Of Love and Animal Crackers
by salina

Introducing Elaine

Elaine Christensen was sitting on her bed eating animal crackers and reading a romance novel. Elaine personally thought that romance novels were the cure to life. Bored? Read a romance novel. Sad? Read a romance novel. Filled with pent-up rage? Throw a romance novel out your window.

Animal crackers, likewise, had a variety of good uses. You could eat them, or try to guess which animal was which, or use them as projectiles during lunch. Elaine loved versatility.

Elaine herself was pretty versatile, too. Sure, she was a little shy in class, and didn't have that many friends, but she could be responsible, as well as totally and completely crazy.

Elaine and her friends used the term crazy lightly. By it, they most likely meant "hyperactive," "sugar high," "really weird," or something to that effect.

One thing you must understand before you can understand anything else in Elaine Christensen's life: she went to Abraham Madley School for Gifted Adolescents. The gifted adolescents, of course, deplored the fact that an acronym for the school wouldn't be very interesting. However, by rearranging the initials, you could come up with the word "gamas."

Most of the time, however, the school was referred to as "Mad's."

Elaine had a theory about giftedness, which went something like this: Gifted people were the same as normal people, except they had excellent memories, wild imaginations, few social skills, and crazy obsessions.

The obsessions were the biggest difference. Everybody had one. Take Sandy, for example. Sandy was obsessed with Greece. Every book about Greece that Sandy could get her hands on, she read. She remembered most of the contents of those books as well.

Some people had "normal" obsessions. For example, Candace was obsessed with makeup and could tell you the exact chemical compound of her eyeliner. She could also tell you whether or not purple was a good colour for lipstick if you were wearing a blue shirt, light purple-tinged eye shadow, and neutral blush, assuming you had freckles, gray eyes and blond hair.

It was not.

Elaine, personally, was obsessed with Canadian history. Most especially, World War One. Her friends, of course, found this extremely strange. Krista's obsession was technology, Spring's aliens, and Nella's Harry Potter.

Josh, the boy Elaine currently had a crush on, was obsessed with snowboarding. He just radiated facts, names, and technique tips. He was pretty good at the actual boarding part, too.

Of course, Josh Elmont would never, ever, ever look at Elaine. Still, she couldn't help but dream. One day, according to Elaine's dream, he would come up to her and announce that he had loved her forever. Then he would kiss her passionately and ask her to the next school dance.

Not that Elaine went to school dances at all in real life. But whatever.

In the dream, the dance would be a formal. Elaine would be wearing a floor-length, old-fashioned, pink silk gown, complete with puffy skirt à la Gone With the Wind. Josh would be wearing a tux. They would stroll in together, looking amazingly wonderful. Everyone's jaws would drop. All the girls would glare enviously at Elaine – except, of course, Krista, Spring, and Nella, who would be there with their boyfriends.

Well, they didn't have boyfriends in real life, but Elaine always dreamed them up.

She also dreamed graduation – because, of course, Josh would never ask her out till grade twelve, which was still two years away. Josh would bring her a rose and kiss her and say "I love you" for the first time. Then, of course, they would go away to different universities and pine for each other. In 2010, during the Winter Olympics at Vancouver, Josh would win a gold medal for some snowboarding thingy or other. As O Canada played, and the Maple Leaf fluttered jauntily in the breeze, a single tear would slip down Josh's cheek – a testament to how proud he would be to have honoured his country. When interviewed later, he would say, "I owed it all to the inspiration of my wonderful girlfriend Elaine."

Though of course the current Elaine would die of embarrassment if someone said that about her on TV. But she would grow up, right?

And then, after she had a job and everything, Josh would take her out to dinner and to go dancing! Afterwards, still dressed in their semi-formal clothes, they would stop in the park. Josh would get her to sit on a bench, then he would kneel beside her and ask, "Elaine, my precious light of love, will you marry me?" And he would open a black velvet box containing a silver ring with a lovely diamond, exactly like Galadriel's ring in the Lord of the Rings movie, only smaller. Of course, Elaine would say yes, and there would be a very passionate kiss. On their wedding day, Elaine would wear white silk with lace. Her bridesmaids, Krista, Spring and Nella, would wear pink dresses and carry roses.

Although Krista hated dresses even more than she hated pink.

The wedding night – ah, the wedding night. Elaine, not being very experienced, could not imagine this scene as clearly as she had the others. She just knew that she would wear a satin negligee and the night would be perfect. First times were always perfect in her romance novels, and that's what she intended it to be. Their first time.

Which was kind of unlikely, because Josh was already getting a reputation – Elaine stifled the thought.

They would live in a big house and have three kids. The eldest would be a girl named Marian. She would be tall, with Elaine's golden-brown hair and Josh's bright blue eyes. Marian would get into trouble in school by bragging about her famous, Olympic-medal-winning father. She would want to be a historian just like Elaine. Next would come twins – Alora and Simon. Alora would be drop-dead gorgeous and excellent in sports. Simon would be a carbon copy of his father in looks, but more intellectual and sensitive in personality. The two of them would be sought after greatly. Alora would have her first child at eighteen, and Simon would get married at twenty-two.

Even though Elaine wasn't particularly fond of, ah, premarital relations, the idea of a teenage Alora having a secret lover seemed very, very romantic.

Elaine had decided she would die of old age at eighty-seven. Josh would be inconsolable and would die himself soon thereafter. Marian, Alora, Simon and their children would keep their memories alive.

Elaine had imagined this and so much more – individual scenes of little importance, such as family dinners, walks in the park and Josh's reaction to Marian's first boyfriend.

They would, she reflected, make the perfect family.

Except, of course, that at the moment, Elaine was sitting on her bed eating animal crackers and reading a romance novel. And Josh was probably snowboarding.

Elaine kind of wished he would hurry up and come to his senses, because she was really looking forward to watching Marian, Alora and Simon grow up.

But then, she supposed, she was going to have to wait until she was twenty-six for Marian to be born anyways. She was starting to wish she'd made herself younger.

But – darn it all! She was out of animal crackers. Future problems were pushed aside to give room to current ones.

With a sigh, Elaine got up to search for another box of animal crackers.

Author's note: This is my first real story on fictionpress. I hope you like it. Just so you know, I go to a gifted high school, so I know what I'm talking about when I'm writing this...

Oh. I don't own Harry Potter or Gone With the Wind. Just so you know.

Please review!