Elphaba sat in class, paying close attention to the teacher's words. She knew the class would end any second now, and that everyone else was excited for the summer holidays. Elphaba however dreaded when class would end, she'd be forced to spend the summer with her father. She still had bruises from when he'd gotten particularly mad, and he took it out of Elphaba. Most people's favorite parts of the high school experience were making friends and going to parties. Elphaba's favorite part was class. Most of the teachers liked her; she was one of the few that listened in class. Soon, the bell rang, blending in with the cheers of the students as they jumped out of their desks, running for the door. Elphaba got up calmly, like it was just another day, and she carefully put her book in her bag. It was her last day at MHS (Munchkinland High School) because she was a senior. She was 16, and had skipped 10th grade so she was younger than the other seniors, but she would be turning 17 soon. Her dream was to attend Shiz University, but her father had other plans for her. It all depended on whether Nessa wanted to go or not. If she did, her father would send her along as a servant to Nessa, if Nessa didn't wish to attend, Elphaba was stuck at home, dealing with her father and doing all of the work like she did every summer, everyday. As Elphaba was about to walk out of the door, her teacher called her.
"Miss Elphaba, could you come here for a moment?" asked Madame Benchley.
"Yes Madame Benchley?" asked Elphaba politely, Madame Benchley was her favorite teacher.
"Where did you get all of those bruises?" asked Madame Benchley, thinking that getting straight to the point would be the best approach.
"I...uh...." Elphaba stalled. She didn't want anyone to know about how her father treated her; it would only lead to more trouble if someone found out. "Um...I...fell." Elphaba finished lamely.
"Really?" asked the Madame skeptically, she'd been watching Elphaba ever since she saw her father (Frex) yell at her one day when he picked her and Nessa up from the school. The way he'd roughly treated her, pushing her into the carriage and then how the next day, she'd shown up at school with multiple bruises. That was back in the 8th grade when Madame Benchley first started teaching, and it seemed everyday Elphaba had a different bruise or scar. She'd wanted to question Elphaba about this, but she had no proof.
"Um, yes Madame, I was um, walking home and reading at the same time and got hit by a salespersons cart." Elphaba didn't notice she'd changed her story, but Madame Benchley certainly did.
"You just said you fell." the Madame pressed.
"I did, after I got hit with the cart." Elphaba stammered, remembering her original story.
"I see, well, please be more careful." Madame Benchley said with a sigh. Elphaba nodded and hurried out of the class. Madame Benchley went to her window and watched Elphaba walk out, pushing her younger sister Nessarose along in her wheelchair. Never before had Madame Benchley seen Nessa with so much as dirt on her shoes. Elphaba began to walk (and wheel) Nessa down the road home, when Frex showed up. He pushed Elphaba roughly to the ground, out of the way and took hold of Nessa's wheelchair; he then began to push Nessa home himself. Elphaba quickly got up and dusted off her skirts before following silently after her father. Madame Benchley shook her head sadly; she decided tomorrow, she would alert the officials of child abuse in Elphaba's case.
"You might have just asked me to move." Elphaba told Frex.
"Keep your mouth shut." ordered Frex. Elphaba didn't say anything, but chose to glare at the back of Frex's head; she really wasn't in the mood. The three walked silently for a while, until Frex began to speak to Nessa.
"My darling Nessa how was your day?" he asked sweetly, a voice he'd never used in addressing Elphaba.
"It was good father, a fine way to end the year." said Nessa, nodding her head politely.
"That's wonderful." Frex smiled down lovingly at Nessa. Nessa turned her head back to look at Elphaba.
"Elphaba how was your day?" she asked.
"It was fine." Elphaba replied softly, not wanting to anger Frex by speaking.
"That's good." said Nessa; not knowing what else there was to be said. They lapsed back into silence until they saw the big mansion pull into view, the governor's mansion. There were several large empty rooms, all of them suitable bedrooms. Nessa had the biggest bed room and Elphaba had the cramped attic, barely even bigger than a coat closet. The light in the attic wasn't always working very well and when it rained, the water seeped through in droplets that burned her flesh. She'd asked Frex if she could move into a different room, but was yelled at for not being grateful for what she already had, and was locked in the attic, no meals for 5 days.
"Elphaba, take your sister for a walk, and be back in no less than 10 minutes." ordered Frex once he'd entered the house.
"Yes father." Elphaba nodded and began to wheel Nessa back out of the house. Frex nodded and walked up to his office.
"Now that father isn't here, you can tell me how your day really went." said Nessa once they were moving down the path away from their house.
"It was fine Nessa." said Elphaba, "How was yours?"
"Well, you know that boy Fredrick?" asked Nessa excitedly. Elphaba nodded and Nessa continued with her story, "Well, he asked me out!" Nessa squealed.
"I'm really happy for you Nessa." said Elphaba, smiling warmly at her sister. She knew this wasn't the reaction Nessa had been hoping for, but Elphaba couldn't bring herself to squeal and gush over boys, not even for Nessa.
"Me too! I'm meeting him tomorrow for a date, he's picking me up at seven, do you think father will be ok with that?" asked Nessa.
"I'm sure anything that makes you happy shall make you happy." Elphaba said, not fully answering the question.
"I hope so, because I just know Fredrick is the one." Nessa gushed. Elphaba rolled her eyes, she was wondering when this sudden rush of girly boy-talk would start with Nessa. It happened to all of the other girls at Elphaba's school, whenever she heard them talking, it was either making fun of her, or chatting/squealing about boys.
"The one." Elphaba repeated slowly, the phrase hanging in the air, "How do you know what 'the one' is if this is your first boyfriend?"
"Elphie, when you find the one, I guarantee you'll know." Nessa said. Elphaba rolled her eyes again and sighed.
"Whatever." she said. Nessa huffed.
"Do you think father will be angry about me dating?" asked Nessa.
"I already told you, whatever makes you happy will make--" Elphaba was cut off.
"Yes I know, it will make him happy, but what if it doesn't? Maybe he will be angry! Oh, Elphaba, will you stay with me when I tell him?" Nessa pleaded. Elphaba considered this, she couldn't very well say no to her sister, after a life time of saying yes and only yes.
"I..." Elphaba stalled.
"Please!" Nessa begged.
"Alright, fine." Elphaba grumbled, "But don't drag me into any on this mess, I'll stand there okay? Nothing more."
"Fine." Nessa huffed again, "I suppose that will have to do." Elphaba nodded and began to steer Nessa's wheelchair home. They reached home 5 minutes later, Nessa fidgeting the whole way about telling father. Elphaba rolled Nessa to her father's office door and knocked quietly.
"Come in." came the reply. Elphaba pushed Nessa in and wheeled her over in front of Frex's desk. He seemed surprised at first, then he put on his father's face and smiled at Nessa.
"What is it my beautiful Nessa?" he asked.
"Well, you see father..." Nessa began, "Today at school, this boy, well....he---um...yeah, and so..." Frex watched her confused at her anxiety and nervous face. Elphaba sighed and rolled her eyes, stepping forward.
"Nessa's been asked out by Fredrick, a boy in her class, and wants to know if you are alright with it. He will be by tomorrow to pick up Nessa at seven for a date." Elphaba said. Frex stared at her for a moment, comprehending her words, then turned to look at Nessa.
"A boy?" he asked Nessa. She nodded meekly. Frex looked worried for a moment, then a grin enveloped his face, "Such wonderful news! Nessa, I'm perfectly fine with this, guaranteed I'll be meeting him that is." Frex really was glad, he wanted Nessa to have a happy life, and it seemed this Fredrick could make that happen.
"You will!" Nessa rushed, she was practically beaming, happy her father didn't care. She motioned to Elphaba, who pushed Nessa's wheelchair forward so that Nessa could hug her father. Frex returned the hug and smiled at her.
The next day, Elphaba was in Nessa's room, helping her get ready for her date.
"What is this?" asked Elphaba, holding up an eyelash curler.
"It's an eyelash curler." said Nessa, rolling her eyes.
"It looks like something you'd use to slaughter a pig." Elphaba replied, setting it down quickly. Nessa bristled at Elphaba comment and took the eyelash curler and quickly curled her lashes. Elphaba stood their awkwardly.
"Um, Nessa, it's nearly seven and you still haven't picked out a dress. I you want my help getting you into it, you'll have to choose." said Elphaba after watching Nessa sit the eyelash curler down, satisfied with its affects.
"Ooh! Almost seven you say?!" Nessa squealed.
"Yes, now choose a dress." Elphaba ordered sternly.
"Yes ma'am." Nessa mocked. Elphaba rolled her eyes and turned to her sister sharply.
"If you won't pick out a dress, I will." said Elphaba, she walked over to Nessa's closet. Nessa couldn't help but admire how graceful Elphaba was, without even realizing it! Nessa had watched people walk before, usually with jealousy, but she'd watched, studying them. But of all of the people she'd watched, Elphaba moved with the most grace Nessa had ever seen. It surprised Nessa somewhat, as well did her sister's beauty. She always thought Elphaba was much more beautiful than her, and she envied her for that. Although, she'd rather be ugly than have green skin. But in a way it made Elphaba look even prettier. Nessa couldn't see why so many people called her ugly; it was probably because all they saw was her green skin. People had said such hateful things to Elphaba, she believed herself to be ugly too. Nessa wondered how Elphaba could think that, hadn't she ever looked at herself in a mirror? Still though, Nessa envied her sister. Nessa was shaken from her thoughts as Elphaba held a plain black dress in front of her.
"How about this?" Elphaba asked mockingly. Nessa's eyes grew wide.
"No, no, no! Please don't make me wear that!" she cried. Elphaba laughed good naturedly. There, that was another thing Nessa envied of her sister, she had the most beautiful laugh (however rare it was heard) and along with the laugh, there was the most beautiful voice she had ever heard. Not even Frex could disagree with Nessa on the fact of her voice. He had often forced Elphaba to sing for him on occasions. As much as it hurt Nessa to watch her father force her sister to sing (sometimes going as far as physical blows when she refused) Nessa didn't protest against her father, because she could never give up a chance to listen to Elphaba sing. It was the most beautiful thing she'd ever heard.
"Hello? Nessa?" Elphaba waved a hand in front of Nessa's face. Nessa snapped back.
"Sorry, I was thinking." said Nessa.
"About Fredrick?" Elphaba teased, "I suppose that's all you'll be thinking about for a while now."
"Ha ha, very funny." Nessa snipped. She winced slightly as she listened to her own voice in comparison to Elphaba's. Even when she spoke it drew Nessa to more jealousy. When she was younger, she'd ask Elphaba to tell her stories, just so she could listen to her voice, but she couldn't very well ask her for stories anymore.
"I'm very humorous aren't I?" said Elphaba, teasing Nessa again good naturedly.
"I'm falling off of my chair with laughter." Nessa replied. Elphaba grinned at her.
"Seriously though Nessa, you're date should be arriving any minute." said Elphaba sternly, she wheeled Nessa over to her closet, "Choose a dress." she ordered in a serious tone. After a while, Nessa picked a blue dress.
"Nessa, you look beautiful in this dress." Elphaba said. Nessa blushed, how could her sister (In all her unfair beauty) think her beautiful?
"You really think so?" said Nessa shyly.
"Of course. I'd bet Fredrick would ask you to marry right here tonight once he sees you." Elphaba was teasing her again, but her words sounded sincere. Nessa blushed again.
"Elphaba, could you do my hair?" asked Nessa.
"I think it looks pretty down." said Elphaba.
"Could you add a flower or at least something to it so it doesn't look quite so plain?" Nessa said, studying herself in the mirror.
"Of course." Elphaba said. She found a flower clip on Nessa's vanity and gently set it in Nessa's hair. It looked really good and Nessa thanked Elphaba. She silently wished she had hair like Elphaba's, then she wouldn't need a flower to make it look pretty. Elphaba heard a noise and walked to the window.
"He's here." she said, peering out through the curtain. Fredrick was walking up the walk to the mansion, bouquet in hand, telling the carriage driver to wait. Elphaba heard a girlish squeal from Nessa and rolled her eyes.
"Come! Let's go!" Nessa exclaimed. Elphaba obliged quickly and took her sister to the front door. Just as they got there, there was a knock on the door. Just as Elphaba was about to answer it, Frex shoved her away.
"You, get out of here, I don't want our guest to see you." Frex growled at her.
"What, ashamed at the fact that I live here?" Elphaba asked, glaring defiantly at her father.
"As a matter of fact I am." said Frex. Elphaba glowered at him.
"Father, let Elphaba stay, she won't do any harm." said Nessa gently.
"I don't want her here." said Frex, his tone softening when he spoke to Nessa. Frex then turned back to Elphaba, his harsh tone returning full force, "Now go upstairs to the attic, and don't come out till tomorrow."
"Make me." Elphaba glared at him. Frex growled under his breath and hit Elphaba across the face. Then he grabbed her arm, ready to drag her up the stairs if he had to.
"Father!" Nessa said softly. Frex let go of Elphaba.
"I'm sorry Nessa, I'm ruining this for you. I'll go." and Elphaba flew of the stairs. Nessa watched her go, a sad look on her face, but that was put aside when she heard another knock on the door. Frex was still glaring at the stairs Elphaba had gone up and Nessa was worried about what he'd do to her once she left, but put that aside as well as Frex swung the door open to reveal Fredrick.
"Hello young man, welcome, come in." said Frex, his glare gone as he smiled broadly at the young man before him. He stepped aside to allow Fredrick passage inside.