Chapter 1- Zeroth Knight

Zeroth Knight

      “I’m going to tell him! I’m going to do it! Today is the day!” I keep repeating to myself as I zip through the backstreets in an effort to make it to class on time. The day is young, the sunshine warm, and the wind carries my body just right. “Today is the day,” I reassure myself once again, for good measure.

      It’s been my mantra since I woke up this morning. I tell myself over and over that this is the day I tell him that I love him. Is he popular? Yes! Is he drop-dead gorgeous, top of his class, and ripped like a Greek statue? All signs point to “yes.” And you would think that there was no chance someone as ordinary as I could get his attention, yet I can. I did.

      My reverie is cut short as the chime of the school bell alerts the remaining students that there are five minutes left before classes begin. I cut loose all superfluous thoughts from my mind and run and run and run as fast as my legs will carry me. This stamina is one of the perks of the constant exercise my grandfather pushes on me. He never was one to take it lightly just because I happen to be female, oh no. If anything, that made him push me harder. My parents passing before they could take over our dojo has really pushed back my grandpa’s life plan.

      He should be retired now, on some beach sipping on spirits. Instead, he’s spent the past thirteen years raising me to be strong enough, dedicated enough, to take over the dojo. Perhaps he’ll still have some youth left for some kind of retirement. Yet for all his trying, I’ve never gotten anywhere. My skills- mediocre. My dedication- I’d rather go to the mall with friends. My strength- all right, I’m a bit more in shape than most typical girls my age sure, but I fill out just fine, thank you very much.

      I shake continually encroaching thoughts from my head as I turn the corner of the hallway. It’s eerily silent, in part because there’s only just under a minute left now before the late bell. I shove the door open, that function not intended to be used outside of emergencies, and rush in. I plant my butt in my seat as “safe” is shouted in my direction.

      As I struggle to get my breathing under control, I look over at my would-be umpire. Jamie is staring at me, barely containing her laughter. The door slides open as the bell chimes commencement of our day.

      In walks Mr. Gordon, a man in his healthy fifties. He’s donned in his usual brown suit with that garish, blinding white tie. His hair is cropped, peppered with gray. His face is frozen in a chilly,  yet somehow monotonous, expression. He glances around the class as he takes to the podium. Leave it to Mr. Gordon to literally always play by the book. Making it to class as the bell goes off is a given. You could set a clock to his studious attitude and never be a second off.

      As I start to glance out the window, prepared to waste more of the world’s taxes on our “wonderful” education, I feel a sensation unlike any I’ve ever experienced before.

      If I had to describe it, I’d say the hair on my body was standing on end; with my blood rushing, pumping hard and fast. I may have been a little winded from such a run to make it to class on time, but this was highly unusual. It feels like my veins are flowing with fire while the rest of me is caught in a chilling wind. I look around the room, only to notice Mr. Gordon staring at me.

      “Dare I say, Miss Evangeline that you are growing into a fine imitation of myself. Always making it just on time, ne?”

      “Ne” is such a casual comment that I find myself paralyzed for a moment. How strange for a teacher to say such a thing.

      Before long I’m able to shake myself out of this odd feeling and realize that this teacher, Mr. Gordon, is actually insulting me. As if there is anyone in this world who’d want a stick to be stuck so far up their ass. But what can I say? He’s in charge here. Being a smart ass here does nothing but delay myself from my ultimate goal today- to finally get my happy beginning with Him of all people.

      So I swallow my pride, let a smile dance across my lips and say, “Were we all so fortunate Mr. Gordon.”

      I can see a vein slither across his forehead in his barely-concealed anger. I hear a small amount of giggling from the class but I keep a cool face – or I try to. I hope I do. God do I hope I do. The last thing I need here is for it to be so obvious that I was being a smart ass. I must have been as good as I was hoping when he clears his throat and an “Indeed” passes his lips as he begins to address the class.

      The class is dull and uneventful. History. Such a waste of a class. People say those who do not know history are destined to repeat it. But seriously, that’s so stupid. We’re smarter than we were then. We have nothing to learn from people from forever ago; and so my day unassumingly passes by just like that. Classes come and go. Lunch is spent idly with Jamie.

      We talk about nothing of consequence. We sit with our lunches on the roof. While listening to her go on and on about whatever flavor of the month boyfriend she has this time, I feel a shock run across my skin. The clouds pass lazily overhead while the wind barely makes itself known. “Eve?” I move my head sluggishly in her direction, “Hm?” is all I’m able to manage.

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      That sensation has been attacking me on and off today. It keeps distracting me from- “Bitch were you paying attention?” Jamie’s brow is furrowed in low-key anger as she glares at me.

      “Of course I was Babe. So he was acting like a dick. What’re you going to do? Kick his ass to the curb?”

      Her face relaxed into a smile, “Chyea, duh. Screw him. He’s only the captain of the team. I can do so much better than that,” she adds snidely before stuffing her sandwich into her mouth. She’s such a cute thing until she opens her mouth; long blonde hair that ends in curls with eyes blue enough to make the sky jealous.

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      My eyes dart down and up her resting form as the strange feeling of disconnect hits me. She’s barely five two, yet has the attitude of a princess mixed with the vocabulary of a sailor. But it’s a deserved attitude; nothing like myself, whose only defining quality is the red blaze of my hair.

      “Yeah you can. You know you’re the best,” I say around my noodles. This is how my school day goes by. Such a waste of time and life, both so limited in quantity. But this is a good life for me. This is what I deserve.

      School’s over before I notice it. I’m at a jog, when the feeling of hot blood, yet cold muscles hits me again. The pounding inside me intensifies unlike anything I’ve ever felt, and believe me I’m no stranger to headaches. I feel like I’m coming undone and have to pause for a moment to collect myself. I almost want to turn around and go home- maybe sleep for the next month and shake off this feeling. But seeing Him is all that matters to me. This pain is terrifying if I’m being honest, but none of that matters right now. I’m on my way to meet Him, to let him know just how much brighter my world is with him. Just how much better I feel just being around him. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted. And today is the day it all begins. The beginning of the rest of my life!

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