I looked up and saw Daniel standing at the end of the corridor, leaning against the white wall. I walked to him with a smile.
He was in dark blue tee with a pair of blue jeans. His smile was dashing.
“Hey.” I said, suddenly feeling giddy.
“You look pretty in purple.” He stated, making me blush.
Its Saturday I had chose to wear my favourite purple top paired with black jeans. I left loose my shoulder length hair. My hair waved along the blowing wind.
“Thanks. What are you doing here?” I asked him, keeping my voice calm and normal though my insides are full of butterflies.
Daniel was the guy I got to know in my history class. We started talking after about a month. Along with Kat, Daniel has been a great friend to me. For these two months I’m sharing the Law class with him.
“I saw you going to Miss Anita’s room. I thought maybe I should wait here to catch you.” He smiled warmly.
“Oh well you caught me.” I stated the obvious. “So, anything you want to tell me?”
His expression told me, this is it. The time I have been dreaming about for the past two months.
“Are you busy? Did Miss Anita give you any project to deal with?” He asked me. His fingers ruffled through his black hair, showing sign of nervousness.
“No, I just passed up the assignment she gave last Wednesday.” I told him.
“Wow that due next week. You’re fast, Ivy.” He said.
“Nah, I just have a lot of things going on so I don’t want any homework baggage.” I stated.
“Cool. I wonder how you and your friends could manage the crazy schedule.” He said.
“We have to.” I told him, losing patience. Obviously he’s dragging the time.
“That got me thinking if you have time to you know maybe grab a coffee today. I don’t know like right now.” He asked while kicking the invisible air. His hands were in his pockets, balled up. I had to hide my smile. He looked too cute, being nervous.
“Hmm, let me get back to you after checking my calendar.” I said in serious tone. He stopped his air kicking stunt.
“Sure, I will wait.” Aww.
I laughed out loud and he looked at me in surprise.
“You bought that? I was just kidding.” I told him, grinning at him.
His face lit up, “So, you’re on?” He asked expectantly.
“No, not today I made plans with my friends and maybe Miss Gabriella would join us. We’re going to have a girls’ day out.” I felt bad to deny him because his bright face was replaced with the grim one.
“Is Sunday okay for a coffee?” I asked him. His smile was back. It’s like an on and off switch, his boyish face.
“Sure, see you then.” He stepped back to Block B without turning back. I gave him a thumb up.
He stopped and asked, “Ivy, just to make sure. The guy you told me, the one that looked like me. Are you seeing him?” I was surprised to hear that.
I told Daniel about Tony on the first day we started talking. I told him how he reminded me of my hometown friend. He still remembers.
I shook my head. “Awesome. Okay, bye and have fun with your friends.” He left then.
I walked slowly to the staircase, barely noticing the tyros that passed by me. My mind was all giddy and my stomach was full of butterflies.
He asked me out, finally.
I knew we had something going on in between us.
Though his big and tall body frame reminded me of Tony, his behavior is nothing like him. Daniel is different. He’s the hot nerd boy. He’s very smart and amazing person to hang out with or maybe I’m being biased. I don’t think he realized this but I’m totally under his spell. He always brings up my girlish side. He makes me blush and smile like an idiot.
Just like right now.
I reached the ground floor.
I headed to the garden situated in the middle of the institute. I saw Anna and Naomi standing close to the Angel statue while Jane was talking with Miss Gabriella. They were all dressed casually. Naomi looked great in her knee length dress that she bought couple of weeks ago at the Bottomville city. The dress was sleeveless and the neck was high. The cream coloured fabric with pink floral splattered around her skirt clinging tightly on her body, showing off her curves. She wore light creamy pink heels to complete her attire.
Miss Gabriella was stunning as always. I have never seen her in anything but pants. Today, she’s wearing a cute white strappy tank with a blue and yellow designed skirt hanging around her waist to her knees. Her white heels made her look even better like a runway model. I envied her beauty. Nobody would believe me if I introduced her as my combat trainer.
Jane and Anna were in jeans and tops. They looked plain standing next to the other two. Naomi had always been the one to dress up no matter how trivial the event is.
Naomi waved at me when she saw me coming.
“What took you so long?” Anna asked. I grinned at them.
Anna eyed me suspiciously. “Something happened? Something good?” She asked.
My grin grew wider. “I will tell you guys later.”
“I hate suspense.” Anna grumbled.
Miss Gabriella smiled brightly at me. “Sorry Miss, to keep you waiting.” I said to her.
“Call me Natasha. I wouldn’t mind.” She said to me and my friends. There’s a faint foreign accent that I can’t quite put my finger on it. I’m sure she’s not from here. Her features itself differentiate her from others.
She asked me to call her by her first name on our first class itself but I constantly forget.
Earlier this week, the day after my combat test I had mentioned to Miss Gabriella how we spend our weekends. We always make sure to finish up all our assignments on the weekdays, no matter how tiring it gets, so that we could go out and have fun at the nearest town during the weekends.
Stephanie, our newest member in the group brought us out on our second weekend here. Though it’s a small town consisting of few blocks of shops, one big mall and a park, we enjoyed our days out there, walking around mindlessly while talking about everything and nothing.
I doubt I will ever get bored with my friends around no matter where it is.
Miss Gabriella found us very amusing and she asked to join. It seems she barely goes out to have fun. I agreed immediately. My friends were surprised to hear that. As everyone, they assumed Miss Gabriella to be the boring strict tutor. I changed my perception about her after I started my combat classes with her.
“Thank god, you’re still here. I’m sorry. I was helping my roommates to dress up for her date today.” Stephanie ran to us. She was in black and white sundress. It was good to see her in a dress instead of formal clothing but the colour was pretty much the same. We walked out to the front porch of the institute where the shuttle bus would be.
We board on the bus, earning a few curious glances in there. It is normal now, for us, to be stared at but now we are probably their centre of attention because Miss Gabriella in her transformed look is with us.
Words will go around soon. We sat at the front seat and chatted among ourselves.
We drop down at the Bottomville City, the nearest town here. We stroll to the shop lots from the bus stop.
Its early fall, a beautiful season. I breathed in the fresh cold air that flooded my mind with warmth and happiness. Fall reminds me of the end of the beginning where the trees shed its leaves just to wait for the spring for them to come alive again. The streets were full of yellow brown leaves and the trees looks very beautiful in red, orange and yellow colours as though painting came alive.
Each of us was contended in our own thoughts as we walked by the picture like scenery. The town had a few shopping malls and restaurants. We window shopped at a few clothing shops. We spent the noon walking around and chatting. Our weekends are confined here, in this average town.
We chose to have our lunch at the famous Top Burger restaurant. Though the cafeteria provides delicious good healthy meal, surviving without the fast food is a great challenge. To my surprise Miss Gabriella gulped down a whole cheese burger faster than us. As usual Anna was the last one to finish her meal.
“I missed you so much.” Anna talked to her burger.
“It’s been awhile I last came here. The place looked the same.” Miss Gabriella told us.
“You don’t come here often?” Naomi asked her. “Not much. I never gotten myself free time. There’s always work to do.” She looked around the restaurant, eyeing each detail. I remembered her words. She said wherever we go, it’s should be a habit to always stay alert and keep an eye on surroundings. She swept her gaze around the restaurant in a minute the moment we stepped in here.
“It’s boring, to work all the time. I couldn’t stand doing just that 24/7.” Naomi opined as she brushed her long blonde locks over one shoulder.
“That’s depends. I enjoy my work.” Miss Gabriella told us.
“Do you always get assigned to missions?” Jane asked. “No, I’m in protection department right now.” She answered.
“Oh then what are you doing here?” Anna questioned with her half full mouth.
“Staying in this institute is part of my job requirement.” She stated. I remembered some of the students saying about her, she barely teaches but always seen around the institute.
“You’re here to protect someone.” I guessed and she nodded. I have learnt spies are not allowed to discuss about the job. It’s discreet.
“So is it okay for you to come out today?” Jane enquired.
“I’m allowed to spend a few hours to myself.” Her voice was calm.
“Isn’t it hard to be on the job all the time, you can’t go out with friends, enjoy yourself or even date?” Naomi asked her. Miss Gabriella grinned at us.
“That’s individual perception. If you dedicate yourself to you job, you will not find it hard. And if you’re smart, you can still have fun and date while on the job.” She informed us.
“Do you?” I asked her, my curiosity pricked.
“Some of the tyros told us that dating is not allowed.” Jane told her. She smiled knowingly.
“That’s true. We don’t encourage any sort of distraction during trainings. We want the tyros to be able to absorb everything. But after you graduate, it’s your choice. Some choose to stay away from love conflict.”
“How about you? If you don’t mind me asking.” Anna asked. Miss Gabriella pursed her lips. I have seen her doing that during distress or when she’s in deep thoughts. She sipped her lemonade before answering us.
“I was in love even before I joined the institute.” She said. Her expression was empty. “Oh, you have a boyfriend?” Anna went on with her question.
“No. I had.” She answered curtly. We felt quiet. She smiled at us. “That happened long time ago, he’s gone and I moved on.” Her words sounded empty as well.
“Sorry, I didn’t know.” Anna’s voice dropped.
“It’s alright.” She smiled at us.
It was Ronald.
We didn’t realize the boys were here in the restaurant since we were fixated on Miss Gabriella. He’s with Ray. They came to our table and their eyes grew wider when they noticed Miss Gabriella.
“Hello, Miss.” They greeted her awkwardly. She nodded at them. Both of them joined our table.
“Had lunch?” Anna asked. “Not yet.” Ray and Ronald answered together. They ordered meals while we made small talk. It was almost evening when we head out of the restaurant. Ray suggested to visits the park before going back. We agreed. The park was not far away, walking distance from the shops. The weather was perfect for an evening walk. The park was huge, designed like a golf course. There was a fish pond in the middle and a playground at the side.
I walked with Miss Gabriella to the pond. Naomi and Jane went to the playground. Both of them sat on the empty swings and started to swing playfully. Steph, Anna, Ray and Ronald went strolling around the park.
“You have great friends.” Miss Gabriella said to me as she watches Jane and Naomi.
“Yeah.” I agreed with a smile. “Many kids that are chosen often change when they join the Angels’. I can see you’re going through a hard time but still remain as the same girls I saw at the camp.” This is the first time I heard her speaking of the camp.
“Miss, I have a question about that day. How did you found out that it was us?” I asked her. She looked at me as though I’m a child.
“Mr. Henderson saw you.” She simply stated. Of course, he’s the head spy. He could easily identify our face or track us using his memory.
“It was a brave thing, what you did back there. He might not have made it, if not for you girls.” She said. Both of us leaning against the pole and watching the fishes in the pond.
“We didn’t see any other choice.” I told her.
“You could have left him there.” She paused, her eyes were unfocused. “But you didn’t. That proves something.” She said later. I barely heard her.
“Thanks.” She murmured. I didn’t see that coming. She was truly grateful. I felt awkward so I gave her a small smile.
“You care about him.” I stated after awhile.
“Of course, he’s like my father.” She mentioned.
“Oh.” That explained her constant present around him.
“He took me in and raised me.” She went on.
“You were chosen by him?” I asked thinking if she’s the same as us.
“Yes, he chose me and brought me into the institute. He’s a great guy. He helped me when I was lost.” I was baffled to hear that. I couldn’t imagine the perfect Miss Gabriella as a lost girl.
“He has helped many including you.” She looked at me.
“Yeah, he got us into spy school. I never imagined that happening in my life.” I said. I didn’t know if I was happy for that or otherwise. She sensed my confusion.
“Ivy, he helped you more than you think he did. Trust me. You and your friends are truly lucky to be here.” She told me and she meant it. I gazed into the dark pond. That’s what Miss Fiona told us too. The only two persons who knows the reason for our recruitment apart from the old man shares the same view.
We went back to the Angels later that evening before twilight. Miss Gabriella left us as soon as we reached the institute compound. We chatted awhile before heading back to our respective dorm. The day was well spent.
I looked forward for tomorrow, a day out with Daniel. It’s been almost a year now since I went out with a guy. Tony was the closest to it. We had great time together but I never felt anything romantic with him. We are no longer in contact now. I got busy with my days here and only could text him during weekends so our friendship didn’t last long.
My phone buzzed on my way to dorm. It’s from Daniel. He wanted to meet tomorrow morning at the corridor near the compound. My friends noticed my grinning face.
“Who’s that?” Jane asked me.
“Oh yeah, you wanted to tell us something right?” Naomi remembered my earlier words.
“I have a date tomorrow.” I told them.
“What?” They responded. They know my crush on Daniel. “It’s Daniel.”
They didn’t expect this. I smiled at their bewildered faces.