The next day, I was so not ready to graduate. I loved the Academy, but most girls stay at the Academy until they find a substantial job with the CIA or something else (so not hard to find with a degree from this place), and I want to be one of those girls.
I knew that all but five of my graduating class would be staying here, not including me. Including me, six girls are leaving for what may be forever.
We wake up slowly, the ceremony isn't until 1:00, and we head down to the breakfast hall. It's just me and my four best friends, that is, until Louis and my half sisters walk in. They're towing the whole entire group of celebrities.
Louis sees us, and smiles. I try to smile back, but some of the comments his girlfriend made to me pissed me off.
At the time she called me a 'bitch', I was wearing a COMMS unit. I have long forgotten what that stands for, but it is placed discreetly in someone's ear, so everyone on the same COMMS line can hear what you're saying. It's kind of like a walkie-talkie, but more discreet, not as noticeable, only to a well trained spy. The entire school heard that comment. I wouldn't have had anything to say, I would have stood there dumbfounded if Sam hadn't spoken to me through the unit.
In the midst of my thoughts, Sam has gone to get a cup of coffee, and Riley had gotten in to a conversation with Caroline in Korean about how she has a bad feeling about letting me go to England with a family I don't know. Caroline timidly points out that they are my biological family. In a way I do know them, but I can't help but agree with Riley, I don't really know them the way I knew my foster family.
I snap myself out of my thoughts just as Sam sits back down at the table. She smiles at me, and listens to the conversation Riley is having. She just shakes her head and sips her coffee, while scrolling through the CNN app on her phone. She thinks CNN is a reliable source, funny, like, for real. The Wall Street Journal is run by several past Gallagher girls, it's so much more reliable.
I'm beginning to wonder if I should change my clothes and go for a run, but as I'm walking out of the Great Hall, Louis stops me.
"So, we all were going to go practice for that football game you invited us to play in. I was wondering if you would like to come, ya know, maybe show us some Gallagher tricks. That way we know what we're up against."
I thought about it for a minute, and was completely prepared to decline politely, but found myself nodding.
"Sure. I was going to go for a run, but maybe we could do both."
"Yeah, sounds great!"
"Awesome! I'll meet you on the west field in 20 minutes."
"The west field, just go out the big door you entered the Academy in, and then walk the opposite direction of where the Sun is in the sky."
He rolled his eyes. "What if I don't know where the Sun is?"
I pointed at the huge rose(stained glass) window. "See that? That's sunlight. It's sunny today!" He chuckled.
"What is that anyway?"
"The window? It was a window that was meant to be put in Westminster Abbey, but when it was being constructed, it broke apart in a freak accident that killed lots of people, but never made it in to the news. A famous British Gallagher girl named Mariah Samuels put it back together for the British monarchy, but they had already built a new one, just a little bit different, and they let her keep it. She gave to her alma mater, the Academy." (A/N: I just made up, so not true!)
"Really? Jesus Christ, you'd think that'd be one of them forgotten history things they teach you in history class."
"What should be?" Niall walks by.
I sigh, and begin to tell him the story.
One hour later, I'm meeting the rest of my "workout" group at the west field.
I'm wearing just a sports bra and a pair of black workout shorts. I have a black Adidas gym bag hung over my right shoulder, I never wear a bag over my left shoulder.
Demi is the first one to notice me. She's wearing a goalie uniform that is just slightly too big for her slim frame. "Are you ready, girl?"
"Yeah! How far are you all willing to run?"
"I'm sitting this part out! I ain't no runner!" One of the girls voices from the sidelines. The others nod in agreement.
The boys look at me expectantly. "I think we'll stick to about 1 kilometer today." Louis pipes up.
My mouth hangs open. "1 kilometer? That's not even one whole flipping mile! I run marathons in less than two hours, and you want to run a kilometer?"
I ran through my mind the list of all the trails that we have on campus. We don't have any that are a kilometer, but we have several that are one mile. It's not that big of a difference, at least, not by my calculations.
"Well, we don't have any paths that are exactly 1 kilometer. We have paths that are a mile."
I nodded, set my bag down, and began my stretches. They all looked at me like I was crazy when I got down in the splits and bent my body forward towards my right foot, then back towards my left. Then, as I was switching which leg was in front and which was in back of my torso, I said: "What? I'm not a freak show, you should probably do your own stretches, ya know."
I began to do all kinds of other gymnastics basics, and they began to stretch themselves out.
"How do you do all that?" Zayn asked. "I could never bend my body like that."
"First off, you're a guy. You're built differently. You're meant to be more of a strength person, that's just the way the male populous is. Women have a higher body fat content, and we're built to be more delicate, and flexible. Also, practice makes perfect. If you practice hard enough, you could sing perfectly in tune without auto-tune. No offense meant. Even opera singers can't always sing perfectly in tune, especially because they're singing so high-pitched. By my ears, you are about 50% of a half-step off the note you want to hit. Ladies, you are about 35% of a half-step off your notes. Perrie, particularly on your high note in 'About the Boy'. (A/N: Mixers will know what I'm saying! That note is so BEAUTIFUL!) Which, by the way, just proves how meant for each other you two are, ya know, Zerrie, with the high notes and all."
As I wrapped up my speech, they all just stared at me. "Damn! How the hell did you figure all that out?" Niall looked at me in amazement.
"The practice of being in your schools' orchestra since you were born, you know, theoretically speaking."
"Nice, what instrument do you play?"
"Viola." I answered. "I can play all the string instruments, but viola is my base instrument, the first one I ever learned."
He nodded. Liam took it upon his Daddy Direction self to say: "Is everyone ready to run?"
"Yes, absolutely, Liam!" Zayn said with lots of enthusiasm and sarcasm. That's odd. Whatever.
I begin to walk off towards the edge of the field, towards the shady forest that borders the campus on all sides.
When we reach the edge of the Ionos trail, so dubbed after the Ionosphere, the topmost layer of our Earth's atmosphere, I begin to jog, and slowly get faster, only I got slower once again when Liam stopped me. He was bent over.
"Weren't you the one that wanted to take Zayn on a two-mile run? Or am I mistaken?" I asked him, not even breathing heavily at all. This was not hard for me, not by any stretch of the imagination.
He just rolled his eyes and stood back up.
I turned back around on the path, and headed for the final 100 meters of the trail.
As I reached the field again, I sprinted for my bag, still left in the same place.
The girls, obviously overly concerned, crowded around the boys, who were panting like there's no tomorrow.
I took a sip from my bottle, then poured the rest of the contents on my head, letting it pour over my head.
Then I reached back into my bag, and pulled out a old soccer ball that had obviously seen better days. It was frayed on the edges, and you could hardly tell where the black and whites sides of the ball were. I won a game against the Blackthorne boys with this ball.
The Blackthorne School for Boys is the Gallagher equivalent, but obviously, for boys. It's more of a military school than a school for spies, but those boys excel at sports like football especially.
"Is that the ball you're going to use?" Jesy asks me, in a tone that suggests she knows not to piss me off.
"Yep." I popped the 'p', and kicked the ball all the way down field in to the goal.
I heard a wolf-whistle, but I ignored it as I ran after it.
When I returned, Louis says: "So, how do you Gallagher's do this?"
"Easy," I replied. "Just try to always have the ball. If you don't, you'll probably lose. Say I'm trying to decide where to pass the ball, which, won't happen, I decide quick, but say it is. Go after the ball," I point to the ball under my right foot.
Louis frowns, then shrugs his shoulders, and runs the 20 feet towards me. As soon as he takes a swing at the ball, I take it in between my feet in a matter of seconds and flip myself over his head.
I land perfectly square on my feet, then kick the ball up 5 meters in the air, and as the ball comes back down, I thrust my right hip away from my body, and the collision with my hip bone sends the ball down the field towards the goal.