Sorry it's been so long, but sheesh, I've been busy! Anywayz, there's not anything that big in this chapter, it's more kind of a light fun chapter. Can you blame me after chapter nine's nuclear explosions? This chapter is kind of drama-ish with a pinch (or should I say handful) of highschool drama revolving around...BOYS, BOYS, BOYS. enjoy!
Chapter 10: Liven’s Threat
Things went dizzy. Harmonia looked like she had three heads and Nojee was just a blur if colors. This has got to be a dream. I am not the child of Runda. Heck, I am not a mermaid! Come on, wake up! My human instincts seemed to kick in, the ones that told me this was a) a crazy nightmare or b) a mean, practical joke crafted by Whitney.
Suddenly, Jubeo popped into the room, grabbing a hold of my arm and steadying me. Somehow, just seeing his friendly features made me a little less dizzy. But only a little. “Did you guys tell her?” Jubeo asked the Rada.
Mozek seemed to nod, but I wasn’t sure. The three Harmonias looked very concerned as they all spoke, “Jubeo, I think it’s best if you get her out of here. This is a little overwhelming, naturally.”
Even as Jubeo tugged me out of the room, I felt like screaming, A LITTLE OVERWHELMING?! You just told me that I was destined to create some kind of World War III under the water and break some ancient curse! It is not a little overwhelming; it’s RIDICULOUS!! Of course, they were the Rada and beneath that relaxed exterior, something powerful and intimidating lay there.
Jubeo shut the door behind us and I slumped against a maroon door to catch my breath. I felt like hurling. The familiar feeling of when Seth had told me I was a mermaid had returned, this time even more powerful than last time.
Jubeo looked concerned, “Hollace, please. I know this is a lot. But you can’t abandon us now. We need you. And whether you like it or not, you are one of us.”
I slumped some more and moaned, “Maybe I’m one of you, but I can ignore it. Go back and live my normal life and forget this all. I’ve only known you a few hours, don’t pull the sympathy card on me.”
Jubeo laughed softly, “It’s not that simple. Even if we let you go home to your mom and stepdad, (which do I need to remind you how your mother didn’t give birth to you?), the Malum Syreni would not give up. You can’t ignore your destiny or anybody else, Hollace. Now, would you like some dinner? I’d bet it would make you feel better. And besides, I think it’s time you got your mind off all this life-or-death stuff and met someone.”
The mischievous gleam in his eye returned. “Who is ‘someone’?” I dared to ask, challenging Jubeo to say the name.
We made our way down to the dining hall as Jubeo called it, each step taking my mind off my destiny. We walked through the endless hallway which Jubeo said it’s formal name was actually the “Main Corridor Hallway” but that everyone had adopted the nickname much more quickly.
After the endless hallway, Jubeo led me to another space with two elevators. “Why is this place so repetitive?” I asked. The elevators looked exactly like the other two, except one was labeled DINING HALL and the other SLEEPING QUARTERS.
Jubeo shrugged, “Another famous battle tactic used to confuse a Malum Syreni attack. Basically, this place is just full of endless hallways and elevators that lead to places. Doors that mislead you. Libraries that are really deadly training facilities. But don’t worry. Once you get settled in, it’ll all seem like home.”
The H word. Home. I’d always pictured home was with my mom. Or my dad. My dad. Could the Rada be right? Could my dad be this Poseidon guy? I racked my brain for everything I remembered about my “fake” dad.
It was weird. He’d known about mermaids, I was sure of it. He’d always been the one to tell me how I was a mermaid whose tail hadn’t grown in yet. He’d take me to the lake, but never the pool. “Pools are for people who lives artificial lives. Artificial happiness with everything rounded about and turning out just the expected way. Plus, lakes are so much more fun and energizing,” He’d tell me. My mother would get so upset about it.
My mom was one of those Country-Club Moms who would show off her new Prada swimsuit to all the other moms and gossip about Sherry Higgins. I don’t know how her and dad got together. They were total opposites. And then my dad just left.
Jubeo led me unto the elevator, which looked exactly like the one we had boarded to the Council’s room. Once we were on the elevator, I started to feel a little better. Things would work out, right? Except for the part of my stomach that homesick, (Even for my bratty stepsisters), I was okay. But I had to ask Jubeo something.
“Hey, Jubeo,” I turned to him, “Can I ask you something?”
Jubeo shrugged, “Sure. I can’t guarantee I’ll know the answer, but okay.”
“What would—did the Rada tell my mom and stepdad?”
Jubeo’s face looked slightly clouded, as if remembering something, “They tell them different things. For me, it was that I was on some mission trip in Africa for the next four years. It was immediate they said, and I had volunteered.”
I opened my mouth to protest, “And they believed it?”
Jubeo nodded sadly, “My parents were really big into traveling and helping people in need. They were so proud of me. I write letters a lot. Stuff about the Savannahs and the Lions. I’ve seen them a couple times before ‘heading back to Africa’. Don’t worry, the Rada isn’t stupid or unsympathetic. They’d never completely cut you off from your family.”
I shook my head, “Still. How can you bare to be away from them?”
Jubeo shrugged, “Hollace, we aren’t one of them. Yeah it hurts. But your ‘mother’ isn’t even your real mother. They were like a host family. The only reason you were even sent out there for was your protection.”
“Can we just go now?” I mumbled, angry at myself and Jubeo. Maybe even at my ‘mother’. All this time I’d heard aunts and uncles tell me how I had my mother’s eyes or my father’s chin. What a load of garbage!
The elevator doors opened and I instantly forgot about my sour mood. We were in the dining room.
Long tables were crowded with laughing and talking. It was fancy with oak tables and the same glass windows as the Endless hallway. Large glass chandeliers hung from the ceiling, made of swirls and hard work.
I instantly spotted Seth, who was scarfing down a big, juicy cheeseburger. At least the food would be good.
“There’s Liven,” Jubeo whispered to me as he pointed to a girl beside Seth. Seth didn’t seem to be paying her a lot of mind, but I’m pretty sure that had to do with his dinner.
Liven was beautiful. Long, swaying blonde hair fell to the small of her back in careless curls. Her face was sweet and innocent. Not a hint of acne anywhere. Her lips were redder than cherries and her eyes were baby blue.
She was laughing at Seth. The two looked good together. For the most part, she conversed only with Seth other than a couple of others that sat across from them.
A wave of nausea ran through me. How could I compete with her? Compared to my thick, dark hair and olive skin, she was the shoe-in. Ms. Perfect, definitely. She reminded me of Whitney in a lot of ways. The way she demanded attention from everyone around her, including Seth.
Jubeo tugged me along, regardless to my complaints. “Seth, look whose here!” Jubeo exclaimed, showcasing me like the winning prize on a game show.
Seth’s eyes brightened, “Hollace! What’s up? Come sit down!” He patted to the seat beside him. I glanced at Liven, who seemed to be fuming beneath her flawless exterior.
As I sat down, I could swear I heard Seth whisper to Liven about being nice. Of course, this kind of ticked me off because, she’s acting like she’s five! How much more pathetic and babyish do you need to be? Seriously.
“Hello,” Liven said, her words strained, “You are new, correct?”
I nodded, “Oh, yeah. This whole thing is totally freakish.” Liven wrinkled her nose and took a small bite of her mashed potatoes.
Jubeo didn’t seem to take the hint that Liven didn’t like me, because he looked at her and grinned, “So did you guys hear the news?”
Seth shook his head, “Not really. Is it about that rumor going around about Hollace being the chosen one?”
Liven let out a snort, “Don’t worry, sweetie. They suspect everyone of being the chosen one. I remember when the Rada called me up and said, ‘Liven, we think you could break the curse that binds us.’ I was flattered of course, but it was later proved that I was indeed not.”
Jubeo rolled his eyes, “Yeah, well they didn’t just suspect Hollace. They told her so. There were no ‘thinks’ or ‘maybes’ about it. They knew for sure.”
Liven raised her eyebrow, “Sucks to be you.”
Of course, this only made me feel like slapping the brat upside her perfect little head, but I decided against it. How could she be so…clueless? Oblivious? Jealous? Even Seth looked like he was gritting his teeth, finding back the urge to say something to Liven too.
Jubeo got up and went to fetch me some macaroni and cheese. “The best here,” He had told me, “It’ll knock your tail-fins off.”
I was left alone with Seth and Liven. Things were unusually quiet among us. Finally, Liven spoke up, “Hey, Hollace. I’m heading to the ladies’ room. Would you like me to show you where it is for future reference?”
I wasn’t sure how someone could go from being a total oversized brat to a tour-guide in a couple of minutes, but I nodded anyway. I was slightly suspicious as she led me to the ladies’ room. Luckily, it did actually say ladies’ room on it, so at least that wasn’t a trap.
The room was empty. It looked like a regular girls’ bathroom. White tile floors and walls with three stalls and sinks.
“So,” Liven hopped up on a sink.
“So,” I responded, looking at my feet, “I thought you had to use the bathroom.”
Liven narrowed her eyes at me, “Oh, cut the crap, Hollince. I know you like my boyfriend and I know your trying to win him over, but. He. Is. Mine. Got it? Or else.”
Liven’s blonde haired innocence was replaced by something familiar as she refused to get my name right. She reminded me of Whitney. Or one of the awful teachers I’d dealt with over the years by snippy remarks. No matter how intimidating Liven sounded, I wasn’t about to let the oversized pampered brat win this mind-game.
I laughed harshly, “Geez, Liven, you must really be paranoid. Not like that’s news or anything. The way you held unto him out there? D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E. And what could you possibly do to me? Haven’t you heard, sweetie? I’m the daughter of Poseidon. I will unleash hell on your butt.”
Liven looked terrified for like, half a second, before the look was replaced with her calm exterior. I wasn’t even sure if it had been real or I had imagined it.
Liven’s mouth turned up slightly in a venomous smile, “This isn’t high school anymore, Hollince. And according to Seth, even in human standards you were a total loser. What makes you think that you wouldn’t be a total failure to the Zoet Syreni? So, I think you best stop talking like you’re all that. Like I said, or else.”
I should have turned and walked away. But something made my blood boil. I looked her right in the eye and said, “Bring it on, Barbie.” With that, I stalked off. I was finished in there and so was Liven.
I was the daughter of Poseidon.
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