Turning to face the person that tapped on her desk, Quaya sets down her pencil. She gives him a good, quick once over; he looks descent enough and from the way he chose to read the book instead of listen to the teacher, said something.
"Quaya, and yes, I am." She gets ready extends her hand, she's always been one for professionalism, though something about him said he doesn't really like attention, so she retract her hand.
Glancing quickly at the teacher who was still talking; what was the old man talking about now? Something to do with the struggles of Native American. It's not like she gets enough of that on her own time.
She doesn't turn back to Nathan, but she tilts her ear slightly, waiting for his response.
Seeing Quaya’s reaction to his chance of reaching out, Nathan couldn’t help but smile slightly. She seemed to hate this place as much as he did, he respected that.
“Mr. Parcels doesn’t mind if you talk. He doesn’t seem to hear, or notice much anyway.” He said, motioning his head towards the old teacher at the front of the room, pointing to a map of early America. “This has to actually be one of my favorite classes, he’s never taken my book away”
The corner of her mouth twitched upward and she turns to face Nathan. Sh did happen to catch him smile as she retracted her hand, it suited him well.
"You read in every class? Don't even answer that, from the way you're going through that book, I already know the answer is yes." Turning back to Mr. Parcels, Quaya glances above his head to look at the clock. Fifteen minutes left until she can leave.
"Answer me this, do you actually learn anything in this class or do you just sit back and teach yourself on you own time?" She asks turning back to Nathan. She had to admit, there's something about him that she likes; he reminds her a little bit of herself, just a little bit.
Deciding that fifteen minutes wasn’t enough time to get much farther in his book, he ripped a corner off one of his previous homework sheets and stuffed it in the pages, closing the book gently.
“I tend to just learn on my own for most classes, the classrooms to noisy to really focus on anything, to busy.” He said, turning to Quaya and resting his chin against the top of his hands.
“Though history really is my favorite subject, not just because I get to read” For once, someone actually seemed interested in what he had to say, who he was. Nathan allowed this girl with startlingly clear blue eyes another small smile, two in one school day. It had to be his new personal best.
"I knew I should have stayed in cyberschool. Schools are no longer learning enviroments." She mumbles under her breath, but she's sure he heard.
She feels the urge to just get up and walk out of the class but there's something about Nathan that makes her want to stay.
"Well, I guess I'm not the only one," she says with a light, short, albeit doubtful chuckle. Packing her stuff in her back, she gets ready to stand. "Guess you can't get a quality education anywhere now a days." She stands and heads to the front of the class. After a quick exchange of words with Mr. Parcels, she exits the room.
Nathan nodded his head in agreement, putting his things carefully in his backpack and grabbing his book. He nodded to Mr. Parcels as he left the room and walked swiftly downt he hall to his next class. He arived, headed to the back of the room once more, and perceeded to let himself get lost in a different world. Just waiting for the day to end.
Quaya knew that she should be heading toward her next class, but something told her that, that Nathan boy would be there, and suddenly she didn't want to be bothered. Walking the halls for like the first twenty minutes of the period, she opts to just go to class, if she wants to graduate, she should at least show up.
Walking into the class, she takes a quick looks around and spots Nathan in the back. A clearing of a throat attracted her attention. She turned to face a short female.
"May I help you?" the short woman asks.
"Yes, what class is this?" Quaya keeps her voice low.
"English, who are you?" the short woman tilts her head just slightly to the right; being anyone else, she would not have caught it.
"Quaya Jones, and you are?" Quaya herself tilted her head as her facial features harden and she looks at the teach with a blank face.
"Ah, Quaya, well, I'm Miss. Tronje, take a seat," Miss. Tronje says; her voice a little shaky due to Quaya's behavior.
"I can only stay for a little while, the councilor wants to see me in the library," Quaya lies, she's confident no one will catch her; she's been lying since she lost her parents. She lied to protect her brothers, she lied after she lost her brothers and she'll continue lying to protect herself.
"Very well, take a seat and after 15 minutes, I'll send you down." Miss. Tronje swallows hard and forces and uncomfortable smile on her face. Quaya nods her head, her face still blank of any emotion.
Nearly halfway though his next class, the new girl Quaya walked in, not that he noticed right away. Not until he turned the last page of his book did he realize that someone other than Miss. Tronje was talking, a rarity in this class. Putting his book back into his backpack he watched the exchange silently, amused by the way the teacher seemed unnerved by this strange girl that seemed so similar to himself. She stood there stony faced, her face a mask. Now that he thought of it, he hadn’t seen her show any emotion while in the previous class.
Thinking now about her masks made Nathans mind wander to other masks, ones he himself kept in place, and the reasoning behind them. Suddenly, he had the feeling that he couldn’t breathe, the walls of the school were suffocating him and everything was closing in. Thoughts in his mind ran together and memories he didn’t want to think about surfaced. The normal classroom sounds seem to fade into nothing, yet amplify tenfold in the same instance.
Standing quickly he grabbed his backpack and ran from the room, heading quickly for the exit of the school. He didn’t think twice about what the class would think, or the consequences of his actions, it had happened before. The only thought going through his mind was to get away and run. So he did.
Quaya saw him run out of the class, just out of the corner of her eye, but she thought nothing of it. She quietly took her seat and listened to the teacher go on and on about something; she long tuned out the topic. Thankfully the fifteen minutes passed and the teacher wrote her a note. She was happy to get out of there, just as she was sure the teacher was glad to see her go.
Since she lied her way out of the class, and she did say she needed to be in the library, that's where she headed. Not knowing the school that well, but getting barely used to it, she found her way; after getting lost a couple of times.
Once in the library, she headed straight to one of the computers to work on typing a letter to her brothers. Though she never sends then, it brings her slight comfort. After typing the letter, she saves it to her email. Her breath catches as she sees a message from her brother's adopted parents' The Goldsteigns.
You're brothers are doing fine, I know you think they don't remember anything about you, but in fact they do. They miss you very much and they are hoping that you'll come see them. We know that you said you just wanted updates on them, but they are after all your brothers. Well, they're doing good and you would be so proud of them, each are at the top of their classes and turning out to be fine young men.
Exiting her email, Quaya tries hard not to cry. It's been almost two years since she's saw them, and it still pains her that she's never gone to see them, but it's neccessary. She's alone and she didn't want them to be alone, she wants them to move on with their lives and forget about her, forget everything that happened, it was a freak accident.
Getting up, only to sit in a open armchair, Quaya tilted her head to the ceiling, closed her eyes and thought of her brothers, who soon morphed into Nathan
Once he left the school building Nathan kept running until he reached an outcropping of trees near the edge of the property. Once under their branches he dropped to his knees and held his head in his hands, willing away unwanted memories that kept resurfacing. Groping inside his pocket Nathan grabbed the phone his dad had given him in case of emergencies. He dialed his number and waited until he picked up, his breath coming in gasps. “Please” He said, his voice strangled before the phone fell out of his hands. Pictures flashed through his mind, forming into scenes from that night. The last night he thought there was good in the world and the first night he realized there wasn’t.
He was in the woods up near the top of the mountain and his dad had let him leave for the camping trip early, planning on meeting him at their usual spot later that night. He’d just gotten there and the sun was just dipping below the horizon, casting shadows along the ground. Dropping his equipment, Nathan pulled the folded tent from within his pack and set about setting it up before it got dark. After the tent was set he brought his stuff inside and proceeded to set up the sleeping bags for the night, wanting to prove to his dad that he was old enough to do things on his own.
The sun set and Nathan sat in the tent listening for his father’s approaching footsteps as the sky got darker and darker. Finally, long after the sun had set he heard the sound of leaves crackling and a smile lit his face. He switched on the lantern and called out to his dad, moving to get out of his sleeping bag. In response the tent began to unzip-
Arms folded around Nathans crying form and he jerked fighting to get away. His eyes open as the arms released and he was back in the wooded area behind the school. Backing away the memories quickly dispersed in his mind, going back to the place he fought so often to keep them hidden.
(sorry there was such a delay in responce! I had a bunch of work to do for school and didn't have time to get on!)
[It's okay. It's the school year, so it's bound to happen sooner or later, to the both of us. Sorry, I got carried away .... again.]
Quaya breaths in and out as she lays thinking of her brothers. It's been a year since she's seen them. She wants too, so very badly does she, but she wants them to forget her more and be happy. She remembers the day she told them.
"You guys, Tingy, Reyshaw and Natquan, we can't keep going on like this. I have to set y'all free," She says as a tear rolls down Natquan's face.
"Quaya, why? Don't send us away," Natquan cries. How'd he know? How'd he know I was sending them away?
"Nate, I can't. I can't take care of you anymore." Tears slide down her face.
"I could help, I'm ten now. Tingy's thirteen, he could help too. Don't send us away, we don't want to leave you," Reyshaw speaks up. She can tell he's trying hard not to cry, he's like her and their father in some ways.
"I'm sorry," her voice breaks and she drops my head.
"You're coming to get us right?" Tingy asks. "You're not going to leave us forever are you?"
"When the time comes, I will come get you all." She pulls all three of them to her. "I want y'all to listen to me and listen to me carefully. Take care of each other, Tingy, please watch out for them. Reyshaw, watch out for Natquan and Nate, watch out for your brothers. Y'all are all I've got and for a while, y'all are all y'all will have." She looks each of them in the eyes.
"I got you Quaya," Tingy says, his voice strong and barely wavering.
"Promise me," her voice breaks. "Promise y'all will take care of each other."
"We promise," they all say together. She smiles a weak smile.
"Tingy, you are so like me in so many ways and I know you will take care of them, like I have taken care of you all. Reyshaw, don't try so hard to be strong and like me, I wasn't strong enough to continue taking care of you all, but you are your father's son. Nate, I love you, you're the baby. Stay safe, I beg of you. You're a splitting image of mother, she would be so proud of you right now. I am so proud of you all." A knock is sounded.
She gets up to answer the door and in walks Child Services with Mr. and Mrs. Goldsteigns. They are a relatively young couple, just looking for a family; three kid; boys to be exact.
"Quaya, are they ready?" Ms. Jones from the Service asks. she looks back at them, at her brothers; Tingy is staring at her, fighting back a scream. Reyshawn is fighting back tears and Natquan is bawling his eyes out.
"I love you guys." She turns back to Ms. Jones.
"No, they never will be, but it's what's best for them." She turns to Mr. and Mrs. Goldsteigns.
"Take care of them and remember our contract. Keep them happy and give them a better life than this." With that she walks out, not looking back.
She doesn't know how much time has passed, but she wakes gasping for air and rushes out the school. Unbeckoned to her, she heads toward the woods where Nathan is, but also in the same direction of where her brothers live.
(sorry sorry sorry! I promis I wont abandon this, I don't always have internet though, and sometimes when I do I have to much work to do to get on. I'll always reply though, promise!)
Crouching across from him is Nathan’s father, arms extended palms out in a gesture like one would use on a rabid animal. Nathan seemed to deflate, pulling in on himself and he rested his head on his knees in defeat. "I’m sorry..." He whispered, not lifting his face in shame. It had been three years, why couldn’t he be over this by now?
His father simply moved forward and cautiously dropped his hand on Nathan’s back, pulling him in for a hug when he didn’t jerk to get away.
"It’s ok" He said, just as soft, but Nathan couldn’t help but feel his voice was filled with annoyance and disappointment, even if it wasn’t.
"Want to talk about it?" He asked, like he always did when these things happened, but Nathan just shook his head. No one knew what really happened that night, and he wanted to keep it that way. Some things were better left unknown, especially by his dad, no matter how much he loved him.
"I’m think I’m going to just stay here a while" Nathan said, turning away from his dad and staring into the woods that he knew stretched all the way up to their house. Behind him he heard his dad sigh and get up, taking it as his que to leave, even if he’d only just arrived. As he walked away Nathan thought he heard him whisper "I’m sorry.." but it was so faint it might have been nothing but the wind.
After that, there was absolute silence but for the clacking of the tree branches and scattering of animals in the brush. Then, he heard footsteps approaching.
She couldn't breathe and the sound of Natquan crying and the painful look on Tingy's and Reyshaw's faces. I'm sorry boys. She thinks as a lone tear slides down her face. She wasn't paying attention to where she was at, not until she runs into a body, a firm one at that. Looking up at the owner of the body who she ran into, she's shocked to see Nathan. "Oh, sorry Nathan," she says taking a step back to her a better look at him. He looks worse than she feels. She sighs and stuffs her hands in her pockets as she tries to keep her brothers out her head. Hoping he doesn't notice how detracted she looks, she says, "Are you okay? You don't look so good."
Hearing the footsteps approaching rapidly, at a run, Nathan stood up and turned back in the direction of the school only to find a girl with bright red hair run into him. Careful to keep his balance he stepped back and looked at her. In his clouded mind it took him a minute to place who she was. And then to realize she had been speaking to him.
“What?” He asked, coming back o himself but still not completely grasping the situation, his mask was down and he fought to try and pull it up. In front of him Quaya stood her eyes red rimmed and watery, though only a single tear marred her face. Seems he’s not the only one who is having a bad day. “Are you ok?” He asked, before she could repeat what she had said.
"I'm fine," she says and wipes the lone tear away. "Excuse me." She takes off in the same direction, both to avoid anymore questions and to see her brothers. Its been too long and she figures its time to see them. Please don't follow. She thinks to herself. If he follows, she don't know how she's going to explain herself or the boys. She doesn't know if she hears footsteps behind her or if its just the blood rushing in her ears.
Quaya took off into the woods behind them, in the direction away from the school after hurridly excusing herself.NAthan stood there a minute watching her run into the trees and begin dissapearing from sight before he took off after her. Calling her name he jogged between the trees.
If she was new to this town, there was no way she could know her way through the woods. They ran on for miles with only scattered areas of civilization here and there breaking the wilderness. He didn't want her to get lost, especially in this neck of the woods. The town was near the bottom of the mountain, but there were still many drop offs, hundreds of feet before it reached flat ground. He knew one was just up ahead which had once been a small mountain streem hundreds of years ago, but had split the rock in two.
Out from behind a tree he saw a flash of her hair, seemingly the color of fire in the small flash of sunlight there. "Quaya!" He called "Stop!" He could see the yellow paint stripe on the bark before the drop off and Quaya seemed to be fast aproaching.
She didn't know where she was going, all she wanted to do was flee. She heard his voice, multiple times calling after her, but with his last call she stopped just at the edge of the mountains, woods whatever. When had there been a drop. She falls to her knees and the tears roll down her face. When had it come to this. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," she kept repeating over and over again. She heard footsteps behind her slow and she wanted to wipe her tears, but she felt too tired. Through bleary vision, she could just make out the town. Not that far below, on top of the highest hill in the town, she spots where her brothers are located. "I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry," she chants as more tears run down her face.