So there I was, sitting in my room, unsure of where to go from here. Did I want to face Jack and Derek, and everyone else that I had let down, or did I want to hide up here forever and run from my problems, like my mother had told me millions of times was never the solution? I wasn’t sure anymore. Was going against my upbringing make me a bad person? I consulted myself, and together we decided that it was. I slowly made my way down to the cafeteria and tried not to be seen on my way there. When I peeked through the window, I saw Jack talking with Rapunzel. Apparently, he hadn’t told her about the kiss, because when she noticed me, she started waving and pointing at me. Jack turned around and saw me too. He smiled and waved, but there was a look in his eyes that said, “Why?”
They’d all seen me now. Except Derek, he wasn’t there. I wasn’t sure where to sit, so I just sat by myself. That attracted more people than it repelled, because usually I’m a very cheery, social girl, and I love to be around people. So everyone that I didn’t want to be around came and sat down with me. Rapunzel, Jack, Merida, and Hiccup. Even Tiana. I wasn’t avoiding her; I just didn’t want to be around her at the moment.
“I heard you and Jack had a snowball fight,” said Tiana with a laugh.
“Yeah, we did. Well, not really a fight, more like a ‘who’s the man?’ thing,” said Jack, his eyes never leaving mine.
I didn’t say anything, but as it turns out a conversation unfolded before me anyways. They all wanted to talk about what Jack and I had done, but thankfully none of them knew about the kiss. I didn’t want anyone knowing about that. Not even Jack or myself. It was a mistake, nothing more.
There are no mistakes, Mom’s voice echoed in my head. There’s only destiny messing with your head when you need something most.
I wished right then and there that Mom wasn’t so right all of the time. She knew, had known, and always would know. Even when she wasn’t in the same country as me, her advice would be the most valuable. I looked up at Jack to find that his eyes were still on mine. I wished that I knew some way to tell him I was sorry without opening my mouth. Then I got an idea. I whispered the words to a telepathy spell that I learned yesterday and waited. Then I could hear all of his thoughts.
What was that that she was just whispering? Was she trying to tell me something? Why is she looking at me like that? Is she upset? Her eyes are red. She must have been crying. If someone made her cry, I’m going to go out and punch them right in the face, because this girl is amazing. Why would anyone want to make her cry? I wish I knew what she was thinking about.
What Jack didn’t know was that I could talk to him through my mind, so that solved my ‘we’re in public’ issue.
Jack, I’m sorry I kissed you. I just got so moved, but now everyone’s confused.
It’s like I can hear her apologizing in my head.
Jack, that’s because you can. Don’t say anything about that kiss to anyone.
How are you talking to me through my mind? Oh, right, that telepathy spell. Why are you sorry for kissing me? Are you ashamed of me?
That’s not it and you know it Jack. It’s just we were both in love with someone else, and I think it’s best if we just stay separate. It’s for the best we get our distance. We each go out with the one that we liked and if we both get dumped or decide to leave the person we’re dating, then we’ll be together.
I don’t want to be with Rapunzel anymore. I want to be with you now. You can’t just kick me to the curb because you’re embarrassed and you’re too proud to admit it.
That is not why. I’m confused right now. Short of Derek dying, I don’t think I could go out with you.
Destiny was probably overhearing, because seconds later, the other Derek burst into the cafeteria, calling out for Pocahontas.
“What’s the matter Derek?” she asked.
“Derek’s dead! I found him lying in some bushes. It was too gruesome for me to look at, so I won’t describe it. He’s dead for sure, and it looks like an animal got him.”
Will you go out with me now?
I just gave him a look like. “Are you kidding me?”
“Where’d you find him Derek?” I asked.
“Just inside the woods.” He was sobbing now. If whatever he saw was that awful, I wasn’t going to go look too.
“I’ll go see too. Vanessa, keep him out of trouble, will you?” asked Rapunzel.
“I’m not making any promises.” I replied with a laugh.
“And what’s that supposed to mean?” asked Rapunzel.
“Go!” I said teasingly.
Jack looked at me as she ran out the door. He raised an eyebrow to say what words couldn’t. I threw my hands up in surrender. Why the heck not? What reason was there to prevent me from going out with him? There was nothing wrong with it.
“Who’s ready for the rest of lunch?” asked Tiana.
“What is it?’ I asked.
“Balloon juice with plain hats!” Tiana exclaimed.
“What?” asked Jack.
“Root Beer floats with vanilla ice cream.” She set the cup down on my coaster.
“Oh, my! That looks delightful!” I said, taking a sip. Jack laughed and took his glass from Tiana.
I laughed as we both blew bubbles in our already bubbly enough, spilling fizz all over the sides. Jack was okay to hang around, I guess. He wasn’t a jerk and he wasn’t all uptight like every other guy I’d ever dated. Maybe that was a good thing, but, then again, maybe it wasn’t. I wouldn’t know. I can’t see into the future. Only one of the students at this school whose name I can’t remember can do that. I’ve never even seen her, so I’m not about to go asking her whether it’s a good thing.
“So… how’s the float?” he asked. I sipped more and smiled.
“Good. Never drank one before, but it’s delicious,” I said with a laugh. “Is it the same for you?”
Jack was nodding so vivaciously that it looked like his head was going to fall off. I laughed again, realizing that I probably sounded stupid, laughing all the time and doing nothing else. I figured I should probably say something, but I wasn’t sure what to say. Weather? No! Classes? Nope! Rapunzel? Not a chance! What? What should we talk about?
How about we start with how awful you are at conversation? I’ll go first. You’re very slow to get to the point and you need to think less and just act first!
I looked into Jack’s eyes and blushed. I’d nearly forgotten about that telepathy spell. I opened my mouth to say something and then what the other Derek had said finally sunk in. Derek was gone. All he’d ever wanted from me was to go to a dance with him and I refused. Now I’d never be able to make it up to him. I put my head in my hands and started to sob. There went my first crush that I thought would last.
“What’s wrong Vanessa? Did I hurt your feelings? What is it?” Jack asked, his voice so full of concern I thought I would explode.
“Derek. He… He’s really gone. It didn’t sink in until now, but now we’ll never get to do anything together. Ever.” I continued to sob and then stood. “Please excuse me, but I have to go.”
I ran out the cafeteria door and then out the front door. As soon as I made my way to the back of the school, I could hear Rapunzel singing. Not just any song, the song that made her hair glow. I spotted the long trail of golden glowing hair and ran towards it.
“Rapunzel! Where is he?” I called out. There was no reply, the song just continued. “Rapunzel, are you okay?”
When she didn’t reply again, I ran faster, my tears gone. I kept calling out to her, but there was no reply. I was getting really freaked out. When I finally got to her… it wasn’t her. It was some sort of horrifying goblin-like creature with a glow following it. When it saw me, it smiled and said, in Rapunzel’s voice exactly, “There you are, Vanessa. I’ve been looking all over for you! It’s time to join Derek.”
Before I could react, the thing had me pinned down on the ground, ripping at my clothes and skin with long, pointed talons. I’m not sure if I was screaming or not, but I’m certain that I probably was, because Jack came up slowly and silently behind the thing. He whacked it with his stick, sending it flying off into the underbrush. It came tearing back through the bushes. Jack touched it and it instantly froze in the position that is was in, now nothing more than a really ugly ice sculpture.
Jack then looked down at me and dropped to his knees. He put his hands to his mouth and I heard him mutter “Oh, God.” I didn’t feel much pain, so I was wondering how bad I really looked. He put one hand behind my neck and the other under my knees, and then hoisted me up.
“We have to find Rapunzel and get you some help.” Jack was holding back tears. I must have looked much worse than I felt, because I’d never seen Jack cry before. It had only been one day, but still, he didn’t strike me as a waterworks worker, if you know what I mean.
We found Rapunzel not far off. She saw Jack and smiled. Then she realized that he was carrying me and that I was bleeding pretty heavily. She ran over, tears running down her face, and kept muttering “Oh, God.” I tried to move my arm. That was when I realized how badly hurt I was. Not only did it hurt to move, but there was blood just running down my arm and puddling on the ground beneath me. I knew that this much bleeding was not normal and if I didn’t get help soon, I would die, without a doubt. I cried at this realization.
“Help her Rapunzel! She’s going to die if you don’t!” You couldn’t miss the despair in his voice. I knew then that he really did love me and I felt bad leaving him like this.
“Jack…I’m sorry…that I’m going to die.” I managed to get out.
“You’re not going to die Vanessa,” said Rapunzel. “But you sure did give us a scare.”
I wondered what she was talking about, but I couldn’t ask because I was starting to black out. I felt someone put something that felt oddly like hair in my hand, and then I heard Rapunzel singing. I knew the song by heart now, so I sung with her in my head, so that my last moments on this Earth would be one of friendship.
Flower gleam and glow. Let your power shine. Make the clock reverse; bring back what once was mine. Heal what has been hurt. Change the Fates’ design. Save what has been lost. Bring back what once was mine. What once was mine.
I smiled and waited for death to claim me. Nothing happened. My smile melted and I opened my eyes. The pain shrank and shrank until there was none left. I looked at my stomach and saw that I was no longer bleeding, just dried up blood was left. How had that happened?
“What…?” The silence I left asked what I could not.
“My hair. It heals people when it glows. I guess I should have told you.” Rapunzel replied with a laugh.
Jack laughed with relief. I looked at my shredded dress and his sweater and realized that we were both caked with blood. The smell alone made me want to vomit. I ran my fingers through my hair, hoping there wasn’t any in there. I quickly realized that my hair was so caked with it that I couldn’t get my fingers through.
“I need a bath.” For some reason they thought that was funny and they both started laughing. I always laugh when other people laugh, so soon we were all laughing. I guess we were all really laughing out of relief.
Jack carried me up to my room and kissed my forehead.
“Get all clean and I’ll see you at dinner. Then we have a small issue of the dance tomorrow.” I couldn’t say anything.
Rapunzel promised that she’d make me a new dress while I was in the shower. I scoffed because I knew that would be impossible. I wouldn’t take that long in the shower. But sure enough, when I was out, she had a dress all ready on the mannequin. It was actually gorgeous. It was similar to the one that had gotten shredded, but it was better. It kind of looked like Belle’s gown, only blue and strapless. I loved it.
“How’d you make that so fast?” I asked in amazement.
“When you like in a tower for the first fourteen years of your life with nothing to do, you develop a few skills. Now put it on.”
When I put it on, I love it even more. It looked like it should be heavy, but it was surprisingly light and airy. I did a few twirls. I could move freely and I wasn’t suffocating, so that was good. When I concluded that it was perfect, I hugged Rapunzel in a silent thank you for the dress and for saving my life.
“Well, I’ll see you in Singing.”
“That’s now, you idiot.” I said, tugging on her arm.
So we had class, then it was time for dinner. Jack wasn’t there, but Hiccup told me that he was still trying to get all the blood out of his sweater. I laughed and then we all ate and I headed back upstairs and went to bed.