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Blessed Curse [Working Title]
Author's note: I know it doesn't seem like the actual story follows the summary, but it will make sense soon. Oh! And A LOT of this is being drafted and the chapters are named by whoever's POV it is.
“Dang it!” I shout as my eyeliner slips.
I slam my hands on the counter, trying to stop them from shaking, but to no avail. I continue shaking as I reach for my communication pad and enter the number of my favorite make-up artist. I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach I would regret this call.
“Hey, you reached Sexy, what can I get you?” her voice melts over the crystal clear speaker.
“Wow, did Joseph tell you to start saying that?” I ask sarcastically, snickering.
“Nope, your boyfriend did. Just kidding Hun, whatcha need?” Payton asks in her usually silky voice.
I hold up my eyeliner in defeat and answer, “A steady hand? I can’t grab this freaking thing to save my life.”
The call disconnects and I hear Ramon, my Boston terrier, yawning. I look over at the tiny puppy with so many wrinkles and grin. I retrieve my dirty clothes that are lying around and unlock and disarm my doors.
Not two minutes later, my door is thrown open and the honey haired teen grabs my face. Her chocolate colored eyes take in my golden tan face. I know that I am in trouble when she grins, shuts the door and orders me to follow her.
She leads me to my bedroom first, and pulls out some of my more revealing clothes. She retrieves one of my jade blouses and a black skirt. She then gives me an incredulous look and hands me the revealing outfit.
“Guess my little Amelia turns into quite the party girl at night, huh?” Payton teases, leaving for the bathroom to set up.
Knowing she wouldn’t help me until after I was dressed how she wanted me to be, I slip into the skirt that I had no memory of purchasing and the top that I had never seen before. Curious as to how many other outfits I owned that I had never seen before, I make a reminder to go through my clothes.
When I have pulled on the clothes as much as possible to make them cover more, I head to the bathroom. In the short distance I find my dog, Ramon, waddling across the floor. His short bowed legs move as fast as they can to me, the small, blue eyed puppy wanting attention.
“Aww, hey Ramon! You can get attention in a minute, right now your momma needs her make-up,” I coo as I rub his wrinkled head.
Payton leans out the door frame with a raised eyebrow then she asks, “Are you ready?”
I take a deep breath then follow the sauntering Payton into the restroom. It now looks like the inside of a beauty salon with make-up strewn everywhere and heating hair irons.
“Okay, let’s give you the sweet and innocent look. It’ll look good with that outfit,” she decides as she grabs the cone shaped hair iron and begins forming my hair into beautiful ringlets.
After she has sprayed the last tornado with hairspray, I am turned around to face her. Payton instructs me to close my eyes and begins to click open different make-up containers. My head soon grows heavy with weariness and I am awoken to Payton shaking me gently and asking me to open my eyes. She finishes my make-up with mascara then spins me to face the mirror.
“What- what is this?” I say gazing in awe at the face that looks mine but more like Payton’s with heavy make-up and a party-girl look. “You said ‘innocent’!”
She grins and replies, “Imagine what my ‘guilty’ looks like.”
My jaw drops as I try to shake the image from my mind by literally shaking my head. I see Ramon cover his eyes with his paws after he whimpers. I scoop Ramon into my tan arms and laugh at how well he acted out his part. Payton, however, seems less impressed.
“You ready for school, or not?” she asks as she impulsively checks her visual and text communication devise again.
“Ooh! Joseph sent me a message!” she squealed as she skipped around my house and sent him a reply.
“Pay-a-ton! Let’s go, I’m not gonna be late again. I’m pretty sure that pint-sized genius wants to strangle me,” I whine, using her nickname.
She gives me an incredulous look then follows me out the door.
“Ladies, don’t you ever get here on time? You need this education, whether you like it or not!” James, the ten year old teacher, chides Payton and me.
For a kid with so much intelligence, he has yet to figure out a way to make himself taller, and is often mistaken for one of the elementary children. Though, drinking his weight in coffee every day most likely does not help.
“Sorry James, the time seems to have slipped,” I murmur, making a bee-line for my assigned seat.
I retrieve the thin and sleek notepad from my purse and turn it on. The blue display shines brightly for a moment, and then dims to my preferred setting. I hunt in my pencil bag for the electronic pen, and give a victorious smile when I find it. James checks the role again to ensure we were the only two missing, and I look about the room. Two of the twenty students in my class are on a video monitor, obviously having caught the flu, and are readjusting the webcam so they can see James better as he paces around the room yelling out names in his prepubescent voice.
“Ms. Sailwood! Are you even paying attention?” he gripes, folding his skinny arms across his puffed out chest.
“Here,” I answer, rolling my eyes in annoyance.
After a ‘harrumph’ and some mumbled words, James finishes the last two names of role. Then he looks up and grins maniacally. He strolls to the back of the room and begins setting out the different chemicals of whatever experiment we are performing today. These include purple, red, emerald, lime, yellow, and bright blue colored liquids in flasks and a couple of different colored smoky test tubes. The foggy contents of the tubes interest me and I watch them move inside their glass containers without fleeing through the open top.
“Okay class, today we are doing an experiment on how different acids affect this mystery substance. Whichever group can successfully find what this cloudy substance is first will receive no homework for the next week; second place will receive a homework pass; finally, third place receives no homework next time I pass it out. Form four groups of five please, I would suggest not grouping with people who waste time talking,” and though I am not sure, I can almost swear I hear him cough Payton and my name.
Glaring, I pair up with Payton, and then head to the table with Chelsea and Robert. They smile as we approach, hands locked on the table top. I grin myself and plop down on the uncomfortable stool next to Chelsea.
Robert smiles my way in greeting. He recently cut his hair down to its normal length and has gelled it to resemble a hawk’s spike. His bird-like eyes are set on his girlfriend, and his tanned skin provides a subtle contrast to Chelsea’s. He seemed to fit his nickname, Hawk, rather than the other way around.
“Hey Amy!” she whispers to me as she uses one hand to set up the experiment as much as possible before James tells us to begin.
Chelsea’s hair catches the lab’s light and shines blue, green, and purple and then in the shadow of her head, it changes back to its natural black. She glances up at me with her cunning eyes, which appear to have no iris because the color matches her pupil exactly. She is wearing her usual black and today it is an elegant and short dress with silver feathers etched into the shiny fabric. Her eyes are made up simple and dark. Her nickname never fit her better then when she looked like this.
“Raven,” Payton began, using Chelsea’s preferred nickname, “where were you last night? We missed you! And you Amy, why don’t you ever come to the parties?”
I feel heat rising to my cheeks as I explain, again, “Because part of my ‘talent’ is that I fall asleep at around six. Plan a party in the morning and I will come.”
She snorts, and then whistles. “Jake! Over here, we need one more,” she calls at Jacob, one of the few guys who she has not slept with though he fits her type like a puzzle piece.
His crooked grin spreads across his face and takes the last seat at our table, commenting, “Have you noticed that though you both are always late, James never counts either of you tardy? I think he is smitten for you Pay-a-ton, or maybe you Amy.”
I roll my eyes and know that the dwarfed genius is certainly not ‘smitten’ for me, “Well, Jacob, I do not think it is I he prefers, though I believe he may just be too lazy to make a ‘T’ on the roll sheet.”
Suddenly the room falls silent as an AFP145 flies into the room. The small hovering disk pops a white screen from its innards and its even smaller companion sphere turns a lens to canvas. An image flickers on the screen and focuses until its subject is clearly shown. Our continent’s leader taps the MWP9 until he is sure it is working.
“Hello citizens! I have exciting news for you all; there has been a discovery of a new planet in the galaxy Andromeda I! We have brave men and women eagerly preparing to scout the planet in hopes of intelligent life. We will keep you updated on the matter, and have a good day!” Mr. Costling announces before waving the webcam away and effectively shutting all the AFP145s off.
And like a pup being called back to its master, the machines fly back to wherever they came from.
“Well-” James tries to begin, but a sudden outbreak of voices overpowers his miniscule one.
My table, however, remains silent. We all have the knowing look that says there will be no life on this new planet because out of the thousands we have searched, none held so much as a blade of grass and only two even had water. I silently help Raven set up the tubes and flasks for the task at hand.
“Silence!” James’ voice screeches above all the rest.
With the faces of punished toddlers, the other students quickly set up their lab tables. Soon after James gives the okay for everyone to begin and even sets a timer.
“Thank you James, I will appreciate this homework free week,” I chirp as I leave his class.
While I am worming my way around bulky and dreary eyed students, I am snagged from the crowd into a class room. Whipping around to face my snatcher, I almost collide into another student trying to exit the classroom. When I look up I see the most beautiful blue eyes on earth.
His eyes are the blue like that of the sky in the middle of a cloudless afternoon; his golden shaggy hair is down just past his cheekbones and is as luminous as the sun itself. His skin looks as if the sun has kissed it himself, and his broad shoulders are well toned and each muscle that does not hide behind his clothes is well defined. I grin lovingly as I straighten his collar and then hook my fingers through his belt loops.
“Hello, my angel,” he murmurs, as if by raising his voice any louder he might scare me off.
“I do not look as if I have taken a swan dive from Heaven,” I whisper back, sharing his ungrounded fear that by lifting my voice he will run away.
One of his gently calloused hands wraps around my waist while the other is used to lift my chin. As he lowers his angelic face down to mine, I feel his warm breath spread across my face, scented with mint, and I close my eyes.
“Amelia and Michael, sittin’ in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!” Joseph’s gruff, graveling voice rumbles across the room.
With a huff, Michael releases me from his spell and moves his fingers from my chin.
“Apparently, we are a Disney movie compared to Pay-a-ton and yourself,” Michael retorts, sending Joseph into a perplexed mood.
“Dude! I told you to stop doing that!” he gripes, holding his beefy hands over his ears as if it will block Michael from reading his mind.
“I can’t help it just like you can’t help looking like some wrestler from MMA or WWE,” Michaels British accent flits across the room toward the bulky teenager.
Flexing, Joseph responds, “Have to keep my girl somehow.”
As if on cue, Pay-a-ton skips into the room, her skirt pulled up more than it had been this morning and her jacket removed to reveal a crop-top. Joseph swung her into his arms and placed his longer black haired head on top of her honey yellow one. I could see his grey-green eyes meet her chocolate colored ones and I couldn’t help but smile. It was the same old story of ‘jock meets cheerleader,’ but this tale would last beyond high school.
“Now that he is distracted…” Michael murmurs seductively in my ear, his hands wrap around my stomach and he pulls me close.
He rests his head on my shoulder and we stand, him leaning against the wall and me leaning against him, until the tardy bell rings and he gives me a kiss on the cheek as he leaves me to get to his class.
“Amy! There you are, where’d you go?” Raven called, trying to catch up to me.
“Oh, sorry, I forgot about our study hall,” I reply as she begins walking beside me.
Her chipper mood doesn’t allow for her to be quiet for longer than a few minutes, which causes her to begin humming a tune. As if that wasn’t enough movement, she begins skipping in circles around me and singing her song out loud. I immediately recognize the lyrics to Butterfly Kisses and smile as she sings it at the top of her lungs.
“Sweet 16 today
She's lookin' like her mama a little more every day
One part woman the other part girl
To perfume and make up from ribbons and curls
Trying her wings out in a great big world
But I remember
Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer
Stickin' little white flowers all up in her hair
You know how much I love you daddy
But if you don't mind
I'm only gonna kiss you on the cheek this time…”
Laughing, I respond, “How on earth do you still remember that song?”
She smiles and shrugs, spinning in circles, “I remember the most random things… But I don’t remember who sang it originally… I only remember the song itself.”
I grin and continue walking, remembering all the beautiful music from back then, before the nuclear plants exploded. Shaking my head I look up at the sky, and my heart skips a beat. I know that I am about twenty minutes away from my house, yet the sun is sitting on the horizon. I check my watch and gasp at the 5:30 that shines brightly.
“Baiser! I need to get home, sorry Raven, maybe tomorrow!” I yell over my shoulder as I begin sprinting for my house.
I manage to hurdle into bed wearing my day clothes as the clock hits 5:58 and I fall asleep a few minutes after.