There were four people who played major roles in Valencia High's history namely : Carolina Reece, Joanna Rosario, Henry Mills and in some twisted sense,
Ryker Xaviera and Elias Sanders.
That's five actually but you know what? Doesn't matter. That good for nothing fella, people call him The Eli, he's known for burning bridges. When we were together, I'd have had a good laugh at the tiny posters with his name on the top of participant's list.
Believe it or not, him, I find listless.
I stare for good five minutes yet again. The troublemakers' theory. The foolish participants. My name standing right below Eli's but I didn't care too much.
"I have always known Henry being life-of-party... And a little something more sometimes." said the woman to my left. Black curls reaching her shoulders, smiling that never once reached her cattish green eyeballs, though her cheeks were sky high paired with mist-like-thickness. She wore grandmother glasses on the youthful face, as her index finger traces the submitted names.
Notice board was goddamn small
. The other girl, her best friend scoots closer til her vision figures out Carol hadn't been mistaken. "Indeed a prodigy. Praise the lord for sending his glory! I can only imagine the number of people disappointed by Owen's litter."
"That's just his handwriting," I scoff momentarily, still leaning forward alongside. "Don't you have burgers to serve or something?"
"Aye aye buzz kill. Cheerio!"
The new teacher and the lunch lady parts their way. You see — my dream has always been to peacefully graduate from the best city — Valencia using my scholarship. Carolina Reece as well as Joanna Rosario happen to be working there, which lessens my mum's worries and reassures my brother off the obligations. My dad is a hospital HR at Detroit, so is my mom and TS. too hopes to follow the same career path.
My passion is lyrics.
"How's the rainy song coming?"
"Do you find the life of algebra teacher suitable? I mean, you like it here okay?"
That's the odd part. Neighbors for ages, we don't have much in common. Anna and Carol? Graduated speedily. Got hooked up for same workplace. Message one another everywhere. Me? Senior student. Black (yikes). I can't keep a part time job longer for three days, sue me.
Valencia. It consists of work class people. Puberty is where you start with. Small jobs of coarse.
"You have crush on roomie boy, don't you?"
"Which one?" I've an image. ID. Seldom gets handy. We enter the staffroom, Carol greets a few bored looks, removes her poignant sweater and after folding into a tiny hedgehog, leaves the room where I'm waiting. Outside, despite winter it's sunny, hopefully that'd keep her mind off shipping me to Roven Hamilton. AKA Owen, my roomie. On a bench, we park our butts, Carol peers around, " I know you do."
Her voice is a whisper. The type you use while reprimanding a kid. She adds then, "you don't know him, Josie. "
"What's there I don't? He plays rugby, lets me shower first so I don't get late, feeds my Goldie like his own, has good bunch of friends."
"You done?" Carolina purses her lips quickly stealing a glance at my annoyance. A fountain tiny lies in our line of vision, my friend quickly picks up a pebble, tosses it away as if this conversation could wait forever and finally speaks to me. "There is so much you haven't experienced yet. So many people who you've yet to meet, too many spots on the globe you've never heard about, and... I just think it's wrong for you to settle at this age. "
"Where are you going with this anyway?" Carolina gives me a very flat look wordlessly, which somehow I take as a sign to keep going. Propping knees near to my torso,I shake back volumes of my red hair to my back, once comfortable I begin. " I'm sixteen, you're nineteen. Don't talk to me as if I were a child! Cause I'm not. " Carolina's silence isn't taken well by me. "do you have any idea how many people in this world never chance to fit the soulmate theory? I do, and I don't want to be them. I want to take my chances, gamble my risks, sell my tears & fears, they could never hold me back, you know?"
"But Josie, behind every person you know is person you don't, ever considered that?"
"I have, I have. I would really," the next words are knocked out by my simple gesture of taking her hands in mine. Softly, I tell her, "like to find out Owen Hamilton besides his sunset smiles and trophy room, I'd care for the person in the dark. I'm not Anna."
"Hmm. Needn't remind me." The atmosphere calms down as soon as we occupy common grounds. Carolina Reece just sits there, closed eye, relaxed as much as I. I couldn't quite put a finger on it but she did get me a lot number of times when no one else did. Maybe that's why she's so well liked around even as a teacher. "You going to summer fest?"
"Where else would I be for April." A miniscule of sorrow tints Carolina's normal greens. It causes me regret in that instant knowing she'd nobody but us.
However, that mood doesn't last long. Carol wears a lopsided grin," Henry too would be there. I think its gonna be lit. "
"Oh that's right, they are carrying out an experiment aren't they? Maybe I can get you signed." I tease gingerly.
"Possibly not, woman!" Carol fights back. When I chuckle a little, she pries her bony hands away immediately, kicking my boot with her slightly high sandal. Struggles of being Carolina Reece? Being shy and adventurous. "Ah why not? A true love's kiss might change your destiny. Plus it'd be technically —"
Cutely, Carol gets all agitated, shaking her head side to side vigorously. "No, no, no! I can't."
"Cinderella never had swinging in the ballroom and that too in the arm's of a Prince. Still, you can tell it must've been quite pleasant." Carol seems to be on verge of dipping her head into redness of infection. Priceless. "You know how Henry met Ryker? Same principle, babe."
Everyone knew their cover story. Even the foreign students, the geeks, and people like me who have sworn never to be updated by local news. In fact, their picture turned up into last year's school magazine. " Once upon a time, there lived a stoned faced drama geek. His love for the stage was endless and so was his beauty. He ruled his age mates readily and wore a crown of... Of?"
"A paper crown." Carol lets out a nervous string of giggle after saying so. " Till all he ever cared, ever worshipped once on a frosty morn was snatched away. Now he spent his remaining time on doodling and cleaning, some days he'd stay home for no good reason at all. " I could tell Carol was trying the hardest to feign disinterest by crossing a leg over other, looking away. I showed no mercy, " and then to top it all, his father — a coach at that time — asked him how'd he like to join football! "
"There he made a friend to the kindest boy he'd ever seen around, and slowly but surely they fell deeply in love."
"That's right, hold on." Interrupted by an unfamiliar voice, Carol and I trail our gaze towards a boy standing like a tower great. Much to amazement, he takes a seat beside Carolina, hair a different shade of black than hers and a little too high on happiness for my liking. "Henry Mills." Us two sync.
"Ladies." He acknowledges serenely, as his arm engulfs a pair of rather tensed shoulders. Minutes pass by unspoken, my pattering feet break whatever silent agreement Carol had with the silver boy. " I couldn't help but overhear about your shyness and your lovely pal's urging. "
"Car-Carolina Reese, that's Jocelyn Waters, Josie." My friend's forgetfulness is remarkable. Let's hope her coy nature doesn't break her heart again. I respond with frank formality,"must say Mills, you haven't changed a bit since the last encounter we fostered."
" What an eloquent woman we've got here, " Henry stresses quite charmingly. Carolina Reece — wide eyed and frustrated pale — didn't appreciate it though. Marking Satan as the devil isn't something anyone is supposed to. Too bad I'm special case. Henry cozies up in spite of his lab coat. " I like you, I have for a while now. " he confesses.
"At the risk of sounding heterosexual, I think of you as somebody highly respected for wits."
" Thanks for noticing. " I dryly mumble. Mixed with a swell of pride and yet a sense of doubt. Carol doesn't really intervene. Truthfully, I want her to. "That is why, my dear, I think you'd be good pair filling the shoes for the biggest experiment ever."
At that, I crack up. Laughing til I'm coughing before a bewitched pairs of eye, green for exasperation as copper for enthusiasm, although on closer inspection — specks of golden determination too lied there on the male's. Honey & mud reeking, the guy beside remains intrigued. " This totally goes in my joke book. Thanks for your offer."
" Are you sure? " a dubious demeanor replaces his prior keenness. I nod twice tightly smiling, " beside miss algebra, she'd such super at such. Better we don't enter altogether. "
"Hmm. Sorry." Carolina supports timidly from his right. Henry Mills doesn't ask twice. He takes his leave as soon as the clouds conceal the sun mighty. On his way, Mills wearing another friendly smile counters :
"Can I at least walk the new teach to her assigned class?"
Something tells me Henry Mills would make a good salesman.
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