Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Into the Shadows - Chapter 2 Part 2

Chapter 2 Part 2
Birthday Surprise

Click here to read Chapter 2 Part 1

Torsten and Paivi were complete opposites, aside from height. Paivi, with her blond hair, green eyes and fair skin was a stark contrast to her brother, with his dark brown hair, matching eyes and olive skin.

“Anyways, you know what we are doing tonight. Mom said you were supposed to leave us alone.” She felt sorry as soon as she said it, it sounded so mean. “But if you want to go to the movie, I guess that would be alright.”

“Yeah, but what are you going to see?” he asked, trying to sound nonchalant, even thought he was clearly excited at the prospect of spending time with Aimee.

“Well, I want to see ‘Sweet Pete’, that new romantic comedy,” she said.

“Seriously? That’s what you want to go see? God, anything is better than that! I would rather get punched in the stomach than see that movie”

“Well, it’s MY birthday. No one said you had to go!” she sputtered.

“Well, it’s going to be terrible, I hope you know that,” he said condescendingly.

“Look, we are GIRLS. We like romantic comedies. If you ever want to get a girlfriend, you better get used to it, quick!” she shouted at him. As she stormed upstairs to her room, she heard a picture frame crash to the floor behind her. She cringed, but didn’t turn around.

“God, you walk like such an elephant! The picture just fell off the wall!” Torsten shouted behind her. “I’m telling Mom!”

She’d rather her mom think her heavy feet had caused the picture to fall, but Paivi knew it had nothing to do her stomping. After demolishing her room so many years ago, she had tried very hard to control her anger. Many times she could feel the energy well up in her, and with a few deep breaths it would subside. She didn’t want her friends or anyone at school to know her secret. What would they say? She didn’t want to be seen as a grade-A freak. The whole seeing-the-future-thing was much easier to hide, though it ate at her every time she thought of Michaela. Could she ever understand that Paivi couldn’t help her mother? It was something Paivi hoped she would never have to find out. The pain of what she had seen seemed bearable compared to the thought of losing her best friend.

The girls arrived not long after their argument. Michaela and Aimee Watson arrived first, followed by Crystal Harris, Jenn Hernandez and Paulina Kaminski. Paivi was thrilled when they commented on how nice her teeth looked.

After a few thick slices of Chicago-style pizza and an impromptu burping contest, which the surprisingly tiny Crystal won, Mrs. Anderson brought out the thickest, fudgiest, chocolate cake Paivi had ever seen. They sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Paivi very loudly and off key.

“Make a wish!” shouted Paulina.

A wish. Paivi stopped and looked at the candles.

Normal, she thought. I wish for a nice, normal freshman year. Oh, and maybe a boyfriend. Yeah, that would be nice!

She closed her eyes and blew on the cake, the tiny flames flickering and then going out.

Brightly wrapped birthday presents were then passed to Paivi, which she happily tore open. Picture frame, silver necklace, photo album, clothes and CDs; overall it wasn’t a bad haul.

The last gift was in a small and wrapped in bright pink paper with a silver bow. She picked up the box and shook it, trying to hear what was inside, but it made no noise. She tore off the wrapping to reveal a delicate mahogany box. The wood looked old but was still shiny and dark. The lid displayed an expertly carved design. There were some words in a strange language engraved in a circle around the edges and a metal closure on the front. Paivi pressed what looked to be a tiny button and the clasp popped open. She lifted the lid, revealing the most beautiful locket she had ever seen.

It was small and round, a little larger than a quarter. Around the edges it was finely polished silver, which surrounded a circle of gold. In the center was a Celtic knot shaped like a triangle, inlaid beautifully in silver. She turned the locket over, and saw some more unfamiliar writing engraved around the edge. The chain that hung from the locket was of thick silver and looked heavy, but it was surprisingly light. It resembled a metal chain, only in miniature. She ran the chain through her fingers, turning the locket over and over in her hands. She pulled the locket open to find it empty on one half. The other half contained a mirror.

“Wow Mom,” said Paivi. “Where did you get this?”

“The locket has been in our family for generations,” she started, “and now I am passing it on to you.”

“How cool,” said Michaela. “Ooh, pass it around, I want to see it!”

“Sure, here.” Paivi passed the locket to Jenn, who paused to give it a look before passing it around the table.

“Mrs. A.,” started Paulina, as she turned the locket over in her hands, “what does the writing say here? What language is this anyways?”

“It’s Gaelic. My relatives back in Ireland used to speak it, but sadly it’s not something they passed on to us after moving to America. Unfortunately I’m not quite sure what it says.”

“That’s too bad,” said Paulina. “Well, whatever it says, it’s really pretty!”

“Thanks, everyone, for the best birthday ever!” said Paivi. She glanced at the clock on the wall. “Oh! It’s getting late! We’ve gotta go if we’re going to make the movie!”

The rest of the evening passed by in a blur and the Anderson’s arrived home just before midnight after a late ride around St. Andrew to drop off the party guests.

“I am so tired,” said Paivi. She walked through the kitchen, basking in the pink and purple streamers, balloons and presents strewn across the table.

I love my birthday! she thought to herself with a sigh. I wish I could have more than one birthday in a year!



Join me Friday for the continuation of INTO THE SHADOWS! Thanks for reading!

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