Chapter 1: Doesn't help at all

Randy cheers could be heard in all corners of the seedy bar. One could almost scent the rancid breath of the villains who gathered around to share their tales of evil misdeeds and crimes.

A cloaked form in a dark corner studied the reflection shown in the murky surface of the spoon; a cowering child crouched in defense on the dusty alley, not daring to face the monster towering above her. The demon was about to slam down its massive weapon … …

In a blink of an eye, said cloaked person moved with the feline grace of a predator. Dashing into the glaring light of the afternoon sun and in front of the whimpering girl unsheathing her enormous blade as her cloak billowed around her lithe frame. Dust of long ago whirled around the two silhouettes, blocking the view of the openmouthed peasants milling about the streets.

The dust soon cleared, revealing Arinea of Jamison was holding up her mighty sword and blocking the deadly blow, holding the amazed child in her other hand, her cloak loosening its grasp around her neck and slowly floating down.

The villagers who had gathered around to watch the commotion started to clap in a thunderous applause

"Smack, smack, smack"

.. waittt a minute.. Smack?!?

"Miss Arinea Jamison, wake up this instant!" A furious voice penetrated my scattered thoughts.

I'm gonna wack that idiot who woke me up!

"Nooo…"

I squeezed my green flecked amber eyes eyes shut, trying to soak in the last few precious moments of this wonderful dream.

"OW! WHO THE HELL HIT MY HEAD AGAIN?!?!?" I had no choice but to wrench my eyes open, dispelling the last of the sweet illusion.

"Yes, Miss Jamison?" The bleary figure in front of my desk arched his eyebrow.

I blinked. Hard.

Oh shit!

All of my female classmates had swiveled their heads to my direction, flipping their hair. I could feel the blood rushing to my face.

"Er. Oops.? Sorry. Mr. Harrison." I gave him a sheepish grin.

He continued to frown.

"Eheheheh.. I won't do it again?", biting my lip in an innocent expression.

"You had better not." Giving up in his attempt to remain strict, my English teacher strode back to the black board and started to assign homework for the weekend. Simultaneously, whines and groans could be heard reverberating throughout the classroom as students pleaded in a failing attempt to lessen their load of assignments.

Seemingly used to it, I quickly scribbled down the endless list and shoved my notebook into my bag before running out of the classroom!

FINALLY!!! The weekend is here! WHOOP!

I did a little jiggle in the hallway, taking advantage of the empty space.

Within minutes, the entire school population crowded the passageway and murmurs could be heard, girls talking about; their latest shopping trip, gossiping about the recent scandal and exchanging fashion and beauty tips.

It was just a normal occurrence to me. After all, I had been in a girls' school for my entire life.

Yes. Yes. You read correctly. Don't look so shocked! I don't get why people are so amazed by that fact. Hm…You know, if you leave your mouth open that wide, flies can just, well, fly in.

You see, as I'm the only female in my family, my dad thought that it would be a 'fantastic and absolutely brilliant' idea to send me to a girls' school. Why? I quote, "to become a more delicate and well-mannered girl". Hah. When am I ever not well-behaved anyway?

I just well.. happen to get into random fights. But hey, that's expected when you live in a family of rowdy boys. And boy, can I throw a good punch!

I even have a shirt that says so.

Wait, I am wearing that shirt now. See what I mean?

But I'm definitely not all about violence. Secretly, unknown to anyone, I do have a few romance books hidden below one of the wooden planks adorning my parquet floor. Definition: a few one hundred.

Yes, indeed. I am a hopeless romantic. Go ahead, you can laugh. Ha ha ha… you done yet? Seriously though, I'm really obsessed with them. Whether it ends tragically or happily ever after, I'd be in heaven for days if I'd found one which was really good.

When I'm not reading novels, I'm what one would call, always having my head up in the clouds, daydreaming about cliché romances and conjuring out mindless fantasies.

You know, that kind where the rich and popular guy meets poor and geeky bookworm and they fall in love, happily after ever? I'm sure you're rather familiar with those.

And yet, I have to sadly confess I have absolutely no experience with the opposite sex. Simply put, I have never ever been in a relationship. Yep. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Absolutely nothing. Pathetic, huh?

Sincerely, I would personally die just to be one of the heroines in those cliché romances for one day, without any hesitation. That's how seriously deprived I am.

But don't look at me like that! If you had four seriously overprotective brothers who can sniff out every single male that comes within a mile radius, you'll be in the same situation. And the fact that I've been in a girls' school my entire life doesn't help at all.

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With thanks to JY and A for proof-reading Chapter 1 of AWNW.

Character Information can be found at homepage.

Please review. Enjoy.

Thanks, E

Chapter Last Revised on: 30/08/07