7. The Hierophant

In the last three years, Miss Fern (or Natalie, how I normally call her) taught me a lot of things, so now I can go to school. I’m 17 now but tomorrow, when school finally starts, I’ll be a tenth grader. Differently from my peers, I’ll be one year older, but that’s okay as I want to experience all three years of high school.

Natalie said that university and college are really different from high school, so after pestering my parents for a long time I was able to attend school from the tenth grade instead of the eleventh grade. I really love mom and dad, and I’m thankful for this chance to enjoy life normally. Well, I already know the tenth grade curriculum and I am halfway through the eleventh, but that’s okay.

It’s 11PM and, while staring blankly at the ceiling, I feel too excited about tomorrow’s events. I can’t sleep, I’m restless. I know it’s not gonna be always good, but that’s okay because life is like that. It’s not always good and it’s not always bad, it’s got ups and downs and it always tries to shake up your routine when you less expect it.

Looking to my side, I can see various Moluccella laevis, or Bells of Ireland, sprouting from the floor to greet me, making me feel even more excited as they wish me good luck.

From inside the car, I could see all sorts of people entering the school building. Professors, both young and old, were easily recognizable by their mature attitude. Most of them were like that, at least. Also, a lot of the passing students greeted them with a minimum of respect. I could feel my stomach trying to give me back my breakfast. Excitement and anxiety were overwhelming my senses, until a warm hand held my own, which was slightly trembling. I hadn’t even noticed it.

“Don’t worry kitten, it’s gonna be alright. I’m sure you are going to fit in and enjoy yourself.”

Mom stared at me in the eyes as she spoke. Her confident words and radiant smile seemingly gave me the strength to nod. I held my backpack, entirely covered with a photo of a galaxy/the space, tighter. It was really nice looking, but after seeing a couple of the girls’ backpacks I thought that maybe it was too flashy.

Sighing, I look down for a second, put my hand on the car’s door and open it. After I exited, my heart skipped a bit as I once again took in the scenery of all the students going to school. Now, I was one of them. I shivered slightly before closing the door. Mom held out her hand to me, and I grasped it. Once again, I felt confident about myself.

“Good luck, kitty.”


I let her hand go and stepped back to watch mom and her car drive away. I braced myself for what was to come and started walking. I already knew where my locker and my classes were as I had memorized the map of the school. Since it was the first day, and I didn’t want to be late in any class, I decided to not leave the later classes’ books in my locker. My bag was a little heavy, but I didn’t mind.

After a quick walk, I easily found my class and inside I saw some people turning their heads to look at me. With a glance I noticed that the seat I had chosen for myself beforehand was still free. It was near the center column and in the second row. I wouldn’t be too far from the teacher nor too near. I sat down and put my backpack on the ground after I took out my pencil-case. When dad firstly gave it to me, I had wondered if he had it specially made for me. White camellias on an azure background.

Tight light-coloured jeans, a white short-sleeved shirt under a hoodless cerulean sweatshirt with thin black patterns all over it. Hoodies always got in the way of my waist-long hair. I kept sweatshirt open, as it was still quite hot lately. Well, it wasn’t even Autumn, we were in early September. My shoes were a pair of Converse in white and turquoise, nothing in particular.

I didn’t paint my nails, nor did I wear any make up. Natalie said I should do those things only for special occasions, otherwise people will think that I’m an easy girl. I suppose with my hallucinations and my past, I still wouldn’t be an easy girl, but appearance matters so I decided to follow Natalie’s advice. Natalie’s like an older sister to me, and I love her dearly.


Without noticing, time had passed and the first bell rang. Around me, my classmates finished taking their respective seats as the teacher entered the classroom with a little laptop in his hands. The teacher was around thirty, he had short brown hair and brown eyes. His face radiated seriousness and vigour, but at the same time it was calming and kind. Even with clothes on, it was possible to see the man trained regularly.

He calmly put the small laptop on his desk, plugged it to a socket to maintain it charged up and then turned it on before sitting down in his chair. He looked over all of us and smiled. It wasn’t a bad smile. I, like some other, smiled back. Once the laptop was on, he tapped a few times on the keyboard, probably to bring up the register of the students. So that the parents could know what was happening to their children in just a few clicks, this school adopted the use of an online register.

I didn’t mind, but I’m pretty sure some other students weren’t of the same opinion. The majority of the students was whispering between themselves, more or less showing me the pre-existing groups. I lowered my gaze toward my desk, slightly disappointed. The teacher voluntarily cleared his throat and slowly everyone quieted down. With a serious but smiling face, he started speaking.

“Welcome to Amaryllis High School, students. I am Anthony James and I’m going to teach you mathematics. Just know that I don’t like people who don’t put effort in what they do and people who purposely skip my tests.” Anthony frowned for a few moments, waiting for the students to take in what he had just said and then continued, his frown disappearing. “Since this is our first time meeting, you should already know that we are going to spend the rest of the hour talking about who you guys are, which middle school you frequented, some hobbies you may have, your favorite subject and what you did this summer.”


“Teach, what’s up with the sneaky questions about school?”

A boy somewhere behind asked while he clearly tried to suppress a laugh, seemingly without success. I slightly tilted my head to the side, just a little so others could barely notice at most, as I didn’t understand what was funny about his remarks or about what the teacher said. Anthony smiled wryly and shrugged, then he called out to a student, apparently the first on the list, and asked him about himself with the same question he mentioned before.

When it was my turn, the lesson was almost over. I stood up, a bit uncertain but still ready. I had been ready for a long time now. I breathed in lightly, encouraged myself in a matter of milliseconds and looked toward the teacher. Somewhat, I thought that gazing nowhere would look stupid or overly serious, depending on what you said. I think looking toward the person you’re speaking to is more polite, and normal.

“I… *Ahem* Hello, my name’s Lily. I had a private tutor, so I didn’t go to middle school, but my favorite subject is visual arts and my hobby is drawing. Last summer… well, I just went to the pool and to my grandparents’ house…”

I sat down, strangely embarrassed. Then, I heard my classmates whispering. I was so worried by what they could have been saying that I didn’t hear Anthony’s words nor the last two students talking. Maybe I didn’t notice or maybe I said something funny, but I don’t remember them whispering after the others’ introductions. I hoped I hadn’t noticed them before only because I was extremely anxious by what I would say when it was my turn.

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