"Will you ever learn!?" I can hear his voice. It's so far away, but I can hear him clearly.
"I-I-I'm s-s-sorr-rry!" I manage to stutter out, my teeth clacking together. I'm not even cold though, I wonder why.
"Forget me! We need to get you to a hospital, May. You have major frostbite!" May? Oh, right. I'm May. That's my name. Why am I not cold?
"Frost. Bite. You know, the thing that makes you loose toes!?" Everything's white. White's pretty. Not as pretty as red though. Is that red? I see red against the white. I wonder why?
"O-oh. T-that. I've h-heard of that. Hmm."
"J-just, shut up, okay! I'm going to take you to a hospital now. Please, just stay with me, May! Alright? Please. I can't lose you!" My legs are swept up from under me, and I'm suddenly warm. I see green. Make it go away. I want red back. And white. White's beautiful.
Oh, look. Black. It's all black.
May Maple opened the door to the Pokémon center, bringing with her a gust of frigid air, much to the chagrin of the other teenagers holed up in the lobby. Blankets were everywhere, and Chanseys were rushing around, passing out steaming cups of hot chocolate to everyone.
"Whew. It's cold out there!" she said brightly, slightly muffled through her warm red scarf that was wrapped around the lower part of her face. That earned her a few chuckles.
"Thanks, Captain Obvious," came a snide voice from somewhere from the back of the room.
"You're welcome, Sargent Sarcasm!" she answered, equally snide. Full-blown laughter rang through the crowd, and she smirked as she pulled off her scarf and white overcoat.
"Welcome to the Pokémon center! I'm sorry, but all our rooms have lost power so we aren't able to allow anyone to stay in them. You're welcome to camp out here, if you like. The lobby and the kitchen are the only rooms with power, and if we let people stay in the kitchen, we wouldn't have any food left!" Nurse Joy said all of this with a kind smile, proffering a wool blanket and a cup of hot chocolate.
May took both gratefully, "Thanks, Nurse Joy. Are you sure it's okay if I stay here?"
"Of course, dear!"
"Thank you! I'll be out tomorrow."
"Feel free to stay as long as you like."
May sipped her cup of chocolate and glanced around the room, looking for a place to sit. A nice roomy spot between a raven-headed girl and it looked to be a boy with his hood flipped up struck her fancy. She trundled over and plonked herself down. "Hi!" she said to the black-haired girl.
"Hi!" came the response. The girl looked to be about her age. She had coal black hair with a purple streak, purple eyes, and seemed fond of the color yellow. Her sleeveless shirt with detached sleeves was yellow with a wide belt, her skirt was yellow, and her knee-high lace-up boots were yellow. Her trench coat sitting next to her was black though, so her outfit wouldn't damage anyone's eyes.
"I'm May, what's your name?"
"Nice ta meet ya, May, I'm November. You can call me Nova, though!" she had a slight accent, slightly country, but it was cute.
"Oh, Nova, that's a pretty name! Hey! We're both named after months! I know a boy from contests that always calls me the wrong month, like June, and April! It's so annoying."
"Really? I know a boy who does the same thin'! Maybe we both know 'im. What color are 'is eyes?"
"Really? So does 'e! 'Air color?"
"Green as well."
"Aw, nuggets! My boy's got purple 'air. Close though!" Nova snapped her fingers and flipped her long hair over her shoulder.
"So what brings ya 'ere to this little town? I can't believe it's fall, and it's blizzarding out there!"
"I know, right? Anyways, I hear the ramen here is to die for, so here I am!"
"Seriously? I'm 'ere for the pasta, too! Have you 'ad their lasagna? Oh, I though I was in 'eaven!" Nova closed her eyes and made a flamboyant gesture towards the roof, which was definitely not heaven, but sort of close.
"I'll have to try it! How long have you been here?"
"Just two days! I'm outta 'ere tomorrow."
"Ah. I'm gonna go to the next town that's holding a contest. You should totally come! Maybe your boy'll be there. I know mine will."
"I should! I know you and I'll be amazing friends!"
"Of course!" the girls high-fived, and giggled.
"You know, it's rude to talk about people like they aren't there," came a bored voice with a tinge of arrogance.
Both the girls screamed and jumped away from the boy with the flipped up hood. He turned slowly toward them and pulled down his hood.
"EH!? DREW!?" May screeched, pointing gob smacked at the green-haired boy.
"The one and only, June." He smirked and flicked his hair, winking at Nova.
"Oh my gosh, he actually does call ya by tha wrong months!" Nova gasped.
"And who might you be?" Drew asked Nova dryly.
"Nice to meet you, November."
"WHHAAAAT? HOW COME YOU CALL HER BY THE RIGHT MONTH? EH!?"
"Shut up, April."
At this point Nova had to forcibly restrain May from removing Drew's head from his body. "LET HIM LIVE, MAY! LET HIM LIVE!" she yelled, hands around her waist as May clawed at Drew's face.
"LEMME KILL HIM, JUST A BIT!"
"THAT'S NOT POSSIBLE!"
"I'LL MAKE IT POSSIBLE!"
"Ok." And she let May go. Drew's jaw hit the floor.
"WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!?" He dodged May just as she attempted to tackle him, and screamed like a girl when she took another swipe at his pretty face, tumbling out of his chair.
"Oh, May, try not to mutilate his face, that's his moneymaker," called Nova, blowing and popping a giant wad of bubble-gum that had appeared from nowhere.
"I make no promises."
Drew decided to take advantage of her brief distraction and, tripping over another sleeping person, made a break for it.
"SORRY NURSE JOY, I'M CHECKING OUT NOW!" he called to the baffled nurse.
"What? You can't leave! There's a blizzard out there! You'll get lost!" the nurse said worriedly, clearly not big on the idea on a teenager running out in the middle of a blizzard.
"I'll be fine! I have a map! The next town's not too far away!" He turned and tipped an imaginary cap to the enraged May, "See ya, June." And he bolted out the door.
"Oh, you're not getting away that easily!" May turned, snatched a piece of paper out of her pocket and a pencil and scribbled down her number and tossed it to Nova, "Here, that's my number, if I don't come back, text me and we'll set up a lunch date, M'kay?"
"Sure, see ya!" Nova, clearly not worried, grinned and wrote down her number and handed it to May and popped another gargantuan bubble. "Please don't die in the weather, May."
"Oh, nothing can get me! I'll be back in five minutes."
And May chased after Drew.
"Drew! Where are you?" May called. She squinted around and caught a flash of bright green. "Ahah!" She ran after it, nearly tripping over snowdrifts.
All around her was white. The trees, buildings, fountains and roads were blanketed in snow, and more and more was pouring from the grey sky every second.
"Whew, It's cold out here, now where is that jerk Grass-head?"
Snow beat and blew down on her, blocking her vision. For such a pretty thing, snow could sure be nasty. This wasn't the nice, sweet stuff people made ice cream out of and children played in while parents read magazines on the porch. This was harsh snow; the type that had flecks of sharp ice disguised in it and ice chunks big enough to knock someone out.
"This isn't funny anymore! Drew! Where are you?" After a couple minutes of wandering around, she was getting pretty cold, and all amusement was gone.
May shivered, rubbing her arms up and down. "Wasn't he just over here? I could have sworn-"
May froze. Something cold and piercing seeped into her boots. She glanced down and could have passed out from fear.
Ice. Water. Frozen. Lake. Crack?
Drew poked his head sneakily back into the center, glancing around. May was scary when she's mad, but he had pulled a fast one on her and had hidden behind the building. June would never think to look there. His plan was flawless. He sat out there for fifteen minutes, and then decided losing his fingers to frostbite would be bad and came in.
"Hah! Cold." He blew on his fingers and rubbed them together.
Nova glanced up when cold air washed in. "'Ey, you! Where's May? Did she find ya?"
Drew shook his head. "Nope."
"She didn't come back in?"
"Nah. She probably still out there looking to rip my head off."
"So get out there and find 'er, idiot!"
"Whaaaat? No way, it's cold out there!"
"And guess what, moron, she doesn't 'ave her jacket!" Nova twirled May's white jacket around her finger.
"What? She just had it… I'm so confused…"
"She dropped it on 'er way out. I tried to get it to 'er but she was gone like tha wind. That girl can shift when she wants to."
"You must, now scram."
"Fine. Wait, why am I listening to you! I just met you today!"
"You dare question me?" Nova stood up and the room dropped ten degrees. Drew shrank.
"Good. Now go. And take this with ya, she'll need it." Nova tossed the jacket to him. Drew sighed and trundled back out the door.
"Great. Bloody girl. Stupid May. Cold. Whoa! Whew. Ice. Not good." He continued grumbling to himself, until he ran into a pole and got his nose stuck to it. After he got it off he learned to watch where he was going.
"May! Where are you! It's cooold out here! May?"
No response except the whirling and screaming of the wind and the blinding white of the snow.
"Let me see… The store's over here, and the town squares over there, and the fountains over there, and I think the lake's over- Holy crap! Is that a person?"
Drew bolted over to the clear iced over lake, and his heart sank to his toes. May stood in the very middle of the lake, and cracks spread out from around her feet. Bits of ice had already broken away and the ice was rapidly weakening. She was shaking and she looked like she was holding in tears. "D-drew? I-is that y-you? I-I can't s-see anything."
"Yeah, it's me, May. Just hold on, I'll come and get you." He placed a foot on the ice and jumped back as it shattered under his weight. "Or not," He mumbled under his breath.
"No! T-the ice i-is too w-w-weak for the b-both of us."
"Alrighty then. Um, then, can you move?"
"I don't t-think so. Th-the ice c-creaks whenever I-I even b-breathe."
"Oh, geez." Drew ran a hand through his hand and looked around. What could he do? May couldn't move, the ice's rapidly weakening, and he can't do a thing about it!
"D-drew? I'm scared. A-am I gonna d-die?"
"O-of course not, May! Don't be silly. You'll be at the next contest for sure, where I will crush you and get my fifth ribbon."
May's eyes widened as the ice gave out from under her. She had just enough time to spin and lock gazes with the horrified Drew before she plunged under the ice.
"May!" Drew stripped off his jacket and dove into the water.
The pure cold of it shocked him and drove the breath from his lungs. He gasped slightly and coughed and spat out the water. He struggled for a second to get some air, sucked in, and plunged under the water. His body shrieked in discomfort, but he ignored it and kicked viciously. He quickly sighted May and swam up to her. Locking and arm around her waist, he struggled to the surface and dragged her out of the lake. Her skin had lost all color and her breath was shallow and labored.
Terror filled him.
"May, May wake up!" He shook her slightly and she coughed.
"C-cold…" she murmured and her eyes opened slightly and shut again.
"No, no, no, no, no, no! Stay. Awake! May, do not fall asleep on me!"
"No! Bad sleepy! No sleep!"
"No!" This time Drew lightly smacked her cheek, just enough to wake her up good and proper.
"Will you ever learn!?"
"Forget me! We need to get you to a hospital, May! You have major frostbite!"
"Frost. Bite. You know, the thing that makes you lose toes!?"
"O-oh, t-that. I've h-heard of that. Hmm."
"J-just shut up, okay? I'm going to take you to a hospital now. Please just stay with me, May. All right? Please. I can't lose you!" Drew swept her up bridal style and ran back to the center.
He burst through the doors, and everyone jumped. "Nurse Joy! Where's the hospital? Nurse Joy?"
Nurse Joy ran up, "What happened?"
"She fell in the lake."
"Oh! The hospital is on the other side of town! She won't last that long."
"Well, what do we do?"
"Take her into the ER. I'll see what I can do."
"Chansey!" A Chansey bustled up, grabbed his belt loop and dragged him through a set of swinging doors. He set May's limp form down on a white cot and collapsed suddenly, all energy drained from his limbs. He realized he had been holding his breath. Nurse Joy bustled in and shooed him out, before turning and stripping off May's wet clothing.
Drew paced back and forth. Nova sat by the door, slowly blowing and popping bubbles. She looked pale. He groaned and hit his head on the wall.
"This is all my fault."
"Yes, it is."
"You're supposed to say, 'No, it isn't. Stop beating yourself up!'"
"Why would I say that? It is your fault."
"Not one for beating around the bush or sugar-coating, are you?"
The two sat for two hours by that door. Drew verbally beat himself up, and Nova agreed with him.
Eventually the light went out on the ER sign, but still Nurse Joy didn't come out. Even the other teenagers in the room sensed something was wrong and nobody spoke.
Another thirty-minutes passed and not a word was spoken. The door opened. Drew jumped up, but quickly sat down as all the blood rushed to his head and made him dizzy. Nurse Joy walked out and nodded. Drew got up, slower this time, and made his way into May's room.
She was passed out on the bed. Color had returned to her face, and she was breathing better. Drew was relieved. He plonked himself down on the edge of her bed. "You know, May, if you had died I would have never forgiven myself. I never say it, but you're an amazing Coordinator. Even better than myself. You are amazing, May." He blushed slightly, and quickly checked to see if she was really out cold before continuing, "And since you're passed out, I think I'll only say this once, but I love you, may. I really, really do. And maybe, when I'm braver, I'll say it when you're awake."
Nova hide behind the door, trying hard to hold in her laughter.
In her hand was a videophone.
"Oh, May. When you wake up…"
Yes, I know you all hate me and wish to stone me, but I'm having a hard time getting back into the swing of things. I was recently sick and have had a gazillion essays to write. Essays. Yuck. But I'm back! Love me! I'm writing the next chapter of Aqua and it should be out tomorrow or the next day, as well as two new stories I have planned. I'm back!