The Rules of Invisibility written by: Koi19
Summary: Step 1: Be Quiet. Step 2: Become One with the shadows. Step 3: Hide behind a book, preferably a good one. Step 4: ...Hit a Visible? No... that can't be right.
Warning: Occasional swearing. Thats all for now.
First Step: Life as an Invisible
Eleanora "If I Had Any Friends They'd Call Me Nora" Marshall walked the halls of her high school towards her locker, carefully stepping around the congregating masses of students as they clogged the halls. Classes were over for the day, so there wasn't a time constraint pressing her quickly through the crowds but Nora felt her urgency increase her pace.
As soon as she reached her destination, Nora felt herself lurch forward. Connecting with the cool metal of her locker with a loud bang, she froze as she heard the conversation levels dip slightly trying to avoid unwanted attention.
"Sorry," a voice aimed vaguely in her direction came as everyone returned to their previous business.
She gave a slight nod, though she knew the person was most likely long gone. Trembling slightly, Nora spun the combination on her lock, grabbed her things and all but fled the death trap that was Hamilton High.
"That you Norel?" A familiar, comforting voice drifted from the kitchen as soon as the door slammed shut.
Nora sighed, relieved. "Yeah," she called back, dropping her bag on the couch. Only her elder brother called her that; after all these years he still considered it clever. Not. However, he was her brother and she loved him, annoying nickname aside.
"What are you waiting for, get your little ass in here!" I take that back.
Muttering darkly about her brothers comment, she made her way to the kitchen. "What is it?"
"Mom said to tell you its your turn to cook dinner tonight, and to clean your room-possibly before she gets home. Dad says you don't have to cook for him, he'll be home late."
Translation: he'll be home in about a week. "No problem." Glad to see that his attention was occupied with repairing the sink, she waltzed over to the fridge, and pulled out a strawberry yogurt and her bottle of juice. Firmly planted in her 'Happy Place' she spun around and smacked into her brothers chest. "Dammit Derek, what did I say about creeping up on me like that?!"
Rubbing her face, she could see him examining her attire for the day. "I thought I got rid of that Norel."
Nora did the same. She wore a blue and green stripped polo and blue jeans. "Did you?"
Contrary to his earlier statement Nora was by no means 'little'. At 17 she stood 5'6, when standing straight, was a size 8, but was in no way fat, and had been, according to their mother, 'blessed with a lovely hourglass figure.'
But in Big Brother Land, this meant nothing, his little sister was his little sister. Now if only his little sister would stop wearing his old clothes.
"I'm certain I did. Why are you wearing them?"
"What does it matter, they're not yours anymore. Besides, you haven't worn these in years."
It was true, the outfit she had on was last worn by him when he was around 14, a few months after his birthday he'd gone through a freak growth spurt to become the 6'3 20 year old with a football players physique. He had only recently cleaned out his closet, discovering her current outfit as well as many others that still had price tags. That being the case, his clothes from seven years ago still fit loosely on her body
"Wear your own clothes and stop stealing from the less fortunate."
"I should have first pick-I'm your sister."
Any retort he could have made died on his lips when she turned the 'you can't be mad at me-you love me' look on. And being the sister adoring sap of a big brother that he is, Derek dropped the issue. "Go clean or do homework or something brat."
Nora stood in the girls bathroom, staring in the mirror. She took a slow deep breath, counted to ten and repeated the process.
Second period had barely started and she was already freaking out. She was alright when she wasn't in crowds, her greatest preference was to be at home, but school was mandatory. School was also nothing more than a crowd.
She hated it.
Breathing at a relatively normal rate she stared at the reflection of herself: long shapeless auburn hair that fell however it pleased around her heart shaped face that was a shade of dark olive. Green eyes squinted back at her from behind oval shaped glasses. The spectacles were just for show, she had 20/20 vision but they helped her feel as though completed her look. Today she wore she brother's old gray button up that fell past her hips, covering green sweats.
Tearing herself away from the mirror, she left intent on returning to her Homeroom class.
Its only been five minutes. Attendance hasn't been taken yet; substitute today, they'll be loud... The thought forced her to slow, repeating her breathing exercise.
"Hey, are you alright?"
Nora thought the voice was vaguely familiar though she couldn't place it. Hearing the approach of the persons footsteps made her fidget.
"Oh, you're that girl I bumped yesterday... Sorry about that." A male voice, tinted with traces of sincerity, still very familiar. He stopped a foot away from her, seeing her agitation rise as he closed the distance between them. "Um, you need the nurse or something?"
"N-no. M'fine," she muttered as she dashed past him towards her class, not caring if he heard her. Dammit dammit dammit.
She'd been doing so well.
Nora walked through the empty halls of Hamilton at ease.
School was over, there were probably very few people in the building, besides security and a handful of teachers.
Nora stopped and turned to the voice. She could count on one hand the number of people who called her that; all of whom worked for the school. Mr. Baine, a student teacher in her math class approached her, she blinked politely at him, waiting.
I know I'm not in trouble... I can't be - I don't do anything.
"Mr. Conry asked me to talk to you. He's - we're concerned about your grades... Your test scores have fallen recently and since you don't participate, your grade is going to take a serious hit."
She nodded once - she was listening.
Confused at her lack of reaction, Mr. Baine paused before continuing. "Ah, um, if you need help with the material, I can tutor you if you like."
She nodded again, raising her eyes to meet his momentarily to show she was actually listening, not just agreeing.
"When's your lunch?"
Nora looked at him seriously as he retreated to his thoughts. He was probably around her brothers age. Mr. Conry most likely thought that having him talk to her, to all the students, would make them more comfortable.
In a way it did. Jaden Baine had an amicable demeanor, honest pale blue eyes and a smile that was never far away.
"How about we meet twice a week at lunch in the classroom?" He offered.
She considered it a moment. She didn't really need the help, nor did she want it but refusing would seem odd especially with her grades dropping. Taking a breath, she nodded once more.
Jaden smiled, "great. We can meet Tuesdays and Fridays. Tomorrow then."
Nora lifted her hand in parting, focusing on the task she'd been on before he'd interrupted her.
She didn't notice the fact that he watched as she walked away.
Textbook firmly in hand, The Outsiders open atop it, Nora headed from the school for the second time that day.
Completely lost in the world of Ponyboy and confident in the school's emptiness, she turned the corner. Half a sentence later she was smacked to the ground.
Body aching, temper flaring, Nora struggled to regain her breath.
What the hell...
Hearing a groan, she realized that there was a person on her, not a truck. Her eyes opened and green met golden for an instant, before the person shot off of her.
"Oh crap, I'msosorryIdidn'tseeyouareyoualrightareyouhurt," he took a breath and looked at her.
Nora sat up and retrieved her books, sorting through the jumble of words. She rubbed a hand across her face and froze - her glasses where missing. Looking around frantically, she nearly missed the "Um..." that came from somewhere behind her.
"Sorry," a hand held out her black wire-rimmed glasses and she looked at the boy, recognizing him as Isandro Rodriguez, a Visible - he was on the wrestling team.
No wonder it'd felt like a house hit me. She thought bitterly as she cautiously accepted her glasses from him.
"Guess we're destined to keep running into each other. Literally." He added with a slight laugh.
She bent her head in response, letting her hair fall in its protective veil as she slid her glasses on.
"You're... Eleanora, right?"
She hesitated a moment, before looking up in surprise.
"Same classes..." he offered as an explanation, taking a guess at the reason for her expression.
They did have a class or two together, but that didn't satisfy her. There were people who she had shared classes with since the beginning of high school who frequently asked who Eleanora Marshall was when her name was called for attendance.
Isandro introduced himself with a grimace before adding, "but everyone calls me Izzy." After a moment of silence he shook his head, grinning as he stood. "You not really hurt are you?"
She shook her head, but remained where she was, thinking.
"Good," he leaned towards her and held out his hand.
Absently, she took it and allowed herself to be pulled to her feet. Without looking at him Nora mumbled something that vaguely resembled "thank you."
"We can't keep meeting like this, Nora."
"Your name is too long...you don't mind?" Izzy watched her impassive face, fully aware that he still had her hand gripped in his. "One of us is going to get hurt one of these days."
Nora silently agreed as she pulled her hand away.
Grabbing her lunch from her locker, Nora munched on her sandwich as she roamed the empty halls. She had just started her yogurt, headed for the library when it hit her. Fortunately this impact was merely figurative. She was supposed to meet Mr. Baine for tutoring.
Fantastic. After having been looking forward to traversing the pages of her favorite Jane Austin novel, math seemed much more exciting.
As tempting as quadratic functions was... the library was just so much higher on her list-
"Ah, Ms. Marshall," Kah-rap. "I was just on my way to Mr. Conry's room," he smiled as he came to a stop in front of her, oblivious to the foul natured thoughts that now raced through her mind. His smile faltered for a moment at her expression. "Are you alright?"
She glanced up at him. "I forgot I had to meet you," she mumbled slightly. Not a complete lie.
"It's no problem, shall we?"
Hasn't he heard, she thought amusedly. Chivalry is dead, cremated and spread across the Atlantic.
But she had agreed to his offer, so dutifully she trudged to the classroom, plotting different escape routes for next week.
For the next 20 minutes they went over using the quadratic formula until Mr. Baine suddenly stopped her.
"I'm sure you'd rather be spending your lunch elsewhere with your friends," he began.
Nora hesitated, her eyes still reviewing the problem she had just solved, and then shook her head.
"Why are you here?"
Startled she looked up. "Because you said I needed the help." she replied softly.
His gaze was intense and she dropped her eyes back to the paper. "But you don't really need it, do you?"
"You said my grades-"
"Ms. Marshall you're looking over a college level problem that you solved correctly, without my help."
Her eyes stayed where they were.
"You don't need it do you?" he repeated.
The bell rang.
Nora was exhausted.
Four, four wearing classes of dodging and ignoring Isandro Rodriguez -not including lunch- had taken its toll.
He was attracting attention. Someone had looked at her, for Christ sake. Not just the 'looks in your direction but doesn't see you' looks. This was a 'who the hell is she?' look.
She swore, for the love of God, if she ran into him one more time-
Tears sprang to her eyes. Forget God. He obviously hated her.
For the third time in as many days, Isandro had collided with her. This time, unlike the last, she figured he had somehow come to expect it because he had attempted to turn their bodies so she didn't take the brunt of the fall.
The keyword here being 'attempted' of course.
If it wasn't God then certainly, there must be someone pissed off at her up there.
For, not only had this happened again, it happened in front of the entire school. Complete silence immediately replaced the normal volume of casual chatter. All eyes were on them. Somewhere, someone snickered triggering a mass effect.
She took a shaky breath as "Yo, that was the funniest shit I've seen all day," and "Izzy, you ok?" swept through the halls. Her eyes drifted shut. This isn't happening. This isn't fucking happening. Someone Kill Me.
As she felt her body leave the ground, her eyes shot open in alarm. Immediately, they snapped shut again in protest. Her head throbbed as if that damned wrestler was attacking her head.
"Are you alright?" The question rumbled through her body from the contact. "You come with me."
The voice was familiar, but she couldn't identify it through the intense pain and the random bumping that indicated that whoever was holding her was moving.
"Place her down over there." She came in contact with a firm surface but was too distracted to be throughly embarrassed.
"Nora, are you-"
"Have a seat," a stern voice cut Izzy's inquiry off smoothly. Mr. Baine... she realized suddenly, forcing her eyes open despite the pain that ricocheted through her head.
She whimpered despite her efforts to keep quiet and all attention turned to her.
"Ms. Marshall, please stay down," Nurse Erikson chided as she strode to the small fridge on the other side of the room.
Nora ignored her, despite her tripled vision and sat up anyway. Her eyes scanned the room slowly until they located her bag. It sat on a chair by the door, the one good sign she'd had today. She slid off the cot, hesitantly, and felt her balance giving out.
"Ms. Marshall, please sit."
Mr. Baine moved closer to her but she held up a hand. "I don't need it," to the ice pack wielding nurse. "I'm fine," to the concerned tutor. And to the apprehensive wrestler, well, he got the cold shoulder.
Through sheer determination Nora grabbed her bag and made her way through the still crowded halls. Apparently, not enough time had transpired for it to clear much. She managed to pull out her cell phone and texted a short message. As soon as she hit send she slid it back into her pocket.
She was almost to the exit when someone grabbed her arm. She spun around, defensive and then annoyed when she realized it was Izzy. Pulling away she stumbled and he steadied her.
"I'm really sorry." he started, concern prominent in his gaze.
She turned away. I don't have time for this, bastard.
He grabbed her arm again and her own anger overtook her.
The time, the place, the people, they all faded away as her bag connected soundly with his face.
She staggered again as her awareness returned and senses threatened to desert her.
Her knees buckled but she once again found the strength to steady herself despite the countless pairs of eyes staring at her. Accusing, disbelieving, dumbfounded.
Nora turned and walked away from it all.
She was a block and a half away from the school, on a deserted block that other people rarely used when her will simply slipped away. She huffed as her bag slid to the ground and her vision shook violently.
Alone, the way Nora'd always wanted to be, she collapsed to the ground, the world cloaked in the darkest hue of black.
Yes, i know it's split erratically. I like it that way. Deal.