It was a cold January morning. The frosty wind licked at Gene’s nose as he looked up at the brick building. He breathed into his hands and rubbed them together to keep warm. He looked around at the surrounding buildings. All of them were made of brick. The area around the complex was covered in thick forest and the ground was hidden by the snow.
“Well, this is it,” he said to himself, “This is my new home…”
Parker Academy was a boarding school. The kind you read about in books. A high-class, upper-level, snobby boarding school is what it was. But he had no choice. He had no parents, no immediate family that would take him, and he was too old for anyone to want to adopt him. And no one wanted a son that was in his condition. Ever since his mother died five months ago, he hadn’t been quite the same. For the first month, he found himself blacking out and waking up in strange places and being confronted by people around him accusing him of things that he didn’t remember doing. According to his doctor, he had something called “Dissociative Identity Disorder”. After his mother’s passing, his mind had created a sort of separate identity. One that was much more unstable than himself. While Gene had never really interacted with this “alter ego”, he had given it a name. Finny was fidgety, angry, and didn’t like talking to people. Finny was, essentially, the result of Gene’s inability to cope with his mother’s death. At least that’s what the doctor had said. During one of his blackouts, Finny had gotten into a fight with Gene’s neighbor, Clayton. Clayton was a troublemaker, and was constantly picking on Gene. He’d picked the wrong day to pick on him, though, as he ended up in the hospital with a broken arm. When Gene was questioned about said incident, he couldn’t remember a thing, however he had come to his own conclusion that Clayton was asking for it. The doctors had him staying in a special hospital to keep an eye on his behavior until he was “no longer a threat to himself or others”. He sat in a room for most of the first few months, either watching television or reading a book. They made him take several types of strange pills to suppress his “outbursts”. After roughly a month without lashing out, the doctors decided it would be best for Gene to enroll back in school. So, with no family to take him in at the moment, he was enrolled in Parker Academy until the end of the semester.
Gene found himself climbing up the large stone stairway to the main building. He could see a woman scurrying down the hallway frantically as he kicked the snow off his boots and made his way inside. The hall was long and dimly lit. He could see a few lights on in some of the classrooms (or at least, what he perceived to be classrooms) and a few of the doors were open. He made his way into the first door and was greeted by a rather large woman wearing glasses.
“What are you doing here, young man?” she asked him, looking rather flustered “You’re not supposed to be here until tomorrow!”
Her voice was both scolding and welcoming at the same time. It was if she was both disappointed and glad to see him.
“My name’s Gene Macmillan,” he said to the woman, “I was just dropped off. I was told to come early so I could get
properly situated for-”
“Ah, so you’re Gene!” she affirmed, interrupting him midsentence. “Well then, I’ve been expecting you.”
She opened up a drawer and got out a pen and a paper with alot of words typed on it.
“You’ll just need to sign here and I can give you your room key and class schedule.”
Gene rubbed his hands together again. He had a hard time getting his hand around the pen due to the cold. He started reading the paper, but finally came to the conclusion that it was a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo and sloppily wrote his name on the line.
“Would you like me to call the custodian to show you your room?” she asked, giving him a key and an envelope.
“No thank you, Miss…?”
“Lamberg,” she said with a smile, “Call me Mrs. Lamberg”
“Well, thank you Mrs. Lamberg, but I think I’ll do some exploring around campus on my way to my room,” he said, shuffling his feet.
“Well, be careful not to get lost, dear” she yelled to him as he left the office.
He worked his way through the long hallway and out the back exit and out into the snow-filled campus. He looked around at the tall buildings. Now that he was actually in the schoolyard, everything seemed much grander. He walked over and brushed the snow off of a tall sign and began to read. The common rooms were North of where he was, adjacent to the main building he’d just come out of that was to the South. The Classrooms and art rooms were to the West, and the Gymnasium, music rooms, and campus pool were to the East. He decided to check out the classrooms and starting heading in that direction when he spotted a rather old man in a blue jumpsuit walking across the campus towards the gymnasium. He looked rather flustered and kept looking at his watch. Gene finally decided it must have been the custodian. The man saw Gene and shot him a piercing look as he made his way towards the main East building. He was probably wondering what he was doing there so early when the students weren’t supposed to be arriving until the next morning. Winter Break was ending and classes would resume the day after next. Gene had alot of catching up to do since he’d missed so much school after his mother’s death. He let out a faint sigh as he thought back to the day it had all happened.
It was a dry August evening. He and his mother were driving to the store. He was in the passenger seat and she was at the wheel. The sun was setting in the distance. His memory was a little fuzzy due to the accident, but he remembered the car in the other lane. It swerved and hit them from the side. His mother had died on impact. Apparently the driver of the other car had dropped his cell phone and when he bent down to pick it up, he accidentally turned the steering wheel. No one would ever really know what exactly did happen, though. Both the driver of the other car and his mother had died on impact. But Gene had made it out of the accident without so much as a single broken bone. The car had rammed right into the side of the car and killed his mother and the driver of the other car wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. He was very sore, but ultimately all right.
He shook his head as he came back to reality. The reality was that he was going back to school and what had happened in the past didn’t change that. He needed to find his dorm room and start unpacking.