AN: So here we are with chapter two! Enjoy! Three will be up in a few days I think, based on how fast I got this one up. We'll set the goal for Saturday at the latest XD
Thanks for the subscriptions from banana jump and . Also, many, many thanks to Sarcastic Quipper for keeping me going this whole time, making sure I kept working on the story. Much love!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any products and/or merchandise named in this story.
Once Daegal was out of sight, having turned around a corner, I was snapped out of my reverie. I pulled out my pocket watch and clicked the front of it open. Great. I had no idea it had been that long. Monique would have definitely noticed me being gone this long. I began walking quickly towards the fountain area, not paying attention to my surroundings. Soon enough, I learnt my lesson.
"Ow," I cried as I fell to the ground. The person I had ran into laughed. I stiffened. What gave this guy the right to laugh at me? I mean really. People these days were so rude.
"Chica," a familiar voice started humorously, "You can stop insulting humanity's manners now. It's just me," My face flushed lightly as I craned my neck to look at Phoenix, all 6' 3" of him.
"Well, maybe if humanity were more polite, things like this wouldn't happen," I replied with a huff, crossing my arms to solidify my point. Phoenix just rolled his eyes and held out his hand to me. I grabbed it and let him pull me to my feet and into his arms. I batted my eyes at him and proclaimed him, "My hero,"
"How 'bout a kiss for your knight in shining armour?" he asked, winking at me and puckering his lips. I stuck my tongue out at him and pulled out of his arms. Phoenix sent me a pout, which I ignored. See, Nix was one of the only guys I could get away with this kind of thing, without making things awkward, for two reasons. One, he was my best friend, and two, he was flamboyantly gay.
I had met Phoenix Mile when I was seven. I had been quite the loser, I admit, having had all of zero friends, perfect marks and was considered a teacher's pet. Monique hadn't stuck up for me then, because she hadn't wanted to lose her friends by hanging out with 'Suck-up Sophie', leaving me feeling alone constantly. For group activities, I was always partnered with 'Stinky Stephen', who always smelled as though he never showered. Seven year olds came up with such creative nicknames, I mused.
But then Phoenix had moved to Cavendale. With his white blonde hair and sweet personality, he had his pick of the seven year old crop. Fortunately for me, after that first day, he chose never to associate with the most of them again.
"Okay class," said our teacher, Mrs. Shepard. She beckoned someone in from outside the door, smiling brightly. "His name is Phoenix, and I want you all to show him the respect you show everyone else in this class."
I glowered in my desk. As if anyone had ever showed me respect. Or 'Stinky Stephen', for that matter.
And then he walked in.
The normally loud class quieted instantly, as though they had just been offered the greatest prize for a quiet contest. The boy standing in front of us all was breathtaking, even at the young age we were. Everyone struggled to make room for the beautiful boy, but in the end, the only free seat was beside Monique. As he sat down, my sister grinned at him, showing off her perfect teeth, minus the one she was missing at the moment.
The two stuck up a conversation, and my heart felt like it was being squeezed. How was I to know that my first crush would turn out...batting for the other team.
Soon enough, I stole another glance their way. I gasped as I noticed the new boy, Phoenix, staring at me. I looked away quickly and started chewing on a strand of my hair.
I vaguely heard him query to my sister about who I was. She pouted for a moment, put out that he wanted to talk about someone else, but answered him.
"That's just my sister Sophie," she replied. "She's pretty boring. All she cares about is school. Can you believe that we're twins?" I frowned, but continued listening. Monique said a few more insults, and I had had enough. Tears pricked my eyes as I stood up and glared at her.
"I hate you, Monique," I told her, tears falling now, "I hate you!" With that, I rushed out of the classroom, ignoring the cries from Mrs. Shepard for me to come back.
A while later, I found myself crouched beside the water fountain, crying for all I was worth. How could my own sister, my twin say those things about me? I thought that she of all people would at least say something good about me. Then I thought of what I had said to her. I was no better, I didn't really hate her, I was just upset. I sighed through my sobs, knowing I'd have to apologize later, or she'd tell mom. And mom scared me.
The tears kept flowing for some time. All of a sudden, I heard a voice call my name.
"Sophie?" it called gently making me halt in my sobbing, "Sophie, where are you? It's Phoenix." My eyes wide, I straightened up and attempted to wipe away the tears still fresh on my face. I didn't want the new boy to see me like this. He would think I was a crybaby.
"I'm over here," I called, surprised at how unused my voice sounded. I vaguely wondered how long I'd been out here. I heard footsteps become louder as they approached my hiding place. I looked over at the sound to see Phoenix's kind face looking concernedly at me. I smiled inside at this, but it didn't reach my tear stained face. He walked quickly over to me and crouched down by my side.
"Are you okay?" he asked worriedly, his face scrunched up in concern. I sniffled, rubbing at my nose with my sleeve, but nodded. "You wanna talk about it?"
I shook my head and buried it in my arms. I soon felt something warm wrap around my shoulders, and I lifted my head lightly to see Phoenix hugging me. He smiled kindly at me, which started my tears again. But it was not out of pain this time. No, these were tears of happiness. Someone cared about me. Me, the nerd, the loser, the teacher's pet.
Since that tear-filled day, the two off us had been best friends. Over the next few years, we became closer, doing everything together. By grade eight, I began to feel like we could be more than friends. Then he dropped the bomb on me.
If you have never had your heart broken, let me brief you on the feeling: heart-crushing, mind-numbing pain is first. You don't want to do anything for a while. Next is ignorance and denial. He wasn't actually gay. There was no way. You don't even know any gay people. Finally comes acceptance. There's nothing you can do to change his mind. Might as well support him. I forced myself to focus just on being friends with him, and eventually the feelings faded, and we lapsed back into our easy friendship.
Now we were both seventeen. Nearly adults. Amazing how the time flies when you really think about it.
"So, who was that hottie I saw you with?" Nix asked, sending me another wink. Now it was my turn to roll my eyes as I pushed him away from me. And right over the front of an elderly man's motor-cart. My eyes widened as I struggled to contain my laughter, as the old man didn't seem very impressed that a teenage boy had just rolled over his cart. Nix got to his feet, apologizing profusely to the man, sending me death glares over his shoulder. I grinned and blew him a kiss, before walking away, knowing he'd catch up sooner or later. But I didn't expect the smack to the back of my head.
"Ow!" I cried, rubbing my head, "What is with people and hitting me today?" I pouted.
"That's for pushing me over an old guy, chica!" Phoenix retorted, flicking his white-blonde hair out of his eyes. I snorted as I played the scene over in my head.
"It was pretty funny, Nix," I told him, peering up at his face and smiling innocently. The tall boy just pouted and then gasped as he remembered something.
"You didn't answer my question," he reminded me in a sing-song voice. I scowled. "Who was the hottie?"
"Daegal?" I replied, turning it into a question.
"And why haven't I met this mysterious Daegal?" he asked, putting a hand to his chest and acting hurt.
"Uh, gee, let's think about this for a second," I began sarcastically. "Have you ever seen him before?"
"No," he replied, crossing his arms.
"Have I ever talked about him before?"
"Then why do you think you haven't met him, Nix? Because I just met him!" I threw my hands in the air in exasperation and stalked away. I heard the blonde mumble something about mood swings before catching up. We were both silent for a minute before Phoenix asked,
"So when can I meet him?"
I stopped moving and let out a large sigh. "Uhh," I said, stalling, "Monday, I guess? At school?" Now that I thought about it, he had looked a little old to be going to school, but I ignored that fact. Maybe he just looked older than he was. Before I could start looking for Monique, Phoenix let out a dramatic sigh.
"Ah, school," he began, holding his hand to his head, "Such a corrupted place of torture, isn't it? My eyes and ears are raped each day from it's vile claw of knowledge!" People's heads had turned and were now staring at my blonde companion, some looking both curious and slightly scared. I agreed with those people completely.
"Why must you always make a scene, Phoenix?" I asked, face red from people staring. I grabbed his arm and began to tug him away. He only laughed and blew kisses to the accumulated crowd.
Soon enough, I saw my twin's black curls bouncing near the fountain, where I had left her. I wasn't surprised in the slightest that they were still in the same spot. It seemed that whenever I left them alone, all they did involved zero talking.
"Nix! Phee!" Monique called out as she caught sight of us, or Phoenix, rather, followed by me. We exchanged greetings and I looked behind her to wave at Simon. He grinned and waved back. I noticed James was there too and I sent him a small smile, surprised when I got one in return. I could feel my face heating up so I turned to the two beside me.
"Are you busy now?" I heard Moe ask the tall blonde, "You can come have lunch with us," I nodded my approval and craned my neck to look at his face.
"Sorry," he apologized, ruffling my hair, "I was supposed to be home a few minutes ago. I was actually headed there when I ran into you. And you know my mom," I grimaced. I did know his mom. She wasn't the most lenient person.
"Alright, see you Monday?" I asked, fingering my ring. Nix smiled at me, as though to say, 'Of course'. The rest of the group said their goodbyes and I was left alone with the original group. I'm not usually one to complain, but I always managed to feel like a third wheel whenever I was with Moe and Simon, as hard as they tried not to make that happen. Even with James here, the feeling was already setting in.
"Well, I'm hungry," Monique announced suddenly, breaking the silence that had fallen over us. I smirked and rolled my eyes.
"Always thinking with your stomach, right Moe?" I joked, earning myself a punch to the shoulder. The boys laughed, and I felt a shiver go down my spine at James' deep chuckle. It was nice to hear him laugh for a change, rather than silence.
The trek to the food court was a short one, but was filled with much teasing and idle chatter. I had spent most of my summer locked up with my laptop and had forgotten how much fun it was to just be with friends. My stomach felt full of butterflies the whole trip as James sent smile after smile at me when I cracked jokes or poked fun at one of the two walking ahead of us. I hadn't felt this good in ages.
We each got our respective meals and sat at a rare empty table. As I used my disposable chopsticks to shovel noodles into my mouth, my eyes scanned the room. Nearly every table was full, resulting in people sitting on the edge of the large flower pots that littered the court and on the floor. Security guards tried in vain to get them not to, but with each person they stopped, two more took their place. It was futile, but entertaining. I was able to forget all about what was happening in my life that troubled me, everything that made me conflicted. I was even able to tune out Moe and Simon kissing just across the table from me. That is, I was able to, until I felt something poke me in the arm. I whipped around to glare at the offender only to see James with a sheepish look on his face and a plastic knife in his hand. I raised an eyebrow.
"What's with the knife, buddy? Trying to increase the emo rumours?" I asked dryly. James narrowed his eyes and lowered the knife. I saw the glint in his eye and instantly regretted what I had said.
"You mean they aren't true?" he asked rudely, "Last time I checked, you were a huge cutter," I slammed my hand down on the table, causing the two on the other side to break apart and look back and forth between us confusedly.
"You don't know anything about me," I said coldly, standing up, "Don't pretend as though you do," James stood up as well.
"I know enough," he replied, sneering, "I was trying to be friendly today for Simon's sake. You're just over-reacting," I laughed at the audacity of his statement.
"I'm the one over-reacting? I made a joke! And you turned it into this," I gestured between us before throwing my hands up. "You know what? I don't care. I give up," With that I began walking away, ignoring Monique's calls after me. "See you at home,"
I left the mall as quickly as I could, not quite sure where I was going, but knowing I couldn't stay here. I headed towards our car, then remembered that Monique had the keys. Sighing, I began walking without any direction. I began singing softly under my breath, thinking offhandedly that we should have a band practice soon. It had been over a week since the last one, because Oliver had been away at his dad's house. I made a mental note to call everyone once I got home.
I was roused from my thoughts by a drop of water hitting my nose. I jumped and looked up. While I had been zoned out, dark storm clouds had rolled in. More drops fell and I frowned, looking around me. I didn't really recognize anything. Dammit. Was I lost?
I cursed as the rain started coming down harder. I needed to go somewhere. If I stayed out in this, who knew what would happen. Scanning the nearby houses, I saw one that looked reasonably safe and not like it was inhabited by drug-dealers or rapists. There was a fancy looking swing set in the front lawn and an expensive minivan was parked in the drive. Rich people, evidently. I shook my head, my soaking hair sending even more drops flying around me.
Running now, I got up the long driveway in what I was sure was a record time, and knocked on the door urgently. I thanked god that they had a large covered porch. I attempted to wring out my hair and shirtsleeves while I waited. A few minutes passed and I began worrying again. Maybe no one was home? But that made no sense. There were lights on inside.
Suddenly, I heard yelling and curses, followed by silence. My eyes widened. It seemed I made a lapse in judgement about this place. As I turned to go out into the rain, the door opened and light spilled out onto my pitiful form. I looked back to the doorway and my jaw dropped.