Chapter 6 Miss Simpson
I sit up fast in my seat, I’m still in homeroom but everyone else left. Did the bell ring? Mrs. Simpson is sitting at her desk. She looks like she is grading papers.
She looks up at me, takes hold of her pink stone necklace and chants, “Anaglia, triagiu triagiu.”
Her eyes turn pink, the color of her stone, and I can feel myself lifting. I can’t help but stare into her eyes. I feel safe. I feel like I’m floating. It feels nice.
Wait, wait!! I shake my head and close my eyes tight and open them again. Mrs. Simpson has her head down and is grading papers.
“Feeling better, Opal?” She looks up at me and smiles. “Are you going to the zoo this afternoon?”
“Yes, I’d like to. I’m meeting Jon to take some pictures for his um, assignment.”
I try to get up, but my legs are asleep.
“My legs are asleep,” I say.
Mrs. Simpson looks up at me and tilts her head. She gets up from her desk and walks over to me. Suddenly I feel cold. My legs are shivering. My teeth are chattering. I feel my lips puffing up as if they are turning blue from the cold. I put my arms around myself. When Mrs. Simpson reaches my desk, she puts the tips of her fingers on my knees. Suddenly, I’m warm and cozy and my legs are not asleep anymore; they feel fine. I get up and scoot around her, kind of freaked out.
“Goodbye, Opal,” she says.
“Goodbye, Mrs. Simpson.... I.... ahh have a good day,” I say as I walk to the door to leave.
It’s stuck. I look back, and Mrs. Simpson is looking out the window. I finally get the door open and leave. Phew, I felt panicked. How does she know I go to the zoo all the time? I’ve never seen her there. Hmm, that is so weird. I pull out a Chapstick from my pocket and apply some to my lips.
The day drags on. All I can think about is meeting Jon later, but not just that I’m meeting Jon. It’s that Miles is meeting us too, and he is going to finally talk to me about what he is.
“So, you realize you’re in a love triangle. Right?” Violet says as she takes a bite of her peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She wipes the strawberry jelly from her bottom lip and gives me that look. That look that, you know what’s going on, but you are pretending not to know look.
“What are you talking about?” I say fiddling with my sand which. Biting my lip to hide my smile, I put my head down to cover my face with my hair. I couldn’t bear to eat after hearing that Miles could have a crush on me. He was my friend, my confidant I told him everything about my secrets that I talk to animals I haven’t even told Violet and she has been my best friend since preschool. Of course, I’ve thought about it. I mean Miles is, he is great but Jon is here now I couldn’t have feelings for Miles too? Could I?
“How did I not realize my feelings for Miles until Jon got here?” I sigh.
“I knew it! I knew you liked Miles.” She grins excitedly. “If I were you, I’d choose Miles. He has always been there for you. He has been in love with you since the first day you met. I remember thinking I’d be a third wheel all the time, but he has never made me feel that way.”
“That’s because he’s so great. He would make no one feel uncomfortable. I think I have always had feelings for him, but he made it so easy for me to be his friend. I mean, we are super close, we know so much about each other. There are things we talk about that I have never told you even.” I look up to find Miles staring at me, walking toward us.
I smile at him. He has kind eyes. He sits by me and takes half of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We always share.
“Sup, Vi!” he asks. Taking cokes out of his pockets for us. She hands him a bag of chips.
“I love that we share everything.” I say to both of my friends. Miles kisses me on the cheek like he does every lunch period. It’s friendly and innocent and he only does it at lunch. As if to say thank you for sharing my meal with him. I think about all the times we have been like that. Quick kisses on the cheek or for head, hugs, talks that go on for hours in my room late at night. Sitting on the oak tree outside sharing our deepest secrets. And now his deepest secret.
“Hey Guys!” Jon startles me as he sits on the other side of me putting his try down. He has his camera around his neck. Miles’ smile turns to a sneer. Of course, my face gets red and I sink into my chair. Miles picks up his half drunken coke and stands behind me. Violet gives an uncomfortable grin and her face is getting red, too embarrassed for me or for Miles.
“I’ll see you guys around.” He brushes his hand on my shoulders and walks away.
“Later Miles.” Jon says as he eats his tater tots. He is so happy all the time, I bet he doesn’t even realize the uncomfortable air. “What’s up lady’s.” He smiles. I just stare at Miles walking away.
“Not much, Jon.” Violet says, watching me watch miles. She kicks me under the table to break my stare.
“Hey Jon, how are you?” I adjust my seat and try to eat. I can’t wait for this day to be over. Meeting at the zoo later. And Miles is letting us in our secret way. Jon would think I’m crazy if he knew I talked to animals. Miles knows my secrets that I would never tell Jon or anyone. I put my hand on my face and try to think. Jon snaps a picture of me.
“What are you doing?” I hate getting my picture taken.
“Just warming up for later, you have a great profile.” He snaps another picture.
“Great, well I’m leaving.” Violet collects her things and gives me a good luck look.
“Um, I need to go too, actually.” I say, quickly collecting my things. “Vi wait up. I’ll see you later, Jon.” I look back at him as he winks at me.
Jon, Miles and I meet at my locker to walk to the zoo to take pictures. Jon is on my left side and Miles on my right. I look to my left, noticing Jon’s shoes, and how he walks with his feet outward. His jeans are lightly washed and his shirt is perfectly tucked in with a belt. His collar isn’t wrinkled one bit. And his t-shirt underneath is white. His lips are soft, his hair is clean and laid on his head, perfectly cut to match the indent of his cheekbone. I smile, embarrassed that I’m checking him out. I notice to my right that Miles is wearing sneakers I’m not sure of the brand they are dirty and worn out. His jeans are dark and the knees have holes in them. I can see his ankle belt protruding from them, leaving a white frizzed tear on the bottom from pulling on it. His shirt is untucked. I can see his chest muscles through it. His lips are chiseled perfectly, his curly dark locks falling from the top of his head, covering his eyes. I can feel his emerald eyes are watching over me. I smile and look ahead. We walk through the school to the double doors leading us outside and down the front steps. The sun catches my eyes and I close them for a second, missing a step. Waiting for my tumbling doom, dreading the bruises ill have in the morning. But I am lifted in the air. I open my eyes to Jon and Miles, holding each of my arms to break my fall. They escort me to ground level and make sure I’m ok. Jon laughs at my clumsiness and Miles defends it.
“Hey man, don’t laugh she could have really hurt herself.” Miles pushes Jon’s shoulder to make sure he is listening to him. Jon’s laugh turns into a short cackle, and finally to a frown.
“Hey! Just, trying to make light of it, man.” Jon taps Miles on his shoulder back.
They look at each other, staring in each other’s eyes, not breaking. Other kids around us chant. “Fight! Fight!” I put my hands up between them. “Shall we gentleman?” I say loud to get their attention. They break their stare and give me apologizing eyes. The kids sigh around us and go on with what they were doing before. Miles gives a quick smirk to Jon. Letting him know he is watching him.
“C’mon guys’ pictures, zoo, fun.” I prance a little and giggle. They resume their side they had walked with me and we head out of the school grounds.
Quiet still, we cross over until we reach the zoo. It’s an uncomfortable silence I can feel their tension. I can’t help but feel someone watching us. It’s an eerie feeling. I keep looking behind me. I can feel Miles saying it’s ok, but he’s not talking to me. It’s like when I talk to the animals, they just talk to me. When miles and his mom are around, they can hear the animals too. That’s why his mom needs my help sometimes.
We reach our secret entrance and Miles knocks on the fence. There is still silence between Miles and Jon, it’s making me mad.
“Ok enough. I’m fine, ok.” I put up my arms between the two. Still silence, with a few grins in my direction. After a few minutes, Ty let his trunk down.
“After you.” Miles gestures to me. I hop on Ty’s trunk and disappear over the fence.
I can hear Jon saying something to miles. I close my eyes to get a better listen. I can see them in my head and hear them clearly.
“No hard feelings, man, right?” Jon holds out his hand to Miles. Miles smirks grudgingly. Miles gives him his hand and they shake oddly. Miles staring at Jon, not trusting him. Jon just smiling trying to brush off the tension between them. Ty lets his trunk down again and Miles gestures to Jon to hop on. When we are all over the fence, we thank Ty and sneak out of the den. We walk like we belong there.
“Doesn’t your mom work here? Why are we being sneaky?” Jon asks, confused.
“It’s fun.” I say. Walking through the people eager to see Horizon, I have carrots today for him.
Horizon looks up and walks over and nudges me to pet him. He’s so soft. I put a carrot in my hand and he eats it, looking at me thankfully. I can hear Jon’s camera as he snaps a few pictures.
“Did you get what you need?” Miles asks Jon, annoyed. He is glaring at him as Jon watches me through his camera lens.
As I softly pat the top of Horizons on his head, I hear, “Get away from the zebra, Miss.”
Jon and I turn around and there is a guard standing there.
“I’m so sorry I fed him; he’s my friend.” I say, startled.
I stand up and drop my bag. I reach down to pick it up and he puts his black pole in front of my hand. As he does, I fall into it and hit my head.
“Leave it there, Miss,” he says in a low, angry voice. “You three Come with me.” Not acknowledging that he just hurt me.
He’s tall and thin. He is a guard. He’s standing straight up and won’t look at any of us.
“Hey, you could have really hurt her,” Miles interrupts him. “We are allowed to be here, my mom—”
The guard pulls on Miles’ arm, dragging him. I can feel Miles getting mad. He reaches for his ankle, but the guard is pulling him tightly. Jon seems scared and is just doing what the guard says. He pulls each of us in a circle on the ground and holds his foot on Miles’ ankle so he can’t get to his knife.
“What’s going on here.” A soft voice says.
I see Mrs. Simpson. She is walking towards us. Her eyes turn pink and her necklace shoots bright pink flames from it until the flames surround the guard. Miles retrieves his ankle knife, and it flips into a bow as he is kneeling ready to shoot at the guard. Suddenly, the guard stops as if he doesn’t remember what he was doing.
He turns around and looks at me and says, “Is everything ok?” He looks genuinely concerned.
Mrs. Simpson says, “Everything is fine here. Thank you so much for your help.”
She smiles at him, and he blushes and turns to walk away.
“Have a nice evening,” she says to him.
He turns around and puts his arm up to wave, giving us a big grin. I look at Mrs. Simpson.
Then I instantly run back to Horizon. I need to know if he is ok. Miles runs with me like he knows what I’m thinking with his bow and arrow in hand. I see Horizon. He is looking right at me, waiting for me. I reach over and hug him. I feel a hand on my shoulder. I turn to Miles and cry.
He hugs me. I hold on to him so tightly. I wipe my tears from my face. They taste like sugar. I look at Miles. He inspects my head. He kisses my face where my tears fell, and he licks his lips. He holds on to me as we walk toward Mrs. Simpson and Jon.
“I have to get home, guys. Thanks for the pictures Opie. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Jon smiles and walks away.
“That was weird he didn’t think that was weird?” I ask out loud, annoyed that Jon wasn’t as scared as I was. I wipe another tear from my cheek and look at it, smell it, taste it. Its sweet.
“What is happening to me?” I demand to Mrs. Simpson.
“I sent him on his way he won’t remember anything. Come, Miles and I will walk you home,” she says as she puts her arm around my shoulder.
We are silent as we walk to my house. Until I couldn’t hold back anymore. I take a few steps forward and turn around to them.
“Nothing weird happened, right? That guard wasn’t under a spell and Mrs. Simpson’s necklace didn’t almost take out a guard. Right?” I look at both of them. Neither one denies nor says anything.
“Miles, you still haven’t explained you.” I gesture to all of him.
“I’ve been trying to get you alone to talk all day but Jo--.” He says. And I interrupt him before he can get Jon’s name out.
“Don’t blame this on Jon, you have had many chances to talk all day.” Even though every time we have tried to talk, Jon and Violet interrupt us.
“I didn’t blame Jon.” he looks at me. “You know you can’t tell him.” Miles says. “About me. Or Vi. They can’t know it’s not safe.”
“Violet loves comic books, she is always looking for the hero, for the villain. She is the smartest person I know that loves comic books. She will understand, she will. It’s ok. She can know, right? She’ll help. She has to know she is my best friend.” I say so nervously I tear up. I couldn’t bare not to tell her.
“It’s safer for them not to know, unless they have to know.” Mrs. Simpson says.
We walk in silence the rest of the way to my house. When we reach my house, my mom is waiting by the door. She looks at Mrs. Simpson with a worried look and inspects the bump on my head. Then she looks at Miles.
“Hi Miles! Please come in everyone,” my mom says.
“Miles and I are going to my room, Mom.”
We walk upstairs.
“Thank you for walking me home.”
I look at Mrs. Simpson. She nods at me.
“Ok, sweetie. I’ll be up in a little while. Door open!” says my mom, reminding me that Miles is a boy.
“Thanks, Mom,” I say sarcastically
Miles and I sit at the top of the stairs and hear them faintly talking. I can’t really hear what they are saying, so we go to my room.
“Ok we are alone, talk.” I say angrily at Miles. Even though it really isn’t his fault, we haven’t been able to talk all day. But I’m mad at him, anyway. At least I think I should be.
“They sent me to protect you. I am here for you, Opal.” He says, standing up, staring at me through his dark locks. I walk over to him and push his hair out of his face.
“Protect me from what?” I say slowly and softly. “I’ve been in and out of my dreams all day. I know something isn’t right. I-I’m not right. But I’m not special enough to protect either so, just tell me.” I shake him as he just stands there, staring at me. “TELL ME!” I yell, shaking him harder. I hear running up the stairs. My mom and Mrs. Simpson come running in. As they do, I go limp and fall, crashing to the floor.
“Princess, hi princess, hi, please come, hurry.” Anola’s squeaky voice says as she waves all four of her arms at me to join her. She is standing on top of my chest waving a flower in my face, trying to wake me up. She flutters her wings and lifts herself off of me. I get up and look around. There are little fairies peaking through the tree I see stars glistening. It must be Clear.
“Hello!” I say to the stars. They quickly move and find their place in the shape of Clear’s body.
“Hello princess, I had to see if it would work.” She says, flying around me.
“If what would work?” I ask. Looking around still. I see a unicorn he is small lurking in the trees.
“Lemon! The lemon smell to get you here if I need you.” She says. Flames flying behind her.
“I was in my room, I-I fainted in front if my mother. She will take me to the hospital. You can’t just do that to me when you feel like it. I mean, how do you do that if I’m not here. Or am I? Am I in two places at once?” Looking around to find a place where my body would be laying.
Clear moves to the side and I can see what looks like a grave. There are two sunken rectangles next to each other. One has lemon flowers all around it and the other has red flowers.
“If that one is for me, who is that one for?” I say nervously.
“The important thing now is to make sure you remember this when you wake up. The dryads have been hard at work on this spell.” Clear turns to water and splashes me in the face to get my attention. I stand there, staring at the two graves in front of me. The water trickling down my face means nothing to me. I feel my body warm up I’m getting hot and I’m not wet anymore. My hair dries instantly. The fairies all around us starting whispering and squeaking, the small unicorn come out of the trees.
“Cool!” He says, walking close to me.
“Zag!” I hear Horizon say. I turn to his voice, and he is walking towards me with another unicorn by his side.
“Princess! This is Lela, my lovely wife, and Zag, my son.” He says, proud of his family. I run my fingers through his mane and bow to Lela and pet Zag.
“It’s so nice to meet you. I am Opal.” I say. All the fairies and the unicorns and even Clear laugh.
“You’re a princess.” Zag says, laughing hard. Hearing the laughter, I feel embarrassed and bashful. I am a princess, I think to myself. I feel myself smiling I look over at the red flowered grave next to mine.
I feel faint again as I feel myself falling over.
“Opal! Opal, there you go sweetie, it’s ok.” I have an ice pack on my head and my mom is waving something under my nose. It smells awful.
“Oh, thank God,” she says. “We should get you to a hospital.”
“NO!” said Mrs. Simpson. “She will be ok.”
She helps me sit up and looks into my eyes. She takes my pulse and smiles at me. Miles is just sitting there at the windowsill, staring at me.
“Everything will be ok,” says Mrs. Simpson. “Let’s get her up and put her in bed.”
They walk me to my bed.
“Mrs. Simpson, would you mind sitting here for a moment while I make Opal some tea?” asks my mom, still looking at me, worried.
“Please go ahead; I’ll wait right here with her,” Mrs. Simpson replies.
Mrs. Simpson looks at me with a half grin and says, “I think it’s time we had a little talk.”
“Yes, it’s been over- due.” Says Miles. Sounding annoyed.
I take the ice pack off my head and look up at her.
“I’m ready.” I say, trying to keep my pounding head up.
“My name on Omynora is Triagia,” she says, giving me a second, although I didn’t need one.
“I remember. I remember!” I tell her.
I sit up, but I’m right back down slowly.
“It’s ok, relax,” says Mrs. Simpson. “Everything will be clear soon.”
“Clear, she showed me a grave.” I say, scared.
Mrs. Simpson smiles. “It’s ok, it’s ok what did you see?” I try to get the words out but I can’t remember suddenly I feel like I don’t know what I’m talking about.
She puts her hands on mine, and they turn cold.
“I have power here that you don’t. I’m going to heal your head.”
She moves her hands to my head, and they’re freezing. I shiver and my teeth are chattering. My hair freezes, it’s stiff. Suddenly I feel so much better, cold, but my head doesn’t hurt.
“Ok, I have some tea,” I hear my mother say as she comes down the hallway.
Mrs. Simpson winks at me and moves away a few inches. My hair is still cold and stiff, so I wrap the blanket around the back of my head and around my shoulders.
“Are you ok, sweetie?” my mom asks. She looks so worried; I feel so bad for her.
“Yes, Mom, really, I feel so much better.”
She touches my hands.
“You’re freezing. Maybe we should take you to the hospital after all.”
Suddenly, the window opens and a gust of cold air brushes over us.
“I think it’s just the wind,” says Miles who is by the window.
I give him an anxious look. I really want to talk to Mrs. Simpson, but I don’t know what I could say in front of my mom. Does my mom know who she is that they put me into her as a baby? Mrs. Simpson looks at me and tilts her head a little.
“I think all you need is a good night’s sleep,” she says.
She comes over to me and puts her hands on mine. They’re freezing. She must be cold all the time, I think.
“Sweet dreams,” she says.
I smile and she and my mother talk by my door.
Miles comes over and sits by my bed.
“Miles There was a grave, I think-I -I can’t remember.” A pink light is coming from Mrs. Simpson’s necklace over to my eyes. She is looking at me and talking to my mom at the same time.
Miles puts his hand on my head and looks at Mrs. Simpson and my mom as he says something, but I can’t make out what he is saying: I’m so tired. My eyes are drifting. Slowly closing.
“It’s ok, everything will be ok.” I hear Mrs. Simpson say.
I barely look in her eyes. They are bright pink, and her necklace is still glowing and moving towards me. I feel so tired. I shrink down into my bed. I put my head on my pillow. I see Mrs. Simpson and my mom talking by my door again. My eyes are too tired to worry anymore. I feel myself falling fast asleep.