CHAPTER THREE: FAKE NORMALITY
The soft hum of the music coming from my headphones move around in my head. Great, I fell asleep with them on again. I hurriedly take them off as I hear footsteps approaching my door. As he enters, I get up and move to the bathroom.
"Good morning Milady." I scowl at him before closing the door.
"I told you not to call me that old man." He starts to protest but I turn on the shower drowning out all the noise around me.
"Today you finally start attending the Academy normally again." He says as I exit the bathroom.
"So, back to fake normalcy. Hopefully, father doesn't find a way for one of his stupid games anytime soon." I stare at him as he places my pill bottle into my bag along with the text books I'd left on my table.
"Your father would be pleased with how well you're holding up Milady." Pleased my ass.
"We both know I'm still playing along with his stupid game because I have no choice. Pleased my foot. He'll be pleased only when I fail."
"You really don't want to inherit the Academy Milady?" I really hate how sad he looks whenever he asks that. Martin has been my personal Butler since brother left home to study overseas three years ago. He's also the one person I feel most comfortable talking to even though I know father only gave him to me as his spy. Either for himself or brother I could really care less.
"I don't want it. I hate that he's forcing it on me like this. This title belongs to brother and you know he's a jealous man." At the mention of my brother, his movement became sluggish. He still loves him I see.
"That I know very well Milady. But please endure just until he returns."
"It's not like I can do anything but endure Martin. Anyways, you don't have to take me today, I'll take my bike." His head shoots up as I say that and he begins to complain again. Ignoring him I take up my blazer and backpack, making my way to the kitchen.
"Morning Steph." She smiles up at me while watering the flowers, as I enter the living room
"Good morning Atlas..." she stares behind me as Martin hurries down the hall, "was he being Martin again?"
"Does he ever stop?" I ask moving past her into the kitchen sitting at the island.
"Good morning Roye." He passes me a plate of eggs, bacon and toast and a cup of green tea.
"Morning beautiful." I eat in silence before heading to the door.
"How long do you three intend on trespassing in my apartment?" I ask as they move to stand behind me. Putting my shoes on, I turn to stare at them and they stare at Martin waiting for him to answer.
"I told you, you can go back to the main house. I understand why you came and I thank you for the past week you've been here but I'll be fine so you can go back now."
"If we do head back, do you promise you'll eat properly?" Martin asks as he stares at me. I knew exactly what he meant.
"Yes," God, he's such a worry-body, “you know I can cook, right?”
"And that you'll allow us to come back when you're next expected to attend..."
"Yes. Whenever there's something father wants me to attend or take care of for more than two days you can come back... all of you." I reply rolling my eyes.
"Then we'll trust you to call us." He says with a smile and a slight bow.
"I'm not a kid anymore, you know." I murmured throwing on my blazer, jacket and backpack.
"Indeed, you are not," Roye said grinning, "you've become a beautiful young lady, Atlas." He grins and I roll my eyes.
"Th-Thanks." I turn and leave the apartment grabbing my helmet on my way out.
I hope I didn't hurt their feelings by asking them to leave. I've come to understand that my words can cause damage no matter how true or good my intentions are. But when I'm not busy I do believe they'll feel more at ease being at the main house with everyone else. I am glad that they come to help whenever father asks me to attend gatherings or meetings both local and overseas, but I hate feeling like a burden. Plus, if brother knew that Martin was helping me with fathers' game, I fear that he would hate me even more and stop loving Martin. Maybe he knows and that's why he hasn't spoken to me in nearly eighteen months, even missed my birthday. They don't know that I know about their actual relationship despite it being extremely obvious. Well, it is for me who's always silent and observing others, especially brother. Although he dislikes me, he is my brother so I can't help but love him. After gran died, I hadn't really spoken to anyone and moved back to live in the main house with father and brother. Ever felt like a guest in your own house?
For some reason, father has been playing games between me and brother ever since then and although I hate it, I can't really forfeit. As much as I love brother I cannot lose to father and giving up would surely mean that. I've never been big on spending his money, so I'd gotten part timers and saved up my fixed allowances for my apartment and my own living expenses. Along with stocks gran left me and those I accumulated by playing around with the market, I'm able to live comfortably while I continue to save. I did overspend on my bike, but it was completely worth the money. The only thing I quietly receive from father is him allowing me to still attend The Academy with the condition that I attend these stupid meetings in other to annoy brother. I still believe fathers doing this to push brother and so I don't mind helping but his methods piss me off.
I was quite ill when I was a child and so I was absent from school a lot and spent most of it at home. After I got better, enough to attend school normally and not be homeschooled, I started from the beginning despite my age and so I'm actually a nineteen-year-old surrounded by sixteen/seventeen-year-old students. Not fun. I don't really enjoy the age gap, but I don't complain as I got to see what I missed and sadly it wasn't as enchanting as my tutors had told me over the years. It’s all gossiping and topics I don’t really understand. I mean I also came from money but for some reason, our priorities and interests differ greatly. Everyone ha s their circumstances I suppose. Plus, I doubt saying I was the Chairman's kid would've gotten me brownie points. Maybe a few fake friends.
Thank you, gran, for having my last name changed. I feel out of place at The Academy, so I usually just sit on the sidelines. That is until May decided to go against taboo and talk to the silent student. We hung out for a couple months and during that time I learnt of her older boyfriend. We met once at a group gathering and after that rumors of me stealing her boyfriend spread like wildfire. I neither corrected or denied the rumor and so I went back to being the silent student. I know I could've corrected everyone but what really happened wasn't my story to tell. I also didn't have the strength and quite enjoyed reverting back to my silence.
Stopping at the old book store near the Academy, I shoved the borrowed books into the return bin before parking in the lot behind the store and walking the rest of the way. I hope Sensei isn't in yet because I really want to be alone right now. I guess I'll go to the roof for now. Lying on the bench, I put my headphones on and wait for the bell to go. I still remembered his startled face when he looked at me last Monday. I think I scared him. Sigh. I knew he was the new teacher because of two things. One, he spoke to me and two, I'd seen his picture in the office. Hmm? Something feels familiar about him, though I can’t really say what.
"Today's going to be interesting."