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How To Love Monsters

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Chapter 1: Confusion

A/N: I hope you all enjoy it!

Nia’s Pov:

Bad at Love by Halsey played in my headphones. I started to lip-sing to myself, not wanting to disturb the other students. I pulled out my notebook, pen, and my textbook.

Someone sat next to me as Halsey sang the line, ”You’re the one oh-oh that could finally fix me.”

I turned my head in time to take in the sight of the person beside me. They had a soft, almost feminine look on their face. Or was it more angler, with sharp cheekbones and a matching jaw? Their hair is a dusty ash blonde that covers their forehead.

Or was it more short and darker, spiked upwards? Their eyes were a silvery grey. Or was it ocean blue? I closed my eyes for a moment, it looked like I was staring at two different faces at once. Yet, how is that possible? He noticed my blatant staring and turned to face me with curiosity.

“Hey, are you ok?” He asked in a soft voice, or was it more smokey?

I closed my eyes, shaking my head a little. I shouldn’t have skipped breakfast this morning. I told him the easy answer, “I’m fine.”

I added a flash of a smile as my eyes opened, staring at him again. Nothing changed, it looked like I was staring at two people overlapping one another. The longer I looked, the more one of the faces started to fade. I scowled as a headache started to form. Was I going insane?

I asked him curiosity buzzing under my skin as I leaned in a bit closer to him, “What color are your eyes?”

It was his turn to close his eyes and shake his head. He turned away from me for a few seconds. Then he turned back, giving me a soft smile as he answered with a light chuckle, “Blue, aren’t they?”

I stared into his eyes, the blue was brighter, more profound, but the grey was still there. Like a stubborn storm headed towards the ocean. I licked my lips and pulled my eyebrows together. Was there something wrong with me? Or him?

What is the right answer here? If I say no, will he get angry or think I’m insane? Or is it more so that I have seen too much and need to die for it? I much rather not die today. I gave him a small smile as I looked down at my still-closed notebook.

I opened it to a new page, happy for the distraction of having to look at his face any longer. I spoke with a chuckle, “You’re right, they are blue. My mistake.”

I could have sworn I heard him exhale in relief, or was I reading too much into it? He shifted a bit in his seat before he spoke again, “It’s fine. I’m Cody by the way.”

He offered me his hand to shake, I didn’t want to be rude. I straightened up my posture, facing him again as I reached for his hand. We could be friends this could be great. I know no one here, and being alone with my thoughts for too long is not good.

I introduced myself with a smile, “I’m Nia.”

The second our hands touched, my heartbeat got louder. But it wasn’t only louder, it was like a constant pulse throughout my body. I looked down at our hands in wonder before looking back up at Cody. That’s when I noticed the student walking down the stairs was moving in slow motion.

I whipped my head around, taking in the sight of everything in the room, moving in slow motion. That is aside from Cody and myself, I turned back to face him. He looked as confused as I did while looking around the room. Within seconds his eyes landed on mine again.

“What the fuck is this?” I asked him as he looked down at our hands, which were still touching. I took in slow breaths, trying hard to keep calm.

“I’m sorry,” He said as he let go of my hand, The pulses of my heart stopped.

My head started to hurt worse than it did before. I lifted my hand to rub my temple in small circles. I squeezed my eyes shut as I tried to force the headache to go away. What the hell is wrong with me? This never happened over missing one meal!

Then I heard a soft voice speak, “I’m Cody by the way. What’s your name?”

I opened my eyes, taking in the sight of the guy beside me. Right two faces on one person. I blinked a few times as I had this vague sense that he said that already. But how could he? I didn’t want to be rude.

I gave him a small smile, as I said, “I’m Nia.”

“Are you ok?” He asked me as he leaned a fraction closer to me. Looking at me with concern, that actually felt genuine.

“Yeah, just nervous. First-day jitters I guess,” I answered as I let my hand drop from my head.

“I know what you mean,” He said as he started to pull out a notebook and pen from his bag. “At least I get to sit next to someone so pretty.”

I blinked at him before looking down at my notebook, “Uh if you say so.”

Before he could reply, a door across from the teacher’s desk opened, and a teacher walked in. Well, more like a professor. He wore a button-up blue plaid shirt, with faded jeans and sneakers. He also wore a shoulder bag and multiple bracelets on his wrists.

He has darker skin than I do, it reminded me of a western coneflower with a cool brass undertone. He has his hair in medium-length dreadlocks and a goatee on his face. His broad nose fit his face along with his glasses and plump lips. His face looked familiar in a way that nagged at the back of my head.

Once he made it to his desk, he spoke loudly and clearly in a baritone voice. “Hello, class, I will be your professor for this semester. You can call me Mr. Witmen”.

With that introduction class started, and names were called out and marked down. Then we went over the syllables and started working on the first reading assignment.

Once class ended, I grabbed my things and started to leave when Mr. Witmen called out, “Miss. Jones come here for a moment.”

I hesitated, knowing that I didn’t have long to get to my next class on time. Yet, I didn’t want to have a bad relationship with any of my professors. So, I turned and quickly descended the stairs until I stood in front of him. I gripped the strap of my backpack a little tighter. The sinking feeling that I was in trouble made itself at home in my stomach.

“Yes, sir?” I asked as I glanced up at him nervously, again that nagging feeling that I knew him creep up.

“You’ve gotten so big, Na-na,” He said with a wide smile as he opened his arms, “Why didn’t you tell me you were enrolling here?”

From the mention of my old nickname, it clicked. Only one person ever bothered to give my already short name a nickname.

I smiled back at the man as I wrapped my arms around him, “Uncle Alphonse, Hey!”

He pulled back from the hug and gave me another once over. He smiled at me again as he spoke, “I don’t want to hold you up too long. I have another class to teach. I just wanted to tell you to stay away from that kid that was sitting next to you today.”

I frowned, pulling my eyebrows together as confusion took over, “What, why?”

Uncle Alphonse took in a quick breath and let out a sigh. He lifted a hand running his fingers through his dreads before he mumbled, “I guess you’re old enough for it to kick in.”

“What?” I asked him again as I took a step closer to him.

“The ability to see monsters. That kid that was sitting next to you is one. I’m pretty sure it’s a shapeshifter. Usually, their kind doesn’t start trouble. You know, just in case”, He spoke with urgency and seriousness in his tone that I wasn’t used to hearing.

I knew he couldn’t be joking about this. Uncle Alphonse patted my shoulder before he turned me around. Now I was facing the stairs, “Now hurry along and get to class before you're late.”

A/N: Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment letting me know what you think! If you can’t wait, head over to my Patreon and read ahead for as little as 1 dollar!

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