EPISODE 1.1 THE PARAGONS
The white main building was five floors high. The inside corridors of the second, third, and fourth floors were visible from the outside because of the glass windows. A three-lane road runs from the gate toward the building. A squared fountain with a mermaid statue stood in the middle where cars circle when they leave after they drop off the students. A three-floored building stood on its right side. It was connected through a long overpass on the second floor to a two-floored building in which all rooms were reserved for school organizations and clubs. There was a field on each side of the main building. One was for a training field while the other one was all grass. A huge stadium was located just beside the grass field. According to the map, there are two more buildings behind the main building.
It was three in the afternoon in the middle of autumn. There wasn’t any student anywhere.
Iris Dwight sighed loudly as she stared at the vicinity of the academy. Anyone in her position would be ecstatic to work in a prestigious school but she knew better. A huge and known school would mean lots of work, troubles, and disturbance. She wanted a peaceful life at work but she was assigned to the most competitive high school.
She gripped the strap of her sling bag then approached the main building. A supervisor in her previous workplace, who’s close to someone working in the academy, recommended her. She was quite surprised when the school accepted her immediately.
When she neared the fountain, she stopped to admire it. A 6 feet tall mermaid with a veil covering long hair was holding a vase with water continuously flowing from it. On top of its veil is a tiara. She admired how clear the water was. She noticed something on the part of the statue which was underwater. For a second, she thought there were words carved there but it was hard to make out. She squinted her eyes but got startled when her phone rang. She gasped when she realized she was late. She ran toward the door of the building.
“Ms. Dwight.” A woman in a tight black shirt and coat holding a dark folder stood in front of an elevator. The first thing that entered Iris’ mind was the woman looked like a model.
“Ah yes,” she replied then approached her. The woman nodded. They entered the elevator. It was an awkward ride for Iris. She felt small beside the model-like employee. Are all employees like her?
The elevator opened. She quietly followed the woman while looking outside the glass window. The woman stopped in front of tall and wide two doors.
“Please wait here,” the woman said then entered the room without waiting for Iris’ response.
She stood awkwardly outside the door. To relieve the running thoughts in her mind, she walked toward the glass window to take a good look at the fields. But what caught her attention once again was the mermaid statue in the fountain.
“Why mermaid?” she whispered.
“Cause the President loves it.” She shrieked a bit then quickly turned around with her hand on her chest. Her heart was drumming beats. When she saw the person behind her, she immediately fixed her posture and expression.
The intruder who’s in navy pants, a white dress shirt with a blue and yellow logo on the pocket, and a navy tie stared at her with a cold expression.
“Uh thank you,” she said. “Uh I’m a new teacher here so...” Then she laughed half-heartedly. When she realized that the student was still staring at her, she stopped.
“But there was something else in mind when they were designing it,” the boy said then turned to look at the fountain. Poseidon? He looked back at her.
“Dolos, a Greek god,” he explained. She nodded in amazement but got confused as to why a mermaid was designed with a Greek god in mind. It didn’t look masculine at all. She liked to read about Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythologies in her spare time but she forgot who Dolos is. For the first time since she saw him, he smiled. It was small but it was still a smile. It made her feel relaxed about the whole situation of working in an all elite school.
“He’s the god of deception and treachery,” he said then chuckled, making his smile bigger. She didn’t know what to make of it but she figured that the boy also loves mythologies. But it didn’t sit with her that a fountain was made with that in mind. But who am I to judge?
“I see,” she replied with a fake smile. She suddenly heard footsteps on the other side of the door where the woman entered earlier. The boy started to leave. When he got close to her, he whispered something then went on his way.
“Deception isn’t always bad, right?” She curiously watched him walked until the secretary called her. What a weird student.
“Is there something wrong?” Iris turned around to face her. One of her eyebrows was raised.
“Nothing,” Iris quickly answered with a smile. It’s class time. That student will be punished if I tell her.
“Alright. Please go in. The principal is waiting for you,” the woman said. Iris followed her inside. The room wasn’t a room at all but a large office with several doors. There was an information desk beside the door and two guards. Iris followed the woman to the first door on the left hallway.
“Ms. Dwight,” the man in the suit with shiny hair greeted her with a huge smile. He stood up then shook her hand.
“Mr. Williams,” she greeted back. He laughed heartily.
He gestured for her to sit down on one of the sofas. Gregorie Williams, the current principal of the academy, was a laidback guy who uses too much gel on his hair. That was how her previous supervisor told her. Couldn’t describe him any better...
“You’ve met one of my secretaries, Ms. Jane.” He gestured toward the woman earlier who nodded a bit upon hearing her name. She didn’t smile nor show other expressions. Mr. Williams laughed loudly. Iris showed a fake smile.
“Can you bring us some tea, Ms. Jane?” he said. Ms. Jane left without a word. When they were alone, Mr. Williams grin turned into a tight-lipped smile.
“I was disappointed when I heard that a well-educated teacher like you didn’t try to apply here, Ms. Dwight,” he started.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” she replied. He probably read all her credentials. He read about her working in large and well-known universities. Mr. Williams dramatically shook his head.
“But I’m glad you’re here now. Arnold was right for recommending... uh no... for guiding you toward our academy,” he said. “You won’t get disappointed here.” His grin grew. Iris returned a smile.
“I know I won’t, Mr. Williams,” she replied. After 30 minutes of Mr. Williams talking about how successful and beautiful his academy is, Ms. Jane showed her her office in the teachers’ area. It was what she expected it to be. Each teacher had a glass room with a sliding door. The glasses on the sides which face the other teachers’ office were tinted. The front or entrance can also be controlled to become tinted. The offices were divided depending on the departments so teachers from different departments don’t mingle in the same office.
“This is yours,” Ms. Jane said when she entered the glass office. It was clean and in order. There was a computer, a printer, and a stack of bond papers. Books were cleanly kept on the shelves. Two sofa chairs faced each other with a low glass table between them.
“Your schedule is on the desk. Do you need anything else?” Ms. Jane asked. Iris shook her head. The facilities were hard to take in. Ms. Jane turned around then left the office.
“Ah.” Ms. Jane turned back then stared at her. “Carefully read and follow the rules.” Then she left.
“Rules...let’s see what kind of rules they have here,” Iris mumbled. She sat on the reclining chair and grabbed the folder on her desk. Inside were three separate stapled papers. One was her schedule. The other included the rules. The last one intrigued her.
“Vow of Silence...” she read.
“What do you need to hide, Secret Sirens Academy?”