I wake up to the beeping sound of my alarm clock. Annoyed, I try to turn it off, but I miss the first few times.
I turn around and try to fall asleep again. I just had the most wondrous dream of winning the championship, and each and every of my classmates saw it. However, they didn’t see me, of course. They never do.
I slap myself on the cheek to get up. It is not very effective. I can hear mom already is on her way out of the door with little sis. I meet late today, so no worries. I finally manage drag myself out of bed and into the living room, just to fall asleep on the sofa. I think I overdid it at the match yesterday. I’m always worn out after a match. Mostly psychologically though. This one was really bad. There was that person that saw me and all… I dose off to dream land.
There was a person that saw me! I instantly get up in sitting position. I totally forgot! What do I do? Well, its not like I know this person, right? And there’s no chance he or she knows me. I was teleporting at the moment they entered, so they most likely didn’t even see what gender I was.
Slowly I get dressed and pack my stuff. I don’t want go to school, but I have to. It would be suspicious if I suddenly stopped. I am not really getting paid for battling, but if I win the championship, I am rewarded with a hell lot of money, to say it clearly, and as it stands now, I am by far the best candidate for that job.
I usually walk to school. I am putting on my jacket when I realize what the weather looks like. It is pouring down, not an inch of dry land is to be seen. I fetch my bike keys and go to the shed after locking the front door. I hate biking. Even though Denmark are known for being a biking land, I am not fond of it at all.
I drag my bike outside. I am already soaked. I hurry and swing myself in the saddle. If I just get to school quickly I can dry my clothes.
Not after too long I am there. School. My personal Hades, or Hell. I am not bad at any subject; I am just not the people’s person. At least not at class.
I hurry to the classroom. The door is open, and someone is already inside. They are talking together. A couple of boys. It sounds lively as they discuss.
I enter the room and go to my seat. No one notices, as usual. Doesn’t bother me though.
I hang my jacket over my backpack and lean forward on my desk. My feet are wet, but I will not take off my shoes. My socks are rather stinky, no other way to say it.
I always sit in my seat, even in the breaks. My precious plushie is in my bag, that’s why. And of course I have no real friends except the other geeks like Matt and Tim who sits right next to me. We speak a lot together, but none of us leaves the classroom the whole day.
None of them has come yet, but I’m sure they will. They always show up, like true straight-A students, or 12-students, as we call them here in DK. We have a different kind of grade-scale, with numbers instead of letters. But if you’re from Scandinavia, you already know this.
I can’t help but overhear bits and pieces from the boys conversation, or rather, discussion. It is apparently about me. Well not me as I am now, of course, but you know…
“Have you heard? Someone totally knows who Phoenix is!”
“Of course I heard, dumbass, who hasn’t by now?”
“B-but how do you think he looks?”
“He is probably buff and tall, like a superhero or something. I bet he has blond hair”
Tsk. They don’t know anything at all. I am neither buff or blond. I am tall, yes, but very thin to say it gently.
“Yeah, that sounds about right. How old is he, I wonder…”
“Properly over 20 at least. Since he is so smart and all, he gotta be old”
“but not too old! What if he were actually at our age?”
“Nah, if he were, he would most likely go around telling everyone, right?
I sigh. They are truly clueless.
“Yeah, you’re right, but wouldn’t it be awesome if we found out who he was?”
No! that wouldn’t…
“Yeah! Hell, shouldn’t we start a contest or something? It is not illegal or anything”
You are moving on to dangerous levels of not-to-do…
“I’ll post it right away!”
I can see they are fumbling with their phones. I keep calming myself down. There is no way anyone would suspect me. Still I get a weird feeling when they hit ‘send’. Like if, they somehow already had me pinned down.
Other students begin to come in the door, all of them more or less soaked. Matt is the first one who sits near me to come. He falls into his seat with a bump.
“ did you see the match yesterday?” he asks me straight away.
“not really…” I answer hesitantly.
“that’s too bad, it was awesome! I mean, you should have seen Phoenix and Cami! Team blue is the best!” he sounds spellbound.
“I’m sure they are”
“hey, just what is it with you?” he turns to me with a weird look on his face.
“ you never see any of the matches. Are you an anti?”
I hesitate a little while answering his question.
“n-no, I just never have time to, you know, with all my…”
“with all your what? You don’t have any chores, any friends in particular to hang out with or any girlfriend. What can possibly keep you busy?” he leans closer.
“erm, I, eh…” I am playing in the game, that’s what, numbskull, but of course I can’t tell you.
The teacher steps into the classroom that exact moment. I sigh of relief inside as I find my math book. I check if the plushy is still in the secret pocket. Of course it is. Why wouldn’t it be?
Another boring double lesson goes by. I yawn when the bell rings and everybody goes out the door. Even Matt and Tim leaves to go to the bathroom, so I’m all alone. I pack my stuff back into my bag and lean forward on the table. Boring is the only word for school after the game was invented. However, there is a match soon, so I don’t have to wait for long. I don’t really know when, but they’ll inform me soon over a small device they implanted in my ankle. Sounds a bit weird and sick maybe, but it is one of the least noticeable places, and the doctor didn’t see me. It sends an electric pulse through my nerve system. It is not as painful as it sounds, it is just like a prickling feeling in the leg.
I sit through most of the day without anything interesting happening. Then, in 7th period it is there. The feeling in my leg. Already? I think and excuse myself as I go out of the classroom to avoid attention. I go to the bathroom. I click on my right ankle to receive the information. A picture takes form inside my head. It says:
SEMI-FINALS TOMORROW AT 12:30 PM. BE THERE OR YOU’RE OUT OF THE TURNAMENT
- THE COMMITTEE OF THE GAME
I shake my head. 12:30? That is a critical time, in the middle of 5th period. I guess I’ll just have to skip school tomorrow.
I return to class only to find out we have an assignment for tomorrow. Aaaand it is due to 5th period where we will make a presentation of our chosen subject. It has a big influence on our final grade, and I can’t afford to bail out again. And I say again because I have done it before of course, it was the second time I was in the arena, and I didn’t know what else to do. But if I don’t show up, I’ll be out of the tournament for good, and that would practically ruin my life.
I think about it for the rest of the day. Nothing to do but wait while my time to think up a plan is running out. I think I am going to meet up in class, with my presentation and all. Then I’ll suddenly become sick after presenting and pretend go to the nurses office, but actually go to the bathroom and teleport to the arena. The problem is how to get my plushy out of the classroom undetected. Surely, I can’t just walk to my bag and pull it out. It would be dis-convincing on the ‘I’m sick’ act, and it would bust me being Phoenix. I have to, somehow, have it on me while presenting.
I am walking home by myself as always. I bend a little forward to hide myself a little. Makes me look even more geeky, but truth be told I don’t care. I have managed to not be bullied today, quite a successful day, if I may say so. Sounds weird in your ears, well it is a good day in my opinion.
I round the corner to my block. Nothing to do most of the rest of the day. Except gaming, of course.
I sit at my computer until dinner. After dinner I continue, all the time to midnight. It is not really strange, that I am always tired out at school, even when I haven’t been playing a match.
I have figured that I will have the ice phoenix in the small bag as usual, but I’ll just carry the bag with me under my clothes the whole time, so no one gets suspicious of me. And if anyone were to find this out, I’m - to say it gently - screwed.
I go to bed, trying to think about something else. Tomorrow will be fine, I am sure…