The Art of Dying

By Alice Oddkid All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Romance

Scar

I threw my shoes on my side of the room and sighed as I said: “Well, you see… Zane and I…” How can I tell her this without her completely freaking out? “We’re, like… together?” I said, unsure of how she’ll react.

“…” She looked at me with a blank look for a minute as if trying to see if what I was saying was real or not. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no! Uh, uh. No way. No, just, no…─. I cut her off.

“C.C. stop.” I said.

“No… I can’t… How?… Why?...” She didn’t seem to be able to form a coherent thought.

“Ok, C.C. just forget about what you saw.” I said trying to stop her from blowing a fuse in her head. She grew quiet as I then gently led her to the bathroom. “Take a shower. You’ll feel better afterwards.”

“But… I…” She tried to protest but I just shook my head. She didn’t protest anymore, she just turned around, closed the door and then I heard the shower running.

Crisis averted ─for now. I blew out a sigh of relief as I went to sit on my bed. I let myself fall back on the mattress and stared at the painting C.C. and I created a little while ago of a giant skull in front of a forest.

I felt a hand on my shoulder shake me awake. Huh? When did I fall asleep? I sluggishly opened my eyes and sat up. I then saw C.C. wearing her big fluffy bathrobe and bunny slippers, drying her long, chocolate brown hair with a red towel. “You should take a shower before you go to sleep.” She said. “It’s not a good idea to sleep with all that makeup and paint and stuff on.” I tiredly rubbed my eyes, smudging some black makeup on my hand as I did so.

“Yeah, you’re right.” I said as I zombily stood up and rummaged in my ‘clean pile’ of clothes for a pajama.

“Wait.” C.C. said. I looked behind me at her and she was sat on her bed with a serious expression on her face. “You could have died tonight, Del.” Yeah, I know. “And… I think you should take a self-defense class.” Say what now?

“Eh?” I looked at her confused.

“Self-defense.” She repeated as if I didn’t hear it the first time. “I could talk to Oliver if you want… but the expert is Blake so…”

“I don’t need self-defense.” I said as I sat down on the floor to look at her. And I don’t want to hang out with Blake or I’m sure I’ll end up kissing him. Oh, his kisses…

“Yes, you do.” C.C. replied as if it was obvious. “If anything like that where to happen again and you were out on your own… Just, think about it. Ok?” She said looking at me pleadingly. Ugh.

“Sure…” She was about to squeal with joy as if she thought I accepted the self-defense lesson but I went on with: “I’ll think about it.” That seemed to burst her bubble but she gave me a small smile as if satisfied with my answer ─for now. I then grabbed a random PJ bottom, T-shirt and some underwears before I sluggishly walked to the bathroom to take a shower and get rid of all the paint, makeup and blood all over my body.

After my shower I got dressed, brushed my teeth and hair and then emerged from the bathroom. I dropped my dress and underwear in the ‘dirty pile’ of clothes on the floor and sat on my bed.

C.C. was sound asleep as I looked beside me at the moon over the ocean through the panoramic window. I couldn’t help but notice how smaller the moon was, then on the other side of the portal. Oh, well. I let out a small sigh and looked at the time on my bedside table; almost four in the morning. It looks like I’ll be asleep at least until two in the afternoon.

I opened the drawer of the bedside table and took out my oval locket and charms necklace. Despite the fact that the man in that locket is not my dad, I still feel that he is ─even if I never met him. I unclasped it and fastened it around my neck before getting under the covers of my bed and going to sleep.

“Wake up, Del!” C.C. said as she threw one of her pillows at me. Ugh, I’m sleeping. “Del, it’s almost 5PM! Get up!” What?! 5PM! I abruptly sat up and looked at my alarm clock. Sure enough it read 4:53PM. Man, I must have been tired. My head then started to spin a little and I felt nauseous. Oh, no, not a hangover. I swung my feet out of bed getting ready to run to the bathroom to puke if need be, when C.C. shoved a disposable coffee cup in front of my face. “Here. Drink this.” I looked inside; it was a dark red liquid that smelled really sweet.

“I’m not sure…─” I started to say but she quickly cut me off.

“It’ll take away your hangover.” She sang tauntingly. Well, if it’s going to take away my hangover… I took a deep breath and chugged the whole thing down in one go. It tasted strange, sweet like cherries but at the same time, sour like a lemon.

True to C.C.’s words, my headache and nausea disappeared almost immediately. What’s in that, shizzle? It’s miraculous. I looked at the empty cup in awe. “Wow.”

“It’s an old Fuentes family recipe.” C.C. explained. “I once saw my mom make it for my dad after a ‘Mertell’ party where he had too much to drink and I memorized it for when I get drunk.”

“Well, thanks for making it for me.” I said. “And by the way, your party was awesome, yesterday.” Despite the felling of guilt I had after kissing Blake, the death threat from Abbigail, the harsh words Zane said and almost getting killed… it was awesome.

“Thanks.” She said with a small smile, from where she sat on her bed in beige skinny jeans, a grey ruffled chiffon blouse and a white blazer while I was still in my ‘Def Leppard’ T-Shirt and black PJ bottom. Her expression then soured. “If it weren’t for those damn hunters then everything would have been perfect but they just had to ruin everything. Argh!” She finished with a pout. I refrained from telling her that even if the hunters wouldn’t have crashed the party, it wouldn’t have been perfect, and I just smiled at her. A thought then occurred to me.

“Hey, C.C. How come the hunters knew of the ‘Ellithien’s’ existence?” She gave a sigh before she explained.

“When the ‘Ellithien’/human war was over, we retreated to our world until the humans forgot of our existence. After a while the humans thought about us as mythical creatures and everyone forgot about the war except for a few who taught their family about us and the war and they trained, with the goal to kill every single last one of us to make sure that there isn’t a repeat of that war.” She then sighed. “And they just had, to crash our party! Argh!” She rolled her eyes. “Anyway, get ready, we meet the others in about forty-five minutes for dinner, so…” She looked at me with an expectant look. “Go.”

“Aye, aye captain.” I said as I stood up and grabbed a black shirt and some dark jeans from my ‘clean pile’ of clothes on the floor. I then made my way to the bathroom and closed the door behind me. I changed into the clothes I brought, cleaned my face and brushed my teeth. I then brushed my hair, flattened it and did my usual makeup before stepping out the door. “I’m ready.” I said as I threw my dirty clothes in my ‘dirty pile’ of clothing on the floor.

C.C. got up from her bed and slid on her black ballet flats and beige trench coat, I put on my black and white ‘Converse’ and black faux-leather jacket along with my black, and white printed skull scarf. “Let’s go.” She said. I grabbed my ‘caf’ pass and we both headed out the door.

We talked amiably all the way to the ‘caf’. We then walked in and got in line. I chose the macaroni, a slice of apple pie and a bottle of water. C.C. grabbed the tacos, a slice of apple pie also, and a bottle of sparkling water. We gave our passes to the cafeteria lady, she scanned it and gave it back to us before we left, tray in hands.

We walked to the garden/terrace and took a seat at our usual table. Oliver, Blake and Abbigail were already seated and Oliver kissed C.C. as soon as she sat down, next to him.

I was about to take a bite of my macaroni when C.C. said: “Blake, you need to give self-defense classes to Delphine.” If I would have had something in my mouth at that moment, I’m pretty sure I would have coughed on it. I looked at C.C. with big, incredulous eyes. What is she doing? I never agreed to it, I said that I’ll think about it.

“Alright.” Blake said, like it was nothing. I looked at him and he gave me a small smile with his perfect lips and teeth which I returned before remembering the death threat I received from Abbigail. I looked her way and surprisingly she gave me a small smile with an almost imperceptible nod of her head. At least she won’t try to get me killed for spending time with her boyfriend ─for now.

“Great!” C.C. exclaimed with a bright smile.

“When would you like to start?” Blake asked me.

I looked at him but before I had the time to answer, C.C. said: “How about tomorrow?” She had a bright, encouraging smile on her face.

“Tomorrow’s good for me.” Blake said. “What about you? Tomorrow afternoon?”

“Yeah, sure.” I answered before I had time to think about it.

“Great, meet me at the gym around 1:30PM” He said as he stood up with his empty tray.

“Sure.” He gave me a small smile and left, quickly followed by Abbigail. I then turned to C.C. and lightly tapped on her shoulder. She turned her head and looked at me.

“Yes?” She appeared confused by my slightly angry expression.

“Why did you do that?” I asked her.

“Did what?” She tried to play dumb and I must admit that she played it well but I know better.

“You know what. I told you I’d think about it, not that I agreed!” I exclaimed. Oliver, who was listening and that C.C. probably already told him about everything, began chuckling.

C.C. turned to him and said: “Oh, hush, you.” She gave him a small tap on the shoulder before she turned back to face me. “Del, why don’t you want Blake to teach you how to defend yourself? It’s only going to be a couple of hours a week, I don’t see why there’s a problem.” How can I tell her that I’m scared of being alone with Blake without telling her the reason why I’m scared?

“It’s just that…” She raised a brow and looked at me expectantly. “I… Well, you see… It’s…” I sighed. “Oh, nothing.” I said defeated. She beamed back at me.

“That’s what I thought.” She then turned back to Oliver and they resumed their earlier conversation while I pushed my food around my plate, deep in thought.

What am-I going to do? Then I remembered that I have a date with Zane tomorrow evening. Maybe I could cancel tomorrow’s lesson with Blake on the pretext that I have to get ready for my date… but then again, he said 1:30PM and my date is five hours from that. Ugh, I’m screwed.

“Hey.” Zane whispered in my ear, bringing me out of my thoughts. He was sitting next to me and moved my hair behind my ear along with my scarf to kiss my neck.

“Hey.” I said, as I turned to face him. “How are you?”

“I’m good.” He said, with a sexy smile. “You?”

“I’m fine.” I said. He looked down at my practically full plate of food, then back up at me and raised a blond eyebrow.

“What’s wrong?” He said, disbelievingly. I sighed.

“Nothing.” I looked down at my food. “I’m, just, not hungry.” And I’m scared like a little girl of being alone with your brother.

“Do you want to go lie down or…?” He said with concern in his voice. I looked up at him and he appeared as worried as he sounded. He looked really cute.

“No, I’m fine.” I said to him with a small smile. “Let’s go take a walk.” He gave me a gentle smile and a hand to help me stand up. He then grabbed my tray before I could get it. “Zane, I said I’m fine.” I said with a small chuckle.

“I know.” He said before giving me a small kiss on the cheek. “I just want to do something for milady.” He grinned and ran to dispose of the contents of my tray (at a normal, human pace).

“Ciao, C.C.” I said. She turned to face me and give me a little wave. “Oliver.” I gave him and nod, that he returned before I went to join Zane by the arches leading to the forest.

We walked around and talked about nothing in particular for a while until I noticed a sort of manor in the distance. I’ve never seen it before, but then again, we never came up here until now… “Hey, Zane.” I said as I stopped walking beside a crumbling gravestone. “Do you know who lives there?” I pointed to the big, dark grey, Victorian residence in the distance.

“Mr. Mortis, Mrs. James, Abbigail and my little brother.” He said, as he looked ahead with a big sarcastic smile on his face. He then looked at me. “Why?”

“Just to know…” Wow, Mr. Mortis must be loaded, to have such a ginormous house. “It’s really pretty.” I said.

“Yeah.” He said, offhandedly. “If you like big, Goth houses and that sort of things.” I swatted his shoulder and he began to laugh. “I’ll show it to you someday, when Mr. Mortis will be back.”

“You don’t have to...─” I started to say but he cut me off.

“I want to.” He was looking deeply into my eyes and then he leaned in. I closed my eyes and met him halfway for a kiss. I wrapped my arms around his neck as he wrapped his, around my back.

We kissed until I had to pull away, in need of oxygen but we kept our foreheads together as I regained my breathing. I felt the wind blow through my thin jacket and shivered.

“Want to get back?” Zane asked me, he probably felt me shiver. I looked up at him and nodded. “Ok, let’s go.” He took a step back and grabbed my hand.

We then began our little trek back towards the school through the gloomy, abandoned cemetery we were in. “Zane?” He looked at me as we continued to walk. “What are we gonna do, tomorrow, on our ‘date’?” I asked him, nonchalantly. He smirked.

“Ah, that my dear, is a surprise.” He said, all mysteriously. Grrrr, I hate not knowing things. “What I can, tell you is that you should dress warmly.” Dress warmly… Are we going to be outside? What are we going to do outside? “And don’t eat before our date.” Don’t eat? Are we going to go on a rollercoaster or something? Maybe we’re going to a restaurant…?

Hmmm, let’s see… He said to dress warmly and not to eat… Maybe we’re going to a carnival or a fair or something like that… Is there even something like that in town? “Are we…─” I began to say but Zane cut me off.

“I’m not saying anything more about our date.” He said with his ever-present smirk. I pouted. “Awww, you’re so cute when you pout.” He touched my bottom lip with his index finger.

“Grrrr.” I tried to bite his finger but he quickly moved it away before I had the chance to, all the while laughing warmly at my expense. I resumed my pouting until we got back to the school. Zane changed the subject as we entered the garden/terrace to the book he’s reading, the new band he heard on the radio and a lot of other, wonderfully distracting and funny things.

He walked me back to my room and kissed me goodnight, sweetly. “Don’t forget to dress warmly.” He whispered in my ear before he vanished at vampire speed.

I entered my dorm and found C.C. already asleep on her bed. Silently, I took off my coat and shoes and grabbed a clean, random PJ, before going to the bathroom on my tip-toes. I closed the door and changed, then washed my face, brushed my teeth and hair.

I then stepped out of the bathroom, dumped my clothes in the ‘dirty pile’ and hopped under my covers. I fell asleep to a feeling of nervousness battling with one of excitement as I dreaded but at the same time couldn’t wait for tomorrow to come. I have my date with Zane which I couldn’t wait for but first I have my self-defense class with Blake, and that’s what I’m dreadful of. Oh and I have to see Dixie one last time outside of class. Great ─not.

My alarm, woke me up at noon and I shut it off before sitting up. On my bedside table was a brown paper bag with a note stapled to it and a disposable coffee cup next to it. I rubbed my eyes tiredly and grabbed the note. It read:

Good morning, toodles!

I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be spending the day with Alexis.

She just broke up with John (again) and she’s brokenhearted,

So, don’t wait up for me, I’ll probably be there a while

also,

I wanted to wish you good luck for your first class with Blake.

Kick his butt!! J

I brought you a blueberry muffin and some raspberry tea but I’m not sure if the tea will still be hot when you wake up, anyway…

Have a nice day

C.C. your bestie and roomie!

Well, thank you C.C. for the food. I put the note down and grabbed the muffin from the bag. I took a bite and it was really delicious, then I tried the tea. It was cold but it was still good. I quickly finished eating and then threw away the empty paper bag and coffee cup in the trash.

I grabbed a big ‘Nike’ T-shirt and a pair of black leggings from my ‘clean pile’ and made my way to the bathroom. I washed my face, brushed my teeth and tied my hair up in a messy bun atop my head. I then applied my sport makeup for when I know I’ll be sweating; which is a ton of waterproof mascara on both my top and bottom lashes with nothing else. I filled my reusable bottle with water, grabbed a towel and stepped out of the bathroom.

I put on my ‘Converse’ and looked at the time on my alarm clock: 1:13. Time to get going. I grabbed my room key and walked out the door going towards the dance studio.

Let’s go face the girl who I thought was my friend but turned out to be a hater that wanted to kill me. Joy! ─not.

I walked into the dance studio and saw Dixie sitting on the platform, dressed in blue jeans, a white t-shirt, black blazer and a grey, ‘Obey’ cap on her head. Her black leather coat was next to her and she was wearing her usual blue, grey and pink ‘Nike air force 1’ shoes. When she saw me enter she stood up and walked over to me with an apologetic look on her face. “I’m sorry, Del but I won’t be able to practice with you anymore.” I tried to act surprised.

“Oh?” I said. “Why?”

She seemed to buy my reaction and went on with: “I decided to apply for a job at the mall, and I have an interview in about an hour. Plus, I don’t think you need help with the hip-hop part of the choreography anymore.” She still had that sorry expression on her face. “So… no hard feelings?” No hard feeling about that sure, but I still hold a grudge for when you tried to kill me…

“Sure.” I said easily.

“I’m sorry, you had to get dressed up for nothing… you can still practice if you want.” She said. “I’ll leave you the key and you can give it back to me at our next class.”

“Nah, it’s ok.” I replied, easily. “I came by to tell you the exact same thing.”

“You can’t practice today, cause you’re getting a job at the mall too?” She asked skeptically as she looked me up and down.

“Ok, maybe not the exact same thing but I’m taking a self-defense class and it’s practically at the same time that we used to practice, so…” I trailed off.

“Oh, well, that’s good.” She said, appearing relieved. “I took ‘Eskrima’ and ‘Taekwondo’ lessons since I was a little girl…” No shit… “So if you need some help, I don’t know when I’d have time but I could always help you.” Yeah, no thanks.

“That’s nice but I already have someone for that.” I said. “Thanks, though. Anyway I should probably get going.” She looked at her big, golden watch on her wrist.

“Yeah, me too. Dex is waiting for me in his car so…” She trailed off.

“Yeah, well, see you in class Dixie.” I said as I stepped out of the studio.

“See yah.” She said as she joined me out. I hurriedly left as she locked the studio’s door before I had to walk with her and soon entered the gym.

Blake was setting up a mattress in the middle of the floor, dressed in a black ‘Volcom’ T-shirt, red and black vertically striped bermuda shorts and his black ‘Converse’ shoes. He gave me a warm smile, once he saw me come in.

“You’re just in time.” He then motioned to the mattress and said: “Shall we…?” I gave him a tight-lipped smile and slowly walked towards him. I stopped beside the mattress and put down my towel, water bottle and room key before stepping up on it with Blake.

Oh, gosh, the butterflies are back in my stomach. I noticed on Blake’s left arm, a sleeve tattoo that I’ve never seen before. It was black and white with a touch of green and it looked very intricate. I pointed at it and said: “Hey Blake. Can I see your tattoo?”

My eyes were transfixed on it as he replied: “Sure.” He held out his arm in front of me and I grabbed it. I felt a small spark of electricity upon touching his skin but I ignored it as I observed the art displayed on his arm. There was a skull on his forearm with a compass then there was a feather that broke into tiny birds on the inside of his arm with the names Frederik & Demitri in Black under it. There were swirls of grey, small music notes and stars as well as some light shading of green between the main pieces of the tattoo, bringing everything together quite nicely. It was magnificent but then I noticed some raised, horizontal lines at the base of his wrist, not quite hidden by the lines of the tattoo. I traced one of them with my finger but Blake quickly took his arm away from me. “Don’t.” He said quickly with a small look of alarm on his face. Did he try to kill himself?

“It’s beautiful.” I said, talking of the tattoo as I averted my eyes, changing the subject. “Very you.” I risked glancing up. The scared look on his face was gone; a twinkle in his eyes replaced it, as he looked at me. Gosh, those eyes, I could get lost in their dept.

“Thanks.” He whispered softly. I averted my gaze, again.

“Yeah.” I said, uneasily. “So… What are you going to teach me, today?”

“Huh?” He said, making me look back at him. “Oh, yeah. Um, one sec.” He walked into the coach’s office and then I heard ‘Billie Joe Armstrong’s’ voice drift from the speakers of the gym before he came back out of the office. “I hope you don’t mind.” He said referring to the music playing. “I like listening to music while training.”

“I don’t mind.” I said with a smile as he walked closer to me. “I love ‘Green Day’.” He smiled back at me before becoming serious and going into full-self-defense-instructor mode.

“Ok, so…─”

Blake didn’t go easy on me. Not, at, all. I think I spent most of the lesson ending up falling on my ass on the mattress than standing up, and I hated that. I felt weak and like an idiot, which is not fun ─at all.

“Come on, you can do better than that.” Blake said, tauntingly as I got up for what felt like the hundredth time. Grrrrr. I came at him, doing some of the moves that he taught me but he still managed to make me fall down. Though this time I was ready and I just had the time to kick his legs from under him, as I fell which ended up with him falling too.

I fell on the mattress on my back with Blake half on top of me. He looked at me with a look of surprise on his face while I looked back at him with a smug smile on mine. I finally managed to knock him down, for the first time since the beginning.

“You did good.” He said impressed and panting slightly.

“Thanks.” I said, also somewhat out of breath. He moved a stray hair behind my right ear with his left hand but otherwise he didn’t move to get off from on top of me. He then looked deeply into my eyes and there it was again ─that spark. That warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach, that undeniable, almost magnetic attraction that I always seem to feel around him. Why do I feel this way, damn it? He leaned in and just as I was about to close my eyes and meet him halfway for a kiss, the gym doors opened with a loud bang.

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