Meredith Green is an eighteen year old girl who is, to be honest, pretty lazy. She has no idea which direction her life is going to take, and, quite frankly, doesn't care. She gets the opportunity she needs to turn her life around, however, in the form of a completely unexpected call from a Specialist University, offering her a place among their ranks. With no other options, Meredith is forced to attend, along with her best friend Charlie Samuels, who also received a mysterious phone call. From the moment they enter the huge manor house, Meredith starts developing odd symptoms and strange suspicions about the teachers. Also, the two brothers who own the manor, Jeremiah and Noah, seem to act weird around the pupils in particular. She is determined to find out the truth, despite the mystery illness she seems to be coming down with. However, is the truth safe? Can Meredith handle the shocking facts about everyone around her that she loves and trusts?


7. Departure

"Now Meredith, are you sure you've packed everything?" fretted Jenny worriedly, rushing around the house with a harrowed expression on her face. I rolled my eyes, looking up breifly from my book, to watch Jenny lug my huge, old-fashioned trunk down the stairs.

"It's all covered, Jenny. Charlie and I made sure we both have everything we need for the trip and for when we get there. I'll be fine!" I reassured her in a soothing voice. Truth be told, I was calm and collected on the outside, but on the inside I was a huge bag of rattling, jiggling nerves. Butterflies streaked up and down my stomach and my head punded, making me feel dizzy and nauseous. Gripping the banister firmly, I leant against the bottom of the stairs, relaxing my body slightly. Suddenly, the door bell rang, and Jenny gave a twitchy jump, letting out a small shriek. She had been so nervous and worked up this particular morning, I was surprised she hadn't had a heart attack. She placed a hand over her heart, breathing heavily and standing still for a few moments, before walking over to the dark oak front door and pulling it open, a cheery smile plastered across her face. No! I thought desperatley as Mrs Samuels, Charlie's mum, strode in, her bright red hair bobbing along with her steps. This has happened all too fast - it can't be time to leave already! However, Mrs Samuel's pretty face was covered with sadness, as was Jenny's, as she chatted away in a slightly trembling voice.

"Oh I just can't believe my little Charlotta is leaving already! It seems almost yesterday that I was in the hospital, holding her tiny, wailing body in my arms!" wailed Mrs Samuels unexpctedly, sobbing loudly into a tissue Jenny had hastliy provided for her. Charlie's head poked out from the parked car outside, a look of embarresment and dismay written plainly across her face. She swiftly exited the car, jogging into the house and steering her bawling mum into the driver's seat of their Landrover Defender, muttering angrily under her breath. I smoothed down my dark denim jeans and pretty grey jumper-dress which I had picked out uncertainly, not having been given a uniform or certain dress code. I had avoided packing red, as they had instructed, but couldn't resist taking my special silver jewelery set my mum had given me, just before she'd died. It meant a lot to me, and I couldn't bear to part with it. 


Charlie and I had heaved all my trunks and bags into the boot, along with all Charlie's stuff. I had packed way more, but that was because I was terrible at organising my clothes neatly and they took up much more space. All too soon I was kissing Jenny goodbye, finding everything I would need for my lunch, checking my list again and again and climbing into the car as it purred smoothly out of our driveway. I tried to hold to image of a tear-stained Jenny, waving a miserable goodbye in the porch, but we soon turned down the chink in our driveway and the house was replaced by overgrown shrubs and trees. I turned around to face Charlie and discovered, to my surprise, that tears had forged a path down my face, turning my eyes bright red and making my nose run. It was not a pretty sight. Charlie was unusually quiet, staring soberly down at her hands. However, we soon started talking, and were laughing and messing about as we finally made it out of El Monte. "What is this rubbish written down, Charlie?" asked Mrs Samuels angrily at one point, brandishing a scrap of paper with "22 miles" scribbled down on it. "Your new university definately is NOT just 22 miles from 'your current location', or whatever crap you were giving me!" Charlie blushed a dark pink, turning to her mum.

"That - that's what the phone call told me!" she protested, hurt. Mrs Samuels just rolled her eyes, turning her concentration back to the main road in front of her.

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