A/N: Although I'm sure it's a little late, this story was written in honor of Hispanic Heritage month which, in case you didn't know, is from September 15-October 15.
Danny Phantom does not belong to me.
It was early morning and the sunlight was peering in from the window, illuminating the massive room of a dark-haired, clear-eyed beauty. Paulina Sanchez, a current junior in high school, had just finished applying some mascara to her dark lashes and was relishing in the mere peacefulness of the glorious morning. She instantly turned up the radio, forcing the nightmare out of her thoughts as she squealed with excitement, her favorite song instantly radiating from the black device.
She parted her lips and instantly began singing along to the lyrics as they wafted out of the speakers.
"'Prometeme que no me vas a dejar sin tu amor.'" Paulina took two steps to the right and swayed her hips as she danced along to the rhythmic beat of the music. "'I'll give you my heart girl but you gotta promise...'" (1)
She paused, a knock from somewhere downstairs startling her out of her momentary bliss. She instantly pushed the 'off' button in annoyance, reluctantly turning of the electronic contraption that provided her with entertainment and, instead, dashed out of the room and fled down the stairs.
She placed a hand on the door's golden-colored lever and swung it open, ready to chew out the idiot that interrupted her obliviousness to the world. To her astonishment, an older woman in her late fifties opened the door. She had thin, obviously dyed, dark hair that was beginning to show her silver strands, and an excited gleam that lit up her dark eyes. The woman beamed, revealing her wrinkles as she gazed down at Paulina.
"Abuela! (2)" Paulina laughed in ecstasy as she threw her arms around her only grandmother, warmth enveloping her as the older woman's hands feebly wrapped around the younger Hispanic girl.
The abuela, or 'Doña Angie' as many others prefered to call her, pulled back from the teenager and gently brushed back a strand of the long, dark, wavy hair from the girl's face. "Mi amor(3), It's so good to see you, I trust you've been behaving yourself?" She questioned in a mildly accented tone.
"Of course not, Abue." (4)
The grandmother chuckled and patted her head. "Well, I hope you'll have that behavior of yours cleaned up by the time you get to college." Her withered face suddenly darkened and a glower instantly wormed its way into her eyes. "We don't need another puta (5) in this family."
(My apologies. I didn't mean to put so many footnotes/translations on just the first part of the story.)
"Grandma..." Paulina began in a warning tone. "Dad is not a puta."
As if on cue, a large man appeared from behind the older woman, his large arms folded across his chest and an undisguised frown placed on his face. "Angie, feeding my daughter a bunch of lies now, are we?"
"Feeding her lies? Is that what you call it, cabrón? (6) You left my daughter and you have the audacity to call me a liar?"
"She got rid of me. Good thing, too. Because you two are exactly alike. Stubborn, reckless, loud-mouthed. The only difference is that Yolanda was a whore and went and married someone else." His eyes hardened as he glared down at the older woman, his jaw clenching as she continued to jab at him.
"She may have married someone else but it's only because you were not a good husband. At least, she still sees her children now and again. All you've been doing is work, sleep, eat, and work again. Maldito pendejo, tu no sabes lo que yo hice para-" (7)
Paulina, by this point, had already snuck past her arguing relatives, knowing full well that her grandma was on the verge of throwing things again. The family animosity was growing old, stupid. She had been fearful of her parents even after they got divorced. They would yell, shout, curse, and throw things at each other. Her mother was particularly frightening. She didn't actually know many of her friends to have the same issues. Maria's parents, the Hernandezes, were kind caring and loving. Star's parents always talked out their arguments, from what she had been informed. The hatred between her two families had grown ridiculous, and she was actually relieved when her parents got separated.
She silently backed out of their circle of anger, jogged outside, and instantly flipped her phone open, dialing up her best friend.
Paulina hugged her pink sweater closer to her body. It was early October and the temperature was already beginning to drop down to the fifties. She was anticipating a pretty bad winter, which sucked because there was usually an influx of ghost activity during that time. Probably because spirits were usually drawn to cold places.
Cars rushed by and Paulina found herself frowning at the unusually large traffic that was associated with the weekend.
The ringing in her ears ceased and a voice instantly sprang up from the other end. "Like, hello?"
"Star! Hey, are you busy?"
"Uh, no, actually, but I'm dying to do something," came the reply. Relief poured into Paulina's soul at the sound of her friend's voice.
"Good. Let's go to the mall, I'm dying to buy a pair of shoes."
"'Kay! I'm actually out of town right now, but I'll be there in ten. I'll meet you there, alright?"
"Alright." The Hispanic girl slammed her phone shut and stuffed it into her pocket as she turned her focus to the large, black bag that hung from her shoulder.
She pulled out a wallet from her purse and peered inside. She only had about seventy dollars (two twenties and three tens) but it didn't matter. As long as she kept her worries distracted and shopping certainly did the job.
She sighed and tucked the items back into her purse, deciding to take a quick shortcut. She cut across a few lawns and trotted down an empty sidewalk, silently avoiding the thought of her mother. She peered up from the ground, a familiar blur of black and white rushing past her. The speed at which the ghost was going and his accidental elbow bump knocked her down to the ground instantaneously. She winced as her hands connected with the ground, glowering when she glanced down at her scraped palms.
She shook her head and peered up to see the perpetrator lying on the floor, back leaning against the wall of a fence. His snowy white hair was completely disheveled and his glowing green eyes were lit with annoyance as he painfully rubbed at a rapidly forming bump on his head.
"¡Ay, puto! Watch where you're going." She snapped in irritation as she rubbed her arm. She swallowed her pride and bit back her anger with much difficulty. Though the anger was still eminent in her eyes and her tone still snappish, she managed to conjure up some sort of sympathy. After all, this ghost was protecting the town, putting his afterlife in danger. And, she knew, for a fact, that spiritual entities, though they could not die, could very well cease to exist. And that was worst than death itself.
"Need help?" She extended a hand at the befuddled teenager and waited expectantly.
Phantom's gaze became bewildered but he finally found the words to speak, finally accepting her help as he rose to his feet. "Wha-"
A chorus of wails suddenly interrupted whatever it was that he was going to say; he instantly glanced over his shoulder, fear and paranoia lighting his eyes.
"I thought I lost them! Quick! Lend me your sweater!" He whispered, focusing his wild eyes back on her.
"What? I'm not giving you-"
"I'm desperate, I'll do anything." Phantom stared at her with absolute fear and franticness.
Paulina scowled but ultimately handed over her sweater, quickly slipping it off her body and handing it to the ghost. Phantom immediately thrust it on himself and focused his back on the street. An unusually large crowd of screaming Phan girls instantly dashed past them, wild gleams lighting each of their eyes as they hunted down their intended target.
"Walk. And try to act casual," he whispered.
She flashed him an angry look but promptly obeyed, unable to resist those strangely desperate eyes.
His guard dropped and visibly relaxed as the sound of screams disappeared.
"So," he began, glancing over his shoulder before looking back at her, "what'd I do? Ruin your car, freeze your clothes, destroy your magazines?"
"What? What're you talking about?" Paulina furrowed her brows and glanced at the ghost.
"Well, you're usually the one leading those crowds. Now you hate me all of a sudden. Did I ruin your life? Is that it? 'Cause whatever I did, it wasn't me. Or it was an accident. And, trust me, it wouldn't be the first time someone ended up hating me."
"I don't hate you, and you didn't do anything. But, you are annoying me." Paulina folded her arms across her chest. "First, you bump into me and throw me on the floor, and then you take my best sweater. And, on top of that, I'm really not having a good day."
"So, does this mean you're still, err, in love with me?" Phantom began sheepishly, shuddering at the words 'in love.' She correctly assumed he was thinking 'obsessed' as a replacement for 'in love.'
Paulina scoffed. "I believe the correct term is infatuated. I don't believe in love. And, before you go there, I was never really obsessed with you either." She rolled her eyes. "I was using you. Or, I was using my obsession of you as an excuse for something."
Phantom furrowed his pure white brows. "Excuse for what?"
"None of your business." She snapped then sighed. "But, now, my excuse to chase you down is getting old and is not taking the same effect. Especially since my grandmother's..." Her voice trailed off. Whoops, she'd said too much.
"Your grandmother's...?" Phantom's voice trailed away, expecting an answer from the Latina.
Her thoughts wandered and she instantly found the perfect way to evade the question. "Why aren't you going intangible or flying away or going invisible or something? There's no need to walk around or even run from your Phan girls." Paulina tilted her head to the side and studied him with open curiosity. But there was no need. Especially since he immediately answered the question with an unexpected honesty.
"An enemy of mines has an invention that shortens out my powers for a couple hours. I may as well be human now." Phantom shrugged nonchalantly.
"Aren't you afraid I might tell someone or, better yet, actually hurt you myself?" Paulina's sass flared up yet again. The boy didn't seem to notice.
Phantom shook his head. "Well, first of all, I'm warning you now, I'm a fast runner. Second of all, I actually still have my fighting reflexes and those have nothing to do with my powers being gone. Third, I doubt you'll hurt me. No offense, but you seem kind of..." He paused, searching for the right words.
"Weak?" Paulina grimaced. She was a hell of a lot stronger than she looked.
"No... You actually seem like the kind of girl that could easily pummel me into a pulp. You just don't seem like the type of person to reveal me, I guess."
Phantom shrugged and Paulina's eyes narrowed. "Looks can be deceiving, you know."
"Oh, trust me. I know." Phantom chuckled. "I'm learning never to underestimate anyone." He paused and glanced over his shoulder. "Hey, do you know what time it is?"
Paulina sighed and fished her phone out of her pocket, briefly glancing at the numerical digits that were displayed on the screen. "12:48 pm."
"Shit. My powers came back on five minutes ago." He smiled and slipped off her jacket and handed it back to Paulina. "So, I guess you won't be chasing me anymore?"
"Nope." Paulina began walking away, not bothering to look back. From somewhere up ahead, she could've sworn she'd heard the words, "see you tomorrow!"
Paulina glanced up at the sky, seeing nothing.
'Interesting...' Paulina thought to herself.
A/N: I've provided a few translations in the footnotes, if you care to read them.
1) "Prometeme que no me vas a dejar sin tu amor (Translation: Promise me that you won't leave me without your love,), I'll give you my heart girl but you gotta promise..." -'Promise' by Prince Royce and Usher
3) Mi amor -my love
4) Abue -short for grandma. "grams," if you will
5) puta- spanish cuss word, could be replaced by bitch in this sentence.
6) Cabrón-goat, also a bad word
7) Maldito pendejo, tu no sabes lo que yo hice para- -Damn asshole, you don't know what I've gone through to-