Penguins: A Love Story

Did you know that when penguins mate, they mate for life? They are the only animals to do this. And when a male penguin has chosen a mate, he searches the entire beach just to find the right pebble to give to her. Exactly like a proposal. Penguins are soul mates, loving one another until they die.

"Penguins" follows the romance of Theo and Claire; two people who never thought they could be loved, but then found each other. Theo was the quiet, shy guy who was universally liked, but no one really knew him. Claire was a bright, sunny soul who always had a smile on her face that hid her inner pain. Could they be penguins? Or will these lovebirds be wrenched apart by the very things that bind them together?

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1. Chapter 1

Theo was shy. He would be the first to admit that. He wasn't very confident in himself, and had trouble making friends. Talking to new people had always been a challenge. So, imagine how he felt on his first day of high school. A whole new building, people he didn't know, and just overall terror. Yeah, Theo was in for one heck of a day. 

He stared in the mirror at his reflection. His floppy brown hair was a mess; he'd tugged it so many times. Baleful blue eyes stared back at him in the glass, and he mentally berated himself. There wasn't anything to be afraid of, right?
"Are you ready to go, Teddy?" his mom called from the bottom of the stairs. 
Theo sighed and picked up his backpack, slinging it across his shoulders. 
"As ready as I'm going to be." Theo muttered.
"Teddy?"
"Coming, Mom."


What if he got lost? Or couldn't get his locker open? Or what if an upperclassman shoved him into said locker? This was agonizing. Theo walked around in a daze for most of the morning, staring at a confusing map. Thankfully he hadn't managed to get lost yet. At lunchtime,  he wandered around for awhile, searching to find  his locker and get his food. 

With a sigh of relief, Theo saw his homeroom and then found his locker, number 1800. It was on the lower level, so he knelt down and picked up the lock. But this relief soon turned to horror. Somebody must have turned the lock the wrong way around when he wasn't looking. It was going to be impossible to get open.

Theo cursed under his breath and sat back on his knees, wondering what he was going to do. He could barely get the lock open when it was facing him; This was just unmanageable. He looked around him desperately. Maybe a teacher could help him. 

Salvation came in the form of another student, walking towards him with a concerned expression on her face. 
"You okay there?"
Theo's head snapped up and he shrugged,
"Yeah, it's alright-"
"No, it isn't." she said, kneeling down beside him. 
She glanced down at the lock and then sighed sympathetically. Theo expected her to get up and leave then and there. Why did she have to help him with this stupid issue? It wasn't her problem. 

But she stayed, laying down on the ground beneath the locker and attempting to get the lock unlatched.
"What's your combination?"
"7, 15, 4"
She nodded and began twirling the lock, brown eyes narrowed in concentration. 
"Stupid upperclassmen.' she muttered under her breath. 
Theo looked at her in surprise.
"You're a freshman?" he asked, incredulous. 
She glanced up at him, a grin already forming.
"Yeah. What'd you think I was? A senior?" she scoffed.
"I'm just as fresh as you, buddy."
With a click, the lock came undone. The girl sat up, handing it to him.
"Knock yourself out."
Theo smiled to show his gratitude and then said,
"Thank you for helping me."
"No problem. Us freshie's have to stick together, right?"
Theo nodded and the girl walked slowly, humming a tune to herself. As if on a whim, she turned back around and said,
"What's your name, anyways?"
"Th- Theo.' he stammered out. 
"Theodore actually. But I prefer Theo."
"Great name. Infinitely better than mine, anyway."
Upon seeing his questioning look, the girl sighed,
"It's Claire. Dreadful, right?"
"I don't think so."
"It's so boring! I could have been named anything in the world, and my parent's settled for Claire."
She sighed and then grinned. 
"See you around, Theo."

Claire walked away, leaving Theo alone. He stood up, grabbed his lunch out of the locker, safely secured the offending lock and then hurried to the cafeteria. But as he went, he smiled to himself. He might have actually made a friend.


*If anyone's confused by the whole American school system, here's how it works. You enter high school when you're 14/15, as a freshman. The next years after this year are sophomore, junior, and senior. You graduate senior year at about 17/18.*
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