The Garden

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Stretching my lanky white arms, like I’ve seen humans do, I sat up from my bed. I slowly floated over to my little closet and picked out one of my many dresses to wear. I slipped it on and then went to my mirror. I looked over my reflection as I always do. I was slightly taller than most of the other girls. My chocolate brown hair was stick straight, and it went down to my waist, covering up a good portion of the front of my pale yellow, strapless sundress that went down to my knees. I had the palest skin of anyone I knew, and I’d always wanted makeup. The fact that people can change their entire appearance with a few strokes of a brush completely amazes me. My forest green eyes were big and round, and my cheeks were a pale pink. I tried to cover up my abnormally pointy ears with my hair, but it was useless. I look like an elf. I turned around so that I could see how my wings looked. My wings were my pretiest feature. They were thin and elegant. Almost see-through, the gossamer wings were shaped like tear drops, and they shimmered in the sun light. My wings were the only above-average thing about me. To any human, I would have been strikingly beautiful, but in my village, I was just another normal faerie.
Before my mother could hear me, I slipped out of the house, skipping the breakfast she was making. Since school seemed boring and useless, I decided today would be a good day to skip. After flying straight up towards one of the giant oak trees that surrounded our village, I sat on one of the branches while trying to figure out what to do with my day off. Maybe I’ll go people-watching in the city. I could take a swim in the bird bath at the park.. but last time I did some cardinal got mad.. OH! I’ll go see Nathan! He’ll know something fun to do. Nathan’s my best friend who I met one day while I was people-watching. I love going people-watching. Humans are so interesting. I’ve spent hours and hours just listening in on random people talking, and I’ve mastered their speech. Since I’ve always wanted to be a human, I taught myself to talk and act like a human being. I owe a lot of my human knowledge to Nathan. He’s a human, but I trust him with my secret. He’s never told anyone about my existence. If my village found out that he knew about us, I would be toast. That’s the number one rule: Never show yourself to a human. But Nathan is not just a human, he’s different.
After flying for quite some time I finally got to Nathan’s. It was just outside the city, still partially in the woods. He lived in a giant grey house. It was a weird shade of grey. It looked to me like it was once a white house, but over time it just got dustier and dustier and was never cleaned, and eventually turned this random shade. His mother loved gardening, so there were lovely colors of pink, purple, and white speckling the dirt in front of his house. It was still pretty early for humans to be up, so I sat outside on the window ledge. I looked in through the dirtty glass and saw the scary mess of a room that Nathan considered “clean.” Not a spot of carpet could be seen. It was completely covered with wrinkled up clothes, random papers, books, and half full bottles of coke. I looked to one side of the room and saw Nathan still asleep. He was sleeping like he always does, on his stomach with his head underneath the pillow. I never could figure out how he slept like that without suffocating himself. I could hear him snoring through the thick glass of the window, which made me giggle. I decided after ten minutes to try and wake him up.
“Nate! Hey, Nate! Wake up!” I said, smacking the glass as hard as I could. I was so small, it probably sounded like a little tap to human ears. Nathan was still snoring away, but I got the attention of his pet cat, Cali. She had been fast asleep under one of the giant piles of clothes. Who knows how long she’d been there. “Cali! Hey, kitty! Wake Nate up! Come one, you can do it! Pleeease, Cali.” One of the perks to being one of my kind is that you have a way with animals. You can’t exactly talk to them, but they usually understand what you’re saying, and they always seem to like you. Cali made her way across the room to Nathan. She effortlessly jumped up onto his bed, and she meowed. Her meow was soft and gentle at first, but after a couple of tries she realized it wasn’t working too well. She took out her paw and laid it on one of Nathan’s feet that wasn’t hiding under the covers. She looked up at me and kind of smirked. All of the sudden, Nathan jumped up out of the bed,
“Ouch, you dumb cat! What’s your problem!?” Apparently Cali wasn’t de-clawed. Nathan grabbed his foot and winced. I tapped on the window once again. Nathan looked up at the sound. I waved at him, trying to hold in my laughter. His face turned a deep red color. “Danielle, when’d you get there?” He walked over to the window and opened it.
“Oh, a little while ago. I tried to wake you up myself, but your snoring was pretty harsh,” I said with a giggle.
“I do not snore! That’s a lie.”
“Nate, you sounded like a dying cow.”
“I did not! You are totally making that up,” he said, slightly embarrassed.
“Believe what you want,” I said, flying into the room, “ but without Cali, I would have been sitting out there all day, and I can only listen to your dying cow snore for so long,” I teased. I sat down on Cali’s back. To thank her for waking Nathan, I used both of my hands to scratch a spot behind one of her massive ears. She began to purr.
“Shouldn’t you be at school right now?” he asked.
“Eh, I wasn’t feeling it,” I responded. He shouldn’t be surprised. I skip all the time, and he knows that.
“Dani, you’re gonna get in more trouble.”
“Whatever... Dad,” I was a little annoyed that he brought that up. I skipped school just to see him. He should be happy. “I’m not the one who got suspended from school for three weeks. You’re the last person who should be telling me to stay out of trouble.”
“Ouch! Okay, okay. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to piss you off,” he said, “Let’s go do something.”
“Like...?”
“Whatever you wanna do!” He was trying to cool me off. It was working. I may get mad at him a lot, but I can’t stay mad at him for too long, “Just let me get ready real quick.” He walked over to his dresser and got a comb. He ran it through his shaggy blond hair three times, and then put it down. He picked up his favorite shirt, a green american eagle polo, and slid it on over his white undershirt. Then he selected a random pair of jeans from the pants pile in the floor, and put them on over his goofy shamrock boxers. He went and brushed his teeth in the bathroom, and then he came back out and said, “All good!” As he attempted to shove his feet into his worn out chucks, I floated over to him and sat down on his shoulder while he started to speak, “You know, If I ever told any of my friends that my best friend is a faerie, they’d probably never talk to me again.” We’ve had this conversation many times.
“Well, if my village knew that I skipped school all the time to hang out with a human, I’d probably be grounded for the rest of my life.” I understand that most humans believe faeries are make believe. The only people that think we’re real are little children, so his friends would just laugh if he told them about me, but my village knows that humans exist, and they’re completely terrified of them. They think they would try to sell us as pets if we were ever found out. That’s probably true about most humans, but Nathan’s different.
“So, where are we going?” he asked.
“It’s nice outside. Let’s go to The Garden!”
“I shoulda known,” he smirked. He knows The Garden is my favorite place to go. It’s not even a real garden, we’ve just always called it that. It’s just a giant patch of grass in the middle of the forest that’s completely flat. There aren’t any trees or rocks or flowers, just grass. We sit here and ask each other questions. He always wants to know more about faeries, and I always want to know more about humans. I can get him talking about New York or Chicago for hours at a time. Sometimes he doesn’t even know how to answer my questions because no one’s really asked him them before. He’s had to describe things like football, IPods, and taxis to me. A lot of the time I have to interrupt him while he’s telling a story because he uses weird words like ‘ginger’ or ‘pot’ and then he has to explain what each word means. I ask him so many things about his life, but he finds my life much more interesting. He loves hearing about how we live in one little village and everyone has different talents. He found it very interesting to hear that we don’t have any sort of electricity. Sometimes he doesn’t believe me when I tell him certain things, like the fact that we’re the true reason behind rainbows, or that we never age after our 25th birthday.
We sat in The Garden talking and listening to one another until the sun hid behind a massive cloud, and the air went cold. We always seemed to lose track of time when we were together. I remembered how I had skipped school that morning. “Oh man! Nate, what’s the time?” Nathan reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone.
“It’s 12:14... Crap, I have fourteen missed calls. All from my mom. I’m so dead,” he said, shaking his head as he realized what he was going to have to deal with when he got home.
“I forgot to call into school sick! They probably spoke to my parent’s already. Oh, they’re going to freak. The whole village is probably going to be out looking for me! They’re going to think something happened. I need to go home right now or else I’m goin-”
“Dani, calm down,” Nathan said. He picked me up and looked straight into my eyes, “Calm down,” he repeated. I sighed and looked up at him. I realized he has a scar above his left eyebrow. I’d have to remember to ask him about that the next time we were together.
“I have to go, Nate. Like, right now. I don’t know what I’m going to tell them. Maybe I’ll say I fell asleep somewhere and I just woke up. I dunno if they’ll believe that, though..”
“I’m gonna be in a load of trouble, too, ya know. My mom’s gonna flip when I get home”
“I have to go, Nate. I don’t know when I’ll be able to see you again. I ha-”
“Danielle, Stop!” I instantly shut my mouth. He seemed like he had something he really needed to say. My screaming parents could wait. “There’s something you really need to know, and I’ve been trying to tell you all day, but I’m so nervous and scared that I don’t know how to say it so I’m just going to say it!”
“God, spit it out, Nate. You’re starting to scare me. Is something wrong?”
“No, no. Nothing’s wrong at all. Actually, I just need to tell you something.” His hands seemed to be shaking a bit. Why is he so nervous? “I like you. Like, I really like you. You’re the coolest girl I’ve ever met. You’re so different and interesting, and you don’t act fake. I like you Danielle. I like you a lo-”
“SHHH! Just please stop. I can’t believe you just... I mean, we are such good friends, but I never thought... and all those times you told me... So you’ve secretly been crushing on me this entire time and I was just too dumb to pick up on it. Oh my gosh, Nate. You know that would never work. You KNOW it. You’re a human. I’m a faerie. We’re too different. That won’t work. I mean, did you even think this through before you confessed these intense, but totally not obvious feelings for me? We could have just stayed friends, you know! But now you’ve ruined it!” Now I was angry, and I jumped out of his hand and flew through the air as fast as I ever thought possible. I had a right to be angry. He just told me he likes me. He’s ruined everything. We can’t be like we were. It will always be awkward between us, and I don’t want that. “Why did this happen!?” I screamed at the top of my lungs into the empty air of the forest. “I probably deserve this for skipping school all the time! I’m a horrible faerie! I don’t deserve even one person who I can be myself around! Great!” There goes the only friend I really had.





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