I had just received the letter a week ago. Now, I was on my way to the Aurora Borealis Academy for Gifted Young Ladies.
I was on the train to the academy with my up-tight supervisor, my headphones blasting Pocketful of Sunshine by Brittany Spears, when Delilah the Stupidviser started ranting on about kids playing their music too loud.
"Mirabelle, will you please be a little more respectful of the other passengers?" she asked me in her annoying, nasally voice.
"What other passengers?" I asked innocently. We were the only ones on the train.
The train pulled to an abrupt stop and the conductor told us to get off, as we had arrived at our destination.
"Oh look, we're here!" I shouted at the top of my lungs, just to annoy her.
"Well, I'll leave you to get aquatinted. I'll be back when the school year's over." an almost deaf Delilah said, probably relived that her job was done.
"Ookee-Dookee!" I shouted over my shoulder. As I looked back at her, I thought I might have actually seen her wave to me.
The academy, which just happened to be a castle, was the bigger than anything I had ever seen. As in was evening already, it was lit up with bright lights. Surrounding it were four five-bedroom, three bathroom houses, complete with a full kitchen, living room, spare room, and emergency basement. (I memorized the brochure).
I approached the front desk. There was a lady who looked about twenty eight with frizzy, caramel-colored hair sitting behind it shuffling papers around.
"Um, excuse me, but I-" I didn't need to finish. The lady at the desk knew what to do.
"Come with me." she said. We walked out the door I had just walked in and headed in the direction of the house I thought was the prettiest: it had a picture the sun going down on a clear, cloudless night.
"You will be staying at the Sunsette house." the lady explained. "This house is for ladies who have interests in music and the performing arts. The house next door to it is the Daelight house. It is for young ladies who have interests in social status and physical appearance." She glanced at my confused face. "In other words, how they look to other people. The house north of Sunsette is called Midnyte. These girls have interests in sports and exercise. Last, the Hinune house. The girls there have interests in academic achievement. Well, I'll leave you to get settled with your roommates."
We had arrived at the Sunsette house, and I could hardly wait to get inside. I walk into a spacious room with no one in it but a young, dark-haired woman who was vacuuming.
"The girls are upstairs. First door on the right." she'd said.
I trotted up the carpeted stairs and tried hard not to scruff up the nice clean floors. I pushed open the door and found a group of six ordinary girls about my age scrambling around the room. It's not like I wasn't surprised, though. If there were only seven girls in each house, I was pretty sure the school wouldn't stay open long.
"New kid's here!" shouted a girl with wavy blonde hair and a scratchy voice.
"Hi new kid!" giggled a girl wearing a rainbow dress. "I'm Izzy, what's your name?"
"I'm Mirabelle. What's everyone doing in here?"
"We're getting ready for the opening ceremony! That's where Headmistress Alexandria introduces everyone! Do you have anything fancy to wear?"
I was pretty sure the pink shirt and jean capris I was wearing wouldn't cut it, so I pulled out a purple gown and a necklace from my mother. She was a teen mom and couldn't take care of me, so I was left on the doorstep of her cousin's aunt's dog trainer's hair dresser's grandma's nephew's best friend's teacher's daughter, Delilah.
"Perfect!" Izzy announced. "Just one more thing…"
She skipped over to a closet on the other side of the room and pulled out a violet veil.
"Wow, thanks, Izzy!" I said when she handed me the veil. It looked nice on my chocolate brown hair.
"All ready to go?" I turned around to see who it was, because whoever it was had an odd accent that I'd never heard before. The person with the accent had black hair and electric blue eyes.
"Sorry, are you new here? I'm Layla."
"Hi, I'm Mirabelle. What kind of accent is that?"
This seemed to startle her. "Oh, um, it's a... Dunno, nice meeting you bye! She hurried up to the front of the line and left me wondering what just happened.
We trooped out of the house along with the housekeeper and cook, whose name I learned was Yolanda. On the way to the Center Castle, which is where we would take our classes, I started up a conversation with the wavy-haired girl, Lily.
"So… are there only seven people in each house?" I asked. It seemed like a good conversation starter.
"No," said Lily, "we should be getting two more… Oh, there they are!" I followed her gaze and saw a girl with light brown hair in a braid that reached her her waist, wearing a ballerina-like poofy skirt and a dreamy expression on her face. She was practically being carried across the lawn by the other girl, who had blonde hair and was wearing a pink and green striped dress and a baby blue sash.
Once they caught up to us, I said, "Hi, I'm Mirabelle, what are you names?" Ballerina Girl introduced herself as Moña. Her voice was the kind you just wanted to keep listening to, dreamy, like her expression, and kind of made me want to fall asleep. The blonde girl said her name was Bella. Her voice was soft and gentle, a bit like a mother talking to an infant.
We arrived at Center Castle and I took a seat next to a pale-skinned, dark haired, mysterious looking girl named Luna.
"So you're the new Sunsette. What instrument do you play?" she asked. "Well," I began, "I play piano,"
"We all play piano." Luna interrupted.
"Oh. Well, I also play French horn. What instrument do you play?" I challenged. This Luna person was kind of rude.
"Clarinet." her voice softened. I could tell she really cared about it.
"Ooh, look! The movie's starting!" Izzy, who was sitting on the other side of Luna, proclaimed excitedly.
"Izzy, who told you we were going to a movie?" Luna asked. "Trekka, that Midnyte with the short black hair." was Izzy's quick response.
"Do me a favor, and next time you see her, tell her Luma still has the video of her getting hit in the head with her own soccer ball." Luna smoothly instructed her.
"Okay, so does that mean this isn't a movie?" Izzy inquired curiously. Luna rolled her eyes.
"No, this is a play." was her sarcastic response.
"Oh Luna, you're so silly, we're at the Opening Ceremony! Even I know that!" Luna sighed and turned back to me.
"Just let her think what she wants." she advised. I nodded. "So, you know the Midnytes?" I'm a really curious person.
"Not that it's any of your business, but yes, I know Fiona, the girl with flaming red hair, Lainee, the one who's could almost be Izzy's twin, the housekeeper, Nadia, and of course, Trekka. Before I could ask how she knew them, the music faded and Headmistress Alexandria, the one who escorted me to Sunsette house, took the stage.
"Welcome, students, to the famous Aurora Borealis Academy for Gifted Young Ladies." she said cheerfully. "This year you will learn..."
I zoned out until she started introducing people.
"In the Daelight House, our leaders are Diana," -a girl with caramel and blonde highlighted hair stood up- "and Ella." A girl with chocolate brown hair like me stood up shyly. "The housekeeper, Genevieve." A woman who looked like Layla stood. I zoned out again until Alexandria introduced the Hinune leaders: Therese, a girl with ginger hair and a pearl necklace, and Milli, a girl with black hair and olive green eyes. After introducing the rest of the Hinunes and the housekeeper, Olivia, Alexandria introduced us.
"Our Sunsette House leaders, Lily, Bree, and Layla." Lily and Layla stood up, along with Bree, who had light brown hair, green eyes, and wore a green dress with yellow design. Alexandria then introduced Candy, a girl with blonde hair, hazel eyes, and sun tanned skin, Bella, Moña, Izzy, Luna, and me. We each stood when our names were called. "The Sunsette House cook and caretaker, Yolanda." she gestured to Yolanda.
"Now, for our Midnytes." Alexandria said. I stopped myself from zoning out so I could see the Midnytes Luna knew. "The leaders, Trekka and Fiona." Lucky me, just Lainee and Nadia to watch for now. Towards the end, Lainee was introduced, and I could see the resemblance Luna was talking about between her and Izzy. They could be twins or something. Nadia really stuck out in a crowd. Her red hair was like Fiona's, but shorter, and her bright orange dress caught everyone's attention. The next thing Alexandria said was very confusing. "Leaders, you have two weeks. I hope everyone has a great semester. Please meet back here at seven o'clock p.m. in two weeks. Thank you and best wishes for the coming year!" Alexandria ended her speech.
Once the headmistress stepped away from the mike, chatter erupted among the Houses. Luna sprinted inhumanly fast over to Trekka and Fiona, probably to congratulate them on becoming leaders, whatever a "leader" was. I thought I'd go over to Candy or Bree and introduce myself, but on the way I heard something I probably shouldn't have heard.
"Only two weeks?! My cousin told me last year they had three weeks to convince them!" whisper-shouted Lily.
"Don't fret, Aquililia, Sunsette house has the most leaders this year." whispered Layla. Wait, Aquililia? I was sure she was talking to Lily.
"Do you think it's possible to convince them in two weeks, Bree?" Lily/Aquililia asked.
"Don't know. Why don't we make a list of who knows and who doesn't?" Bree suggested. She had a light Southern accent.
"Fabulous idea, we'll get started when we get back to the house." said Layla. I don't know what they're hiding, but I will find out.~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~ Later that night back at the house, we threw a party to celebrate the upcoming school year. With everyone chatting, eating, and just having fun, I managed to put bugs in Layla and Candy's room, as well as Lily/Aquililia and Bree's room. Not bugs like beetles. Little microphones. Tonight, all I have to do is listen, because I hooked them up to my laptop. Once the whole bug thing was done, I decided to enjoy the party. First I went over to the snack table and got something called "puppy chow." At Delilah's house, you never got anything that tasted good. This "puppy chow" was the best thing I'd ever tasted. After eating the rest, I went over to Candy to introduce myself.
"Hi Candy, I'm Mirabelle!" I said.
"Hey Mirabelle, what instrument do you play?" Candy's voice was very high-pitched. I remembered Luna telling me all the Sunsettes play piano, so I said, "French horn, you?" "Saxophone! It's, like, the coolest instrument ever!" she squealed. "Izzy plays saxophone too! We're, like, the best saxophone players in the school!" I didn't really know what to say, so I asked if she would play me something. "I'd be happy to!" Wow, this girl was excitable. "Lemme go get Izzy, we have a duet we've been working on!" Candy scampered off to find Izzy, and I went to find Bree. I found Bree with Moña and Lily/Aquililia playing Twister near the kitchen. "Hi Bree! Can I play?" I asked. "I don't see why not." she replied. We continued our game until Candy showed up with Izzy to do their saxophone duet. It was a song I knew, we sang it in music class at my old school. It went like this:
*insert song of choice. I'm too lazy to make one up.*
We all burst into applause on the last note. I guess Candy was right in saying that she and Izzy are the best saxophone players in the school. Bree yawned.
"I don't know about you guys, but I'm going to bed. That song always makes me tired."
"Yeah, me too." said Izzy.
"Amazing, Izzy's tired." said Luna sarcastically.
"Aren't you tired, Luna? It's eleven o'clock at night and we have class tomorrow." said Bella, a bit of concern in her voice.
"Nah. You guys go to bed. I'll be there in a sec." Luna waved them off.
"If that is your wish." Layla herded the Sunsettes to their rooms, but I stayed with Luna.
"You sure you're okay?" I asked. I was kind of worried.
"Yeah?" I asked hopefully.
"Don't worry about me."
That night I went to bed to check the bugs, but all I heard was, "Silence." and my laptop suddenly couldn't get reception. I fell back onto my pillow, but I, ahem, hit my head on the head board. "Ow." I mumbled as I drifted off to sleep.