Disclaimer: This is my story, my characters, my plot. Any similarities to other works is absolute coincidence and was not originally attended.

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The Enigma of Destiny

By: Katie Seals

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Chapter 2: That Cold Day in The Park

Raine let out a troubled sigh, trudging down the hallway, her Hello Kitty backpack left dragging along the floor. Her eyelids drooped slightly as the scenery of passing teenagers and the same blue lockers passed by her like an endless slideshow. Strange thoughts of the day before had taken her mind hostage all night, and she swore she only got one wink of sleep. It was troubling her that Chase was troubling her... not that really makes sense, but that was her exact problem. She began questioning everything she did, deciding whether it really was right or wrong.

Raine had seen Chase first thing in the morning when she turned the block towards school. He had his head down, hands in his pocket as if he was trying to duck away. But the one thing she noticed most was the disdained look overcoming his usual smile. It was similar to the look she saw the day before in the alley, but this time it was mixed with a certain sorrow... almost as if he had been crying. She watched him make his way across the schoolyard, the sorrowful look suddendly disappearing into that usual grin once others laid eyes on him. It was almost as if he was putting on a mask or disguise to cover his sorrow. But what did he have to be sorrowful about?

Raine shook her head, forcing her eyelids open as she entered the lunchroom. The loud chattering and shuffling of the restless teenagers echoed in her ears, causing her to cringe. She hated lunch hour. It was a worthless excuse for the popular crowd to socialize. Kids rarely ate during lunch time, besides the bag of M n M's the shared with each other. Most of them were 'watching their figure'. What a sad excuse for a human being. Really, she could be spending that time in her quiet home, writing or doing something else creditable.

Raine threw her Hello Kitty backpack forcefully on the empty table, collapsing on the bench sluggishly. Letting out a sigh of relief, she let her head fall on the table with a thump in attempt to force the outside world out of her mind. Finally letting her eyelids droop closed, she felt herself slipping away...

"Hey."

Or not...

Raine opened her eyes, debating whether or not she had really just heard that. She lifted her head slightly, her eyes fluttering wearily as she scanned the area around her, a look of confusement plastered on her face.

"It's Raine, right?"

His voice startled her at first, but she finally laid eyes on the blonde boy, a strange smile plastered on his face.

"Huh?"

She sat up, turning towards the blonde-haired boy next to her. He smiled back at her as she attempted to wake her half-asleep form. Finally recognizing him, Raine stared back him, unamused.

"Steve... what are you doing here?" She practically barked back at him, her voice coming out a bit more harsh than she intended.

Steve Baker was the second most popular guy in school, Chase Walker taking the main spotlight from him. He had blonde spikey hair, and soft hazel eyes. If it wasn't for his cocky attitude, he really could be attractive.

"You don't seem glad to see me."

Raine's mouth dropped at his stupidity. "Steve... we've been in the same class for eight years and this is the first time you've ever talked to me... why would I be happy to see you. I don't even know you."

He replaced her unamused attitude with a cocky grin. "You could get to know me."

Raine shook her head, letting her head fall to the table again. She wasn't about to waste her time on someone who always has an alternative motive for his actions. For all she knows, he could want to rape her or something.

"Steve... cut to the chase and tell me what you want."

Steve's eyebrow quirked at her words as he backed away slightly, pretending to be appauled. "Me? I don't want anything? I just want to get to know you."

She sent him an apathetic glare. Why the hell would Steve Baker want to get to know her? He had plenty of friends... too many friends, in fact. And besides, Raine was a loner who minded her own business. It's not like she could be helping him climb the social ladder.

"Hmm... What would a popular football player want from someone like me?" She paused, narrowing her eyes at him. "Oh, that's right... nothing."

Raine stood abruptly, gathering her things and turning swiftly on her foot. She wasn't about to waste anymore of her precious resting time.

"Wait... just give me a chance." He grasped her arm tightly, turning her towards him.

She glanced back at him, annoyed and teetering the line of rage. Sending her an earnest look, he pulled her a little closer.

"I didn't mean to annoy you... I just wanted to get to know you."

She stared back at him, her furious glare finally softening into a look of guilt. He WAS trying... at least she could give him that.

"I'll think about it..."

She finally gave in, suddendly realizing that he wasn't going to give up... for some odd reason. He smiled widely... almost arrogantly.

"You won't regret it."

Raine shook her head, watching the blonde-headed boy practically skip away to the 'popular' table. She scoffed, turning back to the table she had recently been sitting on before Moron interrupted her. Collapsing on the bench, she let out a sigh, hoping to finally get that rest she really needed.

~

Raine seethed, shivering as she bundled farther into her goose feather coat. The cold air stung every inch of open skin on her body, causing the pain to tingle. Unlike the day before, the sun was hidden by blankets of thick clouds, making the frigid air seem even colder.

Raine let a sigh of anger as she picked up the pace, turning into the desolate city park. She wasn't in the mood the be around anyone... especially her Mother. What a bitch, she thought, kicking inanimate rocks and bottle caps as if they the root of her anger. She couldn't believe it. That was the second time she had come home after school to find her mother drunk and passed out on the floor. Raine had kicked her roughly in the side in attempt to wake her. But, that wasn't a very bright idea, because that just released the maniac inside her, causing her to yell, rather slur, obscenities at Raine. Of course, she wasn't just going to sit there and be badgered by that worthless human being, so she yelled back, catapaulting the whole thing into a huge fight.

Raine gritted her teeth as a painful chill traveled down her spine, causing her whole body to shiver and chatter. The frigid air was painful, but being alone in such a desolate park was much better than listening to her worthless mother bitch about her life. Closing her eyes, Raine collapsed under a bare tree, glancing over at the froven creek. Despite the fact that the sun was hidden, the icy creek still seemed to glisten in the daylight, radiating a certain beauty that calmed Raine's nerves.

She relaxed slightly, sinking deeper into her inflated coat as the warmth finally caught up to her. And for a moment, everything was silent and completely blissful, a rewarding thing to Raine. But after a few moments, she began hearing a distinct sound...

Crying.

She listened closer, leaning in the direction of the grieving sound. It wasn't a young child crying... but a man. A grown man. He seemed to be repining himself, rather than mourning. She slowly sat up, scanning the area for the weeping soul, her ears and eyes suddendly pertinent and full of concern. Not spotting him, she stood abruptly, her eyes wavering back and forth.

Ready to give up, Raine finally spotted a figure hunched near the train bridge. He was rocking back and forth, rubbing his legs in attempt to keep himself warmer. She began making her towards him warily, keeping as silent as she possibly could. He picked up a stone, startling Raine as he tossed it against the bridge wall, letting out a cry of vehemence. Beating his fists in the ground, he buried his head in his knees.

Suddendly annoyed by the crunching sound the pristine snow was making, she gritted her teeth, jumping on the nearest open ground. Shaking her head, she continued to make her way closer to him, content by how silent the open ground was compared to the snow. Finally a few feet away from him, she hesitated slightly, biting her lip nervously.

"E-excuse me sir? Are you okay?" Her voice was sweet and tender, just as she intended.

He faltered slightly at her words, hunching his shoulders as he wiped the tears from his face. Finally lifting his head, Raine gasped.

"I'm fi-... its you..."

"Chase? Are you okay?!"

She kneeled before him, resting her hand on his knee as a concerned gesture. She studied him closely, her face twisting in a troubled frown. He looked horrible. His usual gelled hair was tousled into a mess, his skin pale and pallid. Under his left eye, a deep, purple bruise was beginning to form, swelling over his cheekbone.

"I'm fine." He pushed her hand off, cradling his shivering body against his knees.

She turned away. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bother you. I heard crying, and I just wanted to help."

"I wasn't crying."

He wiped his face immediately afterwards, hoping maybe she hadn't caught the tears staining his cheeks.

She shook her head. "Chase, I'm not going to tell anyone, you don't have to worry."

"Worry? About what?!"

She ignored the somber tone in his voice, eyeing the bruise again. "Where'd you get the bruise?"

He gritted his teeth tightly. "Football! Now, would you quit being so nosy!"

They slipped into a dead silence, a strange vibe of discomfort settling in. But Raine was determined to stay. She knew that bruise wasn't from football, it was obvious someone had hit him.

"What are you doing here, anyways?" He finally spoke up, his voice shaky and hoarse.

She let her head droop, her eyes falling to the lifeless ground. "My mother and I got in a fight."

Her voice was soft and full of pain, causing Chase to raise his head, his eyes widening slightly.

Raine debated whether or not to ask him the same question. But seeing him in such distress, she decided that such a quesion would be a touchy issue.

"Do you need any help?"

She reached for him again, but he pushed her away. "No... I told you, I'm fine."

Raine shook her head, deciding it would be best to just leave him alone. Standing slowly, she sent him a gentle smile.

She turned to leave, but his voice stopped her in her tracks. "Do you like my buddy Steve?"

Without looking at him she answered. "I don't know."

He glanced up at her. "I saw you talking to him today at lunch."

It was almost as if he wanted her to stay...

She turned back towards him, smiling to ease the tension between them. "More like he talked to me."

She sat down next to him, imitating his position as she pulled herself in a ball. She glanced over at him, noticing how close she was too him, a small blush creeping up her face.

He smiled for the first time, turning towards her. "He likes you. You should talk to him."

She turned away, scoffing lightly. "Why would Steve Baker like someone like me?"

Chase was silent for a few seconds, causing the tension to grow between them. "People notice you alot more than you think Raine. In good ways and in bad."

Her breath caught in her throat. That was the first time he had ever said her name, and the way he said it made her think they had known each other for ages.

"W-what do you mean?"

He turned back towards her, a serious look overcoming his face. "Did you really think you were that much of a wallflower?"

Raine stared back at him, confused. What was he talking about? Of course she was a wallflower. Its not like she had friends or anything.

Almost as if he had been reading her mind he answered. "Just because you don't have many friends or you don't talk to many people doesn't mean they don't notice you."

Raine was silent. She didn't know what to say, or rather, she physically couldn't say anything. There was something about the way he was talking to her... the way he was explaining her... it was almost like he opened a whole new side to herself that even she didn't know was there. She was startled by that.

He spoke again, more tender than he had before. "He's a nice guy. I'd give him a chance."

"I don't know..."

Chase was silent again. Raine glanced over at him, confused, but instead, she caught the striking beauty he really was. There was something about the curve of his jawbone, and the softness that radiated from his emerald eyes... it was absolutely stunning. Not like a physical attribute, but rather a deeper, more artistic beauty. She wondered if anyone else had ever noticed it before.

"You know, people find it odd that you're never around men."

Raine backed away slightly, a little appauled by his comment. Noticing this, he sent her an earnest look, his eyes never leaving hers.

"Not in a bad way... You're mysterious. Most guys find you as a challenge, and every girl I know finds you intimidating."

Raine stared back at him, her jaw dropping slightly. Everything he was saying was confusing her. How could he know so much about her? The right things to say... the honest looks he gave her... Its almost as if he had known her forever. But he hadn't...

"I don't... I don't understand Chase. This is all new to me."

He glanced over at her, suddendly catching something new about her. He leaned closer, causing Raine's heart to beat faster and faster. Stopping merely inches away from her, he was silent for a few seconds, her breath warm on his face.

"Your eyes..."

She blushed deeper and deeper, her nervousness causing her to tremble. "I know..." She turned away. "It's weird how they're two different colors."

"No. I think its enchanting... the colors are so vivid."

The way he was speaking caused her to blush deeper, her body shuffling back and forth uneasily.

"Thanks... I mean... not many people think that way of them... err, nevermind."

He chuckled, breaking the tension between them. "I'd say you hold the eyes of wisdom and tolerance."

Raine froze, her jaw dropping. There's no way... How could he... Her eyes widened, her mother's voice coming to mind.

'Only you hold the eyes of wisdom and tolerance'

How did he know that her mother used to tell her that? He couldn't have... Then how... Where...

Raine's mind went frantic, flashbacks of her past coming back to her. There was no way he knew that... she never talked to Chase when she was younger. They barely acknowledged each other. It had to of been coincidence. Maybe its just a saying he picked up somewhere...

"Chase... how did you..."

"What?"

Her face paled as she stood up, almost frightened by the whole thing. "I... just realized I have something to do."

She turned quickly, darting away from Chase. The blood rushed away from head from standing too quickly, and black spots began to form in front of her, blocking her vision. But she kept running, the cold air brushing through her dark hair, causing the open skin on her neck to sting.

Raine's mind was running frantic with images of Chase. Their converstaion kept rolling through her mind, over and over again. None of it made sense to her. The connection they had was odd, something she had never recognized before. Seeing him cry didn't make her want to laugh at him or ridicule him, but rather, it made her want to know him more... understand him.

Finally almost a mile away from Chase, she collapsed in the snow, her back colliding with the soft, snowy ground. She glanced up at the gray sky, her breath coming out in a short, gasping pant. Watching the clouds roll by slowly, she sighed wondering the one question that was killing her the most...

Why did she run away?

~

Picking the forgotten book up off the floor, Raine finally let her memories subside. It had been so long since that day, but she remembered it so cleary that she could still feel the cold air stinging her skin. It was the first day that Chase and her had connected... something that she had learned to get used to throughout that year.

Setting the book on the coffee table, she sat warily on the couch, the startled feline crawling in her lap again. She pet him gently, his low purring calming her troubled mind.

Just as Raine had shut her eyes, the telephone rang, startling her. Her eyes wavered from the phone to the sleeping feline on her lap, debating whether or not to answer it. She sighed heavily, reaching over and taking the phone off the hook, raising it to her ear.

"Hello?"

"Raine... it's Theresa. Sorry I'm calling so late."

Raine sighed. Its a good thing she answered it...

"No, its okay. Did you talk to the publisher?"

"Yes. They want a release date."

Raine sighed again, but this time, it was mixed with a hint of agitation. "Theresa... I don't think I can do it."

Raine could hear her friend curse silently, followed by a sigh. "What? Do what?"

"Theresa... I told you... it was a promise."

"Don't you understand how good your writing is? You could make millions off this... the publisher even told me so."

"I know..." She paused, biting her fingernails nervously, " just tell them to give me a month or two."

"A month or two?! I'm not sure they'll hold on that long!"

Getting a bit aggravated, Raine beat her fist into the pillow next to her, startling the sleeping feline. "Just do it... please."

Theresa sighed. "I'll try... but I can't guarantee anything.. okay?"

"Thank you... See you later."

"Bye."

Raine hung up the phone, wiping her dark hair from her forehead. She might even need more than one or to months...

The feline in her lap stared up at her, obviously annoyed by her strange actions. He mewed loudly, setting his paw on her hand. Raine smiled down at the animal gently, stroking behind his ears to reassure him. Pleased by her gesture, he laid his head down in her lap, burrowing deeper against her.

Glancing at the book on the table, she reached over, running her fingers across the cover. A smile grew on her face as she opened the cover to the first page. The phrase rolling over and over in her mind.

'This book is dedicated to Chase Walker, the inspiration that changed my life.'

Yep... she'd definitely need more than one or two months... but she was determined to make it work... just like him.

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Okay, so most of you are probably extremely confused, but don't worry, the story will unravel as the chapters roll on.

I want to thank everyone who reviewed!

Crimson Thorn- I hope you can keep reviewing and such. It sucks that your comp isn't working. Thank you so much saying 'wow' about my story. Its so flattering to hear that.

Reeks- Love your username, lol. Anyways, thanks for reviewing, and sorry for making the alley scence a bit confusing, but I had to make it descriptive and such.

Spottednewt- Thank you so much for saying my story is good. If you like the suspense of wondering what's going to happen next, your seriously going to love this story, lol.