Elements

High-school freshman Nerissa Blane has problems. They're not exactly the same as your average teenage girl's either. Nerissa is adopted and on a quest to find her birth mother. But this story isn't quite so cookie-cutter. Why is she finding her biological mother? Oh, because the voice inside her head is telling her to. Not to mention the fact that Nerissa makes water fountains explode. On accident, of course. Is she just plain mad, or is something bigger really going on?

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6. Answers. Well, kind of.

      Okay, so that seemed pretty bad. I probably should have intervened a little bit, but, to be honest, everything Blaze said was completely justified. Granted, she was a little rude, but justified nonetheless. I wanted to know all this stuff too!

    The little boy sitting on the ground just to the right of Gina—What was his name? Angelo?—interrupts. "Ella es Tohil, pero ¿quién es usted?" he says, looking at me. 

    "And what is he saying?" Blaze interjects.

     Gina answers the little boy and, whatever she says, he simply will not accept it. He crosses his arms  and gives an indignant "Humph!"

    Gina turns to us and tells us, "Angelo's great-grandmother was one of the Maya, an extremely advanced civilization dating back to ancient Central America. His grandmother has told him many, many stories that his family has passed down about the gods that the Maya worshiped. One of which—Tohil, god of fire— he has associated with our very own Blaze."

    Blaze is smirking now. "Not very advanced if he thinks I'm a god."

    "Blaze!" I scold her as I nudge her, telling her to shut up.

    Gina's expression stays the same. "They weren't very far off."

     "What do you mean?" I respond, confused.

     "Oh, so I'm some sort of god. Okay," Blaze starts, every word dripping with disdain. "Please, come, worship me. Bow in my presence." She stands to her feet, holding her arms out in some grand, holy gesture.

    "That's not what I said. Look, I know as much as you do about these abilities. One of my very, very dear friends, though, believed that God himself hand-picked us the take care of the elements." Gina finished with a sad smile.

   "What's wrong?" I venture.

   She takes a deep breath and holds it for a second before exhaling. "She was your mother. Meredith. You both look very much like her in her youth."

   Whoa. Wait, what? Both Blaze and I are completely awestruck. That was a lot of information to process. Gina knows our mother. Or, "knew" I guess. She was "was", right? Wait, is our mom dead? What happened? Blaze comes to a lot faster than I do.

   "What do you mean 'was'?" She demands.

   Another deep breath. "I think it's time for a story, girls." Blaze looks like she's about to object, but then she silences herself. "I was a very good friend of your mother's. We met in this very town at Northridge High School." she says with a nostalgic grin, looking off somewhere in the distance. "There were four of us, actually, we were all like you two. We were the best of friends, your mother, me and two boys. One of which was Aiden. The other is not as important now. We'll get to him later. But Aiden, well, your mother's high school years were all about Aiden. She was CRAZY about him. He was pretty crazy about her too." I couldn't help but smile a little at that part.

    "I'm not really sure how it worked between the two of them.They reminded me of that one couple, from 'The Notebook'? One minute they were yellin' and fightin' with each other and the next they were happy as could be! They were complete opposites! Down to their very cores they were different. Meredith's gifting was for water, Aiden's was for fire. Aiden was one for concrete facts; Meredith was happy with abstract thoughts. The beliefs that your mother had about our abilities were not good enough for him. He believed in some scientific reason for why we're how we are, even though he couldn't find anything. And search he did. Aiden and Meredith got married right out of high school and soon he just couldn't help himself. He went to medical school, and after that he constantly poked and prodded your mother, but to no avail. When he found out she was pregnant with you two, he had himself a cow! He got very controlling."

     Gina pauses and looks at Blaze and I. "Now, you two, listen to me when I say this. Your father was a good man. He still loved your mother very much, but he had driven himself a little crazy. He rarely let her leave, for fear of adverse effects of a pregnancy with two 'special' babies, he told her. A few weeks after you two were born, though, your mother had finally had enough. Your father came towards one of you with a needle and Meredith knew she had to get you away. She did. I don't know where she took you, but she escaped and took you somewhere. She... she was gone though."

   "He KILLED her?!" Blaze interrupts.

    "No, no, darling! Your father would never do something like that. He may have been a little bit... off, but he still loved her. No one really knows what happened, it was all very mysterious."

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