Chapter Five

The day was finally here. Kyra could barely contain her excitement. The Schemata release party. She had done something rare for her: Spent hours trying to make herself presentable, at least by her definition. She'd applied a more subtle makeup, and worn a halfway ordinary outfit. Her goth outfit had a tendency to make her the center of attention, which she didn't want today. This was Donnie's show, not hers. She took a good look at her T-shirt and jeans. They looked okay enough. She hadn't worn them in a while, but they looked pretty clean. She grabbed a pair of Converses, one of the only pairs of ordinary shoes she owned, and slipped them on. She had decided to forgo wearing socks. That probably was the only part that wasn't different. She looked down at her watch and saw that she had an hour. She had better move. It was a long bus ride and Donnie wasn't able to pick her up because he had preparing of his own to do. She headed out the door and ran to the bus stop. She managed to get there just before the bus did. She reached into her pocket and showed the driver her bus pass. She settled into a seat and waited. She diverted herself by looking out the window and staring at the buildings as she passed by. Soon enough, she was at her destination, a bus stop near the local convention center. She stepped out of the bus and walked the rest of the way to the convention center. She checked her watch and saw that she still had fifteen minutes before the event started. She made her way to the reception desk and spoke to the receptionist. "Excuse me," she said, "Do you know where the Schemata release party is?" The receptionist looked at her. "It's on the third floor, Room 304," she said, "Take that elevator, then when you get out it's the second door on the left." Kyra nodded and muttered a quick "thanks" to the receptionist. She stepped into the elevator. These things always made her nervous, but for Donnie, she would do it. She punched the button for the third floor and waited patiently. When the elevator finally stopped and the doors opened, she was incredibly relieved. She turned to the left and made her way down to the second door on the left side. Her watch told her that she was just in time for the start of the event. She took a deep, calming breath and quietly opened the door. She had never seen a sight quite like this. A lot of comic book geeks, but also a lot of relatively ordinary looking people. She saw some people who were obviously buying this on behalf of their sons and daughters, but mostly it was a pretty young crowd. She scanned for Donnie among the others.

Turned out, he wasn't hard to find. He was wearing a pretty sharp looking suit. Midnight black. Guess he wanted to look good for his release party. Kyra walked up to him with a smile on her face. "Wearing the uniform of success," she commented, "It's a good look for you." Donnie laughed and greeted her with a hug. She was sure this would attract attention, but Donnie didn't seem bothered, so she wouldn't be either. "I didn't really want to wear this, but I figured I should look decent," he told her, "I brought a change of clothes for afterward. I don't plan on wearing this all day." Kyra smiled at him. "So, I guess you have a speech to make or something, huh?" she asked him. He nodded, but he looked at her for a moment. What was that look? "I want you to stay with me when I make it though," he told her, "After all, this is your party too." Kyra's mind protested against that. Her party? No way. Sure she had helped out a little, but this was really Donnie's project. He had worked on it forever. All she had done was provide some insight. Still, he had requested that she be with him, and she wouldn't say no. She nodded. "Okay," she said, "Thank you." He shook is head like it was nothing. It was incredibly kind of him to make her a part of this. It would be disrespectful to turn this offer down. He walked towards the back of the room, where a makeshift stage was set up.

Kyra followed him and stepped up onto the stage with him. A microphone was set up. Kyra was curious about something, so she decided to come right out and ask. "Who are all these people?" she said, "I mean, how did you put the word out about this?" He laughed, as if he was surprised to hear her ask that. "The company whose publishing me," he said, "They asked me if I wanted to do this, and I told them I would only do it if they let me devise a test to determine who would be invited. So I used their website to post a trivia quiz about famous comic book characters. I put in questions about even the most minute details about famous characters. Only those who were able to answer all of the questions correctly were given invitations." Well, now that was explained. She doubted that the obvious suit-and-tie types who looked like they were on the wrong side of 40 had done that well. Probably their children had been unable to show, so they had given their invitations to their parents. She couldn't really imagine anyone who had been given such an opportunity and passing it up. But that did raise one more question. "What about me?" she asked, "I never had to show an invitation and since I didn't have one, I should have been asked to leave." Donnie laughed like he had expected that question. "I had a picture of you from your MySpace page. I printed it out, made copies and passed it around to the event staff, telling them to expect you." She nodded. That made sense. Donnie took a look out at the crowd of guests and slowly approached the microphone. Kyra watched the crowd suddenly turn to attention. "Thank you for coming," Donnie said, "As you know, this is the release party for Schemata, my new graphic novel. All of you who are here earned your invitations, and as such, all of you will receive a free copy of the first issue. But first, there's someone I want you to meet. She was a big help with this project. When I was first working on it, she gave me advice and helped me a lot with the artwork and even inspired some of the storyline. In a way, this is her party as much as it is mine. Therefore, I'd like to introduce you all to Kyra Sellers." She saw a hint of recognition in some people's eyes and wondered about that. He beckoned her to approach him. Timidly, she did so. She had expected him to do something like this, but it still made her happy. He stepped away from the microphone, as if expecting her to say something. She steeled herself and spoke as loudly as she could manage. "Thanks, Donnie," she said, "This is a little unexpected, so I haven't prepared any long speeches or anything. I guess I should just keep this brief and say how proud of Donnie I am. I mean, I'm really just someone he met while he was working on it. This is really his genius at work. That's all." Without preamble, Kyra stepped away from the microphone. Donnie took the microphone again and directed people about where they could find their copies of Schemata. The event went on and ultimately ended. Kyra had had a great time and had a big smile on her face as she left with Donnie. She realized now that she still hadn't read the copy he had given her. "Listen," she said to him, "Thanks for all of this. I've had a really great time and it's all thanks to you." He shook his head, the "it's nothing" kind of shake. "No need to thank me," he said, "Every word I said back there was the truth and it still is. Schemata is your creation, just as much as it is mine. If you don't believe me, check out the copy I gave you when you get home. With that, they parted ways, Kyra heading for her home and Donnie for his. When Kyra arrived, she made a beeline for the Schemata comic he had given her. Right there on the inside front cover, it said a single, simple, but powerful sentence: Created by Don Marchetti and Kyra Sellers. He had meant it. He really did believe that Schemata was her creation as well as his. Kyra fell to her knees on the floor and began to cry. These were probably the first tears of joy, as opposed to tears of sadness, that she had shed in a while.

A/N: And that's the end of the story. I know it's pretty short, but it's all I needed. Hope you enjoyed it.