When he came into my life, it was like the sun rose in my heart. I felt like I finally had a purpose in life. I was meant to love him. Imagine that! Me, in love? Not the disasters and destructions that was my life. The hate I felt towards myself was replaced by the love I felt for him. All my life I put distance between the world and myself. I vowed never to get attached to anyone but my parents. I broke that vow the moment I saw him and his brothers.
My dad was new at all of this. He has only been through 5 schools with me. I love him so much, but I still think I should have stayed with my mom. Better to only make one parent suffer with me. I could see what I was already putting my dad through. Don’t get me wrong, they both love me and understand that I can't help it. At least, that’s what they say. I still see the pain and tiredness in their eyes every time we move.
So, as always, we had a quiet breakfast before the newest school. I wasn't surprised when my dad broke the silence to give his useless pep talk.
"Now Lina, I have a good feeling about this one. These people seem nice. This one could be different." I could hear the hopelessness hidden in his tone.
"Sure dad, whatever you say,” II said in a flat tone. I knew it was false hope.
He sighed and wished me luck. Then he left for his new job at the local library. We both love to read, so it was the perfect job for him.
I sat at the table for a few minutes in total silence. Alone, how I should be. When I could no longer do nothing, I grabbed my school bag and headed out the door.
My car was a small white Saturn. It didn’t matter that there were dents in it; as long as it got me to where I needed to go. The only problem was the door handle. It some times got stuck and you had to really pull it to get it open. Of course, this happened when I tried to open it. As I was pulling on the door, I saw my reflection in the window. I clenched my jaw as I looked at my perfect face. My beautiful features were like a slap in the face. The deep blue eyes, the slightly curly dirty blond hair, the perfect tan cheeks, and the thin rosy lips all reminded me of what a monster I am. My cursed beauty shows what I really am. A Siren. I stopped my line of thought before it could lead to the worst part. I shuddered just at thinking about almost thinking about it. I shook my head, trying to dislodge the thought.
It took me a few tries but I opened he door and started the car. (I was careful not to look at the window) I backed out of the short drive way, and took the route my dad showed me. It was the shortest way to school.
Ten minutes later I drove into the school parking lot and pulled the red hood of my jacket over my head; no need to start the frenzy just yet. I walked into the large school building. It looked sort of like a prison. "Fitting” I thought and forced a smile back.
I saw a sign that said,"Office" and went through the door next to it. The office was small with one long desk that filled most of the room. There was a man behind the desk with a name tag that read: Mr. Lots. I cursed at my bad luck. This would have been a lot easier with a woman.
I sighed and took down my hood. I heard the quick intake of breath as he studied my appearance. I kept my eyes on my shoes. I spoke quickly and quietly, "my name is Lina berry. I’m new here and I need my class schedule." I waited patiently for him to compose himself.
Ten seconds later, he cleared his throat and stammered,"Oh...right. We are, uh...I mean were, expecting you."
He scrambled with his papers on thee desk and handed me one. Without looking up, I took the paper and left while I said,” thanks so much. Goodbye now."
Today was going to be torture. Even though I’ve been through this so many times, it never gets any better. I could feel the stares all around me, and I could picture all of the students’ faces. I never looked up on my way to my first class. I had already memorized my schedule and knew I had social studies first. I only looked away from my shoes to read the door numbers.
When I got to room 103 the bell had rung already and I was late. Great, now I would have a grand entrance. This was just perfect.
I swallowed loudly and stepped into the classroom. It became abruptly silent as everyone looked at me. Again I didn’t look up from the floor as I walked to the teacher. At every new school, I never looked at any of the students. Only if there was a problem, would I look at them. That was one of my ways of staying detached. How could I miss anyone if I never saw them? I only looked at the teachers. It was unavoidable. So, as I looked the chubby social studies teacher in the eyes, I said,” my name is Lina berry. I’m new here. Where would you like me to sit?" it was always good to end in a question so they would have to respond.
Women compose themselves much faster than men, around me. It only took her five seconds.
"Oh, hello. I am ms. short. You can sit in the free seat at the back of the room." she finished with a sweet smile. I was going to have to be careful with this one. She seemed like a good person, and she might actually not hate me. I couldn't risk liking her.
I power walked to the back row of seats and sat down. Of course, I felt everyone's eyes follow me to my seat. Throughout the whole class I stared at 3 places: my desk, Ms. Short, and the blackboard.
All my morning classes went in the same fashion as the first. Then lunch came. It’s the best and worst time of the day. It’s the best part because can sit alone at a table and think about whatever. It’s the worst time because all the students seem to think it's the perfect time to bug me with their greetings.
I walked into the cafeteria and quickly found the lunch line. I bought a fruit plate and water. I then found an empty table to sit at. I surprised myself by thinking about my secret. I usually steer clear about those thoughts but today was different somehow.
I was born a siren. I am the most beautiful person on the planet. (That is, unless there are any other sirens) I hate it. The only physical thing I like about myself is my eyes. I have eyes like the sea on a sunny day.
Anytime I sing I have a power over the opposite sex. I could make them do anything but that power disgusts me. My singing is beautiful and I used to sing all the time when I was little. It was my favorite thing to do apart from swimming. I don’t do either anymore. I sighed to myself at the thought of swimming, and then I jumped in my seat when a voice said,” hello!"
I nearly looked at the source of the voice in surprise, but I caught myself in time.
"I’m sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. I’m Justin."
"Hello, I’m Lina," I said quietly, without looking up.
"Wow, you're really shy aren’t you"
"No I am not" I said in a stronger voice,” I just..." I couldn't think of how to finish the sentence. Why didn't I just say,
"Hello" and move seats like I would normally do? What was wrong with me today?
"You just what?" pressed on Justin.
"People tend not to like me so I don't bother." I answered lamely with a shrug at the end. I wish I could say,” I’m a monster who ruins everyone's lives and I hate myself for it. So I don't usually enjoy pointless conversations like this one." that was the truth but I have to keep my secret. Plus, that was scary and harsh.
"I can't imagine someone not liking you!" Justin said and then laughed a carefree laugh. "I wish I could laugh like that." I thought vainly to myself. "No, I don’t deserve to laugh." I set myself straight mentally.
"Okay, well it was nice meeting you," I said in a dry tone and turned my back to eat my food. Hopefully he got the hint.
"Okay...you too. Bye," said a discouraged Justin.
Lunch went by with only a few more interruptions. Three more boys introduced themselves. This time I did it write? I just said "hello" and turned my back. My classes after lunch went the same as the morning ones. The exception was science. It was always a problem in every school. Shared desks. Of course with my luck I got a guy lab partner. I didn't look at him, but he smelled wonderful.
The school day finally ended and I drove home relieved. My dad was already home when I got there. He went on about how much he loved his new job. He only paused to go get his new name tag. It was black with golden letters that read: Ronald berry the librarian. When he was done his recap, he turned on me.
"It was good," I lied easily, "I have one teacher who seems nice."
"That’s great!" my dad beamed at me.” what did I say! I told you they were nice here!"
I smiled and gave my dad a hug. “You did tell me that. Thanks so much dad!" i said; my words muffled by his shirt. There was no need for my dad to worry about me so I never tell him how tough it is at school for me.
The next week went by slowly. Each day was as boring as the day before. During the weekend my dad brought home some books and I read all through the weekend. I was in a good mood on Monday because I had just finished a good book. Through my morning classes my lips were slightly lifted. Almost into a smile but a book couldn't make me smile. It takes a lot more than that.
At lunch I noticed the cafeteria was a bit quieter than usual. I knew that was a bad sign. Quietness was usually grouped with anticipation. My worries were proved correct. A girl was walking by my table when she dropped her food skillfully all over my white shirt. I stood and tried to brush the food off. Unfortunately, it was pasta with tomato sauce.
"Oh, I’m sooo sorry. It just flew right out of my hands." said the girl in a tone that clearly showed she wasn't sorry.
I looked her straight in the eyes and said in a very serious voice,"Oh, that’s quite alright. I deserved that. It wasn't unexpected."
Shock swam across her face and across the girls next to her. I looked around me at the sea of faces. My little rule about looking at everyone didn't really matter at that moment. I wanted them to see that I really did deserve it. (Plus I knew I would have to move on soon)
Then I looked into the eyes of the most beautiful boy I have ever seen. I stopped breathing and stared in disbelief. Tears filled my eyes. Could this really be? He was not as beautiful as me but it was definitely was beyond human beauty. He stared back at me with confused filled eyes. Those beautiful eyes. They were dark, dark brown, almost black. He was extremely pale but still gorgeous. He broke our gaze to look to his side. Hooked as I was, I followed his gaze and saw 2 more boys with equal brilliance. I took a step back in surprise. He met my eyes again, but this time with concern in his eyes along with confusion. That’s when I realized that I hadn't been breathing and now I was swaying back and forth. I lost consciousness as I hit the floor.
I was lying on some kind of bed. It was an uncomfortable bed and I was in an awkward position on it. I could hear 2 voices talking but I couldn't understand what they were saying. Instead of opening my eyes and seeing where I was, I stayed still and tried to make sense of things. Then it all came rushing back. His dark brown eyes, all of 3 of their beautiful faces. I needed to know more about them.
I opened my eyes and shifted into a better position. Then I saw that I was in a nurse’s room. There was a boy and a woman staring at me.
"I’m okay;” I said in my most assuring voice that I saved for my dad.” I didn't eat much, so when I got surprised, I fainted. I’m sorry if I scared you." it was a lie of course but I would sound insane if I said,” I forgot to breathe because I think I may have found another monster like me." I would be sent to an asylum for that comment, so I gave that cover story.
"So you don't have a headache or feel dizzy?" asked the worried nurse as she checked my temperature with her hand.
"No I’m fine, really can I go now?" I asked. But I realized I didn't know what period it was.
"Wait, what period is it now?" I asked.
"9th!" piped up the boy I didn’t know.
"Thanks" I said and smiled at him. I looked at his face and it was an odd feeling looking him in the eyes while I was talking to him. I hadn't done this in so long. This was so different. I was different. The thought of me not being the only one of my kind, was making me different. I realized I was still smiling and I didn't want to stop.
I had to find these 3 boys and talk to them. Secrecy was always my main concern but right then I was thinking about how I would tell them my secret.
I rushed out of the room and kept my eyes up as I walked through the halls. They were empty except for the occasional person getting a drink. I stopped where I was as I remembered that I was wearing a destroyed shirt and I didn't have my school bag. I ran back to the nurses.
She smiled at me when I came in and handed me my bag and a new shirt. I smiled in response but my face was full of embarrassment. I took off my shirt and put on the new one. It was blue and matched my eyes. I ran back out of the room without a thank you; the only things on my mind were the three boys.
"Maybe I have classes with them and never knew because of that stupid rule" I thought hopefully.
I walked into the science room and searched all the rows of faces. Surprise flickered in each of their faces as they saw my eye contact. When my search ended at the desk I sat in I saw him. He was pale and had longish brown hair that went slightly in his eyes. He was the one I first saw today. Those dark brown eyes stared back at me without blinking. His eyes grew careful as I walked to our desk.
I sat down in my chair. I still didn't look away and my smile grew bigger.
"Hi, I’m Lina. What’s your name?" I asked enthusiastically.
"I’m James. James Bellborn. I saw you faint earlier, what happened?” he said all of this with no recovery time and with a magical voice. Now it was me who needed recovery time. Three seconds later, i said,"just got extremely surprised.
"So who were the other two guys I saw you sitting with?” I needed to know more.
"Oh, those were my two brothers, Charley and Patrick. They’re both older than us," he said in a strangely reluctant tone, as if he might regret telling me that.
"How long have you lived here?" I asked eagerly.
"Just one year. My family moves around a lot.” he said and he smiled at me as if he had made a joke. My heart skipped a beat. He has to move around too! He must be a siren and same with his brothers. Hope filled my heart. I had to be certain though; I needed to test him somehow.
I tried to think of all my siren powers and how I could test them. I could splash salt water on him and watch the color of his eyes change. But I didn't have any salt water with me. I know what to do! I’ll ask a question at a volume humans can't hear and if he answers the question I’ll know. Sirens have better hearing than regular people. I bit my lip in anticipation.
"So do you like this class?” my voice shook a little with nerves.
"Yeah, it's okay." he replied a little confused by the sudden passion behind the simple question.
I almost fainted again.” I knew it!" I exclaimed.
"Knew what?!" he said startled.
"You’re like me aren't you? I just asked that question in a volume regular humans can't hear. You’re unnaturally beautiful too! It all adds up! Don’t worry, I’m like you, so I won't tell anyone." I couldn't stop myself. I just blurted it all out.
"No, I think you’re confused," he said shaking his head,"Yeah, I’ll admit I’m different, but I don't think we're the same."
"No! You have to be. I can't go back to being alone after this. You have to be the same!" I started to panick. It was too late, I had already changed. I couldn't go back; not now.
"I’m sorry. What are you? What's the problem?" he asked; extremely confused and worried now.
Tears filled my eyes. This is horrible. How was I going to find my way out of this mess? I started to break down. Silent sobs shook my chest.
He stared at me in disbelief. He grabbed my arms and shook me lightly. His hands were ice cold. I looked into his eyes and saw my sad eyes in his. Those eyes calmed me down a bit.
"So, if you’re not like me then what are you?"
His hands dropped from my sides and he looked around the room. Then I saw a lot of students watching us. They weren't in hearing range but they had obviously seen my short break down. They must think I’m insane.
"Do you think we could talk about this somewhere else?" James asked.
"I guess, where?" I said in an unemotional voice.
"Would you mind if I rode home with you?" he asked. It sounded like he was expecting my answer but when I said it, he seemed surprised.
"Sure,” I said, “my dad is working late today so you can come over if you want."
"What? You really won't mind being in a car alone with me? Aren’t you afraid of me?"
I looked him up and down. I guess he could be scary to someone. I laughed at the thought of him being concerned for my safety. He was even more surprised by my laughing.
"I should ask you the same question." I giggled, though I was serious underneath.
He stared at me for a very long time and then he said,” I knew you were different too. When I saw you the first day. I could tell.
"Then why didn't you say something?!" I asked a bit angrily.
"I talked to my family and they said we should avoid you. You were so strange, and honestly, it scared me."
Those last words hurt me dearly. I’ve always told myself that I was a dangerous monster that didn't deserve to live. I hate myself and I know I’m scary but it still hurt to have it confirmed.
He saw the pain in my face and then his face mimicked mine.” I’m so sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. What did I say?"
"Nothing. It’s just...I know I’m scary. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this. I’m putting you in danger. That’s why I never look or talk to anyone. I can't risk caring about anyone. I don't deserve to have a friend."