They say High School years are the best years of your life. That you never again will be as young and happy, that nothing will compare to those years spent surrounded by friends, that as soon as you leave you'll be craving going back in… To Vinegar Doppio this was nothing more than a load of bullshit. With two years under his belt since he joined high school and a total of zero amazing experiences to account for, he was sure that the universe was in on a joke at his expense by making up such sayings. Absolutely nothing had happened to make him think he’ll ever consider going back to high school once he graduated, and absolutely nothing had happened to make him think he’ll nostalgically yearn for those good ol’ days. His life was a boring work of copy/paste, rinse/repeat, and nothing he ever did managed to count for something. He was generally just bored out of his mind, wishing that somehow, in some way, he could spice things up a bit.
But this was Doppio we are speaking of. Good old talentless, boring, tasteless Doppio, who’s only interesting attribute was his amazing bad luck. In the greater scheme of things, his bad luck was possibly the one thing that made his life more interesting, and therefore bearable (well, that, and his growing entomology related collection) and in the greater scheme of things, in the end, it was his very bad luck what caused his life to change drastically and go from 0 to 100 in a minute.
This is the story of how that came to be.
“... I think I’ll be here for longer than I expected,” Doppio lifted his eyes towards the grey sky from the safety of the concrete ceiling right over the school’s entrance, the cold breeze that accompanied the rain making him shiver slightly. A brief flash of light covered his vision before he even heard the thunder echo in his ears, and he tightened his grip on his broken umbrella. No one had said the storm would be this bad, not even the weatherman in the morning news. He was suddenly grateful he wasn't out in the open when the lightning began, as he was sure he would have been hit by one almost immediately with how bad his luck had been this past week.
He heard a few kids open the school doors to get outside, their lively chatter seemingly unaffected by the bad weather. He eyed them carefully, watched them run towards one of the cars parked in the school’s parking lot, and his eyes squinted as he saw them get inside the old brown Honda and not get hit by lightning. Lucky bastards. He sighed as he saw them speed away under the heavy rain and he decided he was better off waiting for the storm to die down inside the school building. It wasn't much warmer, but at least there wasn't any air currents that could get him to catch a cold. His shoes clicked on the concrete as he approached the wide double doors slowly, defeated, and he lifted his hand to get a hold of the door’s handle a bit too late. He heard the thud before he even felt it.
“Ow!” he whined as he took a step back, a hand darting towards his forehead to check for blood, “shit...” he checked his fingers and found them blissfully dry, but the pounding, sharp pain was still there.
He looked up to see the face of whatever kid had slammed the heavy door against his face, expecting some sort of apology, but found his own eyes widening.
“Hmph," was the only thing the student said as he eyed Doppio up and down, a shadow of amusement in his round, dark eyes. Doppio expected something else. An out of place reproach perhaps, but the 12th grader simply pushed by him, letting the door click shut, and opened his wine red umbrella before going down the steps that led to the parking lot.
Doppio turned his body around to face and observe him curiously, his eyes wide and attentive. It wasn't every day that he had a close encounter with such a mysterious and somewhat popular guy. He had never been close enough to ever distinguish his facial features, let alone had he ever bumped into him. Well, into a door he was holding if he wanted to be exact.
He watched him walk towards the parking lot leisurely, unfazed by the rain tapping on his umbrella loudly, and seemingly unfazed by the fact that his expensive looking shoes were getting soiled by mud. He reached a ridiculously expensive looking car, unlocked it, closed the umbrella and got inside in one swift, smooth motion, his long, dotted pink hair fluttering in the breeze. Doppio was still watching him and getting increasingly sad.
He didn’t even know him and it was obvious that this guy had all of the luck in the world on his side, had all of the angels rooting for him, had destiny feeding from the palm of his hand. As far as he knew this guy was nothing more than a senior, but was already much more important and successful than he could ever hope to be. This guy, who was attractive and elegant without even trying was definitely enjoying life the way you should. He was everything Doppio was not, and would never be. Or so Doppio thought.
He frowned, watching the soaked car come to life and slide out of its spot, and Doppio realized he couldn’t be angry or jealous of the guy. He was well aware of the nasty things people said about this guy out of hatred and jealousy, but even if he wanted to, he just couldn’t be like them. The guy was just lucky, and Doppio knew more than anyone that you can’t really control the amount of luck you’re born with. You don’t decide which stars will shine on you. It seemed kind of foolish to hate the guy for having what he couldn't have and being what he couldn't be.
Doppio rubbed the sore skin of his forehead before sighing and shaking it all off, deciding it would be better to just head home already, even if it was under the rain, now that the thunder had definitely stopped. He could always take a warm shower once he got there and maybe even drink something hot, and the prospect of it made running under the rain seem much more worth it.
He adjusted his backpack with a hopeful smile and dumped his broken umbrella in the trash bin before going down the concrete steps, instantly feeling the cold, thick drops of water fall on his scalp and down his neck. He hurried his pace as he got through the almost empty parking lot, hearing the rain tap against the leaves of nearby trees roughly, feeling the cold breeze get under his skin. He began to silently calculate which route was the wisest choice as he walked, immersed in his thoughts, realizing that a shortcut through the nearest dog park was definitely the best way to go.
He was pondering this when he heard the loud honk of a car horn right next to him, which made him leap a few inches in the air. He turned his face towards the noise so fast he felt a pinching sensation in his neck, and his eyes widened when he was met with tinted windows. The driver’s window was rolled down smoothly, and then came a face he hadn’t thought he’d see so soon. The first thing he noticed were his dark, round eyes. Then came his thin, painted lips, the smooth look of his porcelain skin, and the way his Adam’s apple bobbed when he swallowed.
“Uh… Yes?” Doppio decided on asking, not sure if a second had passed or at least thirty, as he stared at him openly. He shoved a wet strand of hair to the side of his face and behind his ear, realizing he probably was a complete mess. He had no idea what the other wanted to tell him, and he just hoped it wasn't a remark about how gross he looked or something like that.
He saw him turn his head inside the car as if he was looking for something, and he indulged in a second long fantasy in which the guy invited him inside his car and gave him a ride home. What a fantastic turn of events that would have been.
“Here,” his deep voice startled him even though he was looking straight at him. He was holding out the same umbrella he had before, wine red with golden details. Far too pretty to be such a mundane object, or so he thought, as he looked at the long object almost poking his nose. “Take it or I’ll drive away,” Doppio lifted his hands hurriedly, taking the umbrella in his hands.
“Oh,” he said, not immediately realizing he should be thanking him instead of just standing there, still under the rain, “thank-” but the guy was not only rolling up his window, but was also speeding away, “... thank you,” he said nonetheless, sighing as he opened the umbrella carefully. He placed it over his head, relief seeping through him as he took shelter from the freezing rain.
Of course getting a ride from mister hot n’ mysterious was pushing it a bit too much, but he still felt a sense of disappointment as he resumed his walk back home, listening to the rain now that there were no cars on sight.
He tightened his grip on his new umbrella, a small smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. He couldn’t remember the last time some stranger was kind to him in a time of need. He needed to thank him later, and give back the umbrella as well of course. Maybe tomorrow between classes…
The walk back home was surprisingly peaceful and devoid of any type of accidents, something that made the afternoon all the better.
Not even the fact that his sister Trish had used up all the hot water was a bother to him, and he weirded her out greatly while he hummed his way into his room, soaking wet, but content.