There was a knock on the door. Doctor Name Warren, though he was going by Dr. Nerran so if it all went wrong no one would know who he really was, put his glasses on as he walked down the hallway to open it. He was not expecting any visitors this late at night, he had already sent all of his staff home for the night. There was a young couple standing under the pool of light on his old porch. Looking them up and down he sighed. Stepping back he gestured for them to come into the house. “Thank you for seeing us on such short notice,” the young man said. I was not sure you would, but we have heard about what you can do and we have no where else we could go.” The young woman who was with him took off the long tan coat she had been wearing. Her belly was just starting to swell enough for others to notice that she was with child. Her


eyes were filled with longing and a hope that Dr. Warren did not want to crush. Glancing around at the neighboring houses, he closed the door, fearing that he was sealing his fate by letting them enter. ............................. The experiments began the following week. Name had thought that he might have a few couples interested, but it turned out that he had so many that he had to turn some couples away. After hiring two more people, he thought that he had enough help, but he was still working most of the day and well into the night as well. He caught himself wearing the same outfit for several days in a row because he was just too busy or too exhausted to change. He would have people showing up at his house in the middle of the night still trying to get in his program, as he had started calling it. It was hard to turn them down at first, but the more he had to the easier it got. When Dr. Warren first came up with his idea, he knew that he was doing this because he wanted to help people. The further he got into his experiments the less he saw his patients as people. He started seeing them as numbers and as results. He thought that it might be hard to lie to some of his patients, but as it turned out, it was quite easy. Once one lie was out of his mouth more seemed to flow out, almost effortlessly.

Knowing that a few people might be hurt during this process was always a possibility. .4 He did not notice that he had changed. Even though it might take years for the results to show up it drove him crazy. Warren knew that he could no longer pretend that no one was in danger. Others thought they knew why they were there and the rest of them were completely in the dark about everything. All of the money that he was making did not hurt things either. but Dr. It helped to think about all those who would be healed or even just helped from what was being compiled from his work. Warren had always shoved that idea back into the deepest part of his thoughts. Only some of them knew the real reason they were there. But the fact that they were getting hurt gave him even more reasons to do more tests on them. hut the women that he was treating did. When the first baby was born Dr.

She knew that her best friend. At least she got to pick whatever desk she wanted. Even though that was an unusually large class for a junior class. Over the past few years the size of her class shrank with the start of a new school year. Settling down in a desk that was in the middle of the room she waited. She would be devastated if she was put in that situation. So she walked up the steps and had at least a little bit of hope that there would be at least a few familiar faces waiting in homeroom for her. She hoped that she was not the only girl in the class. she still felt like a part of her was leaving at the beginning of school.5 Chapter One Meredith looked at the school and sighed heavily and absent mindedly played with the bracelet she always wore. Last year there were only twenty one juniors. Rebekka. the junior class before them only had twelve students in it. would not be here . One year one of the classes had five of the most obnoxious boys and only one girl. Opening the door she found that she was the first one to arrive.

for the first week or so. The warning bell rang and she stared at the door. With each passing second Meredith could feel her nerves getting more excited. she was in the right place.6 because she tested out right at the start of summer as a level three. that they would still be friends and talk all of the time and hang out together. The bell to start classes rang and still. Five Oh Three. Meredith was happy for her. Maybe she was just in the wrong room. Home room Rm. On one else had even come in to set their stuff down to claim a seat while they were catching up with others they had not seen all summer. Either this was a . so she found the place where she had left off. but also a little sad for herself. She had started to reread it so that it would be fresh in her mind. A few minutes of reading the same sentence four times she closed it and sank down in the desk. They said that nothing would change. Nope. She remembered the conversation that they had right after it had happened. she was also jealous. no one else wandered into the room. Hating to admit it. That part was true. Digging in her bag she grabbed a well worn paper back book that she was supposed to read over the summer break. Then Rebekka would be busy or gone whenever Meredith would go over to her house or called her. Looking at a wadded piece of paper she checked her schedule. The summer ended up being very long and lonely for her.

Being the last one in her class to test out was something that was not even considered. Laying her head down on the desk she felt waves of humiliation wash over her. Maybe living in seclusion would not be so bad. He said that he did not mind. . She remembered her first day at this school. With her sister testing out two years early and her younger brother five years early (one of the youngest students ever to do so) they thought that maybe she was just nervous and that was why she had not tested out yet. She did not know whether she should cry or just leave the school and never come back.7 nightmare or she was the only one left in her class this year. She knew her parents had such high hopes for her. too. The sound of kids greeting those that they had not seen all summer almost brought tears to her eyes. Watching her brother working at age eleven made her sad. Being with her friends was a lot of fun. She was worried. Some of her friends were surprised to see her here because of her siblings and most of her family had been early testers. she actually enjoyed coming to school and learning. that he enjoyed what he did and if it meant helping other people he was going to do it. She could hear the other classes staring through the walls.

She walked through. did not know what to make of Principal Facet‟s tone or the look on her face. She did not look exactly happy. Nolana. She wondered what the guy with her had to do with anything. Yeah. that was what it was Meredith thought as she gathered up all of her stuff and headed to the office. Principal Facet was standing in the doorway.” she said and then turned around on her heels and left. Her shoes echoed so loudly that she thought that everybody in each classroom that she passed could . Meredith who had only been in the principal‟s office once because she had been a volunteer for one of the school dances. Meredith brought her head up fast. either. Maybe he was some new tester they had brought in to test some of the older students who had not shown any sign of being ready when they were supposed to be.8 Hearing the door open. She did not expect to see who was at the door. She had never seen him before. Maybe that was why there was no one else in the room. followed by a man Meredith had never seen before. The man who had been standing behind her gave a quick nod of his head and then he left the room too. but she did not look like she was pissed off. please bring your stuff and join us in my office please. “Miss. They were probably already in the office getting ready to take some sort of new test. It was strange to be walking in an empty hall on the first day of school.

I will be out in the main office. “Meredith. The door opened and Meredith stepped inside. Nolana. The chair next to him was empty so she sat down in it. this is Doctor Warren. then stood up and left her office.9 hear her. Principal Facet was seated behind her desk in a high back leather chair that looked as if it were made just for her. He had a very expensive looking briefcase set by his feet. Taking a deep breathe she pulled up the courage to knock on the door. He had a passive look on his face. The man who was with her was on the other side of the desk in a less comfortable looking chair. She looked like she belonged there and she knew it. anyway.” she said. Miss. . like he was used to waiting on people. He runs a special school that specializes in students with. You are not in trouble. She knew that she was just being paranoid. I will let him explain what he does in more detail. but she tried to take quieter stepps. it is just that we do not have the capability to deal with someone in your situation. If you need me. your condition. Your parents have been notified of this meeting. When she finally reached the office her heart was beating fast and she hoped she was not sweating through her shirt.

After a few minutes he turned his chair so that he was directly facing her. She might have said it in a different way. Now. Dr. It appears that you are the only one left in your class not to do so. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with you. and I can not say that I have had a complete one hundred percent success rate. but that is what it boils down to. I can tell you that my team and I will do our best to help you live up to your best potential. I run a school that helps those who are not able to pass the test on their own. “I think that she was referring to the fact that you have not tested out yet. “What did she mean by students in my situation?” Meredith asked. “I did not know that there was another school.10 Meredith was not sure how she should react to what she just heard. “I know that you probably have quite a few questions for me.” he said. so she sat in silence. Warren sat quietly beside her. so please. do not be afraid to ask me anything. But. Now that I have given you my little schpeil. Are you saying that there are other kids my age that have not tested out? I thought that because no one else showed up today . do you have any other questions that you really want to ask?” he said with a smile.

She was not sure how she felt about that. but I will leave that choice up to you. picking up his briefcase. so we get calls from all over. Because we do not have very many students it means that we can give you all more individual attention. making fun of her and tourturing her her whole life. too. I do hope that you chose to come to our school because I believe that we can help you. She wanted to say that she would miss her sister. Meredith sat in her seat stunned at what she had heard. because she had not even been aware of its existence. it was Sabrina being mean and spiteful and just plain hateful. I have sent some information to your parents so that you as a family can come to a decision that you can all feel better about. feeling very relieved that she was not the only one. That would mean that she would have to move away from her family. I will let Mrs. but there are others like you from other areas.11 that it meant that they all passed the test over the summer. “Well.” he said.” Meredith said. you are the only one from this school. but miss was not exactly the word that came to mind when she thought of Sabrina. My school covers a very large area. Obviously this school was away. Facet know that we are through here. She would miss her parents and brother. But this was not your typical and regular sister riverally. Sabrina was her older sister and had always made her life a living hell. Meredith was never sure what .

The one good thing about Sabrina picking on her was that she pretty much ignored Gabe. Meredith did her best to make sure that her brother and sister were never alone together.12 she had done to have her sister treat her so badly. To have the knowledge that no matter what she did that her sister would never like her weighed heavy on her and she tried to stay out of Sabrina‟s way and not do anything to cause her to get mad her. After seeing Sabrina look out the window she raced over to the rain streaked window and felt sick to her stomach. she had just gotten them for her birthday. She looked like she had done something and knew that she would get away with it because no one would be able to prove it. There sitting in the middle of the yard completely filled with water were all of her shoes. had a huge impact on her. Two pairs of them were brand new. It had been like that for as long as she could remember. soaked through and through. To figure out at the age of ten that her sister hated her. truly hated her. Sabrina had a smile on her face that Meredith would never forget. She would have friends stay over at their house instead of going . One time when Meredith was twelve and a half Sabrina took all of her shoes and put them outside while it was raining. They were her new school shoes made from thee softest leather she had ever felt. Each and every pair she had. She recalled waking up and looking for her shoes and not being able to find them anywhere.

He never really had the chance to interact with Sabrina and Meredith only felt a little guilty about being the cause of that. Her parents thought that their kids had typical fights that brothers and sisters had. it was old and falling apart a little bit more each . they never saw the true animosity that was between their two daughters. She wanted to spare him of hating his sisters. Sure. If her parents decided to send her away to this new school she wondered if it would look anything like this place. Gabe just thought that Meredith was an overprotective big sister. Leaving the school Meredith looked up at the massive building that she was so used to going to. Gabe was three and a half years younger then her and she felt a great sense of responsibility to keep him safe. what Sabrina was doing to her. a lethal combination in her case. he was not going to be hurt like she had.13 over to theirs when she was younger. Sabrina was very smart and devious. even Gabe. If she wanted to hurt someone or see someone cry Meredith would gladly throw herself in front of her little brother. Meredith did spoil Gabe rotten. so she never told anyone. she did it because she never wanted him to feel like she did with Sabrina. She would rather him be safe and happy then to have Sabrina take her anger and wrath out on him. Sabrina did not seem to care either way.

True. After about ten minutes she pleaded with him to come down. especially since her class started shrinking because it only helped to remind her that she had not tested out yet. He had only been seven or eight at the time and had made it half way up when he looked down. bare tree. She had been so worried that she would be the one to get in trouble. after all it had been her brilliant idea for him to climb the tree that she knew was too big for him. there were days that she hated having to come here. He stopped moving and refused to go up or to come down. Meredith had thought that it was funny at first. she remembered the time she dared Gabe to climb all the way up to the top.14 year. She told Gabe that she would be right back. Maybe her parents would decide to keep her at home and just hire a private tutor or something. As she walked home she tried to soak up all that she things that she normally took for granted. but it was sturdy and familiar. But she was not sure she was ready to leave behind everyone and everything that she knew. but it was HER school. that she was going to go and get their dad. not even to shake his head to show that he understood. Gazing up at a tall. Grabbing one of . He did not move. The bricks were faded and cracking.

It was probably just her nerves acting up. and she always walked slow enough so that he kept up pretty easy. trying to catch up with Sabrina.15 the lower branches she could still feel how hard that one thin branch felt on her backside after her father had retrieved Gabe from the tree. but for some reason she had a feeling of dread that she could not shake. Seeing her house across the street she how much she was used to her life. She did not even have to think about which way to walk. Picking up her pace she hurried to get home. After Sabrina and Gabe had both tested out she walked with Addison. though. This was the first year that she had to walk it by herself. Her sister would always try to find the longest. because it was like second nature. Meredith would hold his hand all the way. When she was little she would run the way. after all this morning had been pretty strange. most confusing way hoping to get Meredith lost. After this morning and now walking alone she realized how long and lonely the walk was all by herself. Walking with her always took the longest because they would goof off and talk. When Gabe started school. Her life had pretty much turned up side down . To realize that she was the only one her age left with out having her “potential” show to learning that she might have to go away to a special school. She knew that she should not scared to move on.

His hair was all messed up looking. like he did when he was nervous or upset.16 Chapter Two Both of Meredith‟s parents were waiting for her on the couch when she opened the front door. looked as if he just rolled out of bed. She looked as if it was a normal day and she was just waiting for someone who needed her help. Her mom was sitting calmly with her hands laid in her lap. on the other hand. Her dad. as if he had been running his fingers through it. His tie had been loosened and was hanging uneven. He only had one sleeve rolled up. She almost dropped her bag because she thought they would both be at their jobs and she would have the house to herself for at least a little while longer. . forgetting that the other one was still buttoned tightly around his wrist.

“Um. you do have a say in this. who are more like you.” her dad said. huh?” Meredith said. They would probably send her back pretty quickly when they found out that she was messed up and could not be fixed. Maybe it would not be such an embarrassment to her family if she did leave and go to the school. the better. What‟s his name called you guys. I really wish she would have called later today. looking down at her shoes. give a side look to his wife. right? Make her parents happy and proud of her.” her mom said.” “Now. But she was willing to try it if it would make her parents happy. That was what she was supposed to do. is what we were told. Mere. but I guess we should have been expecting a call like this. You‟d also be around other kids you have. “she explained how this school could help you. I guess either Principal Facet or Dr. your principal called your father at work. “When would I have to leave?” Meredith asked. “Yes.17 “Well. the sooner. Your father and I were discussing how you might feel better and be willing to try a little bit harder if you did go to the school. they wanted you there as soon as we could get you there. I have permission to take a few days off so we can get you . sitting down in an empty chair beside the couch. you know.

When Meredith got up to her room she did not know where to start.” her mom said. We should have assumed that something would be happening with you at your age and with what should have happened by now. I‟ll go start packing so we can leave whenever you want to. We need to make the best of this situation and this Dr. Warren is a credible man.” her dad said. What should she take? She did not even know how big her new room would be or how much stuff she could fit in it.” Meredith said quietly.” Meredith said getting up. “I didn‟t realize that it would be so soon. they contacted us when they thought it was the right time. so if you have any problems or if you want to come home we can come get you at any time. “You mean that he helped some other families safe face when their kid‟s did not measure up to what their parents wanted them to be like. Everybody knows they keep records on who can do what. “It is not for us to question. If they wanted me there tomorrow why didn‟t they let us know before today? It‟s not like they don‟t know who hasn‟t tested out.18 settled at the school. I have heard of him and I personally know that he has helped several families. Would she have to wear another uniform or would she be able to wear her down time . and when they first could do it. how they can do it. It‟s only a few hours away.

trying to catch her breath. Standing up and stretching she saw that someone. There were five pieces total. mom. most likely her dad. Grabbing the largest of the set she started packing some of her heavier clothing the hopefully she would not need for a few more months if the weather stayed how it was right now. A knock on the door startled her and she dropped the pair of dark green pants she held in her hands onto her unmade bed. She was wondering how long she would have to be at this school when she fell asleep. Just seeing them there made her feel a little bit better about having to leave. or maybe she had cried in her sleep. Floppy down on her bed she grabbed her pillow and curled up. She realized that she had fallen asleep while she was crying. they were perfect. had put a brand new set of luggage in her on the floor beside her bed. When Meredith woke up her eyes felt all puffy and dry. .19 clothes? How many students would be there and did they want to be there or were they there to make their parents happy like she would be? So many questions and fears were running around in her head she had to sit down. They were not childish looking.” she said. “You scared me. all a light golden brown with varying shades of aqua stripes running criss cross all over them. but not old fashioned.

going to some school that she had never heard of. She was leaving. it makes me happy to look at it. like . We are going to go and have dinner as a family before you leave. she said she would not miss seeing you off for anything. Her mom just did not see how bad Sabrina treated others. Call me if you need any help packing. looking down. If you do not like it there is a classic and functional set that I wanted to get you. When I called your sister. well. K.” her ever practical mother said. She‟s willing to drop whatever she is doing to spend some time with you.20 “I just wanted to check on you and see if you needed any help getting your things ready for your trip. I will never see why you two do not get along she obviously cares about you greatly.” she said shaking her head as she left the room.” she said. “No. I like this set. It did not matter now. “O. so please don‟t make a scene tonight. where they specialized in treating and curing freaks like herself. I need you to be ready to leave within the next few hours. Meredith thought. she closed her eyes and looked the other way. looking at the suitcases and frowning. he said that it reminded him of you. Your father picked out the luggage. Maybe it was because Sabrina was the first born and would always be the little girl who could do no wrong. Maybe they would help her test into something cool.. We can always go and trade it in if you want to. I guess I‟ll head back down stairs now.

At least then she would have fun every day destroying things. who she was without apologies. She had always been that way. She would not have to compare herself to Sabrina and try to live up to her unreachable expectations anymore. Whatever. She did not think that it would be so bad. I guess that I get to start over. Meredith tought. always looked presentable and spotless. not being able to do anything. She could get to be Meredith. She always had to be in a nice and clean dress without any stains or holes in it. There was not much for her to . They became the ones no one spoke about or even claimed belonged to their family. She looked over her room trying to decide what all she needed to take with her. she once heard about a boy who could only change the temperature of water three and three quarter degrees in either direction. mommy‟s little perfect angel. She hoped that it did not turn out to be something lame. that would be pretty cool. She was always worrying about what the neighbors might think. It would be devastating for her mother. For someone who loved to be outside all of the time this was extremely hard and not to get dirty was nearly impossible.21 blowing things up. even when Meredith was just a little girl. but people looked down one those who never tested into anything. Then she started to worry about not being able to test into anything at all. Of course though. Sabrina.

NEED MORE The drive with her parents seemed to last double what it should have had taken. Her mom kept talking about how going to this school was such a great opportunity for Meredith. fix this later) Hearing a door slam.(She is creative and messy.22 choose from. The building was fairly new and had an almost industrial look to it. her room looked sparse compared to other people she knew. she looked out the window and muttered a few choice words. coming up the driveway was Sabrina. Her dad kept reminding her that it was not that far from home and that it would always be her home and open to her. There went her last night at home down the drain. She could see the back side of the school expanding well into the distance. She did not need item or tons of pictures to remember events. all green and gold. It looked very majestic. This building was not falling apart. They almost missed the school the first time because it did not look like a school. and to little figurines on top of her dresser. . One parent would say something and the other one would say the exact opposite. no matter what. so they drove right past it. She had a few pictures up on the wall. It was almost like watching a ping pong ball game. The front of it was almost made up entirely of giant glass widows that reflected the trees that covered the front lawn.

I wonder who they hired to design it?” “I‟m sure that we can ask Dr. “Yes.” her mom said digging in her sleek leather bag.” her mother said excitedly. “Would you look at that building. Speaking of getting Meredith settled in. They looked like normal students enjoying one of the first days of school. . They did not look like they were being forced to be here against their wills or tortured every other night. I know that I have it here somewhere. the ones here you really don‟t have any work to do. I am sure you are right. let me find the map that has her room and classes on it. “There must be plenty of funding for them to be able to build a structure of that caliber. They were laughing and appeared to be having a good time. Warren those questions after we help get Meredith settled in.23 With all of the shining metal and gleaming glass she wondered if the sun was bright enough if someone could go blind if they looked at it from the right angle. Meredith could see a few students weaving their way in between the slender tree trunks.” her dad said as he pulled their car into a parking spot. When you spend all the time reconnecting with your friends after spending summers apart.

Finally. but it would be a new experience for her. using the much highlighted copy of the map they made their way to the main office without any trouble. but sometimes she felt like they were smothering her. Behind one of the desks was a grandmotherly looking . She thought that it was a good idea for Meredith to get used to the campus from the very start. they made their way to the main building. but Meredith‟s mother said that they had their map and that they wanted to see if they could navigate their way on their own. Sure enough. It seemed that they had her whole life planned out for her. after exiting the car after her mom had mapped out the short routes to each of her classes and all other possible reasons that she would have to go anywhere. She knew that they had her best interest in mind. Having to make a bunch of small choices for herself may not seem like such a big thing. She was used to having them put their input in her life. Some of them offered to help them find the office. Maybe being not normal was actually going to work in her favor this time. Several of the students and people they assumed to be part of the faculty waved and smiled at them. She wondered how it was going to be when they left.24 Meredith kept looking out the window as her parents debated over which way would be the quickest way to get from her third class period to her fourth class period.

her glasses bouncing around the desk she was behind. by the way. that was what Meredith wanted. In walked one of the most interesting looking guys she had ever seen. I want you to know that we are very happy to have Meredith joining us here at the school. “You must be the Nolana family. If you want to make yourselves comfortable. He was gorgeous in a conventional manner. he was too rough . but he will be delayed for a little bit longer due to some unforeseen circumstances. to tell all of her secrets and fears to a sixty five year old woman. she spoke too soon.” she said.25 woman with a very large amount of brightly red colored hair. Warren will be able to see us?” her mother asked. The door opened and Meredith looked over at who had just walked in. Warren wanted me to relay that he is very sorry. “I‟m glad to know that Meredith will have someone she can go to if she needs to. I am Mrs. I will let you know when he is available. I like to think of myself as a surrogate grandmother to all of the students here. Did her mom ever stop to think about how humiliating some of things that she said were? Thankfully there were no other students in the office to overhear this horrific conversation that was being held. Do you think that we have enough time to put her things in her room before Dr. Oh no. Her glasses hung on a very old looking chain around her neck. Ranhaun. Dr. Yeah.

” Mrs. Dr. Meredith cast a look back at him as they left and he smirked at her before she closed the door. “Please have a seat Jarvis. Warren talk with you when he can. but not boring. It was what Meredith had expected it to be. if you hurry. He likes to meet with the family together before a student starts classes. but a pale shade of melted butter. It was a moderate size. Two of the walls each had an abstract print on them that were not too crazy. not too small. two dressers. but just enough room for two beds. Because this is a special school there are some special rules of course. It is an honnor I‟ll let him know where you are if he is finished before you are back. . Ranhaun said. “I suppose that you might have just enough time to drop her stuff off. The walls were not stark white. One bed was already made with a thick bright orange and green comforter loosely thrown on it. Three mismatched shoes were peeking out from underneath the bed.26 looking for anyone to say that about him. His looked like one of the cocky guys who was used to getting what he wanted whenever he wanted. and a small walk way between the two sides of the room. She immediately did not like him and his smug walk. Of course they found the room without any delay.” she said curtly to the boy who had entered the office. so that everyone is aware of what is expected.

I‟m sure that it will be fine. I hope you weren‟t expecting a huge room and a bathroom all to yourself. It made her kind of sad. “No. It wasn‟t like I was expecting a palace or anything. . it is just a school after all. It wasn‟t that they really fought or anything.27 Placing her bags on the unmade bed her dad looked around the room.” her mom said walking to the door.” Meredith said smiling at him. Meredith and her dad followed her out of the door. She knew that they would not get along all of the time. but she hoped that they would not get stuck in such a rut that they just went through the motions. Her mother was nothing if not punctual and a rule follower. Sometimes she wondered how her parents got together. she thought that people should be in love and at least of a little bit of fun together. “We should get back to the office. “I guess it‟s not so bad. we do not want to keep your new principal waiting.” he said trying to lighten the mood. now do we. She hoped when she found who she was going to spend the rest of her life with that he was fun and supportive of her. it‟s a nice room. it was just they never showed anything of much to each other.

Go ahead and go on in. Warren‟s office. He exuded an air of confidence that surprised her. like he was going to say something. Dr. rather than in the normal school setting.” Meredith followed her parents into the dark room. She did notice that her dad would look at him and then shake his head. but it was right there under the surface. Ranhaun was just closing the massive wooden door that led to Dr. She wondered if it was just because of the pressure he was put under.28 When they got back to the office Mrs. then he did when she met him at her school. Warren. “Perfect timing. Warren just finished what he was doing. She could not quite put her finger on it. but he never did. Meredith zoned out as her parents discussed all of the normal boring adult things with Dr. Here he looked in control and like a man on a mission. sitting behind his desk. She did not think that she would want the responsibility of having all of these kids that he was enlisted to fix. The man behind the desk surprised her. But there was something almost sinister about him. She could see her mom‟s eyes get big and bright when the doctor went over the percentage of students who excelled here. . Meredith hoped it was because of the students who were able to test out and not because she was sending her away from the normal school where everyone knew that there was something not quite right with her daughter and she was embarrassed. He looked totally different here.

“How very efficient of you Mrs.” he said. he offered to give them a tour of the campus. then it was not true and not happening. I think that Sabrina. that she would test out when she was ready and that there was nothing wrong with that. Warren was done giving his little spiel. Her dad was now looking everywhere but at the doctor. “Meredith is the least organized of our children. like he was. But Meredith‟s mom declined stating that they had already been to each of the classrooms as well as the gym and recreational room. When Dr. He liked to say it was because she was so stubborn. our eldest child. It was as if he did not want to hear anything that the doctor was saying and if he did not hear it. took most of that gene and whatever was left skipped Meredith and found our son Gabe.” . “I wonder if some of your skills have been passed down to your daughter Meredith. but he always had a smile on his face when he said it. Her dad had always been the one who always said that Meredith fine the way she was.29 Maybe she was just relieved to know that there were other kids out there who had the same problems Meredith did and that there might be a chance that she was not a broken as they originally thought.” Her mother laughed. Nolana.

.” Dr. but I think that since classes have already began maybe it would be best to let her join the other student right away. though. “Now. One of the theories that we have come up with is that certain students are not testing out because they think in a different way than most other people.” Dr. “Meredith makes up for her lack of organization with how creative she is.30 “But. Warren said scouring the grounds around them. I will leave it up to you as a family to decide. Looking at both of her parents she made the choice for them. I know that you had planned on staying the night to help get Meredith settled in. well. their complications. you know. I do not want her to feel awkward.” he said with a proud smile.” her dad interrupted. you know how sensitive kids this age are and with. we like it when students think outside of the box. “Being creative is a good thing to be also. Meredith looked around and saw that it was between classes now and a few of the students were milling around. Some of them kept looking their way and when they were caught staring quickly found something else to look at. it makes the situation a little more sensitive than most. Warren said a little bit less enthusiastic then he had when he answered her mother just a second ago. She can come up with solutions that no one else would even consider and usually faster than anybody else too.

” she said. . she might be able to fly under the radar. even with a low score. She could be herself. She did not want other students to label her a baby who needed mommy and daddy around to hold her hand because she was scared. She would not always be compared to so and so. Any score would be better than no score at this point. She was here with others who were like her. People here would not know that her sister received one of the highest test out scores ever or that her brother was one of the youngest kids ever to test out. her mom would be so relieved and her dad would be so proud of her. She breathed a sigh of relief because she was all by herself. she walked back to her new room and set on her bed. Now she would not stick out so much. She wanted them to stay. at least for the night.31 “You guys can go if you want to. It took her mom about three seconds to decide that it would probably be for the best if they went ahead and left. Here she could just be Meredith who has not tested out. that she was a big girl and would not get lost on the campus by herself. but she knew that they should go. After seeing her parents off. I‟ll be fine. she would already be one of the oldest ones to do so. Plus if they did fix her here and she tested out.

Age 17 and have not even tested out at a level one yet. some people think that he should test out again and then he would probably be a level nine or even a ten.” she said all in one breath. “Hi. do you?” Donahue asked plopping herself on Meredith‟s bed. tested out at the age of eleven at a level seven. Looks like you know all about me already. Sabrina.32 The door being forced opened interrupted Meredith‟s thoughts. Hey. . All she did was sit on her bed staring and moaning about what a failure she was because she could not test out. I „m Donahue. “Wow. is a level nine and your brother. I guess that saves me the problem of introducing myself.” Meredith said. is there anything else you would like to know about me? Or is there anything else that you would like to tell me about myself I should say?” “I think that I‟m going to like you. Coming in the room was one of the most LATER girls she had ever seen. “Well. I have not seen her yet this year so hopefully she did this summer so I won‟t have to hear her bitch and moan all day every day. and I‟m guessing that you are Meredith Nolana. She had the hugest smiles on her face that Meredith had ever seen. Your older sister. Gabe. Though. You are much more interesting than my last roommate. you don‟t mind loud music and people in the at all hours.

I do like my music loud. I used to play with it and try to take it off of her so I could wear it. I‟ll help you survive this “special” school for us rejects. “Maybe when we have more time you can tell me some of those stories. They really play it up for the new students. Be glad that you got me for a roomie. but she never let me. where did you get it?” she asked.” she said pulling Meredith off of the bed . though there is a mandatory dinner we need to get to. Right now. though.” she said. I remember she wore it all the time and never took it off. “My grandmother gave it to me the day she died. I‟m just kidding. that is a cool bracelet.” was all Meredith could come up with. I‟m not exactly a people person. because tomorrow we come back down to reality to boring dinners and not so much flash. I „ll introduce you to the people you need to know and also show you those you should stay away from.33 “Um. She would tell me stories about each stone and while I was getting lost in them I would completely forget that I wanted to wear it. “You should see your face. but I am quite accommodating so I am sure we can work something out. Hey. At least about having people in the room all of the time. Do not get used to it.

It was as if they were swept under the rug because they were an embarrassment to their homes and families. because you did not hear about them. The chairs were a little bit too rustic looking and the tables were too new to be antique. The room was not quite full. It looked more like a throw back from an earlier era or somebody‟s grandparents had designed it. They must be from all over the country. though. She did not think that so many would not have tested out.34 Chapter The dinning hall was not what Meredith thought it would be like. this was not very modern at all. It had a feeling like it was supposed to be homey. She thought that all of the fake flowers were over doing it. With what she had seen of the rest of the school. Meredith was shocked to see so many. maybe only about one hundred and seventy five to two hundred kids were in there. . but it felt forced. or at least people did not talk about them that much.

a feeling that they might be able to find out what was wrong with them and get it fixed. because anybody that hangs out with me becomes cool by association. Here.” . she had pictured all of the quite. though. If you include me these are the cool people. In a way they were free to be who they were. At home they were the outcast. they are in fact twins. but only I can call her Pieces. they were all alike. They had a sense of hope. the ones who were embarrassed about what they hadn‟t been able to do yet.” she said nodding to the blonde girl.” she said pulling Meredith across the floor. Seated next to her is Ryland. Meredith breathed and it was if a weight had been lifted off of her.35 It was noisier then she expected. “This is Ryse. let me show you the people who suck the least here and are almost cool enough to hang out with. It made sense to her once she started to think about it. “Yes. She stopped when they came to a table with a girl and two guy seated at it. withdrawn kids with their heads down. Maybe a few of them would be laughing. She felt Donahue tug on her sleeve. like the candy. and if you can‟t tell. but definitely not all of them. “Here. And the other guy there is Griffin.

Perfect herself in all of her glory. like they were better than everyone else and they knew that everyone knew it. It was the way the students held themselves. Perfect over there. Even Meredith knew that the table across the room was that table and she had only been at the school for less than one day. There was always the it table at a school. She was smiling. . Her eyes were drawn to a girl sitting down.” Griffin said scooting over to make room for the two girls to sit down. she is so full of coolness that she cannot contain it all so it spills forth onto us and we are just so lucky that she picks us for her leftovers. This table is always the loudest and filled with laughing that is always louder than any other.36 “Yeah. but not laughing. “That‟s Neesha. Miss. “Please tell us how you really feel about her.” Donahue said. Instantly Meredith knew that this was the girl they were talking about. “Who is that? The girl sitting over there?” Meredith asked. “But I guess that we should be grateful that she chose us and not anyone else” “By anyone I think that he means Miss.” Donahue said tilting her head over to a table far across the room. There was something about her that gave off power and energy.” Griffin said with a smirk.

” Ryse suggested.37 “She has no right to be all uppity. Now that is a load of malarkey if I ever heard one. we are failures. Now she is trying to blame them for her not testing out. I heard that they spent a ton of money on private tutors when she was not the first one to test out of her class. cause I sure don‟t see one and if I did I would shove it‟s horn right up her-” Griffin said. “Well. “Maybe she‟s just embarrassed and that‟s her way of dealing with it. Just goes to show you that money cannot buy you everything you want. She is here for the same reason we all are. I bet she‟s not that bad once you get to know her. She has her nose so far up in the air just because her parents are beyond rich.” Donahue raved. it must be an invisible pink unicorn.” Donahue shrieked. now all I am going to see is her with a unicorn horn shoved in places I do not want to think about. It‟s bad enough that I have to look at her every day. . One time last year she said that she can‟t test out because the tutors filled her with so much knowledge that she can‟t decide on which one she wants. “Gross! I do not want visuals. She thinks she‟s so special she probably thinks she should show up to school riding on a pink unicorn.

I will always . He‟s a little more easy going.” Donahue said. your mom must be a hoot to live with. she wouldn‟t get lost anyway. You‟re lucky to be rooming with Donahue Meredith. “There‟s nothing wrong with that. my dad kind of evens it out. She always wants to see the bright side of whatever is going on. At least you have someone to show you the ropes.” Donahue said smiling. I bet that there are at least twenty four ways for her to get to each class.” Ryland interjected. Hey. Man.” Griffin said. It even includes estimated times on how long it will get her to get from where ever she is. “ She‟s not that bad.” “They‟re supposed to start in about ten minutes. You should see the map her mom highlighted for her. “Oh. but she has my best interest at heart.” Griffin said. Maybe she is a little controlling. They‟re giving the newbies a chance to find the dining hall. Besides. “She just wants to believe that everybody has some good in them. I just don‟t think that Neesha has any good in her.” “I don‟t believe that everybody is evil.38 “Ryse here is our positive thinker. I discriminate on a person by person case. You know how most of them keep getting lost the first few days. “What time is dinner supposed to start? I am starving.

“Donahue isn‟t even her first name. Wow.39 know where I am supposed to be.” Meredith said. I‟m starving.” Ryland said. She practically had to raise all of her brothers and sisters. That‟s why she takes people under her wing. Look. “Donahue‟s just jealous because she never had a mom to take care of her. At least I talked her out of making me a color coded calendar that would have taken up an entire wall. they really out did themselves this year. here comes the food. No one knows her first name except Dr.” Ryse said turning bright red. . trying to laugh it off. Warren. “I don‟t care who or why they‟re doing. she was still her mom. As much as her mom upset her. so bring it on. it‟s just girl talk.” Ryse leaned over and whispered in Meredith‟s ear. she has always done it and she does not know how to stop. Wonder who they‟re trying to impress?” Donahue muttered under her breath. It looks like they have a lot more than they did last year. “Oh.” “Hey what are you guys whispering about? Didn‟t anyone ever tell you it was rude not to include everyone?” Griffin said. It‟s her last name.

Maybe she could eat a little bit. I will just say heavenly and leave it at that. She closed her eyes for a moment and just enjoyed the aroma that filled her nose.” Donahue said. I don‟t know if I am going to be able to eat that much anyway. so she would not offend any of the cooks. “It‟s O. And that was just the main course. They have every thing that you can imagine and then some. Donahue was not kidding. Last year I swear that they cooked at least four or five whole cows and about six dozen chickens.. I‟m kind of nervous. When it looked like there was enough food to feed at least three times the amount of people who were present they stopped bring the platters.” he replied looking down. Meredith‟s stomach grumbled at the smell and sights that were surrounding her. well. And they desserts. Once the servers started bringing out the food everybody in the room got quiet.” “I am not that bad.40 “This boy can eat everything in sight and he is still a sack of bones.” Donahue said. She hated to hurt anyone‟s feelings. The food just kept coming and coming. “Oh.” Meredith said looking around at all of the new faces. “Watch your plate because he has been known to steal stuff right off of other people‟s plates without asking. . you won‟t be saying that once you see all of the food they bring out.K.

Like being shipped off half way across the country was going to trigger something that does not want to be triggered. too. “Well. Nothing like a little bit of sibling riveraly to bring out the best in a person. Certain people were louder than others.41 Once the plates were filled the students resumed their conversations. But we got the maybe if one of you start then the other one will. . my parents that that it might be a good place for me to get the help that I need to be able to live up to my full potential. even if it is there in the first place. Parents love to use that line when they do not know what to do with you anymore. our parents had to ship two of us off.” she replied. But then I also got the being in a new surrounding might jump start the process. tell me why you chose to come to our humble school?” Griffin asked wiping a stray piece of turkey off of his chin. I heard that one.” Ryaland said. “At least it was only one of you. “The old live up to your full potential line. “So. Meredith. The room became filled with oohs and ahhs over what people were eating and what they had done over the summer.” Griffin said with some animosity in his voice. but everyone at Meredith‟s table refused to look over at that table.

Bring on what ever case they want to make me. She wondered if they had some sort of mental communication that you hear that only twins have. Then she saw that their mouths were barely moving. but if I get to eat food like this I do not care. So. Donahue was eating as if nothing had happened. . She seemed to be enjoying her food. Everyone at the time kind of fell silent after that little tirade. I am a nut case according to my father and a hard case according to the school.” she said and stuffed a gigantic bite of some sort of meat into her mouth. Luckily I found out about this place and they were willing to take a freak like me in. another plus is that I do not have to pay any sort of tutition because I am what they call a hard case. my dad told me that if I did not leave that I would probably pass this genetic flaw down to my little brothers and sisters.42 “I think that I have all of you guys beat. I do not know which one is worse. Griffin was consintrating so hard on cutting his meat up that Meredith thought that he was trying to get each piece of meat exactly the same size. so they were just reading each other‟s lips. He ran me off the moment I turned sixteen and did not test out. Ryland and Ryse kept glancing over at each other but not saying anything.

but almost celebrating. exceopt of course Donahue. It was very surreal and she wondered when she was going to wake up. Warren said raising his glass of sparkling drink. I know that it may be hard for those of you who are joining us for the first time. but they were not ashamed of what they were.43 A bell sounded through out the room.” Dr. “I would like to welcome back all of our students. new and those who are returning to us. I hop that all of you had a nice and relaxing summer. Let us all raise our glasses and toast to the start of a brand new year that will bring forth a new generation of young adults. Not hiding what you were. Meredith looked up and noticed that everyone was putting their hands in their laps and not eating anymore. They were hopeful that they would change. I hope that you will all find friends and comrades in some of our returning students. . who she thought did not like to follow any rules and like to make up her own. Remember that even if you do not test out this year I hope that you will continue to grow and learn and push yourselves like you have never done before. The room was filled with glasses clinking against each other and people saying what a wonderful year it was going to be. They will be a guide for you. It was almost dream like Meredith thought.

at least she hoped that Donahue was her friend. Meredith was so full that she thought that she was going to explode and the fact that her friend. not letting that come between . kept making her laugh. She wanted to think that she would have been a better friend. It hurt really bad at first. Once Rebekka tested out it was as if she thought that Meredith was less than her. that she was not worth anything. It felt good to just let go and let it come out.44 Chapter Walking back from the dinning hall with Donahue was hard. She did not realize how much she missed hanging out with other people her age that did not look down on her. Would she want to hang out with someone who had not et. but then she thought what if she was the one who tested out first. She had not laughed this long and hard in such a long time.

There is no hand book. thinking that something might rub off onto them. It was almost funny if you stepped back and looked at it. so you just kind of have to remember them. but trying to look at the situation from an out side perspective she was not quite so sure. comparing levels and only wanting to be around those who had the same level? She hoped she would not be one of the ones who only wanted to be around higher levels. Here she was trying to get fixed for her parents. Did they get sent home immeadiatly or was there some sort of training cource to help them intergrate back into society. Here she wondered what happened to those who tested out. Would she turn out to be one of those women who were always whispering behind people‟s backs. She thought that people should be happy with who they were. Donahue threw their door open. She did not know if she would like the person she might become. “I guess that I will have to be the one who helps you with all of the rules and regulations.” she exclaimed launching herself onto her bed. not hanging around someone like a small sad. but it should be done with hard work. “Home sweet home. lost puppy dog. but she was not so sure she wanted it for herself. Those ones were the worst ones in her eyes. there was nothing wrong with trying to improve yourself. .45 them. Sure. At least have a little respect for yourself.

Maybe they are trying to protect their kid. How ridiculous is that. What if the situation affected their job or something. results. so that no one knows who they really are. No one knows why or who did it. I have met most of them when they are . I know it was hard on me to not test out. Parents pay big bucks. is what this is all about. especially if they do not want people to know that their kids are here. some teen age kid having to use a fake name so their parents can keep it a secret that they are here.” “Why don‟t they want the rules written down? Wouldn‟t it be easier to have them in a book so no one ever forgts?” Meredith asked.” Meredith said. There are rumors going around that certain students use alias.46 Someone tried to write it down. but when ever some new student tries to write them down so they do not forget them they disappear. “Maybe a few of the parents do actually have their kids in mind.” “I guess I can kind of understand why some parents want it kept a secret. but it was confiscated. but I bet that the majority are doing it for purely selfish reasons. “Who knows why they do what they do here. Parents don‟t complain because most of the time it gets results and that. my dear.

Warren suggested that they might want to leave so that I could get adjusted without them here because classes had already started. but if you fall asleep in the middle of it I am not going to repeat them and then if you break any of them I will just let them feed you to the lions because you fell asleep on me.” she said. trying to make the adjustment for the kids easier. I bet he did that with the other parents. Most do not even stay the night. so they would not be mortified at having to be seen with their parents in front of everybody. Donahue just shook her head. Now. but when it does it can be heart wrenching to watch. “Even if kids are dropped off in the middle of the summer and there‟s no one around and the parents and the kid wants them to stay he makes them leave.47 dropping their kids off.” “Why don‟t you tell me about these secret rules that I can never write down or I‟ll have my hand cut off and then put into a frame to remind me to follow the rule?” Meredith said trying to lighten the mood. granted that situation does not happen very often. “Fine. but Dr. . They are usually in a pretty big hurry to leave after dropping the kid off.” “My parents were going to stay.” she said seeming to be in a better mood.

Meredith had thought that it was not being able to tell anyone outside of the school what type of classes they were taking. She should have listened to her mom when she told her to unpack as soon as she got back to her room so that her clothes would have time to hang. She was surprised that she wasn‟t more tired. but now it was going to be different because she did not have her mom around to tell her what to do any more. even under the most dire of situations. “What fun is there if you can‟t even sneak off of the campus for some torrid teen age fun? I mean how much fun can you have sneaking around if you have to bring a chaperon?” Dragging herself out of bed. she was still up at the crack of dawn. but it did not do much. just because her mind was racing and going one hundred miles per minute did not mean that her body wanted to do the same. She needed to . She tried to shake as many wrinkels out as she could. Donahue digressed and said that it was they were never. She pulled out a pair of pants and a favorite shirt.48 Though Meredith was up all night giggling with Donahue. Maybe it was the fact that she was in a new place and about to start a new school. ever. She was always thinking that she should have done what her mother had said. to leave the campus without one of the adult chaperons. She knew that she had a few classes and thankfully lunch with Donahue because they had compared their schedules while discussing which of the rules was the worst one.

“Could you make any more noise? Geez. but I am defiantly not a morning person. she thought to herself.49 start doing things on her own and taking responsibility for her own actions. When did I get to be so old. MORE HERE LATER . you could wake sleeping beauty with as much as you make. I don‟t know if I told you this. I don‟t become a person until after two in the afternoon. Heck.

looking directly at Donahue. it looked kind of neat. like I‟m going to spend my free time sitting around looking up at the sky and trying to keep a clean and pure mind. Lateme said. “Yeah.” Miss.” Meredith looked at Donahue and tried not to burst out laughing. it is crucial for you to have a clear mind and heart. I do not think that it was ever clean to start with. so please do not blow it off. “Now. but I will not do that every day.” Donahue said.” Miss. even if the teacher was a little too much into it. If you fight it the process becomes harder and then it will result in failure for the day. Lateme said with pleading eyes. I am going to give you some work to do tonight. She did not want to get in trouble in this class.50 “When you are testing for your powers . If you are having a bad day I can give you a few minutes to try and find a focus. . How are you supposed to know what is really trying to come through if you are filled with thousands of thought and images floating around in your head? Become one with yourself and do not try and fight it. class. “She‟s just mad because I never could find focus. It will help you if you keep practicing. Donahue smiled and leaned over to whispered to Meredith. it was not like I was doing it on purpose because this is such a lame ass class.

then that will motivate her to try as well. Sitting down she tried ot to make any noise because it looked like her teacher had reached the point that she was trying to tell the students about. When class was over Meredith waved by to Donahue and waited for her teacher to come and talk to her. She should. because this is what it was like out in the world. but not enough to notice if you were far away. I hope that you have a wonderful day.” and then her floating teacher was silent once more. She has so much potential and I don‟t think that she sees it. if you do not mind. Her face looked so peaceful and still.51 “Miss. It is such a waste. Just enough to see space between her and the grass. Maybe if she sees you trying. Meredith nodded and spent the next few minutes trying to keep her friend quiet. Meredith did not think that she would ever get used to this school. though. Nolana. she waved at Meredith to come over and join her sitting in the overly green grass. Lateme said. . “I do hope that you are not going to let Miss. I would like to speak with you when the class is over. Seeing people use their powers and knowing that she did not have any was something that she was going to have to get used to. Meredith did a double take and realized that her teacher was floating just a few inches off of the ground. Donahue keep you from taking this class seriously.” Miss. Instead.

Don‟t you think that it is just a little ironic that a school for discovering powers was drawn by a person who never got his? I bet that‟s one little fact they do not put in the brochure.52 Being one of the oldest here meant that she had missed the deadline for her to get help. Looking over at the guy beside her she felt her heart skip a beat. he‟s so cute kind of way. they waited for you to be a certain age before they started worrying about you and trying to come up with ways to fix you. They are just gone one day. then there was no hope for you and you either became a burden on you family or most of the time they just disappeared. Whether it was on their own or the doing of others. never to be seen again. Lateme. Not in the Oh my goodness. Shaking her head she told herself that she needed to get out of this way of thinking and start being more positive. so she took her time getting there and sat down on one of the concrete benches. no one knows. That is what sucked about this whole thing. Wow.” a smooth voice said from beside her. It was more of the Holy crap he looks just like the guy . Pulling out her map she recalled where her next class was and saw that she still had a few minutes. she sounded like Miss. “You know that the person who designed this building never manifested his powers. But if they waited too long.

She thought it was odd that Donahue knew. “Well. I‟m Corr. but how was she supposed to do that if they all knew everything about her. but hey. She was wishing to make a clean start. she probably hacked into the system to find out information about her new roommate.” It took her a moment to realize that she had never told him her name. I need to get the hell out of here kind of skipping. It was actually not a bad idea to know something about the person you were going to be living with for a year. Now she was mad.” “Why would you be sorry for me?” she asked. that was just too much of a coincidence. then. some random guy who had sat beside her on a bench knew her name. the rest goes without saying. Standing up he waved. But now. “See you around Meredith. and I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am. Since she couldn‟t pick up her stuff and start running away she just shrugged her shoulders. “Anyway. What was going on here? .” he said and then he shrugged his shoulders. well. if you have to come her to this school. Why did everybody here seem to already know everything about her.53 from my nightmares. By the time she turned around to ask him how he knew her name he was gone.


Hearing the warning bell, it was an actual bell that was in the middle of the campus, she started to run, so that she would not be late to her next class. As she was sliding into her seat, she had started to calm down. That lasted all of five seconds. Looking around to see who else was in class she caught the boy from the bench, Corr, smirking at her. Even his name made her mad. Corr, what kind of name was that anyway? Why was he smiling at her, it was not as if he even knew her, well, he knew her name, but he did not know her, so he had no right to smile at her. She wondered where this was coming from. She never let herself get mad like this. What was this place doing to her? She needed to refocus and put all of her energy into testing out, so she could start her life. As the teacher, Mr. Blankman, called roll she listened for Corr‟s name so she could find out his last name so she could have Donahue dig up some information on him. She figured it was only fair, since he knew about her that she should find out about him. Turn about is fair game. Looking down she realized that she was playing with her bracelet again. She wondered if she did this as much at home and had just never noticed it or if she was just playing with it because she was in a new setting. She saw that Corr was watching her, well, he was watching her bracelet. She quickly covered it with her hand and then put them in her lap. Listening to the


teacher she realized that he never called Corr‟s name. Had he lied about what his name was. He must have known that she would hear his name somewhere, so why would he lie about what it was? She bet that he was one of those rich kids Donahue was saying used an alibi here. Now she was really intrigued. But it would have to wait until after class, because Mr. Blankman was already starting to furiously scribble notes on the board. By the end of the class Meredith thought that her hand was going to fall off. She did not think that she had ever taken so many notes in such a short amount of time. This was one class that she would have to pay attention in, Mr. Blankman mentioned that he was very fond of giving pop quizzes. At least it was an interesting class. She never knew that people used to be able to go to the Other Side whenever they wanted to. She was so used to there being rules and only certain people being able to go. She wondered what it was like over there, she had only heard stories about it. She did not know anybody who had gone over. She always pictured them in dark cloaks floating in the shadows to remain unseen. Maybe there were spies, sent by the government to keep tabs on what they were doing and stealing the technology that we loved to use, but was hard for us to create over here. Then this made her wonder if anyone from the O. S. had ever come over here to our side. Her sister used to tell her that if she ever told on her that men


from the O. S. would come over here and take her away. She had never heard of any reports stated that there was ever any activity showing people crossing over onto our side. The tales of children being kidnapped by Other Siders was just to keep them scared so that they would behave. The rest of her day went by pretty quickly. Lunch was eventful, but that was because Donahue decided that she was going to show Meredith exactly why she should not eat the mashed potatoes. After having been assigned cleaning duty after school for a week Donahue then had to stay when lunch was over and scrape mashed potatoes off of the ceiling. She said it was totally worth it if it prevented more students from the agony of trying to digest the potatoes. Because her roommate had her punishment after school Meredith had about an hour and a half to be by herself in their room. She figured that she would get caught up on her homework, since she was a few days behind. Most of her school books were the same that she had at her old school, but there were two that she had never seen before. One was horribly thick, but the other one was surprisingly thin. She picked up that one first. How To Channel Your Inner Self. This was a real book? She flipped it over to see who wrote it, oh, by Doctor Remyin Warren. That‟s why we have this book, the principal wrote it. The title

thanking her mom for the map. She could hear laughter coming from a room down the hall. If it worked for some people. Flipping through it she wasn‟t quite sure what to think. She guessed it worked for some people because parents kept sending their kids here. though. as her grandmother used to say. It talked about finding your true self by looking deep and accepting what you see. but then again she had never been at a boarding . She set the book down and tried to start on the rest of her homework but she just could not focus on anything. She found it a little strange. You would figure that a doctor could come up with a better title for the book that he wrote.57 sounds so cheesy. Where it got weird was when it said to nurture it like it was a child and let it grow. wasn‟t it your personality? Maybe she just did not understand all of the “new age fru-fru stuff”. If it was you. that it had its own personality. Not too bad. something that most people knew. and that she would try to get ahold of them later on in the week. She went out into the hallway to use the phone to call her mom and dad. She was a little sad that she hadn‟t been able to talk to them but she knew that she would talk to them soon. She got the answering machine and left a message telling her parents that she was doing fine. It sounded like there was a party going on. whatever.

Being out in the open helped her to feel better. and that wouldn‟t make much of a difference. after all. She watched as a guy opened the door just a crack. . maybe this was an everyday occurrence. but she did not want to. they were teenagers.58 school. I was easier to breathe and to think. Her mom would always yell at her to come in when it was raining. She was not surprised that this rule was being broken. so she should come in now or none of her clothes would fit her anymore. but her dad would say that she was just a little wet and all that she needed was a towel. Instead of going back to her room she decided to take a walk. She would be soaking wet and her dad would come and scoop her up and tell her that she had been watered enough to grow another inch. She recognized that he was the guy who was in the office the day that her parents dropped her off. she just felt freer outside and not in a building. it always had ever since she was a little girl. looked up and down the hallway and then ran out. It wasn‟t like she would commune with nature. Meredith remembered that one of the rules that Donahue had told her was that no boys on the girl‟s floor and no girls on the boy‟s floor. “Can I join you?” a voice interrupted her train of thought. Her mom was always so made. She would laugh and beg just for a few minutes more and he would say five more minutes meant another tenth of an inch.

favorite movies. since it is for your research. but was always afraid to be. If she was going to start a new school maybe she could be a little bit more of what she wanted to be. you know all the usual. dislikes. Wow.59 Looking up she say that it was Jarvis. What did you find out about my favorite type of music?” she asked. You know. “I‟m Meredith. “I‟m Jarvis. The only thing that I could not find out was what type of movies was your favorite. They walked for a while. “Sure. We always try to find out all about the new kids. “It‟s not that I don‟t know you. things like how many times they‟ve been tested. grades. I just did not know your name. neither one of them saying anything. and you are?” he asked. music. . somebody here who did not know who she was yet. she was impressed. It was kind of nice just to walk with someone else and not having to make idle chit chat. the boy from the office and the one she saw sneeking out of the room down the hall just a little while ago. There is just something so bad that makes it good.” she said.” she said. “Well. if you know what I mean. likes. So will you tell me so that I can say that I have finally finished my research?” he asked. I love horrible cheesy movies. I guess I could tell you. family history.

I have to go meet some people to study. then I‟ll be sure not to put it in the top drawer of my desk. Could this place get any more strange? . “I‟ll be sure not to look there. Meredith continued to walk further away from the school. Meredith Nolana.60 “There has been some debate about that. Maybe I‟ll see you around sometime. but she never told him her last name. “Well. I probably won‟t make my final conclusion about that until I steal your music collection myself.” he said turning around and walking back towards the school. It took her a while to catch what he said. He said he did not know her name. She felt like a fool. I enjoyed our walk.” she said back.” he said smiling at her. Well.

It was the bunnies that creeped her out. “Hey. Reisky clean out all of the animal cages in her room. or lizards the most.61 Chapter After classes the next day Meredith decided to stick around and keep Donahue while she completed her cleaning of random school rooms. she just felt that having all of the animal around helped the students relax and if they were relaxed then they would be able to absorb what she was teaching easier. It was weird. . She wasn‟t even a science teacher. snakes. She wasn‟t sure if she liked the rats. though. but Meredith agreed with her on this. Today it was helping Mrs. She just felt like there was something off about them and she did not know why. you wanna come over here and scoop some poop for me?” Donahue asked holding out a bag. Mere.

Setting the bag down on the counter beside her she walked over to where Meredith was standing and put her hands on her shoulders. so think very carefully about how you answer my question. “Yeah.” she said with less enthusiasim. You need to hang around be more often. “Yes. Turning around Donahue stared at Meredith with a very serious look on her face. I‟ll help you transition into an honest to goodness real seventeen year old girl who does not say words like poppy out in public. Did you just seriously say poopy?” Looking at her Meredith was confused. that would be great. You are a danger to your reputation and I am the only one who can save you from yourself. god! You did not even realize it. If I get caught I‟ll probably end up with detention and then I won‟t be able to keep you company.62 “Um. And what fun would it be to scoop poopy by yourself?” she asked. no thanks? I will hold the bag for you though.” .” she finally said. “Don‟t knock free help. my. “I am only going to ask you this one time. “Oh. Donahue burst into laughter. how about that?” she said with a smile.

“Is this the same grandmother who gave you that cool bracelet? I would have loved to meet her. The only things that I remember about either of my grandmothers was that they always smelled like old ladies and that one of them could make me the best hot coco just by thinking about it. she sounds like she was a lot of fun. Basically. make a drunken sailor blush?” she barely got out. let‟s just say that . My brother could do the same. Well. That was the coolest power you could have when you were a five year old. “Yeah. “It was something that my grandmother would say.” she said. but when it‟s called for I can make a drunken sailor blush.” “What does that even mean. they could make stuff move without you seeing it move. It never worked on me. I thought that it was the funniest thing so I always remembered it. accelerate molecules and stuff.” Donahue said. I‟m not someone who goes around cursing up a storm. All my mom could do was calm angry people down. that would be. I remember thinking that it was the neatest thing that anyone could do at the time.” Meredith said shrugging a weird feeling off. part of her and all that stuff. “I am not some goody two shoes. I guess that was because I was her daughter.63 Meredith could not help but join in the laughter. you know. “My parents did the normal.

“The government pays you good money. Plus. I want to be able to read people. I am so tired of not being able to do anything. I do not like the idea of anyone in my head and I do not even want to imagine what I might find digging around their mind.” Meredith said. as long as I have power over their minds. what they want. or should I say when. I want to be able to accelerate stuff so quick that I can make it explode. “If I get a power.64 he could clean his room a hell of a lot faster than I could. “See. I don‟t care which it is. My dad said that was how we got the . I once bribed him to do my room and all he did was mind shovel everything under my bed. though. I was grounded one week for not doing my job and another week for paying my brother to use his powers for non work related activities. feeling. “I don‟t want to be able to do that. What a waste of ten bucks. you never know what they might do if they found out I was in their head without them knowing it. that when I can I want to do something so big that everyone will notice what I can do.” Meredith said. I have heard that some people even get to go to the Other Side and work from over there. positive thinking and all that crap. What they are thinking.” she said waving her fingers in the air.” Donahue sighed. it freaks me out. I don‟t want anything to do with the mind.

let‟s talk about something fun and not serious. Yes.65 designs for most of our cars and phones. now?” she asked. Can you imagine what it is like there? I heard that one of the students here a couple of years ago found a way to cross over and he went back and forth at least a half a dozen times bringing stuff back before he got caught. why would go there. I don‟t know how you would. tell me about how much you love Corr. There are tons of security people all around the thresholds that lead over there. he may be kind of cute and is very funny. though. enough with the depressing talk.” Donahue said. . He thinks that he is God‟s gift to females. They would probably cut you open and dissect you to find out all about you. but he is such a pain in the ass. “I think that I would be too scared to do that. He infuriates me. God knows what they would do if they caught you over there. but I think that they just want us to be scared so that we do not try and go there.” Meredith said turning red. What would happen to you if you got caught? Is he in the prison. There are tons of things that supposedly happened to him. I would not mind having a few people hate me if I got paid to go over there and work. you would not want to use your powers.” she said with a grin. Oh. “I am not sure. K. O. Besides. “I do not love Corr. I know.

“Sounds like you have put a lot of thought into how Ryse would off you if you were to go out with and hurt Ryland.” Meredith said returning the grin. Trying to change the subject she said. “It‟s the quiet ones that you have to look out for. I‟ve seen the way you look at Ryland. I have a feeling that she would kill me in my sleep or something if I even thought about him in that way. so I have a lot of time to think about random stuff that most people don‟t. Besides. but you can‟t tell anybody about it.” she said shivering.” she said.” she said still grinning.66 “No. “Oh. but I know what a crush looks like when I see one. You give him a hard time. Even though Ryse is quiet.” Meredith said teasing her. “Ryland! There is no way that I would even think about liking him. I think about a lot of things. “I have something to show you. you don‟t like him at all. “Well. “So the only thing stopping you from going after Ryland is a five foot nothing girl. They are the ones who either poison you or hack you up into teeny tiny little pieces while you are asleep in your bed. Ryland.” . he‟s just so.” she answered. Don‟t tell me that he‟s just a friend. I don‟t sleep that much. so. who is quiet as a mouse?” Meredith said surprised.

“Fine. so you could not tell when one stopped and the other started. but the more she looked at it the more she could see in it. At first there did not seem to be a pattern. I promise that I won‟t say anything to anybody. Starting on her shoulder and scrolling down her arm was one of the most elaborate tattoos that Meredith had ever seen.67 “What is it?” Meredith asked.” Donahue looked around double checking to make sure that nobody had come through the door with in the last five seconds. “First you have to promise not to say anything. Slowly she rolled up her sleeve. The swirls melted and turned into one another.” she said. as if there was something in the ink to make it stand out. It was slightly raised. “If you don‟t have your powers why do you have that? I thought you were only allowed to get one done after you had proved what you could do .

68 .

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