I'm the cheerful one, that's what they always tell me. Even if it's the extremely-happy Yugi, the teasing Tristan, or even the silent glare of disgust from Kaiba. I usually ignore it, though I know it wasn't always true.

/"You're life must have been perfect."/ they tell me.

Oh how I wish that were true.

I don't mean to sound so selfish in light of the pasts that my various acquaintances have led, but ~damn~! Loneliness is a thing that I could never handle. It was a wonder I had only attempted suicide three times before seventh grade, but the shunning anger, the upturned noses and all unfavorable opinions that led up to it . . . it's all infectious. Especially, it seems, when it's all directed at me.

So this is a basic recap of my past before. Before love, before friends, ~before~ Yugi. Before happiness.

And trust me when I claim a life without friends, is not a life at all, but a ~lie~.



~~Before I Fell Over the Rainbow~~

Told by the giggleplex, inspired by the mystery of Tea Gardener

Dedicated to those too blind to see suffering beyond their noses, in a hope that they will recognize who they are someday



The teacher was trying to explain to the class another of the great wonders of life, but his sightly attention was averted to the crumbling white stick that he guided in incomprehensible patterns and formulas. Most of the class was attending with rapt attention, but a few allowed their consciousnesses to wander to a place far more interesting than Algebra.

~She~ was looking at him, but all ~she~ heard was:

/"What else should I be?

All apologies.

What else should I say?

Everyone is gay."/

Her name was Tea Gardener, though few knew it. Those who did were usually student government representatives or the like, who needed (for some stupid reason) to know ~everyone's~ name, and age; regardless of how they stood on the Bridge Middle School's hierarchy. Tea herself saw this as a bitter pity, for she had almost believed to set some sort of school record or something, not that she really would have cared.

She was a bit taller than her peers, not yet out of puberty and granted a true schoolgirl's figure. Tea was just ~skinny~, enough that she wish she were otherwise, with a head nearly always hidden with a careless mop that was just about as course. Her eyes were dull, her eyebrows bushy, with unremarkable features as the completion of her face, that never betrayed her emotion, or so she hoped.

/"What else could I write?

I don't have the right.

What else should I be?/

She braced herself for the resolution that still made her stomach tumble.

/"All apologies."/

At that moment, her CD player was cranked up to the harshest volume, magnified about five times with the oversized earphones that hugged her ears to her head, and with the bass booming so loud, she knew she was attracting odd feelings. She felt her fingers drum on their own accord from pure, unmatched boredom, and the odd and rare nirvana she experienced in the innocent form of her CD player.

No really, it ~was~ Nirvana.

Still, it was fun to see the lyrics match up perfectly with the teacher's lips, as he lectured and droned to drones 'till his heart's content.

/"In the sun . . . in the SUN I feel as one.

In the sun, in the SUN

I'm MARRied.


Her teacher was stupid, as were the rest of the so-called "honor's students" that were flocked around her in thick groups; designed for protection against those unworthy of their presence. But really, as Tea had long since decided for herself, they were spoiled preppies with clone-like matching fitted tees for the girls, and tastefully baggy jeans for the guys. Nearly all of them had their hair highlighted or bleached, giving further proof that they were really clone-failures gone rampant.

She reclined and stared at the dreary sunny day. The sun sucked. It just reminded her of . . . everything.


That she could hear.

Tea turned to face the purple man that was looking quite furious on the interruption he brought upon himself. They stared for a moment.

/"I wish I was like you.

Easily amused."/

A girl with painfully straightened hair whispered and giggled with a ditzy air to her friend before handing him a note with his name written on it (Travis), and the "i" topped off with a little heart. How sweet.

She straightened her flare, low-rise jeans and looked at Tea with a decidedly, superior look.

/"Find my nest of salt.

Everything my fault./



Her gaze unfocussed to the ceiling, her head rolling around her shoulders, as she hummed the song she didn't even have the chance to finish. This was officially the crappiest referral to the office she had ever endured so far, and she hadn't even been granted the audience of the Principal.

Well shit.

The faint and clinging scent of ink was oddly calming in light of the situation that should have been agitating, and she let her eyes gently close with the nudge of the ceiling fan's zephyr. She was propped up against the wall, not in a chair, because she didn't care for anything more comfortable than plastic.

Tea heard the door open and close with great care. She didn't look up immediately, still savoring the sweetness of being alone and not harassed, though she expected it to come soon enough.

But, oddly enough, it didn't.

Surprised enough to be nearly startled, she turned with her eyes half- closed to face where the newbie was.

He was short enough to be ignored, if it wasn't for the odd hair that stuck up in odd angles at shone in the yellow florescent light in three different colors, none natural. His head was down on his slight chest, as he gripped the side of the chair in which he sat with a nervous expectance that was nearly painful to watch. He seemed to sense her lax gaze, and he looked up to make eye contact.

The eyes were large and melted into a rich, velvety violet that she had never seen before. In fact, Tea had never seen him before.

"Hello . . . " he said shyly "Are you new here too?"

She stared at him, temporarily too surprised to reply.

"Unfortunately, I've been here as long as it was possible for my parents to enroll me in." she finally said, bitterly. He was too innocent to understand that he was talking to the one person in the entire school that he should never talk to. It was like unspoken ~law~.

He looked back down. "Oh."

"This is the waiting room for the Principal's office." She said dumbly, unaccustomed to a companion that was speaking to her under their own free will. Tea was somewhat disgusted for saying something so off-topic and stupid. The kid probably thought she was in special-ed or something.

However, he actually looked surprised. Tea blinked, unsure if she was still daydreaming back in math.

"Oh dear," he began wringing his hands, looking nervous " . . . i-is he intimidating?"

Tea was relieved this was a topic she could relate and attest to. She was a regular in the face of Principal Wiseman, with amazing credentials that included over seven suspensions, three shouting matches, and a grand total of fifteen referrals. But wait, there's more! She achieved this all in the limited time of . . . (insert gasp here) . . . that year!

"Not really. You just have to ignore the idea that you have ever, or will ever, do anything wrong."

"Easy enough for you to say." Another awkward silence, as he studied the ceiling too "I thought you were new because . . . well, don't they group us together or something?"

"Like cattle, usually."

She was beginning to relax in the boy's presence, without even noticing. He was looking at her to continue.

Tea pursed her lips in emotionless bitterness. "I'm just a casual observer." Thinking about others . . . "Unlike most."

The boy's eyebrows contracted in concern "Should I worry?"

It was his decision, wasn't it? /Stupid, why would he EVER waste his time being my friend anyway?/

She responded distantly and curtly on the touchy subject she had thought had been meaningless to her.

"That's up to you. I'm the outcast."

He opened his mouth as if to respond, but started gaping when the ex- football star, Principal Wiseman, opened the door. The boy with the weird hair was silent, as was everyone in the room, when the man Tea had learned to hate, waved her in first.


"I'm worried about you, Miss Gardener."

She resisted the urge to roll her eyes at the typical opening to the universal-all-purpose-lecture (tm). Mr. Wiseman's mouth was set in a grim line as he stared at her in the eye intently. Tea became suddenly interested in his assortment of pens on the right side of his desk, by the plant.

He sighed, giving up. Wiseman ~knew~ that the girl wasn't a bad person, but she just didn't seem to care for anything other than her dreams. The dreams he knew she would never be able to make reality if she continued on the route she was going.

"Do you have anything to say for yourself?"

"Not really."

It was frustrating, to see a student with so much potential just . . . disregard and toss it away. He tapped his pen on the hardwood surface.

"Do you know why you're here?" Tap tap tap.

"I think so. He sure was yelling at me loud enough." She didn't mean to share that much, actually.

Wiseman sighed. Again.

"Well, I'm afraid there is only one other alternative. Your period 6 band has been replaced with regular counseling sessions with our school councilor. I hope she will be able to convince you of what I have not."

Her eyes burned dangerously.

"Why?! I'm not insane!"

He only looked at her, with a superior look that expressed he could never feel what ~she~ did constantly.


Yugi was concerned at the girl's indifference before, but that condition had steadily worsened when she stormed out of the office that was holding her captive. He could see the worried look on the Principal's face through the open doorway, but he knew, somehow, that that wasn't going to help her.

The Principal was quite kinder than he had first appeared. He greeted Yugi with a friendly introduction to the school and it's numerous achievements, which would have been interesting if he hadn't been so preoccupied with his first acquaintance in this new town. Sensing perhaps that he was a bit feeble in the mind, he granted him a student to tour him around the school the next day.

He was grateful (the school was so big!), but he had the feeling that "Annie Ivarson" was not the girl that preceded him in the bare office. And that was who he was most anxious to meet again.

Her eyes were in so much pain.


I was stricken at first with how much Tea/Anzu bashing has come about in this section. So much hate directed at perhaps the most down-to-earth, connectable character on the show.

She's nice, and enthusiastic about things. If her dialogue drags on a bit sometimes, so what! I doubt everyone has a huge, love-connection with the rest of their peers, am I right?!

Enough lecture, I judge you readers mature enough to look back over yourselves, and think. Sorry . . . so . . . *yawn* ~tired~ now!

There's the beginning. Tell me if I should continue. Sleep now *snore*

Please Review!