Some things are so strange. Like air. It┤s something we take for granted on a daily basis, but if we suddenly didn┤t have it, we couldn┤t wish more for it.
It┤s the same story with health.
At that point, I didn┤t have much of it.
I┤m hoping that Felix saw me as strong, because it was draining me of energy to appear so.
I wasn┤t, though.
I really wasn┤t.
Now I am; apart from the bandages that practically hold me together, I┤m fine.
Echos of the night where I earned my hoof print still constrict my brain to think for nothing else.
"Scarlett! This is a nice surprise," Cleo hissed, walking in after me to the ring.
Still, the scene plays over and over in my mind, a broken record stuck at the worst point of a song.
"What do you want," I mumble, fiddling with my phone nonchalantly.
"Waiting for someone?" She giggles in a poisonous voice, ignoring my question.
"What do you want," I repeat in a sigh.
"Just a little ride," she says smugly.
She mounts a dappled-gray horse and clicks him over towards me. I remember vaguely the events that happen after. The horse thumps its hooves adgitatedly on the flakes of manufactured wood as Cleo giggles sickeningly and nudges it┤s sides with the heels of her boots.
"Don┤t," I say weakly, disgusted at the mild abuse towards the stallion. He was in distress.
"Oh, my lunch!" Cleo says in this beyond obvious fake exclamation. She digs in her pocket and catches upon a shiny object. "I must have forgotten to eat it." Purposefully, she drags the tinfoil out slowly. It leaves a long rustle from the withdrawal. The horse becomes spooked and tosses its head in annoyance and fear.
Finally, Cleo gives it one hard kick in the sides. I try to escape somehow, but she had me completely cornered. The sole of the horse┤s hoof is the last thing I see, frozen in time, before I come to my senses. Cleo looks down at me from above, now sodden from the quick rainfall. As lightening provides some light, I see a glimpse of her terrifying face. It┤s pale, with those yellow eagle eyes widened, pupils shrunken, a mad smile playing her thin lips. Her hair hung in snowy, soggy strands around her pale face.
That one image still haunts me today.
I begin to scream and writhe in agony; the utter pain was unbearable. A squeezing headache creeps up my temples, searing fingers of pain raking slowly up my head. I scream and scream and scream. My head felt like it was splitting, and my stomach as though it was on fire.
Cleo throws the tinfoil hard at my face. The remains of a jam sandwich coat my features. I lay on the ground, paralyzed, too weak to wipe it away.
She bends over and strokes my golden necklace.
"Oh ho ho, Golden Girl," she chuckles softly. "You┤re really nothing without them, are you?"
I manage to stifle my sobs for a minute to reflect on those words. "W-w," I start, my tongue stuttering uncontrollably. I had no idea what was going on.
"Your little airhead friend and that klutz of a brother," Cleo laughs. "You┤re really pathetic without them, aren┤t you? Little Scarlett the Scar. Nobody wants you. Everyone can┤t wait until you can scab over and they can just pick you away!"
I try to punch her wildly grinning face, but my arms felt like lead.
"D-Don┤t," I whisper in a broken voice.
"Especially your little friend, Felix," Cleo pipes up. "I would┤ve gone straight for a boy like him if he didn┤t want to kill Her Darkness."
"He┤s far too good for you," I manage past the lump in my throat.
"Oh!" Cleo laughs, polishing the blood off of the stallion┤s hooves. "Oh, you think so? Well, Scarlett the Scar, I think he┤s too good for you, too! He even told me."
"He thinks you┤re a little clingy. He told me so. But, anyway. About your brainless friend and clown of a brother. I┤ve got them- oops, correction. We┤ve got them. If you want them, come and get them." Another crack of lightning illuminates her face. "Anyway, have fun out here for the night. I doubt you┤re expecting anyone."
I think to myself if Felix forgot to came.
I lay in the sawdust, heart hammering, my breathing broken and rattling.
I scream as Cleo runs out the double doors, and I begin to hear the frantic calls of my name in that recognizable, signature voice.
I reply in screams of Felix┤s name.
I tell him about mine and Cleo┤s previous conversation, and darkness engulfs me.
Apparently, I would┤ve died if Felix hadn┤t found me.
I cannot tell him how thankful I am for our little get-together.
"You okay, Scarlett?" Kitty Silva pipes as we walk to our common room.
My breathing is still hoarse and inconsistent, and my gait somewhat stiff.
I ought to hobble about on crutches, but I┤m not as pathetic as to need two sticks of manufactured plastic to do something as simple as walk.
I can walk just fine.
I┤m not sure how long the Gloes will withstand my complete disregard for the medical advice, but for now they┤re keeping patient.
Kitty is completely different.
She had her operation a week or so ago, to change her DNA release timer to whenever she wants so she can morph to become a cat at any time.
They moved the timer capsule to just above her heart, so if she┤s running fast or if she presses the base of her neck, she can instantly turn into a feline. So if her heart hammers hard, the beats send a signal to the timer, flicking a trigger switch and felinizing her.
She┤s changed in appearance, too; her auburn hair has a solitary streak of light ginger running down it, her green eyes luminous in the dark, her canines somewhat sharper and her fingernails undoubtedly longer. She also possesses the skill of brilliant accuracy and balance.
Even now, as she walks with me, she┤s about five feet up in the air, walking precariously along a 3 cm wide fence.
"I┤m fine," I reply. "Where┤s Bea?"
"She┤s just taking Otto and Rini for a walk," Kitty says, skipping along the thin wood.
During the time I was in hospital, Felix got himself a dog- a brilliant Belgian Malinois, with broad shoulders and a beautiful chocolate-brown pelt.
Unlike Chase Rogue┤s ginger kitten Radar, or Bea Amar┤s little puppy Rini, or even my Australian Shepherd pup, Karma, Felix┤s pet was fully grown, strong yet gentle, and with a curious bond towards Radar.
Kitty and I proceed to walk through the Heart. The Heart is basically a large, marble, circular room in the middle of the school, where all the corridors for all the lessons lead to. It has a large, sunny, glass roof which often projects the searing sun and fluffy clouds. Megaphones and TVs point from most corners, and a radio subtly plays popular songs.
It┤s called the Heart because it┤s generally the heart of the school.
We meander up the stairs to the four corridors leading off a tiled hallway.
┤Tarekmor,┤ the red door read. An ingraving of a golden hawk was printed in it┤s glory on the crimson oak.
┤Rochetjay,┤ the green one said, a bronze deer scratched in.
┤Aargoncroff,┤ the mustard-yellow one reads, a black unicorn prints.
Finally, the last, blue door. ┤Moonclaw,┤ it says, a silver wolf outline standing proud above it.
As per usual, Kitty and I make our way through the Moonclaw door with our keys and take the right turn to the first year corridor, and finally another right to the girls dorm.
We walk in like every time, into the sunny, breezy, golden common rooms. All the girls were chatting, reading, drawing, doing homework or watching TV. An eerie silence sets upon the common room as I walk in. All eyes pierce me. I flush red and walk as fast as I can up the marble stairs. Only the slight buzz of talking on the telly broke the unbearable silence.
I flop on my bed, and murmurs of sympathy are exchanged before order resumes. I know that everyone in Aargoncroff, Moonclaw and Rochetjay are fine with me- in fact, sympathetic -but Tarekmor is a different story all together. They┤re a bit halved, Tarekmor is- one half wants to obliterate Kyra, and the greatly larger other half worship her. The half that wants to kill her is angry at me because we had to wait a couple of months before we leave so I can recover, and the other half of them is angry at me because I┤m mortal enemies with Cleo- who so happens to be their leader.
Yes, that┤s right.
I begged Mr Rosselfield to prolong the days we┤d be staying here so I can recover and fight.
He agreed willingly, knowing I┤m a decent fighter.
"Ehhh," I moan, burying my head under the pillows.
"Uh, you okay there?" I hear a familiar voice.
I look up to see my other best friend, Celeste Joicers, leaning on my bed post, choppy hair hung around her face.
"Meh," I groan, wriggling on my covers.
"All good here?" that Indonesian accent pipes. Bea Amar, yet another best friend, peeks from behind Celeste. "Scarlett look distress." her night-black hair hangs in a glossy, poker-straight waterfall.
"Where have you guys been, by the way?" Kitty asks, sitting on the edge of my bed.
"Bianca┤s been dragging us away repetitively," Celeste says, rolling her watery-blue eyes.
"Bianca?" I query.
"Bianca Aradare," Bea says. "New girl. Just relocated. She terribly vain, likes to dress people up and is popular because she pretty."
"Oh, her," Kitty says, twirling a wine-red strand of hair around her finger. "Yes, she seems quite nice. Unlike a lot of the popular people."
"Her little sidekicks are Amelia Yetchsmith and Hally Oak. But River Coin and Ivy Song are a little desperate to join her, too," Celeste says.
"I want to meet her," I say, dragging my weary limbs from the bed.
"She┤s in the common room, probably dressing someone else up," Kitty says. "We┤ll all come with you."
I make my way downstairs to see a beautiful girl around my age, with thick, dark hair tumbling down her back, dark, olive skin and chocolate eyes. She was pinning the last strands of honey-coloured hair on a girl┤s extravagant beehive.
"Thank you, Bianca!" she whispers, two single curls framing her face. Her crystal-blue eyes gaze fondly at her, shining against her porcelain skin. "It´s lovely!"
She smiles in thick, flawless lips.
"Well, of course it is! I made it, didn´t I?" laughs Bianca in a confident, strongly fancy- British accent. She wore a white, floaty sundress and matching sunglasses propped above on her head, and white wedges strapped onto her feet, with her also snow-painted toenails. She looked all very coordinated in the way she looked.
The blonde girl turns to see me, Celeste, Kitty and Bea standing at the foot of the stairs. She immediately squeaks and shys away behind Bianca, a curl of sunny hair over her eye.
"Hello," I say, holding out a fist to Bianca. "Scarlett Blanc."
"Bianca Aradare! Pleased to meet you, darling," she smiles, handshaking my invitation to a brofist. "Now, I know what we can do with you. Did you do your hair yourself?" she asks, lifting strands of my copper hair.
"Um, yes, but I just-"
"Fabulous! You´ve got quite agile fingers, don´t you? The Halo Braid is no easy task, dear!"
"Yeah. I want to ask-"
"Sit down, darling, I´ll give you a lovely fishtail."
"Really, Bianca, all I came for was to meet you and see who your partner is!" I say.
"Oh! Well, why didn´t you say so? My name is Bianca Appeline Naomi Aradare, I just relocated from London, and my life was normal. My partner is Amelia Yetchsmith, who is currently hiding behind me. Come out, Ammie!"
Amelia peeks out from behind Bianca´s shoulder.
"Sorry, Bianca," Amelia whispers. "But they´re new people, and I don´t k-know them!"
"Oh, they won´t bite, darling!" Bianca laughs, tossing her hair. "I´ll be right back, Ammie. I want to talk about my life with Kitty, Celeste, Bea and Scarlett here! You can go keep Hally company."
"I´m not some dog that needs a permanent nanny," a red-headed girl says in the corner, rolling her eyes. She had a toned body and cheerleader outfit on, and shoulder-length red hair in bunches.
"Yes, well, I´ll be right back. I just need to Tell them about my life."
Little did I know that Bianca´s life wouldn´t be as normal as she claimed.
Bianca grew up with two older sisters who were twins- Payton and Gail. They were both 19 when Bianca relocated to California and survivors of a devastating car crash which killed both their parents when Bianca was twelve.
No one knows how the car crashed.
It looked like they had deliberately swerved into the side of the road- a desolate road with no CTV cameras, but Payton and Gail insisted that a football had rolled under the brakes and jammed it, making their mother´s foot slip onto the accelerator and crash into the edge of the road.
But the said football was never found.
When the wreckage of the car was found, both of the back passenger doors were open and both of the twins were found with bruising that suggested that they had jumped out of the car at the last moment.
The child lock was switched on for both of the front doors.
The switches were accessed by the back passengers as well as the front...which is highly concerning information.
Despite being only fifteen at the time, Payton and Gail somehow managed to get custody of Bianca. They didn´t treat her well, and Bianca was terrified of them, as she strongly believed that they had killed her parents.
The twins were eventually convicted of man-slaughter a month before Bianca met Scarlett. In that month, she was moved to California to enroll in Skothamor´s Senior School.