The next day after school, Jasper and Shelby broke up.
"I can't believe you're bringing this up again," Jasper said.
"Well it's true, isn't it? You like someone else! You've been crushing on that girl since you met her last time at the interschool game. She gave you her number." Shelby said.
"What! No, I wasn't crushing on her!" Jasper protested.
"We don't even use phones here and you took her number!" Shelby shouted.
"Why should I waste my time when you don't even love me anymore!" Shelby shouted louder, gaining momentum.
"Shel, don't you believe me? How can you trust what others tell you over your boyfriend?" Jasper defended himself.
"No, you know what. We're done." Shelby said, moving away and breaking off into a jog.
Jasper looked in her direction, dropping his hands before going in the other direction.
Blue and Magenta watched with jaws dropped open. They didn't know whether to laugh or pull their friends back together. Before, they would have been happy to part ways and not have to hang out together anymore. But seeing their friends argue was not a good feeling and the fact united them.
Blue said, "you think we should talk to them?"
"Maybe later, they probably need time," Magenta suggested.
"Did you know about Jasper's crush?" Magenta whispered.
"He never said anything about it," Blue said.
"Right, Shel mentioned she was mad about this phone number stuff. But only like once." Magenta said.
Their usual lunchtime was extremely awkward now. Blue and Jasper sat on the opposite side of the room with the football team. Jasper kept sneaking glances at Shelby when he thought nobody was looking but everyone's eyes were on him and Shelby. Normally, the quartet sat together and Jasper and Shelby would be all over each other. Now people in the hall looked between the pairs, wondering what happened.
Gwendolyn Belle passed by Magenta and Shelby.
"Aw, the Fab Four have split up!" She cooed.
"So, Shel, when did you decide to break up with your boyfriend?" Gwendolyn inched closer to the two girls.
"Spill the deets," Gwendolyn tried to gather information from Magenta. Gwendolyn was a gossiper, and Magenta despised gossipers. Especially someone like Gwendolyn, who never had something nice to say. Some people were exceptions to Magenta's sympathy, and Gwendolyn was part of that exception.
Retracting from the table, both Magenta and Shelby got up from their tables and Magenta said, "hey, what's another word for none of your business?"
Shelby checked her nails and said, "hmm, how about none of your beeswax?"
Magenta and Shelby exchanged a smile and brushed past Gwendolyn who stood seething.
As they walked to the library for Magenta to return a book, Magenta struck up a conversation. They reached the library and Magenta walked to the book drop-off box, putting her book in the box.
"So Shel, when did you decide on this? You didn't mention it before," Magenta eased into the conversation.
"Well, you're always busy with Blue this Blue that," Shelby waved a hand in the air.
Magenta felt stung by this comment. Had she really been so consumed by her pranking with Blue that she neglected to listen and converse with her best friend? Magenta felt a rush of shame seated in her stomach.
"What do you mean?" Magenta asked.
"Mag, I love you loads and always support you. But lately, it's too many pranks. Did you even remember it's my birthday in a few days? I don't think so." Shelby said, looking at the cloudy sky.
The skies opened up and the rain came down at that moment. Magenta and Shelby ran to find cover.
Magenta squeezed her best friend's hand.
"I did remember your birthday. We are going to celebrate it! I am sorry that I have been too into pranks and talking about Blue. Let's schedule a Shelmag date, yeah? And I'm sorry that Jasper has been a meanie."
"Best friends forever?" Magenta hooked her pinky around Shelby.
Shelby didn't react for a beat and that scared Magenta. Then her face broke into a wide smile.
"Duh, BFFs until the end. I love you. Just less Blue talk okay?" Shelby squeezed Magenta into a big hug.
"Deal. Love you more." Magenta replied.
A parcel and a letter came in the mail for Magenta the next day.
Magenta's father was a candy store owner and knew all the good kinds of candies. While Magenta's mother worked at the embassy, her father was also in business only in the candy business. Since she was young, her father would sneak candies into her bag for her to try but once Magenta discovered lemon candy, she wouldn't ever let go of her love for lemons.
"Yes! Lemon candy!" Magenta said in delight when she opened the package.
Magenta's favorite fruit flavor was lemon, and that applied to just about everything.
Lemon-scented shampoo, lemon posters, lemon pens, and pencils. It was funny because Shelby couldn't stand lemons. Shelby always made sure Magenta kept lemony things on her side of their room.
"My side, no lemon. Your side can lemon," Shelby would say.
Magenta sucked on a lemon candy and hummed, opening the letter.
She offered candy to the other people picking up their mail. Some people took lemon candy and they were very happy to receive free sweets.
"Ew, lemon candy is so sour though," one girl said.
"Then don't eat it," Magenta said, whipping the bag away to offer some to others. She also gave some to the mailman. They thanked her before Magenta went to the corner to open the letter.
Gasping when she saw the contents, Magenta pumped a fist in the air and squealed. It was a confirmation email including some merch and further event details.
"Yes finally!" Magenta's mood was elevated.
Magenta ran to the computer department rooms. The computer rooms had a curfew, they only opened after nine am and closed around nine pm. Opening up her email inbox to find the important birthday message, Magenta squealed again.
The people in the computer room all glanced at Magenta, some shushing her.
The email read:
Thanks again for reaching out! We're excited to do this. We'll be on campus on 21 September at 5 pm. See you then and keep in touch!"
Magenta kicked her legs in the air, accidentally bumping the computer next to her.
"Magenta Davies..." Miss Burgundy warned, materializing into the room.
Miss Burgundy was now the head of the IT department. She was still at Oakstone much to Magenta's dismay, but partly because of knowing her for so many years, Miss Burgundy tolerated Magenta, only slightly, but it was a landslide victory for Magenta to be in a teacher's good books.
"Sorry Miss B!" Magenta said. She logged off and skipped back to her dorm.
Sprinkling lemon candy wherever she went, Magenta felt like a cute fairytale Gretel. She bumped into Blue who was listening to music in his ears.
She threw a lemon candy at him and it hit him in the shoulder.
He removed an earplug and ran after Magenta. With a yell, Magenta took off towards the dorms. Blue caught up to Magenta with his long legs. Grabbing her waist he hauled her into his arms, tickling her mercilessly.
Blue swiped Magenta's parcel and letter away, and they fell on the grass next to Blue.
"I'm gonna pee! Stop it!" Magenta laughed.
Blue finally let go, but not before he popped a lemon candy into his mouth.
"I'll take two more, thanks. You owe me, look it's turning purple," Blue pulled his shirt aside as if to show a bruise.
"Pft. I see nothing, just ugly Blue skin." Magenta said. She was, however, impressed by his abs, which looked very well trained and aesthetically pleasing.
"Put it away! Burning my eyes!" Magenta protested.
Blue winked and said, "You've been blessed. Namaskar."
Putting his hands together, he ran off with the candies jiggling in his pockets. One of the candies fell and he picked the candy up before continuing to jog off to his room. Magenta picked up her things and went back to the dorm, the smile on her face so wide it threatened to split her lips.
Shelby and Jasper seemed really sad without each other.
Blue and Magenta watched their best friends swing into depression, or what seemed to be depression. In every class, Shelby doodled on everything mindlessly while Jasper seemed a bit absent during soccer. Their coach yelled at Jasper to stay focused, and the teacher shouted at Shelby for doodling onto the desk.
It got so bad that Magenta caught Shelby crying in their room eating chocolate, and Blue saw Jasper look at a picture of Shelby with an actual tear in his eyes. Jasper hardly ever cried.
Something had to be done. There was clearly some kind of miscommunication between their two best friends. So Blue and Magenta thought of what they could do to help their best friends.
Magenta told Shelby she was going to take her to the museum to see fake paintings. Shelby smiled at that but the smile quickly faded. They got dressed and ready to go to the museum. Magenta surprised Shelby by taking her to the joint museum. That included art, history, and science.
That day there were two special exhibitions on Ancient Egypt and on the Jurassic period with dinosaurs.
"Which one do you want to see?" Magenta asked Shelby.
"Dinosaurs, please. I need to see angry animals." Shelby said.
They paid for their tickets and headed into the dinosaur exhibition. The museum guide gave them cool pamphlets with dinosaur stamps that they could press onto the paper with machines in different corners of the exhibition.
Magenta ran around, enjoying herself and pressing the stamps into the dinosaur pamphlets. They saw all sorts of dinosaurs and even got to touch one of the older fossil bones from ages ago.
"Wow, I am touching something royally historic," Magenta whispered.
Shelby shrugged and she said, "There are lots of other things that are royally historic."
But it was Shelby who got overwhelmed when she saw one of the flying dinosaurs and started bawling.
"What's wrong?" Magenta asked.
"Jasper once called me his pterodactyl!" Shelby wailed, tears coming out of her eyes.
"Oh no I didn't know you guys had that memory, I'm sorry!" Magenta said.
It was a big mistake to bring Shelby to the dinosaur museum. Magenta offered to go home but Shelby just sat there crying so much that the museum guards came up and asked them to leave because they were being too loud.
Every visitor's eyes were on Magenta and Shelby, complaining about how they ruined the cool mood. Magenta and Shelby went back to their dorms, Magenta feeling more defeated than ever. How would she help Shelby feel better? When would Shelby ever feel better?
Elsewhere, Blue brought Jasper on a food tour around town.
"Our favorite burger joint!" Blue said.
Blue prepared a small list of places to go. From lunch to dessert to souvenir foods. Jasper smiled painfully.
"I used to come here with Shelby too," Jasper said, and he looked away as if trying to hide his tears.
Blue told him they could go somewhere else, and Jasper agreed. But every place they went Jasper had some sort of memory with Shelby and would stop, breathe in deeply, before shaking his head.
Blue and Magenta were at a loss as to how to help their friends. They tried to give them time to recover but Shelby and Jasper were being a bit melodramatic especially as it was a misunderstanding and they still loved each other.