The drive from Portland to Westchester had taken far, far too long, in Cessily's opinion. Hundreds of miles of awkward silence between her and her
parents, until she'd finally given up on any hopes of conversation and had plugged herself into her iPod for the rest of the trip. It was too much to hope for, she supposed, for her parents to actually talk to her while they
were driving her across the country to a boarding school where they'd be leaving her for God only knew how long.
She'd watched the country go by through the heavily tinted rear windows of her father's red Murano, the only place she was allowed to keep the coverings off her face. Every night when they'd pulled into whatever motel the Kincaids had chosen at random, Cessily had been forced to wrap gauze bandages over her face and neck, and put on a pair of large sunglasses to hide her silver eyes. Winter gloves hid the only other visible part of her that might otherwise have revealed the horrible Kincaid Family Secret.
Even though she felt she'd looked like a reject from the old Invisible Man movies, nobody had said anything to her. She supposed it was the hushed explanation her mother had often given of her poor daughter who was suffering from horrible burns, and they were taking her to a specialist in New York who would try to fix her.
At least the last part wasn't a complete lie. Cessily knew her parents were hoping Professor Xavier could cure her. They didn't understand - didn't want to understand that mutation wasn't a disease, it wasn't a condition to be treated, it just was.
Her parents had been so excited by the prospect of unloading her at Xavier's, in fact, that they'd opted not to wait until after the holidays to pack up the car and hit the road. Christmas Eve had been spent in a hotel room. Christmas morning had been a cool afair, Cessily receiving a few items of concealing clothing which she'd assumed were meant to be worn at her new school. She'd thanked her parents politely, and had stuffed them in her suitcase.
As they crossed the state line into New York, Cess' demeanor changed decidedly. Sitting up straighter, she stuffed the bandages between the seats. Never again. Her gloves were put away in her bag, as were the sunglasses. When they entered Westchester County, Cessily could feel her body fairly trembling with excitement.
Finally. Finally, after being forced to hide for so long, she'd be free. Free to be who she was, free to be what she was, without fear of judgment.
Well, at least at the school. The outside world was another thing altogether, and Cessily knew that. But at least she'd be able to live somewhere she was accepted for everything she was, not hidden away out of shame and fear. She could hardly wait.