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The Healings of a Broken Heart
It had only been a few days since Yumi, Aelita and I found out the truth about William and the two of them had already found someone new. Jeremie finally found the courage to speak to Aelita about his feelings and it was only right for Yumi and Ulrich to be together, since they've both been lusting over each other for what seemed like forever. But, me? I had no one.
I tried not to show my disappoint over that and seem like I was happy that they were all happy. What more could I possibly want other than my friends' happiness? I knew the others didn't believe that and would sometimes practically force me to accompany the during their dates or worse, their double dates. That didn't make things better though, it only caused me to feel like a third wheel in between them all.
When I simply couldn't take it anymore, I stopped going with them on their dates, sometimes feigning sickness and other times lying about school work. Seeing them all happy and in love, only caused me more grief and I already had enough to last me a full lifetime. After a while, I just stopped talking them to all at once. It was better this way, anyway - for all of us. Well, at least that's what I explained to them.
I had noticed that as the days passed, Sissi seemed to get only meaner. Her constant teasing and taunting seemed to always be aimed at me now and what was worse was that William had kept trying to get back together with me. He never once tried that with Yumi or Aelita, because, well, besides the fact that they had new lovers, I had been the easiest. Or at least that's what I've heard.
Aelita was the smart one in our group though she was also very naïve; why William didn't try to get back with her, I have no idea. Yumi was the stronger one and the hardest to break down. And I? I just had the beauty, but underneath that was a vulnerability filled with past damages to the heart that no one knew or could do anything about. So, in that way, those people were right when they said that.
I was so broken by William and I missed so much at first, that I actually almost got close enough to letting him back into my life. But, that's a mistake that I wasn't ever going back into doing.
From the outside, to a lot of people, I looked tough and strong and brave, but on the inside I really was and still really am a very, very soft and fragile and a too broken of a person to ever move on and be happy again.
And plus, so much torture from both Sissi and William, and from my classmates and from my previous life, could really change a person. It could hurt them and kill them and break their heart into zillion little pieces making the task of putting it all back together seem impossible.
Any normal person, if they were to even try, would've taken them forever and that was only if they cared enough to actually keep going at it. But...but, it could took a certain person such a short amount of time to fix and prop me back up that it not only shocked me, but the rest of the Kadic K-12 students - the old and the new.
And I believe that the only way that it was done was because he was actually an angel in disguise. And his name is.....
Ever since my huge breakup with William, guys kept thinking that they could just start lining up and asking me out just like that! They never once gave me the time of day and just when I started going out with an older and popular guy, they finally deemed me as good enough? I mean, how stupid was that?!
Like seriously, is it really that hard for their tiny little brains to figure out that I'm so not looking to be in another relationship right now? Did I really look like I was desperate enough to go out with anyone just because my boyfriend happened to cheat on me with my two best friends?
Finally, one day, I decided that I've had enough of all this crap and that it was just the time to end it all already.
'Drastic times called for drastic measures...or something like that.' I thought to myself. A light bulb practically flashed over my head as I was suddenly hit with a brilliant idea on how to end all of this boy trouble. I knew that there was only one thing for me to do to make the guys leave me alone for good and that was change - a little or maybe even a lot of change!
It was on that same day that I decided to go out and do a little weekend shopping. Before I lost my nerve and decided against the whole thing at the last minute, I ran out of my room and outside. I jumped the fence as I usually did when I wanted to go out but was locked in and took a bus to the mall, where I went hunting for a new appearance.
After buying some new shirts, jeans, skirts, and shoes along with a new brand of makeup, I went on ahead to the hair salon pair of the mall. There I told one of the workers just what to do with my hair and for a few seconds she just stood there, confusion written all of her face, but I just stood patiently and stared back with a serious look on my face. She shrugged then and got down to work.
By the time I got back to Kadic, the sun had begun to set and I knew that Jim was going to go out soon and check on all the rooms to see if everyone was in there or not. He did this routinely and usually I was in bed by seven forty five which was fifteen minutes early before Jim came around. I knew I'd have to be extra careful getting back today in case Jim caught me sneaking around in the halls; if I made even the slightest mistake of being seen, I was done for.
I rushed into my room as fast as I could, making sure the hallways were clear of all people and that no one had seen me. I checked the alarm on my desk top drawer, it read: 7:52
'Great, that gives me about eight minutes.'
I dropped my shopping bags on the ground and walked over to my closet. Getting down on my knees, I started going through it looking for as many empty shoe boxes and hangers that I could find; I was never one to throw away things like that. I found about eight to ten of them in total and started haphazardly folding and stuffing my old clothes and accessories into them. It took me most of my time, but it was still worth it. Next, I grabbed a hold of two shopping bags and just shoved them in, doing the same with all the other bags.
It was at 7:57 that I heard the loud thumping footsteps of Jim coming up my hallway. As quickly and quietly as I could, I took off my shoes and kicked them into the closet, shutting the doors all in one minute. I ran over to the light switch and flicked it off. I jumped right into my bed and covered my face with the comforter just as Jim opened the door to my room.
He stood there for a few seconds, probably raking his eyes across my bedroom. I kept still, breathing in and exhaling all at the right times, even though this was my first time doing something like this. Even though I was assumed as the bad girl at Kadic, I tried to keep my "bad-ass actions" to a minimum around Jim, because I knew he could be less forgiving and more temperamental than Principal Delmas.
After feeling satisfied after a couple more seconds, Jim shut my door with a loud creek and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
"Tomorrow will be a new day," I said to myself as I lay staring up at my ceiling. "Tomorrow it'll all change for the better." and then in a smaller voice, I added, "I hope." before shutting my eyes and falling asleep.
-♥- -♥- -♥-
Like every weekday, I would set my alarm clock to ring at 6:30 in the morning and usually in the mornings, I would get so pissed at it, I'd sometimes end up slamming it against the wall until it shut itself up, but today was different. Today I jumped up happily and flicked it off with my own hands.
Unlike all of the other students here at Kadic, I didn't have a roommate, thanks to special advantages that I had required in the past, so I was glad to take out my new outfit for the day and get started.
I finished off my new look with some of the new makeup that I had bought the day before and stood in front of my mirror with a satisfactory smile. I glanced over at my alarm and saw the new time: 7:30 a.m.
"Looks like it's time for breakfast, Saph," I said to myself. "And also time for everyone to see your new look."
I grabbed my bag and creaked my door open. I looked around first, left and right, and up and down the hall, making sure there wasn't a single person out there before setting out towards the cafeteria.
'Good, everyone's at breakfast then. That means they can all get together and see me, instead of it being an individual thing.' I gave myself a mischievous grin in front of the glass of the trophy case to assure myself one more time that what I was doing was the right thing.
As soon as I set foot in the cafeteria, I swear everyone and everything just froze up. People stopped what they were doing to turn and stare at me with mouths open and eyes wide. If this were to happen to me on some other day, I probably would've ended up blushing like crazy and running out of there, but for some reason today, I felt...brave.
I grinned wide and proud back at everyone and strode over to the table where all my friends sat, waiting and staring at me the same way as everyone else. When I was in front of them, I found them all in their usual positions; Aelita seated next to Jeremie and across from them sat Ulrich with Yumi practically on his lap, except for today that is.
'She was probably running a little late,' I told myself. She was my closest friend, even though Aelita and I were related, and I loved her to pieces, so I really wanted her to be here for me now, instead of having to find out about my new look from someone else. I didn't like it and I knew Yumi wouldn't either. 'Her little brother must be troubling her again,' I assured myself. 'She'll be here soon enough; don't worry so much, Saph.'
"Saph...ire?" Aelita was the first to say. She didn't look like she recognized me or that she really wanted to, but when I gave her a small smile and wave, I knew that there was no denying it now - this was me. Saphire. Saphire Stonez. For real.
"Hey." I greeted them all.
"What did you do to yourself?" Her voice was coated with horror and there was disbelief written all of her face, as if she still thought that I was still joking.
"Oh nothing really," I said nonchalantly. "Just added a few changes to my life, is all."
The guys didn't say anything really and just stared back at me as if I had grown three extra heads overnight. I shrugged it off and shifted my weight from foot to foot, looking over the cafeteria. All had gone back to normal, but there were still some people staring and whispering about me.
I scowled and hoped they could see it. Didn't they know it was rude to stare? And talk about someone in their presence? But, then again, this was high school and in high school, not even the politest people couldn't help being rude to the freaks.
"Hey, everyone," I heard a voice quip behind me. I turned around and came face-to-face with Yumi; thanks to my new shoes, I no longer had to look up at her; we were now the same height and I could tell Yumi didn't really like it that way too much. She hadn't seen me yet, since she was too busy making a face and staring at the group that was sitting in front of her. "Sorry for the delay, Hiroki, the little brat, turned off my alarm again. Hey, what's the matter with you guys, you look like you've just seen a ghost or something."
I smiled a little at that. The guys were all quiet and even looked a little pale, like they actually had seen a ghost.
'Did I seriously look that bad?' I wondered to myself. And then thought, 'Wait, was that a good thing or bad?'
Finally, Yumi looked over at what they were looking at - me, to be exact. Her whole expression changed in under a second then. Her eyes popped out and her mouth fell open.
"Whoa! Saphire?" she squinted her eyes as if she was trying to look under all my makeup for my familiar face, which probably was. "What the hell happened to you?"
"I just decided to take control of my life again and change my appearance and standards a little to keep the guys from hounding me day and night." I said in a matter-of-fact way.
Yumi just gave me this weird and exasperated look, but didn't say anything, which I found odd. But, then I figured she probably thought I was going through a phase and would be over this soon enough.
Yumi took a seat next to Ulrich and I slid in next to him on his right, still smiling brightly at my little group of friends. For a while, no one said anything. There were still a lot of people that were shooting glances at us - well, mostly me, from the other tables, but I paid them no attention and just focused on my friends and what their thoughts on all of this.
I knew Ulrich, Jeremie and Aelita were all still pretty shell shocked and didn't know what to do or say about any of this, but Yumi was taking this differently. I knew she wasn't mad at me or anything, but I knew she did think that I was taking this farther than it needed to be taken. And I didn't want her thinking that or trying to convince me otherwise.
"Look, Yumi, I know what I'm doing may seem stupid right now, but I can guarantee it'll work. It's only for a little while and who's know, maybe I'll find a guy for myself just like you and Aelita have." I tried not to allow myself to sound jealous or let my voice break while saying that. Even though it was completely unfair that while Yumi and Aelita both hadn't cared about William or was depressed as I had been and they had someone to hold themselves up while I had nobody like that. Well, I had nobody that cared for me and not just my "pretty face".
Yumi narrowed her eyes. "Do you seriously believe that you can pull this off?"
I frowned at what she was saying. "Yumi, I know I may not have the experience, but practice makes perfect and I know I'll get it in the end."
Yumi Ishiyama did not dress like most of the other girls at Kadic. Though her life wasn't as hard as she made it seem like, she dressed in all black attire; she was Goth though, not emo and she made sure everyone knew that. But, it wasn't like Yumi was at all experienced in the ways of the depressed either; I mean, she didn't even listen to emo music, so what made her think that she could just tell me that I couldn't handle something like this?!
I tried not to let my anger show on my face and just breathed deeply, trying to calm myself.
I've always liked Ulrich the best, because he was good at picking out emotions and who felt them at what time. So, I was glad when he spoke up and broke the icy tension between Yumi and I.
"So..." he trailed off though, which caused me frown again. He didn't seem like he was about to make a joke or anything to lighten the mood, he seemed like he was about to ask a question, but he was afraid of saying it out loud. "Are you planning on staying like this for forever now or is this like some one time thing?"
I tried not to make a face at him and answer him as cheerfully as I could.
"Yup!" I gave them all a fake grin, but one look at Yumi immediately broke my spirit. "Probably," I added meekly. "I'm not sure yet."
"Well, what are you going to do about all your other clothes and stuff?" Jeremie was smart to point out.
I thought about that for a moment, it hadn't come across my mind before, so I wasn't quite sure how to answer him. But, it didn't take me too long to figure out what to do with them.
"Hmm...I'll probably just donate them all to charity or something." I went back to smiling at them all.
Jeremie nodded his head and then continued on eating. That seemed to set the barrier and cause everyone else to get back to what they were doing previously. No one else said a word after that or even dared mutter another question, and I was content with that.
The girls were especially quiet and I frowned at what they must've been thinking. Both Yumi and Aelita knew me like no one else and they knew something that Ulrich and Jeremie did not. They knew what I knew. And even if they had new guys in their lives now, they've had their share of pain as well as I've had and they've had to live with the same burden of what happened a month ago.
-♥- -♥- -♥-
After that day, I thought that maybe turning into this type of girl, things would change for the better. But, who knew that I would actually end up making things even worse? My sudden appearance only gave Sissi more advantages; her teasing only got worse, because she now had two things over me: my heartbreak and my new look.
But, I should've known better or at least thought it out a little more before actually going out and doing it. There weren't too many Goths at Kadic and not even a single emo there, so I was basically like a new toy for Sissi to try out. She always somehow ended up finding all my weak spots with one push and she would end up going farther and farther, hurting me more and more. My life as like this big game with unlimited levels for her to try and break and the more she hurt me, the more points she got.
The first part of my phase caused me to grow even more vulnerable and it didn't really do anything about the boys; they still sought after me and that only made things worse. On one side, I had Sissi pushed me deeper and deeper into Hell and on the other side I had the constant bickering of the boys asking me the same stupid question over and over again in my ear: "Will you go out with me? Huh, will ya? Come on, Saph, one date, that's all we ask for. Come on, come on, come on!"
"Shut up!" I finally screeched out one day.
But, I was in my room and not in the cafeteria where my constant torture took place. I was breathing heavily and my throat burned. That day I made another drastic decision and this one seemed to help a little. It didn't necessarily make Sissi stop, in fact, it only made her happier.
What I decided this time was: I would keep my face hidden. That's right, no one was allowed to look at my face ever again - not even myself, in fact. I didn't care how ugly I got, it would only make things better. I also developed a different attitude; I was angrier, meaner. I was in control this time, the people around me could no longer do or say anything for me!
At first everyone took it as a little contest - whoever got to see my face first and actually got a picture of it, would be the winner. The winner of what? I have no idea. But, it all just made me sick and hate the kids at my school even more.
Yumi thought I couldn't handle being like this, well she was wrong. Because, I actually grew to love the clothes with fishnets and the cool skull designs and the heavy black makeup, as well as the loud, ear piercing music that I listened to all the time now. I even changed my hair, it was still black, but now I had added some cool hot pink and electric blue highlights to it from time to time.
I think I looked awesome and I pretty much didn't care what anyone else thought about me anymore. I know I had said that I was going to change back to my normal self in a few day's time when everything went back to normal, but now I don't think that day will ever come. Everyone had gotten used to me like this now and it would just be weird to go back to being the old Saphire in the middle of nowhere, plus, I don't even think I'm capable of doing something like that.
I've gotten so used to be the Scary Saphire, that it'd just feel useless and abnormal for me to change back into the Sophisticated Saphire. Everyone expected me to stay like this now and this was the only way of living that I knew now. Everything had changed and there was no going back anymore.
No one was going to be able to change me back, not now and certainly not ever. And that's a fact!
A whole year passed by and Yumi, Aelita, Jeremie and Ulrich and I were all separated. Yumi and Aelita talked...occasionally. But, it was too awkward for them to be together without me, or so I've been told. I hadn't spoken one word with them since the day I told them that I could no longer be friends with them.
Some people thought it was because of my new image; they thought it was because they were hurting my rep or vice-versa by hanging out with them. People thought that because Sissi was so mean to me, she would start being mean to them too if she caught us together. But, the truth? The truth was that I just had to let them go. Their happiness was making me too unhappy and my unhappiness was making them feel bad. And if there was one thing I hated the most in the world, besides Sissi right now, it was pity.
I've gotten pity from all kinds of people over the years, but I've never gotten them from my friends, who were the closest things to me and whom I trusted more than myself. I just couldn't handle the fact that they too now thought of me as someone who "needed help". I was fine by myself; I was used to it.
I didn't necessarily leave Kadic; I couldn't even if I wanted to, because there was just nowhere for me to go in the first place. Back home was a lot worse than it was here in Kadic and I don't even think I <i>had</i> a home to go back to. When I ran away, I was determined to make things better for myself. <i>I</i> was going to be the one who provided things for myself, I was never going to rely on anyone else for help. <i>I</i> was the only one who could fix the things in my life, not anyone else.
It was pretty hard at first since Aelita and I were related and even if I wasn't near during school hours, I had to see her when I was forced to go home for the holidays. And though I had absolutely no classes, except for lunch with Yumi, I missed her most, because she was my first friend here and we've together for many years.
But, that was all months and months ago, by now I was used to all of this. I was Saphire Stonez, someone you didn't dare mess with unless you wanted to get your face punched in.
Right now, I was rolling - literally, I mean - as fast as I could on my skateboard to get to homeroom before the bell rang. <i>Someone</i> had damaged my alarm clock in the middle of the night, so it didn't ring in the morning at the time I had set it at. When I finally did manage to wake up on my own, it was 7:15. Class started at 7:30, so I didn't have time to take my morning shower or even eat breakfast.
I just quickly pulled on some clothes and brushed through the knots and split ends in my hair. Luckily, there weren't too many and I was done just in time. I fixed the bangs to hide the front of my hair as usual and grabbed my board since there was no way I was going to make it on time on foot; I only had five minutes.
I've already been late to Mrs. Burne's class twice this month and she had warned me that if I was late one more time, something bad would happen to me. I wasn't quite sure what she meant by that, but I also wasn't in the mood to find out either. I tried rolling harder and faster, but my legs were getting tired too quickly and my eyes were starting to droop again. I knew I should have at least grabbed an apple from the cafeteria or something, but that would've only made me later.
As I got closer and closer to my destination, one name burned in my mind: <i>Sissi</i>. It was her fault for all of this. She had her little helpers, Herve and Nicholas, but I could never hate them more than I hated her. Herve, her little lover, picked the lock on my door while I was asleep and Nicholas, who had a knack for breaking whatever he touched, probably dismantled my alarm clock.
I scoffed. Was that really the best she could do?
<i>'God, Sissi, you can do</i> so <i>much better than that,</i>' I thought to myself. <i>'Something like this was so immature, even for her; she must be losing her edge or something.'</i>
Involuntarily, my mind went back to all the times Yumi complained about Hiroki doing the same thing. Her little brother was always making fun of her and playing around with her about Ulrich, and her style and the way she was always the tallest out of all the guys in her class.
I knew this wasn't good for me, but I just couldn't help it. I shut my eyes tight and shook my head hard to pull myself away. The next thing I know I banged into something - hard - and I was flying. I fell to the ground with a loud thump, my skateboard sliding down next to me, turned upside down with the wheels still spinning. I slowly opened my eyes, expecting to see a tree in front of me or something, but instead I found a pair of shoes.
I looked up and saw legs, looked higher up and saw two arms reached forward, and then finally a face and hair. It was a guy my age with his mouth open and there were words coming out.
"Hmm?" I stuck a finger in my ear and started shaking it until his words became clearer.
"...hey, can you hear me? I said, are you OK?"
For some stupid reason, I couldn't tear my eyes away from me. What was the matter with me? Did I get a concussion or something? Was that it?
"Um, hello?" he tried again.
"Huh?" I snapped back to reality. "Oh yeah."
"Oh good, I'm so sorry, I didn't see you until you came right at me." he held out his hand for me, but I just ignored it and got up on my own.
I bent down, wincing a little in the process, and grabbed my skateboard from the ground. There was dirt caked on it and little pieces of grass stuck to the wheels. I pulled my cell out of my back pocket, which had fortunately stayed intact. I had less than three minutes left and if I didn't move <i>now</i>, I was done.
I was just about to leave when the boy in front of me spoke up again.
"Wait, do you know where the main office is?" he asked.
"Uh...." I racked my brain, trying to think. In my hurry, I had all but forgotten everything.
I got on my skateboard and began rolling away, calling over my shoulder, "It's on the first floor; third door to your right!"
I managed to get into the school under a minute, but I didn't get off my skateboard and I didn't plan on it either. One of my old teachers from last year, Mr. Belmar, started yelling at me to get off my board, but I just ignored him and rode past him.
<i>'You're almost there!'</i> I encouraged myself. <i>'Come on, Saph, you can make it!'</i>'
When I was in the hallway that my classroom was in, I got down and stuffed my skateboard into my bag. I didn't bother looking at the time on my cell phone again, because I could see the huge clock that hung from the ceiling over my head that told me I had only seconds left before the bell rang.
I ran into the class, my foot just hitting the floor inside as the shrill bell rang overhead. I saw Mrs. Burne's standing in front of the door with a sneer on her face and her arms crossed over her chest.
"I see you actually made it into class on time today," she said to me. "But next time...you won't be so lucky." her face darkened and she smiled evilly. When I didn't say anything and just glared angrily back at her, she uncrossed her arms and looked genuinely angry. "Now if you don't mind, I do have a class to teach."
<i>'What was it with the teachers at this school?'</i> I thought to myself as I walked past her to my seat in the back of the class; just where I liked it. <i>'God, why were all trying to get rid of me? What did I ever do to them?'</i>
I'll tell you what - nothing. Just because I wasn't liked by the students, I was hated by them as well. Most of the teachers hated me and thought of me as a nuisance, when really they were actually scared by me. They've seen me when I was angry and they knew what I could do; they knew I wasn't afraid of raising my hand on a teacher either.
And there were many times when I just really felt like punching old Mrs. Burne's wrinkly, sagging face in until she lying in a pool of her own blood. That blood would be staining her perfectly pressed gray clothes along with her gray hair and eyes and whole body. Everything about her was old and gray, boring and bitter.
As I walked past Sissi, I saw her give me a smirk. I just glared back at her and gave her the finger when I knew Mrs. Burne's wasn't watching. Aelita was also in this class with me and I could feel her eyes on me as I walked to my seat.
-♥- -♥- -♥-
Ten minutes into Mrs. Burne's boring lesson, there was a knock on the door. Everyone else looked up, but I didn't bother with it.
"Um, hi, I'm new." I heard someone from the front of the room say. I frowned, where had I heard that voice before? If they were new, there was no possible way that I could know that voice.
I looked up and I saw the guy from before; the one I had banged into. Our eyes locked and I found it hard for me to look away - once again!
"Ah yes, I was expecting you to be here yesterday though." Mrs. Burne said to him, looking him up and down.
"Y-yeah," the guy tore his eyes away from mine and turned to face Mrs. Burne. "But, my ticket got changed in some mix up and so the date had to be changed, and well here I am." he gave a bright grin that made more than a few of the girls swoon.
I groaned and rolled my eyes; that type of thing no longer fazed me.
"Well, welcome to Kadic. What is your name?"
"Odd. Odd Della Robbia." he answered, sounding breathless. His eyes somehow found mine again, but I ducked my head and pretended to be interested in my notes.
"Well, that's a peculiar name." Ms. Burne commented.
I felt something in me burn.
<i>'Whoa, what's wrong with me?'</i> I asked myself.
"Yeah, but it's a pretty common name in Norway."
"You're Norwegian?" one of the girls in the front row, Claire Girard, who I assumed was also Norwegian, raised her hand and asked him.
"Well, I was born in Italy, but I do have some ancestors that were Norwegian, so I guess you could say I am sort of Norwegian." Claire obviously satisfied with that answer, grinned sweetly up at him.
"If you don't mind, Odd, may I see your schedule?" Mrs. Burne spoke up again and held out her hand even before the guy had answered.
"Uh, sure." He dug around in his pocket and brought out a folded piece of paper. He handed it to Mrs. Burne who inspected it carefully.
"Hmm, homeroom AB," hearing that, I shrunk back in my seat even more and tried to hide my face even more underneath my hair. "Who has AB homeroom?"
No one raised their hand; I was the only one in the entire class that had class A, but I wasn't about to raise my hand and let everyone know that. Not many people had class AB and it was actually a class for the special kids. Special didn't necessarily mean they had a disorder or that they were the bad kids of the school, special just meant they didn't want to be near anyone else and would rather prefer learning alone. All the other classes were probably full, otherwise this guy wouldn't have ended up with AB homeroom instead of the other ones such as A or B separately.
"No one?" Mrs. Burne looked around the room once more. "Oh, well, that's a shame."
<i>'Yes!'</i> I smiled triumphantly.
Which turned out to be a mistake, because at that same moment, Sissi turned around and saw me. I immediately frowned, but I was too late and she ended up seeing the look on my face. She began smiling and my eyes widened, hoping she wouldn't.
"Uh, Mrs. Burne," she raised her hand. Oh, she would - that bitch! "I know Saphire has homeroom AB."
"Really?" both Mrs. Burne and the new boy turned their heads toward me in the back row. I had started to move deeper and deeper into my seat by then that I was practically on the ground. "Saphire, is that true?"
"No!" I immediately said, but my voice ended up coming out too loud and sounded fake. Mrs. Burne shot me an evil look that told me that I better tell the truth or else. I could see it clear and fine even through the dark fringes of my hair. "Y-yes." I slowly nodded my head.
"Well, unfortunately, since we don't have anyone else in that homeroom, you're going to have to be stuck along with Saphire," from the way she said that, it was as if <i>she</i> was the one being forced to put up with me. I tried my best not to sneer back at her or make any sort of face whatsoever. "Saphire, raise your hand <i>high</i> this time, so this young man can identify you." I did as I was told. "Go on, Odd, you may go take that extra seat next to Saphire Stonez."
As the guy, <i>Odd</i>, walked around the room and over to the empty seat next to me, he kept his eyes on me the whole entire time and everyone could tell too. The closer he got to me, the bigger his smile got. I tried my best not to let my eyes wander off to him again, but as the class went on, I could constantly feel his eyes on me. There were more than a few times when I just couldn't help looking at him through the corner of my eyes.
Like, what gives? This guy was just staring at me like I was some kind of long lost friend of his or something. What was his problem? No guy had <i>ever</i> looked at me like that - with, with <i>intrigue</i> in their eyes or any interest at all - since the change.
And it was basically the same in like every other class that we had together, since the seat next to me was the only one left empty; no one liked sitting next to me and I liked it just fine like that.
For most of the day, I've been trying my hardest to avoid Odd, even though I promised I would watch out for him and make sure he got to his classes safely and on time - which I kind of thought was stupid, because he was a sixteen year old and what sixteen year old guy didn't know how to read some room numbers and get directions from people in the halls?
And I did a pretty good job, until that is later on after classes, when I accidentally ended up banging into Odd in the middle of something, something very bad. I didn't mean to, he just sort of ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time, even if it did save my life.
-♥- -♥- -♥-
It was after school and like most afternoons, I felt like going out and taking a little walk in the woods to cool my nerves from the long, exhausting hours that I had each and every day. It wasn't too long before I felt the air around me tense. I suddenly got the shivery feeling down my spine that told me that I was being followed.
I heard the too familiar sound of a someone stepping forward on a twig echoed through the many trees and bushes of the forest. Though I knew better, I gasped and spun around. I saw nothing though, as expected. My spine tingled again, but I reacted too late this time and I wasn't the only one who knew that.
I felt the hot breath of someone on my neck; it smelled vaguely of cherries.
"Saphire," they whispered hoarsely in my ear. "I knew you'd be back; I just <i>knew</i> it!" I felt a pair of warm lips pressed against the top of my ear.
I gulped and felt a wave of fear wash over me as I recognized the voice.
"Landon." I whispered so softly, it didn't seem like I had actually even said it in the first place.
It had been a whole year since I last heard from him. One year ago, Landon had appeared before me once again to haunt me and make me "pay for what I've done with him". That was the same day that HE came in front of me saved me from Landon. Ever since HE broke my heart, I've been calling William anything but his name and it suited me just fine, but after seeing Landon like this, I could feel the pain in my heart starting to escalate.
His name brought back memories, which brought the horrible sobs and wet tears, which were impossible to hold back if I were to even think of him for a minute. But, right now was not to time to be thinking of all of this past stuff, now was the time to run for my life and get the hell out of that forest while I still could.
I leaned back and pushed Landon in the chest as hard as I could and then took off in the direction that I had come. I sprinted back towards the school and while I did, I realized something.
<i>'Why was Landon here all of a sudden?'</i> I wondered, helplessly. <i>'Today wasn't any special day like either of our birthdays or the anniversary of the day that we met; nothing specific happened on this day, so why did Landon pick today of all days to come and haunt me?'</i>
The sun had gone down and the sky was dark by the time I got out of the forest and was back on school grounds, and there was like no one out. Not that I could blame them, it had been a really long day for not only me but a lot of students, so they were all probably inside doing their homework or resting.
I could hear the rustle of the bushes behind me and shut my eyes tight, urging myself to go faster and to keep the tears from blurring my eyesight. The sobs that I had kept contained made my throat feel tight and I knew that this time it wasn't tears from the past, it was the tears of the present, of now, of the fear that was getting close to taking over me and making me want to scream out loud.
There were no witnesses outside, so that meant that Landon could do whatever his heart desired and no one would know about it. Images of the horrible things that I knew Landon was capable of flashed through my brain like a never ending slide show.
I opened my eyes up slowly knowing that if I didn't I would only end up getting nowhere and for the second time today, I banged into someone. I fell to the ground on my butt once again and in fright, thinking that it was Landon that I had banged into started crawling backwards trying to get away.
"Oh, hey, sorry." Though the voice didn't belong to Landon at all, I was still scared out of my skin.
My heart was hammering hard in my chest and I was panting, trying my best to catch my breath. The figure in front of me stood up to their full height and I felt my breath catch.
"Here, let me help you." they stuck their hand out in front of me, but I could stare back at it as if I'd never seen it before.
My mind was racing and my head spinning; I was tired and I was hungry. Everything felt wrong. Messed up. What was going on? What was happening to me? And most important of all, what was I doing? Cowering in fear on the ground like a wimp? I should be up, fighting back with all my might and <i>winning</i>!
But, I couldn't get up even if I tried. My breathing and heart rate dropped back to normal, but I couldn't get myself up off the ground and back on my feet. The figure in front of me sighed deeply and I saw a puff of smoke float out of his mouth from the cold. He bent down then all of a sudden and wrapped his fingers around my wrist. I flinched back and gasped even louder this time. I squeezed my eyes shut just as I was being lifted off the ground.
"There you are." his voice sounded closer now, clearer.
I reopened my eyes and found myself face-to-face with the one person I never expected to see out here at this time - Odd. Odd Della Robbia.
"Uh, uh." I couldn't help stuttering.
"Hey," his voice was soft and his breath warm on my face. "Saphire, right?"
That was enough to make me snap back to reality. I suddenly knew what was going on and what I had to do. I stumbled back from his gaze and tried to run, consciously realizing that Odd still had a tight grip on my wrist.
"Let go of me!" I cried aloud.
"Whoa, hold on!" Odd's fingers squeezed my wrist even tighter, but it wasn't like I was giving up either. I had somehow gotten all my energy back and I planned on using every ounce of it. I placed my hand over his to try to make him let go, but he just wouldn't. And that made so angry, I let out a frustrated cry. "Why are you always in such a hurry to get away from me? And what's the matter; why are you crying?"
Odd reached over and wiped away at a tear on my cheek that I didn't even know was there. I pulled, I tugged, I even tried pinching him, but Odd just wouldn't budge. Why? Why is all I wanted to know!
"But, I-I ne-need to go now, or-or h-h-he'll k-kill me!" I stammered, trying to guide my tongue the right way so the words came out making sense. I figured that I might as well just tell Odd the truth about what was really going on, because maybe he might actually let me go then.
"What?" he sounded shocked, but then again anyone else would be too. "Where?!" he demanded to know.
"I-in the woods."
As soon as those words left my mouth, I felt Odd starting to drag me back the way I had come. He was taking me back to the woods! Before, I could even stop him or try at least, I found myself back in the spot I was in just a while. The air was cold and I could feel goosebumps all over my arms and legs even though they were all covered under my thick layers of clothes.
"So, where is he?" Odd turned to look at me.
I thought for a moment, wondering how Odd knew that it was a guy I was running away from. But, then I realized that if it was a girl, I probably wouldn't have been so scared or running away from her.
"He-he was <i>right</i> here!" I told him.
Odd swept his eyes all around, while I moved my head left and right, frantically trying to figure out where he might have been hiding.
"Are you sure it wasn't just your imagination?"
It was a possibility yes, but I knew better than to know that it wasn't.
"But, it wasn't!" I exploded out on Odd. "I-I smelled his scent, I heard his voice <i>and</i> I felt his hot breath on my neck! I'm not lying!" For some reason I stopped myself before I could add the part about Landon pressing his lips against my earlobe, but I don't know why.
Odd sighed and I felt my wrist being squeezed. I snapped my head down in surprise, but didn't try pulling my hand away this time.
"Well, he's gone now, so you don't have to worry anymore," Odd said to me. "Who was he anyway?"
I contemplated whether or not to tell Odd about Landon or not. I didn't know Odd at all, but then again it wasn't like we were going to be friends or anything, so him knowing about something as trivial as Landon shouldn't make such a big deal to me. Right? Well, I hoped so anyway.
I looked up at Odd and wiped away at my tears with my free hand before answering him, "Landon."
"Who-" his eyebrows furrowed, but I cut him off before he could go on.
"He's nobody you would ever want to meet." I hoped that clarified things enough so that Odd wouldn't try to press me for more information.
And it seemed to work, because even though Odd opened his mouth and looked like he was about to say something more, in the end, he just closed it back up and didn't say anything.
"So, um, why is your hair always in your face like that?" Before I could realize what was happening, Odd had his hand raised and his fingers softly grazed against the bangs on my forehead. "I mean, it's no wonder, you're always tripping and banging into me all the time." he sounded amused, but I was far from it.
"It's none of your frickin' business!" I cried aloud.
I smacked Odd's hand away and shoved him away as hard as I could. He stumbled backwards a little, clearly caught off guard by my reaction and his fingers loosened on his grip. I took that as an advantage and pulled away from him.
I ran away from him then. I'm still not sure why I ended up reacting the way I did, but I guess it was just too much to handle in one day. The exhausting day, plus the terrifying afternoon and then <i>that</i>! He just <i>had</i> to go and try to move my hair back didn't he? And let's not forget the fact that he even tried to make a joke out of it!
When I got to my room, I slammed the door shut and locked it as well. I ran towards the window and secured them also. Then, I took a seat on my bed and tried to catch my breath. There were a million things running through my head and it was hard to focus on one thing at a time.
This day had been so similar to the day when William first saved my life - wow, I was really freaked out, or else I wouldn't have ever said his name out loud like this. But whatever, back to the problem at hand. I half expected a phone call from Yumi just like I had that day a year ago. But, since Yumi and I no longer talked, she didn't call.
And this guy, Odd, who the hell <i>was</i> he? And why the hell did he make me feel like this? What was he doing to me? Why was I acting like this? What was happening to me?
'God, so many f*ing questions and not a single f*ing answer! I cursed.
This all had to be connected or something, because it didn't make sense. I mean, I guess it did; one year ago, I was attacked by Landon and it was William who saved me that time and now it was Odd. What did that mean? That Odd was going to enter into my life the same William did and he was going to end up hurting me the same way?
But, no, that was impossible. Things like this didn't happen twice. There were no coincidences in my life. There never has been! So, this has to mean something else. But, <i>what</i>?!
I dropped my head back on my pillow and stared up at the ceiling. The lamp next to me was casting a light on it and blinding me a little, but I didn't move my eyes away.
<i>'God, why did this have to be so</i> confusing<i>!'</i> I groaned.
I shut my eyes tight and tried to rack my brain to think harder.
-x- -♥- -x-
I didn't know it then, but that I was actually kind of right in a way; Odd <i>was</i> going to enter into my life just like William had, <i>but</i>, but he wasn't going to leave the same way. No way, he was going to leave in such a way that it was more grand than heartbreaking. He was nothing like William, I could tell that from one look at him, but I never knew that he could possibly be so....I don't even know the right words for it, but he sure was something.
The next day was Saturday - thank god for that, because I hardly got <i>any</i> sleep last night! - and I was out riding my skateboard when I noticed Odd getting some hot chocolate from the vending machine. He waved at me when he noticed me staring at him, which was so stupid on my account, but I pretended to not have seen him.
I dropped my head and shook it, trying to get both the stupid thoughts and his stupid face out of my brain. All of a sudden then, I looked up and saw Odd standing there, right in front of me with this wide grin on his face.
"Hey." he greeted me.
"What do you want?" I asked him, sounding annoyed.
I don't know why I was getting so pissed at him. I guess it was because Odd just treated me differently from everyone else; he smiled at me, he tried talking with me. And all of that just wasn't natural or...normal! He was so different from the others - <i>too</i> different!
"Um, Ms. Burne said you'd give me a tour of the school and I was just wondering if you were up for it right now." he didn't seem even a little fazed by my reaction and just grinned brightly down at me.
I opened my mouth to shoot back a clever remark like, "What do I look like a tour guide to you?" But, for some reason I just couldn't get the words out of my mouth.
And for a reason even weirder, I agreed to it. There was just something about him, something like...his eyes, I bet, that made me feel so...so, I don't know, worn out. It was like every time I tried to get away from him and not let his words get to him, the closer we end up getting. It was frustrating and I hated it. The way he made me feel, the way I couldn't move my eyes away from his; it was almost as if he was doing magic on me. Every time I looked into his eyes, I end up doing something regretful.
But, I also had nothing better to do and maybe if I showed him just what kind of person I really am, then Odd would back off and never speak to me ever again. That made me feel weird in the stomach, almost kind of sad. But, I didn't know the guy and I really didn't want to either. He looked like just the type of person to ruin my rep here at Kadic. I worked hard to be this way and stay this way, I didn't need anyone coming in here and ruining that for me.
I rolled around on my skateboard, showing Odd around the outside of the school first. I also mentioned some of the shortcuts to get to some far away classes, the gym and the bathrooms. I pretty much told him about all the secrets of the school that ever Kadic student knew about. But, there was at least one shortcut I didn't tell him about since I was the only one who knew about it and I wanted it to stay that way. I hated changes - sure, I changed my appearance, but that doesn't count, because I chose to do that, I wasn't forced - always have and always will. For me, things <i>never</i> changed for the good, it was always for the worst.
It was too long though during our little tour time before little Miss Prissy Sissi came strutting over to us.
"Oh, Saphire, I see you're giving a tour to the new boy - how sweet of you!" she squealed.
"What do you want, Sissi?" I asked curtly, I really didn't want to go through this now.
"Nothing really," she said with a shrug. "I've already gotten everything I've ever wanted."
"Then, why are you here?" I crossed my arms across my chest.
"Well, it's not like you're not doing a good job, 'cause you so are!" she got straight to the point. "But, I just thought I could do a much better job than you. I mean, I <i>am</i> the Principal's daughter and I do know everything there is to know about this school."
"Yeah, I bet you were there when it was being built." I smirked.
Kadic was built over 50 years ago and I was surprised that it was still pretty intact. My little joke didn't seem to have fazed neither Odd nor Sissi. I wondered why and then understood when I saw Sissi practically chatting up a storm with Odd.
I shrugged, glad that my work here was done.
"Well, good luck." I said, getting ready to leave.
"I don't need luck; I was born with it!" Sissi remarked back.
"I wasn't talking to you, bitch." I knew Sissi was trying her best to show off in front of Odd, because he was the new kid and he wasn't fully aware of what Sissi was capable of. If he wasn't careful, he'd end up hating it here at Kadic.
Sissi narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms over her stomach, glaring at me with those beady little eyes of hers. I matched her look, trying to give her my meanest look ever through the small spaces between my bangs.
A breeze flew past us and I won and Sissi lost; her eyes got watery and she ended up blinking. Satisfied, I grinned and before leaving, I turned to Odd and said quietly, "You'll need it."
-♥- -♥- -♥-
On Sunday, guess what I saw. Two new lovebirds strolling around on campus. And who would those two little lovebirds be? That's right, Little Miss Prissy Sissi and the new guy, Odd.
I don't know why I was so surprised, because this type of thing was happening all the time. Whenever Sissi spotted some new guy, she either stole them from another girl or made them come crawling over to her. After a couple of days of fun and romance together, she'd show her true colors and start treating them badly.
She made them into her own personal slaves and I knew the same would be happening to Odd. There were four stages in all of Sissi's little "relationships"; first, she acted all sweet and innocent around them. Second, she starts getting a little moody. Then, she turns all bossy and bitchy. And finally, she uses emotional blackmail, so the guys can't break up with her. <i>She</i> has to be the one who leaves <i>them!</i>
I don't know why, but I actually felt <i>bad</i>. Bad about what though? Odd? No way. That couldn't be true or possible. This type of thing happened all the time with all different kinds of guys, so why should Odd be any different from any of them?
<i>'Maybe it was because I kinda thought Odd was different?'</i> I thought tentatively to myself. <i>'But, no, that's ridiculous; all guys are the same - always going after the mean girl. They deserve it for being so stupid.'</i> I tried to assure myself not to worry too much about it, but the more I thought about it the more confused I got. <i>'So, wait, does that mean that Sissi is doing is right? By breaking these boys' hearts everyday, is she secretly trying to save herself?'</i>
I shook my head, trying not to let it get to me. I wasn't Sissi and I wasn't a guy; this didn't concern me. I shouldn't be worrying about this, since it had nothing to do with me. And besides, I shouldn't be trying to figure out what any of this meant, it was a waste of time. People went around contemplating this type of thing and have been doing it for a long time, so when we've got philosophers trying to figure out the reasons of life and heartbreak, why should I be the one going out and trying to find out for myself. I was just being irrational, it didn't mean anything. Hopefully.
A few days after that day, I was hanging around after school when I noticed the lovebirds heading my way. I raised an eyebrow as I took in the event in front of me. There was the little princess, Sissi, walked in front and Odd, the royal fool, behind her carrying a ton of books in his hands.
"So, I see you're up to stage three." I said aloud.
I sat, amused, as I watched Sissi looking around, searching for where my voice had come from.
"Up here." I finally told her.
Sissi tilted her head up and once her eyes caught me, they immediately turned angry. I was sitting on one of the tall and wide ledges that circled around the whole school and was behind the gates. From close up, you couldn't really notice me sitting up there, since I was obscured by the trees, but from farther away, it wasn't too hard. In my hand was a chocolate chip cookie and a juice box.
"What do [i]want[/i]?" she asked me.
"Nothing really, I was hanging out." I answered her honestly. But, that only seemed to make Sissi angrier.
"It seems to me that you were actually spying on me and my <i>boyfriend</i>." I smirked when she emphasized the last word; as if I actually cared what she was up to and with who.
"Whatever." I shrugged.
"Um, Sissi," I heard Odd say from behind the large pile of books. "Where do you want me to put these down exactly and when?" he sounded as if he was in some real pain and from where I was, I could see that his expression was strained and his hands red.
"In my room." she stated simply.
I saw Odd squeeze his eyes and clutch harder onto the books, but he didn't say a word more back to Sissi. That made me pissed. He didn't deserve this, that was for sure. And before I could stop myself, I blurted out, "You could do so much better than her, you know that?"
Both Odd and Sissi looked up at me then; Sissi in anger and Odd in astonishment. I couldn't really blame them, I was pretty much just as surprised as they were.
"Don't listen to her Odd," Sissi cut in then. "She's just jealous and just wants to ruin our relationship!"
I knew I should've just stopped and walked away, but for some reason this whole thing was getting me all heated up. I felt like if I didn't do or say something, then I wouldn't be at peace. I felt restless almost.
"What relationship?!" I sat up straight then and almost fell off, but quickly regained my balance in time. "All you do is go around bossing boys around and making them do stuff for you. You already have everything you want, so why the hell do you gotta treat innocent guys like they're your servants or something?!"
"What the hell do <i>you</i> know about relationships?!" Sissi's voice was also getting higher and higher and she now had her hands balled into fists and pressed into either sides of her hips.
"I know plenty!" I screeched back down at her.
Sissi scoffed at that. "You've only ever had one boyfriend and that was such an epic fail; you have no experience at all!" That stopped me straight; I had my mouth open ready to scream down another argument at her, when all of a sudden I stopped, my mouth still open and my cheeks flushed. "That's exactly what I thought; nothing left to say now, huh?"
"That still doesn't mean you should just treat every guy like they're a pack mule." I added meekly.
"Alright, you know what, fine!" Sissi turned around. "Herve! Nicholas! Get over here!"
Herve and Nicholas, her little comrades, walked over from where they stood a few feet off watching us the whole time. They looked confused as to why Sissi was calling them - or at least Nicholas did while Herve looked absolutely delighted.
"Take these books to my room!" Sissi instructed them.
The two of them struggled to take the books from Odd, all the while grumbling about why they had to do this as well as dropping one or two and then yelling at each other for not being careful or strong enough.
After they were all good and heading off towards the front of the school, Sissi smiled satisfied and grabbed a hold of Odd's face. She pressed her mouth onto his and began kissing him heavily. I watched for a few seconds, my mouth open and my eyes shocked. But, when I saw his hands wrap themselves around Sissi's body and I frowned.
"Oh, gross!" I made a disgusted face and jumped down from the ledge.
I walked away with a burning feeling in my stomach and chest; I felt so horrible and sick for no reason at all. I couldn't help it then, I spun around and back at the two of them. I was surprised to find Odd's eyes wide open - which guys <i>never</i> did when they were kissing Sissi - and staring back at me.
I stopped then and almost started walking back to them to point out that, "Aha! See! Odd doesn't really want you! He wants-"
Wants what though? Me? No way! My face fell, but I couldn't move. And then, Sissi groaned and deepened the kiss, causing Odd to shut his eyes then and I was back to my normal self. I shook my head and turned away, heading back to my dorm, not exactly feeling better but not as worse either.
<i>'God, what the hell is happening to me?!'</i> I demanded to know, but just like always I had no answer.
-♥- -♥- -♥-
And, usually I would've been content with that, but today, now, I wasn't. I was determined to find out just who the hell that Odd Della Robbia guy was and just what he was doing to me.
God, if only I knew where it would lead me from there on. If only.