• 1. The Jewel of Wishing

    “Yes!” I yelled, excited. I waved my passing-score test paper in the air. “I passed! I don’t believe it!” Even though other students were loud and rowdy, my voice pierced through the crowd and a few people near me stared, their faces probing, which made my cheeks blush a little. My voice still echoed on the walls of the colossal gym.
    I noticed that my two flawless sisters and my best friend rushed to my side, elbowing people through.
    “I’m so happy for you! I never expected that you’d pass the test, Youri.” Ria, one of my friends, cheered. Somehow, the last sentence didn’t really trouble me. I knew that she had meant it in the positive way. School was something I’d put last on my Favorites List.
    I heard a chuckle behind her and I leaned to my left, tilting my head to see who it was. “She’s right.” A playful voice shouted out. “Tell me, how did you pass the test? C’mon, tell me your secret. Did you get a brain transplant?” He said this while walking up to me. I noticed his face instantly, but I was already aware of his voice and his use of words. He wore a light cream colored long sleeve with coal black jeans, a bit lighter than the color of his hair which was as dark as a cave at a starless night.
    I made a face at him and glared. I decided to ignore him. He was not really worth yelling, kicking and thrashing up on and I was in a positively good mood. “I’ll explain at my apartment how much a brain transplant cost.” I beamed, waving my test paper near his face.
    “Oh, right!” he said. I hadn’t noticed at first, but his hand was at his back. “Congratulations.” He grinned back at me. His smile was triumphant, which made me uneasy a bit. He pulled out his hand to reveal a large bouquet of white, fresh scented roses. “For your brain transplant.”
    “Whatever.” I toned, but I gladly took the roses from him.
    I smiled taking a whiff of the roses. Kyo constantly has a way of flattering people, but always keeping his cool by leaving bits of insults at his sentences. Luckily, these weren’t those days.
    I noticed Ria was listening to our poor conversation. Her expression was hurt and I felt rather self conscious of myself. Despite her face she looked really pretty. She wore a t-shirt with knee-length jeans. To others, mostly girls, she may look casual but her face was absolutely perfect, any clothing would look good on her. She had dark brown hair and tanned skin, which made a lot of girls, including me, jealous of her.
    Someone suddenly tapped my shoulder and shook me out of my thought bubble, and I turned around only to find a big box filled with chocolate, my favorite sweets, with a label that read Delicacies Dynasty, the most famous, most delicious and most expensive chocolate brand on Tsurai, the planet that I lived on. The person that was holding the box of delicacies was one of my stunning sisters, Akira. She was smiling warmly at me. “Congrats!” she cheered. “This is for you!”
    My jaw dropped and Kyo laughed behind me. “How did you buy these?” I asked surprised. My sister worked as a professional scientist and is paid a lot of money, so she could easily buy chocolates whenever she wanted, whatever the price, but what left me flabbergasted was that you could only get to the Dynasty store half way around Tsurai.
    Akira only smiled more, probably because I looked like I’ve just dug up a chest full of jewels and gold. “I asked Rukawa if he could send me these.” Rukawa is Akira’s boyfriend. They met at a family trip we had taken at a city, near Delicacies Dynasty, named Rokai. Rukawa lived in Rokai so whenever my birthday came along, he’d always send me presents, usually the chocolates.
    “Watch your diet, there.” Kyo teased. Although I ate a lot of chocolates and sugary junk, I never grew big and round. I was always healthy and fit, but I loathed jokes or tease about me being large and overweight. I instantly turned red with anger and I scowled at Kyo. I saw a spark of fear as he took a step back. I grinned as I slowly lost my temper.
    “Youri, my present is a surprise, so try not to get overexcited.” My other sister, Shirai, instructed. Finally she spoke. She is Akira’s twin, but even if their faces looked the same, they were far from the word ‘twin’. Shirai had black, thick hair and was a pure-blooded athlete with light skin, unlike Akira who was born with thin, snow, white hair and tanned skin. She is unbelievably good at school work, or in other words, a gorgeous looking geek.
    I nodded to Shirai.
    “I’ll call him later to thank him.” I said to my opposite sister, Akira. “But first, let’s get home, shall we?”
    They all shrugged in a way that meant okay, and we head out of the school, pushing through the crowd of graduated students and their expressive parents.
    As we jumbled through I became attentive that a lot of girls were focused on Kyo. I couldn’t resist a giggle as I heard them say something about how handsome and appealing he is. Is he that attractive? I surely think not. Kyo treaded a head of me, but abruptly stopped. I think he heard them, too, but his reaction was opposite of what I thought he would do. I thought he would confront them and have a little chitchat with some of the good looking girls. Shocking as it may seem, he turned to face me and I calmly walked passed him, with a curious expression, but he paced to my right and he placed his left arm around my shoulder and pulled me close to him.
    I, of course, tried to pull away, it was like an instinct, but he held tight and just grinned at me, and the girls’ face turned in shock, I could tell because their jaws dropped. Apparently they’ve been listening to our conversation and were sure that we had no relationship whatsoever. He was probably doing this to get back at me for wreaking his computer last summer.
    “Umm… have you ever heard of Personal Space?” I whispered rashly at him, as I shot him a scowl.
    Kyo just chuckled, and beamed at the females. “Don’t worry. You and I are completely unmatched, we’re nothing a like, besides the humanity. And don’t grieve, if I’d ever find a girlfriend…” he whispered even quieter. “There’s a good chance that I’ll choose you.” He teased.
    I had to choose to pout, scowl or look irritated. I chose irritated and I rolled my eyes and I let out a heavy sigh.
    “That’s more like it.” Kyo smirked as he noticed my expression. In some way, I felt a little self conscious. Ria was walking soundlessly behind us, staring at the ground, while my two sisters cleared the way for us ahead.
    I knew that my best friend had a crush on Kyo from the time when we were little. I felt like 50 pounds were lifted away from the pit of my stomach, as I yanked out of his grasp, when we were out of the school.
    We all walked to Akira’s silver Mercedes Benz. Here in my planet, everything was high-tech. Cars, and any kind of transportation you could name could fly, computers were touch screens with 1000 terra-byte space and telephones could reach other communications in a range of 1000 light-years. I’ve always been easily dazed and nauseated whenever we took off from the ground, so my sisters always drove on land.
    My sister, Akira, walked to the driver’s seat, Shirai paced to the shotgun, which left me, Kyo and Ria sitting at the back. Kyo sat between us as we drove of to my, 5 star, apartment. This couldn’t get anymore uncomfortable.
    I had just finished my last year in school. Here, at Tsurai, high school ends at grade 10, no matter what country you are in, with a dreadfully tough quiz at the last day of school. They always held parties for the departing students and their parents, too. I had just passed my test, which explained the screaming, cheering and presents that I had just overcome. Kyo had finished school last year making him 17 this year, leaving me and Ria age 16.
    We, at the back, were all silent. Shirai was listening to her MM7, My Music 7000, a music player which could hold 7000 songs. Akira was focused on the road. The unmoving silent was driving me crazy!
    What had me furious was how stupid and blind Kyo was. He doesn’t notice Ria well. Whenever Ria asks him to dinner he usually declines her. He doesn’t how much pain she burdens every time he turns her down. I pity her, she could get any guy she wants and yet, the guy she really longs for is blind, blinded with stupidity.
    I was shocked as I noticed was crying. Kyo stared at me with curious eyes, his face showed a little glint of fear and worry.
    “What’s wrong?” he asked, his voice was soothing. “Have I embarrassed you that much?”
    “What?” I asked, searching my head to find out what he meant. I figured that he was talking about our dramatic departing from the school. I smiled as I wiped the tears away. “Don’t worry. I’m not the one you should be looking out for.”
    His expression changed from worry into curiosity. He didn’t say anything, waiting for me to say more, but I had clearly pronounced it for him and I gave glimpses to Ria who gawked out the window, her face looked blank, but I knew she had heard us.
    We got home really quick. The drive took only 5 minutes, but the moon had already come.
    We entered through the revolving glass doors of my, 5 star, apartment, which had a restaurant, a bar and an entertainment room.
    I lived by myself on the 8th floor, number 807, so there was no answer when I greeted, “I’m home.” but I was used to greeting and I had a puppy living with me, which I really enjoyed taking care of, since I was alone. My sister Shirai works as a pilot, so there’s no need for buying a permanent house. Instead she shares our old mansion with Akira.
    Akira, Shirai, Kyo and Ria came along with me. They decided to have a little party in celebrating my test score, 99 out of 100. On our way, we bought wine, some of us were underage, cake, soda and sushi.
    Ever since the dramatic departing in my high school, Ria has been quiet. Rocks started crashing down in the base of my stomach. Guilt was the description I had felt when we met eyes. I instinctively looked away, my face ashamed.
    All of us, except Shirai and Akira, had gathered around and sat on my leather couches. Shirai had “volunteered” to cut the cake in the kitchen, and Akira went to take a quick research on my high tech computer. The silence has shadowed the three of us, Kyo, Ria and me, again. I detested it.
    “So…” I began, deciding I had enough of the silent treatment. “When are you starting college, Ria?” I chose to take their minds on a random sentence. I crossed my fingers, hoping the conversation would last long.
    “I’m beginning collage this year.” She began, her expression was calm. “But I’m going to study at Rokai.” Her voice was still calm, but my emotion wasn’t.
    “What?!” I asked, too loud. “B-but why?” I glanced at Kyo. He was expressionless. He didn’t even look like he cared. Well, this is a surprisingly awkward conversation.
    Shirai had just come in the room with a tray and on top lay 5 chocolate frosted cakes, with coatings of ice-cream and sponge cake. She didn’t hear our conversation because she was still listening to songs on her MM7.
    “Who wants the first slice?” She cheered, not even having a clue of what our conversation was on.
    Ria ditched the dialogue. “I do.” She said happily. She sounded happy but I perceived that her emotion was wounded. I glared at Kyo.

    • • • • • • •

    We all were gathered around, watching television and eating cake. Akira joined us after an endless feat on her research on my computer. The cake’s flavor was mouth-watering and the comedy movie that we watched was amusing.
    We laughed, enjoyed ourselves and a few of us dozed of.
    When the clock struck 11:00, Ria and Akira were already asleep. Shirai took out a small attractive little box. The box had stolen my focus. It was decorated with tiny fragile-looking scarlet ribbons. It felt like it was calling out to me, like it was supposedly owned by me.
    “What is in there?” I asked with my eyes wide.
    “Inside this uniquely crafted box is my present to you.” Shirai said in a quiet voice, not wanting to disturb Ria and Akira’s sleep. She handed the box to me.
    I took the box willingly and noticed Kyo’s questioning face. I opened it, my eyes still big with curiosity. A million guesses crammed my head. Maybe there’s a ring with my birthstone in it or it could be those cute earrings I’ve been wanting.
    Inside was a small, round pale stone. A rock? I received a rock? My face looked disappointed and surprised at the same time.
    “Well, Youri?” Shirai asked, her voice had great enthusiasm. “Don’t you love it?” She didn’t seem to notice my face.
    I tried to smile as convincingly as I can but I failed.
    “What is it?” Kyo asked. He sounded like he received the gift, if you call an albino stone a gift. Better yet, maybe in a hundred years, it would turn into a diamond.
    “It’s a mood stone.” Shirai informed. “Grandpa said that it also granted your wish if it turned pale blue.”
    “Really?” Kyo asked. His voice didn’t have single sarcasm voiced. He believed her.
    I just laughed. But I had a faint glow of hope, wishing that it could grant desires.
    “Hmph!” my sister toned. But she ended her attitude. “Keep it anyways. You’ll never know when you’ll crave for something.” She winked at me. She knew that I wanted a million things, ever since I was little. Whenever a new high tech item was released, I would beg to buy it. Luckily, we were rich, which is a reason why I lived in an expensive apartment.
    I took her present and place in my sweater.
    She walked over to Akira and tapped her on the shoulder. Akira, dazed, looked at her twin.
    “We’re going home now.” Shirai whispered. “You don’t want me to drive you do you?” She raised one of her eyebrows at Akira.
    Akira abruptly stood up. She didn’t want some drunk, non-licensed person driving her home.
    I woke up Ria as gently as I could. She woke up, rubbing her eyes, looking around, wondering where she was.
    “Well,” Shirai said. “Sleep well.” Akira and Ria were at the doorstep in 20 seconds. Kyo agreed to walk them to the lobby.
    Kyo lived in the same apartment as I did. In fact, his suite was right next to mine. Things couldn’t get any more complicated between us three.
    “Get some sleep.” He said. “And dress well tomorrow. I’m going to take you out for dinner.”
    “Why?” I asked. Kyo has taken me out for dinner a lot of times before, but I’m always protective. “Is anyone coming with us?”
    “No.” He sounded aggressive. “Only for two of us. I want to talk to you about something.” He lost his anger and his face was replaced by a smile, not his usual show-off trophy winner grin but a warm comforting smile. “See you in the morning.” And he closed the door behind him.
    I sighed, loud. I’m alone again. I walked around the room with my puppy, Chocolate, panting and wagging his tail behind him. I rubbed my eyes, got myself a glass of milk, and went to bed, while Chocolate went to his doggy bed. I drank the liquid fast and set the glass on the table beside the bed.
    I’ve forgotten that Shirai’s present was still inside my pocket. Forgetting the stone was how my life took an alarmingly sharp turn.

    To continue chapter two, send me a PM and I will gladly send it to you. biggrin