Author: Cerii-chan PM
She really hadn't meant to break that glass. It was so pretty...Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Spiritual - Words: 1,544 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 1 - Published: 03-12-05 - id: 1857107
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
She really hadn't meant to break that glass. It was so pretty.
Nobody at the party was speaking to her, nobody at all. Not even a nod. She was invisible, a wallflower. She liked it that way. She liked being a wallflower. Her mother didn't like it, but her mother had been popular in high school, popular and beautiful and smart. Zarah was none of those things. She went about the hallways being bumped into, without even a glance of apology. She came home with C's on her report card, earning a lecture from her parents about trying harder. Her long, usually uncombed black hair always fell into her ivory face, hiding her eyes, the only features that distinguished her from the crowd. Her eyes were… Well, her eyes were green, but sometimes they were hazel, or gray, or dark blue, depending on her mood. The few friends she had had in elementary school could always tell whether she was thoughtful or passive, angry or indifferent, strong willed or innocent. But in middle school, her friends had drifted slowly away, longing to be part of the crowd, leaving her alone with her messy hair, her low grades and her invisibleness.
The glass had stood out, not like her.
Sometimes, through her hair, she would find herself watching the cheerleaders, the jocks, the punks, and wondering what it would be like to be one of them, to be like them, to be noticed by them. Maybe she'd actually have someone to talk to, someone to spill out all the feelings she kept crammed into her heart, someone to make up wonderful stories with that helped take her mind off home. But she knew, really, she didn't want to be friends with them, to be popular and loved by everybody. The cool group had few real friends. She wanted friends, needed friends, not fans.
So when that boy had passed her in the nearly empty hall, she had not said anything, not looked at him, and nearly not noticed when he spoke. But something in her made her stop, made her notice him, make her look into his deep green eyes that so startlingly reminded her of someone's. She said nothing, so he repeated it again, smiling at her from under his black tousled hair.
She swallowed, not knowing what to say, what to do, entranced by his crystal eyes.
"Hey," he said again. "Listen, I've been noticing you in the halls a lot lately, you know, and I kinda, you know, think you're sorta… pretty." He blushed.
She nodded slowly, suddenly conscious of her untidy hair and the loose clothing her mother had told her not to wear. What was this boy trying to say?
He looked down, rubbing his head, watching his foot trace circles on the cold tile. "Well, there's this party this weekend, you know, Ashley Smith's party?"
She nodded again.
"Well, she's giving everybody two invitations, you know, so that everybody can, like, take a date. I was kinda gonna ask Jade Peterson—you know her?"
Another silent nod. Everybody knew Jade Peterson. Jade made sure of it.
"Well… You know, I was thinking, maybe it wouldn't be so fun to ask Jade Peterson. I mean, I asked her out on a date once, you know, and she kinda… annoyed me." He smiled slightly, still blushing, looking up at her.
She felt the blood rising in her cheeks, and said nothing.
"So, I was thinking… Well, you seem pretty quiet, you know, not loud, and I think I'd like that. What I'm trying to say is… Will you go to the party with me?"
He held out a neatly printed envelope, decorated with colorful balloons and stickers. She stared at it for a few seconds, and then slowly extended a hand toward it, taking it in gentle fingers, as if it might shatter at any moment. She looked at it, not at the boy, trying to make sense of what had happened.
"So... please come," he said hurriedly. "I'll be looking for you there. Ask for Storm. Bye!" He jogged down the hall in the opposite direction, his face cherry red, leaving Zarah alone with her thoughts.
She spent the next day in a trance, withdrawn inside herself, walking from class to class with her eyes straight ahead, her face unmoving. The only time she showed any kind of emotion was when the boy passed her, and smiled at her. She blushed and looked down, afraid to meet his eyes.
His eyes were like the crystal that made the beautiful glass, except green.
When she had begun to walk home on Friday, she had firmly decided she wasn't going to the party. I don't need to go to a party with the Barbie dolls and future NBA stars, she told herself sternly. I never needed to before, and I don't need to now.
But halfway through that walk, another side of her began pestering her. How do I know it's so bad? I mean, I've never been to one. Couldn't I just go once? Just to see what its like?
At home, though, after a long, drawn out, boring dinner with her family, as she lay sprawled in bed, reading by the light of an antique lamp she kept on her night table, she said no. No, she wasn't going to the party, no, she wasn't just going to see what it was like, and no, she wasn't going to meet that boy. Let him dance with Jade Peterson. She'd be happy to.
Which was why she was so mad at herself when her mother found the invitation.
"Oh honey, how sweet!" her mother said, sweeping into her daughter's room with her flowered dress and her somewhat sickly perfume. "You didn't tell me you were invited to a party! Oh, how wonderful! You're finally getting friends! Oh, I'm so happy for you! You must be so excited! My little daughter's being invited to a party! Oh, I must tell your father! I'll wake up extra-early tomorrow to help you dress! Oh, I'm so excited!"
And so the matter was settled. She was going to the party.
Her nervousness was increasing by the second. Was the boy here? She stood next to the food table, full of elegant porcelain dishes and intricate designs on silver plates. She scanned the room. It didn't look like he was here. She sighed, and turned around, towards the table and the food. She was in a short, black, pleated skirt, with a black t-shirt that her mother had insisted she wear. "Oh, come on, don't you want to look cool?" she had asked, pouting slightly like she always did. Her mother's idea of 'cool' was the gothic girls with anorexia.
She sighed, and examined the row of water glasses on the table. They were all so plain looking, so drab. So…indifferent. But as she was staring, a sparkle caught her eye. There, in the back, was a beautiful glass, shorter than the others, and inexplicably captivating. She reached out, then stopped, stealing a glance around her nervously. Fingers trembling, she slowly gripped it and lifted it off the table, holding it in her palm. The asymmetrical pattern engraved on the clear crystal shimmered as she turned it around and around in her small hands. There was something different about this glass, something with life. She couldn't quite place it. All she knew was that it was beautiful.
She heard someone walking up behind her, and started to move away, assuming that they were intending to grab a drink from the punch bowl. But instead, a half-familiar voice came floating into her head.
"Zarah, isn't it?"
She whipped around. The glass flew out of her hands.
It fell to the floor and shattered in front of her and Storm.
"Oh!" she whispered. She quickly bent down and scooped some of the shards into her hand. The light caught between them, refracting itself into different colors, shades, tints. She stared at it, numb, horrified.
She wasn't sure how long she knelt there, just staring at the broken glass. It had been so beautiful, so pure, so innocent, and now it lay helpless, shattered…
She was aware of somebody keeling next to her, taking the shards out of her hand and off of the ground. "Oh, look, you've cut yourself," said the person, turning her hand over. "Come on, let's go wash that off."
She was led to a large, elegant bathroom, in which the sink was polished marble and the taps were shining gold. She washed her hands.
She looked up at the boy beside her. It was Storm. He looked back at her, concern in his expression. She saw her reflection in his green crystal eyes. Her eyes were hazel.
"You okay?" he asked her gently. She nodded.
"Thank you," she whispered.
He hugged her, gently, and to her, it felt like the life of the glass was now in his arms.