Rated: PG 13
Warning: grammatical and spelling errors abound.
Just a Coincidence – the journal intro.
She twirled. She seductively lifted her leg up to his waist, their bodies intertwined. He moved her across the moonlit floor without so much of an effort, and passionately lowered her torso, almost dipping her. She giggled playfully, the echo of her laughter piercing the night air.
He slowly raised her upright and they each stared into each other's dimly lit faces. She could barely make out his eyes, yet she could clearly see his shady silhouette. She smiled widely again and pushed away from him.
He grinned. She felt him grin. He began to chase after her.
She then ran behind a couple of cherry blossom trees and seemed to have completely disappeared, but he followed her trail of golden tendrils, the glint of her hair against the moonlight captured his attention.
'Here I am!' She thought amusingly. 'I'm right here!'
BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.
"Ugh... Crap clock."
'Another damn day to endure.' The first thought entered my mind. "I hate my life. Well I guess "Hate" is a strong word... I DISLIKE my life."
I sat up and scratched my head. I opened my eyes and blinked a couple of times to get the blur out. "What a life it is. Oh yeah, and I just had another romantic session with the dream man."
Wow. The guy felt real. I didn't know who the heck he was but he was sure as hell suave. Too bad it's all a dream. They've been all fake and cruel dreams. And why did I dream this? Ah the wonders of the human mind.
I've had the reoccurring dream for the last year now. Over and over the man swept me off my feet and over and over I'd wake up and know it's all been a dream... a pathetic joke.
"And damn it. Call me a psychiatrist but I think I'm about to be late." My train of thoughts had been cut short as I threw the covers off the bed; well I practically kicked them off. "Ugh. This is the last thing I need. I can't afford another tardy slip... stupid, stupid, STUPID superficial dream. WHY ME?"
Habitually, I got up, washed up, got dressed, ran down the stairs, went through the kitchen, and grabbed whatever was on the plate (which of course my mother prepared for me as a usual thing, it being a freshly cooked scrambled egg sandwich). I then snatched my stuff and walked out through the front door, my mother barely hearing my brief goodbye.
That was my usual morning routine. And from what it seems to be, it would always be my usual routine. To get to the point, I actually liked it that way. It was simple. I am simple.
Half of the day went by quickly. School was still at its norm, nothing usual. Couples were everywhere, not being able to keep their hands off each other, friends, teachers, and blah. So what? For the last three classes I've been fighting a losing battle to stay awake. Hey, can I help it if Trigonometry got the best of me? I hate being a senior. Why? To say the truth, I really don't know. I just do.
Lunchtime came and stayed, for about thirty minutes.
"So did you see him again today? Did you?"
"Yup, he was looking mighty gorgeous as always!"
'How Pathetic...' I idly played with my shrimp. How does shrimp change color from a dark dead gray to a bright orange?
"Yup, I swear, I was trying to talk to someone and he kept staring at me. He was trying to get my attention but I said, 'Wait!' It was really cute the way he did it." Lita, one of my best friends in the world continued as I overheard their conversation.
"Hey, that's cool. It's not everyday, the man gives you that kind of attention." Raye, the second of one of my best friends, laughed, agreeing along with Lita - or was she? She had a history of liking the same guys that Lita had interests in so it wasn't an unusual thing for them to have this 'conversation'. Oh, I'm sorry, let me rephrase that - it's one of these 'pathetic conversations'.
"Hey Serena say something." Mina, the last in my list of 'best friends', waved a piece of her fried squid in my face. "Hello, what's with that face again?"
"What face?" I knew what she was doing. She was tempting me with that succulent piece of seafood. "Hey, the more you do that, the more I'll actually grab your hand and pop that sucker in my mouth."
"Hah. You think you could? Try me."
I quickly snatched her arm, plucked the white salty seafood from her fingers, and popped it in my mouth.
"There. I did. And frankly I think it could use more salt." Ah, the savory tastes of crunchy victory.
"I swear Darien Chiba is the ultimate male model! Even the new girl told me he was hot." Lita made a swooning gesture that made me want to regurgitate what I had just consumed.
"I know... but I know he's so going for you! I mean that whole thing with him staring at you!"
"Um, okay enough with the crap. We're eating here?" I raised an eyebrow toward them, pointing to the food. "No disgusting topics to be said in front of the goods."
"Hah. Right. Goods. Good one." Mina rolled her eyes at me. "Hey that piece of 'good' you ate was mine."
"Oh and I love you too." I reached out with my chopsticks and plucked another 'good' from her Tupperware. She yelped and tried to smack my hand away but she missed as soon as I pulled away. "Ha. Man, all that time with your boyfriend has made you even slower."
"Hey now you're getting personal." Mina in turn reached for some of my food but unlike her I moved the container towards her for her own convenience. "Andrew's just my friend. You know that right?"
"Yeah I know. Because it's so obvious that you stare at each other all 'googly eyed' and keep walking around holding hands like you guys are a couple or something. Yeah that's what I call a typical friendship." I grinned at her as I started to stab my own shrimp. Oh the shrimp! How sometimes I think the food and I are the only sane creatures in this school.
"Shut up. Are we that obvious?"
"Oh yes. It's not like everyone in school knows about it already." I took a sip of my juice. Soda's not really my thing. How come soda isn't my thing? "Just admit it, you guys hooked up already and that's all there is to it."
"And who's died and made you the expert in relationships?" Lita took an extra pair of chopsticks and took a shrimp from me. "I think someone's becoming jealous."
"Yeah, why don't you just get a guy of your own and crush on him? That'll keep your mind off of Mina's love life." Raye giggled as she scooted over to Mina. "I mean it's about time you get your own love life going."
Oh how I hate it when they do that.
"Well I wouldn't exactly call 'crushing' on a guy, a productive thing. I mean I'd tire myself talking and talking and talking about every single detail that goes on about the guy. How he breaths, how he blinks, how he farts." I gave up stabbing the shrimp and gave the container to Lita. "I mean it'll never get me anywhere and to be like you guys? Eh I'll take a pass on that."
"Whatever. Serena's just making that philosophy up just because she's never crushed on anyone. What a loner." Lita continued eating all of my rice.
There was a good a reason for that. And as of now, I didn't want go venture into that-
"You guys are both a holes you know that?" I started focusing on Mina's Tupperware, as she moved the container close to me. I played with her piece of BBQ pork. "And I wasn't even meddling with Mina's business. Just commenting and you guys had to jump on that."
"Well, whatever. Suit yourself. You do know you're missing out on great fun." Raye and Lita started to devour whatever was left in my container. They finished the whole thing in half a second. "But as for us, we are devoted Darien Chiba fans."
"I have a suggestion. Why don't you guys actually 'GET' boyfriends and have a 'REAL' relationship like Mina does over here?" I finally ate the piece of pork. "It wouldn't hurt wouldn't it?"
"Yeah, Serena's right. You guys are all talk and no action. Get your own 'Groove' on." Mina and I shared whatever was left of her container. Unlike the other two, she and I took our sweet time doing it. "Anyway I've got something else to talk about."
"And what is that?"
"You know how my birthday is coming up right?" Mina knew how to change subjects. She wasn't the obvious one when doing it. For that I admire her. "Well, of course you all know that I'm turning eighteen. So I'm asking you guys to be one of my eighteen girls to dance for the debutant eighteenth party that I'm having."
"But Mina isn't your birthday two months away?"
"That's why I'm telling you guys earlier. If you guys agree, I'm holding up practice as soon as possible. I have the schedule ready for this."
We all looked at each other. This wasn't going to be one of Mina's normal girl sleep over parties that she had been throwing for the past three years. This sounds interesting.
"What kind of a question is that? Of course we're saying yes. It's our obligation for us to do it."
"Okay that's good. So that's three down and 15 to go."
The bell rang.
We gathered all our things and left, saying our goodbyes.
That was the typical lunch. Those are my friends.
It was the end of another tiring and unfulfilling day. Kids of all ages walked passed me. Some of the junior high students scurried away with their heavy backpacks, almost pulling their upper bodies to the floor. It was sad really and to think I use to be like them. But no longer did I carry the half ton books that put the weight on my shoulders, but it was now the longing of something I didn't quite understand. How could I explain it? Something was in the air now and I could smell it.
He hurriedly passed me, the whiff of his cologne lingered after the trail he left behind. He met up with his friends at the entrance of the school gates, their smiles and high fives welcoming him. This was Darien Chiba, the center of Lita and Raye's conversation earlier.
Yes. He was one of the guys that I'd stereotypically label a 'pretty boy'. He was the popular, the appealing male egotistical 'pretty boy' that had the power to draw all the females in Juuban City High school to their knees. Or so I think. He comfortably slid his hand around some girl's waist and drew her close to him. Of course she was the typical TAB - The Trendy Airhead Bimbo. 'Pretty Boys' like him had to be with TABs. And no TAB was complete without a 'Pretty Boy'.
I watched them leave, Darien's hand now placed at the small of the girl's back. When they finally disappeared I continued my exit through the gates of Juuban City High school.
I decided to go to the mall. Hell, It was a Thursday, I was bored, my homework could wait, and I had time to kill. All the other girls, Lita, Raye, and Mina had their own plans, plans that didn't include me, well plans that could've included me but I had rejected in coming with them for reasons which... actually... I just didn't want to go.
Well, one would think that I would be one of the girls shopping around for the latest fashion item, or be something like a mild 'fashionista', but instead, I roamed around the tiny tech shops, the computer and computer related items shop, novelty stores filled with the blahs and the its, and finally I entered into the 'Gift Shop', which had the best deals in the cheapest prices. It was the right place anyway for I had nothing but a few bucks to waste. What item was deserving of my dollars to go down the drain?
I wondered into the small stationary aisle. It seemed fully stocked, papers displayed in a variety colors, some eye pleasing, some too bright and distasteful. I looked down a couple of rows and found something of interest. It was a medium sized journal, the cover made of black leather with a dark red rose embedded on it, and the cover was half framed by the rose's long dark green stems. The rose on the cover had a small amount of golden sparkles, which alone gave its beauty.
I flipped through the journal and found that the pages were all lined, and each had a marking of a rose. On the insides of the cover, there were slits big enough to place papers in, which would probably be convenient for the user. It was simply cute so heck, if I had to spend my bucks on something, that would have to be it.
I went to the counter and paid for it. As I looked out the window, and of all the luck, Darien
Chiba and his crew were heading into my direction, or at least seemed to look like they were going into the store. Before I could leave the counter, I hurriedly stuffed the item into my backpack and zipped up quickly. There was no way in heck I'd want to see the 'pretty boy' with his 'TAB' and...
'Oh my god. Is that Mina?'
She was holding hands with Andrew, walking behind Darien and a girl. I was about to leave the entrance when
"Hey, Serena! Is that yours?"
I abruptly turned around.
"What are you talking about?"
"That thing in the plastic bag, is it yours?" I looked to where Mina was pointing, apparently to the floor. It was my brand new journal.
"Oh that? Ah, I just bought that." I smiled brightly to her, trying to look past the 'pretty boy' and the TAB, all the while blushing. "That must have fallen out of my backpack."
"Hey it looks awesome."
"Yeah I know thanks." I quickly bent down and tried to grab the book. Instead, I saw Darien bend down too, and as I attempted to take the journal, something hit my forehead.
I opened my eyes.
"Hey I could've gotten that myself." It was the first sentence to escape my lips as I rubbed my head. Apparently he and I had just bumped heads trying to get the same object that was mine.
"Sorry, I thought I'd help picking that up for you."
"Well thanks. I don't need your help." I finally grabbed my journal. "It only took a person to do it."
"Hey, there's no need to be PMSing. I was just trying to help. The least you could do is to apologize."
I now looked up at him, as we were both standing. His dark blue eyes started to hold agitation. I myself was starting to feel annoyed.
"Me apologize?" I raised an eyebrow toward him.
"You're the one who couldn't even see "
"Um so Serena, what are you doing here anyway?" Mina broke the conversation as she walked over to where I stood. "I thought you didn't want to go to the mall with me today."
" Oh hell, I changed my mind." I now averted my attention to Mina. "I was bored."
"Bored? What kind of a girl goes to the mall by herself simply because she was bored?" Damn it. He had to say something again. His TAB was now lightly rubbing the side of his head.
"Um, the kind of girl who actually watches where she's going." I sarcastically smiled to him. "Anyway, Mina I really have to go."
"Yeah, I've got other stuff to do at home. You know how my mom is... chores waiting for my attention."
"Alright I guess..." Mina cutely pouted. She did this whenever she wanted to hang with me but knew I couldn't and when I gave the lamest excuses. "Have fun vacuuming."
I hurriedly walked to the nearest exit of the mall, as the clique continued down their way. They didn't go in the gift shop after all.
'Me and my assumptions...'
--------------------Just a Coincidence------------------------
"Is your friend always like that, Mina?"
"What are you talking about?"
"That Serena girl. It seems she didn't take her PMS pills today."
"Oh, Serena? Don't mind her. She always pissed." Mina explained as we all leisurely walked down the mall. "Plus bumping heads wouldn't have made her anymore happier."
"That's my point. It was just an accident."
"Who cares?" Beryl lightly tugged on my shirt. "Let's go in here."
We all entered into a one of those brand name stores, the girls pulling Andrew and I in, each one hauling an arm.
"So Andrew, what do you think about Beryl?" The girls started roaming around the store's isles leaving Andrew and I to wait.
"What about her?"
"You know. About her."
"No clue what your talking about "
"I'm thinking of dumping her." I began when Andrew's face changed to a questioning look. "Things aren't working out between us."
"Again? But that's the third girl you've dismissed for the passed three months. I really thought you'd stick with her." Andrew began as he shifted his gaze to Mina. "After staying together for about five weeks, I'd think you two were getting somewhere."
"Well it didn't. And we're still here."
"Maybe if you'd give her a chance to "
"I did. The second week we were together." I continued, as I also averted my attention to Beryl. "And I've made up my mind. It's just not going to happen."
"Are you sure? I mean if you do this, Beryl's not going to take this lightly. You know how she's crazy about you right?"
"Yeah I know she's into me but that's what's causing the problem."
"What the hell?"
"I know it's going to sound hard to believe, but the girl is just plain nuts." I sarcastically chuckled. "Whenever we're together, it's always about me As in just 'Darien Chiba'. The woman thinks that our relationship is made up of one person. She's controlling. And it's driving me crazy."
"But did you talk to her about it?"
"Believe me I've tried."
"Well, you're going to have to try harder. Sooner or later, if you keep leading her on, it's going to return to bite you in the ass." Andrew returned the sarcastic chuckle. "Whatever floats your boat, go for it. But make sure you let her down easy."
"Yeah thanks. I'll keep that in mind."
"So anyway, I've got a favor to ask." Andrew began, changing the subject. "Mina's b day's coming up in two months."
"So, what about it?"
"She's not having an ordinary party."
"She's having a sweet eighteenth debutant Ball." He continued. "And she needs guys."
"She has you." I smirked.
Andrew was one of the lucky guys. He found the right person and he stuck with her, unlike me, who's always stuck with girls like Beryl and switching them like cards in a deck.
"No, no. Not like that."
"She needs guys to pair up with her seventeen girls. It's going to be a formal thing." Andrew explained as he continued gazing at Mina. "There's going to be a dance that we'll have to perform, a Waltz I believe. And I need you to be one of the partners."
"Whoa. You mean this 'Ball' thing's going to be taking some actual 'rehearsal' time?"
"Yeah, it has to be choreographed." He continued to watch Mina with a hint of something special in his gaze now. I couldn't explain what it was. "I, of course, have volunteered to be her escort obviously, so that just leaves you and sixteen other guys.
"Fine I'll do it." I shook my head. The things I do for my best friend. I once had to go with him on a double blind date, his date perfectly fine, mine literally blind. I spent the whole night keeping the girl from walking into polls "But you owe me for this."
"Okay, okay. But how could you not actually want this? You'll be surrounded by seventeen gorgeous girls, counting out Mina because she's all mine. " Mina came up to Andrew with shopping bag in hand. He reached out for her and enveloped her in his arms, she giggling playfully.
"So what are you guys talking about?" She directed the question more to Andrew. "Oh I know, my party right?"
"Yeah, I've just asked Darien to be a part of it."
"Oh then, will you?" Simultaneously Mina gave a cute pout and Andrew gave a pleading look, both facial expressions directed toward me. What faces they made. "I need as many guys as possible to do this dance."
"Hey, I've said yes to him so I'm guessing the answer also applies to you."
"What about baby?" Beryl joined in as she slipped her arm through mine.
"Oh, it's about Mina's b day formal ball."
"Course, I'm going to be in it too right Mina?"
"Sure Beryl, I've made you one of my eighteen already. No doubt about that." Mina smiled again, leaning her head against Andrew's shoulder. "In fact, you two can be partners."
Fantastic. Just what I was hoping for. More time with Beryl. This was an obvious one. Andrew gave me a look and shrugged his shoulders.
"Great!" I felt Beryl's hand lightly squeeze my arm. "So when does this start?"
"As soon as I get the rest of the girls in and the guys. Hopefully we'll start by next week."
"So who else have you asked to be your other girls?" Beryl questioned when we were at the food court, sitting down and eating to whatever we ordered. "I'm sure I'm not the first one you've asked."
"Oh, um Raye Hino, Lita Kino, and Serena Tsukino so far."
"Them? That's cool."
"That PMS girl is going?" I grinned, taking a fry. "Oh that's right she's one of your best friends."
"So what if she's my best friend? Are you planning to bump heads again?" Mina giggled. "I think the next bump might be worse."
"Yeah well I'm hoping for a concussion."
"Speaking about dances, did you guys hear about that masquerade costume dance coming up next week?" Andrew began, as Mina fed him a fry. "Mina and I are down for it."
"Yup. The first dance of the year. How enlightening'." I picked up another fry. "Well you can count me out."
"Aww, come on babe. Why wouldn't you go? I'd go if a certain someone would ask me." Beryl gave me more than just a hint. She lightly tugged on my shirt again, which was starting to annoy me. "And even if you didn't go, what would your excuse be?"
I quickly looked at Andrew for some help. He caught on.
"He can't. Exams."
"Uh, yeah. You know how I am about exams..."
"Nothing actually. Since it's senior year, I just want to improve my study skills."
I gave another look to Andrew.
"Yeah, the last score he had was a 90 percent. You know Darien's a perfectionist."
"Hey I know what you guys are up to." Beryl looked to me then to Andrew. The damn girl had to be cunning. "I don't care if you have exams. You're coming with me whether you like it or not."
I sighed. When Beryl put her foot down on anything, I knew I had lost. "Fine."
"Beryl, If Darien doesn't want to go, its okay. There are other dances to look forward to." I was surprised. Mina came in for a defense.
"Yeah but don't you get it Mina? It's senior year, you don't miss out on any of the dances." Beryl weakly frowned. "It may not mean a lot to him or to you guys, but it does to me."
"Well, you do have a point "
"Fine. Fine. I said I'd go." I muttered.
"Good." Beryl's face changed to a wide smile.
"I'll start looking for something myself. Of course we'll have to match."
--------------------Just a Coincidence------------------------
"Uh, man I'm tired..." I trudged up the stairs, after having walked home from the mall. The one thing I forgot to notice was that the journal was quite heavy despite it's medium sized look.
I went into the bedroom, dropped my things near the desk, and shut door. I plopped myself onto the bed and stretched. I lay there for about 15 minutes and got up. I became bored.
'Bored? What kind of a girl goes to the mall by herself simply because she was bored?'
"Well you can just go to hell." I mumbled, rubbing my forehead. Adding to the fact that I walked with the heavy journal, the recent cranial collision had caused a mild headache on my way home. I checked the mirror. A small bruise had formed.
"Aw crap. Just what I needed."
I went down the stairs again, went to the kitchen, and opened the freezer. I found a frozen ice
pack and placed it on my head. I quickly returned to my room.
"I hope this stupid thing was worth all the trouble." I took the journal out from my backpack and out of its plastic bag. It still contained its attractive look just like it had back in the gift shop. "Now for the first entry."
Dear Mr. Journal, (haven't given you a name... how does Jay for Journal sound?)
My name is Serena Tsukino. I'm seventeen and I'm a senior. I have no life and I suck. Okay, okay just kidding. Anyway this is how my 24 hrs usually starts.
I looked over what I had just written. Damn, it wasn't the language of a mature senior that's for
sure. I erased the whole thing. I thought awhile, hoping something would be conjured up out of my mind.
BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.
"Stupid clock." I had forgotten to shut the alarm and I had only left it on snooze mode this morning.
I looked at the clock and froze in place.
'I could just write about the dreams I've been having...' The idea had struck me like someone striking the cords of a harp. 'The dreams of him... and me?'
"Hell no. I've got better things to write about." I mumbled allowed. I looked at the journal, seeing the imprints of the sentences I had just erased. I didn't want to start like that again.
'Well, no one does know about it. How could I ever remember about the experience if the dreams stop? Might as well do it. Like anyone would read it anyway.'
Dear Jay (the journal),
I've been having these dreams. They're actually out of the ordinary so I might as well write them down (for future personal reference maybe? Hell no!) They've started last year and I have never written them down. And I don't even know why.
For sure I know they're fakes. It must be a psychological thing because there is no such thing as a guy... going for me. Me, Serena Tsukino, being wooed by a guy like that? I don't think so.
Well, in my dreams, there are a couple of things that are repetitive. I'd open my eyes in the dream, and I'm always dressed in some of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. One night I could be appearing in silky whites, the next night, in light sparkly lilacs. Another night in dark blues with a V neck line, sleeveless straps, and the skirt so wavy and long, it almost touches the floor. And then there's him...
He's always dressed in either a tux or in some form of armor. The armor wouldn't be as bad as one would think it be. It's quite strange but not weird when I think about it. It's actually kind of sexy to me.
See, the setting would take place in either a garden or on a beach with a castle sitting on top of
a cliff. And it's always dark. Actually it always takes place during the night. The moon is always full and it's light always shines on us in a weird angle. The two of us would always meet at the same spot, depending on the setting. If it were at the garden, we'd meet at the same spot, under the giant cherry blossom tree. If it were at the beach, it would be right next to the giant palm tree. Hell it's always at a big tree. And what's even weirder...
Because the moon is shining in the weird angle, I can't see his face. Instead I see a white lining of a mask glowing sitting on what is suppose to be his head... and the only thing I can tell is what he's wearing. In a way he's half shadowy and half clear. I don't have the right words to describe him. But hell he is beautiful, from what I can tell anyway...
And I went on and on about how we danced most of the time with some music being heard in the far off distance. For some reason it felt right to write this down. And I mean all of it down. Like something was starting to lift off my shoulders...
I wrote until late at night, covering at least three pages and a half. I finally stopped with, "I know I'm going to see him tonight."