“Oh my God!” My mum squealed excitedly from down the hall.
I rolled over, trying to go back to sleep, growling to myself. “Stupid… early mail… deliveries…” My room was starting to bathe in light, as the dawning sun rose over the horizon. I covered my head with the sheets and blankets that piled on top of my bed, trying to hide from the light streaming through the curtains.
“You were accepted into the Academy of Anima!” Mum ran through the house, excited for me. She waved the letter in the air as she bounced into my room. She threw open the curtains, letting the light fill my room in its dawning orange light. She hopped on the bed, “Wake up!” Her landing created a small ripple through the bed. Her shoulder-length, mousy brown hair flopped as she landed on my bed. She was a jovial woman with not a worry in the world. Her hazel eyes reflected the joy she felt for me.
I growled under my breath, still hiding under the covers of my neon green bedding, “Nooooo. Sleeeeeeeeeep.” I groaned loudly.
She laid on top of me, squishing me further into the bed, “But you were accepted,” she whined. “It’s an honor and you should be awake for the day to see it.”
I flipped the cover down, to reveal my face, “So? I didn’t apply. Why should I care if some Academy wants me to join their classes? That’s just like the colleges sending me their letters of acceptance.” I squinted as I looked over to the windows to see the sun blaring through them.
“It’s not the same!” She rolled off me, “You don’t apply to the Academy! They choose you for your talent, your power and the Potential to succeed. And guess what!” She was excited to finally see her little girl growing up into the power I was born with.
“I was chosen for some weird and psychotic reason, because they had an extra spot open? But what if I don’t wanna go?” It was not that I did not want to go. It was just the Academy was supposed to be hard on all of their students, pushing them to and even beyond their limits. It was a prestigious school that brought together all of the races into a school to excel or fail. Only the best, the brightest and the most powerful were ever accepted, so I was flattered at being chosen, but I did not believe I deserved to go. I had read their information on the Internet and thought of how exciting it would be to go, but I knew that I did not have the power to even try.
She gasped, “You have to go! It’s a privilege and it would mean a lot to me if you went. You could bring honor into this family, after your father left!” She was trying to guilt me into going, but I knew this tactic well.
“Mum, guilt trips don’t work on me.” I yawned, the light hitting my eyes, annoying my frayed nerves.
She sat up and slid to the edge of my bed, “Fine then. Don’t go. I guess you don’t want to make your mother proud.” She folded her arms across her chest, hugging herself. I knew this was a protective gesture she did when she was on the verge of tears.
I sat up in my bed, looking at my mum.” Why do you want me to go so badly? It doesn’t seem like it should bet at important when the Human Realm has plenty of opportunities for a girl like me. I’m smart and I have power that isn’t rivaled by any other human anyways. I could go to any college and get a good education to help me in the Human Realm.”
She looked at me, tears in her eyes, waiting to fall. I watched as they dried up, knowing that the guilt trip had worked perfectly. “Because, you are eighteen years old and I don’t want to see you waste your life waiting for friends that will just leave you in the end because of what you are. And because I never had the dream of going.” The intensity of the fire in her eyes caught me off guard, “Human girls are almost never chosen for the Academy. We are too weak to stand up against a raging goblins, preventing us from going into the warrior classes and there are very few humans born with a Potential for power, that keeps us from the magical classes.” She smiled, “Yes, you would be an asset to any college that would allow you. You are more intelligent that most your age, which makes you a highly desired student. I’m sure that as soon as they see your stubbornness to complete a project, they would do what they can to keep you. But the Academy…” I could see the wishful looks on her face, a look of lost opportunities in her lifetime that only I could make up for.
I thought about what she said, and I knew she was right. She is my mum and she is always right. Yes, the Academy was highly prestigious and if I was accepted, then maybe I was trying to sell myself short to wait for those who would only leave me in the end. I smiled to her, my guiding light that knew more about everything than anyone else did I knew. “Fine, I’ll go, but you have to help me pack and find a discipline.”
She grinned at me, “You’re already packed and the Academy put in their recommendation for you. They said you should become a Gatekeeper to travel through the Gates to other Realms. Isn’t that exciting?!” She had planned on me giving in and had everything done before she woke me up.
You manipulative, scheming… I threw the thought away before I could finish it. “Mum, most people who try for the Gatekeepers die before they can even think of passing the second test.” I knew how dangerous this path would be; Gatekeeping was the path that intrigued me the most. There was a high fatality rate in the first test that weeded out most of the weak rivals. Nobody knew what the tests were, and once you passed the first one, there was no turning back and you were forbidden from speaking of the test to someone who has yet to take it. This was the discipline that pushed the hardest and often pushed someone passed their limits and into death. I heard there were only one hundred and fifty people who actually became a full Gatekeeper in the five thousand years the Academy has been open. Most of them were dead now, living their lives to the fullest. As far as I knew, there was only one Gatekeeper left and he was the one training the new recruits.
“You’ll do fine, just have faith in yourself and in your ability.” She smiled to me. “Your father and I taught you everything you need to know in order to survive.” Her smiled became sad, “Yes, I know you think your father was a good for nothing since he had to leave, but you were too young to know why he had to.”
“Then why don’t you tell me why he had to leave now?” I pushed, knowing that I would be denied again.
She shook her head, “Sorry, kid. But it is up to him to explain that to you. And if you do go into the Academy, you will meet him. The last Gatekeeper swore that you two would meet if you went to the Academy to become a Gatekeeper.” Her mind switched gears, “You’ll be fine if you just trust yourself, your judgment and your skill.” She stood up off my bed and walked to the door to my room, “Now, get dressed so we can get the rest of your school supplies.” She stepped out of my room, to continue the arrangements for the Academy.
I grumbled to myself, “Stupid guilt trips…” I lifted the sheet off me and spun my legs around to the side of the bed. I sat up and stretched, my body vibrating as the muscles stretched. I looked around my room, my home for my whole life. I had a white stained, southwest looking bed frame, dresser, nightstand and desk. The walls were light blue with dark blue clouds sponged all over, then a dark blue chair rail above light blue and dark blue vertical stripes to the floorboards. I noticed most of my things were gone, but it was not a huge mystery where they were. Mum must have packed most of it for me to take with me to the Academy.
The closet mirrors were covered in my spidery chicken scratch, notes and memos for later dates. I looked to one of the dates, the date I was supposed to have with my current boyfriend. I picked up the old fashioned rotary phone and spun his number.
I waited until someone picked up the phone, “Hello?” A girl answered the phone.
I looked at the number and I dialed it right, “Is CJ there?”
“May I ask who is calling?” The girl on the other side of the line sounded vicious.
I laced my voice with hatred, “This is his girlfriend. Pass the phone to him to little tramp, or I’ll come over there and beat the living daylights out of you.”
I heard CJ’s voice in the background, “Who is it, sweetheart?”
“A girl claiming to be your girlfriend.” The girl’s viciousness went towards CJ.
I heard him grab the phone, “Who is this?” I could hear the quaver in his voice.
“This is Myst, your girlfriend for the last three years. Who is she?” I growled.
“She is just a friend.” His answer was meek, and I could hear the girl screaming in the background.
I smiled grimly to myself, “I was going to tell you that I’m going to the Academy of Anima and I won’t be able to see you anymore. I was going to ask if you minded doing a long distance relationship, but since you can’t even seem to do well with a normal relationship… I’m breaking up with you. I feel there is no reason why you should have to wait on me, when you couldn’t keep your dick in your pants.”
He growled back to me, “Well, if you would have put out, then maybe I wouldn’t have needed to find relief somewhere else.”
“Give the phone back to your new girlfriend.” I could hear the pain in my strained voice.
She grabbed the phone from him, “What are you trying to do?”
“Look, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. But I was his girlfriend for the last three years. I don’t want him anymore, so you can have him, but be warned. He cheated on his last girl with me, and then cheated on me with you. He is a user and abuser and I want you to be careful. Also, the reason I never had sex with him is because I saw his disease test. It didn’t look good. Wear a condom.” I hung up the phone and sat on my bed.
I sat there and felt betrayed. I never gave him any reason to leave, except for the fact that I refused to have sex until marriage. I felt a tear drop and when I looked to the mirrors, I felt angry. I stood up and cleaned the mirrors of my past, pushing away all of the memories of the Human Realm. I was going to the Academy if for nothing more than to start a new life. I walked to my dresser and bent over in front of the drawers. I opened the drawers that lie next to my bed, pulling out all of the necessary clothing for the day.
“Come on!” I heard my mum yell from the other room.
“I’m getting there.” In a flurry of clothing, I was dressed. I wore a simple bright green shirt with blue jean shorts and tall lime green and black striped socks that went up past the edges of my shorts. I finished the outfit off with a pair of black sandals, two necklaces, one with a key charm and another with a crystal bear, four bracelets and a two-inch thick watch. I took one look in the mirror and grabbed my brush. With a quick swoop and pull, my midback length blonde hair was brushed and tied back, allowing more light to glitter into my hazel eyes.
I walked out of the room, looking for my mum. I looked at the walls, the pictures of my life and before my life. I saw a few pictures of my father, so I knew what he looked like. It was a picture of mum and dad’s wedding and their wedding party. I recognized only mum in the picture, the other people strangers to me. In the picture next to it was father looking on, his face soft with joy while mum was pregnant with me.
I saw the pictures of when we had gone on vacation to the ocean for three days to dive under the surface. We swam with sharks and merpeople, as we took our scuba gear down into the depths. I was given the underwater camera and I jubilantly took picture of the underwater city that was Atlantis at one point in history. The picture that caught my eyes was the merprincess and I swimming together, both her and my sets of fins matched in the same lime green. In another picture from that trip, the merprince had caught me and strung me up next to other things he had hunted.
I smiled when I saw a picture that mum and I had taken for my high school graduation, where I wore a dress for the first time since I was three. She was so proud that I was in the top of my class and earned the Advanced Diploma. I felt happier than before, the good memories of my family washing away the memories of the friends who had learned of my power, used my power then ditched me because of my power.
Anger filled me as I saw someone in the background of the picture. Memories washed over me, as I remembered one person in particular… He had pretended to love me and I fell in love with him. He showed me how to destroy, which stood against everything mum and father had ever taught me. He wanted me to use my power to destroy his enemies and that was the only time that mum and I argued heavily. The boy twisted my morals and taught me how to hate, but with the guidance of mum, I went back to normal. With the help of the merprincess and merprince, I dropped him… Into a fiery ditch, before burying him under thousands of pounds of dirt, rock and ash, called an underwater volcano.
I shook my head, getting rid of those dark thoughts that snuck up on me in my times of weakness. I wiped my eyes of unshed tears, missing the friends who did not use me. I took in a deep breath, I won’t let them bring me down. I will see those who belong in my future again, and those who don’t… Sucks to be them. I shrugged it off, straightening my posture,
I found mum in the kitchen with the letter and the phone in her hand. She stood at my height and my weight. Her mousy brown hair was dyed to hide the blonde, her hazel eyes shining in the light. She wore a nice blue shirt, blue jean shorts and white sandals. She dialed a number on the cordless phone and spoke to someone on the other end of the line, “I wish to set up an appointment to meet with the Dean of Admissions, at the earliest as possible.” She leaned against the counter, looking like she did in her wedding pictures when she was twenty-five.
I rummaged through the fridge, as she talked to the woman on the other side of the line. I found the taco meat we had made last night, shredded cheddar cheese and leftover flour tortillas. I stuck the meat in the microwave, while looking for diet soda. I found it easily and the microwave beeped my taco meat steaming. I pulled it out and wrapped it in the tortilla with the cheese. I sat down at the table and started to eat it over a napkin. I popped the can of soda open and took a drink, its acid burning down my throat in a delicious tingle.
I could barely hear the woman on the other side of the phone, but mum was able to hear and answer her just fine, “You had a cancellation for thirty minutes from now? We’ll take it.” She smiled to me, giving me a thumb up. “What would we need to bring?” She nodded and wrote it down on the back of the letter, “Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh. Thank you very much; see you in thirty minutes.” She hung up the phone and folded the paper up, stuffing it into her pocket.
She turned to me, “Go get your pipes and stones.”
I looked at my taco, only to see that I barely ate half of it. Sighing, I set it down on the napkin and stood up. I went back into my room and hopped onto the bed to a picture that was close to the edge of the roof. I grabbed the picture off the wall, as I looked at the picture of an artist’s rendition of what a Gate would look like. The arch of the Gate was carved with infinite spirals to illustrate the meanings of eternity that were famous throughout the magical world. I looked at the center, where the forces of light and dark spiraled, creating a lock of balance, that could only be opened the Gatekeeper.
I tore my eyes from the picture and flipped the frame over. There was a small notch for a key at the base of the picture frame; it matched the size and shape of the key I wore. I pulled off the key from around my neck and spoke softly, looking at the glint of the silver, “Well, I guess its time to open the doors to the past.” I put the small pinky-sized key into the keyhole and turned it one full turn to the left, then a half turn to the right, then finally a quarter turn to the left. The back of the picture frame swung open, the lock no longer holding it.
Inside the frame, hidden from those who would have searched for it, were a set of panpipes and a small, black, velvet bag of stones. I hummed to myself, a lullaby that was never heard in the Human Realm. I put the pipes to my lips, holding them with my teeth, and opened the bag by pulling on the drawstrings. I blew a single note, calling the stones from the bottomless pit of a bag. The note was happy one, a high F on a C major scale.
One by one, marble sized stones drifted from the bag, starting with a pure clear crystal one. As they danced from the bag, the colors started to change, each pulsating with a different life. The clear stone was the start of the rainbow of color that drifted from the bag, creating a circle in the air. Clear tones drifted to yellows and yellows darkened to oranges, to the reds, purples, blues, greens, browns and grays. One last stone flitted from the bag, the purest of black, finishing the circle of stones.
I stopped blowing on the pipes and counted each of the stones. “All fifty are here.” I mumbled to myself as I held the bag open, scooping them into it without touching them. I started at the darkest black, before moving up the colors until the only one left was the clear one. I smiled to it, before adding it to the bag with the others and hopping off the bed.
I hung the pipes from my neck, before tucking them into my shirt. I stuffed the stone bag into my pocket, knowing it would be needed later. I took one last glance into the now-clean mirrors, one last look at my past in the Human Realm. I walked out of my room, shutting the door, and walked over to mum. “Ready. Anything else?” I looked at her straight in her eyes at our five feet, eight inches tall height. We have been, mistaken for sisters, which only made mum happy. I watched as she finished off the taco I had been eating so happily not five minutes ago.
She shook her head, as she handed me what was left of my diet soda. I took a gulp and learned my liquid energy was gone. “Nope, that’s everything.” She smiled and helped me with my packed bags to the car. I grabbed another diet soda from the fridge, then decided to grab another one, for mum.
The Academy would start in two days and there was no need for me to be home for those days, since mum packed everything. We walked out the door, and as she locked it, I unlocked the car and put the bags into the trunk. I got into the passenger seat as she climbed into the driver’s seat of the 2005 very light blue, Chevy Aveo. She started it up and off we were to the center of town, where the Academy’s local office was.
Mum taught me how to drive, including the weaving through traffic she had to do to get to the appointment on time. She weaved, by watching the shadows of the cars ahead of her to choose the best possible route. I drank my soda in peace while we listened to her choice in music, Country.
We hit traffic as we sped across town, but somehow she was able to jump three lanes of traffic to make it to the turns to make an alternate route. We arrived with time to spare, after mum drifted the car into a parking space out in the front of the building. She parked the car and we left the luggage in the trunk, unsure of what to do with it.
We looked at the local office and noticed it looked exactly like a normal stone cubicle farm. We looked at each other, seeing the disappointment in each other’s eyes. We walked through the plain glass sliding doors and sat in the normal looking waiting room. Mum went up to the secretary at the desk to tell her that we were here for the interview. Off to the side of the room was an elaborate door, which led to the office of the Dean of Admissions for Humans, Elves and Orcs.
I took this time to look at the other patrons of the office. I saw an Orc child sitting between an older male and female Orc. I looked at the Orcling and smiled. He was wearing a shirt that looked entirely too small for him, but his pants looked to be three sizes too big. He had short-cropped back hair that I knew was a barber school reject, but it somehow accented his dark red eyes. He caught my gaze and glared at me. I quickly turned my attention away to someone else.
I saw another Orc who just kept staring at me. He wore an all black suit, tailor fitted for his broad shoulders that added an edge of darkness to his coffee colored skin. I smiled to him, and I watched as he blushed and turned away. He was sitting with someone who looked like his grandmother who smiled back to me. She waved to, before turning to the Orc male she sat with. They spoke softly, their Orc language carrying across the room, to the other family.
The family of Orcs with the angry son looked to the other set of Orcs and I could feel the recognition passing between them. The grandmother pointed to me, her voice sounded very excited as she spoke. The first family looked to the grandmother, to me then to the boy in his tailored suit. The boy in the suit looked to me again and when our eyes met, the world dropped away.
I looked around the darkness, before I looked back to him, “Morning! Lovely day, isn’t it?”
He just stared at me, but after a second, he shook his head, clearing it. “Yes, it is.” He looked like he wanted to say something but could not get it out.
“So what are you going to the Academy for?”
“Gatekeeping. Mum guilt tripped me into going, but I guess it’s for the best since she knows this kind of stuff. You’re an Orc, right?” I wanted to double check, before I offended him.
He nodded, “Yes…”
“I have never seen an Orc before. Does all of your race smell like coffee, or just you?” I tilted my head to the side, questioning.
He blushed, “No… Just me.”
“That’s spiffy! I wish I smelled like something good… Instead, I smell like musk, dirt and sweat. Yick…”
He grinned and I found an even ground with him, “I do not think you smell like that.”
“That’s good to know. I have heard that Orcs have an awesome sense of smell that is unrivaled by most other races. So, how did your grandmother and you get here?”
“The sliding glass doors act as a Gate to get to this office. How did you get here?”
“We took a car.” He tilted his head to the side, unsure of what a car was. “If you look out the window, it’s the horseless carriages. Cars were created by a man named Henry Ford, in the 1920s Human time.”
He looked at me, astounded, “Humans are ingenious…”
“Only a few are. There are a lot more that are completely idiotic, but I think all races have those. For us, they come from the Midwest and East coast of our Realm.”
He laughed, a lovely full hearted laugh. “I hope I can see you when the Academy starts!”
“If I go…” I looked away, “I can feel you and everyone else in this office, but I have never felt anything beyond what I have the Potential to be. Compared to you and everyone else, I don’t think I really belong in the Academy.”
The Orc looked thoughtful, “Do not sell yourself short. You have more power than you think, you just need to unlock it. I think that is part of the training for Gatekeeping.”
I smiled to him, “Thanks for the assessment. If I do go, then we shall meet there. Deal?”
He nodded, “You have a deal.”
The office appeared around us again, the private conversation finished. He turned to his grandmother and spoke to her, excited at our conversation. I looked at the counter and saw mum filling out some paperwork, so my people watching continued. My eyes passed over other people, most choosing not to even look up from the floor.
I saw an elfin male who would not stop staring at me. His long silver-blonde hair was tied back and his piercing blue eyes never left me. I felt exposed and uncomfortable, but I would not back down. I stared right back at him, taking in everything I could about his appearance. He wore all white, as was the custom for the Elves, making him look more like a sprite than an elf.
As I continued to watch him, the world around us fell away, leaving him and I alone in pure light. I spoke softly, “What do you want?” This was starting to become a little bit of an annoyance. At least with the Orc, I knew what ground we stood on with each other. Elves and Humans never quite got along well in our histories. Elves were viewed as unnatural tree-hugging hippies and Humans were seen as violent power hungry gnomes.
His voice was clear, though his mouth never opened, “I am just looking at your aura and Potential. Out of everyone I have seen, you are the only one who has a chance against me. You must be trying to become a Gatekeeper.”
I shrugged, not showing any emotion that he could use against me. “Only if they will allow me. But I doubt your words, elf. I have very little Potential and I think they made a mistake, which is why I am here.”
He looked deep in thought, before he shook his head of his thoughts. “You will see in time… May I ask your name?”
This elf seemed friendly enough, “Only if you give me yours.”
“I am Deilucus Florens.”
I felt mum poke me in the side, so I answered before breaking the staring contest, “Thank you, Dei. Now, you might learn my name if I choose to become a Gatekeeper. Saona.” I broke the connection, much to the annoyance of the elf. I turned to mum, “Our turn?”
“Yup, are you ready?”
“No.” I stood up and waited for her to get back up. “Ain’t you coming?”
“I can’t. The lady at the counter says you have to go alone because you are an adult.” She smiled, “But you will do fine.”
I gulped hard, “Yeah, ok.” I walked to the door and knocked on it. I watched it open and I stepped inside. The huge room enclosing on me as the door shut behind me, blocking my only escape.
“Please take a seat.” A kind male voice commanded me from behind a huge oak desk. “You must be Ms. Valiente. Tis a pleasure to meet you. I am Dr. Topas and I am the Dean of Admissions for the Academy of Anima.”
“Enchanted to meet you.” I automatically said without a second thought.
I assessed him, thinking of what he was. He was a dwarf by race but a scholar by trade. His long gray beard probably went down to his knees, but I noticed it was very clean and well kept. He had small dark tan beady eyes that glowed from behind a pair of wire, half-moon reading glasses. He looked at my papers, and then at me, “Do you have any questions for me?”
“Yes, sir. Why am I here? I’ve looked at my aura and saw it to be very small compared to those you normally accept. I think you made a mista-.” He cut me off.
“We at the Academy do not make mistakes, child. We chose you because we saw what you could not. Let me prove it to you. I heard you are the owner of the Panpipes and Stones, am I correct?”
“Yes, sir. They were the last thing from my father before he left.”
“May I hear you play the note to call the stones?” He set the papers on his desk and folded his hands in front of him.
I had no choice, so I stood up and pulled the bag from my pocket. I loosen the drawstring and set the bag onto the table. I pulled out the pipes from my shirt and set them to my lips. I played the single note from before, a high G, and the bag started to move. The first stone came out before slamming back into the bag. I looked at the stones, “That’s never happened before.”
“Just follow your instincts and they will do as they are told.” He smiled to me.
I played a soft, joyful melody, coaxing the frightened stones from the bag. The clear stone arose from the bag, but before it had the chance to run again, the other stones dance behind it, forcing it forward. I sped up the tempo, the stones coming out faster, as they danced in the air, becoming the circle they assumed in my room. When the black stone arose from the bag and finished the circle, I stopped playing.
“Very good. Now, I want you to see something.” He slid his chair back and searched though his desk. He mumbled, “Now, where did I put that stupid thing…” I looked over a little, trying to see what he was searching for. He popped up, and I was forced to pretend I was not watching him. He held up a mirror as he slid his chair back under his desk. “Look into this while you play and you will see what we see.”
I was confused, but I did as he told me to. I played a sad melody, convincing the stones to go back into the bag. I looked at the mirror and I could not believe what I was seeing. My aura pulsated and danced with the music. It swayed back and forth, the melody taking hold and tainting it with its notes. After the clear stone was safely back into the bag, I understood what they saw. “That’s my Potential?”
“Yes, and now that you see it, we have more to discuss. Have you decided which discipline you wished to follow?” He already knew what I would be suited for.
“I think I want to become a Gatekeeper.”
“Do you understand the risks of this path?”
“Yes, there is a ninety-nine and a half percent fatality rate, plus we have to learn all of the disciplines’ studies.”
“Splendid, now just one last thing.” He put my papers into a folder, “How will you be paying for this?”
“Paying…? What do you mean?”
“Money, we have to keep this school in business and so we have to charge tuition.”
I cringed, “How much?”
“We charge twenty thousand jewels for each year.”
I felt my hope waiver, “I don’t have that kind of money. Mum and I haven’t had that amount of money since… well, never.”
He looked grim, folding his hands in front of his face. “Then you cannot go to the Academy.”
I had to think quickly; mum was counting on me to go. Thankfully, I thought of something, “Mum really wants me to go to the Academy rather than a college. I heard that at colleges they have students working there to pay for tuition. Is there anyway I could work for free, to pay off the tuition? I’ll do anything.”
He looked at me and thought to himself, “Anything?”
“I have to go…” I took a deep breath in, “But yes, I will do anything that is needed around the school to pay off the tuition.”
He grinned, “Then I might have a job for you. And you have a deal.” He pulled papers out of his desk and set them on the top.
Trap set and sprung… I read them and knew he had this planned since the beginning. “Teacher’s aide? Isn’t that above my level?”
“Would you rather have to clean bathrooms?”
“… Where do I sign to become an aide?”
He laughed as he handed me a small knife. “Blood please. Right there.” He pointed to the bottom of the page where an ‘X’ marked the spot.
Without thinking, I poked my finger with the blade and pressed it to the paper. “So, who am I aiding?”
“Professor Athde. He is in charge of the Gates and I figured it would do you well to help a professor in your discipline.”
“Thank you, sir. For helping me.” I stood up and bowed to him.
“Tis not a problem. Good luck, Ms. Valiente. And welcome to the Academy of Anima.” He stood up and we shook hands.
I turned and walked out the door, into the waiting room. I saw mum stand up and we left the room, before she asked for all of the details. I left out the money part, because I did not want to stress her out more than what was necessary.
We both hopped into the car and drove off to find school supplies and a hotel room for the next few days. After the long days of finding everything she thought I would ever need, I hopped onto the bus and left for the Academy.