Chapter 1: Introductions of black and white.
It was Monday morning. She sat there, waiting. For what?, she thought, For the dumb teacher to get here and open the bloody door, that's what! No-one was in the hallway staring at her just yet. That was good. Usually people would gather outside their classroom doors early to do homework, or in most cases, copy from the person sitting beside them. Idiots can't work out the homework for themselves - pathetic as per usual. That's what usually reared and spat in her mind as she slowly moved her blue eyes along the classmates. In turn they would all watch her from the opposite side of the hall, laughing amongst them selves about how she was a loner and glaring at her black dresses or her short skirts and t-shirts. The one exception to the uniform rule.
New students asked about her and the seniors would say, "She's actually a vampire." Or a witch, depending who you asked. "She came to this school to feed on you first years and loner kids", they would state mockingly. The only reason they believed them - though some didn't know it till later in the year - was because she wore sunglasses most days and didn't seem to feel tired or cold ever.
In truth, she was only very athletic and fit. She had previously lived in Canada for fourteen years and was considerably used to the mild temperatures Crescent City experienced in the Autumn and Winter months. Unfortunately, the ever present sunglasses served only to stoke the fire of their vampire theories. Since birth, Melody's eyes were very sensitive to the light and even lightly clouded days gave her a headache.
Today was different though. No-one was here to give her the evil eye. The teacher came down the hallway slowly. - A slim figured yet well-equipped woman with long blonde hair that you'd see on a teen and not a twenty seven year old adult, wearing a pair of shorts, small heeled shoes and a tight crimson shirt with a black tie. -
Upon reaching the door, she said in a sing-song voice, "Good morning, Miss. Heart. You appear to be the only one not ill this morning! Did you hear there has been a mass outbreak of the flu? Most everyone in town has it! Lucky for us we are still well, hmm?"
Ah yes, that all important detail. Contrary to her almost gothic appearance, this girl's name was Melody Heart. A quiet, shy, pale-skinned fifteen year old that had been living in Crescent City for the last nine months. Her home was beside Misty Lake to the South of the city, a good distance from other houses, between the lake and a quiet forest situated just in front of the house.
Her parents were Sophie and Mike Heart, over-zealous writers who moved to Crescent City for 'new inspiration', her father claimed. Her annoying father… Yes, he was why she was so much darker than she used to be. He tore her away from the one person who ever spoke to her, even if it was only for homework help. His fault, his fault…
"Miss Heart?… Are you all right?"
Her Trigonometry teacher was bent down in front of her and staring into her face with a worried look in her eyes. The closeness snapped Melody out of her hateful thoughts. With a cool, almost bored expression, she spoke. "I'm fine. I was just daydreaming, miss." The teacher rose slowly and unlocked the door with a smile slowly growing on her frail pink lips, "For a second there I thought you had passed out. Your eyes actually closed for a while and your breathing was strange to say the least. Does this happen often or are you coming down with the flu too?" She paused a second, then continued. " Not there Miss Heart, sit up front. We'll spend all day together since most of your classmates and teachers are sick and no-one else uses my room. I would like you to stay close, just for a while."
By the time she had stopped talking, they had entered the small room and had sat down close but not desk-to-desk. Some distance was necessary for Melody's comfort and that of her teacher's. "This does happen often actually. It is how I think when I am relaxed."
Her words seemed almost visible in the silent room. Her teacher looked blank for a moment, as if the communication made no sense to her, then realization hit her as she remembered her earlier question. "Oh well, you must have been really relaxed then." She smiled at her then returned her attention to her papers. Melody let her eyes wander the room then, unconsciously ticking off the distinct features of her trigonometry room.
There were seven desks running the length of the room and four rows, the only room with less than thirty desks. A floor-to-roof window took up the entire wall to her right. The opposite wall was completely covered in shelves that were in turn filled with Trig books, one or two plants and another shelf was dedicated to awards and honorary graduates' photos. The shorter wall behind her was bare except for a giant map of the world and some details on the different nations beside it. In front was the teacher's desk and on that wall was a monitor connected to the laptop beside it. There was nothing on the monitor then, so Melody just rested her head on her desk and dreamed of her books and animals waiting for her at home.
There was a sharp knock at the classroom door. Melody lifted her head and looked at the clock. A half an hour? That's all? Great. This day can't go any slower… She turned her attention to the door just as the Headmistress came in. Immediately Melody straightened and said, "Good morning Headmistress." She stood and bowed to her as was policy then slowly returned to her seat. The Headmistress nodded her head in return.
"Miss Heart. I'm glad to see you well and in school when all others are ill. Well I have something good to tell you, which is sure to prevent your immanent boredom." She turned and handed a file to Melody's teacher. "You have a new student! All the details are in there. Be sure to tell our little lady here about it. You'll understand in a while." Then she did something that surprised even Melody. The Headmistress, a fifty year old woman, smiled and winked at her!
Melody stood again and bowed slightly to the Headmistress as she moved out the door, "Good day to you, Headmistress." She called over her shoulder a faint, "Good day, Melody." and closed the door again. Melody sat once more and turned her attention to the teacher. She sighed deeply. "Don't rush me, Miss Heart. I will read about the new student and then I will tell you all… Let's see… Hmm… Oh, Ah-ha!… Well how interesting…"
Melody ground her teeth together at the obvious attempt to irritate her. Relax and breathe. You're holding your breath… Just relax! She took a slow, measured breath and began to recount all the different constellations. The only way for her to calm down. Slowly she went down her list of favourites. First, Orion's belt. Second was the Swan. Third was Pegasus. This continued for about five or six minutes before she noticed her teacher was on the last page of the file and was holding a photo in one hand. Melody broke her train of thought and returned to full awareness. It was like breaking the surface of the water you had been swimming in.
"May I ask if the new student is a he or a she? You seem to be finished reading the file." This was a major jump out of bounds, to speak to a teacher like they were a fellow student, but her curiosity couldn't be contained by such small rules. The teacher just giggled at her enthusiasm and said simply, "He is a he and he will be here after this class. Basically, in ten minutes." She giggled again and slipped the file into a drawer, leaving the picture upturned on the desk. Melody peered over but the teacher swiftly flipped it over allowing Melody only a glimpse of blue and a blur of raven black that she automatically assumed to be his hair. "You don't need to see the photo. He will be here soon enough." She let out a small bit of laughter at the disappointment in her single student's eyes. Melody huffed and returned to her constellation countdown.
Time seemed to fly during those ten minutes, then the bell rang and a strange feeling overcame Melody. The feeling that the new boy would be different like her and they would get along. The feeling was so strong that she actually started to panic. What do I say to him? Is he like me? And who is he to me that I am freaking out? I haven't met the guy yet! Melody took a deep breath and held it as she watched some birds land on the window sill. Slowly she released the breath and continued to breathe evenly as she watched the birds hope about. It only took her a second to become fixed on the little animals.
"Oh! Um.…..You must be the new student."
The teacher's surprised comment woke Melody out of her fixation and hurled her into reality. Slowly, she turned around and almost gasped aloud at the sight of her new classmate. He stood in the doorway, staring at her with a strong curiosity in his eyes. His hair had beads of water sitting in it and it was not the colour of a raven's feather, but the colour of the midnight sky with stars of water as well. He was wearing a long white coat with a black shirt and black jeans, and had a leather band around each wrist. She just about acknowledged all of this. As they stared at each other, both with strong curiosity, she couldn't find the will to look away. His eyes were two crystal clear pools of blue, not silvery or almost white, but a shiny and bright blue.
Neither of them could break the silence and neither wanted to. That was clear on both their faces. Then their Trig teacher did something very annoying, yet necessary. "Can you please come in and close the door? There is a draft and the room just got warm." Melody tore her eyes from him to glower at the teacher who was suddenly focused on her papers once again. The new student complied and then continued to stare at Melody. She knew if she met his eyes again, the curiosity and longing would return, and they were feelings she didn't want him to see in her face.
"Oh, where are my manners? Miss Heart, this is Alexander Knight. Mister Knight, This is Melody Heart. I am your Trigonometry teacher and Homeroom teacher, Miss Bell. Now that the introductions are done, will you kindly take a seat next to Melody so that we can revise what you learned in your last school. Everyone else is ill today and will probably be out for the next few days, so you two have some time to get to know each other."
She giggled to herself and returned to her papers. Melody was in the top right corner, far from the door and the seat to her left was the closest to her. Alexander picked up his desk and carried it two or three steps towards her. When he was beside Melody's desk he dropped his and sat right next to her, only ten or so centimetres from arm-to-arm contact.
Even He didn't get this close! Melody's heart was pounding like a base drum at his closeness. Then he spoke and she almost swooned. "So what are we going to do?" His voice was like satin. It was soft yet curious, even enticing. This was strange for her. The closeness was clouding her thoughts and his eyes were blazing like blue fire, drawing her in and making her speechless. "Uh… um…" she looked down, "We should do revision on what you did before…um… before you came here." Then she rested her head on the desk and tried to calm her wild heart. The sound of his soft chuckles made all the more difficult.
Then Miss Bell looked up. "If you two are done. Now let's start work on bringing you up to date, shall we Mister Knight?" She lifted an eyebrow and a giggle threatened to escape Melody as a light feeling entered her body. "Yes Miss Bell. I think that would be best." He turned to look at Melody again and smiled at her with an amazing, yet small, smile. She broke one of her rules then, the second last on her list. She smiled. It was only one corner of her mouth and it barely moved up, but that set her path. She would be nice to this new curiosity and pray the populars or normals wouldn't take Alexander from her. He isn't ours! He chooses his friends for himself or we end up looking clingy. Which would you prefer? Melody's inner self. The only voice of reason. She had always imagined her inner self a mirror of her, only with black hair and dark blue or brown eyes.
She sometimes even imagined herself looking like that, with raven black hair instead of the white-gold hair she had. Hair like the night sky. Hair like his… She turned away again and stared at the monitor. "Now last week we were talking about…" Miss Bell began her revision and occasionally asked one of them to answer a question. Melody was barely focused on her and the trig, she couldn't help but notice him looking at her whenever Miss Bell's back was turned. Still, she tried.
She was still acutely aware of him: his posture, his closeness and his staring. When it was time for lunch, she just sat in her seat and took out her sketchbook. Alexander only took out a bottle of water and continued to watch her. He seemed more interested in her work than the water because he was very slow in taking off the cap and only took a sip. Ask him what is so interesting. She said nothing, just drew the shape of the mountains around her house, then sketched and shaded in the forest in front of them. It only took a few minutes to draw. It was the only thing she could draw properly, everything else seemed muddled and out of place on the page. The view from her bedroom window. One thing she could count on every day.
"Where is that, Melody?"
She looked up at Alexander without thinking and answered him easily, "This is the view I see from my window every morning. Like it? That's Mount Astrid. The star mountain. On November 21st you can see the north-star sit on the peak of the mountain, if you look at it through my window." She smiled and pointed to the highest point of the mountain. He smiled back but didn't look at the picture.
"Can you draw me?"
He raised an eyebrow at her startled expression and chuckled slightly. She took a deep breath and looked him deep in the eyes, causing his smile to slowly shrink and his eyes closed slightly. He was beautiful, but she still only looked into his eyes. After a few seconds she looked at the blank page and began to sketch. Melody didn't look up once while she worked and Alexander never interrupted her. After doing the hair and part of the face she huffed and shredded the picture.
"It doesn't look right... sorry."
She didn't look up at his face. She didn't want him to see the sorrow in her eyes. The rest of lunch was spent in silence as they ate. Miss Bell came back and work began again. School lasted eight hours and afterwards, Melody went straight to her locker, grabbed her jacket and left school on her bike.
As she cycled home, the image of Alexander never left her head. There had been loads of new kids at the start of the year and none of them had made her heart go loopy, so what was so great about this guy? Why was she so keen on the idea of being next to him again tomorrow? He is special. We have to keep him close. "He's not ours… huff, huff…Can't control decisions…" She huffed some more as she sped up. He is different! We must keep him safe! "He's got to to decide for himself who he prefers. Now shush!"
She tried to focus her mind on the road ahead as she started to cycle through the forest to her house. There was an old path she often used as a cross-country shortcut when she wanted to get home and relax. Today however, she was going to go straight past her house and to her clearing deep in the forest. It usually took twenty minutes to cycle and another ten to walk up the rock wall to her hidden clearing. The view of the old bridge was amazing from there and it was the perfect place to focus and get your thoughts in order.
The sound of the distant waterfall was perfect. Not too loud but not too quiet either. She could already hear it as she came to the rock wall. Melody placed her bike in the hidden nook of a tree, careful not to do any damage to the ancient redwood. Then she swiftly walked up the walls thin path and began her walk, making sure her bag was still tightly closed and safe on her back. As she walked, she remembered the request Alexander had made earlier, "Can you draw me?" She kept replaying the picture she had taken mentally of him and his voice as he spoke to her. Mmm, what a sweet voice… maybe we could try again? Melody giggled at the thought of drawing the new student and then showing him the picture. It was decided then. She would spend the rest of the day drawing his picture if necessary. It would be perfect.
Melody sat on the fallen tree and sketched about thirteen pictures of Alexander before she felt cold. That was odd, she never felt cold here. Slowly, she took in her surroundings and gasped as she realised how late it was. The moon had risen about a meter above the tree around her. The moon rises over Mount Astrid at six o'clock this month. It's just risen so it's around half past six… Crap, I'm going to miss dinner! Melody jumped up and ran along the path, packing her stuff as she moved. Once at her bike, she went flat out on the path and arrived just as her mum put the dinner on the table.
"Lucky you! We thought you'd be spending the night up there and almost gave your food to the animals. Come and eat Blue Jay, before you pass out from starvation." After finishing the wash-up, Melody ran to her room and stripped down. She ran a bubble-less bath, grabbed her sketch book and stationary, jumped in and began a new picture of Alexander. She continued until early the next morning, stopping only when the birds began their morning song and lulled her into a light, sweet sleep.
(( End of chapter. ))
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