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I sat on my new bed in our new room at the Angels’ Town Institute. I scanned the whole room looking for something spy-ish, something like secret vault, weapons or hidden treasure okay maybe not that.

When I first arrived here, the warden gave me the key and asked me to call her if the room was dusty. I expected the worst but turns out it’s one of the most neat and clean room I ever seen. The room was large enough to fit in four single beds, closets and study tables. Each of the set was placed at the corners. We have one bathroom attached and I was grateful for it. The room was themed in red. I’m not sure why because I thought everything is going to be black and white. Everything out there seems like from an old set of television box and only the four of us walking around in bright colours. The wall was painted in pale pink and the floor was carpeted in burgundy. The beds’ sheets were the colour of red wine and the headboards were black. Only the closet and study table look normal.

“I feel like I’m in a heart on Valentines’ Day.” Anna complained as she unpacked her bags.

“Too girlsh.” Naomi agreed.

“Are we having the same classes?” Anna asked as she studied her timetable. “Yes, Year 1 but the funny part is I have no idea what course we are doing.” I stated.

“That’s not funny. I thought we could pick out our interest.” Anna sank on her bed, looking mortified. She threw her bags under the bed in frustration.

“Chill Anna, we will figure out after all this is our first day.” Naomi assured her. I turned to my right and saw Ivy sleeping on her bed. I threw my pillow at her. She opened her eyes when it hit her, groaning at me.

“We have class, don’t fall asleep.” I looked at my watch, it’s 9.45 am. Our class is going on and here we are hanging out in our room. Well, technically we are helping Anna to unpack and there’s no way I’m going to my first class without my friends. I hope the lecturer would buy my excuse. Ivy simply rolled over and went to sleep again. “Ivy, what is up with you?” Naomi asked and she threw her pillow at her.

“I want my phone.” She said in sad voice.

“I miss music, my songs.” She went on. “It feels ages ever since I listened to any.”

“No, just two hours.” I corrected her. “Come on, you brought your lappy, right?” She brightened at that, “Of course, she went for her purple bag on her table. “Oh, no. Stop Ivy, not now, we got to go.” Naomi got up, grabbing her big yellow handbag. Ivy stopped and looked at us, “Do they have wi-fi here?”

I had no clue.

Anna was complaining about my green and Naomi’s yellow handbag that we were carrying. She being the good student, brought her school bag. I brought a small handbag because I clearly don’t know what to bring to spy classes except a notebook and pens. They haven’t list down the subjects or given us any textbooks. The class we were heading to now is the French Class. At least, we got to learn new language. I liked that. The classrooms were at Block B. The classes were all labeled in alphabets. The doors were closed as we pass by.

As we reached class C, I knocked and entered. A young lady in white top and black pencil skirt was standing in front of a big slide, the lights were dimmed. She was explaining about something on the slide. She stopped and gave us a surprised look.

“Sorry, we are late. I just unpacked my stuff.” Anna explained.

“Pourquoi êtes-vous ici.” She said, and we gaped at her.

I think she asked us a question because she looked at us expectantly to say something so I tried, “We are new here.” I gave her my timetable. She studied it and then, she spoke in English. “New students.” She stated, not a question.

“Have a seat. How much do you know French?” She asked as we made our way to the back of the class. There was a row of empty tables.

“Not much.” Naomi answered. “That’s fine. We are still in basic level. You will be able to catch on.” She told us with a sweet smile before resuming the class. I had no idea what she said after that. I studied the class and something hit me. I focused on the kids sitting in front of us.

“Are they younger than us? Are we in the wrong class?” I whispered to my friends.

“Oh-uh. This is not fun.” Naomi retorted looking at the class in astonishment. Our next class was at the next door. We walked in and saw the same aged kids, probably 15 or 16. It was an Introduction to Espionage class. I ignored the kids and focused on the lecturer. He was cute, wearing a tweed jacket and his hair was styled like Ted Mosby in HIMYM. He had the classic professor look and his tall and lean figure with his handsome face made it better. I think I will like this class. The classroom was larger than the previous one. More kids here, probably it’s a compulsory subject or because of him. He started the class with a video clip. The scenes were picked out from very old movies. It was about a guy impersonating another person trying to trick an officer. The video was paused as soon as the main actor with weird moustache got out without getting caught.

“Now, as you would have found out, today’s class is about impersonating.” He said loudly, he walked around the class as he speaks. The girls were staring at him moon eyed, including me. He was cute but now since he’s going to teach about how to cheat others without getting caught, the whole thing made him hot.

Each of the classes we attend was new and totally cool, well for me it was. I don’t know about my friends. Though I like learning new stuff, I had the feeling as if I’m back to high school. This is supposed to be college not high school, that’s what the old man promised. We had four different classes today, the next two was held after one hour lunch break. The four of us skipped lunch. We had no appetite to eat after all the whispering and murmuring going on. Even the young students are gossiping about us, it’s just that obvious. I tuned them all out most of the time. My friends were growing restless and annoyed with the surrounding. I couldn’t believe we are stuck in a place where nobody likes us. Not that I care, I can survived without meeting new people or making friends. Well, to be honest I suck at making new friends. I have a very low tolerance with people, in general. Of course my friends are exceptions, they get me. I still remember how I started to be their friend, sometimes I stop trying and just ignore them but they didn’t actually care about that. They let me be myself and didn’t try to change me or even try to advice me. I took my time, got to know each of them and we clicked.

Naomi and Ivy were different from me. They make friends wherever they go. If the institute were not this antagonistic, they would have made plenty of friends by now.

Ivy tried in our first class. She spoke to the girls sitting in front of us. “Hi, I’m Ivy. Would you mind helping us to figure out the syllabus we’re having in Year 1.” They gave a very odd look before leaving without a word. Ivy was pissed.

I can’t blame the kids, if it was me, I would have ignored some new probably odd strangers too but I kept that thought to myself.

After the whole classes were over, we went to the cafeteria, hoping at least half of the kids won’t be there. And we were lucky, the cafeteria was almost empty. The cafeteria was really big that we had two counters to buy food. The tables and chairs were all made in steel and they shine as if it’s new. I got to admit, this institute is good in maintenance, unlike my high school. We went to nearest counter and found buns and noodles. Maybe the heavy meals are gone since it’s tea time. I ordered sandwiches and a cup of coffee.

The coffee was good.

Really good.

We sat at the corner table near a small garden with colourful flowers. The sun was still up reminding us it’s summer. I gazed up at the sun, thinking how it looked different from here compared to my home. They seem far away now, barely visible because of the tall buildings around the institute.

“Hey, it’s Ray.” Naomi nudged Anna.

She looked up and her eyes met his. He waved and made his way to our table. He was still wearing the same clothes, casual. I found it strange because the other kids were wearing something required like tracksuits or the whole black elastic outfit.

He sat at the next table but turned his chair to face us.

“Hi, guys. So how was your class?” he asked genuinely.

“Horrible.” Ivy said, while having her noodles.

“Really?” he was not that surprised. I could see that from his face.

“I don’t understand what is going on, heck we don’t even know what we are studying about.” Anna whined.

He looked at each of us and frowned, “This is odd. You really don’t know what is going on. Would you mind telling me why you’re here in the first place?” He asked reluctantly.

“No.” I replied.

“We can’t.” Anna told him.

“Alright then, if you are not supposed to, I get it. Maybe I can try to help you out. What is it that you want to know?” Ray volunteered.

“Why are you in casual clothes unlike the rest?” I asked.

“Owh.” He looked down at his attire as if he didn’t remember what he was wearing. “I’m just back from my first mission so now I’m free for another two days before continuing my lessons.” He explained.

“Mission?” Naomi asked.

“I’m almost done with my Year 4 now and there was this simple mission. Since there’re not many agents around, they sent me.”

“You’re in Year 4? How old are you?” Anna asked.

“I’m 17.” He answered.

“So are we. Then, why are we in Year 1? No wonder the kids were so young.” Naomi stated in frustration.

“They placed you in Year 1?” Ray asked in surprise. “I think maybe they want you to learn from the start, the basics.” He added.

“So are you going to graduate from here to college?” I asked. Trying to find out what kind of education system they have here.

“No, this institute is basically the mix of high school and college. Mostly we will learn the basic out there in normal high school and continue with advanced level here which is equivalent to college. Our education ends here.” He replied.

“Then, you start working? I mean spying?” Ivy questioned.

“Depends, not all agents get to involve in mission. They choose us by our talent and ability. The mission should suit you, they don’t simply choose anyone. Many do other stuff while waiting to be called. You could be a teacher, work at the agency. We have many other options in government itself. Some even join the police force.”

“Who is this ‘they’, you referring to?” We went on with the questioning.

“The institute and the agency, they are in charge of our education and employment respectively.” The questioning went on for another hour. Ray was being very patient in explaining to us the details. I got the big picture of how the institute works. We would have keep on asking questions but a young girl came to our table and asked us to go to the principal room.

“Okay, thank you.” We thanked her. She smiled shyly and ran away. I blinked and my friends were smiling.

“Finally one person, who doesn’t hate us.” Naomi stated.

“Make that two.” Ray said.

“Oh yeah, thanks Ray for helping us today, we really appreciate it.” Naomi thanked him.

“I don’t mind actually, you’re fascinating and different.” He said. We got up to leave.

“You mean how we are normal and you guys are not.” I asked.

He laughed, “Well, it’s the other way around for me.” We said our goodbyes and part our way.

“I like him.” Ivy said. “Me too.” Anna agreed with Ivy.

“He’s nice.” Naomi nodded. “I hope he’s not trouble.” I told them. I don’t trust people that easily but I think Ray might be exceptional.

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