Sure, send a sixteen year old girl to a total new continent in the middle of her summer holidays, why don't you?
Honestly, me being the sophisticated, noble person I am, deserved a moment to go make a fuss about it for a good ten minutes at the least. After all, a new high school and new norms and a sudden change really bugged me.
I swear sometimes I felt like Mom's life was like a series of How I Met Your Mother. If abrupt decisions and sudden changes weren't this annoying, they would be pretty much as hilarious as the show.
Who ships you across the whole country of Fiore to land up in a place called Magnolia?
It had been pretty good—my A grades and my girlfriends and the boy I had a crush on and the works. And then smack, I'm dishing out barbecue sauce and chips when Mom comes and goes— "I'm engaged."
And I'm like, "Oh. Okay. Wow."
So she was like, "Honey…" Did all adults have some 'how to look disappointed to blackmail your children' lesson when they turned into parents?
Obviously, then followed the cued gushes and squeals and hugs and 'that's fab!'s. Ever since Jude had died, Mom had been into things, but never really in it. Her whole life seemed to cling to that little part Jude left behind. That was until she met Allen at work—she worked for the newspaper—and there she was.
I really didn't have problems with Allen. He was pretty great to me, and had a funny side to him. And well, yeah. He made Mom happy for the whole of two years they were together, but the hot summer's evening when Mom broke the news, I can't say I was thrilled.
It was kind of hard to say goodbye to Levy. And to Pop, that was the nickname for our English teacher who was basically an old dear. And to the house and my room and the promenade and streets and the unwanted beetle on my windowsill who had just begun to grow on me.
So I was stuck staring at Mom and Allen's delighted faces at the airport. My dad's children—seventeen year old Adam and fifteen year old Zane—were not there.
I was quiet the entire ride to the new house, while Mom could not stop telling me all about how sunny and bright and cute it was. The plane ride had been particularly uncomfortable with an old dude snoring in my shoulder next to me, but fake-smiling all the way in the car was excruciating.
Allen, when he first saw me, went all; "Hey there kiddo!"
And I repeated under my breath, "It's adolescent, not kiddo."
Allen grabbed both my bags and hefted the backpack over his shoulder as I walked towards them, while Layla reached forward and hugged me.
Okay, yeah. I looked a lot like her—we had the same long, wavy blonde hair and chocolate brown eyes. We had the same stubborn set of the mouth and though Mom was way prettier and way more cheerful, I couldn't help but think how a leather jacket and combat boots would have made her an excellent Lucy Heartfilia clone.
Or Lucy Day. Whatever. Remarriage sucks, I tell you.
People stared at my leather jacket rolled up at the sleeves, my denim, cut-off jeans and white T-shirt splattered with yellow and brown designs and the words 'Too Fab' on it. I expected that they stared because I didn't take the jacket off—which is closer to my heart than my crush—in the blazing Magnolia sun.
Anyway, now that you get the gist of how I was pretty much picked up from home and barbecue sauce and dropped into Magnolia with two new brothers and endless heat, that was how my summer holidays ended.
I admit, the house was really quite cheerful. It was a two storey one, painted cream and yellow with the bottom portion—the gigantic living room cum kitchen—had its west wall made of glass so it stared out at the river on the west.
The house was wreathed by wild violet and yellow blossoms which drooped down all over the roof, and there were beautiful trees sheltering it from the heat. The chattering river behind the house, surrounded by cobble stones, red and green and blue pebbles, and the woody area was refreshing.
I stepped onto the wooden floors and looked around at the unfamiliar place. The river and the trees made it look like a house in the middle of the woods, only modern, with its wooden floors, polished marble counter, glass table and winding light wood staircase leading to the upper floor.
"Do you like it?" Mom gushed.
No. It was alien. "Sure." I gave a tortured smile.
Her arms wrapped around me as Allen bellowed up the stairs; "Adam, Zane! Get down here!"
"I promise you'll like it here," she whispered to me worriedly. "Lucy, really. This is a fresh start. It's so bright and happy here, you'll be fitting right in."
Fitting in. Yeah, why not. I'm just a leather jacket, boots-wearing freak who just found out she has two bros and a new school. Fit in, that's me.
A tall boy came slowly down the stairs first. When I met him at the wedding, he had reminded of a slightly deranged runaway movie actor, but I kept that to myself.
Adam had crisp brown hair, cropped up yet messy and the kind of face Levy would have killed for to kiss. You know, the high jawbone, arched eyebrows, lean kind. Me, I was just worried about whether he used deodrant.
"Hey, Lucy," he greeted, extending a hand. I sighed and shook it. "What's up, Adam."
"Um, yeah. You know, you're here."
"Oh yeah. That's up."
And that is pretty how much our conversations went. I know, it's not awkward at all. All this comfortable talk just makes me fit right in.
Then Zane came bounding down the stairs, a pair of headphones slung around his neck, his dark black hair like Allen's all over his forehead. He was wearing a sweaty gray T-shirt which smacked right into me as he gave me a huge hug.
"Hey there, sister!"
Oh save me from this ruthless T shirt. "Hey Zane."
He talked more, laughed more, and was overall a better brother than bored Adam in the background, who was busy looking out of the ceiling to floor glass window.
Once the initial politeness about how my flight was and whether I smoked or not was over—you know, the usual—I was introduced into my room by a hyper Allen.
My room, I am sorry to say, was miles better than my old one. It was the wooden floor and white furniture with my own balcony overlooking the river and private computer I always wanted. The dresser with the lace border and mirror and the window opposite my bed—gee, Allen, thanks.
And the first thing I did once Allen beamed at me and went downstairs was to apply an extra dose of Secret deodorant all over my body.
The last few days of the holidays I wandered around the sunny streets, trying to find friendly faces among the unknown crowd. You know, people who don't stare at you and hush "That's the new kid!" which was a huge bugger in small cities like this.
On the first day of school, I was woken up with the sun roasting my face and Allen hollering up the stairs for the three of us to get up. I'm sure the entire stinking city was up and awake by then.
"Geez, shout louder, why don't you," I muttered, rolling onto the floor. It took me a whole of two minutes to throw a pair of black denim shorts, a white sleeveless Tee, yank a comb through my hair and come down.
Guess what? I dressed faster than the boys.
At any rate, fifteen loud complaints later I was squashed between Zane and his Science model in the back seat of Adam's car which he fondly called Crab.
Yeah, you read that right.
So Crab went at a fast ten miles per hour until I glared at my step brother driving. "Can't we go faster?"
He glared right back. "She's old."
"He's still begging Dad for a new car," Zane stage whispered to me. "But he said no, so Ad's trying to save up."
I kept my mouth shut for the entire journey—mostly because Zane didn't give a damn about whether I cared or not as he spoke eagerly about his Science model and all that big man's stuff. My dirty white bag was on my lap; Adam had generously given me his tattered, doodled on—and possibly drooled on—books for my year which were now stashed in it.
When the car pulled up in front of Jadeites High School, it was pretty late. The school was, well, different in Magnolia. The sprawling green campus with its sit-out cafeteria and bright banners around the red-brown brick building seemed pleasant.
Sadly, that thought was banished once I set foot into the grounds. For I was greeted with a huge pink banner held by four eager boys and girls.
The kind words of Welcome Loony were scribbled on it.
"What the hell is that?" I said.
One of the girls looked genuinely hurt. "Well, we heard you were coming, so…well we thought you'd like this, Loony!"
"Oh. Yeah, thanks. It's Lucy."
So you get the idea of how fab my day started.
Lots of normal, banner free people greeted me inside the building. One boy, Gray Fullbuster told me that there were a couple of nerds who did that banner thing for every new kid. You take one look at Gray and you can bet half a penny that he's a jock through and through.
Oh right. Sorry, forgot to mention the part where everyone who greeted me addressed me as Loony.
My mom's voice wasn't that bad on phone that it would sound like Loony instead of Lucy, would it?
By the time I reached the principal's office—my step brothers had conveniently vanished the second I came in—I was exhausted already.
Makarov was a kind old dear, really. He had funny tufts of white hair around and behind his pointed ears and a fab moustache. He was short but for a man that wizened looking he sure had a lot of energy. He wasted no time in giving me a schedule, asking me about myself, directing the classes and then all but kicking me out.
See? That's what people should be like. Snap and done.
I would simply love to tell you that on my way to the first class—Physics, now isn't that a great way to start a Monday—I lost my way and ended up bumping into a super hot blonde boy with eyes that smolder and a smirk that melts you who later on decided to ask me out.
A little less interestingly, I walked right into a Mathematics class and dawdled near the teacher's desk, having misread the schedule Makarov handed me, and waiting for him to start with the 'oh, do introduce yourself!'.
He turned from the board and then stared at me blankly.
"Who are you?"
"Uh, Lucy Heartfilia. Um, I'm new here."
And the teachers didn't even know about me. Yay.
"Oh, but you aren't due till the fourth period…" he looked confused until a girl sighed loudly and impatiently in the front row.
I turned to her, re checking the schedule with horror. How not embarrassing—the new girl doesn't know how to read a map.
The girl was staring at me with her mouth turned down. She had long, scarlet hair, blazing really.
"If I may, sir," she addressed the teacher. "I can show her the way to her class."
"Yes, yes do that," he said dismissively.
A minute later the taller girl was pulling me along the deserted corridors, with the schedule sheet in her hand.
"Uh, hi?" I tried.
She looked at me as we walked. "It's Erza Scarlet," she introduced briskly. "And Lucy, honey, you really can't be late to Physics."
I didn't get to talk with her anymore when she pushed me hastily through the doors and walked off. And I knew why soon enough.
The teacher inside was tall, lean male with black hair falling over his forehead, kind of like a hotter version of Zane. He looked way too young to be a teacher.
"Why are you late?" he asked me sharply.
I had had a moment to catch sight of Gray in this class, when my attention was snapped back to him. "I lost the way…I mean I entered the wrong class."
Excuse me, Mr. I Don't Have Mercy For Pretty New Girls?
"But I'm…new and…"
"And this is a school. Please take your seat Ms. Heartfilia and stay back after school."
I wedged myself angrily between two girls, one of who sent me a note halfway through the infuriating class. A detailed diagram of shadows and opaque bodies and all that followed on the board, but I was too annoyed to pay attention to anything but how I hated Jadeites, until she pushed the note in my hand.
Zeref sucks, but you'll get used to him.
I looked up at a sleek, white haired-blue eyed girl—damn right she had white hair, and man could she pull it off well—who grinned back at me. "Mira," she said. "Mirajane."
"Lucy," I muttered back.
Then I scribbled back on the paper. What kind of a name is Zeref?
Gray interprets it as asshole, but it could mean anything Mira wrote back.
I stifled a laugh. Then she wrote down something else and passed it to me. Sit with us at lunch, newbie?
You got it I wrote back.
If you're seriously interested in my next classes and how the teachers were and what subjects I had, then you're insane and you might as well go home and think long and hard about your life.
I'll skip to good parts. The lunch where we could actually sprawl on the green acres of land instead of being subjected to the noisy building and Gray's jokes and all. The food left something to be desired, but you know, I survive. The group of Mira spent the lunch speaking animatedly of the school and the fests every year.
By the end of the day, I had learnt the names of our group—there was of course, Mirajane Strauss and Gray. Erza happened to be in the Student Council but she was friends with Mira, thus friends with me now.
The other three—the two boys, Laxus and Loke, and the girl Cana—didn't really talk to me much.
But it was my first day here, and nobody would be that eager to be best buds.
After the end of detention—which was literally nothing—I was walking out of the campus, totally on the idea that Crab had left me.
It had. I didn't exactly have phone to call someone, and I was stuck waiting for a cab, when I spotted someone from the school and in my detention walk right onto the street and in front of a zooming car.
And Lucy saved the day. Kind of.
"Damn it, look out!"
I threw myself against him, and landed hard on the street, me on top of him before I rolled him off away from the car.
Sadly, the car hadn't stopped. It screeched an inch away from me, went out of control, and my last thought was the fact that I couldn't even have a normal first day at school without being killed by a car.
So you're probably wondering about how I woke up groaning and fluttering my mascara eyelashes in a hard hospital bed.
Well, sorry to disappoint you, but the silver car had stopped a half inch from my nose. Conveniently so that I got a face full of hot steam.
"Help." I muttered.
By the time the driver had got out and apologized to me a like a few oh, hundred times, I was up and about.
The boy I had pushed out of the way was bewildered, and now he went; "You saved me."
"You figured that out all by yourself?" I glared at him. "Are you on drugs, or what? There's one car on the street and you throw yourself right at it. Suicidal much?"
"I was…thinking…sorry," he said sheepishly. "I'm Natsu."
"And I need a ride. Do you have a car?"
He had pink hair, by the way. Well not exactly pink, more like a varying shade of red and tinge of pink, but pink all the same. He had this constant surprised slash shocked look on his face as he tried to figure out why I wasn't going all "Of course I saved you, baby. You're so welcome!"
"I—yeah I do."
We had moved away to the side of street as the car who nearly killed me raced away, and I caught him glancing briefly at a red convertible behind him.
"Great. The house is on left of Crane Avenue, west of this Magnolia place. Let's go."
With that I took the keys from his hands, stalked right to the convertible, unlocked it, and swung inside the front passenger seat.
Natsu stared at me blankly until I snapped, "Well? What are you waiting for?"
It was an enduring ride to the new house, because Natsu recovered from his shock of a car crash and his shock of me and didn't stop with the thank you's. I stopped trying to shut him up and admired the neat work of the car. He sure must be rich.
Then I remembered I was living with the Days and we were rich too. Ew.
When I reached the house, Natsu gave me a lopsided grin. "So, Lucy, is it?"
"You free tomorrow night?"
My turn to stare. He was kind of good looking, in a way. You know, his hair was kind of messed up and he had this nice onyx eyes and his incisors were pointed in a fang way which I really had a thing for.
And was he asking me out?
Don't blame me. I have never been asked out or flirted with, and I deserved a moment, so back off, okay?
"Um, I guess…" I said slowly.
"Good. Do you mind hanging with me then?" Natsu asked casually.
"It's a school night, Natsu," I pointed out.
"Oh…how about Friday night?"
And that was it. Snap. The next few minutes he had driven away and I was inside the house and yelling at my step brothers for not waiting for me, but woah, I was asked out by a hot guy on my first day here.