“I’m home” I yelled as I entered my house and tossed the results on the table in the foyer. I hadn’t done great but my brother had done worse; he’d failed in Government Studies so today he was gonna have to bare the brunt of their sarcasm and “is this what I raised you for?” questions, so I was in the clear for a while.
Running up to my room taking two steps at a time, I was already thinking about all the free time I had for the next three months to explore the city of the Mortls. Freedom at last!
I took a long, hot shower and was almost done when Meera, our housekeeper knocked on my door and told me dinner was ready.
I gave my shower one last longing look, wrapped a towel around myself and got out. Honestly I wasn’t hungry at all but in my family you couldn’t miss dinner unless you were on your deathbed, so I dragged myself to the closet to pick out something ‘ladylike’ as my mom said, to wear.
Finally after standing for around half an hour and day dreaming, I picked out a dark emerald, knee skimming evening dress. I hoped this was enough ladylike for my mom. After trying to pin back my crazy frizzy red mane of hair and get them to behave I decided to just leave them as they were because they’d just get back to their original state in five minutes.
Instead of taking the elevator, I decided to take the stairs down to he dining hall, thinking this would save time since I was already two minutes late, but then figured this was a bad idea because that’s when our butler decided to bring out the dishes from the kitchen.
“Oops sorry Gerard…” I said as I almost knocked our butler down the stairs in my hurry. “No worries, Miss Tulip” he yelled out while trying to regain his balance. I hated people calling me Miss Tulip. For gods sake, I wasn’t some school teacher, but my mom insisted on all the house staff to refer to us as Misters and Miss’.
Ignoring him I hurried down the stairs and stopped just outside the dining room to catch my breath. “How could you do this?”, my mom’s shrill voice drifted towards me. Perfect. Mom and dad were grilling Jonah for his grades, which gave me enough time to gulp down my food quickly and disappear before anyone noticed me there.
I took a deep breath and entered the room. No one paid any attention to be as dad was yelling at Jonah about how stupid it was for him to fail in Government studies. Sigh. These were probably the only times I loved having my brother around.
I sat down on my chair in between mom and dad and reached out my hand to get the chicken gravy. I realized it was a big mistake as just then I saw mom give me a cold stare that could freeze the Sahara desert and say, “is that how ladies in this family are supposed to behave? By laying themselves across the table to get a dish? We have butlers to serve you!” God. Laying was a bit of an exaggeration. Firstly I didn’t understand why we had to sit on such a long dining table when there were only four of us eating. And moreover I wasn’t a handicap that I couldn’t even reach out my hand to take a bowl of gravy. But deciding it was stupidity to argue with my mom, I mumbled and quick sorry and Gerard came to my aid by taking the bowl and putting gravy on my plate.
By this time they had gone back to yelling at Jonah about his grades. I picked up my fork and dug it into the potato, as I wasn’t really in the mood to eat. Thank god I didn’t take a bite, because what I heard next would’ve made me spit out my food on dad’s face.
“So Jonah, since you’ve got appalling grades, you will be made to clean the bathrooms and the do the dishes for the next one month.” My mom said. The look on Jonah’s face was literally priceless. I mean yes he had had his fair share of punishments for getting bad grades, but this was going a step too far. Jonah had his entire summer planned out to party and plot with his friends and now he was made to clean the bathrooms!
After hearing this I decided it was best for me to quickly slip away before anyone noticed. But my luck wasnt always in my favor and as soon as inched the chair back, my dad daid in his crisp, automated voice, “and how were your grades love?” He asked in what seemed to be a very sincere tone but every word was dripping with sinister intent.
“Well, I umm…I passed in Government Studies” I said hoping this was enough to get me off the hook; apparently it wasn’t as they didn’t look all that pleased. “We’ll yes, you did pass GS, and that too only by 4 marks, but what about physics and history? Shall we discuss as to why you only achieved just passed marks in these two?” I swear I saw Jonah smirk out of the corner of my eye.
“Well the paper was quite difficult and most of the students failed” I tried convincing them that passing was good compared to the students that had failed, but I should’ve known better, that never works with my parents. “Are you living with the parents of those other students?” my dad asked sarcastically. “Anyways, since you too have failed our expectations, you will attend LOT’s summer program along with Tori, as her parents and us have deemed it necessary for you both to get some hands on learning before you follow in the footsteps of your older brother.” He finished by giving Jonah a disappointed look.
The LOT? As in Laboratories of Tekna; this was my worst nightmare come to life. I hated anything to do with those labs where they defied nature and created plastic food and fake weather, and now I was to spend three months of my life there?! But as they say every grey cloud has a silver lining, at least me and Tori were going to suffer together which made it seem less agonizing. I couldn’t wait to finish dinner and go up to my room to call Tori, so I quickly gobbled up my chemical tasting potatoes and vegetables and excused myself from the dining table. Jonah was still sitting there staring at his plate unable to believe how he’d spend his summer. At least I didn’t have to clean poop and leftovers.