When I woke up, I realized that my room was covered in frost. Once my eyes cleared, realized that Jack was standing right there. I laughed, for some weird reason. I actually could not stop laughing. Nothing funny had happened, I was just laughing. Jack started laughing too. By the time we had both stopped, we were on the floor, looking up at the ceiling.
“So, what are you here for, Jack?” I asked eagerly.
“I figured if we were going to go out, we might as well start right now. Classes don’t start for my dorm until yours do, so we have some time.” Jack replied.
“Could I maybe get dressed first? I don’t do things in my pajamas.”
Jack laughed and said, “Be fast.” I grabbed the first dress I laid hands on and turned the corner so fast, I literally went flying into the bathroom. Jack laughed even harder. I changed into the gown so fast that I didn’t even bother to comb my hair. Jack couldn’t stop laughing now. I blew a strand of my strawberry blond hair out of my pale violet eyes, a blush creeping up into my cheeks.
“When I said be fast, I didn’t mean fast enough to break your neck!” Jack managed to get out between laughs.
“Oh, Jack! Do you ever take anything seriously, as in not a joke?” I didn’t mean it seriously, of course, but he stopped laughing and looked at me like I had just taken his heart and stomped on it so hard that it splattered onto the walls. Then the look went away and his smile was back.
“Sometimes. But as I’ve already explained to you, it’s just easier to make it a joke.” I held out my hand to him and he took it. When he was standing, we left the room and we went outside. I avoided the gazebo.
“We can’t go there. That was the last place I saw Derek.” It still hurt to mention him, so I didn’t bring him up again.
We decided on the place we had our last excursion, the one with the snow. It had finally just melted. Too bad for the sun, because Jack just made more of it.
“If the sun were a person he would beat you up right now.” I said with a laugh.
Jack looked at me and made a small laugh. Then we just looked at each other, all silent and serious. He gathered up the some snow and made a bench out of it He sat and patted the other side. I was a little wary to get close to him when there was snow around, after last time. But he had this look on his face that said “This is serious.” When I was sitting, he just leaned back and sighed. He stared at the sky for so long; I was scared he had forgotten that I was there. Then he looked at me and I knew he was about to say something important.
“Vanessa, can I tell you something that I’ve never told anyone?” Jack asked.
“Unless it’s that you have three extra toes, sure.” I replied.
“No, that’s not it. It’s about… where I came from.”
“Look, nothing personal, but I don’t need the exact details of your birth.”
“Oh, God, no! That’s not it! That’s where Jack came from. I want to tell you where Jack Frost came from.”
“What’s the difference?”
“Jack was a normal boy. Jack Frost isn’t. He’s me now. I used to live in a little village, so long ago; I don’t think it’s even called Durock anymore.”
“Probably not. It doesn’t sound familiar.”
“Well, anyways, I was a fun-loving guy even all that time ago. I had a little sister. It was so long ago, I don’t even remember her name. The last time I saw her, she was seven. She’s dead for certain now, but she will always be seven in my mind.” I could tell this was getting hard for him to say. “I can’t tell you, so this will have to do.”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a tooth. He put it in my hand and suddenly I wasn’t sitting outside the school anymore; I was watching two brown- haired children standing on a frozen pond, a little girl and a teenage boy who looked exactly like Jack, except he had brown hair and eyes. The little girl was wearing skates, and the boy’s, obviously Jack, was sitting on the ice nearby. The little girl’s eyes were wide with fear. I didn’t understand until I saw the ice under their feet. It was cracking.
“It’s okay.” Jack said as he reached his arm out in an attempt to calm down the girl. “Don’t look down, just look at me.”
“Jack, I’m scared.” The girl was shaking with fear, you could tell.
“I know, I know.” Jack took a cautious step forward. The ice cracked under his foot. “But you’re gonna be all right. You’re not gonna fall in. Uh, we’re gonna have a little fun instead.”
“No we’re not!” the girl insisted.
“Would I trick you?”
“Yes! You play tricks all the time!”
“Well, not this time. I promise, you’re gonna be fine.” He started going forward a bit more. “You have believe in me.”
They stood there for a moment, and then Jack seemed to get an idea.
“You wanna play a game? We’re gonna play hop scotch. Like we play every day. It’s as easy as one…” He took a step forward, the ice continuing to crack. He pretended to fumble and stumble. The girl laughed. He took another step and then another. “And three.” He had made it to a thicker part of the ice. He bent down slowly, eyes never leaving the girl, as he reached for a stick on the ice that I recognized easily. He held it out to the girl. “Now it’s your turn.” The girl smiled and seemed to trust him. “One.” She moved forward a little, the ice cracking even more. She gasped. “That’s it, that’s it.” He held the stick out further. “Two.” She moved forward even more, ice cracking more still. She gasped again, her head bobbing up and down as she looked from Jack to the ice, the ice to Jack. “Three!” He used the crook of his stick to grab her and pull her off of the thin part.
When he was pulling her off, he flung her right across the ice onto the thick part. She didn’t appear to be hurt. In turn, Jack went flying onto the thin part of the ice. He smiled with triumph and started to stand. The girl lifted her head and smiled at him. He stood and laughed that laugh that I had come to fall in love with. As he reached out for her hand, the ice beneath him collapsed, dragging him under. Before he was completely under, the little girl yell out his name. Jack looked up and saw the moon.
The next thing I saw his body floating in the water under the light of the moon. Then his hair started to turn white, and his eyes flew open, the same color as Jack’s eyes now. Then I snapped back to reality. I looked into Jack’s eyes and knew that it was true.
“Oh my God. That’s why you… how you…” I started crying before I could finish.
I swear I heard Jack mutter “Girls confuse me.” He hugged me and I soaked his shoulder with tears. Then he pulled me away from his shoulder and looked me in the eye.
“It’s okay. I’m okay. We’re all fine. Just calm down.” Jack said, using that same tone that he’d used for the girl, which made me cry harder. He looked around, like what do I do? Then, as if at his wits end, he kissed me just like I had him.
All my fears and worries and doubts and every other icky, horrible feeling melted in that kiss. The tears stopped coming and the sobs vanished without a trace. Jack was fine. If he was fine, then I would be too. Everything would work itself out, I was sure of it.
“I believe in you Jack.” I said when he pulled away. Then I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him in return. I don’t know for how long we sat like that, but what broke it up was a gasp from behind me. We broke apart again to see Rapunzel standing there, a look of hurt and betrayal on her face.
“I thought you loved me Jack.” Rapunzel said with tears in her eyes. “And Vanessa I saved your life last night! Why would you do this to me?”
“I never said I loved you Rapunzel!” Jack exclaimed, standing up in indignation.
Rapunzel was already gone. I looked at Jack with a look of concern.
“What do we do about her? I can’t go talk to her and you certainly can’t. So who’s gonna make her feel better?”
“I guess it’s just up to Merida or someone else like that. She doesn’t want to see either of us.”
“What do you think they’re going to say now that they know we’re dating?”
“They won’t say anything. It’s just another relationship here. We should head inside now. You’re freezing to death.”
“I am? I wasn’t even aware that I was cold!”
He laughed and we both held hands as we sauntered inside.
We pick up next after dinner. I went up to our room and saw that Rapunzel had left a note for Merida to read. I read it anyways.
Dear Merida, I’ve decided to go home to pursue my dream of seeing the lanterns. I’ve told you about them before, the ones that came on my birthday. There’s nothing left for me here at the Academy. The man I loved was kissing Vanessa. I thought we were friends. I cannot believe that she would do that. So, anyways, I hope that you can understand that it has nothing to do with how many times you’ve nearly shot me with an arrow. This is all Vanessa’s fault. I probably won’t be coming back, so let Melody have my bunk. I love you like you were my very own sister, and I will miss you. But I won’t be back, remember that. Good bye, Meri.
I put the note back in the envelope and set it back on Merida’s pillow. She was gone, just gone. At least she was going to go do something that she loved and had been dreaming of forever. I got changed into a dress that Rapunzel had given me my first day. It had a pink strapless top covered in white gemstones with a black silk sash beneath it. The skirt was high low (I’m assuming most of you know what one of those looks like) and frilly and pink. Pink was my least favorite color, but Rapunzel had insisted that I looked beautiful in it. Then I sat in front of a dressing table as Cinderella brushed and tugged at my hair. Before I knew it, my luxurious hair was in a fishtail braid, similar to this one.
Snow White painted that for me. Cinderella placed a little tiara on my head and I was off to meet Jack at the dance. When I saw him, I made a little tsk noise. He was wearing the exact same clothes he had been wearing every day since forever, I’m pretty sure, anyways. I’d only known him one day. Sad, but we knew we were in love.
“Wow, I’ve never seen you in pink before.” Jack said in astonishment.
“Don’t be so surprised. I’m only wearing it for Rapunzel.”
“So you worked everything out?”
“Not even close. She up and left to go see those lanterns you were talking about. I nearly forgot that her birthday was coming up.”
Jack sighed and muttered something about confusing girls. I groaned teasingly and we both made our way onto the dance floor. We danced no matter what kind of song was playing. Fast songs, we were the life of the party. Slow songs, we literally flew around the gym, the envy of all the other couples. When the dance was over, neither of us were even out of breath. We were just laughing unbelievably loudly.
“I enjoyed this time we had together.” Jack said as he stood outside my dorm room.
“I did too. And thank you for showing me about that stuff before.” I said timidly. He leaned down and kissed me, then walked away humming the last song of the night. I sighed romantically and literally spun into the room. Melody was asleep in Rapunzel’s bunk. Merida hadn’t come back yet, and I realized that getting on her bad side was an awful idea. If she read that note, she’d hate me. So I grabbed to note and jammed it in the paper shredder. I’d tell Merida the truth about where’d she’d gone; I’d just omit her needless anger towards me as her motivator for leaving.
As it turns out, Merida was too tired to ask any questions. She came into the room, climbed onto the ladder, flung herself onto her bed and probably passed out instantly, fully clothed and wearing shoes, sword strapped to her side still. I stifled a giggle as I let my hair down and rubbed the makeup off of my face. When I changed into my nightgown and lay down in my bed, I thought over the day. The good parts and bad parts were evenly matched so that the day wasn’t sure what kind of day it was. I rolled over and closed my eyes, the image of Jack falling into the ice searing itself into my eyelids.
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