CHAPTER ONE - The Beginning

Twelve year old Viola Niemi was what people would say an average middle school girl would be. A bright young star in class, she was also a member of the cross-country team, enjoyed video games, and was expanding her friend list to accommodate her new found interest in boys. No more playing with dolls or girly dress up for her. Viola was nearing her thirteenth birthday, and she could only think of one PERFECT birthday gift: her first kiss.

She was thoroughly jealous of her classmates and friends who had already shared that special moment with someone they held dear. It's not that Viola wasn't attractive. Quite the opposite. She was the envy of all the girls for her long soft brown hair, big dark brown eyes, and petite stature; however, Viola was an early bloomer, and the attention made her younger, naive self embarrassed. But now that more girls were sharing the spotlight, Viola decided that it was time to grow up, and move on to the next stage of her life. She knew this stage would begin with her first kiss.

Little did she know how right she would be...

Finally, it was the week of Viola's birthday, and she was anxious in anticipation. 'I wonder if I will get what I want for my birthday' she blushed at the thought. Rumors from her circle of girlfriends was that there was a boy that was waiting for a chance to ask her on a birthday date, but no one would give her hints on who. They promised her it would be a special surprise. Viola hoped it was her own crush, Ricky. A grade ahead of her, he was definitely one of the most popular boys in school. A suave boy like him with experience would definitely make a first kiss for any girl memorable. She sighed as the bell rang to end class, snapping her out of her day dream.

As she was gathering her books for the next class, she noticed someone approaching her from the corner of her eye. She turned her head to get a better look, hoping it was Ricky to ask her on that date. To her disappointment, it wasn't, but she was still happy that it was her friend, Cael. Cael had been friends with Viola since the beginning of the school year. He had hit a growth spurt during the year, making him quite taller than Viola. He was also known for his chivalrous nature, and his infectious cute smile. But Cael was also known to be quite the charmer with the ladies, and the trail of heartbreaks he left was always followed in the gossip circle. Despite his reputation, Viola found Cael to be a great guy friend, and quite enjoyed their conversations together. Cael stopped about a foot away from her locker.

"Hey" he stated with his signature cheeky grin on his face.

"Hey Cael. What's up?" Viola turned her attention back to her locker, grabbing her last book needed and stuffing it in her bag.

"Oh, nothing much. Just haven't seen you all day and wanted to see how you were doing."

"Aw, well that's sweet of you Cael." She closed her locker. "And I'm doing fine. My birthday IS this week, you know."

"How could I forget?" He rubbed the back of his neck. His light brown hair was growing longer than he was used to, and he often told Viola it was starting to tickle his neck. But he stuck with it to Viola's suggestion about "changing it up once in awhile."

Viola smiled at his remark and motioned that she was going to head towards the next class. Cael proceeded to walk beside her.

"So, um..." Viola finally said, puzzled at the sudden silence from Cael, "is something wrong?"

Cael turned his eyes away for a moment, and Viola swore she saw his face get a little pink. Cael blushing? This NEVER happens.

They both stopped in front of Viola's next class. Silence again. Viola hoped Cael would hurry up and say what was wrong. The bell would ring any second, and she didn't want either of them to be late.

"Viola, I know we've been friends for awhile," he finally blurted. "But, to be honest I've just been hiding my real feelings from you. I was scared of rejection, so I never took a chance, but I'm not afraid now. And I know how I've been acting this school year, and how many girls I've been with, but I want you to know that I would never hurt you, Viola. Not like that. And now I'm just rambling...crap..."

Viola just stood there, stunned. Cael was talking really fast, and that much information in such a short few seconds was overwhelming. What?

"Viola, what I'm trying to say is... You've told me what you wanted more than anything else for your birthday, and I want to be the guy who obliges you... that is, if you'll let me."

Viola was still in shock. All she could think of was 'why?' She had always found Cael quite charming, but since becoming friends had never even dreamed of having a moment like this. This boy and her had shared together their secrets, their deepest fears, and their hidden desires. She had thought that by crossing that boundary, this moment was impossible. And here it was. She blushed


The bell rang.

Cael hung his head as he started to turn away. Viola grabbed his shirt quickly. Cael jerked as he turned to face her. "I would really like that, Cael".

She scurried into her class. Cael ran away to his, wildly grinning.

Later that evening, they would plan out their date on the phone. Sunday, they would go see a movie. They would both be 13, so Viola suggested that whatever PG-13 movie there at the time would be fine. It was the closest other thing a 13 year old would find as a perk to being that age. Cael kept repeating if Viola was sure about this. He didn't want her to feel obligated, and promised they would still be friends if she changed her mind. Viola confirmed. She trusted Cael. She was looking forward to their time together.

Sunday finally came. After tediously going through her wardrobe for a perfect outfit, she would decide on a pink button down blouse and jeans. She wasn't totally accustomed to wearing make-up yet, but since it was sure to be a memorable day she decided to experiment a little. Nothing too crazy - brown eyeliner, black mascara, and a little pink blush. She wrapped her hair up in a simple ponytail. Done.

After a nice celebratory dinner with the family, her parents dropped her off at the theater. The car sped off, and Cael approached Viola from a shaded area.

" look great." he said with a smile.

Viola blushed. She had seen that smile before, but never toward her. "Thanks"

They approached the ticket booth. Viola was ready to pull out some of the birthday money she had received, but Cael stopped her. "A gentleman ALWAYS pays" He winked. Same thing would happen for snacks.

The movie they picked was some weird comedy. Unfortunately for Viola, she would be too apprehensive of WHEN "it" was going to happen that she barely remembered the plot. Here they were, in a dark theater, and rumor was that Cael was known to make moves in dark theaters. Halfway through the movie, Cael stretched his arms, and gently placed them around Viola. Viola slowly made eye contact with him, but all he did was grin at her and turned back to the movie. She smirked at his trickery, and cautiously placed her head on his shoulder. His scent was of spice and a hint of expensive cologne. It was soothing, and actually quite seductive. She stayed in that position for the rest of the movie...but still nothing happened...and before she knew it: credits. And the lights turned up.

Viola started getting worried. Contemplating - 'Did he change his mind?'

She headed towards a pay phone when Cael finally broke the silence.

"Hey, you wanna hit up that store we always go to before you call your parents?"

"Uh...sure?" This wasn't a date... it was a friendly hang out all over again. Which was fine she guessed, but she was feeling a little disappointed.


He took her hand and they headed across the field to towards the store. Cael speeds up a little to get in front of Viola. He let go of her hand and grinned at her...then started speeding off.


Viola started darting after him. Viola was never good at sprinting though, just stamina, so Cael was able to lose her as he turned the corner to the front of the store. Viola finally made it around the corner too...but Cael was nowhere to be found. "Cael?" She walked in the tiny store. She went aisle by aisle, but he wasn't inside. She went back outside and looked both ways and in between cars. Still nothing. She headed around the other side of the store. "Cael?" she tried again. No answer. In front of her was a pile of boxes, an empty dumpster, and other various things you would expect to find in an alley around a store. She walked slowly forward, looking behind everything, but to no avail. She turned another corner and ended up behind the store. Nothing back here...then...

"GOTCHA" Cael grabbed Viola from behind. Viola jumped, and swore her heart literally skipped a beat. She turned around to a laughing Cael. She instinctively hit him in the arm and started laughing too. As the laughter died down, Viola noticed Cael was still holding on to her.

Now, here they were standing towards each other, with about a foot of space. Cael looked down at her. She had never seen him look so serious. Was he just as scared as she was? He stepped in closer, closing the gap between them.

"I really care about you, Viola" he whispered. "A lot." He brushed the stray hair from her face and brushed her cheek. Viola started feeling flushed. She was speechless yet again. In her embarrassment, she looked away.

Cael gently redirected her face up towards his. Their eyes met. Viola never noticed it before, but his eyes were of the purest hazel she had ever seen. They were gorgeous, and they wouldn't stop gazing into hers. Time seemed to stand still.

Cael moved his face closer. He delicately placed his forehead on hers. Now Viola could feel his breathing. Her legs began to tremble. He never lost eye contact. "Viola..." he whispered again as he began to close his eyes and lean in.

Viola closed her eyes in anticipation. Then...the moment. Their lips touched. Viola couldn't believe it. Her mind was racing as his soft lips started deepening into hers. A moment of pure ecstasy...


A sharp pain hit Viola behind her lips and eyes. She felt paralyzed.

She couldn't open her eyes.

She couldn't yell out in pain.

And she could no longer feel Cael.

After a moment of what she perceived as blinding light in her mind then turned to total darkness. Darkness of a pitch she could not have imagined until that moment.

It was terrifying.

The pain increased.

Black darkness then turned blood red.

She began to feel a chill...which turned to freezing cold.

What was happening?