Drastic | Teen Ink


January 16, 2015
By Anonymous

My life wasn’t always like this, and I wasn’t always under the suffocating control of Lucinda.  What seems like a long time ago, I used to actually have a rather happy life.

All of this began when both of my parents passed away in a freak accident 3 years ago.  I was only sixteen, and it really hit me hard. I suddenly had no family and no place to stay.  I had no one to turn to, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, I learned some terrible, terrible news.

A few days after I found out about my parents’ deaths, a man that I didn’t recognize came to my door.  He was dressed in a black suit, and looked quite professional.  I presumed that he was here to read me my parents’ will.  I was gravely mistaken.  He was actually Lucinda’s lawyer, and was here to collect me to become part of her household.  As my father’s will had allegedly stated, I was to be taken care of by Lucinda until my coming of age.  

This was all such shocking news to me-- I didn’t know who Lucinda was and nor did I care at that time.  All I had wanted was for some alone time to mourn the sudden loss of both of my parents.  I hardly knew what to say, and I numbly packed up my belongings for the next few days, and was collected by the same man who had come to my door to move into Lucinda’s house.

Before I left, I took one last look around the house to see if there was anything that I’d left behind in my haste.  Thank goodness I checked, because just as I was about to leave for the very last time, I saw a glint of something shiny.  I hightailed it to the corner of the room where I thought I saw something, and sure enough, there it was.  I had found Mama’s most priceless necklace, just lying there.  What a beautiful piece of jewelry.  It was one of Mama’s most prized possessions, and it was absolutely stunning.  Hung effortlessly upon a thin silver chain was a beautiful glass-blown Calla Lily that was surrounded by shining diamonds.  Mama always told me that with this necklace, she’d always have me with her, since it was my namesake and I was equally if not more beautiful. 

I’d wondered briefly about how something so valuable could be tossed so carelessly into the corner like that, but there was no time to spare.  The Bentley was waiting outside, and the Man in the Black Suit was getting more impatient by the minute.  I took one last long look at our crumbling old estate that I’d called home for the last sixteen years with tears in my eyes, and finally ran out the door for the last time.

Outside, the Man in the Black Suit was, of course, livid with me for taking such a long time to part with my home, as if the normal thing to do after both your parents died and you had everything taken away from you was to just carelessly prance away.  I tuned him out and was helped into the car. 
I wondered how the Percival household would be like.  I was to be given no details-- just pack and go.  This should’ve been my first sign of warning; any respectable, nice family would’ve come personally to get me and at least have shown some kind of remorse for my current state of being.  But nonetheless, I daydreamed for a long time about how life was going to be even better there, and how I was going to be living in an even bigger estate with a nice family whom my mother and father have long since designated to care for me.  I cheered myself up with my own words, and slowly as my fears began to recede, I fell fast asleep.

“Calla? Calla. We’ve arrived at the Percival estate.  Please awaken at once.  Ms Lucinda would like to have a word with you immediately.”

I’d forced my eyes open, and blinked a few times until my vision cleared. For a moment in my groggy state, I was confused as to where I was and what I was doing.  And then it all hit me again. My parents had been killed.  I had been traded off like some piece of property.  And here I was-- in my new “home”.

Slowly I began to gather my belongings from the car.  I was feeling kind of nervous, to be honest, about how life was going to be now that I wasn’t the princess of the castle, persay.  I was sure it was going to be different.  But never could I have predicted just how different it would be.

Nervously, I walked up the stone pathway to the looming estate.  I didn’t know what to expect-- I’d never met this woman in my life, and suddenly she was my caretaker for the rest of my years? This didn’t make any sense, and I couldn’t and wouldn’t believe that my parents would subject me to this kind of fate.  This had to be some kind of ploy. 

Nonetheless, I had to face reality.  I took a deep breath, rang the doorbell, and stood confidently in front of the doorway.  After about 10 seconds, a woman came to the door and let me in.

“Hi! I’m-” I started.

“I don’t want to know.  Ms. Lucinda is waiting to see you in her study.”

“Uh. Okay?”

The maid ushered me into the house, and stalked off while I trailed after her to the study.  On our walk, I couldn’t ignore how darkly oppressive the house was. Even with all the lights on, it still had a gloomy, dark undercast to it. 

I entered the study quietly, and there was one woman in the ornately decorated room whom I presumed to be Ms. Lucinda.  I felt so small in the presence of her and the furniture.  Everything seemingly towered over me.  I awkwardly stood at the doorway, and after a full minute that seemed like an eternity, she spoke.

“Finally.  I’ve been waiting for you for a while.  You are to report immediately to the servants’ ward when we are through with the Ground Rules.   There is much to do.  We’re throwing a ball today.”

“Firstly, you will not spoke unless spoken to.  There is to be absolutely NO disrespect towards me or any of my treasures, Aisha and Deila, is that understood?  They are the princesses of this house, and I will not have them treated any less than what they are .  Lastly, you are to have two meals a day and you will work fourteen hours a day. NO exceptions.  Now, I’d like to see as little of you as humanly possible.  GET OUT OF MY STUDY AND GET TO WORK.”

All this she spewed while I endured almost numbly.  I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience.  Was this really all I was reduced to?  I’d been the princess of my house, and now it looked like I was going to be the pauper. I couldn’t believe my luck… IT was surreal.  I quickly scurried out of the study, and cluelessly wandered around the mansion looking for the servants’ ward.  While frantically looking, I accidentally bumped into a girl in the hall. 

“Oh, I’m so so-” I began.


“Oh, I’m not a stranger!! I’ve been sent here by your lawyer and Ms. Lucinda. Please don’t make a fuss!”

“Oh right. You’re the new servant.  I heard about you.  Don’t tell me what to do; that’s my job. Anyways, I’m Aisha.  Just so you know, I basically own you.  So smarten up.” she replied smartly.

This girl was absolutely odious.   I couldn’t stand her for my life.  Aisha had an annoying squeaky voice that would be permanently etched in my memory.  She had buck teeth and her eyes popped out of her head like the rabbits we used to skin for stew.  Aisha overall as a person already made me feel like I was going to barf ( vomit? throw up? I don’t know I don’t like any of these words) and I wasn’t a very judgemental person to begin with.  I suddenly felt that this had to be some kind of payback. Was God allowing all this to happen because of my previous extremely charmed life that I had led?  Was that the reason for my seemingly endless torture?  I had to find some kind of psychic, I thought.  I have to find some way to pay back in some form of retribution so my life could finally go back to normal.
Meanwhile, Aisha was still standing there, blabbing on about how much she hated strangers entering her house without her permission and how she couldn’t believe she had to take in such an orphan and poor me and don’t expect to be treated any different because I was still just a servant.  Then, finally, she ran out of words.
“Well, aren’t you going to speak? Hello? Are you made out of wood?”
“Well I would have spoken had you not word-barfed for nearly twenty minutes,” I snapped back at her.
“Excuse you!! Watch your attitude.  Please remember that you’re MY servant, not the other way around.  Now, to see that you may be going to my school, there are some basic rules that you must follow. Come with me, now, quickly!”
I followed Aisha down the hall that led to another hall that led to a staircase and then one last hall before we finally reached her bedroom.  To be honest, I was kind of afraid to go in there.  From the looks of her personality, she wasn’t exactly someone that was… normal.  Or, I don’t know, fun or nice to be around. What if her room consisted of dead bugs and animals hung around her room and weirdo pieces lying around?
Then, she pushed open the mahogany wood double doors to her room, and I had to hand it to her-- her room was actually impeccably designed, furnished, and kept.  Of course, not that it was to any of her doing.  Aisha was probably as smart as a turkey-- so really, not very smart at all.  She couldn’t of come up with this kind of intricacy if her life depended upon it; of course she had an interior designer decorate her room and the maids and servants clean up after her every move.  It was typical. It was how I’d used to live, until I couldn’t.  Except, I have a brain and I know how to use it.
Aisha plopped on her bed.  I awkwardly stood.  For a long time, she didn’t speak. I’d thought she’d fallen asleep, or something.  I slowly began to tiptoe to the door, and just when I was about to make it----
“Uh, excuse you.  Where do you think you are going?”
I jumped.  “I-I I thought you’d fallen asleep.” I manage to get out.
“Mm. Rookie mistake. I'll allow it. One more offense and I'll have to tell mother what a bad servant you are."
Oh god. Was she really pulling the mother card?
"Now. I brought you in here to set rules. First things first- at school, you are not to speak to me unless I speak to you first and at that with utmost respect."
I listened quietly, and she continued.
"Also, it should be made known that there are a few other people you may not associate with. Those people are: Delia, whom you already know is my sister; Camilla and Ryan, who are my special friends; and Lucas. Notice how Lucas is the only guy I'd mentioned. Know what that means, little Ms Smartie Pants?"
"... Is he your boyfriend?"
"Quite obviously. Now. That's all I have time for. Go now. Run along. BYE."
Well. If anyone was stupid enough to like Aisha then I'd be damned. I wouldn't want to associate with any of those disgusting people anyway. 
And crap!! I'd forgotten about Ms Lucinda's orders! If she checked on me I'd be screwed. And I knew for a fact that Aisha wouldn't cover for me and tell Ms Lucinda the truth about our little run in and talk.

So I was to go to Victorian Preparatory Day School. Well, at least there was something good coming out of this whole new living arrangement-- I would be receiving a solid education.  This I would need, in case I ever wanted to get anywhere in life other than be Lucinda’s slave.
However, it would be unfortunate, because I would also definitely be going to school with Aisha and Deila.  They would oh so surely turn every single person worth hanging out with against me, and there would quite possibly be no reprieve.
With a sigh, this once again brought down my lifting mood.  How was I going to make friends? I didn’t know anyone, and the two most popular girls at the school hated me.  This proved to be social SUICIDE. What’s more, I wouldn’t have anything to wear either-- Ms Lucinda was certainly not going to provide luxury items for me.
I decided that I would just have to figure it out eventually, and that there wasn’t really anything for me to do about it right now. I got ready for bed, and cried myself to sleep with my mother’s necklace clutched tightly in my hands.
The next morning, one of the servants/nannies woke me up at 4:30 AM.  I was outraged! Could they possibly be serious? 
“Sorry,” she said. “ Miss Lucinda has rules.  Everyone in the servants’ ward must be up by 4:30 AM to be on standby in case she or any of the little mistresses need something.  So get up. Now please.”
Dazedly, I stumbled out of bed.  Was I going to spend the rest of my life catering to these-- these appetites? Suddenly, I didn’t know how I was going to survive.  Nonetheless, I had to get up and go help the rest of the servants with breakfast preparation.  Because we’d finished early and made a little extra, I was able to sneak some of that breakfast into my own stomach.  No doubt if Miss Lucinda was up, she’d give us that already-infamous tasteless porridge that the servants had to endure every day. Because they pitied me, they allowed me to take the good breakfast.  I really was grateful, but I still felt bitter towards the entire situation.
After scarfing down my breakfast in record time, I tried to help the servants best I could.  They taught me about the household rules, and how Ms Lucinda and the girls needed to be woken up exactly three times each morning, as they had a hard time getting out of bed.  They also needed at least one servant each to help them with the agonizing chore of picking out an outfit that would do them justice-- it was not easy to look pretty for these three individual girls.  They had a myriad of issues-- this one was pigeon-toed, that one had a crooked nose.  They, apparently, needed a team to help them look presentable each and every morning.  Well.  How pleasant, I thought. At least it was something to make me laugh.  But then I realized that I was assigned to Aisha this particular morning, so my grin was wiped off my face and I proceeded to my morning duties.
After waking The Witches, making them look presentable (which really is as hard as they say), and getting breakfast into them, there was about ten minutes until school started. I thought I’d be catching a ride with them, but I should’ve known that wasn’t going to happen.
As they ran out the door, Aisha cruelly called, “Ta-ta! Good luck running to school, LOSER!”
As I knew I had no time to waste and that it would be hopeless trying to fight against the one who held the whip, I silently left the house and took my trusty skateboard along with me, and tried to get to school as quickly and as efficiently I could.

Everyone.  Please. Settle down.  SETTLE DOWN. Thank you.  I’d like to introduce our newest face-- Miss Calla Brookes.  Miss Calla, please take a seat next to Mr. Lucas Hunter. Mr. Lucas, can you please raise your hand?”

Barely arriving on time, my teacher, Ms. Faye, and her antics, was making my head spin.  Still panting and my heart beating, I numbly walked over to the boy who raised his hand, and took a seat next to him.

After I’d settled down, I’d began to really notice this Lucas guy who was sitting next to me.  He really was beautiful-- it was almost unreal.  He had a chiseled jaw, and the most gorgeous sea-glass green eyes I’d ever seen.  His hair was the color of dark chocolate, and he had a fair complexion that I couldn’t help think would complement my sun-kissed skin perfectly. 

I think he noticed me staring at him, because he’d turned around and pierced through my facade easily with his beautiful eyes.

“Hey, my name’s Lucas.  You’re Calla, right?” His voice was a perfect mixture of soft and deep, and it was really making it hard for me to answer.

“Oh, uh, yeah.” I responded curtly.  Idiot. Idiot. 

“Cool, cool.” he awkwardly replied.

Then he tried again.  “Maybe you wanted to sit with my friends and I during lunch?” He smiled the most adorable crooked smile I’d ever seen in my life.

“Oh, uh, yeah.  Sure, thanks.”

Well, at least I’d managed to get a sentence out without looking like a complete idiot.  BUT WAIT. Didn’t Aisha ever so kindly explain to me that he was of the Forbidden? That I was to not speak with him at all, ever? But oh my god, how could someone so godly and perfect and nice like he associate with someone so low, demeaning, and terrible as she?

Okay. Whatever. Fine.  I had to get this out of my mind.  I was here to focus.  I just endured the biggest tragedy of my life.  Boys? Please. Try me. 

I re-focused and listened intently to the lesson.  It was for naught, though, as I’d learned all of this at my old school.  How disappointing.  I was hoping for something to distract me from the beautiful boy sitting next to me.  I began to doodle and count down till the class ended. Soon, it was lunch.  Okay, I could do this.  If I could just quietly walk out of the room without him noticing….

“Hey, Calla, wait up!” I heard a voice call.

Shoot.  Shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot.  Well, I knew it wasn’t going to work anyway.  I sit right next to him, for heaven’s sakes! Also… I kinda didn’t really want it to work, to be honest.

“Yeah, sorry.  I’m just a little bit disoriented!” I chirp.  Whew. Got that one out of the way.

We began walking down the hall, and he started talking to me about my previous school and my what it was like there.  Then, he asked about why I’d transferred over to Victorian Prep.  Of course, it wasn’t his fault.  He wouldn’t know about my sudden newfound situation-- we’d honestly just met.  But I couldn’t help it.  For the first time since it happened, somebody had talked to me about The Incident, and for the first time, I realized how long I’d kept my feelings bottled up inside of me.  I couldn’t control this, and it was SO embarrassing, but I just suddenly BURST into tears.  Oh my God.  He probably thinks I’m the biggest freak on the planet.  Way to blow your shot at having ONE friend in the entire school, Calla, I thought to myself. 

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry.  Calla… Calla? Did I say something that upset you? I’m sorry… I wasn’t really aware… Are you okay? Please be okay.” He looked into my chocolate brown eyes with his beautiful green ones, and for one second, I felt as if everything was going to be okay.  His gaze absolutely melted my heart, and in that instance, I could feel that warmth that I so very much needed since my parents’ deaths. 

He’d taken me to the girl’s restroom where I got cleaned up, and he patiently waited outside for me.  I felt terrible and embarrassed, but on the other hand, he didn’t make me feel that way at all.  It was all intrinsic; Lucas was being the kindest gentleman to me and I couldn’t be more grateful to him for it.  After I’d finally calmed myself down, I came out of the restroom and found Lucas again.  Then, I decided that I owed him some sort of explanation.

“Hey, I’m so sorry about that earlier.  I don’t know what to even say please don’t hate me..” I started.

“Of course not, Calla! Why would I hate you?  That wouldn’t make any sense… But I really would like to know what happened, if it isn’t too much to ask.”

I took a deep breath.  I could do this.  So I started from the beginning, and (without breaking down again, miraculously) explained the story of the car crash and how I was shipped to the Evil Household against my will. I told him how it really was kind of miserable to be living where I was, and that I really just wanted to leave at the earliest convenience.  But then suddenly I realized-- wasn’t he dating Aisha?

“Oh, my god. I’m so sorry, Lucas.  I totally forgot-- I’m kind of trashing your girlfriend, aren’t I?” I mustered.

“My girlfriend?  I don’t have a girlfriend, Calla. I’m not exactly sure what you mean…”

Wow. This was so, so elementary of Aisha.  Could this really be? Was she really telling me to stay away from Lucas only because she had a hopeless little schoolgirl crush on him?  This was actually hilarious, and something that I could use against her.  I would definitely keep this in mind. 
“Oh, sorry, must be the wrong person.” I quickly saved.
“Yeah, sure, whatever.” he responded.  Phew. “Hey, add me on Snapchat or something!”
“Mhm, of course.  Actually, why don’t you add me-- I’ll give you my username.”
“Cool, Cool.”
Soon, it was time to get back to class, and we didn’t have the next period together, so we parted ways and I rushed to AP Bio.

“Before you go, everyone-- please remember that next week-- not the next time I see you but the time after that, there will be a test on the material covered.  Class is dismissed,” the teacher droned on. 
Well, at least now class was over.  I had counted on at least getting a good education out of the whole ordeal-- it was the only and last thread of hope I held on to after my parents’ incident.  But after today, I learned that at these private schools, evidently all they do is give you good grades and go really slowly to insure your spot in your selected Ivy League school.  How boring.  How predictable.  How perfectly annoying.
But, um, I mean.  At least I’d made some friends.  Including, uh, Lucas.  Who was, really, pretty cute.  Scratch that.  REALLY cute. And he was going to add me on Snapchat, which would be really fun.  Despite all the hate, I actually really loved that app-- it was so cute!
Okay, time to get out of my fantasy and return to present-day life, I thought.  I had to deal with Miss Lucinda and her daughters’ antics all weekend long.  What a drag.  Not to mention it was that terrible, terrible Aisha’s Super Sweet Sixteen Birthday Bash on Saturday.  Miss Lucinda would be sure to have me working my butt off all day and all night.  I wanted so badly to be freed of this indentured servitude, but really for the time being, I had no choice.  So I slung my backpack on my back, and walked skateboarded home from Victorian Day.

“CALLA! YOU’RE LATE.  COME TO THE KITCHEN IMMEDIATELY.” the sound system boomed as I rushed into the front door.
“Sorry Miss Lucinda! I’m coming I’m coming!”
God, I was so, so screwed.  I had so much to do and I just got home.  Aisha’s birthday party was in A DAY. This was ridiculous I couldn’t believe the workload lined up for me.
“Calla.  This is the last time and only time that this kind of nonsense will take place, you understand me? You understand?  Now let’s see.  I need you to do all of these things by TONIGHT. Tomorrow you will be fitting and dressing all of us.”
She handed me a list of tasks I had to complete.  I slowly and dreadfully read the entire list.  The tasks were RIDICULOUS! There was no way any human could finish all of these tasks in the time that was I was allowed. To add insult to injury, Lucinda had given the REST OF THE CREW the day off just so she could torment me and make me complete all the ridiculous tasks. I was so screwed.  But at least I wouldn’t have the Terrible Three breathing down my back-- they were going to go dress shopping because they were last minute people who didn’t really didn’t have anything better to do. 
I started on the first item on the list.  I actually drowned myself into my work so I could finish as quickly as possible.  But once the door clicked and the Three were out, I instinctively immediately stopped working.  It was like I all of a sudden remembered that I’d given my snapchat to Lucas.  I whipped out my phone and checked for a friend request.  Nothing. I refreshed. Nothing.  What? How could this be? I was actually so disappointed.  After all of that, he didn’t even really care. Not even as a really casual friend.  How devastating, actually.  I knew I shouldn’t trust anyone. I knew--
Oh my god.
lucas.hunter sent me a friend request on snapchat.  I suddenly felt so, so happy.  But no.  I couldn’t.  I couldn’t like Lucas. I needed to focus.  But of course, I would snap him back.  I accepted his request, and got a snap from him.  We continued a cute conversation for about an hour.  Then I realized-- I still had to finish all of Miss Lucinda’s cleaning tasks. Oh my god, NO! I was already behind from the start, and now I was as behind as ever.  There was no way for me to finish now. They would be back in about 6 hours!
I had no choice.  I sent Lucas a snap.
“Hey, wna cm help me @ Aisha’s”
He replied on the chat bar, and said, “of course. send me your number so you can text me more about it.”
Smooth, I thought.  Of course he would do this.  I sent him my phone number, and against my conscious will, I was actually giddy to see him, even though I saw him like a few hours ago.

Chapter 7
Knock Knock Knock. 
My god, he’s here.  Ugh.  I SO wasn’t used to feeling so… vulnerable for guys. I didn’t like it. Especially after my parents’ deaths, I hated feeling vulnerable because I was probably so susceptible to it.  I suddenly regretted asking him to come over.  But it didn’t matter now.  I didn’t really have a choice.  So I went to the front door and opened it.
“Hey, I got here as fast as I could. What’s up?” he managed to get out.

“Oh god, I’m so sorry I made you rush. This is totally not your problem I’m so sorry!”

“No, no no problem!! What did The Devil command you to do now?”

“Oh you wouldn’t believe it Lucas.  It’s crazy. Let me go get you the list.”

I run into the kitchen, grab the list, and return to the living room. On the way though, I see him already entering the kitchen. I hand the list to him, and wait patiently as he makes it down the list.

“..What?! Calla, this is insane.  You’re saying she’s expecting you to finish this all by yourself?”

“Okay, sorry for the negativity.  We can totally finish, as long as we work really hard.” he stared intently into my eyes.  Woah. Intense.  That was drive.


So we start with the kitchen, and although we worked our asses off most definitely, it was surprisingly fun.  He made me tell a joke every time I finished a task, and he had to do so likewise.   We danced around with the vacuum, took turns riding the lawn mower, and sprayed each other with the garden hose. 
As the time passed, I hardly even noticed as we had so much fun.  I don’t think I remembered being so happy since the incident, and it felt glorious.  For a few hours, all my troubles washed away with the grime that covered the estate. 
But of course, it wouldn’t last.  As we finished the last task, I was reminded to look at the time.  It was 10:22 PM.  Oh no! Miss Lucinda and the girls would be back at 10:30! And let’s be real, if they knew that I’d let someone over they’d KILL me.  And Aisha with her “No Lucas” Rule? I couldn’t begin to imagine how much worse they’d treat me if they found out Lucas was over.
“Calla? What’s wrong? You okay?” He noticed my sudden change in mood.

“Lucas listen.  I am so so so so so grateful you came to help me today and I couldn’t have finished without you, but I really really really need you to go please Lucas text me but they’re coming home in less than *checks watch* five minutes and if they come and find you here long story short they’re going to kill me sorry thank you--” I ramble.

“Hey.  Calla, it’s fine.  Don’t worry okay? I’ll text you soon.  Let me get out of here.” he turned on his heel, gave me a quick hug, and walked out.  I went wordlessly with him, but right when we reached the front door, I saw Miss Lucinda’s Bentley coming down the street and pulling up into the driveway. CRAP. I had to think fast. 

“LUCAS.” I shouted. He jumped. “Come with me.  Quickly. Please.”

I decided to sneak him through the back.  We ran through the massive estate, and weaved through all kinds of crap along the way.  Finally, we reached the back door.  I breathlessly told him the directions to get back to the front of the house, and we exchanged our goodbyes.  Then, of course, I had to run all the way BACK to the front of the house.  Just as I reached the kitchen, Miss Lucinda, Aisha, and Deila burst in the living room.

“But MOM! I WANTED BOTH DRESSES.” Aisha cried.

“Mother, it’s not fair that Aisha gets so many things.  I want… more!!!” Deila followed.

“DEE! SHAYE!” Miss Lucinda bursted, “Please, darlings, calm yourselves.  Mommy will get her treasures whatever they fancy, as long as the princesses are good to Mommy okay?” She quickly composed.

“CALLA. CALLA WHERE ARE YOU. COME HERE THIS INSTANT.” Miss Lucinda screamed into the nearest intercom, which I didn’t really understand, as they were in the next room over.

“I’m coming Miss Lucinda! Sorry!” I called into the intercom, and ran to the living room.

“Calm the girls while I check on all the tasks I’ve asked you to finish.” a devious smile spread on her lips, as she knew no one in the world could’ve possibly finished all of those tasks singlehandedly.  It was impossible.  But I was ready. 

“Of COURSE, Miss Lucinda,” I replied, my words dripping of honey. “ Why don’t you check while I talk to Aisha and Deila?”

She looked at me suspiciously, but went to inspect the entire house.

“I looked at the girls with disgust, and sat on the couch and texted Lucas back. 

“What are you smiling at?” Aisha demanded.

S***. “Nothing, don’t worry about it.”

“Yeah right.  OOOOOOH Calla likes a boyyy Calla likes a boyy. How typical and low of you though.  It was your FIRST day. Let me see that.”

She grabbed the phone out of my hand before I’d even realized it, and she rudely looked through my phone.  I tried desperately to retrieve it from her, but it was a wasted effort. She was at least three times bigger than I was, and crazy strong.

“Lucas. HUNTER?!?” she screamed.  “I GAVE YOU LIKE, ONE RULE CALLA. AND IT WAS FOR YOU TO NOT SPEAK WITH LUCAS. Fine. You wanna play, Calla? Let’s play.  Remember who holds the whip, though.  Things are going to get SO much worse for you here-- COUNT ON IT.” Aisha spewed.

S***. I was in so much trouble.  Aisha stalked off to her room, and I noticed Deila still standing there.  Deila was… well there really was no simple way to say it. She was a simpleton.  She moved a lot slower than most people, and she never really knew what was going on.

“Calla? Why is Shaye so mad at you? What did you do?” she fussed.  People in bad moods made Deila really uncomfortable.

Well, at least she was nicer than the rest of them.  She couldn’t think fast enough to issue terrible commands to me or judge me or anything.

“Nothing, Dee. Calm down. It’s okay. Shhh. Don’t worry about it.  Go to your room, okay?”
I really felt bad for Dee. No one really cared for her or about her--not the way she needed to be cared for.  I couldn’t help thinking that if Mom were here, she would sit patiently with Dee and teach her things that she needed to function more normally in society.  She would hold Dee when Dee went on one of her episodes, and help her with everything she needed help with.

Dee walked off, and I held my phone close to my chest.  God, why did I have to answer the text then? If I’d just waited a little bit, I would’ve been home free.  But I didn’t. Ugh! Stupid me.
Just as I was about to wallow into my pity party of one, Miss Lucinda stalked into the room, fuming.  Of course-- one issue after another right?  This was my life now.  It’s okay, I chanted to myself, I could totally do this.

“CALLA! You little cheat!” Miss Lucinda crowed.

“Miss Lucinda! What could you possibly be talking about?” I looked at her innocently, complete with big doe eyes. “I completed everything you asked me to complete before you came home.  I don’t see what the big deal is.”

“Oh you brat! I knew I shouldn’t have taken you in. I did it for your mother’s sake, that poor thing.  Always sickly pale in our dance troupe-- but it looks like I shouldn’t have. You and I both know you didn’t couldn’t and wouldn’t finish all those tasks before I came home.  I’ll get you for lying to me-- I WILL.” She stormed off into her room.

Oh, well, I thought.  At least that witch didn’t get to me today. I’d finally landed a victory against her.  I felt incredibly victorious.  This was the first of many, I promised.  And that was the day my life at the Percival’s became a game.

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