The Secret Lives of Heroes

Valentine part 4

Trinia looked out of her attic room window at the setting sun. Like most her age, she had her own place of residence, using the school’s living expenses grant to rent out the attic floor of a house. It afforded her a level of independence and isolation she constantly sought.

Flow sat on a large pillow, her legs beneath Trinia’s Kota tsunami in an effort to keep warm.

“Nice place. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever been up here before…”

“I like being alone”

“Yeah you do. Uh…”

Flow pointed to the journal on the table.

“So, are you going to tell me about that?”

Trinia sighed. Long had she dreaded the possibility of someone discovering her secrets. Flow was anything if not persistent. If Trinia didn’t explain herself how, it’d only get worse. Besides, it would be nice to reveal the truth to someone.

“I’m going to tell you a story. At the end of it, if you be any questions, I’ll answer them. Until then, don’t ask me any. Okay?”

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Valentine, part 3

Charda squeaked out an excited proclamation of her approval.

“Wow, Jenny! You really let him have it! I’m so proud of you!”

Sally rolled her eyes and grumbled.

“You acted like a complete idiot. The whole diner was looking at us—well, at least the ones who stayed around for the show.”

Minney placed a hand on Jenny’s shoulder as she smiled, and chastised Sally.

“I think she stood up for herself like a pro,” she proclaimed. “It’s important to stand up for yourself, you know.”

“Yes, it is,” agreed Sally in a meek voice. “Only dumping drinks and throwing ‘random’ fingers aren’t exactly a mature way of handling such a delicate situation.”

Charda laughed as she displayed her phone proudly.

“I got it all on my Snapchat story, see? I’ll be seeing Zack’s face when Jenny pulled the ‘big one’ for at least 24 hours. It was priceless!”

Misty agreed as she nodded her head, having returned to her normally somber self. Kelly, not wanting her friends to keep fighting, attempted to shift the conversation.

“So, is everyone excited about the Valentine’s Day dance?”

Kelly was not disappointed, for the chatter amongst the group exploded like a wildfire. However, as the girls kept on gabbing about boys, dresses, and dancing, Misty was looking at Jenny. The girl was normally going on and on about such things, but despite her recent ‘triumph’ over Zack, she had been uncharacteristically silent and somber since the group had departed from the Diner. Misty, confused, asked her why.

“Sorry, Misty,” said Jenny in a quiet voice, gesturing at her now stained dress. “I just don’t think I’m up for the dance anymore.”

Charda wagged her finger at the dress, and spoke knowingly.

“Cheer up Jenny! I happen to have a solution that will get that right out!”

“Run while you can, Jenny,” Misty suggested. “Remember the last time Charda said that she could fix our clothes?”

All of the girls cringed deeply. . . even the seemingly depressed Jenny. Charda threw her hands up in frustration and cried, “Well, how was I supposed to know the solution would smell like bile when it got wet? Geez!”

“Come on,” insisted Sally. “Everyone will be there. Even me! We’ll miss not having you there.”

A weak smile crossed over Jenny’s features. “I’ll think about it.”

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Valentine, part 2

Flow was still pulling her jacket on as she followed behind Trinia. Her friend was rushing away from the Diner with some speed.

“Whoa, hold up, wait!” she cried, nearly tripping over her own steel-toed boots multiple times in an attempt to catch up.

“That was quite the display, wasn’t it?”

Trinia just nodded as her feet put distance between herself and the Diner. She stared at her notebook, still making notes. Flow looked perplexed.

“Sucks about that drink of yours, splashed all over Zack…”

Trinia just nodded again.

“Or that we had to leave?”

More nodding. Flow, frustrated at the lack of a response, snatched the notebook from her friend’s hands. Trinia leapt after it, but Flow bobbed and weaved away from her grasp.

“Ah ah ah! Why are you so focused on this? It’s just the budget for the Spring Dance. You don’t care about this kind of garbage! You should have finished it ages ago!”

Trinia looked desperate, her eyes filled with fear, rage, and despair.

GIVE IT BACK! THAT’S JUST FOR ME!”

Flow dropped her jaw with a look of mocking surprise. She continued to hop out of her friend’s hands, now looking at the page.

“Oh my God, this is your little love journal! No wonder you aren’t using a tablet to tabulate the budget, you’re not…”

She paused, staring at the page with a look of confusion. Trinia took the opportunity to snatch the notebook away from Flow, holding it close to her. For her part, Flow just stood there.

“That wasn’t the budget, or a love journal, was it?”

Trinia looked at Flow with some anger.

“You shouldn’t have seen that,”

Trinia began walking away, even faster now.

“Oh no! Nope, you don’t get out of this that easily. What was that? You had notes about the security parameters of the old school gymnasium! You had notes about reducing the cost of lives! What are you planning!?”

Trinia stopped walking.

“Just drop it,”

“Look, I think I should go to the police…”

Trinia jumped at Trinia with an outstretched hand.

“NO!”

A few people walking by gave them an odd look. Trinia shuffled up to Flow, head low, and muttered.

“Alright, I’ll tell you, but not here,”

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Valentine, part 1

February 7th, 2016, 2pm(ish)

“Oh, my head!”

Flow sat at a booth at the King’s Crown Arcade and Diner with her friend Trina, rubbing her temples as she stared into the Omurice she had just ordered. It had the audacity to look delicious, while she felt gross.

“Well, if you hadn’t drank so much, your head wouldn’t hurt, am I correct? You let your family bully you into drinking again?”

Trina, Flow’s rather straight and wooden friend, was drinking a malted milkshake while going over her budget for the student council as she chastised her friend. Flow was an exchange student whose host family was notorious for throwing wild parties. The girl was no stranger to drinking, but she just couldn’t keep up with them, resulting in hangovers.

“Well, I can’t say no…”

“Yes, yes you can, that’s the whole point of saying no. In fact, consent is…”

A loud group of girls, The Gaggle, walked into the Diner, interrupting Trina’s lecture, and introducing another noise to cause Flow to see spots. The Gaggle was made up of Jenny, Minney, Misty, Charda, Sally, and Kelly. As there name indicated, they made a large bit of noise as they walked in, talking about the upcoming Valentine’s Day dance.

“Ohhh…my head…”

Flow gripped her temples once more, massaging them as she complained about the noise. Trina, for her part, rolled her eyes as the girls went on and on about boys, dresses, the works. What a waste of time. If they only knew what was coming in a week…


Red.

The joyous color of luck, cherries, tomatoes, and Jenny’s face.

The 16 year old glowered and shook as she stood, a chocolate milkshake all over the front of the dress she had purchased for the school’s Valentine’s day dance. She hadn’t seen the upperclassman, Zack, carrying a chocolate milkshake, until she had run into him and caused the stain that now appeared on her dress.

Sidney Warner, the owner of the establishment and Zack’s best friend, leaned out from behind the counter, assessed the situation, taped his friend on the shoulder and gave him a key bit of advice.

“Zack, one word: Run,”

Unfortunately, Zack, foolish man that he was, chose to stand his ground, as he cocked a cunning smile. He pointed a Jenny’s front.

“You, ah, got a little something on yo…”

BASTARD!”

Jenny screamed at the top of her lungs, stomping her feet and clenching her fists in rage. Zack smiled and chuckled a little as he reached for some ice water and a napkin.

“Whoa, whoa, I’m sorry, let me get that for you, although, in all fairness, it was you who ran into me, and why are you wearing something like that anyway?”

Flow clapped her hands over her ears as she hunkered down in the booth she sat in, knowing that this was not the correct thing to say.

WHAT! YOU RUINED MY NEW DRESS! WHO CARES WHY I WAS WEARING IT?”

Zack scoffed as he looked the dress over.

“I mean, if I’m honest, I may have improved it…”

An audible oohh fell over the room. Minney and Misty began chanting Jenny’s name, while Charda Snapped the whole thing, Kelly smiled in delight, and Sally began grabbing things that Jenny could throw at Zack and moved them away from her friend. Jenny, somehow, turned from red to white, looking devastated.

“You…you…you…”

“Cat got your tongue? Or is it just me?”

Charda shook her head.

“You know, you’re only making this worse for yourself,”

Zack nodded. “Hey, Jenny, I was just kidding with you, trying to lighten the mood!” Zack claimed, trying to keep his composure while in the midst of the monsoon that was Jenny. “Why don’t you just cool down, and…”

“Cool down!? COOL DOWN!? Hey, I’ve got an idea, why don’t YOU COOL DOWN? Here, I’ll help!”

Jenny grabbed Trina’s milkshake directly out of her hands and splashed it all over Zack’s treasured suede jacket. Now it was his turn to get angry as Jenny immediately snickered. Minney, Misty, and Charda proclaimed victory while exchanging high fives with Kelly, and Sally had now slowly walked away from the Gaggle, sitting on a nearby stool at the counter while muttering a thousand apologies to Sidney.

And Zack?

He let his mouth hang open while making small noises that let everyone know his anger. However, within moments, Zack, again, being the foolish, silly, ignorant, and sorely deceived man that he was, did something that no one in the group expected, nor would have ever dare to attempt themselves.

He laughed.

Yes, a little chuckle escaped from the man’s lips, and the effect it made on the individuals in the group was quite varied greatly. Charda’s eyebrow went up in mute confusion. Minney and Misty, began once more rooting for their friend, chanting, "Jenny. . . Jenny. . . " in low, but encouraging tones. Sally peeked momentarily between the fingers that were covering her eyes, and then went back to her random muttered apologizes , and Sally’s face now had the absolute biggest grin on it. As for Trina and Flow, they decided enough was enough, and tried to sneak out of the arcade quietly, like many of the other patrons witnessing the unfolding events were attempting to do.

Sidney sunk low behind the counter, telling people that they no longer had to pay their bills as long as they didn’t leave bad yelp reviews.

“Zack? Buddy? You okay? I mean, that’s your favorite jacket, isn’t it?”

Zack nodded as he laughed, now hysterically.

“Didn’t it belong to your now father? The one who, you know, is dead?”

Zack nodded again, laughing even harder, as the faces of the girls changed to pity and horror at what their friend had just done. However, for her part, Jenny had lost her grin, and was now even angrier. A growl was developing in her throat, and growl that would have put even the most rage induced lion to shame.

She took a step forward, and put her hand in front of Zack’s laughing face, allowing four fingers to fall, leaving all but one standing.

FUCK. YOU. ZACK,”

With that, Jenny span around and stormed out of the diner. Her friends, shocked, followed, muted in their response, save Sally, who take out a few hundreds from her wallet and placed them on the counter, still muttering apologies and refusing to take the money back, and Misty, you complained about wanting to get something to eat.

Zack had slowly stopped laughing, as he wiped the tears of laughter from his eyes and took off his jacket.

“She. . .she just flipped me off there, did you see that?!”

“I did, and I’ve seen her when she’s angry at the arcade machines. You should be glad she didn’t deck you. I have to get a machinist to buff out the dents she leaves in them!”

By now, Sidney had grabbed a mop and was cleaning up the now desolate diner.

“So, are you still going to go through with this silly plan of yours. . . even after all of that?”

Zack glanced up at his apron-clad friend with a sparkle in his eye.

“Of course. Why wouldn’t I?”

“Well, first of all, Jenny now hates you. And second off. . . geez, I don’t even need a ‘second’. She hates you, Zack!”

“You underestimate me, my good man,” Zack remarked.

“We shall see,” Sidney commented, deciding to humor his friend.

“Yes, we shall.” Zack said, with a smug look on his face.

“And when does the first part of your ‘brilliant’ Valentine’s Day scheme come into effect?”

“This afternoon. She’ll find it when she gets home actually,” Zack announced with a satisfied smile. “Do you think she suspects?”

“Not a chance.” Sidney laughed. “Not a chance in the world,”

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