The light from the Pale evening sky glinted gold and ember warm,
illuminating the face of the young boy in the school library.
Sitting alone in the quiet room, the books that surrounded him on
every wall seemed to watch as he sat at the far desk and carefully
folded the fragile paper, again and again, each fold as if the
creation was the most important thing in the world. Memory's echoed
inside his head. "loser!" Laughed Carlo, pushing James over again
as soon as he had pulled himself up. The heat hit heavier than the
concrete and his head swam as his glasses bounced off his nose and
lay in front if his face. Carlo lifted his foot, James winced and
shut his eyes... "Stop it!" James opened his eyes. The voice had
come from her. That girl again, that brave one. "Stop it Carlo."
She frowned. She pulled James to his feet, picking up his glasses.
"Here." She said, pushing the glasses into James's hands "be
careful next time." The boy in the library smiled, and looked down
at his work, he was done. He picked up the tiny precious flower,
and held it up to the light. Each petal was carefully bent and
folded to fit together into the shape of a miniature orchid, that
quivered in the slightest breeze threatening to be whisked away.
James closed his hand around the flower and holds it close to his
heart. "Please say she'll like it." He whispered, not noticing the
the small brown eyes that watch him from the corner of the room.
His feet on the polished corridor squeaked as he turned the corner,
his footsteps echoing of the smooth white walls, almost there.
Reaching the music hall he stops and listens, and he hears what he
hoped to hear, small footsteps walking across a deserted room.
Looking down at the flower in his hand, he wanders if he had the
nerve. Lauren Mellis, comparable to a beautiful rose, the bravest
girl in the world, the only girl who ever talked back to Carlo, the
most popular and talented Lauren. "Ok." He mutters under his
breathe "you can do this James. Just give her the flower and thank
her, then get the hell out of there." He turned the corner, and
stops dead in his tracks. Carlo had been waiting there till her
piano class had finished, and now....they were kissing. The flower
falls from his grasp, and floats gently to the floor where it lies,
forgotten. The kiss stops, and he suddenly blushes as they both
turn to look at him. "S...sorry." He mutters, looking around for
the flower and picking it up. "I...I was just....I'll leave now"
looking at Lauren's face, she....she's trying not to laugh, and
Carlo making no effort to hide it. He turns, runs, as he leaves he
hears Carlo say "what did that idiot want?" "Oh leave him alone"
said Lauren "he's pitiable, really" their laughing echoes off the
walls around him as he runs, unable to escape. It seems years
before he made it back to the library, where he slumped against the
wall "idiot" he mumbled, adjusting his glasses. Tears won't come.
That is at least his one consolation now, that no matter what he
will never, ever cry. Looking across the room, he flinched as he
sees a person he hadn't noticed before, but....wait, yes he had
seen her before. In a crowd, a classroom, the quiet girl that
nobody ever seemed to talk to. "Hello?" He asks "are you alright?"
The girl looks up at him from her desk shocked, as if she had only
just noticed him come in. "Sorry." She muttered, stumbling to her
feet and grabbing her bag. "I'll leave." "Wait!" James said as she
moved towards the door "I mean...sorry, I'm James. We never talked
before. Are you in my class?" "Yes." She whispered, watching the
floor. James looked over at the table she had been sitting at, the
same one he had been at minutes before. The whole desk was covered
with tiny paper flowers that spilled onto the floor and chair, a
whole garden of newspaper flowers. "That's very beautiful." Said
James quietly. The girl turned to look at him, surprised. "Really?"
She said, smiling a little. "Yep. That's a nice variety. I can only
do orchids....." Smiled James sheepishly. "I'm Rain." She smiled
"it nice to meet you, I guess." "Yeah, you too." Said James. She
had very pale skin and small brown eyes hidden behind large glasses
like his own, and oaky brown hair pushed back under and grey cap,
and she wore a lose a jacket and fingerless gloves. She smiled at
him, and he smiled back. He found himself wondering why nobody
talked to Rain. Nobody talked to him either, but that was
different, he was weirdo and a weakling and a nerd but Rain, Rain
was beautiful... "I'd wanted to talk to you before..." She mumbled
"but I'm not good at talking to people. " "It's ok." Smiled James
"I'm not very good at talking to people either" "Right..." She
mumbled "I...I like the newspaper flowers....because I think they
are sort of like me. Fragile, no colour, small..." "They are still
beautiful" whispered James. Rain glanced at him, blushing. Jamie
smiled "well, I suppose I'll go now. I'll see you tomorrow ok?" He
walked over to the table and got his bag, and opened the door.
"Did...did you really..." Stammered Rain He smiled, and he said "I
meant what I said. And I hope I can you again" Rain ran to the
door, kissed his cheek and disappeared through the doorway shouting
after her "count on it!" James was left alone, again, in the
library. A small breeze blew the delicate flowers off the table and
onto the floor, and James smiled. " newspaper flowers....are so
much more fragile, and pale and scentless but.....compared to a red
rose........they are perfect. Who knew...."
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