“Okay, hand in your journals by the end of the class.” North spoke out before beginning his lesson. I had already placed my notebook on a corner of his desk to start the growing stack. North sat at the edge of his desk and looked at us.
“How is everyone today?” he asked us crossing his arms. A lot of people shrugged their shoulders or murmured ‘okays’ and ‘goods’. I, however, was the only one to say:
“Could’ve been better.” My response earned the attention of the professor.
“Ms…” He trailed and looked at the seating plan. “Arendelle. What makes you say that?” I could feel everyone’s eyes on me, waiting for my response… including Jack’s.
“It- just- could’ve been better.” I stammered.
“Really? How so?” he asked.
“Well for one, it would’ve been better if I wasn’t put on the spot in front of a bunch of people I don’t even know.” I answered, receiving a few laughs from everyone. North’s eyes were still fixed on me, waiting for more of an answer.
“It just could’ve been a better day.”
“How would you know? You didn’t experience it.” North countered.
“Because nothing really good happened today. Nothing made me feel like today was a great day.” I answered. North’s mouth twitched to show a little smile, indicating that was the answer he was looking for.
“Repeat that.” He ordered.
“Nothing made me feel like today was a great day.” I repeated.
“How many of you ever had something take place and it changed the course of what happened next? For the good.” North asked the class. Everyone raised their hands.
“And that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today.” He said standing from his desk and grabbing a piece of chalk.
“Whenever something good happens to you, or makes you feel really good, you tend to remember it.” North began writing on the board. “There is a specific name for such things; they are called your sparks; or sparkles if you want it to sound my mythical. On average, a person will have at least 10 major ones by the time they are 20. Your assignment is to make your list.”
“But what would count as a spark sir?” someone asked.
“A memory that you will never forget because of the let’s say extraordinary feeling you experienced in that particular moment.” North explained. “One of mine would be… seeing my wife walk down the aisle on our wedding day.” I heard the ‘awes’ and the snickers from the class, but I couldn’t help but notice a slight glint of sorrow in his eyes once he said his memory.
“Okay!” he snapped himself out of his trance. “Is anybody willing to share one of theirs? Don’t worry, nobody has a wrong answer.” Lots of hands shot up in the class.
“Re-uniting with my dad after he finished his first tour in Iraq.”
“Finding out my little sister beat cancer.”
“Getting my first puppy.” Were some of the answers.
“How about you Mr. Frost?” North challenged the student beside me. Everyone, including myself, turned to him. Jack however had the most unimpressed expression on his face. “Care to share one with us?”
“I’d have to dig deep to find one sir.” He responded leaning back into his chair.
“Surely you can think of at least one.” Jack stared him down, as if he was studying the professor. I could feel the tension coming off of Jack like he was expanding his own bubble of awkward and trying to reach it to North.
“Taking my little sister ice skating for the first time when she was six.” Jack practically spat.
“Did anything happen on that particular day?” North pushed. The tension beside me nearly tripled; these two definitely knew each other and North was plucking some serious nerves.
“No.” Jack responded with a pinch of anger in his voice. North took one more look from Jack before changing the subject.
“This assignment will be due in four weeks; that way if you can’t think of your sparks then you can make them.” He announced writing the date on the board. “The day it is due, I am going to make you feel like shit.” Hearing the professor swear caused everyone’s breath to be held.
“Your task is to make up a list of ten sparks. After I am done with my part of the exercise, you will read your list and it is supposed to make you feel back to normal, or even better than how you felt walking into the classroom. You have fifteen minutes to get a jump start; then I’ll have to interrupt you for another lesson.” North set the chalk down and set a timer on his desk. Everyone began typing or writing away. I just started typing, it couldn’t be that hard.
And… stuck on the first one. I looked around the room, and I could guess that everyone was probably on their third or fourth spark. Even Jack had written something down on the page in front of him. He set his pen down to put his earphones in his ears. His eyes met mine, and that’s when I realized I was staring.
“What’s up Queeny?” he asked out of nowhere. It wasn’t hard to tell that he was pissed.
“You okay?” I asked with genuine sympathy.
“Peachy.” He responded with minor irritation. “Why would you care anyway?”
“Because…” My mind went completely blank because there really was no answer.
“Um… try to mind your own business.” He scoffed. “Haven’t you heard that curiosity killed a cat?”
“But satisfaction brought it back.” I countered. “Look, I just wanted to see if you were okay. I could feel the anger radiating off of you.” His eyebrows knit together trying to study me.
“Queen here’s checking up on her people.” He teased. I was about to say something, but he interrupted.
“Look, just because you’re friends with my roommate doesn’t mean that you have to check up on me.” He reasoned.
“Good to know.” I sighed. I turned back to my laptop without another word; but my mind was screaming out other responses.
Jerkface, I didn’t even want to check up on you anyway.
Yeah you did.
No, I only did it to be a nice person.
You sure about that?
… Yes? I think so at least.
I hope you realized the other option is there too.
What? That I didn’t check up on him because he’s Hiccup’s roommate? And I checked up on him because-
You actually care for him…
“Finally, you came along.” Anna said as we walked up to the door.
“I finished a good half of my assignments, and I caught up on all my shows. Plus it’s boring and quiet at home.” I reasoned.
“So will you be coming out with us more often?”
“We’ll see.” I said before she got any ideas. Anna knocked on the dorm waiting for our host. Running was heard on the other side of the door and it swung open.
“Took you long enough.” Rapunzel snorted, then her eyes went to me. “Elsa! You came!”
“Yeah, I-“ I was cut off when she jumped on me for a bear hug. Her bone crushing arms wrapped around me and let me go.
“Anna didn’t tell me what we were doing tonight.” I huffed as she dragged me inside her dorm.
“That’s because she doesn’t know what I’ve got planned.” Rapunzel revealed. “It’s something we made up; Spontaneous Fridays. Whoever’s the host plans out what happens.”
“We rotate every week.” Anna smiled. “This would be our second one.”
“And Rapunzel’s the one who planned it all out.” Merida called out from the kitchen.
“Okay, so what’s happening tonight?” I asked. Rapunzel just smiled and took a folded piece of paper from her pocket.
“I thought this would be good.” I took the paper from her hands. I opened it up and read the flyer.
“Open rink.” I read. “Free admission.”
“We’re going ice skating?!” Anna squealed. Rapunzel nodded and the two and a little freak out.
“Elsa, thank goodness you came!” my sister cheered. “You get to show off on the ice.”
“Anna, it’s a community event. That means my stunts are banned.” I giggled handing the flyer back to Rapunzel.
“Wait, you ice skate?” Merida questioned as she came out of the kitchen with an apple in her hand.
“Yeah. It’s really the only thing my parents allowed me to do.” I answered. “I was a competitive skater, but my dad made me stop so I can focus on his company.”
“Which makes no sense.” Anna cut in. “in my opinion anyway. You could’ve been a professional skater my now.”
“I know.” I agreed. “Remember when my dream was to make it to the Olympics? And I just needed to try out a year after that was my dream.”
“And your parents stopped you?!” Rapunzel exclaimed. I nodded.
“I was able to be a board member of his company when I turned sixteen. That’s the same time I could’ve tried for the Olympics.” I explained. Rapunzel looked at me with a look of shock, confusion and disbelief.
“Let’ go.” Punzie said getting her keys from the table. “Elsa, you are going to skate, no matter how packed it is.”
“What? Why?” I asked as Anna started pushing me out the door.
“I want to see how good you are.” She reasoned.
“It’s been a few years Punzie.” I defended. “I don’t know if I can do the same things I could when I was sixteen.” Rapunzel locked the dorm door and turned to me, waiting for Anna and Merida to lead before she said something.
“Don’t you want to go back to that time?” she asked. “I remember that time Elsa. You were at the happiest moment in your life, then you moved and now you aren’t the same.”
“I grew up.” I bluntly said. Rapunzel smiled and took my hand.
“Time for you to grow back down.”
“Come on Elsa.” Rapunzel encouraged me.
“Hang on. Just making sure my laces are tied.” I called as I double knotted the rental skates.
“You better hurry. Anna requires assistance out here.” Merida giggled as my sister fell on her butt for the fifth time since arriving.
“My butt’s going to get swollen.” She whined as she got to her feet.
“Well you did fall five times in five minutes.” Merida pointed out.
“Eight minutes.” Anna corrected as I got on the ice. The skates were duller than I’m used to, but they’d have to do.
“Okay Anna, I’ll help you.” I laughed as I skated to her with ease. I took her hand to pull her to the ledge.
“Hold on to this for now. Find your balance and try to skate forward.” Anna pulled both hands on the railing, and used it to pull herself forward, trying to stay on her feet.
“There you go Anna.” Rapunzel cheered. That’s when I noticed her and Merida were watching instead of skating.
“You two go ahead. We can catch up with you later.” I told them.
“Are you sure?” Merida asked.
“Yeah. We came here to skate, not watch.” I reasoned.
“And I think I’m starting to get it.” Anna called out as she kept pulling herself along the railing, then immediately fell on her butt. I skated towards her to help her up.
“Go.” I called to the other girls before pulling my sister to her feet. The two girls laughed before going on their own into the rink.
“Hold onto the edge Anna.” I instructed. “You need to learn balance first.”