Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Things would have been different if I had only just said no. If I did, I would have had a relationship with my sister, cousin, and our friend Olaf. I would have never given up ice skating. I would have never had to go to therapy for a year. And most importantly...that man would still be alive. On Christmas Eve it will be exactly six years since the accident happened. Anna doesn't remember any of it, and I had to swear not to ever tell her. I sometimes envy her for having no knowledge of what really happened. She forgot, but me? I'll remember that day until the day I die.
I'll never let it go. Ever since that day, my life has been nothing but pure self torture. My parents told me it wasn't my fault, but I know it was. I was the one who said yes. I was the one who helped my sister, cousin, and friend sneak out. I was the one who spun Anna on the ice and accidentally let her go. She got hurt under my care. She lost her memories from the previous three days, and the man that saved her...died. All because of me.
We're lucky it wasn't her entire life she forgot, but the man's family...they weren't so lucky.
I had just turned 12 on the 21st of December, three days before the accident. My birthday party was the last thing Anna remembered. My aunt and uncle, Arianna and Frederick, were hosting their annual Christmas Eve party for everyone in town to attend. As usual, the party bored my sister, cousin, and I. For the majority of the night, I stayed by my parents' side, so they could introduce me to their business partners and their children. It was my responsibility as the heir to my father's Architecture Industry. Rapunzel was supposed to do the same since she's also the heir to an industry, and she did stay by her parents' side for while, but that only lasted probably about 30 minutes before she snuck off to play with Anna and Olaf. Her parents let it slide though. Her family runs the Corona Beer Company. What child wants to listen to adults talk about improvements to beer?
Anyway, I remained glued to my parents for much longer than that, probably for about two or three hours. I had my reasons too. Reason one, I didn't have Rapunzel's courage to up and leave. Reason two, I wanted to make my parents proud. Reason three, I was genuinely curious at first before it became boring. Reason four, as I had said before, it was my responsibility and I knew that I needed the learn everything that I could before my father started teaching me himself.
Eventually though, I was sent to play with the other children, and I was happy to do so. Anna, Rapunzel, and Olaf didn't like the other kids due to them being snobby and begged me to take them outside to play in the snow. I said no the first few times, but then gave in. We snuck out and played in the backyard of the mansion. However, it didn't satisfy Anna. She wanted to explore the woods. I told her no again, but just as I had done before...I gave in.
The moon was our only source of light as we traveled deep into the snowy forest behind my aunt and uncle's mansion. Very, very deep. We eventually came across a frozen pond. Being the curious children that we were, we decided to play on it. Olaf, being the only boy, wanted to show off how brave he was and got on the ice first to test it. When it didn't crack, my sister and cousin were quick to get on it too. I was the only skeptical one. However, I soon gave in to my playful side.
Everything was going perfectly fine at first, but then I asked Anna something that I regret. I asked her if she'd like for me to spin her. She agreed, and I went slow and careful the first few rounds. Anna, however, wanted me to spin her faster. I gripped her wrists tighter and tried my best to keep my balance as she lifted off the ground. Unfortunately, I lost my balance and I accidentally let go of her, sending her flying. I fell hard on my rear, but Anna fell hard on her head a few feet away from me.
She fell so hard on the ice that she ended up bleeding from her head, and also cracking the ice. She wasn't moving or saying anything. She was unconscious. At the time, I thought she was dead. Seeing her laying in front of me unconscious and bleeding scared me so bad that I didn't even bother to think of the consequences of dashing toward her. Due to my extra weight when I ran toward her, the broken ice underneath her fell apart and my sister fell into the water.
I screamed out her name, and out of nowhere an older man came sprinting toward us and dove into the water. I remained frozen in fear on the unbroken ice, staring at the hole my sister fell through with wide, scared eyes. Rapunzel was crying from a nearby tree, and Olaf was calling out to me, but I ignored him. I couldn't focus on anything but the ice my sister fell through and...and the blood.
I was only able to snap out of it when I felt someone grab my hand and drag me away toward land. He was a boy around my age. He had white hair like me, and blue eyes that sparkled like snowflakes. When we were both on land, he kept calling out for his father. I was confused when his father didn't arrive, but I then realized it was his father that dove into the water. It was the boy's father that dove in for my sister. And it was the boy's father who died saving my sister's life.
The boy's father resurfaced with my sister in his arms. He performed CPR on her, and she coughed up a lot of water. I was so happy, but she was still unconscious. She was breathing though, and that's all that mattered. The boy's father wasn't doing too good though. He was shivering worse than my sister was due to him taking his coat off and putting it over her and his fingers began to turn blue.
I told Rapunzel and Olaf to follow the tracks we made and get help. They ran faster than lightning, leaving me with my sister, her savior, and his son. I held Anna in my arms so tightly that I'm sure I gave her bruises. The boy didn't say anything to me at all. He just kept watching his dad with sad eyes, telling him that everything was going to be okay. It was the most awkward and most terrifying situation I have ever been in.
Rapunzel and Olaf soon came back with help, but the man was barely awake. They were then taken to the hospital. Anna suffered from a minor concussion and slight memory loss. The doctor, Dr. Stone, said that there was a chance she wouldn't remember what happened to her and he was right. We figured that out the following day when she woke up and had no clue what was going on. My family agreed to not tell her what had happened. We didn't want to overwhelm her so we made up a lie. We told her that she fell down the stairs during my birthday party.
The man though...he died of hypothermia and frostbite.
His death still haunts me to this day. It's my fault my sister got hurt, it's my fault that man is dead. It's all my fault!
Being the oldest, I should have been more responsible. Anna got hurt under my watch. She could've died!
Anna will never know the truth of what happened, and for six years the secret has brought me nothing but mixed feelings. By not knowing, she won't have to feel the guilt that I've been feeling these last few years, but at the same time...it's killing me that she doesn't know the truth. That she thinks I shut her out for no reason at all. I shut her out because my guilt was so strong. I shut her out because I was afraid that I'd accidentally tell her the truth. I also wanted time for myself. The accident was very traumatic for me. After a year and a half of isolating myself and therapy, I realized that I was being ridiculous. However, I was 13 at the time and felt that it was too late to rekindle my relationship with her and my cousin. This caused me more grief and guilt. I didn't know how to handle my problems at such a young age. I still don't. Therapy never helped either.
And going back to Burgess after 6 years is certainly not going to do me any good as well. Burgess, Pennsylvania...where the accident took place. What's worse is that, after being home-schooled all my life, my parents have enrolled my sister and I in a public high school. Burgess High, home of the Rowdy Reindeers. I've never had a mascot before, just the family crest. Everything is going to be so strange. The new environment, the classes, the people...just...everything! I'm trying so hard not to be nervous, but I'm failing miserably.
And to be honest, when I say people, I only mean one person: the dead man's son.
His cries for his father haunt me just as badly as my own cries for my sister. I can't get them or his sad eyes out of my head. I can't get the whole night out of my head. No matter how hard I try, I just can't forget.
I sometimes lay awake and wonder what he's doing now, six years later. I wonder if we will attend the same high school together now that I'm moving to Burgess. There's a possibility that he doesn't go to Burgess High, that he moved to a different town, school, or state after the death of his father. However, there's also a possibility that he's still there. I hope he's not. If he is, I don't know what I'll do. What will he do? What if we have classes together? Does he even remember me? I hope not. If he does, it would be for the best if he didn't say anything about it. Actually, it would be best if he didn't say anything to me at all.
Oh god, just thinking about seeing him again after 6 years makes me want to throw up. I'm more nervous about seeing him than I am about attending a public school for the first time in my entire life.
One thing is for certain though. I'm leaving for Burgess tomorrow, and I know that once I start school things are going to change. I just don't know if it's for the good or bad.
And it genuinely scares me to death.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Today is the day. I want to get it over with, but I also don't want to leave. My mansion, more specifically my room, has been my home for years, and now...I'm being thrust into a new world. A world that has always been there. A world I don't want to be a part of. I know it's not forever, just ten months, but ten months is still a very long time.
Which is why I am currently standing outside on my balcony, taking my last few pictures of the scenery below. I had already taken pictures of everything else hours before. I saved the best, the garden below me, for last, and now as I stare at the picture...I can see that it's nothing compared to the real thing. I'm going to miss it.
I looked at my surroundings one last time before I turned around and walked back inside my bedroom, closing the balcony doors behind me. As I did this, I heard a knock on the door.
"Miss Elsa?" A maid asked from the other side. "Your bags are packed in the limo, and your parents are waiting for you."
"I'll be right there." I say and watch her shadow from under the door walk away. I look around my large room one more time before walking to my door. I grip the doorknob, and take a deep breath in.
You can do this, Elsa. You can do this.
I open up the door and made my way downstairs. At the end of the staircase, I saw Anna hugging mama and papa. They hugged her back and said their goodbyes and love. I wanted so desperately to be a part of that hug, but knew it would be too weird. I haven't hugged my parents in so long. I don't even remember the last time I hugged them. I wish I never pushed them away like I did with Anna, Rapunzel, and Olaf. I haven't seen or spoken to Olaf in six years. I hope life is treating him well.
When I make it to the bottom of the stairs, Anna was done hugging our parents and was heading out the door, sneaking a quick glance at me. I thought nothing of it as I greeted my parents. "Mother, father," I say in the formal tone I've always greeted them in.
"Elsa," Papa greeted with the nod of his head.
"Do you have everything?" Mama asked. Her eyes were red with tears, which made mine begin to sting. I already cried earlier. I do not need to start again, especially in front of them. I need to be strong. I need to conceal my emotions. Conceal, don't feel.
"Yes, I do," I reply, and without meaning to, I blurt, "Do I have to go?"
Mama and Papa both sigh, and it was mama who answered me. "Elsa, this'll be a great experience for you."
I never talk back unless I'm desperate...which I am. "But I'm not so sure this is such a good idea. I mean, what if-"
"You'll be fine, Elsa," Papa interrupts, reassuringly. "Try to be more like your sister. This is the most I've ever seen her excited." Mama nods in agreement.
But I'm not her. I can't even try to be like her.
I knew there was no point in arguing. The time has come, and there's nothing I can do about it. With pursed lips, I nodded in 'understanding', and walked out the door without saying 'goodbye', 'I love you', or giving them a hug. One of our butlers was holding the limo door open for me and I hesitantly climbed inside. Anna sat in front of the food bar, munching on some snacks, while I sat right next to the door I entered from. She said nothing to me as she munched away, and I said nothing to hear as I listened to her loud crunching. It hasn't even been a minute yet and things are already awkward. Great.
I look outside the window as the limo starts and watched as mama and papa stood on the marble steps of our porch, talking to each other. They then turn their attention back to the limo as it drives away. I then suddenly jump out of my skin when Anna suddenly shouts.
"Bye you guys!" She was standing now, her upper bodysticking out of the sunroof. She was waving frantically at them and I couldn't help but smile.
I watched them wave back, and I even noticed mama wipe away her tears. It was then that I was hit with a pang of guilt. I should have told them goodbye. I should have told them I love them. I should have hugged them. I should have done what any loving daughter would have done.
Before the guilt could really sink in, I shook it all away. I need to get a hold of it before I start crying in front of Anna. It's not like I'm never going to see them again. I'm just being emotional due to my stress and nervousness. I plug in my earphones to my phone, put them in my ears, and played my music for a much needed distraction. I then close my eyes and leaned against the window.
When we get to the airport it's gonna be a long flight to Burgess. I'm not ready, but...I guess all students feel that way when the school year begins. But then again, not every student knows what it's like to be me.
The plane ride from California to Pennsylvania lasted six hours, and the limo ride to the house lasted another hour. For the entire seven hours, Anna and I didn't speak to each other at all. Granted, she did sleep for the majority of the time. The sun was setting when we make it to the Corona Mansion, and as we pulled into the driveway, Anna sticks her body out through the sunroof again. She cheered as the limo drove up the hill, and cheered even louder when we approached the house.
"We're here!" She exclaimed. "Elsa, we're finally here!"
I was taken aback when she said my name, but still smiled. "I can see that." I say, speaking to her for the very first time this day. "It looks exactly as I remember it." I haven't been here in six years. Holiday gatherings were always held at our house after the accident. I've never been hit with such a strong wave of nostalgia before. The memories are pleasant, but also sad.
Anna looked down at me and smiled. "I know, right? I wonder if the inside is the same."
The limo circled around the fountain that stood in the center of the main driveway and parked in front of the large mansion doors. A Corona butler was already waiting outside, and he opened the limo door for me before I could even touch the handle. "Welcome home," he said, smiling.
"Thank you," I say as I exit the long vehicle and ignored the homesick feeling I felt when he said home. It hasn't even been a day yet, and I'm already homesick. As the butlers gathered our bags, I walked towards the stairs, but dared not to walk up to the doors. If I did, then that would mean that this really is happening. I just need a few more moments. Just a few-
I jump when the doors suddenly fly open and my cousin came into view. She gasps when she saw me and grins. "Oh my gosh, you're finally here!"
"Rapunzel!" I hear Anna exclaim from behind me, and next thing I know she's running fast me and skipping up the stairs. My cousin meets her halfway and they both embrace each other in a tight hug. I couldn't help but smile at the adorable sight.
"Oh my gosh," Anna said, "I haven't seen you since the fourth of July."
Rapunzel giggles. "That was literally last month."
"Oh shush! August is nearly over, so technically it's been two months."
"Whatever you say, Anna."
Just then, Aunt Arianna walks through the door with a huge smile on her face. "Well, if it isn't my favorite nieces."
Anna squeals in delight and removes herself from our cousin to embrace our aunt. "Aunt Ari," she said, "the aunt who I was partially named after. It's so good to see you again. Where's Uncle Fred?"
"He's still working," Aunt Ari answered. Her eyes then connected with mine and her smile widens. "Wow," she said as she and Anna pull away from each other, "I still can't believe how much you resemble your mother. You're like her twin."
I smile, suddenly feeling shy under Rapunzel and Anna's stares. "So I've been told," I then gesture to Rapunzel. "Your daughter looks exactly like you too."
Rapunzel grins at me as she pulls her ankle-length golden blonde braided hair to her front, over her shoulder. "The only thing that sets us apart from our moms is the hair color. I find that weirdly cool."
I nod in agreement. "Indeed."
"Well," Aunt Ari starts without missing a beat, "let's get you girls inside. The butlers will put your bags in your rooms. You two also made it just in time for dinner. You're probably starved."
Just then Anna's stomach growled, making Ari and Rapunzel burst into laughter. I laughed too, but it was quiet and was covered up by the laughter of my cousin and aunt. Anna giggled before saying, "Yeeaahhh, I could definitely go for an actual mean and not snacks."
And I could seriously go for a long nap. However, not wanting to be rude, I decided to pull through with the dinner. I am a little hungry anyway.
I feared the dinner was going to be extruciatingly awkward, but luckily Anna and Rapunzel spoke the entire time. I'm glad they're bond is still intact, but sometimes...sometimes I can't help but feel jealous of Rapunzel. She was there that night. She went to therapy too. She was also sworn into secrecy. And yet she recovered quicker than I did. Hell, I think I'm still trying to recover.
"So Elsa," Aunt Ari says when dessert was brought out. It was the first time since dinner started that my name was mentioned, "Are you excited for school? It's yours and Rapunzel's Senior Year. How exciting!"
"I'm more nervous than excited," I confessed. "Anna and I have been homeschooled all our lives. When I was told that I'd be going to an actual school for the first time in my entire life for my last year of high school, I honestly felt like I was going to throw up."
"Did you?" Anna asked, genuinely intrigued.
"No," I answered. "But I almost did. Many times."
"I felt the same way when I started high school as a Freshman," Rapunzel said, joining the conversation, "but I was more excited than nervous. Try not to worry, though. It really isn't that bad. Nothing at all like how the TV shows and movies portray them to be." I completely forgot about Rapunzel being homeschooled. She was homeschooled up until a few years ago.
"So no high school parties?" Anna asked, pouting. "Or love drama?"
Rapunzel giggles. "No, there's parties, and there's definitely drama, but it's not as extreme as it is in show, movies, and books. However, maybe that's because I don't associate myself with those who always love drama."
"Which is good," Aunt Ari joined in, "Drama is...pointless." She sighs and her eyes seemed to glaze over as though she was having a memory.
"So Rapunzel," Anna began, jumping into a different topic, "How many cute boys are at the school?"
Rapunzel burst into a fit of giggles, while Aunt Arianna merely shook her head. "Oh Anna," my aunt said, trying not to smile. "Education before boys. Maybe sending you to a public school is a bad idea."
Anna pouted again and threw herself backwards against the dining chair. "Oh come on! I promise I'll be good."
"To an extent," Rapunzel teased, smiling as she sipped her drink. "But to answer your question, there's a lot. I think I'm going to have to give my guy friends a warning about you."
"No! Don't do that!" Anna pleaded then giggled.
"Just promise not to rush into a relationship, okay?" Aunt Ari said to Anna. "And remember: Just because he's cute, handsome, sexy, whatever it is you kids are saying these days, it doesn't mean he's the one. There's so much more to love than just appearance."
Anna rolls her eyes teasingly. "You're a stinker."
Aunt Ari laughs. "No, my dear, I am a concerned aunt."
Their words continued on, but I zoned them out as I began to lose myself to my thoughts. The thought of Anna having a boyfriend doesn't settled well with me at all. She's only 15. She's my little sister. She doesn't need a boyfriend, especially at this age when hormones are at their highest, specifically for the boys.
I can already tell I'm going to have a lot of trouble with her and the boys she's interested in. I just don't know if I should intervene or not. I want to protect her, to be the overprotective older sister, but...do I even have the right to? After all, I lost that right as a sister the day I pushed her away.
"Well," Aunt Air says as she stands up, snapping me out of my thoughts, "it's starting to get late and I know you girls are exhausted. We have a big day tomorrow, so get as much rest as you can, okay?" Anna and Rapunzel start to get up, but I remained in my seat, confused.
"Wait," I say, "what's happening tomorrow?"
Aunt Ari's eyes go wide. "Oh my gosh," she said in disbelief, "I can't believe I forgot to tell you. You three have Open House tomorrow."
"Open house?" Anna questioned.
"It's when you meet the teachers and get the list of supplies you'll need for each class," Rapunzel answered. "You also get to look around the campus, which is something you'll definitely need to do. Wouldn't want you to get lost on the first day."
I couldn't stop the grimace that appeared on my face at the thought. Anna voiced my thoughts. "Ew," she said, "I'd hate that. Talk about embarrassing."
Rapunzel and I both nod in agreement. "Exactly," my cousin said.
After that, we all leave the dining room and head for our bedrooms. Aunt Ari's bedroom is on the bottom floor, but she walked with us upstairs to our rooms. Rapunzel's room was the first door in the hallway to the left, mine was the second one in the middle, and Anna's was the very last one. Each door also had painted designs in our signature colors. Rapunzel's was light purple, pink, and yellow. Mine was light blue, medium blue, and dark purple. Anna's was magenta, dark blue, and green. Our names were even painted at the very top.
I knew before I even walked inside my room that I would love it, and I was proven right. Everything about my new room put my old room to shame. Periwinkle rosemaling wallpaper covered the walls and a gorgeous violet rosemaling rug was placed on the center of the wooden floor. To my left, on the wall, hung a giant flatscreen tv, and next to it, in the corner was my walk-in closet. On the right corner of my room was a large white fireplace. My bed was a couple feet away from it, placed along the wall in the very center so it could be right in front of the tv. On the other side of my bed, was my desk with a large mirror attached to it. However, what really caught my interest was the large triangular window that came with a window seat.
It wasn't until I walked toward it that I noticed the two handles. The windows open up. When I peered outside, I noticed a very large balcony. "It stretches from my room to Anna's," I hear Rapunzel say from behind me.
I could hear Anna and Aunt Ari laughing in Anna's room, so when I turned around, all I saw was my cousin. "Anna and I have the same window and window seat, " she continued as she slowly made her way to me, "and since it's one large connected balcony, we can all sneak out in the middle of the night to star gaze or whatever. Have you ever slept outside on your balcony before?"
"I can't say that I have," I reply with the shake of my head as I sat down on the window seat.
Rapunzel smiles. "It's awesome. We should do it sometime."
"Maybe," I say, and quickly went on before an awkward silence could greet us. "So...did you paint the designs on the doors?"
My cousin nods. "I did! Aren't they pretty?" She did a little twirl and giggled.
"They're gorgeous," I correct.
"I even helped out with your room," Rapunzel continued as she took the liberty to sit next to me. She did it so casually too. As if it's something she's never stopped doing. "Your mom and dad, of course, picked everything out. They picked things that they knew you'd like, hoping it would make your stay here more comfortable. More...at home."
"They did?" I asked, surprised.
Rapunzel nodded and pushed a few stray strands of hair behind her ear. "Yeah. They're definitely good at what they do."
"Yeah," I smiled fondly, "they are. Papa designs the buildings, but mama decides what everything on the inside should look like. They make quite the team." My smile turns into a sad frown. I should have said goodbye. I should have hugged them. I should have said I loved them.
"Hey," Rapunzel said, bringing my attention to her. She took me off guard when she wrapped an arm around my shoulders. "I know you're sad and scared, but...it's not forever, okay? You'll see them again. I'm sure they'll call or skype whenever they can. Plus, I have a feeling they're going to come home early to see you at our graduation. God, can you believe it? We're finally Seniors!"
I flash her a weak smile, only half-way cheered up. "Yeah...it's crazy."
"Everything is going to fine," she said, reassuringly. "I promise, and when I promise something I never ever break that promise. Ever. Right, Pascal?" She looks at her shoulder, and it was then that I noticed her green chameleon. Rapunzel giggles at her pet and says to me, "Pascal agrees." She surprises me again by hugging me.
For a moment, I did nothing, too frozen in shock. Rapunzel sensed my discomfort right when I decided to hug her back. She pulls away before I could and sends me an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry. I just...I haven't hugged you in such a long time. We see each other during the holidays, but we haven't hugged each other at all these last six years since you...since you always distanced yourself. I thought...well I thought you really needed a hug since that was such a deep moment and-"
"It's fine, Rapunzel," I interrupt before she could start rambling, "I...I liked it. It brought back memories."
Rapunzel's worried features soften. "It did," she said, smiling. "Hopefully," she nervously tugged at her hair, "we can make new ones?"
"We...we can try. I'll try." And I meant it. All these years, I feared it was too late to rekindle my relationship with my family. But now, after having this touching moment, perhaps I was wrong.
Maybe moving here won't be so bad after all. Maybe...maybe it's not too late to fix what I've broken.
I woke up an hour before noon, and stayed in my room the entire time before we had to leave. I was too nervous to eat anything, and when we make it to the school, my nervousness increased. God, I'm going to be way worse on the first day of school. I don't know how I'm going to manage. I'm not even inside the building yet, and I'm already feeling crowded. There are so many cars in the parking lot, with probably more people inside.
"Okay," Aunt Ari says as she brings to car to the front doors, "I'm going to drop you girls off while I go look for a place to park. Rapunzel will show you everything."
The three of us get out of the car, and as my aunt drove away, my sister and cousin started to walk towards the doors. I stayed at the very edge of the curb, looking up at the large black letters on the building above the doors. Burgess High School. Next to the words was a smiling, cartoon reindeer. The Mascot. He's no family crest, but he's still cute.
"You coming, Elsa?" Rapunzel says, her body halfway through the doors.
"Yeah," I say and hurridely make my way to her. Once I was inside, all I saw was people, and without meaning too, I immediately started to look for a boy with silvery white hair. I shook my head at my ridiculousness as I followed my cousin around. Even if the boy does go to this school, he probably doesn't look the same as he did six years ago. His hair is probably dyed, and he probably wears colored contacts now.
"Oh Mary," Rapunzel says in a sing-sing tone when she walks into the office. "I'm here with two very special guests, and we're here for our schedules."
"Oh, Rapunzel!" An auburn hair, plump woman says from the desk, happily. "It's so good to see you! And you two," she casted her gaze to my sister and I, "you must be Rapunzel's cousins! Oh it's so wonderful to meet you."
"And you too," Anna responds, just as cheery, "I'm Anna and this is my older sister Elsa."
"I'm Mary, the official office lady" Mary said as she opened up a file on her desk and began flipping through the papers, "Arendelle is both of your last names, correct?"
"Yes, ma'am," I say, nodding in unison with my sister.
"Aha! Here we are," she pulled two papers from the file and handed them to my sister and I. She then continued going through the file until she pulled out Rapunzel's schedule. "Alright, girls," she said as she handed the paper to my cousin, "I look forward to seeing you this year. And stay out of trouble." She ended her sentence in a serious tone, but still smiled sweetly.
"Don't worry, Mary," Rapunzel says, "they're related to me, which means they're good kids."
"I dont doubt that." Mary said, making me smile. I like her already.
When we walked out of the office, the first thing Rapunzel wanted to do was look at each other's schedules. "Let's see," she says as she takes a moment to scan through both of ours. She squeals happyily at the results. "We have 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 6th hour together!"
Thank God. "Four out of six classes," I comment, "that's awesome." I'll only be alone for two classes. Not too bad.
"I know, right?" My cousin says, then takes my sister's schedule. "Now let's see if we have any classes with Anna. She's a Sophomore, but some classes are mixed so we might." She looked over the papers and squealed again in delight. "I only have one class with Anna, but Elsa, you have two. One class is better than nothing though."
"Which classes?" Anna asked as she peered over Rapunzel's shoulder to look.
"You and Elsa have 5th hour together, and all three of us have 6th hour." Rapunzel answers, which makes my sister bounce in excitement.
So I'll only be alone for one class. Unless Anna makes friends in 5th hour. Even so, at least I'll still have that sense of familiarity.
When Rapunzel handed back our schedules, the first place she decides to take us is to our lockers. After that we visited the teachers, and of course many of the students we passed by either stared at my sister and I or said hi to Rapunzel. She's actually pretty popular. Anyway, the majority of the teachers we met were very nice, but unfortunately for Rapunzel and I we only met four out of six teachers. Our history and math teacher, who apparently are new, didn't show up.
"You'd think," Rapunzel said, as we walked down the stairs to the first floor, "that with them being new teachers, they'd be here for Open House. Oh well then. I guess we'll just have to see them on Monday. If they even show up. Now there's one more person we need to see before I show you the rest of the campus."
"And who's that?" Asked Anna.
Rapunzel stops walking to look us each in the eyes and grin. "The principal."
Anna and I look at each other in confusion, and once again Anna voiced my thoughts. "Why the heck do you look so happy about that?"
Rapunzel giggles as she contniues walking again, saying, "Because Principal North isn't like your cliche principal. For one, he's not bald. Two, he's actually really, really nice. You can say he's downright jolly. Three, he's Russian. Four, he has tattoos on his arms. One saying naughty and the other saying nice. And five, he looks just like Santa Clause!"
Anna gasped. "No way! Okay, now I definitely want to meet him."
"Just wait until December comes," Rapunzel says, "He dresses up as Santa every day while we're in school and during Christmas Break he'll go around town on his eight-reindeer sleigh, giving free rides to anyone who wants them. He owns a reindeer ranch and toyshop too."
"Whoa," Anna breathed out, impressed. I'm impressed too.
"How does he manage his ranch and shop?" I asked, very intrigued with this person who is apparently my principal. I'm not gonna lie...I thought he was going to be mean, scary, and bald. A jolly, Santa Clause looking man is not at all what I expected.
"His family helps out," Rapunzel answered, suddenly looking nervous. "His...uh...his grandson and adopted daughter and son are seniors too. We'll probably run into them. Toothiana and Edmund are the adopted kids. Tooth is Indian and Edmund is Australian. We call them by their nicknames too, by the way. Toothiana is 'Tooth' and Edmund is 'Bunny'."
Anna laughs at the nicknames. "Okay, Tooth I can understand since it's in her name, but where on earth did bunny come from?"
Rapunzel smiles. "North's youngest granddaugter, Sophie, calls him that and it just stuck."
"And who's the grandson?" Anna asked.
"Oh, um," I see my cousin tense, and when she glances at me, I noticed that she looked nervous again. But why? Rapunzel quickly removed her gaze from me and looked at the floor, "His name is Jack. He's one of my best friends." She lifts her head up and smiles at my sister. "He's very mischievous too. I think you'll like him a lot."
But will I? She specifically spoke to Anna when she said that. Which means that she doesn't think I'll like him. That's very...suspicious.
I was so consumed in my thoughts that I didn't realize I had turned the wrong the way until I heard my cousin call out my name from behind me. It was too late though. As soon as I turned into the corner, I ran right into someone. We both grunt in surprise, and to my horror the person's papers fall to the ground, scattering everywhere.
"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry!" I apologized in a panicked rush and immediately started to pick up the mess I made.
I was too embarrassed to look at the person, so I didn't. I kept my focus entirely on the scattered papers, even when the person chuckled and said: "It's okay. It was an accident. No harm done." From the corner of my eye, I saw the person, a boy, bend down to pick up the papers that were closest to him.
"Still," I went on, "I should have been paying attention to where I was going." There was one more piece of paper left to pick up and when I go to grab it, I was unaware that the boy I bumped into had the same idea. Our hands touched and as soon as they did, a bolt of electricity surges though me, shocking me. "Ow," I say as we both suddenly jerk away from each other, or maybe it was just me, and without meaning to I snap my head up to look at him.
My heart stopped at the sight. Silvery white hair and a pair of familiar blue eyes stared back at me. No dyed hair or colored contacts at all. It...it can't be...
"You okay?" The boy asked with worried eyes. Eyes that I haven't seen in six years. Oh my god...is this...is this really him? It has to be! His hair alone is all the proof I need. But his eyes...his eyes are what really gave me my answer. He's the only person I've ever met that seems to have a different snowflake design in each eye. "Didn't mean to shock you there. I guess you can say we're even now." He chuckled a little, but then his eyes suddenly narrowed in confusion. "Hey, wait. Have we-"
"I'm sorry, I have to go. Here," I quickly shove his papers into his hands and took off walking without another word.
"Uh...thanks!" The boy called out to me, and luckily he didn't try to follow. I could feel his eyes on me though, and I didn't dare look back.
As I walked away, I noticed that my sister and cousin were peeking behind the corner. They had watched the entire thing. Now they're going to tease me about it. That's the least of my worries though. That boy that I ran into was THE boy! The boy who's been hauting me for the last six years. I knew there was a chance he'd be here, but it's still so shocking, especially since I actually talked to him. Oh my god, I talked to him. Oh my god, I bumped into him. Oh God, of all the people I had to run into it just had to be him. Why did it have to be him? Does he remember me? He didn't look like he did at first, but then...then he looked confused. He was going to ask me a question too, and I know exactly what that question was going to be.
Have we met before?
Yes, Mystery Boy. Yes, we have.
School hasn't even started yet and I already met him, and because of this, the chances of seeing him again are high. It's inevitable. Which means he's probably going to try to ask me his question again. What am I going to do when or if he does? Do I lie or do I tell him the truth?
"Wow, Elsa," Anna says as she tries to hold in her giggles. "And I thought I was the clumsy one. That was also the most cliché thing I have ever seen." She pauses for a second before leaning forward and whispering, "I loved every bit of it."
"C-Cliché?" I stammered, still in a daze. What on earth made any of that cliché to her? Oh god...if that boy does remember me then he surely must remember my sister. And what about Rapunzel? Does he remember her too? Does she remember him? Is she even aware that he's the boy from our past? She's been coming here since she was in 9th grade. Do they even know each other at all? Are they friends?
I could feel my heart pounding rapidly against my chest. I could HEAR it, and I knew that I needed to calm down before my sister or cousin caught on.
Conceal, don't feel, I say to myself. You need to stay calm before you lose your sanity. You need to breathe. Everything is going to be fine. Just...breathe.
"You know," Anna explained, oblivious to the obvious panic in my eyes, "cliché as in when person A bumps into person B, making person B drop their things, then person A helps person B pick their things up when suddenly they accidentally touch hands. Electricity is felt and when they look into each others eyes a connection is made."
"Oh," was all I said when I realized she was right. Everything that just happened really was a cliche. Except the connection part. Everything else though was accurate.
"I can't believe you just took off like that too," Anna scolded. "Did you even introduce yourself?"
"No, but I'm never going to see him again," I defend, hoping for that to be true, "so it doesn't matter." And if I do see him again, then I can only hope to at least not interact with him again. "We should get going anyway," I quickly add, hoping to change the conversation. "Aunt Ari is probably wondering around the school looking for us."
"Knowing my mom, she's most likely talking to Mary," says Rapunzel as she began walking again. I made sure to pay attention this time. "But you're right, we need to keep moving. It's over at 2." And so, my cousin led my sister and I back to the front of the building.
As we walked away, I glance behind me to see if Mystery Boy from my past was still there in the hall. Fortunately, he was gone. Anna had looked too, and when she noticed I had done the same thing she did, she smirked. "Aww do you miss him already? The connection is already working!"
"Anna, don't be ridiculous." I reprimanded, starting to feel annoyed with her. "There is no 'connection'. I literally just met him."
Anna laughs at me, and it was then that I realized what she was doing. She was teasing me. She's doing what every younger sibling does. She...she hasn't done that in so long. Is she starting to feel comfortable around me now? Or is she only comfortable because teasing me because Rapunzel is here too? If it was just the two of us would she still tease me? On our way here, we didn't speak to each other for the entire seven hours until we finally arrived. Hmm...
"Too bad he left," she continued, "if he was still there I would've introduced you to him myself." She wiggles her eyebrows, which caused me to roll my eyes.
"Oh, Anna." I shook my head and said nothing more as I smiled fondly at her playfulness. I don't care if she's only comfortable teasing me when Rapunzel is around; I'll take what I can get.
"Hey, what's his name anyway?" Anna asked Rapunzel. "You've been coming to this school for four years. You must know him. Unless he's a new student like Elsa and I. Is he? Do you know? If he's not a new student, do you know what grade he's in? Is he a Senior? Or even better, is he a Sophomore like me?"
"Geez Anna," Rapunzel interrupts, laughing, "remember to breathe. Yes, I know who he is. I'm not going to tell you his name though because that would spoil the mystery. You'll have to figure it out later if you see him again. And as for what grade he's in, he's a Senior like Elsa and I."
So she does know him, which means he knows her. Most importantly do they both know they share a past? I then realized that she said he's a senior. That means I'm going to have classes with him. You've got to be kidding me. I'm not all that surprised though since deep down I saw it coming. I'll be fine as long as we don't sit next to each other.
Rapunzel was right when she said that her mom would be talking with Mary, and as we walked by the office the two ladies waved at us when Anna caught their attention. Rapunzel quickly informed her mother that she was taking Anna and I to see the principal, and when she got the 'okay', we continued. A few steps later we're approaching a large man whose back was facing us. He stood right outside his door and despite the fact that all I saw was his backside, I could already tell that my cousin wasn't lying about him looking like Santa Clause. And from looking at his body language and posture, it looked as though he was talking to someone. When I caught a glimpse of white hair, hair that didn't belong the the old man, my stomach dropped.
You have got to be kidding me. Twice in one day?! It hasn't even been an hour yet!
"I swear on my life, North, she-" That was all I heard of the conversation before Rapunzel suddenly shouted: "Santa!"
Principal North turns around and when he does, I'm able to see the boy, which causes us to lock eyes again. He looked surprise to see me, and I couldn't help but mentally laugh. Yeah, same here, stranger. I casted my gaze away and turned it to the large, Santa-like man who was grinning ear to ear.
"Rapunzel!" Principal North greets, looking as though he was going to hug her. He probably would have if it wasn't against school policy. "How wonderful to see you again. Did you have a nice summer?" I found his Russian accept pleasant, and when I saw the tattoos on his arms, only one word came to mind: Badass.
"I did," Rapunzel answers, then links her arms through mine and Anna's, "but I'm so ready to start the new year. Not only am I Senior, but my two cousins will be joining us as well!" She squeals in delight, nearly breaking my ear drum.
"That's wonderful news!" North cheered then goes to introduce himself. "I'm sure Rapunzel has already told you who I am, but I'll refresh your memory. My name is North and I'm your principal. I'm not your typical principal either, I'm probably the most jolliest one you'll ever see in your entire life, but don't be fooled by my cheerful nature. When punishments need to made, I'll be sure to make them happen." I didn't doubt that for a second. He looks like he could be the leader to the Russian Mafia. I wonder if he ever was at some point in his life. Despite how intimidating his appearance is though, he really does seem very nice.
Anna was practically bouncing where she stood in excitement. "My name is Anna Arendelle, and I just have to say...WOW! You really do look like Santa! Oh my gosh, I feel like I'm meeting a celebrity. Rapunzel told us about what you do during Decemeber. Is it true? I mean, I'm not saying you're a liar, Punzie, but..." Her voice trails on, and as she continued to speak, I found myself zoning her rushed rambling out.
I kept my gaze on her, but I couldn't pay attention to anything she was saying or doing because Mystery Boy wouldn't stop staring at me. I could literally feel his eyes all over me. Not in a sexual way, but in a curious/confused way. I still felt ucomfortable though, and as I shifted my feet, I boldly, but slowly, move my eyes to look at him. As soon as I did, I noticed that his eyes suddenly looked away to my rambling sister. The confusion, however, never left his eyes.
I turn my attention back to North, who was answering Anna's question, when suddenly, I felt Mystery's Boy's eyes back on me. I didn't look back though. If I did, it would just turn into an annoying game of back and forth. I didn't have to worry too much about it though because North decides to speak to me. "And who might you be?"
"My name is Elsa, sir," I answered, fighting back the urge to look at the boy at his side.
North beamed at me. "Such beautiful names you three have, and I can definitely see the beautiful resemblance. Can you see the resembalance between my grandson and I?" He wrapped a very large arm around the boy at his side and patted his shoulder, grinning proudly.
The boy looked embarrassed, and I...well I probably looked shocked beyond belief...again.
"Wait," Anna said, sounding just as surprised as I felt, "that's your grandson?"
North nods. "My most naughty one."
"Oh my god," the boy said, mortified. He ran a quick hand through his hair as his face began to turn pink. He looked up at the ceiling and continued, "How many times have I told you to stop saying that?" I would have cracked an amused smiled if it wasn't for my shocked nerves.
Before North could reply, Anna continued. "Wait, so," she points to North, "you're the principal," she then points to the boy, "and you're his grandson. That means...your name is Jack!" She then turned to me, looking as though she just won the lottery. "Elsa, the boy you ran into earlier is Jack! He's the principal's grandson who Rapunzel told us about!"
I merely nodded, too embarrassed to say anything. Jack and North both chuckle at my sister, and it was Jack who spoke next. "So you've been talking about me, huh?" He said to Rapunzel. "You better not have said anything bad about me."
Rapunzel leans against the wall, arms crossed, and smirks. "Like how you suck at every sport except hockey?"
Jack copied my cousin by crossing his arms too. "You're just jealous that you can't skate." Jack retorts.
Rapunzel had mentioned that Jack was one of her best friends, and from their comfortable bickering it was obvious that they're close friends. However, while her closeness with the boy from our past took me off guard, what surprised me the most was that he's a skater. Like I used to be. I don't know what came over me, but I lost control over my mouth, and found myself asking him a question that I only meant to ask in my mind. "You skate?"
Skating became an activity that I became obsessed with when I was 5. Years before the accident, father was generous enough to let me skate as a hobby, and whenever I had the chance I would take it. With practice I became a professional. I had no coaching, just the Internet, some educational skating books, and myself. I taught myself how to skate, and it's my proudest accomplishment. By the time I was 10, I was a professional. At least, in my eyes I was.
I haven't been on the ice in forever. Almost five years. I'd probably be a horrible skater now. The last time I skated, I was 13 years old. It was a year after the accident with Anna; my first time on the ice in an entire freaking year. It wasn't even my idea; it was my parents'. I was really reluctant until we got to the rink. Then I became excited...until I got on it. I was so rusty. I'd definitely be horrible at it now.
At first, everything was going somewhat smoothly, but then I ended up falling and hitting my head pretty hard. Not to where I bled like...like my sister, but to the point where it scared the hell out of me. The pain scared me so bad that I ended up giving up on skating forever. I was too scared, especially with what happened to Anna the year before. When I fell...it traumatized me more than what I already was.
I know a skating rink is different than a frozen pond, and I know you can't fall through it, but it's still the fact that both are frozen ice. Both can kill. Both are deadly. If you make one wrong move and fall, there's a good chance it can kill you. And yet, while I still do fear it, I still yearn to be back on it. To connect with the ice once more. I used to be good at snowboarding too, but I gave that up as well. I was never a pro at it like I was with ice skating, but I still enjoyed it. Snowboarding was what Anna loved to do, and of course...I loved it too.
But skating...that was my ultimate dream. I always wanted to become a champion ice skater; to compete in the Olympics. It still is my dream despite my fear of the ice. Before the accident, I used to beg father to let me sign up in competitions, but he would always refuse. He wants me to take over his business. That's his dream for me. That's what he wants me to do. I was lucky he even agreed to have skating become a hobby, and while I'm not opposed to the idea of being an architect like him, I still want to achieve my dream first. I know that's selfish though, especially since I absolutely refuse to ever get back on a rink again. I say I want to achieve my dream first when I don't even have any intention of actually pursuing it. They're not going to wait for me either. When the time comes for me to take over the business, I'm going to have to play my part and do my duties.
Skating...it was the only way I could find peace. It was the only way most of my stress could be relieved. It was the only way I could find any happiness and feel...free. Now it's gone. It's been gone for years. The only thing I still do now that involves ice is ice-carvings.
"Yeah," Jack answered, the curiousity still lingering there in his eyes as he studied me. He then smiles proudly, lowers himself, and gestures with his hand to a small height. "I've been skating since I was this big. If I had to guess an age, I'd say at least 4."
"Wow," Anna says in astonishment, "Elsa was around that age when she started skating too! Right, Elsa?"
"Yep," I say, not liking the memories that flashed through my mind. I was at my happiest when I was on the ice, and now my happy memories are...well...depressing. All they do is make me yearn for a time that is no longer here. A time that I can try to get back, but...that's easier said than done.
"Really?" Jack asked, becoming more lively. "You skate too?"
I shook my head. "No, I, uh, I used to, but I...I stopped."
"Why? Did something happen?"
Maybe I was looking too deeply into it because he's the boy from my past, but there was something in his tone that made me believe he knew EXACTLY what had happened to cause me to stop skating. I felt as though he was trying to make me confess. To admit that I am indeed the girl from his past. If he even remembers me, that is. Is that what he's trying to do or am I being paranoid?
"I'd rather not say," I answered, without skipping a beat as I tried not to squirm under his stare. "I just had my reasons, so please respect that." I didn't mean to sound bitchy, but that's exactly how I heard it come out to be, and so did he.
He holds his hands up in defense and says: "Okay, okay. I didn't mean to pry or anything. I was just curious."
What else are you curious about then?
I felt bad for suddenly making things awkward, and just as I was about to apologize, North stepped in. I was both relieved and disappointed. I really did want to apologize, but after he spoke, apologizing was the last thing I wanted. What I wanted was to get the hell out of there.
"And curiosity," North said, a hint of a warning in his tone, "killed the cat. So stop being so nosy, Jackson."
Jack rolls his eyes before he mocks a salute. "Whatever you say, Mr. Clause."
Rapunzel spoke up next and said words that nearly made me cheer. "Well, I'm going to take that as our cue to go. I still have to show these two the rest of the campus. We'll see you on Monday."
North smiles brightly. "Dosvidaniya, Miss Elsa, Anna, and Rpunzel. I look forward to spending the school year with you." Anna smiled just as brightly as he did, but my smile was weak and forced.
As we walked away, I felt eyes on me again. Jack's eyes, no doubt. I didn't even fight back my curiousity; I looked behind my shoulder to see. North had retreated to his office, and Jack looked as though he was about to too. But instead, he stood in the middle of the doorway with one foot inside the office and the rest of his body out. He didn't look away when our eyes connected, but I did after a few seconds.
When I was no longer in his sight, I found it easier to breathe...until Rapunzel whispered a three words in my ear.
"He doesn't know."
I heard and understood her perfectly clear, but just in case I was being delusional, I said: "What?"
Anna was rambling on and on about how awesome North was that she didn't take any notice of the two of us trailing behind her and whispering. My cousin glances at my sister, making sure she was still in her own little world, before answering.
"Jack doesn't know-"
"So you know he's the boy from our past?" I interrupt without meaning to.
Rapunzel nods. "I knew since the moment I laid eyes on him in 9th grade. Just as you did earlier when you bumped into him in the hall." Her eyes soften a bit. "I was there too that day. I was traumatized just as you were. I remember every detail just as clearly as you do. It didn't take me long at all to know it was him. But the thing is, he doesn't remember me being there." She pauses, looking unsure if she should continue. She went ahead anyway. "He only remembers you."
My heart either pounded so fast that I couldn't feel it, or it stopped. "He...he what? Rapunzel," I hated how desperate I sounded, "you have to tell me everthing. Not now of course since Anna-" As soon as I said her name, she calls out to Rapunzel and I from a few feet away, causing me to jump out of my skin.
"What are you two slow pokes doing?" She asked, giggling. "Were you even paying attention to anything I was saying? Also I shouldn't be leading us when I have no idea where I'm going." She turns back around though and continues to lead the way. "Oh well though. I'm the leader now and I must say that I like it a lot."
"Anna," Rapunzel said, "knowing you, you might lead us into the boys' locker room."
My sister laughs and says, "Dang it. You caught me. By the way, you know what you should have done? You should have asked North about your two teachers who didn't show up today. I'm genuinely curious about them and I don't even have them for a class. I also find it funny, Elsa, how you and Jack ended up indirectly introducing yourselves to each other when you said an introduction didn't matter since you would never see him again. Looks like Fate had other plans." She keeps walking and speaking, still completely oblivious.
One word from her sentence stuck out the most ot me though. Fate. Is that was this all is?
I didn't dwell on it for too long because Rapunzel had leaned close to my ear as we walked and said, "I'll text you everything I know later tonight. I promise."
I nodded in agreement, but was left unsure if it was a promise I really wanted to hear.
Mary is from the Tinkerbell series. Just an FYI
The weekend was a blur. Nothing much went on. I didn't get much sleep because of my nerves and because of the memory of the accident that would play in my mind as a dream. A nightmare actually. It's like the memory would wait until my nerves were settled before it would play, getting my nerves all riled up again as I would jump awake with silent tears.
Rapunzel had also kept her promise too and told me everything that had happened when she first met Jack four years ago. She said that she knew immediately that Jack was the boy, and said that he mentioned to her that she looked familiar but that he could never pinpoint it. That was when she told him he probably saw her on TV for a Corona Beer commercial since her father is the owner of the company. This is a lie though; Rapunzel's father doesn't want her to have anything to do with the business until she's 21, but Jack apparently had believed her. Months later, in December, Jack confessed to hating Christmas because of his dad dying on Christmas Eve. Rapunzel had asked what happened and he gave her a very brief summary.
"He died of hypthermia and frostbite after saving a girl from drowing in a frozen pond. There were three other kids too, but out of the four that were there altogether, I can only clearly remember one." Rapunzel said in her message that this is what Jack had said to her.
"Was it the girl your dad saved?" Rapunzel had asked.
She told me that Jack said no. "No. The only one who I can remember clear as day is the girl's friend or sister. She was standing on the unbroken ice, looking more frozen than the ice itself. I had to drag her back to land."
"So you only remember her? Not the others?" Was what Rapunzel had asked.
"Just her. The other kids, even the one my dad saved, are kind of a blur. I don't know why I can only remember the one I helped. I just...do." Was what he had told her.
"Do you think if you were ever to run into the girl again, the girl you helped get to land, that you'd know she's the girl from your past?" Rapunzel had asked.
"I don't know. Maybe. Hopefully. Probably not though. I only remember her as a kid. She probably looks totally different now."
"What did she look like then?"
"Pale skin, platinum hair, and a pair of blue eyes that give mine a run for their money."
"Let's say she hasn't changed at all, she's just older now...do you think you'd remember?"
"I think so. Ugh, I really don't know, Zel. Can we talk about something else now?"
And of course, after Rapunzel told me this, I completely malfunctioned. He must know that the girl who he remembers is me. Despite looking a bit confused when he saw me, he must have known who I was as soon as our eyes connected. And if he didn't realize then, surely he must have realized later? What will he do? Hopefully nothing. It's killing me though not knowing if he knows me or not.
And now as our butler pulls up into the school, I wish I was actually dead. I know that's a horrible thing to say, but I can't help it. I've never been so nervous before. Ever since I woke up I had butterflies in my stomach, and when we got out of the car (thank god it's not a limo), I felt those butterflies turn into a raging storm. I fought back every urge to throw up. There's no way I'm going to embarrass myself on the first day of school.
Anna sighed in satisfaction. "For the first time in forever-"
"Your lives can begin!" Rapunzel interrupted with an excited jump.
"Yeah," I say in a shaky voice, "It's agony to wait." I looked down at my outfit one more time, praying to god that people wouldn't think I was too under or over dressed. It took me forever to choose an outfit, but I eventually settled for a pair of light blue skinny jeans, a white blouse, and a matching light blue jean-jacket. I wore black flats and my hair was styled into an elaborate bun. I wore makeup too, but if I keep nervously sweating it's going to be ruined by the time I walk into the building.
"Alright," says Rapunzel, as she gives me an encouraging smile, "here we go."
Anna and I follow her inside, all the way into the cafeteria, where everyone always meets up in the morning before going to class. From the moment I walked inside the building to the moment I sat down next to my cousin in the cafeteria, I received nothing but stares and whispers. The same thing happened during Open House, but it was worse this time since there are more students here. I ignored the stares, knowing that if I looked back I'd end up unintentionally searching for Jack. So instead, I kept my gaze on my entwined hands, which were placed on the table next to my school bag.
"Man," Anna says from the other side of Rapunzel, who was seated between us. "A lot of people were busy in the '90s. If you know what I mean." She winks and Rapunzel burst into laughter.
"Anna get your head out of the gutter," Rapunzel playfully scolded.
"But I like it there," Anna responded, giggling.
They continued to talk, while I remained silent, debating if I should look out into the crowd like they were. I eventually gave in, but it was mainly due to the stares going down a lot. As my eyes scanned the room, I was relieved to see that no one was staring at all anymore. At least from what I could see. I was also relieved when I didn't see Jack anywhere. At the same time though, I was kind of disappointed. The last thing I want is another surprise encounter.
The bell suddenly rings, making me jump, and as everyone got up to leave, I took a moment to breathe and collect myself.
Everthing is going to be fine. I can do this. I just need to breathe.
As my sister, cousin, and I get up and follow the crowd, I couldn't help but smile at Anna when we parted ways. She looked so happy, and it partially bewildered me. Not fully because if Anna wasn't excited then she wouldn't be...well herself! She's always happy and excited when it comes to new things. It's an adventure to her. I know how much she hated being cooped up inside. It's just like how I hated being locked up inside my room. However, I'd much rather be there than here. My point is, while I'm not all that shocked at her behavior, I'm still a bit surprised that she doesn't even look the least bit scared at all.
I'm currently terrified. I'm also a bit envious. I wonder what it's like to have her courage.
When Rapunzel and I make it to our first hour class, there were only a few people already in there. Rapunzel wanted to sit in the back because apparently that's where the "cool" kids sit, and luckily for me the back row was the first row you meet when you come through the door, which is where I wanted to sit by. The closest I am to the door, the quicker it'll be for me to leave.
I sat in the last seat of the first row by the door, while Rapunzel sat in front of me. For the first time since I walked into the school, I felt content, and hoped that my seat in my other classes would bring me satisfaction as well. Hopefully there won't be any assigned seating.
"Rapunzel!" A voice exclaims from the door. Rapunzel and I turn and see an Indian girl, smiling the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. She had a pixie-cut hair style that had blue, green, and yellow streaks, purple contacts, and from her ears hung purple feather earrings.
"Tooth!" Rapunzel exclaimed right back then hopped up from her seat to hug the beautiful Indian girl. "You excited to be a Senior?" Rapunzel asked after she pulled away from their hug.
"Of course I'm excited!" Her eyes then gazed over my cousin's shoulders and she gasped when she saw me. "Oh my gosh! You must be one of the new girls and one of Rapunzel's cousins. North said he met you and your sister during Open House and Jack said you ran into him in the hall." (Of course he did. Did he tell her who that I might be the girl form his past?) "I wish I could've been there to meet you, but hey, here I am now. I'm Toothiana Faye, but you can call me Tooth. Are you Elsa or Anna?"
Her energy reminded me of Anna, and I couldn't help but smile. "I'm Elsa. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"The pleasure is all mine." Tooth said then another voice joins in.
"Don't even think about putting your fingers in her mouth, Tooth." The voice was Australian and when I turn my head in the direction of the voice, I saw a tall boy with tan skin, green eyes, and dark grey hair make his way toward us.
Tooth rolls her eyes and sits down in the seat across from Rapunzel's. "I wasn't going to, Bunny. Elsa, this is Bunny by the way, and Bunny this is Elsa."
Bunny, or Edmund as I remember Rapunzel saying was his real name, takes the seat in front of Tooth and says, "Nice to meet ya, Elsa. Anyway, Tooth, I saw the yearning in your eyes. I'm just trying to look for you and your victims. One day you're going to get arrested if you keep doing that."
"That's another reason," Rapunzel said to me as she returned to her seat, "why Tooth is called Tooth. She has a weird obsession with teeth. She has a bad habit of sticking her hands in people's mouths, making sure they're clean and whatnot."
"I want to be a dentist, and I haven't done that in a while," Tooth defends. "So stop giving Elsa something to worry about."
Rapunzel and Bunny said something in response to her, and as they spoke I noticed that the room started to fill up with more people. I kept glancing at the door just a few feet away from me, and suddenly hated the spot I chose. If I have Jack in this class, I'll be the first person he sees. However, as the minutes drag on, he never showed. The only thing of him that I had were his adopted relatives, which I don't mind at all. I'd rather have them than him.
The late bell rings and the school day officially began.
Clarion Hollow, or Mrs. Hollow as I should call her, is my first hour English teacher, and is definitely someone my parents would have liked very much, along with my fourth hour Biology eacher, Tara Haven. When I met both women during Open House, I knew immediately that I would end up liking them the most. Both women are the definition of sophistication and elegance, something I strive to be at all times.
When Mrs. Hollow walked into the room, closing the door behind her, she wore a big smile on her face, and said, "Goodmorning, class. I trust everyone had a great summer?"
Responses flew across the room as she made her way to the front, listening to every person who spoke and commenting. This lasted for a few minutes before she went to take roll. I prepared myself, knowing that I would be one of the first few people called.
"Elsa Arendelle?" Mrs. Hollow says.
"Here," I say, raising my hand so she would see me, and ignoring the stares some curious students gave me. Mrs. Hollow smiles when she sees me and marks me off her roster. I had expected her to move on to the next person on the list, but unfortunately, she keeps the spotlight on me.
"Are you liking everthing so far?" She asked, sweetly.
"Um...yeah," I lied, nodding as I tried not to shy away. "It's only first hour, but so far so good."
"I'm glad to hear that," she tells me and then says to the class, "In case any of you were wondering, Elsa is a new student. She's been homeschooled all her life up until now and she is also Rapunzel's cousin." It looked like she was about to say more, but much to my luck someone suddenly knocks on the door.
"Oh, Elsa," Mrs. Hollow says, "can you please get that for me?"
"Uh...yeah, sure." I say in a rush, then get up to do as she asked. Getting up in front of everyone did not help stop the redness in my face due to her introduction over me, and the person on the other side of the door didn't help at all either. My breath caught in my throat when I saw who it was on the other side.
Jack looked surprised to see me too. "Elsa? I didn't know you were in this class."
"Um...that's because I didn't tell you." I blurt out in a panic, then turned around in a hurry to return to my seat. Oh my god, why did I say that? I guess it's better than saying nothing though.
I could barely hear Mrs. Hollow speak over the thundering of my heart. "Nice of you to join us, Mr. Frost." She said. "Am I to believe you got lost?" I was surprised to see that she was teasing. Shouldn't she be writing him up for being late?
"No, I didn't get lost," Jack said, and to my horror he sits in the empty seat behind Tooth...which was right beside me. "I just forgot to set my alarm clock and woke up late."
A few students chuckle at this, including Mrs. Hollow. "Well, it's a good thing you were named Jack Frost and not Father Time. I'll let it slide today since it's the first day back to school, but try not to make a habit of it. I don't think your grandfather would like that very much."
Jack laughs. "I don't think my mom would like that either. I'll try though." From under his breath I heard him whisper to himself: "But I make no promises."
Tooth heard him too and giggles. "Jack," she whispered to him, "stop being naughty."
He didn't like it when his grandfather had used the word before, but when Tooth said it, he smirked. "I can't help it. You know it's in my DNA."
I don't know why I glanced at him, curiosity maybe, and when I looked over at him, I saw that he was already looking at me. I quickly look away and avoided all eye contact with him for the rest of the hour.
When first hour ended, I bolted out of the room faster than lightning, not even waiting for my cousin. She quickly caught up to me though and said, "Geez, earlier I could tell that you could barely walk, but now you're practically running. You okay?"
"Obviously not," I say in a defeated tone. "Oh my god, I met his adopted relatives. Do they know? What about North? I never bothered to ask the other day if he knows. And oh god, Jack sits right next to me. What if he sits next to me in our other classes? Ugh I hope I don't have any other classes with him."
"Elsa," Rapunzel says, jumping in front of me so I could stop speed-walking, "everything is going to be okay, alright? Tooth, Bunny, and North never saw you that night or in the aftermath. You don't look familiar to them. Jack may have told them what you looked like all those years ago, but his description describes thousands. And if he told them after Open House about you probably being the girl from that night, I doubt they even believed him. Why would they believe in a mischievous trickster who plays pranks on them all the time? He doesn't have any confirmation. All he has are his thoughts; his own unconfirmed beliefs. Plus, we're not even sure that Jack 100% knows it's you. Yeah, he could be suspicious about your identity, but that doesn't mean he knows for sure."
"Trust me," I say, exasperated. "He knows." I looked around, making sure no one was listening in on the conversation. Rapunzel took that as her chance to pull me to the side of the side of the hall so we weren't in anyone's way.
"He would have came to me demanding answers if he knew for sure," Rapunzel continued, her tone hushed but laced with frustration. "He would have came to me even if he was suspicious, but he hasn't. At least, not yet. We've been friends for awhile, and he now knows you're my cousin. If you were him, you'd have asked me questions by now, right?"
I hesitated in my response. "...right. But what if he's does know for sure, and a reason why he hasn't come to you is because he's in denial?"
"Being in denial also means not being sure," she said, "And the only thing we can really do is wait for his next move. We'll just go with the flow until he eventually confronts one of us."
"And what if he doesn't confront you?" I asked. "What if he only confronts me?" I couldn't stop the grimace that appeared on my face when the scenario played in my head.
"Then you better prepare yourself for it." Rapunzel said, which brought me no comfort.
"That's a horrible response." I bluntly say. "And if he does end up confronting you..." I took a deep, shaky breath in before continuing, "what will you say?"
"Whatever you want me to," she answers with a shrug. "I just..." she breaks off to release a tired sigh. "I just hope that you'll want me to tell him the truth if/when the time comes. I don't like keeping this from him. I've been keeping this a secret from him for 4 years. The secret we've been keeping from Anna has been for 6 years. I just...I hate it so much. I've nearly told him about me being there that night so many times. I nearly told him that the girl who he keeps wondering about is a relative of mine. I've nearly told Anna-"
"What?!" I hissed, then winced when I realized how loud I was.
Rapunzel shushed me and said, "I said nearly. That doesn't mean I did. Now I have a question."
I already didn't like it. "And that is?"
"Let's say that neither of us tell him the truth," she started; I already hated where it was going, "but he doesn't believe it. The only other person he can go to for answers...is Anna." My entire body stiffens and my brain short circuits at the thought.
"W-Why on earth would you say that?" I stammered out, eyes wide.
"I'm just saying," she said, sighing as she ran a hand through her hair. "If we don't give him the truth, he may go to Anna, which would then probably lead to her finding out what really happened."
Oh no, no, no, no, no.
"So..." I start out as I processed everything. "You're pretty much telling me to tell him the truth when he asks for it or risk him going to Anna and revealing what really happened to her that night."
"Pretty much, but we can worry about it later. We're about to be late for our second class." She links her arm through mine and quickly leads the way to our next class.
I don't even remember walking as my thoughts took over my mind. It never occurred to me that he could go to Anna for answers. I always thought it would be me. It never even occurred to me that Rapunzel might have known him for all these years too. I have known about her going to Burgess High ever since she started four years ago, and I have always wondered if Jack had attended the same school; it never clicked that if he did go to the same school that they would be seeing each other. And now look...they're apparently best friends.
They didn't talk in first hour though. However, that's probably because Mrs. Hollow was speaking and the whole class silenced themselves as she spoke. The respect she has is really impressive. Mrs. Haven probably has the same amount of respect too.
I also want to know why Rapunzel never told me that she went to school with him. Yes, I know I barely talked to her and Anna after the accident, but this is something she would have normally told me about. Was she trying to spare me or something? Has she told her parents? They would have warned me about him, right? Or would they have kept it a secret like Rapunzel did? I wonder how differently things would have gone if Rapunzel had told him everything four years ago. It sure would have made things easier for me since I would never have been there at the time.
When Rapunzel and I make it to our second hour, Tooth and Bunny were already there, sitting in the back, and of course, Rapunzel and I sat with them. Rapunzel greets them again while I searched the room for Jack. He was nowhere to be seen again, but that's how it first started out in my pevious hour until he unexpectedly showed up late. Rapunzel must have read my mind because she asks: "Is Jack in this class too?"
"No," Tooth replied, "He has Bio this hour." My entire body relaxed at those six words and I found it so much easier to breathe.
"What about the rest of his schedule? I know you know it too." Rapunzel went on, teasing her friend a little bit. "I had two classes with him last year and it sucked, so I hope we have more." I knew that that was partially a real reason, but it wasn't the main true reason why she asked; the main true reason was so I could know what other classes I should expect to see him in.
"Well," Tooth begins as she starts to count off her fingers, "His first hour is English, second hour is Biology, third hour is Math, fourth hour is History, fifth hour is Foreign Language, and sixth hour is Hockey practice."
I mentally cursed. I, obviously, have first hour with him, but now I have him in third and fifth hour too. That's half of my classes.
"Dang it," Rapunzel says, genuinely looking upset. "I only have two classes with him again. English and Math."
"It's better than nothing," says Tooth.
"I wish I had no classes with him," Bunny grumbled, annoyed. "I have three, so I count you lucky for being one class short. He's so freaking annoying."
Tooth smacked his arm. "Be nice," she sternly said, her eyes narrowed into a threatening glare. "He only bugs you so much because he likes your overreactions. Whether you like it or not, he's family."
Bunny sighs as he leaned back against his seat, eyes closed. "I never said he wasn't, Tooth." His eyes then shoot open and he snaps his head over to Tooth, obviously offended. "Hey, wait, I do not overreact!" His exclaimation caused a few kids to turn around.
Tooth and Rapunzel giggle, and I admit that I even cracked a smile, but then the loud sound of the classroom door slamming causes the three of us to jump in surprise. Everyone goes silent as heads turn to the front. Standing in front of the door, examing us with an unimpressed expression, was who I suspected to be our teacher. Every teacher I have is new, but from what I have been told, she, along with my math teacher who I have next hour, are new to the school. So the scary woman I'm curently looking at is new to everyone. She wasn't even here during Open House, so this is the first time all of us are actually seeing her too. For all I know, she might not even be my actual teacher.
As she slowly walked towards the board, I studied her features. She's a slender woman with curly black hair and appears to be middle aged, however her outfit definitely didn't match her age. It was too revealing for my taste, something a woman 20 years younger than she would wear; however, it's a free country and I shouldn't judge. I just don't think it's exacty professional. I bet the boys are loving every bit of it though, considering she's showing a lot of cleavage and a lot of leg. If the boys in her classes ever pay attention it definitely isn't the lesson they are paying attention to.
My schedule said her name is Miss Gothel, and as she wrote the name on the board, I knew then that she really is the new teacher I'd be having for the next 10 months. When she turned around to face the class, she said in an unhappy tone, "Hello class. My name is Miss Gothel. I will be your new history teacher for the year. I have been teaching for many years, but this is my first time teaching at Burgess. So hopefully, you won't give me a hard time. Or else."
Rapunzel and I look at each other, and just from her expression, I knew she was thinking the same thing I was: This woman is scary.
Miss Gothel goes to her computer, clicks on the screen a few times, and starts naming off kids on her roster. When she gets to me, she stutters on my last name and looks like she just received the the shock of the century. "Elsa Are...Are-Arendelle? What?" She leaned forward and squinted at the screen, reading over what I guessed was my name.
Rapunzel and I look at each other again and her confused face mirrored mine. Does she know me? Maybe she knows my parents.
Miss Gothel clears her throats and looks into the class, "Do I have an Elsa Arendelle?"
"Here," I hesitantly say as I raised my hand. When Miss Gothel noticed me, her eyes widened again, and when I saw her eyes glance at Rapunzel I swear the color in her face vanished. She looks as though she was seeing ghosts. However, not even a second later, she quickly looks back at her computer and continues on with the list. She stammered over Rapunzel's name too, and didn't even bother looking at her like she had done with everyone else before.
When she was done taking roll, she immediately jumps into our first lesson, but I couldn't focus at all and it finally wasn't about Jack. Why did Miss Gothel react that way? She has to know Rapunzel and I, or at least our parents. Why else would she react the way she did? She could barely control her shock. I wonder if Mama and Papa know her, or Aunt Arianna and Uncle Frederic? She didn't act like a shocked fan either (I don't know why she'd be a fan anyway. Yeah, we're rich as hell and very famous in the business world despite being private a lot of the time, but we're not celebrities). No, her shock was more like...like a victim seeing their offender after a very long time.
Thankfully, the class went by a lot quicker than it did in first hour, and as Rapunzel and I gather our things to head to third hour, I felt someone watching me. I glance up and noticed that it was Miss Gothel. I had only looked at her for a split second, but our eyes connected, and I felt very uncomfortable. There's just something about her that's...off.
My body tensed up when Rapunzel and I walked past her desk, and it took all my might not to look back at her again. She never took her eyes off of us, and I had a feeling that she knew I was well aware of it. When we were finally out of her sight, I found it easier to breathe again, and Rapunzel says, "Okay, you felt her eyes on you too right?"
I nodded and sighed in relief that she felt it too. "I did. Thank god, you noticed it too. I was afraid I was being paranoid."
"Me too! I legit got goosebumps," she raises her arm and, just as she said, the goosebumps were there. "It was weird," she continued as she lowered her arm back to her side, "Not as weird as her only stuttering over our names and looking at us as though we were a pair of ghosts though."
I nodded in agreement. "Yeah, but I think she might know our parents. Maybe that's why she acted like that."
"Maybe," Rapunzel said, shrugging, "I honestly hope so. I would feel less creeped out if that were the case. Hopefully, our third hour teacher isn't weird and scary either like she is."
"Don't jinx us."
Unfortunately, she did.
Rapunzel and I were the first students to enter the classroom, but already in the room, erasing the board, was a tall, lithe man. He wore a black suit that blended perfectly with his pale skin, and his hair matched his outfit. Actually, it was darker than his suit. Never have I ever seen glossy black hair as dark as his; it was the darkest black I have ever seen and it was slicked back, creating sharp spikes on the back of his head. On my schedule, it even says that his name is Mr. Black. What a weird coincidence. I didn't catch his eyes though, but I didn't need to to already feel intimidated.
"Take a seat wherever you'd like," he said, without looking at us or stopping his task. He sounded like he didn't want to be here, just as Miss Gothel had sounded like earlier, and I knew immediately that I wasn't going to like him either.
Rapunzel and I take our seats in the back, and as soon as I sat down, I heard the chime of a phone notification go off. It came from the front, and it wasn't until another chime went off a second later that I noticed it was coming from Mr. Black's phone on his desk. He ignored his phone until a third chime was heard. With an annoyed groan, he angrily turns around and clicks on his phone. While he was distracted, Rapunzel took the opportunity to whisper to me.
"Geez, what is up with our new teachers looking so shady. He seems off to you too right?" She says, and I nod.
"Yeah," I whisper back as I carefully watched him. Now that he's facing the front, I noted that he had a very angular face, and that his eyes were an abnormal golden yellow color. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. "He looks meaner than Gothel."
"More like scarier." She slightly turned her head to look at Mr. Black, but as soon as she did, Mr. Black suddenly snaps his head up. My heart jolted as Rapunzel and I quickly averted our eyes, but during that split second, I saw his expression. It was the same shocked expression that Gothel had. He too, looked like he had just seen ghosts.
I sat anxiously in my seat, keeping my gaze down on my fidgeting hands, and had waited for him to say something. For some reason I expected him to say something, even though Gothel didn't. He looks like the kind of man that isn't afraid to speak his mind. However, Gothel looks like she isn't afraid to speak her thoughts too. Hmm...
Anyway, instead of hearing his voice, I hear the squeaking of the markers on the board. Curiousity made me boldly look back up, and when I did, I saw his back facing us; he was going back to his task, writing more roughly than before. Perhaps it was my eyes playing tricks on me, but even from all the way in the back where I sat, I could see how very tense he looked. Luckily for us, more students walked in. He says nothing to them, and once again Rapunzel grabs my attention.
"Okay, first," she whispers, sounding very on edge, "they both look mean and scary, and second they both looked at us as though they've seen us before. What the heck is going on? Do you think him and Gothel know each other? They look like they could be siblings. They were probably friends with our parents. How else would you explain BOTH of the new teachers giving us surprised looks when they saw us? As soon as we get home, I'm telling mom. This is too weird, and I need answers."
"Answers to what?" A voice asked behind us, right by our ears. I jumped out of my skin, while Rapunzel yelped.
"Jack!" She exclaimed and reach over to smack his shoulder, "Do you want me to have a heart attack?"
Jack laughs when she hits him and sits in the seat across from me...again. "Stop being so dramatic, Punzie. I think Hiccup's dramatic flare is rubbing off on you." Before she could protest and before I could even question who this Hiccup person is, Jack's attention went straight to me and he asked, without skipping a beat, "So how's everything going so far?"
I almost choked. "Oh...um...okay I guess." I replied, shrugging, and of course avoiding his eyes.
"Except for the fact that the two new teachers somehow know us," Rapunzel added, making her voice low again as she stared at Mr. Black, who was still writing on the board.
"Wait," said Jack, pointing to the front, "you mean Mr. Boogeyman over there and the old lady who dressed like a slutty teen knows you?"
"Well we think," Rapunzel explained, "They both looked at Elsa and I in surprise. Like they couldn't believe in what they were seeing. We think they might know our parents, and if they don't...then I'm seriously freaked out."
"Maybe they were blown away by yours and Elsa's beauty?" Jack teased, making Rapunzel giggle. The only thing I did was blush.
"I seriously doubt that," says my cousin. "But thank you for the compliment."
Jack sends her a wink. "Any time, Princess." Princess? She lets him call her Princess? Her nicknames have always been either Rap, Zel, or Punzie. "Seriously though," he continued as he leaned back in his seat and made himself comfortable, "they probably do know your parents. Whether it's personally or not. I haven't had the lady yet, but I saw her in the hall earlier. They both look like drinkers, the woman especially. So if they drink your dad's beer, they're probably a fan of him, and know what you look like because they're creepy stalkers who looked you up on the internet."
Rapunzel and I look at each other, sharing the same uncomfortable expression. "That sounds-"
"Unpleasant," I interrupt, grimacing. I'd rather they know us by knowing our parents personally; if they know us simply by looking us up on the internet, then I'm going to transfer into different classes. That's just too weird for me. God, the day isn't even over with. Can it get any weirder?
Jack chuckles. "Life's unpleasant. You just gotta learn how to deal with it." That's easier said than done.
How the hell am I supposed to deal with two strange teachers who somehow know me? And most importantly, how the hell am I supposed to deal with him? The boy from my past. The boy who's name I finally know after all these years.
The mysterious Jack Frost.
Clarion Hollow=Tinkerbell Movies
Tara Haven= Epic (2013)
Pitch and Gothel you already know.
Just as Miss Gothel had done, Mr. Black assigned our textbooks and dove right into our first session, paying the class no attention as he put all of his focus solely on the lesson he put on the board. When the bell rings for the end of class, he did another thing that Miss Gothel had done: he watched mine and Rapunzel’s every move from the moment we stood up to the moment we walked out. It honestly felt like he was watching me more than he was watching Rapunzel. Gothel had made me tense and gave my cousin goosebumps, but this time, it was the other way around. I was the one who had the goosebumps while Rapunzel was merely tense. Gothel had indeed creeped me out, but not as badly as Mr. Black did. I had found it hard to breathe with Gothel, but Mr. Black pretty much suffocated me.
Tooth, who was also in the class, had thought the same. “I don’t like math as it is, but he’s definitely going to make it more uncomfortable. He’s so...intimidating.” She said this as she, Bunny, and Jack walked with Rapunzel and I to our lockers for lunch.
"Well, it's not school without that one weird teacher," Jack commented.
I didn’t say anything as Rapunzel and her friends chatted away. I kept my attention on what was being said and tried my best not to think about Mr. Black, Miss Gothel, and of course Jack. I didn’t even look back at him whenever he would glance at me as we walked, which he did a numerous amount of times. Once all of our things were in our lockers, we made our way to the cafeteria, and much to my relief, Jack and Bunny split and head to their table.
As I followed Rapunzel and Tooth, going deeper into the large room, I felt very uneasy at all the eyes that were on me. Anna didn’t help either when she shouts mine and Rapunzel’s name. When Rapunzel and Tooth notice my sister, who was waving frantically at us, they waved right back. I merely forced a smile that probably looked like a grimace. When I lowered my head, I actually did grimace in embarrassment.
As the three of us walked towards the circle table where my sister is at, I noticed three other girls that were sitting with her. One was a redhead with wild curly hair, one was a dark-skinned girl with black curly hair that was in no way as crazy as the redhead, and the last girl was a blonde whose hair was in a braid. As soon as Tooth, Rapunzel, and I make it to the table, Anna jumps up from her seat and links her arm through mine, making me stiffen. If she noticed, she didn’t say anything of it.
“Girls, this is my sister Elsa,” she introduced, “Elsa, this is Merida, Moana, and Astrid. They’re Rapunzel’s friends she told me about.” The three girls waved and each said their hellos.
“And I’m Tooth,” Tooth says to Anna, flashing her that beautiful smile, “You must be Anna.”
“I am,” says Anna, “and whoa! You’re teeth are so white! They’re gorgeous!”
Tooth’s smile widens. “Thank you! I try to take the best care of them.”
Merida snorts. “Tooth, you treat them as if they’re your children.” Her Scottish accent is thick, and it took me off guard. I was not at all expecting it.
Tooth sits down, followed by Rapunzel, Anna, and me. “You’re just jealous.” Tooth remarked, teasingly.
Merida waved her off. “Yeah, yeah, whatever. So,” she leans back in her seat and puts her feet up on the table. Thank god none of us had any food out, or else there’d be flakes of dirt going in it. I don’t mind though. She’s being her comfortable self. “Rapunzel told me you two were homeschooled like she was. Do you think you’ll miss it?”
Anna shook her head. “Definitely not.”
“It’s…” I begin, unsure of what to say. I will miss it, but at the same time I won’t. I’ll miss the familiarity of it. “It’s different. Definitely going to take some time to get used to.”
Merida nods. “Aye. I was homeschooled too. All my life until last year. Those two right there were homeschooled as well. They joined the school with me last year,” she points behind me and when I turn to look, I see a goth and another red-headed girl in leopard print who were sitting next to two boys. “The goth is Mavis and the girl in the leopard print is Eep. With them are their boyfriends, Johnny and Guy.”
At the word boyfriend, I knew Anna was going to react. “Boyfriends, you say?” She says, curiously. “And do you have a boyfriend by any chance?”
Everyone, minus my sister and I, laughs. “The day Merida has a boyfriend,” says Moana, “is the day the world ends.”
“More like,” Astrid began, “the day she actually forms a crush.”
“Says the girl who vowed that no one is ever going to be kissing her on the lips,” Merida said to Astrid.
“By no one, I meant your cousin Snotlout,” Astrid explained.
“And what about my other cousin?” Merida inquired, wiggling her eyebrows. “Come on, why don’t you give Hiccup a chance? You know he likes you. He’s a really nice guy. Plus, I want you to officially be a part of my family by marrying him.”
Astrid scoffs. “He doesn’t like me Merida. He’s just awkward around girls, and you don’t make it any better for him when you tease him around me.”
“He’s never awkward around me,” Moana pointed out.
“Or me,” Tooth and Rapunzel say together.
“He’s weird around girls with blue eyes,” Astrid said, lamely, and she blushes, probably because she knows how lame her response is. Or maybe it was for some other reason...
Merida snorts. “That was a pathetic excuse and you know it. Plus, I have blue eyes and he acts normal around me.”
“You’re his cousin!”
“It was a joke,” Merida laughs again then points to Anna and I, “But hey, maybe you’re right. Now that these two blue eyed beauties are here we can test your theory.” She goes to stand up but Astrid puts a hand on her friend’s shoulder and keeps her in place.
“Do not bring him over here,” Astrid warned. “Let him eat his lunch in peace.”
“Peace?” Merida repeated. “You think sitting with Jack and Flynn is peaceful? Those boys never shut up when they’re around each other.”
“Speaking of boys,” Anna started again, “what boys are available to date?”
The girls laugh again while I shook my head and suppressed a smile. Oh, Anna. “Well, you see those boys over there,” Tooth says and points to the table that sat Jack and Bunny. “You already know Jack and Bunny, but the boys sitting with them are Hiccup, Flynn, Kristoff, and Eret. Hiccup is the one drawing, Flynn is the one in the blue shirt, Kristoff is the blonde, and Eret is the black-haired boy whose shirt has no sleeves. He loves to show off his muscles.”
“They’re all single,” Moana took over, “but Hiccup has a crush on Astrid--”
“No he doesn’t!” Astrid interrupts, but Moana continued.
“--Flynn flirts with every girl he encounters, Kristoff is kind of a grump, Eret has a stalker that would destroy you, Bunny tends to send off this vibe that he’s better than everyone, and Jack likes to tease so much that you’re never sure if he’s being serious or not.”
Just the thought of Jack, the boy whose father died saving a young girl, and Anna, that same girl who was saved, getting together, dating, made me sick. The thought of my sister dating anyone is disturbing. Despite her being fifteen, she’s still a child in my eyes.
“Hmm,” Anna hums in thought, “tell me more.”
And so, each girl tells us everything there is to know about the six boys. Hiccup’s dad is the Chief of Police, he’s very clumsy, sarcastic, and not sporty at all. His talents are more creative and artsy. He gets picked on a lot by his cousin Snotlout, his mom went missing when he was a baby, and the relationship he has with his dad isn’t the greatest.
Flynn is a football player and an orphan. He helps North during the holiday season by giving him the Christmas lists of every orphan he lives with, and even helps deliver them. Kristoff helps with the Christmas gifts too, but he mainly attends to the reindeers. He works at North’s reindeer ranch, and even owns one named Sven. He used to be an orphan too with Flynn, but was adopted when he was five by a doctor. Kristoff also plays hockey, along with Jack.
Eret plays football too, and he’s a very well known hunter. Whenever hunting season is here, he and his father Drago, are always out in the woods. All of their equipment comes from Merida’s dad’s hunting shop too. She works there and hates seeing him there all the time. Bunny is also a football player, and according to Tooth, he paints in his free time and hosts Burgess’s annual Easter Egg Hunt. Merida claims Hiccup is jealous that Bunny is both sporty and artistic, while Hiccup is only artistic. He also has a soft spot for Jack’s youngest sister Sophie.
Lastly there’s Jack. He’s very mischievous and has been in detention loads of times. Tooth says that Principal North doesn’t care if Jack is his grandson, he’s going to punish him like every other student. He has three siblings, two of them twins, Jamie and Emma, and, as mentioned before, the youngest one is Sophie. Then there are his extended family members which are North, Tooth, Bunny, and Sandy. Sandy was the first one to be adopted and he’s mute. He can hear perfectly fine, but he was born with no vocal chords, therefore he can’t speak. Bunny was adopted when he was seven, and Tooth arrived a year later. None of them attended the same orphanage that Flynn does; theirs were out of state. And of course, the topic of his dad came up.
“He died due to hyperthermia and frostbite,” Tooth explained, sadly, “He had jumped into a pond on Christmas Eve six years ago to save a little girl who had fallen in. The girl lived, but he didn’t. Worst of all, Jack witnessed it all.”
Rapunzel and I glance at each other, and I wondered if she was as tense as I was. Anna puts a hand on her heart, looking utterly destroyed. “Oh my gosh,” she said, “that’s so sad. I can’t imagine what that must feel like. To lose a parent. It must be awful.”
“That’s why,” Tooth says, reluctantly, “I’m kind of glad I have no memories of my parents. I won't ever feel that pain with them, but with North...North is the only parent I have ever known, so if he were to die…” She trails off, so Anna took the floor again.
“My parents aren’t...dead,” Anna started, slowly, being cautious for once, “but they are overseas and I miss them terribly. I don’t know what I’d do if they actually died.”
I don’t know what I’d do either.
“You’ll mourn and move on,” Astrid said, causing everyone to look at her whilst becoming silent until she speaks up again. “My parents died in a car crash when I was 8. I’ve been living with my aunt for 8 years. She’s Hiccup’s dad’s second in command. Officer Tamora Calhoun. The role used to belong to my uncle Gobber, her brother. He and Chief Stoick have been best friends since they were kids. He’s a teacher here now. Lost too many limbs to keep his job.”
“WHAT?!” Anna exclaimed. “How did he lose his limbs? Which limbs exactly? Oh and...I’m very sorry for your loss.”
Astrid manages a small smile. “Don’t worry about it. As for his limbs, those are stories I doubt even happened. He’s always telling tall tales. Now can we please talk about something else?”
And we did. The rest of lunch finished in a lighter tone. Jokes were made, laughter was heard, information was gained, and...and I think a bond was formed.
The rest of the day flew by quickly. I only had one more class with Jack, which was 5th hour, but nothing different had change from the previous classes I had with him. He did his normal staring, and I did my best to avoid him. When 6th hour came along, I was reunited with my sister and cousin in music. While there I also properly met Mavis and Eep, the girls who were mentioned earlier at lunch.
I also met Fiona, Marianne, MK, Elena, and Audrey. They were the only ones who bothered to talk to Anna and I. Everyone else did whatever since the day was a free day. Mrs. Robinson, our music teacher, is just as caring, sophisticated, and laidback as Mrs. Hollow and Mrs. Haven. She knows that a lot of us are in her class because there was no other class for us to be put in, which is why she isn’t going to force us to do things we’re uncomfortable doing. Her class is a mixture of choir, band, and theater, subjects she knows most kids don’t enjoy being a part of. Which is why she gave those of us who are uncomfortable the option to do worksheets and whatnot.
It came as a huge relief to me. I’m not necessarily shy, I just like to keep to myself, I’m reserved, introverted. I have the normal stage fright that a lot of people have, and sometimes it doesn’t seem that way because of how calm and collected I am whenever I present myself. I’ve done it many times with my father; I’m the heir to his industry after all. It’s my responsibility, and a thing that helps me the most is knowing that if I’m not professional and calm I’m going to make a fool of myself and make everything worse.
So even if the worksheets weren’t an option, I’d still perform in whatever way Mrs. Robinson would like me to. That’s just what I’m used to doing, whether I want to or not. I’m just really glad I finally have a choice, and who knows, maybe I will perform because now, as I just said, I finally have the choice to do so.
And yes, I can do all three: sing, play an instrument, and act. Ice skating wasn’t the only talent I had. It was just the one I loved the most.
Anna and Rapunzel had talked the most during the car ride back, and as they talked my mind kept going back and forth between their conversation and my own repeating thoughts. Thoughts that are probably going to keep repeating themselves for a while. When we finally arrive home and are inside the mansion, Rapunzel took no hesitation in calling out for her parents.
“Mom, dad, we’re home!”
Aunt Ariana's voice was heard from the living room. “In here girls! I have a very big surprise.”
Of course, that caught my sister and cousin’s interest. “Oooh a surprise!” Anna squealed. “I wonder what it is.”
“Hopefully food,” says Rapunzel.
When we make it to the living room, Aunt Ariana and Uncle Frederic were sitting on the couch, and the other people in the room I was not at all expecting to see. My parents.
On the TV.
“Hello my loves,” said my mother, smiling through her glistening eyes.
The very large flat screen tv hung right above the equally large fireplace, and as I saw my parents’ faces on the screen, my heart burst with happiness. Sadness also lingered in my heart due to them not actually being here, but...I’ll take what I can get.
“Mama! Papa!” Anna exclaimed and suddenly took off in a run towards the tv. For a moment, I thought she was going to run right into the fireplace. “It’s so good to see you! I thought you’d never call. Did you reach your destination?”
“We did,” says our father. “We just arrived a few moments ago and called as soon as we knew you’d be coming out of school.”
“Speaking of which, how was it?” Asked mother, thoughtfully. “Did you like it?”
“I LOVED IT!” Anna exclaimed and went into a full on ramble on how her day went.
As she spoke, Rapunzel and I sat down on the couch next to her parents, and waited patiently for Anna to get everything out. I smiled through the whole thing, but was also anxious to ask them if they knew about Mr. Black and Miss Gothel. When Anna finished, I got my chance.
“That’s wonderful my dear,” father said when Anna finally caught her breath. “And what about you, Elsa? How did your day go?”
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” I said, the lie easily sleeping through my lips. See? I told you I can act. “However, the school gained two new teachers and, well,” I sighed, ready to tell the truth this time, “they creeped Rapunzel and I out a lot.” I look over at my cousin, hoping for her to take over.
“Yeah,” Rapunzel said, nodding. “It was weird.”
“How so?” Asked Aunt Arianna. “What happened?”
“Yeah,” says Anna, worried and confused. “What happened?”
“Nothing bad,” Rapunzel continued, “they just acted weird around us. They looked at us as though they saw ghosts. They looked at us as though they’ve seen us before. Elsa and I were wondering if they probably knew you in your youth.”
“Well,” Frederic begins, “we knew a lot of people back when we were age. You’ll have to be more specific. What are their names?”
“On our schedules,” I say, taking over again, “the woman is only named Gothel, and the man,” I shudder at the memory of his eyes on me as I walked out of his class, “his name is Pitch Black.” I was hoping for their eyes to be filled with shocked recognition at the names, just like the eyes of Miss Gothel and Mr. Black when they saw Rapunzel and I. Instead, the four adults looked confused.
“I don’t recall ever meeting anyone with those names,” said my father. He turned to my mother. “Do you?”
She shakes her head. “No, I don’t.”
“Neither do we,” said my uncle, gesturing to him and my aunt. “Are you sure your uneasy nerves just weren’t messing with your eyes?”
“Dad,” Rapunzel jumped in, annoyed, “I witnessed it too, and I’ve been attending the school for a few years now. Why would my nerves be uneasy?”
“If they made you uncomfortable,” Ariana jumped in, “would you like us to switch out your classes?”
As much as I wanted to, not just because of them but also because of Jack, I knew it meant getting used to a whole new schedule, which I didn’t want to do. “No, that’s fine. We were just curious if they knew us because they knew you. If they knew you,” I gestured to my mom and aunt, “then seeing us must have surprised them since we’re pretty much your twins.” That put a smile on my mom and aunt’s faces.
“Plus,” Rapunzel added, “we’d still have them even if we did do a schedule change. They’re the only teachers who are doing senior math and history, and I don’t want to go back to doing the online thing. Having online classes and actual classes would be too much of a hassle.”
I agreed, although to be honest I think I would be able to handle it. However, not wanting to be any trouble, I voiced my agreement. “She’s right. Besides," I thought back to what Jack had said earlier today, "it’s not really school without that one weird teacher.”
“And in our case, we have two,” Rapunzel said, giggling.
“Well,” my mother speaks up, her expression worried, “if you girls ever do feel too uncomfortable around them, be sure to tell Ariana and Frederic. The same goes to you, Anna.”
“Yes, mama,” Anna says.
“Well,” father says, releasing a tired sigh. Hearing it made me realize the tiredness in his eyes and that it must be night time where they’re at. “It’s late, and Iduna and I have a lot of work to do tomorrow. We’ll call whenever we can. Be sure to keep up with your studies, girls. Alright?”
“Yes, father,” Anna and I say together, while Rapunzel says, “Yes, Uncle Agnarr.”
He smiles. “See you soon.”
“Bye everyone!” Mama says as she waves. My sister, cousin, and I wave back. Everyone was smiling sweetly, but my smile was tight and forced, trying to hide my sadness. I wish we could talk a little longer. Who knows when I'll get to see them again. Designing buildings and bringing them to life is not an easy job. They’re going to have their hands full.
When the screen goes black, I suddenly realized that I missed my chance to tell them I love them. I didn’t tell them when I left for Burgess, and I forgot to tell them now.
And for the rest of the day, I isolated myself in my room, drowning in my guilt, and praying they’d call back soon.
Tamora Calhoun is from Wreck it Ralph and I love the idea of her being Astrid's aunt. I also like Gobber being her uncle. Can't wait to work with Astrid more.
Mavis= Hotel Transylvania
Marianne= Strange Magic
Elena= Elena of Avalor
Audrey= The Lorax
Their voice actors can all sing so I had to add them in there in Elsa's music class. And Mrs. Robinson from Meet the Robinson's is perfect for the role of the teacher.