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In the week leading up to the interview, I got myself completely ready. My second job was at the spa so I got discounts on purchases there, so I got my nails done for the interview.

I also practiced and practiced for it. I barely let a second go without running through questions in my head, and mentally preparing myself for anything. My clothes took forever to decide upon, same with my hair.

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“Alright, how do I look?” I asked Jennifer who was still in bed.

“Fine.” She groaned. “You’ve asked me this fifty times…”

“I want to make sure everything is prefect!” I defended myself, smiling into the mirror and checking out my nails.

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Oh, I was so nervous, I felt like I wanted to puke. This was the biggest thing I could do. I needed to make sure I was perfect for this.

I had to get in, I just had to.

-0-

Driving to Bridgeport had been the easy part. Finding Elizabeth’s apartment had been harder. She’d given instructions, but… well, I didn’t expect what we got. She’d given Jonathan the key code just in case she wasn’t there. It was a spacious loft apartment, with a huge balcony and a beautiful view.

“How did she afford this?!” I asked in complete shock, staring at the room we’d found.

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“A very large discount.” Chucked a voice. I turned in a whirl, eyes wide to see my sister. She looked… so different. Healthier, happier definitely.

“Elizabeth!” I cried, throwing my arms around her. She laughed and hugged me back.

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“Oh my god, look at you Hannah!” she laughed, smiling at me. “Shit, you got freaking tall.” She said, looking a bit sad, but so happy. She was blossoming here, and I knew I would too. I could feel it.

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“Thanks so much for this,” I said, looking excited and happy when Elizabeth’s phone rang. It rang a strange tone and suddenly her face turned annoyed.

“Are you…” she yanked it out and answered. “Hi, Lenny. Yes, of course, I’m psychic.” She said into the phone, rolling her eyes at us. I looked at Jonathan who shrugged. “Yes, I understand you have an audition, but this is my day off Lenny.” She argued with Lenny, looking angry when Jonathan’s phone rang. He got a text from his team, asking where he was. He took off with a  backward yell and headed to his competition.

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“Look, I’ll come around after, alright?” Elizabeth said into the phone, hanging up. She sighed. “Ugh, if you ever become a personal trainer, avoid spoiled rich kids who have more money then sense.” She told me dryly. She shook her head. “Least he pays good.”

“You’re doing so good!” I said, smiling. She shrugged at that.

“Eh, I’ll get there, right now I’m just living.”

“In a beautiful apartment!” I turned to look once more and Elizabeth snorted.

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“I got it on a discount…” I ignored her, simply taking in the sights before my phone beeped.

Two hours!

“Oh, I need to get dressed, and my make-up needs to be fixed and…” Elizabeth laughed.

“Alright, you go and do your thing. I’m going to go see Lenny and work out with him.” She left muttering about her client as I ran up the stairs to change, ignoring the sleeping bag on the floor she’d bought for me. Or borrowed. Whatever.

I got dressed quick and checked my make-up before taking off to try and find my way to the interview place.

The school’s library- because it was it’s own BUILDING!!!- was a beautiful place. Calm, graceful…

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And nerve wracking to go into. I asked the front desk where the interview rooms were, and I was sent down to a room filled with chairs.

“Ah, Miss Snow.” Said the woman sitting there. “I’m Madam Clementime, the secretary of Headmaster Arnold Clementime- my brother.” She introduced herself, and we sat across from one another. Her questions were pretty simple, and I found myself relaxing as we spoke.

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This was easy, what was I worried about?

“Now, Miss Snow… we received a call from your father after you agreed to the interview.”

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Oh, yeah…

“He said that he was refusing you enterance, but we decided to take a risk and see what would happen, like we did for your sister Margret.”

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…Wait, what? Really!? I felt bitter disappointment in my gut as I sat across from her. I suppose I wasn’t better then her after all…

“She never showed up. However, you did. Can you tell me why?” I blinked and bit my lip.

“I… I…” What could I say? I hate my family? I never wanted to be part of it? I considered her question and decided on my answer. “This is the best chance I have at making my dreams come true. I won’t let anything hold me back. This school… I can succeed here, I can become great, I can become the best I can be. This is my chance.” Madam Clementime leaned back and studied me slowly.

“And your mother? We did research you, and we have heard of her psychotic break. Don’t you wish to be with her, to help her?” I don’t know why I said it, but I did.

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“Even when she was sane, she wasn’t much of a mother.” I let it slip, unable to stop it. “We barely saw her, to busy working or fussing over the babies, or wanting more. I… I remember my siblings helping me more than she ever did. And they encouraged this.” I smiled a little feebly at her. “This is my choice.”

She was silent for a few minutes before she nodded.

“I see… well then, Miss Snow…” she looked me in the eyes and smiled. “Welcome to Saint Anges.”

I got in.

-0-

Elizabeth, Jonathan and I celebrated with pizza. We all sat around and laughed, eating it.

“I’ll have to buy a bed, huh?” Elizabeth said, grinning. “Feel like sharing with your ol’ sibling here?”

“As long as you don’t mind having your boyfriends banned.” I teased. Elizabeth winced, and I felt guilty. She stood up to grab another piece of pizza uneasily.

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“Or… or girlfriends… or significant others that-“ I began, babbling and Elizabeth snorted.

“I don’t date Hannah, but thanks for thinking of me.” She teased, and I blushed. Jonathan had to leave afterward, promising to smooth things over with our father, or at least try to. It left me with Elizabeth, who ate her pizza with her gaze focused on the floor.

We finished the pizza and Elizabeth got ready for her early morning training session, followed by a massage for a client later.

I got ready for bed as well, lying in the sleeping bag, and feeling my heart beat faster.

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I was really doing this, I was really going to go to Saint Anges!

The next day was filled with work for Elizabeth, so she told me to go look for a bed for myself. Her double bed was being sold online so we could fit two single beds on her loft. Having shared a room for years, I felt little care about sharing one with Elizabeth.

I bought simple ones, not to expensive, but nice ones. I made sure they matched her color scheme, though I was fairly certain she wouldn’t care at all.

Elizabeth called up a few friends to take care of the beds while she drove me home, where I felt true terror.

Oh god, what was dad going to do? What was he going to think?

…Why did I care?

I wrapped my arms around myself, trying to keep my breath even, but Elizabeth saw through me.

“I’ll punch him if he tries to do anything.” She told me bluntly.

It made me feel better.

Once we got there we went upstairs to wait for dad. He came in from the back, fury in his face. He barely noticed Elizabeth, ripping into me, screaming at me. I was terrified, I’d never seen this before, at all.

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“HEY!” Elizabeth snapped, storming right up to him.

“Stay out… Elizabeth?” He asked in shock. Elizabeth scowled and shoved him away from me.

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“Stop it, stop yelling at her for trying to follow her dreams.” She snapped.

“Your mother isn’t-“

“Mom hasn’t been well since she broke down. And instead of helping her, all you’re doing is enabling her!” Elizabeth yelled at dad, fury in her gaze. “You’re so fucking concerned about her, you miss the fact this family isn’t a fucking family anymore!” Elizabeth said, sounding angry, bitter and tired.

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“Don’t-“ Dad tried to speak, but Elizabeth cut across him once more.

“Don’t you dare. Not when you didn’t fucking notice that Margret was abusing Hannah. Not when you didn’t notice her abusing me. Not when you haven’t acted like a father for eight fucking years.” I stared at Elizabeth, who was looking angry and resigned. Dad was horror struck. He stared at Elizabeth who spoke to me instead. “Get your bags, we’ll head back right away.”

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I obeyed, Jennifer having packed for me. As we left, I watched my father through the car window looking shattered. I couldn’t bring myself to care, though.

He deserved it.