Isabel rubbed her eyes and looked at the clock. It read 3:00 AM. She quickly looked over her room for the cause of what might have woken her up.

A hand reached up around her mouth, causing Isabel to squeal in shock. Michael spun around so that she could see him and she sighed in relief. He glanced around the room before speaking, "I'm sorry to sneak up on you like this. . . But when I got back to my room, there was a letter sitting on my desk."

By that time, Michael had removed his hands from her mouth. She looked at him quizzically.

"It was from my parents. . . " Michael muttered.

"Your parents? I thought they were dead?"

"So did I. Apparently, they're going to pick me up at the end of this month. I won't be going to this school anymore."

Isabel's eyes widened and she felt her heart stop, "You. . . You're leaving?"

"I obviously don't have any say." Michael stated.

Isabel felt hot tears dripping down her cheeks already. She closed her eyes tightly and opened them again slowly, ". . . I guess they don't understand that taking students away from here is like killing them. You're removing them from the only home they've known all their lives, from the only friends and family they've ever trusted. . . " She sighed and looked away from Michael.

Michael nodded, "Well. . . I'm sorry for bugging you at such an odd hour. I couldn't sleep. . . I needed to tell someone."

"Don't worry about it. I'm glad you did tell me."

Michael put his trembling hand over Isabel's and whispered, "What should I do?"

Isabel turned her gaze back to his face. She was just as frightened as he was. . . And her expression made that clear. "You're not going to leave. You are not just an object to be passed around when people do or don't want you. How old are you now, Michael?"

"Seventeen."

Isabel nodded, "You're almost a legal adult now. The only relation you have to your parents anymore is blood. Michael, if you want to stay here. . . I believe you should."

Michael was silent for a few seconds. "We can't stay under the shield of this school forever though."

"Of course not, but isn't it possible to be able to stay with your friends forever?" After asking that question, Isabel realized that there wasn't an answer. She put her hands over her face and sobbed.

Michael held back his own tears, and began playing with the strands of hair in front of Isabel's face. "Maybe we should get some sleep and think this over tomorrow. We still have the remainder of this month to think of something. . ."

Isabel nodded and lay back down on her bed. Michael took one of her tear-covered hands and kissed her fingertips. Isabel smiled weakly before falling asleep.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The harsh sting of the alarm clock yanked Isabel back into reality. She quickly climbed out of bed and shut it off. A lot of things needed to be dealt with today. . . And she didn't have time to wake up or think about her dreams from the night before. Isabel's cold school dress was unsettling on her sore skin, but she couldn't stay and try to get adjusted to it. She needed to go speak with everyone as soon as possible. As soon as she exited her bedroom people began leaning in towards their friends and whispering while looking directly at her. Isabel frowned and stormed off in the direction of the dinning hall. Rina, Robert, and Michael were already waiting at their usual seats around the school table. Everyone looked fairly flabbergasted and exasperated.

Isabel sat down next to Michael and quickly examined everyone's faces to see if she could understand what some of them were thinking, "Did you already tell them?" She asked Michael.

Rina lowered her head and mumbled to Isabel, "Apparently, Michael's parents aren't the only ones coming to get him. Robert is also leaving us at the end of this month."

Isabel couldn't help but scream aloud, "What?!"

"Yeah. . . I have a feeling there was a reason boys and girls were so separated from day one. If they don't pretend not to have connections, their 'parents' come and take them away." Rina stated.

"What should we do then?" Isabel replied.

"That part is easy enough. We leave." Rina said with a smirk.

"I fail to see how that's going to be easy." Isabel retorted, slightly annoyed.

"You guys. . . Let's talk about this later." Robert stated, noticing the teachers and students all staring at them.

"Ugh. . . " Rina groaned.

The four weren't able to talk until after dark that night. They had arranged, through notes, that everyone would meet in Rina's room to discuss plans for escape.

Isabel felt her pulse beating quickly as she slid unnoticed down the school's bedroom hallway. She tiptoed and held her breathing to a minimum until she reached Rina's room. The door was unlocked and her lights were on. Isabel had been the last person to arrive.

"No time to waste.So far, does anyone have any ideas of how to escape?" Rina questioned.

"We're going to need to leave at night." Michael stated.

"Yeah. Other's?"

"Umm.How are we going to live on our own once we get out of here?" Isabel asked.

Rina looked distressed, "Good question. Ideas?"

"Steal money from the school." Was Robert's response.

Isabel slapped her forehead, "And then be pursued by police until we're eighty-five."

"That's a good outlook. But seriously, how on earth are we going to survive on our own.?"

"You know what?" Robert asked.

"What?" Rina replied.

"I am an under-developed character in this story."

Isabel slapped her forehead again, "We were supposed to be talking about survival, not your lack of personality or background."

"I'm just letting you know that I know that I'm sorta useless except for lines that no one else wants."

"This isn't a movie, you dork." Michael responded, whacking Robert upside the head.

"Yeah, but then what am I?!"

"Who doesn't want to know the answer to that question. . . ?" Rina asked.

Michael and Isabel raised their hands in agreement. Eventually, Robert did too.

"Well then, is it my turn to complain?" Michael questioned. [Author's Note: I keep switching between "asked" and "questioned" whatever writing skills I once had are now gone!! -_-; ]

"Please, let's just get on with this stupid plot that has completely changed since the beginning of the story!" Isabel whined.

"That. . . Was like a run-on sentence or something." Rina stated, glaring at Isabel.

~~~ Gomennasai you guys -_- I was getting really upset with how many inconsistencies this story had.I was running out of ideas.And I had too much coffee. Next chapter might not exist, but if it does.I figure it will pick up around when they start talking about what to do for living on their own. Yep.