Serenity felt different as she approached Sakura Academy. She no longer felt the shame she had since the incident with Mia. It’d been a month and enough time to move on. She had a jump in her step as she walked; the email had been sent, a weight had been lifted on her shoulder and she had a plan. She had been determined to actually have a conversation with him. She wanted to get to know him; no more “new girl” or “hot guy”, they finally know each other’s names.
Some students still made their attempts to try and make her life miserable but she let it roll off her like water. She actually found a way to challenge them by moving closer as they moved away or just smile as they passed. It had been high time she’d shown them up instead of cowering and acting guilty.
In class she had begun to take her seat among the masses. She figured she might have met a friend in a sea of enemies. She had not expected for them to have responded right away but she hoped with time that they’d change their minds about her.
English and math should have been called napping 101 with how much she paid attention. She never wanted to leave a class fast enough and it seemed as though everyone had shared the same feeling. It turned into a sea of zombies that drooled on their desks as they awaited something exciting to happen. The collective conscience of the student’s drowsiness had even made the professor yawn with boredom.
When the bell had finally rung for lunch she found herself in hot pursuit of the door. She wanted to be the first one out for optimal time in her search for him. He had been all she thought about that day. She thought she’d gone insane; she only met the guy twice and only for a minute at a time. Despite the time frame she couldn’t help but wonder if he’d felt something as well.
Throughout the afternoon classes she felt the same sort of nervousness and anticipation for history class. It’d not been like she’d never been with a guy before but somehow he was different. It had been as though she’d known him; like their first touch she felt some sort of connection. She hoped she hadn’t been too crazy, and somehow drive him away. She only wanted the chance to get to know him.
When the bell had sounded for break and the lights turned back on, from the boring movie that had been shown in her Biology class, she felt her butterflies turn into bats. She’d gone to her locker and started to make her journey to history class. When she stepped in she scanned the classroom quickly in hopes to find him sitting alone. She had not seen him and had taken a seat in her usual spot to see his entrance. When he finally made his grand entrance she noticed right away. When his head moved toward her position she’d gotten nervous and looked away to pretend like she had no interest. In averting her eye from his she spotted a seat just below where she had been sitting.
He walked up the stairs and through the row that had been below her. She decided to act coy like it hadn’t meant anything. He’d taken his seat and turned his head slightly and they finally made eye contact. He’d given her a nod, a smirk and a quick once over before he turned his attention back to the front. Her heart stopped for a second and she checked the students that had been around her in case it hadn’t been meant for her. No one had been around her and it had been clear; he’d been smiling at her. She sat and stared for a while before she too felt the effects of his pheromone. Not wanting to become a hypocrite she’d shaken her slight foggy feeling and directed her attention back toward the professor who’d been starting the class.
She quickly drowned the monotone stylings of Mr. Gerard’s lecture and periodically peered down toward him between her marginal doodlings. Her eyes had diverted their attention from his obvious good looks to what had been on his page. It seemed that she had found another drawer in the class but he had been really good. She hadn’t been able to make out exactly what it’d been because his body had blocked her full view; to which she hadn’t really minded.
“Wow,” she said out of nowhere in complete awe as he flipped through his notebook. He’d obviously been bored of that particular drawing he worked on but his collected works had been genius. She had almost been in a dreamlike state.
Until the professor had cleared his throat she hadn’t noticed that everyone’s eyes had been glued on her; even he turned around. She smiled like nothing had happened and begun to twirl her pencil innocently.
“As I was saying…” the professor stated as everyone’s attention had returned to the front of the room. She’d given a sigh of relief but had not been paying any attention to the pencil she had been twirling. With a badly timed flick the pencil had fallen out of her hands and landed on the desk with a bounce. She tried to catch it before it reached its trajectory but it had been too late.
“Ouch,” he said as he reached for the back of his head to rub the point of impact. He then reached down for whatever had hit him. He returned to his upright position and held the pencil in his hand. He turned once more took look at the culprit and Serenity looked down at him with an apologetic smile. He smirked and turned back around as he placed the pencil on the desk. The class continued and she kept her attention on the professor the entire time. She embarrassed herself again and just wanted the class to have been over. When the bell had finally sounded she said under her breath, “saved by the bell.”
Before he had the chance to turn around she bolted for the door; she’d been way too embarrassed to have dealt with him. She waited until she’d been a safe distance before she slid her back against a wall and crashed to the floor. Her binder laid on her knees and she started to hit her head off of it as she repeated, “idiot, idiot, idiot.”
Before class stated the next day she decided to be late. If she’d been surrounded by a crowd she figured she’d have saved herself the trouble of being sighted. The last thing she needed had been more embarrassment; she’d already been treated horribly by the student body, and she had no need to add him to the list.
When she walked in she quickly scanned for a seat but all she had seen had been him. He sat at his desk and looked carom magnum as usual but had been strangely motioning her toward an empty seat that had been beside him. She hadn’t expected it but with how her life played out thus far she’d thrown herself at the chance for something good.
He looked at her again with confusion on his face when she stalled. He motioned again but Serenity’s head had been elsewhere. She made herself look like a fool to him yesterday, how is he possibly still interested? she’d thought. She almost hadn’t taken the opportunity when her legs decided for her. She couldn’t help but wonder why he’d been so friendly to her. Does he actually like me? she thought.
She’d taken the seat beside him without another thought and had given him a quick smile before she’d taken out a book and buried her head into it. She wanted to keep herself from doing something stupid again, but she also had to turn away from him because she felt herself blushing. When she scanned the crowd she’d only seen the jealous looks from the female populous; they had all been looking at her.
“So you left this yesterday,” he said breaking the silence as he dug in his pocket and handed her the pencil she dropped on his head, “you bolted so fast yesterday I didn’t know whether you wanted it back.”
“Thanks,” she said as she’d taken it from his hand, “I guess I should work on my twirling skills.” She’d given a little laugh and then mentally slapped herself. Did you really just say that…
“I guess so,” he said as he’d given her a half smile and turned his attention back to his notebook.
She smiled at him but awkward silence presumed. She hadn’t been able to come up with anything to say; nothing witty, sexy, or at all.
He jokingly asked, “so I was wondering… did you leave it on purpose or something?”
She rolled her eyes, “as if.”
“You never know,” he said in a cocky yet playful tone, “you could have left it there for me knowing that I would want to give it back.”
“You think way too much of yourself,” she said hiding her obvious feelings and averted her eyes.
“I’m not the only one new girl,” he said with a smirk, “at least I didn’t become the school bully trying to make something of myself.”
She looked down and said, “you have no idea what happened.”
“Watch out next time,” he said as he turned his attention to the professor.
“Picking a fight with Mia could get you killed,” he said under his breath.
She questioned him, “what’s that supposed to mean?”
“N...nothing,” he said as he wished he hadn’t said that.
“I just meant that Mia is not the kind of person to let something like this go. She isn’t as innocent or as weak as she looks,” he said with concern.
“I can hold my own,” she said, “besides you don’t even know me.”
“Doesn’t mean I don’t want to,” he said diverting attention back to his book.
Class started before she had a chance to retort. He had clearly been interested but she had her perimeter defense system fully activated. She’d been sick of people judging her about what happened with Mia. He had clearly been concerned about her and brought the subject up as a joke. Why’d she have to of taken it in a bad light.
Not long after class had started she felt a poke on her arm. She looked over as he pointed down to his paper my name is Jace btw had been written. She smiled and wrote her own message my name is Serenity, and I’m not as innocent as I look either. He looked over at the message and had given her a little smirk as he wrote back who said you did at all ;). She smiled and they kept each other’s attention for the rest of the class.
She looked at Jace after the bell had sounded and asked, “do you want to hang out for a little bit?” She only hoped he’d say yes.
Jace had a pleasantly surprised look on his face before he replied, “sure.” They both walked each other through the masses toward the hallway.
“Your locker first?” he asked.
Serenity nodded as she led him down the hallways. She’d been happy that she hadn’t needed a map to get around the campus anymore. It’d become an open book to her but it had taken out the wonder and mystery; which in some cases had not been a bad thing. She’d become a part of the rest of the student body that’d been so used to the scenery that the beauty had not captured her anymore. She only noticed the library if she ever passed by it; she still felt a pull like she’d been drawn to it.
When they’d gotten to the right hallway she noticed that Jace had acknowledged most of the people around him. He’d nod or bump arms with the other guys. She looked at him and asked, “come here often?”
“Once or twice,” he said as he looked back at her.
They stopped at her locker and she’d begun to turn the lock and released the latch. She swung the door open and had proceeded to put the books inside and asked, “is your locker down this hall or something?”
“No,” he said as he looked across the hall at the math room. He turned to her and said, “mine is in the tech hall where the shop class is.”
“Eww,” she said as she opened her backpack and put the books she needed inside, “how do you survive down there with those fumes?”
“I’ll tell you when I graduate without any health issues,” he said jokingly.
After she stuffed her book inside her locker and had put the others in her backpack she shut the locker door and leaned her back against it as she looked directly at Jace and smiled.
“So what do you...,” she started to ask when she had seen a look in his eyes and stopped.
“What’s wrong?” she asked. She’d never seen him look like that before. She looked around to try and see what caught his attention when her eyes had met with what he’d been looking at.
“Why is she here… It’s bad enough I have to see her in class but now this,” she said annoyed. She had no intention in starting another fight; she never wanted to lose control again.
“This is where her locker is Serenity,” he said.
“Oh great,” she said as she rolled her eyes.
“I have to tell you something. I wanted to tell you before but I couldn’t and I need to tell you now before Mia tries to make a scene or something.”
Serenity had questioned him, “what are you talking about?”
“Mira is... well she’s kind of my girlfriend,” he said in a wince.
“She is you WHAT?!?” Serenity had said in a roaring whisper as she jabbed him in the side with her elbow. She couldn’t believe what just happened. She tried to deny it and to believe that he lied or had been joking, but when she looked at Mia’s expression and the look in his eyes she’d known it to have been the truth.
“I wanted to tell you but I thought it would only stop us from becoming friends. I really wanted to get to know you,” he said apologetically as Mia started to push her way through the crowd to get to them.
“If you are even close to being her property then why on earth would you even speak to me? This makes absolutely no sense. How could you do this when you know our history?! You could have asked anyone,” she said in furry. She’d known it had been too good to be true. She should have known that he would have had a girlfriend. If it had been anyone else she’d have been ok with it but this was Mia and she’d never be ok with that.
“I’m sorry,” he said in hope for forgiveness, “I never really thought of the consequences of being friends with you.”
“You can’t have your cake and eat it too,” she said softly as she’d begun to leave.
“Wait...” he said as he grabbed her arm.
“I wouldn’t do that,” she said as she averted her eyes and pulled away, “you just made everything ten times worse! We made a deal; I wouldn’t get in her face and she wouldn’t get in mine. I’m sorry but buddying up to her boyfriend is stepping right into her territory.”
Their conversation had then been cut off by Mia who’d pushed Jace aside to get in Serenity’s face.
“You think you can just come in here and do whatever you want?!” she yelled as she’d given Sheniqua a forceful push.
“What did I say about getting in my face Mia,” she said flaring up.
“Why are you so pissed anyway? I’m a dyke remember,” she said in frustration, “why don’t you yell at your stupid boyfriend because believe me, I don’t want anything to do with someone you’re with.”
Jace had stepped in between them and tried to calm them down before everyone realized they’d been at it again.
“Ok that’s enough! What is your problem with each other?” he asked in disbelief of both their behaviors.
“Why don’t you ask Malibu here?” Serenity said as her mind had flown back to the first time her and Mia fought. The pressure started to build inside her once more and she’d known it had been time to leave.
“My problem is that you exist,” she said as she’d taken a jump for Serenity but Jace intervened and had taken the blow instead. Serenity felt bad but had known that he deserved it.
“What is your problem Jace? Don’t tell me you’re getting soft on me. What would he say about this,” she said taunting Jace with equal anger as she’d warn a wide grin.
“Don’t you dare bring him into this,” he said as she pushed him away, “I’ll deal with you later dear boyfriend.”
“Why don’t you just lay off Mia,” Serenity said as she looked at the display, “it’s nice to know that you’ll even hurt the one closest to you.”
Mia had changed her glare over to Serenity. It had been pure hatred and she spoke and said, “the only reason you’re still alive and breathing right now is because I allow it.”
Serenity had felt the power take her again. She felt a presence invading her. It had been like a flip of a switch and she changed into another person entirely.
Serenity laughed at Mia and said, “you think you can hurt me?” She stepped closer to Mia and whispered, “don’t forget who put you against a locker and walked away.”
“Did you honestly believe you did anything by freaking out on me in front of everyone? Over nothing! All those people saw right through you,” she said as she grinned and pushed Serenity away, “and that’s why you have no friends.”
Serenity charged for her again but Mia had been ready. She felt Mia’s hands on her chest and felt her push. It hadn’t felt like much force but she found herself halfway down the hall. She’d gotten up and started to charge but Mia had been smiling. The closer she’d gotten to Mia the brighter her eyes had become. It’d been a blue hue like the ocean and it made Serenity stop dead in her tracks. The dream… those eyes she thought as she had seen them become brighter.
Jace questioned Serenity’s pause and looked back toward Mia. He quickly realized what had been going on and yelled, “Mia stop!”
He grabbed her arm and brought her close to him. He whispered forcefully, “you do this now and you will blow our cover and alert them before we are ready. That is worse than going soft; he will not forgive you for that.”
Mia intensely looked into his eyes with a blazing blue flame. It’d been that way for moments. They locked eyes and he had no intension of looking away until she had been able to keep herself under control.
“There is something about her Jace… Can’t you feel it? It is our problem and we have to take care of it,” she whispered into his ear.
“If I investigate her, will that make you change your mind?” he asked.
“You know what to do if she is…”
He interrupted forcefully, “I understand the situation Mia. Don’t screw this up!”
“Fine,” she said finally as the light diminished. She returned her gaze toward Serenity who’d been bewildered by what had happened.
“Next time we do things my way,” Mia said coldly.
Jace walked toward Serenity but she pushed her hand out toward him. She hadn’t wanted his sympathy or explanation just his absence. She found it hard to even look into his eyes. She stood still for a moment then said, “no, don’t you even think of coming near me… I just can’t…” her voice had faded as the power inside her had drained.
She backed away still averting her eyes from Mia and Jace. She hadn’t known what really happened and she wasn’t sure she wanted to fully understand it. Whatever happened she’d known one thing; Jace had been with her and she’d never be able handle that, not ever. She’d finally gotten the courage to look into Jace’s eyes once more before she turned and walked away.
Jace started after her but stopped himself. He lowered his head in frustration and internalized anger. A fire had then erupted in the trash can beside him and Mia had put a hand on his shoulder. She whispered in his ear as the flame had slowly died. He shrugged her hand off and walked away.
Serenity had taken a deep breath of fresh air after she cleared the doors of the school. She felt a weight come down on her; it’d been a terrible feeling inside that she wanted desperately to go away. She wished that she’d been able to have a day without catastrophe, embarrassment, or worse. She had another violent incursion with Mia and that had been in direct violation of her suspension agreement with Mrs. Kinnin. She wanted to run to Bev and explain everything but she just wanted to go home; to her real home. Just outside the gardens she stopped and sat amongst the beauty of nature in hopes that it would help her think.
When she’d gotten up and started to move again she felt a force on her shoulder that pulled her down to the ground. She looked up after the impact and had seen Mia as she stood above as she said, “try something like that again and we are going to have a problem.”
Sheniqua rolled backward on to her hands and pushed with all her arm strength upward and landed on her feet. The switch had flipped once more and she felt the presence and power return.
“We already have a problem,” she said as she turned her hand into a fist and trusted forward toward Mia’s face. Mia’s reflexes had been too quick and put both her hands up to block. Serenity, in anticipation of her attack, changed her tactics on a dime and kicked her in the abdomen and added, “so let’s finish this!”
Mia winced with pain as she’d fallen to the grass. She’d gotten up and showed little pain and had given Serenity a deadly expression as she spoke, “you’re not even worth my time. I will make it so bad in the next coming days that you will wish you were never born.” Serenity ignored the comment and tensed up in anticipation of another blow but Mia walked away.
Back on Cherry Street she walked toward her home in a mix of hate and fear of what tomorrow would bring. She’d taken a stop at her usual place and thought about everything. The water had calmed her as she had hoped it would. When she reached her home she’d been happy to have seen her mom’s car in the driveway. She felt like it had been time to tell her mother everything. She decided to leave out the unbelievable and unexplainable but she needed to vent her frustration and soften the blow if she’d gotten suspended the next day.
When she walked in she’d given the usual greeting, “mom, I’m home,” but there had been no response.
“Mom?” she called out again but louder, “where are you?” When there had been no response again she worried.
“Mom?!” she said almost in a scream as she started to run around the house to check every room. When she entered the living room she’d seen the television on. She’d seen her mother looking at the screen in a dazed sort of trance. Serenity walked closer and her mother’s face looked like she’d been on the verge of tears.
“Mom?” Serenity questioned quietly as she’d shaken her shoulder for a response. Her mother finally looked up and tears started to stream down her face. She had been clutching a tissue in her quaking hands.
“Mom… What’s wrong with you? What’s going on?” she asked more than concerned.
“I didn’t hear you come in,” she said weakly as she mustered a small smile.
“Mom seriously… What is going on?” she asked in a worried rage. Her mother never acted like that unless there had been an extreme circumstance. The only other time she’d seen her mother in that state had been the evening after her father had left.
“You came in late,” her mother said as she tried to take her mind and attention off the incident on the screen. Serenity just stared at her. Her mother pointed to the television and asked, “did you hear about the incident?”
“No, I just had school issues I needed to escape from for a while,” she said as she thought back to the river. She asked her mother, “are you alright? Say something!”
Her mother had slowly shaken her head and said, “no. It has been all over the news since it happened. I have seen it already but I don’t believe it. I was just about to see it a second time to make sure it was real.”
Serenity had given her a questioning look and asked, “what are you talking about?”
Her mother patted the couch cushion beside her. Serenity had felt more like standing; she’d been too curious to move. They both watched the television intently.
The screen had shown the logo for SCN flashing on the screen before a local news anchor had begun to speak.
“Good evening,” a woman said gravely, “and welcome to Sakura City’s Breaking News. I am reporting live with some devastating news of a natural disaster that happened just moments ago in a neighboring country that has claimed thousands of lives. Local officials have now released the point of origin for this disaster; the town of Stonewall. So far the cause of this disaster has been yet to be discovered.”
Serenity looked from her mother back to the television and asked, “did she just say Stonewall.”
“For those just tuning in on the story, the town of Stonewall, at four o’clock pm, started to massively flood from an unknown source of water. It took less than fifteen minutes before the water damage had completely obliterated the town. According to the experts a massive flood had swept through the town. The water levels rose rapidly and started to shift at the peak of its destructive force; the water had literally started to turn. A small whirlpool was created in the central point of the disaster and nothing but devastation lied in its wake.
What has stumped officials and experts in the investigation is how it could have happened in the first place. The town itself had no access to a water source big enough to create such a travesty. The Stonewall police and fire department are now on the scene investigating the cause and trying to locate any survivors. No news yet has been reported on the death toll but prospects look grim. With how quickly the phenomenon has spread it is lucky if anyone got out. For now here is Henry our man on the scene to give you more. Henry?”
“Yes Jackie,” said a man that stood before a boulder.
“Is there anything new that you can report about this catastrophe?” she asked in hope for more on the story.
“The only thing I have to report is my new location,” he said as the screen showed him fully, “the water mass is still growing in size. The police have sent rescue boats in to find survivors but there has been no sign of any as of yet.”
Serenity’s heart stopped and she looked to her mother again in disbelief. She couldn’t believe that it had been true. She just sent Emily’s email the day before. She hadn’t even known if she received it or if she had been dead. She looked once more at the sofa cushion and decided that she needed to sit down. Her mother had taken her hand as they continued to watch the story.
“So far the boats themselves have not come back and all communication has been cut. Helicopters and air support have lost all sighting. We are assuming the best of the situation and hoping that all those still out there are going to come home safely, and with good news of survivors.”
“Thank you Henry,” the woman said as the screen showed her once more, “now we will take a sky cam view of the incident from our very own helicopter.”
The screen switched over to a bird’s eye view of the incident. Serenity had wanted to look away but her eyes had betrayed her and watched the sight that filled the screen. The old town she once loved had turned into something she couldn’t even imagine. The cam hovered over the center of Stonewall where the massive whirlpool still turned. She’d only seen a big turning lake filled with mud and debris. Chaos had been all that’d come of Stonewall and she had no way to stop it.
Her eyes filled with tears. Her mother squeezed her hand to comfort Serenity but she pulled away; she wanted to be alone. She’d gotten up and staggered on her way to the hallway. She’d hardly been able move; it’d been like she’d been paralyzed. She’d taken a deep breath and continued down the hall to the staircase. She tripped as she’d gone up the stairs and she felt like staying there as she heaved from the heaviness in her throat that started to move to the rest of her body. She felt something in her gut and she’d ran for the bathroom.
When she made it she grabbed the porcelain like a life preserver and felt the sickness take hold. She shook as it happened and she felt all her strength leave her body. It’d been over and all she wanted was sleep.
When she made it to her room she grabbed her door knob opened the door then closed it behind her. Grief had taken its final toll before she’d been able to make it to the soft surface of her bed. She slid down to the ground with her back on the door. She put her head on her knees and her hands clutched her legs. All she’d been able to do was cry; she cried for the loss of her home, her family and all the friends she left behind.