The Red Ring

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Okay quick little backstory on this story.
During my sophomore year(I'm currently a junior) of high school, my friend needed help thinking of a short story and a script for it for her drama class. Her and I stayed up til midnight thinking of ideas and we finally thought of one we both loved. Recently, she told me she wanted me to write a book on that story we made up a year ago. I gladly accepted and here we are. This is a very personal story to me and writing it recently has really let me let go of some inner distress within me. But enough of that, I hope you guys like it so far! If you did, make sure to tell me ^_^
Also. The titles are currently just filler to help me remember which chapter has which events in them(if you understand the titles, you're awesome)

Submitted: March 11, 2017

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Submitted: March 11, 2017

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Chapter 1: The Last Something to Mean Anything

 

The afternoon light shined through the window of a young teen’s bedroom. It was quiet beside the faint sound of music. Xavier was a 16 year-old boy who recently moved to the city of Cherry Hill, New Jersey with his family. He grew up in the city of Sacramento in California, but after the death of his sister five months ago; his parents thought it would be best to move, to leave that behind him. Xavier didn’t have that many friends in Sacramento, so he didn’t resist much to the move. The city was awfully boring to him, especially after living there his whole life. His older sister brought all the joy to him, she was very protective of him and she was the one person he cared about. He enjoyed the feeling of caring for someone else, of putting someone else before himself. Of course, his sister was gone and he was trying to make those memories vanish as well. Xavier lied on his bed with his earbuds on, lost in thought. He whispered the lyrics to the song he was listening.

Xavier: “And I’ll borrow words from all my favorite paragraphs. To write a ballad while we say the things, we’d hope would mean the most to me.”

He paused and let the music play in his head. Music was always something Xavier would go to as the lyrics always expressed the words he was never make to say or make up.

There was call from downstairs.

Mother: Xavier. Xavier!

The chorus played loudly through Xavier’s earbuds as he whispered.

Xavier: “I’ll be okay. Is that what you want me to say?”

Mother: XAVIER!

He ripped off his earbuds, annoyed that he was bothered when he just wanted to be alone.

Xavier[with slight irritation]: Coming mom.

He unlocked his bedroom door and walked downstairs.

Dad: Oh there you are son, you’re up late.

He pointed at the clock in the dining room as Xavier looked at it, reading 2pm.

Xavier: I guess I lost track of time. I woke up at 9.

Mother: So...you somehow zoned out for 5 hours?

Xavier[with a sarcastic tone]: Yeah sounds pretty accurate. Is there any breakfast left?

Mother: There’s always milk in the fridge and cereal on the counter.

Xavier: Yeah...I’m just going to go out for a walk. Maybe go out and get something to eat.

Dad: With what money?

Xavier: The money that you gave me last night.

Dad: What? I didn’t give you any money.

Xavier: Yes, you did Dad. You were drunk after you came home from playing poker at your friend’s house. You told me to get your wallet and take the first bill I pull out.

Dad: Which was?

Xavier: 50 bucks.

Dad[sighs]: Shit. Well I guess it’s fine. I still won more last night.

Mother: Ehem. Don’t go and spend it all today somehow okay?

Xavier[sarcastically]: Yeah alright mother. I’ll surely go out and buy 50 bucks worth of alcohol to wash away my sorrows.

Mother: Xavier.

Xavier: Alright. Sorry. I won’t go spending all of it today, or even most of it.

Mother: Okay good.

He opens the front door and leaves.

Xavier: It’s not like I have a bunch of friends to waste money with. Oh wait. I don’t.


 

Chapter 2: Jersey

 

It’s been two months since Xavier’s family moved to Cherry Hills. In that timespan though, Xavier hasn’t left the house much beside to go to school. Even when he has left the house to go for a walk, he’s never gone too far, just around the block or so.

Xavier: Damn. I’ve been walking for 15 minutes and still nowhere decent for me to eat.

He continued to walk, seeing a McDonald's but not really being in the mood for cheap fast food. However, he still walked in the direction of it, hoping for other restaurants to around it. As he approached the fast food joint, he noticed something peculiar, at least to him in the distance. Pink trees. Cherry trees. Xavier saw them through the window of his parent’s car when he first arrived in the city, but this is the first time since then that they were in his view.

Xavier: So that’s this place is called Cherry Hills. Definitely wouldn’t see those in Sacramento.

Xavier walked towards the array of pink trees, growing in awe with every step closer. Eventually, he was surrounded by a floor of pink flowers and trees filled with them. He felt a feeling of relief. It was beautiful. He sat down next to one of the hundreds of trees to take it all in. For the first time since arriving in Cherry Hills, he felt a feeling of peace. Calmness. Serenity. He closed his eyes and said to himself.

Xavier: She would’ve loved this.

After what felt like a few minutes of silence, he looked up to the sky, nearly covered by all the pink flowers. A tear went down his cheek. He wiped it away, and saw something shining roughly five feet away from him. Xavier got up and walked toward it, realizing it was a ring. Picking it up, he looked at the small gem in the ring and thought to himself.

Xavier: A ruby? Apparently I’m not the only person who likes this spot. *pockets ring* I’ve been here for awhile. It’s a nice spot, I’ll come back tomorrow to see if anyone is looking for it.

After walking back for roughly 35 minutes, Xavier arrived back at home. He entered his house, his mother waiting for him on the living room couch.

Mother[sternly]: Enjoy your walk?

Xavier: Yeah it was nice.

Mother: You were gone for four hours. Where were you?

Xavier[confused]: Four hours? It felt like minutes though...I guess I just got lost in time.

Mother: You wanna check your phone for me?

Xavier reached into his pocket, being careful not to accidently drop or flash the ring. He pulled out his cellphone, and looks at the screen. It read “Mom: 6 missed calls”.

Xavier[quietly]: Sorry mother. I should’ve looked…

His mother remained silent for what truly felt like hours.

Mother[with a crack in her voice]: I’m glad you found something to be happy about. But why couldn’t you call? Text me back? Even look at your damn phone??? *tears in her eyes* You know, after what happened to your sister….

Xavier stopped her there.

Xavier[angrily]: You’re not the only person who's affected by what happened. Hell. You don’t even have the worst of it. She was MY sister too and she understood me more than you ever did. She was all I had.

Mother[stunned]: Xavier!

Xavier: When I came home in tears back in 8th grade, did you comfort me? When I had woke up in the middle of the night because of my nightmares. Did you ever hug me? No! You know who did though? She did! You lost her. You just don’t want to be a complete failure of a mom and lose me too.

She remained silent.

Xavier[growing in anger]: She was your perfect daughter, your perfect child. She was planned. And me? *laughing* Ha. I was everything she wasn’t. I am the accident of the family.

A look of guilt appeared on Xavier’s mother’s face.

Xavier: You’re hurt because of what happened to her. I’m...broken.

Mother[breaking her silence}: You know. I do love you.

Xavier[in frustration]: Oh and you showed it so often didn’t you?

Without waiting for a response, Xavier went upstairs to him room and locked the door. He put on his earbuds and set the music volume to full. Faint audible lyrics could be heard, “I’ll be fine I swear. I’m just gone beyond repair.”


 

Chapter 3: Oh, Calamity

The next morning, the school bus took Xavier to what he called “prison for children”. School was pretty terrible for Xavier. His first period was English, which was a breeze for him. A shame he slept through it most of the time. The case was the same for math, chemistry, art and his French language class. The material wasn’t the problem for him, in fact most of it was easy for him. Being a junior in high school, it was already the most work-filled year, not to mention the classmates he had to deal with on a daily basis. Each day felt so slow, so drawn out and dull. History was the only thing Xavier didn’t sleep through. It was something he was semi-interested in, and his history instructor was the only teacher he had that didn’t make him want to drink cup of cyanide.

The day so far was, as usual, pretty boring.  Xavier’s history class was assigned to copy down the notes on World War II on the board. An extremely tired Xavier worked on the assignment until he felt something wet hit his neck. He looked down at the floor, noticing a tiny wet piece of paper.

Xavier[irritated]: Oh, please no. Not now.

He turned around to see three teen boys looking at him, one holding a straw.

Xavier[glaring at them]: I’m trying to work here, mind stopping?

As Xavier continued to write down the notes, he felt another spitball hit him, this time on the back of his grey hoodie. Soon after, another hit him. Laughter was heard as once more he was shot at. Xavier didn’t know the names of the boys. He didn’t care to know much either.

Xavier[annoyed]: Hey idiots. How about you practice your blowing somewhere else?

Two of the boys stopped laughing, but the other merely flipped Xavier off.

Xavier[in anger to himself]: I’m so done with this shi-

The teacher came around and looked at Xavier and the boys.

Mr. Clark: Is there a problem?

The three boys shaked their heads. Mr. Clark looked back at Xavier, then back at the boys.

Mr. Clark: Open up your notebooks and finish your assignment. And David. Stop dirtying my classroom with your trash. Don’t make me warn you again.

 The bell rang shortly after, dismissing everyone. As Xavier was walking off of school grounds, he was approached again by the three boys. David aka the boy that flipped him off, who Xavier assumed to be their “leader” stepped forward.

Xavier[annoyed]: Can I help you?

David: No. But get us in trouble again. And you’ll need help after being our punching bag.

The three walked past him, one bumping shoulders with him. More laughing could be heard from them.

Xavier[sighing]: Jackasses.

He reached into his pocket, and felt the red-gemmed ring. Remembering he needed to go back to the cherry trees, he sprinted in their direction. Usually he would be able to run much faster, but the combination of his backpack, black skinny jeans and general tiredness slowed him down. After losing his breath about five times, he reached the cherry trees. Immediately sitting down to regain his energy, he took another look at the ring. The band seemed to me made of sterling silver; inexpensive but looks the contrary. The red gem shined in Xavier’s green eyes, his pupils dilated. He began to hear the soft sound of crying near him. He looked around and saw no-one. He continued to hear it and got up to follow the familiar sound. He went straight, the crying becoming more distinguishable until he reached a tree. He looked behind it to see a girl about his age sitting against the tree. She wore a white shirt with a pink skirt, perfectly matching the scenery around her. Her long blonde hair as well as her hands covered her face.

Xavier[shyly]: Um...excuse me? Are you okay?

The girl looked up at him, her red eyes watery from tears. Xavier sat down next to her.

Xavier: Terrible day for rain isn’t it?

Girl[confused]:What? Rain? What do you mean by that?

Xavier[pointing at her eyes]: Seems like you’re experiencing some heavy rain right now.

Girl[embarrassed]: Oh…*wipes her eyes*

Xavier: This might seem like a dumb question to ask, but is something wrong? Like...I know you’re crying and all...but like...

Girl[with a chuckle]: It’s fine, thank you for asking. I just lost something here yesterday that means a lot to me. I’ve searched and searched but nothing.

Xavier[slightly nervous]: Um….I’m just gonna go off of a guess here. *pulls out ring* I found this yesterday, and am wondering is this yours?

The girl immediately smiled brightly and looked at Xavier, causing him to turn red.

Girl[with pure joy]: Yes! Yes, that would belong to me. Where did you...nevermind that’s not important. Thank you so much.

Xavier[blushing]: Oh...it was nothing. I found it by one of the trees back there. Was hoping to find the owner looking for it and here you are.

Girl[laughing]: Well nice guess. Pretty isn’t it?

Xavier: Very. Actually everything around us beautiful right now. The flowers, the trees. Even the weather and sky are real nice.

Girl: Yes, this place is really nice. The cherry trees are what makes this city known. I love to come here to relax and just think.

She seemed quite nice to Xavier. He was actually talking to someone and wasn’t annoyed after five minutes of conversation. Xavier then thought how long it took to get to the cherry trees from school and realized his mother would most likely be expecting him home by now.
Xavier[with slight panic]: Well, it was nice meeting you. I have to go now. Maybe I’ll see you around?

Girl[disappointed]: Leaving already? Awe...well I tend to spend my time here often. Come back sometime? Tomorrow even?

Xavier: Sure thing, it’s a beautiful place. My name is Xavier by the way.

Girl[happily]: Calamity. My name is Calamity.


 

Chapter 4: If These Sheets Were States  

Xavier crashed onto his bed after the walk back home from the cherry trees. He was lost in thought, but didn’t really know what to think really. He was never used to having friends back in Sacramento. He didn’t really care for them much, he wasn’t much of a people person. Being bullied and an outcast for much of his teen years didn’t help either. Being called “emo” for the music he liked, which wasn’t even in the emo genre. Or being a called a “nerd” for loving old movies and for reading comic-books. He then began to briefly think about his meeting with Calamity. The whole thing felt like a dream. Not because it was super amazing or anything, because he’s never really had a conversation with someone beside family, let alone a girl he found leaning against a tree crying. He replayed the whole event in his head multiple times, with each time making more questions inside his head. Why was the ring so important to her? Does she go to the school? Why is he thinking of these questions in the first place? Xavier then remembered one moment they shared, it was only for moment but he thought about it.

Xavier: Hm...that was the first genuine smile I’ve seen towards me in awhile.

 A few hours passed until it was time for dinner and Xavier headed downstairs. His mother was waiting for him as usual. Xavier sat down and noticed that his mother ordered pizza instead of cooking that night. She passed a plate with a slice on it to a confused Xavier.

Xavier[slightly confused]: Um...thanks.

Mother: We’ve hadn’t had pizza in a few months, and it’s something I can’t cook *laughing*.

There was an awkward pause. Xavier didn’t really know if he should pretend to laugh or facepalm. Instead he just opted to bring up another topic.

Xavier: Is dad out?

Mother: As usual. I believe he’s working tonight though. They needed someone to work an extra day this week. For extra pay of course.

Xavier: Why doesn’t he just a second job as an Uber driver? Pay is pretty decent.

Mother: Your dad would get a fine for a DUI on his first day. He can’t go a day without drinking.

Xavier took a bite of his pizza and then stayed quiet.

Xavier[hesitantly]: Hey...look. I’m sorry for yesterday. Sometimes...I just say things out of anger...you know.

There was another pause.

Mother[sighing]: Yeah. I know. Let’s just not bring that up okay? How was school?

Xavier: The usual I guess. Rather not say more.

Mother: Any problems?

Xavier: Nothing worth being mad at.

Mother: Well, I noticed you were out for a bit after school.

Xavier: I was out looking at the cherry trees. I was with a friend so-

Mother[surprised]: A friend?

Xavier: Yeah...her name is Calamity.

Mother: Well. I’m glad you finally made a friend here.

Xavier: I’ll probably head back over there after school tomorrow. If that’s alright?

Mother: Yes, that’s perfectly fine.

Xavier: Okay...thank you.

Xavier finished his pizza and went back upstairs. His mother remained and thought to herself.

Mother: Hmm.Maybe he’s changing? He seemed...to at least be attempting to nicer.

She took a sip of her drink and wondered about Xavier’s new friend.

Mother: Is this just a new way for him to cope with it? Or is he finally going to open up?

Xavier went to sit at his desk to work on homework, but he was not able to concentrate. He wondered about what was up with his mother. She seemed nicer...like she was somewhat trying, something Xavier didn’t think he’d see.

Xavier: Eh, it won’t last long. She’ll go back to thinking I’m just a depressed, angry teenager.

Thoughts of Calamity still were in his mind, Xavier not even being in control of his thoughts. He thought about the name “Calamity”. It seemed almost familiar to him, like he heard that name from a song or something. It was an uncommon name and a very nice one too he thought.

Xavier: Hm. So weird how the world works sometimes. I’ve hated people for a good chunk of my life, especially these last few months. But today I meet some girl who was crying in the middle of a pink paradise and I suddenly want to get to know her? Sounds like the start of some teen romance story. I’m actually going crazy. Destiny better not have it that I travel across the U.S. looking for Paper Towns.

Xavier chuckled with a slight smirk across his face.

Xavier: Damn you John Green.


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