The Art of Dying

By Alice Oddkid All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Romance

Shocker

I spent five minutes looking for Dixie before the first bell rang and I had to head back to class. I guess I’ll have to talk to her later, then. I stepped back in the studio and found that Dixie was already on the dance floor. I was about to step up to her when the second bell rang indicating the beginning of class and Shawn took his place at the front of the class to continue the choreography where we left off. I guess my questioning will have to wait.

I wasn’t all there during class, I couldn’t seem to really focus on the movements as I noticed that Dixie’s earlier unsure glances turned into looks of suspicion ─like I was a hungry wolf about to strike at any moment and kill everyone. What’s going on with her?

The last bell couldn’t seem to ring any faster. “Great class everyone, see you all Wednesday.” Shawn said before going back to his office. I turned and headed Dixie’s way. She was once again standing by the door as I approached her. “Hey Dixie is something wrong?” I asked her as she toweled off some sweat from her face. I grabbed my bottle of water by the door and took a sip.

“No, why would you ask that?” She replied, oddly.

“Well, the way you kept looking at me during the class.” I motioned to the dance floor. “It was like you thought I was going to kill someone, or something.” I said with an uneasy laugh. She put her towel on her shoulders and grabbed her things, getting ready to leave.

“Sorry, it’s just stress. Got exams coming up. You know how it is.”

“Yeah, ok. But what’s that?” I pointed to her bottle of water. “You spilt some on me earlier and it doesn’t seem like it wants to go away.” I tried rubbing at it for emphasis and again it didn’t appear to want to fade away. She got an unreadable expression on her face.

“Just an energy drink.” She said in a monotone. “Sorry I splashed some on you but I got to go.” And with that she turned around and speed walked away, leaving me standing there, clueless as to what just occurred. What was that? She was acting more weird than I ever saw Oliver act ─and that’s saying something.


“Hmmmm…, mmmm, mmmm…, hmmm...” What’s that humming sound that I’m hearing? That’s not my alarm. What is that? Ugh, will it shut up? I’m so tired since I stayed up late last night with Zane. We talked and kissed and talked and kissed again but now I regret staying up until two in the morning because I’m so tired and this incessant noise won’t stop and let me go back to sleep. I reluctantly opened my eyes sleepily, ─to try to see what the source of the sound was─ before they widened in surprise.

“GEEZUS!! C.C. what are you doing?” I asked her fully awake now. She was staring at me not even 5 inches from my face in contemplation.

“I’m trying to decide what your costume will be, since you don’t know what you are we can’t really go traditional or…” She replied in concentration as she stared at my face. OK, this is not creepy at all ─um, yes it is. Her face then lit up, “Oh, I know!” she hopped on her bed away from me and sat down. “You decide.”

“Huh?” What is she talking about? I turned my head to look at the time and gosh, is she serious? It’s 6:07 AM. That means I’ve only slept about four hours and I don’t need to wake up for another two before I need to get ready for class. “Ugh, C.C. I want to sleep!” I whined as I turned my head on the other side to ignore her craziness and hopefully get back to sleep. Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to get the message and jumped on my bed. She turned me over to face her and kept her arms on my shoulder pinning me to the bed ─to keep me from rolling away from her.

“Ok, answer me these questions and I’ll let you go back to sleep.” Argh! She’s impossible!

“As if I have a choice.” I grumbled lowly. “Alright.” I said a little more loudly, annoyed at her insistency.

“That’s the spirit!” She said cheerfully. Again, how can she be this happy this early in the day? “Ok, so… would you prefer something more traditional or eccentric?” She looked at me expectantly. Am-I supposed to know what either of those look like?

“Uh?” I didn’t know what to say. “Just… nothing too crazy?” It came out more like a question then a statement. She nodded with a serious expression that lightened as she asked her next question.

“And would you prefer something light or dark… or colorful? Like I’m going light, even if angels of death are supposed to be dark, but anyway… And Blake and Oliver are both going dark, oh, and Nina will be colorful you know, being a genie and all that.” As an after thought, she added in a derisive tone: “And well Zane will go dark since he’s a vampire and all and, who cares about Abbigail… Ugh.” She rolled her eyes but then resumed her chirpy composure. “Anyway so which will it be? Light or dark or colorful?”

“Uh,” I don’t know, I just want to sleep. “…dark.” Now sleep. She got off my bed and I turned around to face the wall. Just as I was about to go back to sleep, she yelped ─making me turn to face her. Now, what?

“Sorry, it’s just I found the perfect costume for you, in my head.” I looked at her blankly. “I’ll try to be quiet now.” She said sheepishly.

“Thanks.” I said softly before sleep took me away for a little while longer before class.

Usually, Mr. Kirk’s history class is somewhat interesting but today, it was as if I was always on the verge of falling asleep. I blame my fatigue on Zane and his incredible kissing abilities that made time fly without noticing, and C.C. with her waking me up two hours before I even had to get up.

Even if she only kept me awake for about ten minutes with her questions, I wasn’t able to fully go back to sleep and so I didn’t get much sleep at all. The only thing that kept me awake was the caffeinated cup of green tea I drank this morning and the fact that I dreaded my next class. French. With Blake.

I still hadn’t talk to him since the ‘almost kiss’ incident and I don’t want things to be awkward between us. I’m scared of what will happen when I’m face to face with him again.

Maybe I could ditch next class… no, I can’t or they’ll call my mom, plus Blake will know that I’m avoiding him. Ugh, fuck my life. What am-I going to do?

The bell rang interrupting my inner apprehension and sent my heart into a frenzy. Oh, gosh what am-I going to do? I grabbed my things and left the class at a slow pace trying to bid myself some time to think something through ─even though I know time won’t go slower just because I will it.

Or will it? Maybe I’m some sort of time control thingy from ‘Ellithia’, maybe if I concentrate enough, time will stop for a while and then I’ll be able to think of something concerning my Blake conundrum. That would be so cool. If that worked I could also go and take a nape of like two to three hours and clear my head before starting the time again.

With that train of thoughts, I walked to my locker slowly and changed my books all the while willing time to stop or at least slow down.

Unfortunately my efforts didn’t seem to have any effect at all on the time continuum and the first bell rang despite my attempt at stopping its course. So the time controlling thingy was just wishful thinking. Damn.

My heart began to pound faster and I could hear its beat resound in my ears. Calm down Del, just… don’t think about it. Easier said than done. I sluggishly made my way to Mrs. Harris’s French class with cold sweats coming down my back. My god, I’m reacting badly, it’s not that bad, gosh calm down Del.

As I got closer to the classroom my panic only seemed to increase, at this rate I’m going to have a full-on panic attack. Ok, let’s breathe in, and out. I took a couple of deep breaths and entered the classroom.

The desk beside my own was empty. Maybe he won’t show. That thought was quickly thrown out the window as he entered and made his way to his desk next to mine. He sat down and my heart jumped in my throat as he turned to me. I kept looking at my desk as if the little drawings on it were the most fascinating things in the world. “Hey. How are you?” He asked casually. What!? That’s it?! I looked at him shocked but kept my face composed and devoid of any of the surprise that I felt. He appeared calm and was as hot as ever.

“Good. You?” I said trying to sound calm and collected.

“Good.” He said like he normally would.

Oh, so he chose to ignore the almost-kiss. That’s good with me. I could finally relax which was a good thing but at the same time it was a bad thing. My fatigue came back full force and I didn’t have any stress to keep awake as Mrs. Harris began her class.

I turned to pay attention to her lesson but since I’m fluent in French, her class was a total bore so it didn’t help with keeping me awake. Ugh, why do I have to take this class, first of all? Argh! Again, F my life.

She was droning on and on about the structure of sentences, how they are formed, and blah, blah, blah. I already know all of that.

She then asked us to write a written production in the past tense about anything we want. I wrote it about my deceased dog ‘Rudy’ and how much she meant to me.

‘Rudy’ était un Berger Allemand. Un chien magnifique qui est mort quand j’avais à peu près dix ans…

I finished my written production just as the bell rang. I gathered my things and walked up to the teacher’s desk to give her my copy. When that was done, I made my way out the door.

“So, what did you write about?” Blake asked as he joined me and together we marched towards my locker.

“My deceased dog.” I replied straight to the point.

“I’m sorry.” He said compassionately.

“It’s alright, I was ten when that happened.” I said trying to make him feel better. I feel like a bitch, I blame my lack of sleep. “What about you?” I asked, changing the subject.

“Impossible love…” He doesn’t mean…? About…? Does he…? We arrived at my locker and I opened it to dump my books in. “Look Del, about last Friday…” Oh no, he’s not going to talk about it now. I thought that he dropped the subject when he hadn’t approach it when we were in French. My panic that had vanished about an hour ago came back with a vengeance. “I don’t reg…─” He started but was interrupted by Abbigail.

“Blake!” I don’t think I was ever as glad to see her as in this instant ─well I’m never glad, to see her but for once I actually am. She approached and I saw Blake roll his gorgeous blue eyes before he turned to face her.

“Yes?” He said sweetly with a big fake smile.

“Could you accompany me to the ‘caf’?” She asked him just as sweetly while shooting derisive looks at me. Ok, I’m glad for the interruption but she still stays a bitch in my eyes. Blake turned back to me.

“I’ll…─” He started but Abbigail interrupted him, again.

“Now!” She said impatiently.

“Sure.” He threw to her over his shoulder. “See you later.” He said to me with a look that told me our conversation was far from over. Great ─not. I gave him a small tight-lipped smile and he gave me a tiny nod before going over to where Abbigail was standing and walking away with her ─arguing by the looks of it.

With a sigh, I turned back to my locker, let go of my books, grabbed my ‘caf’ pass and MP3 and put them in my pockets. I closed my locker and left towards the cafeteria.

On my way to the ‘caf’, I crossed paths with C.C. “Hey girl!” She said as she linked her arm with mine. “How is it going?” She asked as we walked to the cafeteria together.

“I’m ok,” If I can ignore the Blake thing. “you?” I said.

“Great!” She replied in her usual cheery tone.

“Not that I’m not happy to see you, but aren’t you supposed to be with Nina doing whatever you guys are doing for ‘Mertell’?” I asked her as we got in line to get food. She chuckled a little.

“Tired of me already.” She gave me a small poke in my side making me give out a small laugh. “I have to get my lunch, first, then I’ll go meet her. But just so you know, this is our last meeting. After tonight, I’ll be free to hang out.” She grabbed a bowl of pad Thai, a red velvet cupcake and a cherry coke. I also grabbed a pad Thai but with a bottle of water and some raspberries in a small bowl as desert.

“That’s cool. So I take it everything is ready?” I asked her as she gave her pass to the cafeteria lady who scanned it and gave it back to her.

“Yes! Well more or less.” She said excitedly as I gave my pass to the cafeteria lady at the register who scanned it and gave it back to me. “Anyway, it’s gonna be epic! Gotta go. Ciao.” She said before she dashed out the door and went to meet up with Nina.

I headed to a small table in a corner of the cafeteria, away from where I’m sure Blake and Abbigail where going to be and surely Oliver too. I sat down and took out my MP3 player from my jeans. I put my ear buds in my ears and selected some ’30 Seconds to Mars’ before I began eating, lost in my own little world of craziness.

My math class went by relatively fast with all the mathematical problems I had to solve but my English class seemed to go on forever. English appeared longer because I could almost see the light at the end of the tunnel ─the end of the day with my bed as a reward. It seemed so close yet still so far. When the final bell of the day rang, I almost wanted to do a little happy dance but I was too tired for that. I quickly grabbed my things and left in a hurry.

I speed-walked up to my dorm without taking the time to leave my books in my locker first and I could almost weep with joy once I saw the door to my dorm. Ok, I’m maybe exaggerating a bit, but not by much. I quickly took out my key and opened the door. I hastily entered and carelessly dropped my books as I walked to my bed. I then let myself fall flat on it and went to sleep for a little while before dinner. Just a little while…

Three knocks on the door is what awoke me from my slumber. Hmmm, what time is it? I turned my head to look at the clock on my bedside table and was surprised to read that it was just a little after seven PM which could only mean that the person behind the door was Zane. Damn. I quickly sat up and hurried to the bathroom just as three more knocks sounded at the door.

“Just a sec.” I shouted so that he could hear me through the door ─even though I’m sure he could have heard me all the same had I whispered, what with his vampire super-hearing and all.

I looked in the mirror to assess the damage my nap did to my appearance. My hair was a bird’s nest but that’s easy to fix, what was horrible: was the raccoon eyes that my ruined makeup turned into. And I’m sure I have bad breath which is just superb ─not. I idly wondered how they can kiss each other in the morning, in movies ─well it’s a movie but don’t they have bad breath? Just saying ─thinking.

At least I’m not tired anymore which is good. Ok, Del, let’s go fast about fixing this mess. Can’t make Zane wait forever ─well actually, I could since he’s a vampire but that wouldn’t be nice.

I brushed my teeth to get rid of the bad breath, then I brushed my hair, wincing slightly as the brush got caught in some very tight knots. Now for the real challenge ─the raccoon eyes. I grabbed a washcloth and wiped the worst from under my eyes without much success. Argh! I wiped harder and it gradually vanished but the skin under my eyes was an angry red color. Great ─not. At least it will only stay this way for a little while.

Deeming myself presentable enough, I walked back into my room to go answer Zane only to find him lying down on my bed looking at the painting C.C. and I did on the ceiling, the other day.

“Nice painting.” He then turned his head and looked at me. “I hope you don’t mind but you were taking so long to answer the door and it was unlocked so...” He then lazily stood up and vampire-speeded over to me. He grabbed hold of my left hip with one of his hands while the other cupped my face. I closed my eyes then threw my arms around his neck and played with his blond hair as he gave me a small kiss that turned into a tiny make-out session. “Mmmmm, minty.” He said as he pulled away before finishing with a chaste kiss on my lips and a soft: “Hi.”

“Hi.” I replied a little breathlessly.

“Have you already eaten?” He asked.

“No, not yet.” I answered.

“Would you like to go eat, now?” He inquired. And as if on cue my stomach grumbled. Embarrassing. He gave a small chuckle. “I’ll take that as a yes, then. Let’s go.” I grabbed my ‘caf’ pass and we headed towards the cafeteria, making small talk along the way. As we crossed the glass bridge, I saw Blake, Abbigail and Oliver sat together at our usual table. What are they still doing there? They are usually done eating by now. Zane followed my stare and whispered in my ear: “We’ll go join them as soon as we get your food.” Somehow that didn’t reassure me.

I hadn’t eaten with the ‘gang’ since C.C. started the ‘Mertell’ preparations and I still don’t feel comfortable going to sit with only them. Well Zane is going to be there but still… And there is still the matter of the conversation with Blake… Argh.

Zane and I resumed our little chit chat and soon we walked into the cafeteria. I chose some spaghetti, a bottle of water and a peach for desert. I then gave my ‘caf’ pass to the cafeteria lady and soon Zane was gently leading me outside with one of his hands at the small of my back.

We joined the others who were surprised to see us ─since it’s been a while─ at the table we usually sit, under a Wisteria tree. “Del, what a lovely surprise!” Oliver said in his slight British accent with delight and a smirk.

“Yeah, hi.” I said as Zane and I both sat down. I looked at Blake and he was looking intently at me.

“Del, I need to speak with you later. Alright?” He asked with a burning intensity in his light orbs. Gosh, those eyes.

“Ok.” I said softly as I watched him take a bite out of an apple that was on his tray. Some of the juice from the apple ran down his bottom lip before he gently sucked it in. Gosh, those lips.

Abbigail, who had been quiet all this time, turned to Blake and engaged him in a conversation as I focused my attention on my food. “I got to go study guys. So, ciao.” Oliver said as he stood up with his tray before he disappeared in the school.

I talked with Zane between bites since Abbigail was monopolizing Blake and for once I didn’t mind ─much. Even though, he’s not mine, I still feel oddly possessive over him. Gosh, Del, get a grip! “Oh, you have a bit of sauce on the corner of your mouth.” Zane said after I swallowed my last bite of spaghetti.

“Oh.” I said as I grabbed a napkin and tried to dab it away. “Did I get it?” I asked, looking him in the eyes ─they had a glint of mischief in them.

“Here… let me.” He leaned down and gently brushed his lips against my own before they moved to the corner of my mouth. I automatically closed my eyes and reopened them only when he pulled away. “There all better.” He had a satisfied smirk on his face as he said those words.

It took me a moment to realize that Abbigail and Blake fell silent and as I turned my head to face them, I notice that they both wore similar expression. A mix of astonishment and hurt was clear on Blake’s face whereas the hurt part was less obvious on Abbigail’s face ─it was still present just less obvious. “So, um, are you guys…?” Blake asked unsure.

I don’t know, I looked at Zane but he seemed transfixed on his brother with an evil sort of smile. “Dating? Together? A couple?” Zane offered as he put an arm possessively around my waist. “Yes, Delphine is my girlfriend. Why?” He asked, over-sweetly. So we’re a couple, that’s news to me. I mean sure we kissed a lot and hung out together most of the time but… wow, ok.

“I, uh─” Blake seemed at a loss over what to say.

“I got to go.” Abbigail said as she stood up and dashed out the garden/terrace like a bat out of hell. I saw a flicker of guilt in Zane’s eyes that quickly disappeared as soon as Abbigail was out of view. Blake appeared lost and all I wanted to do in that moment was to go hug him and tell him everything will be alright but I couldn’t.

“I should… I should probably go check on her.” He said as he stood up.

“Don’t you have something to talk about with Delphine?” Zane asked him maliciously. Blake quickly looked at me before looking in the direction Abbigail left.

“I… It doesn’t matter.” He said before he left just as fast as his girlfriend.

“That was mean.” I accused Zane who gave me a big goofy grin. “You know you’ve hurt Abbigail too with this news, right?” That took away his grin.

“It had to be done.” He said somberly before he regained his playful demeanor. “And besides aren’t you glad to be my girlfriend?” He asked with his eye brows going up and down suggestively.

“You’re still not getting laid.” I stated.

“Way to kill the mood.” He said playfully sullen.

“What mood?” I asked with a small laugh. Even if I felt bad about the way Blake reacted, I can’t pin over him forever ─especially if he’s meant to be with someone else ─Abbigail.

“Never mind.” He said with an over-exaggerated sigh and a playful roll of his dark blue eyes. I swatted at his arm playfully before turning back to finish my food with a small giggle.

I got back to my room late that night, again ─but not as late as the day before. “See you tomorrow.” Zane said before kissing me goodnight at the door.

“See you.” I said. He then gave me another sweet kiss. “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight.” He replied. And then he vanished at vampire speed. I turned back to my door and unlocked it before stepping inside and getting ready to go to sleep.

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