The bell rings sharply to end the school day.
Quickly, I get up from my seat, feeling drained from the events of the day. I still can’t stop thinking about what the other cheerleaders said this morning about my eyes. Do people really think their color is fake? I really don’t understand why they would since I’ve always had them.
Not paying attention to where I’m going, I almost bump into someone. I hear the girl grumble.
“Jeez, Amai. What’s gotten into you?”
I look up to see Ikimono again. She gives me a disgusted look, narrowing her eyes as she breathes in deeply. The girl seems really upset, and she taps her fingers against her messenger bag.
“Sorry! I wasn’t paying attention.” I nervously laugh as I glance at the fidgeting hand. I notice a ring on her finger with a dark purple stone, and I try to smile. “New ring?”
“Don’t change the subject.” Ikimono snaps at me. “You’re gonna get hurt if you don’t pay attention.”
I frown. “Sorry Ikimono. I won’t do it again.”
Ikimono walks away, and I let out a sigh. I can’t believe I made her upset just by nearly running into her. It seems unfair. She gets angry really easily too.
Oh well, I guess.
I start to walk to where I normally meet Violet after school. I know her last class of the day is over in the math wing. That’s halfway across the school, so I have some time before I’ll get over there. This will give me time to gather my thoughts about today.
Maybe I can talk to Momma when I get home.
The hallways seem pretty empty today. I’m sure everyone is eager to get home if they don’t have a club this afternoon. I would have cheer practice, but I got an email during 5th period that it was cancelled for today. It feels nice to have an afternoon off. This means I can catch up on homework and relax for a little bit.
Maybe I can finally catch up on that show Sakasu told me about last month during winter break.
Violet stands near some lockers at the end of the math wing. She looks over to me, her arms crossed as she frowns.
“Took you long enough.” She mutters. “Where have you been?”
“Sorry. I nearly ran into another student and had to clear that situation up.”
“No!” I playfully nudge Violet. “That’s not it at all.”
“Whatever,” Violet rolls her eyes, a small smirk appearing on her face. “Let’s go to the car so we can go home.”
We start walking to the nearest exit of the school. The car won’t be too far of a walk from there. There’s a silence that lingers over us as we move to leave the building.
But as I open the door, I see something I wasn’t expecting to witness.
A few feet away from the exit, there’s a figure standing there in a dark cloak. Under their hood, I see piercing blue eyes watching us carefully, along with a few loose strands of auburn hair.
“Amai?” Violet gets behind me as I hear her voice shake. She’s noticed them too.
I look at the figure, breathing in for a moment. “Who are you?” I call out.
I see the figure move to take off their hood. They reveal auburn hair, tied into a messy low ponytail, and pointy ears that twitch a little with curiosity. They offer us a smile.
“Don’t be alarmed,” They say in an accented, masculine voice. “I’m not going to hurt you. I need to ask you, though, are you Amai Winter?”
My eyes widened a little in panic. I feel my heart racing as I look back at Violet. “Uh… who’s asking?” I look back at the person.
“Well, I need to make sure you’re the correct recipient!” The person walks up to me, reaching in their pocket. They pull out two black jewelry boxes. “One of these is for an Amai Winter, and the other is for a Violetta Winter-Rayona?”
Violet steps around me. “Wait, there’s one for me?”
The person nods. “Yes! And it’s important that I give these to the correct individuals. Otherwise, they won’t work properly, and the whole prophecy will be messed up.”
“Prophecy?” Violet and I say at the same time, glancing at each other.
“Okay, it probably doesn’t make sense. But just take these.”
The person walks to me first, putting the black box in my hands. They then walk to Violet and give her the other box, grinning from ear to ear.
“See? Wasn’t that hard. Just take those home, and you’ll understand more later. Protect it at all costs!” The person says. “Do not let the Corruption get it.”
I look at them. “What do you mean?”
Before I can get an answer, the person walks away from us. They mutter something as they put their cloak hood back up, and on the ground, an opening appears.
“Wait. What the heck are you doing?! You didn’t answer us! Come back here!” Violet shouts.
The figure jumps into the opening, and then it snaps shut behind them. I grab Violet’s wrist before she can storm to where it was.
“We should get home.” I mutter. “Something isn’t right. We need to consult Momma.”
“But that was weird! Why did they give us these boxes?!”
“I don’t know. Let’s just ask Momma at home.”
Both Violet and I rush into the house.
“MOM!” Violet calls out.
Immediately, Momma rushes into the living room. There’s a look of panic on her face as she comes to us.
“What? What’s wrong?!”
Violet and I pull out the black boxes.
“Some random stranger approached us and gave us these.” I tell her. “We don’t know what’s in them, but it was so weird, Momma. They jumped through a portal too. I think.”
Immediately, I watch Momma’s eyes widen and her skin pales. She looks at the boxes, frowning.
“Can you girls open those please?”
Violet and I exchange a look. Carefully, both of us open these boxes.
I look inside mine first. There’s a pink, heart-shaped hair pin inside, shining like a gem of sorts. I can almost see my own reflection within the charm.
In Violet’s box, I see a purple and black ring. It reminds me of Ikimono’s ring from earlier, but instead of a gemstone, the colors swirl around the band of the ring. It also shimmers brightly at me.
Momma looks at both of us, letting out a shaky sigh.
“Well, it looks like something from Destiny has found you both.” She says slowly. “And I think it might be time for us to have an important, long-awaited chat.”
“What do you mean?” I ask.
Momma ushers us to sit down in the living room. She sits across from us, sighing a little.
“Remember those stories I used to tell you two when you were little? The ones about the world of Destiny?” She asks us.
Violet and I nod in unison.
“Girls… When I told you those stories, I was telling you them because they’re not just stories. I wasn’t sure when I was going to be able to tell you, because a lot of the last memories I have of Destiny aren’t exactly the most pleasant.” Momma starts to tear up. “I wasn’t sure I would ever be ready, even if you two ended up being like me. But I can’t continue to lie to the both of you. You girls don’t deserve that.”
“Mom?” Violet speaks up. “What are you talking about? Memories of Destiny?”
Momma looks at Violet, then me. She lets out a long breath before nodding to herself. She puts a hand over her chest.
“Destiny is a real place. I’m from there. And while I don’t know who gave those boxes to you, deep down I know it is because you’re like me. You’re Written.”
I look at the box in my hands, staring at the heart hairpiece once again. This charm is from Destiny? I’m possibly from Destiny? I feel like the room is spinning. All this time, I thought I was from here.
“I thought these were all just stories.” I finally say. “Momma, are you telling the truth?”
Momma nods in answer, and at that moment, I’m speechless.
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