Hi, my name is not important. I want you to know that even though you don’t know who I am I love you; and even if our paths never cross, I must tell you my story. I only hope the best for you, whoever you are.
My story begins with the sounding of sweet baby Anne’s laughter and ends with his cruel voice resounding through my eardrums as I dropped dead. I was born on a crisp autumn day in November. The eastern wind carried me home for the first time. I was given a warm welcome and my talent was also given, the wind. My charm necklace, which indicates one’s talent, glowed brightly and once I was trained everyone marveled at my skill.
My talent, the wind was one of the most challenging but I enjoyed my stay at Foreverland (formerly known as Neverland but that was centuries ago back when Captain Hook and Peter Pan lived; before them and the natives lead by Tiger Lily decided to rejoin the rest of the human world. Of course a lot of faeries are convinced that’s just an old wives tale and that Peter Pan and the others never existed, but that’s just what I heard.)
I was fine really. That is, before he came. One spring evening he floated into the Lower Elements riding on an orange blossom; we were informed he was birthed off of baby Zeno’s first laugh then carried by Zephyr (west wind) to the Lower Elements which is where we were all gathered then to welcome this newcomer who the court decided to name Zachary. The talent charm ceremony was always the most exciting part. Anxiously we watched in the sidelines as he walked around the stage and neared each charm timidly.
One after the other their glow dulled and they fell indicating they were not for him. Finally he got to the front of our stand; we all had leaned to the edge of our seats hoping to catch a better glance. Sure enough we were not disappointed; the charm rose to his hand and it glowed so brightly, perhaps just as bright as mine. Though I was glad we were getting extra help in the winds department I was determined not to let him be a challenger, the spot for the best wind tamer was already taken, by me, of course.
Strangely though, I found myself lying awake at night imagining Zachary’s green eyes, his olive skin, his chocolate locks, and oh, those pale pink lips that I had longed to be wonderfully close to my own bi-colored ones. My mind would yell at me for thinking such thoughts, but my heart would shut it up by loudly wondering what it would feel like to kiss Zachary.
Apparently, my heart wasn’t the only one wondering, for one hot August evening after work it happened. Zachary came up to me and before I could have asked what he wanted he pinned me up against a nearby oak and his lips mashed into mine in a passionate embrace. I was shocked to say the least, but soon enough I started responding to his kisses as eagerly as he gave them; his palm entangled itself in my thick brownish auburn hair and another hand snaked its way around my waist. His skilled lips nibbled my own and I sighed softly.
I reluctantly broke the kiss because I needed air. Then, a thought came to mind: Why was he doing this? Before he started kissing me again, I looked him in the eyes and spoke:
“What was that about?” I demanded to know. He smirked.
“Stop acting thick, because I know you’re brilliant.” he told me. Brilliant? Yes, he had called me that. I must’ve looked genuinely confused or surprised because he spoke as if to explain, but it seemed more like flattery.
“Please, don’t pretend you haven’t noticed me staring at you at work.”Again, my expression must have given the answer. “You seriously haven’t noticed me dying to talk to you, to hold you close?” I looked at him as if he’d grown another head for a minute before I spoke up.
“I’ve never been considered pretty,” I said but he looked like he was about to interrupt me, so I held up my hand and added, “let me finish.” so he closed his mouth and looked attentively at me. “I was never considered brilliant. I was and have only been good at one thing, wind taming. I have never had much luck with the male species, especially not with any considered ‘hot’ or ‘popular’ so I have never been courted.” I said coolly and before I continued, he interrupted.
“How? These guys must be bloody blind, because, darling; you are beautiful, you are brilliant; I knew I wanted to touch your caramel skin, and feel your full dark rosy lips on mine, I was in awe at your deep violet eyes…” He rambled on and on about my unending beauty all the while I was thinking a guy this sweet could not be real. He wants something from me. Finally, I was sick of the sweet.
“Ok, listen here, Zachary. I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish with this, but you’re not making a point. I don’t know you, you don’t know me; so would you mind backing off and letting me breathe?!” I might’ve said that a little too harshly; I saw it on his face. But he was a determined guy and he was not about to let me go that easily. At least not without putting a shred of doubt in my mind about what I said.
“Hunny, with you, it was love at first sight.” his last attempt was pathetic really, so I just had to be the bad guy.
“Oh save it for the blonde bimbos who just love that kind of sap. Just leave.” I snapped.
“Telling me to go, but hands beg me to stay.” He chuckled. I hadn’t realized I was still holding his hands. Then he continued his corniness. “Your lips say that you hate, your eyes beg to differ.” I had enough.
“Alright! I get it you’re in smitten with me, but don’t worry, kid; it’ll pass. Now, if you excuse me, it is getting kind of late and I have to wake up early.” I tried to pass him but he held out a hand.
“Whoa, I can take any other insults, but never age, I don’t like being treated differently just because I am ‘younger’.” I totally understood. I got that kind of **** all the time when I got here; but still, I couldn’t let him see that. He already had enough confidence, what he needed was a shrink of ego. I spoke again as if I hadn’t heard his comment.
“Ok, listen here, Mr. High-and-Mighty, you may have some brain-dead girls drooling at the mere thought of you, but you can’t fool me.” He raised his eyebrows at this but I continued, “Yup, I can see right through your little act and you know what’s under that faux sweetness?!?!” I asked, a little too loudly, not really expecting an answer, but he threw in a monotone, “enlighten me.” and enlighten him I did. “You are a liar! A deceiver! You pretend you care, then when I need you most, you leave! You act like you love, then you show who you really are!” I was sure my face was red now. I was hyperventilating heavily. Written across Zach’s was pure shock at first; but when he heard my reasons for staying as far away as physically and mentally possible from him his face went from bewilderment to anger.
“How can you be so sure of yourself and judge someone you don’t even know?!?” he hollered at me with more force than I’d anticipated. I was also taken aback by how quickly his mood had shifted from “marry-me” to “I’d like to punch you” but I composed myself and made a mental note of it. I was waiting for the irony of his words to hit him but they never did. So I had to be the rude awakening.
“Look cupcake, you got a lot of nerve accusing me for being judgmental! You were the one that came on to me when you didn’t even know me!” I sidestepped his outstretched arm and ran for my flat, momentarily forgetting the use of my wings. Running gave me more time to clear my head and focus on myself.
Even with the nice burn and momentary level-headedness the run gave me I still couldn’t sleep that night. The phantom tingle in my lips reminded me what had happened by the Ancient Oak. I tossed and turned all night, replaying the scene of earlier that evening in my head. I started noticing little details I didn’t know existed that I obsessed with until sunrise. I got a total of one hour of sleep, and even then, he haunted my dreams.
The next day I was prepared to forget the whole ****** thing, so I got ready for work as usual. I pinned my bangs back and parted the rest of my hair into two loose ponytails, my hair looked good but I had to do something about my face. I had deep dark circles under my eyes that gave away how sleepless my night had been.
I did something I almost never did, I applied liberal amounts of makeup, which included heavy layers of blue eyeshadow and bright red eyeliner. I also spread a fish scale silver-blue lipstick on my lips for good measure. I looked at the girl staring back at me and sighed. I put on cut-off jean shorts and a white tank top to which I tied a pink lace I’d found laying in my closet. To finish off, I pinned my favorite butterfly pin to my shirt, it had been a gift from my best friend Yuki. As an afterthought, I grabbed the black velvet rose choker off my counter. This had been a gift from my other friend, Tequila. This was what I wore my last night as a free faery.
I checked the time,
“oh fudge, I’m late.” I breathed to no one in particular. I wrestled my favorite red sneakers out and went flying out the balcony door. I got there just in time for inspection. As Professor Egan passed by me he did a double take and asked,
“Miss Lionheart, is that you?” I lifted my chin up and answered with a snarky remark.
“I can’t imagine why you would think I’d be anyone but myself.” He looked a little embarrassed.
“Oh, of course it’s you, pardon.” I just nodded as he turned and kept inspecting. I felt so many eyes on me but I just pretended not to notice and kept my head held high. The entire day mostly went by without another incident, once we were in-season it got pretty quiet in the field, it was the upcoming season change that had everyone buzzing.
Every change of season, a new celebration to commemorate the old one and welcome the new would take place the day before the equinox or solstice. At the end of the work day, before we could head home an assembly was called by the typical trumpeting. We all gathered at the public plaza. On the amphitheater’s platform a plump little faery man with a receding hairline came into view; he was dressed in royal clothes. He made great efforts to stand up straight so he wouldn’t look so stout next to the pageant winner who was already on the stage. He pointedly cleared his throat into the voice amplifier and opened his mouth. What came out would make a mouse laugh at how squeaky his voice was, snickers and giggles rippled throughout the crowd.The poor man fluttered his wings nervously and cleared his throat again, he was beginning to look quite pink.
“Hm, Her Majesty is declaring an extra special celebration for this upcoming change of seasons, not only will we have our usual festival but she will be hosting a ball right here due to the dates coinciding with the blue moon.” Everyone began whispering amongst themselves the faery man cleared his throat again. “I will be choosing a talent group at random by drawing the name out of this box.” Suddenly on stage a gold glitter box was raised from the bottom of the stage, quite theatrical; no doubt work of the tinker fairies.
Can I spare you the suspense? Of course it was my group that was chosen to be the decorating committee. The woman who’d been standing next to the Queen’s messenger finally spoke up.