More by Hailey Escobar
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My head was swimming as I slowly pulled open my tired eyes. My sight was hazy, the world around me blurry and out of focus. I blinked a few times and the room I was sitting in began to clear up.
Here's a little outfit for a holiday party. This vintage inspired red dress pairs well with the red "Santa Fedora" from Target (only $5). The black heels go well with just about any outfit. A white sweater keeps away the possible chill and helps tie the outfit together, it can also be replaced with a coat or jacket if it's chiller than Florida weather.You can also swap out the red for green or gold or even blue for Hanukkah. Happy Holidays!
I sat at the Café Angevin in the heart of Paris; a cappuccino firmly in my hands and a book of love poems propped against a vase of daisies on the table. In the reflection of the glass, I could see myself the way the outside saw me: a dark, artistic looking girl with long black hair. They didn’t know it was a wig. My black beret and beatnik clothes made me look like an art student in France, enjoying a mug of coffee and the crisp, autumn weather.
For the last 6 months I had been in hiding, doing odd end jobs and listening for any word of Company or Ghost or even John Smith. I had forged a passport and got a ticket out of the country knowing that the authorities would be looking for me. I had been traveling across Europe, never staying in one place for too long and never leaving a trace of my existence behind. I hadn’t heard anything about my old life with Company until about a month ago.
Marcel Le Blanc and his men were some of the most notorious thieves in France. If you wanted something to disappear for one place and reappear in your possession, he was the one to call. Priceless artwork, government documents, candy from a baby, you name it, he’s probably stolen it at one point or another.
My targets were his sons and his best men: Oliver, Jean and Warren Le Blanc. Each had their specialty. Oliver was one of the best hackers in the business. He’s been known to brag about how he hacked into the Chinese government in thirty seconds flat, twice. Jean was a lover of the theatrics, disguising himself as anyone he can for a job. I hated to admit it to myself, but, having seen him in the costume over the course of my month of surveillance, he didn’t look half bad as a woman. Then, there was Warren, the oldest of the three and also the biggest. He was the muscle, but he was also surprisingly light on his feet. He was the one that got the job done.
Immediately after I was pulled out of the room, I found myself faced with a group of twelve Ghost agents, all dressed in nicely pressed suits. Only the best to capture me, I guess.
He was here. The little traitor was sitting in the same room as me and had the nerve to smirk like this was all one big joke. Sarah had to hold me back by my restraints as I lunged for him.
“Let me at him!” I cried, thrashing around as if I were a wild animal.
The room looked at me in shock, all except John Smith who chuckled and gracefully stood from his seat. With small, calculated steps he made his way over to me and stopped only a few feet away. A staring contest began between my harsh glare and his amused gaze.
“Lovely to see you too, Janie.” He waved his hand and, after a moment of hesitation, I felt Sarah release her hold on my restraints. In the corner of my eye, I saw her glare at Smith only to have him give an amused glance right back. It was obvious to me now that he held more power than her and if I was going to get any answers, they would be from him.
I stood my ground and allowed him to lead me to a seat near the one he had just left. Mentally, I counted the faces that sat in front of me. Twelve sets of eyes including those of Agent Sarah stared back at me with a collection of anxiety, contempt and smug pride. Plus Smith made thirteen Ghost agents against one Company runaway. I might have been top of my class, but I could only imagine the experience that sat in this room.
I was still trying to calculate my odds when Smith paused next to my seat. They weren’t looking so good. However, Smith evened them out slightly when he began to undo my bindings despite the protests of the table.
“She’s in a facility filled with Ghost agents,” he stated as he loosened the last restraint.
“Do you really think she’d be that stupid as to fight them all on her own?”
Name: Robin Rowland
What kind of things are you involved in around campus?: "I co-founded Tom’s club with my friend. It’s like Tom’s Shoes. They give shoes to kids in need. So, our club is going to do a couple of fun events for the whole campus. Hopefully, raise some money. Also, Collective Consciousness Club. I love yoga."
What is your favorite place on campus?: "On top of the rock wall. I love studying on top of there because nobody can see me and it’s really fun."
Best Class so far?: "Digital Photography."
Dream job?: "I could go either way. I would be perfectly happy with a job in marine biology or I’d be just as happy with a career to do with creative arts like fashion."
Most played song on the iPod?: "Right now, probably something by Imagine Dragons or Monsters and Men. I can’t decide."
Favorite movie?: "Pocahontas, Marie Antoinette, Inception."
Favorite TV show?: "Doctor Who."
Favorite book?: "Anything by John Green or Tamara Pierce."
Celebrity girl crush?: "Emma Watson, all the way."
Celebrity boy crush?: "American: Ian Somerhalder, British: Andrew Garfield."
What’s your type?: "Artsy, goofy, likes good music."
Any deal breakers?: "Taking me to the mall [and] hard core partier, because it’s not my scene."
It had been three days. Three days since I woke up in Ghost. Three days since I read Smith’s note and found the hidden word “white” and wondered what that backstabber was trying to tell me. Three days of sitting alone with my thoughts, only interrupted by the delivery of my meals. During my time in isolation, my mind raced with what had happened to me in the past few weeks. I estimated that I had probably been here for a few weeks by the looks of my back. Before I was taken, the contours of my back were freshly blistered and enflamed from the explosion. Now there were angry, red marks all along my skin. When I was bored, I would stare at them for hours and wonder what went wrong.
I was safe before, or as safe as someone like me could get. Sure I didn’t have much money or know exactly who I was, but I was choosing what I wanted to be. Despite the fact that it had only been a few weeks, maybe a few months, since that day I meet John Smith, it felt like a lifetime. It had been less than a year since I had escaped Company and now I was in the camp of their biggest competitor. Now, I was a killer. I was finally brought out of my brooding when Sarah returned to my room on the third day. This time she held a small pile of folded clothes in her hands. Her condescending smirk, however, remained the same. It left me wondering if that grin was part of basic Ghost training.
“We have a special field trip planned for you today, Janie,” she said.
Her smirk morphed into a glare. “You should be excited,” she stated, her voice low, almost threatening. “It’s an honor rarely given to prisoners.”
“Yippee,” I murmured with false enthusiasm. “And what makes me such a special guest?”
“Believe me,” she said, her smirk returning with more venom. “I haven’t the faintest idea.”
My head felt foggy and clouded. My body was numb with that prickly feeling you gets when your foot falls asleep. I attempted to open my eyes, but they felt so heavy and dry.
A warm hand enclosed over mine. The incessant beeping was soon overpowered by a warm breath at my ear and the sound of John Smith’s voice. If I focused hard enough, it sounded almost like he had been crying.
“I’m sorry, Jane. I’m so sorry. If I had any other choice, I would…”
His apology began to fade as I sank back into my deep subconscious. ……. I didn’t know how much time had passed. All I knew was that I was starving, dizzy and ready to get off of whatever drug I assumed I was on. I attempted to open my eyes again, but was only successful in a squint due to the bright white light that encompassed my vision.
Through the blinding haze, I could see what appeared to be a hospital room of some kind. I tested my muscles, trying to stretch them, but was shocked by the restraints that held me down onto the medical bed. I began to panic and struggle against the straps.
The beeping from before was beating faster now as my heart rate sped up. There was a loud bang as a door swung open and a large group of medical personal was rushing around trying to keep me calm. All I could do was scream.
“Let me go! Where am I? Let me go! Let me out of here!”
A doctor pushed his way next to me, his lab coat billowing behind him, and stabbed me in the arm with a syringe filled with God knows what. This only made me angrier.
“What are you doing? Let me go! I swear if you don’t let me go…”
My speech began to slur as whatever he had injected into me started to take effect.
“Let me go! Let me go. Please, just…let…me.”
I sat in my hotel room with strips of a dry, white bed sheet wrapped around my torso like bandages to protect my back from infection. Soundless images of the explosion and of my face played out on the TV screen as I gingerly sipped my ice water. The top of my head burned slightly from the hair dye I had bought at a corner store before my picture had become public.
A click of the door lock caught my ear followed by the squeak of the hinges as it opened. Out of the corner of my eye I saw John leaning against the doorframe with a file in his hand. He stared at my battered form in shock. I guess he didn’t expect a Company trained girl to look like this after a simple sabotage. Or maybe that’s what he wanted me to think.
His sigh made me turn my head to look at him, wincing slightly at the pull it caused on my inflamed skin. John ran his hand through his hair before coming over to sit next to me. There was no smirk in sight. We watched together as the news continued to talk about my crimes. Soon it switched over to a picture of George O’Connell and the words “Murdered” underneath it.
“How did he…?”
“I did it.”
He looked over to me and put his hand on my back in what was supposed to be a comforting gesture. Instead, it caused shooting pain to shutter through my body. I groaned and he immediately removed his hand. Tears started to form in the corners of my eyes and not from the pain.
“I killed him,” I whispered, still in denial. “I didn’t mean to, but I did.” “Don’t cry, Janie,” he said, trying to wrap his arms around my shoulders again. It was then that I realized the weakness that I was showing in front of Smith. For all I knew, he knew this would happen and was just a good actor. He could be taking advantage of my emotional state.
"O'Connell" is the fifth installment in the return of Her Campus Eckerd's original series "The Jane Doe Chronicles," a mystery series following Jane Doe as she struggles to escape from the Company, an assassin training school--where she was the top student--and as she attempts to piece together the story of her past, dodging a few bullets and making some unlikely friends along the way. If you missed the first four chapters or need a refresher after our hiatus, check them out here.
My black t-shirt was being held together by a few pieces of fabric that hadn’t been burned away. The cool air of the service hallways stung the charred skin of my back to the point that I was holding back my tears from the pain. I had been searching the concrete halls for the building’s security system. I was sure that any guards would be somewhere else in the building to figure out what was going on the top floor.
I was surprised by the lack of security I had faced setting up the bombs. When I had originally read through the file with the plan, there wasn’t much mention of security, only that it would be taken care of beforehand. I didn’t question it. However, past training had instilled the need to tie up loose ends.
Finally, I found a metal green door that was wide open with the word “Security” spray painted across in black. I pulled the gun I had stored in my boot and held it out in front of me. I approached the door as quietly as I could in case a stray guard stayed behind. When I entered, however, I saw that it wouldn’t have been necessary. My gun fell to my side in shock.