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Chapter 1

“I got in,” a brown-haired woman whispered, the disbelief evident in her voice. 

However, as she once again checked the top of her acceptance letter, she realized the truth of what was in front of her. Seeing that in arial font, on the top left of her letter, right after ‘Dear’, was Fan Jiali, her name, clear as day.  

“I really did it,” she sniffled, her eyes beginning to blur. Jiali thought back to all of the struggles she had to suffer through while living in this orphanage. “It was worth it, it was all worth it.” 

Barely being able to eat her fill most times, only being given threadbare clothing that would cause her to freeze during the winter, the terrible beatings. It was worth it, if it meant she could finally live her dream of becoming a pastry chef.  

Gripping the acceptance letter tightly in her pale white hands, she began to reread the entire thing anew. Unbeknownst to Jiali, her tears began to drip down onto the paper as she did so, making some of the words blot.

When she noticed that she was making a mess of her admission letter she quickly wiped her tears away with her sleeve. She knew she shouldn’t be crying, but she was just so happy that she couldn’t help herself.

Soon she would be able to leave this place and go to her dream school, which was Gâteau University in Paris, France. The elation caused by that thought bubbles inside her until she leapt off her bed.

With the acceptance letter clutched to her chest, she began jumping all around her drab little bedroom, furnished with only old mismatched wooden furniture gleefully. She was so delighted that her dreams were coming into fruition that she could hardly contain herself.

Suddenly, whilst in the midst of her excitement, her bedroom door was slammed open, by a portly older woman dressed to the nines, “Fan Jiali! Why the hell are you acting like a crazy person? Making all that racket, you know damn well how you are supposed to behave in this house!”

“I’m sorry, Matron Zhan,” Jiali submissively said, stilling completely at the sight of the older woman. “It won’t happen again.”

“It better not, or I won’t wait until your eighteenth birthday to kick you out of here!” The Matron yelled, before storming away angrily, leaving Jiali alone once again.

After the old woman was gone, Jiali let out the breath she was holding, before going over and closing her room door once more. Although she was excited, she knew better than to act rambunctious.

Luckily the Matron was in a good mood today or she would have just gotten away with being yelled at. She probably would have been slapped or worse.

When she was younger she saw an 11-year-old boy get whipped before being kicked out for acting up in front of one of Matron Zhan’s guests, after seeing that she knew that she needed to be on her best behavior in this orphanage. Matron Zhan was very strict and unyielding, and she didn’t give a damn about any of the kids in this place.

Jiali found out a couple of years ago that the only reason she was running an orphanage, was because of the free money that the city gives her to do it. As long as she had a certain number of kids living here, the rest were dispensable.

However, she wouldn’t have to worry about living in this place anymore though, in just three days she would be in France, studying at the school of her dreams. All of her efforts had paid off, her working late hours to pay for cooking and language classes, spying for the Matron to get her information on a couple of men she liked, so that she would let her go-to cooking lectures. 

To her, every hardship she endured was worth it. She did it, she got into one of the best culinary schools in the world on a scholarship, and they were even giving her free room and board.

If this was a dream, she really didn’t want to wake up. All she had to do was wait three more days, just three days and she will be able to leave this hellhole behind forever. Walking over to her bed, with the admission letter still clutched to her chest, she laid down and began daydreaming about her new life in France.

~

[Three Days Later]       

‘How could I have let this happen,’ Jiali thought completely dumbfounded while grabbing her baggage from the back of the taxi, before rushing into the airport. 

Running through the airport, she prayed as hard as she could that she wouldn’t miss her flight. She couldn’t believe how stupid she was,setting her alarm clock incorrectly, causing her to wake up late.

Any other day it would be fine, but this was the day that she was finally able to leave the orphanage and start her new life. Going in the direction of the signs that painted on the airport wall, she tried to pick up her pace even more. 

After weaving in and out through the magnitude of people she eventually made it to the check-in station. Luckily there was only one person ahead of her, as she stood in line she made sure to double-check that she had all of the documents needed to be able to get on the plane.

“Next,” A woman’s voice said, startling Jiali so much she almost dropped her documents on the floor. 

Walking up to the check-in counter, she handed the woman her plane ticket and passport, before saying, “Hello, my name is Fan Jiali, and I’m catching the 9am to France.”

“You made it just in time,” The woman said while typing something into her computer. “The plane has just begun boarding.”

After stamping her ticket and passport the woman gave them back to her and sent her on her way. Jiali rushed through the security check as fast as she could before going to find her gate.

She ran through the terminal like the hounds of hell were chasing after her, making it to her gate just before it was about to close. She felt that after going through all those hardships, luck was finally on her side.

After storing her baggage, she took her seat by a nice-looking woman, who looked to be in her late thirties. Filled with nervous anticipation, she began to look all around the plane cabin, only to see that it was full with people that were both young and old.

“Is this your first time on a plane?” the woman seated next to her asked.

Nodding her head, Jiali asked, “How did you know?”

“I could just tell.” the woman replied with a small laugh. “Are you on vacation?”

“No, I’m actually going to France for college.” Jiali  happily told the woman.

“That’s wonderful, dear. What are you going to study?” The woman asked.

Smiling proudly, she said, “Culinary Arts.”

Just as the woman was about to reply the stewardess came out and started going over the plane safety precautions. Once the stewardess finished, the captain’s manly voice blared out over the intercom:

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard Flight 6E2 with service from China to France. We are currently second in line for take-off and are expected to be in the air in approximately four minutes’ time. We ask that you please fasten your seatbelts at this time and secure all baggage underneath your seat or in the overhead compartments. We also ask that your seats and table trays are in the upright position for take-off. Please turn off all personal electronic devices, including laptops and cell phones. Smoking is prohibited for the duration of the flight. Thank you for choosing Green Tea Airlines. Enjoy your flight.”

The four minutes passed quite quickly and the flight was finally on its way. As the plane took off, Jiali, with eyes sparkling in wonder looked out the window, watching the clouds go by. 

She felt ecstatic, because in only a few hours she would be in France, starting her new life. Leaning against the plane’s window she decided to take a nap, but just as she was about to close her eyes alarms began to sound.

Everyone went into a state of panic, one minute the plane was flying smoothly and the next it was taking a nose dive to the ground. Jiali didn’t even have time to think about screaming before the plane exploded against the ground in a fiery mess.

Her last thought before her world became black was, ‘I should have known my dream wouldn’t have come true.’      

[System 122211 has located the subject…]

[The subject’s body is too damaged…]

[Finding an alternate body…]

[Body has been found…]

[Transfering subject now.]

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