• Chapter 2
    Beginning stages

    Thunder rolled in the sky and lightning flashed off the clouds. The last bell rang and students ran out of the building, covering their heads with umbrellas or their least favorite book. The school’s principal was making an announcement over the intercom but it was barely audible over the commotion of the teen-filled hallways. The mixture of voices molded with the different forms, sights, and scents of the student body; all of which were enough to overwhelm someone. A familiar figure could be picked out of the crowd, Ionia was being forced and pushed into many people in the crowd. She tried to force her way through, but due to her fairly small stature she was using more energy to get through and yet she had barely moved five feet. Ionia groaned in frustration when an arm came and wrapped around her shoulders. Her body stiffened and she was ready to hit the person who touched her until she looked up and saw who it was; her good friend Ikki was looking down at her, a smirk was on his face.

    Ikki was one of the best and most talented guys at her school; while she was one of the lowest and most klutzy of the school. They had known each other for nearly thirteen years and yet they seemed to be on two different planets, in the high school chain and in the popularity aspect. He was a very handsome young man, with black hair and startling aqua blue eyes. Standing at 6’3” he towered over all the girls, which attributed to his ‘tall, dark and handsome’ impression, but Ionia was the only one he would pick on. He was very relaxed and smooth around the girls but was his true self to Ionia; as such Ionia would often get threatened or pressured by other girls who liked him.

    Ionia looked up at Ikki and smiled, “Thanks Ikki! You always pop up when I need ya!” she said as she leaned up against him. The force of the teenagers increased as more poured out of the nearby hallway. Ionia let out a squeak as the crowd of selfish teens flocked towards the exits. Ikki’s blue eyes slanted and his grip tightened on Ionia’s arm. He put his left hand in front of her and pushed forward; the jumble of conversations fused with the scents and sights of the school. The crowd slowly dispersed until it was a small trickle of people; the mood lightened and Ikki let go of Ionia.

    “So, I take it your still getting pushed around! Jeez, I knew you were small but I didn’t know that you couldn’t see over crowds! Wow! You would’ve been here until everyone cleared out!” he said teasingly. He patted her back gently and shoved her playfully.

    “HEY! I’m not that short! I wouldn’t have been stuck here until the very end. I could’ve fought my way out!” she said with a goofy reply. She tried to shove him back but only received him swaying a bit.

    “Yeah, sure you would’ve got out. It would have been you, one smurf, verses three thousand plus teens. Oh-ya, you really would’ve won that battle!” Ikki stated as he rolled his eyes.

    Ionia let out a huff and glared at him. She stuck her tongue out and made a childish face. Ikki chuckled and tried to grab her tongue; she quickly withdrew her tongue back into her mouth. He grabbed her and messed her hair up, which made a yelp of aggravation erupt from her mouth. They turned a corner and she shoved him away; the split second she turned away opened the doorway to disaster. Ionia bumped into someone, sending her and the unknown obstacle bouncing off of each other. She fell backwards and her books flew out of her hands; they spilled on the floor, her history notes flying out of order.

    “Oh! Sorry, I didn’t mean to bump into you! I should’ve watched where I was going!” she said instantly. Her face was filled with sorrow until she glanced up. Ionia’s eyes filled with hate and a fire was ignited in them; the person she was glaring at was none other than Milan.

    Milan let out and aggravated yelp and jumped up. “You filthy, disgusting, IGNORANT RAT!!!”, she said as she flicked her hair out of her face. Milan’s clothes were wrinkled and her Vandermier backpack was splayed on the floor. “What’s the matter with you, can you not see? I knew you were stupid but surely not that bad! Look what you did to my bag! My one of a kind Vandermier, special edition bag! Its ruined, simply RUINED!!!” Milan screamed; her screech was similar to a banshee’s and her appearance was also. Milan jumped up, screaming and rearing for a fight.

    Ionia stood up; her face was flushed with anger and she was only a few seconds away from punching Milan when Ikki stepped in front of her.

    “What’s your problem Milan? I’ve never seen you act like this before? Are you alright?” he asked as he stood in front of Milan. He touched her hand gently and Milan blushed.

    “Oh! Ikki, well, um, yes, um, I-I was uh-having a bad day that’s all!” She replied as she grasped his hand; two seconds ago she was ready for a WWE-smack down and now she was on cloud nine.

    “I thought so. I knew someone as sweet, kind, and gentle as you could never be that mean unless something was wrong!” Ikki said, a flattering and disgustingly sweet smile played on his lips.

    “Oh, well, yes. I better be going! Sorry for all the trouble!” Milan said as she grabbed her things. She straightened her clothes and waved goodbye to Ikki, still dancing on cloud nine.

    Ikki waved back and chuckled, he turned around only to be greeted by a look that would scare the devil himself. He backed up a little and laughed nervously.

    “Uh-Oh, I just did something wrong didn’t I? I thought I did good! C’mon surely your not that mad?”, he asked as he backed away.

    Ionia closed her eyes and took a couple of steps forward, “What do you mean ‘I thought I did good?’. What the hell do you think you are? A knight in shining armor? You should’ve let me fight her! At least smack her around a bit!” she screamed in reply. Her hair was standing on end and her eyes were filled with a burning flame.

    “Okay, Okay. Calm down, calm down. Take deep cleansing breaths. In. Out. In. Out. If you would’ve hit her you would’ve been kicked out of school, and that is one thing that you don’t want. Especially on your first day back, so I think I just did you a rather nice favor!” he said moving closer to Ionia until he was only a few inches from her.

    Ionia looked up at him and sighed, her head drooped down while she leaned on his chest. He petted her head gently and gave her a hug, “Come on, lets go home. You don’t have work today and neither do I, so why don’t we go to my house and relax?” he asked. His hand covered most of her head, but a nod could be made out. Ikki grabbed her bag and held her hand gently; he lead her out the doors. Taking off at full speed they headed for his car trying, in vain, to avoid getting soaked. They both got in his car, sopping wet and stressed from school. He started the car, then slowly pulled out of the parking lot; glancing over at Ionia only once. He placed his hand on top of hers, she turned to him with a smile; he squeezed her hand and sighed, wishing he could make her life easier and more enjoyable.