Cupid's Gift

Pearl realised that something was wrong with her when her back started itching uncontrollably. She tries to deal with her problem by herself and in the process meets Monica, a girl who is new to town. As things get complicated, will she be able to handle everything that comes at her? Or will she be crushed by her inner conflicts?

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1. Itch

People were dancing and singing around me as they wished me happy birthday. It was my 17th birthday and my parents decided that it would be a great idea to invite anybody who is an acquaintance or more to me. Many of them were from my school, and some were from my neighborhood. Music was blasting through the speakers, and people were dancing to some Katy Perry song. Since it was my birthday, they decided to use my iPod for the music. After the song ended, it changed to a song by Sleeping With Sirens and everybody stopped to look at me. “My bad.” I changed it to a One Direction one.

A couple of hours later, the cake was cut and I had opened my gifts. People started leaving and wished me a last happy birthday. When I went back into the house, there were paper cups and plates everywhere and I knew that it would be a long night of cleaning.

-----

It was Monday, the day after my birthday, and I was back at school.

“Hey Pearl. Your party was really cool.”

I looked up, smiled at her and quickly walked away knowing that if I stayed longer I would start to fidget. It’s not that I’m socially awkward or anything, but I was extremely bothered by an itch on my back. Today was supposed to be a normal day of school, and I guess it is to some extent. Everything was normal except for the annoying itch.
This morning, I woke up feeling really great. I was ready to take on another day of loud classmates, teachers yelling and more homework. Well, that was, until my back started itching uncontrollably. It might sound pretty stupid to lose all motivation for the day just because of an itch, but I’d never felt anything like it before. It felt like as if hundreds of mosquitoes bit me while I was asleep. And what’s even weirder is that only my upper back was itching. I was sitting on my bed scratching at my back for about 15 minutes before it started hurting, so I decided to leave it alone and see what happens. I went to the bathroom the look how bad it was in the mirror. My upper back was red all over. I cringed and put some ointment on it just in case. I got ready for school trying my best to ignore the itch.

I couldn’t concentrate in class because I was more focused on resisting the urge to reach over and start scratching. Just imagining how stupid I would look itching my back during class helped in holding back my urge. I constantly had people coming over to me to ask if I was alright because I was acting weird. Every time I was asked, I would smile or laugh and say ‘of course’. The only person I talked about this to was my best friend Jade. We’ve been best friends since elementary school and I know I can trust her not to tell anyone. Why I don’t want anyone to know? Because it’s not everyday you get a terrible, mysterious itch on your back. I’d rather not have people avoiding me because they think I have some undiscovered disease. Some ignorant people would surely say I have Ebola.

“So it just appeared out of nowhere? You just woke up and ‘boom!’ You had an itch on your back?”

“Exactly.

 “It could’ve been something you ate yesterday or something. I mean, it was a pretty wild party. Maybe you should see a doctor?”

“Could be. I was kind of hoping it would go away by tomorrow.”

“We’ll have to see what happens then.”

Right after she said that, I saw Ian walking towards us. Ian is and has been Jade’s crush for a long time. She’s been crushing on him since middle school. He’s our friend, but she’s been too chicken to try anything. I tried dropping a hint once and she hit me. Violent one she is.

“Hey Jade, Pearl.”

“Hey,” said Jade.

“Hi, Ian. How’s Marley?” Ian is a sucker for the movie ‘Marley And Me’ and named his dog Marley after the dog in the movie.

“She’s good, doing well.”

“Good to know. Tell you what, I’ve got to go, but see you at lunch?”

“Sure.”

I walked away, turning back once to wink at Jade who looked like she was about to piss herself. I shot her a thumbs up and headed to my first class.

-----

It was now lunch break. As soon as I walked into the cafeteria, I spotted Jade on her phone. I walked over to her trying to be sneaky, but I swear, she has eyes everywhere because she knew I was coming even before I was within 3 meters from her.

“How’s the itch on your back?”

“Absolutely wonderful.”

“Cool.”

“What do you have to eat?”

“Two sandwiches and an apple. You?”

“Pasta! Your favorite!”

“Great. Now I feel bad.”

“Hey, I like those sandwiches you get. No need to feel bad.” It was normal for us to switch lunches. It’s been a tradition since when we first became friends. My mother knows what Jade likes and Her mother knows what I like.
While I was eating, my back was still itching. I was unusually hungry and gulfed down the sandwiches. As I bit into the apple, the itching stopped. The itching disappeared when I ate the apple.

“Jade, this is weird.”

“What?”

“The itching goes away when I eat the apple.”

“Continue eating then.”

Once I finished the apple, the itching didn’t come back for about 5 minutes.

“Well this is progress. Eat more apples.”

“What if it’s not just apples?”

“Try some oranges then.” I got an orange from the lunch lady and started eating it. It had the same effect as the apple.

“I’m going to guess that any fruit works.” After that happened, I was nibbling on an apple and Jade was telling me about what happened that morning after I left her with Ian.

“I can’t believe you did that! It was so bad, he must think I’m some stupid duck or something.” We heard someone laughing and turned around to see Ian. He sat down at our table and asked, “Who’s a stupid duck?”

“No one.”

“Oh really?”

“Yup, well, at least no one you know. We were talking about a show, you see. We were talking about how this certain character should’ve made a move on her crush when she had the chance. But of course, she didn’t, so some other girl got the guy’s attention, and that’s why she’s a stupid duck.” I explained.

“Maybe she was afraid of rejection.” Jade said.

“How would she know if she’d be rejected or not if she hasn’t tried anything yet?”

“True, but hey, give the girl a break. I think that the girl was right to wait. Maybe if the guy was shallow enough not to notice the girl’s feelings and go for another girl, he probably would’ve rejected her, and she would’ve been really hurt.” Jade and I looked at him. “What?”

“Wow.”

-----

That afternoon, I was at home finishing up my homework. My window was open to let some fresh air in and I was sitting on my bed. The day felt really long and I was very tired. I was ready to take a nap when a little piece of paper flew into my room. Curious, I went to pick it up. It had small writing on it and it said,

‘Fruits are good, but candy or anything with sugar is better.’

Who wrote this, how do they know about my condition and how did they know where I live? I’m assuming that they go to my school because that’s where I figured out that fruit helps lessen the itching. And since they know that I discovered this, they must know about the itch itself. But how did they know I live here? Not only that, but how did they get the paper to fly into my room? I would understand if my room was on the ground floor, but it’s on the first, so how did they manage?

My back started itching again, and I was about to grab another apple, but decided to try if what this person was saying is true. I looked through the kitchen for some candy and finally found some lemon drops. I popped one into my mouth and my back instantly felt better. So the mystery person wasn’t lying, it actually works. I took the whole packet with me to my room and continued to do my homework.

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