Published / First Edition: October 25th 2016
Second Edition: June 26th 2017
COPYWRITE 2016 S.F. Rashid.
Violet J. Night of S.F. Rashid
She stood there. Her breathing hard and fast. Hands clutching the side of her grey coat while her chest continued to rise with every drag of air she took. Heart pounding faster with every exhale.
Oh, how I love that sound. The sound of fear.
Her cheeks flushed with the warm crimson blood and her dark red hair disheveled. She inhales again and I relished listening to the blood rushing through her vein. Her sparkling green eyes darted back and forth between me and the road ahead. They were full of fear. It was exquisite.
She was frightened, alive and beautiful. Like a perfectly cooked rare steak.
I licked my lips snappishly, she was … mouthwatering.
I advanced and she stepped back, like a perfect tango. Her eyes darkened and she turned away, making for the road as fast as she could.
I will never understand why they run.
Do they think they could run from me?
Do they think they were that fast?
Do they think I’ll let them go?
I let out a chuckle and a long ratty sigh.
And then I was in front of her. It took less than a fraction of the second. She wasn’t expecting. She seized back in shock and almost fell over. Her eyes widened more as I stepped closer towards her until eventually, I was right in front of her. I pressed my hand over her mouth and used the other to hold her.
She was small and soft. Warm and feisty.
I like this one.
I always thought that brunettes were my sort of thing but it looks like that would change tonight. Redheads aren’t that bad either. I smile softly, leaning in to her, inhaling her scent. My nostrils clung into her fiery red hair. She smelt sweet and heavenly. Like honey, perhaps?
She stood rigidly next to me. Very silent and like a statue.
“Found you.” I whispered in her ear. Taking in another drag of that simply delightful perfume of hers. At this, she shivers and my smile brightens. I moved her hair out of the way of her neck, getting it ready for my fangs.
She didn’t move. Nor did she flinch. Does my cold hands not bother her? I thought, maybe she is too scared.
I always like the noises. The part when they beg for their worthless trivial lives. Like a small entertainment beforehand the meal.
I smile at her one last time, showing off my sharp white fangs. That normally brings out a scream or two. But no, like before she just stayed still, no scream, not even a whimper. Her face expressionless. Odd.
It didn’t matter I guess. It will always end the same.
“What is your favorite part of the book? Why do you read them?”
“Because I like the endings”
Dreams & Reality
I am drowning.
I can feel it. The ice-cold water around me, enveloping me. Drowning me.
Every breath I try to take is filling my lungs with more water. Looking around there is nothing except darkness, which surrounds me. My vision blurring. Dark spots appearing across the little sight I have.
My hands shot to reach for the surface of this dark-cold sea. I try to swim away. Tried to fight my way out but my body is turning numb as the seconds pass by. The cold water piercing through my skin. Piercing to the core. Piercing like a dagger of ice. Filling me with cold and dread.
I understand then, that there is no way out of this. I am going to die. I am going to die here. Even though I know, I have no strength to save myself.
So I drift. Slowly letting the water drown me, kill me.
It’s funny how everyone is afraid of dying. It isn’t that bad.
As I float silently in here, in the cold dark waters… death really didn’t seem that bad. It is better than this…this silent. It’s like a light in this darkness. An escape.
It’s my escape.
Someone laughs then. It is rough, loud and malicious. It is evil. It surrounds me. I look, peering through the waters. But there is nothing except the darkness.
“That’s what you think of death?” his voice smooth, deep, echoing around me. “Escape? Light?” He laughs once more. It rose and fell like the waves. Until it suddenly stops. Vanishing in the darkness.
A wet – cold – silent – piercing – darkness. And nothing else.
Out of nowhere then he appears. I stare at him. The very area around him seem to be penetrate in darkness except him. He lit in this darken sea.
Fangs bare, his eyes red and glowing. He’s coming for me. And I know it. Yet I didn’t move. Instead I stare at him, unable to blink, unable to think. I only stare. My breathing slowing down. I feel completely slacken, light, almost. As if all the ties with the world have been cut down. The only thing that holds me now is his eyes. Piercing red.
My hands moves on their own, touching him. Cold smooth skin under my fingertips. And suddenly the spell broke.
The reality hits me. His reality.
I turn, trying to move away. Trying to swim. But before I can, he grips my arm. He’s fast. I never saw him move. His too strong. Too greedy and hungry for my blood; I can see it in his eyes. I can see death. A gasp left my throat, bubbling up to the surface when his fangs rips through my skin. His arm holding me. Not letting me to struggle. He knows I can’t fight him even if he does let me go. He knows.
My vision darken. My head sways. He’s laughing again. He stops, breathing in my hair. “Found you” he whispers.
My eyes snap open. Heart beating like a drum to the point that I can hear it out loud. I sit up, fumbling to take the cover off myself. Both of my hands are shaking.
My whole body is shaking, violently. Somehow I manage to throw the cover on the floor, trying to get rid of this felling of suffocation. My breathing is out of control. Chest rising and falling rapidly as I try to gulp air. Although I can’t get enough.
It feels like as if…as if I am still drowning.
The nightmare is playing in my mind.
Taking another large gulp of air, I sat still, fists clenched. My t-shirt clung to my shell because of sweat. My head against the hardboard of the bed. Slowly I calm myself down from the ACTH high. My hands shaking when I move them over my forehead, sweeping away the dribbles of sweat and the red hair. I exhale.
This nightmare always gets me. For the last two years this nightmare has been getting me. I don’t understand why I have this dream or what triggered it. But this is getting out of hand.
Heart still pounding, unsettling me.
“Deep breaths. Calm deep breaths.” I chant in a low voice, “In and out. In and out.” My eyes fixed on the ceiling filled with 29 neon stars.
I lost one when I was gluing them there.
It take a minute, nonetheless it calms me down. It always does. The way the stars shines in the shade. Little lights fighting against the darkness. Like they are telling me that I’m not alone.
I don’t know why I like them so much. But I have been doing it since… since forever actually. Everywhere I go, I place a few stars on my celling. I can’t sleep otherwise. Even when I was in the Juvy. I begged the guards until they let me place them. I don’t remember when I started doing this. I don’t even remember where I heard about this at first. I did read about it in books, saw in the movies. But there is this one memory that always comes in my mind whenever I think about the stars.
It’s about a woman. I don’t know who she is. I don’t remember her face. But I do remember her voice. Soft, warm and gentle. And I remember what she said.
‘The stars are the loves ones, who had to leave. But they still love you, so they watch over you from up there. Helping you, guiding you, protecting you and loving you.’
For some reason I never forgot it.
I breathe, wiping the sweat with the back of my hand. “I hate this dream” I mumble, eyes close. That dream is the reason why I am afraid of water. The reason why I never visited the beach even though I have been living 20 minutes away from it. The reason why I still need nightlights. Even though I am 15.
It’s getting embarrassing.
I turn to the side, hugging the pillow. It’s also damp. I push it away looking at the poster in front of me, carefully taped at the back of the door. It’s Aras Lancaster – from none other than the ‘Fangs’ series. Sara made it just for me as a Christmas gift. Blood dripping from his lips, abs showing, our version of Aras Lancaster. Badass-charming Aras Lancaster. Next to him stood another badass-charming Vampire who can kill an entire town with his looks and skills. He has his own book and a TV show. Its fan made poster too. But this one is done by me. And next to him is the boy with the bread, the thief who wants to buy a castle and world’s only consulting detective with his coat’s collar up.
I have all the guys around me. It’s just sad that they don’t exists in reality.
Cause, I would had loved a Peeta.
They are all perfect. Each and every one of them. But perfect is something that gets ruined in reality. Turns them ugly.
In book, in that made believe world they have the chance to survive and be that perfect person they are meant to be.
In reality, nothing is perfect. You will be lucky if you find someone with decent table manners.
I look around the wall, giving a wave to all. Handsome fictional boys aren’t the only thing that covers my walls. There are posters everywhere. Movies, book, Star-track, Tangle. Few made by me. Some by Sara – she had been quite generous recently – and others brought from Comic Con. And there is that one that I stole a few years ago. It had been resolved.
Some of this posters are even rare. There’s one that I brought from a garage sale in Florida. It’s a ‘Buffy the vampire slayer’ poster, issue 58 with the actress Sarah Michelle Gellar’s sign on it. I’m pretty sure it’s worth a few bucks.
Then there are the hundreds of books that I have collected throughout the years. They are my pride and joy. My treasures.
This room is little like that. A book nerd’s man cave – Sara calls. And I agree with her. It is a man cave but it just happens to belong to a teenage girl.
My eyes dart back and forth from Aras to his neighbor. The smile drops as I turn around. A deep sigh.
No matter how much I love them – their beautiful faces, their cocky-smug-charming personalities and their ability to kill a person in a heartbeat – but having a dream where I’m the victim? Is way too repulsive. Being obsess with vampires is a bad thing. No matter how good looking they are. I know that now. Vampires are trouble. Friction or not.
“Well that’s it then,” I tell herself, for the hundredth time, “no more Vampire before sleep.” Nodding I close my eyes. It’s a good decision. It always is until the next weekend.
Half an hour later, I am still wide awake. Sighing, I look at the clock. It’s 3.30am. The whole world asleep and here I am awake as an owl, twisting and turning in the bed. There is no way I am getting back to sleep. Not without my fix.
Immediately the laptop on the table catches my eye. It looks so lonely sitting in the table, all alone. My hands itches.
Nope. I turn around, shaking my head, making sure that thought leaves my brain. Not tonight.
Instead I pick up my copy of Farhana’s novel from the table, turning on the table lamp too. A vampire story that took the world by storm. The ‘Fangs’ series. This is the book that introduce me with the world of vampires. The reason I am obsess with them.
“The bride.” I sing, opening the first page, feeling its softness. It have lost its crispness over time. I smell the page. There is something intoxicating about how a book smells. How they feel against my fingertips. I love it.
The book is already marked with conflicting colors. Blue, red, yellow whichever one I can get my hands on. I have two more copies if the book. One for my collection and one for my bookshelves.
It’s a rule.
“I can’t watch vampire,” I snuggle in to the bed, “but I can read.”
The world rumble. The walls creaked.
I spring on the bed. The book on my lap fell in the ground with thump. I barely manage to open my eyes to peer at the alarm clock – it’s 6.30 am – when another sturdy pound hit the door. My doors are always open. The hit wasn’t necessary. But sometime people doesn’t care about what is necessary.
They just wants to annoy you.
They just wants to ruin your day.
They just hates you.
I hate her too. I hate that girl.
Taking a pillow in my hand, I threw it at the door. “Lucy!” I growl in frustration. “Stop it!”
It is a wasted effort. I know that. Yet I try to hide myself under the cover. Hoping that she will leave. However Lucy doesn’t stop. She never does. She has all the motivation she needs to keep on going. Lucy knows that I don’t like it, when she pounds in my door at the break of dawn. What other reasons does she need?
Then came ‘KP’ as in ‘Kick & pound’. It’s a Lucy Wiig’s special. The old wooden door shudders under the girl’s kicks.
Another pounding headache to start the morning with.
“Good morning” I sarcastically mumble, throwing another pillow at the door’s direction. It hits. “Stop it Lucy!” I yell next.
The kicking stops. I sigh. Closing my eyes I take in the silent. My head feels like it will bust out of my skull. But the sweet silent doesn’t last long.
Lucy knocks again. A smack following it.
“Oh, I really hate that girl.” I get of the bed, my hands in fist. I am done with this insane routine. “What?” I scream, cracking open the door in one swing.
The blonde smiles, “You’re up?” she ask innocently. I can’t stop glaring. Lucy smiles again, “Rough night?” Silence from my side. “Fine. Don’t answer.” She turns around walking toward the stairs. “Hurry up! I’m not gonna wait after breakfast, Scarlet.” she calls over her shoulder.
I can hear the smirk in that twerp’s voice.
I hate that girl.
I close the door with a bang.
There isn’t anything left do after that. I won’t be able to go back to sleep. Lucy will make sure of it. No point in trying. I groan, head hanging. Shouldn’t had spent the night reading. Slowly I walk to the closet, bringing out the first thing that my hand caught. A black tunic top with the word ‘Can ran like hell’ written in white. Black jeans and my trusty old sneakers.
I take my discolor black handkerchief from the table. Tying it around my left wrist. I don’t tie it around because I don’t want people to see the burn mark. Because I don’t. And I don’t want them to question about it. I was six or seven maybe when I accidently burned my wrist. I don’ remember anything else. People won’t understand that it was an accident. They will think I was trying to harm myself. I don’t know why I – or anyone – will do that. I love my life, no matter how it is.
The mark isn’t anything special either. Now it’s nothing but an angry red skin against my pale one.
I pause at front of the mirror. There are dark circles under my eyes, darker then the night sky. Sara won’t be able to stop herself from a comment. I can guarantee.
For a moment I hesitate. Then shook my head. I don’t makeup. Grabbing the faded gray coat from the hanger I leave the room. Tying my hair never takes time. I do it as I go down the stairs. A perfect messy bun.
My hair is one of the thing I love most about myself. Dark fiery red, slight curls at the end. It’s not long, an inch and half above my waist. One could say that I am smitten over it. They won’t be lying. And so is Sara. She begs me until I let her do her fashion mumbo-jumbo on it.
Once she had almost convinced me to color it lavender-gray.
I have my mother’s hair. My supervisor – Nancy Cross – has told me it enough time, that I have it memorized now. And come to think about it, that’s the only thing about her that I seem to remember. Bright red hair. Red hair all over her face as she looks at me. Red hair in a bun. Me playing with red hair as someone sings to me.
Or maybe it is Nancy’s word that are the root of this memories. “Erina you have your mother’s hair.” Every time she sees me that’s the first thing she says. “It looks exactly like Venessa.”
Venessa. A woman with red hair, blue eyes who was my mother. That’s all I know. All I remember. I remember as same much about my dad. His name was Nathan and he used to write. Source of this is also Nancy. But sometime I remember bit of pieces about him. A man behind my bike. Telling me that he won’t let me fall. A man laughing. A man reading to me.
I have his eyes. Teal green.
That’s all that there is. Most of it is what I have heard from Nancy, my supervisor. The only constant person in my life.
When I asked her about, how did she knew my parents? Nancy smiled a little and said that she just knew them from some place.
She never explained what that’s supposed to mean. And after the twentieth time, I stopped asking. There is no point in asking questions when no one is answering. Ask when someone is willing to give you the answers.
And I am waiting for Nancy to answer.
When I walk in to the kitchen the air is chill. Lucy and Lynette both are almost done with their breakfast. None looking at each other. Lucy is picking on her toast, her eyes on her phone. And Lynette shuffling things around.
They had a fight. I don’t have to be a genius to guess.
So I turn my sour mode into sweet. Smiling at Lynette I take my seat next to Lucy. She ignores me.
I ignore her back.
It’s our thing.
Her mother smiles back at me, placing a plate in front. Toast, egg and bacon. Yum.
Lynette sits in front of me. A paper in hand. Corn blonde hair in a bun, some mascara in her eyes, popping up the bright green color in them. She is wearing red lipstick today.
Another date with Rick?
“Erina, are you ok? You look pale.” She asks.
And this the thing about Lynette that is different from everyone else. She cares. She genuinely cares. Of all the foster parents I had she is the only one. And it isn’t just me but about everyone. She is that kind of a person.
And I don’t like it. It’s not that I am not grateful. I am. I really am. She gave me a place to stay, my own room – something I never thought I will have until I’m out of the system. But all her generosity makes me curious.
Why is she doing it? What does she wants?
It isn’t because I trust her. I do. She helped when no one did. When even Nancy didn’t knew what to do. Lynette came as an angle sent from above fixing everything.
But then there lies my question. Why? Why did she do it?
All my life no one did anything for me without wanting anything in return. Nothing is for free. Nancy put up with me because she is getting paid by the government. It’s her job.
Then there is Lynette and Sara. They do because they wants too. Why would you want to help people who can give nothing in return? This two people, makes me question every time they do something. Because of them I am constantly on guard, constantly vulnerable at the same time.
It is maddening.
People, Nancy in particular had said to more than once that, some people are just nice. They like being the nicest person in the room. They like that about themselves, it makes them feel different from others. It helps them sleep at night.
And I get it. Yet every time Lynette does something for me, every time Sara opens her mouth I fell their hiding something.
I feel like they’re doing it because either they have to or they want something from me.
It has to be.
I shook my head, shrugging.
“Are you sure, honey? Were you reading all night again?” Lynette looks at me, her green eyes soft and sincere.
It’s strange that I never felt the same when I look at Lucy. They both have the same green eyes, literally. Yet one felt warm and gentle, full of secrets.
When the other was, plain ol’ hostile but clear. And that I can deal with. I know what to do when people hate me, when they want me. When they despises me. Their feelings are clear as their intentions.
But I’m confused when you do the opposite and you are not Nancy. You are not getting paid. There is nothing for you. And even when no one’s watching you don’t end the show.
I don’t get that about people.
I shrug again, taking a bite from the toast.
‘‘Shrugger.’’ Lucy mutters under her breath. I smirk, taking another bite. I can imagine the way that she is scowling next to me.
Lynette shakes her head, pushing a glass of milk at my direction. She stands up packing up her bag. I take this as a chance I won’t get. I slightly push the glass back when she grabs my hand. “No, not today. You have 5 inch wide dark circles under your eyes. You’re drinking milk.”
“What does milk has to do with dark circles?” I grumble, trying to place it back. Lynette raises an eyebrow at me. Daring me to push the glass back. I don’t. Instead I pull it toward me. When the glass is inches away from me, I sniff. I can’t help myself. Habit.
Just the smell of milk…yuck! I look up to see Lynette is still looking. I take a sip. Lynette smirks sitting back. Sometimes she is cocky in the mornings.
Suddenly Lucy pushes her chair back, standing up. “Why do you care so much about her dark circles? I’m your daughter! Shouldn’t you be caring about me?”
Here we go, I think taking a sip. It won’t called breakfast if Lucy doesn’t make a fuss. It’s her daily ritual. Make a fuss at the breakfast, lunch – if I am home – and dinner. Sometime even in the Sundays.
“Lucy” Lynette says calmly.
“No! I’m sick of it. It’s always ‘Erina this’ and ‘Erina that’. Have you ever asked in the last year and a half how my day was? Because of this girl,” she looks at me, snarls like an animal. Her nostril flare and the vein in her forehead pops right up. Yes, sweetheart you look beautiful in that expression. Do it more often.
I take another bite of my toast, because I already know what the next line is going to be. Looking back at her mother Lucy continues, “you almost lost your job. Yet every morning you pamper her. It’s nauseating.” The girl turns away. Taking her bag off the chair she stomps out of the kitchen. A few second later the thud of the main door follows.
“I’m tired of this. Why does she have to do this every day?” Lynette slumps on her chair. Her hand in her head. She already looks exhausted. “Erina…” she starts.
“It’s ok.” I stop her, smiling. “She is kind of right you know. She’s your daughter. You should be taking care of her. I’m cool.”
Lynette open her mouth to say something but close it. She sighs, “Lucy’s just…”
“Getting there.” I finish for her. Lucy have been getting there for the last year and a half. But it will probably take more time. How are you supposed to adjust with a foster sister that you hate more than sweaty cockroach? I get off the chair. “Well I should go or I’m gonna be late.” I grab my satchel tossing it around my shoulder. “I’ll see you in the evening than?” I ask.
I didn’t look back as I got out of the kitchen.
3 more years and then I was out of the system. Only 3 more years. 3 more years and then I will buy one of those sunglasses I saw at the fashion magazine, put them on, and will be out of this town. For good.
Until then, until then I am here. Living with Lucy. But I can’t stand her for 3 years. Not with that attitude of her. She needs to be taught a few things. She needs to be taught now.
I bolt into the sidewalk, looking for her. She is wearing bright yellow today, something that is hard to miss. I find her a few houses away, staring at her phone. I quicken my pace until I am behind her.
Slowly I walk closer, grabbing her right arm, turning her around in one quick spin. Backing toward the old moss wall. Lucy startle at this drops her phone on the ground with a little yelp.
I don’t actually care about her new phone. So when Lucy stare at it open eye, mouth agape wondering if it broke or not. I stare at her.
How can she care this much about a phone and not about Lynette?
I push her shoulder against the wall. My hand slapped next to her head, in the wall to hold her in place.
“What the hell Scarlet?” she yells.
I sigh, forcing a smile. “Listen you annoying little punk.” my voice is calm as I can make it. “You hate me and I get it. So there is no need to yap about it all the time, ruining every ones day. You don’t like my face than don’t look at me. You don’t like my voice then don’t listen.” My eyes burning in to the blonde’s nerves. Lucy tries to look away. “But in no way you are gonna talk to Lynette like that, you get it. She is your mother and you are going to treat her with respect. You’re lucky to have one. Even though you don’t deserve one. So respect. Got it? ”
Lucy wasn’t expecting this. The surprise in her face evident. She, off course, doesn’t agree. I can read her like a book when the time comes. But she is also smart enough to not to voice.
I tilt my head, brow arched.
I need an answer so that we can finish this. It will look bad on me if she says no. Might even hurt my ego. Though I am confident that, that won’t happen. She knows where I came from. And she knows what I can do.
Lucy nods, reluctantly.
“Good,” I step back fixing her dress. I smile. “Let’s go.”
I sat alone on the corner table. Legs crossed, a half-eaten apple in my hand. My eyes scans the cafeteria floor for the seventh time. I have yet to see a familiar face.
It have been a tiring day. Even more tiring then the morning. Thought nothing have happened. Nothing ever happens in this small town. Yet, today not even nothing happen.
I click open my blog. It takes a few minutes to open. My phone is a secondhand I got from Nancy three years ago. I am saving every penny I earn. So I don’t have money to buy useless things like phone and laptop – which is also courtesy of Nancy. Seriously she is the best supervisor you can get.
I click on the thread. A new ‘Fangs’ Fanfic has came out. People are already over the moon with it.
I don’t write. Most people often thinks that if you are a Fangirl that means you write Fanfics. Well, that’s not true. Not everyone who reads can write. I can’t. I am no good either I am terrible with words. I can however read. I can read like it’s nobody’s business. Some Fangirls – boys too – likes to read only, letting others do the hard part of writing it, like me.
I click on the link. Nothing happens. I click again, this time the screen turns black. “Great” I mutter under my breath. It does this twenty times a day. So I am not surprise. Annoyed, yes, but not surprised.
I need to buy a phone.
Maybe I should ask Nancy?
I know if I ask Lynette, she won’t say no. She will probably buy me something new, something expensive with her mayor’s assistant money. But I don’t want her to. And Lucy has little to do with it. I just don’t expect Lynette to do it. I don’t. That’s the end of it.
Nancy, I can ask. Nancy is family. I can tell her things and even when she won’t answer back I won’t mind. We care for each other – more or less. Because that’s how we are.
Because we are all we have.
I scowl, putting the dumb phone inside the bag. I turn my attention back on the students.
They are doing the same thing. Jocks jock-ing. Bullies bulling. Cheerleader cheering. Boring. The teachers are making it worst. Why are they teaching us about topics that will never come to our help? When will trig come to my rescue? And to make matters worse. Everyone is relentlessly talking about the homecoming. Which is two months away.
This happened yesterday. And the day before. It is repeating itself. Or maybe I am having another déjà vu. Recently that has been happening a lot too.
I feel like I am living in Gatlin. Or someplace close to it. Though Dunsm isn’t in the middle of nowhere. The town closest – Dunsmir, the name matches – is only two hour’s drive away. Dunsm has its own Starbucks. And you can see a movie in the Cineplex a month or two before it comes out on DVD.
So living here isn’t that bad. I am not a city girl myself. Never liked those busy streets and polluted air that surrounds it. And this type of small towns always appleald to me.
But this town has a sense of mystery to it. Or maybe I am looking for it.
All of this is giving me a headache.
I sigh dryly taking a bite of the apple. “I want this day to end. I wanna go home.” I mumble, eyes watching.
I found Lucy and her minions, all eight of them at the center of the cafeteria. It is their table. No one dares to sit there, even if you pay them. They are fan-girling over Max – I don’t give a shit – Smith from table beside them. He isn’t even looking at them. He never does.
Girls always fall for the cold ones. The bad boys. It doesn’t matter if its reality or in stories. It’s always the same.
Then there is Jenna with her girlfriend Kate at the left corner table. They are whispering in to each other’s ear, giggling. The first gay couple of DHS.
When Jenna went to tell her father – Pastor Harries – many were betting on what would happen. I told them that nothing will happen. He is going to hug his daughter and tell her he loves her nevertheless. But others ignored me. Probably thinking that since I was new, I will get it wrong. So they all bet against me. I made 175 bucks that day. But my favorite moment was when Pastor Harries took Jenna in his arm and said, “I am told to love all. The broken, the hated and the sinners. Then how can I stop loving my own daughter for being a little different.”
Sara cried over this and I relished watching the mascara smear all over her face. It was a really good day.
It was sad that Kate’s parents didn’t felt the same. But it hadn’t stopped them. And I am glad that it didn’t. There is no such thing as easy love.
At the second row I spotted the school’s ‘good girl’ Lily Evens smiling her Kristen Stewart smile. Lily is famous for that. She is royalty in this small town. Her mother being the mayor and all. But she is nice. Showed me the school when I first came here. Even sat with me in lunch. Every time she enters the room, it lights up. And for some reason I really like her. She is talking with someone…probably about the homecoming.
“Aish!” I turn away. That’s when I see her.
“Hey!” The pixie shouts from across the hall, waving her hand frantically. I wave back, watching her prance over the room.
Every eye on her. And Sara Walter knows that.
I took another bite of my apple, smirking.
Dating the captain of the football team Parker Green, Sara is the queen bee of the school. Lily next in line.
But one of the best thing about Sara is that she’s a true book nerd by heart. The reason why we became quick friends. Sara is the one who forced me to read ‘Fangs’. I thank her for that all the time.
Being the shortest girl – hardly reaching the 5 foot mark even with her stilettos – she makes sure she is on top of everything else. Makes sure she is noticed. If one looks closer they will notice that Sara is everywhere.
Prom committee? Doing it.
Cheerleading? Been there.
Book club? Is that even a question?
And I love her for that attitude. ‘Everything and everywhere’ she has to be. She is frank, there is nothing to hide for her. If she doesn’t like you she will say it in your face. And if she likes you then she will makes sure that you notice. Sometime a little bipolar – everyone has faults – she is still one of the coolest person I have meet. And she is my best friend – more or less.
Sara’s wild pixie hair, the few in front are dyed in blue, is sticking out in every direction as she almost skips towards me. The hair cut was inspired by Harry Potter’s hair from that one scene in ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’.
The color wasn’t.
“So…ow.” Sara stops a few steps away. She walks toward me, taking a closer look at my face. Here we go, I think. “Wow! What happen last night? Your dark circles are digging holes in the ground.” She says.
I roll my eyes. “Not funny.”
Sara shakes her head, few of the blue strands falling in her eyes. She blew them out of the way. “Nope. I thought that was genius.” She winks, grinning at me. I grin back. “No, seriously what happen?”
“Blood sucking vampire?”
Sara nods too. “Seriously, I told you to stop watch those shows. And stop reading that book too. It ain’t worth it.” I didn’t reply only glare at her. How dare her badmouth Farhana’s masterpiece? Sara changes the subject quickly. “Anyway today is Parker’s birthday!” She starts, placing her lunch in the table.
Nodding I took a bite from my apple. “I know, I already wished when I saw him in English.”
“And?” She questions in sing a song voice, rising her eyebrows. She is still smiling. I tilt my head at the side, brows knitted together.
“And what?” I sang back.
“Did you ask Lynette?” Sara supplies, sighing. I guess she already knows my answer. Still she asks. “About the party.”
“I forgot.” It isn’t a total lie. I did forgot.
Sara rolls her baby blue eyes. She loves doing that. She sits next to me. “Yeah, well that isn’t new.” She blew another strand of hair in the air, “So?”
“Well, are you coming?” she huffs, nudges my leg with her.
I was midway from shrugging again, when I see her glair. I turn my head around. “I don’t know.” I mumble lamely, trying to figure out an excuse. “I’m really tired and I have gym later, than work.” My fingers spun the half eaten apple, eyes fix on it. “Then I’ve got to ask Lynette. But I don’t know if she’ll believe me. Cause you know…”
“Cause you did dumb shit when you came?” Sara supplies.
“Yes. I was young.”
“It was last year.”
I raise an eyebrow and Sara rose one back. I sigh, waving my hand at her. “It doesn’t matter anyway. She will probably tell Lucy to come. And I don’t like Lucy. And you don’t like Lucy. And I don’t want her. And,” I stop, looking at Sara. I blink my lashes, lips pouting. Hoping that my puppy dog eyes works, I say, “I really don’t wanna go.”
Sara is up from the bench and in front of my face in seconds. Her hands in fists. I sunk in to the table, stuck between it and the imp.
The eyes didn’t worked. Damn it!
“You are not going to bail on me. Do you get it?” Sara states calmly. I stare at her. Sara is much scarier than big Ruby – my cell mate at the Juvy. And staying with big Ruby wasn’t a total waste either, if I think of the ways she taught me how to kill a person. “Call Lynette.” Sara continues, her voice clip and frosty.
When I make no move to do so, Sara moves further in to my personal space. Now I am truly stuck between the bipolar imp and the pale red lunch table. I gulp, try to open my mouth to say something. But when those baby blue eyes turned ice-cold, it became kind of hard.
It’s times like this when I miss being friendless. When I also miss big Ruby.
I meet Sara a year and a half ago when I came here in Dunsm – a small town in beautiful sunny California. The home of the purest water on earth!
Lynette found about me from someone in the office. And decided that I deserve a chance for a better life. A new one.
She got me out of Juvy and brought me here. For a new begin. New begins are always tough for everyone. But I am more than experienced in starting over. Having done that numerous times. For me that wasn’t any different either.
It was always the same. You go to a new house. Meet new people. They think they’re doing some huge favor on you, letting you stay in their home, feeding you. You could see that in their attitude. And they expect you to be grateful. Which isn’t wrong. But being grateful doesn’t mean I will do the dishes, mow the lawn, clean the cars and wash the laundry every single day. And if you don’t do it? Well you are rude, inconsiderate and ill-mannered and therefor you don’t deserve the good things. You don’t deserve anything.
So they send you back and you start it all over again.
This is where Lynette is different. She doesn’t expect anything in return. Which I still don’t understand why.
And so, Lynette being the perfect foster parent that she is, got me admitted in school the following week. Everyone knew everyone here. Thus when I first walked in through the doors, I became the latest puzzle. I felt like Bella Swan – except this is story is less depressing.
Who am I? What did I do? Where did I came from? Questions floated around with hundreds of theory. Lucy fuelling most of them. Still none came to talk to me, except Lilly.
I am pretty sure the teacher had probably ordered her to do that. Anyway, everyone was more interested in gossiping about me then to ask me. It slowed down as time went by.
Then ‘the incident’ happen. And a month later I was back on the top of the hot chart. This time more theories came. Mostly circling around ‘the incident’ and my deep dark hidden past.
I was beyond frustrated.
Until Sara sat with me in science one morning. We bonded over Harry Potter. Everything changed after that. Having a friend was great. Even better if she is the schools superstar. It felt like being with Sara validated me.
I didn’t mind.
Then I discovered something.
The beast within this beauty.
Sara Walter was actually terrifying, even more than 6 foot tall, all scars big Ruby. The reason why everyone stopped gossiping about me was Sara. Literally.
The girl is known for her temper. She could turn from cute too cold in matter of seconds. Jaws clenched, thin lips and eyes that glared the sharpest daggers one could find. She looked like a little monster. Not the cute ones but the scary ones. Even the teachers weren’t immune from ‘the look’.
And it scared me. Even though I stayed 3 months in a room with Big-Ruby. Just like her name, she is 6 feet tall and scary looking with her scars and real muscles. She was there for murder of her step mother.
You would think they will keep the burglars and murders in separate rooms.
The first time I went inside our room, big Ruby pushed me against the wall, all snarling and growling. She told me to stay away from her or I my head will go missing from my neck like Rachel – her step mother. I was scared shitless, yet somehow I managed to kick her in the calf. It didn’t do anything. I am sure she didn’t even felt it. But it showed her that I won’t back down just because she says so. That night we talked. The next morning we were the pair everyone was scared of. It was fun to be on that side.
Not the side I am now. The side where you are terrified. I wish big-Ruby was here. Then she could had save me from Sara and her ‘the look’.
‘The look’ – ah the look – it is a cheap trick and the nisse knows it. But it always gets the job done. And I respect Sara’s way of getting things done. Even when the victim is me.
I gulp, trying to look away. However it isn’t easy when Sara standing next to my face. “Bu-but I don’t…” I can’t finish.
Sara tilts her head. “Seriously. You. Are. Coming. Right?” her voice is low and calm. For the life in me, I can’t say no. I just stare at her until – defeated by ‘the look’ – I obligatory nod.
Sara cheers, clapping her hands together. Her smile big and bright. The whole intimidating leer from earlier is gone, vanished in the air. “It’s gonna be so much fun!” She sings, with a twirl.
Bipolar, I think, brushing my hair and sweat from my forehead. I lean back on the table with a sigh. There goes my quite evening.
“What will be fun?” Parker asks, coming out of nowhere.
I look around Sara as Parker walks behind her. I wave at him. His the only red head I know except myself. His hair isn’t like mine, its ginger with brown hue on them. It makes him look… cute as Sara calls it. Parker waves me back with a grin. Sara spun around, claps her hands together again. “Parker!” She calls.
It takes her no time to launch herself at him. Parker catches her in the air, kissing. They look lovingly at each other.
“I missed you” he kisses the tip of her nose.
Sara giggles – it’s only reserved for Parker – taking his hand in her, she replies. “I missed you more.”
“No I missed you.”
I need to stop them. “And I’m going to die if you guys don’t stop.” They both look at me before continuing.
I will be called heartless if I don’t think, it’s a little cute. Everything these two does is cling worth but also a little cute. Parker is 6. So every time they – Parker and Sara – stands together it reminds me of Kim Kardashian and only 2 month husband Kris Hum… whatever his name was. Though Parker and Sara’s relation is nothing like that. They have been together since junior high.
Sometime I actually think they will make it. And then off course reality hits me and I realize nothing lasts forever. Not even Para.
Still it’s good while it lasts.
Parker kisses Sara on the forehead and then turns toward me. He takes a step back. “You Okay, Rina?” the name he came up for me. Because he couldn’t remember my name when we first meet, even though Sara told him a hundredth time. Now it’s a gesture of our friendship. Because Parker isn’t just Sara’s boyfriend. His my friend too.
We bonded over chick-flicks. ‘Titanic’ being our favorite.
I shake my head. Sara speaks for me. “She’s fine.” the pixie smiles at him. I roll my eyes. “We were just talking about the party.”
The party. The party, the party, the party! For the last three months that’s all she has been talking about.
Parker grins at Sara, throwing his bag in the table he sits down next to me. “Lynette said yes?” he ask.
“She hasn’t told Lynette yet.” Sara, again answer for me, her blue eyes glaring at my direction. I ignore her, looking at my apple.
Parker looks at me over Sara’s shoulder, giving me a wink. “Rina! How could you?” he shrieks the next moment. “Didn’t you knew how hard Sara worked for this party? How much money had it already cost me? And how many nights Sara spend telling me, that it will be one of the best night in my life. When I could had been sleeping.”
Riley, Parker’s right hand man in the field bust out laughing. Mary – Riley girlfriend – not behind. I turn away, biting my lip, fighting hard with myself so that I don’t laugh too. So I concentrate in the wall next to our table. Pretending to examine it.
Hmm, I never notice how dirty the white wells are.
“Yeah, all of you do that.” Sara says pushing Parker on the chest. He grabs her hand pulling her toward him.
“Don’t be that.” he kisses the top of her head. She mumbles something in his ear. Even though I am sitting next to him, I couldn’t here.
“Rina you have to come. I don’t turn 16 every day.” he says, this time earnestly.
I sigh, looking at my apple. It isn’t like I don’t want to come. I do, somewhat. Asking for Lynette’s permission is something I don’t want to.
And then there is this weird felling in the pit of my stomach. Like something is going to happen.
Maybe if I ask Lynette something will happen. Didn’t something happen the last time? ‘The incident’ as Lucy spread it around.
Last time when I asked Lynette if I could go to a party, it was a month after I came here. Off course she said yes. She wanted me to fit in, make lots of friend. And what’s better than a party?
Howbeit I had alternative motives in mind.
I took all of my things – which wasn’t much, just a bag full of cloths. The important stuffs were in a locker than – and I ran away.
Off course I didn’t went far because somehow Lynette figured it out. Police were waiting for me in the Dunsmuir bus station. After that I was grounded for three months. It was the first time someone grounded me.
I still have mix felling about it.
A month later Lynette brought out all of my things from the locker. Now if I try to run, she will notice. Even a blind man would if the whole room turns up empty overnight.
After I was brought home Lynette made a rule that I won’t go anywhere alone. Lucy is constantly following me – another reason why she hates me. And if Lucy can’t then there is Sara or Parker who does this voluntarily.
This time I am not going to run away. But will Lynette believe me? I know I wouldn’t if I am in her place.
So would she?
Maybe she would. Lynette is more indulgent then I am.
Riley pokes me with his spoon. “You haven’t asked yet?” he asks. I shook my head. He nods understanding. “Let’s solve it then.” He takes my bag from the table. I arch an eyebrow at him. But the boy keeps on doing his thing. He brings out the phone. Putting the bag back on the table he walks a few steps away from us.
He dials a number – now it works! – and I know which one it is.
“What are you doing Riley?” I question getting up. I already know what he is doing. So that was a stupid question to ask.
My so called best-friend gives him a thumb’s up.
“Riley!” I yell, trying to get the phone back but the jock moves away, holding up his finger. Mary shook her head unwrapping her sandwich.
The phone ringed twice times before Lynette picks up.
I look at Riley and he looks back at me. Our eyes locked. Both anticipating the others move. Suddenly he throws the phone in the air with a wink. I scramble on my feet to catch it. I barely manage to get a hold of it, before it hit the ground. I turn around glaring at him. He shrugs. Idiot.
“Hello” Lynette’s voice comes from the receiver. The only reason why I didn’t strangle him right then, right there.
“Hey.” I mumble, “It’s me, Erina.”
“Honey, is everything ok?” she asks, immediately worried. I roll my eyes. Why does everyone thinks that I will always be in trouble?
“Every things fine. Relax. Sorry to call you at work.”
“Um, yeah. Uh… today’s Parker’s birthday and there’s gonna be a party –” Lynette cut me off at the end.
“You want to go?” No, I wanna stay home and watch TV. But I can’t say that, can I? Not with Sara around.
“Where will it be?”
“At Riley’s place. His folks are in city for the night.”
“No. No.” I laugh a little, “Riley’s brothers are gonna be there.”
“That doesn’t help your case.” I could hear the smirk in the older woman’s voice. She is in a good mood. Maybe Rick is taking her on another date.
But I didn’t wanna take any chances. “Lucy’s gonna be there too.”
“Really? You already asked her?”
“No, um-Sara will.” Sara’s looks at me the moment her name leaves my lips. ‘What’ she mouthed. ‘nothing’ I mouthed back. “Lynette, look. I promised you, didn’t I? It won’t happen again. You have to trust me.”
Lynette sighs. “Are you sure? Can I trust you?”
“Fine. Fine. But you have to be back before 11.”
I chuckles at Lynette’s parental voice, “Wasn’t it supposes to be before midnight?”
“I am joking. Joking. I’ll be back before 11. Don’t worry. Thanks Lynette.”
“Bye. Have fun!”
I put the phone in my pocket. When I turn to face them I catch Sara’s eyes. She is looking at me, grinning like a fool.
“She said yes?” She quiz getting off Parker’s lap. Her eyes sparkling.
I shrug. Sara screams, jumping and pulling me into a squeeze. A few of the students turns to look us but quickly turns back, when they realize nothing new is happening. Sara is always squealing. “But,” I say, pushing Sara away so that I can look at her. I want to see her expression. “you have to get Lucy to come.”
She grimaces. Her little nose wrinkles, the lines meeting her forehead. Now that’s the look I like.
“We’ll make sure she does.” Parker says from behind.
“Tonight is gonna be so awesome.” Riley chips in. Mary nods in agreement.
But for some reason, I couldn’t agree with them. There is this-weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. A bad feeling.
“I’m so gonna regret this” I mumble, smiling.
Fiction or not
When Sara came to pick me up for the party it was already dark. It took us only 15 minutes to reach Riley’s house. When it usually takes over 25 to reach from the bakery.
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