A story in the works. Three chapters so far, the fourth will be forthcoming.
The effect of love is twofold: first, it makes the minds of those involved open to infinite vulnerabilities. Secondly, and far more dangerously, it makes those previously mentioned happy.
James H. Couse, Ph. D, M.D.
The human mind is an astonishing creature all of its own. After it has accepted something as “truth,” it often takes nothing greater than an act of God to change it. Truth, however unfortunate, depends upon perspective. And perspective, of course, is that realm of thoughts and dreams which so often invades the reality of man.
Jane Oran smiled to herself as the sleepy class tried valiantly to rouse itself for the first day of school. Not even old Mrs. Reaton, the English teacher, was really awake, not now, at seven a.m. in the morning. Jane was wide awake, although she knew the boring rigmarole of the first few days would kill her, or at least put her into a coma. It’s not like either is too poor of an option at the moment she thought wryly as Mrs. Reaton managed to rouse herself enough to begin handing out documents to sign and return.
Jane began to daydream quietly after signing and returning the papers—and without knowing exactly what it was she’d signed. Oh well…. It doesn’t matter anyway…its only school. A sharp, quiet rap on her desk brought her out of her reveries. “Huh…?” Her voice surprised her; maybe she was sleepier than she’d thought.
“What do you want?” Jane opened her eyes, revealing the deep green irises that most found so captivating…and so disturbing.
“Nothing’, what else? It’s boring in here without somebody to talk to.” The familiar voice of Drew Steeron floated into her consciousness.
Still in her half-daze, Jane responded quietly: “Right. And you want to talk to me, correct?”
“Nah. I just wanted to wake you up.” Drew grinned as Jane sat up in the half-desk, half-chair…things that the school provided for desks. Drew was a bit pale, but not so much that it was really noticeable, next to his brown hair and almost-navy blue eyes.
“You’ve succeeded. And now I have to kill you.” Jane smiled, an act that had become unusual for her in the last few months. “Better start running.” She took her pencil in hand and tapped it against the top of Drew’s head.
“What are you gonna do, poke me to death? There are worse ways to die, Jane.” Drew smiled, but there were something about his face, maybe his eyes, she thought. Something about the way he-
“Has everyone turned in your signed sheets?” Mrs. Reaton’s voice came from across the room, regardless of the fact that this would be her third time asking that same damnable question inside of ten minutes. Jane unzipped her bag and after groping around for a few minutes, withdrew the small, leather-bound “diary” she kept. Honestly, it wasn’t a diary, just one of those blank books that anyone can get at the dollar store. Still, it suited her purpose. Jane gave Drew another whack on the head with her pencil (for good measure, of course!), then opened her “diary” to the next blank page and began to write.
Jane tapped her cheek idly with the pencil, knowing what she intended to write, but not exactly how she wanted to do so. After a few moments of deliberation, she put the pencil to paper.
Dear diary: T'is the first day of school, and as we both know, since you and I are the same person, it's miserable. Here Jane paused, and took about three seconds to smack Drew's hand, which had begun to make its way back across. There was a loud, painful THWACK! "Off my desk." Drew muffled a yell and withdrew his hand.
"Good boy. Now keep your hands to yourself." Jane began writing again. I still think Drew needs to grow up and stop trying to flirt all the-
"Hey!" Drew poked her shoulder. "I am NOT a flirt. Well...not usually. But that isn't the point!" He'd glanced over her shoulder to read the journal. Jane shut the book and rolled her eyes.
"Do you ever shut up?"
"Only when I'm sleeping." Drew smiled. "You can't stay mad at me."
And that was true, Jane found it increasingly difficult to stay upset with him, and they both knew it.
"Just hush, please?" Jane's green eyes went wide and doe-like.
"Fine," Drew grumbled. Something about Jane's manner always wanted him to agree with her; especially her eyes. To Drew, oh-so-jaded as he was after sixteen years of life, it felt like there was an innocence about Jane, something both very distant and still very vulnerable. He studied her for a moment. The familiar green eyes and black hair stood out, as usual. Next was her slightly tanned skin, the product of actual sunbathing, not that crappy liquid tan stuff. Yuck...Fake tans!
Something of his thoughts must have shown on his face; Jane watched him for a minute.
Jane only shook her head and returned to her writing, before finally giving up. "It's too crowded in here!" She pouted. The bell finally rang, and they hurried into the hall, which was already crowded with too many people.
Jane grabbed Drew's arm in a vicegrip and tugged him along with her. After all, they only got a twelve-minute break between first and second blocks. She dragged outside the school, next to the stadium and released him. "Sorry, you know how much I hate crowds." Jane muttered by way of apology.
Drew mock-scowled. "Yeah, I know. You and me both. Now what did you drag my silly ass all the way out here for?"
Jane paused thoughtfully. "I really don't know. It just seemed like an excellent idea at the time."
"Great....You do know that good ideas do not start with 'Hey, it would be cool if,' right?" Drew grinned and defended himself from a light-hearted whack. "You know I'm right, Jane!"
Jane only shook her head and tried to hide a smile. In the distance, teachers and students walked through the school halls, seen only partially through the small windows. Like rats in a maze, both Drew and Jane thought, but neither spoke. When the bell rang, signalling the beginning of second block, they parted ways and reentered the school hesitantly. Jane sighed and walked away with a sad smile on her face.
Unfortunately for Jane, second block was boring. Very boring. In fact, second block was so boring that she fell completely asleep on her desk/chair, much to Mr. Perry's chagrin. He promptly slammed a book on Jane's very unfortunate desk. Jane woke frantically.
"Jane, right? Even though it is the first day, and economics is boring, I know, y'can't sleep in my class." Mr. Perry grinned. "You snore, too." The class laughed as Jane's ears burned.
"Why can't I sleep? It's not like I'm ever going to use economics in my life, Mr. Whatever your name is." Jane tried to speak calmly in spite of her embarassment and her instant liking for this man's style.
"Maybe you won't, Jane, but you can't because in here I am the Power That Is, so you don't get naptime. Cool?" Everyone in the room laughed, even Jane. Maybe this won't be such a bad class after all, Jane thought. It certainly couldn't be worse than that dodgy old crab of an English teacher and that hellhole, or so Jane considered it, of a class. At least, it seemed that way until Mr. Perry decided to give homework.
"Okay guys, I know you're gonna hate me for this, but I'm giving homework. Read the first four chapters of your textbook and answer all the reviews. Due tomorrow." There was a collective groaning sigh from the class as the bell rang for third block, which thankfully included lunch. Jane rushed out into the hall, looking for Drew.
She found Drew where he should have been for once, and this time it was Drew who grabbed her. "Where are you heading so fast?" Drew laughed. "I don't think I've seen you run before unless you were chased. And the last time I chased you, you kicked me." Drew actually grimaced with the memory, while Jane smiled for the second time that day.
"Yes, I remember. I also know that you haven't chased me since." Jane tilted her head curiously. "Why not?" Her eyes went thoughtful.
"Er, I dunno. Maybe because I don't really enjoy getting kicked, especially not by those bloody boots you like wearing."
There was a quiet moment between them as they both contemplated what had been said. Drew, uncomfortable with the silence as usual, broke the spell and tugged on Jane's shirtsleeve.
"Come on, let's go. I'm starving..."
Jane only nodded silently, not paying much attention and allowing Drew to drag her through the maelstrom of hungry students jostling for line and table position.
Drew led her to a chair in the quieter section of the cafeteria and left her there, hurrying off to jockey with everyone else for food. The fact that he had considerable experience at this, him being a junior and all, helped quite a bit. He emerged from the fray quickly and efficiently, carrying two trays.