Stupid, stupid, stupid! Raiki screamed to herself as she ran. She had no idea where she was going, it was getting dark again and there were very few people about. She let her feet do the thinking as buildings and trees sped past her. Her thoughts were in another place. Back home with her family.
I need you! She screamed.
Xsal was not too far behind her, his heavy footsteps unheard over the sound of Raikis own. He listened to her shouting. She sure can run. He thought to himself.
Where are you Miki! You said youd always look out for me!
Miki? Xsal stopped running.
Raiki stopped also, she had reached her destination. The lake.
Why? Why am I so stupid? She tried desperately to wipe the tears streaming down her face I cant help myself can I? I tried to concentrate on my studies, block everything out, but its just too hard. She let her head drop and her tears flow.
Xsal stepped slowly forward with his arm outstretched towards her. He stopped himself and let his arm flop back down to his side.
Raiki stared at the lake, and began laughing.
Huh? She was just crying? Xsal cocked an eyebrow.
Why the hell not! She laughed, kicked her shoes off and ran in the opposite direction of the lake.
Suddenly she ran towards the lake, jumped as high as she could in the air, and landed with a great splash in the lake.
RAIKI! Xsal ran towards the lake and stopped when he noticed she was laughing and splashing quite happily. Are you crazy or just plain dumb! He yelled.
Raiki stopped laughing and looked at Xsal, rather embarrassed.
Xsal? How long have you been there? She glared. Did you follow me?
Xsal stopped frowning and scratched his neck.
Suddenly a large wave of water made its way towards Xsals face, accompanied by Raikis yelling.
Serves you right! I told you to leave me alone, and you do the opposite! What are you some kind of stalker? She glared.
Xsal blinked hard and glared back at Raiki. Then his face cracked into a twisted smile.
Raiki looked at Xsal sopping wet, his hair was a mess and the water from the lake was hardly clean. She tried to hold in her laughter but failed.
You think this is funny? Xsal glared. You wont be laughing in a moment.
He ran towards the lake, jumped and almost landed on top of Raiki, causing waves to splash all over her. After a while of splashing, dunking and shouting they got out of the lake. The sun had set and the night winds were in full force.
I should go home, before I get sick. Raiki stated.
Well Im not going to get sick either, and your house is closer than mine, so Im just going to have to go with you. Xsal grinned.
I should have left you in there. Raiki growled.
You wouldnt dare. Xsal smirked, You couldnt have anyway! I got out before y-Aarrggh!!
Before he could finish his sentence, Raiki pushed him as hard as she could back into the lake, before running towards home as fast as she could.
HEY! Get back here! Xsal pulled himself out of the lake and set off after her.
Raiki arrived at her house with Xsal hot on her tail, she quickly opened the door and shut it, pushing herself against it to stop him getting in.
Let me in! He yelled, Dont you care that I may get sick?
You should have thought about that before you followed me now go home! She shouted through the door. Are you trying to break my door?
Xsal had jammed his foot in the little opening to try and get himself in. No, Im trying to get inside.
Want a broken foot? Raiki yelled as she repeatedly slammed the door into the side of his foot.
Ouch! Damn it that hurts! Stop that! Xsals pained replies came.
Raiki? Whats going on? Zyla emerged from the living room and stared at Raiki, who was still soaking wet.
Nothing. Raiki smiled innocently, letting go of the door so Xsal crashed to the floor.
Oh my, Xsal whatever brings you here. Raiki feigned surprise, Oh well never mind, She crouched to his level and almost whispered, I like my men at my feet. Before smirking and walking into the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.
Xsal glared at the bathroom door and pulled himself up slowly.
Would you mind explaining whats going on, and why the hell are the two of you soaking wet? I'm pretty sure it's not raining! Zyla folded her arms and tapped her foot at Xsal, waiting for an explanation.
Xsal grinned falsely and shrugged.
Nothing really. He lied. Zyla stared coldly at him. Right, well Ill be off then.
What? You just got here! She protested.
Yeah, but I dont feel too welcome here. He jerked his head in the direction of the bathroom door.
Forget her. Zyla tugged on his shirt sleeve, Youre going out with me remember?
Xsal smiled another of his practised smiles and followed Zyla into the living room.
Now Ill go grab you a towel. She ran off towards the bathroom.
Xsal muttered glaring at a photo of Raiki. What did you do that for?
Zyla banged on the bathroom door aggressively.
Open up Raiki!
I just want a towel thats all!
The door opened and a towel was thrown in Zylas face before the door slammed again.
thank you! Zylas sarcastic reply came through the closed door.
Raiki glared hard at the mirror. Of all the people who could have followed her, whyd it have to be him? Whats it to him anyway? He didnt care about her, and she certainly didnt care about him. It felt good though, pushing him in the lake, making that comment when he fell at her feet. Yep. It was all good. She smiled and ruffled her towel over her hair.
Might as well get ready for bed! Raiki finally smiled at her reflection.
She reached into a small cabinet in the bathroom and grabbed a fresh pair of pyjamas, pulled them on and brushed her teeth.
Right, now that idiot should be gone, Ill go and get myself a glass of water and head to bed. Yep, she was definitely more cheerful now shed gotten the last word. She opened the bathroom door and headed for the kitchen. As she came to the living room she was more than a little surprised to find Xsal (With no shirt on) and Zyla quite happily kissing, on her sofa.
Oh! Raiki exclaimed, a little flustered, Um
excuse me! She proceeded through to the kitchen. Xsal smirked as he watched her leave. Good. His plan was working.
Why? Raiki muttered to herself, Why did I have to get all flustered like that! Why is he shirtless? Damn! Now I have to walk back through there! Ugh! She poured herself a glass of water slowly, I wonder what hes playing at?
Talking about anyone I know? Came a familiar voice that could only belong to one Xsal Adams.
Raiki jumped and dropped her glass in the sink. Luckily it didnt break.
A little jumpy tonight arent we?
Oh shut up. She picked her glass back up and began to refill it.
You know Raiki, Xsal closed the kitchen door, I bet youve got a problem with me and Zyla havent you?
Raiki gritted her teeth and squeezed the glass in her hand.
Why else would you be in such a bad mood with me all the time?
Raiki turned and glared at him.
Gee I dont know Xsal, what is there possibly not to like about you? She put forth, sarcastically. I mean besides your enormous ego, your self obsession, your poor ability to notice how anyones feeling, your-
Before she could finish her sentence Xsal grabbed both her shoulders and pushed her onto the kitchen sideboard. She dropped her glass once again, this time it shattered across the kitchen floor.
I told you once before. He glared pushing his face close to hers. Dont look at me like that again.
Raiki was trying to get as far away from him as possible, but as he had a tight grip on her shoulders she couldnt go very far. She bent over backwards to avoid his face so she was almost lying on the kitchen side, but he just followed her down.
The door burst open and Zyla stood in the door frame, She looked at the scene in front of her.
Whats going on here? She was finding it hard to contain her rage.
Ah- do you feel better now Raiki? Xsal quickly lied and gave Raiki a warning glance.
Raiki almost collapsed in here! She dropped her glass and everything. Right?
Raiki looked at Zyla, she could see she was upset at the thought of anything going on between Xsal and Raiki. She looked at the broken glass and water on the floor and said quietly.
Yeah, thats right.
Are you okay? Zyla asked genuinely concerned for her friend.
Yeah, Ill be fine. I just wanted a glass of water thats all.
You dont look so good, youre pale and sweaty. Zyla moved her hand to Raikis forehead, You go on in and Ill bring you a glass.
Raiki looked at her, then at Xsal. She couldnt tell her that the reason she was Pale and sweaty was because Xsal frightened her, so instead she smiled, nodded her head and went to walk into her bedroom.
Xsal placed his hand on her head and ruffled her hair.
Feel better soon shorty. He smiled.
Raikis eyes pricked with tears as she beat his hand off her head and ran into her room.
Xsal paced his bathroom the next morning. He was usually happy gazing at himself in the mirror, but since he had met this Raiki girl, hed been doing nothing but frowning and sighing. He glanced as his reflection and let out another long sigh. To be honest he hadnt wanted to scare her at all. He hated what had happened back in her kitchen. What bothered him the most was that he couldnt understand why he had done it!
He splashed his face with water once again and stared into his own blue eyes in his reflection, as if searching for an answer.
She must think Im some kind of
he didnt finish his sentence. He didnt really want to know what she thought of him at the moment. But it bothered him all the same.
What can I do now? Im supposed to be making this girl fall for me, and all the while I just keep pushing her further away. He glared at himself. Why did it bother him so much? Why was he desperate to get her attention? He had everyone elses eyes gazing at him 24/7 so why should it bother him that one girl didnt love him, didnt swoon at the sight of him and didnt beg him to be seen with her? That was the part that bothered him the most - he didnt know the answer.
Xsal pulled on his white shirt and stepped out of the bathroom. As usual Lyga was well on his way. Such a geek, He muttered to himself. Walking over to his wardrobe, he took out one of many tailed tuxedos and proceeded to get himself ready for the day ahead of him.
Raiki walked slowly to class. If she saw Xsal today, she would most definitely ignore him. Her first lesson was Art, and although she had that lesson with Zyla, she had decided to head off on her own. Zyla was waiting for Xsal to call on the way so Raiki had insisted she needed to get there early to avoid him. Surprisingly Zyla hadnt seemed all that bothered. Raiki laughed to herself.
Hi Raiki. Lyga smiled as he saw her approaching the college.
Oh, Lyga, hows it going? She smiled back.
Same old. He replied, what about you? You dont look so good.
Oh gee thanks! Raiki shoved him playfully.
I didnt mean it like that, you know that!
I know. She laughed, Im okay, why shouldnt I be?
Lyga was silent for a while before nodding. Sure.
Weve both got art right? Walk me to class? She asked tugging on his sleeve.
Youre okay being seen with me?
Oh dont start that again. Yes! And you know what, youre coming to sit next to me today! Theres a space by us, Ill just get Zyla to shuffle up one. She laughed.
I dont know, I like my spot. He blushed slightly.
Youre just afraid of being close to Zyla. She sneered.
Well, maybe just for today.
Xsal walked up the path to cottage number 311. Slowly.
Im sorry! I didnt mean to startle you
Id swallowed too much lake water and I wasnt myself
or it was the cold
you just looked so lovely in the kitchen light - what the heck is that? He laughed at himself, Oh thats bad! Thats one Nikko would use!
He rang the doorbell and waited.
Zyla answered. Xsal hid the disappointment on his face.
Oh! Xsal, there you are! I was wondering when you might arrive! She squeaked and latched onto his arm.
Heh. He peeled her off awkwardly, So
Babe, he cringed. Zyla beamed. Wheres Raiki this morning? Is she not walking with us?
Her? Zyla almost said in disgust, Shes
gone already. She said she didnt want to see you. Said she didnt like your
shoes. That was a lie.
Really? Xsal cocked an eyebrow suspiciously. I like my shoes.
Zyla giggled and resumed her favourite pastime of attaching herself firmly to his arm.
Well that went well.' Xsal thought to himself - sarcastically. He had now ended up walking to college with Zyla - again, and hadnt had chance to try out any of his apologies to Raiki. The start of a wonderful Day.
When they finally arrived at the college grounds, Xsal spotted Nikko waiting for him to walk to their Media class together. He peeled Zyla off his arm and gently persuaded her in the general direction of the Art department.
Nikko laughed as Xsal approached him.
Got your hands full there havent you? He teased.
Laugh all you want! At least my reputation is clean enough to get a girlfriend.
I see. Nikko cast a sideways glance, Well theres another difference between us, Id never go out with someone I didnt like.
Thats because there is no-one you dont like! Youd get all the girls phone numbers if theyd give them to you. And the rest! Xsal dug in deeper.
And youre better than me is that it?
All I ask for is their undivided attention. He smirked.
Now thats sick. Playing with the feelings of those little lambs just to boost your ego!
Remind me again why were friends? Xsal asked, half jokingly.
Cause we wind each other up and are useful in each others grand plan. Nikko informed him placing his arm around his neck.
I remember. He laughed. So are we actually going to class today or is there something you had planned?
Hmmm, Nikko pondered out loud, Well I thought we could actually go to both classes today. Theres a really cool film were studying in Media and my little angel is waiting for me in Theatre.
Xsals eyes flashed dangerously. What little angel?
Why that Gem, Raiki Colt. Who else?
For the first time since Xsal could remember, he didnt have an answer for Nikko. They walked to class.
Raiki and Lyga had arrived to their art class before anyone else so Raiki took the liberty of claiming Zylas seat so Lyga could sit with them.
Are you sure this will be ok? He asked nervously.
Sure, I see no reason why shed be upset by it! Raiki laughed.
Emerii and Ami arrived shortly after them. Emerii beamed when she saw Lyga was going to be sat next to her.
Hey! She smiled as she quickly stowed her bag under the table and took her seat, Ive always wanted the chance to talk to you! You always look so lonely!
Emerii! Thats mean! Ami protested as she took her seat next to her, try subtlety once in your life!
Lyga just laughed in response, Its true though. I have to admit I am a bit of a loner.
You dont have to be. Emerii smiled wickedly, Ami likes you!
Ami flushed crimson and smacked Emerii over the head with her sketch pad.
I do not! She denied flustered.
Lyga laughed again and tried to hide his own blush. Raiki sniggered and nudged him in the ribs.
See? Sitting next to us will be a blast! She giggled.
Lyga just smiled, still a little shocked by Emerii and Amis behaviour.
When Zyla finally arrived in the class she saw Raiki and Lyga sat next to each other and couldnt hide the shock on her face. Eventually she shrugged it off and took the seat the other side of Raiki.
Well this is a surprise I must say! She smiled at Lyga, you wanted to feel like part of the group at last?
Something like that. Lyga avoided her gaze.
I asked him to sit with us! Raiki admitted, I didnt think it was fair to have him sitting by himself all the time!
And I agree. Zyla smirked, We should get to know him more!
You know who I wouldnt mind getting to know better? Emerii asked, giggling wildly.
Who? Raiki and Zyla asked simultaneously.
Nikko! Emerii almost squealed.
The girls giggled around Lyga and he sat in the middle of them, completely overwhelmed! Hed never been asked to sit with anyone before, but he couldnt help but feel like they didnt even realise he was there. That was until Raiki placed her arm on his shoulder.
How about you Lyga? She asked maliciously, got any dark horses?
Lyga glared at her accusingly but it faded when she winked at him. Maybe I do. He admitted ambiguously.
I think you two would make a lovely couple! Zyla added framing up Raiki and Lyga in her fingers. You get along really well and youre a good height.
Raiki and Lyga looked at each other and burst out laughing.
I dont think they look that great. Ami huffed quietly.
Thanks for the tip. Raiki wiped her eyes and nudged Lyga.
Raiki and I dont have those kind of feelings for each other. Lyga smiled honestly and side glanced at Ami who seemed happier again. Were just friends.
Oh. Zyla said rather disappointedly.
Quit trying to set me up! Raiki stuck her tongue out, Im happy as I am!
Im glad of that. Came the stern voice of Mrs. Neville. No-one was aware of how long shed been standing there, only her gaze showed that shed been there a while. Now I presume youre all finished organising your love lives? The group said nothing, it was wisest not to. Good. Now on with the projects.
During the Art lesson Lyga couldnt help but notice that Raiki was continuously sighing or placing her head in her hands. When he was sure Mrs. Neville wasnt looking he nudged her gently and mouthed; Are you okay?
Raiki turned to him and smiled weakly. Ill be fine, She whispered, Im just not sleeping too well, and I think I may have caught a cold from jumping in the lake!
Jumping in the lake!?
Ah, it seemed like the right thing to do at the time! She giggled.
As long as youre okay? He said finally, turning back to his sketchpad.
It was interesting that it had been Lyga who had noticed she wasnt feeling well, and not her house mate. Zyla was probably pre-occupied with thoughts of Xsal to notice Raikis well being. It was hard to believe that so much had changed between them since her first day. Zyla had always been one of Xsals loyal followers but lately it seemed as though she had been completely consumed by him. Raiki felt like she was slowly loosing her friend.
After a fun filled art lesson, Raiki decided she would have a short break before her Theatre session. Emerii, Lyga and Zyla headed for the design block and Ami was currently insisting on dragging Raiki to class.
You dont want to be late again, She reminded her, Mr. Pattison isnt as strict as Mrs. Neville but its still good to show up on time!
Raiki signed and placed her hand on her forehead, Im sorry Ami, I just need a breath of fresh air. Just tell Mr. Pattison that I needed the toilet or something. Im sure hell understand. I wont be too long anyway.
Ami seemed torn between two loyalties until she finally heaved a sigh. Well okay, you look like you could do with a breather. Are you sure youre okay?
Raiki nodded, I just need some air.
Right. Ami nodded back, But not for too long, Kay?
With that Ami sprinted in the direction of the Theatre Quad.
Raiki stepped outside into the fresh air. There was a welcome breeze that whipped around her face and legs, almost threatening to throw her off balance. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Maybe she wasnt feeling too well after all.
Looking up at the sky she saw ominous clouds overhead.
Looks like rain
She said monotonously. I shouldnt stay out long.
She walked a little slower than usual in the direction of the Theatre Quad, taking the outdoor route. After a while she noticed that breathing in was becoming painful and slow, her face felt like it was burning and her legs felt like Jelly.
I need to find a bench. She huffed and looked around her.
As she moved her head around, everything seemed puffy and the colours too bright. She needed to close her eyes, block out the sights. But she also needed to sit down, her legs were weak. She felt a falling sensation, then nothing more.
And wheres our newcomer today? Mr. Pattison asked, as bright as ever.
Ah, Ami raised her hand, She wasnt feeling too well, said she needed the toilet or something. She attempted to cover. She doesnt need long!
Oh really? Mr. Pattison chuckled, Well Im sure shell be along soon then. He turned to his register then drew his attention to two smartly dressed boys sitting themselves in a corner, My goodness! He exclaimed somewhat sarcastically, The great Xsal Adams has graced us with his presence! I hope this new girl hasnt caught whatever illness you had or I wont expect to see her again until a blue moon next year. He raised his eyebrows, Shall we begin?
Xsal merely glared in response. Where was she?
Well this is boring. Nikko stated, not even pretending to read through the script book hed been handed by a nervous looking Ami. If shes not here theres no point me being here.
Xsal flicked through his book not looking at the words on the pages, I could have done with seeing her too. he admitted, I acted like you last night and I want to apologise for it.
What? Nikko asked a little louder than he should have. Quickly he pointed to a line in his book, Theres no way that guys the murderer! He feigned.
Cute cover up. Xsal smirked.
What do you mean you acted like me? You didnt try anything did you? Nikko probed, Youve got Zyla right.
Oh come on. You know I didnt mean for that to happen. Xsal whispered hoarsely, And I didnt try anything I was just a little
rough with her. he explained.
Nikko nudged him in the side and grinned, Oh I see!
No, He stated, You dont.
Sure I do! You still trying to see if you can pull another girl while youre labelled attached. Nikko laughed, Im proud of you my boy! So when you said rough
Just drop it. Xsal snapped, angrier than he would have liked, I dont know what came over me is all.
Sure ok. Nikko looked back to his script with a smug grin on his face.
Whats taking her so long? Xsal asked himself, Is she really not feeling well? She did jump in the lake last night
but then so did I and Im ok
He shifted his gaze to the clock on the wall. Theyd been in the lesson for an hour already and still so sign of her.
Maybe someone should go look for her? He thought, aware that his stomach was starting to churn, was this worry? He stood from his seat, grabbed his book bag and headed for the door.
I need to visit the mens room. He stated flatly before leaving the room, not waiting for a response from Mr. Patterson or Nikko.
Xsal headed for the student facilities, all too aware of every passing person. Unfortunately none of these people were Raiki. He stood outside the Ladies bathrooms glaring at the doors, daring her to walk out and appear fine. Then hed scold her for making him worry. Not that he was too worried, just a little concerned.
Time passed and she didnt come out. It was all Xsal could manage to keep himself from bursting in there and yelling. So when an unsuspecting Emerii walked towards the bathroom he quickly appeared in front of her.
Can you do me a favour. He asked, avoiding eye contact with her.
Okay. She answered quickly, aware of how close he was to her and that her need for the bathroom just increased tenfold!
Good. When youre done in there, see if Raiki Colt is in there. He stated flatly.
Sure. She quickly ducked under his arm and went inside the safety of the ladies.
Xsal resumed his post of leaning against the wall with his arms folded. Once again he found himself glaring at the door waiting for someone to come out.
After a few minutes Emerii returned, wiping her hands on her dress.
Ah, sorry. She started, rather nervously aware that the news she had for Xsal wasnt the news he wanted to hear, There was no-one else in there.
Xsal kicked the wall, hard. Then turned and smiled at a frightened Emerii.
Thank you. He said, and Id appreciate it if you didnt tell anyone about this.
Sure, no problem. She replied shakily, Im heading back to class now
bye. She scuttled off as fast as she could.
Xsal chuckled despite himself. He had such a varied affect on women and it amused him. There were the Zyla types, who clung to his every word, laughed at his jokes and shadowed his movements. Then there were the Emerii types, who ran at the mere sight of him, flustered and embarrassed. Raiki fit into neither of these categories, which was why she intrigued him so much.
He decided to take a walk outside, it was raining hard but he needed to clear his head of that wretched girl. Heading out the corridor he noticed a small crowd of students, who like him thought some lessons were better to skip, standing over someone.
Strange place to take a nap. One of them chuckled, taking a deep draw of his cigarette.
Ive woken up in worse places. Another joked.
Xsal looked at the person on the ground and knew exactly who it was.
Raiki! He shouted, Move out of the way! He scolded to the truants and knelt by her side.