Mysteries Kept Within (Original Group Story)

Noira, Holland, Cleo, Evie, Falcon and Clarissa are all remarkably intelligent, but very different, high schoolers from around the world, trying to find a good college and simultaneously balance life and schoolwork. When they are accepted into Callysta Creek, a university with a reputation for being highly exclusive, little do they know that there's more than meets the eye to their new school. Will they solve Callysta's mystery before it's too late?

Chapter 3

Evangeline Charlotte Mariatis ~ Escape

Something was poking at me, trying to rouse me from the depths of my much needed nap. I grunted, trying to shift to a position that would stop the awful tremor, but instead of ceasing, the incessant shaking increased. I squeezed my eyes shut tighter. I needed five more minutes. Just five.

“Evangeline! Evangeline! You must get up! I have the letter for you! It has come, in this mail. You must open it, you -” I groaned and tried to drown him out. As much as I loved Papou, he was prone to long monologues about events that would have sufficed with a word or two. The poking, prodding, and shaking only grew more insistent. As much as I needed my nap, it would benefit all of us if I just got up.

“Evangeline!”

“I got it, I got it. I’m getting up Papou, see?” To prove my point, I rose unsteadily from the armchair I had been curled in so comfortably. Satisfied, he handed me a thick, creamy envelope with gold lettering. Then he left me, presumably going back to puttering around the kitchen and getting in my mother’s way. I was sure she was regretting her decision to have him come up for the weekend. As helpful as he tried to be, he couldn’t help complaining about the smallest things. It was just his way – the Greek way.

I turned my attention back to the letter. It was easily the fanciest piece of mail I’d ever received, except for maybe an invitation to my cousin’s wedding. On the front, my name was written in curling gold script.

Evangeline Charlotte Mariatis
44 Ridgeway Road
Northampton, CT\

The return address was to Callysta Creek.

I stared at the letter, possibly waiting for it to explode. Nothing happened though, and I carefully peeled flap back. I was saving the envelope no matter what was inside. It was rare to see my name spelled right, rarer still to see it in gold script on paper that had to cost a solid twenty dollars. I pulled out two pieces of paper – or rather, a piece of paper and a packet. I cast the packet aside, probably propaganda or advertising. I scanned the letter, searching for the two key words - either "congratulations" or "sorry". My heart was pounding like a drum, thumping out a rhythm akin to Flight of the Bumblebee. I had wanted to go to Callysta ever since Mr. Harring had shown it to me. It was my dream college, and I still wasn't sure whether I expected a yes or a no. I was holding my future in my hands. It seemed awfully mundane, just standing on a cold front porch, no one around. I took a deep breath and read the condemning words:

Congratulations, Miss Mariatis. Welcome to Callysta Creek!

Congratulations. Congratulations. I had made it. Everything I had worked for these past months had paid off. I was going to Callysta Creek.

I couldn't believe that the kitchen was the same as it had always been. My whole universe had shifted, but the kitchen was still spotless. My mother was at the sink, somehow managing to look classy even while her arms were buried deep in soapy water.

Papou had been put to work at the table shucking corn. I didn't think he had any idea what he was doing, or why, but he was just happy to have a job.

"Mom. I got another acceptance today."

"My goodness sweetheart, that's wonderful! Where to?" She dried the frying pan on a dish cloth, but didn't put it down.

"Callysta Creek."

"Callysta Creek. That's nice... I still think either Stanford is your best bet though, Evie." I froze at these words. I knew my mother didn't have much interest in where I was applying, but I thought she would at least have known that Callysta was my dream, and that even if I went to Stanford, or even to Harvard like her, I wouldn't be as happy as she wanted me to be. Callysta was my only option. Making me go to Stanford would be a death sentence. It was too close to home. If I were at Stanford, I'd never be able to escape.

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