I've been waiting to get this story up FOREVER, you guys have no idea how excited I am for it! More than almost any other, I think. I had to watch the movie over and over...but that's okay, I love that movie, haha...anyway, I hope you guys like it!
Also, I know Koma and Ryan are supposed to be older than Kory, but please humor me (begs).
Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans or Kal Ho Naa Ho
Jump City. Famous for its bright blue, California sky and Bahama-like weather. Most of the people have wonderfully wealthy lives, full of friends and family and laughter, not a care in the world. Much more friendly than Gotham, everyone says. But that's not the story here. This one starts far below the towering skyscrapers, on your everyday street in the big city, with a girl on her morning jog.
I wove through the many people rushing to work, and cut through between two restaurants. As soon as I saw the sparkling ocean, I knew I was there.
The pier. Deserted pier, more like, but still my sanctuary. I remembered my father bringing me here...when he was alive. This is where I shed my tears, before I return home and find that there's been yet another fight. Another day that only makes everything look more hopeless.
"Daddy...I wish you were here..."
My name is Kory Anders, and this is the story of how I found love in the least likely of places.
A story of a lifetime...in a heartbeat.
"I understand, Mr. Wilson...yes, I'll try to get the payment in as soon as possible...thank you for understanding." My mom, Louanne Anders. I've never met a stronger woman, someone who balances family and work problems at the same time and manages not to go completely crazy. I know I would. But today, I'm not feeling as understanding as Mr. Wilson.
"Mom, what's this?" I ask darkly. I'd checked the mail before coming in for breakfast, and found...this.
"This! Who's this guy? Why are his pictures in our mail? Don't tell me..." My mother rolled her tired eyes. "Grandma tried to arrange my marriage again, didn't she?"
"O, great X'hal! Today, I pray to you in form of a song I have written. Please listen, and answer our prayers." My grandmother, my dad's mother. She hates my mom, for reasons I'd much rather not talk about right now. It was her and my dead grandfather who first moved to America from the island of Tamaran. She's very religious, and a horrible singer.
"Oh, zambork rugla'd xa
Draxal seglezar ounu za
X'hal! endat regu na
Glashnok hera dza!"
"Grandma! Grandma!" I yelled over her moans and screeches.
"HEGLA DRASA SHILA MA
KLAGA UNZOO GRIGRA DA
X'HAL! TRIRGZA SHLIMP--"
"GRANDMA, STOP!" I screamed. She ceased immediately, smiling.
"Good morning, Kory."
"What is this? Who is this man?" I asked, shoving the pictures under her nose. "You did not invite him for dinner!"
"Kory," she sighed, and then continued in an annoyingly patient voice, "You are nearly twenty-five. You must be married! Would you stay a single girl for all of your life?"
"Yes!" I hissed. "Now come. Breakfast is ready."
Before heeding my orders and heading down, my grandma took a peek out of her window. We had a neighbor, an old general from some war or other, who used to live in Greenland. He just so happened to be out on his balcony every morning when my grandma was singing. I had no idea how he could stand the sound. Still, their little romance was disgusting. They were both over seventy years old.
I walked across the hallway from my grandma's bedroom to my brother's. "Go! Go! YES!" I heard him shout through the door. Ryan was probably watching basketball. It was his favorite sport. Ryan is crippled, a defect from birth, and the poor boy can't play anything that requires running. He's twelve, still blissfully unaware of how this is going to affect him. After all, he's always known life like this. Wait until he hits high school.
"Wait a second, Kory! Just one more shot--NO! What was he thinking?"
I rolled my eyes. "No idea."
The last (and smallest) room belonged to my sister, Koma. Technically, she was my half-sister. Only six, she'd already experienced more tragedy than any grown adult ever should. Breakfast was a good example.
"Good morning, my bumgorf, how are you? You are looking more handsome every day!" my grandmother gushed over Ryan, pinching his cheeks.
"Grandma, stop it, you're embrassing me!"
"Good morning, Grandma," Koma greeted politely. She ignored the little girl. Another thing: my grandma hated Koma. Koma is the walking, talking reason of why her son wasn't alive anymore. My mother hugged Koma as a greeting, kissing Ryan on the temple.
"What is this American food? Louanne, do you have no idea how to cook?" my grandmother asked in distaste, eyeing the cereal as if it was about to attack her.
"Koma! Save some food for your brother! You devil child, always taking so much for yourself and not thinking of others! How dare you!" Koma stopped pouring the cereal and settled with her meager portion, but I would not have it. I poured half the box's contents on her bowl, and the rest on Ryan's.
"See? Enough for everyone." I ate mine quickly, before I was stuck in the middle of another argument.
"I would settle for anything that wasn't American right now. When was the last time we had a real zorkaberry? I miss them so--"
"Then you may go back to Tamaran. I will not stop you." Grandma failed to notice the exasperation and anger in my mother's voice.
"I only wish I could! But I am now so old, and I have a duty to my family...I wish to see at least one grandchild married before I go." She sniffed at me. "Yet, Kory will not grant me such a wish..."
"Kory can marry whenever she likes. It is not your wish that counts. This is America, not Tamaran."
"Pish-posh! She would have been married respectably by now, but what would you know? If my son was alive--"
"If he was alive...?"
"STOP!" I screamed. I pushed my chair out, glaring at the two women. "Just stop. This is ridiculous. You...forget it." I grabbed my purse and walked out, seething. It was the normal morning routine for me. Stop the argument, then storm out angrily. I sighed as it began to rain, sneaking back into the house to get an umbrella and then leaving again.
My mom caught up to me after a while, though not a word was spoken of the morning. I stopped by the restaurant she owned, just to see her off. There was a Chinese restaurant just across the street, and there was a line to get in. She sighed, glancing around at her empty tables. "I don't know, Kory. If we don't get more customers, we'll go out of business. Then what? How am I to support you three kids?" She sat down in a chair and buried her head in her hands.
"It'll be fine, Mom," I said, no feeling behind the words. It was a mantra for my family, one that had hollowed out until we had no idea what it really meant. It wasn't going to be fine. It would never be fine. But I said it anyway.
I stayed there until three, when my shift ended. We had one customer, and he hadn't tipped. My mother left with me, knowing a hopeless cause when she saw one. We separated a while later. she going back home, and me to a bus stop. The rain was still going.
"I hate this. I hate this stupid rain," I muttered, waiting for a bus to get to my MBA classes.
"Kory!" I turned around to see Dick Grayson, my best friend and fellow MBA class-taker, rush up to take his place under my umbrella. "You don't mind, do you?" he asked, gesturing to the umbrella. I rolled my eyes.
"Of course not, Dick. What do you think I'd do, leave you out to catch pneumonia?" He grinned.
"Maybe." Dick Grayson was the adopted son of Bruce Wayne, easily the richest man in Gotham City. Dick had come all the way out to Jump to work at a branh of Wayne Enterprises. A complete playboy and heartthrob, Dick had been a small crush of mine since I met him. Well, before the arguements worsened. I didn't have any space or patience for love. I hated the word. But with Dick, my problems seemed to disappear...even if it was just for a moment.
Dick loved public transportation, something I was never able to get. He said limos got boring after a couple of months, but on the bus and subway, it was "ride to survive, fast and furious." I smirked inwardly at the memory, envious of Dick's carefree attitude. He had told me he hadn't always been like that, and he'd never been able to enjoy anything, but I didn't believe him. You don't just grow out of your personality. It takes a lot to change it.
When we arrived, Dick immediately found a girl to start flirting with. The pang of jealousy I always felt was second nature, and easy to ignore. Dick would never think anything of me, not when he could have the most beautiful women in America. Me, with my cheap-framed glasses and short, raggedly tied up hair. It was redder than red, too, from natural Tamaranian heredity. Freakish in America. Even my skin was strange, an orange-y color that I tried to cover up by wearing as much clothing as possible. It got difficult in the California heat. Dick never mentioned it, but he probably thought me as horribly ugly as everyone else. Despite his commitment issues, he was one of the nicest people I had ever met. Hence, the 'best friend' title.
He wasn't paying attention in class, just flirting the whole time, but somehow, he always managed to pass our tests with flying colors. I ignored his antics and concentrated. I wasn't as good of a multi-tasker.
"Dinner at eight and a coffee tomorrow with that redhead over there. Not bad, huh?" Dick asked me as we walked out.
"No, not bad at all, unless..."
"Unless you like kids. That's Gina Raymond, exchange student, divorced with four children. You're not going over to her house, are you?" Dick groaned.
"I can't believe this. I'm gonna be stuck with four screaming kids for two hours. Save me, Kory!" He clutched his heart dramatically. I smacked him lightly on the shoulder, and he grudgingly cut it out.
"Your own fault. What is it with you, Dick? That's the seventh redhead this month."
"What can I say?" I knew it was too much to hope I was the next one on his list. If he had wanted to ask me to anything, he would have done so two years ago, when we'd met. I felt bad for him, but this was another thing I respected about Dick: I knew he wouldn't cancel, no matter how much he didn't want to go.
As I walked through the front door, though, my Dick-related thoughts disappeared. My grandmother was shaking Koma, screaming at her. "You could have tripped him, and he would have fallen! You know Ryan is not able to walk properly! He could have gotten hurt!"
"I'm sorry, Grandma, I'm sorry," Koma blubbered. "I didn't see him!"
"Grandma!" I cried. She stopped, rounding on me. "How could you?"
"Mother!" My mom rushed into the room, hearing our voices. "What happened? Oh, Koma, what happened?" My sister ran, crying, into my mother's open arms. She stroked Koma's hair, trying to calm the girl down. Ryan was on the floor, staring at the scene with wide eyes. "How could you hit her? Koma has done nothing wrong! She's only a little girl!" I helped Ryan up, ordering him to his room.
"She is a monster! That 'little girl' nearly hurt my grandson!"
"She is your grandchild, as well!"
"She is no relation of mine!" Koma broke free from my mother's arms and ran up to her room, sobbing. I followed her, still able to hear the fight downstairs.
Koma had a small dollhouse in her room, and she had made puppets of our family to live in it. As I stood at her door, I saw her move Grandma into another room of her house, while myself, Ryan, mother, and her remained together. Then she curled up in a ball and cried. I crouched down by her side, rubbing her shoulders comfortingly.
Not long after, my mother and brother came in. Both of them had dried tear tracks on their cheeks. They joined me in trying to comfort Koma. "She hates me, Mommy," Koma whispered, her voice cracked and shaky. "She hates me."
"No, no, Koma, that's not true at all."
"She hates you, Koma, she hates you," Ryan weeped. I could say nothing, only hope that I was helping a little bit. I was afraid that if I started talking, I would cry, too.
"Shh...my mother always used to tell me, that in bad times, X'hal will send us a saviour."
"What's a saviour, Mommy?" asked Koma.
"Someone who will wipe our tears, who will lift us up and bring us great happiness." She smiled through her tears. "Come. Let us pray to X'hal to send him soon, so he can make everything all right." I joined my family as we kneeled by Koma's bed and prayed for our saviour. I, for one, didn't believe it, but it was for Ryan and Koma. They needed the hope more than anything. They can believe in magic for now, though they'll find out eventually that saviours aren't real.
As it turns out, I was very wrong about that.
"Leonid Kovar, flight 3267 to Jump City," stated a smiling carrot-top. The woman took his tickets and his passport, unable to help smiling back. It was infectious. "Come on, mom, our plane's going to leave!" The lady shook her head, her smile fixed on her face long after Leonid Kovar and his mother had gone.
Chapter one. I promise it gets more interesting, though, after all the introductions are done. But what do you think so far? Love it, hate it, think I should delete it? Lemme know!