy smile back. He was cute and going to this academy was quickly becoming quite a good idea after all.

Next, Mrs. Thorpe took me to the dining area and it was here where a disaster happened. We turned the corner and were so lost in conversation that we didn’t look where we were going and clattered into a girl coming the other way. She was flanked by another girl and two boys, and as we collided, the tray she held flipped back and the food exploded over her clothes. The cloying sauce clung to her hair and splattered over her face, the meat hung on her body and left stains over her clothes. The drink she had cascaded over her and poured down her stomach and legs. She looked stunned, had been turned into a complete mess, and when she composed herself she looked at me with great ire.


Tags: Lilly Wilder Paranormal
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
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