"I've liked you for the longest time! Please, consider going on a date with me!" I plead blushing furiously. I hold out my letter of confession to the boy in front of me. Kyle Thomas, Mr. Tough-guy himself, was looking at me! He considered me for a moment before taking the letter. His fluffy, blonde bangs seemed to move with the slightest breeze and his blue eyes studied me coolly. I felt my insides squirm uncomfortably. I have liked Kyle for a whole year now and I finally received the courage to tell him my feelings.
"With you?" Kyle asked. A malicious grin spreads across his face. He grins and tears my letter into pieces. Every rip of the paper cuts into my heart abd my eyes widen. My throat closes up in shock as I watch the pieces of my confession fall to the ground.
"Why would I bother with something as poor and strange as you? You're hardly good enough," Kyle sneers and turns to walk with his laughing friends. I clench my fist. Something inside of me had a feeling that it was going to turn out this way. It always did.
Prat! No one would want you anyway! Is something I want to scream at him, but I can't. So my words just ring in my mind, never reaching Kyle.
Half of me is struggling not to curse his name, while the other half is looking for the reasons Kyle has turned me down. True, I was not as wealthy as the people in this school, true I was not normal by their means but that didn't mean I wasn't "good enough," did it?
I turn and walk to the school psychologist. I feel more angry than sad and the need for revenge has entered my system. I did not need that. I wanted to remain sweet and gentle, like a princess.
I don't have any friends in this school who I can cry my eyes out on besides Mrs. Valerie, the school psychologist. I don't have any friends here because I don't want any friends and I don't need them. That's what I want to say but it's not true.
I wanted friends a while ago, when I first arrived in West City but that was three years ago. I've given up on friends now which Mrs. Valerie says is not good for a human being. She tells me, every time I see her, that humans are made to be connected to one another. She tells me that having relationships are good for development.
I tell her, every time I see her, that she is crazy. People do not seem to want to connect with me. I have nothing against trying to get out and show people what I'm made of. It's just it's the stuff I'm made up of is what frightens people.
I'm not normal. It's as simple as that.
My hair is darker and longer than anyone else's, besides which they all dye their hair blonde (which has to be some kind of fad), my skin is pale, like white paper, and my eyes are silver. I've been threatened because my eyes scare people so I am forced to wear contacts (the school even pays for them). Now my eyes are brown and boring. There are people who have the same skin tone as I do here, but they are wealthier than I'll probably ever be, and therefore treat me as if I am some sort of freak. And then there are people here that are darker than me by millions of shades and I thought that I'd be able to make friends with them too, but that is not the case. Money is the only thing that matters. Not the color of your skin. I've always wondered if money was really that important the answer always is "Of course you nasty thing!"
All the girls complain about food and diets and how they need to fit into size zeros when they're really size fives and they make me out to be the enemy because I am a size five and I don't want to change. I think a size five is perfect. I'm not athletic so I can't even fit in with the jocks. The only race I've run is the race for my life when some of the girls thought I'd be fun to harass me and chase me halfway home. After that, they left me alone, seeming to have had their fun. I can't seem to relate to any of the girls here- or any of the guys. That is why I don't have any friends and that's why I've given up on wanting any.
I go to the top charm school in the nation, Mahria Veil Charm School. It is for really rich people who have nothing better to do than send their children to school in order to know how to have tea with the Queen of England. I'm not rich- I live by myself and I have to support myself- and I have no intention of dining with the Queen. Not to mention I got into the school on scholarship and that adds another reason for my dislike in here. I have enough money to pay the rent and eat. I can't afford to buy new clothes every three months let alone every three days, I don't own a T.V and the only phone I have is my home phone.
Being stupid seems to be the 'in' thing right now. I don't do stupid. I don't see how anyone can but it seems like even the smart people are complete snobs simply because their smart.
I also can feel things in people that everyone else can't. It's difficult to explain, but I feel the darkest bits of people, things that no one is supposed to know about, I can feel. I can feel desperation and sadness, but no one will believe me when I tell them that they aren't as happy as they put on. I've learned that the hard way. But other than feelings, I have an affinity to attract the dead. I can see their ghosts, their deaths, and talk to them. But I am powerless to help them. It's really a sad to have them begging you, and being unable to give them what they want.
I'm grateful though. I was able to get away from my old home. My parents are miserable people but because of them I am stronger than I ever was…but because of them, I am not the sweet person I used to be. And a large part of me misses that sweet person I used to be.
Now I feel as if I am split up into parts. The jaded woman with the horrible past, the meek submissive woman who cannot speak up, and the woman who will do whatever she can to have a better life. And I do not want to be any of these people.
When the school day ends I find myself walking out of the school gates feeling more miserable than ever. The part of me that usually thinks of the positive in me, is not working at the moment and so now, I feel even worse about myself.
I notice Kyle with some of his boys. I feel resentment bubbling up but I continue walking. Mrs. Valerie said that I should forgive him and move on. She said by doing this, life will be easier and I'll be happier. I laugh. What the heck does she know? I snarl at Kyle's image in my head- not quite ready to forgive him yet. Kyle is what everyone calls the typical 'bad boy.' He has looks and attitude not to mention every girl in the school wanting to be his for a day. He wears his uniform sloppily and smirks like he owns the world.
Part of me looks at him and wonders why I saw anything in him to begin with but another part of me saw in Kyle an opportunity. I could use in some way, for protection, or money- a way to gain a better life for myself. I wonder if I even liked him for him.
I hate myself. All of this anger in me. Where is the part of me that looks for the good in people? What happened to that me?
I know exactly what happened to that me. It was beaten away, along with my love. I know why Kyle thinks I'm strange. It's because I do not have that sweet nature girls have, or pretend to have. I don't know to flirt, how to look away when looked at, how to smile and blush softly. If you look at me, I'll stare right back.
Mrs. Valerie told me that I do have love in me, that I am not all bad. I wish I could believe her fully. I want to but I cannot.
What have they done to me to make me so messed up? I do not want to think about it. It hurts and I know I will become even more jaded. I strengthen my resolve, walk out of the school and head to my part-time job.
I work at a bookstore called Sweety during the weekdays and during the weekends I work fifteen hours at a department store. Sweety has everything someone like me would need in it and more. It is my favorite place in all of West City. I feel as if I am a new person when I read books. I feel as if I've escaped.
The kids from my school don't go there because, naturally, books aren't cool enough. I love books. My manager says I daydream too much but I'm fun to be around. He says I'm very nice and sweet but that's because that's the only side of me he knows. I am nice in the bookstore because I feel that is all I can be. I want to prove to someone that I am more than what they have made me, although, I do not know how to do that.
I'm just not some fairy-princess-damsel-in-distress that calls to a prince and he comes riding on a white horse. The Prince would need at least fifty white stallions to get me out of the mess I am in and besides, I am hardly princess material. Prince Charmings like princesses who have kingdoms at their disposal. Beautiful princesses who smile, and laugh and don't have a worry in the world except to get married; not some cold, twisted girl who cannot break free of her past.
But even though I am not princess material, I do dream like one. I want a prince. And like every other girl, I want someone to protect me. That was my prince's first priority. A nice prince who was manly and 'bad-boy' as well, but soft and sweet too. He didn't have to be rich, just had to be able to protect me. But how many of those people existed in reality? You were either rich handsome, and a total jerk, or poor, wimpy and sad.
"Heather! You're daydreaming again!" Jan, my manager, calls to me from the back of the store. I jump from my thoughts. A box cutter is in my hand and my face is very close to it. Not good.
"Sorry," is my instant response. Just then, the jingling of the door's bell announces that a customer just walked in. I put on my friendly smile and drop the box cutter onto the box. Sweety is the only place I feel I can smile in. No matter how fake it is.
"Welcome to Sweety!" I say.
The customer greets me and I ask if they need any help. The customer replies with a "No," and I grin, returning to my task of opening boxes. I am happily doing my job until the customer comes back with some books he wants to buy. I ring up the books, say his price, he gives me the money, I say thank-you and give him his change, he thanks me and I offer a piece of candy to him because that is what Sweety is all about- bribing the customers to come back.
"Have a sweet day," I call after the customer with our motto. Three seconds later I was back to opening boxes and putting books away; my mind wandering the titles and imaging itself inside the covers of the books.
After a while I go back to my station at work and find myself looking out of the large glass window front. People pass by from time to time and I find them interesting to look at. My eyes keep focused on one young man walking past. He looks like he just walked out of a costume party in his long purple cloak and strange wrapped clothing. He stops in front of the bookstore, and looks into the window. His long hair dark hair is pulled into a ponytail and his eyes are artfully covered by his bangs. For a long time he does not move and I frown at him. I suddenly realize that he is looking at me. What the heck? After a few more moments of our staring contest, the man walks away without even walking into the store.
"That wasn't strange," I mutter sarcastically before opening a book I found to read.
I finished my homework early this morning and I am dead tired. Not only that, but all night a ghost was wandering in my apartment, making all sorts of noise. When I asked it what was wrong with it, all it said was "I'm hungry," and when I asked what for it said "Blood," in an eerie tone and looked at me neck in a very strange way. I wanted to slay the thing right then and there, but I can do nothing more than see it and speak to it, the annoyance. So all night the ghost was hovering outside of my bedroom, staring at me. I am grateful it could not go in. I do not know why it could not, but I am not complaining.
I yawn and continue to make my way to school. I notice other students in the school uniform and follow them to school. Of course I am at a distance. I've already been shunned by everyone for being poor and I do not need people thinking that I've taken up stalking now. No one speaks to me as we enter the spacious front yard of the school. I watch as students group together by the lockers. Girls talking about their boyfriends and nails, and boys boasting about whom they "did" last night. I just walk past them all and grab my books out of my locker.
I count to three and my locker slams closed, nearly cutting off my fingers. I try to keep my anger in check, try to let the nice me out, but it doesn't work and my mouth works before my mind.
"Bugger off, you insufferable pricks!" I snap furiously.
A group of girls laugh and walk away, the stinging insults on their lips cut into me, but I do my best to brush them off. The girls with everything pick on the girl with nothing, merely because it is something fun to do. I glare at their retreating figures and try my best to steady my breathing. I feel the curse on my lips, threatening to spill but I hold it in. Cursing is not for ladies, I tell myself. Cursing is for people who don't know better.
I feel my hand shaking and I hold it still. After a second I open the locker continue to pull out my books. The school bell rings and I close my locker and hurry to class. I feel proud of myself. Not only did I not curse Kyle Thomas' name, but I did not curse those girls either.
Even if, by their standards, I was not princess material, I could try to make myself into it. I could watch my tongue, my walk, my everything in order to make myself into something better.
I walk down the corridor to the first period classroom and take my seat. A piece of paper flies past my head. I sit up straighter in my seat and keep my eyes focused on the front. Another piece of paper flies past my head, this time nicking my ear. I continue to ignore the boys in the back. I hear girls giggling. I tell myself that immaturity will get them nowhere. I have to be mature to make up for the class. Another paper ball hits my cheek, a second one hits my arm, and the last one gets stuck in my hair. I glare daggers at the board in a futile effort to keep my face intact.
"Stop picking on the girl," a girl in the back says. "We all know she's too weak to fend herself off."
"Probably didn't eat yesterday," another girl says. "I feel bad. Maybe she'll eat my leftover lunch."
"Don't bother! That's too good for her!" a boy says. "Maybe her ghostie chums will give her some of their food."
Laughter fills the room, and stinging fills my eyes. Just then a dead teacher, whom I know to be Mr. Rales, walks through the blackboard and to me. His suit looks perfectly intact but around his neck is a noose made of rope. I look up at him, with no expression on my face. Mr. Rales has come to me at least three times this year. He frowns at the other students in the class. His eyes are hallowed and sunken in and his moustache is stringy. He looks wet.
"Such disrespectful people," he says and sits on my desk. "What are we going to do with them?"
I do not reply and look away from the teacher. I was already looked at strangely and I did not need any more help from a ghost who killed himself. When Mr. Rales realizes that I am not recognizing him, he reaches his hand out to touch me. His fingers are cold like ice and a shiver runs through me. I glare up at the ghost, willing him to go away.
I can feel the curious looks I'm getting from the students in the class. I can feel everything about them. Their anger, their hatred, their unhappiness and I feel my head begin to swim. All the feelings were starting to make me sick. I close my eyes against the dizziness. For as long as I remember, my head would start hurting and I would feel really dizzy when spirits contacted me- or if everyone's insides would overload me.
It's not a wonder people find me strange. I can talk to spirits for crying out loud! Not mentioning the fact that all the nasty things people hide, I can feel and it makes me really sick. I can fully understand why Kyle did not want me- why no one wants me. I can't be normal, I don't know how to be.
After my head feels as if it is going to explode, the teacher walks in to start the class. Mr. Rales walks out of the classroom, leaving me alone to do my work and I feel a little better. The pressure behind my eyes lightens slightly and I open them and look at the teacher in the front of the classroom. Mr. Davies smiles at his class and tells us all to hand our homework in to the front of the classroom. I dig through my bag and take out my books. My homework is perfectly written and neatly arranged.
I hand my paper to the redheaded girl collecting the assignments. My papers slip through her fingers and land under her foot where she steps on them twice, both by "accident." The bitter and angry me, almost slipped because I raised my hand to push the girl off my papers, but I held it in. I turn my head upward and smile at the girl.
"Please move your abnormally large thighs in the direction of the back of the classroom, I mean, unless you can't," I snap before I can even stop myself. The girl looks shocked at what I said, and quickly moves off my homework. I grin and thank her, slapping my work on top of the pile again. The girl is too surprised to try anything else. I feel a wide smile break onto my lips. Didn't think I stick up for myself did you? Stupid girl, I think unable to stop the thoughts from entering my head. Suddenly, Mr. Davies walks over to my desk and crosses his arms over his chest.
"Miss Moor, apologize," Mr. Davies says to me standing over my desk. He looks disappointed and the smile fades from my lips. I turn to the girl and look her straight in the eyes.
"Forgive me," I say and cut off the other half of my apology because it was far too mean. I will never stoop to your level again, is what I was thinking to say, but then it wouldn't really be an apology. I turn back around to face the teacher and he nods at me.
"Meet me after class," he says before walking to the front of the classroom again. I sigh and hear snickers all around me. I'm not concerned for them at all because I am still pretty proud of myself.
I open up my notebook, ignoring the paper balls and rude whispers flying into me and start copying down the notes the teacher writes on the board. What amazes me is that he can catch my one rude comment, but not everyone else's. I suppose it's because I don't pay a part in his paycheck. It's unfortunate that I am even ostracized by the teachers.
Mahria Veil Charm School is hardly charming. If this place didn't have the best academics as well as best social gain opportunities, I would hardly be here. I highly doubt I would be in school at all.
"I understand your circumstances Miss Moor, but you did not have lash out at Miss Sheehan like that," Mr. Davies says to me after class.
I give the teacher my most pitiful look and nod my head.
"I'm sorry sir, I won't do it again," I say.
Mr. Davies sighs.
"I suppose there is something wrong with the lower classes," he mutters in the tone of voice I hate the most. It is quiet, like what's said is supposed to be a secret, but it's loud enough for the person to hear.
"Excuse me?" I ask politely. My eyes stare my teacher down.
"Nothing," he says with a smile on his face. "You can go to your next class now."
I smile and nod. Class killed my anger because it was so boring. It also gave me plenty of time to refigure myself. I can't afford to stoop to their level because that would be proving to them that I am what they think I am. I'm not. I'm so much better than they are and…and I'm tired of trying to prove myself.
But I am calm now. I won't snap again.
I turn around and walk out of the classroom. Second period of the day is Literature. All we do is write essays and read books. I hardly get bothered and I am allowed to let myself wander through the books we read. I'm passing with the highest grade in the class, or so the teacher says. It makes me happy to know this. It means that the school didn't let me in for nothing and now I have to keep up my good work.
Third period of the day takes me to the stables. I have horsemanship until noon and after that is lunch. I put all my books in my locker and head down to the changing rooms. I am the last to arrive into the locker room and I feel dread enter me. Normally I'm one of the first to enter the changing room and get dressed. I walk over to my locker and open it. Nothing is missing from it. I stare into it for a while before I take off the maroon uniform blazer. I start to undo my blouse and pause.
Snickers come from the other side of the changing room. My mind starts working overdrive. What are they laughing about? What did they do? I grip my shirt and will myself to relax. I slowly take off my blouse and hang it up in my locker. The laughing increases and I feel even more anxious. I'm usually never the last one in. Why are they all here?
I unzip my maroon and gold plaid skirt and quickly slip on my riding tights and boots. I pull other riding gear on and quickly exit out to the stables. My heart is beating wildly. My horse. What did they do to my horse?
Everyone one in the High School is required to learn to ride. It's a small school of only one-hundred students in the High School section. But even so, everyone in the High School gets a horse until they graduate. That's how much money it takes to come here and I am so lucky I get in for a free ride.
There are three grades in the High School, starting with first years through third. First years start at fifteen or sixteen and by the time Graduation comes, you're eighteen or nineteen. The school is very elite and even though there is a middle school section, not all middle schoolers test into the High School. Unless your family is ultra wealthy or you're incredibly intelligent, this school is closed off to the public. In a way, it makes me feel good about myself.
I arrive at the stables and begin to walk to the back when I hear footsteps around me. I turn around to my riding teacher's angry face.
"Moor! Take off your uniform immediately!"
I give my teacher a confused look.
"Yes ma'am," I say with no hesitation.
"How could you leave your horse in such a state? It could very well end up ill because of you!"Ms. Williams shouts at me. I am taken aback. What in the world did those evil girls do to my horse?
"I-I'm sorry ma'am but I haven't been here to do anything!" I said quickly. "But what is wrong with Obsidian?"
"Do not make excuses! Have you learned nothing in manner class?" Ms. Williams questions me furiously.
My teacher frowns at me and pulls me over to the stables. She practically hits me with the door, and all I can do is stumble after her. Everyone here is incredibly disrespectful and annoying. I fight the urge to grumble under my breath.
Ms. Williams opens the door to my stable stall and my mouth drops open. The stable is filled with mud and smells like…crap. My beautiful horse, Obsidian is covered in brown mess, with flies buzzing all over it. He is neighing wildly, and jumping around, trying to avoid the hands around him. He's so frightened.
"You will not be riding today!" Ms. Williams snaps at me. She grabs my riding helmet and yells at me once more to change my clothes. I quickly walk back to the changing room and strip off all my clothes. The girls I passed on the way, sneered and laughed; questioning why I wasn't able to ride today. I ignored them the best I could, but right now I feel like crying. I don't care what they say to me, but touching my horse? What did he ever do to deserve any of this?
After I finish changing into an old shirt and jeans I make my way back to the stables. The girls are all leading their horses out to warm them up. Their pretty pure-breed stallions are fresh and clean, ready for a day of exercise. My poor half-breed doesn't compare by their standards, but it is perfect to me. I open the door to my stable and my nose scrunches up at the smell. The stable hands are still trying to calm my horse, but they won't be able to succeed. I know only I can calm him down.
"Hey! Let me handle it!" I cry moving toward the hands. They look at me, relieved and quickly exit the premises. I stop walking toward my upset horse and before long, it notices my presence. I reach out my hand and wait for him to come to me.
Obsidian looks at me, his long black mane is matted with grime and he is still frightened about what has happened to him. I smile at him, hoping to calm him down.
The reason they gave me Obsidian is because of his hard to handle nature. He was cheap to purchase, and because I didn't pay anything to begin with, cheap was good. Obsidian, however was untamable to everyone around him. So by giving him to me, they thought I wouldn't want to come here, or something. But little do these people know that besides my ability to talk to ghosts and feel true emotions, I am strangely in tune with nature. So taming Obsidian was a matter of looking at him, speaking with him, and making sure that he was no longer frightened. He was only untamable to people who forcibly tried to pull him into submission.
"Hey there, Obsidi," I coo softly. "It's alright, it's fine. I'm here now."
I walk closer and Obsidian takes a few steps closer to me. I am his master and he understands that… for the most part.
"What did those nasty girls do to you, huh?" I question and slowly lead Obsidian out of the stable. I gently pull him into the washing area and start the hose.
"You smell horribly," I mutter and Obsidian blows warm air out of his nose. "Hey don't take that tone with me. It's not my fault."
I wash Obsidian down, getting all the nasty stuff off first, before I shampoo his dark mane. His hair is just as dark as mine is. After I brush Obsidian out and rinse him once more and brush him a final time. I swear he is just as vain as a woman would be because right after his bath he trots around happily for a moment and kisses me. I give my horse a pat, before leaving him in the washing area to clean his stall out.
That takes me thirty minutes (with me periodically checking up to make sure Obsidian's still there) and then I go back to put Obsidian in his stall. I had to wash the wood clean, put all new hay in the stall, and make sure the locks were working properly. When I walk back to the washing area, Obsidian is missing, the gate is open, and my heart just stopped beating. I run to the open gate and look around wildly. Obsidian is nowhere in sight. I tied him so he would not go anywhere which means that someone untied him and set him free.
I run outside of the gate and look around wildly. Ms. Williams' class is probably over the next hill and I am going to be in such trouble. I bite my lip and move to run to the hill and see if Obsidian is there.
"Excuse me Miss!" I hear someone call me and I stop in mid-run. I turn my head. A tall, young man, with skin like a golden rod, and bright amethyst eyes, is holding Obsidian by the reins that I know I tied to the wooden railing. His hair is long, almost as long as mine is, but it is straight and has an odd purple tint to it. The young man is gorgeous, in every single way. He has a strange feel to him, like he belongs to the aristocracy, not the horse stables, but he is dressed in a lumber-Jack's plaid shirt, with dark straight leg jeans. Light golden boots are on his feet. Since when are stable hands so good looking, and so fashionable? My eyes hold his for a long time, because I cannot look away.
"Miss, your horse," the man says breaking my thoughtless thoughts. I jump up slightly and quickly make my way to him. I curtsey, even though I'm not wearing a dress.
"Thank-you so much!" I say to the stable hand. I pat Obsidian on his snout and he blows hot air into my face.
"Hey, it's your fault!"I snap at the horse. "You can be so troublesome sometimes!"
I hear the young man chuckle and I blush. I pat my horse once more before curtseying before the man.
"Thank-you so much," I say smiling. "I would have been in so much trouble!"
The man laughs softly. It's a nice sound.
"Is a lady supposed to be admitting that?" the young man asks.
I chuckle in return.
"My mistake," I say. "Well then, have a nice day, Mr.?"
The stable hand smiles a smile that brings warmth to my face.
"You're class is returning, right? It would be bad to have you be in trouble because of me," the stable hand says before bowing slightly and walking away. I hear the sounds of the class returning and I quickly make my way back to the stable. I quickly lead Obsidian back into his stall and close the door. I lock it several times, making sure no one can get into it, before leaving as my class comes back in, flushed and ready for lunch.
I bite my lip and look back to the washing area. That man had such a sad aura around him, but he smiled so happily. It is a strange mix of feelings and I can't sort them all out.
A/N: Hey, okay this is the revisied version. It's actually a little different from what was originally posted. I wanted everyone to read all of it again, but I understand if you just skipped over to the new parts. I only added and changed things here and there, so I hope everyone enjoys this new version. Cheers!