This is a sequel to 'Not the Best First Impression' where Izzy has been away re-building her life for over a year, but she just can't leave her experiences behind.
Sorry for this chapter being a little short, but it's all focusing on Izzy for now just to set the stage, Nny will be in chapter 2 I promise. Please bare with me XD Review please!
Izzy could feel her hair sticking to her forehead under her headgear as the sweat dripped down her covered cheeks. You can do this, she thought, you've been up against worse. Her back straightened and her right elbow arched, the thin and gleaming blade straight and pointed upwards, but tilted outwards just slightly in her clenched fist. Her opponent stood symmetrically to her. Just as poised and twice as determined. It was now or never for them. But not for her.
The buzzer sounded around them and Izzy took her stance. Lightly stepping forward and lunging. Her opponent avoided the half-hearted attack easily and aimed their own weapon, just missing her. Izzy could see the events play out like a movie. If she ducked to the left in the next attack, she'd have perfect opportunity to dart forward and pin them right in the chest. From there, a forceful twist upwards would most likely deliver a strong enough blow to finish them. However a just as forceful move downwards would cause enough pain to stun them and give her opportunity to run. But, neither of those was necessary. So instead, she ducked to the right, as planned, but deliberately just nudged the attacker with the blades tip, just enough to dent their clothes slightly. Another buzzer sounded, and that was the end of it.
"And we have this years Fencing Champion!" the over-enthusiastic announcer bellowed, grabbing Izzy's wrist and lifting it above their heads, "Give it up for Irene, everyone!"
"Izzy…" she corrected, but she was unheard under her helmet.
She was released as the nine people in the audience clapped out of false politeness and her headgear removed. Giving a genuine apologetic yet encouraging smile at her opponent, she shook their hand and wished them luck in the future. Yes, for them it had been now or never; but not for her. For Izzy, it had been now or another time. It wasn't life or death, nowhere near. It was just a friendly match with a simple title attached. Sure she felt proud of herself for getting this far. Not just in the championship sense, but in her life overall.
Izzy started to make her way home, feeling a little relieved that Trent wasn't going to be there due to working late. He'd been doing that a lot lately. She wasn't stupid, and she also knew that the relationship would be over soon. But who would make the first move was unknown. And then, as she made her way home and walked into her empty apartment, a thought struck her out of nowhere. From the sheer swiftness of it, she couldn't help but voice it. Her apartment; partner; her job as a wannabe journalist, the fencing championship, it all led up to one thing:
"Nny would absolutely hate what I've done with my life..."
Where had that come from? Sure she let her mind wonder to him every now and again, but never something so harsh. Graduation seemed like a distant world now; and yet only just over a year had passed. Over a year since she'd babysat that little, neglected child; over a year since she'd suffered such injuries and fallen victim to such mental strain… over a year since she'd seen him. In that café, with her little sister smiling in curiosity. The memory was all too clear; Izzy had just given him some contact details to someone very important to him…
He got to his feet and looked down at Izzy, "So the first one to catch me has led me to the one that got away… What do I say to this?"
Izzy scooted her sister onto the sofa and got to her feet. She hesitated, but forced her arms to loop around his shoulders, pulling him close. Hid frame stiffened with anxiousness. For a moment, he stood there, but she slightly tightened her grip, indicating that she wasn't letting go until he did something. He rolled his eyes and lifted his arms to return her embrace. He found that he actually kind of liked it, but was not something that he could allow himself to get used to.
"What do you say to taking chances?" she whispered into his ear, chuckling slightly.
"I say, I'll see you around. If you're unlucky enough." He replied, releasing his grip.
She gentle pressed her lips to his, making his eyes narrow in warning. Any other time, she would have backed away or released him quicker, but for some reason, this time she didn't. Instead she smiled and winked, and took her time, slowly pulling away and moving her arms down his before letting go completely.
"I've never really been unlucky around you, now have I?" she laughed, picking up her sister and placing her on her hip, "Now go find her, you know you want to."
He nodded and waved his fingers at Jade, making her duck her head shyly. Izzy waved as Nny vanished from the café, dissolving into the night.
"Izzy? Who was that man?" Jade asked, resting her head on her shoulder.
Izzy smiled, "A friend… A really weird, insane and… crazy friend."
"You gonna see him again?"
A flush of embarrassment flushed over her as she remembered the way she had acted around that man. Like some teenager in a childish movie. Looking back, she realised that she'd never really felt about him in that way; she just cared about him. It had been more of an infatuation with an idea to help him than an actual attraction. But she had always cared. She'd learnt from him. But as for seeing him again, that was unknown.
Changing from her glorious fencing uniform and back into her plain top and jeans, something cold smoothed through the pockets fabric. The weight of the small blade felt heavy in her pocket and every night when she undressed for bed, it left an impression in her skin. Yet, it was needed. It made her feel safe, in control; prepared. She needed it for survival in case anything like before happened again. But more importantly, it reminded her of her old home. And what happened there. In a way, she almost did wish it would happen again. Just to see him again. Just to see how he was doing. She missed him.
She lifted her top and traced her fingertips along the raised skin where the scars remained prominent. Sure, she missed him, but she was also angry at him. He'd damaged her so much, and yet she'd still let him go and with a free ticket to someone else. Devi, that was the one. The one that got away, he put it. She wondered how that was going. Did they meet? Is she dead? Is he dead? Are they together? All questions Izzy had forced herself not to ponder for too long. It wasn't that it was painful or depressing, it was just pointless. There was no point dwelling on it because she'd never know. Her new home and life was far enough away for her not to know, that's what she'd planned.
And yet, there was one thing about Izzy that hadn't changed over time. And that was the fact that once she got an idea in her head, she wouldn't let it go. For example, she'd gotten the idea in her head that she should move away and start over, and she did just that. But now, another idea was blossoming, and as much as she was battling with herself, she still found herself reaching for the phone and dialling a number that she was bemused to find that she still had memorised. There was the anxious wait where a tiny voice in her head was questioning it this was a good idea; but it was too late. The idea was in motion.
"Hi, Mr. Casil, I don't know if you remember me; Izzy? I used to babysit for Todd." She paused and then slumped at the response she received, "Todd; your son…. Yes that's him." Wow, some things never changed, but back to the point, "Yeah well I was wondering; would you need a babysitter anytime soon?" she waited, and then a slow smile tweaked at her lips, "Great."
Izzy disconnected the call and took a breath. Half of her mind was electric with adrenaline, glowing in self pride as well as the feeling of homesickness lightening a fraction. However the other half was darkening, cursing herself for daring to dig up the past so suddenly and irresponsibly. No good would come from it and knowing her history things would only turn out horribly. But Izzy tried to calm herself by reminding herself of her own morals.
It's not a goodbye, Nny, I promise that much…
Finally, she allowed herself a true grin. Actually, looking back, wasn't a promise to a certain little boy what landed her in that mess to start with? She supposed it was. And after all, in all her years, Izzy had never broken a promise…
So that's what Izzy's been up to in the best part of a year. But what about Johnny and Squee? You'll find out in the next chapter! Please review and if you have any ideas or creative criticism then I'd love to hear it. Hopefully my writing has improved since the first JTHM fic I wrote XD