With clear blue sky above; the stain glass windows shone brightly, projecting bright colors across the empty halls of Riverbend High school. The building had been a state government building that was closed during the revolution. After years of not being used, the pillars that held up the whole front of the building were becoming hazardous, with the front of the building being curved in the way it was, the whole building was going to be demolished.
As the new government began to take hold, however, a new school needed to be made. There were plenty of education buildings in our land but this one as not for learning reading and math. The students of Riverbend were being trained to be the guardians of our new town.
The building was given a fresh coat of tan paint, the pillars were reconstructed and then the best students and the strongest kids were invited. I sat among the freshmen watching a duel in progress before me. The teacher was preparing us for our final, fencing against master Mavric, the best sword fighter out there.
“Amthist, you’re next.” The teacher looked me in the eyes as the clinking of swords stopped and the student was pinned to the ground.
I stood up and started my way towards my challenger.
“Good luck.” Sophia whispered as I made my way past her and grabbed one of the swords from the rack at the bottom of the bleachers.
My friends watched me as I entered the ring and looked up to the girl with long white hair before me multicolored strands created a crown around her head. Her freckles curved around her face and her dimples smiled back at me. It was like looking into a mirror. My clone had the same information as me and thus was the best challenger. She knew each of my moves at the same time I did, but I didn’t know her programing.
The boy before me had fallen to his clone but mine was going to be defeated. I readied my sword in my left hand, hoping to gain an advantage right from the get go by using my non-dominant hand to knock the program off. I made the first swing horizontally across the field, not trying to touch the robot, but testing my balance with the weapon in my other hand.
A low strike was the first from my opponent. I jumped over it and tried to use the time it took my opponent to recover, for a good hit. She recovered as if her program was better than mine. She was faster than me. My strike didn’t hit its target and instead my shoulder was hit by my attacker. She could have landed a more devastating blow if she weren’t going easy on me.
My left arm was not used to the weight of the sword so I switched back to my right hand. A pair of eyes caught my attention as I looked towards the door. Green eyes that shined as bright as emeralds. My attacker launched an over the head attack. I jumped up in the air, my ponytail hitting my back as I came down from my backflip. The smiling face of my better-self came into view. I looked at the other me, her purple eyes and taunting smile made me straighten my posture.
Those eyes that we both wore had caused me pain ever since childhood. People had taunted me, and ignored my and those eyes had disgraces me. I was because of those shiny little orbs that I was not the best person I could be. I raised my sword and slashed towards those eyes. The other me knew this attack was coming and blocked it. I needed to think outside of the box to hit her. I did my best to move quickly but every attack was countered.
My last chance to win was coming up as the clock ticked forward. The teacher watched me, my round was coming to an end. Just as he opened his mouth to tell me my time was up, I kicked off my shoe towards the other me and distracted her just long enough to jump into the air. A jump spinning kick would fall her and then my sword could win. My leg launched toward her and just about hit its mark. My opponent was still smiling and shifted her stance.
The one little move allowed her to bring the sword to my ribcage and avoid my kick. The blade against my skin shocked me. I didn’t land the move, instead I fell to my knees. The teacher called for the match to end and the other me was called into her capture cage on my wrist. I stood up twisting the bracelet in my hand to lock it. The teacher was shaking his head.
“That has to be one of the worst performances I’ve seen by you. When you came in for the first time to fight me I was impressed, but you have let me down. Class is over.” He announced just as the bell rang.
I looked to him. The first day of school I had challenged him directly over a small argument. I had lasted a full two minutes with him actually fighting me when I had no experience. He like me and would teach me independently but recently I haven’t been as strong as that first day; that day I had something to prove and I proved it. My friends weighted for me at the door, the green eyes were gone. The girls looked me up and down before they spoke.
“You got quite a gash, you should wrap that…” Sophia offered.
Kally was much more direct with what they were all thinking, “What the heck was that? Haven’t you been sleeping? You’re getting to sloppy!”
I looked up to her she was taller than I was and has been one of the scariest girls at Riverbend ever scene she started.
“I-I have to get stronger… I need to be the best so I can get into Moonstrum.”
Moonstrum was the advanced defense school that was across the river from our school. No one really knew anymore than that, though. Once you joined the school you weren’t allowed to talk about anything that went on there, so the whole school was really a mystery to all of us.
“Why can’t you be satisfied with being in Riverbend? Besides If you didn’t stay up all night practicing you would be a lot better in class. You are plenty strong when you have enough sleep.”
Those green eyes drifted into my mind before I could reply. “I owe it to someone to be the best. Or at least I need to be in the top of my class at the top school.” I knew the eyes I had seen weren’t his but his shaggy white hair drifted into thought as well and I couldn’t get him out of my mind.
My friends all sighed, they knew I wouldn’t say anything more on the topic. I had only met them at the beginning of the school year. The end of the year was nearing us now but I still wasn’t about to open up to anyone. The people around me prodded me for more information as we waked towards our next class.
“A boyfriend? Or maybe a relative? An old friend?”
I ignored them and reached into my backpack to grab some bandages. The cut on my side was getting my shirt bloody. I was used to wrapping my wounds and I walked down that hall. Swordsmanship was my worst class, the next class, multilingual studies wasn’t a highpoint in my day either. The teacher would just change to a new language in the middle of giving a lecture. She asked way too many questions and had us answer three or four times in different languages.
The class before swordsmanship wasn’t that bad though. Stealth and detection studies as it was called, was where the teacher would teach us a new skill on Monday and then the rest of the week we would play hid and seek tag with new teams every other day. My first class of the day was bombs and ammo class. We studied the evolution and accuracy of different weapons. I would like that class if our teacher would go easier on us or at least not aim for the head.
I sat at my desk, thinking about my classes while the teacher rambled on in Romanian. “Amathist.” The teacher stopped and started speaking in English, “Amathist are you awake? You need to go to the office, they called you down.”
“Alright…” I stood up dripping blood on my chair as I left.
The teacher knew I dozed off in her class a lot and didn’t like me much so I left quickly. The stone halls rose high above my head letting light bath me as I walked towards the front of the school. Sometimes I would imagine flying down the halls and watching the mortals walk below me. But I was human so I walked along the ground.
The office wasn’t a very large room so when I walked into it, my eyes immediately found their way to the boy standing in the far corner. He had jet black hair except for a streak of white that started near the top of his head and spread down onto one large chunk of his sidebands. He was wearing a jacket that was black with a similar white streak down it. His pants were black except for two streaks that went the opposite way of his hair. His shirt was barely visible around the neck of his partially unzipped jacket, the shirt was white except for a black streak that went the same way as the stripes on his pants.
“Amathist. This is our new student Jasper.” The vice principle introduced me.
Jasper, as his name was said drew something quickly in the air, it looked like the lines across his outfit.
Then he held out his hand with a smile. “Nice to meet you.”
“You too…” I gently shook his hand.
“Jasper is a new student, can you show him around? He has the same schedule as you which is why we thought you would be the best person for this job.”
I looked up to the boy and his at ease smile, “Sure…” I knew I coulden’t refuse, but I didn’t feel I could spend to much time on him, I needed to train for finals, “But why is he joining a week before finals?”
“We have already worked everything out, don’t worry.” Jasper spoke before the vice president could answer.
“OK… well lunch is next, and this period is almost over, so we can just get some food and talk for a bit…” I suggested, hoping he would turn me down so I could train like I did every lunch.
“Yeah that sounds great…”
“Amithest.” I smiled back at him as I opened the door to leave the office.
We walked towards the lunch room, a lot of the upperclassmen were already at their tables. They all stopped to look at the cute new boy before them. I didn’t look at them as I made my way towards the school cafeteria.
“Hey” The boy said, nudging my shoulder. “Can we go sit with that pretty girl who winked at me?”
I looked over my shoulder, the girl was someone I didn’t know, “Uh, you can if you want, I’ll just train outside and meet up with you later…”
“Hum?” He looked up and down me, “Don’t you want to meet someone new?”
“I just did.” I looked him up and down.
“Oh come on Tinkerbelle, be adventurous today.”
“T-Tinkerbelle?!” I had to keep myself from hitting him.
The boy took my wrist and pulled me over towards the girl. I jerked my hand away from him and walked just behind him.
“Hey pretty girl. Polly want a cracker?” He pulled a cracker out of thin air and handed it to her.
“Oh. A magician? How cool!”
“Jasper’s the name.” He smirked drawing the same symbol in the air as he did when I met him.
It didn’t take long before Jasper was sitting on the table talking to his many female fans. My stomach growled. I turned away from him and walked towards the line off people buying food.
I didn’t turn around, I wouldn’t respond to such a stupid nickname. I got a hamburger and came back over to the table. Everyone anywhere near the table was watching Jasper and his jazzed smile. A girl was sitting on his lap, hugging him as he talked to everyone. There was an open seat next to him so I sat down. The girl looked to me with a glare in her eyes.
“Lunch? Thanks Tinkerbelle.” He took the hamburger and took a big bite out of it.
“Hey that was mine.” I hit his arm.
He glanced over to me, “Oh really? Sorry I thought-”
I stood up, “You should find someone else to torment.”
Jasper set the girl that was in his arms in the seat I had been sitting in and followed me as I walked away. I can’t deal with this guy, I need to train.
“Come on, little one. I’ll pay you back. I thought it would be funny.”
“Well you thought wrong.”
“Oh come on grump face, have some fun.” I turned around and looked towards him, as he spoke “Why are you so upset. I said I was sorry.”
“Go back to your possy, I’m in the unpopular group.”
“You could be popular if you learn how to smile. And maybe if we did this.” He reached forward and fumbled with my shirt.
I had my hands up by my head, ready to hit his hand away.
“Much better.” He smiled pulling back.
I glanced down and didn’t notice anything different, “Wha-”
“With those nice c cups you can show off and get a lot more attention.” He had unbuttoned the top three buttons on my shirt.
I grabbed my shirt and held it together. All the kids in the lunchroom were laughing at me. With my face turning red I reached my hand out and a loud clap was hard as I slapped him. The room went quiet as I turned away with hunched shoulders and fled outside. I buttoned my shirt all the way up and then leaned against the school building as the sun glowed above me. The grass was freshly mowed and the sent reached me. I relaxed against the rough stone until I head the glass door beside me open with a squeak.
My eyes were closed, I prayed that it wasn’t Jasper. The person didn’t say anything but I could hear the kids inside gather by the glass. Right when I was about to open my eyes, I felt something on the top of my head. It was cold and dripped down over my shirt and shoulder. I flinched as the smell of milk reached me.
“Don’t ever hit me again.” Jasper whispered in my ear.
He dropped the milk carton on the ground and the school burst into laughter.
“Looks like you need to take off that shirt, otherwise you will smell like rotten milk all day.” He reached for the bottom of my shirt.
“I dare you. Go for it. A slap across the face is a warning, do this and I’ll give you a spinning axe kick to the groin.” I looked up to him.
His cheeks grew a little red, “I’m sorry for being mean. Do you want my shirt?”
I looked up to him, this whole thing was an excuse to go shirtless for the day and get even more attention. My shirt was already smelling. Jasper slipped off his jacket and took off the white shirt with the black strip down it. He put the jacket back on but didn’t zip it up. He held out the shirt.
“beggars can’t be choosers.” He smiled.
I grabbed the shirt away from him and stalked off to the bathroom. I changed in the far stall, it was the largest, then I just stood there noticing how big of a fool jasper had made of me. A group of girls came in.
“Jasper is so hot!” One said.
“And funny too.”
“Did you see what he did to that girl though?”
“She deserved it for hitting his gorgeous face.”
“Yeah but now she gets to wear his shirt all day!”
“I want to wear his shirt.”
“I’m so jealous!”
“She must be really cool if Jasper was flirting with her like that.”
“Flirting?” I asked after stepping out of the cell.
I had tied the corner of the shirt in a knot so it fit me better but is still felt awkward, much like the situation I had just gotten myself into.
The girl that had just spoken blushed a little more than the rest of them, “Yeah, he was just flirting with you, didn’t you notice?”
I shivered, “If that was flirting I never want another guy to hit on me again.”