Chantia groaned loudly at Mia’s response and threw her arm over her eyes. “Oh, come on,” she begged tiredly. “It was just a bit of harmless fun,” she tried to convince her sister. Mia merely snorted at Chantia’s explanation.“If it was just some ‘harmless fun’, you wouldn’t have been lying here in this condition,” was her response, but to Chantia’s relief, Mia seemed to gain some pity. “There’s some aspirin in the medicine cabinet,” the younger girl relented, but not enough in Chantia’s opinion. “You can get some yourself.”
Chantia glanced at the kitchen, but decided it was too much work to get up and fetch the aspirin. “Nevermind,” she declined tiredly.
The girls sat in silence for a while, the silence only interspaced by the sound of pages flipping as Mia continued reading and Chantia tried to recuperate.“By the way,” Chantia said after a couple of minutes, “how did I get back home?” she asked curiously. Mia snorted inelegantly at Chantia’s question, clearly amused by her sister’s confusion.
“It seems like ‘Sammy’ is a nobler person than you are,” Mia replied, her voice heavy with amusement. “He was afraid you might do something stupid in your state, so he brought you home and told me to look after you,” she explained.
Chantia shot up and stared at Mia in horror, causing her head to spin and another groan to escape her lips. She waited several seconds for the world to stop spinning before she retaliated on Mia’s words.“I did not call him that!” she protested, praying her sister was just joking, and yet she could vaguely remember doing so. She cringed at the thought. He had once told her that he hated being called Sammy, since it sounded too much like a girl’s name.
Mia nodded sagely. “You did,” she confirmed. “’Oh Sammy, you’re so sweet! Sammy, have I ever told you you have pretty eyes? Hey Sammy, can I kiss you?’” Mia repeated teasingly. Chantia’s face heat up as her cheeks flamed with embarrassment. She buried her face in her hands, embarrassed beyond belief while Mia’s laughter rang through the air, worsening Chantia’s headache even further.“Yeah, you made quite the embarrassment of yourself,” Mia confirmed again.
“I was drunk!” Chantia tried to defend her actions. “I couldn’t help it!”
Mia gave her sister a sweet smile with a smug look on her face.
“I know,” she agreed sweetly. “Which is exactly why I can and will hold it against you,” the young teen replied smugly.
Chantia groaned again, silently wishing the ground would open up and swallow her.
“I have to apologize to Sam,” she declared and sat up, looking around for her cell phone. “I can’t believe I called him that when I know he doesn’t like it!”
Mia’s only response was to laugh loudly at her sister.One phone call later, Chantia was relieved to find out her relationship with Samuel was still intact. In fact, it seemed her antics of the previous night only made him like her more as he seemed to think ‘it was cute’, much to her embarrassment.
Later the next day, Evelyn came back from her trip, tanned, relaxed and happy, and most of all, sprouting a shiny new ring. Gustave had accompanied her on her trip to Isla Paradiso and had proposed to her during a beautiful sunset, ending their trip on the highest note Evelyn could’ve dreamt of.As usual, time went on. Chantia continued working at her part-time job. Mia settled well into high school and as always, impressed her teachers immensely with the high standard of her work. So much, in fact, that her science teacher suggested she enter the competition for ‘Best Upcoming Junior Scientist’ held by the Landgraab Science Facility. The prize offered by the Facility was a fully sponsored bursary to the university of choice of the winner, as well as a guaranteed job at the LSF, effective immediately upon receiving the prize. The offer given was simply too tempting to pass up, so Mia agreed and entered the competition.
Mia threw herself into her research, determined to win the competition. She ignored any and all distractions, trusting her family to inform her of anything important, and much to the disappointment of her many suitors, who started noticing her above-average looks when she entered high school, romance was sadly not high on her list of priorities.
“Hey, here’s another one!” Chantia declared and held up the love letter in front of her. “’Dear Mia, I’ve been too shy to say it in person, but I really care about you a lot. Do you feel something for me? Eloy,’” Chantia read loudly before putting the letter down and staring incredulously at it. “Seriously? Do you even know this guy?” Chantia questioned incredulously. Mia took a quick glance at the letter before returning to the work in front of her.
“Nope, never heard of him,” was Mia’s flippant response. Chantia shook her head in amusement at the letter before putting it with the rest of the letters from Mia’s admirers. The letters were separated into two neat piles, one which belonged to Mia and the other to Chantia, but Mia’s pile was definitely slightly higher. News at school had spread that Chantia was dating Samuel, so in general she was bothered less, something she was rather glad of. Of course, that wasn’t to say she didn’t feel flattered by the letters she did receive, but she didn’t want anything to become between her and Samuel, so she was glad nonetheless.
Part of Mia’s project included a small garden that the genius erected in their backyard, completely taking over Evelyn’s two lone plants.Chantia wasn’t exactly sure what Mia was researching, but she had to agree the results looked promising.
“What exactly is that, if I may ask?” Chantia asked curiously as she studied the strange plant in Mia’s little garden. Mia looked up from where she was applying fertilizer to one of the other plants, trying to see what Chantia was talking about. Her eyes lit up when she recognised the plant.
“Oh, that’s my botany project,” the genius explained. “Right now, that’s Specimen 15, but if it is successful, I’ll have created a new fruit type,” Mia enthused eagerly. “Well, to be honest, it’s actually just a refinement of a wild species, but I’ve…” As usual, Mia launched into a highly scientific explanation that Chantia could in no way make sense of.As it turned out, Mia’s little gardening project wasn’t the one she submitted to the Landgraab Science Facility competition, but the project she had submitted turned out to be a raging success. The gap between Mia and the rest of the competitors was so large that she won the first prize with ease.
With Mia’s future set up and Chantia’s graduation rapidly approaching, Chantia found herself in a bit of a dilemma, as she still had no idea what she wanted to do after she finished high school.“I can’t believe we’re graduating in a couple of weeks,” Chantia confessed disbelievingly. “It feels like only yesterday when we started high school, and now we’re almost finished.” Chantia didn’t feel ready to graduate. She didn’t feel like she managed to accomplish much. Sure, she had perfect A’s at school and had been on the honor roll for almost her entire school career, but she still didn’t feel accomplished enough. Even the fact that she had progressed as far as possible in her part-time job didn’t appease her. Mia was two years her junior, and yet the younger girl had already achieved more than Chantia could ever have dreamt of achieving herself.
Samuel put his hand on top of hers, trying to convey his agreement.
“I know,” he agreed sympathetically. “I’m a bit scared, to be honest, but excited as well,” he confessed and gave her hand a squeeze. “I want the rest of my life to start.”Chantia sighed and leaned back, discouraged by his words.
“Well, yeah,” she agreed, “except that I don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life,” she complained worriedly. “I mean, honestly! How do you know what to do? How do you know which job to apply for? There are so many options, and yet nothing interests me!”Samuel chuckled slightly at Chantia’s worries. “You just know,” he assured her. “Someday you see something or you do something and you think ‘that’s what I want to do’, or ‘that’s what I want to achieve’, and you know,” he informed her, causing Chantia to look curiously at him.
“And what do you want to do?” she asked curiously. “You sound like you already know.”
He rubbed his neck embarrassedly and inclined his head.
“I do,” he admitted, his voice coloured with embarrassment. “It may be a stupid dream, but I’m going to try and realise it nonetheless,” he stated determinedly.Chantia leaned away slightly and looked eagerly at her boyfriend. “And what exactly is this dream of yours?” she asked with a large, slightly teasingly smile.
Samuel smiled and looked at the stars above them. The full moon had passed recently, but despite its fullness the moon already couldn’t manage to drown out the brilliance of the stars above them.“I want to be an author,” he admitted softly. “There’s just…something magical in writing something. Whenever you write something, it’s like you create this completely new world and you can see it emerge from beneath your fingers. People that never existed and never will suddenly become alive, and they retreat into that amazing new world you created, where they live out their lives and struggle through their own problems, and at the other side of the world there’s a person reading this tale and…and actually enjoying it. They’re reading this tale and they cry and laugh and scream at these characters who aren’t even real, and they forget about time and their problems and just for that moment, they are completely emerged in an entirely different reality,” Samuel explained enthusiastically, trying to get Chantia to see his point. “It’s just…I think it’s pretty amazing to be able to touch a person’s life without ever meeting that person,” he admitted.
Chantia stared mesmerized at the stars with him as she listened to him talk. From his voice alone, she could tell how much his dream meant to him.
“I think that’s an amazing dream,” she confessed when he finished talking. She leaned over and gave him a soft peck on the cheek. “Don’t ever change,” she requested softly. Samuel smiled and gave her hand another squeeze.“I’ll try not to,” he promised with sincerity in his eyes.
Chantia smiled and leaned against his side. “In that case, let me tell you some stories,” she requested, “and in return I’ll listen to some of yours. So just for tonight, let us retreat into that magical world you just told me about.”
Samuel squeezed her hand again in agreement.
“All right,” he agreed with a warm smile.
So Chantia started talking. She repeated the tale her father had once told her mother, and later her. She told him about parallel worlds and magical creatures and ghosts and magical Songs, and about a Keeper of Balance. She told him of a little girl born with the ability to see ghosts, and how that little girl became best friends with a lonely dead girl that lived with several other ghosts in a big empty house to try and be less lonely.And through all her talking, she never once mentioned the fact that the little girl in the story was herself. She wasn’t quite ready to let him know of that little detail.
“What a beautiful tale,” Samuel whispered once Chantia finished talking. “Is that something you thought of yourself, or are you just repeating it from somewhere else?”
Chantia laughed embarrassedly. “I’m mostly just repeating it,” she confirmed with a smile. “My dad is a bit of a collector of old tales and legends, so some of it I’ve heard from him. Other parts I’ve heard from one of my best friends,” she explained before shrugging slightly. “Although I will admit that the part about the girl with the ghost friend isn’t something I heard anywhere,” she admitted. Mainly because I am the little girl in the story. Of course, that she didn’t say.Chantia’s approaching graduation wasn’t the only thing that promised change in the Marquel household. Evelyn and Gustave had decided not to go with an elaborate setup for their upcoming nuptials, deciding to go with a small and intimate wedding instead, surrounded only by their immediate family.
Nevertheless, the end result was the same as Gustave became a part of the household. Chantia was thrilled to have her father live with them, but she was starting to notice just how small their house actually was. She couldn’t wait to get out of the house and do her own thing, but she still had no idea what she wanted to do, despite talking about it to both her parents.
All too soon, the day she both dreaded and welcomed arrived. With the people in her life she cared about the most, Chantia aged up into a beautiful young woman, entering adulthood and starting with a new chapter in her life.
I’ll admit it, I rushed a bit through Chantia’s teenage years, but to be honest the teen stage is not my favourite stage and I’m getting really impatient to start with Chantia’s generation. Also, to those who had been expecting a big party, I’m sorry for disappointing you. L I planned the scene and everything, but once I started writing it I realised it wasn’t the right set-up for what I wanted to accomplish, so I ended up cutting it out. So let’s just say Chantia went to the party and had a great time, but nothing special happened except that Chantia made a bit of an embarrassment of herself. :P
And yay, Evelyn and Gustave are finally married! Poor Evi had the wish to marry him locked in ever since Chantia’s birth, so I’d say it’s about time she finally got her wish!