Meant To Be

One boy, one girl, soulmates destined to be together...Actually, they really can't stand each other and hate their cruel fate of ALWAYS being stuck together no matter how hard they try to get away from one another.

-Dinah-

I knew my mother would leave me from the moment I learned she named me after the cat in Alice in Wonderland. My mother was the type who shouldn't of been a mother in the first place but as fate has it she was my mother. I looked nothing like her and for that she didn't love me, I reminded her too much of my father with my dark hair and pale skin and amber colored eyes. My hair wasn't a cheap store bought shade of blond as hers was and my skin wasn't near being tan and leathery. I was fine with that, the more different from her the better. Did I love my mother? How could you love someone was wasn't there and was only the yelling voice at night that told me drunken lies? We lived in this dark and small one bedroom apartment for as long as I could remember. My mom went through man through man but we always remained here.

Each day she left me with some cash ranging to five to twenty dollars to pay for food or whatever else I needed. The minute I learned to read in school books became my nurturers, my confidant, my hope, my escape. In the chapters of To Kill a Mocking Bird I learned to never judge someone just based on appearance. And through the eyes of Jo March I saw I was not alone. In the heroics of Jean Val Jean I gained hope in knowing that I could overcome any obstacle. In The Secret Garden I discovered more than flowers. And as Kitty to Anne Frank, I realized how a girl like myself comes in many faces and places in any time and tragedy.

Who needs a mother when there's a library a block away? I woke up that particular morning when I was eleven to find a note near the couch bed where I slept, a note from my mother telling me shewentaway with Randy the butcher for a new start andthen left the number to my aunt Lucinda's house telling me to call her and have her get me. My mom left me at my Aunt Lucinda's once before when I was six. And I vividly remember her as your typical high collared-tight bun bible thumper strait out of a V.C. Andrews novel. I shuddered at the thought of living with her and having to go seven years of her strictness and nagging about my mother. I crinkled the note up and threw it in the trash. I can take care of myself better than any aunt who was resentful of my mother.

I wasn't as hurt as one would be if their mother abandoned them. I've been preparing myself for this day for years so it didn't come as a blow to the chest. It came like a night time rain after a day of dark clouds and rumbling thunder. I simply knew it was coming and I taught myself not to depend on anyone but myself. I immediately got dressed and started planning on schemes to earn me money. First I took some change from the dresser and went to the copy shop and made out flyers advertising my work in simple odd jobs and saying I needed to raise money for a fake fundraiser. Then I went door to door telling of my fake cause and how I need to earn money or asking if they'd like to donate. It wasn't really lying, the cause was to feed starving children in povertyand I myself was soon to become a starving child in poverty, so I wasn't cheating anyone. For two weeks I survived off this, I went to school and after school I continued with the odd jobs. But before I knew it was going over my head and was just too much to handle, there was rent to pay, groceries to buy, bills that would not go away, lies to tell about my mother being ill, endless work to do, falling behind in school; I soon became ill from over working, major stress, and sleep deprivation.

Despite that I showed no signs of giving up and calling my aunt. Like the English spirit, I will never give up and I will never surrender...and I will NEVER ask for help. You can say I'm stubborn, that I'm a little too headstrong, but just don't ever say I'm a gutless whiner.

People in school were soon starting to notice something was wrong by my low marks and ill performance in class. Lying is bad, but sometimes you need to lie.

"Dinah is there trouble at home? You've been sleeping in class and you failed to do at least three assignments this week. I will have to call your mother," Mrs. Drake said to me during recess.

"No, trouble at all. You won't be able to catch my mother, she's working over hours because of Christmas, you see she felt bad because last year she couldn't afford to get me anything and so this year she feels as if she needs to make it up to me. I keep telling her, all I need is her love not toys, but she doesn't listen," I explained

"Yes but that doesn't explain you not getting enough sleep and your grades slipping."

"Can I got out and play now?" I changed the subject.

"You may." She nodded and gave that look that told me she wasn't buying my story and was planning on calling my mother.

I quickly left the classroom to the school yard. I hated recess, when your friendless misfit it could be hell. I forgot to grab my book from my desk because of the recent encounter and the school library was territory beyond the yard duty patrolled boarder. I sat down against the shaded wall of the building. Then my main reason for hating recess.

Matt Marigold.

He was a year older than me and for all the years that I lived in this New England town he has made my life hell. He was sixth grader and believed that he was the big kid on campus and that I should just grovel to him. As the girls in my class were starting to get of their "couties" phase they were now starting to swoon over and flirt with him as if he were some heaven sent golden boy with his shaggy blonde hair that he always had to constantly push back out of his dark sapphire eyes that always sparkled with mischief, eyes that every girl claims that if you look into them you'll fall madly in love with him. I had to be the only girl in my grade not obsessed with him. I couldn't stand him, ever since he beat me twice in the yearly spelling bee and more than gloated about it when he offered to tutor me.

Just when I though my day couldn't get any more worse, he sits down next to me. "I hear you're fundraising to feed kids in poverty," he says to me.

"So what if I am?"

"Why not set up a canned food drive?"

"Because some people don't want to be stuck eating nothing but Spaghetti-O's and fruit," I quip, knowing he's just as suspicious as the teachers.

"Yeah but they're starving, they don't care what they eat as long as it's food."

"Well my fundraiser is more about feeding them, it's also about providing them with what they need. God, why do you care anyways?"

"I was just wondering if you needed help, we could get the school involved, get every student contributing, and that way you'll raise more money."

I knew where he was going with this. Of course, why else would he want to help me? He thought I was doing this charity work to score brownie points with the school board so I could win the student of the year award. He was jealous he didn't think of it first and was trying to cash in on my idea so he could beat me.

The bell rung, "Thanks for your kind offer and suggestion, but I have things under control and I just don't need any help, especially from you."

Later that day I was continuing my door to door "fundraising" even though it was pouring rain and my coat was drenched. I hated to be seen like this looking like some desperate beggar that I am rather a student doing charity that I'm not. I was at my worst, I ran out of money, I had no food in the apartment for two days and so money to buy it, the rent was due at the end of the week, and to top it off I was getting a fever that was getting worse by each drop of rain.

I had already went door to door to all the houses in the suburban area and now I was at the bigger properties divided by acres of land. I was lightheaded, and despite it being cold out, I felt hot.

Then I heard behind me what I assumed was someone riding a bike. I whined, just knowing with my luck, who was on the bike.

Matt Marigold.

I whipped around to see him. "Have you been following me?" God, is he THAT desperate to get ahead of me in what he thinks to be my secret plan to dominate him by wowing the school board.

"Isn't this bad weather to go out collecting money?" He asked skeptically.

"Isn't this bad weather to be out riding your bike?" I quipped, silently answered by his black eye and slightly ripped shirt.

"You're soaking wet," he pointed as if I hadn't noticed.

"No shit, Sherlock."

"You're going to catch a cold."

"You think I don't know that?" I walked on.

"Actually now that I think about it, you really don't look alright."

"I'm fine, leave me alone, I don't need your help." I was now worried and not knowing how I was going to escape himand convince him otherwise so he doesn't go to some teacher about me, or worse…ask me to come over.

See there's this thing about Matt I forgot to tell you. Matt and I actually have one thing in common, we both were outcasts. I was one because of my attitude and intellectual self, he was one because of his family. He lived with his grandmother, Millicent Marigold. Abigail was the woman kids whispered about as being a witch and made up stories about her, and even adults would look at her in the same way. She was in her mid fifties and stood tall, nearly six feet, and looked nothing like Matt, she looked like the wicked witch of the west, and I admit I was afraid of her too. She was the town's fortune teller and owned a old townhouse where she did all her spells, voodoo and such, I guessed then. She and Matt didn't live there, they lived in an older four story, one of a kind, gothic looking, lavender color Victorian house on a hill overlooking the ocean. And of course the house was also rumored to be haunted.

"Well at least take my jacket if you're going to be out here," he got off his bike and walked to me taking off his jacket, "It's waterproof," he added draping it on me.

I couldn't helped but to be touched by his generosity and then I looked up at his face. I could see now why girls fell so hopelessly in love with him, and right then I made the biggest mistake I'd ever regret by looking into his eyes. It seemed the whole world became hazy but only his face, his face I dared not look at before that moment because I soemhow knew what would happen if I did. My eyes were locked into his, his blue eyes that seemed to come alive with vibrant colors and light like the lighted up pool at my apartment complex in the summer. Then his face started to get hazy too and the more hazy the more I felt weaker and it seemed like I was slipping away until I was caught by his arms.

"Dinah!"

I heard his voice as I was still focused on his eyes, I wouldn't dare admit I was spellbound by them or worst, by him...

-Matt-

She suddenly fell unconsious in my arms. I didn't know what just happened. There was always something about her that at once glance intimidated me and yet drew me. Then there was just plain her that annoyed the hell out of me. She was always so uptight and so serious, I doubted a girl like her knew how to have fun or smile at least. I carried her up the hill to my house, the rain pouring on us.

"Millie!" I called at the doorway, "Hurray!"

She came running down the stairs, "What is it Mattie," she said before seeing Dinah in my arms and my black eye, she gasped, "Good heavens, what happened?" she rushed to me.

"I don't know, I was talking to her and she just passed out," I explained.

Millie felt her head, "She's burning up, quick bring her up stairs!"

"What? Where?" I asked dreading the answer.

"Bring her up to your room! I'll be up in a minute."

"No! Not my room!" I groaned carrying her up the stairs and to his room whereI practically dumped her on my bed.

Millie soon arrived with some water and towels, "Mattie, get me some of your pajamas, we have to get her out of these wet clothes."

"No, why should I?" I whined, not likeing the idea of her stealing my room and now my clothes.

"I have no time for you to argue with me," she said firmly.

I went to my drawers and took out some of my clothes and handed it to her, "Fine, but you better wash it."

"I will do no such thing, now please leaves us be for a moment, I have to change her clothes."

I couldn't help but notice something as she lied unconsious on my bed. Her coloring was so much like Robert's, the same ash brown hair and pale white skin; she looked like she could be Robert's sister.

"Mattie, did you hear me? I need you to leave."

"Yeah," I said out of my trance and left my room.

Part of me wished I would had left her in the rain with her self rightous self, not exactly liking the fact that she was in my room. But there was that other part, that other part I tried to ignore and would fail miserably at doing, that other part of me that cared about her.

Millie came out a few minutes later and from the look on her face she wasn't happy with my visible evidence of being in a fight, "You got into another fight didn't you?" she stated the obvious, "Was she involved?"

"No she wasn't, the guy involved is too weak to come," I grinned as I boasted, trying to soften her up.

She sighed, "I'm not amused. Was this fight really worth it? Did you really think it was going to solve the problem?"

"Sure it was worth it and it soved the problem, little Billy Fletcher is no longer going to worry about having his lunch money stolen from buck tooth Corey."

"Very funny, Matt. You don't have to lie to me, I know the truth," she says pushing my hair out of my face sympathetically.

"What makes you so sure that's not the truth?"

"Because you would have looked me in the eyes when you said it. Now go get cleaned up downstairs. There's fresh clothes in the laundry room."

I went down and into the kitchen. I immediately looked in the cubboard below the sink when she was upstairs and wasn't looking. The bag of M&Ms I left were still there. I closed the small door and walked to the laundry room. I quickly changed my clothes while trying to remember what I know about Dinah so she could go home, but I didn't know anything about her home life of where she lived and who her parents are, I didn't even know her phone number. Just when I was going to go to the phone to call the school, Robert jumped out from behind the laundry room door.

"RRAHH!" he pounced on me pretending to be a lion, "I scared you!" He giggled mispronouncing hid "R's"

"Oh you did, did you?!" I exclaimed playfully putting him in a headlock and tickling him. I noticed on of his front teeth missing as he laughed.

"I finally lost my tooth, that trick you told me worked," he opened his mouth to show me.

"You mean you actually got the courage to try it?"

"Uh huh!"

I thought about Dinah and their resemblence, "Hey Robby, do you know a girl named Dinah?"

He looked up to me, his face revealed that the name was familiar, too familiar, but his answer was different, "No," he looked away, "I don't know a Dinah."

"You sure?" I asked skeptically.

He silently nodded, "I better go."

"So soon? You just got here buddy. Didn't you want me to help you bat better?" He was acting strange after I said her name.

"It's raining out, next time."

"Okay, I'll be waiting," I sheepishly smiled.

Robert was a mystery I couldn't allow myself to solve. He was a six-year-old boy who randomly showed up every now and then. When he first showed up, I thought I made him up, that he was like some imaginary friend and I was going crazy or something because only I could see him. But later I figured out that only I saw him because only I was the one he didn't hide from. I didn't know where he came from or who he is, all I know is his first name, personality, and what little things he rambles on about. He was partly the reason why I was so drawn to Dinah. I was curious in thinking that maybe they're related in someway.