[Sanctuary]
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[Sanctuary]
[Sanctuary]

Chapter Seven: One Thousand Five Hundred and Sixteen

I talked the whole drive; I didn’t even look out the car windows to watch the scenery whiz by in an unidentifiable blur. Soon the conversation died down some and I looked out the window. “Where are we?” I asked, looking around the car.

“Oh, nowhere special.” Olette said as she climbed out.

I got out and stood beside her. We were at some large building, it wasn’t the library. “Okay, guys. Seriously, where are we?” I asked, looking at the scene in front of me.

“Hmmm…” Roxas hummed quietly.

I grabbed his arm and gave him puppy eyes, “What’s going on?” He smiled and lead the way into the building.

The lights we off and the room was dark except for the stream of light emerging from the door we entered in. “What the heck is this place? Kind of creepy, this is defiantly not a library.” I said walking ahead of the others. Suddenly light flashed on all around me and screams erupted from out of nowhere. I jumped and stumbled back a few steps.

“What the heck?!” I exclaimed and looked around the room. Everyone, and by everyone I mean Yuffie, Cloud, Leon, Tifa, Arieth, Axel, Demyx and well everyone jumped out and scared the crap out of me. “Are you trying to kill me?!” I exclaimed, laughing and looking around.

The lights had been turned on and there was a large table filled with punch, and snacks. A big disco ball dangled from the roof and music blasted from a large stereo. “Wow, what’s all this cause for celebration?” I asked, looking around the room.

“Well duh, it’s yours and Hayner’s birthday!” Yuffie said with a laugh.

“Crap!” I said, smacking myself on the forehead. “I completely forgot! I’m so sorry, Hayner!” I said, giving him a hug.

“No prob, Leckie. I mean, come on, we almost forgot your birthday, too.” he grinned and pulled a small box out from behind him.

I stared at it for a moment, “But I didn’t get you anything.” I said, feeling really crappy that I had forgotten his birthday.

“Not necessary.” he said putting the small box in my hands.

I smiled and lifted the lid and gasped, nearly dropping the gift. I could feel my eyes well up as I lifted a tiny sliver chain. It had two angel wings connected at the bottom with a tiny clear blue diamond hanging from the wings. As I looked at it a small note fell out of the box, I picked it up and started reading it.

Dear Leckana,

      Hope you have an amazing 15th birthday. We have all had some amazing times together. Too many to name in one note; but for the ones we can, We're glad that we got to share them with you. We all love you Leckie, and we’re all glad that we can share our lives and school (no matter how dull it is) with you. So, have an awesome year and remember us when you become a famous writer!

      Loving you always,
      Hayner, Roxas, Sora, Kairi, Pence, Olette, Riku, Tidus, Wakka, Namine, Namie, Selphie, Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, Leon, Axel, Demyx and Yuffie

I sniffed and quickly whiped away the tears that were starting to run down my cheek. “Are you okay, Leckie?” Hayner asked with a confused look on his face.

I smiled and hugged him tightly around the waist. “I’m perfect.” I said, looking at his face. “So are we gunna have a party or just stand around?” I asked, walking over the stereo and pumping up the volume. Hannah Montana’s “Best of Both Worlds” started to blast out of the speakers. I couldn’t help but laugh. Everyone knew that I was into all those weird Disney sitcoms and movies. I grabbed Hayner and we started dancing; everyone joined in and had a total blast being completely weird.

Finally the music died down and we sat on the huge couches that were on one of the walls of the room. “So, what brought all of this on?” I asked, looking around. “And who put the balloons in my room?” Giggles filled the room.

“That would have been Selphie, Kairi and Namie,” Roxas said with a sigh. “I told them not to use so many, but who listens to me?” He rolled his eyes dramatically.

“Uh huh. But, okay, I must go to the mall after this. I need to get you,” I pointed at Hayner, “A present. I will feel horrible forever if I don’t!” I exclaimed.

“Come on, really forever?” Yuffie asked with a skeptical look.

“Okay, well, maybe for like a day. But, still, those few hours will seem like an eternity.” I grinned and crossed my legs on the couch. “So, got any of those lame party games? Spin the bottle, truth or dare?” I asked looking directly at Yuffie; she loves those types of games.

“Hey, quit looking at me. I didn’t plan anything, I swear!” she said throwing a cheesy at me.

“Hehe, fine then, so what are we going to do?” I asked.

“Well, for one, we can start with the cake.” Cloud said, walking into the room carrying a huge cake.

We all got up and crowded around the table he put it on. “Happy 1516th birthday Hayner and Leckie. Haha, I get it!” I said, laughing at the stupid joke.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAYNER AND LECKIE!” they all shouted really loudly. They started singing while Leon lighted the candles. There were only about ten of them, though.

“Make a wish.” Hayner said, “One, two three.” And we both blew out the candles. Everyone cheered as the cake was cut and we partied the rest of the night.

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That night I went to bed early. Well, as early as possible. I flopped down on my bed and forgot to change out of my normal clothes but was soon drifting out to lullaby mountain.

I awoke from the alarm ringing, it was Monday. I groaned and rolled out of bed and pulled my hair into a ponytail. I got up slowly and changed into my uniform, brushed my teeth, and put on some cover up. I was too tired to do my entire attire. I opened the door to the hallway, slung my bag over my shoulder and walked down the corridor. I walked drowsily down the stairs and out the doors to the main building.

I walked through the main doors and towards my locker to look at my schedule. I had English, math, chemistry, gym, study hall and art. I groaned and began pulling books out of my locker. “Leckie?” someone said from beside me. I turned and saw Seifer; I glared at him and turned back to my locker. “Well, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed today, now didn’t she?” he asked whilst he opened his locker.

“No, someone just got sick to her stomach from looking at something very undesirable.” I retorted and crammed a text book into my bag.

“Are you mad at me?” he asked, confused.

I turned and stared at him with an are-you-a-complete-idiot look. “Of course I’m mad at you!” I was nearly yelling at him. “You were a complete jerk to me and my friends.” I turned and slammed my locker shut.

“Well, you shouldn’t be mad at me. That was just around my gang, you know I’m not like that."

“Well, I think you deserve whatever you get!” I said and walked towards the cafeteria. “Oh, and I was never going to go to the dance with you in the first place.” I called over my shoulder and pushed the door to the cafeteria open.

Kairi, Tidus, Riku, Olette and Roxas were sitting at the table. I sat down on the edge and rested my chin on my palms. “Something wrong?” Olette asked as she poured some milk onto her bran cereal.

“I ran into Seifer in the hall. He is so stupid, he doesn’t think that I should be mad at him.” I said and rolled my eyes.

“Whoa, wait. He doesn’t think that you should be mad at him for being a jerk?” Roxas asked, choking on his cereal.

“That’s what he said. But, whatever, I’ll just ignore him until five thirty tonight.” I said taking a sip of Roxas’ juice.

“What’s so special about five thirty?” Riku asked taking a bite of bagel.

“I have to work with him at five thirty, so I kind of have to talk to him.” I sighed and stood up. “Olette, what class do you have?” I asked, slinging my bag over my shoulder.

“I have got English, boooring!” she groaned and smiled.

“Coolie, let's walk!” I said and held out my arm, she hooked hers in mine and we walked towards the door.

“You didn’t eat anything!” Roxas called after us as we pushed open the door.

“Do I ever?” I asked Olette with a giggle as we walked to our first class. She smiled and rolled her eyes.

We strolled into class just as the teacher was walking in. We sat down beside Pence and Wakka and took out our notebooks. “Alright students, please take out a notebook and pencil and continue working on your assignments.” Mr. Hinkrai said as he sat down at his desk and did some paperwork. I leaned my knees against the edge of the desk and started working on my story.

Around a half hour passed and I hadn’t moved from that position. “May I read your story?” asked a male voice. I looked up to see Mr. Hinkrai standing beside me. He was a moderately good looking guy in his late twenties to early thirties. He had wheat blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes. He had on a pair of navy blue pants and a white shirt; standard uniform for the students and male teachers of Twilight High. It wasn’t too hard to see why most of the girls in the school liked him.

I nodded and handed him my story. He stood there for several minutes reading it. Olette looked at me and slipped a note under the table. Mr. Hinkrai had turned his back to us; I opened the note and read it: 'What are you going to do about the dance? Do you have a date yet?' I quickly wrote down no and I don’t know. I was starting to fold the note back up when a hand came down and took it from me. “Thank you. This will make a lovely addition to my collection.” Mr. Hinkrai said with a grin as he handed me back my story. He said nothing and walked back to his desk, but he stopped at the front of the class and said, “Leckie, I would like to speak to you after class.” The whole class started to “Ohhh” after he said that. I gave him an I-know-you-did-that-on-purpose look and he smiled and sat down.

The bell rang and everyone quickly packed up all their stuff. “Meet you in the math room." Pence said as he left the room.

“Yeah, see you.” I said as I walked up to Mr. Hinkrai’s desk and stood there waiting for the rest of the class to leave.

“Now, Leckie, about your story. It was quite good, lots of insight into your character's world.” he said as he fiddled with a pen on his desk.

“Well, I try to make them as real as possible.” I said, moving my bag around on my shoulder.

“That’s what I’m worried about, that they may be a little too real. How are things going at home?”

I stood there for a minute, wondering why he was asking that. I had never talked to him about anything before, so why would he suddenly ask me about my life now? “It’s fine, I’m getting along fine with Yuffie and-”

He cut me short. “I don’t mean your step family, I mean your real family.”

I didn’t know what to say. Sure, I mean, I have had problems with them before but I was fine with it now. “My stories aren’t about how I’m really feeling about my life or my family. The problems that the main character is going through are some of the problems I went through, but I am fine. I took all of those stupid therapy sessions and I wrote down everything I feel. I have it locked away in a dresser at my step parent’s house. I’m fine.” I said with finality.

He nodded and said, “Very well, you can go now. Thank you.” he said.

I turned and walked out the door and started briskly down the hall. “Hey, wait!” someone called. I turned and saw Sora running to catch up. “What was that all about?” he asked, walking beside me.

“Oh, Mr. Hinkrai thinks that just because I write some of my emotions down as a character's emotions that I have problems and that… Ugh, it just annoys me how people think that I can’t handle my life or that something’s wrong with me.” I said with a frown.

Sora nodded, “So, how is your story going, by the way?” he asked, not asking any questions, which I was happy about; I didn’t want to talk about it.

“It’s going good; I’m nearly done, only about three chapters to go.” I said with a smile.

“That’s cool, got math class?” I nodded and walked to the math room. I held the door for Sora.

“Why, thank you, Miss Sirika,” he said with a fake British accent.

“You are quite welcome, Mr. Hikari.” I said with a giggle and we walked over to the table Pence was sitting at.

spacer

Math class was a usual dull. Sora, Pence and I got in trouble a bit for talking. We were all glad when the bell rang, signaling our shortest class before lunch. For me, though, it wasn’t gonna be the best; I had chemistry, yippee!

I slowly walked down the hall to the Chemistry Lab. I walked in a sat down next to my lab partner, Tatsuo. He didn’t like me very much as a lab partner. “Miss Sirika, your classes have been changed.” the teacher said from the front of the class.

“What?” I asked puzzled.

“You have been moved from this class to art. If you could please pack up your things, I will write you a note to as why you are late.” he said, quickly scribbling something down on a post-it note.

I grabbed my bag and binder, turned to Tatsuo and said, “You will never find a lab partner as good as me.” The class erupted with laughter, as I walked to the front and grabbed the note from the teacher.

I walked down the hall to room #320. I pushed open the door and walked in, the whole class stopped and looked up at me. “Well, doesn't that just make you feel awkward?” I said silently to myself. “Hi, I was sent here from Chem. Lab.” I said, handing the teacher the note.

“Thank you, Leckana. You may take a seat next to Seifer and begin the assignment on the board."

I turned and saw Seifer sitting at the back of the room. I gave a small groan and walked over and plunked down next to him. “Hey,” he said kindly. I looked at him, grabbed my sketch pad out of my bag and read what was on the board. “Do you get the assignment?” Seifer whispered as he drew something in his sketch pad.

“Yeah, it’s pretty simple. Draw an image showing definite emotion. Not very difficult.” I said, feeling the sarcasm dripping from every word.

“Oh, yeah, about earlier...” he started then stopped.

I began sketching a boy sitting alone in a class room. It was an okay drawing I guess, I’m not the best artist in the world but I liked this one. Just for the heck of it I decided to sketch him drawing. I stopped and looked over at Seifer, who was quietly sketching, then I looked back at my picture, and back at Seifer. I couldn’t believe that I had been drawing Seifer.

“What?” he asked, not looking from his work.

“Huh, oh nothing.” I said, quickly changing the paper.

“Can I see?” he asked. Not waiting for a reply, he gently took it. He studied the picture for a bit. “That’s good.” he said flipping through the rest of the pictures. “These are all good. This one of Roxas is actually quite good.” he said handing them back.

“Thanks, art isn’t my strongest subject but I try.” He nodded and just sat there.

“Hey, I am really sorry for being such a jerk before.” he said. He stopped drawing and stared straight ahead. I didn’t quite know what to say, so I just let him talk. “I didn’t want to come off as a jerk, it just happened. Guess there’s no chance of you and me going to the dance, huh?” he said with a smile.

“Sorry, but I think you and I are better off just being friends.” He nodded and went on drawing. “So, what did you draw?” I asked trying to get Seifer’s hair just right.

“Well, you may find this ironic but I drew…you.”

My head shot up in shock. “Me?!” He nodded with a grin on his face.

“Miss Sirika, please refrain from yelling in class. Thank you.” The teacher stated from the front of the class, which made the whole class turn to look at me. I grinned sheepishly and sunk lower into my seat.

Seifer laughed silently beside me. I looked over at him, “Can I see your drawing?” I inquired.

“It’s not quite done yet but sure.”

I gingerly took it from him and looked at the picture. I thought it was going to be one of me mad at him, but it wasn’t. It was one of me when he asked me to the dance but it didn’t look like me. The girl in the picture just stood there, looking straight forward. She was crying, tears were streaming down her face, and she had her arms rapped around her. She looked so alone and scared. “This... is good.” I said almost in a whisper. He looked down at his hands and said nothing.

I handed him the sketchbook back and continued drawing. But I felt different, not as happy as I was before. I felt bad for leaving Seifer on the dorm steps, and I felt bad for not going to the dance with him, but mostly for only getting to be his friend. I knew nothing could ever happen between us but I still felt bad about it. He was after someone who couldn’t love him back, not yet anyway. Maybe I was after the same thing. Maybe Riku didn’t like me either, maybe that’s why he hadn’t asked me out. A million thoughts raced through my head all at once, I started to get a headache.

“What'cha thinking about?” Seifer asked, snapping me out of my train of thought.

“Huh? Oh, nothing really, just... nothing.” I said erasing vigorously; I couldn’t get this one stupid part to look right.

“Wow, calm down there. You're gonna rip a hole through the paper.” he said putting his hand on mine.

“Ugh, I can’t get this one part to look right. Man your hair is very hard to draw.” I said with a small smile. He laughed a little and went back to his drawing.

The bell suddenly rang signaling lunch was starting. It made me jump a little. “Man, you’re jumpy today.” he said with a laugh and continued putting his stuff away.

“Well, you know, too much caffeine.”

We walked out of the classroom not saying anything, just walking. “Well, I guess this is where you and I part ways,” he said sticking out his hand.

“Yeah, we cool?” I asked taking his hand and shaking it lightly.

“Yeah, we cool.” he said and turned and walked away.

“What was that all about?” someone asked.

I turned and saw Cloud standing there, with a puzzled expression on his face. “Hey, why are you here? I thought you’d be in a class or something?” Cloud took some weird college courses; I never really asked him what he did.

“Came to get you. I’m taking you home, under the strict orders of Yuffie and the rest of the girls not to tell you this, oops.” he smiled, grabbed my bag from me and slung it over his own shoulder.

“What about school? I still have like half the day.” I said puzzled as to why my step parents would let Yuffie pull me out of school.

“You’ve been excused for the rest of the day. We ready to go?” he asked as we walked down the hallway.

“Not yet, I gotta put some stuff in my locker and I need to grab something.” I said as we rounded to corner. I jogged the last five steps and began unlocking my locker.

“So, what is it you need to get?” he asked handing me my bag.

“Just this,” I said grabbing my notebook, “and I need to put this stuff away.”

I grabbed my text book and binder and shoved it into the locker, quickly closing it to prevent it from falling out. “That’s some pretty nifty storing skills you got there.” he said with a smirk.

“I think so, too.” I smiled and slipped my notebook into my bag and slung it over my shoulder. “Now, I’m ready.” I said and followed him out to the parking lot.

“Hope you don’t mind taking my bike.” he said, handing me a helmet as he climbed on.

I grinned and put the helmet on. “Mind, I’ve been wanting to ride this thing forever!” I exclaimed as I climbed on behind him.

“Hold onto me tightly, but not too tight... I still need to breath.” He started the engine and we quickly left the school. I let out a tiny scream as we zoomed down the highway. “We’re gonna take a small detour, if that’s alright with you?” He didn’t wait for a reply and made a sharp right turn off the highway onto a dirt road. Trees and hills zoomed by. “This is Epic Hills, where all the best biking is done. Ready for a thrill ride?” he asked taking a quick glance over his shoulder. I nodded and held on tighter.

We zoomed over hills and went sailing through the air. I looked around as we flew through the air. It felt like freedom, time seemed to stop, there was nothing holding you down; just the air pushing you forward through blissfulness. Then we hit the ground and time seemed to speed back up again. Cloud did a few more jumps then pulled over by a grassy hill and climbed off.

I slowly got off and lay down on the cool grass. I watched the clouds slowly crawl across the sky. “So how was the ride?” he asked, sitting down beside me. I sat up and held my hands flat out in front me. They shook vigorously. Cloud smiled and lay down and closed his eyes.

“What are you thinking about?” I asked, lying down beside him.

“Just about stuff, nothing too important. What about you?” he asked, turning to look at me. I stood up silently and walked over to my bag. I opened it and pulled out the sketchpad then I sat crossed legged on the ground and started sketching. “What are you doing?” he asked, sitting up.

“Sit still, I need this for art class. It’s a perfect picture.” I said and quickly drew his basic shape and a few details. I smile satisfied after a few minutes, closed the sketchpad and put it away.

“Can I see?” he asked, walking over.

“Not yet, not until it’s done. I promise, though, you will be the first to see it.” I said and stood up. “We going?” I asked, grabbing the helmet.

“Yeah, don’t want to keep Yuffie waiting too long.” he said as he put on his dark glasses and climbed on; I got on behind him and we left.

[Sanctuary]
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