"Mom, you're not honestly going to make me go, are you? This decision will be the worst parenting mistake you've made in my entire life. You've got to let me stay," I begged as my father helped the driver load my luggage into the black sedan that had arrived at our house a little before noon.

"We've discussed it. You're going. End of story. Besides, you couldn't go to your old school any way and no other school is qualified to deal with students with your gift," my mother replied in an annoyed tone that made it seem like she wasn't paying attention to me.

She really didn't have to pay attention to what I was saying. We'd been having these arguments every day for a month and a half. Usually it ended with a lot of yelling and swearing from either me or my parents. Sometimes, it would cause us to not be on speaking terms with each other for days at a time. It didn't really matter, though, because they always ended the same way: me having no choice and being shipped off to Ringshore Academy for the Exceptionally Gifted come September with all the other freaks. That's what the school really was, a place for the freaks no one wanted to deal with.

"Then I just won't go to school," I grumbled. "It's senior year, maybe I'll drop out instead."

My mother's reaction was predictable as ever. She hit me upside the head. "Don't even talk about something like that. If you give it a chance, you might actually enjoy yourself," she said.

"Besides," my father said as he closed the trunk and the driver got into the car. "You'll be seventeen until April. You can't drop out until you're eighteen and, by that point, you'll have put in most of the work. Might as well stay the rest of the year."

I crossed my arms and glared at him. "This is ridiculous. I'm not getting in that car."

"Sierra, I know you're nervous about starting at a new school, but this is what's best for you. Just trust us," my mother said, putting a comforting hand on my arm.

I jerked my arm away from her. "This has nothing to do with starting a new school. This has everything to do with the fact that over the course of the summer my life has officially gone from the best it could be to the worst it could be and going to Ringshore Academy for Misfits and Unwanted Freaks is just about rock bottom."

"Then it's all up hill from here," my father said, trying to lighten my mood. It worked slightly. "Come on, give it a week, at least. Then you can try to bust out."

I couldn't help but crack a smile. "If I was going, I'd tell you that you can expect a call at 12:01 next Sunday, but since I'm not, it won't be a problem."

"Oh, yes you are," my mother said. "This is a great opportunity for you and…" she trailed off after my father gave her a look.

He looked back at me. "Sierra, listen to me. I know neither of us can really understand what you're going through right now, but you need to understand that we're just trying to help. If it's not the right place for you, at the semester's end we'll pull you out and find some where else."

"I can tell you right now, the best place for me is at my old school with all of my friends and Dillon."

"That boy is nothing but a bad influence on you," my mother said with distaste.

"Says you. You won't even give him a chance," I said, glaring at her.

"Ladies, please," my father said in an exasperated tone. "The last thing we should be doing right now is starting this up again. I'd really hate to have Sierra be gone for a month and let these bad feelings grow, then come back and everything explodes."

My mother sighed. "Your father's right," she conceded, handing me my purse that I had purposely left in my room. She obviously didn't get the memo that it was going to be my method of stalling my departure. "Just give it a chance. That's all I ask."

I took my purse and stared at her for a moment, then looked at my father. I sighed. "Fine, a week. When I'm not satisfied, I have all the right in the world to raise hell."

My father grinned. "That's my girl," he said as he hugged me and kissed the top of my head.

"You'll have fun, I know it," my mother said, trying to be supportive as she hugged me. Needless to say, it wasn't helping.

"I'm sorry to interrupt, but I do have a schedule to keep, Miss. Anglowski," the driver interrupted through the open car window.

My father sidestepped to the car, opening the door for me. "Your carriage awaits," he said. Luckily, he didn't hear my sarcastic comment as I grudgingly walked to the car.

"I'll see you in a week, then," I said, stepping into the car.

"Don't count your chickens before they hatch," my father warned playfully before shutting the door.

He took a few steps back to stand next to my mother in the yard. The driver started up the car and began to back out of the driveway. My parents started waving. I waved back, though they probably couldn't see me through the tinted windows.

As the car moved down the street and my house disappeared from view, I settled into my seat for the ride to my new prison.