Southern Constellations

Romany Fitzgerald wishes one day to lead a frivolous and harmonic life pursuing her dreams, but first, she must complete the exhausting challenge of being an actual teenager. Romany believes her vicinity is filled with people who just do not understand, in fact, nobody understands. Most of all, there's a person she would give her left arm to avoid.

Austin Orion.

Hell-bent on bringing beautiful chaos into Romany's life, can Austin and Romany build a steady friendship on the ruins of a lifetime of hatred? This seems far too surreal for Romany, but she is unknowing of the hell and torment waiting for her around the corner; she was yet to lose possibly the most important thing she had in the world; music.
But she still has the constellations for guidance; looking for answers in a world that doesn't know the question, can Romany delve deeper into what is meant to be and follow her heart?

Did fate fall short this time?

A/N: Rated red for bad language and trauma.

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3. Three

 

Unfortunately, my oblivion was short lived. It was 6:00AM and my stomach growled at me in unhappiness. I was beyond starving. I decided against falling back asleep and got up. I poured myself a generous glass of orange juice and poured a bowl of cereal. I devoured my way through my breakfast as if I hadn't eaten for weeks.

After getting dressed for the day, I planned to go and watch the sunrise from the top of the hill near my house. I took my bag and supplies and made it a detour on my way to school.

I made my way there, it wasn’t far, and a nice stroll never hurt anybody. The ascent was harsher than I remembered, but I knew the view would be worth it. And boy was it.

I sat myself in the middle of the grassy hill, facing the abyss of the sky in front of me, waiting patiently for the beauty to ensue. I took a deep breath and watched a rim of gold and orange slowly peek above the horizon. Soon after, the whole sky had erupted into light, flitting the atmosphere with oranges, pinks and purples.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” I could have sworn I jumped at least four feet in the air. I placed my hand on my chest to soothe my rapidly beating heart. I turned to find – believe it or not – Austin Orion, standing with his hands in his pockets, staring wide-eyed at the sky.

I scowled at him.

“I was just leaving.” I said bluntly before recollecting my things and walking off.

Now, there’s something you must know. Since forever, I’ve always had a soft spot for Austin, (I know what you're thinking, "but you hate the guy!"). I wasn’t sure whether it was this arrogant confidence he had about himself, his black hair that I just wanted to run my hands through, or his caramel brown eyes that were impossible not to get lost in.

Despite this, there are times when he makes my blood boil, and my fists tighten, and my jaw clench. In fact, that is almost all the time. I can’t possibly remember the last time we were civil, probably because he was the biggest idiot on the face of the earth. He just infuriated me. But he infuriated me in a way nobody else did.

As I began to walk away he grabbed my arm, he forcefully span me around so I was facing him.

“What do you want?” I yelled, getting angrier with every passing second I was in his presence. We weren't even supposed to be speaking, I mean, we were polar-opposites, he was ridiculously popular, and I was, well… me.

“I wanted to say sorry.” His eyes bore into mine; he was so much taller than me, so I couldn’t be as intimidating as I would have hoped.

“Just save it, I don’t want to hear it.”

I was kind of curious as to how he knew where I was, but now wasn’t an appropriate time to ask. Maybe he came here too, I wouldn’t be surprised; it is beautiful.

I made my way to school, walking desperately fast. Maybe if I got there early enough I could continue with my paintings I had stored in the art rooms from a couple of weeks ago. Anywhere but here.

 

Grace approached me later that morning, looking slightly annoyed. “Where were you this morning? You never waited for me? We were supposed to walk together. It's Wednesday.”

I inwardly face-palmed; I completely forgot.  Wednesday was walk with Grace to school day.

“Shit, I’m sorry; I got kind of tied up.”

“Tied up? With Austin Orion? You bailed on me to meet Austin Orion. Do you think I’m retarded?” She had her eyebrows raised and she looked rather pissed off now. My eyebrows knitted together in confusion, and my mouth gaped open slightly.

“What? No? I mean, I took a detour this morning, and he was just there, I didn’t go to meet him.”

“He told us that you went to watch the sunrise with him near that big old hill by your house.”

“The hell is going on?”

“So you didn’t?”

“Hell no I didn’t.”

“Right.”

“I’m sorry, I genuinely forgot to meet you and to make it up to you I’ll buy you two packets of strawberry laces.” She perked up at this. “As for Austin, he’ll be lucky if I haven’t skinned him alive by second period.”

 

For the whole day, I managed to contain myself and not drive a stake through Austin’s chest, but if looks could kill…

Of course, being me has its disadvantages, hell, the list is endless, but today I remembered who I was, and what I stand for. So instead of kicking off, I stood my ground, and said nothing. I was going to be the bigger person. And seeing as I was me, causing a scene wouldn't exactly act in my favor. Imagine twenty-odd popular guys laughing at my feeble attempt at getting even with Austin Orion.

My ‘bigger person’ act was going swimmingly, until fourth period when I had art studies.

“Now, as you all know, you students have midterms approaching, and the art and music department have decided to come together and embrace students in both subjects. Consequently for this, you will be paired up with a music student, who you will work with until the end of the semester.” I was pretty skeptical about this whole thing. “Are there any questions?”

I raised my hand uncertainly. Mrs. Fletcher pointed at me with a patronizing smile.

“Yes Romany?”

“What is it we will be doing with the other students, exactly?”

She looked like I’d just told her the most fascinating thing in the world; she clapped her hands together and smiled at us all. “Well,” she began, “you will be assigned a partner, whom which you will get to know, and the art pupils will create a music inspired painting or other mixed media piece, and the music pupil will create a piece of music that relates to that of the other person and will reflect the artwork the art student creates.”

Some of the students in the room looked at each other pessimistically. Not only does this mean I have to open up my life to somebody I do not know, I have to pretend to be interested in their crappy music. I sighed lowly; this really couldn’t get any worse.

Oh, but it could.

“I’ve assigned you each a partner of which I think you will work conscientiously and co-operatively with.”

I zoned out completely until my head perked up at the sound of my name.

“Romany Fitzgerald, I’ve paired you up with…” she dragged her finger down the clipboard she was holding. “Austin Orion.”

I almost choked on the air I was breathing, “What?!” I yelled, “Can I not swap please?” All the students in the class turned to face me in their seats, giving me odd looks. I could have sworn I heard one girl say "Why wouldn't you want to go with Austin? Is she fucking retarded?" 

“No, I’m afraid my decisions are final.”

I began sulking with my head on my desk and trying to hope that I would wake up from this nightmare. Anyone but him. Anyone.

 

“You will start tomorrow during your study period.” Mrs. Fletcher announced to the class before dismissing us. I really, really, really did not want to do this.

That day I walked home alone – nothing unusual there – but I felt completely empty, I didn’t even feel like myself. I tried listening to music, but not even that helped. There was only one thing that could make my feel human, and that was the stars. God, I loved the stars.

Once I got home, I eagerly awaited the night sky, I slipped into some jeans and a warm wintery sweater. I ate dinner faster than normal, I had this urge to go outside, and I couldn’t wait any longer, it had been eating away at me since the moment it popped into my head.

“I’m going out,” I told my mother, she was putting the dishes away, and she looked at me as if I were mentally insane.

“Don’t be silly, it’s cold, and dark.”

“That’s the whole point; I want to see the stars.” She pondered for a while, before shrugging.

“Be careful, and don’t be back too late.”

 

I gave her a sincere smile. She understood me, I needed time to myself, and she knew this too. I made my way up to the same hill I had that morning, only this time it was dusk, and the sky was light blue, fading into black.

I decided to lie down, like a snow angel. I just lay there, staring up at the sky, like the calm before the storm, except I wasn’t expecting a storm; I was expecting a blanket of twilight to cover the sky at any moment.

 Slowly, one by one, the twinkling, glittery lights came out and beamed into the abyss of blue. I feel at one with the earth when I look at stars. We’re the same really, stars and I. After all, everyone is essentially made of star stuff, so they say.

They’re like people, only more beautiful, and simpler, or more complex – depending on which way you look at them. I want to be a star, live my life burning bright, making people happy here on earth, whilst staying mysterious. And then, when the time comes to die, I’d explode into the wonderful beauty of a nebula, so colorful and incredible. I want to be remembered when I die, but I'm not going to, because I'm me, silly old Romany.

The sky was now a deep and mesmerizing blue, so captivating and enthralling. I made out a few constellations. There was Pegasus and Aquarius, but a faint layer of cloud made it hard to make out many others. It made me happy nonetheless.

It was starting to get cold, so I decided it was time to make my way home again, to get ready for another day in the longest week in my life.

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