by Sandra G
chapter 2 of my gothic romance novel. Vampires, teen drama, romance, mystery
“I must find him...I must...find...must.” the words drifted slowly from my lips.
“Hey, hello?” My body was trembling. “Hey, I know the first day is killer, but I think you’re supposed to get off with us?” a girl’s voice cracked through the fog. A strong pressure clenched my left shoulder, shaking it. My eyes burst open. The light stung them and still recoiling from the smoke's burn; they felt dry. A dream? It was just a dream? My shoulders relaxed and I unclenched my unbeknownst tense hands. I rubbed my chin, still feeling the face plant I had made in the dream. How could it have been so real? None of this made any sense. “HELLO? Let’s disembark the space ship now, come back to earth!” the voice rattled through my ear. “Knock, Knock?” I felt the rapt of a hand on the top of my head.
“ What?” my slowly awakening mind came up with. . “I’m sorry… I just had the strangest dream…“ I trailed off as the culprit of my harsh awakening stared at me. “Uhm, who are you?” I gave the girl an apologetic look, she was right, this was my destination, but I felt a little uncomfortable that she had seen me dreaming. I checked for drool, phew… I was safe.
“I guess that was a little straightforward of a complete stranger. “ She chuckled and then paused for a moment, recollecting herself; smoothing over her pink knee high waisted skirt before looking back up at me. “My name is Cami, short for Camille. You’re an junior right?” She smiled widely at me, offering her hand while fluorescent white teeth gleamed at me.
“Yeah I am. Luca,” taking her hand lightly. I’m not usually the conversationalist.
“Luca? That’s unique.” Her emerald eyes sparkled. I was used to that... Jessica or Samantha, how hard would that have been mom and dad. A simple, average, clearly conforming name… I shook my head and smiled at my frivolous thoughts. What did it matter now?
“Thanks,” she had noticed my pause. Chuckling, she grabbed her bag and I followed suit.
“You space out like that all the time, Luca?” I smiled at her, without answering, a peach sheen crossing my cheeks. My thoughts felt more sacred in my head. I was used to just thinking and thinking, always trying to take care of everything, especially for mom. I didn’t even notice anymore how much time I spent inside my mind or how lonely it really was outside of my thoughts.
Once I stepped foot on the sidewalk, the school loomed ahead me. I don’t know what I was expecting, but when I got off the bus, I felt my stomach squirm. Its ivory concrete steps rose in front of my feet at least 15 levels high, with dark iron railings. At their base lay red brick, which covered the rest of the school in a faded, weather worn orange. At the middle of the steps it split into two spiral gray stone railings joining at the top to medevil iron gates. A tri-set of doors marked the true entrance into the old building as noted by the plaque right beside it stating, “Linota Academy established 1873.” From there it spanned across acres into four wide corridors. I swallowed loudly and choked down the urge to just say whoa.
“Come on. I’ll show you to the office for your schedule. Maybe we’ll have lunch together!” Cami smiled eagerly, continuing on in conversation throughout the walk up and inside. My eyes crawled all over the high walls, the new age gold painted lockers and ivory floor tiles. The heavy dark oak doors with crackle tinted glass. My lack of responses seemed not to faze her. “Luca?” she called me out of my mind wandering.
“Hmm?” turning back to her, nearly stumbling over my own feet.
“Good luck and here,” she turned me towards the door labeled “Head Office,” in arching gold letters across the glass, before strolling off, waving farewell.
I spent the rest of the hour being assigned to classes, filling out personal information to be put on file meanwhile glancing out the long wall made of glass, as the head secretary, Mrs. O’Neil, chatted about.
“Now what is your full name dear, hmm?” Mrs. O’ Neil asked so cheerfully. I smiled at her, here we go again.
“It’s Luca, L-U-C-A, Marcove, Gray, with an A.”
“Well! That‘s certainly unique for us small town folks!” she burst, putting her thick fingers up to her mouth to shush her hefty chuckle. I was beginning to think unique here meant abnormal. “Now here is your schedule, my dear.” She scrunched her nose up, pushing her small circular glasses up further to her eyes. “There are 4 periods a day, each 80 minutes long, including an hour lunch/study period. Now I see you have found Miss Camille Torres as helpful, so how about having her show you to your first day of classes?” she smiled pleasantly turning the papers around and placing them in front of me. “Any questions Miss Gray? Miss Gray?” I was staring out the glass wall once more. “Yoohoo? Miss Gray?” she began to tap her pudgy hands rapidly on the papers sitting on her desk. I forced myself to turn back to her, smiling apologetically.
I had zoned her out. Unintentionally of course, but something;,well someone, had caught my eye. My eyes began their journey across the office walls when Ms. O'Neil started her speech. They were filled with bulletin boards of multi-colored posters for clubs and community events. Firmly framed degree’s of those who worked in the main office were placed orderly across the back wall behind her. When my eyes passed the Dean’s headquarters I saw him.
He was walking past the glass walls in a group of a few others. All of them gorgeous, with glowing eyes that seemed to produce a soft amber glow, almost like sunlight. They stopped, almost mid step, outside the office. They were turning to look inside at, what I thought, was anything else, but at me. He glared, the one with the ashen bronze hair. I looked down at myself. Searching for a bra slip or run in my dark tights. Perhaps I had a stain or one of those freeloading socks that somehow sticks itself to the middle back of every one of my cotton dresses. There was nothing, absolutely nothing interesting.
I turned to look back, this all happening so quickly. I couldn’t be sure that maybe it was just my imagination. How rude, I thought. Didn’t anyone teach him staring was not only impolite, but annoying? At least smile if you’re going to stare it me. I turned my head back to him one more time, damn this insatiable curiosity of mine.
He seemed to be the most mesmerizing of them all. His dark tresses fell softly across his forehead where the creamiest ivory skin contrasted. Leading me to his eyes that glowed like honey is when I realized he was staring into mine. My pale, cold gray eyes.
Instantly my cheeks flashed with heat and I whipped my head back to Mrs. O’Neil, but from the corner of my eyes I saw him still gazing at me. At least now he was moving on, if only slowly down the hall. His friends pulling at his arms, beckoning him to hurry up. What was that?
Right then the bell resounded, signaling the passage from class to lunch. The hallways flooded with other students and the group was shuffled forward to walk away into the commons. They still gazed back at the office periodically. For some reason I wasn’t as nervous as I was curious. What could have be so intriguing about me?
My dark, sable hair was still down at my sides, waved and pressed back behind one ear. Make-up virtually non-existent beyond the smudge of some eyeliner. There was nothing, nothing interesting, at all about me.
My thoughts wandered and wandered while I stared at the papers on the desk.
“MISS GRAY!” she shouted in as loud of a voice I believed she could have reckoned.
“I’m sorry Mrs. O’ Neil, I was just thinking about something” I stammered, ears hot, cheeks glowing. I must've looked insane.
“Well,” she ruffled her shoulders. “It must be the nerves,” she then chuckled at her deduction. “Anywho, here is your schedule dear, don’t lose it. Now off to lunch for you,” she scurried her fingers at me then toward the door. Focus Luce, I commanded myself.
Halfway out of the door I ran into Cami, literally. My papers spilled all over the floor and only about ten feet from the commons. Half of the student body was watching me make a fool out of myself on the first day.
“Luca, you have got stop spacing out while walking,” she said chiding me gently. “I mean, it’s bad enough you probably don’t hear half of what I say, but really, some people will get ticked if they think you’re ignoring them,” she continued to scold me, meanwhile plucking up papers. “Small town folk can be pretty judgmental if you let them be,” was her final piece of advice as she handed me my things.
“Thanks,” I said quickly and honestly, ignoring the temptation to hug her. “Good news!” I quipped. “I have lunch with you right now,” I watched her face light up again as it had before, her white teeth sparked along with her eyes, smile changing from encouraging to pleased. She was pretty, really pretty, and compared to her, I couldn’t even imagine how plain I was. Making today's event even more disturbing.
“Awesome! Oh! You are going to love my friends,” she began to trail off leading the way towards the commons. “They’re a little cocky, but you’ll totally fit in. I mean, we totally clicked, and they’re a lot like me, so it’ll be perfect. Hey, do you do cheer leading?” her thoughts were like forest fire, rapidly running into the next thought, engulfing it and then moving onto the next, but only at tremendous speeds. I could barely keep up, so I continued to nod and smile as we walked into the lunch hall.
“Great, I can’t wait to meet them” I threw in between her bursts. What or should I say who had I just gotten myself into. Still, my mind wandered back that boy. Who was he? More importantly, what did he want?