A/N: Nice to meet you! Please go easy on me, I am new-ish.
If you spot a mistake, please don't be afraid to point it out. This isn't my best style of writing, but I can edit this later.
Is this fantasy? Ahh, yes, it is. Just wait for the maaagic? Haha.
Oh- oh- oh This point of view is SO BIASED I love it!
Chapter I: Down, Down the Lake
Waving a broomstick violently in the air is not, as far as I know, normal. But with a broom in my hand and the most insufferable boys from my class right in front of me, I couldn't help but do so. "Look!" I said, my voice echoing in the school courtyard. "Charity and I are cleaning, so don't dare mess anything up, got it?"
"Um..! Yeah, don't.. do anything that'll.. sidetrack.. us.." Charity, my best friend, trailed off, not sure why we were yelling at them.
The boys from my class glanced at me, their eyebrows raised, looking as though I should know better.
I narrowed my eyes for a few seconds, wondering why they weren't speaking. Slowly realizing our mistake, I looked at Charity with despair. 'Do not' equals 'DO NOW!' to them. I grinded my teeth, wishing they hadn't chosen this courtyard to hang out after school.
They grinned, but look back down to their textbooks. Probably waiting for us to say more.
Frustrated, I bit out, "Better yet, just leave you morons!"
Those weren't the most pleasant words that I could have said -the alarmed look on Charity's face confirming that- but I was sulking, since I had been volunteered by my class to clean some parts of the school. They had done a vote while I had been staring out of the window. Spacing out, like I usually did during class meetings. What can I say? The clouds were particularly interesting today.
At least, more interesting than boring old meetings.
None of the boys answered; they just continued staring intently at the books on their laps. I narrowed my eyes in disbelief. My voice was twice as loud as it should have been- because we were in one of those high-walled courtyards in the far edge of the school campus. I opened my mouth to holler at them louder, just in case they were feigning sudden, temporary hearing loss- when one of them spoke with a teasing lilt in his voice.
"Yo, Rey! She's talking to you!" he sang. Thunk! He got hit, smack on the forehead with a water bottle.
"Shut up!" laughed the one who threw it at him.
I grumbled something under my breath. A hand tapped my shoulder, and I looked back at Charity.
"It doesn't matter, Lumi. They're just studying," Charity reasoned, looking at the seemingly innocent boys. I could almost feel their smirks. "Hard to believe they can.." I muttered, looking at them with a dare. Daring them to do anything that would make us clean longer.
She rolled her light, grey eyes, because she probably didn't understand how I was able to shout at them with so much annoyance in my voice whenever they were around. I wasn't particularly quiet, but I wasn't a loud person either. But when they came into the picture, I lost much self-composition, whether it be in anger or in agitation.
She had yet to learn that.
Charity returned to wiping the windows with a damp grey rag, while I swept a few leaves and candy wrappers into a pile, sneaking a few glares at the guys every so often. Studying so didn't fit them, even though it was common knowledge that Class 3A's certain group of class clowns and prankers studied often.
Charity, whom I had met in a store and bonded with when I learned we came from the same school, wasn't in the same class as me. Or the boys. She did not understand that they, as popular as they were because of their pranks gone wrong and mysteriously good study habits, had bugged me almost everyday since the start of the school year.
Last year, in eighth grade, they couldn't have cared less. Now it was all about starting fads to call me "Lulu", tugging at my hair whenever I come near them, and threatening to tackle me when I don't. I wonder what would happen if they started calling Charity 'Chacha'.
I grinned at her, while she shot me a questioning glance.
I don't think I'll ever tell her what just crossed my mind.
We had cleaned until both of the assigned places for Class 3A and Class 3B were spotless. The teacher had praised us and sent us home with only a pat on our backs, which suspisciously felt as though she was trying to push me down. I tried to keep from collapsing in front of the teacher.
Charity and I lived two blocks away from each other, so we always walked home together. In between our neighborhood and our school(that combined middle school and high school) a park was planted conveniently where we could do our homework.
When we reached the park, I ran to one of the nearest benches, slammed my bags onto the ground next to the bench, and laid down, face-first. Charity sat down next to my head, slowly checking her things and preparing to do her homework. She was always like that. Charity was not a slacker.
I took my time doing better things, like groggily listening to the sounds of the park. Nature was in song- from the birds lilting choirs to the rustling, dainty leaves to the quick splashes of the fish in the lake. A delicate smell wafted to us, and I dreamily realized that we were on one of the benches near the deep lake.
The park was filled with apple trees in bloom, their varieties of white and pale fuschia petals whirling down to the ground. The ground was caked with a thin carpet of petals, and the clear lake that the trees surrounded was filled with floating blossoms.
"Merrily merrily merrily down the stream.." I mumbled, talking nonsense as I usually do when I get tired. I watched the rippling surface of the petal-filled water and wondered how long the lake would be if it was stretched into a stream. "Life is but a dream.."
Charity whipped her head at me, her pretty eyes widening with shock. She looked so shocked that I wanted to be shocked too. But, I concluded, it must have just been one of her dilemmas about homework or the kind.
"What?" I murmured, too tired to speak louder. I looked at her blankly, my mouth half open. I was also too tired to produce any actual emotion.
"I-I left my folder at the classroom!" She started to frantically run back to school, her shoes pounding silently on the ground. Her feet made imprints on the carpet of petals she stepped on. Poor petals.
Then my eyes widened as her words sank in.
"But it's- to get a room key you have to wait in the office- you know how long that takes, Charity?" I hollered after her, sitting up and suddenly very aware now that my best friend was leaving me alone. A few of the birds stopped singing, probably afraid of my loud voice. I sighed, a bit upset I had disrupted the bird song, but more upset that she was ditching me.
"Sorry! Just wait for me!" With those parting words, Charity disappeared down the path.
To my added despair, another person trotted through the trees just as she disappeared, humming a random song I'm sure I wouldn't like. It was Ronan, one of the boys from earlier. He turned his head and I swung around and ducked mine, hoping for all it's worth that he didn't recognize me. Hoping, vainly, that he had not heard me screaming after Charity. The thing is.. I scream loud.
Ronan had moved to my school last year in eighth grade, right when the second term started, and right when I turned thirteen. My first impression of him when he was introduced in class was that he was kind and quiet.. and adorable. He had blushed a lot and smiled this really shy smile when anyone addressed him. He had ducked his head whenever he blushed, and I had really wanted to be his friend. I wanted to know who he was.
Then, two days after he came, the class clowns tainted him. He became unbearable to talk to after that, because the drastic change really made me squirm. Maybe he was actually like that; loud, obnoxious, and a prankster. That thought made me squirm even more. It's not like I'm a stuck up or uptight person. But I guess when it comes to them, I am.
"Lulu!" he said, delighted. He came up to the bench I was sitting on and sat down next to me.
My shoulders drooped, almost sure that in the next few minutes he'd get me up and yelling at him. I looked up at him for a moment, scanning his face for any signs of mischief, and looked away when our eyes locked. "Uh.. Do you.. live close by?" My voice raised an octave at the last three words.
Please don't say yes.
I almost screamed when he nodded. "Just moved to a new house. My dad wasn't happy with driving me every single day."
"C-Couldn't you just use the bus, Ronan? Buying a new house just because he got tired of driving you.." I scrunched up my forehead. Was he rich or something?
He grinned. "The bus? I got banned from the bus."
"Oh. Oh.." I nodded in chagrin, remembering that he and his friends had almost killed everyone in their bus last year by pranking the driver. They had almost gotten expelled.
"So, Lulu, where do you live?" Ronan asked, smiling wide, still obviously relishing the memory of last year's worst prank. He probably thought of it as a success- because they got to stay in the school.
I clamped my mouth shut and stared at the lake, wishing he'd jump in it. Maybe I could pretend to push him. Somehow.
He looked at me expectantly, and I bit my lip. "Just.. around. What's your street?" I asked.
"501 Mahogany Drive."
I was trying so hard to keep from screaming that I bit down on my tongue, albeit a little too hard. But although I could taste blood in my mouth, I didn't let go. I was on the same street, my house number being 500. Well, the secret couldn't last for long. "Oh, really?" I feigned cheerfulness. "My-My house seems to be right in front of yours." I tried to smile. It felt wobbly. I suddenly regretted even talking to him.
Living right in front of him was going to be utterly unbearable.
He rolled his green eyes at my weak response, but it was clear he was surprised. Then, instead of asking, "Oh really?" or something which I expected him to say, he blatantly said, "Oh, Lulu. You're so bad at acting, it makes you look weird."
I widened my eyes, insulted, and stomped on his foot. "Y-You blockhead!" Of all the intolerable..
Ronan bit his lip, surprising me by blurting out, "Sorry." He made a face and rubbed his foot. He looked like he wanted to say more, but he didn't.
I blinked, insults dying on my lips. "Uh." I stared at him, not knowing what to say. "I-I'm sorry for stepping on you.. too.."
He cracked a smile, a smile close to the shy one I used to smile back at in class, and I averted my eyes, feeling heat rush to my face for who-knows-why. My hand flew up to my face, because it felt really warm. Too warm. Maybe I had a cold. I mean.. I wasn't blushing because of Ronan. That's impossible.
"I-I guess I better go check on Charity," I said stiffly, standing up. I stole a glance at him, and saw that his face was flushed, too. He held the back of his hand to his forehead, his face scrunched up.
Suddenly, something collided into my stomach. All the air in my lungs rushed out. I keeled over, letting out a gasp. I felt a thud next to me. I turned my head in confusion, and saw Ronan on the ground too, gulping for air, his hands wrapped around his stomach. "Ugh.."
"What.. What was.." I tried to say.
My insides felt like they were on fire. I tried to scream, but my throat clenched whenever I tried to breathe. My mouth burned, I could literally feel my face scorching. It felt like someone had lit a fire on me. I couldn't breathe, but that strangely wasn't my priority. I wanted water. I inched myself closer to the lake, thankful for picking out a bench so close to it. I saw that Ronan had the same idea; he dunked his head in and I immediately saw him relax. I followed suit, and instantly, my face felt normal. I kept my face submerged; the silky water felt too heavenly too leave.
The water felt so icy- so unlike the time when I had accidentally pushed Charity in the lake. In revenge, she had pulled me in the slimy, warm water. This time, it was as cold as snow. I opened my bright blue eyes, wanting to cool them off too, and saw my hair swish and twirl in the water. I watched longingly, at the swaying, jerking dance the current of the lake did with the tresses of my almost-white hair. It almost looked luminous.
I closed my eyes again, letting the drift of lake lull me to sleep.
I felt hands on my shoulders and suddenly my face was lurched out of the saving, merciful water. I tried to say something but choked out water instead.
"Don't drown yourself, Lulu!"
I pushed the person who pulled me out, angry that I had been pulled away from my lake. My face was burning again, and I could imagine it melting.
I heard a splash, accompanied by a curse, and tried to open my eyes. Although my vision was blurry and the heat made my eyes teary, I saw Ronan splashing around in the water of the lake. I stared in terror as I realized that I had pushed him in. Ronan couldn't swim. He had almost died in PE last quarter when swimming became our focus.
I jumped up and stumbled, half because of horror and half because of the numbing heat that I was slowly becoming aware of again. I stood up again and dived in, the water refreshing my body without delay. I swam towards Ronan and grabbed him, kicking up, but somehow we sank. My feet instantaneously felt like lead, and Ronan's added weight wasn't helping. I kicked harder, but it felt like that only accelerated our descent. I could feel my eyes popping; my lungs felt like they were ready to burst.
I couldn't breathe. The tips of my fingers tingled. The last thing I saw, before everything went black, was the sparkling surface above that we couldn't reach.
I do believe I love the last sentence the best. :3
Yeah, Lumi's not the best character. ._. But I'm trying to have well-rounded and non-Mary Sueish characters.. o: You might hate her now but.. I don't know.. Ronan doesn't really bring out the angel in her. XD