It's A Possibility

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
A contest entry... I don't expect to place, but thought it would be good to practice writing from a prompt :)

Submitted: August 31, 2014

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Submitted: August 31, 2014

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“Damn,” she muttered as she kept running, “it’s a good thing I still have my knife.” She vaulted from a slab of rock jutting out of the ground and buried her silver knife into a wolf’s head. It shrieked and shuddered, then slumped to the ground, wound sizzling from the contact with the silver.

“Hey Lorrie.”

She hurtled towards her stallion, kicking and shoving through the beasts as they snapped at her heels. One almost got her arm, but she dodged and punched it square in its nose.“Why did I ever trust that damn werewolf?” she grumbled to herself and stabbed one wolf with her dagger.

“Lorrie?”

“Oh, I know,” she snapped fiercely, “His damn beautiful face, that’s what!” She leapt onto Sly and spurred his flanks. Thankfully, he responded quickly and sped away, leaving the danger behind him.

“Serves me right for allowing myself to”--

“Hello?”

She blinked as the scene of excitement faded to the image of her book in her hands. She looked questioningly at the pages full of words, wondering what had brought her out of her reading-trance.

“Earth to Lorrie?”

She slowly lifted her gaze and to find a boy standing next to the picnic table where she sat.

“Uh, hi,” she responded carefully. It was one of the guys from her Trig class. The dark-haired one that wore anime shirts every day.

“Hey,” he said with a relieved smile full of slightly cockeyed teeth. “Whatcha doin’?”

She glanced at his Death the Kid shirt and held up her book. Reading, obviously.

“Oh,” he said and bobbed his head, “that’s cool." He surveyed the courtyard for a few seconds before continuing. "I was just going to the library…” he trailed off, then started again, stronger, “Do, um, do you want to come? I mean,” he shoved his hands into his pants pockets, “You’re always there, anyway, so…”

She squinted up at him. “I’ve…” She almost told him that she already had a book, but she was nearing the end of it and would need the next installment soon enough, so she shrugged. “Sure.”

He pushed his thick glasses up his nose and waited with a smile as she gathered her things. "I'm Darren, by the way," he added.

 

The walk to the library was mostly filled with small talk, which Darren initiated and to which Lorrie offered answers, but didn't uphold. By the time they arrived at their destination, they'd fallen into a slightly uncomfortable silence.

"Well," Darren said hesitantly, "I'm just gonna go, uh, grab my stuff," he motioned towards the manga and anime section.

Lorrie nodded and drifted over to where her favorite series was located. She slid her finger over the backs of the books, starting with the first all the way down to the last, then back down to the fifth. She gingerly pulled it out and cradled it in one hand, cracking the cover open to see the preview.

She was interrupted by the sound of approaching footfall. It was Darren, returning with an armload of Bleach and some other books in what looked like Japanese.

"Well, I'm good to go," he said quietly with a smile. "What about you?"

"Yeah," she responded as she put the book under her arm and started to stroll towards the checkout desk.

“You know,” he cleared his throat quietly, “Your eyes are really pretty.”

She glanced up at him, noticing his colored cheeks, and instinctively looked back down. All through elementary, it had been what made kids talk to her. They’d always been interested in the fact that instead her eyes being one color like everyone else’s, hers were two-toned, both brown and blue in the same eye. In high school, though, the novelty had worn off and nobody had paid her much attention.

Now that she was in college, everyone was simply too busy to notice her eyes, which were her only attractive feature in her mind. She wasn't pretty, or even average-looking, so no wonder people didn't notice. Well. Except for Darren, apparently.

“Did I make you uncomfortable?” Darren asked quickly when he noticed her silence, “I’m sorry, it’s just you seem like you think you’re ugly or something, wearing these too-big clothes and never talking to anyone--I just...”

A tiny smile formed at her lips. “It’s fine,” she said shyly.

He was quiet for a bit, so she finished reading the preview and shut the book.

Finally, after much fidgeting, throat-clearing, and irregular breathing, he spoke again.

“You aren’t.”

Lorrie pulled her gaze from the cover and looked at him with curiosity. “Aren’t what?”

He met her eyes with his warm, brown ones. “Ugly."

She looked down and let her hair fall in front of her face.

Well, she thought, I’m not pretty, that’s for sure. Another thought, more spiteful that the last, added, He’s just saying that so I’ll like him. It’s not like he’s got a chance with any of the other girls, so he’s just trying to get lucky with me.

“I’m serious,” he insisted in a more sure voice, “You’re actually… You’re… R--really pretty.” He bit his lip as he held his breath.

She kept walking in silent disagreement.

He frowned. “You are,” he said a little forcefully, “but you’d never know it ‘cause... 'cause you never take your nose outta those stupid books.” His sneakers made quiet scuffing noises as he sped up to the check-out.

Lorrie frowned and slowed to a stop. Well that was a little hypocritical, she thought to herself. He reads just as much as me. Then again, she reconsidered, he probably has a life, too, which is more than I can say for myself.

She patiently waited until Darren left, then shuffled up to the desk and stared at the Welcome to the University Library! sign taped to the tabletop.

“Back already today?” the librarian asked genially.

Lorrie nodded and handed her the book, but stayed silent.

She scanned it quickly. “Well, here you go,” she said as she slid the book to Lorrie. “Enjoy.”

Lorrie nodded again, grabbed the book, and hurried to her dorm.

 

Alya glared at the giant wolf as it sauntered towards her. She unsheathed her silver dagger, but the wolf just looked amused.
"Lancaster," she growled, "don't you doubt for a second that I won't drive this into your skull.

The wolf seemed to grin, then suddenly it shivered and reared on its hind legs. Alya didn't even flinch when the beast morphed into a man.

"You wouldn't," the man purred in a smooth baritone. "I know you too well." He came closer, until he towered over her and his musky breath blew onto her face.

"Try me," she threatened quietly, rolling the dagger's handle in her hand.

He chuckled and  bent over so his dark, shaggy hair brushed her cheeks.

Lorrie's breath caught on the last sentence and hurriedly read the rest of the last chapter.

 Alya gripped her weapon tightly and prepared to strike, but instead of fleeing, Caster leaned closer and smashed his lips against hers in a passionate kiss. His arms snaked around her waist and held her to him.

Instinctively, Alya raised her knife and plunged it downwards, aiming for his head--

"Alright, everyone! That's it for today!"

Lorrie jumped at the teacher's sudden exclamation.

 Well that went by quickly, she noted as the room erupted in chatter and movement. Then again, time speeds up when I'm reading.

She shoved her things into her backpack and rushed to read the last paragraph.

 --aiming for his head, but she hesitated in mid-stab for an unknown reason. He tensed and moved to deflect it, but he was too slow. A scream of agony blasted out of his mouth as the blade sank into his shoulder.

A colorful piece of paper fell into her view, landing between the pages of her book. She frowned at it, scolding it for interrupting her, and looked around. Darren was walking away, shoulders hunched and head downcast.

They hadn't talked in a few days, not since he'd gotten huffy in the library and left, but Lorrie didn't have any hard feelings towards him. Just uncertainty and confusion.

She turned back to the piece of paper and picked it up. It was a bookmark, printed in loud colors and sporting a corny You ARE enough! slogan. On the back, a very messy, handwritten note sprawled in slanted lines.

Look, I'm sorry I got angry yesterday. I've been trying to talk to you all semester and you just ignore me like you ignore anything that isn't your books. I know how it is when you want to escape into a world that's better than the one you're living in, but that's what friends are for. Given you actually let yourself make friends. Anyway, I'm here whenever you decide to give living in the real world a chance. Darren.

Lorrie looked up, surprised at Darren's honesty and interest in her. He'd already left the classroom. She slipped it into the book and gathered her things in a rush, hoping to catch up to him.

"Miss Gibson, may I have a moment?"

Lorrie froze and slowly turned to her teacher. "Yes?" she asked quietly.

Mr. Praetor gave her a stern look through his half-moon glasses and crossed his thin arms. "Don't you think you'd have better grades if you spent more time paying attention to me when I'm teaching instead of reading?"

She picked at the frayed strap of her backpack and quietly answered, "Yes."

"Well then," he replied shortly and turned back to his papers, "Do it."

Lorrie nodded and hurried out the door. She didn't find Darren, so she headed back to the safety of her dorm room. As soon as she stepped into the cramped space, she headed into the bathroom and locked the door behind her.

It was her intention to determine why Darren had said she was beautiful. She, envisioning herself in mind, couldn't fathom why he saw her as anything other than average.

She took a deep breath to steel herself and stepped in front of the mirror. For a long time, she just stood there, scrutinizing her face.

 Scattered pimples, she noted dejectedly. Small chin. Too-straight nose, too pointy. She sighed. Why am I even doing this? I know I'm not beautiful.

Reluctantly, she shifted her stare to her eyes. They were still two-toned; still mismatched. But... But what? They were the same as they'd always been, but they didn't look as strange as she'd thought they had. In fact, as she carefully studied them, she didn't have anything negative to comment on other than they didn't match.

 They... she thought to herself, they're pretty, aren't they?

A small smile spread across her face, stretching even further when she realized she had long, dark eyelashes as well. She returned to looking at her face as a whole, trying to determine what she was.

 Pretty? she asked herself. She shook her head. She wasn't beautiful, not to herself. But am I ugly? She took a few moments to mull that over, looking back and forth between her facial features.

 No, she decided at last, I'm not ugly.

When she realized what her decision meant, she looked at herself again in wonder. A thousand different emotions ran through her head, the most prominent ones being surprise and elation.

 I'm not ugly, she confirmed confidently. Beautiful, though? She squinted at herself. I don't know. Cautiously, she asked herself something else: Am I at least average? She cocked her head and grinned at her reflection.

It's a possibility.


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