Most kids would cry and refuse to go, if their parents told them they were sending them off to some boarding school. Well, that's not me. It's something I've dreamed of since I was six. It's not that I'm not content with the way my life is, it's just that the thought of being almost completely independent, has always seemed like something that would fit me just perfectly. To be honest, I never thought my dream would come true. When mum and dad had said they had some news they just had to share, this was the last thing I was expecting. It had always just been something we talked about around the dinner table, but now it was actually becoming reality. I am going to miss London, but I will visit as often as possible, so I'm not worrying too much, and I'm not the worrying-kind anyway. Well, someone I know I will miss, is Alek. We have been best friends since the first day of school, and of course saying good bye to him was heart braking. I can picture him so clearly in my mind; his wire-framed glasses, light brown, ruffled hair, and no sense of fashion whatsoever.
She quickly signed her diary entry, when she realized that she was on the edge of tears. As she blinked, a small droplet escaped her eye. She wiped it hastily away with the silk cuff of her sleeve, and checked if anyone had seen her. From what she could tell, she was the only one on the plane who was awake, everyone else were sleeping. The guy in the seat next to her, was leaning his massive bald head on his shoulder, and she feared that soon he would lean just a bit more over, and he would squash her. It was raining outside, but she didn't really mind. Rain never bothered her, nor did planes. It was the middle of the night, but as always, she didn't feel sleepy. She put her earphones in her ears, and turned on her IPod. Listening to classical music always cheered her up, maybe it would now as well. She curled her knees up to her chest, and as soon as Mozart filled her ears, a rush of security filled her entire body.
Her friends always mocked her from loving classical music, mostly because she looked like someone who would be more into pop, or something like that. Luna had shoulder length, honey blonde hair, dark hazel green eyes, and a heart shaped face. Most certainly not a classical-music-geeky-type. As the rain outside kept pouring down, and her playlist went from symphony to symphony, she fell asleep, just as the rest of the passengers on the flight headed to Maryland, USA.
Luna was abruptly woken by a sharp voice that informed the passengers that they were landing in fifteen minutes. She yawned, and glanced out the window. It had started to clear up, which was good. Yes, she didn't mind sitting inside, watching the rainfall, but being outside in it, was a whole different story.
Airports made her feel really claustrophobic, so getting out of that crammed place was a relief. The air was hot and humid, and smelled slightly of gasoline. She looked around to see if she could spot the bus that would take her to Ronda J. Peterson, the boarding school her parents had chosen for her. She had read on their website that they had students from all over the world, and that there would be several buses on the airport by six pm. She had already set her clock, and it read «17.30». I guess I'll just have to wait. She sighed over dramatically, and looked around for where the buses were going to be. She didn't have to look for long, because her eyes caught on a bright orange sign that said «Ronda J. Peterson Boarding School». Luna dragged her two, hot pink suitcases behind her, and walked over to a bench next to the sign. She sat down, and was just going to text her parents that she had arrived her destination safely, but almost dropped her cell phone, as a petite girl with bouncy, black curls and black eyes sat down next to her.
"Hi, I'm Zasha, with a «Z»," the new girl said, and held out her slim hand.
"Hi, I'm Luna, she replied," giving Zasha a firm handshake.
"Luna? That is such a cool name," Zasha said, and gave her one of those movie star-Colgate-grins that everyone in the US seemed to sport.
"Thanks, I like your name too. I don't think I've ever met someone named Zasha."
"Really? Well, thank u. That is a British accent, isn't it?"
"Yes, I'm from London."
" Wow, that's awesome. Are you going to Ronda J. Peterson Boarding School?"
"Yes, I just got off the plane."
"So did I, but not from England. I'm from Chicago," she smiled.
" So why do you go to school in Maryland?" As soon as she asked it, she immediately felt stupid, since London obviously was a lot farther away from Maryland than Chicago.
"I don't know, but out of all the boarding school's I've been to, this is where I've fit in the best, and I'm kind of getting sick of switching schools all the time." She shrugged.
"How many have you gone to?"
"Oh, I'm not quite sure to be honest. Around eight I would say, she replied," as if it was the most normal thing ever.
"I totally envy you, this is my first time being sent away to boarding school, and it's been my dream since I was a kid."
"Why?" She looked curious.
"I don't really know, I guess I just like being on my own."
"I'm not going to ruin this dream of yours, but boarding school isn't all fun and games. It's hard work, dedication, bla-bla-bla."
"That's one of the reasons I've wanted it so much."
"You don't look like the nerdy type, Zasha said," sounding skeptic.
"I may not look nerdy, but I am, pinky promise," Luna said as she nodded her head convincingly.
More and more students had gathered around the sign, and everyone was chit-chatting, probably catching up after a long summer. They all looked so unique, she thought. Probably because they had gathered from all across the world. She noticed a group of girls, who looked like they had tripped in their makeup bag, that were scowling at the rest of the crowd. Another group of pupils were speaking in a foreign language, and were gesticulating a lot.
"Oh, look! There's Tyler, I haven't seen him all summer." Zasha grabbed her hand, and dragged her up, off of the bench. A huge, chubby guy, with spiky blue hair and and a flushed face, grinned as he saw Zasha. She ran the last few feet, and threw her arms around him. He looked like a grizzly bear compared to her.
"Tyler, Luna, Luna, Tyler," Zasha said as she introduced them to each other.
"Hi," Luna said, holding out her hand.
" Oh. My. God. You're British?" asked Tyler, and almost squashed her hand. She didn't really answer, just nodded, because she was afraid if she opened her mouth, she would shriek. Tyler let go, and she rubbed her hand discretely. "I squeezed your hand to hard didn't I?"
"No, It's oka -"
"He does that a lot," Zasha interrupted.
"Oh, and just a FYI, Tyler's gay, so you don't have to worry about him crushing on you," she winked.
"What did you mean by that?" Tyler asked, and raised a dark, perfectly plucked eyebrow.
"She's gorgeous, duh, and I would so kill for her blonde hair," she added.
"Well, if you take her hair, can I have her pale skin?" Tyler asked, as he studied her.
"Since I now have no skin, nor hair, I'm pretty sure that I deserve Zasha's tanned skin, oh, and come to think of it, I'm pretty sure someone once told me I would look great with blue hair." They all laughed. Suddenly, they were interrupted by three green buses, that pulled up next to the sign. A middle aged man with a five o'clock shadow, and a biker jacket, jumped out of the bus.
"Everyone, please gather around! For all of you who are new, my name is Daxon Cutter, but all of you will call me Daxon. As the majority of you know, Miss Pyle has moved to South-Africa, therefore I am taking over as principal at Ronda. J. Peterson Boarding School. The crowd clapped and whistled, and Luna even heard someone say: «You go, man!»
"Okay, settle down. There will be quite a few changes this year, and all of that will be revealed at dinner, after all of you have settled down in your dorms. Oh, and your luggage will be taken care of, so just leave it here."
"He is the best teacher, anyone could ask for," Tyler whispered excitedly.
"What does he teach?" Luna asked, while they tried to push themselves threw the mass of other pushing people. God, she hated people who pushed in crowds.
"Last year, he taught History, but who knows what he's doing this year, since he's the principal as well," Tyler said, elbowing his way through the mass.
Finally, they had managed to get themselves on to the last bus, which was still partially empty. They sat down at the back, Luna getting the window spot, with Tyler in the middle.
"Ugh, soon we will have to change into school uniforms again. I hate those so much," Tyler complained.
"I looked at the website, they looked pretty cute compared to what we have to wear in England."
"Then your uniforms must look like crap," Zasha said in a raspy voice.
"They do," she confirmed, and stared out of the dirty window. They had gotten out on to the high way, and the sun was shining even brighter.
"So, how long is the bus ride?" Buses always made her feel sick, and this time was no exception. It was a combination of the sweaty smell, mixed with several different scents of perfume, that really did it.
"It usually takes about an hour," Tyler replied, and blew up his pink cheeks.
"So, tell us a bit more about you," Zasha said, turning around in her seat to look at her.
"Well, uh ... okay. I am an only child, I live in an old apartment with my mum Danielle, and my dad Acton. They're both journalists, by the way."
"I've always wanted to be a journalist," Tyler said admiringly.
"I will be sixteen on the nineteenth of December. I've gone to public school all my life, even though my mum really wanted me to go to a private school. My dad thinks private schools are stupid," she added.
"Why?" Zasha asked.
"He just does," she shrugged.
"Tell us something interesting, something about you, not your parents, like what music you like, or the boyfriends you've had," Tyler said encouragingly
"I usually only listen to classical music, and to be honest, I've never had a boyfriend, if you don't count kinder garden boyfriends."
"Oh my god, are you serious?" Zasha asked, looking as if the world had come to an end.
"I'm just more into school I guess."
They took turns on talking about themselves and their lives, and she actually felt like she knew every little detail about Zasha and Tyler. Everything from that Tyler had three older sisters, and was half Swedish, to that Zasha was adopted, and was blind as a bat with out her contacts. She felt so lucky for actually meeting two friends her first day, who were both really kind and welcoming.
The bus had gotten on to a smaller road, which then turned to a narrow gravelly road, and before she knew it, they were driving threw a thick, lush forest.
"Wow, this school is really in the middle of nowhere," Luna said.
"You betcha'!" Zasha said, and giggled.
Then the bus came to a halt, and she realized that they had arrived at a tall metal gate, and behind it she could see a glimpse of a huge modern building, with sharp lines and large windows.
"Wow, this is beautiful!" She hadn't really had any idea of what the place would look like, since the website hadn't really had any pictures of the actual school.
"Yep. It's pretty awesome," Zasha agreed. They all climbed out of the bus, and even though it was still the middle of the day, the air in the forest felt refreshing and cool, as she breathed in. Luna was definitely a total city girl, but she loved the smell of the outside so much. Everything just smelled so green. The students had gotten out of the bus, and they were gathering around a young woman, with short, chocolate brown hair and several facial piercings.
"Hey, everyone! U may or may not know who I am, so for all of you who are new here, my name is Adara Knightley, and I am going to be your new English teacher this year. We have a lot of new students this semester, and I can't wait to really get to know y'all! Adara spoke in a heavy southern accent, and seemed just as cool and laid back as Daxon. Wow, was every teacher at this school like this?
"Some of the students arrived yesterday, and have already found their rooms. Since the amount of students has doubled this year, everyone will be getting a roommate, but we have already chosen for ya, so don't waste your time asking to switch, cause that's just not gonna happen. Your suitcases have been placed in your dorm, and there's a list in both of the dorms, showing who's gonna be your new roomie. To get to the girls' dorm you go to the smaller building, over there to the right, and the boys' dorm is in the main building, just follow the signs. So, are all of ya exited for a new year?" The crowd cheered and clapped, just as they had when Daxon had told them, he was going to be their new principal. The gates opened, and the students started pouring in.
The outdoor space was so beautiful, she just kept staring. It wasn't very orderly or anything like that, but looked more like a huge English garden. Flowers in more colours she could imagine, were spread out, and dozens of tall trees surrounded the main building. She was in awe.
"I gotta go," said Tyler.
"Yeah, of course, we'll see you at dinner," Zasha said, waving good bye to him. They followed the rest of the girls, to a two story building across the perfectly mowed lawn.
"Zasha!" A girl, even shorter than Zasha, came running towards them. Her fiery orange hair reached below her waist, and she had tucked a beautiful blue flower behind her pointy ear. She had angled features, and blue eyes that turned up at the corners.
She gave Zasha a brief hug, and turned to Luna.
"Hi, I'm Leah," she said, giving Luna a hug as well.
"And that's Luna, she's British!" Zasha said, sounding excited.
"That's so cool," she said, nodding her head.
"So, did you arrive yesterday?" Zasha asked.
"Yep, and guess who my roomie is!"
"Who?" Zasha asked, sounding curious.
"You! I'm so pleased," she giggled.
They walked the rest the way to the girls' dorm, and decided that they would let Luna find her room, and settle down, and then all of them would meet up at dinner.
Inside, the dorm looked just as she'd imagined from seeing the outside. Modern furniture, all pink and turquoise, several abstract paintings, and large windows. Everyone seemed to have found there rooms, since there were only a couple of girls spread out on the couch, talking. She found the list, that would tell her who she was going to share a room with, and searched it for her name. «Luna Collins», it said almost at the bottom, and next to it, «Eir Andersdotter». She had never heard such a name, but it sounded Scandinavian, she thought. Apparently her room number was thirty two.
She spotted her two suitcases, underneath a staircase, probably leading up to the rooms. How on earth was she going to be able drag them up the stairs. Each weighed almost fifty pounds, and PE was her weakest subject.
"There's an elevator right there, next to the stairs," a tall girl with long auburn coloured hair said sarcastically.
"Thanks, she muttered, and grabbed her luggage, blushing." As she stepped into the light pink elevator, she heard the girl snort.
Luna stepped out of the elevator, and followed the narrow hallway of doors. She crossed a corner, and there it was. «32», it said in large silver plaited numbers, on the bright orange door. Suddenly, she was feeling nervous, the kind of nervous you felt when you were to hold a speech, or something like that. Luna put her sweaty hand on the cool door handle, and pushed it open. The smell that hit her, instantly made her feel as if she was out in the forest again. The left side of the room was covered in innumerable plants and flowers, as if it was some kind of plantation, or something. Luna stepped inside, dragging her suitcases after her, and placing them next to her already made up bed. Fine, so her roommate was into plants, no big deal. She was relieved that she wasn't there though, since she really wanted to take a hot shower, and redo her makeup. The bathroom was pretty small, but with the white and blue tiles, huge fluffy towels, and a sapphire blue shower curtain, it looked luxurious. She pulled the shower curtain aside, but was surprised, when she realized that the entire shower was full of plants as well. Okay, that's enough, she thought, and pulled the shower curtain back. She was perfectly okay that her side of the bedroom was a jungle, but the bathroom too? Feeling sweaty, dirty and quite annoyed, Luna trampled quickly out of there, and slammed the door after her. Some fresh air would probably help, she thought as she walked down the stairs and threw the empty dorm.
She stepped out on to the grass, taking in the garden. This place definitely didn't look as welcoming now as it had done in when she first arrived. The sun had just started to set, and the tall fences and the trees cast long and ghostly shadows over the lawn. It was almost as if it was taken out of a horror movie. She had never thought that such a new and non-spooky place could seem so scary. The hair on the back of her neck stood up, and she got that familiar feeling that someone's watching you. Luna looked nervously around, and kept walking towards the double doors of the main building. She glanced at her clock, still an hour until dinner. Luna got a twinge of guilt, as she realized that she hadn't even texted her parents that the flight had gone well. She had gotten interrupted by Zasha while she was writing it. They were probably worried sick, Luna thought, hitting herself mentally. She had her home number on speed dial, so she pressed in «1», hoping that it would be her dad who picked up. Her mum would probably yell at her for not calling. It took only a couple of seconds before her dad's voice beamed through the phone, almost blowing her eardrums.
"Hi, sweetie! Why didn't you call? How are you? Did you arrive safely?" She kept the phone a couple of inches away from her ear to not go completely deaf. Why is it that people over a certain age think that you have to scream through the phone?
"Wow, dad, seriously. You don't have to ask, like a zillion questions. I didn't call since I've been having so much fun, which I guess answers your second and third question," she replied sarcastically, but not in a mean way. It was just how it had always been between the two of them.
"That's great Lu, he chuckled." She could almost see his squinty, blue eyes and over tanned face.
"Dad, you know I hate it when you call me «Lu», L-U-N-A, it's a pretty easy name, it's not like I'm called Bernadetta or ... Alexandrina," she drawled, trying to think of super long names, that would need nicknames.
"I know, but I like calling you «Lu», it makes me think of when you were my little girl." She really didn't want to answer the super cliché answer; «I'll always be your little girl», so she just snorted, but immediately felt bad. He just ignored it, and asked:
"So, how do you like the school?"
"It's great, actually it's almost like a dream."
"Not a nightmare I hope?" her dad asked jokingly.
"No dad, It's like a fairytale," she reassured him, and rolled her eyes dramatically. Well, except that her roommate seemed to have a huge plant problem. She didn't mention it though, since knowing him, he would most likely call the school straight away, demanding a new roomie for his little baby.
"Well, I gotta go dad. I'll call you tomorrow."
"Of course. I promise. Give my love to mum," she smiled, crossing her fingers that he wouldn't give the phone over to her now.
"Sure, bye Luna, love you." She hung up, and stuck her phone back in her jean pocket.
Luna kept walking towards the double doors, but the feeling that someone was watching her was still there. Suddenly, her eyes caught on a tall, dark silhouette, lurching within the shadows of an apple tree. She froze. The silhouette stopped as well, and she definitely could feel eyes on her now. Luna could feel her heart beating hard and fast against her ribcage, and her instincts told her to run. She stood as a statue, not even daring to breathe. Why was she so scared? Most likely it was just one of the students, someone who wanted some fresh air, just like her. Still, there was this feeling that it wasn't completely safe.
Swiftly, as if in a dream, she observed the silhouette float away, towards the tall fence. A shudder passed through her entire body, from head to toe, and her knees felt weak. She felt dizzy, the star filled sky above her spinning in circles as she looked up. This wasn't that normal kind of nervous you get, when you walk through a bad neighborhood at night, afraid of who might be following you. It was as if the stranger had made her head woozy.
What had just happened? One second, the silhouette was there, the next it wasn't. Things like that didn't just happen, it wasn't possible. Had it all been her imagination running wild again, as it had so many times before?
When she was a kid, she had witnessed innumerable weird things like this, but with time, the memories had faded. Now, it was as if seeing this, opened a closed door in her brain, throwing all of them back. The memories were almost always exactly like this one; she had seen a dark silhouette at dusk, moments later, it had disappeared in thin air. Her parents had always told her that her imagination was lively, but this wasn't just a lively imagination. If what she'd seen wasn't real, she must have been hallucinating. She probably was. Yep, She was turning insane. Totally, completely, crazy. Luna Lunatic. Even though this wasn't a reassuring thought either, it was better than believing that all of those things actually had happened.
Luna realized suddenly, that she hadn't moved an inch. She was still standing with her back to the school, staring out into nowhere. If someone saw her, they definitely must think she wasn't quite right.