Grimson Reaper

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Homesick

Beth Williams

All the halls were dark, everyone was asleep. The people next door were snoring loud enough to be heard through the wall. Somehow, Tasha was able to fall asleep, her arm hanging over the edge. Nearly gave me a heart attack when I woke up. I did not have the best of dreams. You know the ones that remind you of something that's gone? That bring up the urge to go back? Yeah. I had one of those. I stare at the bottom of Tashas bed for a long while, just trying to remember why I am here. Trying to dig up some sort of motivation to stay here. I pick up my phone and turn it on. 1:47 am. Of course I wake up at one in the morning. I take my covers off, only wearing a large Metallica shirt and walk quietly to the balcony. I make sure Tasha is still asleep as I slip out the doors and into the fresh night air. Shutting the door behind me, I let out a breath and lean on the railings. I gaze up at the sky. The stars were brighter than in California. Barely any houses were nearby, making the sky rain down it's hidden beauty. I look at my phone again, and open up the call app and hover over my papas number. Would he answer? It's the middle of the night... I turn my phone off and look up at the sky again.

"Do you always look so sad?" I jump, dropping my phone. Luckily, it lands on the railing. I pick it back up and look at who had talked. Grimson looks at me with a soft smile from the balcony next to mine. He was sitting on the railing, one leg dangling off the edge. "I didn't think it was possible to look that sad on the first day." How long has he been there?

"Sorry. I thought I was alone." I reply, trying to pretend a smile. I look at my phone, the screen was cracked. "Great." I say sarcastically.

"What is it?" I glance at him again. Ugh. Is he meaning to smile, or is he insane?

"My screen is cracked. I dropped it when you scared me." I turn it on. It still worked. I check all the apps. They were working as well.

"Oh. Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you." I shrug.

"It's fine. Everything else works, so it- it's okay." I turn it off again. The sound of the night and the crickets was peaceful, helping me calm a bit. When I look over, he was still looking at me. I clear my throat. "What happened with the whole headmasters office thing?"

"Ah, it wasn't really what I expected." He shrugs.

"Oh?" He just shrugs again.

"He just let me go with a warning for having weapons out on campus."

"A warning for weapons? Wow, the headmaster showed mercy on you." He laughs a bit. I mess with my phone case. "Also, thanks. For what you did. I've never really been to a monster school before." I bite my lip. "So is this a payback thing or...?"

"Nah. Don't worry about it." His voice was tough, but gentle at the same time. When he isn't looking, I look at him from the corner of my eye. He hasn't changed. He was in the same clothes he was wearing during school. "So what's up?"

"Hmm?"

"You were looking at your phone all sad like. So... whats going on?" I mess with my fingers.

"It's kinda personal..." I couldn't help but feel like I should tell him. He nods.

"It's okay. I didn't expect you to tell me." Why do I want to tell him? It's my personal life and he shouldn't know. Then again, he did help me with Flynn.

"Well, do you promise to keep it a secret?" I ask. Oh my heck. I'm actually going to tell this random stranger why I'm sad. Wow, I really need sleep.

"If you promise to keep mine." I try to figure out what that meant, but ignore it.

"The thing is, my parents... don't know I'm here." He turns a bit. "My parents are normal humans, the only other shapeshifter in my family is my Papa and-,"

"Papa? I thought your parents were humans." I roll my eyes. Do I need to explain this to everyone?

"I call my grandpa Papa." He thinks for a second, then nods a bit in understanding. "Anyway, it's a new school. It's completely different from my other normal schools. I'm nervous after what happened today, and completely overwhelmed. All these teachers act like I know everything already, when I don't. And I can't get in trouble or drop out or the headmaster will call my parents and then I'm in trouble with my parents and eveything is just... it's just a lot for me to try to balance." It felt a bit better to get that off my chest. It wasn't even the second day and I'm already stressed out of my mind.

"I know how that feels." I knit my eyebrows and look up at him.

"You do?"

"Yeah. There are a lot of us do. I mean, I've been kicked out of four different schools and my Mom is really wanting me to succeed in something." The understanding and shallowness of his voice could be felt. In the air, and around us. He wasn't like anyone I've met before. "This school is my last chance to make her proud." He looks at me and runs a hand through his dark brown hair. "You may think it sounds silly, but there are a lot of Different here that are going through the same thing you are. Me being one of them." his red eyes look straight into mine.

"Different? What does that mean?" He looks at me for a long second, messing with something in his hand.

"I don't like being called or having other people called a Monster. It isn't a feel-good word." I move to the railing next to him and listen as he continues. "But the word different, it sounds more like... like there is possibility. That we're not just animals that they're trying to contain." I fold my arms on the rails. I think for a second.

"Then what do you call a Monster?" He looks at me again.

"I don't." He says simply. "I just don't. Not even Flynn needs to be called a Monster."

"Not even Flynn?" He nods. "Well, would you call me a monster if, well, I dunno..." I go quiet.

"What? What is it?" He smiles a bit. I shrug.

"Oh, nothing." I look out to the sky. He shakes his head.

"No, no. You can't start something, then not finish it."

"And that bugs you?" I ask innocently. He looks at me like I'm crazy.

"Yes. It bugs me a lot actually." I laugh.

"Alright, then I won't tell you." He rolls his eyes.

"You're seriously going to torture me with this?" I shrug.

"I'll tell you if you can guess something." Something about seeing him annoyed, but having fun was exciting to me.

"Alright. What do I need to guess?" He walks over to the railings across from the ones I was on. His red eyes look into mine. His eyebrows lifted. He looks at me, ready for anything. I need to make this hard for him. Something that could take him weeks to figure out. I smirk.

"What is my name?" He looked stumped for a minute.

"I can't guess your name."

"Haha. I win!"

"Could you two please keep it down?" I turn to Tasha. She looked half asleep as she leaned on our balcony door. "I was having a good dream." I walk over to her.

"Yeah. Sorry, Tasha." She rolls her eyes.

"Jeez." She turns around then goes back inside. I look back to Grimson. I fake a yawn.

"Yeah, i should probably... get to bed." He nods with a smile.

"Alright." I turn and open the door. "Hey," he calls. I turn to him, "try not to stress too much. Okay?" I bite my lip and nod.

"Night." I say and tun into the dorm, shutting the door behind me.

"Goodnight..." I barely hear him whisper. He says something else, but I ignore it. I stand my the balcony door for a while. I realize I was chewing my lip, smiling, and messing with my necklace at the same time. I shrug it off and walk back to my bed. I lay down, pull my blankets up and lay awake, thinking about what he had said.

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