The voice I heard was more or less different than I expected. The voice that was expected played over in my mind like one would imagine a vampires' voice. Sort of cruel, dark, and unable to stop themselves from plunging their fangs into your throat. What came out, however, was a light heartened rumble filled with joking giddiness.
"Now, I didn't scare you or anything, did I? We just like to sneak up on people, to see what they would do in that situation."
A man walked out in front of me, who proceeded to tousle Aria's hair. He had olive skin like Aria, but his hair was a shade lighter and thinning on the sides. Laugh lines had engraved themselves into his cheeks. Moving towards me, he held out his right hand and we shook.
"I'm Erin's father," he said, as we shook hands.
I did my best to smile and sound friendly, but I was still shaky from the scare he gave me. "Ivy Anne."
"Oh. Ivy Anne what?" he inquired.
"Nothing, it's just Ivy Anne," I awkwardly responded. "Anne is my last name."
Erin rolled her eyes and gave an overly loud throat clearing. "Are you two quite done yet, or am I to get you a sofa and a nice cup of tea?" she said. I couldn't help but laughing. I told Erin's father that it was nice to meet him, and Erin led me off to her room.
What really surprised me the most was how her room was not as extravagant and spectacular like the rest of her house. The walls were a pasty color of yellow, with a single daisy hand painted onto one of the walls. Her dresser was painted white, and shoved into the corner, but some of the paint was chipping to reveal plain, light wood. She had a twin sized bed with soft pink bed sheets. And there was a door, which I thought to be a closet sitting on the wall next to where you walk in. It was nothing fancy, but it all matched so very well that it was the best room in the house.
I smiled. "Wow, Erin, It's so…simple."
She nodded. "I like it this way. It reminds me of being inside of a meadow of flowers. Believe me or not, I hate how garish everything seems. It's as if nothing is really real; it's as if everything was a dream." She smiled
She sat on her bed just as someone else walked in through the door. But there was no creak that my ears were so accustomed too. My eyes went to the girl who walked in, and I played the chameleon, blending into the background. I watched as Erin squealed and ran up to the girl, holding her in a warm embrace.
"Andrea! Where have you been! I call and I call and I call, but you never answer me!"
'Andrea', I think her name was, shook her head sorrowfully. "You know how it is, Erin, I can't answer phone calls at the academy. They have very strict rules. In fact, I can only be here right now to check how you're doing."
She eyed me suspiciously, and she turned to Erin and whispered a few words. My smile faded. Was I doing something wrong already? When Andrea turned back to face me once again, her eyes were worried.
"Aria tells me you're like us, different. If that is true, we should be running right now. I'll have to inform the academy. To have Erin here by herself is fine, but you may not even know…"
Andrea started pacing back and forth, while Erin looked out the window.
Aria squealed, but this time in terror. "They're here, Andrea!"
I couldn't just sit idly right now, I was so scared. But maybe this was some sort of prank that these guys were playing. "What does that mean, Erin?" I asked.
Her face grave, Andrea took my hand and started pulling me somewhere very quickly. We came to the front door and she took a deep breath. "It means, Ivy, that we need to run very, very fast."
And with that she pulled the door opened and broke into a sprint, still keeping her grip on my arm.