The Art of Dying

By Alice Oddkid All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Romance

Blue Stain

I didn’t get to see much, thankfully, but I still saw briefly that; unlike the last time, the lights were on, Oliver didn’t fall from the bed, he simply rolled off of C.C. and they were both hidden under the covers.

Gosh, is that all they ever do? “Del!” C.C. exclaimed flustered. I heard some rustling and footsteps approach me but didn’t dare take my hands off my face, in case the person was naked. “Could you come with me for a moment?” C.C. asked as she took my hands from my face and tugged my arm a little, towards the bathroom. She was only clad in bright green Brazilian panties and a matching bra that showcased her light Latina tan. I let her lead me to our bathroom by my hand.

We passed by Oliver on the way over; he was lounging on C.C.’s bed with a bright smile on his face. He looked at me with his smiling, creepy silver eyes and gave me a little wave that I chose to ignore.

Once we were in the bathroom, C.C. closed the door and looked at me sheepishly. I could already guess what she was going to ask. “How much time do you need?” I asked her with a small roll of my eyes. She gave me a bright smile.

“Maybe two hours?” She asked hopeful.

“Ok,” Two hours, kicked out of my dorm, that’s not too bad. “but how am-I going to know that… you guys are… done? I don’t want to walk in on you both again.” She thought for a second then it was like a light bulb went on in her head and she bolted out the door. Um, am-I supposed to follow her? I cautiously stepped out of the bathroom; C.C. was looking about the room, seemingly searching for something. She then stopped and threw herself on a piece of burgundy fabric on the floor, like a cat on a laser beam. What on earth, is she doing?

“Yay!” She then stood up, turned to me, looking victorious as she held said piece of fabric then flung it at me. I caught it and as I looked at it, I saw that it was some sort of tie or something. “Ok, so that’s Oliver’s tie. Wrap it around the door and when he’ll leave, he’ll take it with him. Alright?” She said with a bright smile.

“Sure. I’ll just grab my MP3 and… yeah…” I quickly grabbed it from the dresser and hurried out the door, not bothering with a goodbye. Just as I closed the door I heard C.C. giggle.

I sighed, so now what am-I supposed to do? I rapidly tied the tie around the doorknob then I leisurely walked to the elevator as I plugged my earbuds in. I selected some ‘Rise Against’ as the elevator doors opened and I stepped inside. I pushed the button for the third floor and waited. The doors opened on the third floor and I stepped out. I suddenly had a panicky thought; what if I run into Blake? What’ll happen then…? It’s sure to create some awkwardness between us with what almost happened…

Ok, Del, calm down. He probably went back to his room, it’s late so nobody’s up and I’m sure I won’t run into him ─at least not tonight. And true to those thoughts, I didn’t cross anybody as I walked in the school and I didn’t see anyone in the garden either through the glass walls of the bridge.

I took a seat on a bench in the school corridor, facing the glass wall overlooking the garden/terrace. What could I do for two hours? One word popped into my head immediately: library.

I’ll go to the library seeing as I didn’t get to go back and look for a novel or something since the last time I went. I stood and walked to the stairs at the end of the corridor, then up I went to the second floor. I then turned left and walked right up to the library at the end of the hall. The doors were locked ─obviously since it’s so late─ but I grabbed my student ID a.k.a. ‘caf’ pass and scanned it at the entrance’s scanner. It unlocked the doors briefly so that I could step in, then locked right back behind me. The school had those scanners installed, so that if students wanted to go to the library on weekends or at night, ─since the librarian is not there 24/7─ we just had to scan our ID’s and it’ll let us in. It’s the same if we want to take some books out, we scan it but at the front desk before leaving with our ID’s and the books. That way the books are demagnetized and they’ll pass the anti-theft frame at the entrance of the library.

I walked further inside and looked at the rows upon rows of books lining three out of the four, three story tall walls. The delicate chandeliers lights above the work tables in the middle of the room were on lightly and I could see to my left the moon over the ocean through the floor to ceiling windows. The shelves were all made out of dark woods and there was a big intricately sculpted, metal spiral staircase in the furthest right corner of the room, leading to the two floors above. I walked up to the stairs, passing by the tables facing the windows on my way and just as I was about to step on the first step, a hand landed on my right shoulder. I quickly whirled around and found myself looking into a pair of playful, intense blue eyes. I took my earbuds out of my ears and shut off my MP3.

“Zane! You scared me” I said. “What are you doing here, anyway?” He flashed me his fangs as I put my MP3 in the pocket of my jeans.

“Vampire, remember?” He said with mischief. “What else am-I supposed to occupy my nights with?” He asked. “The question is: what are, you, doing out this late?” He advanced on me making me take a step back, then another, and another until my back hit a wall.

“I was kicked out of my dorm for two hours.” He chuckled.

“They’re like rabbits, aren’t they?” He rolled his eyes before intensely fixing them on mine again. He put both his hands on either side of my head, on the wall behind me. “So, now you’re alone, with me… What are we going to do about that?” He whispered as he leaned in closer to me with eyes filled with desire.

“You need to get laid.” I stated playfully.

“What do you think I’m trying to do?” He said sensually as he came closer to me. Uh…

“Not going to happen.” I stated feebly.

“We’ll see…” Blake almost kissing me earlier, flashed before my eyes and as Zane’s mouth got closer to mine, instead of turning my head like I would usually do… I let him kiss me, surprising us both. I closed my eyes, his mouth felt soft and plump against my own and he smelled of cinnamon. I then threw my arms around his neck as one of his hands grabbed a hold of my waist and the other cupped my face.

His tongue sought to deepen the kiss and I opened my mouth to give it access. It was strange that Zane didn’t fall dead when our tongues met, ─well; technically he’s already dead but still─ it was nice to finally be able to kiss someone fully without fear of him dying. Plus, maybe kissing Zane might help me get over Blake… And it’s only kissing; I’m not going to let things go further than this.

We kissed like that for a while, I don’t know how long but after some time, I had to pull away in need of oxygen. I felt little butterflies flutter in my stomach, not as strong as when I look at Blake but it’s a start.

We stopped kissing but kept our foreheads touching together, eyes still closed. I panted as I tried to bring my breathing back to normal. My heart felt like it was going a mile a minute while Zane didn’t even seem affected, well he’s dead so technically he doesn’t need to breathe, so… He then started to chuckle lightly which prompt me to open my eyes and lean away from him to look up at his face, confused. He was looking at me, still with desire in his blue eyes but now they also held mirth.

Is he laughing because I was a bad kisser? Cause if it’s that, it’s not my fault, everytime I kissed someone in the past, they ended up dead. I don’t have a lot of experience.

“I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist.” He said teasingly. I smiled despite myself.

“Jerk.” I mumbled.

He cocked his head to the side with a small smile on his handsome face and tucked a stray strand of my blonde hair behind my ear. “I don’t know what made you change your mind… But I’m glad.” He said sincerely. I smiled a little and averted my eyes shyly.

“Me too.” I said softly before looking back up at him. He gave me a crooked smile, looking at me with kind eyes.

“Now, about that bite…” He said with a playful fanged smirk. I tsked, as I shoved him away lightly with an amused smile and a roll of my eyes. He laughed, making me reluctantly laugh also.

After some small chit chat and another heated make out session that got interrupted after I yawned, ─signaling how tired I was─ Zane brought me back to my dorm. The tie wasn’t on the knob anymore, thank god. God? I was supposed to ask C.C. about that but I guess Zane will know it too if there is one. I turned to look at him. “Hey Zane, since vampires and angels of death and genies and all that stuff exists… Is there also a god?” He burst out laughing.

“Well, that was random.” He replied, once he calmed down. “Your guess is as good as mine. I mean, we know there is an after-life since the ghosts of our loved ones come back once a year on ‘Mertell’, but… as for god… Nobody’s ever seen him, or her, or it, so…”

“So it’s still a mystery.” I concluded.

“Pretty much.” I stifled another yawn. “I’m not that boring, am-I?” Zane said with a mock-hurt expression. I giggled.

“Oh, yes, you are very boring.” I said mockingly. Zane bit his lip, smiling.

He then leaned in and whispered in my ear: “Goodnight, Miss Valiquette.” before he kissed me chastely on the lips.

“Bonne nuit, Monsieur Saxton.” I said to him, flawlessly in French. He gave me a crooked smile with heavy lidded eyes, a wink and then he disappeared like the wind.

Once he was gone, I remembered why I went to the library in the first place. Damn it, I forgot to look for a new novel…again. Oh, well, it doesn’t matter; I found some other way to distract myself. I turned back to my tie-less dorm door and unlocked it.

Stepping inside I noticed that the lights were off, C.C. must be sleeping. I quietly crept in and closed the door behind me. I got my MP3 out of my pocket and used the light from the screen to guide me in the dark to my ‘clean’ pile of clothes to get my PJ bottom and a large T-shirt. Finding a ‘Bugs Bunny’ T-shirt and a pair of grey PJ bottoms, I grabbed them and went silently to the bathroom to change.

I changed, washed my face, brushed my teeth and hair then grabbed my ‘dirty’ laundry and got out the door. I silently crept up to my bed, again using my MP3 as a sort of flashlight and dumped my dirty clothes in my ‘dirty pile’ on the floor before hopping on my bed. I put my MP3 on my bedside table and promptly fell asleep thinking about Zane.

“Good morning, ‘toodlepops’.” C.C. said in a sing song voice as she sharply drew aside the curtains. The light mercilessly hit my face and I groaned before turning over to hide in my pillow ─away from the harsh light. She tutted and I heard her come closer to my bed. “It’s a beautiful day, Del and I actually have some time that I would like to spend with you before I have to go join Nina, and you Dixie, so…” She grabbed my blankets and threw them off the bed. “Get up!”

“Ugh! C.C.!” I complained as I zombily sat up and threw my pillow at her. She expertly dodged it before sitting on her bed and took a sip from something in a disposable coffee cup that was previously sat on her bedside table. She was wearing a long beige summer dress paired with a light blue denim jacket. She had applied her makeup perfectly and she left her long, dark hair down.

“I brought you some tea and a caramel muffin.” She motioned to my bedside table from where she sat on her bed. I looked to my left and saw a brown paper bag. I grabbed the paper brown bag from the little table, revealing the alarm clock hidden behind.

10:37 AM, ugh, it’s too early for a week-end. How can she be so happy, this early? Oh… I remembered… last night, so maybe that’s why she’s so happy all the time…

I tiredly rubbed my eyes before taking the muffin from the bag. I then started to nibble on it and found it really yummy. I took a sip of the tea and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was blueberry green tea. As I alternated between bites of muffin and sips of tea, my body slowly but surely woke up, making me less grouchy.

“So… I know I’ve pretty absent lately and I probably missed a lot of things.” She said conventionally. “So… Anything new with your life?” She asked, looking at me eagerly. I can’t tell her about the almost kiss with Blake, like I wanted to yesterday but I’m not sure I should tell her about the actual kissing session with Zane either. Ok, I’ll start with something easy.

“I’m going to wear a ‘pointe’ in the second choreography of the dance show.”

“A ‘pointe’?” She asked me, confused with a small frown on her face. “What’s that?”

“‘Pointes’… You know? Like ballerinas, but only one. Shawn said it would be more special this way.” I explained.

“Oh.” She paused to think about it for a moment. “Only one?” I nodded. “Can’t wait to see what the show will be like then.” She took a sip of her drink. “Anything else?” Should I tell her about Zane? Oh, what the heck.

“Well, when you kicked me out yesterday…” She cut me off.

“Thanks, by the way for that.” She had appreciation embedded on her face. “I really appreciate it.” She said with a dreamy look before she snapped out of it. “Anyway, what happened yesterday? You were saying?”

“Well, I went to the library and bumped into Zane over there.” As soon as I mentioned Zane’s name she groaned. Maybe telling her isn’t such a great idea after all. “And, well, we sorta, like, maybe, like, kissed?” She dropped her, thankfully, empty cup on the floor with a blank look on her face.

“WHAT?!?” She then shouted as she stood up. So her blank look was the calm before the storm…interesting. “ARE YOU CRAZY?!? HE’S EVIL!!! LIKE THE DEVIL INCARNATED!! HOW COULD YOU?!? I…” She then slumped back down on her bed with a slow smile forming on her face. “Oh, I get it. You’re kidding, right?” She then looked pleadingly at me. I felt bad for disappointing her but not about kissing Zane. He’s great, even if they don’t like each other. I slowly shook my head negatively. “But, why?” She asked befuddled.

“He’s my friend and…─”

“Wait, wait, wait. I know you two spend time together but ‘friends’. You guys are friends?” She asked like that was an absurd possibility to even consider.

“Yeah, we’re friends and I don’t know… It just, happened.” She looked at me as if she couldn’t quite believe what she was hearing. I soon got tired of her looking at me as if I had lost my mind, and so I changed the subject. “What about you and Nina? How is everything coming along?” Her mood lifted exponentially at this change of topic.

“Great, it’s coming together quite well, if, I, do, say so myself.”

About forty-five minutes later, Nina came by to get C.C. and they were off to plan last minutes details for ‘Mertell’.

C.C. didn’t say much about ‘Mertell’ before she left, only that if everything goes as it’s supposed to, it’ll be amazing. So, I still have no clue as to what to expect.

We made sure to stay clear from any topic Zane related and we had a great time, catching up like we usually did on Sunday’s, before she started her organization of ‘Mertell’. She brought Blake up several times conventionally but everytime that happened, I quickly changed the subject. She didn’t seem to catch on my unease concerning him, which is a good thing.

And even if Zane effectively distracted me the other night, I’m still very much into Blake. I’m hoping that the more time I spend with Zane will ─with time─ help me get over Blake. I feel pathetic to be so strung up on a guy I never even dated or even kissed but I don’t know, there’s just something about Blake ─like some kind of spark between us. I’m being a sap again, great ─not. I quickly changed from my PJ’s to a pair of black ‘Pink’ sweat pants and a long-sleeved plum T-shirt.

I pulled my hair up in a messy bun atop my head and threw on my ‘Converse’. I grabbed my dance shoes, room key, a towel and I quickly filled my reusable bottle with water before hurrying out the door and to the dance studio to meet up with Dixie.

“Sorry, I’m late.” I said, as I entered the studio. Dixie was already on the platform, stretching. She wore black yoga pants and a bright pink, spaghetti straps tank top. She raised her head from where she was bending to stretch her hamstrings and turned to face me.

“It’s alright.” She walked over to me. “Ready?” She asked before pushing a button on the stereo and a mix of music started blaring through the speakers.

“Yeah, let’s go.”

“That was fun.” Dixie said out of breath. We had just finished our practice and were sat down on the edge of the small platform that serves as the dance floor. Her brother was going to come by any minute now to bring her home.

“Yeah… It was.” I replied, also out of breath before taking a gulp out of my bottle of water. She wiped some sweat from her face with her towel as she turned her head to look at me.

“Hey, what are you doing for Halloween?” She asked out of the blue as she looked at me closely. “Cause Dex knows some guys that are having this huge party and he can get us in. Could be fun. So what do you say? You in?” She looked at me expectantly.

“Sorry, I can’t.” She gave me a resigned look before looking down at her feet. “I already promised C.C. I’ll go to her party.” She looked up at me at those words with brown, piercing eyes.

“C.C.’s party?” She asked as if she wasn’t sure she heard me correctly the first time. “You’re going to; Cassandra-Claire’s party?” She asked again, disbelievingly.

“Yeah, Cassandra-Claire, C.C., my roommate. Why?” Now I was the one confused. As those words left my mouth, she looked at me like she didn’t know me anymore. I don’t know what I did wrong. But as fast as that look came on, it was gone, replaced by a bright smile that was too bright and very un-Dixie on her face. “What’s wrong?” She’s usually happy but never this cheery ─she looked too-happy, to be normal.

“Nothing. Nothing’s wrong.” She said guarded, still with her smile stamped on her face.

“Sup Dix. Hey Del.” Dexter said as he came into the studio. He was wearing a white tank top under a black leather jacket and blue jeans. He had white ‘Nike’ air shoes on and he looked freaking hot.

“Let’s go Dex.” Dixie said as she stood up and walked over to her brother with her things in her hands. He looked at her confused.

“Don’t you have to change first?” He asked her.

“Nah, I’ll do it at home.” She said cryptically, still with her smile on her face. It was starting to get creepy that she smiled this much.

“Aight.” He said looking at her weirdly for a moment before looking over at me. “Bye Del.” I gave them a small wave as I took a drink of my water and he gave me a wink before they both left.

Well that was interesting.

I managed to avoid Blake during the entire week-end but I know I won’t be able to avoid him tomorrow in French. I’m seriously dreading it and I can’t stop worrying over the possibilities of how he’ll react when he’ll see me. Will he ignore me? Want to talk about it? Act as if nothing happened? But right now I need to put these thoughts aside and get ready for dance.

I changed into a pair of black and pink yoga pants and a black long-sleeve T-shirt. I quickly threw on my ‘Converse’, grabbed my dance shoes, room key, my reusable bottle filled with water and a towel before heading out the door.

I stepped into the dance studio just as the second bell rang. I left my things by the door and changed shoes before stepping up on the platform with the others as Shawn started the music on the stereo. We began our stretching routine and then the choreography.

I couldn’t help but notice that throughout the class, Dixie kept glancing my way every chance she got. She looked at me as if I were a puzzle she couldn’t seem to figure out. I’ll have to talk to her at the break about that. I wonder what’s wrong.

The bell couldn’t ring any faster; as soon as it did I followed Dixie, to the door. She grabbed her bottle of water to take a drink when I called up to her: “Hey, Dixie!”

She turned around as if startled and spilt some of her drink on me. Some of it got on my sleeve and some on my hand. Where it touched the skin of my hand, I noticed that the previously translucent pale blue liquid turned a deep zaffre blue color. What is that? I was about to ask her this particular question along with why she kept looking at me the way she did, when Shawn called me over.

“Delphine, Mandy could you both come over here for a moment, please?” He said before retreating to the confines of his little ‘office’ at the back of the studio. I looked at Mandy but she was already heading towards the sound of Shawn’s voice. I looked back at Dixie who looked at me oddly, like someone who doesn’t know what to do before a determined sort of look took over her features. I wonder what’s going on in her head.

“I’ll talk to you later.” I said to her. She nodded with an unreadable expression before I followed in Mandy’s wake.

We both went through a maze of different costumes from previous shows like they were trees in a jungle and found Shawn in the very back. He was sitting on a wooden bench next to several boxes.

“Hey girls. So I have your shoes.” He motioned to the boxes with his hands. “Now try them on and see which fits.” Mandy gave a little squeal before bounding over to Shawn and grabbing a box to try the pointes on. I went over too and grabbed a size ten box. I opened it and inside were two new light pink pointe shoes without ribbons.

Mandy was already trying on her second pair as I sat down and tried mine on. I pulled them on and they seemed to fit perfectly. I stood up and Shawn came over to me

“Take my hand.” Shawn said as he held out his hand. I grabbed a hold of it. “Ok, now head straight, shoulders down, back straight and keep your butt in. Now, stand on your pointes. Flex your toes and pointe them as far as they can go. Make sure to keep your weight on your big toes or you’ll fall and break your ankles.” I did as he instructed and stood several inches taller on pointe. “Good, great. You’re doing great. Now step back down, slowly. Starting by going from your tip-toes to demi-pointe and then the rest of your foot can make contact with the floor.” I did as I was told and got down from my pointes. “You can take them off, now and enjoy the rest of the break. We’ll begin ‘pointe work’ next class after school.”

“Ok.” I said as I sat back down and took off my pointes.

“Now you, Mandy.” Shawn said, turning his attention to Mandy. I quickly put my pointes back in their box and went in search of Dixie as I looked at the stain on my hand. I tried to rub it but it didn’t seem to want to go away, it was like ink or something.

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