Hailey Owens would do anything to live her life like the ones she watches on TV. She’ll take petty teenage drama over always paranoid any day, but when your parents hate your existence and are willing to sell you to a secret organization run through the government, normal is not an option.
With only one year to go in high school before she can officially say she was free, everything turns to hell. Not only does her parents double down on their efforts to trap her, but the organization known as Camp, hatches their own plans to get her as well. Why couldn’t she be born with recessive super genes?
A helicopter spotlight roamed over the trees surrounding the facility deep inside the government-owned property. Soldiers in army fatigue thundered through the forest disturbing what little bit of wildlife was brave enough to exist within the highly secured walls. They were led by trained dogs in search of the one who was trying to escape. It’s too bad the counselors didn’t realize how fast they could really be when they wanted or needed to be. They didn’t realize that Twenty Four a.k.a. Harper Reed was already out of their range.
Hailey walked out of her apartment, locked the door, and pulled her headphones from around her neck onto her ears. Her morning playlist was already playing through the black speakers; Soothing the dread for the day. Though it couldn't soothe away the annoyance from the glare of the sun in a ridiculously bright and silver Lexus that sat idly by the stop sign down the street. It gave her bad vibes, which put her on edge. When an inanimate object gives you bad vibes, it's best to heed the warning your instincts are throwing towards you. Just to be safe she crossed the street, and continued her walk on the opposite side.
She pondered over it while jamming to the lo-fi hip hop that made the fifteen minute walk to school a brightener to her day. What was significant about a car sitting by a stop sign? The thought was pushed out of her head as the building she associated as hell appeared. She wasn't even inside, and the sounds of her schoolmates were grating on the thin line of her sanity. Weekend plans were excitedly thrown around as everyone walked to the doors of the old gray and white block building, but the squeal of a girl caught her attention.
"He what?" She was on the front stairs, her back against the railing, "You have to be lying." She pushed the short strands of her bright red hair away from her face.
"Tuh, bitch when have I ever?" The boy she was talking to responded. Hailey could practically see his eye roll. As if he heard the though he looked over at her, " Looks like Hailey finally shows up. We have been waiting for you forever."
"Simon I leave the house at the same time, walk the same path, and arrive at school at the same time every day. Must you be so dramatic this early?" She turned from the morning walk playlist to her school day playlist, an arrangement of songs she can focus on no matter the situation.
"Um, I'm not being dramatic? I've been here waiting excitedly to tell you all about my night last night, you know the one you ditched me before. Before you say it, I know you had work. Go get your bread, and all that. It doesn't matter because the very best thing happened and you will not believe." He paused, before sighing in dramatic exasperation, when she didn't play along with his exaggerated retelling as she is sure Ashley had done, " Fine, well I decided to make the best of you ditching me once again, and asked Jonathan to tag along. And bitch, you will not believe what happened."
"Can you get on with it already? The first bell's about to ring." Hailey was getting antsy feeling like she forgot something, and Simon throwing off her morning routine with his story was not helping. She should be at her locker by now getting her books.
"I know he takes forever," Ashley intervened, " It took him twenty minutes just to tell me Johnny kissed him, and it wasn't even a good kiss. It was a peck on the lips that lasted two seconds tops."
"Oh. My. God, Ashley Pierce. I wanted to tell her myself!"
"Simon Leone, you seem to forget who you're talking to. I can deal with your exaggerated retellings, but Hailey will not. Especially in the morning." She checked her watch.
"Fine, yes Jonathan Hayes, the boy I've been crushing on since eighth grade has kissed the fabulous moi. Can you believe it?" Ashley sighed, and grabbed his arm pulling him inside the school.
"Considering he's had a crush on you for at least that long, if not longer, yes I can," Hailey replied rolling her eyes.
"Must you ruin all of my happy moods?" Simon exasperated. He pulled open his locker.
"If they encroach on mine, yes," she pushed the books for the first half of her day in her black bookbag, "It's not my fault you two were oblivious to each other's feelings. I told you how he felt, and I told him how you felt, but you both were too chicken shit to just move things along."
"That, may be true, but you don't have to rub it in. Besides, Ashley was right. It was a peck, and knowing Jonathan he won't do anything else. I'll tell you about it in detail at lunch."
"See ya, love ya two." He waved as he walked away.
"Um, excuse me? Could you tell me where Mr.—uh, Mrs. Glenn's classroom is?" a boy asked looking down at his schedule.
"Yeah, I can show you. It's on our way to our classes," Hailey answered. She waited for Ashley to put her books in her book bag before they lead the boy to his class, "What's your name?"
"Um, Josh, Josh Brinley."
"Well, it's nice to meet you Josh, I'm Ashley, and she's Hailey. If you ever need anything let us know. We're the unofficial cool kids of the school."
Hailey snorted, "Cool kids my ass."
"Josh, what are you doing?" The trio looked behind them to see an angry Brian Jensen, the school's own self-proclaimed church boy, marching towards them.
"W-walking to class?" Josh answered unsurely.
"I literally talked to you before we got here, and the first thing you do is ignore what I told you."
"Oh," Josh seemed to deflate, "Thank you for helping me." He stumbled away as Brian pulled him by his arm to his class.
"What an ass," Ashley commented when they were far enough behind the boys. Hailey hummed in agreement before they went into their prospective classes, the doors next to each other.
A/N Thanks for reading. Vote, comment and/or follow me. :)