I have never been one to believe in destiny. To be honest, I always thought those who did were complete schmucks, desperate for something to cling to. But I guess one can always be proven wrong…
My life has been anything but dull. Abandoned by my parents the day I was born, I learned to fend for myself at a very young age. I learned to fight through martial arts movies on TV and would sometimes pick fights with other kids from the orphanage to practice what I learned. When I was eight the head of the orphanage enrolled me in karate classes at a studio nearby, more for their own sake than mine. Some of the kids were so bruised from my 'training sessions' that they were afraid that could affect the adoption process. I got my black belt a year after, my sensei stating that I was gifted and needed to share my talent with the world. They invited me to enter some contests, but the orphanage never allowed me, claiming they didn't want to encourage my 'disruptive behavior'.
After years of waiting, I was finally adopted when I was twelve by a rich Jewish couple visiting Ireland on their second honeymoon. They said I was the perfect combination if cute and feisty, just the thing they were looking for in a daughter. They took me back to the States with them, where I finally learned the meaning of the word 'racism'. All throughout junior high and the first two years of high school I was constantly mocked by my accent, and whenever I tried to stand up for myself I was sent to principal's office.
One day my patience finally ran out, and after this jerk turned a can of green paint over my head on St. Patrick's Day, I beat him up so mercilessly he almost went into a coma. I tried to explain what had happened, but the principal's decision was final: expulsion. My parents were furious, not with me, but with the principal. They understood my reasons perfectly and were actually glad I was kicked out of that terrible school. They felt they were only oppressing me and decided a change would do me good.
They decided to move one town over to get a fresh start. This new town seemed nice enough, about what I thought a place called Camelot would be like. It looked exactly like our old town, although it had an abundance of theaters and recreational centers. I was homeschooled until the end of my sophomore year and enrolled at the local high school for my junior year. My tutor would sometimes bring her daughters to our house because she thought it would do me good to have some interaction with other girls my age. Her eldest, Melinda, had curly blonde hair, beautiful blue eyes and a body fit for a woman in her twenties, even if she was only sixteen. Saying she was boy crazy was putting it lightly; she never wasted a chance to flirt with members of the opposite gender. Her younger sister, Iris, was the complete opposite; she was bespectacled, had straight raven hair and was incredibly smart for her age. The three of us became best of friends and even spent the summer break together. Much to my chagrin, neither of them went to the same school as me. Melissa wanted to be an actress, so she went to Performing Arts School, and Iris was attending classes at a special school for gifted children. I was going to have to venture into a whole new school all by myself.
When the faithful day eventually arrived, I was anything but calm. I might come off as someone menacing, but on the inside I can be a nervous wreck. My dad insisted in driving me to my new school, even if it was only a ten-minute walk from hour house, and tried his best to calm me down on the way, highlighting all the good aspects of starting the year in a new school. I tried to pay attention to what he said, but all the while I was mentally telling myself to not screw up.
After picking up my class schedule I wandered the hallways in search of the room where I would have my first class: Spanish, which I chose over French because it just seemed a whole lot easier. I passed numerous other students as I searched for the classroom, who clearly too busy to give me the light of day.
As I turned the corner with my gaze fixed on my schedule, I inadvertently collided with somebody else, knocking him onto the ground in the process. He seemed to be my age, but the golden curls framing his face seemed to make him look a wee bit younger.
I quickly shoved my schedule into my backpack and knelt down to help the poor lad up.
"I'm terribly sorry!" I apologized, offering him a hand. "Are you alright?"
"Yes, I'm fine." He beamed at me as I helped him up. "This isn't the first time I've been knocked over, nor will it be the last."
"I'm still really sorry about this. I was looking for my classroom and got distracted."
"Oh? What class are you having?"
"You're kidding! I was headed there myself!" He seemed about ready to explode with glee. "I can take you there, if you want!"
"Could you? It's my first day and I feel lost already." I grinned awkwardly at his kindness.
"Not to worry, just come with me." He grabbed my wrist and slowly pulled me down the hallway. "My name is Herbert, by the way. And you are...?"
"Oh, hm… Olivia. Olivia Finnegan."
"Well, welcome to Camelot, Olivia Finnegan! Love the accent, by the way. I've never been to Ireland, but I hear it's a lovely place."
I smiled at how nice Herbert was, a part of me wanting to giggle at his way of being. He was incredibly easy to read, what with his melodious voice, expressions, gestures and the soft feel of his hands that clearly indicated he used moisturizer on a daily basis. We clearly weren't playing in the same team, not that that bothered me in any way. If anything, it just made me like him more.
When we finally arrived at our designated classroom, Herbert quickly dashed to the first empty desk he saw and dragged me to the one next to it. The teacher had just arrived and was writing her name on the board.
"Buenos dias, niños!" She greeted the class with a smile. "I hope you all had a great summer. Now, assuming we're all here, I'll get started on the role call."
Just as she lifted up a clipboard with the list of the students' names, the door abruptly opened to reveal a teenage boy with shoulder-length strawberry-blond hair. He was breathing heavily and his cheeks were bright red, indicating he had ran all the way.
"Robin Ferguson." The teacher sighed as the rest of the class let out silent chuckles. "You had three months to better yourself, and you still show up late to my class."
"I'm awfully sorry, Ms. Gutierrez." He said between breaths. "I promise it won't happen again."
"Yes, it will. Now please take your seat so we can begin."
He quickly moved to the first seat at the side of the classroom, sighing in relief as he sat down. I couldn't help but follow him with my gaze. There was just something about him made my insides turn, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it...
Herbert turned to wave at him, to which the lad smiled and waved back. He must've seen me looking at him, because his smile quickly died and the wave of his hand ceased when our eyes met. I quickly glanced down at my desk to avoid further awkwardness, feeling my cheeks burn.
"That's my friend Robin." I heard Herbert declare. I looked and saw he was smiling knowingly at me. "He's in the Drama Club."
I returned the smile and nodded just as the teacher demanded us to pay attention. Herbert needn't say anymore; if I knew one thing was that guys who were in the drama club didn't really have time for girls. Unlike the indifference I felt towards Herbert, I actually felt disappointed to know that boy was in the same league as him. But... why?
As soon as Spanish class ended Herbert dragged me across school to show me all there was to see. In the meantime, he kept going on and on about the most varied topics he could think of. After knowing where all the classrooms were, I excused myself to go to the restroom. Herbert said his goodbyes and headed to his next class while I walked into the girls' bathroom, actually glad to have a break. I heard the bell ring while I was in the stall, so I ran down the hallway to where my next class was right after washing my hands.
As I ran across the school, I happened to glance out the window to the courtyard, and what I saw made me stop in my tracks and forget about class completely: there was that boy who arrived late to Spanish class – Robin, was it? – and with him were three boys who seemed to be twice his size, pinning him against the floor as he struggled to stand up.
I didn't even think twice. I could've been risking an afternoon in detention, or worse, but I didn't care. I had to do the right thing. I ran back towards the exit and circled the building, reaching them just as they were spitting on Robin's face.
"How do you like that, Drama Queen?" The one on top of Robin provoked him, while the other two held each of his arms against the ground. "I bet you just love feeling other guys' spit on your face."
"How many times do I have to tell you that I'm not gay?!" Robin complained as he tried to kick his assailant.
"You keep telling yourself that, fruity." He pulled his head up by his hair. "You ain't foolin' no one."
"Let him go!" I shouted, the rage starting to bubble up inside me. All four turned their gazes towards me, Robin looking surprised to see me.
"You the hell are you?" The bully asked as he eyed me from top to bottom. "What do you want?"
"I want you to let go of that boy and leave before I kick all of your arses!" I threatened them, trying to seem as convincing as possible.
All three of them started laughing hysterically at my sentence. Robin's expression was hard to read; he was just staring wide-eyed at me. Was he impressed, surprised or just terrified?
"Are you for real?" The guy asked between chuckles. "Just get out of here, Shamrock Shake."
"Not until you release him, you big ape!" I insisted.
He looked back at me, clearly fed up with my presence. He got off of Robin and made his way towards me, which allowed me to see just how huge he was.
"You're asking for it, girlie." He threatened, stopping just a few inches away from me. "I would watch your mouth, if I were you."
"Bite me." I spat.
He didn't waste any more time and swung a fist at my face. I caught it immediately and pulled it towards his back, twisting it so much that it made him get down on his knees as he cried in pain.
"I warned you." I growled into his ear. "Now you better call off your lackeys or else you're going to have to start getting used doing everything with your left hand."
"Alright, alright!" He whined.
He told the others to release Robin and I let go of him, the three of them shooting me evil glares before walking off to another side of the courtyard. I turned to Robin, who was walking towards me as he rubbed his arm.
"That was amazing!" He chuckled, clearly impressed. "Where did you learn how to do that?"
"Either TV or fighting classes, can't remember which one." I replied with a smile. "Are you OK?"
"Yeah, I've had worse. Believe it or not, this isn't the first time those three have harassed me."
"Is it true?"
"That you're... you know..."
"Not this again..." He let out an exasperated sigh. "Just because I'm in the Drama Club, that doesn't mean that I'm gay! And I'm not!"
"Alright, sorry!" I quickly apologized.
"It's fine. You just assumed what everyone else assumes."
"I'm still really sorry. I shouldn't jump to conclusions like that."
"Well, I should thank you for what you did. Can I treat you to lunch?"
"OK, but only if it's kosher." I giggled.
"Irish AND Jewish?" He commented with a chuckle. "That's a rather unusual combination."
"I'm adopted. Converted when my adoptive parents took me home."
"That's interesting." He seemed to stop and look attentively at me. "Say, aren't you in my Spanish class?"
"I am. I also remember you were the one who arrived late."
"That's right! I knew I remembered your pretty face from some–"
He quickly slapped his hands against his mouth, a deep blush spreading across his pale cheeks. I just stared at him; he seemed to be on the verge of tears.
"You think I'm pretty?" I asked, a small smile spreading across my face.
"M-maybe..." He replied, his voice muffled by his hands.
"Well... thank you!" I felt my face grow hot. "I... really like your hair."
His eyes widened as he lowered his hands, looking at me like he had seen a ghost.
"Th-thank you!" He said, his smile returning. I cleared my throat.
He took me to lunch at a small diner across the street from our school, which I was surprised to learn had kosher meals on the menu. We started having lunch together every day, then walking together to our classes every day, until eventually Robin gained the courage to ask if he could walk me home. When he was at my door I felt like he had something else to tell me, but just wasn't brave enough to spit it out. I gave him my phone number and told him to text me whatever he wanted when he got home. Needless to say I wasn't surprised to receive a text an hour later in which he asked me to go out with him.
We dated throughout the rest of high school and college. Well, Robin went to college to become a Drama teacher; I enrolled in the police academy and was able to graduate earlier than the rest of my class, due to my advanced fighting skills.
After five years of dating, it was obvious Robin was never going to be brave enough to pop the question, so I did. We got married four months later and have been living happily ever since.
Considering the events that lead to this, I can't say that I haven't had a happy life. Back home they would call it 'luck o' the Irish', and I agree to a certain point.
Who knew destiny would have me be so lucky?