Chapter one: Cydra
Passion. It’s a funny word. When people think of passion, most of them think of a night of passion. But it runs so much deeper than that. Passion is, a strong love for something, maybe so strong that some people mistake it for an obsession. It’s the air that you breathe, the reason that you live. I had a passion for history and my amazing teacher, Mr. Reid fed the flame. The bell rang; announcing the end of the day and the entire class got up simultaneously and headed for the door. Being the second from the front in the first row by the door I was one of the first ones out.
“Cydra!” I heard someone call my name, I turned and looked back to see who it was. I saw one of my best friends Nate making his way through the sea of students rushing to their lockers. I waited for him to catch up to me before making my way to my own locker on the second floor.
“What’s up Nate?” I asked, as usual his black hair was uncontrollably curly.
“I need you to explain something to me.” He said
“It’s history related if that makes you feel better.”
“It really doesn’t but what’s your question?” I wasn’t good at explaining things; I just didn’t have the patience for it. By this time we were at my locker, I was switching my books around and getting ready to leave.
“So what’s with the conscription thing? I don’t know if I quite get it.”
“What don’t you understand?” I asked body checking my locker shut.
“Ok well it was basically the government forcing the men to go to war.”
“Because when people realized that people were dying and getting seriously hurt over there, they didn’t wanna go anymore. So because there was a lack of volunteers the government started forcing people to enrol in the army. Look, I have to go, text me if you wanna talk some more.” I said hurrying down the hallway. I made my way down the orange stairs at the end of my U-shaped school and out the first of the two student exits. I tried to quickly get through the several hundred students waiting outside. By the time I got to where my bus would be I saw it driving away.
“I blame Nate.” I told myself “This is his fault, I never miss my bus.” I took my phone out to call my mom and ask her to come pick me up. One ring. Two rings. Three rings.
“Mom where are you?” I mumbled. Four rings. Answering machine.
“Mom I’m stuck at school. I missed my bus, call me back when you get this.” I hung up and looked around on the off chance that my very best friend Rosalynne might have missed the bus too. But she never missed the bus and I knew that she was gone. I looked around some more and didn’t see any of my other friends; actually most of the students were already gone. There was only about a hundred of them left, which wasn’t a lot for a school that housed about seven hundred of us. I decided to go back inside and work at the library until my mom called me back. However when I got there it was closed, the librarian must’ve gone home early. I sighed in frustration, nothing was going right. I started walking down the hallway to my locker in hopes of figuring something out when I almost ran into Mr. Reid coming up the green stairs in the middle of the school. His face that remained expressionless most of the time showed a little hint of surprise.
“Cydra, what are you still doing here?” He asked. I looked up at him since he was a little taller than me; he was probably around six feet something, while I stood at five six.
“I uhm, missed my bus and I don’t have a ride home. I was gonna go work at the library but it’s closed, so now I don’t really know what to do.” I could tell that he was a little amused just by the look in his blue eyes.
“Well I was just gonna go make a few photocopies.” He said holding up a page as if to prove it to me. “Then I was just gonna go back down in my class to work, you can come with me if you want.”
“Yea, if you have nowhere else to go, I wouldn’t mind having some company, but it’s up to you.” He added walking in the direction I came from. I headed to my locker and took off my coat and my boots. Even though the October weather made it necessary to wear them outside, it was almost too hot to bear inside school. I called my house again, but there still wasn’t an answer, so I gathered my things and headed down the orange stairs to my history class, room 113. Mr. Reid was already sitting at his desk, so I knocked on the blue metal door. He looked up.
“Thanks.” I said, making my way to my usual seat. For about an hour and a half we worked in a comfortable silence. Silence was something I learnt to be grateful towards since there were days that I didn’t seem to get much of it. I worked on my history project, since it just wouldn’t be right to work on anything else while in that class and because it was a project that I was really excited about. Thousands of ideas swirled around in my head and I had papers scattered all around my desk as I was trying to figure all of them out. Just last period Mr. Reid had given us this project and I couldn’t wait to start it, not being at my house wasn’t gonna stop me. Pretending to be a trench soldier in the first world war and writing a letter back home was one of the best projects that I had ever been assigned. Writing was one of my strong points and I knew that I was gonna do really well on this. I left my phone out in case my mom called me back, however she didn’t. At around four, Mr. Reid broke the silence.
“So your mom never called you back?” He asked, stating the obvious.
“No she didn’t and now I’m wondering how I’m gonna get back, usually I’d call my aunt but she’s at work or I’d take the bus, but I don’t have any money.”
“I know it’s not really any of my business but what about your dad?”
“He moved to Toronto four years ago, I haven’t heard from him since.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“Thanks, but don’t be, life’s better without him anyways.”
Mr. Reid looked thoughtful for a minute before he said “Well where do you live?”
“So do I. Do you want a ride back, because I’ll be leaving soon.”
“Do you mind? I don’t think I’ll be getting back any other way.”
“Of course I don’t mind, I’m going right there anyways. Go get your stuff.”
“Thanks.” I said gathering my papers into my binder and stuffing that into my schoolbag. I left it beside the desk as I went back upstairs to put on my coat and my boots. When I came back down Mr. Reid was closing his closet and making sure he had everything.
“You ready to go?” He asked.
I grabbed my schoolbag. “Yeah.”
We walked outside into the parking lot. A few minutes later we were on our way as my phone started ringing. I looked at the caller ID.
“Perfect timing mom.” I mumbled before answering. “Hello?”
“Hi girly, are you still at school?”
“No, I got a ride back.”
“Well where are you now?”
I sighed and rolled my eyes. “I’m on my way back from school; I had to wait till four to get a ride.”
“Oh. Who’d you get a ride with?”
“Mr. Reid...” I braced myself for her reaction.
“What?!” She basically shouted, I held the phone away from my ear and glanced at Mr. Reid, who had a little smirk on his face.
“Mom, are you trying to make me go deaf?!”
“No, but you know how I feel about things like that.”
“Mom, just chill. Nothing’s gonna happen.” I looked over at Mr. Reid who had a big grin on his face. I suppose that he heard what my mom had told me.
“You don’t know that. I’m just trying to keep you safe.”
“Well can you stop? I’ll be home in like twenty minutes, we’re still in town.” I hung up before she could say anything and luckily she didn’t call me back.
“I’m sorry.” I told Mr. Reid. “It’s hard to tell how my mom’s gonna take things. Sometimes she doesn’t even care, sometimes she’s too overprotective.”
“Don’t worry about it. She’s just looking out for you. If I had a kid I’d probably do the same thing.”
“You don’t have any kids?” I asked a little surprised, let’s just say that Mr. Reid wasn’t necessarily bad looking.
“Nope. No kids, no wife, just me.” About fifteen minutes later we got into Hanmer.
“So where do you live?” Mr. Reid asked me.
“Just behind the mall, you can just turn down Dominion Drive if you want to get there faster instead of following the highway.”
“Alright. That means that you must live close to me because I live in Dominion park.”
“Oh really? That is pretty close but you live closer to Rosalynne than to me.”
“Where does she live?”
“On the little street just outside Dominion Park.”
“She lives very close to me then.” A few minutes later we got to my house.
“Thanks so much for driving me home.” I said getting out of the truck.
“No problem. Have a nice weekend.”
“Thanks, you too.” With that I walked into my house, preparing for some kind of speech from my mom, but I didn’t get it. She actually didn’t even say a word to me except to let me know that supper was ready. Afterwards I stayed in my room to finish up some homework so that I could have the weekend free.
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