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|This story is about a girl named Tria and a boy named Keiran. They meet for the first time on the first day of Highschool. What they don't know as they build their fledgling friendship, however, is that they're both keeping secrets and those secrets could destroy their friendship and each other. Note for moderator: You won't see most of what gives this story it's catagories in the first chapter. It's build-up.||
Tria walked down the hallway, already she was lost. Not even five minutes at the school, and her courage had deserted her. Actually, it would have been more accurate to say to her that her courage had left her the instance she had left her house. What had she been thinking, coming by herself? To this strange new school, surrounded in her darkness? She should have asked her maid to come with her. But that would only draw more attention.
People around her laughed, and she could feel them pointing at her and asking others if they knew who she was. Tria had come to school with Nate, but he'd left her the instant he was out of the car. That was his way now, to leave her alone and to go off with others. A tear crawled down her face, a silent testimony to all that remained of the love that had been shattered.
Fingertips trailing along the wall, Tria could only pray she was on her way to the office. How could she have been so stupid as to forget to come to the school on Saturday and learn her schedule? But Nate had been busy trying out for the football team, with no time to spare for his little sister. Their parents had been out seeing the sights together. So now she wandered this school. Her own personal darkness seemed to press a little further inwards, and Tria pressed back against the lockers. Cold metal handles dug into her back, and she fought the rising panic. What was she doing? She might as well curl up here and ...but no, that wouldn't do either. She couldn't give in to the darkness here. Not now, not when she'd come so far from where she'd been last month. This was a new school, a new place, it would be different here!
Sure it will. Just like the last one, and the one before that. They'll all know the instant they see you. It's over before it's even begun. An insidious voice said, twisting through her thoughts.
“No.” She growled under her breath, as one hand grasped a piece of her skirt in one hand and the other gripped the bottom of one of the locker handles.
“No.” She whispered again, before relinquishing her hold on the handle and sliding slowly to the floor. Her dress rode up slightly, and she felt like she was going to die. Why did this always happen? Anyone else would have been excited today. After all, it was the first day of school. She could make like she was just one of the new sophomores if she was careful. Not if her darkness spoke up, though. Not if she was like this. The stares started to invade her darkness again, and she knew that people were not only staring, but that gossip was probably already spreading. The one hand still clutched her dress, the other dug into the carpet on the floor. It felt grainy, like an elephant's hide. It grounded her, temporarily, as she tried not to hyperventilate.
“Look at that girl!” some girl hissed to someone else.
“Is she crying?” Another asked.
“What's up with those weird eyes?” some boy snickered. Tria panicked. They were staring at her, they'd noticed her eyes. The doctor had promised no one would be able to tell with these new contacts! A hand flew to her face. Tears were slowly dripping down it. Oh no! The doctor's warning came back to her now, as though he was standing in front of her again.
“Be careful not to cry. These contacts are new, and they don't suction like they should. But as you're going to your new school next week....we're going to give you a proto-type version until the final is done. If you cry, they will probably slip off and possibly even out of your eyes.” He'd said. Tria trembled and reached up to her face with one hand. Carefully feeling her eyes, she felt that one contact had slipped to the corner of her eye and the other wasn't there at all.
Shoulders slumping, Tria gave up. It had been a rather hopeless cause from the beginning, but she'd hoped to fit in anyways.
“Hey, kid.” A male voice said, and Tria looked up. It was a futile effort. Even if her eyes hadn't been filled with tears and her contacts gone, she still wouldn't have been able to see him. The darkness was too thick. Had someone stopped to help her? Had this guy actually been kind enough to care?
“You're in front of my locker. Move it.” He said casually, and Tria's hopes were dashed.
“Of course not. What were you thinking? Even your own brother ditched you the moment the two of you arrived.” The insidious voice was back. Tria mumbled an apology and scooted in what she hoped was the right direction.
“Hey! I've got to get into my locker too, Squashmore!” Another male voice protested. Tria felt like she might die. How many rude, uncaring guys were there in this place. She scooted down a few lockers, only to find she was still in everyone's way.
“Get lost squashmore.”
Did all the lockers in this hall belong to guys?! She scooted down a few more, and when she didn't hear anyone else barking at her, she allowed herself to lean back against the lockers once more. A bell rang somewhere and kids hurried past her. Pulling her body closer to the lockers, she hid her face in her knees. What was she going to do now? Her parents would be furious when they learned that she'd missed her first class because she couldn't even find the office to get her schedule. They'd blame Nate and he'd hate her. Hate her more than he already did. Time seemed to drag on, but it didn't seem to matter anymore. Nate was going to hate her, all because she couldn't do something simple like finding the office. The stupid thing probably had a huge sign and a line of fifty students trailing from it's doors like the souls going through the gates of saint peters. Unfortunately she was still lost in the mists of despair, and even if there were ten thousand kids doing a song and dance with flashing neon signs, she still wouldn't be able to see them.
“Hey, I need to get into my locker. Move over.” A new male voice said.
“No.” Tria growled. She'd had enough.
“What?” He asked, clearly startled.
“Move,move, move! Is that all you stupid boys can think of?! Do this, do that! Why don't one of you do something for someone else once in a while!” She retorted angrily, ,putting more venom in her voice than was probably necessary.
“Look, I don't know who put you up to this, but if I'm any later, Grieves will probably cut my heart out with a spoon.” the guy said calmly. Tria turned her face away from him, and she heard a startled intake of breath.
“Are you...crying?” the guy asked. Tria didn't know. It felt like tears had trailed down her cheeks, and they felt strangely cold. Not like it mattered to him.
“No.” She replied.
Cursing under his breath, Keiran hopped the fence between the street and the school parking lot. His homeroom teacher was going to kill him. Last year Grieves had promised that if Keiran missed one more class, he would personally make Keiran repeat his schooling for years. It would be worse than a living nightmare, because living or not you could wake up from a nightmare.
Running down the hallways, he new that the bell had already rang from the total lack of people. It was a good thing he'd looked up his locker and already knew where his classes were. Racing down the hallway, he stopped short at the entrance to the hallway that his locker was in. Some girl was sitting in front of his locker. Not again. What did that stupid football team have against him? Every year it was the same.
Obviously they'd sent this little sophomore to set him up so they could all laugh at him later. Not that he wasn't tempted to play along. She was gorgeous. Sitting there with her head on her knees and her luscious brown hair waterfalling down around her head and shoulders, covering her face. Her small form, curled up there in front of his locker was so tiny. It was almost too easy to believe she was just a little lost lamb, and not the little gift basket of embarrassment that Riley and his crew had sent to torment Keiran. He shook his head as though to shake her from his minds eye.
What was he thinking? It was just a girl, not some fantastical creature. A girl probably sent to make him look stupid, but a girl nontheless. He strode quickly to a spot just in front of her, but she didn't even look up. Maybe she hadn't been sent to embarrass him. But then...why would she be sitting in front of his locker and not in class?
“Hey, I need to get into my locker. Move over.” He ordered calmly.
“No.” the girl snapped, and he blinked. Was she...growling at him? What had he done to her? She was the one sitting in front of his locker!
“What?” He asked, not believing what he was hearing.
“Move,move, move! Is that all you stupid boys can think of?! Do this, do that! Why don't one of you do something for someone else once in a while!”She bit out. So, the footballers had sent her. So much for giving her the benefit of the doubt. Not that he ever really doubted it.
“Look, I don't know who put you up to this, but if I'm any later, Grieves will probably cut my heart out with a spoon.” He managed to say calmly, all the while seething inside. Who was this girl, to be so rude? The girl turned her face slightly away from him, and he was startled when he noticed the wet tracks down the sides of her face.
“Have you been...crying?” He asked. The girl looked like she was going to reach up a hand to her face for a moment, but then dropped it back down.
“No.” She replied, but it was obvious she was lying. He sighed. Even though he knew he'd regret it, he crouched down in front of her and attempted not to think about the fact that she'd been sent to set him up.
“So what did they do to you?” He asked. Her eyes widened slighlty, but still she wouldn't look at him.
“Who?” She asked, and her voice trembled slightly as though he were on the verge of discovering some terrible secret.
“Riley and his gang. I know they put you up to this. What did they do to you?” He asked gently, unsure why he cared what they'd done to someone he didn't know.
“Who?” She asked, and she looked surprised. Her face turned back towards him, but she still wouldn't look at him. Her eyes were focused off somewhere in the distance, and he noticed for the first time how odd her eyes looked. They were brown, but bright gold streaks went from the outside of her pupil to the inside, and the whites were strangely faded to an almost gray shade.
“The guys who asked you to set me up. I promise they won't take this out on you. It's not like I shouldn't expect it by now.” Keiran replied patiently, waiting to see what her reaction was. For some reason it seemed to matter.
“What are you talking about?!” She demanded, a fierce blush staining her cheeks. “If you're making fun of me...!” She added, obviously trying to look fierce but failing.
“If they didn't set you up.....what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be in class?” He asked. The girl looked a bit sad at that.
“Class.” She murmured, turning her face to the side again and staring off down the hall. “I wish I knew.” She finally added.
“Are you alright?” He ventured. This girl was obviously insane. Perhaps Grieves would let Keiran live if he explained that a psychotic girl had detained him. She gave a laugh that was half a sob.
“Do I look alright to you?! It's my first day and I can't even find the stinking office! I don't have a schedule yet, so I don't know if I'm missing classes, and then I was leaning against this locker and some guy starts yelling at me to move, because I'm in his way, never mind that I'm completely lost and obviously in distress, and...” She started to rant.
“Look, I'm sorry! How was I supposed to know you were lost?!” he demanded, feeling like he was being backed into a corner.
“And then when I move over, another guy yells at me for the same thing! And another and another! How many freaking boys do they put in the same hall?! And then when I finally get some peace and quiet so I can contemplate the doom that faces me when my parents find out I missed the first day of class, some idiot comes along and starts asking me stupid questions! Do I look alright to you?!” She continued, completely ignoring him.
“How was I supposed to know what happened? It's not like you have a big sign hanging above you that proclaims your life in giant letters.” He retorted defensively. Oh no. She was crying again.
“Look, I'm sorry. Seriously, though, the office is right over there.” He sighed, pointing down the hall a ways.
“Yeah, cause that's really helpful.” She wept. “Don't you think if I could see it from here, I would have gone in?!” She demanded. He blinked.
“It's the third door on the right.” He said, wondering if he should go get the school policeman.
“Yes, and if I could see the doors, then maybe I could find it! If I could see doors, I could no doubt see the stupid sign that is probably posted right over the door!” She wailed, face buried in her hands. Suddenly she froze, as though she'd been slapped. Slowly she looked up at him, and she stared through him. He understood. It was like a dictionary had come out of nowhere and slammed into his back.
“You're blind.” He said intelligently.
The idiot knew now. Why, oh why had she blurted it out like that?! She'd done so well at not telling anyone for the past week! Of course, most of the new people she'd met in the last week had been maids and butlers her parents hired that already knew she was blind....but they wouldn't dare to make fun of her. Not with a job on the line. Not with a job that paid so well. But this boy....already he'd made a fool of her twice over.
“Sorry...that was a dumb thing to say.” He muttered, and Tria felt like kicking him. Not that she could aim. Silence descended and she waited for him to laugh at her, or leave. To her surprise, she felt a hand take one of hers from off her knee and gently pull on it.
“Wha...what are you doing?!” she yelped, being pulled up quickly onto her feet. She couldn't see where the ground was to land properly, however, and so she stumbled a bit. Another hand gently caught her waist and steadied her. Once she was stable, the hand on her waist was gone and the other drew her hand through the crook of an elbow. A smooth, cold surface met her fingertips and she recognized the feel of leather.
“Taking you to the office. You can't find it on your own, right?” He replied, starting to move away.. She pulled back slightly, and the elbow stopped moving further away. The elbow turned slightly and she could tell that he'd turned to face her.
“I don't need your pity.” She told him, purposely forgetting that she'd wanted someone, anyone, to help her only minutes ago.
“Who said anything about me pitying you? Call it my apology for assuming you were working for a jerk like Riley.” He snorted coldly, and Tria was startled. Absently she wondered what his name was, but she knew as soon as she thought the question that it didn't matter. He'd probably help her to the office and then disappear. It was only an apology, after all.
“I suppose that's okay.” She murmured, ducking her head slightly and allowing him to lead her forward.
Keiran led the girl towards the office, wondering what her name was as he took the ten feet to the office. Not that it really mattered. She'd made it clear she didn't want anything to do with an idiot like him. Still, he felt kinda bad about being rude and then just blurting out her condition like that. Dropping the girl off at the office, he turned to go but the secretary stopped him.
“Just a moment, Mr. Sheridan. Someone's got to show her where her class is and since it's on your way....” the secretary said, holding up the binder that contained late students. His eyes narrowed. So that's how they wanted to play ball, huh.
“I guess. But she'll be late. Shouldn't you take her so her teacher isn't all upset?” He asked, one eyebrow raised. The secretary got the hint. Quickly grabbing two school-excused passes, the secretary held them out like the bribe they were.
“That's why we have the late pass.” the secretary said as she handed the blind girl a schedule. The girl looked like she might die right there. Taking the late-passes, Keiran adjusted his pack onto his other hip and reached for the girls hand. When she felt him taking the appendage, she acted like she might draw back for a moment, before setting her face and resining herself to her fate. That was when he noticed she was missing supplies.
“Where's your backpack?” He asked, and the color drained out of her face. She turned in a circle, hands feeling around her waist. Encountering nothing, she looked up at him helplessly.
“I...I...” She stumbled, and her eyes started to fill up with tears again. Quickly she brushed them away, obviously impatient with herself. Sighing, he dug into his messenger bag and brought out his notebook and a pen. It wasn't like he'd take notes anyways. He went to handed them to her, and just realized how stupid he'd been. How was she supposed to see to take notes?
“I...sorry. I didn't think.” Keiran muttered, about to
take them back. But she held them close to her, and her head and she
looked down at the ground.
“Thank you.” She said.
“For what? How can you...?” He started to ask, and then felt like kicking himself. Again with the stupidity. Obviously he should stay away from this girl. He was an idiot in her presence.
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