Chapter 1: Romance and Lephians
It was a cold, heartless Valentines' Day. A tall girl with long black hair, a slender yet almost no-curve body, and pretty eyes. Emily Murray still remembered that day, years later. In one hand, she had a box of chocolates; In the other, a few flowers she had picked from the almost frozen forest out back. She knew her crush would love the flowers; They had grown in the cold, unforgiving winter. It took her hours to find some flowers, and she knew that he, Miles, would know this. Yet she couldn't stop herself from bouncing her leg up and down, and tapping her finger on her hand, and not just because of the cold, but because she was deathly nervous. What if he only liked her as a friend? Even if they would be in a relationship, then would it work out? If not, could they ever be friends again?
"He'll say yes," Emily thought to herself, "He once said he's a sucker for blue eyes. Wait, what color are my eyes?"
She had picked out the perfect dress, which she thought showed off a slight bit of skin yet still was dainty and cute, it looked both formal yet casual. Of course, she hated her body, as all other 15 year old girls. However, she knew this was the best chance she had, and she wanted to show him she truly wanted him. She wanted him to know how serious she meant this to be. She also took a shower before school instead of the usual after school shower, using expensive shampoo and conditioner that cost her 20$ each online, which she ordered a month beforehand. She even put perfume on herself in an attempt to smell nice. She combed, washed, combed, rewashed, constantly switching her hairstyle again and again. She gave up eventually and left it long behind her back. She was hoping it would give a mysterious, flirtatious look as it danced in the wind. However, all it seemed to do was cause inconvenience for her. She even picked out a cute necklace; Tiny chains of what looked like gold wrapped around her, with a purple gem in the shape of a heart. She always wore jeans and a shirt, always used 4$ shampoo and conditioner combos at the nearest supermarket, never wore perfume, never wore a necklace, and always had her hair in some sort of bun or tail, never letting it be truly free.
And she forgot the color of her eyes, which compliments appearance most.
"Stupid, stupid, stupid!" Emily called herself in her head as she realized she didn't have a mirror on her. "Maybe I shouldn't have done this at all, he could never like someone like me. I'm obnoxious, rude, and can't flirt to save my life! What was I thinking? We're best friends, isn't that enough?"
"No," said another part of her, "It isn't enough! He's everything gorgeous and great in this world. I want to be his, and I want him to be mine. He's so sweet, forgiving, funny... I love him, and I want to shower him in love and affection forever."
She got a queasy feeling in the pit of her stomach as her sneakers (She couldn't afford new shoes to go with the dress) crunched against the snow, and put the flower and chocolates on the ground before covering them in snow.
"Maybe another day," she whispered as she saw Miles walking his usual path home. She took a deep breath, then walked over to him, saying loudly, "Miles! Miles, over here!"
He looked before smiling, and Emily did everything she could to not blush at that smile. "Hey, Emily! Wanna come over? My aunt is making tacos tonight."
As she walked next to him, she wanted to say, "Of course I'll go with you, silly goose!" But she refrained from the urge and said, "Alright, sure."
"Then let's go to my house right n-" He then saw what she was wearing and gave a small gasp. "What in the hell are you wearing? You wear pants in the summer, now you're out here in the cold snow with a dress! You'll freeze to death!"
While Emily tried to not seem flustered by the thought that Miles was concerned about her warmth, she mumbled an excuse. "W- well, Megan wanted me to dress special for today-" She was interrupted by Miles, who threw his jacket at her and said, "Well, try not to freeze to death as we go to my house. Man, you're dumb."
She knew he was just kidding and smiled as she walked with him. This is what she admired most about Miles; He was always messing around, always trying to be happy and think positive. They talked about the new Moksha (Band that both Miles and Emily enjoy) album and then began to discuss why the new anime that had come out and why they thought it was bad.
"Yeah, the animation's good, but that doesn't excuse the fact that everything else is awful. The plot is simplistic, you can already tell there's gonna be no character development," Miles complained, "And the females don't have any point except for being love interests. Honestly, it's just terrible."
"Yeah, it is awful, but on the point of animation, it's in the top 5." Emily pointed out.
"Oh yeah, totally, but everything else is just so meh."
Emily had the sudden realization that she could both answer a question she had and stare at Miles without being caught at once. She asked, "Just wondering, um, what color are my eyes?"
He stopped, in the driveway of his house, and looked deep into her eyes. "Oh, those blue, beautiful eyes..." Emily thought, wanting to look at them all day long as he studied her.
"They're a pretty green" Miles complimented as he walked to his back door. Emily blushed in his jacket, which she was now wearing.
"Aunt Margaret! I'm home, and I brought Emily!" Miles announced as he walked into the kitchen.
As Miles slung his backpack on the table and Emily gently set down hers, a woman with brown hair and blue eyes just as Miles' appeared, and welcomed them.
Everything else was somewhat of a blur to Emily as she thought about it. The moments with Miles alone always stuck in her memory more than the others. She remembered laughing with Margaret and Miles, resisting the urge to kiss Miles on several occasions, and making the guest bed after dinner when she heard Margaret yell, "Emily, get in here! Now!"
Her voice sounded panicked and worried. She walked quickly across the house to the living room, half-hoping that Miles was going to give her a romantic bouquet and a box of chocolates, just as she was going to give him, when she saw them centered around the television. She looked at it and immediately became transfixed at what she saw.
"...Reports of shooting at over half of the Eastern border, seems as if the Lephians have finally invaded Great Britain with a huge naval force, we have no details aside from that, please, everyone stay indoors, call your loved ones so they know of this too. And if you live in the East...please, stay safe."
The message then repeated, again and again. Nobody knew what to say, especially Emily. Her original mom was in the military, same as her original dad, so she grew up strangely, oftentimes with random relatives, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. She had finally gotten to foster care at age 7, and at age 9, she moved in with her now father Leon, in the same town where she met Miles, and fell in love with him. All she wanted was a normal life. Not this.
"Miles, go into your bedroom. Emily, you go home. I'll be in there shortly, Miles. I have family members I need to call."
"Bye, Miles, be safe" Emily yelled before jumping out the back door and running to her house. She lived on the west end, but she still wanted to be home. As if on cue, her dad called her. She picked up the phone.
"Emily, are you at a friend's house? Get over here, now. You saw on the T.V., or heard on the radio, right. You need to get home!"
"Yeah, I'll be home, bye."
She hated to blow off her dad like that, but she wanted to get home as soon as possible. She ran through her front door and saw her dad on the couch, clearly exhausted; He had been working all day.
"Listen, I've had a tough day at work and I don't feel like staying up. Promise me you won't sneak out?"
"Yeah, I promise." She hugged her foster parent tightly. "Goodnight, Dad. I love you."
An hour later, she lay awake at night, clinging to Miles' jacket. In any other situation, she would've masturbated to the smell of his jacket a million times before sleeping, but she wasn't exactly in the mood. Her mother and father...They dedicated their lives to fighting the Lephians. Should...should she do the same?
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