1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Veilstone Diaries: Redux

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by Carmen Lopez, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. OOC: Here it is! The fic I was sure everyone would kill/flame me for is back. I originally wrote this in two days, but I've now made a few edits and alterations (such as Quinn's appearance) hence why it's a redux.

    Volume One: Fall Semester

    Quinn Ross

    Dear Diary, this year has been a whirlwind @_@

    When I look back on this time years later I will wonder how on earth I survived at all. I had to endure moving—and to a new region no less—a tough new school, a whole new environment, mean snobs, and of course all the good times and bad times in between. Yet, I came out alive and that’s saying something.

    First off there was the move. We had to leave our big comfortable house in warm Johto and move to a hole of an apartment in icy cold Sinnoh. And I hated it. It was like being in some kind of weird asylum with the white walls and with the fact that my room had no windows. I didn’t complain though. My mom had just pulled herself out of the slump she’d been in for months after losing our house back in Johto and I wasn’t going to rock the boat.

    The first day... I’m getting chill bumps just thinking about my first real day in Sinnoh. I got up the morning of my first day of school and put on the white, light blue, and black plaid skirt, black vest with the school’s emblem, and white shirt of my uniform. Veilstone High School was where I was headed. I didn’t know what the school had in store for me, but I thought I looked good in the uniform at any rate (the blue brought out my blue eyes). I pulled on my loafers, put on my glasses, and grabbed my bag, lunch, and sweater and headed out the door.

    The cold air slapped me in the face. And I thought cities were supposed to be warmer than the surrounding areas! My thin sweater and the blazer of my school uniform REALLY didn’t help me, but it wasn’t like I had anything else to keep me warm. I would’ve given just about ANYTHING to take the trolley but I didn’t have money for the fare. The city itself was pretty cool (no pun intended). The skyline was just beautiful and I loved seeing the surrounding mountains. The rock walls I saw didn’t detract from the city at all but they were the reason why the city was so cold. All and all, I think I could grow to like Veilstone City, but even it couldn’t block the fact that I was so cold I was trembling.

    Along the way, I found out that it was only Sinnoh’s weather that was cold—my new classmates were too. And man, they were spoiled brats! All they seem to talk about was material things. The upperclassmen were driving expensive cars slowly to make sure they were clearly seen. These people were obviously very rich. I should’ve known I was in trouble then.

    I also noticed that most of the girls had on thick, black stockings to protect them from the cold. My bare legs were really taking a beating and I vowed to beg Mom to give me the money to buy stockings later. When I felt like I was going to freeze to death, I stepped into a coffee shop for warmth. I looked around the place and saw that everyone was staring at me like I had morphed into a Wobbuffet. The looks on everyone’s faces told me that I didn’t belong there and the day went downhill from there.

    Gah, it was an awful day! Sorry, I got ahead of myself there. ^^;

    When I first walked into the school, my jaw dropped. It was the nicest school I had ever seen. It was new and modern and very beautiful—much better than my old school. The bell rang for homeroom as soon as I stepped through the doors. I panicked as I realized I had no clue where my homeroom was. People were pushing and shoving me from all directions as I tried to clear my head. Then, I swallowed and stopped a girl who was walking with her guy friend. I kid you not, it went something like this:

    Me: Oh, um, hey wow. It sure is uh, chaotic—
    Girl: What do you want?
    Me: Uh, um, I need you help because I’m con—
    Girl: What do you want?
    Me: Ineedhelpfindinghomeroom!
    Girl: …what?
    Me: ~heavy swallow~ I don’t know what room my homeroom is in.
    Girl: It’s online, duh. Are you stupid or something?

    And then she and her friend walked away and I KNOW I heard him say “idiot.” But I wasn’t going to let them get to me. All I needed to do was find a computer and get my schedule. Lucky for me, I found a module that was set up for schedules. I printed mine out and hurried to homeroom…ten minutes late.

    The teachers at Veilstone don’t tolerate tardiness and I ended up with Saturday school detention my first day of school @_@. Yeah, that wasn’t the way I wanted to start my Veilstone High career. The rest of the class looked at me like I was some kind of freak. I half wished I’d never found homeroom.

    Oh, and another thing about Veilstone High? The students are freaking intense! They are dead serious about their school work. I heard students bragging about how they were taking ten upper level classes. Yes, you heard right. T-E-N. They may think they’re smart, but I just found them crazy.

    And if homeroom was bad, my math class was worse. It was pre-Calculus. I honestly thought they’d made a mistake on my schedule. How could I have pre-cal in 10th grade? And boy was I lost in that class. My teacher, Mr. Bach, may as well have been speaking a different language for all I understood.

    Then he clicks a remote in his hand and says “Here’s a quiz to see what you remember.” Most of the class pulls out these expensive tablet laptops and folded them over. And the remainder pulled out futuristic pens. I felt remedial pulling out my #2 Pencil—and not even a mechanical one. The teacher gave the rest of us a hard copy of the quiz and told everyone to begin.

    Needless to say, I didn’t understand a thing. I started making up stuff after a bit and I still managed to finish dead last. It was embarrassing as crap to pass my paper up at the end of it. There were these four people at the front, including this one girl who was really pretty and had a tall forehead. She had these death stare gray eyes. Well anyway, she and two of her friends laughed when they looked at my paper—the fourth one seemed to frown slightly. That really didn’t make me feel any better. I sunk low in my seat hoping no one would notice me…

    The rest of the class went just as badly. I was utterly bored out of my SKULL. No one else in the class looked bored. In fact they looked completely focused. No one was daydreaming, no one was talking, in fact, no one was doing anything except listening to the teacher and take notes. It was so creepy! The very few questions that the students did have went completely over my head.

    Finally when I couldn’t take it any more, I raised my hand and told the teacher I didn’t understand. He told me (very patronizingly no less) that it was simple math and that I should understand it. Half the class smirked and I could feel my face turn red. I packed up my things and walked out of the room.

    Everything came rushing to me at once and I realized this year would be very, very rough. This school was for the cream of the crop: the smartest and the richest. And I was neither of those. It was really surprising that Veilstone was a public high school. My family never had much money, so sometimes even getting the little things was a struggle. I sighed and did a bit of exploring before my next class, English started.

    When the bell finally did ring, I dragged my feet on the way to my next class and as a result, I was the last one to get there. And guess where the last seat was. That’s right. At the table with the pre-cal foursome. I grabbed that seat and sat down without looking at any of them. My teacher for this class was strict, but a lot nicer than Mr. Bach. But I was not pleased when I heard I’d have to be in a group with the foursome.

    I signed my name on the roll sheet and found out that their names: Akira Yamakage, Miguela Cruz, Alicio Sandoval, and Carina Diaz but I wasn’t sure who was who yet…that didn’t come until after yet ANOTHER quiz. My teacher said that all we had to do was read the passage and answer questions. My first read through I found that the passage was unintelligible, so I read it again, and again, and again. To my surprise it started to make sense and after one final read through, I answered the questions. Sure, I was dead last to finish again, but I understood it and that was all that mattered.

    The teachers asked us to go over our responses with our groups. After the girl on my right, the pretty dark haired girl with the green eyes commented on how oh so easy it was (rolly eyes), we got started. I was surprised to find that I had gotten the same answers as everyone else. Apparently I wasn’t the only one surprised. The girl with the piercing eyes turned to me and rudely asked if I cheated. I resolutely said no, saying that I would’ve finished at the same time as everyone else.

    I was able to deduce who was who during the course of the conversation. Akira Yamakage was the one with the chin length black hair and gorgeous almond shaped eyes. Alicio Sandoval was the one with the golden eyes and short black hair. Miguela Cruz was the green eyed one and that left Carina Diaz as the girl who kept glaring at me.

    Carina: *picks up the roll sheet* So you’re Quinn Ross.
    Me: Yes
    Carina: *Glares at me more
    Me: … (This girl obviously hates me)

    The class wasn’t all that bad I suppose but I was still desperate to leave. Carina, Alicio, and Miguela all put me through my paces as they drilled me about the answers I got. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Akira roll his eyes. He seemed to be a lot nicer than the other three but jury was still out of him…

    Finally the bell rang. I looked down at my schedule and discovered that we’d be having an extended break to get IDs made (Wahoo!) and that included an extended lunch. I was the last one to leave class and I felt ever so slightly better than I did at the end of math class.

    That feeling died as I walked to get my ID. I became self-conscious of how dirty and ratty my bag looked and how I didn’t have a nice manicure like all the girls had. My black hair wasn’t cut in a fashionable style and I certainly didn’t have the expensive accessories they had. I made sure to avoid looking into any reflective surface as I followed the crowd to auditorium where the IDs were being made.

    FLASH! It was the brightest flash I’d had ever seen on a camera. I hoped dearly that I didn’t blink and have my eyes closed on my ID and thankfully they weren’t. The ID was completely transparent save for my picture, the school’s logo, and the strip on the back. Apparently the thing was my ID card, my library card, a trolley pass, an ATM card and whatever else I wanted it to be. Then it was time to head off to a lonely corner of the cafeteria where I hoped to be able to eat my pitiful lunch in peace.

    But as I was about to leave the auditorium, I heard Miguela Cruz call out to me to come with them to the mall. Now my better judgment was telling me to get as far away from these people has I could, but that teeny part of me that wanted to make friends wouldn’t let me. So I found myself walking over to them.

    Carina looked at me with nothing less than disgust as she eyed my pilly sweater and ratty bag. Alicio looked at me with this weird expression—like he wanted to study me or something o.o Akira looked mildly relieved that I was coming. I looked briefly into Miguela’s eyes to see if they were just messing with me and I was shocked. The girl’s eyes looked totally flat and dead. Like there was no life behind them whatsoever. I wondered if she had sold her soul to this school.

    I immediately regretted going with them. Being indoors in the warm heat had made me forget how cold it was. Once again, the cold air ripped at my skin and especially my bare legs. Miguela, Alicio, and Carina stared at me. Alicio narrowed his eyes and asked me where my coat and stockings were. Carina being the sarcastic little brat that she was said that they were in the same place as my laptop and smart pen. I felt my face and neck grow hot. Akira just shook his head at the three of them and offered me his heavy brown coat.

    I didn’t even think it was possible but my face and neck grew even hotter. No thank you, I said. Are you sure? Yes, thank you. Maybe Akira really wasn’t all the bad. BUT. He still associated with these three and I wasn’t going to let that one go so quickly. Along the way, I found out two things: that Carina, Miguela, and Alicio give themselves far too much credit and that I really hate this trio. They were the biggest overachievers I’d ever seen and yet, at Veilstone High School that made them the height of cool. And oh my goodness, they were nasty mean! They picked on so many people for so many things: they didn’t have enough money, they weren’t smart enough, they didn’t have the right attitude, they didn’t have the right “toys.”

    Sheesh, by this point Akira and I had the same expression of “Someone…please. Kill me now.”

    It wasn’t until we reached the mall that Carina said the one thing that infuriated me beyond anything else up till that point.

    Carina: Yeah, I really think we should make Veilstone High School a private school. It’s time to officially raise the bar to keep out the indigent. Oh, and an admissions test wouldn’t hurt either. That would solve all the problems of the idiots at our school.
    Me: …..
    Carina: Oh did I hurt your feelings Quinn? I’m just giving my honest opinion. Your attire and your little meltdown in Pre-Cal this morning tells me you don’t belong at this school, and you never will. Plain and simple.
    Alicio and Miguela: *Giggle
    Akira: *facepalm Really? Really? Was that necessary at all?
    Carina: Akira, really, I’d watch it if I were you. If you get associated with something like her, it could ruin you school career. And you wouldn’t want that, would you?

    Carina brushed off the collar of her expensive coat that probably cost as much as three months rent. I’d had enough. Completely forgetting to “not let them get to me” and not even bothering to hear Akira’s response, I bolted down the long escalator into the underground mall. I was trying my very best to hold back the tears that were coming. I put as much distance between them and me as I possibly could. My breathing was still heavy as I sat down on a nearby bench.

    Yep, that settled it. Carina was an evil witch and she was going to be the bane of my existence. Her two minions were just as bad. I looked around at the other students in the mall in their different uniforms and had the vague idea to switch schools because Veilstone High School was nuts. Then I noticed I was getting glares and later catcalls from other student. Apparently they hated my school as much as I did. I sighed and hung my head backward.

    When I held my head back up, I saw Akira standing there. He asked if I was okay and I lied and said yes. Before I could open my mouth again, told me he in no way wanted to be associated with the trio, and I immediately believed him. He even offered to help me with Pre-cal which I accepted even faster which made him flash that megawatt smile of his. Akira sat down on the bench and we started talking. Turns out he was an outsider too, only he was from nice, warm Hoenn.

    As we talked, I also found out he was a bit of a hippie. He was big into Pokémon rights, the environment, and healthy eating. I couldn’t recognize what in the world he was eating for lunch. And since I knew he wouldn’t laugh at me, I pulled out my peanut butter sandwich and juice box and ate my lunch on the bench next to him. After that we explored the mall for a bit.

    The place was huge and it was easily the nicest mall ever. Akira and I picked up two artistically decorated shopping bags and watched a mall fashion show for a few minutes. But when I picked my shopping bag when we were about to leave, I found three pairs of the black stockings inside along with the receipt and a note that said, “Just so you don’t freeze to death” in neat cursive writing. Neither Akira nor I knew where they came from and neither of us recognized the handwriting, but I was grateful. Very grateful. Akira waited for me as I found a bathroom and put them on. The miracle material felt awesome against my skin and I felt so warm.

    I dreaded going back to school when the time came, but I felt slightly better when I found out I had two more classes with Akira. And since we had zero desire to find Carina, Alicio, and Miguela (he hated them as much as I did), we walked back together. I didn’t know at the time why they had invited me along, but I didn’t care that much to be honest. It wasn’t like the whole trip was a waste like I thought it’d be: I did get stockings and someone to talk to out of the trip…even if I was humiliated first.

    And since most of my classes went about the same, I’ll make this brief ^^

    Current Affairs: Teacher gave us a run down of how tough the class would be and how we’d have to live up to Veilstone standards to pass. (…)
    Biology and Pokézoology: Teacher gave us a run down of how tough the class would be how we’d have to live up to Veilstone standards to pass (Yeah…)
    Film: Now this class was interesting. Since the school was rich, we had access to state of the art materials. Sure, the class would be tough but at least it was fun.
    SAT prep: Too bad I can’t say the same for this class. Seriously, this class basically reiterates the point that you will be a failure at life if you don’t get a high score on your SATs and get into a good college; I hated the class within the first two minutes.
    PE and nutrition: I’m glad I have this class at the end of the day to refresh myself after the torture chamber that was the previous class. Even the best gyms didn’t have as good equipment as we had in this class. We even had our own nutrition guides.

    The good: the fact that I had Akira for Current Affairs and Biology. The bad: I had the trio in Current Affairs as well but thankfully no other classes with them. Three were enough, sheesh! The ugly: the fact that I got homework in every class except Film and PE. Akira told me what our Pre-Cal teacher had assigned and promised to help me if I’d get to school early the next morning. Hmm, maybe the day didn’t suck as much as I thought it did though it was far from the best (stupid Saturday school detention).

    Holy crap, did I really just spend six pages writing about my first day of school? Well, I guess it was vivid in my mind. BUT HEY! The next entries probably won’t be this long. And if they are, they’ll cover more than one day.

    So ends this entry,

    Quinn Ross
     
    #1 Carmen Lopez, Oct 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  2. Wow. I think I've already read your first one on the pre-fallout site but I still like it. Keep up the good work!
     
  3. PHWAA! IT IS BACK! ;D ;D ;D

    Best fic on 'Charms. No doubt.
     
    #3 Luckii, Oct 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  4. OOC: Thanks for the replies! And btw, since I'm editing this, if you find any contradictions or any other issue, please tell me so I can fix it asap ♥

    Miguela Cruz

    Second day of the school year that would change everything…

    Most would think getting up as early as I did was awful, but it wasn’t a big deal to me. I felt very content when I woke up that morning and had no problems getting out of bed. I knew my parents were already up while my sister Miranda was probably still deep asleep because she hated getting up earlier than she had to. I opened the door to my closet and pulled out my school uniform, black leggings, and black boots and headed to the bathroom.

    Getting dressed didn’t take me long since I always took my showers at night time. All I had to do was put on my lotion, face cream, and perfume and I was off downstairs to the kitchen. I was made even happier by the sight of my dad cooking oatmeal—my favorite food. To everyone else, a man in an expensive business suit cooking breakfast was odd, but that was my dad. He liked to cook for us if he had time. My mom greeted me with the usually “Goooooood morning Gail!” and a kiss. Compared to a lot of other people I’d seen, I got along fairly well with my parents even if they didn’t agree with all my decisions.

    When I sat down to eat my parents starting fussing over me. “You weren’t up too late last night with homework right?” “You’re not too stressed are you?” “You know, it’s never too late to change schools.” That last one was my dad’s favorite line to say to me. And I responded with the usual “Mom, Dad I’m fine I can handle the work. It’s the best school in the city and that’s where I want to go.” My parents were absolutely thrilled that Miranda had decided not to go to Veilstone High School which they thought was evil. And speak of the devil…

    Miranda had just stumbled in with her pajamas on. My sister and I were very different. I was generally more reserved and she was a social butterfly. And while we were both popular, it was for different reasons. Miranda was very involved in school (she’s a cheerleader for one) and I was known for having some of the best grades in school. Miranda immediately started in on me when she sat down at the table.

    “Hi, Gail! Off to the school exclusively for high strung over-achievers?”

    “Be quiet Miranda, Veilstone is where I fit in.”

    “But you’re not an uptight nerd—oh right. GAIL isn’t. But your other personality Miguela is! Oh silly me! How could I forget?”

    I pointed and waved my spoon at her in mock irritation. “Miranda, just because I’m more focused at school doesn’t mean anything.”

    “Oh pleeeeeeeeease! One day you’ll admit you’re bipolar.

    “I am not!”

    And of course my parents took her side, especially my mom. “Well, Gail I don’t like how you act at school. It’s like you’re a different person.”

    I said nothing. Deep in my heart I knew they were right, but I didn’t want to admit it. I noticed the time and started eating faster. My parents questioned me and I answered that I was meeting Carina and Alicio at the coffee shop. My parents and my sister hated Carina, but I just shrugged off their disapproval. They had met Carina and her mom at my school’s Open House and they immediately got a bad impression of her. They thought she was cold and callous and would do anything to get to the top…okay, so they were right, but Carina was proud of herself. And I felt she had every right to be. She exemplified how a Veilstone student was supposed to be.

    When I finished my oatmeal, I went back to my room to get my stuff. My room is my sanctuary. It was painted in lavender and sea foam green with white furniture and curtains to make it relaxing. My favorite thing about my room was the large picture window because I had an awesome view of Veilstone City from our house that resembled a small apartment. I usually have most of my things for school together so I didn’t have to hunt and search for anything (unlike my sister). I reached for my red coat in my closet and noticed the wine-colored coat beside it which had never been worn and still had the tags.

    I thought about Quinn yesterday and how she nearly froze to death. It only took me a split second to make up my mind. I put the coat in a shopping bag and got my sunglasses so I could be incognito. Then I headed off to school after saying goodbye to my family and promising I’d go shopping with Miranda later. I decided to walk instead of take the trolley. There was always so much to see and I never got tired of it. Sure, it was freezing outside but I was a Veilstone girl to my heart so I was used to that. My breath rose up in the air as I took in the scenery.

    There were parents taking their young children to school, businessmen and women with suitcases and cell phones headed off to their offices to work, joggers doing their morning run with their Pokémon, and the nightclub stragglers stumbling in from whatever they did the night before. I wondered how in the world some of these people found there way home as I watched them stagger around. Yes, people watching was one of my favorite hobbies because I found it fascinating how every single person I saw had their own life story.

    All in all it was a routine morning, until that old man caught my attention. He was dressed in ragged clothing with a long, navy blue cloak that was frayed and torn along the bottom. His white hair and wild beard and mustache made the man stand out more. As I drew closer, I saw a shorter, hooded figure next to him. He was holding out a tin can for money from passers-by, but he wasn’t having much luck. Most of the people who walked passed him averted their eyes and kept right on walking.

    He looked up and saw me looking in his direction and I know his dark eyes twinkled. Well, I couldn’t just turn away after that—well, at least Gail couldn’t. I pulled a twenty dollar gift card out of the front of my bag and walked over to him. No one except my family knew how I’d carry around extra gift cards—and I always made sure it was my own money that I made in my mom’s store as well. It was a bit awkward though; there was something about that person beside the man, something strange. I put the card into the man’s tin can and he smiled. To be honest, I was slightly surprised he still had all his teeth.

    “So young, and yet you’re already at a crossroads…what path will you choose? The one you know full well is wrong that’ll end up destroying your very soul? Or the one that you know is right?”

    For a second I was speechless. “Uh, what?” I said, stupidly. Absentmindedly, I removed my huge sunglasses.

    “Oh,” he chuckled. He had a deep growling voice. “I apologize for reading you like that. You see, both myself and my friend Ali can sense something in you.”

    It was the expression on my face that gave me away. I felt my eyes widen and I body felt like it wanted to turn and run away. This complete stranger could read minds, I just knew it. And he was reading me like a book. But the hooded figure was the thing that was creeping me out the most.

    The man turned to his friend. “Ali, don’t be so insular. You were the first one to notice her after all.”

    Ali dropped her head before slowly pulling away her hood. I was shocked to see that it wasn’t a human at all, but a Lucario. She was younger than her trainer but as old as he was in spirit.

    “Even though they’re…revered here, this is the first time I’ve been this close to a Lucario before,” I said. Ali tilted her head to gaze at me intently, like she was trying to analyze me. But now that she’d had removed her hood, she calmed rather than weirding me out. Ali never said a word but then again, she didn’t really need to.

    “Well, now. I should thank you for your generosity,” said the man holding out the card. “But it’s probably time for you to hurry.”

    I had completely forgotten that I was meeting Alicio and Carina. “You’re right! I’m going to be late!”

    The man smiled before I turned to start running. I didn’t want to be late in meeting them. When I got closer to the coffee shop, I slowed down. It was time to let Miguela take over now and put what happened before in the back burner. I wasn’t actually bipolar but my way of thinking did change when I was at school. I noted the shopping bag in my hand and planned to just shove it into her hands. I fully admit I have an image to keep up, but I knew how to keep that image and my true self separate.

    I was seeing more of my classmates now. Some of them were off to study sessions at school, whole others had early morning classes before homeroom to get to. They were the ones who took ten classes or more. I was already about five minutes late to the meeting. At least I could pretend I saw something in a window that I just had to have. Carina always saw buying something expensive was always a good excuse for being late to meet—as long as it wasn’t something intense for school

    I spotted Alicio and Carina as soon as I entered the coffee shop. From the look on her face, I knew she was continuing her Quinn Ross rant from yesterday. And of course I was right. Quinn was an enigma to all of us, really. She wasn’t from Sinnoh, and clearly wasn’t from our circle. Even though Veilstone was a public school it was almost a standard that the students be very rich and very smart. Occasionally some subpar person would enroll in Veilstone, but they never lasted long. However Quinn was below even those subpar people, and neither Carina nor I knew how she got in. But Alicio had the answer.

    “You remember that old apartment building, the one near the edge of this district? Well, Veilstone High School is actually the closest to there, so maybe she lives there,” Alicio said. I noted that he didn’t sound scornful about it as he usually would have.

    “Yeah, that makes sense!” said Carina. “My mom has been petitioning to have that dump torn down for ages now. When I tell her about that thing Quinn, she’ll be floored.”

    “The girl won’t last long,” I said. “Anyone can see that. Well, anyone except maybe Akira.”

    And that started a firestorm. Akira was another odd one. We deduced that he was smart but he just acted like he didn’t want to fit in after Pre-Calculus the day before. He acted like he was disgusted by us. Well, that was his problem; if he kept up that attitude he wouldn’t last long either. We were three of the best students in our year and he should be honored to hang out with us.

    “We’ll just have to drill him today,” Carina said bossily. “Since he’s in our group in English, we’re stuck with him. So we better at least make sure he’s good enough.”

    “Right,” said Alicio. “That’s what we’ll be doing in homeroom today.”

    After that we mostly talked school and more importantly about our study schedules. I was put in charge of creating them this year. I couldn’t do much scheduling at the moment because we were also joining clubs and those didn’t start until the third week of school. As usual, Carina had the most to do out of all of us: the standard seven courses per day with two extra ones every Tuesday and Thursday, piano lessons, club meetings, and student government. I admired her; she woke up early every morning to get to school early, all of her work (and it was a lot) was done on time and she still managed to keep with all the latest trends. It was amazing really and something I aspired to be—too bad my Gail side wouldn’t let me. It was time for Carina’s early class so it was time for us leave at that point. But before we could leave, Carina held her hand up to stop me.

    “Miguela, I noticed something,” she said icily. “You’re only taking the standard seven classes and not that many extra curricular activities. Why aren’t you doing more?”

    “I wanted to work more in my mom’s store,” I answered.

    Carina raised an eyebrow. “And why would you need to work? Did your family mess up financially?”

    “No, it’s hands-on experience,” I said matter-of-factly. “I’m doing accounting and management so it’s good practice.”

    “That better be the reason,” said Carina darkly. She turned and walked out of the coffee shop. Alicio looked at me and shrugged before following Carina. Thus was the nature of our relationship, and I was glad to be friends with the both of them. We kept each other in line.

    I put my sunglasses back on as I was walking to school. This would be the year that would decide how the rest of our high school careers would play out. It would also affect what colleges we got into, and we all had our dreams. Carina was set on becoming a lawyer and Alicio wanted to one day be an engineer. Everything was going to get harder from here. I can already hear my parents trying yet again to convince me to change schools. We were seeing more of our classmates now. I looked around and wondered how many of them wouldn’t make the cut.

    Carina went off to her class without taking a second glance at Alicio and me. She said she was going to get the highest test scores this year and I was sure she would. Alicio said he was going to the computer lab to do some work, which left me to the library to study. My family thought that the fact that I had to get studying the second day of school was obscene, but I thought it was something to be expected from a high ranked school like Veilstone.

    I decided to study the SAT guide given to us yesterday and became totally immersed in the facts, figures, and vocabulary—giving no thought to anyone else around me. This would be good practice for the test we were taking later that day. It was the first big test of the year and the top ten students in each year would have their scores posted all over the school and all over the school’s website for everyone to see. Alicio, Carina, and I were going to be in the top ten, with Carina being number one; that was no question. I mused over Alicio’s idea that they should also post the bottom ten as well. If nothing else, it would serve to humiliate these students into doing better.

    After about an hour, I stopped studying and started thinking about how to get rid of that shopping bag. I left the library and headed out to the hallways and who should I see leaning against one of the columns? Quinn. She seemed to be nervous about something as she fiddled with her short, inky black hair and her glasses. This coat wasn’t the best for her androgynous figure, but it was too late to think about that. I was in luck; there were still very few people actually in the hallway. I put back on my sunglasses and strode over to her. She had finally got some thick stockings but she still had on that awful sweater.

    “Huh, what- she said when I was close to her.

    “Here,” I said as I roughly shoved the bag in her arms. “Take it and don’t tell a soul.” Without another word, I walked away and didn’t turn back even when she called out. I’m sure I would feel something about what I’d just done when I was at home, but I was too focused on school to really care at the moment. It was now nearly time for homeroom and Akira’s roasting. I was eager to learn more about him because he just so…odd. When I finally got to homeroom, Alicio was already there sitting beside Akira who didn’t look all that happy about it.

    “Look who I found in the school’s greenhouse,” said Alicio before I could even say anything.

    “The greenhouse?” I asked.

    “Yeeeeeah,” said Akira. “The warmth and the greenness remind me of home.”

    “I guess we can start when Carina gets here,” Alicio said.

    “Start…what?” Akira asked, his eyebrow raised.

    “The questioning,” said a voice behind us. It was Carina. Her expression was even more hardened and focused than ever. She dared anyone to cross her with her harsh gray eyes alone. For one second I wondered if people got the same reaction from me. “First one: where the heck do you come from?”

    Akira smiled. He had a nice smile—I cast that stupid thought out of my mind as fast I could. “I’m from Moon Lotus Island.”

    “Never heard of it,” said Alicio bluntly.

    “It’s somewhere south of Sootopolis City. My home is in a lonely place in the ocean…” Akira turned his head away.

    “Soooo…did you have internet and schools there?” Carina asked.

    “Yes, my parents were part of a group of eco-scientists who colonized the island before I was born as an experiment,” Akira explained. “They got all the modern conveniences in time, they just had to make sure they didn’t harm in environment or the native Pokémon in anyway.”

    Alicio, Carina, and I went back and forth with the questions. It was like they were interviewing Akira for a job. I had to admit to myself that he was fascinating.

    Carina: What do your scientist parents do?
    Akira: They’re champions for the environment, Pokémon rights, and healthy living.
    Alicio: Why did you leave then?
    Akira: My aunt and uncle live here and they run a Pokémon daycare here. I wanted to work there because I love being close to Pokémon and take care of them.
    Carina: But that doesn’t sound like it makes a lot of money.
    Akira: You’d be surprised.
    Me: Why Veilstone High?
    Akira: I wanted to go to the best school. After all, I have to be the smartest hippie I can be if I ever want to change things. No one likes a stupid hippie. My other reason is a secret.

    “A secret,” repeated Alicio, narrowing his eyes.

    “That’s what I said,” Akira said. “You’ll all find out in due time—if you’re smart enough that is.”

    All three of us opened out mouths in anger. This dirty hippie had just insulted our intelligence. Carina was the angriest. She actually stood up and was about to rip into Akira, but before she could say anything, the bell for first period rang. Akira casually stood up and walked out of the classroom without acknowledging Carina at all. Who did he think he was? Carina, Alicio, and I talked about him all the way to Pre-Cal. When we got there, we saw that he wasn’t sitting with us anymore; instead, he stayed in the back with that thing. At that, we knew he was officially an outsider and an object of our scorn.

    But now class was starting and we had to focus on our teacher and his words. To our utter surprise, Quinn managed to do the homework question that Mr. Bach called on her to do—and do it correctly. It completely took me by surprise, but I quickly dismissed it. She probably got help from Akira, who looked like he was going to be a slacker. But then she answered an entirely new question that Mr. Bach had given her. I guess everyone lucked out sometimes.

    In English class, Carina finally gave Akira a piece of her mind.

    “Look, I don’t know where you get off with that attitude of yours but just know, you’re not in Hoenn anymore, hippie slacker. We do things differently in Sinnoh” she said through clenched teeth so her voice wouldn’t carry.

    “Yes, I can see that I’m not in Hoenn anymore,” said Akira. “But you shouldn’t insult your own region like that. All of Sinnoh is not as high-strung as you are!” He didn’t bother to keep his voice down so he got some nasty looks from the rest of the class.

    Even though he was irritating me, I still had the weird urge to smile. What was wrong with me? Quinn didn’t say much during the rest of class and when she did speak, it was only to Akira—the outsiders sticking together. I noticed the wine-colored coat hanging on the back of her chair. Perhaps she’d taken my words to heart, but at the back of my mind I did wonder if she told Akira about me giving her the coat.

    ~ ~ ~​

    After lunch came Current Affairs with the outsiders and Biology. I had to work harder to keep up my façade in Current Affairs after Akira got into a huge debate with our teacher over some political polices. I completely disagreed with Akira and I wanted to debate, but I couldn’t let myself. Half the class looked as though they wanted to join in too, but they also decided to just keep cool instead. We had a quiz in biology as soon as we walked in, but I’m sure I did well. Microeconomics was next up for me and it was my favorite class. It just proved that the world really did run on money. Latin was my next class and was also a favorite of mine. It really was a shame that the language died because I liked the way it flowed.

    And finally it was test time. You could cut the tension in my SAT prep class with a butcher knife—people were just that focused. I ran through my head everything I’d studied that morning and during lunch. Unlike at other schools, the teachers didn’t give us the formulas and graphing calculators were banned. Everyone got out their tablet laptops and smart pens, all of which had locks put on them to prevent cheating, and the teacher clicked her remote and passed out hard copies: the test had begun.

    To make things more challenging, we only had two hours to do the test and there were sixty questions—many of them math. I worked as efficiently as I could by getting the easy questions out of the way first, then focusing all my attention on the remaining questions. I had to recall much of the information from last year’s math and today’s math class to answer them all. After looking over my work a couple of times, I hit finish on my screen to turn in my test with fifteen minutes to spare. My teacher looked up and smiled at me.

    I looked around the class and saw that Alicio and Carina were already done as well and I expected no less. We had permission to leave school as soon as we were done. Some of the other students threw us looks of admiration as we walked out of the room. We went to a deserted study lounge. Carina and Alicio had a little time before their afterschool classes began.

    “I can’t wait until tomorrow when we see our scores,” said Carina, excitedly. “We’ll be the top three.

    “Yeah, it looks like this year is getting off to an awesome start,” I said. I was still in test mode, but I felt like I’d done extremely well on it.

    “So, what are you doing after school, Miguela?” Alicio asked me as he shifted his brown messenger bag.

    “I’m going shopping with my sister and then I’m going to finish up all my homework when I get home,” I said.

    “Sister?” Carina said. “But, she’s a year younger than you right? So why haven’t I seen her here?”

    “My sister? Here? Riiiight,” I said. “She chose to go to Stoney Vista High School.”

    “And your parents let her?” Carina asked me.

    “They were absolutely happy about it,” I told her. “They wish I had gone there too.”

    “Really now?” Carina said, her voice trailing off. “Your family doesn’t sound like the supportive kind, now do they?”

    Alicio narrowed his eyes. He and I both knew where she was going with that tone of voice. I shrugged. “It’s not that they don’t support me. They just wish I went to a different school.”

    “Whatever,” Carina drawled. “Well, I’m off to do something productive now. And Miguela, you really should talk to your parents because they really should be more serious about your education.”

    Carina brushed her kinky hair off her shoulder and sauntered off down the hallway toward the library. She was indeed one of the most amazing people I knew. I felt the same way when I met her in sixth grade. She was impressed by my grades then and she’d hung around me ever since. We were like best friends.

    “Wow, if she thinks your parents aren’t serious, I’d hate for her to see mine,” said Alicio. It was the first time I’d heard him speak about his family. I knew my mom was familiar with his though. “But anyway, I should really be going to my class now,” he said.

    “Right,” I said. “I’ll see you later Alicio.”

    He waved at me and then walked off. My sister wouldn’t be out of school just yet so I decided to meet her at school. Sure, I probably wasn’t welcome there, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. Stoney Vista was about the same distance from our house as Veilstone, only to the south. There was a trolley stop that was convenient near the school which I took, yet once again I wanted to walk. For one it would buy me time until my sister was ready, and I could get out of Miguela mode and back to Gail.

    The same parents that I saw taking their young children to school were now going picking them up again. It made me think about my own elementary school days. Looking back on it, they pretty harsh for an elementary school as well, and we were miles ahead of other children our age. Our teachers said it was preparation for when we entered Veilstone High School, but it also served to weed out weaker students then as well—middle school was the same way.

    My sister and I attended the same elementary and middle school, and while she was intelligent too, she decided intense academics weren’t for her. That was how we ended up at different high schools. Stoney Vista had the reputation that its students were fashionistas despite the fact that they had to wear uniforms. Well, those uniforms were cooler than ours were.

    “HEY MIGUELA!” I heard a voice calling to me. I turned around to see a little girl getting scolded by her teacher for yelling. It was Carina’s seven-year-old, curly haired sister Amanda who was standing next to a pale, yet beautiful black haired girl. I laughed as I waved back. Amanda was a sweet, cheerful little girl who loved to play. I wondered how she would fair with all the work she would have to do. But then again, if Carina or their mother had anything to say, Amanda would have to put those childish things away.

    In about five more minutes I found myself in front of Stoney Vista High School. It rather resembled an ancient cathedral and was extremely gorgeous. I walked through the double doors of the school where I was met by a school official.

    “I’m here to meet my sister, Miranda,” I told her. She handed me a visitor pass and I sat down on bench and sent my sister a text to let her know I was there. On the inside, Stoney Vista was nice, but looked like any other school. But it was more cheerful and vibrant looking with its photographs from around the city and of the students. Finally the bell rang. I smiled as I saw that she was one of the first students down the stairs.

    Miranda looked in disbelief. “You really are here! You know I didn’t believe you when you sent that text.”

    “I can’t believe you doubted me,” I said as I poked her forehead. Just as I’d predicted, I was getting dirty looks from passing students, but I ignored them.

    “So, are we going home to change clothes?” Miranda asked me.

    “Eh, I was thinking more of buying something to wear, that way we wouldn’t have to make two trips home.”

    “I like they way your mind works—well, Gail’s mind anyway.”

    “Shush Miranda.”

    And just like that, Gail had retaken over, proving that I had a handle on this whole “separate school image” thing.


    OOC: Did I just shamelessly retcon Quinn so that she looks like Cheren?

    <<
    >>

    Yes, yes I did. XD
     
    #4 Carmen Lopez, Oct 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  5. OOC: I'll try to pick of the frequency of my posts so I can get caught up, but I'm still editing along the way. I apologize if there is a lot of time between the posts.


    Quinn

    Omg, I survived my first two days of school O.O. And it was two of hardest (and weirdest, but I’ll get to that later) of my life: that awful test that I totally didn’t finish yesterday, the tough classes, Carina, the attitudes of the students, all the homework, and Carina. Yep, I was having serious doubts as to if I’ll actually survive this year. At the moment I was staring at my Current Affairs homework hoping it would do itself. And on top of all of that, my mom was calling me to help clean up. Sigh…you’ve got to be kidding me.

    Me: MOM! I’m trying to finish this work!
    Mom: You can afford to take a break.
    Me: Uh, no I really can’t!
    Mom: Oh, come on! This won’t take too long! And you can tell me about your day while you’re at it.
    Me: *facepalm
    Little Sister Mary: Mommy? Can I have a cookie?

    I slumped away from my homework and made my way to the kitchen. My mom was clearing away the rest of the dishes. Before she could say anything, I just told her my day was hard. What about details? she asked. No, no details, just hard. She just smiled and left me alone until I was ready to rant. Until then, I just kept myself busy by wiping down the cheap counters and the cheap stove.

    My seven year old sister had apparently caved into peer pressure and now insisted that mom and I call her María instead of Mary. She was sitting at the table doing some homework no second graders should be doing until much later. Now I knew what kind of elementary school that most of my high school attended. Heh, so it wasn’t just Veilstone High that was nuts—it was this whole area. And the worst part (at least to me) she didn’t seem to be having much trouble.

    Me: Mary, I mean María? Is the work too hard for you?
    María: Nope. (*takes bite of cookie)
    Me: But, this looks like fourth grade stuff?
    María: And? My teacher said that it would help us be successful when we grow up
    Me: Riiiight (*resists rolling eyes. My sister was already turning into one of them)

    Even though she was a lot younger than me, I still got a long with her. We shared the same black hair, but she had green eyes instead of blue eyes like me. Plus she was really pretty while I looked slightly boyish. But anyway, back to the subject. My mom was looking at me like she really wanted to talk. I sighed again:

    My rant: Fine, fine. This was my day. My school is insane, I have seven tough classes a day, a lot of homework, and I don’t fit in. Happy?

    My poor mom worked so hard, and you can tell it in her eyes. She just smiled and told me that it was just the first two days and to hang in there. When I thought about all the crap she had to go through, I couldn’t help but to stop complaining. I did tell her that I wanted to transfer schools, and to my surprise, she told me that if it ever went too far, I could switch schools. That was good to hear. Through the whole the whole thing, my sister just hovered over her work like she was in a trance—and she was scaring me o.o because that wasn’t normal second grader behavior.

    I walked over to her and waved my hand in front of her face and she playfully pushed it away. THAT was a bit more normal. Seeing how tough my first two days were, she let me go back to staring at my homework and still hoping that it would somehow do itself. I think I just gave up at that point and just headdesk’d. I’m currently having trouble trying to figure out what the heck is going on with my classmates. Miguela shoves this expensive coat into my arms and then walks off (WEIRD). Usually I’m not the one to take charity but if she’s not going to throw it up in my face all the time (and since I’ll freeze otherwise) I’ll keep it. I’m grateful and all, but I still don’t like her. Akira and I have given up on the mystery of the stockings, btw. It was probably someone from a different school though.

    Absentmindedly, I made a list based on all the random thoughts I had that day

    1. Try to ditch one of my seven classes
    2. Try to ditch pre-cal
    3. Try to change groups in English
    4. Try to stand up to Carina

    Okay, so that last one wasn’t likely going to happen but a girl could dream. Oh, and I’m still happy that I found some not so evil people in my film class :D They’re a pair of twins—a boy and a girl—who care a lot about film and yet don’t come off as total brats. They’re also in my SAT prep class. Maybe I’ll actually talk to them tomorrow. ^^

    Riiiight, time for me actually get started on this crap. I’m really grateful to Akira for all his Pre-Cal help. I never would’ve made it through that class without him. It’s thanks to Akira that I finished my Pre-Cal homework before I left school—right after he had to console me after that test -_- Yeah, those test scores are going to be posted the next and I wasn’t looking forward to it. But at any rate I turned back to my homework and trudged through it.

    ~ ~ ~​

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

    I nearly jumped out of my skin as I fumbled around trying to turn off my alarm clock. The poor thing had finally croaked and was now emitting the loudest annoying sound ever. I reached behind my rickety nightstand to yank the cord out of the outlet. My mom and sister were already gone, so once again I was alone. I was extremely tired but I was happy I got all my homework done. But even so, I was not eager to get out of bed.

    My mom left me a twenty next to my breakfast so I would have lunch money for school. Yep, we found out another unfortunate thing about Sinnoh—everything was more expensive. Like Carina, Sinnoh hated me. Walking to school wasn’t so terrible now that I had protection from the cold. And I was attracting less evil stares from people because my coat looked expensive enough for their tastes. I wondered how much DID Miguela pay for it.

    I was going to start making a habit of going to the computer lab (where Akira tutored me the second day) before homeroom started so I could use the internet. Teachers at Veilstone just adore sending out assignments online at anytime of day or night. And sure enough when I got to the computer, my English professor posted some extra credit at two in the morning. Akira, who was in the computer lab with me at the time, laughed and said it was a good thing it wasn’t a required assignment. Yep, I had fun surfing the internet. I never really did anything particular—just, well, surfed ^^; Interesting stuff was everywhere: news stories, editorials, music, random.

    Akira looked like he was in deep thought when I glanced at him, so I had to ask what he was thinking about.

    Akira: I’m just thinking about the changes that will be coming this year.
    Me: What kind of changes?
    Akira: The people here…they need help. And I will be the one to help (*smiles)
    Me: Oh…

    I didn’t quite see where this was going but it sounded like fun. Lol, I had no idea what Akira had in mind, but that didn’t stop me from looking forward to whatever he had planned. Akira was one of those people who was just fascinating. He was both open and he was this crazy enigma at the same time. But just as I was about to have some more fun on the internet, Alicio walked into the lab. Yeah, I was annoyed; I groaned to myself. Alicio smiled at us and said he hoped we had done well on the test the day before and he started his lecturing. Akira stopped him before he could get too far.

    Akira: Look, if you’re just going to preach to us you can go somewhere else.
    Alicio: Oooh, aren’t we touchy. Is it because someone didn’t do well on the test yesterday?
    Akira: *Snorts* Like I care about that. Besides
    Alicio: Well, Akira you’ll have a more achieving attitude than that if want to make it here
    Akira: Is that all you people can say at this school. Get out of my face—you and your manpurse.


    XDDD

    I had to laugh at that. The manpurse was referring to Alicio’s handsome brown leather bag. Alicio was taken aback and emphatically (that’s an SAT word) claimed it was a messenger bag and not a manpurse. But when I said it was, he looked outraged. I thought he was going to hit me with an insult and I was surprised when he didn’t. He just look flustered; I had to laugh at too. Alicio looked awkward and confused for a minute as to what he wanted to do before he pulled out his cell phone and checked it. He walked out of the room before telling Akira and me that he was letting us go this time (ooooh scary ./sarcasm).

    Akira was right; the people at this school did need major help and the next thing that happened proved that to a ‘t.’ I looked up over my computer through the glass wall of the lab to see a staff member taping a piece of paper to the wall. My heart sank; all those awful feeling when I was taking the test came flooding back. And what was worse, a crowd of people were approaching that piece of paper like it was the light at the end of the tunnel. They looked mesmerized like they were having a date with destiny. The trio (Alicio had gone to meet the other two) was leading the pack so they were the first to get to the paper. Carina caught my eyes and leered before she turned her eyes to the test scores.

    It was Akira’s turned to lol. I almost wanted to run out there to catch Carina’s face because it fell. I mean, it really fell. That smug expression was off her face so fast it wasn’t even funny. Okay that’s a lie—it was; she looked nothing short of stunned. Akira and I got up and looked at the scores backwards through the paper and saw that Carina was not numero uno…Akira was. She looked at him with an intense hatred. Akira just casually walks out of the lab and faces her.

    Akira: Looks like the dirty hippie isn’t such a slacker, huh. See you in homeroom…

    He waved at me before walking through the crowd and disappearing like he was some kind of antihero in a movie. The crowd broke into a whispered frenzy—including Miguela and Alicio, who just looked curious. I felt like I was in a high school manga. Why couldn’t people just be normal? Well, I was brought back to reality by Carina glaring at me. I averted my eyes and went back to my computer.

    Carina turned her back on the list and stalked off while her two minions followed. Behind the computer I was grinning like crazy. Akira had really stuck it to her with that, but I could already tell Carina wasn’t going to let this slip by unchallenged. So unsurprisingly, Akira confirmed at lunch time that Carina had confronted him in homeroom. We were sitting with the pair of twins from my film class, Anastasio and Esmeralda Morales (yes, I worked up the nerve to sit down with them in the cafeteria).

    The twins found the whole situation hilarious. I guess I should tell you about the twins. Both of them were really smart and into film and photography, but it was their personalities that made them great. Anastasio was really positive and was easily the most charming person I’d met so far in Sinnoh. Esmeralda had a more forceful, go-getter personality rather like Carina’s only she wasn’t mean—in fact, she was pleasant to talk to.

    Lunch time was almost over when I saw the trio pass by from their lunch at the mall. Alicio had bought a new backpack and the manpurse was no where to be seen. I nudged Akira and we started cracking up again. I really enjoyed lunch that day. Well, I was still feeling like an outside but I was starting to make acquaintances who could become really good friends. Everything was looking up right now (socially anyway), but I wasn’t going to get my hopes up too high only to be crushed.

    Akira looked at his phone (one of those cool smart ones that I wanted sooooooooooooooooo much but would never be able to afford ahem) and said What the? How the heck did she get my email address? He showed us the email address and Esmeralda let out a short laugh. It was a pretty nasty message from Carina that said stuff like “I don’t know how you cheated on that test yesterday, but I will find out” and “You’d better watch your step” and “Go back to Hoenn you hippie foreigner.” Akira just smiled and created a new folder on his phone titled “Hate Mail” and put Carina’s message in it. He didn’t block her.

    He looked completely unperturbed (another good SAT word). So that’s how it is now? Akira told me that since this “Machiavellian” school had nothing against cyberbullying that there was nothing he could do about it. My goodness I wish I could be that cool. If I had gotten an email like that I’d have been intimidated for sure. But man, Carina was so full of crap! It was craaaazy o.O

    And so that’s how all that got started. Akira said he got three of those emails that day and had already gotten one this morning . And they just kept getting nastier D: But…Akira just kept putting them in that folder and going on like nothing was happening. It just made her madder if anything. I was amazed.

    And as for me Dear Diary? Sorry about that going off track, Akira’s life is a bit more interesting than mine right now. But I’m wiped out. The seven difficult classes a day are really kicking my butt. I had no idea how people were able to do it. Maybe Akira’s health food was his secret. Meh, it wasn’t like I could afford to eat like that anyway. But school was draining me -_- I was going to have to put my list to the test—and I was going to do it that day.

    As soon as I was done taking a shower after PE, I went down to the Registrar’s Office. The lady at the desk was dressed in a fancy business suit and looked coolly intimidating. I shakily told her that I wanted to talk to someone about my schedule and she pointed me to some seats outside of a door to our right. Already I was nervous but I couldn’t help. I tried to take deep breath to make my heart quit beating so hard but that failed. Through the door I could hear Anastasio trying to negotiate his schedule.

    Staff lady: I’m sorry Mr. Morales but we can’t allow you to drop homeroom—and I do hope you know that’s for obvious reasons. Now quit begging and get out of my office!

    At that the staff person (rather harshly) escorted Anastasio out of her office. Meh, I guess charm doesn’t you get you everywhere in life. Anastasio gave me the thumbs up before leaving the office. It made me forget for two seconds what I was supposed to be doing. But then the staff lady looked at me and I somehow involuntarily swallowed hard. Her eyebrows almost met her hairline. She asked if she could help me and told me to come into her office.

    Nerve-racking….It was so nerve-racking.

    It was like asking that girl about my schedule. Do you know how it feels when you’re asking someone something and they make you feel really, really stupid? Well, that was exactly the feeling I had. But I was only asking something simple! D: (ramble over). I told her I wanted to take a less strenuous math class and to drop something so I could have only six classes per day.

    The staff lady looked at me like I’d just confessed that I was an alien or something. Then she got stern and told me that all sophomores at Veilstone High were expected to be able to math at a pre-cal level and that seven was the minimum number of classes that freshman and sophomores could take. But the thing that ticked me off was the fact that she implied that film and PE weren’t serious classes and that it shouldn’t require much effort for me. Maybe she could say that for PE, but not film! And I stress ‘maybe’ for PE because the nutrition part of the course was getting pretty tedious too. So that pretty much meant I was stuck with pre-Cal and six other (really hard) classes per day.

    When I left the office, I was feeling pretty down. But Akira was waiting for me. He handed me a bottle of some kind of berry juice from Esmeralda. It turned out Akira and the twins thought I might need a pick me up from the registrar’s office where they said all the normal people had trouble getting anything done. I was on my way out of the door when I spotted Carina, Alicio, and Miguela. Carina looked like she was sizing me up and while she didn’t have an evil look on her face, she still gave me a really bad feeling.

    So ends another entry. I apologize if it was a bit well, blah. If this were a fiction story I’d totally make up more interesting stuff ^^

    OOC: As a small note, Carina’s sister’s name is given a Spanish pronunciation—as in the second a is more like ah instead the a as in cat.
     
    #5 Carmen Lopez, Oct 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  6. I'm liking the subtle changes. It improves the story as a whole.

    (I LOVE IT YOU ARE BEST PERSON EVAAAA! :o 8) ;D)
     
    #6 Luckii, Oct 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  7. OOC: Thanks Neverlance! That's really good to hear about the subtle changes^^ I'm just glad that I have a chance to correct typos, weird dialogue, and some of the more egregious errors. I still can't believe no one caught the ridiculous schedule the first time around (nine classes a day wth?!).

    Even at Veilstone, Fridays were looked forward to. Friday afternoons and the weekends were the time to go shopping for new things to brag about on Monday—in between your studying time anyway. It was like a way of showing your status; we couldn’t do it through expensive clothing (except maybe accessories and coats but that was it) so we had to find other means. I fully admit to that’s what we did. Yesterday I accepted an invitation from Carina to go shopping with her and her mom after school today, and I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it.

    Not that shopping with Carina wasn’t normally fun, but it was going to be awful today—I could feel it. For one, Carina was still seething over losing the number one spot to Akira. The second reason? Her mom is a serious piece of work. My own mother, who was known for being really sweet and generous, really disliked Mrs. Ramona Diaz (she didn’t hate anyone). Alicio told me his mom didn’t like her either. I wondered if she was bringing Amanda along. In addition to the work the little girl had to do, she was also competed in beauty pageants—something Carina also did at her age.

    My day started off well enough. Dad was away on a business trip in Jubilife City, so it was Mom who made the omelets this morning and they were delicious. On the way to school, I helped two handsome Pokémon trainers find their way to the Pokémon Center. One of the trainers had a gorgeous Leafeon that I had to admire. I could picture the Pokémon alternately being tough and yet graceful. The usual crowd was out at this time of the morning so besides the trainers, nothing of consequence happened.

    Alicio and I figured Carina would still be tense today, and we were right. We found her in a lounge sending yet another email to Akira. Those test scores really got to her badly; that day she fanatically vowed to redouble her study efforts to reclaim the number one spot for the next test. To be perfectly honest, she was scaring me, but I told myself that she could handle it. We set up a few more study sessions because she also insisted that Alicio and I should also study a bit more.

    “I still can’t believe that foreigner hippie got first place,” Carina ranted.

    “Apparently he’s smarter than we thought,” Alicio said. “He’s serious competition.”

    “Yes, he is,” I said. “He seems so laidback and he doesn’t exactly seem like the studious type.”

    “Of course he doesn’t!” Carina said, her voice rising. “He comes waltzing in from wherever that hole of a place he came from, he doesn’t even bother to fit in, and he considers this all a joke! I hate him! I’ll show him if it’s the last thing I do!”

    Alicio and I were looking at her with wide eyed expressions.

    “And what the heck are you two looking at?” Carina lashed out at us. “I hope you’d feel the same way seeing as this is the school’s reputation we’re talking about!”

    We assured her that we felt the same way as we headed off to homeroom to start our school day. Carina didn’t take one look at Akira in any of the classes we had with him, but Quinn did manage to raise Carina’s ire because she hung around Akira and she also wasn’t living up to standards. I didn’t know what Carina’s next move was; all I know is Quinn better be on her guard from now on. I gave her the coat but I wasn’t about to jeopardize my friendship with Carina just for her. But I was used to Carina’s enthusiasm for school—that didn’t make my day take a turn.

    No…my day didn’t start to go crazy until Current Affairs. We were talking about the current debate over an interregional trade agreement. Akira had very strong opinions about it. Once again he was going to start a debate but I found it much harder for me to stay quiet this time. Akira was really starting to irk me when he did stuff like that.

    “Sinnoh had the greatest amount of natural resources and also the greatest amount of wealth,” Akira argued. “All I’m saying is that with trade—

    Our Current Affairs teacher, Mr. Larson, cut him off. “Mr. Yamakage, Sinnoh already trades with the other regions and this would-be agreement—

    “Yeah, and the imbalance of trade is huge,” Akira countered back. “Sinnoh can flood the market with fossil fuels and get a lot of money from its precious gems. Not to mention this region is also an industrial powerhouse. Seriously, all I’m saying is to spread some of the wealth around.”

    The class was dead silent. I rolled my eyes at the fact that my teacher didn’t come up with the obvious comeback to that. Finally I couldn’t remain silent anymore. I cleared my throat to get Akira’s attention. Carina glanced over at me with a very “what do you think you’re doing” expression, while Alicio, and Quinn as well, just looked curious. Akira looked at me expectantly—waiting for a rebuttal to his perfect argument

    “Are you serious?” I asked Akira. “Spread the wealth around? You’re acting like the other regions are dirt poor! I can understand spreading the natural resources, but manufactured goods? That sounds really fishy to me.”

    And that’s how that started. I don’t think Current Affairs had ever been that interesting to anyone before. The most of the class looked on like they were watching a physical fight. Carina looked as though the debate she was watching was beneath her. She folded her arms and sucked her teeth. A few people in class who wanted her approval copied her disinterest, but she paid them no attention.

    Pretty soon, the debate got really personal.

    “Look Miguela,” Akira said. “I know you’ve probably never left your little bubble so you can’t possibly understand—

    My heart was already beating hard but now I was seeing red. “Don’t you dare patronize me you little freak! If you don’t want to be here, you can always go back to your little lonely piece of real estate in the ocean!”

    Akira’s eyes flashed. “I’d expect nothing less from a spoiled brat like you.”

    I was rendered speechless. Believe it or not, that cut me deep. I knew full well I acted like a spoiled brat, but that was only the façade. I wasn’t really a spoiled brat—that was all an act, but Akira nor anyone else was to know that. It really hurt because I don’t like being called something I’m not…but it wasn’t like I could refute him without giving him more ammunition; there was the façade to keep up after all. Just when I was about to come with something to say, the bell rang. Thinking he’d won our debate, Akira smirked at me and with Quinn he walked away. Carina was on me in an instant.

    “Uh, what the heck do you think you’re doing?” she asked me, her voice was filled with ice. “That is not how we do it here and you know it.”

    I had nothing to say to her. “It won’t happen again,” I mumbled.

    “Sheesh, what is with you?” Carina said viciously.

    “You know, that debate was pretty cool,” said Alicio quietly once Carina had stormed away.

    “Thanks,” I said, surprised. Alicio was never one to talk much, but he did seem more supportive of me. Well, he took Carina’s side less rather. “I hope you have fun shopping with her and her mom.”

    I shook my head and we went our separate ways for our next classes. Now I really wasn’t looking forward to the shopping trip. Being on Carina’s bad side wasn’t the place to be whatsoever, so I would work hard to show her I hadn’t gone soft. We had Biology and SAT Prep together so between those two classes, Carina, Alicio, and I went on a website known as the Black Hole named so for the simple fact that if you ended up a victim of the things said there, you wish you could jump in a black hole and die.

    It was a place that some alumni of Veilstone High had created while they were still at school. Basically it was to call out people who weren’t living up to standards. It filled our imaginations because we were barred from posting anything: only juniors and seniors could have that exclusive privilege. That was one of the reasons we couldn’t wait to become upperclassmen.

    We snickered and laughed at the embarrassing photos, the lurid rumors and everything in between. The father of a girl named Justina Vega had lost his job and her family was drowning in debt and conflict. It was clear that one her close friends had stabbed her in the back because some of the things that were written were very personal. Carina, Alicio, and I lapped it up, not caring that this girl who could be any of us was walking the halls of this school right now…

    The end of the day came far too fast and the next thing I knew, it was zero hour.

    “Did you bring a change of clothes?” Carina asked impatiently.

    “Yes, they’re in a shopping bag in my locker,” I replied.

    We both headed off to a bathroom to change. Carina had decided to look sleek in simple gray tunic with a baby blue belt at the waist, black stockings, and wedge heels with blue accents. She put on elbow length black gloves, a black trench coat and bold silver jewelry to complete the look. I also went urban chic in imported boot cut jeans, a red sweater, and brown leather boots. And to complete my look, I had to put on the awesome comfortable brown leather coat I treated myself to.

    “Nice outfit,” Carina said, noting the jacket as we were walking. “How much did you pay?”

    Yes, what you spent on your clothes was just as important as what you had on. “Let’s see. It was $1000 for the coat, $150 for the sweater, $350 for the jeans, and $500 for the boots,” I told her.

    “Pretty good,” said Carina nodding. She casually pulled out a bottle of juice. “Now we’re supposed to be meeting my mom at this boutique in about twenty minutes.” She looked around. “And oh joy, the driver is late. Just wait till I tell—

    She stopped short and inhaled sharply. Her demeanor turned hostile in heartbeat as she caught sight of the woman up ahead. The woman’s hair was the same color as Carina’s, only it was wavy rather than curly. She had the same gray eyes as Carina. This was my first time seeing Carina’s older sister in almost a year—and Carina was not happy to see her. The look on her face as she glared at her sister could’ve burned a hole in the asphalt.

    I wanted Salisha to run away, but no, she walked towards us. She was wearing a hot pink mini dress over black jeans and pink heels and carrying a big metallic silver bag. I noticed an all white Pokéball around her neck. Carina looked nothing short of appalled.

    “Little sister!” Salisha exclaimed. “It’s so good to see you!”

    Carina just looked wary. She said nothing to her. If it was cold before, it was nothing compared to how cold the atmosphere around the three of us had turned.

    “Look, I know you’re not happy to see me—

    “Understatement of the century,” Carina shot at her sister.

    “Just hear me out okay,” Salisha said, suddenly serious. “I’ll just cut the chase. Are you stressed out any?”

    “No, I’m perfectly fine,” Carina said coldly.

    At this point I started wondering if anyone would notice if I just disappeared because that’s exactly what I wanted to do right now. I guess I should be fortunate that the area was currently deserted.

    “Carina, I know the minimum number of classes is seven,” Salisha said urgently. “And when I called to check on you last week, Mom gloated that you were taking nine and doing all kinds of activities! You’re not fine!”

    “Yes, I am. I can handle it just fine. I’m not you, remember?” Carina leered.

    Salisha sighed. “Little sister please, just listen!”

    But Carina was done. Her anger had risen to the boiling point just that fast. She spoke quietly, but her voice was deadly. “Salisha get away from me now. And stop calling me your sister! I don’t want anyone associating us together.”

    Salisha looked at her sister with fear in her eyes. “Carina, you know I’ll always be there for you, but you have to let me help.” She reached out and touched her sister’s hand—a big mistake.

    “Don’t touch me!” Carina said as she violently pushed her sister away. Her gray eyes burned with anger. She opened the bottle of juice she was holding and before Salisha could react, Carina threw it in her face. Purple liquid dripped off her and ran into her hair.

    For a minute Salisha was silent. “All right little sister,” she finally said, slight defeated. “Just know that I’ll always be there for you.” She took a handkerchief from her purse and wiped the juice from her face before walking away.

    “I cannot believe the nerve of her!” Carina said loudly. “I hope I never see her again.”

    I was really at a loss for words at a moment so I just let Carina rant on. The back story behind that incident would’ve made a great drama, but that’s for another entry on a much later day. At long last, a luxurious black car drove up. Carina and I climbed inside where the driver looked absolutely terrified of Carina. She tried to apologize for being late but Carina just roughly told her to shut up talking. We rode to the boutique in absolute silence. I vaguely wondered if it was too late to cancel this trip.

    When we finally arrived, Carina had some words for the driver. “Oh and I’ll be sure to tell Mother about your being late. Please believe it’ll be coming out of your pay. Have a nice day!”

    She slammed the door once she and I had gotten out and the driver drove off. We were now in one of the most exclusive shopping districts in Veilstone—perhaps all of Sinnoh: Luna Crest Row. Some of the most famous designers had boutiques here. The one we were standing in front of happened to be a dress shop for little girls: “La Casa de Muñecas. That pretty much meant that Ramona had brought Amanda along. The place was designed so that while the display window was fully visible, the shoppers had absolute privacy.

    “Finally you made it!” said Ramona impatiently once they were admitted in the shop. “It took you two long enough!”

    “I apologize Mother,” said Carina. “The driver was being an idiot.”

    “An idiot you say? I’ll fire her when we get home,” said Ramona indifferently. “And for GOODNESS sakes, Amanda! Hold still!” Ramona snapped at the little girl. Amanda was getting fitted for a dress for her next pageant and she kept fidgeting.

    “I’m trying, Mommy!” Amanda whined. “But my legs are tired! Can’t I just sit down for one minute?”

    “No,” said Ramona as she examined her face in a mirror. Ramona was an imposing woman. She was a tall woman who stood about 5’9 with straight waist length hair. Her clothes, hair, nails, and skin were always flawless just like the huge mansion she lived in. Carina always talked about how supportive her mother was of her and Amanda’s school careers.

    “And guess who I saw today, Mother,” said Carina as she sat down in a chair. “Salisha.”

    “Gah, I’d hoped that girl had moved away from Veilstone,” Ramona said still examining herself in the mirror. “That stupid idiot. But let’s not talk about her now. I don’t want to spoil my mood.”

    It was probably shocking for someone else to hear Ramona talk about her own daughter like that but I was pretty much used to it.

    “Ah, Miguela,” said Ramona, finally looking up from the mirror. “You look nice today. How much was the outfit.”

    See? I told you cost was important. I gave her the same run down that I gave Carina when she started asking about my family.

    “And does your mom still work at that little store?”

    “Yes, and it’s doing very we—

    “Eh,” said Ramona. “I’ll never understand why people work when they don’t have to. I mean, your father makes enough money to support you without her having to work. That is, your father still has his high paying job, right?”

    “Yes,” I began. “And she says she works beca—

    “Your mom and I could be better friends if she’d just change her lifestyle,” Ramona interrupted. “She could come with me for spa treatments, trips to Valor Lakefront, shopping in Canalave—all that stuff and often too. We could even help each other with child-rearing. But all she does is work in that store. What a waste.”

    Carina laughed. “Why are you looking like that, Miguela? It’s true! In addition to being more supportive of your schoolwork, you could also talk her into quitting. It would also help her social standing.”

    “Yeah, maybe,” I said awkwardly. To be honest, my mother didn’t really work all that much. And most of what she made went into a savings account because she was always saying “You never know…” But there was no getting that through to Ramona. Her husband and children’s father was one of the richest people I knew and she spent his money like it was going out of style.

    “Carina, what other activities do you have to do today?” Ramona asked.

    “I have homework to do, and then there are the etiquette classes for the debutante ball—oh did I tell you Miguela? I’m not doing the school’s dance this year. Thanks to my father, I was invited to a Debutante Ball that’s happening at the same time. Not to mention my escort will be the son of one of his associates!”

    “That sounds amazing,” I said. I wasn’t quite jealous, but I at the same time I rather was.

    “I know,” said Carina. “It really is a shame you can’t go. Oh well. But back to what I was saying. After the etiquette classes, I’ll do more studying and start looking online for dresses. Tomorrow I have even more things to do since it’s Saturday.”

    “Right, that reminds me,” said Ramona. “I need to find more things for this one to do,” she said as she pointed at Amanda who looked close to tears. “She needs to develop another skill that will help her win in pageants.”

    “You could always try the violin,” Carina suggested.

    “Sounds like a good idea to me,” her mother agreed. “Violin lessons it is. And Carina, make sure you put more effort into your studying,” she added suddenly critical. “You need to get first place in that next test. Do I make myself crystal clear?”

    “Yes, mother, I’ll work harder,” said Carina, determined.

    “You’d better.”

    After that, Carina and her mother began talking more about school and the debutante ball. I was disappointed in myself because for the first time, I was bored. And I was never bored when I was shopping with Carina. I had no idea what was wrong with me, because I usually lapped these conversations up to learn how to better myself. I was going to be spending my Saturday working in the store, studying, and that was pretty much it. That was pretty much how my Saturdays went anyway.

    “MIGUELA!” I heard Ramona shout. “We’re ready to go. Stop daydreaming already.”

    “Yes ma’am,” I said as I rose from my chair. Carina shot me a “what the heck do you think you’re doing” look.

    “And I expect that dress to be ready next week,” Ramona demanded the dressmaker. “Got that?”

    “Yes,” said the dressmaker as she headed to the back.

    “Mommy…”said Amanda cautiously. “Can we go to the candy store?”

    Her mother looked at her like she was crazy. “My goodness, Amanda! Are you serious? No, you can’t have candy! You’re watching your figure remember?”

    “Oh…right,” said Amanda miserably.

    “And stop looking so mopey,” she added as she grabbed her by the arm.

    “Ow, okay, okay, I’ll stop looking mopey!” Amanda said. Then she proceeded to put on that vapid, fake pageant smile.

    “That’s more like it,” Ramona said as she finally let her daughter go. “Why must I have to tell everyone what to do all the time? Sheesh!”

    I think we hit ten of the boutiques during our shopping bout. Everything was passing by in a blur to me so I didn’t remember all the details. But the most vivid thing that happened was Carina and Ramona throwing a tantrum in one boutique after the owner refused to sell Carina a purse that was reserved for someone else. Amanda cowered behind me the entire time. That’s when it hit me. This was all Akira’s fault! If he hadn’t called me a spoiled brat, I could’ve been able to go into full Miguela mode and enjoy myself.

    Five hours later, we were finally done. I had picked up some things I liked, including a dress and was now carrying around a few shopping bags. Carina and Ramona were satisfied with their shopping trip and quickly planned another. Amanda was now close to dying and I really couldn’t blame her. I couldn’t wait to get home, but first I took a walk through a park on the way home to clear my head because it currently felt like a jumbled mess. I was barely watching where I was going so it came as no surprise when I crashed into someone.

    “Oh, it’s you,” said a voice disdainfully. It was Akira who was carrying a reusable grocery bag. “I see you just got back from another trip to the mall,” he said indicating my shopping bags. “I bet you don’t do anything that actually helps someone else, do you?”

    I think I rivaled Carina in how fast my anger rose. “Shut up, Akira,” I growled as I tried to walk away from him.

    He smirked. “A spoiled brat through and through.”

    At that I completely blew up. “I said SHUT UP! You don’t know anything about me, jerk!” Without thinking I shoved him with my one free hand. Immediately I regretted it.

    Akira rubbed his chest. “Wow, you really do have a soul,” he said amazed. “That’s really interesting…” He turned to walk away. “Well, the Pokémon need this stuff so I need to get going. I’ll see you tomorrow!” he said, waving. It was like he was pleased that he’d been shoved.

    I on the other hand was still pretty ticked so I stalked off in a huff. This walk through the part was supposed to calm me down, not rile me up even more! At that point all I wanted to do was to go home and do nothing. Akira really was irritating; why couldn’t he have stayed in Hoenn anyway? Just as I was about to exit the gates of the park, I crashed into someone else and they incurred my anger.

    “Watch where you’re go—oh!” It was the old man and his Lucario Ali who I had met on Tuesday. “I’m so sorry!” I said apologetically.

    “That’s quite all right,” chuckled the old man. “But you seem to be in such a tizzy. Don’t be so angry; the night sky is beautiful tonight.”

    I looked up and saw the star filled sky and agreed with the man. “It really is beautiful. And by the way, you never told me your name.”

    “My name?” the man said. “That’s slightly irrelevant. You can just call me the wanderer because I never stay still.”

    “Heh,” I said. Ali was looking at me with a child like curiosity. It was funny how no one had to tell me she was younger than her human, but just as old as he was when it came to wisdom.

    “But you have to be getting home now,” the man said. It wasn’t a question.

    “Yes, I do” I said, nodding. “I guess I’ll…see you around.”

    “Maybe, maybe not,” said the old man cryptically. “No one really knows…”

    With one last wave, I was off to home once more. I was a lot calmer and back into Gail mode after bumping into Ali and the wanderer. I looked down at my shopping bag and saw how intricate they were. It was amazing how much effort someone put into these bags only to have most people through them away. I never did though because my mom, my sister and I could always find a use for them.

    At long last, I was at my building. If I wasn’t so tired I would’ve taken the stairs, but instead I waited for the elevator. Relief coursed through me as I entered my house and dropped my shopping bags beside the door. My mom was out to dinner with some friends and my sister spending the night at a friend’s house so I was alone. I quickly changed into a sweat suit for comfort. My plan of doing nothing wasn’t very productive so I decided to do some reading for English.

    I warmed up some leftover pizza and was just about to get comfortable on the living room sofa when I heard a knock at the door. Ugh…why did I have leave my comfort spot? I lumbered my way to the door and opened it. But there was no one there. I was shocked to see a Pokémon egg there and my heart stopped when I saw that it was hatching.

    OOC: Siiiiigh, I just want to be caught up already, but at the same time, I don't want to go too fast for people reading it for the first time XD
     
  8. Miss Carmen Saida, you win the best author ever award! 'Nuff said. Anyway, I love this story! By all means, keep posting!
     
  9. OOC: Ah, thanks Stamgalaki!

    Akira Yamakage

    Geeze…Sinnoh weather really sucks. I’ve been inside for twenty minutes and I’m still trying to get warm. Why did it have to be this cold in September anyway? I jacked the thermostat up to eighty-eight as I went to give my uncle the stuff to make Pokémon food. Normally, that was my job, but after all the crap I went through at school, both my aunt and uncle forced me to take some time to myself. I really didn’t mind taking care of the Pokémon because that helped me relax more than anything else, but this little break would give me some time to do something I’ve needed to do all week: talk to my friends back home.

    Now I did have to give Sinnoh credit where credit’s due for a few things, like my laptop for instance. It was pretty good for the earth as far as laptops went. It was really light weight from the materials it was made of and the battery lasted a very long time, so it needed charging fewer times. And now that the vast majority of Veilstone High School is turning out to be pricks, this laptop was now my lifeline. All I wanted was to talk to some people who weren’t so uptight; I was fairly sure the negative energy at Veilstone wouldn’t mess with my inner balance, but one could never be too sure…

    I logged on the IM program and found three of my best friends online. No one believed that I was actually there, which led to Britain throwing a virtual hammer to see if it was really me. It really felt good to be able to talk to some familiar people and while it didn’t help my home-sickness, it was still fun. Yep, I was about to settle down to some green tea and chatting, when someone started banging on the door. I brb’d and went for the door.

    Here’s how my aunt and uncle’s daycare works. A lot of Veilstone residents (many more than I thought) have Pokémon as companions who they’re often unwilling to leave alone when they’re gone to work, school, etc. And so, they take them to various places across the city, including this one. The Pokémon get to socialize and (when I get home from school) I get to spend time with them and learn more about Pokémon.

    We also take care of three Pokémon that were abandoned on the streets who are unable to be released back into the wild: a Chatot that was no longer able to fly thanks to some disgusting people that abused him. Despite all he went through, he still was sweet and playful. It still pisses me off that someone could do that to a Pokémon; a Swinub that can’t effectively use any of her attacks anymore and was probably abandoned by some trainer. Her sense of smell isn’t diminished in the slightest; and then there’s Scyther…We aren’t sure what happened to him, but he’s emotionally disturbed and trusting of no one other than my aunt and uncle. I’m still working on gaining his trust.

    The person kept knocking and knocking. I yelled that I was coming but that didn’t stop whoever was at the door. It was rather strange that someone would be coming this late for any reaspn. When I finally snatched open the door, I was surprised at who it was. I smiled.

    “Fancy seeing you here, Miguela,” I said wryly.

    She had a blanketed bundle in her arms and looked out of breath and nothing short of frantic, but when she saw it was me she looked even more scared. Somehow I don’t think I was supposed to see her in this vulnerable state. “Wait, what are you doing here?” she said in spite of herself.

    “I live and work here,” I said, winking just to frustrate her more. “And I should be asking YOU that.”

    “It hatched outside my front door! I don’t know what to do!” said Miguela who looked like she was struggling with herself.

    Puzzled, I reached out and shifted the blankets and I couldn’t believe it. “It’s a Riolu! Do you know how rare these Pokémon are? And you just happen to find one hatching outside your front door?” The Pokémon was sleeping peacefully in Miguela’s arms.

    “Yes! That’s my problem! What if someone poached it?” Miguela asked.

    “You may not want to talk too loudly,” I said as I went behind the counter to get the ID gun. “You’ll wake him.”

    “Fat chance of that,” Miguela said. “If he can sleep through me running here, some people yelling, and a police siren, he can sleep through anything. And how did you know he was a boy?”

    “An ancient Yamakage secret,” I said shrugging. Then her eyes grew wide.

    “What are you going to do with that thing!?” she said, pointing at the ID gun, which I had to admit looked a little lethal.

    “Relax, Miguela,” I said calmly. “It’s only to see if Riolu here was poached. “If you have a Pokémon egg, you’re advised to get it marked, rather like a Pokéball marks a captured Pokémon.” I clicked the gun and it projected a harmless, green beam of light. It would show up red on Riolu if he was stolen, and it would remain green if he was legit. “Congratulations, your Riolu isn’t stolen,” I said brightly. “You’re free to go!” I laughed to myself when I saw the look on her face.

    “Wha-MY Riolu?” Miguela sputtered. “I don’t know anything about taking care of a baby Pokémon!”

    “You can learn,” I told her. “Well, when Riolu wakes up I imagine he’ll be hungry, and I doubt he’ll be able to handle solid food right now. In that case you’ll need to feed him some formula. I could give you some because we make our own here.”

    Miguela still looked a bit shocked. “Oh…all right.” Riolu began to stir and yawn as he woke up.

    “Riiiiolu,” he said cheerfully as he looked at Miguela. Then his stomach made a loud growl. “Oluuuuuu,” he moaned hungrily. Miguela looked at me for some kind of direction.

    “I’ll be right back…” I said. As I walked back to get the formula, I had to smile because I knew for a fact that Riolu was going to turn Miguela’s life upside down and in a good way—I just hoped she would accept the Pokémon. I took a bottle down and filled it up with homemade formula. For extra measure, I took some berries with me.

    “Baaack,” I announced when I returned. Miguela had put Riolu on the ground and he was tottering around exploring things. I could tell she secretly adored him. She was pulling at her collar uncomfortably and I realized I had still had the thermostat up to eighty-eight, but I didn’t bother to turn it down because it just got comfortable to me. “I brought these berries to see what flavor Riolu likes best and I can flavor the formula.”

    Riolu sniffed the air, smelled the berries, and rushed over. I was right in thinking he couldn’t eat solid food yet because he couldn’t handle the Cheri Berry he’d picked out even though it was soft. He frowned until I picked up the berry and squeezed the berry over his formula. The red juice ran into the bottle which gave the liquid a slightly red tint.

    “Hm, so that means he likes spicy food,” I said. “Would you like to do the honors?” I asked as I handed the bottle to Miguela.

    She looked confused for a moment before realization dawned on her. “Oh! You mean feeding him? But…all right,” she said. Miguela beckoned Riolu to her and he came went into her arms. “Um, I’ve never bottle fed a Pokémon before,” she said, but it didn’t take her long to get used to it. Riolu pretty much inhaled the formula.

    “It won’t take him long to be able eat solid food,” I told her. “As in, it’ll only take about a week and a half.”

    Miguela looked up at me. “How do you know so much about Pokémon?”

    “Taking care of Pokémon is something I really care about,” I said, and looking at the expression on her face, “I never wanted to be a Pokémon trainer because it’s really not me, but my sister is a Pokémon Ranger.”

    “Cool,” Miguela said quietly. She turned her attention back to Riolu and I had to work hard to keep from laughing. Even now she was trying to look cool and collected and was failing miserably. She really was enjoying Riolu and was hiding it. I’ll add that to my list of missions—find out what on in the world she was hiding. Riolu gently drifted back to sleep again with his stomach full. But suddenly Miguela looked alarmed. “Wait! I have school! I don’t have time to take care of a Pokémon!”

    And just when I thought she was getting somewhere. “Are you serious? Is school the only thing you think about?” I asked harshly.

    “No! I-I mean, it’s just r-really important to me,” Miguela said, losing her composure. “But really I can’t keep him!”

    “But you want to!” I countered. “You really like him and you know it! So then why not? If you don’t want to leave him alone during the day you can always leave him in a daycare like this.”

    Miguela shook her head. “I do like him, but he’d be nothing but a distraction.”

    “Hopeless,” I said. “Well, hand him over.”

    “What do you mean?” she said quickly. “It’s Friday so I could have him for the weekend and give him back Sunday!”

    Then it was my turn to shake my head. Her hopelessness was annoying me now. “No way. I don’t want him to get any more attached to you than he already is and then you just abandon him. Sorry but I can’t let you do that.” I had seen it happen too many times before—people abandoning Pokémon and emotionally scarring them and I wasn’t going to let it happen to Riolu.

    “I mean, I can just think about it and—

    “If you decide to give him up, he’ll be gone by tomorrow afternoon,” I told her.

    “I-what?” Miguela said.

    “You know this city reveres Lucario, so Riolu are in really high demand and they are super rare,” I so kindly informed her. “Someone will come and scoop him up in no time.”

    “Wow…”said Miguela as she glanced at the sleeping Riolu in her arms.

    “And you really don’t want to give him up, right?” I asked.

    She took a deep breath and became determined. “I think we’ll stay together for now,” Miguela said. “And if, if I stink at this, he should stay with you.”

    “Nah, you’ll be fine,” I said cheerfully. I reached out and touched her shoulder; she glanced at her shoulder and raised an eyebrow. I quickly withdrew my hand and there was this awkward silence. “Soooooo, I’ll just give you this formula and the berries and you can go.”

    “Right,” said Miguela.

    I gave her enough stuff to last her the entire weekend and I promised to email her the recipe to the formula to see if she could make it herself. But that wasn’t the end of it because Miguela had one last thing to say to me.

    “And by the way Akira,” she began. “Don’t tell anyone about this, all right?”

    At those words, I’m pretty sure I had a “you’ve got to be kidding me” look on my face. I threw my hands up. “You know what? I’m not even going to bother tonight. I’ll see you later.”

    Miguela looked like she wanted to say something but decided against it. With one look at the Riolu, she waved goodnight and left.

    “You handled that pretty well,” I heard my aunt Yume say as she came into the room. Yume had taken her long black hair down from the ponytail which meant she was done with her “official” work and was now on her own time. “I almost had déjà vu there with what you said to that girl. Machi (my mother, her sister in law) was nearly in the exact same situation—only she was meaner,” Yume laughed.

    “So she’s always been more, uh, militant than me?” I asked.

    “Pretty much,” she said. “Not that you’re exactly a push-over yourself. I hear everyone say how laid back you are, but they don’t know the real you.”

    “I’m laid back about some things,” I said. “But yeah, other things, not so much.”

    Just then, Yume’s partner Pokémon Ronin (a Mightyena) entered the room carrying a basket in his mouth.

    “Had enough work today, Ronin?” Yume asked him.

    Rather than being tired Ronin growled in an energetic sort of way. I had always loved Ronin and considered him part of the family. And indeed Yume and Ronin had grown up together—almost like brother and sister. He was a huge help to running the daycare.

    “Well, since you aren’t tired and I’m not tired,” said Yume as she gave Ronin a playful noogie. “Why don’t we go jogging together?”

    Ronin barked saying he was game. He put down his basket and promptly opened the door and ran out of it.

    “Hey! Wait for me!” Yume said as she ran after him. “And Akira don’t forget to turn down the thermostat!” she yelled back.

    I laughed as I watched them but my smile faded to something like “here we go again” as Ryoma and Izumi, my Treecko and Ralts respectively, came tumbling in the room.

    “Do I even want to know what happened?” I asked as I noticed Izumi had a piece of duct tape across her small mouth. Izumi was screeching at the top of her lungs with tears in her eyes.

    Whether I actually wanted to know or not, Ryoma didn’t care, because he was telling me anyway. The conversation went something like this: Treecko! Treecko! Treeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeecko! (at this point Ryoma gestured furious with his hands) Treecko, Treecko, Treecko! (he made a hand gestured indicating talking) and then he recreated tearing off tape and holding Izumi down to put the tape on her mouth. And then he pointed at the bruise on his head.

    “Let me get this straight,” I said. “You guys were watching TV and Izumi wouldn’t stop talking.” Ryoma nodded. “And you took it upon yourself to stop her from talking with the duct tape. Aaaaand that’s when she used telekinesis to hit you in the head with the remote.”

    “Treecko!” Ryoma said nodding. He furiously pointed at Izumi which told me he wanted her punished.

    “Okay, no Ryoma, just no,” I said as I removed the duct tape from Izumi’s mouth. “This is just further proof that TV rots your brain. You don’t tape someone’s mouth shut when you want them to be quiet, you know.”

    Ryoma folded his arms and looked at me (“yeah, yeah, yeah” was what he was likely saying.) Izumi looked pretty pleased that Ryoma was shot down, but I had to burst her bubble too.

    “And for goodness sakes, Izumi, you don’t hit people with TV remotes either, unless it’s a freak emergency,” I told her as I treated Ryoma’s bruise. “Seriously, you two need to look on the mellower side of life.”

    This time, both Pokémon looked at me like I was crazy. I chuckled as I went back to my laptop with Ryoma and Izumi following. Both Pokémon were both pretty young. I found it highly ironic that Ryoma and Izumi were both a bit neurotic when Ralts and Treecko were known for being calm and peaceful. I got two oddballs but I loved them to death.

    My laptop screen had turned black and my green tea was cold in all the time I was gone. I rubbed my finger across the mouse pad to bring my laptop back to life, and took a sip of the green tea which I liked better cold anyway. It was a bit surprising to see my friends were still there—particularly Britain whose attention span was shorter than a Diglett. I imagined how warm it must be in Hoenn right now and how cold it was in Sinnoh which only made the home-sickness worse.

    While I was chatting, I checked my usual websites to see if anything interesting was happening. I got a few emails and messages from people back in Hoenn and a random assignment a teacher had decided to give us for the weekend. There wasn’t anything from anyone from Sinnoh (besides teachers anyway), but I bet that was only because Quinn didn’t have a computer…oh wait, I lied. Here’s yet another message from Carina Diaz. Seriously speaking, this girl was scaring me.

    She again was threatening to tell the “authorities” that I had cheated on that first test and once AGAIN she was telling me that she would be first place on the next test (which would be Monday). Heh, I would have to disappoint her. As arrogant as this will probably sound, she wouldn’t be getting first place on this test, the next one, or the one after that—at least she wouldn’t if I had my way. I had something to prove to this school and I was going to do just that. Man…sometimes I scare myself with my determination.

    Siiiiigh, truth be told, I was bored out of my mind right now (and anyone reading this would probably notice), because all of my work—school and with Pokémon—had ended for the day. But I didn’t really feel like doing anything right now. Mission three: find my niche in Veilstone so I’m not sitting here on a Friday night doing pretty much nothing. I threw a sharp look at Ryoma who was threatening to strangle Izumi for humming. That niche would probably have something to do with Pokémon. I turned to the internet once more and began my search there.
     
    #9 Carmen Lopez, Oct 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  10. Quinn

    W00t! It was finally the weekend! And it couldn’t come fast enough. Yesterday my mom had surprised my sister and me by telling us that she got paid at the end of her first week as some kind of goodwill bonus…yeah I didn’t quite know what that was either. But I do know that it means we can go shopping for some essentials. ^^ Knowing my mother and sister would be able to sleep late on Saturday made me regret that detention more than ever. They gave me an option of having the detention in the morning or in the afternoon, and I picked morning so it wouldn’t interfere with my plans too much—and I could go ahead and get the stupid thing out of way. I picked the earliest time available to do it: seven a.m.

    I still had to drag myself out of the bed 6:00 though which really, very, super hard for me. Three hours detention wasn’t exactly the best motivator. I put on my uniform and gathered together the homework I was going to do during that time. I figured since it was Saturday, most of the coffee shops wouldn’t be packed, so I could get breakfast at one of them. As I walked, I made a mental list of what I wanted to get: a hat, gloves, scarf, and boots, and a new bag. Yep, that was it. And I would likely be able to buy the first three together. Because I had a uniform, I could hold off on getting new clothes. Mom also told me to make sure I had money on my card so we could take the trolley later.

    Despite the fact that I had a three hour detention staring me in the face, I was looking forward to the day. But…as I got closer to school I saw students there. Oh joy (rolls eyes). It turns out that these students had where either club officers having a meetings or (to my utmost horror) had classes. Yes, you heard right. VOLUNTARY SATURDAY CLASSES. I’m serious when I say these people have lost their ever-loving minds @_@. Alas, I was disappointed to see students in the area even if they ignored me in the deli shop I went too. I hastily ordered a sandwich and ate it in record time. It turns out the students weren’t ignoring me so much; they stared at me as I practically inhaled the sandwich so I slowed down.

    I couldn’t put my finger on what was so different about the food in Sinnoh, but it was different nonetheless. It made me miss home and the food from home a lot—I knew that much. Perhaps it was because the food was a bit spicier here. Meh. I just ate the sandwich and left the shop before I was late for detention…which would probably land me with another detention. I glanced at the other students as I left and saw that many of them had what they called “extra-caffeinated” coffee and powerful energy drinks to give them a boost. I didn’t think I’d see anything like it until I got to college.

    I finally dragged myself in the door to school (my detention was being held in my homeroom classroom). To be honest, I’m wondering if I should even write about that because it was absolutely. Boring. Out. Of. This. World. It was basically just me doing my homework. That’s all. Nothing else. Nada. In fact, I thought the clock had stopped a few times, but that was probably only because I kept looking at it. I was the only one there because apparently the students of Veilstone were too perfect to be caught anywhere near detention. So it was just me, and a lowly teacher’s assistant who was on duty that day. He glared at me over the top of his book for getting detention which required him to be there.

    One hour passed…I wanted to run out of the room and never return.

    Two hours passed…I wanted to cry ;_;

    Three hours passed…I wanted to die ._.

    Finally the TA set me free to go about my day. Yipee! I made sure to add the rest of the money I had to the card and I was ready to go home! But guess who I should see on my way out of the door: Carina. She was wearing this awesome turquoise trench (it nearly made me turquoise…err green with envy) over her uniform and a huge silvery bag. I had hoped to slip out before she noticed but no such luck for me.

    Carina: Hmm…well you’re not here for classes or clubs. You got yourself in detention.
    Me: …. *I look down at my feet
    Carina: Really, you should do us and the rest of this school a favor and go to a different school.

    I felt her reach out and grab hold and snatch my head up so I was looking her in the face. She was about two inches taller than me already, and her boots gave her an additional two inches.

    Me: Let go of me! (It didn’t help that it came out kinda weak.)
    Carina: Hmph. You should be honored I’d even be willing to touch you, you dirty little freak.”

    I jerked away from her, her last word stinging me. She looked at her hand as though she was just forced to pet a dead rat and she didn’t even want to wipe her hands on her clothes. Instead, she pulled hand sanitizer out of her giant bag.

    Carina: *Smirks I’ll be gone now—before I catch whatever it is that makes you so gross. Just think about what I said, okay? (Evil….)

    She walked away, leaving me feeling super insecure. I’ve never felt so dirty in my entire life. I rushed out of the door and into the cold as quickly as I could. What I needed at that moment was chocolate and I needed a coffee shop for that. It was truly amazing how Carina could just ruin my day and I knew I would have to do something about it someday…someday <<

    I glanced at a sign and was slightly shocked; it read “Veilstone High Square.” This school was so rich it could afford its own shopping square? Wow, I guess one week wasn’t enough to learn all about this school. I decided to go to the first coffee shop I came across which turned out to be a place called Chela’s. It was cozy on the inside like any other coffee shop and it was also rather dark on the inside. I ordered hot chocolate and a muffin and sat down a table in the corner.

    From where I was sitting, I had a clear view of the window which was perfect for the view. I’ve been so wound up I really haven’t had time to think about much else ^^; Looking around the area, I thought this is what they called a “trendy” area. Everything looked new and, well, trendy XD The people all around looked like they’d stepped off the pages of a magazine. I sighed before taking a sip of my hot chocolate. Carina had made me doubt myself again. Would I ever be able to fit in here with these people?

    I finished up and headed home. When I got there, Mom and María were already dressed and ready to head out the door. I hurried to my room where I faced a dilemma: I could be warm in a sweat shirt and look completely frumpy OR be slightly cold in a nice fitted button down but look cute. It took me a full minute to finally decide on the sweat shirt (and some jeans) because it would be covered over by the coat.

    My mom and sister looked excited to be able to get out and do some shopping. It turned out that Mom had already did the grocery shopping while I was gone and was now trying to decide where she wanted to go clothes shopping.

    Mom: *Pulls out a huge map. OKAY! We need to take this trolley. *Puts finger on a trolley route marked number five
    María: Yay! It’s like we’re going on an adventure!
    Me: *Aware of people staring at us Uh, Mom? Can you put the map away? We’re getting weird looks from people
    Mom: Aw, who really cares! Not me!
    Me: …
    Mom: Is something wrong, Quinn?
    Me: …it’s nothing. (It felt like all those people were Carina staring at us…)

    Thankfully, Mom didn’t press me and María didn’t notice anything. The number five trolley went to a shopping district about fifteen minutes from my school and it followed a scenic route through the city. It was my first time riding on a trolley and I thoroughly enjoyed it—but nowhere near as much as María did.

    María: MOM, QUINN look at that! Isn’t it pretty? (She was pointed at a fountain of a Lucario cradling what looked like a meteorite in its hands) But…why is the water all red?

    Well, of course Mom and I had no clue, but the old man next to us did. He had the bushiest beards and mustaches I’d ever seen. In fact he looked like the thin, homeless version of Santa Claus and he was freaking me out O.O And the hooded person beside him wasn’t making the situation any better.

    Old Man: The water in that fountain is dyed red for the blood, sweat, and tears it took to hewn Veilstone from rock. But of course, it could symbolize the blood of something else entirely…

    The man let out a gnarled laughed as he winked at María who smiled back.


    It was one of the most morbid thing I’d ever heard, but María thought it was just the coolest thing ever and even asked if the man thought there was some actual blood in the fountain. Yeah, honestly she scared me sometimes. She liked to write these stories too and I read one of them one day thinking it would be about rainbows, princesses, and ponies. Boy was I wrong. Big time. We’re talking black suns, cities with no people, and monsters. My mom has shot down every mention I make of getting her therapy. ¬.¬ But really, I want to know how someone so bright and cheery could be so creepy!

    Finally, we got to our stop and hopped out of the trolley. I was relieved to be leaving the old man behind. The area we were in was full of pedestrians also doing their Saturday shopping. But unfortunately for us, we didn’t stay for long. We discovered (very quickly) that the prices were as stylish as area was. PLAN B!

    Since this area was obviously more expensive, Mom pulled out her map (to my horror) and picked another area.

    Mom: Ah, here looks like a better place. It’s a mall!

    And we did have better luck there! ^^ The mall was just as nice as the one I’d went to my first day of school, but it was more laid back…or as laid back as you can get in Sinnoh, lol. I had fun looking around the different stores with Mom and María. She wanted ear muffs and mittens, and a scarf to match her green coat (my old one fell apart last year, but she still had hers).

    All of the clothes in this mall LOOKED expensive, but really weren’t. I’m not sure who could tell the difference but I sure couldn’t. I got everything I wanted on my little list, including the cutest boots ever. They resembled the black ski looking boots the girls at school wore and they were so warm and comfy :) And better yet, they were on sale 60% off XD I had picked out a messenger bag with purple and white flowers with green leaves and a crème colored fleece hat, gloves and scarf.

    Mom even had enough left to get us all a little something extra. María decided to buy a doll and a journal to write creepy stuff in while my mom bought herself this novel. And as for me? I got myself some rain boots because I was sure they’d come in handy. Since I wasn’t sure if loud, lurid designs would fly at Veilstone, I bought black ones with thin, white pinstripes.

    I also looked around some of the teenagers around the mall. They most certainly didn’t go to Veilstone High School—they were too casual. They were loud, laughing, and having a good time which what teenagers were supposed to BE. A lot of them had Pokémon and were talking about plans for the weekend. They were likely still Sinnoh to the bone but they still looked friendly.

    All in all it was a good Saturday to end a pretty stressful week. And I guess that detention was good for something because it forced me to do all my homework so I was free for the rest of the weekend! But I wouldn’t be spending it doing nothing, oh no, not I.

    Me: Mom, I’m going to start looking for a job when we get home.
    Mom: But your school schedule sounds really tough. You don’t need a job right now. We’ll be fine.
    Me: Well…I could at least try! You never know. I may find a job that will work with my schedule.
    Mom: All right, all right, go ahead *Smiles. But remember if it stresses you too much, you have to quit
    Me: Agreed!

    I pretty much set out almost as soon as we got home. As we didn’t have a computer, I had to head to the public library (which wasn’t too far from school) and use the internet there. I’d never actually been in the library, but once dropped in, I knew I would be spending a lot of time there because it was so pleasant ^^ There was an ever-present coffee shop and café as well as a hotspot for people who had laptops. The computers were in a backroom and there was hardly anyone there.

    To use the services, all I had to do was sign up for a library “card.” I say “card” because it was really just some data they put on my school ID. I hopped onto a computer and started browsing for jobs that would hire fifteen year olds. At first I wasn’t having much luck. Either the jobs weren’t hiring, the minimum age was sixteen, or just wouldn’t be able to work with my schedule. I came across four places that could possibly work and filled out the applications for three.

    I hate online applications…so…much…Why were there so many inane questions? Stuff like “Would you follow orders if your boss asked you to do something illegal” or “Would you be willing to locate to another region” (I’m fifteen for goodness sakes! D:) or “Would you tell the manager if you caught someone doing Pokénip in the back office”…okay so the last one was a joke, but you get my drift.

    The fourth job I decided I’d apply in person. It was neat little shop that sold beauty products such as all natural make-up, perfume, and skin stuff. It was a bit girly but hey, the stuff would be useful after all. The place was called Belleza and took up the bottom two floors of a four story building. When I went inside, I immediately felt calm. They were playing some relaxing music in the background and the smells from all the products were soothing…I could’ve curled up and gone to sleep.

    Unknown girl: May I help you?
    Me: *Startled O-oh right, I was just w-wondering if you were um…h-hiring. (Calm down, Quinn!)
    Unknown girl: Oh? Let me just get Dania.


    She disappeared through a curtain in the side of the store. The pretty girl had glossy, long, black hair, hazel eyes and was tanned. I took deep breaths to calm myself down as Dania (who had a huge afro) and the girl came back. Dania informed me that the owner wouldn’t be looking at the applications until tomorrow ,but that I was more than welcome to fill out one.

    Unknown girl: What school do you go to anyway?
    Me: V-Veilstone High School
    Unknown Girl: Hah! Veilstone. This’ll be interesting.

    I watched the girl go back into the back room again. Dania smiled at me and encouraged me to bring it in as soon as possible (I needed a parental signature). It was cool how flexible hours were so I put down I’d work weekends and on Thursdays. My mom approved and signed as soon as she read the application over. I rushed back to the shop and handed my application to Dania before leaving again. Maaan, I had gotten my exercise for the weekend, whew @_@. We didn’t have cable either, so we just spent the evening watching movies. I think I was tired by the time nine o’clock rolled around.

    As I laid in bed staring at the ceiling, I thought it was probably bad that I was spending a Saturday night at home, yet things were looking up ^^ Maybe I’d have a place to hang out later in the year. I was likely going to spend all day tomorrow out and about with my sister so I didn’t go crazy at home, and that was about it. I felt a bit more a peace than I did this morning with Carina…
     
    #10 Carmen Lopez, Oct 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  11. Miguela

    Mmm…Sunday morning. These were always lazy at my house and I loved it. The noises of the city were far removed from me as I saw the sun shine through my eyelids. Sure, I’d study later on, but I was in no hurry to get up. I was just going to lie in bed and enjoy my morning. Siiigh…

    “RIOLU!”

    WHAM!

    CRASH!

    Plop! Thud, thud, thud!

    My eyes flew open as I sat up straight. I immediately looked to my right to see my desk on the ground. Riolu had completely bent one of the legs of my desk in half with a flying kick. Everything had slid and crashed to the floor including my laptop and all my books. Riolu was looking at me with these innocent eyes, yet was happy to see me awake.

    “Riolu,” I sighed. “The next time you want me to get up, a simple nudge will do.”

    Riolu smiled and ran out of my door. Akira had warned me that most baby fighting type Pokémon had a lot of energy, and he was so right. My desk wasn’t the only casualty of his energy; he’d managed to knock down my body length mirror (thankfully he didn’t break it), he broke a fountain in my sister’s room, and completely ransacked my closet. I seriously considered daycare now so he’d have an outlet for his boundless energy.

    I got up and followed Riolu to kitchen. He was sitting in one of the chairs waiting for me to feed him. My entire family had fallen in love with Riolu and thought he was the cutest thing. Okay, so he was, I admit it. My sister especially liked him and wanted to dress him in Pokémon clothes she made herself. That was where I drew the line. If my sister got her quasi-fashion designer hands on him, it wouldn’t be a pretty sight.

    “Oh, Gail, I’m so thrilled you decided to keep Riolu,” Mom said happily.

    “Yes, Mom, I know. You’ve said it about fifty times already,” I sighed.

    “But it’s good to see you doing something beside working and studying,” she continued. “Now the next step is to get you to hang out with friends besides when you study.”

    “Mom, please,” I said as I went to get Riolu’s formula.

    Miranda, who was on the phone at the time, gave me a mocking look. “And what are you on the phone about in the morning,” I asked her.

    “Just talking about how I’m running for freshman homecoming court,” she answered. “But you don’t know anything about that, do you?”

    “No, we’re not about that kind of school spirit,” I said while I was feeding Riolu. Dad had fixed omelets for the entire family. My sister was the one who inherited his cooking talent. Too bad she was often too lazy to put it to good use. She continued to talk on the phone as she stuffed her mouth with food.

    “So, (some gibberish I couldn’t understand) if I run for (more gibberish), do you, like, (swallow, take another bite) have a good chance of winning?”

    “You know, I’m surprised she understood any of that,” I said as Riolu burped (and it was the cutest burp ever!)

    “We understand each other like that,” Miranda said as she gave me thumbs up. She told her friend bye and hung up the phone. “Oh right, I never did ask how your shopping trip with witch-girl went.”

    “Stop calling her witch-girl,” I snapped. “How would you like it if I insulted your best friend?”

    “I’ll stop calling her that when she stops being a witch-girl,” Miranda shot back.

    “Look, Miranda—

    “Why can’t you see she’s evil?”

    “She’s NOT evil!”

    “Is too!”

    “Miranda, seriously, stop it! She’s really a good person!”

    “What the heck is your definition of a good person? She’s an uptight overachiever, who prob—

    Riolu looked back and forth between us like he was watching a tennis match completely unperturbed. “Girls, girls,” Dad said. “It’s Sunday morning. Let’s just relax, shall we.”

    I sat back in my chair, fuming. Carina was cold, very intelligent, beautiful, and sophisticated and I was fortunate and grateful to be her best friend.

    “But really, Gail,” Mom said. “Carina gives me ominous vibes, too. Maybe she’s not someone you should be around.”

    “Mom!” I groaned. “Not you too!”

    Thus was my life. The more I tried to convince them that Carina was really cool, the more they disagreed with me. Finally after realizing that my words alone wouldn’t convince them, I gave it up. I truly thought one day they would see for themselves. We had to put aside our arguments because we were pretty much spending the day together until Miranda left to hang out with some friends. Then Mom and I would be together.

    Our first order of business was going to the park with Riolu to let off his extra energy. And wow, did he have a lot of extra energy. He was able to run about three laps around the park without even slowing down. Everyone complimented me on Riolu and several people asked to take pictures of him. Not that he minded the attention at all. He happily posed and played with the other Pokémon. It was shocking to see the huge difference between the temperaments of Riolu and its evolution Lucario—not that my Riolu was likely to evolve. My mom, sister, and I had a great time, and it was here that Mom suggested that I name him.

    “Well, let’s see,” I said. “What would be a good name for a Riolu? I know! I’ll call him Lucas!”

    “That was fast,” said my mother smiling. “Lucas it is.”

    Riolu was overjoyed at getting a name and let us know by running around the park again. Yes, we had to stop and rest for about thirty minutes before we could leave the park for our next destination which was the Pokémon department store. Mostly it was Pokémon trainers that came here. I myself had never been in before. We were on the hunt for a Pokémon bed for Lucas so we needed him to test them out to see which one was right for him. He happily obliged by jumping on the beds to test them; we had to stop him and fast before he broke something.

    Lucas made me smile with his bouncing off the walls cheerfulness. In fact, I don’t even remember the last time something made me smile this much. Lucas eventually picked out a simple blue bed with the firmest mattress I had ever seen. Firm as in you could bounce a coin off of it. Oh well, to each his own I guess. I also bought a practice dummy for Lucas to keep him from practicing on our (but mostly my) furniture.

    Mom and I were going to spend the next part of the day working in the store. I always liked doing that because I was surrounded by the sweet aromas. Miranda would be leaving with friends. Lucas, after insisting on running nearly the whole way, had finally expended all his energy and was now asleep in my arms. I put him under a blanket in the back room to let him rest for a while as we took yet another break.

    “That’s the most exercise I’ve had in a very long time,” Mom panted.

    “Yeah, I can totally make this my exercise routine,” Miranda wheezed. “It’ll be good for when I run for homecoming court. Do you object, Gail?”

    “No,” I said as I collapsed into a chair. “If you can keep up with him, more power to you.”

    My mom did the usual “house-keeping” things around the store like making sure everything was in order. Dania, who I liked to call Mom’s second in command, was very organized which in turn made Mom’s job a lot easier. She had the day off to visit some family. I breathed in the smell of the candles, oils, lotions, and perfumes as I gazed at the neat shelves filled with all kinds of soaps, skin care products, and make-up products. The stuff wasn’t just for beauty or superficiality; some of it gave relief to itchy skin, severe acne, and anything else you could think of.

    “Now that I can breathe, I’m heading out,” Miranda said.

    “Byyyyyye dear!” said my Mom cheerfully. I cringed a little on the inside because I knew she wished I was out with friends too. “Oh, Gail, you never finished this morning. How did your shopping trip go? You never went into detail about it.”

    As much as I hated to, I decided to be honest with her. “It would’ve been better if her mom hadn’t come.”

    “Oh dear,” said Mom as she picked up a folder and read the contents inside. “Ramona came along? I feel so sorry for you.”

    “She feels even sorrier for you,” I said. I regretted even uttering those words.

    Mom stood up straight and put her hand on her hip. “What’s this? Now why would she feel sorry for me?” She didn’t sound angry or irritable—she was genuinely curious. “Was it about working and not staying home?”

    “Yeah,” I sighed.

    “Well, next time just tell her I do things my way, and she can do things her way,” my Mom said firmly.

    I looked out the window and frowned. “You can tell her yourself.”

    Carina and Ramona were strolling up to the shop carrying shopping bags from another shopping spree. They looked amazing—like they should’ve been in a magazine. This time Amanda wasn’t with them. Suddenly I had a sick feeling in my stomach. What if they found out about Lucas? I had to warn Mom!

    “Mom, Mom, you can’t mention Lucas at all,” I hissed.

    “What? Why not? she asked.

    “I can’t explain now! Just don’t!” I said desperately. I prayed with all my heart that Lucas wouldn’t wake up…

    A wind chime-time like tune played as the Carina opened the door. She and her mom swept into the store like a strong wind. As they looked around the store, it felt like they were judging us and our lives. I heard Ramona said “how quaint” as she picked up one of the bottles of scented massage oil. One look into Carina’s eyes, and when I realized there weren’t any customers, I knew what was coming.

    “You’re working today,” Carina stated.

    “Yes,” I said as I traced the floor tile with my eyes.

    “It looks more like you’re doing nothing,” said Carina coldly. “And while you’re sitting here doing nothing, you could’ve gone with Mother and me, or at the very least you could be studying.”

    I didn’t need to see my mom’s face to know that she was probably rolling her eyes. And why did I feel like the parent and my mom was the child? I felt ashamed under Carina’s critical gaze—like I wasn’t doing enough in my life. Lucas, the time and the park, and the time at the store seemed far away now. I was under Carina’s spotlight. She didn’t say anything but she didn’t have to; the disapproval in her eyes was enough.

    “So Marisol,” Ramona said haughtily to my mother. “We should make this a mother-daughter date together, so close up this…shop and come with us.”

    “No Ramona,” Mom refused her cheerfully.

    I could tell both Carina and her mom were taken aback by the firm, yet polite refusal. And they also looked a bit offended. I was trying to get my mom’s attention, to tell her know to at least offer to spend time with her on another occasion. But I couldn’t do it without giving myself away; and so I had to sit there and burn with humiliation.

    Ramona raised an eyebrow. “Well, we came all this way, so don’t you think you should at least have the manners to invite us in your house and treat us to drinks.”

    But Mom only smiled. “As you can see, I’m working right now. So once again, No Ramona.”

    “Fine then,” said Ramona looking angry that she’d just been refused twice. “I was only trying to give us an opportunity to talk together and for me to give you advice. Carina tells me that you’re not as supportive as you should be of Miguela’s academic career as you should. I hear you even suggested she go to school inferior to Veilstone.”

    “Ramona, please forgive me for being blunt, but really,” Mom explained. “We have different ways of being “supportive” of our children. No, I didn’t want her going to Veilstone and I still don’t, but I let her make that decision. And I stood behind her. Wouldn’t you call that being supportive?”

    I really wished my mom hadn’t said anything. The disapproval in Carina’s eyes only deepened as she looked from me to Mom. I was still hoping against hope that Lucas was still sleeping soundly in the backroom. Carina would think he was nothing but a huge distraction—not that she was wrong. But for some unexplained reason, I was already very attached to him. Carina shifted her purse and spoke.

    “Come over to my house tonight,” she told, not asked me. “We can study and you can spend the night. We can also talk more…”

    I desperately looked at Mom. This was the time for her to speak up and say it was a school night and I needed to be home, but nooooooo. “It’s her decision,” Mom shrugged. “I know she won’t be getting into any trouble.”

    So once again Carina’s spotlight was on me. I really didn’t want to go because it would mean being separated from Lucas (I wouldn’t even get to see how he slept in his bed!), but there was no way I could refuse. The only way I could do that would be if I had a good reason—which I didn’t. I nodded and told her I’d be there after I was done at the store.

    “Good,” said Ramona arrogantly. “At least you’re smarter than your mother, Miguela.”

    Without another word, she and Carina (and their shopping bags) swept from the store in a huff. Mom sighed.

    “Honestly, the nerve of that woman!” she said. “Where does she get off telling me how to raise my children?”

    “I’m glad you didn’t say that while she was here,” I snapped.

    “Oh honestly,” Mom said. She didn’t sound annoyed, only slightly incredulous. “You do realize that “being supportive” to Ramona means making sure you’re over-scheduled and hounding you about grades then being cold when you don’t meet her expectations. It’s made even worse because it’s Ramona and she doesn’t really do anything!”

    “But she’s really involved!” I countered back. “You should see how she is with Amanda.”

    “I feel the most sorry for that little girl,” Mom said. “I imagine she wasn’t with them because she was at some lesson. But yes, I do feel Ramona is way too hard on her children and I think you already know that.”

    “Mom!” I exclaimed. “If you’d just put some effort into getting into their world, you’d realize that Ramona and Carina are the epitome of success! She isn’t too hard on them at all. You know, maybe it wouldn’t hurt if you were more like Carina’s mother!”

    I quickly shut my mouth; I knew I had crossed the line then. Maybe she’d ground me and make me stay home after all…that wouldn’t be such a bad thing as I could stay with Lucas. But my mom surprised me by just shaking her head.

    “You’re not sounding like Gail at all, but I promise you this: one day you’ll see what I’m talking about,” she told me. “I know you don’t like to hear it but that’s the truth.”

    I sighed and rolled my eyes. I was still in Miguela mode and I realized it was getting harder to keep my two selves apart. But that went out of my head when I heard a small voice.

    “Riolu?” Lucas was timidly poking his head out of the door, as if to check to see if the coast was clear. I could tell he was uneasy but I just wasn’t sure why.

    “Oh, you’re awake!” I said as I rushed to him. His anxious expression turned to happiness he jumped into my arms.

    “He’s probably been up for sometime,” Mom said calmly.

    “But…if that’s the case, why didn’t he come?” I asked, but the answer dawned on me as soon as I asked the question. Riolu could sense emotion better than most beings could and he could tell when he wasn’t wanted. Perhaps Carina and her mother made him uneasy…I pushed that from my head and hugged Lucas before going to feed him.

    After that, customers started coming in and every person seemed enchanted by him. Fortunately for me, the constant coming and going of people was a big enough distraction for Lucas that he didn’t tear the place apart with his crazy hyperness. He was adorable as he smiled at everyone like the blue and black fuzz ball that he was. It was going to be hard to leave him when I went to Carina’s and I had half a mind to call her back to cancel.

    I really liked working in the store and watching the customers. They came in all shapes and sizes, but mostly they were women. With Lucas in arms, I suggested products to people, showed them where stuff was and occasionally just chatted with people. I caught a couple of boys (probably trainers) staring at Lucas through the window; they quickly walked away when I smiled and waved. It turned out that Mom wasn’t done surprising me. After she closed up the store (we closed early on Sunday), she asked me if I knew who Quinn Ross was.

    “I know who she is,” I said cautiously. “Why?”

    “Because she just applied to work here,” said my mom happily.

    “What!” I said shocked. I couldn’t imagine what it Carina would think if Quinn worked here. “Wait, you’re not thinking of hiring her, are you?”

    “Actually yes,” Mom replied. “Both Dania and Miranda noted here that she seemed different than most Veilstone High students, and so naturally that got me curious.”

    “Mom, listen to me,” I said as Lucas listened as urgently as I probably sounded. “Quinn does not fit in at our school whatsoever and you’d be doing her a favor by sending her elsewhere!” I said ‘her’ but it’d mostly be doing me a favor.

    “Oh?” Mom said smiling—not a good sign. I knew she was onto me. “That just makes me more intrigued. I’ll just call her tonight and set up an interview!”

    I groaned and said nothing. Great. If Quinn got hired that would make two things I’d have to hide from Carina. Suddenly Lucas jumped out of my arms to examine some scented oil in a flower shaped bottle. However he tripped and fell into the table causing the bottle to fall and break over his head.

    “Lucas!” I cried as I ran over to him. “Are you all right?”

    “Luuuu,” he said slightly bemused. Then he jumped into my arms again, so I knew he was fine. I cleaned up the glass and dried Lucas off, but there was no getting rid of the scent of the oil. He was going to smell like lavender for the rest of the day…not that I was complaining.

    My mom laughed at the hilarity of the accident and said Lucas would be a popular in the store. I sighed. Now I really didn’t want to leave him. He could calm me down like nothing else and again it was because of his cheerfulness. But at the same time, it scared me; when I went to Carina’s house, my mind would still be here with him. It would be a struggle to fully become Miguela.

    Too soon it was time for me to leave Lucas. He happily helped me pack my things and I promised he would have fun with Miranda who had returned home at this point. Even so, he did seem a bit sad that he wasn’t coming with me which of course broke my heart. The urge to cancel on Carina was rising exponentially now, but I pushed it away.

    “I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon, okay Lucas?” I said. “

    “Riolu!” he said brightly which didn’t entirely hide the sadness in his eyes.

    “All right, I’ll be going now,” I told him as I got up to leave. Lucas followed me to the dining room where my family was blissfully having dinner. I did something I subconsciously told myself I wouldn’t ever do: I went into Miguela mode at home, with no one from school present.

    “Are you about to leave?” Dad asked me.

    “Yes,” I said coolly. Lucas responded to my icy demeanor by stiffening. Why did he have to make me feel even guiltier than I already did? Everyone at the table was taken aback by my sudden change in demeanor.

    “Brrr…chilly,” said Miranda snidely. “I never though I’d see this side of you at home, Gail. Oh, I mean Miguela.”

    “Leave me alone,” I said as I handed Lucas off to her. With one last half-wave at Lucas and the rest of my family, I left my house. The last thing I heard was Mom saying something and everyone laughing.

    I know a lot people think that large cities were unsafe for kids to wander around in, but that was just a stereotype and in no way the case for every part of a Veilstone. Sure, there were places you shouldn’t go but most areas were safe. Instead of taking a trolley, I had to take a cab to Carina’s house which was deep within the wealthiest neighborhood in Veilstone City. I watched the expensive high rises and tall buildings fade to gigantic villas and mansions as we wound our way through the hills of the city.

    We were now looking down on the city which looked gorgeous as usual. I looked in the direction of my house and imagined what Lucas was doing with my sister—I just dearly hope she wasn’t trying to dress him up. Carina’s house wasn’t far now and it certainly wasn’t hard to miss due to the fact that it was the biggest in the neighborhood…I sighed as we finally pulled up to the drive way. I paid the cab driver and walked up the walkway.

    The house was absolutely amazing, opulent, and very imposing. Ramona was very proud of it and often hosted sophisticated parties there. My mom was invited to nearly all of them but she never went—yet another reason why Ramona acted the way she did toward my mom. But now the house was quiet. I had been to Carina’s house plenty of times before; Carina always insisted that we go to her house to study because she said neither my house nor Alicio’s were good for studying. I rang the doorbell and waited for someone to let me in.

    A maid who I’d never seen before answered the door. The Diaz Family employed a team of maids and butlers, but it was a revolving door; Ramona routinely hired and fired them for any reason you could imagine. The only constant employee was a woman named Ana who acted as Ramona’s personal assistant. As it just so happened, she was who Ramona was screaming for as I entered the house.

    “ANA! Where is that jewelry I told you to pick up?” she yelled.

    Ana, who had short blonde hair, came rushing out of the hallway to meet Ramona as she came down the stairs. “I’m sorry ma’am! The man said they wouldn’t be ready until—

    “And I care about that because? Get on the phone now and you make sure to have that jewelry before midnight,” Ramona said coldly. “Do I make myself clear?”

    “Yes ma’am,” said Ana and she rushed off again. She had been around Ramona long enough to know not to question any of her orders. My mom often wondered why Ana stayed.

    “Now I’m going to make sure Amanda’s speech for her next pageant is above the standard.” She caught sight of me. “Take her upstairs!” she barked at the maid as she stalked off to another part of the house.

    The maid told me Carina was in her room as she escorted me there. “Miss Diaz!” she said. “Your guest is here.”

    Carina was seated at her desk at her laptop. “Well, it took you long enough! Let’s get started,” Carina said crossly. Her room was massive with its own bathroom, fireplace, walk in closet, and a connection to a balcony. As I walked over to her, I realized she was talking to Alicio over the webcam built into her laptop. From the sound of it, she was interrogating him.

    “Hey Miguela,” said Alicio.

    “Hey yourself,” I replied.

    Carina cleared her throat. “Miguela, it seems like your mom wasn’t the only rude one today. Alicio’s mom refused to come with us too, but unlike Marisol, Lena (Alicio’s mom) didn’t even try to come up with a better excuse than ‘she had to prepare for later.’”

    Alicio shrugged. “She’s pregnant so maybe it’s the mood swings. I don’t know.” It was obvious that Carina didn’t find that a good reason either.

    As I listened carefully, the webcam was picking up noises beyond his door; it sounded like his family was having some people over. While I knew very little about Alicio’s family, my parents was pretty friendly with his. Just then Alicio’s bedroom door flew open and a child rushed in—his seven-year-old brother to be exact. Francisco, or just Frankie, looked a lot like his older brother with their golden eyes. He also had long black hair that went to the middle of his back; he was often mistaken for a girl because of it.

    “Alicio, Alicio! Come look at this ATV Dad bought!” he pretty much shouted as he climbed all over his brother.

    “Get off of me,” said Alicio as he shoved Frankie aside playfully. “Can’t you see I’m busy?”

    “Oooooh…” Frankie said as he got about three inches from the webcam. “HI CARINA! Hey! Why didn’t Amanda come to the park today? Maria and me—

    “Maria and I,” Alicio corrected.

    “Yeah, Maria and I needed a third person to play games with! So why didn’t she come? Huh?”

    Carina rolled her eyes. “She had violin and etiquette lessons today,” she said haughtily.

    “But she’s always doing something,” complained Frankie. “Can’t she just—

    “Enough Frankie,” scolded Alicio as he pulled his brother away from the webcam by his shirt collar. “Go back downstairs.”

    “Fine, fine,” he said before running out of Alicio’s room.

    “We can get started now,” Carina said. “Now we should focus on what we learned in Pre-Cal on Friday because I’m sure it’s going to be on that test tomorrow. But before we start, how much have you two been studying?”

    Alicio spoke first. “Since I knew all this was going on,” he said indicating all the noise behind him. “I did all my studying earlier.” Was it my imagination or did he want to be here even less than I did?

    I was afraid this would happen; bored out of my skull, my mind began to wonder back to my house, my family, and with Lucas…Part of me was wondering if I could somehow secretly send a text to my mom and have her order me to come home so Carina wouldn’t get suspicious. As convoluted as it sounded, I was seriously considering it—that’s how much I wanted to be at home. But Carina’s fingers snapping in front of my face brought me back to reality.

    “HELLO? Is there something in your empty head?” Carina said heatedly.

    “Oh, w-what did you say?” I stammered.

    Carina sighed. “How much did you study today?”

    “I haven’t today, but I did all day yesterday!” I answered.

    Before Carina could say another word, Frankie burst into Alicio’s room again. “Alicio, Alicio! Mom wants you!”

    “Um, be right back,” said Alicio awkwardly, but Carina had had enough and was ticked.

    “You know what?” Carina said angrily. “Don’t come back; we’ll see you tomorrow.” Alicio tried to say something else but Carina closed down her webcam. “Sheesh, his family is so annoying,” she said through clenched teeth. “I can’t stand them, especially his mother. What kind of woman gets pregnant when her kids are in high school anyway?”

    Truthfully, I didn’t think Carina had the right to say that, but I wasn’t going to piss her off anymore than she already was.

    “Come on, let’s get started on some practice tests,” Carina grumbled. “And by the way, we’ll talk about a project I’m working on later as well…”

    I pulled out my laptop and pulled up the SAT Prep website. Alicio was lucky; he got to be with his family and have a good time. My heart wasn’t in this at all—rather it as back at home with Lucas. Did he miss me? Gah! I had to snap myself out of it! But then my phone began to vibrate in a rhythm that told me I had an e-mail. “How is Riolu?” was the message from Akira—I couldn’t help smiling to myself. “He’s fine! I named him Lucas!” I wrote back. I wanted to tell Akira all about Lucas but that would have to wait till tomorrow…when Carina wasn’t around. Yes, it would take me a while before I really, truly understood….
     
    #11 Carmen Lopez, Oct 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  12. OOC: I posted way more than I thought before the sever splat >>

    Quinn

    Dear Diary, do you remember when I said I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high only to be crushed? Well, that day finally came. I guess I’m getting ahead of myself again and should tell you how it got to this point. Because there were several key events and warnings that this was coming. Oh yes…there were plenty of things and I should’ve seen it coming. -_-

    For the past three weeks, things were great…okay, my personal life was going pretty good. My school life was just tolerable. I got the job at Belleza (Woohoo)! But I was totally shocked to find out that it was run by Miguela Cruz’s mother. Like, really surprised. I almost wanted to back out because I thought that Mrs. Cruz was like her daughter, but that turned out to be wrong. She was really nice! Even her younger daughter Miranda was cool (even if she did remind me of the preppy girls at my old school). I have no idea what was up with her older daughter.

    Actually, I rarely saw Miguela. Her mom told me that she recently switched to working weekdays and studying and hanging out with friends on the weekends. Greeeeat, so she’s avoiding me. But I wasn’t too bummed about that because I didn’t particularly want to see her either. I was too busy enjoying the perks of this job. When I got hired I got a full gift basket for both me and my mom and I got a good discount on everything in the store. There was this one facial cream that I fell in love with ^_^ I’ve never seen my skin glow like that and it did wonders for any zits that popped up…okay enough gushing.

    In addition to my new job, my social life had improved a little. Akira had invited me, Anastasio, and Esmeralda to dinner at his house this one time and that was a lively experience. XD Akira’s aunt and uncle, Yume and Shusuke, were really fun. They were the first adults from Hoenn that I’d met; they seemed a bit looser than most of the Sinnoh adults I had encountered thus far. It was easy to see where Akira’s hippiness was a family trait. We had a mostly vegan dinner full of stuff I have never seen before. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it…we’ll just say that it had to grow on me. We also had a good time with the Pokémon there as well. Now to the not so nice stuff.

    School was as tough as ever but I was managing to stay afloat. And I had to admit there were some high points. Akira got first place on the next test as well which made Carina even more livid than before. And since Akira just laughed her off, she moved onto me. But even then that didn’t work because I started to get braver. ^^ (*Cue the trumpets) And by that, I mean I pretty much ignored her. I mean seriously, you get tired of dealing with the same crap over and over. Akira said he was proud of me.

    But then stuff started to happen. Weird stuff O.o Okay, I know I said weird stuff happened in my second entry too, but hey.

    Akira and I always met in the computer lab before school. I pretty much just surfed the internet and checked a manga forum I recently started frequenting. And I never knew exactly what Akira got up to, but it probably involved talking to his friends back in Hoenn. I really wish I had a computer at home so I could get in on the whole internet scene like Akira and the rest of Veilstone it seemed. But enough about me, lately Alicio was also coming to the lab. And *gasp* he was actually talking to us more. Akira and I were immediately suspicious. (First weird thing)

    Akira: Uh, Man purse boy, did your two mistresses dump you or something?
    Alicio: Look, it’s a book bag *holds out bag Not a man purse!
    Akira: That doesn’t answer my question, Man purse boy.
    Alicio: Stop calling me that! No, I wasn’t dumped by my friends. I just find it relaxing here.
    Akira: Uh huh. What ever you say…

    I still wasn’t saying too much at school because I was afraid of making myself look stupid. But it seemed like Carina was always trying to find some way make me talk in class either by calling me out, or making me do the talking in English. And every time I said something, it felt like the other students were laughing at me. Sure some of it was in my head, but I knew first hand (and from Akira’s observations), some people –were- laughing at me, but as I found out, it wasn’t only me.

    Yes, I think I was figuring out how this school worked. It was survival of the fittest, like dog eat dog. This school practically ran on competition. Akira figured that they didn’t punish cyber-bullying and were lax on other forms of harassment because they wanted to put the students to the ultimate test to see if they would crack. If you got teased, you were supposed to know you had to step it up—and that applied to school, clothes, anything. I saw a girl who had gotten bullied one week picking on another student because her shoes were out of season (wth?).

    It was enough to make me think that maybe I was living in some kind of alternate dimension and that this school wasn’t real.  Akira and I had a pretty grim bet going on about how many people would totally lose it. I honestly believed I would be one of the ones to have a mental breakdown, but he didn’t think so.

    Akira: Look Quinn, as long as you don’t let the attitude mess with your inner balance, you’ll be fine. *Smiles
    Quinn: Yeah… *Awkward smiles

    OKAY! On to the second odd thing. I was more grateful than ever to have Akira and even Anastasio and Esmeralda. And that was because girls, and not just Carina were being even meaner than before. :O Thanks to my job, no one could say I smelled funny or that my hair was gross (in fact it was shiny thanks to this shampoo—okay off track again) AHEM. Instead they focused on my lack of money (but I was saving up), the fact that my mom worked at a warehouse, that my grades weren’t that great, etc. What the heck was going on?

    And then it felt like I was being watched. Like seriously. Whenever I was alone in saaay a bathroom or in the hallway or even PE—it was so creepy. And once again, I had no clue what was going on. That was the third weird thing. This should’ve been the thing that sent up red flags all over the place, but it didn’t. Maybe it was because I was so busy with other stuff. I was working on a four page paper in English, and projects for Film, Current Affairs, and History, and other homework elsewhere.

    Monday of the next week was when I first heard that the Black Hole was being opened to the rest of the school. Yep, this was bad. The Black Hole was pretty much the internet version of a slam book. Still, I wasn’t really concerned; it wasn’t like I had steady internet access. But then that Wednesday…it’s…still hard to talk about it—even after all this time. I must warn you: after this point, this entry may be…less than coherent from here on out…

    It was raining hard that morning so I had on my rain boots and I had my umbrella. If Veilstone was cold already, the rain only made it worse (I would invest in a raincoat next). Taking the trolley was a no-brainer if I didn’t want to be absolutely soaked. I opted not to stop and get hot chocolate and instead went straight to school. As soon as I walked through the door, I knew something was wrong. The few people who where roaming the hallways were pointing and sniggering at me.

    I sped walked (is that even a word?) to the lab and found Akira there as normal. Is there anything wrong, Akira? No, why? Everyone is…laughing and pointing. But even he didn’t know what was going on. So I just tried to relax on the internet. However as more people got to school, things just got worse. Now people were calling me names: fatty, retard, gross, weird even. At that point I really felt sick to my stomach…

    Seriously now. It was ridiculous. I was trying my best to not look like I was gonna lose it at any second, but you know me by now. It was HARD D: It was bad in pre-cal but English was oddly calm. Huh? You say? Well, no one aside from Akira said anything to me. Carina just smirked at me, while I couldn’t read the faces of neither Alicio nor Miguela. It wasn’t until lunch time that I finally found out what was going on…

    I walked in to the cafeteria to find Akira, Anastasio, and Esmeralda looking over Akira’s laptop with looks of disgust and (in Anastasio’s case) horror.

    Me: Heeey, what’s going on?
    Anastasio: *Slams laptop close on Akira’s thumb Oh, hey!  (Why was he so nervous and shaky?)

    But Esmeralda went straight to the point: We…think you should see this Quinn… *Reopens laptop

    It was a webpage with the words “The Black Hole” glaring at the top in bright yellow letters. They turned the laptop towards me and I started scrolling down. My eyes got as big as cereal bowls. You know that feeling when something so catastrophic happens that you can’t even breathe? Yeah, well, that was me. There were pictures of me—embarrassing ones at that. Pictures of me half asleep in class, pictures of my feet under a bathroom stall, one of me in PE that made me look like I so fat…and one of me just looking stupid among so many others. The only thing the pics had in common was that I looked ugly in every one of them. I scrolled down further and I saw the comments…after the first three I ran off.

    So I’m hiding in the stall of the bathroom not bothering to lock it. I’m trying my –very-best not to cry but my nose is running like crazy. Out of total paranoia I squatted on a toilet with my feet up so they wouldn’t show underneath the door.

    Me: …sniff
    Esmeralda: Quinn…I can follow the sounds of you sniffs
    It only takes her a few seconds to find me
    Esmeralda: You know that staying in here only encourages her.
    Me: I know…sniff
    Esmeralda: ~sigh~ You’re going to have to confront her someday, but do it when you’re ready.
    Me: …

    That’s about where the rant started: Everyone is terrible here; I need to change schools, I don’t l know why I even dreamed I could fit in here; everyone hates me. And then the tears started. See, I hate crying because not only does it make me look uglier, I –sound- ugly too—like a Donphan mating call. Esmeralda just shook her head and told me it was no time to emo. Wait. Emo? What the heck did that mean?

    Esmeralda: Emo…it means being moody and wallowing in self pity.

    Yep.  Emo. That’s me. Quinn the emo girl. -_- What on earth did I do to deserve this? This had to be the worst day of my life.

    …Okay, I’m being a bit over dramatic but seriously! I don’t remember ever feeling this bad.

    Esmeralda: Quinn, before you do anything…rash, why don’t we talk for a while.

    And just how did she know I was thinking about doing…rash things? All kinds of thoughts of revenge were running through my head—one of which involved me “accidently” spilling something all over Carina’s fancy designer clothes (coughlamecough) or even retaliating on the Black Hole. Before I could admit to anything, Esmeralda explained why revenge was a bad idea.

    Esmeralda: See…that’s how things get started here. Someone says something bad about someone else, then they retaliate then it snowballs from there. And because there were no rules about cyber harassment, it usually led to one of the people having a meltdown.

    That wasn’t exactly helping me feel better and I told Esmeralda that. So she told me that I was actually in better shape than half the people who post on that site.

    :O

    I had to hop off the toilet and come out of the stall for that one. What on earth do you mean –I’m- in better shape than someone at Veilstone High? Are you keeping up with your school work? Yes, but barely. Then you’re doing a lot better than some people.

    :O

    Esmeralda: ~laughs~ Let me explain.

    There are these people who take all these really hard classes to make themselves look good. But…it doesn’t take them long to realize that they are way in over their heads. They pretend to understand the material when they really don’t. And they don’t ask for help because they’ll get tormented for it. Then they began to space out in class, fall behind with their homework, start failing quizzes and tests, and grades start dropping.

    I interrupted her at this point: But why does everyone seem so smart?

    Esmeralda: I hate to say it, but that’s where the bad stuff starts. People start cheating or taking drugs that gives them energy. But none of that stuff helps in the end. They fall further and further behind until they’re desperate and struggling. By then they’re past the point of no return. Students start having mental breakdowns and start mysteriously disappearing as they get withdrawn from school. They can’t stay at Veilstone because at this stupid school, they have no mercy on you and won’t offer any help to anyone so students just drown. And being kept back at this school? People would rather die. They’ve become undesirables…

    Me: So what happens to them?
    Esmeralda: They eventually have to transfer to another school.
    Me: Oh…then I guess that’ll be me soon

    Esmeralda just laughed and told me not to be so hard on myself, just like Akira had said. She said that people start to realize they’re in trouble at around this time, and while I had to work reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hard, I currently wasn’t in danger of becoming an undesirable  Maybe I was in better shape than some of the people here. But even so…there was still that awful website they put up.

    Me: Esmeralda, what am I going to do about that website. (Those tears were threatening to run over again).
    Esmeralda: You’ll just have to hold your head high and continue on. It’s not like the whole school is talking about you, and those people that are won’t be talking for long. And people at other schools hate Veilstone High School too much to visit the Black Hole.

    That made me feel somewhat better, but it would still be a couple of days before I could get over this. I also knew that I’d be paranoid forever. I had to make sure that I was always poised and looking my best while I was at Veilstone…sigh. That was yet another thing I had to worry about in addition to the rest of the crap I had to put up with. Oh well. At least I never had to worry about my skin and hair because my job provided me with all kinds of creams and shampoos. Just as I was prepared to think about leaving the bathroom, I found out Esmeralda wasn’t done with me yet.

    Esmeralda: We should all go shopping this weekend. You, me, Anastasio, and Akira.
    And just when I thought she was different from the rest: I’m trying to save my money, I told her.
    Esmeralda: You won’t need much money where we’re going. It’s a vintage shop!
    Quinn: Vintage? But isn’t that even more expensive that regular stuff?
    Esmeralda: Don’t worry. They have some really nice stuff and it’s really cheap too. Just you wait and see!

    She reached out and squeezed my arm before leaving the bathroom. Sure, Esmeralda wasn’t nice in a gentle way, but she still made me feel a little better. Was it bad that I took pleasure in hearing that I wasn’t the only one struggling? Probably. The only thing that kept me from feeling 100% better was the fact that I had to face the rest of the school day. And so I had a dilemma: skip school and then risking getting detention or worse or I could endure the rest of my school day and be humiliated. Esmeralda had told me to hold my head high, but…

    So I won’t bore you with the rest of my week. I’ll just tell you that I decided to stay in school that day and it was miserable. Very miserable. And the next two days were pretty much the same. I didn’t say much at home but both my mom and sister knew something was up and as such they kept bugging me. I really couldn’t bring myself to tell them what happened. And I was plenty annoyed because I just wanted to be left alone with my hatred of Carina.

    I’ve never despised someone so much in my whole life as I did Carina Diaz. Sometimes I couldn’t even think, see, or even hear straight when I thought about it. Esmeralda’s and later Anastasio’s words (because he later gave me the same advice :O) kept going through my head. But when it did, I’d just remember how hard it is to actually follow it and I’d get so upset I’d want to cry ;_;  I never did though. My hatred of Carina didn’t quite extend to her two flunkies yet. Alicio still came into the computer lab but he didn’t say much to me and Akira and we had nothing to say to him either. Truth be told, it was probably because he was afraid that we’d blame him for that webpage (which we kinda did <<). Miguela avoided me at all costs. Heh, like I cared.

    By the time Saturday rolled around, I was not in a good mood, but I was trying my hardest not look like it so my mother and sister wouldn’t get suspicious.

    Mom: Quinn, are you sure you’re all right?
    Me: I’m fine (she’s been asking me that since Wednesday).
    Mom: Well, you decided to go out with friends so that’s good! This the first time you’ve gone shopping with friends since we’ve been here.

    She was absolutely right. I hadn’t really been shopping with anyone besides Mom and María since I’ve been in Veilstone. We were supposed to be meeting at three at the big underground mall and it was already 2:30 so I decided to leave then. I waved good-bye to my Mom and sister and left to catch a trolley. And while I was riding, I felt a little guilty about the way I was acting at home. Maybe I should’ve told them what was going on. But every time I imagined myself telling them, it just felt weird and awkward. At any rate, I’ll tell them one day, just not now.

    I ended up being the last person there. Anastasio, Esmeralda, and Akira were randomly playing a game together on their fabulous, expensive phones. It made me want one even more and it didn’t make me feel any better. All three of them looked up when they saw me.

    Akira: Hey Quinn! *Sees look on my face. Don’t look so sad! We’re going to have fuuun today.
    Me:  Fuuun?
    Anastasio (who by the way was wearing purple pants): Oh yeah! So turn that frown upside down!
    Esmeralda: *Shakes head* Idiot

    Just then, Anastasio’s phone slipped from his hand and dropped onto the concrete. It landed in such a way that the screen absolutely shattered. The battery cover came off as well. I think I felt my heart skip a beat and it wasn’t even my phone! But it bothered Anastasio about as much as finding out they’d sold out of tickets to a movie he wanted to see—maybe even less than that. He simply picked up the pieces of his phone and put it into his bag.

    Esmeralda: Didn’t I say you should’ve gotten a case? That’s the third time in two months that you’ve done that!
    Akira: Three times? You really need to wipe the butter off your fingers.
    Anastasio: Heh, it’s not a big deal.
    Akira: I imagine it’s not if you’ve done it three times.

    They all laughed and without thinking, I killed the mood by saying Must be nice to be rich. Everyone was dead silent and staring at me. Ugh, how embarrassing.

    Akira: Now you’re letting them get inside your head, Quinn.
    Quinn: What? I am not! It’s true and you know it! (Why oh why couldn’t I just keep my mouth shut?)
    Esmeralda: *Sighs* Quinn, you really are letting them get to you because you know we’re not like that at all, right?
    Me: …right, I’m sorry. (And I really was too)
    Anastasio: And if it makes you feel better Quinn. The only reason it isn’t a big deal is because I have a warranty on it. If I didn’t have it, there was no way my father was getting me another for a very long time.

    I smiled slightly to everybody’s relief. I really was acting silly right now. I hated it when people at school judged me for not being rich and here I was doing it in the reverse! I –was- letting these people get to me even after I said I wouldn’t let that happen -_- It was then that I realized that people weren’t staring at us. Now, back home people would’ve been staring at us like we were a soap opera on TV.

    Me: So where is this shop?
    Esmeralda: Thought you’d never ask! It’s in a cute little district of shops. The whole area is easily overlooked so I doubt there will be a crowd.
    Akira: I really should explore the city more. Who know what goodies I’ve been missing.
    Anastasio: You really should. I found a place that has old school arcade games.

    For someone who wasn’t even born in the 80s, Anastasio sure was obsessed with the decade. But that was his style and he rocked it. If it had been anyone else, they would’ve seemed/looked stupid. Along with his purple pants he had on a red shirt and this yellow cardigan thing. He looked…very colorful to say the least XD. Esmeralda drew from more decades though. She had on plain white button down, a pink mini-poodle skirt (the poodle itself was black), black leggings with lace on the bottom and plaid Converses. I felt plain by comparison, but that wouldn’t last long if I could help it. I just breathed in the cold air and thought about all the crazy stuff that might be in the shop.

    Esmeralda was right; the shop WAS well hidden. We walked through this ordinary looking alley and emerged into a neat little artistic area. There was shop that sold art supplies and other offbeat stuff like broken furniture. We had to drag Akira away from an organic food store and they had to drag me away from manga store.

    Me: But, but! I want to go! D:
    Esmeralda: Remember what we came here for. *Smiles. We don’t want you spending all your money there
    Akira: Besides, if I couldn’t go to the organic store, you can’t go to the manga store.
    Me: Oh well…

    And so we trekked to the vintage store which was totally cool! The building itself resembled an oversized, grounded tree house. I thought it was so cute ^_^ When we went inside, I looked around at everything and was thoroughly impressed. But something caught my eye and I made a beeline for it. Oh yes. It was a pink fedora. I picked it up off its dummy head and put it on mine.

    Me: *Points at it. Is this not the most awesome thing you’ve ever seen?
    Anastasio: Awww, but I wanted it D:
    Akira: Quinn was inb4 Anastasio
    Esmeralda: *Laughs. See? You’re catching on to the style already!

    The more I looked around, the more I realized that I love the stuff. Aside from my fedora, I got some skinny jeans, a sixties minidress, a short black trench coat, a wild looking 80s prom dress thing, and an assortment of scarves…and all under $30. Awesomeness ^^ I watched the others do their shopping and laughed. Anastasio was pretty much pulling stuff off the racks with his eyes closed saying that he liked to live on the edge when it came to his clothes XD Esmeralda was a bit pickier with her choices, but Akira wasn’t buying anything…We all stared at him.

    Akira: What? You’re looking at the guy whose basic uniform was a t-shirt and cutoffs back home. I don’t care about clothes.

    Esmeralda: But think about it this way, Akira. You’d be helping the environment by recycling these clothes. And wouldn’t you like to help mother earth?

    Akira looked very amused but I could tell Esmeralda had him convinced so he ended up buying some old concert t-shirts. We all had fun trying on clothes and just pretty much being goofy. And you know what? I was having fun! Going to places I’d never gone before was great and it was even better because I was going with friends. I had finally managed to put the events of my crappy week behind me.

    And so ends this entry. We ended up going to a couple of more stores before I had to leave for work. I was totally grateful that I had gone out today because it really helped boost my morale again. That and the fact that I wouldn’t have to look at Miguela at work too, lol. Hopefully the next entry will be less emo and more coherent…
     
  13. OOC: There's a lot going on in this chapter. The next one may take me a bit to post because it need extensive edits XD

    Miguela

    The weather was turning colder as September turned to October and I didn’t mind it at all. None of the native Veilstone residents did, but I watched Akira and Quinn struggle through it. Akira was trying hard to be mellow, but even so it seemed like every other phrase out of his mouth was a complaint about how cold it was. Quinn shivered violently whenever she came in from outdoors. I have to admit that I find their misery ever so slightly amusing…

    But back to the subject: I’ll talk about the changes for me which proved to be a blessing in disguise. Last Friday I was at home studying and watching Lucas while my sister was on the internet at the same time she was on the phone (the multitasker). She was jabbering away until I suddenly heard a gasp and…

    “Oh. My. Gosh. Taylor I have to call you back. MOM! Look at this!”

    Of course, I didn’t think anything of it because she was always telling Mom to look at something—a shocking news story, a stupid letter a reader posted—anything. My mind was still on my Biology homework until I heard Mom say “Miguela, how could you?” I knew I had a problem then because Mom never called me Miguela in those tones unless I was in trouble or she was disappointed in me. But from the sound of her voice, it sounded like a bit of both. So I got up and walked over to our computer and I think my heart sank a couple of inches.

    It was the webpage Carina had created in the Black Hole about Quinn. Both Alicio and I were really uneasy when she said she was going to do it, but it wasn’t like I could do anything to stop her. Now I just feel awful about it and wish the whole thing would just go away. I saw how upset she got over it, but I had to pretend like it didn’t affect me or anything. And facing Akira again was going to be hard. Even though I had nothing to do with it, I could tell he partly blamed me for it, and by the looks of it, Mom did too.

    “Miguela, how on earth could you do something like this?” Mom asked. I didn’t look her in the eyes because she had a look on her face that could even make the worst criminal feel ashamed of himself. “I thought you were better than this!”

    I just stood there and said nothing.

    “Silent are we?” she asked while Miranda looked at me and even she looked ashamed of me. But even I was shocked my Mom’s next words. “You’re grounded for a month.”

    That made me start talking. My mouth hit the floor. “But I had nothing to do with this! Carina was the one who set that up!”

    “And how do I know you weren’t one of the ones who posted some of these obscene messages?”

    “But I didn’t!” That was very true. Carina had wanted both Alicio and me to post something but neither of us did. We didn’t say anything about it, because we didn’t want her mad at us. So now Carina just assumes that we did.

    “You know what?” Mom said. “Whether you posted or not you still could’ve said something to that girl. She has such a bad influence on you.”

    “No she doesn’t!”

    “Whatever, you’re still grounded,” said Mom flatly. “No weekend shopping trips with Carina or going to her house, or hanging out with her outside of school period, no studying for long hours, and your internet use is restricted. By the way, you can be sure I’m calling Lena too!”

    I felt the sting of injustice. She was punishing me for something I didn’t even do! “That is SO unfair!” I yelled as I stomped away with Lucas right behind me.

    I slammed my bedroom door shut and threw myself onto my bed. How on earth was I supposed to tell Carina that I wasn’t allowed to see her outside of school? I was so totally ticked at my mom that I could barely see straight.

    “Rioluuuu,” Lucas said. I lifted my head to look at him and saw that he was looking at me with those puppy dog eyes. I felt the urge to smile while being slightly annoyed at the same time. He had no business making me feel better when I wanted to be mad! I shook my head and rubbed his back.

    And as I sat there and stewed in my despair, I thought some more about Mom’s words. She didn’t say I couldn’t go shopping—just that I couldn’t go with Carina. And even though I couldn’t hang out with her, I could spend more time with Lucas. I felt slightly bad that Alicio was going down with me, but hopefully his mom wasn’t too bad. Maybe everything would work out all right…however, there was still the fact that I had to tell Carina what my Mom had done.

    But even that wasn’t so bad. As Carina, Alicio, and I were sitting in the coffee shop the next day, Carina announced that she couldn’t see us as much because she had “important” things to attend to.

    “What important things?” Alicio made the mistake of asking.

    “If I had wanted you to know, I would’ve told you!” Carina snapped.

    Instead of looking ashamed of himself like I would’ve done, Alicio just looked suspicious and I didn’t know why. Poor guy, he hadn’t been able to catch a break from Carina ever since that day she kicked him out of our study. No wonder we were seeing less of him than usual, but I notice a change in him too….Normally, he never said much, but he seems more…distrustful of her somehow.

    “Uh, huh…” he said simply. “Important things indeed,” he added under his breath.

    “What did you say!?”

    “Nothing, nothing.”

    Needless to say it was rather tense but we kept up the front. We talked about out usual school stuff and how we were going to do on today’s test….at that point I just zoned out. Ever since Lucas ever since Lucas was dropped on my doorstep, I’ve been finding this kind of stuff mundane and I wasn’t sure why. Maybe Akira was right: I –had- no life.

    I finally had to enroll Lucas in daycare, the Yamakage’s, after he nearly destroyed a china cabinet, so I had to get over my fear of facing Akira fast. I was relieved when he didn’t treat me coldly though I still felt like there was some distance between us. You may ask why I couldn’t just enroll Lucas in a different daycare, but I have an explanation for that one. The Yamakage’s daycare was the best around and I only wanted the best for Lucas. And though Akira could really push my buttons, he could be pretty cool. After talking to him, I was convinced he was going to be number one again on this test. But I’m still mystified by how he does it though! I mean, he doesn’t spend hours and hours studying! Maybe the guy is really a genius.

    I didn’t even notice we had stopped short until I ran into Alicio. Carina glared at me and shook her head before stalking off. Puzzled, I looked up and I saw we were already at school! No wonder she was so mad at me; I had missed out on the whole conversation.

    “Wow, Miguela,” said Alicio.

    “Yeah, yeah, you don’t have to say anything else,” I said feeling slightly ashamed of myself.

    “I wasn’t going to,” he replied. “By the way, since Carina is likely to be doing “important” stuff after school, we should meet up then.”

    “Sure! I can study in the meantime” I said, pleasantly surprised. We were beginning to walk to no where in particular.

    “By the way,” Alicio said. “My older brother said he had a surprise for me a week from today.”

    I raised an eyebrow; I had never met this brother but I certainly remembered what he did earlier this year... “A surprise? Like that Valentine’s Day surprise?”

    Alicio’s face turned brick red as I laughed. “We won’t discuss that. Ever. I’ve never been so humiliated in my life.”

    And so began the slight change in the relationships of my life. Maybe being grounded wouldn’t be so bad for either of us. He told me he had to run errands for his mom who was now six months along. We were laughing and talking until we saw Akira and Quinn walking towards her. She had taken to wearing a pink fedora which was cute in its own way; she attracted stares but she didn’t seem to mind them as much. But while she looked away as we were about to pass each other, Akira narrowed his eyes as he looked at me. For a very long two seconds I was locked in his gaze…it didn’t go away until we had passed each other.

    “Still mad at us I guess,” said Alicio. “But they have a good reason.”

    “Yeah…” I said. I didn’t say how that wasn’t anger on Akira’s face.

    “We’ll find some way to fix it though!” Alicio said brightly.

    “I certainly hope so,” I said as I mindlessly fiddled with my hair.

    ~ ~ ~​

    It was bad enough that I had to deal with feeling like Akira was looking down on me, but the prospect of facing Quinn at work was even worse. It had been weeks since Carina’s web slam, yet somehow it was still fresh in everyone’s mind. I felt terrible every time I saw Quinn and I was so happy that I didn’t have to see her at work…but that little comfort was snatched from me. So now I faced the rest of the week dreading the weekend and that just should not be -especially- since the week was pretty much bad anyway.

    You can already guess how the next test went. Carina near had a fit when she saw the results: Akira, Carina, a random person, another random person, me, a random person, Alicio… Excluding Alicio she invited me to her house and because I was more afraid of her than my mom, I accepted. Once again I found myself riding through the winding roads to her beautiful house but it was far from a pleasant trip because Carina was pissed and I was feeling it. Maybe that was why the front gardens didn’t seem so pretty…

    When we got to the house, Carina practically kicked in the door and stomped up to her room where she let loose. First she shattered the mirror of her vanity along with all the trinkets before turning her wrath on her TV, laptop, cell phone, and even her clothes…I’d had never seen her like this and she was scaring me.

    “What’s the matter?” she asked, her breathing heavy as she ripped a cashmere sweater. “I know you’re not worried about all of this crap. We’ll just go out and buy new things. In fact, let’s do that now!”

    “I can’t!” I exclaimed without thinking. But then I remembered I had the excuse I didn’t (and should’ve) used earlier. “I’m grounded!”

    “So what?” she said waving her hand and throwing the destroyed sweater to the side. “That’s got nothing to do with me, stupid. And while we’re on the subject of stupid, why did you do so badly on the test? You’re slacking aren’t you?”

    My poor head was spinning. “I…don’t know. I don’t know!” I knew full well why: I was studying less because I was doing other things with my family and with Lucas, and I lost my focus on the test…but I couldn’t tell her…

    Carina reached over and yanked a fistful of my hair close to my scalp. “You’d better find out because you know I don’t allow stupid people around me.” She said in a low voice.

    My eyes watered and I was suddenly reminded of Amanda when Ramona grabbed her arm. With her free hand, Carina snatched the collar of my uniform shirt “All right,” I said quietly not really sure what I was saying all right to. “I’ll do better I promise.”

    She yanked my hair harder and smiled. “It maybe too late…I’ll find myself some new friends! Why? Because you and Alicio are failures. But maybe you can redeem yourselves. I’ll give you a second chance because I’m nice like that….now run along because I may decide to take the offer back.”

    Finally she let go of my hair. My eyes were wide with fear as I grabbed my things and rushed out of her room. I heard Carina laugh when I was making my way down the stairs. The house was oddly quiet and all the doors seemed to be closed. Huh. Why didn’t I notice that before? Normally, Ramona kept all the doors open to display her furniture, but I didn’t feel like dwelling on that. Just before I was about to reach for the door, I heard something in a distant part of the house…sounds of a violin then Ramona’s yelling and Amanda’s crying. I left the house because I couldn’t take it anymore.

    I was about to take the taxi directly to my house when I realized I had to get Lucas from the Daycare, so I had to stop the taxi short. Because I was feeling sick, I wanted to go in, get Lucas and come right back. With my large sunglasses on, I entered the daycare. Akira and his aunt were at the counter laughing. She looked up when she saw me.

    “Coming to get Lucas?” she asked cheerfully. “He and the rest of the Pokémon were playing a game. I’ll get him for you!”

    “Thanks,” I mumbled.

    Akira just stared at me. “What the heck happened to you?” he asked slowly.

    “What? Oh…” I looked down and I saw that my uniform looked ruffled and I guess my hair was still a mess from when Carina had pulled it. “It’s a long story.” When he kept looking at me, I said “congrats on getting first place!” to change the subject.

    “Thanks,” he said nonchalantly. Akira was going along with me, but he knew something was up.

    “You don’t sound too excited about it,” I noted.

    “Because that stuff doesn’t matter to me much,” said Akira shrugging. “I mean I like doing well and all but my favorite thing about it is making Carina and the rest of the school mad.”

    “You’re awful!” I teased, smiling for the first time.

    “Yeah, well maybe,” Akira said with a devious look on his face. “The school needs shaking up a bit and see that tests aren’t everything.”

    The smile faded slightly from my face as I remember where I placed. “They’re still really important though. I’m going to have to get a lot better if I’m ever going to hope to compete with you and Carina.”

    “You can already do that,” he told me.

    “Yeah right,” I scoffed.

    “No seriously!” he argued. “The way you answer questions in class, your homework, and our awesome debates in Current Affairs! You’re probably smarter than Carina.”

    “Smarter than Carina?” I repeated in disbelief. “Oh really?”

    “Ya really,” he answered. You just need to have more confidence in your abilities.”

    “Look, if I was as smart as Carina, I’d be getting third place in all the tests and I wouldn’t have done so poorly on this past test!” I countered.

    He just shook his head. “Told you those tests don’t mean everything,” Akira told me. “Maybe you just had an off day or something (He was right as usual) But now you’ve got me curious…”

    Before I could say “about what?” his aunt Yume had returned with Lucas who was looking extremely proud of himself. She told me it took so long to retrieve him because he was busy single-handedly owning the other Pokémon in the game they were playing. Yume, like everyone else it seemed, was in love with Lucas. In her case, she loved his spunk or hyper activeness as I called it. 

    “I’ll…see you tomorrow,” I said awkwardly as I rushed out the door.

    “Okay!” Akira and Yume said at the same time.

    Lucas insisted on walking the whole way and I didn’t complain. I wanted him to burn as much energy as he could. He was the bright spot of my week and I was growing to love taking care of him more and more. I just felt happier being around him.

    And trust me, I needed to feel happy. Aside from Carina’s outburst nothing else catastrophic happened. It was just a series of little things that made my week bad: losing my flash drive down a storm drain during a downpour, careless mistakes on homework, accidently burning dinner in an attempt to cook, etc. And I hadn’t even faced the worst yet.

    ~ ~ ~​

    Saturday had finally arrived. This would be the first time I’d be this close to Quinn outside of school and I was so nervous. She came into the shop quietly wearing her pink fedora a fitted brown hoodie with a cool design on the back, a long green skirt, and boots. It wasn’t something neither I nor anyone else at Veilstone High would wear but I guess it didn’t look bad, just unusual. There was one other thing I was worried about too: Should I tell Quinn about Lucas or not? I decided to just let the chips come where they may. If she saw him, I’d tell her—after all she’d proven herself not to be a blabber. If he kept his distance from her, then he’d remain a secret.

    For the first couple of hours of work Quinn and I just stayed away from each other. I wanted to talk to her…really I did, but no words would come. Meanwhile she and Miranda, who was also working that day, were chatting away like old friends. I found out what it meant to feel left out. My overly perceptive mom noticed this and decided that Quinn and I should work together in the backroom—she was hoping being in the close quarters would get us to talk to each other. Gee, thanks Mom.

    So we’re both sitting at a desk looking at lists of stuff and the silence was absolutely miserable. It was deafening. She was not at all enthusiastic about working with me and I really didn’t blame her. But finally I couldn’t take it anymore.

    “So…that’s an interesting outfit,” I sputtered. I regretted say it already. WHY couldn’t I have just said it was nice? Interesting implied that I thought it was weird…But to my surprise she gave a small laugh.

    “Heh, this is kinda tame compared to most of my other outfits,” she said looking down. She’s holding something back, I know it!

    More silence followed before I decided to say something again. “Have you always dressed like that?”

    “No…it’s recent.” She looked as though she couldn’t hold back what she was going to say anymore. She looked me in the eye and said “did you have anything to do with the website?”

    The question I had been dreading the most. “No…technically I didn’t. That was all Carina. I just didn’t say anything.”

    “Yeah,” Quinn said. “That’s what Akira and I thought after a while…”

    “I’m really sorry,” I said quietly. I felt a little stupid saying it because “I’m sorry” didn’t seem to do everything she had been through any justice at all.  Almost everyday I had seen people being rude to her or heard people saying bad things about her behind her back.

    She took a deep breath. “At first I was mad because you didn’t say anything to her and thought you were nothing but a big coward. Then I thought about it and realized I was just as big a coward.” Quinn sighed. “If any of that makes sense.”

    That had to be the most I’ve ever heard her say. I was disappointed that I had nothing else to say so I just nodded. We didn’t talk for a little while but I knew we had reached an understanding. Well, I didn’t feel that heavy silence anymore. But being called a coward did sting though—even if it was a little true. I had just wanted to keep the peace with my best friend. Just then, I heard a happy squeal from the doorway.

    “Riolu!”

    I looked up to see Lucas, who had just awakened from a nap, running through the door. He collided with my knees and nearly brought me to the ground.

    “Oof,” I grunted as I tried to keep my balance. “Good to see you too, Lucas!” I said picking him up.

    His eyes lit up as he smiled then looked over my shoulder. “Riolu?” he asked as he gazed at Quinn.

    “Lucas, this is Quinn! She works here,” I said to him. Riolu really hadn’t seen many people my age so he was extra interested in Quinn.

    Quinn just stared. “He’s so cute! I didn’t think you would have a Pokémon!” she said, pleasantly surprised.

    “He’s still a secret really,” I admitted. “Akira is the only person from school who knows about him right now. And that’s only because I take Lucas to his family’s daycare.”

    “Wow,” Quinn said. “That’s actually really cool!”

    Well, that was good. For some reason I expected her to be weirded out or mad that Akira would keep a secret like that from her.

    “He said ‘Riolu?’” she continued. “He looks like a miniature Lucario! Is that what he evolves into?”

    “Yes!” I said. Finally, finally, finally, the ice had broken! I mean really broken! From there, our conversation progressed from other cute Pokémon to the Pokémon back in Johto which was where she was from. I was learning more about here than I ever would’ve thought. Like the fact that she enjoyed manga, that she lived with just her mom and her little sister, and that she and Akira met in the computer lab before school began. I also found that we had things in common, namely that we loved hanging out around Veilstone. I had never let my façade down like this before. I was starting to believe that Lucas had some kind of effect on me.

    The rest of the day went really well and my mom couldn’t be happier. I could tell she was proud of herself even if she didn’t say anything. Now Quinn and I likely wouldn’t talk like this at school, not with Carina around anyway. But maybe I could meet her before school now that she, Akira, and I were all on the same page. I was allowed to hang out with Quinn outside of school too because Mom only said I couldn’t hang out with Carina. Maybe this was the start of something new and crazy.

    “There is one more thing I want to know,” Quinn said before she left for the day. “Why did you give me the coat on the second day of school?”

    “Because I didn’t want you to freeze to death,” was all I said.

    ~~~​

    Wednesday had come upon us again and this was the day Alicio’s brother would reveal his surprise. I had to admit I was as excited about it as he was, but unfortunately neither of us would know exactly what it was until after school. But we found that his brother’s surprise wasn’t the only exciting thing that would happen that day. Or rather, exciting things…Hyacinth and Amaranth Earnshaw, the two new students arrived on the scene.

    It was nearly unheard of for Veilstone High School to get new students this late into the school year because most find they would be too far behind. Anyone who’d come to Veilstone in October had to be ambitious to believe they could make it. And ambition seemed to radiate from both of them.

    They were a set of beautiful, brown skinned twin girls—but while their bodies may have looked the same, they had completely different styles. Amaranth had straight black hair that went just passed her shoulders and she was wearing gray skinny jeans, a plaid shirt over a black undershirt and three inch stiletto heels. She wore a silver clip in her hair and held herself like the sophisticated woman she was trying to be with her back straight and shrewd expression.

    Hyacinth had wild, wavy black hair that was similar to Carina’s when it wasn’t straightened. Unlike her sister, this twin seemed edgier and she seemed to have a permanent smirk on her face. She wore a green and pink hoodie, black miniskirt over pink leggings, and shoes that looked like a combination of sneakers and boots. She also had chunky jewelry and three piercings in each of her ears. They had the most confidence I had ever seen from anyone my age—aside from Carina of course.

    As they were just touring the school and getting their classes together, I didn’t get to find out much about them (I had no idea why they just didn’t do that stuff over the weekend, either). However I did have one encounter with them. I was walking with Carina and Alicio when we crossed paths outside of the library after our last class. The twins and Carina met one another’s eyes as though they were sizing each other up… After our little meeting, Carina told us exactly what she thought of them.

    “They think they can challenge me,” Carina said fiercely. “I’m going to have to test them to see if they’re worthy of being in my circle. They’re names are weird though. What kinds of parents name their kids Amaranth and Hyacinth? Are they dirty hippies like Akira?”

    Alicio and I just shrugged. Normally I’d have said something to agree with her but I just didn’t have the will too. But she wasn’t done yet.

    “Who knows, they may be my new best friends,” she said tauntingly. She looked me straight in the eye when she said it and I involuntarily flinched. Carina noticed and smiled.

    “Who knows,” I managed to choke out. She smirked and then walked away saying she was going to talk meet with someone.

    “Do you think they’re trouble?” I asked Alicio after she was gone.

    “I have no idea,” he answered, “but they’ll make things fun around here.”

    “Honestly, with Akira and Quinn, I don’t know how much more fun I can take,” I said.

    He laughed as he pulled his ringing phone out of his bag. “Heh, my brother sent me a text message saying my surprise was in Room 104.”

    “It’s in the lounge?” I asked. “I’m even more curious than you now.”

    “Then let’s go,” he said. “I’ll be praying the whole way that this isn’t something stupid and/or embarrassing.”

    “Like the Valentine’s Day—

    “I -said- we weren’t going to bring that up again!”

    We ran to the lounge and I’d say we made it there in good time. Shock crossed both of our faces when we saw what, or rather, who the surprise was. We saw a teenaged boy sitting next to what I recognized as an Infernape. He had green eyes, spiky black hair with purple tips. He was dressed brightly in a black t-shirt with neon green, orange, and pink skulls, skinny jeans, and neon orange and green sneakers. The Infernape was casually leaned back in its chair and like its trainer, it had one foot propped on the table and both had their chairs propped on two legs. The boy looked up when they saw Alicio and me.

    “Well, look who finally got here,” he said casually while his Infernape copied his expression.

    Alicio’s look of shock vanished as he smiled. “Mateo? Is it really you?”

    Mateo narrowed his eyes as Alicio often did. “Yes, it’s really me!” he said mockingly. “Here let me prove it!” He got up and walked over to Alicio and started to ruffle his hair (and pretty heavy handedly too; Alicio’s eyes were watering).

    “Quit it!” said Alicio punching him in the arm. “I get it, I get it! It was a stupid question!”

    I smiled as I watched them fight each other; this had to his older brother. Like Carina’s sister, he had a Pokéball (probably Infernape’s) on a necklace along with an elaborate silver key. Mateo put his brother in a headlock before he finally noticed me. “Oh, hey! Who is this, Alicio? Your girlfriend?”

    If it was possible, Alicio turned redder as I giggled. “No, shut up!” he grunted from his headlock

    “Make me!”

    And the two were fighting again. Were brothers always this violent with each other? I had never seen this side of Alicio before and I had to admit it was funny. Mateo’s Infernape just gazed on as if it were watching an interesting fight. Heh, why not? People watched Pokémon fight all the time. Students who passed by threw stares at the brothers as they punched and kicked each other.

    “Seriously! Matt quit before you get us thrown out!” Alicio hissed while being pinned down on the floor.

    “Fine, fine,” Mateo said, letting his brother up. “I always forget how uptight Veilstone High was.”

    “Sheesh,” Alicio said. His uniform was ruffled and his hair was standing on end, while Mateo came away unscathed. I laughed again.

    “I’m sorry for being so rude,” Mateo told me. “You must be Miguela.”

    “That’s right,” I said. “It’s nice to meet you.”

    “Nice to meet you too,” he said in a more gentle voice. Mateo was completely different from his brother. His voice was calm but it seemed to radiate confidence and power somehow. His green eyes always seemed to be analyzing and calculating his surroundings. “Let me give you a proper introduction. My name is Mateo Sandoval, fighting Pokémon trainer extraordinaire and the older brother of Alicio by two years. And this is my best friend Mimi,” he said indicating the Infernape who waved in response.

    “Wow,” I said in awe. I’m glad I didn’t say anything because I assumed the Infernape was male. I didn’t know much about Pokémon aside from Lucas, but I could tell Mateo had done a great job training her. The Infernape’s fur was shiny and she looked lean and strong. She had the kind of confidence that came with being with a trainer she with whom she connected. Mimi gracefully did a flip over the table and landed next to her friend and trainer.

    “Show off,” Alicio muttered as Mimi shot him a look that said “don’t start with me.”

    “I’d be careful if I were you,” Mateo said to his brother. “She can beat you worse than I ever could.”

    “I don’t doubt it,” he said as Mimi cracked her knuckles. “By the way, what do you want to do today?”

    “Heh,” said Mateo rubbing his chin. “I wanted to show you another side of the city.”

    “What?” said Alicio blinking.

    “That’s all I’m going to say,” Mateo said firmly. “And would you like to come, Miguela?

    I didn’t want to get in the way of brotherly bonding, but Mateo seemed so fascinating. “Sure,” I said, pleasantly surprised by the invitation.

    “Hey Mateo,” Alicio spoke. “How long have you been back in Veilstone?”

    “A week, ever since the day I told you about your surprise,” he answered.

    “What!?” Alicio said outraged. “You’ve been here a week and didn’t even bother coming home?”

    “Let’s just say we got, um, distracted…” Mateo said, but he didn’t elaborate. “Now let’s get going because I’m getting restless.”

    This would certainly being an adventure. I’ve met a few trainers and watched a few battles but never anything deep. I knew already that seeing the relationship between Mateo and Mimi was going to best part. The Infernape climbed on Mateo’s back and hung on like a spider monkey, waiting for him to start walking. Mateo looked mildly annoyed.

    “Ok seriously? I’ve carried you all over Veilstone for the past week!” he complained as he looked over his shoulder at the Pokémon. “You should be carrying me!” And when Mimi rolled her eyes skyward, he said “Two choices: you ride in your Pokéball or you walk. Take your pick.”

    Mimi thought for a moment then grudgingly got back down on the ground.

    Mateo gathered his coat, scarf, and backpack before patting Mimi on the back. “There, there, I still love you.”

    She looked as if to say yeah I know before flipping and walking out of the door on her hands. We followed her but we were barely out of the door before I heard a familiar voice.

    “Wow, an Infernape. And she looks amazing! This doesn’t happen at Veilstone High everyday!” It was Akira followed by Quinn who looked as fascinated by Mimi and Akira was. Quinn and I met each other’s gaze for a second unsure of how to treat each other now that we were back in school. In the end, we just smiled at each other bashfully.

    “We appreciate the compliment,” said Mateo easily. “My name is Mateo Sandoval. Do you and my brother Alicio know each other?”

    At those words, Akira’s mouth dropped open. “Manpurse boy is your brother? That is not possible. You seem so cool and he’s so not.” Quinn and I both stifled a laugh.

    “OKAY,” Alicio said loudly as Mateo mouthed Manpurse boy to himself. “It is REALLY time for us to go now.”

    “Not so fast,” Mateo interrupted. “I like him already. Plus I want to know how you got the name manpurse boy. Do you two want to come with us?” he asked Akira and Quinn.

    Alicio facepalmed as Akira happily accepted. “I have no clue where you’re going but I don’t care.”

    “Wait! I’d have to call my mom and tell her!” said Quinn.

    “You can use my phone!”

    “Great!”

    Alicio didn’t look at all happy about this, but I was just amused—that is until I heard Akira’s next words.

    “You’re a Fighting type trainer?” Akira asked. He looked at me out of the corners of his almond shaped eyes with that signature devious look and I knew it was coming. I tried to signal to him not to do it, but I failed. “She has a Riolu and I bet you’d love to see him!” Then it was my turn to faceplam.

    “You have a Riolu?” both brothers said at the same time. “You bet I’d love to see him,” Mateo answered.

    I’ll explain later I mouthed to Alicio who looked really confused and yet really interested. I wish I had been the one to tell Alicio about Lucas but that couldn’t be helped now. Oh well. At least we were all on that same page.

    “Then we’ll have to stop by my family’s daycare and pick him up!” Akira said.

    “Your family owns a daycare?” Mateo asked curious. “What’s that like?”

    And that was how that began. Akira and Mateo went back and forth with the questions and I got prodded after a while regarding taking care of Lucas. As surreal and crazy as this all was, it was fun and I couldn’t wait to see what on earth Mateo was going to show us. It seemed like everything I was normally worried about was floating away…
     
  14. OOC: You may want to reread this one. While it's largely the same, I changed a few major details.

    Akira


    It was official. Mateo was the coolest Veilstone native I’ve met since I’ve gotten here. And I’m still not convinced that he’s related to manpurse boy. I mean maaaan, I now have a new appreciation for Veilstone thanks to this guy. Even though Alicio and Miguela were both from Veilstone, they didn’t even know half of the stuff Mateo told us. Like how all Fighting type Pokémon, not just Lucario, were revered here and how Veilstone City was the Pokémon battle capital of Sinnoh—and this was all between the time we left school and when we got to the daycare. I had never heard of this side of the city before and it made me realize what a bubble I was living it. This was the part of Veilstone that I could appreciate. Now maybe if the city wasn’t so stupidly cold I’d actually like it.

    When we finally got there, I left everyone in the lobby while I went to retrieve Lucas. He was ecstatic as usual and he jumped into my arms . And as I came back, I heard Mateo say “sooo….what do you guys do for fun on the weekends?”

    At that, Quinn, Miguela, and Alicio all looked around and shrugged. There were a few mumblings about going to the park, shopping, and driving around the neighborhood before Migeula spoke up. “Well, we have to do a lot of studying if we want to stay in the top ten. That doesn’t exactly leave much time for fun.”

    “That is wrong on so many levels,” Mateo said flatly. “For the love of all things good, this is Veilstone City—the best city in Sinnoh if I do say so myself. How can you live in a place like this and do nothing? Huh? Tell me that? I bet you don’t even leave this district of Veilstone and see how other people in the city live. How boring is that?”

    None of us said anything while. Alicio laughed. “You really haven’t changed, have you? You still don’t hold back anything.”

    “That’s the only way to be little brother,” Mateo said as he rustled Alicio’s hair, making it stand on end. “And what the heck, Miguela? You’re only fifteen! Life should NOT be all about studying!”

    “If you go to our high school, that’s what it seems like sometimes,” Miguela. “They really do push you hard there.”

    “I get that,” said Mateo. “Really I do. Before I left to go on the road, I watched how hard Alicio worked because he was really into academics. But that still doesn’t excuse making school your whole life.”

    “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell everyone,” I said. “But does anyone listen to me? Of course not!” Then I thought about it. “But I guess I don’t really have room to talk either.” After all, it wasn’t like I was painting the town red on the weekends, and neither was Quinn.

    “Yep, you poor souls need so much help,” Mateo said sagely. “And I’m here to give it to you. So let’s be off!”

    Before we left however, Alicio and Mateo both admired Lucas and in returned he loved the attention. Ya know, Alicio is really starting to surprise me. He was never exactly a geek but nowhere near the cool-level of his brother. As I watched the two brothers interact though, I started to see that maybe Alicio wasn’t as pathetic as I initially thought.

    Mateo said it would be a bit far so we had to take a trolley. Along the way, we listened to Mateo tell stories from his time on the road, which included getting lost in a blinding blizzard on the way to Snowpoint City, and explosive gym battle with Volkner, and a foray into Pokémon contests in a village high in the Coronet Mountain Range. The things that we found most interesting were his tales of his (really) good friend and arch-rival.

    “Arch-rival?” Alicio interrupted. “Don’t you mean your girlfriend?”

    “Bsh, no!” Mateo said casually.

    “You two have been following each other around Sinnoh like two deranged lovers!”

    “Whatever, little brother,” Mateo said. “We didn’t follow each other and she’s still not my girlfriend. Yet. BUT I digress,” he added as Alicio rolled his eyes. “Reina is...lively to say the least. Okay, crazy is more like it, but yeah. She wants to be the best steel type trainer in the world. We met up in Sandgem Town where we got our starters and we’ve been rivals ever since.

    “We kept meeting up all over Sinnoh, and each time we met, we had a battle, just to make sure we were on top of our game,” Mateo explained. “Before we took on the Pokémon League Tournament, we made a vow to battle each other in the finals. We were definitely aiming high but we didn’t care. Her battle came first and she lost to a trainer’s Bronzong. I made fun of her for that because she should’ve gotten plenty of practice against her father’s Bronzong. And then I had my battle…and lost in nearly the exact same way. I swear I heard her laughing from the stands.”

    “Yeah, Mateo that was irony at its finest,” Alicio said laughing.

    “Tell me about it,” said Mateo, shaking his head. “But I learned a lot so no regrets. Reina and I definitely have some things to settle though. We parted on some interesting terms.” He didn’t explain any further, so we wondered what that could mean.

    The journey to wherever we were going was pretty enjoyable. We asked Mateo all kinds of things about where he’d been and who he had met, well, everyone except Quinn that is.

    “You’re a quiet one,” Mateo said to her after he realized she hadn’t said anything.

    “I-I was just listening to everyone else,” Quinn answered.

    “Oh? I don’t think I ever caught where you’re from,” Mateo said. “You don’t seem to be from around here.

    “I’m from a village north of Olivine City,” said Quinn. I laughed to myself because I knew she was always surprised when someone spotted her as an outsider.

    “Olivine, huh?” Mateo said considerately. “That’s right across the sea from Cianwood City, home of Chuck, the leader of the gym there.”

    “He’s specializes in fighting types, too right?” Alicio asked. He had smoothed his hair back down again.

    Mateo looked at him in surprise. “You actually do listen when I tell you about this stuff. I’m shocked!”

    “You know, you really don’t give me enough credit, Mateo,” Alicio said, slightly disgruntled.

    “Anyway, I’d really like to meet famous trainers like Chuck,” Mateo continued. “So I’m debating if I should head to Kanto, Johto, or Hoenn. Each region has highly esteemed Fighting type specialists.”

    “So…are you leaning toward one region over the others?” I asked.

    “Actually yes,” he answered with a slightly roguish look in his eyes. “I’m leaning toward your neck of the woods in Hoenn.”

    “I think that’s a great decision!” I exclaimed. I was proud of my home region if I did say so myself.

    “You would,” said Alicio and Miguela at the same time and everyone laughed.

    “It’s between Kanto and Hoenn, but for some reason it’s like I’m drawn to Hoenn,” said Mateo as he gazed out of the window.

    “Why?” we asked him.

    “No idea,” Mateo responded. “But it’s like I’m supposed to be there.” Suddenly he turned back to the rest of us. “So that settles it! I’ll be going to Hoenn some time after Mom has the baby.”

    “Awesome! That means you’ll be here a while,” Alicio said. “It’ll be good to have you home.”

    “Thanks,” Mateo said.

    The next trolley stop was ours so we got off as the trolley lurched to a standstill.

    “Hey, we’re in eastern Veilstone which is close…” Miguela said after we had gotten off. “…close to the Battle District, right?”

    “Right,” said Mateo. “You’ve actually been here before?”

    “No,” Miguela shook her head. “Despite living in Veilstone City my whole life and visiting places all over Sinnoh, I’ve never been here before.”

    “Shame,” he said. “Because this is a really cool area.”

    He wasn’t kidding either. This area looked like the entertainment district of Veilstone with all the restaurants, arcades, and theaters. There were also many other buildings, but I had no idea what they were used for. I asked Mateo and he said a lot of those buildings were for battling. The atmosphere and the aura here was much different than our part of Veilstone. It…seemed to be full of excitement rather than stress. Maybe it was because the people were so different. A lot of people seemed to dress along the lines of Quinn, Anastasio, and Esmeralda, avant-garde, urban, or just wearing bright colors. They weren’t trying to be “sophisticated” like the Miguela, Carina and the rest of Veilstone High. Heh, sorry for the cheap shot there, Miguela. Many of the people here also had Pokéballs or Pokémon—mostly fighting types—with them.

    I may have lived on the most isolated island in Hoenn for my whole life, but I did get to visit huge cities once every blue moon. And while I’ll always prefer nature to cities, I still liked them. And this area of Veilstone was nearly as cool as Mossdeep, my favorite city in Hoenn. “It’s not very active here for two reasons,” Mateo said. “The schools around here were late dismissing, and because it’s daytime. This place really comes alive at night.”

    “What high schools are around here?” I asked. Going to a school around this place had to be interesting.

    “Rocoso and East Veilstone,” he answered. “They’re a lot different than Veilstone High…but you’ll see when we get there. We’re going to Rocoso. I went there for a year before I left home.”

    At that Miguela gasped. “W-what? Are you serious?”

    Mateo stopped and looked back at her. “Yeah. You got a problem with that?”

    To my surprise, she said “Yes, a big one at that! They hate us there! At least we could’ve changed clothes first.”

    Realization dawned on Mateo’s face and he grinned smugly. “Ooooh, yeah that’s riiiight,” he said eyeing our uniforms. “We didn’t think much of Veilstone High students.”

    Miguela’s eyes got huge as she clutched Lucas closer to her (I was finding this funny). “Why would you do this to us?”

    Mateo mockingly shrugged while Mimi imitated him. “Oh come on, it’s won’t be THAT bad,” he said. “But really, this school owns Veilstone High like no ones business. I already knew about your school’s reputation before I went to high school and Alicio’s told me a lot about his school life. But with talking to you both, I’ve come to one conclusion: you’re all insane. Akira, Quinn, why on earth did you pick that school anyway?”

    “Because it was the closest one,” said Quinn softly.

    “Because I wanted to go to the best school in Veilstone,” I said. “If I’m going to be a hippie champion for Pokémon rights, I want the best school available…even if I hate most of the student body.”

    “Eh, I can respect that,” Mateo said.


    Alicio looked shocked. “When I said I wanted to go to the best school in Veilstone, you STILL told me to reconsider!”

    “Yeah, well,” Mateo started. “For one, you’re not a hippie champion for Pokémon rights. For two, I knew you’d have to change into some uptight little prick to fit in with those snobs.”

    Alicio looked uncomfortable at those words and that made me curious too. Just how much -had- this school changed Miguela and Alicio? I knew Miguela was faking when she was in school, but maybe Alicio was too…Anyway, Alicio was still looking around to change the subject while his brother was still smirking. He found it when he glanced at his brother’s wrist.

    “Hey,” he said frowning. “Where are your bracelet and your Pokétch?”

    “Both are currently b0rk’d,” he answered. “I let some little kids play with my Pokétch and when they gave it back, it was dead. I have no clue what the heck they did, but I sent it back to Jubilife. And as for my bracelet,” he reached into his pocked and pulled it out. “The clasp broke.”

    “You’re diabetic?” Miguela asked and I too noticed the symbol on the silver bracelet.

    “Yeah,” he said simply.

    “How did you manage traveling though?” I asked. I mean traveling on the road was hard enough as it was, without worrying about something like that. That and every time I thought about diabetes I thought of needles—which by the way I am -not- fond of.

    “Careful planning,” he said shrugging. “Making sure I have enough food and insulin and other supplies in case of emergencies. It’s annoying at times but I had to get used to it if I wanted to travel. And I have my Pokémon with me too.” Mimi grinned and gave him the thumbs up in agreement.

    We were approaching Rocoso High School which was two stories with the bottom half seemingly made of some kind of polished stone and the top looking completely modern. It was a mix of man and nature and I found it pretty cool.

    I looked up and saw what looked like a stadium behind the school, but before I could ask about it, Mimi suddenly climbed onto Mateo’s back and pointed to his right. I didn’t even see the guy who was walking up to our little group and he was freaked out by Mimi’s screech. After the shock wore off he just looked annoyed. He was wearing a cool black blazer that had a zipper rather than buttons (maybe he was used to the cold) with a white polo underneath and black pants. I assumed this was the school’s uniform but did the school really allow his dyed, bright red hair? Or the graffitied sneakers?

    Mateo smiled as he looked at the guy. “Well, well, well, Chase. I didn’t expect—

    “Save it,” he interrupted slightly irritated. Mimi in turn was irritated that he’d interrupted her trainer. “I want a rematch with Megumi. Right here, right now.”

    “But here is no fun,” Mateo said. “It’ll have to be in the stadium and it’ll be Addison you battle.”

    Chase twitched. “We can have the battle wherever but it has to be Megumi.”

    Mateo thought to himself for a moment. “No, I don’t think so,” he said grinning. “Either you battle Addison or you’re screwed.” Mimi smiled at Chase which only pissed him off more.

    “I’ll wipe the smirk of both your face and that stupid monkey’s face,” Chase said, shaking slightly.

    At those words, Mimi leapt from Mateo’s back with her fists engulf in flames. She made a swipe at Chase who covered his head and squealed; he didn’t look up again until he heard the sound of Mimi laughing. She had faked him out big time and made him look like an idiot. Alicio and Miguela laughed while Mateo shook his head.

    “Fail, Chase,” he said while Mimi gave him a thumbs down. “Screaming like a little girl is not cool man…”

    Chase’s face turned bright red. “I’ll see you in the stadium,” he mumbled as he walked away slowly. “And I’ll battle Addison…”

    Mateo narrowed his eyes as he watched Chase’s back. I expected him to say something deep but he said, “Yep, it’ll be fun kicking his butt again.”

    “You battled him before?” Alicio asked.

    “And who’re Megumi and Addison?” said Quinn saying something for the first time in a long time.

    “Oh good, you spoke again,” Mateo said the Quinn who blushed slightly. “Anyway, yeah, I battled him earlier today with Megumi, my Lucario, and thoroughly thrashed him. I don’t see how anything will be different this time, but I’ll humor him because he does have promise, which is more that I can say for some of these people. And as for Addison, you’ll see. You’ll get to see some of the school on the way there.”

    “All right,” said Quinn quietly.

    We finally walked through the doors of the school and saw that it was modern and cool. We were in the lobby area of the school; there two hallways—one in front of us, and one to the left while there was a staircase next to the offices on the right. We went left where a sign over the hallway pointed to the Battle Stadium. I should tell you about the students here, because they were starting to be dismissed. It turned out that Chase’s red hair and shoes were absolutely tame compared to the other stuff I saw.

    There were the basics of their uniform: the boys wore the black blazer, pants, and white shirt that Chase wore, and the girls wore black blazer, black, white, and charcoal gray plaid pleated skirts. Then it got crazier from there because a lot of people had some insane accessories that included: wild hair styles and colors, brightly colored socks or stockings (in the girls’ case), sneakers, chunky jewelry, uniform altering (the girls lengthening/shortening their skirts, the guys rolling up their pants or making them sag) and the list goes on.

    Mateo looked back at our faces and laughed. “Pretty much as long as they wear the actual uniform, and it isn’t indecent, they can do whatever else they want,” he said as we passed a guy with piercings all over his face.

    “This is totally cool,” I said. See, this was my kind of thing. I hated the idea of uniforms so this was a really good compromise. Sure, Veilstone let you wear whatever kind of coat or black shoes you wanted, but that was nothing.

    “Told you this school owned Veilstone High. And as you can see, a lot of the students have Pokémon too.” Mateo said smugly as he ruffled Alicio’s hair.

    “Will you PLEASE quit doing that!?” Alicio said as he smoothed his hair back down again, but Mateo ignored him and waved a couple of people.

    “And sometimes you’ll see a group of people wearing the same kind of accessories,” Mateo continued. “Like that,” he added pointing at a group of girls who all had on scarves and knee length boots. One of them smiled and winked at him. “Those are cliques. Not all of them do that but some do.”

    Miguela was walking with her arms folded while trying to hide Lucas in an attempt to not draw attention to herself. I didn’t see what the big deal was because our uniforms WERE hidden by our coats anyway. Oh well, let her be paranoid. The students didn’t ignore Mimi as much as they just didn’t make a big deal about her. They were used to Pokémon roaming the halls. As we turned a corner, we saw two boys sitting on a bench playing on handheld games. They were both wearing baseball caps, one had on black, the other red, with the letter V on them and sneakers with a blue lightening pattern which meant they were in the same clique. Or maybe they just liked to dress alike.

    The guy wearing the black hat’s expression went from excitement to horror. “That…did not just happen. I did not just lose that!”

    “Oh yes, mah boy, you did just lose that!” said his friend in the red hat. “And that’s another win for my awesome Pokémon team.”

    “What were they doing?” Miguela asked after we had passed them by.

    “Hmm,” said Mateo. “Do you know what an RPG is?”

    We all said yes. Now I was really surprised that Miguela nodded because it didn’t even look like she could turn on a videogame—let alone play one. Okay, there was definitely more to her that met the eye.

    Mateo continued smiling. “Anyway, they were playing a Pokémon RPG where you get to play as a Pokémon trainer and train Pokémon and battle your way through gyms and the Elite Four. All of the known Pokémon found in this world, as well as mythical legendary Pokémon are programmed into the games and all of them can be captured.”

    I could already see where this was going. “So basically, repressed teenagers trying to live out their fantasies of grandeur and adventure?”

    “Hey, I wouldn’t rag on it like that,” Mateo warned me. “Those games take a lot of strategy.”

    “Seriously?” Maybe I was a little quick to judge these people, but I had to know how playing those games could possibly require strategy, so I waited for Mateo’s answer.

    “Yeah, there’s a whole culture around it,” Mateo answered. “Because the games give people the option of battling real life people with the Pokémon they’ve trained and that’s where the fun begins. There’s a lot more to training Pokémon in those games that just beating random Pokémon. A lot more, as in it would make your head spin if I tried to explain it. It’s simplified in some areas and harder in others.”

    “Try us,” said Alicio. “Because it sounds interesting.”

    “Fine then,” Mateo said. “You were warned! Okay, each Pokémon has its strong points and weak points just like their real life counterpart. Take Infernape for instance. They’re big on speed and offense and that’s the way they’re programmed in the games as well. Their weakness in defensive powers is also there. In other words, most of the physics of the real world can be found in the games.”

    “So in other words, players still have to know a Pokémon strengths and weaknesses to do well?” I asked.

    “Right,” said Mateo. And then he suddenly smiled. “You all looked interested so why don’t you look up the rest on your own?”

    “Sounds cool,” said Quinn. “I’ll look it up online!”

    “Nice,” Mateo said. “That’s how most people learn about it anyway.”

    “One more thing,” Alicio interrupted. “Is there any rivalry between trainers like you and RPG players?”

    “Eh, for the most part we respect each other’s art form,” Mateo answered. “Occasionally someone from one side may diss on the other, but they always get shot down later. Well, here we are!”

    I didn’t realize the stadium was connected to the school until we stepped into a huge lobby thing. There were three sets of double doors and I could see the coliseum-like stadium beyond the small windows. A huge screen was high above the center door, but it was currently turned off.

    “While Veilstone High School is big on academics, Rocoso High is big on Pokémon battles,” Mateo explained. “They have Pokémon battle teams like they have Debate Teams at other schools.”

    “Wow,” said Miguela. “So can we go in now? I want to see the stadium.”

    “Ooh, enthusiastic are we?” Mateo asked. “Yeah, we can go in.” With that he opened the door for us and we went in.

    The place was HUGE. I don’t even have the words to explain it.

    “Good grief,” Quinn said in awe. “How big is this school’s budget to build this place?”

    “Oh, the school didn’t build it,” Mateo said as he led us to some seats on the bottom row near the field. “The stadium was here first and they tacked the school on later. But the school gets a lot of money for renting out the stadium for other events in the summer.”

    There were people already in the stands and people trickling in from other entrances. I looked down to see Chase was already on the field talking to two referees (I could tell it was him from the hair). As we were about to sit down, a pretty blonde girl with her long hair in a high ponytail looked up at Mateo. She had on pink knee high socks and white dress shoes.

    “Oh good, you’re here!” she said. She had a laptop on her lap and floating above the keyboard was a Rotom!

    “Whoa, I can’t believe you have a Rotom! They’re supposed to be really rare!” I said. I probably sounded like a little kid but I didn’t care. It was a Rotom!

    “Yeah, they are,” she said. “I first made friends with this guy after we found him in our refrigerator when I was about six. Isn’t that right, Phantasm?”

    Right, so the Rotom are technically genderless, but if she called it a he, why not? Phantasm flew around the girl’s head once before taking his place back over her keyboard.

    “Hey guys, this is Ginger,” Mateo said. “She’s a junior here and a technology genius.”

    “Thanks for the compliment,” she said as she pulled a tripod and an HD camera out of her bag. “The stadium will fill up fast when the people here find out about this rematch—and mostly because of that guy.” She was talking about a student next to Chase. He had some kind of weird hair style that you see on models on the runway or something. “He probably already sent out an announcement on the listserv.”

    “Mhmm,” said Mateo. “I’d better get down there because it already looks like he’s agitated.”

    Ginger quickly put the camera back into its bag. “While you’re going, can you give this to Tyler (I assume this is weird hair style guy). He was supposed to get it earlier.”

    “No problem,” Mateo said as he took the bag. “Yo, Mimi, do you want to stay here or come with me?”

    The Infernape climbed on his back and pointed toward the field. She said something to Mateo to which Mateo. “And I’m sure you’ll do a good job of it too.”

    “What did she say?’ Alicio asked.

    “She said she was going to be giving tips to show Addison how it’s really done,” Mateo explained. “He’s a bit new at this style of battling. Ginger can you explain?”

    “I sure can!” she said cheerfully. I was wondering what style of battle this was because I was only aware of one kind.

    Mateo waved and walked down to the field. I could see Chase’s eager expression; he’d been waiting for this moment since…this morning when Mateo kicked his butt.

    “Okay!” Ginger said. “They’re about to do something called freestyle battling.” When we all looked clueless, she laughed and continued. “It’s a different style of battling that uses limited trainer commands. The trainer may call out the names of attacks occasionally, or even moves that aren’t necessarily attacks. A really good freestyler may not even speak the entire battle. You really have to be in tune with your Pokémon for this—even more so than regular battling. As Mateo said, Addison is new at this so this will be interesting.”

    “I’ll have to see this in action,” I said. “Alicio, have you ever seen your brother battle?”

    “Yeah…”he said. “A few times plus when he battled in the Pokémon League tournament.”

    “They’re starting!” Quinn said grinning.

    Mateo and Chase had taken their positions at opposite sides of the field while Mimi joined Tyler off to the side. “Ready to go?” Mateo asked.

    “Oh yeah,” Chase said. He pulled a Pokéball from inside of his jacket and released his Pokémon. “Come on out Nolan!” It was a Monferno who appeared with a flurry of punches and kicks. It didn’t quite have the finesse that its evolved form had, but he was getting there. Mimi looked on interestedly.

    “And it’s your turn Addison,” said Mateo, releasing his Pokémon. Addison was a strong and powerful looking Gallade with absolutely lethal looking arm blades. The Pokémon beckoned to Nolan to make the first move. “I’d like to warn you, Chase.” Mateo said. “Addison is unlike any Gallade you’ve ever seen.”

    “Sure, sure,” Chase said impatiently. “Let’s just get this started.”

    Nolan’s fists began to glow as he ran toward Addison. He launched series of Mach Punches at Addison and I could hear the wind from the attack from the stands. Mateo was right; he DID look promising—keyword being look because Nolan’s attacks didn’t seem to be doing much damage.

    Oh, he was landing hits, but Addison was blocking every punch with his arms which were glowing with blue psychic power. Chase frowned as he tried to figure out a solution. I had watched Hoenn league battles on TV and watched my friends battle back home, but it was nothing like this. Addison put his long legs to work as he dodged Nolan’s powerful kicks and punches. At the sound of the Pokémon battling, Lucas managed to break free of Miguela’s grip to take a look.

    I was hypnotized by how Nolan used all four of his limbs, but the Monferno was no match for Addison’s skill even if the Gallade was new to freestyling. At one point, Addison bent over backwards to evade a Fire Punch and used psychic power to flip and land on his feet and continued to defend itself. I couldn’t tell who was more frustrated: Chase or Nolan. The Monferno launched another Fire Punch at Addison, but to his surprise the Gallade Teleported behind him.

    “Hey! You can’t use Teleport in a freestyle battle!” Chase shouted.

    Mateo raised an eyebrow. “Since when?”

    Chase look of anger faded as he pondered the question. “Err, nevermind,” he said sheepishly.

    “That’s what I thought,” Mateo said. “Now it’s time to really get let them have it, Addison!”

    The Gallade’s arm blades began to glow white as he crossed them like swords and he did a series of combat poses. I knew this had to be Swords Dance. Then, Addison went on the offensive with almost sadistic pleasure. I haven’t seen anything like it since I saw the expression on Carina’s face when she was putting down some poor freshmen last week. Nolan just couldn’t dodge Addison’s slashes, punches, and kicks. I noticed Addison was only using his psychic power to defend and not to attack. It was pretty much over when Addison Teleported behind Nolan again and kicked the Monferno in the back hard.

    Chase watched in horror as his Pokémon fell to the ground like a ton of bricks. He looked like he’d been the one to get kicked in the back. Nolan struggled to get back up, but I saw a cruel gleam in Addison’s eyes. Uh oh I was thinking. The Gallade promptly used Thunder Wave on Nolan.

    “Addison…” Mateo warned in a low voice. “You were doing well up to this point, don’t ruin it now.”

    Addison looked slightly disappointed as Mateo rolled his eyes. The Pokémon pondered for a moment then his expression cleared. He used one last powerful Slash attack to end the battle. I was surprised at how short it was, but maybe I shouldn’t have been. The entire stadium erupted in cheers; there were far more people than before. Ginger was right: word had spread fast.

    “Well, that was something,” she said. Phantasm moved to hover above her shoulder. “Pretty good for Addison’s first time.”

    They both recalled their Pokémon. Mateo told Chase to follow him as he and Mimi walked back to us. “That was totally amazing!” said Miguela once the two had made it back to us.

    “Glad you liked it,” said Mateo smiling.

    Chase, however, didn’t look so cheerful or eager now. “Looks like I still have a lot of training to do.”

    “Heh, trainers always have to work harder to improve on things no matter how good they are,” Mateo said. “Two tips for you though: One work on Nolan’s speed because his Mach Punches aren’t nearly fast enough. Two, you’re not advanced enough to not use commands yet, so don’t go that route now.”

    “You’re right,” Chase admitted. “I’ll be working on those things next.”

    “And I’ll be working with Addison more,” Mateo said.

    “But it did really well!” said Quinn. “What kind of things do you need to work on?”

    Mateo enlarged Addison’s Pokéball and held it in his hand as he explained. “Addison has a really bad habit of wanting to draw things out instead of being concise like you need to be for freestyling. After that Thunder Wave, I knew I had to stop him. If I had let him have his way he would’ve started using Double Team, False Swipe and who knows what else. We would’ve been here forever.”

    “That’s…a little sadistic,” Ginger said with an awkward smile as Chase gave a shaky laugh at what his Pokémon had just been saved from.

    “Yeah, I told you we’re working on it,” Mateo said easily. “By the way, Chase, I’m coming back here tomorrow for training. Would you like to join me?”

    “Sure,” he said, standing up. “I’ll take Noland to the Pokémon Center now and then head home.”

    “All right,” Mateo said. “SO!” He clapped his hands together. “What do you guys want to do next? There’s the arcade, the restaurants, the game corner. And there’s also this—

    “Uh, Matt? It’s time to go home,” Alicio said. “We actually have something called school tomorrow. And we have homework. NOT to mention you still haven’t been home yet yourself.”

    “Geeze, fine then!” said Mateo, annoyed as Ginger giggled. “But come Friday night, I’m taking you all back here so you can really see what this place is like.”

    “Fine with me,” said Miguela and Quinn at the same time.

    We didn’t actually leave right then because Lucas attracted a fair amount of attention. Miguela’s Veilstone High uniform didn’t really matter at all. I really didn’t want to go home or go to school tomorrow, but I knew I had to. I finally had found a place in Veilstone that was more my style and I was definitely coming back more often. If I had this much fun on a Monday, I could only imagine what the weekend was like.

    OOC: Going to edit/retcon The Chronicles of Giselle Valentine accordingly
     
    #14 Carmen Lopez, Nov 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  15. Quinn


    Dear Diary Tuesday started off with a bang…I must warn you that this will be another entry about only one day, but hey, work with me.

    A little background though: I had a really good time yesterday going to eastern Veilstone with Alicio’s brother Mateo, but apparently it wasn’t as good a time as Akira had. He was STILL talking about it. The little field trip did make me think though. I saw how well the Rocoso students got along with their Pokémon (as well as Miguela and Lucas), so maybe being friends with a Pokémon wasn’t such a bad idea…for the future anyway. Things are getting tighter at home money wise. I mean, we barely made rent this time and that was with my salary too D: (Stupid higher than average electric bill, we’ll have to cut back on the heat, but I digress).

    Luckily, Mom wasn’t getting bent out of shape about it like she did about things back home. That was a good sign. And even with money getting tighter, we were still able to pay for María to go on the field trip with the rest of her grade, because we all know that missing a field trip in elementary school with all your friends was a tragedy of epic proportions. Aside from monetary issues, we were also having problems from relatives. We didn’t really tell anyone we were going to Sinnoh, we didn’t leave a number, and yet they still found us. Maybe if we had changed our names, we could’ve done a better job of hiding. I was telling this story to Akira and Miguela at the coffee shop before school. Carina was away doing “important things” (yeah, I have no idea either) while Alicio was spending time with family. He would join us later at school.

    Akira: So, I take it you were never on good terms with these relatives?
    Me: Nope, and the pathetic part is that it’s coming from both sides of my family. My dad walked out on us a while back and his relatives are still bothering us. Especially his sister. And Mom’s family is just pathetic.
    Miguela: That’s awful. How are they bothering you though?
    Me: Money usually. They seem to think we have a lot of money, especially since we moved to Sinnoh. But it’s partially their fault that we had to come here in the first place…

    Maybe it was the look on my face that made them change the subject. That was good because I really didn’t want to talk about it. Not right now anyway…instead Miguela changed the subject to clubs and which ones we wanted to join. Was it really. She said she was joining the Economics Club, the National Honor Society, Junior Economists of Sinnoh, and International Affairs Club. Akira and I just looked at her. We agreed that clubs were important and all, but she could dig her own grave by herself. But it’d be interesting to see how she pulled it off.

    Me: Maybe I should join the Film Club. It’s my favorite class and extracurricular activities may help me big time. Besides, half of the clubs seem to require you to have really good grades and that’s not good for a C student like me.
    Akira: *Laughs*
    Miguela: *Looks shocked. You’re a C student? Seriously? You have to do something!
    Me: *Shrugs* It could be worse. And besides my grades are getting better everyday! I have a 78 now I’ll have you know.

    Miguela was still looking pretty worried but Akira just laughed again. He was likely the only other person in school who didn’t make a big deal about grades. I totally appreciated it. And thanks to Esmeralda, I knew my grades could actually be worse. I looked around the coffee shop at my perfectly composed classmates and wondered how many were stooping to just to keep up, how many of them were cheating…

    Miguela: What about you, Akira?
    Akira: *pours over the long list of clubs* I could join the Math Team, but I’m definitely joining the Debate Team. Getting a free chance to argue with the snobs at this school? Sign me up!
    Miguela: …

    I knew she was sensitive to whenever Akira insulted Veilstone High like that, but it was still funny. Besides, Akira would be perfect for the debate team. He was far more forceful than he usually let on. Plus, I would also pay to see him argue with people. We left the warm comfort of the coffee shop a few minutes later to head to school. Akira, Miguela, and I talked and laughed the whole way. Mateo’s appearance and our little field trip had broken down nearly all the barriers Miguela and I had between us. I could tell the both of us were terrified of being seen together in front of Carina, but yeah ^^; She’d take notice eventually, because people were starting to whisper about Miguela and Alicio and why they were hanging out with Akira and me. I asked her about it as we walked into school.

    Me: Miguela…do you think people are…weirded out by you and Alicio hanging out with us?
    Miguela: I’m not really sure. Things have been changing lately; you’ve noticed right?

    Yeah, I had noticed some things had changed. People weren’t being as mean to me and the comments about that awful webpage were starting die down. They were starting to really take notice that Akira was really smart, though they still thought he was weird. Esmeralda, Anastasio, Akira and I were so out of the loop of this school, and we didn’t care. I know I was done trying to fit in at this school by now (well at least I thought I was…more on that later). But even so, it wasn’t a change on a huge scale or anything.

    Miguela: Hmm, we should wait until the next test to really see if there will be some change…

    Ugh, yet another stupid school wide test. Only this one has extra stuff attached to it and everyone was buzzing about it (does anyone even say ‘buzzing’ anymore? Not sure). This test would be the second biggest test of this semester and would be one of the deciding factors in who would be ambassadors for the school. And what is an ambassador you ask? Basically the top boy and girl from each grade level would be picked to represent the school alongside the senior SGA president and vice-president. If you wanted to become an ambassador, you also had to submit an essay.

    I already said I wasn’t doing it, but to my surprise, Akira decided to enter and he persuaded Miguela to do the same. She only blushed and said she had no chance of winning next to Carina. And I gotta say, most of the school felt the same way. Akira disagreed of course. He told Miguela that he’d already said that she was smarter than what she gave herself credit for and she just flushed deeper. He gave her that ‘knowing’ smile. That inside joke smile.

    Hmmm…this was happening more often now. Perhaps it was because she and Akira see each other more because of Lucas. It made -me- feel awkward but there was no WAY I was saying anything about it >> Plus I could just be imagining things. Maybe there nothing going on between them at all. Either way I was relieved when I heard Alicio’s voice behind us. He was in a really good mood this morning, and he looked less uptight than he usually was (probably thanks to his brother too). He was also talking more, but it still wasn’t much. He was just more enjoyable to be around now. It was…kinda cute.



    I didn’t just say that—especially after what I said in the previous paragraph. Ramble mode on: It’s too soon to have a crush on someone! (At least for me anyway). And maybe this wasn’t even a crush—maybe it was more like a fascination. Yeah, that was it! I just found him interesting and wanted to know more about him…Okay that sounds nearly as bad as having a crush on him. I was running through all this in my head very quickly until Alicio finally reached us.

    Alicio: Guys, you’ll never guess what
    Akira: Hmm, does it involve telling us about the Valentine’s Day incident?
    Alicio: *Shocked* Miguela! I thought we wouldn’t mention that again!
    Miguela: I’m sorry! It just slipped out!
    Alicio *Coughs* Anyway, let’s get to the lounge so I can show you what my dad gave me last night.

    As we walked I happened to glance at some of the students as we past by. Like I said before, people were being less mean, but that didn’t mean they’d totally stopped. Sigh…just ignore them, I told myself. But I couldn’t ignore that one of the assistant principals was coming toward us.

    AP: Aaah, Miss Ross (his voice was as sneering as his expression). Please remove that offensive hat. Students are beginning to complain, and you don’t want to provide a distraction to your hardworking peers do you?
    Me: No…(I was working hard not to roll my eyes)
    AP: Then please remove it and if I see it again, you’ll be suspended. Have a nice day.


    A few people giggled as the assistant principal walked away. Akira and (to my surprise) Alicio were about to say something, but I waved my hand to stop them both. I told them I didn’t want them to get in trouble over me. But either way, I appreciated the gesture as I put my fedora in my bag. Now, I know most schools didn’t allow hats to be worn in doors, but that was no rule about it in the school handbook. That was probably what Akira and Alicio were going to bring up.

    We got to the lounge where Alicio showed us his dad’s gift: a sleek, ultra thin black tablet PC—and the most awesome tablet I’d ever seen at Veilstone. Opened up like a book so it had two touch screens. Alicio seemed genuinely happy to be talking and explaining things to us. But I wasn’t really paying attention to all of the stuff his tablet could do…It was just cool to see Alicio not so uptight. His brother’s words about Alicio’s conforming to fit in at this school were totally true. I was also noticing how pretty his golden eyes were…

    Okay wait. Am I -really- thinking about how pretty his eyes were? It’s even embarrassing writing it down -_- To me, Alicio was like a mysterious enigma—more so than even Akira was, and I wanted to know more about him. Once Alicio was done showing off his tablet he and Miguela announced that they were going to a short study session and they left. It took everything for me to not watch Alicio walk away…

    Now that you’ve heard the ramblings of my mind, here is where I get to the bang. Akira and I decided to go to the library, but we decided to take the shortcut Anastasio showed us (a semi-hidden doorway that led to a service stairwell and hallway). We slipped in under the cover of a machine droning. But even the noise didn’t stop us from overhearing something very interesting just as we were about to turn the corner.

    We ducked back beneath the stairwell when we realized we weren’t alone and were amazed when we found out who the people were: Carina and a girl from our Pre-cal class who was sobbing. Thinking fast, Akira pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and started recording, being careful to remain hidden. That wasn’t too hard: we were in the dark, while Carina and the girl were in the light. It felt like we were super secret agents on the trail of a thief (HUZZAH!) But when I heard Carina’s voice, which reminded me of sweet poison, I got chills and all the hatred I had for her came back with a vengeance.

    Carina: Why are you crying? I’m doing you such a big favor by keeping your secret. (She was running her fingers through the blonde girl’s hair). You know that right?
    The girl: *Lip trembles* Yes, I’m so grateful (her face sure didn’t show it <<) and I’m indebted to you.
    Carina: *Smiling evilly* Glad you realize that, because you’ll be doing my homework from now on. There’s a lot I want to do this semester so….an assistant of sorts would be wonderful. I may call you for other academic favors later. Got it? (Carina pulled the girl’s hair at these words)
    The girl: *Nods sadly*
    Carina: Good, good. Because we both know what will happen if you land on my bad side…Well, I’ll see you in Pre-Cal, I have places to be.

    Fortunately for me and Akira, she walked out the other way and didn’t come by us. To be safe though, we waited until the girl was gone, and then I squealed.

    Me: Eeeeeeeee! We hit the MOTHERLOAD!

    Immediately, I had images in my head of taking that video straight to the principal’s offices and getting Carina expelled. How so very glorious images they were. But they were shattered by Akira’s next words.

    Akira: Yeah, I know! If it weren’t for the girl we could turn it in right now.
    Me: *Jaw drops* Wait, could? As in we’re not going to?

    Akira shook his head and said we couldn’t turn it in because a) Carina might reveal the girl’s secret if the video got out. And for all we knew, what she was hiding could ruin her life or her family. B) The girl would be expelled too because technically she was also cheating. I had vague images of making some kind of alliance with the girl but then I remembered that this is Veilstone High School, where the students’ egos were as big as their parents’ wallets. She may have just been bullied, but she was still likely a typical snob. Aw! That totally sucked! And I so thought we were getting rid of Carina for good. I knew Akira was right but that didn’t stop it from hurting. Why did we even record it then? (I asked him that too).

    Akira: Because you never know…

    I sighed and didn’t question him further. We did go to library and briefly went over the stuff that would be on the school wide test and the test we had in Pre-cal today. Two tests today…how joyous (¬¬). At least I felt pretty good about the material on my Pre-Cal test. As I looked at Akira typing away on his laptop, I wistfully wished for one myself. Maybe I’d save up money for a smart pen like the one Alicio used before he got his tablet. I sighed.

    After the library it was time for homeroom. I just now realize that I’ve never mentioned my homeroom aside from the first day when I was late. We basically took care of school wide and general information. I didn’t hate my homeroom, but I didn’t like it either. No one ever talked to me…until today. We got two new students—a set of identical twins from Johto (they mentioned being from around the Goldenrod area).

    But I was afraid to talk them because they were from Goldenrod’s elite (okay, so for pretty much the same reasons I was afraid to talk to most people here XD). They were infamous for being spoiled, superficial, and glamorous. I expected them to be rude to me when and if they ever spoke to me, but I was surprised when they weren’t. They didn’t have a valley girl accent or any other annoying accent; instead they sounded like sophisticated city girls (unlike me).

    They were named Amaranth (the one with the straight hair) and Hyacinth (with the natural hair). The girls asked me about the social life at Veilstone and were subsequently disappointed when I couldn’t answer them. They had started to ask me about Carina Diaz when another girl in my class (named Eva Morris) entered the conversation. About Eva: she’s a jerk of the highest order. She’ll do anything to get to the top—including sucking up to a person and then stabbing them in the back. Eva idolized Carina but wanted more than anything to humiliate her and take her place.

    …I doubted she’d actually succeed but who cares XD So the twins weren’t actually mean to me, but I don’t think we’d ever be friends like that. Unfortunately homeroom was the only class I had with either of them. Oh well…I had more pressing things to worry about now: my Pre-cal test. In the last few minutes of homeroom, I frantically looked over my notes. And then the bell rang, signaling my doom. As I walked into my classroom, Mr. Bach had that “I totally wish you didn’t exist” look on his face as he glanced at me. And I was liking him less and less because of his less than subtle remarks that I needed to get a laptop or a smart pen.

    This was one of the times I wished Carina weren’t so…Carina, ick! I wanted to sit with Akira AND Miguela and Alicio, but that wasn’t to be. There was like some invisible line between us whenever she was around and there was nothing we could do about it. Well, that was partially a lie: Miguela and I were afraid of Carina, but Akira was just waiting for Alicio and Miguela to stand up to her and say something. Hnn, if I had to take a bet on that, I’d bet on Alicio. As I watched them, it seemed like Carina was excluding Alicio. I wondered if anyone else noticed.

    Now back to me trying to stop myself from hyperventilating. Akira was attempting to help calm me down, but somehow it still wasn’t helping. And I felt so comfortable about it just an hour ago. But once again I was back to my first day of school in my nervousness.

    But it really wasn’t as bad. o.o Apparently I really did study smart this time. Yeah, there was still a lot of stuff I didn’t know, but it could’ve been worse. As usual, I was dead last to finish, but I was sure I had escaped with a C this time. Then it was on to English where Alicio was still gushing about his tablet—this time telling Miguela about how neat his handwriting was on it. However I made the mistake of talking to Alicio.

    Me: I almost hate to ask, but how much was it? (I regretted asking the second the words came out of my mouth -_- For one moment I had forgotten that invisible barrier I couldn’t cross).
    Carina: And what is it to you? It’s not like you’ll ever come close to touching it. Just stay out of our conversation.

    A few of my classmates laughed but not Miguela and Alicio who looked like he wanted to say something. I was little upset that he didn’t, but then I felt like a hypocrite again. Because, yeah, -I- could’ve said something. Akira just shook his head with a smirk on his face. I wasn’t sure what that meant and I was suspicious for the rest of the class. When we let out for lunch, Akira confronted me.

    Akira: Quinn, this is getting painful to watch. When are you going to stand up to her?
    Me: (His words reminded me of Esmeralda’s) I don’t know D: Every time I get near her, I get tongue-tied.
    Akira: As much as I’d love to say something to her, you have to do it. And really, what can she do to you that scares you?
    Me: *Mouth drops open* Are you serious? Have you already forgotten that stupid webpage?
    Akira: Yeah that was pretty bad (He was not helping his case, or making me feel any better). But then again, why do you care what others think of you?
    Me: (Now I was getting exasperated) Akira, I’m not like you! I’m not rich, smart, OR all that good looking like you are! I don’t have any redeeming qualities to save me from anyone at this school! (I was too worked up to even process that I just told him he was good looking <<)
    Akira: ‘Not like me?’ I’m almost insulted. Haven’t we been through this already? (This was the most impatient I’ve ever heard him, and it further annoyed me). I thought you’d made progress but I see I was wrong.
    Me: …
    Akira: …
    Me: Just leave me alone…

    We ate in silence that day. Anastasio and Esmeralda didn’t know what was going on and we sure didn’t tell them. I just sat there stewing in my annoyance at Akira and anger at myself. Why did he have to be right ALL the time? Sheesh! Once again I had let Carina make me feel lower than the floor beneath her stiletto heeled boots and I let her come between me and my best friend. My cowardice is really killing me -_- And by the end of our lunch period, I was feeling pretty bad about my argument with Akira. I wanted to apologize to him, but he practically flew out of the cafeteria as soon as the bell rang before I could even say a word.

    Well that sucks! And after things had gone so reasonably well in Pre-cal! I sat in a daze in my next two classes (biology and film), but my mood improved somewhat when my teacher told us about out film project. Basically we had to make a video that would be a snapshot of life in Veilstone City. We had to work in threes so of course I worked with Anastasio and Esmeralda. I already knew where I wanted to do the video, and when I told them we should do it in eastern Veilstone, they were sold. We could rent an HD video camera from the school, but unsurprisingly, all of the students (except for me) already had one. The assignment would be due a month from now.

    It’s a good thing I had that little shred of light because SAT prep almost felt like the deepest, darkest pits of Hades. You know when the tension of the atmosphere is so thick you could feel it? Well, it was that way here. I imagined myself cutting the anticipation in the air with a butcher’s knife as people waited for the test to begin. I sighed as the test was passed around and we began.

    Honestly, I wasn’t even sure why I was trying. Fortunately, the school tests, while very, very important, weren’t factored into your actual grades (meaning they had no bearings on whether you pass or fail). It was a very good thing too because my test scores were abysmal. In fact, they told me on my last test that if I got another low score, they were going to call a conference with my mom. And as I went through the test, I realized that a conference was in my very near future. After the umpteenth word problem that went over my head. I gave up and started doing zigzag patterns with the scantron. I was the first one out of the class when the bell rang.

    Heh, I threw myself into my workout in PE. Mindless physical activity was exactly what I needed right now. First off, it gave me time to get philosophical over Akira’s words. Why was I concerned about fitting in when it was clear that it was never going to happen? He was also right about another thing: what could these people do to me? Well, in the sense of long term damage anyway. They could ruin my reputation at school, but who outside Veilstone High School really cared? I decided I wouldn’t worry about anything they could do to me unless they decided to mess with my family.

    Inevitably, my thoughts turned to my continuing fascination with Alicio. First off, it came out of nowhere and it made NO sense whatsoever. How on earth did I go from seeing him as one of Carina’s flunkeys to having him be the object of my interest and fascination? Sure, he talked to Akira and me in the computer lab, but I think it was seeing that whole other side to him yesterday that did it for me. But yes, even so, it’s too soon to have a crush on someone, so I’ll just wait a little while to see if he continues like this. Who knows, maybe this will eventually develop into an actual crush.

    After I took a shower and class ended, I decided to track down Akira and apologize for earlier. That didn’t take long: I crashed into him as he was coming out of the bathroom. As if that wasn’t funny enough, it turned out that Akira was about to look for me so he could apologize. Irony ftw!

    Akira: I’m sorry for being so harsh earlier. It was mean…
    Me: No, no you were right. I do care what others think of me too much. And I promise I’m going to stand up to Carina one day.
    Akira: Just make sure you do it for yourself and no one else.

    I was glad our not speaking to each other didn’t last long. We talked about the school wide test and how the school still thought Akira and Carina would be the ambassadors. He was still convinced that Miguela could win because she was smarter than everyone gave her credit for. For me, either scenario would be hilarious. Carina would hate to serve as an ambassador next to Akira, but she’d hate to lose to Miguela even more. As we were about to leave school, we were stopped by a pretty girl with shoulder length white blonde hair and hazel eyes from our Pre-cal class (not the one Carina threatened).

    She looked around to see if no one else was there before approaching us. To my surprise, she shook both of our hands and introduced herself. She had a quiet (almost whispery), high pitched voice.

    The girl: Quinn, Akira, I know we’ve never spoken to each other but my name is Karyme Li.
    Akira: Nice to meet you. (He was as weirded out as I was). What can we help you with?
    Karyme: (She looked worried and distracted and she kept ringing her hands). I-I heard rumors that Quinn’s performance in class is because you help her.

    I suddenly felt warm on the inside. So people -had- noticed that I was getting better. Well, what do you know? Akira and I listened as she continued.

    Karyme: You see, my grades started off really high in Pre-cal, but from there they keep dropping. M-my parents are already mad at me, especially my dad. And i-if this keeps up, he’ll kill me! *Shutters involuntarily* (I was starting to wonder if I should take her literally at those words).
    Akira: They sound intense…
    Karyme: They are…they want me to work in the Mossdeep Space Center after all…But I came to ask if you could help me with Pre-Cal because you have the highest grades in the class and because you helped Quinn so much.

    We were both stunned. Like Esmeralda said, asking for help was unheard of here. That’s why she checked to make sure no one else was around. Karyme must have counted on us being different to take a risk like that. Akira flashed that famous smile of his (she blushed) and said he’d love to help and they exchanged contact information before parting ways. I could tell Akira thrilled by what just happened. Okay, I was impressed myself. At least there was one person outside of our circle who was showing promise.

    Akira and I went our separate ways to go home. My path took me by the trolley stop—and who should be sitting there on the bench but Alicio! ^^ He looked up as I approached.

    Alicio: Hey Quinn! How was the test?
    Me: (Did he really have to kill my mood like that? But whatever, I was still happy to see him). Awful, as usual. I hate those tests.
    Alicio: I’m sorry to hear that… (He really did look sorry too)
    Me: Eh, it doesn’t matter. (And in turn, I was sorry I answered like that)

    We were both so awkward it was funny.

    Me: … *I held my coat closer*
    Alicio: Oh! By the way, your question earlier. My tablet was expensive to say the least, Mom wasn’t too happy about it, but my dad likes to spoil us.

    At this point I sat on the bench next to him. We talked about some random stuff, but I did find out one interesting factoid. He had a younger brother who was friends with my sister. He was the curious one after that—he was asking me all the questions which were mostly centered on life in Johto. He seemed so interested that I didn’t care that he didn’t talk about himself much. The trolley came not long afterward, and he boarded it. I left the trolley stop happier than we I got there.

    So ends this entry. It was time to go home to do the homework (and a bit of housework) that was waiting for me. I took out my fedora, put it on, and walked home with a little spring in my step.
     
    #15 Carmen Lopez, Nov 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  16. OOC: Two of the random entries I had from the previous thread who aren't from the usual POVs. I expanded Alicio's a bit which I hope everyone likes. The second one is told from the Pokemon's POVs.

    Alicio Sandoval

    My house was relatively quiet for the moment. Everyone and all the Pokémon were doing their own thing. I was trying to finish my homework, but I was currently having trouble focusing. That was rare—my family was always amazed that I could study through anything: personal crises (as in my paternal grandmother making a fuss <<), family gatherings (and believe me, my mom’s side of the family was insane), my little brother’s school play (I knew Frankie was a good singer, but half of those kids were tone deaf).

    What was bothering me was something that’s been on my mind for a while now. And the fact that Mimi and Mateo were in my room sitting on my bed trying to bore a hole into the back of my head by staring wasn’t really helping matters. Normally, I could’ve ignored them easily, but today, with my mind all over the place, it was very, very irritating. And they knew it.

    “Mimi,” Mateo said in a loud, mocking whisper. “I think we’re getting to him.”

    I rolled my eyes. Mimi said something to Mateo and he laughed. I spun around in my chair and said “Would you both quit it!”

    “Ha, yeah right,” Mateo said, ignoring me (he does this a lot). “We can tell you’re bothered. Mimi wants to know who the girl is.”

    That brought me up short and I hesitated in horror that I was that easy to read. “How did she know?” I blurted out without thinking. To my utter surprise, Mateo was shocked.

    “Wait, wait, waaaaaait,” he said, his green eyes getting wide. “You’re really worried about a GIRL? Wow….Mimi was only kidding.” He couldn’t hold back the short laugh.

    I turned back around in total shame. Why couldn’t I have just played it cool like Matt would’ve done? Mateo and Mimi both started to laugh now and it was irritating me, but I did a better job of holding it in this time. After a few moments, I stood up and glared at them to both stop them from laughing and so he’d have to look up to me since he was still sitting down (authority ftl). Yeah, it was stupid, but I needed something on my side.

    But to my disappointment, Mateo wasn’t fazed by me looking down on him (physically). “Sooo, who’s the girl? And don’t tell me it’s Miguela.”

    “No,” was all I said.

    “Mateo looked me straight in the eye. “Is it that girl you told me about, Carina? The one who has you whipped?”

    Now that was a sucker punch. “She does NOT have me whipped!” I said in shock. Couldn’t believe he took it there…But I’d tell him all about my theories about Carina after I deal with this.

    “From what you’ve said, it sounds like this girl is a monster,” Mateo was smug. “And I haven’t even met the beastie girl yet. Now back to the subject.”

    He looked at me expectantly. I sighed and was quiet for a moment. It didn’t always look like it, but my brother and I got along really well. Not to mention he was good for advice. Maybe he could help me out with this situation. “It’s Quinn.”

    “Oh, ha ha,” Mateo laughed. “Let’s see…from the impression I got from her…she’s quiet, you’re quiet. She’s a bit awkward, you’re a bit awkward. You two are a match made in heaven.” He was kidding around, but then he was serious. “Now what’s the problem?”

    “I’ve kinda liked her for a while now,” I tried to explain. “I want to ask her to the dance in April even though it’s months away, but I can’t.

    “That’s not telling me what the problem is,” my brother said. “Is there someone else stopping you? Like that jerk Carina?”

    “No,” I replied as I started to pace a bit. “Carina has nothing to do with this. We haven’t said it out loud or anything, but we aren’t even friends anymore (not that we ever were, I thought to myself). One part of it is that I always end up doing something stupid or stick my foot in my mouth whenever I try to approach her.”

    I shuddered at all the bad memories. The first day of school…she didn’t react the way I thought she would. She was genuinely hurt by what we said. And she didn’t even work out that it was me who gave her the stockings D: Then there was the first time I worked up the nerve to talk to her in the computer lab (I failed and subsequently walked away with a stupid nickname thanks to Akira), the slam webpage (that I wasn’t even INVOLVED in, yet people seem to think I was). And all those times I didn’t stand up to Carina for her (even if it would be sweeter if Quinn was the one who pwn’d her). Dang, I should be grateful she wants to even breathe the same air as me—let alone talk to me.

    “What’s another part?” Mateo said. He was amused, and he probably knew what I was going to answer, but I said it anyway.

    “She doesn’t like me back,” I sighed. “It’s Akira she likes; I just know it.” I wasn’t jealous if him per se, but I was a bit jealous that he had a better relationship with her than I did.

    This time it was Mimi who interrupted and Mateo said, “You read my mind Mimi” and high fived the Infernape. “Mimi wants to know how you know that.”

    I started to say something, but I stopped. I didn’t want to believe she liked him, but… “Okay, maybe I don’t know for sure. But I can feel it,” I said, a bit defeated.

    “Alicio, you’re being a bit pathetic right now,” said Mateo. He shook his head.

    “Gee, thanks,” I mumbled.

    “No, really,” Mateo said. This time he stood up. At 6’1 he was four inches taller than me (I couldn’t wait to hit my growth spurt). “Just ask her out. Simple as that. Or better yet, you could even bring her and some friends over for dinner or something. She’ll probably like the second one better.”

    Huh…he was right about that. Inviting Miguela, Akira, and Quinn over would work because they seemed fascinated by my brother. They’d definitely come.

    “And don’t forget you still have this Friday night,” Matt reminded me.

    “Oh right,” I said. I actually had forgotten about that. Now I was really looking forward to it. “And I’ll invite them over too. Maybe in the next couple of weeks.” Who knows maybe I’d get to take her to the dance after all.

    “That’s the spirit,” he said stretching. “But yeah, I’m going downstairs to get something to eat.”

    “Wait!” I said suddenly. “Before you do, tell me what happened between you and Reina. It’s been on my mind ever since you mentioned it.”

    Mateo smirked and shook his head. For a second I didn’t think he was going to answer me.

    “Hey, no fair! We got to discuss my love life,” I said.

    “Calm down, Alicio. I’ll tell you,” he assured me. He sat back down on my bed and looked down at his hands. “She’s a bit of a relationship-phobe that’s all,” Mateo explained. He had that look in his eyes that he always got when he talked about her. “That’s why I said she’s not my girlfriend yet. I’m convinced she thinks our friendship would end instantly and we’ll end up hating each other if we made it official.”

    “Maybe,” I interjected. “Just maybe you two aren’t meant to be.” I was trying and failed to keep the hopefulness out of my voice. To be perfectly honest, I really didn’t like Reina all that much (neither did our dad).

    Matt looked up at me and grinned. He was almost smug. “Oh come on! She’s not that bad. Just like you and Quinn do well together (I liked when he said that), Reina and I compliment each other. You only saw her crazy side, but there’s so much more to her than that.”

    I couldn’t imagine her being anything other than loud, over opinionated and just plain crude. Reina was like a female version of Mateo, but for some reason, she just irked me. She irked me Mimi, too, but only because she didn’t like some people getting too close to Mateo.

    “I did eventually tell her I liked her and wanted us together,” Mateo continued. “She just froze and I kid you not, she didn’t say anything for about three minutes—

    “Reina? Speechless?” I said without thinking.

    He only smiled at me and then went on. “Then, she started on some random conversation like I hadn’t said anything. It was pretty shocking. After that, I decided to give her some space and time to think it over. We’ll see each other soon enough though.”

    From the look on his face, I could tell leaving her behind was hard even if it was for a little while. Still, I was even less impressed with Reina than before. What kind of girl has commitment phobia? Wasn’t that a guy’s problem? Now I really hoped that they didn’t end up together, but it really didn’t look like I was getting my way. My brother stood up again.

    ”Now it’s really time to get something to eat,” Mateo said. “And remember what I said about Quinn.”

    That made me grin and gave me some warm fuzzies (cough). And why I didn’t see this coming, I have no idea. Before I could even react, he punched me in the shoulder—hard. It felt like he dislocated it; believe me, he was much stronger than he looked. We never ended a heart to heart without some kind of abuse of some kind and I was usually on the receiving end.

    “Uh oh! Did I hurt your widdle shoulder?” Mateo said as seriously as he could when he trying not to laugh. “Hey Mimi, could you apply some heat to his boo-boo?”

    Fire engulfed both of the Infernape’s hands as she started to walk towards me.

    “Okay, both of you OUT of my room,” I said and I chased them into the hallway and they both laughed at me. I slammed the door behind me and rubbed my shoulder. Dang it, that was going to hurt for a while too. But I didn’t really care.

    Interlude

    (OOC: This is at a work-out gym somewhere in East Veilstone for Pokémon. The facility is huge and the Pokémon are given the freedom to go as they please to an extent. Akira decided to go with Mateo and brought his Pokémon along as well. Addison (Gallade) and Ojore (Hitmontop) are in one corner of the gym, and hilarity is about to ensue XD)

    Addison…” Ojore growled, stopping his practice session with the punching bag. “Just end it already! You’re driving me crazy!

    The Gallade has his foot on the back of a Lopunny he was tormenting. “Aw, Ojore,” Addison complained to the Hitmontop. “You’re no fun at all! This Lopunny asked for a fun practice match and I gave it to her. ;)

    Ojore sighed. “Oh for goodness sakes! Mateo hates it when you do this. What’s so fun about torturing your opponents and drawing it out anyway?

    Addison’s face curled into a cruel smile. “Everything is fun about it. I love watching Pokémon slowly, ever so slowly, gradually weaken as my attacks sap more than just their energy to battle. Hnn, Thunder Wave, Double Team, Teleport, and False Swipe…who knew those moves could break a Pokémon mentally and physically like this. Mmm.” Addison gave a little laugh in pleasure as he thought of the moves. Will O’ Wisp worked well too—but it had a draw back. A burn was really painful, but it would cause a Pokémon to faint eventually. It was the same way with Toxic. And Addison was all about keeping the Pokémon conscious to feel the torture; Ojore knew this.

    The Hitmontop threw his hands up. “Addison, this is disgusting. If you’re done toying with her, then let her go!

    No :)” said Addison simply. “Oh?” He looked down and saw a young Ralts watching him with stars in her eyes. He knew that look very well. Ojore groaned. “And what can I help you with?” Addison said cheerfully. The Hitmontop marveled at the way Addison could be so pleasant, yet be such a sicko at the same time.

    Uh, um, my name is Izumi,” she said. “And I was w-watching you from over there.” Izumi pointed to a place a short distance away were a Treecko was looking on in horror. “You have a w-wonderful battle style.

    Well now,” Addison said, his eyes brightening. “Would you look at this, Ojore. SOMEONE appreciates my style.” Izumi looked delighted that Addison liked her compliment.

    I suppose with all the Pokémon on earth there has to be one delusional enough to,” Ojore said under his breath.

    B-but I was wondering,” Izumi continued. “Would you be willing to m-maybe, be my boyfriend?” It looked like the Ralts didn’t even notice the Lopunny who was still struggling against paralysis, frustration, and Addison’s weight on her back.

    Ojore looked as though he wanted to throw up while Addison looked delighted at the sweet, but very forward Ralts. “Well, Izumi, you see as flattered as I am, you’re just a wee bit young for me. Evolve twice then come back.

    Izumi looked positively happy for the not so outright rejection. “Okay! I’ll evolve into a BEAUtiful Gardevoir and then I’ll come back!

    Addison smiled again as he watched the Ralts run back to her Treecko friend who was now facepalming…the same thing Ojore was doing behind him, only the Himontop was shaking and looked as though he were about to explode.

    ADDISON!” Ojore shouted. A few Pokémon in the vicinity stared.

    All right, all right,” Addison said, still cheerful, but it was tinged with disappointment because his fun was about to end. He increased the weight on Lopunny’s back. Addison’s left arm blade glowed red and in the next second, Lopunny screeched as the Gallade made the final blow with Psycho Cut.
     
    #16 Carmen Lopez, Nov 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  17. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    Yay! I finally caught up today! ^_^

    I like the changes you've made as they enhance the dramatic comedy this story possesses. One of the reasons Akira remains my favorite character aside from being so awesome is his dry sarcastic humor like "Manpurse Boy".

    How many more entries before you're all caught up? I remember at least two more after this one.
     
  18. Yep, there's exactly two after this: one from Miguela, one from Quinn. I'm hoping to show more of Akira's dry humor in the coming chapters because it'll be awesome ♥

    Btw, I found so many typos as I glanced back at previous entries that I will be sure to fix the next time I post.
     
  19. OOC: Err, I'll fix those typos later. This chapter was originally in two pieces so part II will be posted tomorrow.

    Miguela

    Tension and excitement were in the air as the weekend approached. It was a cold, dreary day, but even so, my day started off okay…eating breakfast with my family, playing with Lucas, getting in a fight with my sister—the usual. I gathered my things together and got Lucas ready to go to day care. He always enjoyed the trip and usually he wanted to walk rather than be carried (or run rather, I was always tired by the time I got there from chasing him). But today, he wanted to be in my arms. He kept staring up at me with those eyes of his and I almost melted from cuteness. When I got to the Yamakage’s daycare, I saw that Akira hadn’t left yet. He was busy trying to mediate an argument between his Treecko and Ralts.

    “Izumi, you can’t just fly off the handle just because Ryoma dislikes your crush,” Akira told the Ralts.

    But Izumi wasn’t having it and continued to glare at Ryoma who had his arms folded and his nose in the air.

    “Ryoma, you know you could be a bit less…harsh when you try to “help” Izumi,” Akira said. The Treecko started to say something, but Akira interrupted him. “Yes, Ryoma, even if you do think her crush is a creeper.”

    “Treecko,” Ryoma said indifferently.

    Lucas jumped down from my arms and ran to Izumi and Ryoma to play. They both temporarily forgot their differences and greeted Lucas before Akira’s aunt took them all to the back.

    “My Pokémon are insane,” Akira sighed.

    “It sounded pretty funny though,” I said. “What was it about?”

    “Eh, Izumi’s a bit boy crazy, but every Pokémon she crushes on is questionable in some way,” Akira explained. “Ryoma always gets annoyed and tries to stop her, but to no avail. This time was no different. I found out she had a crush on Mateo’s Gallade who’s a total sadist. Hmm, but aside from that, do you know what today is?”

    I thought for a moment, them I remembered. “Oh…right, they announce the ambassadors of the school today in homeroom.”

    “Heh heh heh,” Akira laughed; he looked positively excited. “I can’t wait to see the look on Carina’s face. It’s going to be so, so very priceless.”

    I was trying not to laugh, but I couldn’t help it. “You really like to push her buttons, don’t you?”

    “Push her buttons?” repeated Akira as we started the walk to school. “I’ve just been doing my work as normal. I’ve never directly come at her or anyone else really, but that’s going to change soon.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “You’ll see. And speaking of pushing buttons, our current affairs teacher is going to loooove the essay I wrote.”

    I groaned as I thought about the assignment we were supposed to do. We were to select a newspaper article and write a two page essay summarizing it and how it applies to what we learned in class. “What exactly did you write about?” I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know the answer.

    “Well, he didn’t say what newspaper we could pull the article from,” Akira said. “So, I found a very interesting article in the Stoney Vista High School newspaper.” He smiled broadly.

    “Okay, so what was it about?” I asked cautiously.

    “The student who wrote it was talking how the pressure cooker environment of Veilstone High School was actually detrimental to students,” Akira explained.

    “Oh, I’ve heard that argument before,” I told him, sighing. “It’s the same one my parents use on me. Sure, it’s a lot of work now, but it’ll pay off in the future.”

    “That’s if you don’t kill yourselves now,” Akira said darkly. “I think I’ll be more…direct in challenging people now—teachers and students...”

    He left me alone with my thoughts the rest of the way. To be honest, I was a little concerned at what he had in mind. I always thought he was laidback, so I was mystified by how he was still able to do well. But maybe I’d miscalculated; perhaps his easygoing manner wasn’t what it appeared to be. I was sure I’d just witnessed a side to Akira no one had seen before—the side of him that could be warm as the Hoenn sun to some and cold as the Sinnoh winter to the rest. This only seemed to make him more of a puzzle.

    Akira, Alicio, Quinn and I didn’t have coffee together this morning because Akira and Quinn had to go to a study group elsewhere. That left Alicio and me having to spend the morning with Carina—and I must say, it wasn’t pleasant at all. Carina was in a bad mood because she wasn’t happy about being an ambassador with Akira. And apparently Alicio was in a bad mood because of her ill temper.

    “And what makes you think you’ll be picked?” Alicio said, his eyes narrowing.

    Carina just looked at him. “And who do you think you’re talking to you?” She was haughty—almost cocky. “What’s the matter with you anyway?”

    “Nothing,” Alicio replied. “I just asked a simple question.”

    “I still don’t know what that hippie is doing to cheat his way to number one,” Carina said viciously. “But seeing as I’m really the number one student of our class and SGA representative for our homeroom, it’s obvious.”

    “Heh,” said Alicio with a half smile as he turned back to his tablet.

    Carina glared at him. “No, if you’ve got something to say, say it, Alicio.”

    “I said it was nothing,” Alicio repeated. “You’ve answered my question anyway…”

    “You know what?” Carina said harshly. “I don’t have time for to try to figure out your stupid ramblings. It’s time for me to go to class.”

    As usual, she left without saying anything else—leaving Alicio and me alone. The tension that was around was broke. He sighed deeply.

    “Alicio?” I said slowly. “Is there something wrong?”

    “I thought we were supposed to check each other,” he said as if he hadn’t heard me. “But she didn’t take it well this time. I think she’s hiding something.”

    I’m sure the surprise I felt showed on my face. “I don’t think so. I mean, we both know how hard she works, so of course she felt offended by you questioning her abilities.”

    “Hm. If you say so,” Alicio replied. “Maybe you’re right. But I’m still suspicious because we don’t really see her much at all.”

    I really didn’t know what to say to that, so I remained silent. Maybe I wasn’t being perceptive enough when it came to Carina, but she really hadn’t changed to me. She was doing more things than ever when it came to her school work, club meetings, and now, the academic competitions that would be coming up. Those competitions could include Sinnoh-wide essay contests or regional tests. Either way, it made total sense to me that we weren’t really seeing her much; neither of our schedules could compare at all. We got to speak to each other again in homeroom.

    “How did your class go?” I asked as I watched her put more entries into her calendar.

    “I thought it went well,” Carina said. “I got the highest marks in our class and my teacher even called out the bottom three and criticized them.”

    I felt something stir in the pit of my stomach, but I ignored it. Akira looked up over the book he was reading and laughed.

    “And what are you laughing at?” Carina turned her cold eyes on Akira. “You piece of hippie trash.”

    “You,” Akira answered and at once I felt the whole class go silent. “It’s so stupid how you get your kicks from watching other people get put down. Why do you like it so much?”

    “Normally I wouldn’t dignify that with a response, but I’ll make an exception in your case,” Carina said. “Since your three months here still haven’t taught you anything about this school, I’ll spell it out. Competition—

    “Is what makes this school work the way it does,” Akira finished her sentence. “Yes I know that. But surely, surely there has to be a difference between that and just putting people down to make yourself feel better.”

    “The ‘putting down’ as you call it,” Carina retorted, “is part of what makes people want to do better.”

    Akira looked thoughtful. “Hmm, maybe you’re partly right. But I think the real reason is that everyone wants to make themselves feel better when they can’t even live up to the high expectations of this school and they want to hide it.”

    “Believe what you want,” Carina said darkly. “I’m done with this silly debate.”

    Akira smiled to himself as he turned back to his book and the class gradually began to talk again. His words had intrigued me big time. To tell you the truth, I had never given much to other people putting up a façade. I put up a front not to hide academic incompetence, but to…fit in I guess. I always work hard and try to be the best. You have to be willing to do anything to look the best—including throwing someone else under the bus. You’ll be considered weak otherwise. I had to hide the fact that I wasn’t willing to do it…

    I pulled out my laptop and started working on a paper I had due next week. A little email icon popped up in the corner of my screen; it was from Alicio and it said countdown to the big announcement: five minutes. Akira and Carina’s exchange had temporarily made me forget about the announcement, but now that Alicio kindly reminded me, my heart started pounding. I knew Carina and Akira would be selected, yet I was nervous about Carina’s reaction anyway. After those agonizing minutes passed by, a little tone played over the PA system and we heard the principal’s voice.

    “Greetings Veilstone High School,” she said in a crisp, professional voice. “I am pleased to announce to you the ambassadors who will be representing this academic institution. Without further ado, the freshman ambassadors will be Parker Brooks and Cristina Gomez. Representing the sophomore class will be—

    I inhaled sharply.

    “Akira Yamakage and Miguela Cruz. The junior ambassadors…

    I think my heart stopped for two seconds. Did I just hear her say -my- name? That couldn’t- be right. And yet it was true because the entire class was looking at me—including Akira who was smiling that awesome smile of his.

    “Congratulations!” he said brightly.

    “You too,” I mumbled, uncomfortably aware that Carina was looking at me.

    The principal then called all of the ambassadors to one of the student meeting rooms for a short meeting. Numbly, I rose to my feet and followed Akira out of the room. I only dared a glance at Alicio who mouthed congratulations as well; I had to force my face into a smile. Out in the hall way, Akira looked at the stunned expression on my face and laughed.

    “See? I told you that you didn’t give yourself enough credit,” he said. He looked positively thrilled at this turn of events.

    “But really Akira,” I managed to choke out. “This can’t be happening!”

    “Oh, but it is,” he said happily. His eyes were sparkling. “How do you think Carina will react?”

    That question made me stop and think. She was really disappointed in my performance on the last test—so much so, she threatened to dump me as her best friend. I guess that subconsciously motivated me to do better next time. Receiving this honor had to make up for last time. Hopefully, I won’t get my hair pulled at least. “I think she’ll be impressed,” I said finally.

    “And she won’t be pissed?” Akira asked, frowning slighly.

    “Oh, she’s definitely angry that you were chosen and not her,” I replied.

    He looked a bit doubtful which forcefully reminded me of Alicio from this morning, but he recovered. “I guess I’ll take that as a consolation prize,” he said laughing.

    At the meeting, they told us our responsibilities as ambassadors such as keeping our grades up, talking to the kids at Veilstone Middle School, and representing our school at the big open house in December. Ambassadors had to reapply each year if they wanted to keep their position. Then there were the perks, some of which included: we got to talk important academic people to start networking and we would receive invitations for events throughout the year. But the best perk was the trip to Castelia City next semester. Akira was amused by how the other ambassadors were nearly drooling over the perks, but even he was excited about the trip to Goldenrod because it was one of the largest cities in the world. As for me? I still couldn’t believe I had been chosen, yet I was still proud of myself.

    That feeling died after encountering Carina when we went back to out first period class. Everyone was focused on the teacher and didn’t even look up when we entered—except Carina. She glared at both Akira and me and her eyes were so full of hatred that I was shocked.. I was very reluctant to sit next to her. She didn’t say anything to me, but I could tell she was giving me the cold shoulder—she slightly shifted her body further from me. This hadn’t been the reaction I’d expected at all, and it continued through English and Current Affairs as well. So even though she seemed upset with me, I was glad to get to get to lunch and talk to her.

    “Carina, is everything all right?” I asked gently.

    “Of course it is,” she snapped. She sucked air through her teeth as she often did when she was frustrated.

    “Oh, okay…” I said sheepishly. “Well, I redeemed myself from my last performance—

    “Just tell me what they told you at your little meeting,” she interrupted.

    I went through everything they’d told us and she looked thoroughly unimpressed. The irritated expression on her face faded to a haughty look.

    “Hmm, looks like being an ambassador isn’t as great as I though,” Carina mused. “The perks aren’t that good, Maybe it’s because it’s the first year they’ve done it and it’ll be better next year. But either way, being an ambassador means nothing.”

    “Oh,” I said quietly, but Carina wasn’t finished yet.

    “Especially since ambassadors have to reapply every year. That’s just stupid a waste because you should be able to keep your position for the rest of your high school career,” she finished. “And you said something about improving your performance? Yes, well, we won’t know that until after school because that’s when they’re posting the scores this time. Being selected as an ambassador (she said the word in mocking tones) is no indication of academic performance it seems.”

    The rest of lunch passed without incident. I felt diminished now, and I certainly didn’t feel proud of myself anymore. Carina left about five minutes early to speak with a teacher. Alicio, who’d been quiet during Carina’s rant, laughed at her as soon as she was gone.

    “Jealous much?” Alicio snorted.

    “She did have some good points,” I said sighing.

    “Uh, no she didn’t,” Alicio said. “That last argument didn’t even make sense. Ambassadors have to reapply for their positions to make sure no one gets complacent, and it makes room for new talent that may come up. She knows we’re all about competition, so I don’t even know why she’d say that. And by the way, getting to network with people who could make it easier for you to get into college is win.”

    “You’re right,” I said, but Alicio looked at the expression on my face and gave a gentler laugh.

    “Come -on- Miguela,” he said. “Give yourself some credit. Carina is just mad because she wasn’t picked. Let’s just hope she doesn’t get her mom down here to start yelling at people.”

    Since when did he start channeling Akira? I wasn’t fully convinced, but I felt a little better. Alicio and I agreed to go see the test scores after our SAT Prep class where we would be doing vocabulary drills. Carina was fully back to normal by this class—as if this morning and lunch time hadn’t happened. Akira had seemed skeptical when I told him I thought Carina would be impressed, and it turned out he was right to be. So right. We were released early from class to go see our test scores which had been posted all over school.

    “Well, we’re going to see how well you improved, Miguela,” Carina said smugly.

    But when we saw the scores, both Carina and I received a major shock. Akira was number one, naturally. But Carina wasn’t number two…I was. She was number three while Alicio was number four.

    Stunned, Carina was silent for a moment before she spoke. “There has to be some mistake,” she said through her teeth. “There is no way you could’ve beaten me.” She turned to me with a wild look in her eyes; she was furious.

    “Carina, I—but Carina interrupted me again.

    “This is just a fluke,” she said, almost to herself. “I worked too hard to be number three!”

    Carina was taking deep breaths to try to calm herself down. She ran her fingers through her straightened hair and looked unsettled. I had seen her like this only one other time and it made my heart drop. Was she going to lose it again?

    “Are you going to be okay?” Alicio asked, his eyes narrowed.

    “Shut up!” Carina said through clenched teeth. She was almost shaking now.

    We heard laugher behind us. Akira and Quinn were walking up to see the scores as well. Carina put forth a huge effort to compose herself so they wouldn’t see how upset she was. They stopped when they saw us; Quinn stopped her laughter immediately and turned her eyes toward the ground while Akira looked delighted.

    “Let me see,” he said. His eyes lit up when he saw my name at number two. “Wow, Miguela! Congratulations! I knew you could do it.”

    Did he really have to add that last part? Carina nearly lost what little composure she had as she glared at me. Quinn looked me, concerned, but I didn’t react and hoped they couldn’t tell just how scared I was. I didn’t want to get any further on Carina’s bad side than I already was.

    “Well, we’ll be seeing you later,” Akira said cheerfully. “Quinn and I are going to study for a test.”

    There was a part of me that wanted to yell take me with you as they turned and walked away. Carina turned on me at once. “Out with it! What are you two doing together!?”

    “Nothing!” I said desperately. “I just studied harder this time!” At this moment I just wanted her to believe me.

    Carina snatched the collar of my jacket. “You may have studied harder, but even so, you shouldn’t have gotten higher than third place. I’m the smartest one of us!”

    “I-I,” I sputtered. Tears were threatening to spill over. But to my surprise, Alicio intervened and broke Carina’s death grip on my collar.

    “That’s enough!” Alicio said. “My dad told me never to interfere in a fight between women, but this has gone too far. Cool it, Carina. Miguela beat you fairly.”

    But Carina wasn’t having it. “And who do you think you’re talking too?” she hissed.

    Alicio didn’t respond to that. Instead, he just said. “Stop it, Carina. We’re going to be late for class.”

    Carina gave us both withering looks. “This isn’t over yet, Miguela.” She spit out every syllable of my name. Then she turned on her heel and stomped away.

    I was shaken up and it was showing. It was my turn to take steps to calm myself down. I couldn’t believe what had happened.

    “Miguela, are you going to be all right?” Alicio asked quietly.

    “Y-yeah,” I said shakily.

    Alicio wasn’t convinced. “Want to walk to my next class with me?”

    “Sure,” I answered him. “I feel bad for making you late though.”

    “Don’t. It’s not a problem,” he said. “It’s not like my class is on the other side of the school.”

    “Heh.”

    “But tell me something.” Alicio said slowly. “Is this the first time Carina has acted like that?”

    I sighed deeply. “No,” I reluctantly admitted.

    Alicio looked troubled. “That’s worrisome. But we can talk later. We’re already here.”

    “Wha-” I said stupidly. “Wow, we -are- here…all right, I guess I’ll leave and go home.”

    “And Miguela,” Alicio said, and then he hesitated. “Be careful.”

    ~ ~ ~​
     
    #19 Carmen Lopez, Dec 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  20. Miguela: Part Two~


    “Luuuuu! Rioluuuuuu!”

    “Lucas, I know you’re excited, but you’re going to have to go to sleep,” I told him.

    I was in bed already attempting to go to sleep, but Lucas was wired up. Even daycare couldn’t exhaust his vast energy supply this time. Telling him we were going on a trip tomorrow was clearly a bad idea. But I had to admit that I was excited and yet nervous too. I had never seen this wilder side to Veilstone. My only concern was that I wasn’t going to fit in.

    Before I went to bed, I picked out an outfit to wear and hoped it would be all right. But when I got up the next morning I decided to change it to something else and wished I owned at least one t-shirt or something a bit more casual or eclectic. I made a mental note to pick up something while we were out or borrow something from Quinn at least. The nervousness had started to fire up again, but Lucas helped me calm down.

    “Riolu!” he said brightly. This was his way of telling me not to worry. “Luuuu!”

    “You’re right,” I said. “Everything is going to be fine, and we’re going to have a good time!”

    I dropped Lucas off at Daycare without incident (Akira was already gone), so I headed to school. There was no coffee shop meeting today. I knew that everyone was probably in the computer lab so that was the first place I went. And sure enough, Quinn, Alicio, and Akira were there working on homework.

    “Aw, CRAP,” Quinn said. “I’m STILL fifty words over! This sucks….” She said slamming her head on the desk beside the computer.

    She was working on an 800 word essay we had for English that’d I’d finished the day it was assigned. And it has to be 800 words or you’ll be docked one point for every word over…meaning the highest Quinn could make would be a fifty if she didn’t make anymore mistakes. No wonder she was panicky.

    “Well, at least you’re over not under,” Alicio said in a would-be encouraging voice.

    “Speak for yourself,” Quinn laughed rather than saying it mockingly.

    Alicio smiled back. “All right then. And if it makes you feel any better, we’ll be having plenty enough fun to forget about school tonight.”

    “It’ll be the highlight of my week,” Quinn said as she concentrated on words she could remove.

    “Same here,” said Akira. “Maybe then I can find out how Mateo inherited all the cool genes and left you with nothing.” Quinn and I laughed.

    “Ha ha haaa,” Alicio said sarcastically. “Witty remarks from the peanut gallery. That’s already getting old.”

    “Yeah, yeah,” said Akira as he turned back to the notes he was studying.

    I fell silent after that. In about twenty minutes I would see Carina in homeroom and I was worried she’d be angry still. But to my surprise, she was back to her usual self. She was even including Alicio who was still wary of her; apparently he hadn’t forgiven her for yesterday. I was just relieved he didn’t say anything but it always felt like he was on the brink of doing so. She asked me if she could come by my house Saturday which was a huge surprise. Carina hadn’t been to my house in a long time and I half had the feeling she didn’t think it was good enough. My family wouldn’t be pleased to see her, but my parents wouldn’t say no. I wanted to refuse her, but then I’d have to come with a story of why I said no and lying to Carina wasn’t one of my talents. It was just easier to say yes. Granted I’d have to figure out what I’d do with Lucas but I’d cross that bridge when I got to it.

    By the time the end of school had arrived, everything seemed well, Alicio and I said good bye to Carina before we left for the same lounge at which we met Mateo last week. Quinn, Akira, Mateo, and Mimi were already there and already dressed. Quinn was wearing a pink skirt that was slightly above the knee, a hooded green vest over a long sleeved blue shirt with black designs on the sleeves, black leggings, and black boots with green accents. Akira was dressed less decorative and was wearing what looked like a concert t-shirt on top of a thermos shirt under his coat with his jeans and sneakers.

    “Finally! I thought you’d never come,” said Mateo as he and Mimi looked up and saw us. His silver bracelet and purple Pokétch had been fixed. “I thought maybe you’d put this off for studying.”

    Alicio rolled his eyes. “You never quit, do you?”

    “Nope,” he said and then he shooed us off. “Now both of you go and get dressed. I hope you at least brought something good.”

    “Who does he think he is?” Alicio muttered when we were both back in the hall. “Our mother?”

    I laughed shakily. Honestly, I was more nervous than ever about my outfit. Mateo managed to pull off cool very well in a red polo shirt, jeans, and sneakers and the usual silver key necklace. I took a deep breath and calmed down and put on my outfit once I was in the bathroom. Nice dark wash jeans, black boots, and an elegant cashmere sweater. I thought it looked nice at any rate. Even so, I spent a long time looking the mirror to make sure it was just right, and I only left the bathroom when I thought I looked perfectly sophisticated.

    “Miguela, I thought we’d have to send a search party,” said Akira. “Did you get lost or something?

    “No,” I said self-consciously.

    Naturally, Alicio had beaten me back…and he looked differently than I expected. He was wearing this jacket with Giratina’s face and its colors, jeans, and sneakers that looked reminded me of red candies. Mateo and Mimi were holding back laughs—heck Mateo was almost shaking. And of course, that sent me in panic mode.

    “W-what?” I said, my eyes getting wide.

    “Miguela,” Mateo began, still trying to hold in that laugh. “You’re so conservative, it’s hilarious!” Finally, he and Mimi dissolved into laughter.

    Forget red, I think my face flushed crimson. “I-is that bad?” I said in a small voice.

    “Don’t be mean,” Alicio said to his brother.

    “I’m not, I’m not!” Mateo laughed. “But I’m just saying!”

    I cleared my throat. “I mean, I know it’s not like what the kids at Rocoso would wear, but—

    “Did I just hear someone mention that bottom feeder school?” We looked up and saw Carina standing in the door. Apparently she hadn’t left after all. I felt a bit worried about what she’d say to Quinn and Akira for being around us, but her attention was totally focused on Mateo. She eyed his purple tipped hair, his outfit and Mimi with disgust. “And who are you?” she asked rather rudely.

    “Mateo Sandoval—Alicio’s older brother,” he answered her. Then his eyes narrowed, “that must make you Carina Diaz. I’ve heard so much about you…”

    “I’m sure you have,” Carina said in a sneering voice. “Are you like, a Pokémon trainer or something?”

    Mimi made a disparaging noise and Mateo said “yep, she’s one of those people. You think it’s a joke, don’t you?”

    Akira, Quinn, Alicio, and I waited silently for Carina’s answer. Shooting one glance at Alicio and me for some kind of eerie confirmation, she laughed darkly. “People that go on Pokémon journeys are the students who are bored with their lives and don’t make the grade at school, so they think they can go “traveling” with Pokémon just so they wouldn’t feel like the failures they are! They end up crawling back days later because living on the road was too hard. So yes, I believe Pokémon training is a joke and nothing to be taken seriously.”

    There was dead silence in the room. No one knew what Mateo would say next, but we were all surprised (and impressed) to see him smiling.

    “Hnn, you’re not totally wrong, but that just means you aren’t totally right either,” he responded. “You’re right in that some people really have no business walking to the store alone let alone be on the road,” Mateo said calmly even if his eyes were biting. “But even so, you can’t just dismiss the entire art of Pokémon training, you know.”

    “Art?” repeated Carina. “As if.”

    “How sad,” Mateo said scathingly. “You’re just another close-minded know it alls—just like most of the idiots at this school. And from what I’ve heard, you sound like the biggest idiot of them all.”

    Carina looked furious. “What did you just say?”

    “You heard me,” said Mateo. “I called you an idiot because you are. You spend so much time in your little bubble that you don’t realize the finer things in the life.”

    “The finer things in life?” Carina repeated viciously. “The finer things in life are all here,” she said as she waved her arm to indicate the school and the rest of the area in which we lived. “We have everything we could ever want here. Why would we ever want to leave it?”

    “Because,” said Mateo simply. “You learn more about things that way. And as much as I already hate you, I’d like for you to come with use so you can see what you’re missing out on.”

    Carina was taken aback big time and the surprise showed on her face for about two seconds before fading to a scowl. “Sorry, but I actually have worthwhile things to be doing right now,” she sneered.

    “Heh, your loss,” said Mateo.

    Carina ignored him and continued, “Miguela and Alicio we have to be going now.”



    Alicio and I remained where we were because neither of us knew what to do (or at least I didn’t). I was completely conflicted: I wholeheartedly wanted to go with Mateo, but I also wanted to please Carina at the same time. I could feel my heart racing and was really happy that Alicio spoke first. He narrowed his eyes.

    “Well, since my brother’s in town I decided to spend some time with him today,” Alicio said easily.

    At those words, I was completely in disbelief, but my shock was nothing compared to Mateo’s, who just looked dumbfounded.

    Carina made a tch noise with her tongue. “Fine then, but it’s your own fault if you get bad grades on the next test,” she said coldly. “Come on Miguela, we’re going.”

    My mind went into overdrive as my heart continued to race faster. At that point I was sure everyone in the room could hear it. “I…really have to be going home early today…I promised I’d do something with my sister,” I lied. “I promise I’ll study later…”

    Carina smirked. “Fine, have it your way. And Alicio, you should quit taking fashion advice from your brother.” And without another word, she turned and stormed out. For some reason it felt like a cold a draft and been left in her wake. Mateo ignored her jab about his clothes laughed.

    “Well little bro, I’m proud of you,” Mateo said rustling Alicio’s hair again. “Carina no longer has you whipped.”

    “What are you talking about? She never did!” Alicio insisted as he threw off his brother’s hand and smoothed his hair back down.

    “Yeah, suuuuure,” Mateo said. “But you’ve proven yourself. Miguela here on the other hand still has some work to do.”

    I sighed and looked away. It felt like—no, it didn’t feel like anything—I’d actually betrayed my best friend.

    “Oh, come on Miguela,” Akira said, patting me on the back. “Look on the bright side. You may have lied through your teeth, but you still managed to piss off Carina. And that’s more than any of us could ask for.”

    Everyone laughed and even I had to smile a little bit. But what cheered me up most was Lucas. He looked thrilled to see everyone again and at the sight of Mimi, he jumped out of my arms and climbed on the Infernape’s back. She made a noise of annoyance.

    “Oh the irony,” Mateo said. “Now you get to see what I go through carrying you on my back”.

    She rolled her eyes and I was sure she was thinking whatever. She peeled Lucas off her back and handed him back to me.

    “He’s certainly more cheerful than Megumi was as Riolu,” said Mateo. “She was serious and yet sensitive to others around her, but she came off as very aloof—especially after she evolved. Megumi and Mimi didn’t exactly get along at first—

    Mimi snorted.

    “Okay, so sometimes that was an understatement,” Mateo continued, smiling. “It’s gotten better.”

    “Will Quinn and Miguela finally get to meet Megumi tonight?” Akira asked.

    “Megumi and the rest of my Pokémon as well,” Mateo said.

    At those words, Izumi, Akira’s Ralts who he had been attending too, suddenly began begging him for something.

    Akira sighed. “Fine, fine, you can come.” The little Pokémon rejoiced. “BUT. We’re bringing Ryoma too.” Izumi cut her celebrating short and she looked gloomy. We all laughed as Akira recalled both her and Ryoma to their Pokéballs. “I don’t even have to guess at why she was so eager to come.”

    “What’s the reason,” Quinn asked.

    “To be close to Addison,” Akira answered. “She has a huge crush on him. I just hope Ryoma and Izumi don’t get into a fight.”

    We got on a trolley that took us beyond Rocoso High School and its giant stadium into the heart of the battle district. Mateo said that the people we were mostly seeing now where people like him—full time trainers, and that the place would really come alive up once local trainers came out. We were passing all kinds of shops, arcades, and restaurants that probably looked even cooler at nighttime. The first stop we made was a neat little park that had plenty of open space and even places to battle so we could meet the rest of Mateo’s Pokémon.

    “Well, time to meet the gang,” Mateo said and he began releasing his five other Pokémon one by one. “I’m sure you remember Addison from Monday, but here are Megumi, Ceferino, Ojore, and Siegfried.”

    I recognized Megumi, the Lucario, instantly. Her growls were at a slightly higher pitch than other Lucario that I’d heard on TV. Ceferino was a magnificent Staraptor that looked big enough for a person to ride. I didn’t recognize what Ojore and Siegfried where, so I had to ask Mateo.

    “Ojore is a Hitmontop that I got as a Tyrogue right here in Veilstone City,” he answered. “And Siegfried is a Hariyama who…is currently being an idiot.”

    Mateo turned his eyes toward the direction of Siegfried and I had to laugh. The Hariyama was flexing his large muscles and eyeing a female Alakazam who looked revolted and a Jynx who was giggling. Mimi apparently didn’t find it amusing whatsoever as she glared at her teammate. Finally the Alakazam had had enough of Siegfried and promptly used Psychic. He was surrounded in a blue aura rose slowly eerily into the sky and before anyone else could react, she launched Siegfried backwards where he landed at Mateo’s feet and even he didn’t have much sympathy for him. He gave a short laugh.

    “That’s what you get for being frisky!” Mateo called.

    The Hariyama looked a bit cross-eyed with love. He shook it off and slowly rose to his feet.

    “Is he always like that?” Quinn asked.

    “Yep,” Mateo answered. “I imported him from Hoenn as a Makuhita and the first day I introduced him to the rest of the team, he started hitting on Mimi and Megumi.” The Infernape shuddered at the memory. “Both of them attacked him, but that didn’t exactly stop him. He says he likes his female Pokémon feisty.”

    “Reminds me of a certain someone else,” Alicio muttered under his breath and Mateo playfully hit him in response.

    Though it was freezing outside, it was mostly fun. Mateo and Mimi enjoyed teasing Alicio and me and I have to admit it made me feel a bit awkward. He kept saying how I had to get some new clothes which was my plan from the start. Quinn and Akira were all for it and kept suggesting stuff I should buy. It pretty much went against everything that I was exposed to. You were supposed to dress professionally and like an adult—at least that’s how it was at Veilstone High School. It would definitely be a change.

    Instead I became the quiet one and contented myself with watching the Pokémon while the others talked. Akira’s Ralts was absolutely enthralled with Addison while his Treecko looked disgusted. Lucas was really attached to Mimi (who had got over her annoyance of him) and Megumi and he spent most of his time around them. Mateo said he was surprised that Megumi took to him before Mimi did. The Infernape was trying to teach Lucas how to walk on his hands, but he fell over each time he tried. It was so cute how he looked so happy every time he failed. Later on however, he watched Mimi and Megumi spar against each other and tried to imitate their moves.

    “Miguela, do you ever plan on battling with Lucas?” Mateo asked me.

    I was shocked by the question. “Me? Battle? That’s a hilarious thought,” I said with a laugh. Mamoswine would fly before I ever battled.

    Mateo didn’t say anything, but he just smiled and THAT worried me more than anything. I really didn’t know why though.

    Just then Akira looked up and pointed. “I think Lucas has something to show you, Miguela,” he said.

    “RIOLU!” Lucas said happily. He began to kick as though there was an invisible punching bag in front of him, and to my utter horror, his entire foot became surrounded in flames.

    “Wow, it looks like Lucas learned how to use Blaze Kick!” Mateo said. “That’s really cool!”

    “No, it’s not cool at all!” I countered. “What if he burns down my house?”

    “That’s the risk of having a Pokémon,” Akira said easily. “But really Miguela, I don’t think you’ll have any problems at all. You worry too much!”

    “I hope you’re right,” I said doubtfully. Lucas rushed forward to give me a hug and I calmed down in spite of myself.

    After a while Akira and Mateo recalled their Pokémon (except Mimi of course) and we left a while later to go out for pizza. Akira insisted that be an organic pizza place. It was sunset by this time and indeed the streets were more crowded. I had to admit that the place now looked magical. The lights, the sounds, the smells…I couldn’t even take it all in. By now I was angry at myself for not seeing this side of the city. So many game corners, arcades, dance clubs, restaurants. In the distance I saw the giant, LED lit Ferris Wheel of Veilstone’s fair. Until tonight, that had been the closest I’d been to the Battle District.

    Akira and Quinn were having an awesome time too. It seemed like this place was built for pedestrians because cars were largely not allowed. Only trolleys were allowed to move through the streets around here. Lucas was enjoying the sites and sounds more than I was. He was wide eyed as he looked at all the different people and Pokémon. I got stopped several times by people who wanted to get a closer look at him, and I really didn’t mind it.

    “Hey look!” Quinn said, suddenly stopping.

    She was pointing at a clothing store that was full of clothes I wouldn’t wear and that Carina would’ve scoffed at. Sure, I said I wanted new clothes, but coming face to face with them, I wasn’t sure if I could pull the look off.

    “Good looking out, Quinn!” said Mateo. “Well, Miguela, there you go! I’ll even pay,” he added, pulling out his navy blue Pokédex.

    Despite my stammering protests, Quinn dragged me into the store while the boys followed laughing behind us. Twenty minutes later I was wearing black thick long sleeved off the shoulder t-shirt with some crazy design on it, a yellow tank top underneath it, a plaid skirt, denim leggings, and pink flats.

    “Well, what do you think?” Quinn asked eagerly.

    What did I think? It looked like she chose everything without even looking at it. She was one of those people who liked to spend someone else’s money. Words utterly failed to describe it. “It looks…well…it’s just…different.”

    “Mission accomplished!” said Mateo, clapping his hands together and Lucas, who was being held by Akira, seemed like he agreed.

    I blushed and to add insult to injury, Alicio took out his phone and took a picture. “Don’t worry; you look fine,” he responded to the look on my face.

    I looked in the mirror one more time, and decided the look would grow on me. Despite the fact that nothing matched, it still somewhat went together in a kind of garish way. It wouldn’t be something I did everyday, but this wasn’t about me getting a new style. It was more about me just getting out of my comfort zone, right?

    “You look so awesome!” Quinn was still saying after we’d been seated at a big table in the restaurant. “Really, it’s something I’d wear myself!”

    “I don’t doubt it,” I said as I pulled at the wide collar of my shirt. I randomly imagined what Carina would say if she saw me in this outfit and I almost smiled to myself. She wouldn’t believe what I was doing right now and likely wouldn’t approve. Lucas was sitting in my lap while Mimi sat beside Alicio across from Mateo.

    “Wait,” Akira said suddenly to Mateo who was about to check his blood sugar. “You’re about to do that now?”

    “Uh, yeah?” he said. Then he smiled. “Oh, are you one of those squeamish ones?”

    Akira swallowed involuntarily. “A little,” he admitted. “This stays at this table, but I have a slight fear of needles.”

    And sure enough he was starting to turn a little green. Quinn and I have to stifle giggles. He was always so cool and calm, and here he is looking like he’s about to be sick.

    “Coming from you, that’s hilarious,” said Alicio who was not as sympathetic. He and Mimi had both laughed at him. “What did you do when you had to get shots for school?”

    “You should’ve been there,” Akira answered cynically. “Going by how the nurses were laughing at me, I’m sure it was a riot.”

    “It’s not so bad. I mean at least I’m not injecting insulin,” Mateo said unhelpfully. At the word ‘injecting’ Akira shuddered, and then he added “I can leave if you need me to.”

    “No, no. That’s…not necessary. I’d leave if my knees worked. I’ll just…close my eyes,” said Akira shakily. He did that, and held the menu up in front of him. It didn’t stop him from flinching at the same moment Mateo stuck himself.

    “You can stop hiding, it’s over,” Mateo said. “And I’ve seen worse reactions if it makes you feel any better, Akira.”

    “Actually it doesn’t,” he responded, the green color finally subsiding. He took a drink of the water the waitress had brought earlier to calm himself.

    “May I ask why you’re afraid of needles?” Alicio asked, still smirking.

    “You can ask all you want,” Akira said, sounding more like himself. “That doesn’t mean I’ll answer you.”

    “Whatever, you still just made my whole night,” said Alicio, unable to suppress the laugh. “I sooo should’ve recorded that; it was priceless. I’d love to know the reason you’re afraid of needles though.”

    “And I’m sure Quinn and Akira would love to hear what happened on Valentine’s Day,” Mateo cut in.

    I was drinking water at the time and I nearly spit it back out. Alicio’s face immediately turned bright red.

    “You wouldn’t.”

    “You better believe I would. I love telling the story.”

    That shut Alicio up very quickly. I’m pretty sure he’ll be traumatized over the event for the rest of his life, but it was still funny. We ordered and got our food and we spent the rest of the time talking and laughing. I had to stop Lucas from eating my pizza after he’d polished off his own because I didn’t want him getting a stomachache. Mateo told us the story of how he helped his best friend Marshall catch a Feebas which I found hilarious.

    “Do any of you know anything about Feebas?” Mateo began. “In Sinnoh, Feebas can only be found in one area: a huge lake inside of Mt. Coronet. And to top it off, it’s really cold and Feebas are hard to find. Marshall asked me to help him, and because I’m, ya know, sane, I said no. Unfortunately for me, I lost a bet and had to help him.”

    At that point Mimi shook her head as if saying how could you be so…stupid? Mateo glanced at his Pokémon and smiled. “Mimi was not happy about it and that was before we even went to the lake. We did research and found that it took most people at least a week to find and catch a Feebas if they found one at all. Well, it only took Carmen Lopez ten minutes but you don’t ask her too many questions,” Mateo added offhandedly.

    “Did Marshall ever get one?” Quinn asked.

    “Yeah,” Mateo said. “It’s a good thing too because if he hadn’t, I would’ve probably killed him. It was easily the most tedious eight days of my existence. Did I mention that we were on the water and it was freezing? And that our boat was nearly attacked by a Gyarados and a Whiscash? It was so, so boring too. Marshall was about to give up on the eighth day, but right when we were about to leave for good, he hooked a Feebas, and not just any Feebas, but a shiny one. That did kinda make up for what we went through.”

    “My older sister also had a hard time catching a Feebas in Hoenn,” Akira said, reminiscing. “Only she gave up after she was caught in a sudden thunderstorm and her boat was sunk by Carvanha.”

    “Yep, so much trouble for one little Pokémon,” Mateo said sagely.

    The waitress came over to our table with dessert menus and asked us if we wanted anything else. All of us said no…that is except Mateo. He asked for the double fudge chocolate cake covered in chocolate syrup. Alicio’s eyes narrowed.

    “Are you sure you should be eating that?” he asked Mateo accusatorily.

    “Why not?” Mateo answered nonchalantly. “I’ve been planning all day and yesterday for the dessert menu. Besides, I’m splitting it with Mimi. Alicio, let it go,” he added sharply as Alicio was about to say something else.

    But Alicio didn’t let it go. When the waitress brought back the chocolate cake, even I was shocked. It was huge and so rich it was enough to induce a cavity just by looking at it. Lucas was practically drooling over it, but that wasn’t about to happen for obvious reasons (i.e. it was for the sake of my bedroom furniture). Alicio eyed the chocolate cake as if it had done something wrong. “Mateo, are you serious?”

    “Alicio, I’m warning you now,” Mateo said as he eagerly cut the piece in half and gave it to Mimi. “Quit acting like Dad before I have to embarrass you. I already told you I planned for this.”

    “But still!”

    “Leave me alone,” Mateo warned. He took a bite of his cake and closed his eyes. “Mmm, all of my hard work paid off with this.”

    “But what if you—

    “Alicio, please! You’re ruining my moment here.”

    It looked like it was about to turn into a (hilarious) fight over chocolate cake. Quinn, Akira, and I were all silently giggling as we watched Alicio and Mateo go at it.

    “Stop looking at me like that,” Mateo said to his brother and when he didn’t, Mateo took a deep breath. “Okay, you can’t say I didn’t warn you. Let me tell you what happened to Alicio on Valentine’s Day.”

    Alicio’s face froze. “Mateo, I’m begging you,” he said, mortified. “Don’t. I’m sorry! I won’t bother you about what you eat ever again as long as you don’t do this!”

    “Too late little brother!” Mateo said. “So basically I was in Veilstone for Valentine’s Day earlier this year, but I decided not to come home. However I couldn’t leave my little brother unscathed, so a prank call was in order. I didn’t think it would be blown that far out of proportion.”

    At that point, Alicio tried to make a break for it. Too bad he was between Mimi and Akira who both stopped him within two seconds.

    “Come oooon, Alicio,” Akira crowed while holding onto the back of his jacket. “This can’t be worse than your manpurse or my freak out, can it?”

    “It can,” Alicio answered. “And it is…” he sunk low in his seat.

    “Oooh then we have to hear more,” said Akira eagerly.

    Quinn looked like she was torn between wanting to hear the story and wanting to preserve Alicio’s dignity.

    “It’s really wasn’t that bad, Alicio,” Mateo said, nodding. “Once you stop caring, I won’t have fun telling the story anymore.”

    “Only because it didn’t happen to you!” Alicio said, turning red. “And really, you don’t have to tell the story.”

    “No I don’t, but I will anyway,” replied Mateo. “I’ll even spare you and give them the short version.” And before Alicio could say anything else to stop him, Mateo started. “See, Alicio here is apparently obsessed with being a law abiding citizen. I didn’t realize how obsessed until I called pretending to be the police coming to arrest him over some stolen software. I expected him to just get frustrated as he tried to tell me I’d made a mistake but nooo…

    “He went off the deep end into hysterics,” Mateo continued while Alicio pulled the hood of his jacket as low as it would go. “You should’ve heard him on the phone: ‘I didn’t steal anything! I’m a good person! I’m telling my parents!’ I had no idea his voice could get that high. Then the best part came when he started sobbing and I hear this girl consoling him; it turned out to be Miguela who happened to be there at the time. Easily the most awesome phone call I’ve ever recorded.”

    “And did you have to send it to the whole family?” Alicio asked through clenched teeth. “They’ll never let me live it down.”

    “You should be lucky I didn’t send it to your entire school,” Mateo said.

    “Well, Alicio,” Akira said. “At least your entire family knows you’re a good person and that you’re cool under pressure.”

    “Shut up,” Alicio shot back. “One day I’ll find out why you’re so afraid of needles.”

    “And the day you do, I’m getting your brother to send me that recording.”

    They bickered the whole time as we paid for our food and finally left the restaurant. Looks like Alicio and Akira were going to have that type of relationship—the kind where they’d pick on each other and argue like an old married couple. It seemed like they would grow to be good friends though. I smiled to myself at the thought, but my mind always went back to Carina for some reason…

    The rest of the night was amazing. My favorite was the arcade where I surprised everyone (and myself) by being really good at Dance, Dance Revolution. My coordination was better than I expected. But even I couldn’t compete with Mateo and Mimi who were like DDR gods. Quinn hit the jackpot and won a ton of tickets at the machines and then cashed them in for a giant Snorlax doll. Alicio volunteered to carry it until Mateo offered the more practical solution of an Item Ball for it. Was it my imagination or did Alicio look disappointed? His brother just smirked.

    We saw a battle at the Veilstone Collosseum between an Empoleon and a Cherrim. I expected Empoleon to win despite the fact that it’s a water type but then the Cherrim used Sunny Day and unleashed a powerful Solarbeam that didn’t seem possible coming from something so small. I got the biggest surprise as we were about to leave though. We came face to face with the twins from school: Hyacinth and Amaranth and they each had (pink) Pokémon with them. Hyacinth had what I vaguely recognized as a Wigglytuff. Amaranth had a round pink Pokémon with two puff balls for arms.

    For a moment, Quinn and I and twins just stared at each other and the other’s Pokémon. Then we all squealed “Isn’t it the cutest thing EVER?” at the same time and ran to each other. I heard Akira say “girls” under her breath but we ignored him.

    “Can I see your Pokédex, Mateo?” Alicio asked his brother eagerly. “I’ve always wanted to ID a Pokémon like they do on TV.”

    “Heh, go ahead. I just got it upgraded so it can identify Pokémon not native to Sinnoh,” Mateo said, handing it to Alicio who pointed it at the Wigglytuff first.

    "Wigglytuff, the balloon Pokémon and the evolved form of Jigglypuff. Its body is soft and rubbery and when angered, it will suck in air and inflate its body to an enormous size,” said the Pokédex in a feminine voice. Then, Alicio pointed the Pokédex and the second Pokémon. "Jumpluff, the cottonweed Pokémon and the evolved form of Skiploom. Once it catches the wind, it deftly controls its cotton-puff spores to float, even around the world."

    “Hey, the Jumpluff in your Pokédex is blue,” Alicio noted. “Is that a shiny Pokémon?”

    “It sure is,” Amaranth said. “I found her as a green Hoppip in our garden back in Goldenrod City. Her name is Breezy!”

    “She’s so cute!” Quinn squealed. She reached out and tickled the Jumpluff; she giggled making Quinn and me both melt. “What about Wigglytuff?” she asked Hyacinth.

    “Oh, his name is Jamie. He’s a sweetheart,” she said as she gave him a hug.

    I reached out and petted him. His fur was so soft it was divine. “And this is Lucas by the way,” I said, introducing him to the twins.

    “I can’t believe we get to meet a Riolu up close!” said Amaranth.

    That started a conversation that lasted at least half an hour. The twins were just as intrigued by Mateo and Mimi as we were and they playfully argued with Matt about how he should go to Johto instead of Hoenn. It turned out that they had recently started coming out to East Veilstone on the weekends. They also hinted at a party they said they were having next Saturday. Despite the fact that we were invited, Quinn looked slightly apprehensive, but didn’t say anything.

    It was getting pretty late by now so we decided to head home. Since Akira lived closer to Quinn, we split up and he walked her home after we got off the trolley. Once again Alicio looked disappointed; I had to work hard to keep from smiling this time around. Alicio had a crush on Quinn and she was completely and utterly oblivious. He glared at Mateo and Mimi who were both grinning at him. I could tell that things were going to get interesting before this year ended.

    Lucas chose to ride my back which made things easier for me because I didn’t have to worry about him running off. Mimi threw Mateo and meaningful look to which Mateo replied, “forget it” to the Infernape’s disappointment. Unfortunately my happy feeling wasn’t going to last long. That seems to be a running theme now, doesn’t it? We were laughing as we came up to my house but we cut it short when we saw who was waiting out front.

    It was Carina. Her gray eyes looked even colder than usual as they flitted from Mateo and Alicio, Lucas, and finally to me…She raised an eyebrow as she wordlessly questioned what I was doing.

    I nearly choked on my words. “Carina, hi! I didn’t expect you until tomorrow night.” I hoped I didn’t sound as nervous as I was.

    “I decided I wanted to come over tonight,” Carina said slowly. “You would’ve known that if you’d answered your phone.”

    I pulled my phone out of my purse and discovered the seven missed calls and sighed. “My apologies.”

    “Even so,” Mateo said, his eyes narrowing like Alicio’s often did when he was suspicious of something. “You still shouldn’t have invited yourself.”

    “No, it’s fine,” I said before Carina could counter back. “Really it is.”

    “If you say so,” Alicio said. “I guess…it’s time for us to go.” He looked reluctant to go though and I was reluctant to see him go.

    “See you later then,” said Mateo.

    As I watched the three of them walk away, I once again had the desire to run after them. I could feel that Lucas was anxious as well; he hugged me closer as though trying to protect himself. That wasn’t a good omen as Carina and I went into my house. I wondered what on earth she had in store for me this time.
     
    #20 Carmen Lopez, Dec 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  21. Ooh, we've nearly caught back up! ;D

    The party is the only one left, right?
     
    #21 Luckii, Dec 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  22. Ooh, thanks for replying ^^

    I realized there was actually two more (one from Alicio), but I don't like it very much as is, so unless I get that one straightened out to my satisfaction, yeah, the party is the only one left! :D
     
  23. 3 words: type, write, type! Amazing. just pure genius here. ILU. Completely.
     
  24. Oh, I remembered that Alicio one. And I also remembered that I didn't enjoy it as much as your other (genious) chapters. I'm itching to see what you have in store for us after the party. I say skip the Alicio entry, and go staight to the party!






    I still love you lots and lots for puting this up again. I may have mentioned this before, but this is by far and away the best fan-fic I've ever read. ;D
     
    #24 Luckii, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  25. Pfft XD That makes three of us (counting Pheonix). And since that chapter has been giving me nothing but a headache, I'm just skipping it so we're caught up with this chapter. The next one will be brand new :3

    Quinn

    Dear Diary, where to start? Because three big things happened: Dinner at Alicio’s, shooting a movie, and PAR-TAY! It seems like my weekends were looking up big time. I hope you all won’t be disappointed but this entry won’t really focus on school at all. My social life is more important. That said…I do have to tell you this one thing.

    Just like the school had promised, they called a conference with my mom after my abysmal test score from last week…a really sucky way to start my week. The whole thing was basically the academic counselor lecturing us about how high the standards at Veilstone were and that if I didn’t shape up, I’d be getting into ‘serious trouble’ later. My mom tried to defend me but to no avail -_- . She treated me to cheesecake at a little restaurant afterward to cheer me up.

    Now onto the fun stuff ♥ I just about hyperventilated when Alicio asked me, Akira, and Miguela to dinner at his house. Sigh…Alicio gets cuter every time I see him! (Squee on the inside!) He’s been letting his hair grow out, but that just makes him more attractive. I was excited yet reaaaaally nervous about going to his house. Last week, we’d had an awesome time in the Battle District and now this! It only made me squeal even more on the inside.

    Earlier in the week, Alicio said I looked good in green, so I decided to wear green to dinner (and I vowed to wear green more often in general). Akira and I had decided to go together while Miguela would come later. And btw, she told me what had happened with Carina Friday night after she’d gotten home…more on that when we get to the par-tay! section later. Akira and I took the trolley to closest point we could and then we took a cab the rest of the way because we’re both cheap.

    It was a nice trip but I had to admit I was feeling a wee bit insecure by the end of it. The neighborhood was crazy swanky @_@ It made my eyes spin. The houses were huge and really nice. I’d be afraid to touch anything on the inside of them. I wondered if Carina lived in a neighborhood like this or even in one the houses we were passing. For about two seconds, my mind went into overdrive mode: what if I wasn’t even GOOD enough to like Alicio? I pushed the thought away…

    We got to Alicio’s house in about ten minutes and what an amazing house it was. It looked like one of those villas a high class celebrity I’d seen on TV would have. The only difference was that it overlooked the hills behind it and there was no ocean in sight. It made it seem a little out place—like it belonged near a tropical beach instead. Never in a million years did I think I’d be going into a house this nice.

    I rang the doorbell and the woman who answered had to be his mother because he looked just like her—same hair texture, same hair and eye color and everything. Why was I expecting a maid to answer the door or something?

    Mrs. Sandoval: Hi! You must be Quinn and Akira! (She had a heavy accent. It sounded like she was saying Queenn when she said my name XD)

    Mrs. Sandoval was dressed in comfy in jeans, a button down to fit her pregnant belly, and flats. She surprised Akira and me by giving us back breaking hugs which felt extremely odd because of how pregnant she was. I bet she didn’t care.

    Mrs. Sandoval: It’s so nice to meet you both!
    Akira: *After catching his breath* And it’s very nice to meet you too, Mrs. Sandoval
    Mrs. Sandoval: Please both of you call me Lena. I’ll tell Alicio and Mateo that you’re here. You can both sit in the living room.

    So I expected her to go up the stairs to tell them we were here, but instead she yells for them to come down (and her voice was louder than I expected) which made Akira and me snort in laugher. Lena seemed to be a warm, friendly woman. There was no way she was from Sinnoh (okay, okay, that’s my last Sinnoh joke. I promise XD). I found the house welcoming; I was afraid it would be stiff and cold. Mouthwatering smells were coming into the living room which made my stomach growl. It reminded me of my grandmother’s cooking back in Johto.

    Akira: I’m glad his mom isn’t a snob.
    Me: Yeesh, tell me about it.

    I’d heard rumors about some of the parents of Veilstone High students and some were downright scary. Carina’s mom was well known for being high-maintenance and harsh. Heh, I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Then there were Karyme’s parents who sounded like they were a piece of work too from the way Karyme talked about their high standards. Then we heard this loud noise thundering down the stairs and in the next second, Alicio, Mimi, and Mateo, who was carrying their youngest brother over his shoulder. It looked like they had been playing because Alicio’s hair was (once again) messed up.

    Alicio: Hey guys! *Fixes his hair* I’m glad you could make it!
    Frankie: *Hitting Mateo on the back* Let me down! Let me down! LET ME DOWN, MATEO! All the blood is rushing to my HEEEEEAD! (Geeze, he had a pair of lungs on him too)
    Alicio: This is my younger, very loud brother, Frankie.
    Frankie: I’m not THAT loud D:<
    Mimi: *Makes some kind of noise* (Probably translated to “Wanna bet?”)

    Akira had a look that said “he’s a boy?” on his face for a second. I had to admit I was surprised too. María had warned me that he looked like a girl because of his long hair, but it still took me off guard. Mateo finally put him down and he yelled HAI GUYS! Then, he bolted out of the room before we could say anything else.

    Mateo: Yeah…he has way too much energy and a motor mouth too. I still can’t see how he can handle having hair that long. *Pulls a strand of hair off his shoulder.*
    Alicio: I promise he’s capable of being quiet though. If he tries, anyway.

    We heard the doorbell ring and Miguela joined us (she said she left Lucas with her sister). And was it just me or was she looking a bit down? Huh, I’d ask about that later, because now it was time for dinner. Unlike most dining rooms, there was no china cabinet and no overly fancy furniture that I would’ve expected from a nice house like this. Lena said they had family in this room a lot and that that stuff would’ve made things seem stiff so they didn’t bother.

    I couldn’t help it, but I watched Alicio for most of the dinner (discreetly of course…at least, I hoped so <<). It was bit easier because he was sitting across from me. I was mildly disappointed that he wasn’t talking much; it was a shame because I wanted him to talk more like he did Friday—even if it did end in his humiliation XD. Frankie told us (practically in one breath) about how he was going to go to Rocoso High for two years and then leave home at 16 to become a fabulous coordinator with his starter Pokémon Turtwig. He was seven years old and already had his life figured out. Lena laughed and said Mateo was the same way.

    The food was delicious and even healthy enough for Akira’s standards. Then I saw the most hilarious thing ever: a Machamp walked into the dining room…and it was wearing a frilly pink apron. Lena introduced as it as Louisa, one her best friends. She helped cook, clean, and was also a good battler.

    Mateo: Yeah, and Siegfried has a huge crush on her.

    At the mention of the flirtatious Hariyama, Louisa shot Mateo a dark look.

    Mateo: And let’s just say, Louisa has, um, rebuffed all of his advances. (I pictured the Machamp clotheslining the Hariyama, lol.)

    Alicio’s father showed up about half way through and he surprised me. Seeing as Mateo didn’t look anything like his mother and brothers, I expected him and his dad to look alike. I was wrooong. Their father had golden blonde hair and brown eyes and looked nothing like his sons. Heh, I guess Mateo was an odd case like my sister. Their father, Emilio, was more like Alicio in personality. He was quiet, but friendly.

    Way too soon, the dinner was over and Alicio and Mateo were seeing us to the door. I had had a fun time and I hoped we could do this again (of course I did *nods sagely*).

    Mateo: You know, I’m surprised and disappointed that Mom and Dad stayed on their best behavior tonight.
    Alicio: Yeah @_@ (He sounded relieved, not disappointed at all)
    Me: Oh? (The first thing that sprung to mind was that their parents were close to divorce. It must’ve shown on my face because…)
    Alicio: No, no it’s nothing bad. It’s just that my mom like to mess with company. Then my Dad always overreacts and tells her to stop and that just makes it worse.
    Mateo: Yeah, it’s awesome.

    In that case, I’m glad they were on their best behavior too, because I did -not- want to get duped into saying something stupid in front of Alicio. And now I could see where Mateo and Alicio got their personalities. When he mentioned his dad overreacting, I immediately thought about that prank phone call and I had to work hard to keep from smiling—I failed and Mateo noticed.

    Mateo: What’s so funny, Quinn.
    Me: N-nothing. (I wanted to slap myself. Why did I get flustered? Stuttering only makes it worse!)
    Mateo: *Smiles.* Yes there is.
    Alicio: Quit it, Matt.

    Ugh, how embarrassing. I’m glad Alicio stopped that before it went any further. As Akira and I hopped into a taxi to get home, I was still disappointed that Alicio didn’t talk that much. I hoped it wasn’t something I did. Sigh, either way, I hope I get more opportunities to be close to him like this. Akira kept asking what I was smiling about and just I shrugged him off.

    The next day it was time to finish shooting our movie for film class. We had decided to call it a Life in a Day in Veilstone. It sounded serious but it was more of a parody and we had a lot of fun. Turns out Anastasio and Esmeralda’s dad was a really talented costume and clothing designer so we got to wear all kinds of neat stuff in our movie. Now I understood were the twins got their fashion sense.

    You’re probably wondering what the heck this movie is about so I’ll tell you: we took this opportunity to make fun Veilstone High School. It was too good a chance to pass up. The premise of the movie was simple. I played the part of an overworked student who was way too full of herself (like that’s a stretch), Esmeralda played the part of Katrina (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), and Anastasio was himself pretty much. Whenever we needed extras, the Rocoso High students were happy to help.

    My character went from being uptight to being cool~ Simple story but it was hilarious because we shamelessly made fun of specific students (like Carina). I was thinking we’d get in trouble for it…then I remembered that this school didn’t punish stuff like that. It’s the first time that’s come in handy. Yep, I couldn’t wait to show it to the class (even though I was nervous about what Carina would do to me). ‘Movies’ was a bit of a misnomer; no one made any full length movies—they ranged from 15 to 45 minutes. We were randomly assigned days to present, and Esmeralda, Anastasio, and I were somewhere in the middle.

    Well, that part was short, but now it’s time for the fun stuff (*cue the trumpets again ^^) the PARTY! I’m still makes me nervous to think about it. Where to start, where to start…oh! I can start with the part where we get ready for the party. In a hugely surprising move, Miguela invited me to her house so we could get ready together. I liked her house a lot; it was above her mom’s store and it looked like a cross between a regular (but really nice) apartment and a loft. Her room was so relaxing and it also had a great view of the city. I was ever so slightly jealous. We chatted as we got out outfits together.

    Me: Miguela, will Carina be there?
    Miguela: *plays with Lucas.* Yes, Hyacinth invited her.
    Me: Ick, well that sucks
    Miguela: Hn, she isn’t so bad…
    Me: … (I decided that since I didn’t have anything nice to say, I’d say nothing at all)

    She trailed off as if she didn’t know what to say to vindicate her so-called friend. And this is where my Miguela rant begins. It’s one thing to be afraid of someone, but it’s a whole other thing to be scared stiff by someone AND you delude yourself into thinking they’re your friend. That’s the situation with Miguela and Carina. I always knew hat Miguela was scared of Carina, but I didn’t know how bad it was. That day we got out test scores back…Carina looked like she was about to lose it.

    I turned my focus back to what I was going to wear. I thought about being conventional with my outfit but where’s the fun in that? I wore a plaid jumper with a white button down and yellow leggings with blue boots. While I was putting on my outfit, Miguela asked me the one question that nearly made me pass out. I’m guessing you can already guess what it was…

    Miguela: So…do you like Alicio?

    I wasn’t even eating anything and I almost choked. H-how did she know? WAIT A MINUTE! She didn’t know! That’s why she was asking me. But then again, was she just asking me to reaffirm what she already knew? Why are my thoughts racing a mile a minute and not making any seeeeeense!? Miguela was smiling at me as she rubbed Lucas’s back. My long silence must be looking pretty awkward by now.

    Me: I-I don’t…I don’t know
    Miguela: It’s okay! I won’t tell anyone. I mean, it’s not like I’m one of those girls.
    Me: …
    So now Miguela was onto my secret. And here I was being inconspicuous!
    Me: How did you know?
    Miguela: When we had dinner at his house. I felt like something had changed…call it woman’s intuition!
    Me: Ugh

    Miguela laughed and we finished getting dressed. Maybe our little shopping trip did rub off on her because she was wearing a cute little old fashioned polka dotted dress and still looked trendy. I was having fun with Miguela and Lucas who she was taking with her to the party. Her sister Miranda gave him this bowtie to wear and I thought he looked adorable. After a little snack, we left Miguela’s house.

    For the much of the trip I felt…odd. Like something was going to happen. I took comfort in the fact that Alicio, Akira, Mateo as well as Anastasio and Esmeralda would be there. Plus, Miguela seemed to have changed a little—like she wouldn’t mind being seen with me at this party even with Carina there. Huh, interesting. And that began a night I’d remember for a very long time. I’m sure it was the same with Miguela…

    Amaranth and Hyacinth’s house was just as amazing as Alicio’s. The circular driveway was full of nice cars and I could hear loud music being played. A large sign was put up to tell people to go around to the back, so Miguela (carrying Lucas) and I pulled out coats closer and half ran, half walked to the house. As soon as we had walked through the door, we saw Amaranth and Hyacinth welcoming people to the party like good hostesses. They came over to us when they spotted us.

    Hyacinth: Hey! Glad you were able to make it!
    Amaranth: And Miguela you brought Lucas! You can put him with the other Pokémon!
    Hyacinth: Mateo and Alicio are already here by the way.

    My heart skipped a beat when I heard Alicio’s name. Miguela nudged me and laughed. We started to wander our way around the party because it looked like most of the people there weren’t from Veilstone High. Clearly the twins had good taste in party people. I was just glad no one was rude to us. Maybe they thought that if we were cool enough to be invited to this party, we were all right. We bumped into Alicio and Mateo at the refreshments table. It was the first time I’d see him without Mimi. I’m guessing she was also in another part of the house having a Poképarty with the rest of the Pokémon. There was also another boy standing beside Mateo who I didn’t know. Mateo looked (mock) shocked to see us—or rather, Miguela.

    Mateo: *GASP* Miguela! You came! I’m surprised you and Alicio decided to come. I could’ve sworn you’d put this off for a study session or something.
    Alicio: *Punches his brother* Shut up! It’s really good to see you too.
    Me: Yeah…It’s, uh, nice to see you too. (Great, I was losing my ability to speak to Alicio sensibly. Fabulous.)

    Mateo introduced us to his best friend named Marshall. He was good-looking, about Mateo’s height and had hazel eyes that complimented his brown skin. Nice hair cut…nice clothes…yep, he was definitely a pretty-boy. But hey, it worked for him. I couldn’t imagine him spelunking in a cave for a Feebas though. There was clearly more to him that met the eye. I saw Amaranth shoot Marshall that kind of glance. Wow…

    Afterward, we hit the dance floor. Well, I literally hit it; I managed to trip over my own two feet and I ended up eating the floor. Everybody that saw me laughed, but they weren’t malicious about it. In fact, two people I didn’t even know helped me up. My dancing skills were pretty nonexistent but I’ve learned that if you pretend you know what you’re doing, you don’t look half bad. I noticed Miguela being a wallflower and called out to her.

    Me: Heeeeey! Miguela! Why aren’t you dancing?
    Miguela: Because….I can’t dance that well.
    Mateo: *Butts in and nearly knocks me down* Come oooon, Miguela! If you can DDR you can do this for sure!
    Miguela: Oh, all right.

    She showed us her moves and I found myself half irritated/half amused. You know those people who tell you they can’t do something? Then they do and are awesome at it? Well, that’s Miguela here. She was a lot better than she thought she was. Alicio also surprised me by being pretty good. I wanted to dance with him, but then I’d have to worry about not injuring him in some way. Anastasio wasn’t worried about hurting anyone. Everyone made sure to get out of his way while he did some of the craziest dance moves I’d ever seen…let’s just say it involved lots of arm and leg movements which Hyacinth seem to find especially funny. Someone tossed a huge beach ball into the crowd and we all passed it around as it came to us. It never hit the floor once.

    I went back to refreshments table to rest a bit and I overheard Amaranth and Marshall talking.

    Marshall: I heard that you have a pink Jumpluff. The Shiny Pokémon Festival will be close by and really soon. You should go.
    Amaranth: Hmm, but isn’t that dangerous? What with all the Pokémon Poachers that will be there? (She didn’t sound all that concerned to me…)
    Marshall: They beefed up security. And besides it isn’t like you’re going alone.
    Amaranth: No, I’m not. *Smiles


    Smooth operator.

    Anyway, Miguela and I were having a lot of fun dancing, talking to people, and hitting up the refreshment table. Just as I thought, there weren’t many Veilstone High students there. In fact, only Miguela, Alicio, Akira (after finally showing up), Esmeralda, Anastasio, the twins, and I were the only ones. The rest of the people came from Stoney Vista, Rocoso, and one other school whose name I’ve forgotten. They asked us if Veilstone High was as bad as they say, and Akira and I were quick to tell them it was, while Miguela was trying to defend it. Alicio was being oddly silent on that one (Hmmm!). It was nice to not think about all my troubles at school.

    And then Carina showed up. She walked through the doors as though she owned the place, but no one so much as glanced at her. She seemed disappointed by this. Carina was dressed in this really nice silvery minidress over purple stockings and black heels with the expensive jewelry. I vaguely wondered if she’d gotten that outfit on one of her many shopping sprees with Miguela, and I wondered what it was like to have the money to spend on anything you wanted. And speaking of, Miguela (who was talking to Akira and this girl from Stoney Vista) had spotted Carina and ran over to her. Greeeeeat. I think I was wrong about Miguela wanting to be seen with me around Carina, and I was already annoyed.

    Mateo: Oh, good grief. It’s the beastie girl. Whoever invited her is about to regret it.
    Hyacinth: I invited her. What’s the problem?
    Marshall: Yeah, why is she a beastie girl?
    Mateo: Okay, think of every single stereotype of a Veilstone Student. She qualifies for every one of them. She’s a nasty piece of work.
    Hyacinth: Well, well. I knew she was driven, but I didn’t know it was like that. But don’t worry. If she causes any problems, she’s getting bounced.

    I lol’d at the thought of Carina getting bounced. Things just kept getting more entertaining from there. Every time someone approached Carina, she would scoff at whatever they said. Like this one girl asked her if she was going to this concert in the Battle District, and Carina said she’d never set foot in a disgusting hole like that place because only the ghetto people went there (o.O). Or, if a brave soul tried to joke with her, she’d take them seriously. A guy named Leonardo joked that he might drop out of school if he got this certain teacher. Carina told him (ttly srsly) that he would be eaten alive at our school if he couldn’t handle the course work from a teacher. Yeah, you get the idea. Mateo and Alicio just shook their heads while Hyacinth rolled her eyes. Miguela was looking mortified, but she was unwilling to ditch Carina who had no interest in going around meeting people. She didn’t even realize Mateo, Akira, Alicio, and I were even there.

    Then things got really intense. Carina had successfully managed to alienate both herself and Miguela who looked really sad now. Carina really was a horrible person and tonight she just seemed desperate to prove she was better than everyone. What a joke. (I guess I was secretly channeling Akira now). I had been actively avoiding her, but I felt so bad for Miguela that I walked over to her. Carina looked up and sneered at me and asked what I was doing here. I managed to get up enough courage to glare back at her (she was starting to piss me off now); I didn’t notice that Amaranth was behind me. And she didn’t look too happy either.

    Amaranth: I invited her. What’s it to you?
    Carina: Last time I checked, I wasn’t talking to you. (Now was this anyway to speak to the host of the party?)
    Hyacinth: (She’d walked over and joined her sister). But she was talking to you. I’m starting to regret inviting you big time. All you’ve done since you’ve gotten here is look down your nose at everyone like you’re some kind of snob princess. You don’t have any room to talk about anyone.
    Mateo and Marshall: Oh, snap!
    Carina: Look, I just came to your little house party to see if it was worth anything. Let me tell you, it isn’t. And if these are the kind of people you hang around? Hmph. Come on, Miguela, we’re going to your house.
    Mateo: (snorted and laughed bitterly) There you go inviting yourself again! Didn’t you get enough of that last week? (What was he talking about?)
    Carina gave Mateo her famous death stare.
    Marshall: Psst! Mateo, I think she’s trying to set you on fire with her mind. (They both laughed).
    Carina: Will you two morons shut up?! I said we’re going, Miguela.
    Miguela: (Doesn’t move) I was having fun, s-so I’ll be staying. And then Quinn is staying over at my house

    HUZZAH! Miguela (temporarily) got something resembling a backbone. And I was worried that she was going to blow me off for Carina. But for two seconds, I half wished she had because I thought Carina was about to bludgeon us both.

    Carina: So you’re choosing that thing over me?

    The entire room was quiet now. At that moment, something came over me and I didn’t know what it was. How could she insult me in front of all these people like I was nothing? Suddenly every mean look and every insult Carina ever paid me, as well as Akira and Esmeralda’s words, came rushing back. I guess this is what you call reaching your breaking point. My knees and hands became weak which always happen when I’m about to do something big (at least for me anyway).

    Me: Who are you calling a thing, Carina? You’ve been horrible to everyone tonight. You’re so pathetic and I’m sick of it.

    I heard Alicio, Akira, Mateo, Esmeralda AND Anastasio gasp. I was pretty stunned myself as I listened to those words come out of my mouth. Standing up to Carina hadn’t been my plan tonight at all, but I did it. The look in Carina’s eyes seemed to have changed. Oh, she still wished I would go die, but it now looked as though she saw me (grudgingly) as an equal. I couldn’t be sure because I’m not good at that sort of thing (you’d need my Mom for that).

    Mateo: lol pwn’d

    Carina looked disconcerted for a moment before it faded to disgust.

    Carina: Whatever, I don’t need any of this crap.


    She turned and stormed out of the house. The crowd was saying stuff like “good riddance” and “Veilstone High snob” after her back. Marshall whistled as Mateo started the slow clap. Before I knew it, everyone was congratulating me—especially Emeralda and Akira. I also felt all tingly on the inside when Alicio told me “congratulations.” The only person not commending me was Miguela and she looked worried and anxious.

    We stayed for the rest of the party (which was AWESOME because I eventually did get to dance with Alicio). But I was still concerned about Miguela so I asked her about it when we got back to her house, and boy did I get an earful! She said she was worried that Carina would fly off the handle again. After our adventures in the Battle District, Carina had just randomly shown up at Miguela’s door step—did I mention she was totally uninvited? I didn’t know what Mateo was talking about until now. Then, they stayed up till FOUR in the morning aggressively doing drills and practice tests of every subject we had in school. And whenever Carina would mess up, she’d do a new drill or practice test again and again until she was perfect.

    Just like I always knew, Carina was crazy. But then again, that was probably normal behavior for much of Veilstone High School…yet Miguela was still worried about Carina. She said she’d never seen Carina so unhinged and maniacal before. I guess getting third place affected her far more than I thought. Who knew?

    Later, when I was lying awake listening to Lucas snore, I realized I was truly excited about going to school for the first time. I mean, Carina still hated me, but it would be different now that I had the backbone to stand up to her. I just hope it would happen to Miguela—sooner rather than later. But I sense that Miguela’s roller coaster ride with her “best friend: was far from over.

    And that’s all for this entry. Peace out…

    OOC: And guys, I'm really grateful for the feedback ♥
     
    #25 Carmen Lopez, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  26. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    I knew there was a reason I totally loved this chapter! I love Quinn's personality and her crowning moment of awesome against Carina is win on so many levels XD

    It's too bad that Alicio's family didn't screw with his friends because that would have just been hilarious. Kudos on (finally) getting caught up! I can't wait until Monday (story time) to see how things work out at school for everyone. Movie Day will be epic whenever that comes around.
     
  27. The PAR-TAY is, by a country mile, the best chapter yet. Anyone who disagrees is wrong. ;D

    I can't wait for new chapters. I'm still quietly confident about an "Akira ♥ Miguela" sub-plot. (You wont do it, after I've said that)

    P.S - How do you pronounce "Miguela"? Is it Mig-wella, or summit like that?
     
    #27 Luckii, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  28. Ah, sorry I didn't see your edit sooner. Miguela is technically given a Spanish pronunciation so it's Mee-GEH-la. But more often than not, I end up changing the Mee to Mih in my head.
     
  29. In reply 11 of the thread, you made an error and said that Machi was Akira's aunt while in Reply 8 it said Machi was his mom X3

    I'm waiting for the new chapter now o3o
     
  30. OOC: Thanks Shado, I fixed the mistake in this thread and in my Word document XD Against Pheo's protests, this entry is broken up into two parts so you don't get a massive post~

    Miguela

    The end of the semester was upon us and the entire school was busier than ever. We had our mid-year tests and our big open house as well. We used to have those at the beginning of the year, but the administrators decided that having them at the end of the semester would be better because our parents would be able to see our work. Akira snidely said they moved it so teachers could drop little remarks when students weren’t doing well. I told him he was just being cynical, he just laughed that horrible patronizing laugh.

    That kind of thing happened a lot between Akira and I. He’d say something sarcastic, blunt, or just plain mean and I’d tell him he was being overly cynical. He’d laugh or give me an incredulous look. When he was like that, I hated the way he made me feel—like I was a naïve child. And worst yet, he came over to my house and seemed to get along better with my sister. They double teamed me a few times too. I put up a brave face like it didn’t bother me, but it did. I thought about telling him how I felt, but then he would probably just laugh and say I was being too sensitive.

    I pondered that as I sat on the couch watching Lucas exercise with his punching bag. He was getting pretty good with his coordination for not having formal training. The little fuzz ball still had a lot of energy but he was getting better at channeling it and not destroying random things all the time. Lucas gracefully transitioned from offense to defending himself with fluid movements.

    “He’s really amazing!” my sister commented when she’d gotten off the phone after another hour long call with one of her friends.

    “He is,” I murmured in agreement.

    “I think you should so battle with him,” she said off handedly.

    I cast my eyes downward. When Mateo had brought this up, I’d dismissed it immediately. And now here was my sister of all people mentioning it again? “Why do you say that? You know I can’t battle.”

    Miranda shrugged. “You’ve never tried. I don’t mean the hardcore stuff anyway. Besides Lucas seems like he’d enjoy it; he’s really disciplined.”

    “He really is,” I said, bewildered. “I don’t really know how that happened.”

    My sister eased herself into a chair adjacent to me. “Remember? A Pokémon supposedly takes after its trainer. He’s a hard worker because you are.

    I looked up in surprise. “That’s about the nicest things you’ve ever said to me.”

    “Yeah well, don’t get used to it,” my sister yawned and slouched deeper into her chair. “By the way, is Akira coming over again anytime soon?”

    Something in my gut stirred for a second and then vanished before I could really analyze it. “I…don’t know.”

    “Hopefully it’s soon,” she continued. “He’s a Veilstone High student and yet he’s really cute and laid back,” she added as though boys couldn’t be a Veilstone High student and be really cute and laid back at the same time. Okay so she was probably right about the laid back part.

    “You’d have nothing in common,” I said before I could stop myself. “You’re a preppie and he’s a hippie.” I said in what I thought was a matter of fact tone.

    “It’s not like I was trying to be his girlfriend yet, sheesh!” she said slowly and suspiciously. Immediately I regretted my rash words. “Mmhmm,” she said as she looked at me deviously.

    I rolled my eyes. That did NOT mean I had a crush on Akira. Besides, it’s a little hard to like someone who makes fun of you all the time.

    ~~~​

    When I woke up for school the next morning, the ground outside was covered in about six inches of snow. Even after all these years, I was excited about the first snowfall, but I had nothing on Lucas as far as that went. He had gotten up before I did and was gaping out the window—amazed at how the environment had changed. Once he realized I was awake, he dragged me over to get a better look.

    “RIOLU!” he shouted as he eagerly pointed at the still falling snow.

    “Not so loud,” I winced. “We’ll get to go out in it as soon as I get dressed and eat.”

    I was amused as he rushed me along. It was fun to irritate him by pretending to move slowly. By the time we left the house, Lucas was bouncing off the walls in his excitement—I could barely put on his red scarf. Once we finally got outside, he exploded. He moved so fast from examining the snow, to trying to catch falling snow in his mouth, to making snow angels, that I was shocked. It took us longer than usual to get to the Yamakage’s for one because Lucas wanted to have fun and also because he dived headfirst into a couple of snow banks and I had to pull him out after he got stuck.

    When we finally got to the daycare, I was surprised to find Mateo there. He was typing something on his cell phone while talking to Akira, but he looked up when he saw Lucas and me.

    “Miguela!” he said. “Just the person I wanted to see!”

    “Why does that worry me so much?” I couldn’t help asking.

    Akira laughed as Mateo said, “Because you don’t trust me and I have no idea why that is. It’s not like I’ve ever done anything to you.”

    Maybe, but I’ve seen what you do to Alicio, I thought. Not to mention that since he brought up the prospect of me battling, I’ve been feeling like he has it in for me.

    “Anyway,” he continued. “I’ve got three words for you: epic snowball fight.”

    “Epic snowball fight?” I repeated dubiously.

    “Yep,” Mateo’s eyes flashed in excitement. “At 4:00 today. Akira, Quinn, my two brothers, Hyacinth, Amaranth, Marshall, me and all our Pokémon will be there. And you and Lucas are coming too.”

    “Um, no we aren’t because I don’t want to!” I said, slightly miffed that he had decided for me. I did not want to be a part of the mess that would accompany a snowball fight.

    “Of course you want to come!” Akira interjected—also trying to decide for me. “It’s not like you have anything better to do.”

    Not this again! Why was he doing this to me? “Akira, how would you know?” I exclaimed. My annoyance was bubbling to the surface.

    “Because this is you we’re talking about,” Akira said derisively. “Now really what were you planning to do after school?”

    “Well I—,” I began stupidly and cut off after I realized I -wasn’t- doing anything at that time. Akira smiled that famous smile of his.

    “Children, children,” Mateo said before I could come up with a better comeback which only irritated me more. “Back to the subject. Miguela, you have to come. It’ll be fun! Even Lucas is looking forward to it.”

    “Riolu!” Lucas said in agreement. I was pretty sure he had no clue what a snowball fight was. But the look on his face made me melt. I succumbed to the peer pressure right then and there.

    “All right, all right! I’ll come to the snowball fight,” I said quickly.

    “Excellent!” said Mateo excitedly. Mimi walked into the room with a young Chimchar hanging on to her leg followed by Akira’s aunt Yume. “We’d better be off now,” he said as he shrugged into his coat.

    Mimi gently pulled the Chimchar off and handed it to Yume. She then looked at Mateo in anticipation, but he was indifferent. “Look, I don’t care if it is snowing. You still aren’t riding my back because for one, you’re heavy. And I -don’t- need your body heat,” he cut in before the Infernape could argue.

    She didn’t give up even as they were walking out of the door. The last thing I heard Mateo say was “losing weight isn’t going to help either.” I gave a short laugh and admired Mimi and Mateo’s relationship again. After giving Lucas to Yume, Akira and I decided to walk to school together. I was highly amused as I watched Akira bundle up with a couple of sweaters, a heavy coat, thick socks, and heavy boots.

    “Is all that really necessary?” I giggled.

    “Yes,” he said seriously. “I told you I hated the cold.” At those words, he shivered even though it was warm in the room.

    “Wait,” I said, suddenly remembering something. “Is this your first time seeing snow?”

    “That it is,” Akira said as he put on his scarf and gloves. “That’s why I’m coming prepared.”

    “It’s really not as bad as you think,” I told him. “You can lose one of sweaters and I promise you’ll be fine.”

    He eyed me suspiciously, but I managed to convince him. And thus, I got to watch him struggle to take off the heavy coat to get to his top sweater which made me laugh again. Once we were outside, he admitted that it wasn’t as cold as he thought (but still too cold for his taste). I don’t even know why I decided to walk with Akira after he insulted me. Maybe I was a glutton for punishment, but I couldn’t help it. There were cool parts about him: I learn something from him nearly every day. Like this time, for example, our conversation turned to the severity of Pokémon smuggling rings. It was sad to hear that it even happened in the first place, but it was cool to hear about the people who dedicated themselves to stopping it.

    When we were close to school, I suggested we get Chople Berry drinks from the little shop to warm us up. Akira wondered why he didn’t think of that (that in turn made me feel as warm as the drinks). However my heart went cold when I saw that Carina was also there and she was staring right at us. She was wearing a gorgeous black trench coat that she probably bought in Canalave City. The look on her flawless face was cold and hard as she glared at Akira and me. It was the first time we’d seen each other since Hyacinth and Amaranth’s party where I picked Quinn over her. I convinced myself that our friendship was over. Still I was afraid of her at this moment. She shook her head as she swept out of the store. In her wake, the gravity of my situation fell on me like a ton of bricks.

    “Are you actually scared?” Akira asked. His question brought me back to reality.

    “Yes,” I said quietly.

    “Of what?”

    “About how she can ruin my life…” I admitted.

    He got annoyed quickly, but instead of giving me a sarcastic remark, he sighed deeply. “I’ll ask you just like I asked Quinn: Why do you even care?”

    I had no answer for him, so he sighed again and we left. My mind was full of the possibilities of the things Carina could do to me: a slam webpage, telling my secrets, public antagonizing, etc. I never thought I’d be on the receiving end of those actions. Suddenly it seemed as though my life were out of control when it was so ordered beforehand. I guess I’d been through more than I thought this semester.

    As we got closer to school, I was half expecting people to be whispering stuff behind my back and was therefore surprised when there was no one whispering at all. Akira looked unconcerned about it all. I noticed that a couple of girls were sneaking peeks at Akira which made me smile faintly. He was still considered to be weird by most of the student body, but he was becoming more popular—at least that’s how it appeared to me. But then Akira glanced at the girls and gave a small yet mysterious smile.

    “And what was that about?” I accused him in what I hoped to be a teasing manner.

    “What was what about?” Was he pretending to be clueless?

    “You know what I mean!” I exclaimed. I temporarily forgot about Carina. “The girls you just smiled at!”

    “Oh that?” Akira said enigmatically. “It’s not like I like them or anything like that.”

    “Then what was it?”

    He thought for a second before he responded. “That’s my secret…”

    From the tone of his voice, I knew prying wouldn’t do any good. But I had to admit that I was baffled and I had to stop my mind from coming up with all kind of theories as to what was going on—many of them illegal. It was probably something minor and he was just messing with me—a real possibility considering the fact that it was Akira. Once we were in the school, we went our separate ways. I was going to find Quinn or Alicio when I spotted Carina coming towards me. The gray light coming in from the skylight made her look oddly eerie. My heart started racing; it was like it was just me and her—like the other students who were coming in out of the snow weren’t even there.

    “Why do you look so scared?” Carina asked when she’d finally reached me. She was giving me the same smile she gave me the day she tore her room a part. “I’m only here to help.” She reached out to fiddle with my hair.

    “Help with what?” I asked cautiously as my eyes drifted toward her hand.

    “Let’s walk to homeroom together,” she pronounced. “We can take the long way so we can talk…”

    I tucked my hair behind my ear nervously after Carina stopped playing with it (I was glad she didn’t pull it). It felt strange being the object of Carina’s coldness like this I listened to the sound of our heels clicking on the floor to steady myself until she finally spoke.

    “Miguela,” she said my name methodically. “What’s happening to you? At the beginning of the year you had standards. Now you’re being seen with urchins like Quinn, Akira, and Alicio’s god-awful brother. You also have all these silly distractions like that Pokémon. Really Miguela…people are starting to talk.”

    I felt stabs when she mentioned Quinn, Akira, Mateo, and Lucas but at her last statement, I became self-conscious. “W-What are they saying?” I asked cautiously. And here I was thinking that people were talking less. Maybe I was off base again.

    Carina touched her bottom lip with her index finger. “You didn’t think that people wouldn’t say anything if you started hanging out with Akira and Quinn, did you? They’re wondering how Miguela, one of the smartest people at Veilstone High, is hanging out with two people who are so against what this school stands for. They think it’s bizarre. I’m starting to think Quinn is rubbing off on you. After all you did choose her over me…and how long have we been friends?”

    Her words hit me hard. “I-I’m sorry—

    “Don’t worry,” Carina said airly. “I forgive you because I know something must have come over you. You’d never betray me like that otherwise.”

    “Thanks,” I mumbled.

    “Look, Miguela,” she stopped walking and faced me. “I’m only trying to warn you and look out for you. Watch your actions and who you hang out with because if you aren’t careful, you may get judged unfairly. You know how it works here. You surround yourself with people who help you get to the top. Quinn and Akira can’t help you.”

    Looking back, I was so naïve. I can’t believe I thought she cared. I took a deep breath. “Don’t worry Carina,” I said bracingly. “I won’t be brought down by anyone. You know me better than that. I’ll manage just fine.” I was about to mention that I’d gotten number two on the last test but thought better of it.

    “I certainly hope so. The last test of the semester is tomorrow,” Carina said shrewdly.

    “I’m ready for it,” I said confidently.

    She looked dubious at my words, but she didn’t say anything so I relaxed a little. Carina hadn’t scorned me—something I considered a good sign. Quinn and Akira suddenly walked by us and I held by breath. Carina and Quinn made eye contact, but this time Quinn didn’t look scared like she normally did. It was clear that they still hated each other, but they didn’t say anything to my relief. The moment of tension passed on though I caught Akira smirking; he and Quinn parted ways as he headed toward our classroom.

    Carina suggested that we study in homeroom where everyone had the same idea: they poured over vocabulary words, math problems, literature readings, and science questions—everyone except Akira that is. Carina glared at him as he leisurely perused a graphic novel. He looked up and smiled and winked at her. If he got first place on this test, I knew Carina would be livid. Alicio smirked at the scene.

    All was calm until lunchtime. Alicio, Carina and I agreed to eat lunch off-campus, but we never got to our destination. The argument started when Carina decided we should study after school as well. Alicio spoke up at once.

    “I won’t be there,” he said. “I’m taking a little study break.”

    Carina looked as though Alicio had just said he wanted to drop out of school. “What?” she said in slight disbelief.

    “I said I’m taking a little study break,” Alicio repeated more slowly.

    “You do realize that we have major test tomorrow,” she said bossily.

    “Yes, I do,” Alicio said. I could tell that he wasn’t too sold on Carina’s tone of voice. “I’ve studied plenty for this test. Trust me. I’m ready for it.”

    “Okay then, what will you be doing instead?” asked Carina suspiciously.

    To be honest, I didn’t want study either, but I was willing to forgo the snowball fight (even if the only thing I was going to do is sit on the sidelines) if it meant keeping the peace. However Alicio clearly didn’t have the same mindset.

    “Oh, just a snowball fight,” Alicio said.

    “A what?” If Carina was appalled before, it was nothing compared to now. “Are you insane? I’ll tell you like I told Miguela this morning. You’ve changed and I know it’s all your brother’s fault.” Carina paused for a moment. “But then again, you never did seem as devoted Miguela and I are.”

    Alicio narrowed his eye as he glared at Carina. “Devoted? You know, you’re right for once. It was my brother’s fault that I changed. He taught me how I basically had no life whatsoever outside of studying and school. It’s such a boring existence. I don’t have to sell my soul like you did to succeed!”

    Once again I wished I were invisible. Nothing like this had ever happened before. I wanted to stop the whole thing before it got out of hand. “Guys, wait! Just—

    “Be quiet!” Carina snapped at the same time she raised her hand. I flinched because I thought she was going to slap me; it didn’t escape Alicio’s attention.

    “Look,” he said in a softer tone. He put his hands up to show that he meant no harm because he was afraid she might physically lash out. “I’m not asking you to agree with me. In fact, I couldn’t care less—

    “No, you look!” Carina snarled. “That kind of thinking may work at some lower level school but not here and you know that. You’ll be an undesirable in no time!”

    Alicio looked smug. “We’ll see about that.”

    “You really don’t care anymore,” Carina said barely disguising her rage. “That’s too bad. I don’t surround myself with people like you.”

    Alicio didn’t look bothered in the slightest. “Fine with me. It’s not like you really wanted me around anyway. Good bye and have a nice life.” He turned and walked away without another word.

    Carina blinked. “I should’ve known not to expect much from him anyway,” she said arrogantly. “He was probably only playing at our way of doing things anyway. Stupid idiot. I know his kind. Let him go with those foreigners and see how far that gets him.”

    I stayed silent, but Carina’s words forcefully made me realize something I hadn’t given much thought to before. At first I was shocked at how Alicio could walk away from us so easily after we’d been friends for so long…but I asked myself how much did I know about Alicio? I only mostly saw him at school though we’d known each other since middle school. Sure, we just hung out a couple times in the last few weeks, but we generally only talked about school stuff. I really didn’t know much about his life though and it really bothered me.

    Carina began venting out a stream of names of students she thought weren’t working as hard as they could be. It echoed the conversations we had earlier in the year when everything was still normal. Needless to say it wasn’t a pleasant time. We didn’t get to go anywhere for lunch and by fourth period my stomach was growling loudly. Carina’s bad mood only got worse in Current Affairs. Alicio sat with Quinn and Akira; he was chatting with them as though he’d been a part of their group from the beginning. I still had to suppress a smile at what might be going through Alicio and Quinn’s minds though.

    By the end of the day, Carina had somewhat calmed down. After one sidelong look at Alicio who’d picked up his belongings and left without speaking to us, Carina turned to me. “You know what would be great right now? A little retail therapy!” she said, sounding like the Carina I knew best.

    “Err, okay,” I said hesitantly. That would mean missing the snowball fight and having Akira tease me for it, but right now I cared about Carina more than Akira or Mateo. And not to mention my punishment over the Black Hole incident had finally ended.

    “In that case, we need to get to your house so you can get changed,” she said.

    “I’ll spend the night at your house where we can get some studying done after we finishing shopping.”

    At least this shopping trip would be far more enjoyable than the last time with Carina’s mother and sister. I was looking forward to it this time and already had a plan in mind about what I was going to get. But unfortunately fate decided to mess with me yet again. Carina and I rounded the corner to leave school where we ran right into Alicio, his two brothers, and Mimi.

    “HAI MIGUELA!” Frankie yelled as he threw himself at me. “Mateo said you were coming to the snowball fight today. Is that true?” he said in one breath.

    “Well, it was,” I felt Carina bristle beside me. “But I won’t be able to make it…”

    “Tsk, tsk, tsk, Miguela,” said Mateo as Mimi waggled a finger. “I’m disappointed in you.”

    “Tough luck then,” said Carina and she pulled me away. I caught one last glimpse at them before I was gone. Mateo smirked, but Alicio just looked let down. I hated that expression but I pushed it from my mind. I’d try to talk to him later.

    “Sheesh, everyone in their stupid family is annoying,” Carina said once we were in the car that was waiting for us. She directed to driver to go to my house. “Also, why on earth would you agree to do that moronic snowball fight anyway?”

    “I don’t know…I kinda got pressured into it,” I said truthfully, but I didn’t tell her that I eventually warmed to the idea because it sounded like fun. I felt bad that Lucas would have to miss it.

    Carina shook her head, but didn’t say anymore on the subject. “Do you know what you want to get for Solstice?” she asked a short while later.

    Winter break was approaching soon, but the highlight was always the Winter Solstice where we got presents…many, many presents in the case of most Veilstone students. “Of course!” I exclaimed. And that quickly started a conversation about cell phones, clothes, furniture, spa visits and everything else.

    “The best part of the break will definitely be when we go to Resort Gorgeous for our winter vacation,” Carina bragged when the car got to my house and we got out.

    “Lucky!” I said a little enviously. A lot of people left the region for winter break, but Resort Gorgeous was the exclusive of the exclusive. You either had to have old money or be very well connected. “You have to promise to tell me all about it.”

    “I promise,” she said, her face glowing. “We’ll get to see my father there too. It’ll be the first time in a while that we’ve spent Solstice all together. Well, minus my stupid older sister but who cares about her?” Carina added haughtily.

    “Heh,” I said. I pushed the button for the elevator because Carina didn’t want to take the stairs. “My family’s plans won’t be as extravagant, but it’ll still be fun. We’re going to visit my grandparents near Snowpoint City and we’ll be going skiing.”

    “Oh, that’s nice,” said Carina dismissively.

    The elevator opened and revealed the front door. I had a sudden image of Lucas hatching from his egg and suddenly I wanted him there with me. How strange…I dispelled the image by opening the door. My dad was still at work and I assume my mom was down in the store. My sister who was sitting on the couch on her laptop looked up at me. Her eyes flitted over to Carina; she was not pleased to see her.

    “Fancy seeing you here, Carina,” Miranda said. “Our house is suddenly good enough for you now?”

    “And you’re as rude as ever,” Carina said. She shifted her bag on her shoulder. “Come on, Miguela. We have a shopping trip to get to.”

    “You do that,” said Miranda. “I’m going to that snowball fight that you can’t make.”

    “What?” I asked in shock. “How do you even know about that?”

    “Akira invited me,” she said smugly. “And by the way, he says he knew you’d blow off having fun to go shopping.” My sister even managed to imitate Akira’s facial expression on the last word.

    I felt the heat rise to my face and hoped I wasn’t turning red. Where did she even get his number anyway? I guess the last time he was here, but still. As much as I hated to admit it, I didn’t like the idea of Akira texting her, especially after they’d gotten along so well. I was…jealous and I didn’t want anyone to know it. Where did he get off teasing me through my sister anyway?

    “I don’t know why that hippie just doesn’t go to your school,” Carina said. “He’d fit in better and he wouldn’t be bringing down Veilstone High.”

    “Oh, trust me,” said Miranda. “I wish he went to Stoney Vista as well…”

    “Hmph,” I turned and walked upstairs to my room, but I could still feel Miranda’s smirk. Carina followed me in and I shut the door. “So did you bring any clothes with you?” I asked abruptly.

    “No,” Carina said. “I didn’t think I’d be going anywhere after school so I didn’t think to.” She strode to my closet and walked in. “I’ll simply have to borrow something of yours until I buy something. Ew, why do you still have this?” she suddenly walked out and I saw that she was holding that t-shirt that Quinn picked out when we were in the Battle District.

    “Um, it seemed like a waste to just throw it out,” I lied.

    “Then give it to some homeless person or something. The garbage chic look of East Veilstone doesn’t look good on you and it’s totally gross,” Carina said. She dropped it on the floor and stepped on it before walking back into my closet.

    I picked it up and smoothed it out while I listened to Carina rustle and walk around. Somehow it seemed like the night I got the shirt seemed so far away now and I knew the reason why. Though Alicio had just cut us off today, it also felt like this huge gulf was between us. That last look he gave me…I was definitely intimidated because he seemed so unapproachable at that moment. I was wondering if we were even friends.

    At long last, Carina walked out of my closet carrying a pair of jeans and a black button up cashmere sweater for an understated look. Since she was slightly bigger than me, she had a bit of trouble getting into my jeans, but they looked very nice on her anyway. I decide to pick a light brown, knee length flared skirt, thick brown leggings, a blue, green, and a white argyle sweater with white boots.

    “I look nice if I do say so myself,” said Carina as she examined herself in my body-length mirror. She shrugged into her navy, green, and white plaid pea coat.

    “That you do,” I agreed as I put on a crème colored double breasted coat.

    Miranda was already gone, so the house was empty when we left. Carina was looking at me with this curious expression on her face but she didn’t say anything till we were half way to Luna Crest Row.

    “The way your sister was talking makes it seem like you and Akira are getting close,” Carina said methodically. She cocked her head slightly. “Why is that?”

    This was starting to get embarrassing. “Well…I take my Riolu, Lucas, to his family’s daycare and…sometimes we talked there (I put it in past tense to hopefully imply that we don’t talk much now),” I said.

    “Hm, you could always take him to another, better daycare,” Carina said with a little smile.

    “But the Yamakage’s Daycare is one of the best,” I countered using the same argument I’d always had. “And I don’t want anything but the best for Lucas.”

    “Ugh…” Carina groaned. “Are you listening to yourself? Honestly, I think that Pokémon is addling your brain.”

    We didn’t say anything else until we got to the first boutique called La Fleur Rouge. The front display window was filled with exotic, beautiful flowers that brightened the snowy landscape.

    “My mother came here and bought the most amazing dress here a couple of weeks ago,” Carina said. “Normally I don’t go for new places like this, but if it meets Mother’s standards, then it has to be good enough.”

    That certainly got me curious. I opened the door of the shop and inhaled the lovely scent of the fresh flowers that were all over the place. To our surprise, Carina and I saw Hyacinth and Amaranth helping to wrap gifts for the customers—some of whom were in Mrs. Diaz’s social circle. The twins looked at one another deviously then turned to Carina who was examining the boutique with a rather snooty expression on her face. Before I could put too much thought into it, a lighter skinned woman with dark brown eyes and straightened reddish hair spoke to us. She had a rather haughty expression as well.

    “Welcome to La Fleur Rouge,” she said in a professional voice. “I’m Blue Rose, the owner of this boutique. I don’t believe I’ve seen you two here before…”

    I thought her name was really cool, so I took the opportunity to introduce myself. “My name is Miguela Cruz and yes, it’s my first time here.”

    “Interesting,” Blue said. “And you?”

    “Carina Diaz,” said Carina. “My mother’s name is Ramona Diaz and she came in two weeks ago.”

    “They both go to our school Aunt Blue,” Amaranth said with a tone that suggested an inside joke. I was starting to feel uneasy.

    “You know, if you have something to say, you can say it to my face,” Carina said so that everyone in the store could hear her. I could definitely tell she hadn’t forgiven them for the party incident.

    Hyacinth glanced at Amaranth. “Oh, we would,” she said. The other customers were curious at the exchange. Perhaps it would be gossip fodder for later. Amaranth finished putting the bow on the gift she was wrapping, and both girls stood up.

    “We’d love to stick around, but we have a snowball fight to get to,” Amaranth said. I felt Carina scoff softly beside me. “See you tomorrow…”

    “Yeah, we wouldn’t want to keep Marshall waiting now, would we?” giggled Hyacinth as they walked out the door.

    “Definitely not,” her twin laughed as the door shut behind them.

    “Teenagers,” Blue said, but she was smiling too. “Well, feel free to look around. We’re here if you need anything.”

    “Thanks,” I said politely.

    The place did have some really nice things including a scarf that I thought would be perfect for Quinn, so I had to buy it for her. I also found something for my sister, then my mother, a cousin… I don’t think I ended up buying anything for myself. Shopping for Solstice gifts was far more fun. Carina ended up buying twice as much as I did and we were only at the first store. When we were all done, we happily took our stuff to the register. While there were two other people doing gift wrapping now, I preferred doing it myself. I paid for my stuff first (and I was proud to say that it was mostly my own money) and waited patiently for Carina. Then things started getting strange…

    First off, Carina took out a check book which is -extremely- odd. She always used her exclusive credit card (that my parents would never let my sister and I have) to pay for everything. The cashier who looked to be a college student looked at the check frowned and called Blue over. I noticed a few of the customers attempting to be nosy to see what was going on. Blue took one look at the check and gave a small laugh.

    “I’m sorry but we aren’t taking checks,” she said.

    “And why not?” Carina asked coldly.

    “You see, this area has been put on alert due for…individuals writing checks with insufficient funds,” she answered deliberately. “And this shop has taken action by not accepting checks at all. I didn’t think that would be a problem in an area like this.”

    At this point, Carina pulled the woman aside and I couldn’t hear the conversation after that. What on earth was going on?

    After about a minute of fierce, but unintelligible whispering, Carina turned to me. “Miguela, we’ll be going now,” she said in a loud voice. “I decided I didn’t like any of this stuff.” And with that, she dropped all of her things on a nearby table. Blue looked a bit scandalized. Carina swept out of the shop and I hastily go up and followed her after waving at Blue. “We’re going back to your house,” she said once we were back in the car.

    “Already?” I asked raising an eyebrow.

    “Yes,” she said curtly.

    I shrugged. “All right, but we have to stop at the Yamakage’s daycare first because I need to pick up Lucas.”

    Carina rolled her eyes, but I stood my ground and didn’t flinch this time. “Fine, you can direct the driver where to go.”

    “And what happened back there at the boutique?” I added.

    “It’s just like I said,” Carina said slowly. “Maybe my mother found one thing that was nice there, but I didn’t. I should’ve known not to expect much from a place ran by anyone related to Amaranth and Hyacinth. My mother talks about how their mother Amaryllis…”

    So, she changed the subject. I had to admit that I was as curious as the people back at the boutique, but a simple explanation anyway. I took a deep breath and interrupted her. “Carina, you can tell me if something was wrong back there.”

    She looked at me in surprise. “Fine, fine since you want to pry,” Carina said bossily. “My Mom took my credit card away after I got third place on the last test. I kept telling her it was a fluke but she didn’t believe me. Our little shopping trip didn’t clear my head like I thought it would…”

    “Oh…” I said. I felt foolish now for being so distrustful, but had I known, I would’ve paid for everything myself and considered it a Solstice gift. “We’ll study plenty back at my house.”

    “Yeah, sure,” Carina said as she looked at her cell phone.

    Once we got to the Yamakage’s Daycare, I quickly went in and got Lucas. This time it was Akira’s uncle instead of his aunt working at the front. I said a hasty greeting and goodbye and then raced back to the car.

    “RIOLU!” Lucas shouted as he hugged me.

    “I’m happy to see you too,” I told him happily. Carina looked on in mild disgust, but I ignored it this time. The more time we spent together, the more I was becoming able to read his emotions and right now he was feeling a mix of things. He was definitely happy to see me, but he felt slightly uneasy around Carina as he always did and that in turn made me feel a bit awkward. Once again it was a silent car ride home.

    Lucas insisted on taking the stairs when we got to my house, so I chased after him while Carina took the elevator once more. She was clearly worried that Lucas would be a distraction, but she didn’t have to worry. We got set up in the room downstairs because Carina wanted to use the projector. I had to admit that it was really cool and I was glad that my Dad was able to get it. It could work as a normal HD projector but it could also be used to produce 3D models. My family mostly used it for interactive movies, recipes, shopping, etc, but it could be used for subjects like science.

    I gave Lucas some toys and put him in the living room and told him I’d be done studying in a little while, but I kept the door open anyway. Sure enough when I fired up the projector, it showed the last thing someone was looking at—this time, it was dresses my sister was shopping around for. I left the projector to Carina while I finished up a book we had to read for English. About two hours into our studying, we heard the door open and three people walked in—two of whom was the last person I wanted around when Carina was here. I heard Lucas squeal and run to someone.

    “Good to see you too, Lucas!” Akira said.

    “This is place is really cool,” Alicio said. “It just seems like your family would live in our neighborhood.”

    “Yeah, I really like living here,” my sister said. “People have told my parents we should move because they somehow think this place is cheap or something.”

    “People like Carina’s mother?” Akira said.

    Miranda giggled. “Yeah, definitely. They still think they’re so much better than us.”

    “What the heck are they doing here,” Carina hissed. “Sheesh, hopefully they leave soon. I don’t want to see either of their faces here.”

    “It’s a shame that most of the Veilstone High people had to leave early to go study,” Miranda said.

    “Yeah, that’s what I’m doing when I get home,” Akira said.

    “Wait, how much have you studied so far?” Alicio asked. “All I usually see you do in school is read graphic novels and do stupid stuff on the internet.”

    “Enough,” Akira answered. “Just because you don’t see me freaking out in school doesn’t mean I don’t study.”

    “Heh, fair enough then,” Alicio said. “But everyone is talking about the competition between you and Carina.”

    I saw Carina visibly tense up. Alicio was referring to how people were eager to see if Carina or Akira would get first place on the next test. I’ve heard people on both sides. Carina was certainly not oblivious to the gossip but she was annoyed that people would even consider that Akira was as smart as she was.

    “What competition?” Miranda asked.

    “Exactly,” Akira retorted. “Alicio, you could stand to not put so much stock into the gossip sometimes. Besides there is no competition…just like I told Quinn earlier this year, Carina won’t be getting first place as long as I have any say in it. I’m not just making bold claims either.”

    Carina was already furious, but now she had had enough. She stood up and strode out of the room and I quickly followed her. Our sudden appearance surprised Miranda, Alicio, and Akira, however the shock quickly vanished. Miranda and Alicio looked annoyed and Akira looked smug. Lucas at least looked happy to see, but could see that he was concerned about the tense atmosphere.

    “Oh, and here I thought you were in your room, Miguela,” Miranda said. “Carina, I didn’t even expect you to be here at all.”

    Carina completely ignored my sister and turned her wrath to Akira. “It isn’t enough that you mock Veilstone High and all our hard work, but you also don’t take your work seriously either? You may have coasted by this long, but you won’t get number one on this test and that’s a promise! You’re really pathetic Akira!”

    Alicio shook his head, but everyone was dead silent except for Akira. He laughed.

    “Carina, Carina, Carina,” said Akira. “You’ve been out to get me since day one. I’ve proven you wrong time and again. Why should you think this time would be any different? You don’t have to be so uptight to succeed you know. The way you talk about Veilstone High standards and the way people are ‘supposed’ to act…honestly you’re the pathetic one.”

    Alicio and I both unconsciously positioned ourselves to spring into action, but Carina stayed calm…well, she didn’t physically attack him anyway. She still looked angry. “I’m not taking your bait Akira. We’ll just let this play out tomorrow when we take the final test of the year.”

    “I’m sure we will,” said Akira and he smiled that awesome smile of his. I felt the heat rise to my face because I was finding his confidence attractive…which just made me feel awkward and silly since I’m usually on the receiving end of his mockery.”

    “I guess we’ll be seeing you at school tomorrow,” Alicio said. He was polite but rather cold.

    Carina sucked in her teeth and folded her arms. She had nothing to say to Alicio; though the argument happened earlier in the day, it felt like it was so much longer ago. After the boys were gone, Carina stomped back to the projector room and slammed the door as though it were her bedroom. Miranda shook her head.

    “Well, you’re in for a long night,” she said as she bent down to pick up Lucas.

    “Yeah, I know,” I told her. I sighed deeply. Today had been long enough! Drama just keeps happening it seems. I definitely hoped that wasn’t a sign of things to come this week.
     
    #30 Carmen Lopez, Jan 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  31. New chapters W00T 8)

    One of the better chapters of the story (All of which are brilliant). And YAY YOU INCLUDED MY IDEA!!! ;D ;D
     
    #31 Luckii, Jan 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  32. Hooray! Chapters! Anyway, I lime this chapter a lot, but I think it might've been nice if Miguela actually went to the snowball fight.
     
  33. OOC: I'm so sorry this took so long! I had a lot finals and papers this time around, so that consumed most of my time. Plus I had a writer's block that I got over once I realized I was trying to write from the wrong point of view. Thus, this is written from Quinn's POV. I was sick of school at the time so it was very hard to write from the POV of someone who loved it >> Without further ado...

    BIC


    School is important, very important I know. As long as we exercise self-discipline we can get our work done and we also build the foundation of becoming responsible college students and later, fully functional adults.

    But gosh darn it, I don’t wanna be self-disciplined, responsible, OR fully functional D:

    I’m so sick of school right now it isn’t even funny. Literally, there is always something due. Always. Even during freaking exam week. There are reviews and readings that need to be done on top of studying. This is so obscene -_- And the worst part of the whole thing was that I couldn’t stop thinking about school even if I wanted to and along with everyone else, I couldn’t stop talking about it either. We were all pissing off Akira pretty badly. While we were waiting for homeroom to begin…

    Akira: You do realize that there’s absolutely no use in freaking out now?
    Alicio: Yes, Akira, I do in fact realize that. But unfortunately my brain isn’t processing that. *Turns back to his tablet to finish studying pre-calculus*

    I wish I had Akira’s confidence about the whole situation, but I definitely didn’t. Akira, Alicio, Anastasio, Esmeralda, and I were all in a study section of the library. Karyme had joined us as well (she was the one who asked Akira for pre-calculus tutoring help a while back). She had really loosened up and she was way more relaxed now than she was when we first met her. Over time she realized that she didn’t have to be high-strung to get good grades and she was a lot happier.

    What made me happy was the fact that Alicio was now hanging out with us full time after his falling out with Carina (yes, I still had a massive crush on him) Of course that meant that we would be seeing even less of Miguela. Who knows, maybe she might finally get sick of Carina one day too, but that didn’t look like it was happening any time soon. Carina had tightened her grip on Miguela so much that it was kinda scary. She was determined to show Alicio that she didn’t need him to the point that it was obnoxious. While it was awkward in pre-calculus because Alicio still had to sit close to them (you didn’t change your seat after the second week—unwritten rule), it was –really- bad in English.

    Carina: *In an unnecessarily loud voice* So Miguela, where are you doing for break?
    Miguela *Awkward* “I’m…going to visit my grandparents near Snowpoint City. Remember?

    I almost cracked up laughing then, but then Akira butted in the conversation just to annoy Carina and make Miguela even more uncomfortable than she already was.

    Akira: So you’re going from this frozen ice box of a city to an even colder ice box
    Carina: And who asked you? This is a private conversation! (Pfft!)
    Akira: Oh, my mistake. You were talking so loudly I couldn’t help myself.

    Alicio and I both had to put our hands to our mouths to keep from laughing.

    Our English teacher looked thoroughly outraged and told us all to be quiet and our classmates gave us disapproving looks the little snots. After that, we had so much to do in class that we didn’t really have time for any other extraneous conversation. After film, English was definitely my best subject and I felt I was truly doing well in the class. It was also a little less annoying than my other classes. But maybe by the end of the year, I’d really grow to like it. Besides, we were getting into creative writing next semester and I couldn’t WAIT for that.

    Akira, Alicio, and I had a good time before Current Affairs as we talked about the snowball fight from yesterday. Okay so it was more like Akira and I had a good time teasing Alicio. He had managed to take a snowball to the face from Mateo after Mimi tickled him. During class Akira tried to provoke Miguela into a debate, but it didn’t work. She just looked like blah; it reminded me of when I first met her and her eyes looked dead and lifeless. I was concerned but I couldn’t do anything about it at the moment so I put it out of my mind for a bit.

    After the class, we talked about what we were doing for winter break. Akira said he was most definitely going back to Hoenn where there wasn’t snow and Alicio said that he and his family would be spending Solstice with his father’s side of the family…and he did not look happy about it.

    Me: You don’t want to be with your father’s side of the family?
    Alicio: *Sigh* No, because it’s guaranteed to be a horrible, horrible time.
    Akira: Why?
    Alicio: Because my paternal grandmother hates Mateo’s guts and the feeling is mutual—long story. She’s such an old hag…

    Yikes, I’d never heard someone describe their grandmother as a hag, nor had I heard Alicio be so bitter. I think he noticed because he recovered and asked me what I was doing. Truth be told, I would be having a really quiet winter break and I was more than a bit bummed that everyone was leaving town. Meh, I would just have to find something to do in the snow-covered entertainment capital of Sinnoh. It shouldn’t be that hard.

    Despite the fact that we had our school-wide tests coming up and that most of the school was so tense waiting to take it or dead because they had taken it already, we had fun at lunch. Alicio and I had calmed down temporarily because we wanted to make the most of the break. Esmeralda and Anastasio had already taken the test, but they were relieved rather than anxious. I saw Hyacinth wink at Anastasio from a few tables away and he smiled back. Just like it was obvious that Amaranth liked Mateo’s best friend Marshall, it was crystal clear that Hyacinth and Anastasio liked each other. They complimented each other too: he was the charming, nice guy who could be a bit clumsy and she was the adventurous, but more sensitive than her appearance let on.

    As a disclaimer, I know we shouldn’t be gossiping, but this time we couldn’t quite help ourselves. Even Akira joined in. Okay, so we saw Carina and Miguela sit down with Hyacinth and Amaranth and I just shook my head.

    Me: I still can’t believe she blew off the snowball fight that she said she was coming to just to go shopping. So hypocritical…
    Alicio: Well, she blew it off because Carina disapproved and she’s the biggest hypocrite of them all.
    Akira: Miguela frustrates me. It’s disgusting the way she lets Carina control her.
    Alicio: She’s just a megalomaniac who thinks she’s the smartest person ever. She’s free to criticize us but she can’t handle it herself.
    Anastasio: I hate people like that! How did you stand it for that long?
    Alicio: I really don’t know…

    We continued on like that for a while, but Esmeralda stayed mostly quiet. I hoped she didn’t disapprove of the gossip, but oh well. She could say something if she wanted. But at any rate, lunch was over far too soon and in a few hours, I was facing the first of a gauntlet of tests ;_; You would think these tests were the end all be all by all the tension. Okay, so these tests were really important because well, they’re a huge part of your grade, but still. The pressure only built more because we were getting next day results. I knew I wasn’t going to do well and I was facing another parent-teacher conference. Meh.

    Before that, Alicio tried to comfort me which made me blush (<.<) I knew he would do extremely well. I knew he was smart, but I got even more impressed with him after watching him study earlier. He was absolutely brilliant when it came to math and he also took honors physics as an extra class. It was awesome watching him unravel those hard pre-calculus problems. I guess I was attracted to intelligence because that only made me like him more ♥.

    But back to the test; everyone would at least do reasonably well, but I hit a new low this time. I didn’t even FINISH. And I swear they put some college level stuff on it this time around. Even Anastasio and Esmeralda said it was harder. They were also the ones who suggested we go shopping afterwards for Solstice. After I showered when PE (my last class) was over, I met up with Anastasio, Esmeralda, and Akira. We had to persuade Alicio though; he may have willingly gone to the snowball fight, but he felt that this was pushing it. He agreed to go only if we didn’t stay too long.

    Instead of going to our usual area, we went to a normally outdoor mall that had moved to a warehouse for the winter. I thought it would be routine, but that died when we saw the weirdest looking Pokémon we’d ever seen.

    Alicio: What the heck is that?

    The thing was absolutely massive and barrel shaped. I don’t even know how to start to describe the thing beyond that. It was scary looking and it had a perma-smirk on its piggy face. Of course, Akira and Anastasio being the bold people that they are immediately went over to the blonde woman who they assumed was its trainer. The rest of us followed. It turned out that the Pokémon was called Emboar and the trainer was from Unova, a region far, far away from Sinnoh. Akira was especially interested because he wasn’t as familiar with Unova Pokémon.

    I’ve always wanted to go to somewhere in Unova, it didn’t matter where. But alas, we were broke and recently I heard that Unova made Sinnoh look cheap. I was still soooo jealous that Akira and Miguela got to because they were ambassadors. Either way I saw pictures of those gorgeous bridges and I wished I could see them in person.

    But enough about my travel ambitions, the strawberry blonde trainer was really interesting. She was dressed in this black jacket that was lined with warm fleecey stuff, a red sweater, jeans, and black hiking boots. She had hazel eyes and wore her wavy hair in a simple ponytail. She was about twenty-three and was doing a bit of traveling to ‘find herself.’ Okay so I thought that was a little weird. How do you find yourself? Or better yet, how do you lose yourself in the first place? Luuuuckily she answered that for us too.

    Woman: I’m from Black City which is one of the bigger cities in Unova. It also has an interesting reputation. Don’t get me wrong, I love my home town, but it is greed personified and people are proud of it. People always push themselves to have more and more and more…but it makes you empty inside. I tried leaving it and living in White Forest away from that chaos, but that didn’t help me either. So I decided to do some traveling to help figure out what I want to do.
    Akira: But you’re a trainer as well?
    Woman: *Nods* Yes. The battling scene in Black City is also very intense, and again trainers are always going for more power and more fame. That’s part reason for my disconnect too…It just got to be too much.

    Huh, sounded like certain high school we all know and love. The people at Veilstone High would be right at home in Black City. But now I understood how she lost herself though. I glanced over at Alicio and he seemed to really feel for her, but he didn’t say anything. She was about to walk away when Akira called to her.

    Akira: Hey, what’s your name?
    Woman: Maiabella De Luca. It’s a mouthful, isn’t it? *laughs*

    Glad she said it and not me.

    Anyway, things were going along as normal after we parted ways. We all agreed to go in different directions so we wouldn’t see what each other was buying. And by the way, there was so much stuff here that was cool yet cheap that I didn’t know where to start. I ended up finding stuff for almost everyone: a bottle thing where you put in tea leaves to make your own tea for Akira, a pair of thick, black rimmed glasses frames for Anastasio (I knew for a fact he wore contacts and he said he was getting interested in geek chic now), pretty little hair clips for Esmeralda, and a beautiful scarf for Miguela.

    I got a black haired doll for my sister and I was going to get something from work for my mom. As for Alicio? I really had no idea what to get for him. Seriously. Nothing seem to be good enough so I would have to get a bit more creative in his case…and I had three days under extreme stress to figure it out lol. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Too soon it was time to leave because as much as we knew that school =/= our souls, we knew we still needed to study (as Alicio kindly reminded us).

    The next day I had my pre-cal and English exams. I was happy to get my hardest exam (Pre-Cal) out of the way because I would’ve been stressing about it the entire week. Yes it was as hard as I thought it would be. My English exam went surprisingly well (yay!) We reviewed in my rest of my classes, blah, blah, blah…and then it was the moment everyone (including me) was waiting for: the results of the school wide test. I vividly remember what happened the last time. Miguela had beaten Carina and Carina looked like she was going to blow a gasket. I was eager to see that again, but I didn’t want anyone getting hurt.

    The hype surrounding the whole Akira versus Carina rivalry was getting crazier and crazier by the day. Carina made sure to glare at Akira every time she saw him but he only annoyed her by not paying attention at all. He told me about what happened after the snowball fight when he and Alicio walked Miranda home. He told me about Carina being there and overhearing him say that she would never get first place on the school wide test…I don’t even have to tell you she was pissed. Carina was eager to beat Akira big time.

    Anyway, the entire school was waiting for the last bell to ring so we could run to go see our test scores. However we got a surprise about a half hour before school ended. The school did the unthinkable: they let us out early. Can you believe it? Earlier, Akira, Alicio, and I decided to meet together to look at the test scores away from the huge crowd.

    However our plan, well, didn’t go according to plan. Alicio said he was going to avoid Carina so he wouldn’t lead her to us, and yet somehow that failed. Even though Alicio took a different route, he and Carina and Miguela still managed to reach Akira and me and the same time. Did Carina have ESP or something?

    Carina: There you are, dirty hippie.
    Akira: *Fake cheerful* Carina! What a total drag to see you!
    Carina: Cut the crap, Akira. Follow me…

    I expected Akira to protest but he just smirked and did what she said. Miguela, Alicio, and I followed as she led the way to the second floor when most people were crowding the first floor. Well, that’s interesting. I would’ve expected Carina would want a huge crowd around to see Akira’s demise. Maybe, just maybe she was starting to have doubts…and then we saw the test scores and she had every reason to have doubts. Yet again, Akira was number one in our class while Carina and Miguela were tied at second.

    Akira: *Mocking* Well, what do you have to say about that Carina? For all your whining, gossiping, and accusing you were wrong…yet again. Way to defend your precious Veilstone High standards.

    Let me tell you that Carina was seething from the second she saw those scores, but at Akira’s last words she snapped. Miguela and Alicio made some kind of motion to stop her but it was too late.

    SMACK!

    Carina slapped Akira across his face with all of her strength. It was loud too. Alicio and Miguela gasped while my bottom jaw almost hit floor and my eyes got as big as my fists. Akira staggered back slightly but amazingly he kept smiling in the face of Carina’s rage. This was an “oh snap” moment for the ages even though there was no one else around.

    Carina: S-shut up. *Takes a deep breath to attempt to get under control*

    At that point I gave her a dubious look. Seriously, she looked even more unglued than the last school wide test…and she didn’t even get third place this time. Sure, I’d long lost my image of Carina as this intimidating, calculated, put together person a long time ago, but now I just thought she was nuts. Too bad the rest of the school couldn’t see this. Pfft.



    Suddenly I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. I turned around to look, but I didn’t see anything…how strange. I think Alicio noticed too because he was also looking in that same direction. Hm. By that point, Carina had had enough and she stormed away—pushing Alicio aside as she went.

    Miguela: Carina, wait!

    And like a good lackey, she runs off after her. I sighed deeply. Why did I get her a Solstice present now? Once again, I had to remind myself that I would see her at work away from Carina where she could explain herself. I turned to face Akira. You could see the red imprint of Carina’s hand on his face big time now.

    Me: Are you going to be all right?
    Akira: Oh, I’ll be fine. Getting slapped by Carina was worth getting to see her in a whole new light…

    Akira was probably the only person I knew who would’ve thought being epically slapped a good thing. I just laughed. Alicio on the other hand looked suspicious.

    Alicio: Akira, do you get off on provoking people like that?
    Akira: Only people who deserve it. But I don’t think I know what you mean in this case. I didn’t really say anything more provocative than usual.
    Alicio: You know exactly what I mean. You don’t have to say anything; it’s the way you act. I agree that Carina is a witch, but I’d be careful with aggravating people…you might come to regret it.
    Akira: *Dismissive* You’re being overly analytical. This school needs to be aggravated.
    Alicio: I’m not going to argue with you about it, but if you’re doing this as a joke, it won’t end well.

    Well that definitely put an ominous spin on things…but not ominous enough for me not to be thrilled about what just happened. Carina got owned again and it was so very sweet. Akira didn’t care too much about Alicio’s words and brushed them off. Alicio didn’t look angry or anything but he still looked really skeptical. He glanced again at the spot where I thought I’d seen something and then abruptly suggested that we get some hot chocolate before we went home to do more studying. Neither one of them made any reference to the above exchange. All righty then…we’ll have to see how this plays out.

    ~ ~ ~​

    To be quite honest, I really don’t feel like going through all of those tests and guess what: I’m not going to. All you’re getting is an overview. Since it was Wednesday, I had my Current Affairs and Biology exams. Current Affairs wasn’t bad and in fact, it was the easiest exam I’d taken up to that point. It was made up of mostly short answer (because multiple choice would’ve been too easy) and had two big essays. Biology was really tough though because it was cumulative. Oh and btw, I hate labeling the organelles of a cell, although Golgi apparatus is fun to say. >.>

    On Thursday we faced our last two exams (Film and Health in my case). Both of those were difficult, but I know for a fact that I aced the Film exam. My Health exam shouldn’t have been as hard as it was, but my teacher decided to put convoluted questions on the test and questions had answers like A, B, C, A and B, B and C, all of the above, none of the above. And there was aaaaalways that one possible answer that could’ve been right but you were never sure. Not so sure I did so well on that one. We get our grades over the break (gee, thanks VHS. Way to ruin break). The only memorable thing about my Health exam was that I had a revelation about what I wanted to get Alicio. You’ll see later ^^

    I gave you that brief overview because I wanted to get to the good stuff—the big Open House. When I first heard about it, I was not looking forward to it. But when I think about meeting Anastasio and Esmeralda’s parents and seeing Alicio’s parents, Miguela’s parents, Akira’s aunt and uncle, I realized it would be really cool.

    I know you’re probably asking why I was even going to this Open House in the first place. Well, I’m going because it was required. Yes, required. Have you ever heard of such a thing? You had to tap your school ID on the way in and on the way out so you couldn’t go in and go right back out again. The punishment for missing Open House was pretty stiff—a week-long suspension—the idea of which horrified most Veilstone Students including me.

    And so at 7:30 PM, my mom Leah, my sister María and I were walking up to my school with the rest of the students and their families. María was looking around wide eyed at everything. She had decided to wear her school uniform because she said she didn’t feel right wearing regular clothes to a school. She was more than happy to come tonight because she wanted to see my school (for whatever reason).

    My mom was a lot less comfortable. She came wearing jeans and T-shirt—something that wouldn’t have been out of place at my last school—while the other parents were either wearing business suits or looked liked they stepped out of a fashion magazine. And just like me, my mom attracted negative stares. Unlike me, she just brushed it off and tried not to let it bother her. She did comment on it though.

    Mom: Wow, you really were right. These people are jerks and now I see what you had to go through the first day. How did you manage?
    Me: Me? How are you not being fazed by any of this?
    Mom: Let’s just say that dealing with your father’s family gives you a thicker skin. I’m really tired of caring honestly.

    Heh, I hadn’t thought about my worthless father in a long time, though I knew for a fact that I looked just like him. But let’s not dwell on him because you’d only get depressed at how utterly ineffective a parent can be. Anyway, I wanted my mom to meet my boss and Miguela’s mom Marisol Cruz ASAP because I knew they would get along well. And I was right ^^ It wasn’t as hard as I thought to find her which was really lucky. I know my mom was nervous about meeting her, but once they did, they started chatting away while Miguela’s father checked his phone and her sister glared at a snobbish student.

    I was happy that they were getting along so well! I’d never met her husband before, but he seemed really nice too. So I guess Miguela has two decent parents just like Alicio did. It just made it harder to believe that Miguela would be friends with someone like Carina. I decided to leave my mom and sister for a bit while I went exploring. Though I definitely wasn’t looking forward to my mom talking to my teachers, everything seemed to be going well so far considering. But then something rather unfortunate happened. In my eagerness to see if my other friends were around, I turned a corner a little too quickly and slammed into an old lady.

    CRAP! I’m sure my face turned bright red immediately. The lady was still beautiful despite being old. Her graying black hair was in this tight up-do without a strand out of place. She was wearing a chocolate brown pants suit under a long crème colored coat and sensible shoes. She had this stern, haughty expression on her face and right now unamused old lady was unamused. I was trying to apologize, but the only thing that came out was a bunch of stammering. She raised an eyebrow.

    Old lady: Have the standards here really dropped so low? I really much convince my son to send my grandchildren to private school.

    That shut me up immediately. If I was embarrassed before, it was nothing compared to now. I could tell the old lady was analyzing me with those dark brown eyes of hers. I swallowed hard. Then I heard a familiar voice yell GRANDMA! Alicio’s little brother from nowhere threw himself at the old lady. She gave another disapproving look (which Frankie couldn’t see because his face was buried in her coat). Alicio and the rest of his family walked up just then. Great, turns out I’d just crashed into my crush’s grandmother. Could this get any worse?

    Old lady: *Sniff* I see you still haven’t cut Francisco’s hair. He looks like a girl and it is absolutely ridiculous. It is no way for a Sandoval man to look!

    Frankie backed away looking wounded. It seemed like she was directing her words directly at Lena, Alicio’s mother. The entire family flinched at her tone…well, Mateo just rolled his eyes. Lena’s normally warm smile slipped a bit.

    Lena: *In her heavy accent* It’s good to see you, Ms. Phaedra.

    I wanted to run away but I was rooted to the spot. Family drama seems even more awkward when it’s not yours. Anyway Granny Phaedra pretty much ignored her and turned to Alicio and he looked nearly as embarrassed as I was.

    Granny Phaedra: Alicio! I expect you’re doing well?
    Alicio: Yes Grandmother. By the way, this is my good friend Quinn.

    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! He called me a good friend ♥ ♥ ♥

    Ahem

    Granny Phaedra *Abruptly* We’ve met, but enough about her. Please show me your classes.

    She gave him a warm smile. It was clear that she favored Alicio out her three grandchildren. I didn’t miss the sneer that she gave Mateo who returned it with a look of pure hatred. o.o
    Alicio: All right. I’ll see you later, Quinn.
    Me: *Stupidly* Bye!

    After they left, Mateo blew off some steam.

    Mateo: Did she say anything bad to you?
    Quinn: W-well, kinda. But I did accidently crash into her.
    Mateo: That’s no excuse. She’s a hag through and through.
    Emilio (their father): Mateo, I’ve already told you to show your grandmother more respect!
    Mateo: Whatever, I’m not showing her respect when she treats me like crap. I don’t even know why I had to come anyway. It’s bad enough that they made me recall Mimi.
    Lena: *Before Emilio can respond* Please you two, not here…
    Me: Um, I need to get back to my mom…

    The family said good-bye to me and I walked as quickly as I could without being even more awkward. That whole conversation brought back uncomfortable memories of my own family drama...I’ll just leave it there. I knew my little sister would have wanted to see Frankie, but I didn’t want to expose her to that. My mom and Mrs. and Mr. Cruz were still in that same spot talking. Mom looked when she saw me.

    Mom: Oh Quinn! I thought you’d gotten lost! Are you ready to go see your teachers?
    Me: Blaaargh!

    My mom and my sister both laughed as they linked arms with me and dragged me away. However it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. First up was Mr. Bach, my pre-cal teacher. The other parents asked conventional questions about the curriculum, but not my mom. She decided to be bolder.

    Mom: But don’t you think this work is way too difficult. This is excessive!
    Mr. Bach: We expect all students to be able to do work at this level. It doesn’t seem to be harming your daughter. After all, she’s improved much since her first day here…though she still has a long way to go to be competitive.

    Eh, I could live with that ^^ I thought he would be much harsher than that and he even acknowledged my improvement. Sweet! The rest of my class visits were also pretty decent. My sister was having a great time and I had no idea why. Now she looks forward to coming (good grief! Not even my complaining about school all the time deterred her >>). She even asked Mr. Bach if he would still be teaching when she got there. He smiled—something I had never seen before—and told her he hoped so.

    I got to meet other people’s parents along the way. Anastasio and Esmeralda’s dad was fabulously flamboyant and he was attracting stares all over the place. Anastasio definitely got his colorful fashion sense from his father. To my utter surprise, he gave me his card. It turned out he was a fashion designer; he said he liked my look (wut) and wanted me to come for his amateur week. Did this stuff happen in real life? Who cares? I was just happy for the invite.

    Amaranth and Hyacinth’s parents looked extremely elegant and stately. Their brother (I don’t think he was much older or younger than them) was pretty cute if I do say so myself. I didn’t get a chance to actually meet them because they were talking to Carina’s parents who I was avoiding like the plague. Carina’s mom looked like one of those high maintenance women you saw in a reality TV show. Turns out she was biracial—while her mom was black, her father was white. He seriously looked like some sort of mob boss with that suit. I got a slight surprise when I looked at Carina’s younger sister: it was Amanda, María’s friend from school. She had slightly darker hair than Carina and she didn’t have Carina’s tall forehead.

    María was about to run over to her, but I stopped her. My sister and I didn’t look much alike so I’m sure Carina didn’t know we were related (if she paid attention to her sister’s friends anyway). I’m sure Carina’s family wouldn’t want Amanda and María being friends. How do you explain that to a little girl though?

    María: Hey! I want to go see Amanda!
    Me: *Sigh* María…let’s just say that Amanda’s sister and her mom aren’t nice people.
    María: Oh…right. Frankie told me they were mean but I forgot.

    Well, that was easier than I thought. I mean, I was sorry that my sister was sad but I’m glad I didn’t have to explain to her that Carina’s family looked down on us for being poor. Whew!

    The only two people I hadn’t seen up to this point were Miguela and Akira. They were doing their ambassador duties for the clubs, but now they were on break. Akira was talking to two people who had to be his parents; the woman looked like him and the man smiled like him. Miguela just looked awkward—maybe she had embarrassed herself in front of his family. Maybe I was the only one stupid enough to do that.

    Akira: Hey Quinn! These are my parents Seito and Machi. They flew in from Hoenn and didn’t even tell me!
    Seito (his father): But that would’ve ruined the surprise!

    While her son and her husband were laughing and smiling, Machi’s face was serious.

    Machi: So you’re Quinn. We heard that you were one of the few non-morons at this school. That’s impressive given what I’ve seen so far…

    She was dead serious too, so I didn’t know whether to laugh or not. Seito seemed laidback enough, but Machi scared me a little. It felt like she was sizing me up too. I’d ask Miguela what happened later because Akira and Machi seemed so different. I knew from Akira that she was a scientist and as passionate about the environment and Pokémon as he was, but maybe she was one of those militant environmentalist people.

    Machi: Have you found what you’re passionate about?
    Me: Err…
    Seito: Machi! That’s such a heavy question to ask a fifteen year old!
    Machi: I know it is, but it’s never too early to start thinking about it. Akira and our daughter Tsubaki knew what they’re passionate when they were younger than that. Of course Akira still needs to discover how to channel his passion in a way that contributes to this world. Tsubaki already has done so by becoming a ranger in our military.
    Me: I…don’t know what I’m passionate about yet.
    Machi: Can’t say I blame you. This school doesn’t exactly foster passion for anything beyond performance and school work does it?

    Geeze, that was heavy. Thinking about my passion in life wasn’t something I did, but Machi had changed that. Now I was genuinely worried that I didn’t have something I was seriously passionate about. It must have shown on my face, because Seito spoke up.

    Seito: Don’t let my wife here scare you—after all, you’re only fifteen. You still have plenty of time for that, but she is right, you know. It’s never too early to start thinking.

    I had to smile at that. Akira’s mom and dad definitely balanced each other out. He seemed proud of both his parents.

    Miguela: Oh, Quinn! Before I forget, Alicio dropped by and invited us to hang out tonight if you wanted to come.

    Of course I wanted to come! I found my mom and sister who were sampling food from the nutrition club table. I asked if I could go and she said yes. Stoked Quinn is stoked ♥ I didn’t know where we were going but I didn’t care at all. My sister was disappointed that I wasn’t coming home tonight so I promised that I’d spend time with her tomorrow.

    We spent about another half and hour at the Open House before the crowd began to thin out. Mom and María said good night and I ran off to find everyone. The first two people I found were Alicio and Mateo who were sitting on a bench together. I started to run over to them and by the time I noticed that they were having a heart to heart, it was too late to be tactful. And once again, I was highly embarrassed.

    Alicio: Oh hey, Quinn. *Blushes*
    Me: I’m so sorry! I didn’t realize you were talking!
    Mateo: No, it’s fine. We were pretty much done anyway. And by the way, I’m sorry you had to see that earlier.
    Me: I’m sorry I was there to make the situation even more awkward. I know all about family drama though…let’s just say my sister and I weren’t the favored ones.
    Alicio: It’s not fun being the favored one either. It’s so unfair >> I told you my grandmother was awful.
    Mateo: I bet you won’t say that to her face.
    Alicio: Of course I won’t! I’m not you after all.
    Mateo: Well, I guess I don’t have anything to lose, but still.

    Mateo looked up and saw the confused expression on my face. I hated myself for even being remotely interested in their family drama especially given my own history. I decided to resist my own curiosity.

    Mateo: I guess I should explain then.
    Me: You don’t have to tell if you don’t want to.
    Mateo: No, I don’t care at all. Do you, Alicio?
    Alicio: *Shrugs* It’s your story, not mine.
    Mateo: Psh, it’s both of our stories. Well, Quinn, to give you the short version our dear grandmother hates my guts because she doesn’t think I’m her grandson. Alicio and I are biologically half brothers—same father, different mothers. Try telling that to Phaedra though…she doesn’t think much of my birth mother. Okay neither do I, but that’s not the point…

    All of a sudden, this wave of sadness hit me like a ton of bricks. Why was I interested again? Now I wish he hadn’t said anything because it was bringing back even more bad memories.

    Alicio: Quinn, are you all right?
    Me: Yeah, but…can we change the subject?
    Mateo: Oooh, I hit a sore spot. Sorry about that. Would telling you what we’re doing be a good subject?
    Me: Definitely! Are we going to the Battle District?
    Mateo: Not this time, we’re going to this park to learn more about Sinnoh mythology.
    Me: Err…okay.
    Mateo: I promise it’s more interesting than it sounds. Besides, I think Alicio will enjoy it very much.
    Alicio: …

    So that wasn’t exactly my idea of a fun night, but if Alicio would enjoy it, I was all for seeing what it was all about. Miguela and Akira found it far more exciting than I initially did. Johto had its share of mythology so I wondered how Sinnoh’s was different. Mateo released Mimi as soon as we were outside of the school. The park we were going to was slightly smaller than the one where we had the snowball fight, but somehow it was more mysterious. There were these wooden building things against a giant stone wall along the edge of the park and some wide open space. The park was fairly well lit, but it was still pretty dark. But we had a surprise in store for us. As we were walking by….

    Mystery Voice: You know it isn’t polite to walk by someone without so much as greeting them.

    We turned around to where the voice was coming from. Was it some kind of creeper? O.o I hope Mateo’s Pokémon could defend us it was.

    Mateo: Is that really who I think it is?

    The girl stepped into the light. She had long, thick wavy black hair and was pretty tall for a girl. She was wearing skinny jeans tucked into black boots which only enhanced her curvy figure, a blue sweater and a short black coat. She wasn’t fat or anything but she was definitely pretty well built (I was pathetic in comparison). I know I’ve mentioned Carina’s death stare before, but Carina had -nothing- on this girl. Her silver eyes were the most intense eyes I’ve ever seen in my life.

    Mystery Girl: It’s nice to see you again, Mateo.
     
    #33 Carmen Lopez, May 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  34. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    Yay! Carmen lives! And she revived Diaries too! ^-^

    Gotta say, awesome chapter is awesome and was definitely worth the long wait. You really know how to turn up the excitement as the semester winds down. Despite what Alicio says, I completely agree with how Akira handles Carina. Plus taking a slap like that and brushing it off is epic win in my book. I'm eager for the moment she finally breaks >:D

    Meeting everyone's relatives was an interesting event. I like how Akira's parents are like Reshiram and Zekrom yin and yang to each other. Phaedra is one angry old lady and I feel sorry for Alicio and Mateo for having to spend break with her.

    And was that Carmen jumping out of the bushes there!? =0
     
  35. Golgi, golgi, golgi, golgi, golgi, golgi, gol- *is burned*

    You are right! That is fun to say.

    As for the introduction of the Unovan, I think she sounds like an interesting character. I want to know more about Black City, and what turned Maibelle off about White Forest. Was it too 'happy dappy', as I put it?
     
  36. VEILSTONE DIARIES IS BACK OMGOMGOMG *faints*

    I can honestly say this is one of the best parts yet. Second to the PARTAY!
     
  37. Already gave you most of my feedback in chat, but I love Quinn's entries the most, they are just so fun!
     
  38. OOC: Yes, this is back. I apologize endlessly for taking so long. I'm glad that the writers block is gone and that I can move forward. I didn't like a chunk of this chapter, but hey, I'll do better next time. Hopefully I'll never take this long again.

    You know what else I'll never do again? Write an entry from Alicio's POV. Good grief <<

    BIC


    I hadn’t actually met her but I certainly knew about her. Mateo and Marshall talked about her all the time—mostly in the context of how scary she was. Both of them talked about how she seemed to be on an entirely different level when it came to training Pokémon. Since she won the Sinnoh League Tournament, I’d say it served her very well. Though Matt had said she had mellowed out significantly, she was still very imposing. She had a very even voice that I felt could either be coldly calculated or warm and gentle. Carmen Lopez’s eyes lingered on my brother as she awaited a response.

    “I gotta say that it’s really good to see you too,” Mateo obliged. “But I know you didn’t come to hear the old stories…or are you just humoring the stories now?” He added to tease her.

    “Of course not,” Carmen said lightly. “I was just walking around the park when these people invited me to come hear their myths. I told them I wasn’t interested,” she added dismissively. She almost seemed aloof.

    Something stirred in me but I pushed it away. It wasn’t unheard of for people to believe in the old stories, but they were considered quirky or downright crazy if they were fanatic. If a crazy one caught wind that a person (especially a normal person) was also into the old legends, said person was harassed immediately. Those two combined reasons are why I never told anyone I thought the old stories were true. However most people from all walks of life enjoyed hearing the legends; I doubt we’d run into any crazies.

    “Still the same as always,” Mateo smirked. “Oh well, Hearing the stories wouldn’t hurt you. Why don’t you come with us anyway?”

    For some reason, Mimi looked slightly agitated. She clenched her fists and growled slightly. It was odd because I had only seen her look that way when Reina was around…Mateo glanced at her and smirked again before turning back to Carmen. Since he didn’t seem to be alarmed, I didn’t see a need to be either.

    “I think I’ll pass,” Carmen said shaking her head. “Besides I was waiting for someone I met earlier. She was telling me all about Unova and I told her I wanted to hear more.”

    “Her name was Maiabella, wasn’t it?” Akira spoke up. Of course he would be the first one of us to say something. I was still too fascinated by Carmen, while Quinn still looked slightly intimidated (she seemed to make her body smaller like she did when she first started school. I wonder if she noticed it…cough). Miguela’s expression was unreadable so I had no idea how she felt.

    “So you’ve met her? She’s really gotten around this area then.” Carmen said. “Oh, I’ve been so rude! I haven’t even introduced myself to you. My name is Carmen Lopez.”

    “I can’t believe I get to meet the Sinnoh League Champion. We always end up taking the best field trips with Mateo,” Akira said, impressed. “I’m Akira Yamakage by the way.”

    Quinn was the second person to introduce herself which surprised me (her self-confidence was cute cough). Miguela was next up, but when I took my turn to introduce myself, Carmen looked surprised.

    “Wait, this is your brother?” she asked in the same tone as Akira did when he first met Mateo. “But he seems so stable and level-headed. Are you sure you two are related?” That had to be the first time that someone (aside from my grandmother) has ever complimented me in the presence of my older brother. Heh, I kinda liked it. Usually everyone was telling me I was the uncool one, the square one, the stick in the mud, etc. Granted I was also having trouble believing Carmen was related to Reina <<

    “Are you saying I’m unstable?” Mateo said slightly indignantly.

    “Not completely,” said Carmen lightly. “Let’s just say that you and my sister are two of a kind.” She added shrewdly when my brother’s eyes lit up. “Don’t look so surprised! I know that’s who you wanted to ask about the second you saw me.”

    “Are you sure you’re not psychic?” Mateo asked.

    “I don’t need to be psychic; you’re as obvious as she is,” Carmen answered bluntly.

    Mateo laughed again. “Well, you’re right once again. So! Has anything changed?”

    “You mean has she stopped mysteriously changing the subject or going deaf when your name comes up?” Carmen asked. “Nope, not at all. She’s as thick as ever.”

    Mateo rolled his eyes and I could tell he was frustrated. “I would’ve thought she gotten a little better by now, but I guess not. But before I drop this again, could you tell me if Reina is still in Sinnoh?”

    “I could,” Carmen said mysteriously.

    “And would you tell me if she decided to leave Sinnoh?” Mateo asked.

    Carmen thought about it for a moment and then smiled. “I might…”

    “Good!” my brother said brightly. I had to work hard not groan out loud with that one. Seriously, Reina was turning my brother into a creepy stalker and I hated her for it. “That’s all I need to know.”

    Mimi was now more agitated than ever. I’m fairly sure it wasn’t because of Carmen because Mateo would’ve mentioned if Mimi hated her too. No, it had to be something else.

    “Calm down, Mimi,” Mateo said before turning to Carmen. “Before she explodes, can we ask you for a battle with Blaziken after we’ve heard the stories? Yes, after!” he added because Mimi looked like she wanted to protest. We can’t have you getting hurt before the night’s even started.”

    So that’s why she was so upset. She sensed Carmen’s Pokémon and wanted a battle…I was always amazed at a Pokémon’s ability to do that.

    “Sure, why not,” Carmen said easily. “I’m certain that Blaziken wouldn’t mind a bit. Oh, I think that’s Maiabelle!” she added as she looked up at something in the distance.

    I looked in that direction and saw the figure of a girl and the flames from her Emboar. That thing looked even more freakish at night time. I’m guessing it looks so weird because I’ve never actually seen anything like it before. It was definitely going to take a little while to get used to it.

    “So we meet again!” said Maiabelle as she glanced at us. “It’s a small world after all.”

    “Hey, I know,” said Mateo. “If Maiabelle wants to hear the stories, would you be willing to come too?”

    Carmen sighed and rolled her eyes. “I guess...”

    “What’s this about?” Maiabelle asked curiously.

    “We were going to hear some stories about the old myths in Sinnoh,” Mateo said.

    We didn’t have to explain any further. To Carmen’s disappointment, Maiabelle’s face lit up. “Oh I’d love to! I’ve heard that Sinnoh has a rich mythology so I’ve been wanting to do something like this for ages.”

    I guess I’m coming along for the ride then,” Carmen said. “But the battle afterward will be worth it.

    Carmen was easily the most interesting of Mateo’s friends—well, as in I liked her more than Marshall or Reina. Mateo had always talked about how scary she was, and how she managed to pull off stuff that should’ve been impossible. I had to bring up the Feebas incident though.

    “Oh for goodness sakes, Mateo! Quit telling people I caught a Feebas in ten minutes!” Carmen said.

    “You mean you didn’t stroll into that cave and come back in ten minutes with a Feebas when it took Marshall and me eight days to find one?” Mateo questioned.

    “Well, yes,” she shrugged. “But it isn’t really what you’re thinking!” she added quickly when Mateo’s face lit up.

    “Care to explain?” Mateo asked. He was definitely amused but she remained composed.

    “I simply got very lucky,” she said. “There was no skill involved.”

    Beat

    Mateo’s face fell. “Well, that’s really boring. I like my story about how you intimidated a couple of Gyarados so you could catch a Feebas with your bare hands much better.”

    Carmen shook her head. ”Just what do you people think I am?”

    “Oh come on, Carmen,” Mateo said. “Surely you’ve realized how much you changed. You were downright scary before! Little kids didn’t even want to talk to you!”

    “That’s in the past now. And yes, I’ve realized how much I changed,” Carmen said dismissively. “I’ve learned that there’s more to life than becoming powerful. I’m just sorry I didn’t learn my lesson sooner.

    “Wow, it sounds like you would’ve fit right in with my hometown of Black City,” Maiabelle said. “Seriously, everything is about gaining power. You never do anything for fun. People spend their whole lives there, but I don’t recommend it. Our life expectancy is lower than those of other cities in Unova...I’m sure it’s the stress.”

    “And here I thought Veilstone High was bad,” Quinn said. “I’d want to visit a place like that just to see if it was real.”

    “Yeah, that place sounds like greed personified,” Akira said. “Only I’m not sure if I’d want to set foot in Black City.”

    Miguela and I remained silent. Listening to them talk was fascinating and all, but it made me feel inadequate. Quinn and Akira could talk because they hadn’t lived in one place their whole lives. Sure, I had been to different places, but it was nothing like what they were talking about it. That was the difference between visiting and traveling. With traveling you got to experience life in a different place than what you were used to. That was the point when I made up my mind that I would travel one day. Maybe after high school or maybe after college.

    The storytelling had already begun by the time we got to buildings on the other side of the park, As I predicted most of the people there were normal, but to my disappointment there looked to be a few weird people who could cause problems. Among some dirty looking people, I saw a guy with blonde dreadlocks who looked like he hadn’t showered in years, and a woman inexplicably wearing a tank top (with lots of armpit hair), a long skirt, and flimsy shoes despite the fact that it was snowing outside.

    The boy telling the stories was very young—like around 12. If he were trying to go for the creepy child thing, he did a good job because this kid was creeping me out. Scary looking eyes, check. Pale skin, check. The only thing he was missing was the black hair; instead his hair was a weirdly unnatural shade of red that (I hope) had to come from dye. I looked down at the floor so I could concentrate on the stories and not his strange appearance.

    He started with the Arceus’s story which was appropriate as far as these things went. Arceus created Dialga and Palkia, the rulers of space and time respectively. It’s said the to be the most powerful Pokémon in existence who can create life from nothing. It lives above the ruins of Spear Pillar on the highest peak of the Coronet Range in a different dimension. I’ve heard of people who made the treacherous journey to these icy mountains to catch a glimpse of Arceus. To that I just shook my head. What would make them think Arceus would just come down and appear to them?

    All of this was the standard mythology that most of us Sinnoh born people had heard since childhood. The legend surrounding the three great lakes of Sinnoh and the Pokémon that dwelled within, the Snowpoint legend of Regigigas, the legend of Darkrai and Cresselia. The boy also went into the lesser legends about more common Pokémon such as Froslass and Drifloon. Akira, Quinn, and Maiabelle were fascinated at hearing the stories for the first time. In fact, everyone in the room looked interested...aside from Carmen that is. Every time I would glance at her, she would be rolling her eyes or generally look bored. Even though most of us knew the stories, it was still cool to hear them told in a communal setting like this. Luckily the boy’s storytelling skills were made up for his appearance.

    Toward the end, they switched speakers. This time, this woman got up to finish out the evening and she definitely wouldn’t have looked out of place on a cover of some magazine. She couldn’t have been more different than the boy. She the perfect, long blonde hair and the big hazel eyes. She was wearing jeans, brown leather boots, a green sweater, and a brown wool coat. Also, unlike the boy, she introduced herself to us.

    “Good evening everyone!” she said in a bright, clear voice. “My name is Lindi and I would like to thank you for listening to some of the old stories. I hope you’ve enjoyed them and I hope you’re ready for our last round of legends. They all surround the most mysterious figure: Giratina...”

    If I was interested before, now I was giving my full attention. I was a bit worried that they wouldn’t discuss Giratina at all so I was relieved. I’ve been afraid of and yet enthralled with Giratina ever since an incident when I was little. Over the years, my fascination had won over my fear...mostly.

    “Out of the legendary Pokémon that originate in Sinnoh, Giratina is perhaps the most curious one of all,” Lindi said. Her hazel eyes flitted around the room to take in the setting. “They say it was created by Arceus alongside Dialga and Palkia to rule over anti-matter. It is said to live on a world on the reverse of ours. That is the customary story of course.

    “But other evidences point to Giratina not being so benign, for it is also said that Giratina was banished for violence. What kind of violence and against whom and why? The past has never given us answers for those questions therefore we can only speculate. Old texts also testify to it appearing in an ancient cemetery, but again, we don’t know where... However we do know more about the world Giratina is supposed to occupy. We can apparently access it from the Spear Pillar ruins and from a mysterious cave located in a place most have never even heard of.

    “Supposedly there is a fourth great lake of Sinnoh that is kept hidden at all times. It cannot be seen from the ground because the lake is inside of a tree covered mountain. Geographically it is not far from Lake Valor, however a number of strange occurrences which generally keeps people away. People have reported seeing apparitions of what appear to be ghostly Pokémon and hearing very strange unearthly noises.”

    I swallowed involuntarily. And was it my imagination or did the atmosphere appear to shift ever so slightly? Yeah, it had to be my imagination; I was just letting the story and the extraordinary quietness of the room get to me. My mind began to drift. At this point I’m more apt to believe the violent Giratina legend just based on my encounter with it. There was nothing benevolent or benign about it...Lindi’s final words brought me back to attention.

    “Attempt to visit that fourth lake if you dare,” she said with a smile and the room immediately burst into talking. Some oddball people started talking to each other about conspiracy theories surrounding the hidden lake while the daredevils in the group talked about going on an excursion to see the forth lake. I wasn’t sure if they believed the stuff about Giratina, but it would still be an adventure.

    Only Carmen was dismissive.

    “Well, that was boring,” she said as she got up and stretched. She attracted a few glares which she ignored.

    “I thought it was awesome,” Maiabelle said as she smiled. She was also attracting quite a bit of attention thanks to her Emboar named Rossie who she recalled earlier because it was too big to really fit in the room. “Unova’s folklore isn’t nearly as strong.”

    “I thought it was cool too!” said Miguela while Quinn agreed with her.
    “I want to do stuff like this more often. It’s a shame they didn’t talk about that legend about how human and Pokémon would eat together. I never really understood how that was different than what we did now...”

    “The legends gave me a new respect for Sinnoh honestly,” said Akira. “I wonder just how linked Sinnoh and Hoenn are. It has to go beyond just Regigagas legend. Maybe this place isn’t as bad as I thought.”

    “Heh, maybe I don’t think they’re anything special because I grew up with the stories,” Carmen said. “I grew up around Lake Verity so the villagers would talk about Mesprit all the time. It drove my Dad and me crazy. My sister Reina and my brother Ramón would be all over this though.” She added in a rather disparaging tone. Uh...yeah. She wasn’t even directing those comments at me and I was slightly offended.

    “What about you Alicio?” my brother asked, but I wasn’t listening to him.

    I was thoroughly distracted by the scariest old lady I had ever seen. Worse yet, she walked right up to me and completely violated my personal space. She reeked of onions and garlic so much it made my eyes water. Honestly she looked homeless; the dirty clothes, the awful skin, the wild graying brown hair and the grotesque looking nails were all telling. This woman was disgusting. She reached out to touch my hand and I immediately pulled away like it was a knee jerk reaction. She didn’t seem fazed by my blatant rudeness; not that I would’ve cared anyway.

    “I...sense it,” she said in a raspy voice. We were about the same height so she could look me straight in the eye with those clear, blue eyes. Her breath smelled of onions too. I tried to take a step back but she only moved closer to me.

    And here I was thinking we wouldn’t see any crazy people. I was dead wrong. “Sense what?” I obliged to see if she would go away faster.

    “Giratina...”

    “Uh...” was the only thing that came out of my mouth. As soon as she said the name, I knew something else was off about her besides her hygiene. I tried to show only confusion to hide just how nervous I was now. How could she have known that I, out of all the people in this room, had a connection to Giratina? Could she read minds? I’m fairly sure I wasn’t fooling my brother though. While everyone looked as confused as I hoped I looked, Mateo knew something was up.

    Before the old woman could say anything else, her granddaughter who had the same bright blue eyes came and pulled her away. “Grandma!” she hissed. “Stop it! You’re making him feel uncomfortable!”
    The old lady’s demeanor changed at once. Now she was jovial. “Oh, ho, ho,” the lady laughed. “You’re right! He does seem a bit of an uptight one. Heh, heh heh...”

    She hit me on the back as she allowed her granddaughter to lead her away; but not before eyeballing Carmen who rolled her eyes again.

    “Okay, enough of this,” Carmen said bluntly. “Normally I’m not this impatient but this is too much. Can we get to our battle now?”

    Before Mateo could even respond, Mimi put out her fist and growled—her way of saying yes. “According to Mimi we can,” said Mateo.

    Good, because I really didn’t feel like explaining in front of Carmen. She was cool and all, but there was no way I was opening myself up for that kind of scorn. I don’t think you could have a decent conversation about that with her.

    Normally, anyone within earshot would’ve been all over watching two people have a battle, but not this time. Everyone was much more focused on sharing their conspiracy theories with each other. I decided that the night was all right so far, but it would’ve been a lot more fun it if weren’t for all the weirdos around. This battle was going to more than make up for it though. Carmen, Mateo, and Mimi led the way into the middle of the park where they would have plenty of space. Maiabelle released Emboar who Mateo admired.

    “Wow...I’ve never see this before,” Mateo said in wonder. “I’d use my Pokédex on it, but I haven’t got the upgrade to let me identify Unova Pokémon yet.

    “I would’ve thought you’d be on top of that, Mateo,” Carmen said as she pulled out her own pink Pokédex. I found that funny because I’d expect her to have a navy one like Mateo did.
    Emboar, the mega fire pig Pokemon, the dex said. It can throw a fire punch by setting its fists on fire with its fiery chin. It cares deeply about its friends.

    “I like the Sinnoh Pokédex better than the Unova one,” said Maiabelle. She pulled hers out to show us. “At least yours doesn’t look like some kind of weird cell phone thing.”

    “So Emboar is a fighting type?” Mateo asked eagerly.

    “Yep! It was my first and only choice for a starter. I had to manhandle two boys to get it from Professor Juniper,” Maiabelle said proudly. “I love my fighting types so there was no way I was letting either of them have Tepig.”

    “You’re going to love this battle then,” Mateo said. “I specialize in fighting types too.”

    “The night just keeps getting better and better,” said Maiabelle happily. Rossie grunted in appreciation.

    Mateo and Carmen faced each other. His eyes were blazing with the excitement that only came when he faced a worthy opponent. Her eyes were even colder than the snow on the ground. I remember my brother said he felt like there was fire in his veins whenever he battled. I imagined the exact opposite for Carmen. Ice cooled her mind and body so she could be coldly rational.

    “Ready to go, Mimi,” Mateo asked, but it was unnecessary. She was itching to go since she first set eyes on Carmen.

    Meanwhile Carmen was silent as she pulled the Pokéball from her belt and enlarged it. She released the Pokémon within. Blaziken appeared in a flash of light as it somersaulted into the sky before landing gracefully on its feet. The Pokémon looked as coldly focused as its trainer. As I looked at the way she stared down Mateo and Mimi, I saw for the first time why he and Marshall found her so scary.

    “Wait, wait,” Mateo said as he narrowed his eyes. “Where’s your ring? You know we can’t do this thing properly without it!”

    Carmen reached into her pocket and pulled out an elaborate silver ring and held it between her thumb and forefinger. “I only put it away because I was tired of the random people asking me for battles. You have no idea how tiresome that is.”

    “No, I don’t know how tiresome that is, but that’s not the point,” Mateo protested. “You earned it and you should be proud of it. Besides, I’m not battling you until you put it on.” He added as though she had been begging him or a battle. That little tidbit didn’t escape her attention but she humored him anyway.

    “All right.” Carmen slipped the ring onto her left middle finger. I know if I were a trainer, I’d think twice about asking Carmen for a battle even if she didn’t have the Pokémon League Champion ring on her finger. “Let’s get this show on the road, shall we?”

    At her words, fire erupted from Blaziken’s wrists and Mimi’s head flame seemed to burn a little brighter. Her fists also erupted in flames. I guess you could say they were fired up.

    Mateo and Mimi decided to make the first move. “Flame Charge, Mimi!”
    The Infernape cloaked her body in angry orange flames and charged Blaziken. I knew for a fact that Blaziken was slower than Mimi, but Carmen must’ve trained him well. Blaziken moved so quickly that the attack only grazed him. Either way, Mateo had gotten what he wanted: the speed increase from Flame Charge. Not that Mimi was done anyway.

    “Feint!” Mateo called out.

    Carmen eyes flashed. “Substitute!”

    Mimi’s fists glowed white as she charged Blaziken. The attack looked as though it scored a direct hit, but “Blaziken” disappeared in a puff of smoke. She had only broke the Substitute. The real Blaziken appeared a second later cloaked in a weird green glow to attack Mimi from above. She dodged the hit, but only barely. I was amazed at how fast Blaziken moved even though it hadn’t used Flame Charge or Agility. The green glow faded when Blaziken hit the ground.

    “No way...” Akira said. “Is that what I think it is?”

    I had no idea what he was talking about, but Maiabelle did. “If you mean Speed Boost, then yeah, that’s exactly what that was.”

    “Speed Boost? What’s that?” Quinn asked.

    “It’s an ability that increases a Pokémon’s speed over the course of the battle,” Akira explained. “It’s a very potent ability on something as powerful as her Blaziken. Most of his species has the Blaze ability so Carmen’s is very rare.

    “So it’s just going to keep getting faster and faster?” Miguela gasped.

    “Oh, there’s a limit to how fast it can go, but that hardly matters here,” Maiabelle said. “Mimi, maybe naturally faster, but Blaziken closes that gap pretty quickly and can sustain its speed longer. Mateo will have to end this quickly; the longer this battle goes on, the less likely he is to win.”

    “He failed to mention Speed Boost whenever he talked about how strong this thing was,” I said before turning back to the battle.
    Mateo had used Flame Charge a couple of more times and then Agility to make sure Mimi could keep up with Blaziken’s rapidly increasing speed. It was an awesome fight to see. Mimi put her fluid movements up against Blaziken’s ninja like movements and they both appeared to be going toe to toe.

    “Thunderpunch!” said both Carmen and Mateo at the same time.
    Mimi and Blaziken’s attacks met in midair. For two seconds it seemed as though Mimi and Blaziken were magnetically attached to each other, but then Mateo smiled.

    “Acrobatics!” Mateo called out.

    Without even so much as getting into position, Mimi electrified her other fist and did some kind of leap frog maneuver on Blaziken which sent him flying toward the ground hard. The snow failed to fully cushion his fall; we all winced at the dull thud.

    “I always admire how Mimi can attack from just about any position,” Carmen said lightly.

    Before, Mateo and Mimi could celebrate, Blaziken fired off a jet of flame from his beak while it was still on the ground. It was clear what that Flamethrower meant. This battle isn’t over. Apparently Blaziken was tougher than I thought because it stood up and was raring to go. Speed Boost activated again. Blaziken used his strong legs to practically fly at Mimi who did a tumble to dodge. It was getting difficult to actually follow their movements now as they kicked and punched at each other. Blaziken seemed to have the upper hand—or rather he seemed to be getting the most hits in. Even so, Mimi’s unpredictable moves made her difficult to counter. I watched Blaziken throw a blindingly fast Blaze Kick at Mimi which she did a flip to narrowly dodge. As I look at the determination etched into both Carmen and Mateo’s faces, I wondered what was going on in their heads. I’m betting the battle in their minds was just as interesting as what was going on right in front of us.

    Blaziken’s claws extended and became surrounded by ghostly-looking energy. He scored two direct hits on Mimi with the second hit causing more damage. She collapsed to the ground while clutching her left arm and wincing with pain. I was sure the battle was over then, Mimi started growling and her eyes began to glow blue. Her pupils shrank. She almost looked feral. My mouth fell open. I had seen Mimi activate Blaze before, but I was in for a shock. Her head flame grew slightly taller and turned blue. Everyone around me gasped. Even Carmen was wide eyed.

    “That might be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,” she said in wonder.
    “It won’t help you win, but it’ll be fun to watch.”

    She was definitely right on the second part. Mimi’s head flame grew until it cloaked her entire body. She charged at Blaziken who responded with a Flare Blitz as well. The heat was so intense that if there were any snow left, it was melted. I thought the place would be turned into a muddy mess before I realized it wasn’t actually grass the Pokémon were battling on, but some kind of turf. The sophistication of this battle was lost on me for sure. I saw how my brother went through specific techniques and fighting styles with his Pokémon, but I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I can say that this battle could’ve been a freestyle with the way that the Pokémon seemed to be obeying their trainer’s thoughts.

    I saw Mateo’s eyes flash with sudden intuition. Unless I was very much mistaken, he saw an opening. “Close Combat, Mimi!”

    With the flames on her head, hands, and feet still burning blue, she punched and kicked whatever piece of Blaziken she could hit. Blaziken adeptly dodged the hits, but it couldn’t last forever. Mimi caught him with a powerful right hook that sent Blaziken flying yet again. The Infernape took the opportunity to finish off Blaziken when he hit the ground, but Carmen knew better.

    “Substitute and then use Thunderpunch!”

    I think it took a grand total of two nanoseconds for Mateo to realize that this was bad. Mimi successfully attacked Blaziken’s substitute, but couldn’t defend itself from the subsequent attack. Blaziken quickly got to his feet and smashed his electrified fist into Mimi’s chest. She immediately fell to her knees as the electrical current traveled over her body. She tried to get up, but the pain wouldn’t let her and full paralysis set in. Her flames slowly turned back to orange again, before collapsing on the ground.

    Mateo rushed over to Mimi and picked her up. “Good battle, Mimi.” He pulled off the Pokéball that hung around his neck and enlarged it. Upon seeing her Pokéball, Mimi freaked and protested. She paid dearly for the out burst when full paralysis set in again. “Fine, fine.” He put her down and got her some Full Restore to hold her over until she got to the Pokémon Center.

    “Mimi has definitely gotten stronger,” Carmen said. “That was a smart move teaching her Feint. It forced me to waste Blaziken’s health in creating a substitute instead of using Protect until Speed Boost built up.”

    “Also, that had to be the coolest Blaze ability ever,” Akira said. “I mean the entire battle was awesome, but man...”

    “That’s only a recent development,” Mateo said. “The first time I saw her flames turn blue, I was shocked. No one I’ve talked to has ever heard of it happening, so that’s even cooler.” Mimi managed to look smug even in her exhaustion.”

    “Well, that was a fun battle,” Maiabelle said. “Mateo, I trust this isn’t the last time we’ll talk about fighting types, right?”

    “Definitely not,” he said. “You already know I’m not familiar with Unova Pokémon so I definitely want to see more. Do you know about the gym in East Veilstone...?"

    They exchanged information, and I had to admit that I wished that Mateo was somehow attracted to Maiabelle...and then I remembered that she was twenty-three and my hope died in an instant. And I also remembered that I barely knew her...oh well. Surely that had to be other girls out there for him that weren’t Reina, right?

    “Time for us to be off then,” Carmen said. “Maiabelle, the slots are calling my name if you don’t mind us going there.”

    “Oh of course I don’t mind,” Maiabelle said brightly. “I love that part of Veilstone so much. It’s not as glitzy as Nimbasa City, but it has more character for some reason.”

    Carmen recalled Blaziken and pulled another Pokéball from her belt. She released a beautiful Gardevoir who looked nearly as powerful as Blaziken did. “It was very nice meeting you all,” said Carmen with a little head nod. In the next second, the psychic Pokémon had teleported Carmen and Maiabelle away.

    “Right,” said Mateo abruptly as he turned back to me. “Now tell us what really happened with that old lady.”

    “Hey, I almost forgot about that,” Miguela said. “I was wondering about that myself.”

    I sighed deeply and didn’t say anything for a second. I wasn’t sure how Miguela, Akira, or Quinn would react to what I was about to say—I especially didn’t want Quinn to think I was weird. But for whatever reason I decided to take the risk anyway.

    “It’s kinda complicated,” I began. “I’ve been the most fascinated with Giratina out of all the legends since I was seven...since I encountered it.”

    “I...what?” Mateo said. He was as incredulous as everyone else.

    “You took the words out of my mouth,” said Akira. “I never would’ve pegged you for something like that.”

    “”Yeah, I guess it is unexpected. To begin the story, it was all Mateo’s fault I saw Giratina anyway,” I started.

    “My fault?” he repeated.

    “Yes,” I answered. “Remember when that vacation we went on back then? You thought it would be fun to wandering around outside in the deep fog and then abandon me!”

    “We were only two minutes from the hotel!” Mateo protested. “How was I supposed to know you’d get that lost? I only wanted to scare you.”

    “You succeeded big time,” I said darkly. “I ended up getting the buildings confused so I didn’t realize I was so close. I started walking...and walking...and walking. The fog wasn’t letting up at all and the next thing I knew, I was in this weird cemetery.” I had definitely wet myself by this point too because I kept thinking something would attack me. No need to make myself look like total dweeb by telling them that part.

    “I didn’t realize you had even vanished...” Mateo said softly. I think this was the only prank he regretted playing on me...that didn’t stop him from messing with me in the future though. But back to the story.
    “I was about to scream for help when I heard th-this noise.” I wanted to describe what I heard, but even years later I couldn’t find the words. “It felt like the fog was closing in on me, and then the before my eyes, I saw the outline of this huge thing with these claw-like wings and six legs. And then I saw the glowing red eyes. I don’t think I’ve been so scared in my entire life...”

    Mateo pulled out his phone and showed them a picture of the Giratina that I saw and everyone gasped.

    “That’s the creepiest thing ever!” Quinn said. “And you saw that at seven!?”

    “Yep,” I said. “I don’t remember much after that because I passed out. When I woke up, my family and other people I didn’t know where standing around me. They said I was shaking and trembling which they assumed because I was scared from being lost. I didn’t tell a soul what actually happened. Back then it was because I was afraid Giratina would get me. Later it was because I thought people would think I was nuts.”

    “But you said you were fascinated by Giratina...” Miguela said.

    “Yeah, that is rather odd,” I conceded. “Most kids probably would’ve needed therapy for life after that, but out of sight, out of mind for me. I started doing as much research as a seven year old could on Giratina. I thought it was cool, but that doesn’t mean I ever wanted to see it again though. I’m almost positive it’s malevolent after the legends I heard tonight. To this day, I still sleep with a nightlight when I’m by myself, and I hate fog and cemeteries. I’ll just be content with having Giratina on my clothes and stuff instead.”

    “So why did the old woman freak you out so much?” Akira asked.

    “Did you see the same old lady that I did?” I said in disbelief. “She was scary! And how on earth did she know I had any connection with Giratina? You don’t think Giratina did...something to me, do you? Something that marked me somehow...”

    Nobody had any answers for that one.

    “Well, that certainly explains a lot,” Mateo said. “I always wondered why you suddenly became interested in the thing. We can talk some more later, but I want to get Mimi to a Pokémon Center now.” He allowed her to ride his back as a reward for the awesome battle.

    “Oh, right,” Akira said. “It is getting pretty late, and Miguela you still need to get Lucas.”

    “Right, I do need to get Lucas,” said Miguela in a rather suspicious tone. “Bye everyone,” she added cheerfully as she pulled Akira away.

    Okay, that was a little too obvious. I had a sneaking suspicion that she somehow knew that I liked Quinn and that pretty much confirmed it.

    “I-I guess I should be going now,” Quinn stammered. Her face turned bright red.

    “”W-wait,” I said shakily. “I don’t want you walking the whole way by yourself. Can we at least walk you to the trolley stop or something?” I hope Mateo wasn’t watching too closely or he’d be picking on me the rest of the night and tomorrow.

    Quinn broke the silence as we walked. “So when do you leave for your Grandmother’s?”

    “Tomorrow unfortunately,” I groaned as I remembered.

    “Oh, wow,” she said in surprise. “I guess I should do this now then.

    “Do what?” I asked. For some reason I was getting excited.

    “I...um, got you this,” she said in a smaller voice. She reached into her book bag and pulled out a rectangular box. “I got it before the open house tonight. I was going to give it to you when I gave presents to everyone else, but since you’re leaving tomorrow...” She trailed off.

    “You’re better than me. I was going to give everyone their stuff when I got back from break,” I said. She handed me the box which I eagerly opened. I mouth fell open. Inside was this handsome leather-bound notebook with a full color image of Giratina etched into it. I was full of lined paper. The notebook was thick so I could use it for good while.

    “Even before tonight I noticed that you were into Giratina...and I noticed that you like to write more than you like to type,” she said. “I hope it isn’t creepy.” She added when she saw Mateo look at me and smirk.

    “No, it’s not creepy at all,” I said with a huge smile on my face. “This will likely be the best present I get this Solstice.” I blurted out without thinking. It only made her blush more. No way was this actually happening... “I’m just sorry that I don’t have your gift right now.”

    “It’s fine!” Quinn said. “No one else has their gifts either. I was planning on gift exchanging tomorrow.”

    We got to the trolley stop way too soon for my liking. I paid her fare and watched her pick a seat in the middle of the trolley. She waved at me as it pulled away.

    “What did I tell you?” Mateo said as he yanked off my hat and rustled my hair.

    “You were right,” I admitted. Before now, I wasn’t sure if she liked me back. Mateo told me she did, but I just didn’t know. It was so cool that she noticed that stuff about me. This was just too right...I was going to wait a little while before I asked her out again, but now waiting was the last thing I wanted to do.

    While we were at the Pokémon Center getting Mimi fully healed, Mateo teased me for not putting up the notebook. “I bet if I glued that to your hand, you wouldn’t care.”

    “Nope, not at all,” I said happily.

    “Sooo...” Mateo began as he reclined back in his chair. I didn’t like the sound of that ‘so.’ “What are we doing for this date?”

    “What do you mean by ‘we?’ I asked. “No, see, Mateo this maybe the most awkward moment of my life.”

    “Yeah, I know,” he said easily. He grinned broadly.

    “And that’s why you’re not allowed within a mile of our date,” I said flatly.

    “Heh heh heh. We’ll see about that,” he said as Mateo put his arm around my shoulders.

    I rolled my eyes. Trust Mateo to want to witness me potentially make a fool of myself. But speaking of the date, I’d have to figure out exactly what Quinn liked. If this date was going to be awkward, we may as well have fun, right?”

    “Oh, oh,” said Mateo excitedly. “You know what else we need to do, Alicio? We need to go on an adventure as brothers!”

    Believe it or not, I was stupid enough to fall for that one. “That actually sounds fun! Where do you want to go?”

    “We should totally go to the fourth lake!” Mateo crowed as he punched me in the arm.

    “Shut up.”
     
  39. O M G

    *Luckii dies of joy

    IT'S BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!

    Ahem

    *Luckii rises from the dead because he is immortal

    Wow. It's been too long since the last diaries entry. And this new one almost makes up for the wait! Alicio's POV is my second favourite POV, to Quinn's.

    DID I MENTION I LOVE YOU
     
  40. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    Thank you Carmen, you are responsible for my second fangasm today (the first was the subbed KH3D trailer). This chapter was just amazing! My favorite part was the battle between Mimi and Blaziken. The blue Blaze was an amazing innovation to add to Mimi's uniqueness. This was well worth the wait! ;D

    My only critique was that I noticed some grammatical errors but nothing to take away from the story. I'm excited for whatever you have planned next!
     

Share This Page