If angels exist, does that mean Edward Cullen is real too?
I woke up the next morning in pain, a harsh beeping noise
drilling into my head. I was beyond tired. Way past that yawning, bleary eyed
stage and into the whole 'brain not functioning why do I have to get up just
kill me because that would mean I could sleep more' stage.
With my eyes still closed, I felt around for the alarm clock but felt my stomach drop when I felt nothing.
I opened my eyes a crack and was surprised to be greeted by a huge picture of Jess on the wall, back when her hair was straight and auburn like mine. That made realise that I wasn't in my bedroom. I had fallen asleep on the couch.
But what was that noise? That annoying, jarring noise?
I groaned and sat up, my muscles stiff from sleeping at an awkward angle.
Seriously, what was that noise?
I was going to smash whatever it was when I found it. I was going to smash it, set it on fire, and then smash it again.
After scanning the room about five times because it was cold and I didn't want to get out of my warm comfy position, a flashing light drew my attention to my phone and I groaned again.
Who calls someone at 6:30 in the morning?
I reached over to the table and picked the phone up, extending my arms out as far as I could so I wouldn't have to step on the cold wooden floor.
Surprised that the caller ID said 'Gina', I answered hesitantly.
"Hello?" Ew my voice sounded like a forty year old fat man with a bad smoking problem.
"Um…Tegan?" Gina's voice sounded equally as groggy and about three times as angry as mine.
"Yea. What's up?"
I rolled over and stretched my arms over my head, staring at the ceiling fan. I was having trouble keeping my eyes open.
"Could you come over? Eliza is here and wants to talk about something…"
My eyes snapped open in shock and my vision swarm with dark circles.
"That's weird. Is everything okay?"
"Well it's not like Eliza to show up out of the blue. And I think I hurt her feelings when I didn't invite her in."
I stifled a yawn as my sleepy brain tried to process this information. This took some time since my brain wasn't very sharp even when I was wide awake.
"Wait…Didn't invite her in? Gina…where is Lizzy right now?
"Sitting outside my house."
"What?" I yelled.
"What?" Gina replied innocently.
It was just like Gina to do something so insensitive. She was one of the coldest people I knew. Knowing her, she had probably slammed the door in Lizzy's face this morning.
"I'm going to have to come over aren't I?" I said reluctantly, snuggling deeper into the couch and pulling the blanket up to my chin.
"I can't deal with that girl on my own. You know we don't exactly get along. And she's way too cheery in the mornings."
"I'll see you in twenty minutes."
I hung up on her before her bad mood could infect me too.
Gina was not a morning person and neither was I. I, however, could at least maintain some curtesy towards other people. Gina was just plain rude.
I slid off the couch, testing my sore ankle. There was still a dull ache but I deemed myself fit enough for the walk to Gina's house. As much as I wanted to go back to sleep, the image of Lizzy, with her silky brown hair and skinny frame sitting on the curb in the cold motivated me to get into action.
Yawning and shivering against the morning chill, I tip toed my way to the laundry. The house was still quiet and it felt like a mortal sin to break the calm.
Ruffling through the various clothes in the dryer, I pulled out my school attire.
I took off my sweatshirt and changed into the long sleeved blouse, blue sweater vest, knee length plaid blue skirt and black tights. Kensington High had a pretty good uniform, I had to admit.
I moved over to the sink and splashed my face with cold water, a smile forming on my lips at the thought of the events of yesterday.
Was I dreaming? Did it really happen? Did Cory actually ask me out? Cory? With his perfect blond hair and blue eyes and totally athletic body? Oh man I could feel myself blushing.
I left the house in a daze, thoughts of Cory swimming in and out of my mind.
What should I wear on our date? What would he wear? But do I say? What would he want to do? Oh no what if he thinks I'm boring? Or lame? Or stupid? Maybe I should call this whole thing off! But how would I tell him? Would he hate me? But I love him!
"No!" I said loudly, my voice loud in the silent street. "I must not over think this. Stop Tegan." My steps ceased as I took some deep breaths and tried to remain calm. I'm sure Cory would like me...maybe...or not...
I tried to take my mind of it, focussing on the sunrise peaking out between the trees and suddenly I was reminded of the morning I spent breaking into Sabrina's house.
Thoughts of Cory were pushed out of my head to be replaced by Raith and Babu.
I started walking down the sidewalk again, my steps aggressive as I charged past house after house.
"Stupid Raith." I growled, blowing into my hands to harm myself up. My ankle throbbed and I hissed.
The cold morning air rushed at my face bringing with it the smell of orchids and grass. I wished I wore a scarf or gloves. Winter was coming.
I saw Lizzy before she saw me: sitting on the front step of Gina's two storey white washed house.
"Tegan!" she cried when I approached her. She looked adorable in pink fluffy earmuffs and a white fluffy scarf obscuring half her face.
Her bright eyes sparkled at me as she pulled me into a bone crushing huge and dragged me to Gina's front door.
"Why are you here so early?" I asked as we waited for Gina to open to door.
"Well Paul's new friend came over yesterday and they were playing COD all night so I didn't get to sleep until they stopped screaming 'die bitch die!'. And then this morning all his other friends came over really early since they have soccer training so there was just too much testosterone for me to handle."
"I thought you'd be used to it by now. Doesn't Paul have friends over all the time?"
"Yea but it was just really annoying this time. But oh my God Tegan!" Lizzy suddenly grabbed my shoulders and started shaking me.
"What? What's wrong?"
"Paul's new friend is so hot! You should totally go out with him! I forgot his name but he's got spiky platinum blond hair and beautiful grey eyes. He's gorgeous!"
"Actually…" I gave her a secretive smile. "Cory asked me to go out with him."
"What? Oh my God! Oh my God!!" Lizzy threw herself at me, squealing like a pig being stabbed with a fork. "That's amazing! Amazing! Are you excited? Ah! Aaahh!!!"
She spun me around and around and I laughed as her enthusiasm started to rub off on me. However, a moment later, Lizzy's face fell.
"I wish Josh would ask me out." She added.
I looked away and pretended I was interested in Gina's rose bushes. Talk about awkward atmosphere. I didn't know what to say. Hurry up and open the door Gina!
As if she had somehow heard my plea, the door opened and Gina glared at us, her glasses askew and her sandy hair sticking up in all directions.
"Could you guys stop talking so loud? It's giving me a migraine and I could hear you from inside my house."
She let us in and ushered us down a hallway into the TV room. As we walked, I marvelled at all the African wooden sculptures and models hanging on the walls.
I've always loved Gina's house. Lizzy's mansion was way too big for just her and her brother since her parents were diplomats who worked abroad. My house was too tidy and pristine because of my OCD mother. Gina's house, on the other hand, was cosy and full of neat things. It was small since Gina and her mum were the only ones living in it, and it was always in a constant state of cluttered, quirky mess.
The house wasn't dirty but there were things everywhere: books, cushions, rugs, ancient artefacts, and probably a cursed lamp or two. Gina's mother was a historical novelist who loved exotic, old, mystical things and so their house was like a mini museum. I loved the character and uniqueness of it all. And every room smelt like fragrant herbal tea.
Gina moved some leather bound books and old manuscripts from the huge musky old couch in the centre of the room and gestured for us to take a seat.
"We can't be too loud. My mum fell asleep in the study in front of her computer again and the walls are paper thin."
Lizzy and I nodded and I tried not to sneeze when I picked up an oil lamp that smelt strongly of incense.
"Don't touch that." Gina snapped.
I dropped the object quickly and instead picked up an old Kensington High year book that had all our photos in it.
"So why did you show up here so early in the first place?" Gina asked Lizzy.
"I just wanted company and your house is closer than Tegan's. You didn't have to slam the door in my face!"
"I'm not a morning person."
Gina crossed her legs on the couch and scowled, angry vibes radiating from her.
After a moment, Lizzy perked up.
"Oh! I figured out the plan by the way!"
"Oh right, you weren't there were you Gina?"
"No…which makes me wonder you're over at my house trying to come up with this plan of yours, when I have absolutely nothing to do with it."
"Well neither does Tegan, but she's going along with it."
"Huh? What about me?"
I stopped staring at the photos in the book and faced my two best friends.
"Why are you helping Eliza with this so called plan?" Gina asked, adjusting her glasses.
"Why not? I'm pretty bored and I want to take my mind off things…" Like killer angels named Babu.
I went back to looking at the old photos of us. It was odd how we could look the same as we did as kids, yet still look different at the same time.
"Oh my God Gina, did you hear? Cory asked Tegan out on a date!"
"He did?" Gina didn't look impressed. "Well frankly, I don't think it's going to work out."
"What? How dare you say that! Tegan and Cory look so good together."
"But she barely knows him. I just think that it's a little odd that he should be asking her out so suddenly, when they aren't even friends in the first place."
"Well maybe he suddenly woke up one day, saw her walking to school and instantly fell in love."
"That never happens in real life Eliza."
"Maybe it does. And stop calling me that! It's Lizzy!"
How on earth did I end up best friends with two people who were virtually opposites of each other? I could sit here silently for a whole day and they'd never notice since they'd be too busy arguing.
"What about that other boy?" Gina turned to me abruptly.
There was silence and it took me a second to work out what I said wrong. Then it hit me. Oh my God. His name just came out! I wasn't even thinking when I said it. And Gina couldn't possibly know about him either.
Just as I expected, both of my friends' eyes widened.
"Raith?" they both yelled, their argument instantly forgotten.
"Wait, who were you talking about Gina?"
"Craig. That boy who sits next to you in science."
"Oh but who cares about that walking pimple. Who's Raith? I bet he's hot, right Tegan? Raith is a pretty sexy name."
I cringed. How on earth do I explain Raith? I didn't even know what he was.
"Don't say he's no one. Spill it."
"I'm going to have to agree with Eliza. Tell us Tegan."
They both gave me a 'that's not good enough' look.
"He's…a childhood friend. And he just came to visit for a few weeks and I met up with him."
They looked at each other.
"How old is he?" Lizzy asked. I scrambled around in my brain, trying to remember.
"Eighteen…" I thought that was what he said.
"Hmm…Well since you've got Cory, want to introduce me to him?"
"What?" Gina and I demanded at the same time.
"What do you mean 'what'? He's the right age and he sounds smokin'."
"Uh…but he's leaving town soon. He's only visiting remember." I said quickly. "And what about Josh?"
"Well that's part of the plan. See, I make Josh jealous enough to realise that he actually loves me, and at the same time, I bring down Sabrina. I can see it now. She's going to freak out, go crazy and break down when she realises I have Josh's attention. Then, while Josh is pining after me, she's going to turn to some other boy for a random one night fling. Then Josh has a reason to dump her. Then he'll come back to me and we'll skip off into the sunset."
"But then what about Raith?"
"He's only staying a short time right? So by the time Josh comes running back to me, Raith will have to leave. It's perfect."
"You thought that up just this second didn't you?" Gina gave her a sceptical look.
I, on the other hand, was shaking my head profusely. First of all, I was pretty sure Josh already realised his true feelings for Lizzy. He just didn't know how she felt. Because he was retarded. Okay that was mean. He was just annoyingly ignorant. Second of all, even though he and Sabrina did hook up that night and were now an item, I was certain that the girl would get bored of him and dump him before Lizzy could even begin her stupid plan. Oh, and lastly, there was no way I was introducing her to Raith. I wonder if she could even see Raith. Maybe only I could see Raith. I should ask him the next time I saw him. Actually, I wonder when I will see him again. Did I want to see him again?
"Tegan! Stop zoning out and pay attention." Lizzy snapped.
"We're about to initiate the first phase of the plan."
"Get to someone on the inside, and make them give us all Sabrina's little secrets. Otherwise known as Operation Cupcake."
"So no one will know what we're doing. Duh."
I glanced at Gina, hoping that the small girl could put an end to this madness. I mean, I knew the concept of making a plan to destroy Sabrina was my idea, but I wasn't serious. I would have said anything, absolutely anything, just to ensure that Lizzy didn't break Sabrina's nose that night. This was starting to sound a lot like that movie Mean Girls.
"What? Gina, really?"
"It's stupid and will never work but if I'm helping you guys, we might stand a chance."
"I'm going to regret this aren't I?"
They didn't say anything so, with a sigh, I nodded.
After what I've been through the past week, I should be able to handle this.
We were late to school, thanks to Lizzy and Gina arguing about the codename Operation Cupcake for ten minutes.
I didn't really mind. My thoughts were elsewhere. High school teenaged drama seemed stupid. Lizzy should just go up to Josh and tell the guy that she liked him. That would save so much time and energy.
I made it to English just before the teacher locked me out, and took my seat in the front row. It was good sitting in the front because the teacher was always looking at the back of the classroom. Eye contact with teachers freaked me out a little.
Then I realised that I was in the wrong class becauce that lankly thin man with a goatee and a trench coat was not my normal teacher. And black leather trench coat? Who did he think he was? Neo from the Matrix? I was about to get up and leave when the man stood up and cleared his throat.
"Hello kids. Your teacher is away sick so I'll be your substitute. My name is Mr. Balls."
The effect was instantaneous. The whole class burst into laughter.
"Is he for real?"
"He looks like a pedophile."
"He said balls right? Balls?"
"Quiet!" Mr. Balls said in a very commanding voice, his expression darkening. "I will not tolerate that kind of disrespect in my classroom!"
I bit my lip to stop myself laughing, as did twenty other people in my class.
"Is your first name Harry? Get it? Harry Balls?" someone yelled from the back of the classroom.
I couldn't help it. I burst out laughing so hard I think I pulled a muscle.
"You!" Mr. Balls said angrily, jabbing a finger in my direction. "Get out!"
My laughter ceased.
"Excuse me?" I asked, my eyes wide in shock.
"Get out of my classroom!"
My mouth fell open. Was he serious? I wasn't even the one making fun of his name! I just laughed!
"You're going to argue with me?" Mr. Balls was screaming so loud that spit was flying everywhere and I could see the silver fillings in the back of his mouth.
His eyes were wild and wide like an animal caught in a trap. I was speechless. I stood slowly and picked up my books as the whole class collectively held their breath.
Then I walked out the door and stood in the hallway, confused.
A minute later, Mr. Balls came out and saw me standing there in a daze.
"Sit down and start writing a practice essay on the topic you were given last week." He said sharply before retreating back into the classroom.
What? On the floor? What?
I sat down and leaned against the wall, my face scrunched up. Who did he think he was? He wasn't even our teacher! He was a freaking substitute! And I never do anything wrong! He has some serious psychological issues. I hate Mr. Balls.
I opened my notebook angrily but instead of writing about the use of satire as a means of social commentary in Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, I thought about Raith and Babu.
I needed to figure out what was going on before I died. The only problem was that I hadn't the faintest idea what was happening.
Trying to keep a clear head, I began to list the facts.
Fact 1: Babu is connected to Raith
Fact 2: They both have some unnatural ability to appear in random places without me knowing (my room for instance)
Fact 3: both are very passive aggressive. Actually, Babu is just aggressive from my experience.
Fact 4: Raith supposedly can't physically touch me. Babu made it very clear that he can.
Fact 5: Raith can strangle people without touching them. What a freak.
Fact 6: Raith said Babu was a guardian angel.
I held up the paper and frowned.
How was any of it related? Why would an angel try to kill me? He wouldn't want to kill me over the ring right? The ring with magical healing powers...
After staring at the list of facts and running several ridiculous scenarios through my head, I decided to take a nap. There was half an hour before English ended and Mr. Balls seemed to have forgotten I was there.
I lay down on the carpeted floor and rested my head on my English books. After getting up so early this morning, sleep came easily.
The bell rang and woke me up about a second before Mr. Balls opened the door and gave me a somewhat smug and patronising look.
"I hope you've learnt to respect your elders." He told me when he saw my sour face.
Respect my elders? He was probably only thirty! What a jerk.
"Yes Mr. Balls." I said solemnly. Despite the situation, I still had to stop myself from giggling at his name.
"Good. I'm sure we'll be good friends after this little mishap."
Yea right. I'd rather burn in hell.
Giving him a fake smile whilst mentally poking holes in his face, turned and pushed my way through the crowd of people flooding the hallways. I knew I'd be late to my next class. The arts complex was on the other side of the school campus and Kensington High was huge.
There was a reason why the school was so big: there were only two schools in Fishbowl and quite a number of teenagers needed to be educated. It was still annoying though. Because I'm lazy.
I was surprised when I actually arrived at the photography classroom before the bell rang. It was probably the first time I had been early all year.
As I took my seat, I finally began to relax, the tension leaving my muscles. A feeling of apprehension had begun to escalate ever since the start of English but now that I was free of Mr. Balls, the world seemed like a brighter place. And photography was my favourite subject. I wasn't exactly creative but I managed. There was something just so amazingly wonderful about watching a photo develop.
It was too bad that my photography teacher, Mrs. Crest, hated me. I didn't really know why but the woman hated me with a passion. Today, she refused to let me use the darkroom because I was limping around and she thought I might trip and break something. Excuses, excuses.
"I'm going to fail my assignment." I grumbled as I sat at one of the stiff desks and looked at my negatives.
I was already behind on so much work.
With nothing better to do, I stared out the window and thought once again about Raith.
He was dangerous. I learnt that much from when he went psycho outside Sabrina's house. One thing I wouldn't forget anytime soon was the way the world physically dimmed when he got angry, the way the colours faded to grey and the numbing cold that came over me.
Yet again I found myself attracted to the mystery. Who was Raith? Was he really an angel? Seriously, how could angels be real?
Do you believe in heaven?
So do you really think there are angels and demons and ghosts and spirits?
The bell rang and I jumped in my seat. Everyone was moving, eager to get to lunch.
I stayed where I was, slowly slipping my negatives back into the plastic slip and putting it back into my folder.
As I eased myself onto my good leg, I noticed that someone left the door to the darkroom open.
The classroom was deserted now and I realised what a good opportunity this was. After all, no one would be back until the end of lunch. I had a whole hour to develop my pictures and not fail the assignment.
Sticking the folder with my negatives under my arm, I limped my way over to the open door and walked into the dark corridor. Leaning against the wall, I closed the door behind me, having second thoughts as the alcove plunged into darkness. Technically we weren't allowed to use the darkroom by ourselves just in case something happened.
With my luck, maybe this wasn't such a good idea. But then again, school had been the one place where normality had remained.
Swallowing, I limped forward little by little, waiting to make contact with the door that led to the darkroom.
I let out a muffled sound as my shoe hit something wooden with a thud. Leaning on my good foot, I tentatively stretched out a hand and pushed the door open.
My eyes were greeted with dark red light and I took a deep breath, inhaling the chemical smell.
I limped into the room before the door swung back and looked around. I was alone. I made my way steadily towards my work station where a stack of shiny photo paper was waiting. I almost got there when the red lights flickered.
I stopped, my heart sinking. I could almost guess what was going to happen next. And then it happened. The lights flickered again before I heard a loud zap and the room was plunged into darkness.
I panicked even though I was expecting something like this to happen. I tried not to but I couldn't help it.
I turned quickly and twisted my sprained ankle. Pain shot up my leg and I let out a scream as I fell. My flailing arms knocked over a container full of developing chemicals and the cold liquid splashed all over my shirt, vest and plaid skirt. Once again my uniform was ruined.
I hit the ground in milliseconds, first my butt followed by my head. Excruciating pain blossomed along my tail bone and my cranium. I felt winded, the air having rushed out of my lungs.
I lay there stunned, trying to force my brain to calm down and think. Think Tegan think!
And that's when I heard the dark chuckle.
I sat up, my eyes squinting in the darkness. I couldn't make out a thing, my heart still beating erratically.
"Who's there?" I asked. Maybe one of my fellow students came to help? Or Babu armed with a rifle? My stupidity made me cringe.
"Babu? Is that you? Because don't think I won't fight back because I will. I don't know why you have a grudge against me but with it's not cool."
"Try again sweetheart."
I'd recognize that voice anywhere.
"Raith, this isn't funny. Fix the lights. I know you're the one behind this."
"Oh come now. Don't you like to play in the dark?" His voice turned husky, coming from somewhere behind me. What the hell? Did he have split personalities or something?
"What are you doing? Turn the lights back on!"
"But I like this atmosphere."
I buried my head in my hands. Oh geez Raith was really annoying.
"Why are you still here? You promised me that you'd leave me alone after I got that ring for you."
"Take a guess?"
I slumped in the darkness. There could only be one reason.
Raith started clapping slowly, the sharp noise echoing in the room.
"But you promised-"
"I heard you the first time. But you screwed up the deal when you let him see you. If you had been a bit quicker-"
I flinched. His voice was right next to my ear. I could feel his warm breath on my neck. He smelled nice. I mean, what?
"I don't want to hang around either but you're gonna need my help getting rid of Babu."
"I find it hard to believe that you'd want to help me."
"It's not my choice. The sooner we fix this, the better. I'm not helping you because I want to. If you die then I'll be in deep shit."
I swallowed nervously. There was something urgent in his voice, like he was on some sort of deadline.
"What happens to you if I die?"
Raith moved even closer and my heart started racing.
"You don't want to know." He whispered.
The heat left my neck as he stood up.
"At least tell me what you are." I said quickly, my voice heavy with anxiety. I wanted to know what was going on. I needed to know what was going in. The seed of curiosity had blossomed into a massive maneating plant desperate for information.
The silence stretched out for what seemed like hours. There was strange electricity in the air, a static feeling that pricked at my skin and made my heart jolt. I could imagine him, his head cocked to one side as he pondered my words.
After what felt like an eternity, he finally spoke. His voice was like ice in my ears, smooth and cold.
"Well sweetheart, I'm Death."
Jenna Lovett oh heey how about you stop being mean and tell your readers what happened to tegan 5 years ago??!?!?! it's killing me! btw i love tegan's character! she's mature but such a normal teenage girl at the same time..and shes hilarious! and raith is just well...raith kind of freaky at the moment but i hope you develop his character more! anyway great chapter as always! cant wait until next saturday!
LoStInMyTeArS 2011-03-12 . chapter 10
=O She was kicked. Out. Of. A. Window... >.>
OKAY! I dunno, im stuck. I dunno if I like Raith or Cory. I mean, Cory would be better cause they are BOTH HUMAN but Raith...You gotta love a mysterious guy ;D I dunno! RAWR! Cant wait for more!
lnik 2011-03-12 . chapter 10
Woohoo! Forbidden loves are the best kind... Poor Cory, he seems like a nice guy. Oh, well. I can't wait to find out more about these angel/demons!