9.43 – Eyes on the Prize

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Salandra’s POV

There’s not much left to go. We’re almost in march! That’s two months gone.

I glanced at one of the posters that had managed to escape the janitors…or maybe it’s a new batch from this morning? The school staff can’t seem to figure out who is constantly putting up these posters, and have even called a few suspicious students to the principal’s office for interrogation.

I’m happy they’re still up. It’s a reminder of what I’ll manage to achieve.

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I’ve already considered my options and contacted them. The deadline is for mid-june…the end of the school year really!

It doesn’t last for more than a couple of hours, and you walk out of there 1000$ richer!

Needless to say, I’m counting down the days.

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I walked down the corridors, passing Nikolas’ little cousin again. I crossed him a lot.

Jesse gave me a nod like he usually did, and his friend said a ‘hi ice queen’. I responded with my usual reluctant smile as they walked by. I think he thinks we’ve become ‘friends’ because of that one time we talked before the holidays…

It’s a weird routine.

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My pace slowed down a little as I recognized two people talking just around the corner.

“I knew you’d come around!”

“Don’t shout.”

“I’m not shouting. Look you won’t regret this.”

“I already do.”

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“This is going to be so much fun!” Nikolas exclaimed, playfully punching Zac’s shoulder.

Zac looked away with a defeated pout.

“Whatever.” He mumbled. “But this is the last time okay?”

“Sure, sure.” Nikolas he smirked.

I stared. I admit to wide-eyed open mouthed staring. Zac and Niko? Looking like they actually got along? Or just interacting in a seemingly friendly way?

Nikolas noticed me and gave me a quick wave. “Hey Sal.” He turned back to Zac.

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“I’ll see you later.” He said to Zac, victory just emanating from him. Zac rolled his eyes as Niko walked off.

Then Zac noticed me still staring in disbelief. I expected him to make some flirty advance on me, but instead he actually looked nervous.

“What was all that about?” I asked, gesturing at the space in front of me. Just…Zac and Nikolas having a sort of kind of normal conversation where Niko came out looking happy? I just never see these two hang out. Ever.

“I-” Zac started, but his own voice betrayed him. Ooh, this is interesting. “I’m just apparently fucking weak okay!” Zac actually exploded before stomping away.

He stopped a little ways behind me to add one last comment though. “Like the new lips. Uniform lipstick. That’s cool.” He rapidly said in what came close to his normal tone, before retreating.

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I stared at the now empty space in front of me.

I’m trying to, but I really can’t seem to make sense of what just happened here.

***

Nikolas’ POV

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I patted the half-melted snow into a decently big snowball as one of the last students walked past me on their way home.

The snow was starting to melt and it was just the right texture for some decent snowman making.

I glanced back at Tatiana, who was on the stairs waiting for Kaan. He has some sort of after school activity thing? I didn’t care enough to ask for details.

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In any case, I’ve learned that the only way to talk to Tatiana without Kaan being around is after school when she waits for him to finish whatever it is he’s doing. He has a tendency to always hang out with her during breaks and lunch and though I don’t really care if he’s there or not, it certainly makes it hard to have a decent normal conversation. Kaan’s just such a baby sometimes.

“Are you just going to sit there? You could help me build the snowman.”

“I don’t have my gloves.”

With that comment the weird silence came back down. Guess she’s not up for conversation.

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I picked up the body of my future snowman as I heard her shift on the stairs. Like she thought the silence was awkward and she didn’t know what to contribute to the conversation.

I’m pretty much out of ‘subtle’ ways of trying to get her to talk about the bank. Plus anyway, sometimes silence is fine right? No need to stress over it.

“You heard I was adopted right?” Tatiana asked. “It’s not hard to guess, it’s not like my parents have purple eyes or hair anywhere in their family tree.”

And most importantly don’t feel entitled to bring in touchy personal subjects to take care of it.

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“Yeah my dads told me.” I replied. Is there anything else to say really?

“Xavier was adopted too wasn’t he?” She asked.

I stuffed snow in between the body and the bottom to make sure it stuck. That seems like a pretty personal question. “Yeah.”

“Did he ever go looking for his bio parents?”

Maybe she’s going through some origin crisis or something? And I just happen to have a dad she can relate to? Either way, this is becoming a conversation I don’t want to be a part of anymore. “I don’t know…but he ended up finding them eventually.” Hence, my vampire grandparents. I get three sets of grandparents thanks to that. And I guess you can say 4, considering my great grandparents look younger than my actual parents.

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“I went looking for mine. But they’re dead.” She revealed.

I hadn’t realized we’d reached that kind of friendship. Had I known I would’ve steered the conversation away a while ago.

“Oh. Sorry to hear that.” I replied, concentrating everything I could in making sure this snowman was just perfect.

“Do you want to come see them with me?”

“Er…”

“Come on!” She insisted, coming into my field of view.

“What about Kaan?” I asked weakly, looking back at the silent school.

“He’ll still be at it for a good while I’m sure. Let’s go, you can finish your snowman later.” She said, grabbing my hand and dragging me away from my creation.

“Well okay then.” I reluctantly agreed.

***

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The graveyard.

I don’t know why I’m surprised. This is usually where dead people go.

Maybe it’s cause it’s the graveyard I know well, and don’t really treat as one.

Tatiana’s earlier confident strides starting to lag to a stop once we crossed that cemetery’s arch.

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“You…you go on ahead without me.” She said with some hesitation.

“What?”

“I just need a few moments. I’ll meet you at the reaper’s statue.”

I stared blankly at her for a few seconds. I have no idea why I came along. “Ok….”

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I took one last glance at Tatiana who just waved me off as I climbed the stairs.

Hmm. Something doesn’t sit right with me.

Which seems preposterous…

Unless Tatiana figured out I’m onto her and decided to get rid of me and is sending me into a trap with her suspicious attitude.

Ha, now I’m sounding as paranoid as Lucas.

If she was leading me to a trap, why would it be in a graveyard of all places?

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Climbing the rest of the steps, I spotted someone kind of familiar, standing at the foot of the statue.

This is…an odd coincidence.

Well look who it is.

You can’t really blame me for stopping dead in my tracks. The last time I saw this woman I punched her after she went psycho on me. I glanced back, but Tatiana was nowhere in sight.

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The woman smiled. Not the happy kind of smile.

Don’t be afraid I won’t attack.” She said. I wasn’t convinced. “I feel some apologies are in order.

I mean, what am I going to do? Run away like a coward? It’s not like she’s that scary. I walked up the remainder of the steps.

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“Can’t really blame me for being hesitant. You went batshit crazy for no reason last time.” I said, standing a good few feet away.

Her mouth twitched.

I admit I…overreacted.” She said with some obvious difficulty. “Your situation caught me off guard.

“My situation?

Yes. It just happens to be related to what I’m looking for.

“What do you mean by my situation?” I pressed.

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Her uptight professional façade wavered.

You…you can’t see it?” Looks a bit more like the biker lady I met.

“What do you think?” I snorted.

She slowly titled up her nose, as if trying to assess if I was lying or not.

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Boy, you have the grim reaper in your shadow.” She declared as if this was something of some grand importance.

“Haha! What?” I burst out laughing, looking behind me just to prove to her that hey! Will you look at that, my shadow is empty.

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This isn’t a laughing matter! I’ve been searching for signs of his existence for years now and then YOU, just a random no name boy, you show up with his shadow at your back. Of course I reacted!” She exploded.

“Pretty sure there are some less ‘animalistic’ ways to react.”

She took in a deep breath. “I just wanted to know where you found it, because it wasn’t there last time I saw you. However, you clearly don’t know its origin.

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“Why is this hallucination so important to you?” I asked, glad the distance between us hadn’t changed.

She crossed her arms. “Remember how I recounted to you my loss of memories? I possessed only two leads, apart from my name that is. The figure of this statue, a reaper, and the name of a man, Damien. I don’t yet know how they tie together, but they are crucial to my lost memories. Of that, I am certain. You wouldn’t know any Damien would you?

“No I don’t.”

But if you do…you will share the information correct?” She asked, cautiously, waiting for my reply.

“Maybe. Depends what you offer in exchange for something so valuable.” I mocked.

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I have a lot of things I can offer you Nikolas.” I narrowed my eyes at her. I’ve never told her my name. I made a point not to. My earlier theory might not have been so far off. “When the time comes, I assure you, you will profit from sharing.

***

No one’s POV

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Salandra Grace began her second round of pacing in the corridors with a distinct lack of grace. She was getting impatient; she just wanted the day to end! After school she had plans to go visit her mother and she couldn’t wait to tell her the news.

But until then, she still had to suffer through another class. Her mother wouldn’t approve of her skipping a class, or else Salandra wouldn’t have come to school at all today. She would’ve spent it at her mom’s bedside.

During her impatient pacing, she spotted the two purple heads of the school chatting.

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It had been inevitable. Tatiana, as one of the new kids, was attracting a lot of attention, particularly from the male part of the school. To keep face, Elaine would have to interact with Tatiana at some point.

Tatiana wasn’t eager to start a conversation. Or to waste much more time with this…child, for lack of a better word. Kaan was waiting for her and Elaine was spouting out weird things about traumatismes and support.

Tatiana glanced behind her looking for a way out, and she found it.

“Hello Sal!”

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Well if she was going to so blatantly side with the ice queen, Elaine wasn’t going to waste another minute on her.

“You seem to be adjusting well.” Salandra said, with a small smile.

“Hm.”

“Making friends and such.” Salandra added.

“Not really. Not trying to anyways.” Tatiana shrugged.

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“Really? Seems like you and Nikolas are getting along well.” Salandra noticed as casually as she could. She had to admit she found it a bit curious that these two seemed so…intent on being friends. They didn’t seem like the type to seek each other’s friendship.

Tatiana hadn’t prepared a good excuse for this – oh yes, well, my boss told me to befriend him so he’ll follow me places. Like a graveyard. For no reason of course. Well not that I know of. My job is the equivalent of a glorified courier. You don’t tell the courier what’s in the package.

But then Tatiana thought of something else.

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“Oh don’t worry!” She exclaimed, surprising the blue-eyed girl. “I have no intention of taking him from you.”

“Wait I-”

“I don’t think your feelings towards him have changed since summer camp, so I just want to make it clear that I’m no competition whatsoever to you. He’s all yours.” Tatiana insisted.

“Uh…that’s sweet…but I wasn’t really worried.” Salandra.

“Oh. Well at least you know then.”

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“Hey ladies, what are we talking about?” Kaan asked, butting in.

“Oh just Nikolas.” Tatiana replied and Kaan’s face immediately sobered up.

“Oh really?”

Tatiana let out a loud short laugh. “Look at that angry bear face!” She back-handed him in the gut. “Lighten up, I’m just teasing.”

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Salandra looked on in amusement as the two talked about what the other had missed in between classes.

Having a best friend looks like so much fun.

 

 

 

 

 

About blamsart

♪They say it's what you make♪ I say it's up to fate ♪It's woven in my soul♪ I need to let you go♪ -- Demons by Imagine Dragons
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10 Responses to 9.43 – Eyes on the Prize

  1. Livvielove says:

    I LOVE THIS CHAPTER.
    And I miss you. Have fun on your holidays!

    SALLIE IS BEAUTY. SALLIE IS ALWAYS GRACE.
    AND I HATE TATIANA.
    HATE HER.
    PASSIONATELY.
    So passionately that 99% of this comment is IN ALL CAPS.
    ❤ Brilliant. Dat snowman making ability though…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. *is not talking to Livvie cuz Maj doesn’t recall our convo on torture 😛

    Ah, Sal! I just love you so, so much! I’m still not quite calm about this game story, but, I can understand the draw of a grand! Especially with your mom’s situation!

    Wow, Niko actually convinced Zac to give in O_o I haven’t entered some alternate reality, have I? I like Sal’s lipstick, but, I preferred the original lol

    Elaine is such a pain.

    I like Tatiana, not as much as Sal, and I’d never ship her and Niko, but, I think she could end up actually being part of the group. I dunno, I could be completely wrong, but, yeah… There it is!

    Assie, Assie, Assie… SMH… She is going to be a problem, I’m sure. Good thing she doesn’t remember Xav and James yet, but, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time 😦
    Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. raymondsanti says:

    Looks like Sal is making friends of her own! Assaria appears again… I love Niko’s reaction to her saying he has the reaper in his shadow, it was so true to character XD

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AHAHA! Well, looky here, Zac isn’t quite able to resist Nikolas! ….either that or Niko is so annoyingly persistent that it’s easier to give in lest be stalked and begged forever, but HEYYYY I like to think that maybe Zac is warming up to him, LOL. Because I love their relationship XD Their interactions continue to crack me up. I mean, COME ON “I’ll see you later,” and Zac’s obvious eye roll and fhdjkfhdskf they are best friends for life, okay? You can’t tell me otherwise! And LOL at Salandra’s confusion. Just go with it, girl >.> Lmao.

    Hmmm now, that whole conversation with Assaria. I worry a bit about what she’ll do now. After all, she’s no closer to figuring out her true identity and what the deal is with this “Damien” and you can already see that she’s getting quite frustrated by this. Frustrated and Assaria don’t mix well together. It may make her take some drastic measures o___o My only comfort is that Niko continues to be firmly suspicious of her and cautious. YES, that’s right….definitely tread carefully.

    Lastly, “having a best friend looks like so much fun.” WHAT? HOW DARE YOU? Are you TRYING to break my heart? Gahhh, Sal is so precious T__T Although, I would say that she and Niko are getting pretty close to being “best friends” (and maybe something more COUGH). They do at least seem to have a lot of fun together, and who’s to say that can’t be both best friends and romantic interests? Hehehe. NOW TO MAKE NIKO LESS OBLIVIOUS THOUGH. AHHHHHHHHH!. That might be the biggest challenge of this arc, LOL.

    Hope you’re enjoying your holidays and Happy New Year! ^_^ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • blamsart says:

      I am okay with this. Zac and Niko are wonderful dorks heheh XD
      Indeed. Here I thought the nice amnesiac Assaria would stay longer. So there`s no peace with that woman.

      THATS ONLY THE BEST KIND of romantic relationship. The one that couples as a best friendship as well 😀

      Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. skcaga6 says:

    You really like to match the hair color to the eyes, don’t you?

    Liked by 1 person

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