Part One: Kali

Kali stared out the school's tall, elegant windows, peering through the droplets of rain that were scattered across the glass. Beyond the curtain of unwelcome weather, she could still make out the familiar dark green leaves that marked the start of the garden. She longed to be out there, slipping through the small garden gate and taking in the scents of the many types of flowers. The blossoms were just returning after a long, cold winter, and she was was practically itching with anticipation for the end of the storm. She loved the way the sun felt on her, highlighting her golden blonde hair and warming her lightly tanned skin. The fantasy of the warm sun contrasted sharply with the cold reality of the classroom, however, and her daydreaming came to an abrupt end.

She glanced down at the textbook in front of her, her eyes lazily scanning the pages for the slightest bit of motivation. She saw nothing of interest, only boring, stuffy text. Her attention wandered to the window again. She certainly was an outdoors person; she hated the confinement of the old brick walls. Excitement started to bubble within her when the pattering of the rain was reduced to occasional droplets. She stretched her long legs under the desk and fiddled with a pencil, resisting the urge to chew on the eraser. Ten more minutes until the bell would chime.

Though eager to escape to the outdoors, Kali wasn't dumb. She knew to stay in her seat until the classroom had emptied. While she couldn't wait to run to the safety of the garden, the other students couldn't wait to run to their rooms and their friends. She had been pushed and shoved far too many times in the sea of students. She could wait another moment.

Finally she escaped the confines of the school and walked briskly down the cobblestone path before her. Her long, navy blue skirt rustled around her and she silently reprimanded herself for wearing a white shirt today. Imagine it started raining again, she thought. Well, the boys certainly wouldn't mind. Rather than dwell on her disgust of the human race, she let the garden's nearby presence warm her mind. She absentmindedly unlatched the gate and floated through, reaching out to caress a brand new flower bud. She sighed and smiled, slipping through two of the tallest bushes. Almost the entire garden was surrounded by incredible blooming bushes that must've been at least eight feet tall. Within the giant flowering bushes were smaller plants, all dotted with flowers of various, stunning colors and shades. Most of the flowers had subdued scents, perfect for a garden with so many types. The most strongly scented flower was Kali's favorite; two gardenia plants sat on either side of her favorite, well-worn bench.

Many people compared Kali to the flowers she loved so much. On the outside was a beautiful, attractive sight that many wanted to claim for their own. On the inside, though, much like the inside of a flowering bush, was a tangle of branches and thorns that were better left alone. Kali couldn't disagree, though she was hardly thorny by nature. She really just preferred to be left alone with her flowers.