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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2. Monica

I was hoping the itch would go away by today, but sadly, it hasn’t. As soon as I woke up, I ate a lemon drop so I didn’t have to struggle as much as I did the day before. My back was redder than it was yesterday, but not as painful. I really don’t want to go to the doctors. Last time I went there, I threw up in the doctor’s office, and once she gave me some medicine and I seemed to calm down, I threw up on her. That is probably the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me. My mother made pancakes for breakfast, and I ate two more than usual. She looked at me weirdly and gave me my lunch, or well, Jade’s lunch. I left for school wondering how long the itch was going to last. It’s just the second day and I’m hoping it’ll be gone soon. ----- When I reached school, people were talking about a new girl. If she’s being talked about this much, she must already be with the popular group. And there goes my chance to make a new friend. There was a crowd near my locker and I groaned. I was not in the mood to deal with people. There was a girl against the locker next to mine and she was talking to the people in the crowd. They were all asking her questions, so I guess that’s the new girl. Is her locker next to mine? I wonder what happened to Hannah. I guess she shifted lockers or something. The new girl seemed nice enough and I hope she’s not one of those girls who change to fit into the popular crowd. “Hi, Pearl. I’m Monica.” When I looked at her, I realized that the crowd was gone and that she was talking to me. “Oh, um, hi. How did you know my name?” “It’s…on your bracelet.” “Of course. Are you new to town?” “Yup, I just moved here a few days ago with my family.” “I hope you like this town. Anyway, what do you have first period?” “English.” “I suggest you sit in the front row because Ms. Harper loves it when a student is willing to participate in class. The class is right there by the way.” “Thanks. I probably would’ve gotten lost if it weren’t for you.” “Well, I’m happy to help. I’ll see you around.” I waved at her and walked to my first class. If she was able to see my name on my bracelet, which is written on a small piece of metal in tiny writing, she must be really observant. Or maybe she heard someone call me. But then why would she try to hide it? “Pearl, did you meet the new girl?” Jade asked me. “I just talked to her.” “Was she nice? She has amazing fashion sense.” “She was nice. You and your clothes, I swear.” “Shush, little one.” “You are only a few weeks older than me.” “I’m still older.” ----- “You seriously need to get that rash checked.” “It’s not a rash, it’s just a severe itching problem that somehow causes my back to become red and painful.” “It’s been a week, Pearl. Doesn’t it bother you?” “Of course it does. It’s still better than going to the doctor. Besides, I’m fine as long as I have some kind of sugar with me. Oh look, it’s Monica.” My back has been itching for a week now. The itching and redness is at its maximum and I need to eat at least 5 candies per hour. I somehow have this feeling that it’s going to go away soon though. Over the past 6 days, Monica, Jade and I have become close friends. Of course, Ian became friends with her too, but not as close. I’m guessing it’s a girl thing. This was also very surprising since when I first met Monica, I thought she’d join the popular people. But when she was approached, she turned them down and asked Jade and I if she could sit with us during lunch, right in front of them. Naturally, Jade and I thought she was awesome and became good friends with her. She immediately noticed something was wrong with me, and I told her about the ‘severe itching problem’. I debated in my head whether to tell her or not, but decided to do so in the end because it’s not something that’s easy to hide. Jade has been telling anybody who asks about me that I’ve suddenly become obsessed with candy and sugary drinks, but Monica knew better. She even offered to bring me more candy. My mom noticed that something was wrong with me and confronted me about it a few days ago. “Honey, I know you’re young, want to have fun and try new things, but I need you to be honest with me.” “Okay?” “You’re eating a lot more these days and you take extra long to get ready in the mornings.” “I realized.” “Are you pregnant?” “MOM, OH MY GOD.” Let’s just say it was really awkward. But after that, I told her about the itch and she bought me five bags of candy and scolded me about how I should be telling her these things as soon as I find out. ----- It was 12 o’clock midnight and I was just about to go to sleep after finishing up an essay. I was tired and I thought I was going to fall asleep soon, but that wasn’t the case. It was something far worse. I was trying my best not to scream, as my back started hurting like hell. Something was inside my back and I had to get it out. I took off my shirt for better access. I was crying as I felt the tip of something right under my skin. I clawed at it until the tip poked out of my skin and I pulled it out. I brought it in front of me so I can see it. It was a bloody white feather. How? A feather? I must be dreaming. This is a nightmare. I need to wake up. I can’t take the pain. Just then, I felt another one and I pulled that one out too. Okay, this is just getting ridiculous. I continued pulling out feathers for the next 30 minutes. My back felt weird, as if something was trapped inside it and it had to be let out. I didn’t have to pull out any more feathers, so I just lay down on my stomach, tired. I’m going to have wings by the end of whatever this is, aren’t I? The next thing I know, I’ll probably be a bird. That would be fun, I guess. A surge of pain shot through my back, but that was the end of it. I laid still and waited for what was to come. I felt something moving on my back. If birds fly out of my back, I am going to slap someone. After a while, the moving stopped and I didn’t hear any squawks or tweets or cock-a-doodle-doos so I took that as a good sign and sat up on my bed. The sheets were bloody and desperately needed to be washed. Great. The ‘something-is-trapped-in-my-back’ feeling was gone, but I felt something there. I’m not holding anything, but something was attached to my back. Does this mean…? I reached back to see what it was, but all I felt was feathers. I walked over to the mirror and saw the thing I predicted would happen as soon as I pulled the first feather out of my back. I had grown a pair of wings. ----- I’ve been freaking out for the past hour. I had no idea what to do with the wings attached to my back. I found out that I could move them at my own will. Though if I wasn’t careful, they can move fast, cause strong winds and knock some things off of my desk. I also found out that I could fold them. They were not humongous, but pretty big. The tips reach my knees. When they were not folded, they are a bit wider than my arms. Moving them uses a lot of energy and I knew I had to train myself. But train myself for what? Where did these come from and what am I supposed to do with them? Suddenly, I heard knocks coming from my window. It didn’t sound like rocks hitting my window and it definitely wasn’t leaves. I walked over to the window and saw the shadow of somebody. I’m going to be killed now, aren’t I? I was about to start yelling for help, but I decided against it because 1) I have actual wings coming out of my back and 2) The person outside has them too. I noticed that the person was basically floating, because I didn’t have a balcony, and that they were moving a little, probably the effect of their wings moving. I hastily moved towards the window and opened it for whoever this person with invisible wings was. “Monica?”
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