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C2 New Rules


It was two days later when I got out to explore the town for the first time. The first day after I’ve arrived, I went with Annie to the house of her old employer (when she was a nanny) for a visit as they would be moving out of the country soon.

Turns out, it was the perfect time to visit because they’re practically giving away some of the furniture, décor, clothes and everything else that they won’t be bringing with them. I’ve also met Natasha, the baby that my aunt took care of until she was four years old. That was around the time my aunt found the job at the daycare center, with the help of course of Natasha’s mom.

I’ve gotten myself some awesome, practically new branded clothes, some luxury bags (not the Hermes kind because who would give that away, but nothing to scoff at either), some shoes, some furniture (the study table I got is going to be perfect in my room). My aunt took dinnerware, glassware, kitchenware sets which looked really pretty and expensive (something Braganti is one), that made her so happy that she can’t stop talking about it.

“I’ve always wanted that Iznik set by Laboratorio Pravicini!” Annie exclaimed as she washed and dried and wiped with extreme caution the said set. I don’t even know what Iznik nor laboratory something is. But by the sparkle in her eyes, it might be something awesome.

So yeah, two days later, I’m by myself, exploring downtown Neutral, with plans of looking for a part-time job at the Central Neutral. According to Annie, most business and shops are located uptown, so best try my luck for a job there. But before the job-hunting, I’m dropping by East Side High (it’s actually called School of Iustus, but who speaks Latin these days) to formally enroll myself and get my books, and maybe my schedule.

The night before, during dinner, Annie told me that I need to take three buses to reach my new school. The first bus will bring me from downtown Neutral to the border between Central Neutral and East Side. There I will take the second bus which will bring me to the middle of the East Side which is where the economic activity for the East is located. I will then take the third bus which will finally bring me to my school, which is located northeast of the middle east side. All in all, the trip will take at least an hour without traffic. But if I had a car, which sadly, I don’t, it would only take me at least half an hour because I’d be taking the shorter route.

The journey to my new school is uneventful. I took my time, trying to absorb everything that is so much different from back home. It seems like everything, especially on the East side territory looks so…advanced. Skycrapers, tall buildings, beautiful boutiques and cafes are abundant. The best part? My new school is right next to the ocean! I though I won’t be seeing any form of water aside from lakes for the next few years because Neutral, where I’m staying is land-locked by West Side and East Side.

Good to know I’d still be able to breathe that salty ocean breeze.

With a little difficulty and few lost turns, I managed to find the administrations office. The admin office is housed along with the principal’s office, teacher’s offices and lounge in a two-floor 18th century building. It’s surrounded by tall trees which brings a bit of ominous and cold feeling to it.

I was greeted at the reception by a white-haired plump woman with cat’s eye glasses perched on her very tall nose. “What may I help you with, honey?” she was unexpectedly sweet. Huh. “Good morning ma’am. I’m Cara Noble, I’m supposed to start my junior year this August…”

“Oh! You’re being sponsored by Ms. Atasha Williamson, is that correct?” Atasha Williamson is Natasha’s mom, which is Annie’s previous boss. “Yes ma’am.” I answered and nodded at the same time.

“Well, come follow me, the principal is expecting you. I’m Sue by the way.” Sue led me to a huge set of stairs in the middle of the room. Together, we climbed our way to the second floor where the principal’s office is located. Sue knocked briskly at the door and then opened it.

“Ms. Walter’s, one of the sponsored-students is here to greet you.” Sue said as she waved me to enter the room. Ms. Walter’s whom I assume is the principal, looked up from the paper she was writing on and pierced me a look. I swallowed a little as she seems quite intimidating. And she is tall!

Ms. Walter’s stood up and rounded her table and walked to me. She said thank you to Sue and gestured for me to take a seat in one of the couches near her table. “Cara Noble, right?” she asked in a high-pitched voice, which grates on my ears. I think I flinched a little.

“Yes ma’am.” I answered, my voice coming out soft. “Very well, I’m Amanda Walters, the principal. We only got few rules around here, and it will do you well if you remember it. One: focus on studying. A lot of sons and daughters from wealthy and prominent families from the East side, as well as from outside of it attend this school. This is basically a school for the future elites of the world. As a sponsored-student, you need to focus on studying, not trying to raise your social standing.”

Did she just tell me not to be a social climber?

“Two: do not get in trouble in any way or form with the West Side. It will seriously damage your standing in this school if you get into trouble from there. I understand that you live in downtown Neutral; I guess it’ll be a little hard to stay away as much as possible from the West Side. But you need to take precautions and be careful.”

Walters might well as be speaking in foreign language; I don’t have any idea about that 2nd rule and about the west side. “Third: if you get into trouble with any of the regular students here, it might cause you to lose your spot in this school. It doesn’t matter whether your sponsor is one of the wealthiest in Neutral, and was actually from here in the East Side. If one of the elites deemed you unworthy of staying in this school, then I myself wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. Looking at your grades, it would be a shame to lose a student who actually does some studying.”

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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