Chapter 1: Is Anybody Out There?
The late night September air was still, humid, and hushed.
Aivie Mercer sat outside on a flattened portion of the roof, just next to her bedroom window. She lived in a small, three-story mansion on Azure Lane, and she lived there alone 97% of the time due to her parents always going abroad for work.
And Azure Lane was an odd street in the town of Neoaville (Neo-way-ville), Vancouver. One side of it had only small mansions, where most of the wealthiest in Neoaville lived. The other side had only regular houses (some smaller than others), where most of Neoaville’s middle class lived.
Aivie and her four best friends all lived on Azure Lane, but she had lived there since the day after she was born. She twirled her wavy, blue-dyed hair as she gazed bewitchingly at the star-filled sky. It was the night before the first day back to school -- senior year to be exact, but all she could think about was life after that.
Since she was 6 years old, she began having overwhelming feelings that she was destined for something greater. And as she started meeting her best friends along the way, she began to feel that they too were destined for something greater, leading her to refer to them all as ‘The High 5’. Although, she wasn’t sure if that something was necessarily good or evil, just greater. This vague notion was transmitted to her by some unknown and mysterious entity that dwells somewhere in outer space. And so, whenever she was feeling antsy about the future, she looked to the sky, for anyone out there that might be watching her, for advice or a direction or an answer to a question she hadn’t even asked yet. One of the few things she was sure about, was that this destiny would be finally come to pass, at some point after high school was over.
There was radio silence from up above. There had been for the past 45 minutes. With a sigh, Aivie got up, then crawled back through her open window. She landed atop her sky-blue comforter, which had been pushed aside to a corner of her bed. Much of her room was a different shade of blue, as a matter of fact.
“Back so soon? Did them aliens still not reply back to you? Not cool,” joked Mace Verdant. He had dark skin, short black hair, and a faint Jamaican accent. His name was really Mason Verdant, but he preferred Mace better, much to his parents’ chagrin. He sat on the floor, legs spread open, and leaned against Aivie’s bed as he played a video game on a console connected to a large black flat screen attached to the wall.
“Bite me,” Aivie replied in a lovely tone.
She playfully smacked the arm of the person next to her who made a mocking growling noise, Rion Chandler. His skin was a warm ivory, and he had long, slicked back, dark brown hair that ran up to the top of his shoulders. He was sometimes called Rubix by people who knew him, because his unorthodox behavior and personality were usually hard to figure out. On his right arm was a large circular dark cloud with lightning strikes strewn around it, while in the center of it was a colored Rubik’s cube. On his left arm was a large tattoo of the Orion constellation. He sat cross-legged on Aivie’s bed while he played the same video game, along with Mace.
“And for your information, I didn’t even ask for anything first. I just wanted to see if there was anything important I should know before school starts. And don’t assume how many of them there might be, or if there even aliens for that matter. Assuming the species of someone you haven’t even met before? Not cool,” Aivie concluded.
Rion made something of a sizzling sound while Aivie had her victory grin on. Mace was about to come to his own defense, when someone else came into the room.
Sun Daye strolled in while applying a white moisturizer to his slightly damp face. Like Aivie, he had fair skin, and with his silky blonde, side-parted hair and deep blue eyes, he was an ideal poster child for some beauty or model enterprise.
“Oh, you’re back? Good, so can we all hit the hay now? To be late on your first day of the last days of something, is a recipe for failure somewhere in life, ” Sun preached. He often heard the obvious jokes about his name, but he truly didn’t mind them, and sometimes he even laughed along.
“Cry me a river, Sunny,” Aivie protested. “We have greater things to think about.”
Rion looked at Sun. “How ’bout you cry her an ocean? Then maybe she really will take you seriously.” Sun laughed at that, he was one for corny or simple jokes.
Aivie glared at them both. “You should be taking me seriously! We’re on the road to immense change here people! And that time is fast approaching.”
“Oh cry me a river, Vie,” said Colette Jaimes as she came sauntering into the room past Sun, and sat down on a dark blue, swivel chair. She was also applying a white moisturizer to her face. Her skin was dark, but lighter than Mace’s, and she had long black, box braided hair. “When something magical or out-of-this-world or however it’s supposed to be like, actually happens to us, only then can we really take you seriously.” Colette believed in many things: she believed in miracles, she believed that life wasn’t meaningless, she believed that looking good helped you do good. But she didn’t believe Aivie’s astronomical prophecy about them all. “I’m with Sun, let’s call it a night. Tardiness isn’t the way to impress the head cheerleader. The Jills are usually watching.”
Aivie groaned into her sky blue pillow. “What kind of twisted teen psycho holds auditions of any kind of the first day of school? Those bitches.”
“And with any luck, you’ll be one of them bitches by the end of the day tomorrow,” Mace mocked.
Aivie flung one of her pillows at Mace, making him fumble with the controller. “Well if you all weren’t so hellbent on abandoning me throughout high school for your beloved athleticism, this wouldn’t even be a possibility. We could’ve all joined robotics, music honor society, anime even!”
Rion put his controller down beside him, and pulled Aivie in for a tight bear hug. Aivie let herself be squished against his muscled chest.
“Dude!” Mace yelled, “If you leave me to die in this game, imma leave you to die in real life!”
Rion shrugged, “I’m a survivor.”
Sun instead went over and took the controller. “Allow me.” He maneuvered Rion’s character so that it stabbed Mace’s character in the forehead, and the brain was now stuck to the blade of a longs-word as it went through.
Mace was aghast, “bro!”
While still embracing, Rion and Aivie chuckled.
“Sorry, sorry,” Sun said, “I’ll make it up to you. Maybe. Get to your spot already.”
Mace whined in disagreement, but started moving anyway, He crawled over to a prepared sleeping bag, light blanket and pillow on the floor near the doorway. Sun followed next into the second spot that was made the same next to it. Rion finally released Aivie and followed last after Sun into the third spot set. When they were all settled on the floor, Colette tip-toed around them and sat down in a lady-like fashion, on Aivie’s bed.
Aivie caught a pleasant scent off of Colette, and immediately began to sniff her. “Whoa, Col. What’s on your face?”
“Jasmine,” Colette said proudly. “There’s cinnamon on Sun’s face.” Rion and Mace immediately turned to Sun and started to sniff him.
“I didn’t think you were really gonna take this skin routine thing seriously,” Aivie said to Sun.
Sun giggled at the sniffing. “Well Col made a bunch of suggestions, and I got lost while she was explaining most of them, so I just nodded at anything she said. That’s the short version. Please don’t say the long version, Col.”
Col scoffed, “fine, but the important part of that short version is that if the whole soccer or swimming thing doesn’t work out in university, you could always give modeling a try so it’s best to keep that pretty face maintained.”
“Modeling?” Aivie was awestruck, “This guy? This guy who gets nauseous at the slightest sight of indecent exposure? When pigs fly.” Sun was quiet as he stared at the ceiling.
“Ok, we’re seniors now. Don’t ya think it’s time to stop throwing around childish insults and just realize all that potential in each other?” Colette said.
“Yea, no. Modeling, Col? Come on now. This boy’s gonna permanently outlaw public indecency before that happens,” Mace chimed in. Sun was still quiet.
The bickering over Sun’s probability of modeling continued, while Sun took his pillow and shoved it onto his face. He peeked over to his side when he felt someone’s arm across his waist.
Rion was on his side looking at him impassively, his fingers gently squeezing the side of Sun’s waist. He smiled briefly and whispered, “you can do or be anything, whether pigs fly or not. Go sleep Mr. Sun. We need you to shine tomorrow.”
Sun sighed happily and completely turned over so that his whole body was facing Rion. He rearranged his pillow so that now he was hugging it as it covered his face. Rion kept his hand on his waist until he fell asleep.
It was midnight. The first day of senior year was going to commence in 10 hours.