Chapter Five: Stay Cool 'Till After School

(Part 1)

Last Saturday I turned five. Yup, I am five. I go to school now. I am a little-little-big girl because I'm still little-little but I'm bigger now. It is so exciting to finally be able to learn with people my age, with teachers who have taught lots of little-little-big kids before, as appose to just Pastor teaching me everything. Don't get me wrong, I love Pastor as much as I love my Daddy, but I won't to learn with people my age so I don't feel so lonely when learning. This will be so great, and Pastor thinks I'll be a really good school girl and know all the answers and everything. But, I don't want to know all the answers I want to learn, otherwise there's no point in going to school.

Kyran is there too, so I will be able to play games with him. I can't wait! We will have so much fun and stuff. Pastor says I shouldn't say it out loud, I might jinx it. He says if I keep saying 'I want to have fun and be with Kyran in school' it either won't happen, or it will be not in the way I expected. Truthfully, I don't see how it could be bad if I end up in Kyran's class, so the only Jinx that could occur is not ending up in Kyran's class. That's not really bad though because we will have playtime and lunchtime to be together as husband and wife, and there is only one junior class anyway, so it's impossible. So, I don't really see the problem in saying 'I want to have fun and be with Kyran in school'. Jinx, I don't believe in it.

Today is my first day, and I'm just writing a bit before I leave for school. Actually, Pastor has written most of what you are reading. What I have written probably wouldn't even surmount to a paragraph, but, Pastor, being so intelligent, has extended it to as long as it is now. He is really, really good at this stuff. I am exceptionally glad he is helping me with my story, truly I tell you, not that I actually know what exceptionally means, but apparently it means very, very much in this case. And, I am very, very much glad Pastor is helping me with this.

My school doesn't have a uniform, like some schools out there. It really is a very simple school, with very few students. In fact, there are only four classes, and a total of six adults working there: the principal, the deputy principle, and four teachers. In the first class are the juniors, i.e. me and Kyran. We are also called Junior 1 or Primer 1, although Pastor says I will start as New Entrant before I begin Junior 1, and New Entrants are in a class before Junior 1, I didn't mention. They're only in there for a few weeks, so I think it doesn't really count.

Kyran is already passed a New Entrant, he's a Junior 1. And, after those few weeks, I will be a new Junior 1 with him.

I'm going to take my story and write throughout the day. Perhaps, my teacher will be able to help me during that day so Pastor won't have to when I get home. It will certainly save him time and stuff.

Leaving now, I will write again when I can.

Mrs Mobain is my teacher. She seems nice, but I don't really like her that much. I feel she underestimates my abilities, and my level of intelligence. Often, she checks up on me like a little baby. It is of my personal opinion that she doesn't take to kindly to my knowledge I am not suppose to know. You see, I already know everything she is planning on teaching the New Entrants, which is just the alphabet, so she can't do anything for me. Perhaps, she likes her students stupid, so she can feel important. Well, I'm not stupid, she is. And, I'm not going to be stupid just to please her.

I'm not showing Mrs Mobain my story. She will never see the words written on these pages. She is really, really horrid, though she acts like a sweet loving character. How about I describe a situation that happened today?

Mrs Mobain asked us to spell our names. I've known how to spell my name since I could remember; it must have been one of the first things my Daddy taught me. My teacher asked me to go first, since I was new. So, I did what she asked.

"Candelaria Evangelina Villalobos-Tolson de Herlihey, C-A-N-D-E..." I began. Kyran's Mummy taught me his last name when she learnt he was my husband.

Mrs Mobain cut me off, sharply. "Do not show off, Bambi is all I wanted you to spell."

"But, that's not my name." I stated.

"Do people call you Bambi?" She inquired critically.

"Yes."

Mrs Mobain huffed. "Then your name is Bambi."

"No, that's my nickname."

"And, what does nickname end with?"

Briefly, I thought about it. Nickname was another word Pastor taught me, N-I-C-K-N-A-M-E. "'E', Mrs Mobain."

Slowly shaking her head, my teacher spoke again, but her tone left much to be desired. "Word, what word does it end with?"

"Nickname is one word," I went and got a dictionary and showed her.

At that, I was orders to sit down in the corner for being so rude and stuff. I was merely correcting her mistake; Pastor tells me it's a common one. All I had in mind was helping her, that's all. She is very mean if you ask me, despite her cheery outside. It's an act, I bet, just a big stupid act.

It is interval now, and I am sitting down for a while, eating my lunch before I go find Kyran. I figured I may as well write a bit before I search, so I don't forget. Although, I believe it would be rather difficult to forget my dragon teacher I have. She is just like my mean uncle person that was at Daddy's memorial.

I can see Kyran, so I'm going to go now. Bye-bye until later, okay.

Sorry for the tear drops on the pages, my day at school was horrible. I hated it, all of it. Everyone was so mean. After what happened with Mrs Mobain, everyone started making fun of me and calling me stupid. Apparently, Mrs Mobain is always right, despite what dictionaries may say. Pastor says nobody is right all the time, not even him, though I think he was lying about the not even him part. Anyway, Mrs Mobain was wrong, so I was merely trying to help her. And, so everyone was being really mean and nasty to me all the time, and I was really sad there.

I went and found Kyran, to ask him to help me. Do you know what happened? As it turns out, those mean people, some of them were his new friends. The meanest ones in fact, were his new friends. But, I'm his wife and best friend, so he obviously took my side and helped me handle all those mean kids. No, he took me aside at said these exact words that I am about to tell you now.

"Sorry, Bambi, we can't be friends during school because you have cooties," he sighed. "We can be friends after school where no one can see use."

He left, and allowed his friends to make fun of me. I don't want to go to school again; I really don't, especially, if things like that are going to happen. My best friend has replaced me with new friends. New friends that are boys like him. So, he can do boy things with them. And, talk boy stuff with them. Boys and girls don't like each other in primary school, especially when that girl is being picked on by everyone else, like me. Why didn't I just spell Bambi? Why didn't I just stick to simple things instead of spelling my actual name? Pastor says, I'm brainy, so why couldn't I work out Bambi is all she wanted?

Maybe if I beg Pastor, he will teach me, home-school me, and I won't have to endure school another day. I don't want to learn with people my age anymore, I want to learn with Pastor instead. Those teachers who have taught lots of little-little-big kids are really mean, I don't like them anymore. Pastor, I want my Pastor to teach me everything.

On Saturday, Kyran promised to come visit me, so we can play games and be friends. At least he can be my friend sometimes. We are friends on after school and weekends. During school we aren't allowed to be friends at all because all the boys think I have cooties, which I don't. They're just big mean boys who think they're amazing, but they're not. I do not have cooties; I don't even know what cooties are, anyway. Pastor says they're little insects that crawl around in your hair, but I don't have little insects in my hair. Occasionally, I have had nits, but I haven't insects in my hair. Do nits count, actually? Right now, I don't have them, but if nits count then I have had cooties, but so has Kyran and he's a boy.

Am I getting boring or something? Or, even annoying? I hope not, I don't want to annoy anyone. I suppose I should leave until I have something else to write about. We'll see what happens later in the month or something, aye?

And, one week later, something happens. Kyran, my best friend, after promising to visit me in the weekend, he decided to do something awful. No, he didn't cancel; he did something much, much worse than that. He, my best friend decided that instead of cancelling on me, he would be really, really mean and annoying like his friends, and try to get me to cancel, so he can go to the pools with these new friends of his. That person decided that instead of saying he didn't want to come anymore, started playing mean tricks on me, and making fun of me so I would cancel.

I can't believe he would do that. It was horrid. He was horrid. Why couldn't he just tell me he was unable to come, or even better, tell his friends he already had plans? No, he chose his new friends over me, his best friend. That hurt, it really, really did. Not physical hurt, feelings hurt emotional hurt. And, it came from the second person I depend on the most. If it were Jimmie who had committed this act, I would not be upset, but no, it was Kyran, he best friend. My rock when Pastor isn't here. How? How could he do that? Especially, when we are husband and wife! Married, we're married.

Well, we aren't actually married; it's just something we did in Kindy. But, until now, we have always taken it, and the promises we made seriously. Maybe, Kyran doesn't want to be married anymore. Perhaps, with his new friends, he wants to be single and hang out with the boys instead of me. We have been married for two years; maybe he wants a divorce now. Goodness, I hope not. Kyran is my best friend; he has been my best friend for so long. But, Pastor says all good things must end, perhaps this is the end of me and Kyran. He probably just wants to be single so he can see other girls, and being married ties him down. If that's all he wants, I would divorce him, so long as I don't lose my best friend. I May be sad for a while, but at least I will still have Kyran.

Or maybe, it's something I have done. Maybe I did something really, really mean without noticing it, and it really offended him. What if this is my fault, all of it, and Kyran just doesn't want to be friends because of what I did? Am I a mean horrible person who insulted him and was really mean to him? And, did I not have enough of a heart to notice? Oh, I don't want to be a bad person, I want to be good, a good person. If I can't notice when I'm being really mean to people how am I suppose to be good? Kyran, I am so sorry for what I have done and I will make things better, that is a promise.

Pastor seems to believe Kyran is growing older and going through a stage all kids go through. A stage where boys believe girls are gross and girls believe boys are gross. But, Pastor is wrong. No, my Kyran would never do that to me. My Kyran is my best friend; he would never turn against me like that. Never, I tell you, never! He promised to love me and protect me, and he can't protect me with his back turned towards me. Kyran is not going through that stage, I know it. There is another explanation. Yes, he either wants a divorce so he can date other girls, or I did something. Although I will be sad about a divorce, at least I will still have my friend.

Sometime soon I will have to ask him which, and save our friendship before it is destroyed. How though? It seems he is always busy with his new friends and has no time for me anymore. I can't during school; I have to hide so no one makes fun of me. Unfortunately Pastor was unable to home school me. But, anyway, it is really hard to contact him with his busy schedule, and my hiding routine. Determined I am, so I will find a way, I promise that. Kyran will view me as his best friend once again, that I am sure. I will make sure of it.

What I am writing, I am writing after it occurred, which is the tomorrow of yesterday. Sunday. It happened at night, long after what I wrote before, but is on the same day and base on the same topic so I have not separated it.

My friend is more important than my fears, including my fear of the dark. But, I am determined to fix what is broken at all costs. I've lost my Daddy, my Mummy doesn't love me, and I will not lose Kyran as well. That is my motivation, and it is driving my driving force into convincing me to commit my actions. They may be stupid actions, but they're the only actions I can think of, so hopefully I will succeed. And, Kyran will want to be my friend again until forever. Truthfully I tell you, I do wish to succeed more than anything in the whole wide world. To have this cleared up with Kyran, right now is my greatest wish.

There are many things I am glad about, especially in line with my plans. Kyran doesn't live far from my house. I can walk there; I did once with Pastor my big brother. Well, he carried me some of the way, because I was tired, but I was littler then. I'm bigger now, so I'm sure I can make it. We live on Willow Road, and Kryan lives on Pukeko Crescent. I can't read either of those words if I saw them on the street sign, but I've watched the street pass in the car as Mummy drove me to Kyran's house plenty of times, and I can still remember some land marks from when Pastor took me there back when I was four. So, I believe I know my way.

I want to be brave like Jimmy too, so I have to do this so I can be brave. Then I won't be scared of anything, I will have faced my fear. Jimmie will be proud of me then, I know it. She won't be so mean to me, or anything. My sister will think I am as brave as her and maybe she will invite me to her parties she attends, and introduce me to her friends, and just be really nice to me. This is something I have to do if I am to become as brave as Jimmie someday. And, it is also vital to repair my friendship with Kyran.

Tightly, I gripped the snow white paw of my Esmeralda, while my other hand carried a torch beaming ahead of me. I crept out of my bedroom quietly. There were toys spread across the floor, some have been there for months. Mummy hasn't helped me clean my room in a long time, and Pastor is usually too busy. Carefully I had to manoeuvre my way around them, but I succeeded without as much as a creek in the floor board. And, I was quite proud of myself for doing that so well, truly I was.

However, it only took a small glance back to bring more noise than I intended to make. The dark shadows of those toys covered my floor, forming the shapes of vicious monsters belonging to the darkness of death. All of them were sitting on my floor, just sitting, watching me with deep hatred all because I had managed to avoid them, and I didn't even realise it. I jumped with fright against the wall, and stared at them so they wouldn't move. Dark shadows don't move if you stare at them, they can't. But, you have to stare at them for a long time otherwise the second you turn away, they will get you. It's really hard to tell how long, but it does take a while.

Panting heavily, I aimed my light at each and every item on my floor. Making sure the shadows didn't destroy my toys and other beloved items scattered throughout my bedroom. So far nothing, I must be getting to the shadows before they can hurt them. A good thing that. At least I have my Esmeralda in my hand, so she is safe. I love my Esmeralda, more than anything in the whole wide world. Except for my family, I love my family just as much as my Esmeralda. And, Kyran, I love Kyran just as much as I love Esmeralda too. He is why I am venturing into this darkness surrounding me.

How long I stood there, I cannot tell you, but, for me, it felt like a long time. All the while I was panting, as the cold night air chilled my bones. All of those shadows, they seemed to be closing in on me, drawing the air from my lungs. Yet, not moving an inch. It felt like my dream I had when I was three, where the blackness was suffocating me. It feels like it's happening, like my dream is coming true. The Chumbas' they're like my toys now, scattered across the floor. This night, these shadows, they're like the mist I saw surrounding me. But, that's impossible. This isn't a dream, this is real, and impossible things that happen in dreams don't happen in reality. They're impossible. Yet, it feels as though the darkness is surrounding me, suffocating me. And any moment I am going to turn around to find my Daddy lying back dead in the water.

Carefully, I turned around shaking and shivering like a mad dog fresh from the sea. Expecting to see the impossible, will my father be behind me? As the shadows closed in I felt colder and scared. My heart pounded in the depths of my chest, endeavouring to break free. Any moment it's going to explode inside of me. Still, I continue to turn around despite the fear of what I would see. Being as brave as Jimmie wasn't even crossing my mind, it was just something I knew I had to do.

Behind, do you know what I saw? My Daddy. Or, more specifically, I saw a picture of my Daddy. It was of me and him at the local pools when I was much littler than three. That day was a fun day, and I can remember it so exactly it's scary. If that is my dream coming true, then I it is much less scarier than I thought it would be. I thought I would see a dead body floating behind me in the water. That is, after all, what happened in my dream. But, no, I see a photograph of myself and my Daddy having fun, and enjoying life when we were together. Oh, how I miss my Daddy. So much, I want him to be here with me. But, he's not.

Mustering up courage, all the courage my five year old self contained, I force my body to make the trek in the darkness, with my light directed a head of me. I allowed it to guide me. And, I didn't make so much as a sound as I wondered towards my destination, despite my fear still boiling up. Even considering my encounter before, darkness still scared me right to the depths of my body. But, I had to continue, I had to. And, now, it was my driving force driving me again. It was pushing me towards my goal again. As well as helping my walk through my biggest fear. Right now, I am being brave, brave just like Jimmie my big sister. She would be proud of me for facing my fears, she'd have to be.

Quietly, I strolled down the hallway, passed Jimmie's room. She slept inside; I could hear her snoring lightly inside her bed. And, the occasional rustle of the covers, jolting me into perfect stillness hoping. Jimmie can't know I am awake, no one can. They will try to stop me, but I have to do this, I have to go. Repairing my relationship with Kyran is so important to me, and this is the only time I know I can get him alone and not with those new mean friends of his. Those people, they are infecting his mind, destroying what is left of my friend, and turning him against me. That is why I have to do this, I have to go. And, that is my driving force; it is being driven by my motivation into convincing me to do what I am doing now.

Pastor's room came next; he has the biggest room, much bigger than Jimmie's even though she is older. Big brother needs the space to work on assignments for school, whereas Jimmie doesn't bother with school. For her, a bedroom is merely a sleeping place, a free hotel room, nothing more, nothing less. It means nothing to her, except sleeping. But, Pastor has more respect for his bedroom; he views it as a home not a simple room. He loves his space he has there, and, sometimes, even I am not allowed to enter into his world.

Big brother tends to be a light sleeper, thus he is the hardest person to sneak pass. When Jimmie does, I wonder how she manages to without detection. I held my breath, and only inched my toes along at snail's pace. At the same time, I watched, worriedly at Pastor in his bed. He can't wake up now, it will destroy my progress, and I will have to start again. Never could I start again. Never could I face the shadows again. No, I have to continue, and continue I shall.

Well Pastor didn't wake, and I managed to creep to the front door undetected. Now, what was required was getting outside without making any noise. I have to go open the door without any detection. It is virtually impossible, but if Jimmie can do it, I can do it. I have to do it. The handle of my torch went in my mouth. Slowly I reached up, and grasped the golden door knob in my small hand. Turning a handle without noise is difficult, but I managed. Or, rather, I turned it with very little noise, it made a small amount, but I believe no one heard it. Next came getting the door open without a single noise, and that, I must say, proved harder than expected. Inching it open caused a constant creaking from the hinges, something I have never noticed during daytime.

A rush of frozen air burst through the door, and hit my skin. The coolness was like rats nipping at my flesh in and tearing it away. It caused a shivering to sink as deep as my bones and take control of my body. My teeth began to chatter as the icy air swirled around my face and nibbled at my nose. All of it, that frozen air, was rushing straight for me, it was sent by the looming darkness waiting outside the door. That very darkness that looms everywhere, near everyone at night, was waiting for me to venture further into its vicious territory. I must go on.

Cautiously I stepped. As outside grew nearer my inside flipped about. Once before have I been outside at night, when Jimmie was being heavily scolded by Mummy and Daddy for some reason, so Pastor took me out here that way I wouldn't hear what they were yelling about. There was not a moment when I could release Pastor's hand and look around, I was just too afraid to do a thing. Scary, that's all it is, scary. And, now is no different, it is still scary. Except now, I have a motivation and a driving force to make me venture into this scary territory.

Step after step drew me closer to the front gate. I could hear it being pushed and pulled in the wind, back and forth, back and forth. Its hinges, like the door, were creaking in a scary manor. Everything seemed to belong to some horror movie or haunted house, and I am the next victim of this dark, deadly world. This is the most fearful night of my young life. Everything was so scary and horrid. Why did I want to do this again? What was going through my mind to cause me to commit these actions? Kyran, that's why I am doing this, I'm doing this for Kyran. To save our friendship we once shared.

The gate stood tall in front of me, like a huge horrifying monster ready to murder me. It's going to kill me right here, right now, outside in this world of death. This is the world that stole my father away from us, and is forcing him to fight his way back. Is it going to steal me too? Am I going to have to fight my way back, just like my Daddy is doing right now? Tell me not, please. I wish to see tomorrow with my family, but I also wish to speak things through with Kyran. And, my family is something I don't know I can risk, but neither is my best friend. What am I to do, now? What?

As my choice leaned towards my best friend, footsteps approached behind me. Quiet footsteps. Footsteps that didn't want to be heard. Perhaps the boss of the evil darkness was here to take me away and possibly kill me? Or, will he cause me to vanish and fight my way back like Daddy? What is going to happen to me now? Please leave me alone, darkness, please leave me alone. Don't hurt me, please don't hurt me. I want to live. Just keep walking and let me be, please darkness, please let me be.

I stood frozen beside the gate, willing myself to turn around. But, I just couldn't. The picture of the mist was scratched deep within my mind, and seemed impossible to remove. Right now, that picture was swelling up, to the foremost part of my head and blacking out all other pictures and possibilities out there. So scary it is, that my heart stopped dead, refusing to make as much as a single beat. For, the darkness may hear the beating of my heart and take it as an insult to its presence. Leave me darkness, leave me please.

A hand lightly touched my shoulder. Instinct took over my body as I followed the direction Pastor had taught me years ago. I spun around and booted whoever it was in the shin, then stomped on their foot with all the force I possessed. Briefly, they yelped in pain, and during that moment, I bolted for the house faster than my Mummy's car. Everything was done the way Pastor had taught me, hurt them and run. My ears picked up them chasing me, yelling, however I didn't listen. Instead, I jumped around and threw my torch asttheir face. It smashed against their nose, causing them to, again, yelp in pain. After, I set off for the house again, straight for the door.

Human, it had to be human. Only humans yelp in pain. The darkness wouldn't yelp at anything except light. Zooming faster and faster I bolted to the house, screaming for my big brother. My screams drowned out those of the person chasing me. Get away Bambi, get away from them. Those were only words travelling through my mind, the only words able to travel through my mind. Big brother has to wake up; he has to come save me. Come on, Pastor, wake up.

Bursting into the house, I slammed the door behind me. Only to be stopped the person. Bouncing against the wall, I watched in fearful silence, dreaming this was a dream. Their teeth seemed to glow in the dull light, where is that light coming from? The outline of their face showed extreme anger. But, how am I able to see the outline of their face? There shouldn't be any light; there wasn't any when I left. Perhaps big brother has woken up, but, why hasn't he intervened yet? Where is that light coming from?

They slapped the light switched violently against the wall. Igniting the place and their face: those black, black eyes, and pine coloured skin, I recognised them immediately. Pastor, it was Pastor. Relief swarmed over me as my heart beat returned.

"¡¿Qué crees que estás haciendo, Bambi?!" What do you think you are doing, Bambi?! Anger inflated his voice. I noticed his usually smooth arched eyebrows were now pinched together in a straight line. These black eyes glowed with immense frustration, and anger directed towards me.

"Ky-Kyran..." I stuttered. Pastor, viciously angry, that is a new one. Never have I ever seen big brother appear as angry as this over anything. But, viciously angry Pastor can't be much worse than angry Pastor, it's just a stronger emotion.

He shook his head, a snarl on his face. "¡Está creciendo, Bambi! ¡Eso es todo lo que es!" He's growing up, Bambi! That's all it is!

I shook my head. Not Kyran. Not my Kyran. Kyran and I, we are forever. There is another explanation, I know it. My Kyran, he's my best friend. He wouldn't leave me without another explanation. That I know for sure.

"¡Bambi! ¡Todos los niños varones ir a través de ella! ¡Fui a través de él! ¡Papá fue a través de él! ¡Enfréntalo! ¡Usted va a ir a través de él también!" Bambi! All boys go through it! I went through it! Dad went through it! Face it! You are going to go through it too! Pastor almost screamed in my face like a crazy mad-man. Like my uncle person who attended my Daddy's memorial. Right then and there, he looked like uncle person staring at me evilly.

I couldn't say anything, this new Pastor scared me: my body was pressed hard against the wall, with my heart pounding through my chest, trying to explode; my mouth quaked with fear and shame, the fear and shame being drilled into me; Pastor's eyes were like lasers piercing my skin.

Saying it plain and straight, I burst into tears. My Pastor is never meant to be scary, he's meant to be kind and nice. Why is he being so mean? Why? I didn't do anything that bad, did I? Pastor, why are you doing this? What did I do?

"Bambi," I heard him whisper. He wrapped his arms around me, and pulled me into one of his hugs. "I'm sorry, Bambi. I didn't mean to make you cry, you just scared me senseless when I saw you running away."

My tears drained into his shirtless chest as I tried to speak. "Daddy is gone... Mummy doesn't love me... I don't want to lose Kyran too..."

"So, why did you want to run away?"

"I was going to his house, to talk to him. His friends are always there during the day, so I decided to go at night."

"Bambi, Dad may be gone, but mum still loves you. She is just really sad."

That's all I'm going to say about the matter, I just don't really want to say much more. Pastor took me to bed, and that's what happened.

(Part II)

I have a new friend. She is a girl. Yutika Kanan Mehta is Indian. Her hair stretches down to her hips in a shiny, black velvet curtain. The eyes of Yutika are almost as black as mine and full of warmth and love towards the world. My friend may be a bit chubby, but what she lacks in body, she gains in face appearance. Friend is very pretty, to be honest, and if she were thinner, she would be the prettiest girl in class. However, I don't care about looks, all I care about is personality, and Yutika has a lovely personality.

We met in the New Entrants class and clicked almost straight away. She is quite a lovely girl.

It's been about three weeks since my ordeal with Kyran and running away. We're still friends, just outside of school. Anyway, that's about it. Good bye until next exciting thing.