Authors: Aoife Metcalfe
Elysium’s Love Triangle
By A.M. Metcalfe
Elysium’s Love Triangle
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Back when I was ten my best friend in the world was Greg Harshaw. Every day we’d play together on the beach near my house. My mom used to keep an eye on us, give an occasional shout if we went too near the sea. She was always worried that I’d be stung by a jelly fish, pinched by a crab or eaten by a shark.
At least that’s what she told me. I think she just doesn’t like the water. There was an incident, back then, which caused her to dislike it.
I don’t think about the incident a lot, not anymore.
In fact I don’t even think about Greg a lot anymore. He moved away when we were eight. His Mom is the complete opposite to mine, a ‘free-spirit’ if ever there was one. She never checked on us much. Greg always bragged t
he was allowed to do what
He wasn’t allowed to stay living
in our neighbourhood
I remember him crying to me about leaving. I had a dream about it last night. This is why I am n
ow thinking back on the good old
times, if you could call them that, and writing about the dream in my diary.
It’s hard to keep what I’m writing private. I am on a plane in a row of four seats. My Mom is
next to me
trying to peak in.
On the other side there is a teenage boy around my age. He has his hood up
so it’s hard to get a good look at him. He is lying back trying to sleep. A girl, also around my age, is sitting next to him. I can’t stop myself from wondering if she’s a relation or his girlfriend. There doesn’t seem to be that much warmth between them.
They haven’t spoken to each other since we got on the plane. She’s reading
a book with a frog on the cover
of it. Her hair is blonde with pink streaks going through it and she is dressed, head to toe, in designer clothes. She is also wearing quite a lot of make-up.
The boy is still turned away from me. I still haven’t seen his face.
My Mom grabs her armrest again and inhales sharply. She does this every time the pilot puts on the ‘fasten your seatbelt’ sign. Flying is not her favourite thing in the world to do.
She is obviously scared witless. The only reason she came on this flight was to make sure that I got on it myself. She’s sending me off to boarding school. We’re on the way there now. I saw the leaflet; it’s far too posh for me. She thinks it will give me the best opportunities in life.
Dad went there when he was young, she told me.
This is why, in the end, I agreed to go. I didn’t get to know my Dad for very long. He died when I was four. Going to the same school, weirdly, makes me feel just a little bit closer to him.
It was horrible leaving all my friends
. They’ll all be going to high-
I don’t know
going to this school. I’ve never been more scared in my whole life.
The girl at the end of our row smiles suddenly, looking satisfied. I wonder if there was something amusing in her book. I wonder what could possibly be amusing about frogs.
She glances at the boy. He shakes his head at her.
There is some kind of non-verbal communication going on here. These two are really intriguing me.
Greg used to do that too, mostly with his stories. I can still see him, on the beach, with sand in his blonde hair. He used to dare me to go into the water and break my sandcastles. When they were broken we could stay out fo
r longer, to make
a new one. He never really seemed to want to go home.
I wonder what he is doing now. I wish I was older when he left. Then we could have swapped phone numbers.
It’s amazing how you lose
contact with people.
It’s strange, not knowing if they still remember you.
We hit some turbulence. I stop writing in my diary and take my Mom’s hand. She is completely terrified. She’s practically shaking.
I assure her
everything’s okay. Still there is terror in her green eyes, the emerald colour that I inherited from h
er. I also inherited her chestnut brown
pale skin. I often wonder what, if anything, I got from my Dad.
From the corner of my eye I see our pink haired girl. She is the complete opposite to all the nervous people now, smiling and delighted. Last time we hit turbulence she giggled. I begin to wonder what she finds so amusing about it.
I’m not as bad at flying as my Mom but I still don’t exactly
turbulence. I don’t really see how anyone could.
I come to the conclusion that our frog-fan must be a very quirky girl.
The boy doesn’t seem to mind turbulence either. It never stirs him from his attempted sleep, not even the worst bouts of it.
My Mom gets some water from the air hostess and takes her sleeping pills. She brought these ‘just in case’ we had a bad flight.
In just a few minutes she is fast asleep. I am relieved, she’s happier now.
I sit back and begin to write in my diary again.
I am distracted before I even get one word written. Our quirky girl decides to put away her frog book and takes out a new one.
This one is about sharks.
My breath catches and I look away quickly. It’s too late. I saw it.
My heart beats just a bit faster.
It was only a picture.
I tell myself this again and again. Nothing bad is going to happen to me.
I glance at my Mom. She usually helps when this happens.
Anything to do with sharks will whip me into a frenzy of anxiety. It’s a phobia that started when I was four.
They come when you least expect it. They kill you.
They prey on people.
I am gripping the side of seat now.
She is still reading that book. I can sense it.
She has no idea of what she’s currently putting me through.
I close my eyes.
It can’t get me. I’m not in the sea.
I squeeze the hand rest tighter.
“Hey, are you okay?” A voice distracts me.
I open my eyes. It’s the boy beside me, his hood is down now. He is looking at me, concerned.
He is stunningly gorgeous.
If my breath hadn’t already left me it would’ve now.
He has his black hair pushed back in a way that is extremely sexy.
ttention focuses on his eyes
. They are sky blue and seem, if it isn’t my imagination, to be almost glowing. There is something so beautiful and celestial about them. I am completely enchanted.
I compose myself, “Yeah I’m fine. It’s just the, em,
the flight you know . . . kind
He smiles kindly. This brightens up his face.
Wow, I thought he couldn’t get any more gorgeous.
“It is statistically the safest for
of transport you know,” he assures me. “I know that probably doesn’t help but . . . it’s a fact.”
I grin back at him, grateful. I don’t know how he did it but he has definitely distracted me from my real fear.
“Thanks,” I say. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
He holds out his hand, “My name’s Daniel, by the way.”
I shake it, “I’m Katy. . . Katy Darkwood.”
I like the grip he has on my hand and find myself extremely aware of it.
My heart is going fast for a completely different reason now.
The girl clears her throat, distracting us both.
The boy smile becomes a knowing one, “This is my sister Angelica.”
Now she looks pleased, having been introduced.
I am also guiltily happy. She’s his sister, not his girlfriend.
Her first question comes fast, “Do you like sharks?”
A chill runs down my spine at the word.
“Angelica!” Daniel rebukes her
looking nonplussed, “She’s having a hard flight. I don’t think she wants to hear about deadly predators right now.”
I shiver again.
“No, it’s quite alright. I happen to find sharks . . . amusing.” I swallow before purposely changing the subject, “Are you two going on holidays?”
They glance quickly at each other, looking regretful.
“I wish,” he confesses. “No, we’re going to school . . .
. I’m completely dreading it . . . What finds you here?”
I don’t think
ever been happier with an answer in my life.
. That’s precisely where I’m going
Things are looking up. At least I’ll know someone there.
I am suddenly very glad
I sat beside these two.
I tell him that I’m going there too, trying to hide my glee.
“No way!” He sounds excited.
He tells me that he’d thought there would only be spoilt rich kids here. I seem pretty normal.
I laugh at this. I tell him
he’s pretty normal too.
After this he looks me in the eyes. It’s only for a second but it has the effect of almost stopping my heart.
“I’ve a feeling it’s going to be great fun,” Angelica says.
Looking at Daniel I begin to believe this myself.
Berchmont Academy divides its students into classes in a novel way. We are put in a class with people of the same eye colour.
won’t let us into
until we arrange ourselves accordingly. Two hundred students with suitcases
trying to figure out who has the same eye colour as them. It is all very strange.
Sheeran himself. He has long black hair and an ear ring. To add to the effect he wears a purple suit. During his opening speech to us he references fifty rock songs.
A lot of the kids seem
to be wondering whether they’ve
come to the right place. I wouldn’t blame them. Sheeran really doesn’t look like a man who runs a school of
academic and sporting excellence.
I find the green eyed group with some help from Daniel. They are gathered on the football field to the left of the school.
Then, unfortunately, Daniel has to leave to find the blue eyed group. My comfort and sense of ease leaves with him.
I’m out on my own again.
I am not the only one who looks lost. There are a few people talking in my group but more seem to be keeping to themselves. It’s not easy to just talk to a group of people you don’t know after all. We are all still very awkward and nervous, without exception.