A Long Way Home: Chapter 2

A Long Way Home: Chapter 2

A Chapter by Izabellla

Suzan finds out that the world is stranger than she thought. After a mysterious warrior comes to her rescue, she is pulled into a dangerous circumstance that will change both of their lives forever.


Chapter 2

Several days passed since the break-in. Then weeks. A few months. Everything died down, Izabela disappeared. Generally speaking, life went on as if nothing strange had happened at all. School, French lessons, home. School, French lessons, home. Just as I was starting to think that Izabela Tuho was just a figment of my rebellious imagination, unexpectedly Fate found it suitable to prove me wrong.

I left the school with Mag, as always. And angry; as almost always. It rained a few hours so all the dirt around the building turned into mud and only one thin path, made of who-knew-what, was more or less crossable.

"What a bummer! I don't give a damn if it's pretty when I may as well hold a piece of parchment over my head! Pity the clerk didn't find it suitable to tell me that!" Maggie opened her flowery umbrella, grumbling threats under her breath. Water quickly seeped through the material and soon her make-up was running down her face, making her look like a mad raccoon.

"Maybe he didn't tell you because he was a Vietnamese and could barely understand what we said to him?"

Maggie mumbled some more abuse at him - mentioning something about the price - before marching proudly in front of some younger students that were hiding from the rain under the canopy in front of the school entrance. I opened my umbrella (luckily, it was doing its job just fine), bid goodbye to Mag and ran for my French lesson.

The Foreign Languages School was situated just couple blocks away. Nevertheless as I arrived there my shoes were so full of water I could fill a small aquarium with it. I sat on the floor to rid my socks of some of the moisture. I would rather my trousers get dusty than my feet act as fishes for two hours.

Sitting there, I heard a deep voice - surely male - speaking with a clear French accent. I was sure I had never heard it before, and I knew everyone around there. Starting from teachers, through students, to the cleaner with a case of never-ending procrastination caused, as he said, by 'things more important than cleaning the floor'. At those times he usually pulled out his whitish-grayish-yellow rat and delivered a monologue about 'the adventures of his youth'.

I put on my shoes. As quietly as I could, I snuck down the wall and peeked from behind it.

There, leaning casually against the armchair, stood a tall man whom I had never seen before. Chestnut hair was spilling from under a white hat 'a'la Michael Jackson'; a few unruly strands were falling over his ear. A white, fitting shirt and tight trousers were emphasizing his extremely lean figure - to me, he looked like a stick insect. He was leaning slightly forward, one hand - decorated with an expensive watch - resting over the back of the armchair that stood at the corner of the hall. Clearly engrossed with someone who was sitting on the chair, he didn't acknowledge his surroundings so my creeping-up didn't make any difference. I might as well bring a whole marching band in there and he wouldn't have noticed.

I leaned forward a bit more to see who was sitting in the armchair. I was sure to observe a long-legged tanned blonde beauty. Instead, my jaw dropped to the floor at the sight of a boy from my class, who seemed a little uneasy in the situation. Soon, I got over the shock and fully registered the stranger. I had analyzed his outfit but hadn't given much thought to his behavior before. His stance was positively theatrical; his other hand propped on his hip, gaze fixed on his 'prey'. I needed nothing more to come to the right conclusion. I withdrew discreetly.

It ceased raining. I still had a while until the lesson so I ran to a nearby shop to buy something to drink. Given my luck, there was a huge line - as usual whenever I was in a hurry.

Already late, I rushed into the classroom and started unpacking my bag. I was just going to ask what today's subject was when I took a glance towards the teacher's desk. The person I saw there made me go speechless for a while. It was the man I saw in the corridor! What the hell was that supposed to mean?

"He's our new teacher. Miss Hlenka left somewhere to attend to some family matters, I think. Anyway, he's in charge now. His name is… Ga… Garon? Gaton? Something along the lines." The girl I sat with didn't let my confused look go unnoticed.

"Isn't he somewhat… inappropriate for a teacher?"

"You mean too young? Maybe a little. But he comes from France so, you know…" she replied. It seemed that she didn't understand what I was driving at. I didn't say anything else until the end of the lesson. The new guy wasn't paying much attention to me so I too tried to ignore him.

Time was dragging on like never before. When the 120 minutes finally passed, I packed my books back happily and set off towards the exit. As was to be predicted, I tripped on the last step and fell on the pavement, scraping my elbow painfully. While I was cleaning the gash of dirt, pieces of fallen leaves and all the other things that managed to get there, two skinny hands started picking up my things.

"Let me help you." The new teacher handed my bag towards me and I snatched it from his hands, stood up quickly and gawked at him.

"I am Gaston Floriano Sinagra. Forgive me for not introducing myself properly earlier but… Actually, I don't even have a good excuse." He stretched out his hand invitingly.

"Suzanne." I shook his hand looking him over carefully. He wore a purple jacket over his white shirt now and it was glimmering faintly in the sunlight.

"Interesting name. You are not a Pole, are you?"

"Half. My mom's a Pole and dad's a Frenchman." I didn't even know why I was having a conversation with him. Yes, he was a new teacher, but I hadn't bothered to get to know Mrs. Hlenka better after all. However, there was something familiar in his eyes, something I could not grasp.

"France is a beautiful country. I regret leaving. Unfortunately, we can't always have what we want," he frowned slightly while saying that. Suddenly, he stopped rummaging around in his pocket and froze with his gaze fixed on something behind me. His eyes were slowly moving, as if he was following someone's steps. "But there are some days when my point of view on that changes rapidly. Now, for example, I think it was worth the trouble."

Confused with his behavior, I looked behind me. On the first glance I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. Some girl was walking our way, clearly coming back home from some shopping, on the other side of the street a lame dog ran, a few steps away an old drunk man stumbled. Just the usual in this neighborhood.

I was just about to turn back and ask Gaston what he meant when I realized that the girl was just outwardly ordinary. Laden with bags, dressed in a regular T-shirt and jeans, walking casually was Izabela Tuho. Yes, the exact same one that just a few months ago had saved my life from the hands of a masked assailant. I didn't recognize her at first due to her common appearance. Not paying attention to Gaston, who apparently started to drool a little unconsciously (by the way, didn't he prefer his own gender?), I waved to her enthusiastically while she was walking by. However, Izabela passed us quickly and I think she even wanted to run, but she stopped reluctantly as I called her.

"I know you?" she feigned the surprise of a passer-by accosted on the street. I knew she was feigning; she had to be.

"I'm sure not. That's a pity. I'm Gaston Floriano Sinagra. Falling to your feet." He must have taken his words seriously because it wasn't even a minute before he was kneeling on one knee before her and kissing her hand. Strange guy.

"Izabela… I… Oh… You don't recognize me?" Nonplussed, I gave out a muffled sound of surprise.

"Admittedly, we have just met, but maybe I could count on a meeting in a more suitable place?" Gaston, not paying me any thought, continued on with his 'pick-up'. He was starting to get on my nerves.

The person that had haunted my dreams for months appeared suddenly in my life once again and it might be my last chance to get to know something and here he was, drowning me out with his flirting. Excellent. I was just about to say what I thought about that when a yellowish-pink smoke started to come out of the man's pocket. After a while, the bottom of his jacket caught fire. The strangest thing was that Gaston wasn't scared; he just bid us politely farewell and trotted away, muttering something about a malicious fire.

"So, it's just me and you now. We both know that you remember me. You saved my life! You couldn't just erase it from your memory."

"Listen. I never saw you. I NEVER saved anyone. I live here not long. I am quite busy now and I would be happy to leave." Not waiting for my answer she walked off quickly. I trotted to catch up with her.

"But you did save me! I remember perfectly how you jumped onto the balcony… well… I don't remember this moment quite that well. But I remember how you tied that man up. I shook hands with you!" at this point I screamed so loud probably a whole development heard me.

"I heard about the break-in but I never even was in the neighborhood. Maybe you mistake me for someone or your imagination play tricks on you. When you are afraid your mind work not properly." Either I was mistaken or she tried to make me believe that I was crazy.

"Yeah, sure. And it was my imagination tying that man up. Good to know I have such abilities."

Izabela looked like she wanted to say something back but then one of her bags broke and lots of bottles and plastic bags spilled onto the pavement. I bent down to pick them up at the same time as her and we ended up banging our heads together.

"Great. So eco-friendly that it decompose before home. Supermarketers know just what I need," the girl murmured, clearly angry, and darted for the bottles. Only few had labels. I picked up one of them. The name of the substance was long and in some strange language I didn't recognize. I rolled it around in my hand trying to find the maker but got nothing. I lifted one with a greenish-blue liquid. There was also a strange name and nothing more. Izabela snatched the bottles out of my hands.

"Where did you get that from?"

"Not your business." She didn't seem to be thrilled because of what was happening.

"What do you need it for? Are you sure it's safe?"

"Listen. We never met. You can be sure. Where do I have it from and what do I need it for," she pointed to the objects we had just collected, "is only my business." She didn't say anything else. She just marched away soon disappearing behind the buildings.

I was sure it was Izabela. I had no doubts about that. On top of that, she had been acting strange. And what was with those bottles? All this was highly suspicious.

After a moment of hesitation I went after her. I found her quite easily, which surprised me. She was walking at such a distance from me that I was able to see her clearly. We passed building after building. I chased her for the next forty minutes. The neighborhood was starting to get suspicious. Slums, old, neglected apartment buildings. A shiver ran down my spine. Izabela was walking faster and faster, or maybe I was slowing down, overwhelmed with fear.

Suddenly, something creaked.

I jumped at that and covered my mouth so as not to scream. Looking around carefully, I saw nothing except for a grey cat strolling lazily on a tree. I breathed a sigh of relief, but the feeling was short-lived as I soon saw that I lost sight of Izabela. Just great.

I didn't want to stay long in such a place so I started walking forward. I circled the buildings in hope of catching a glimpse of a swift teenage girl laden with bags. With the quietest steps I could muster I tried to sneak past a group of heavily-drunk middle-aged men, but I had no such luck. Accidently, I stepped one of the men's feet. He shrieked in pain, which seemed strange to me, after such an 'anaesthetic'.

After that, everything happened very quickly. I felt a hand grabbing on my shoulder, someone was saying something. But I didn't register what; it was all too much for me. I broke free from the grasp and ran straight ahead as fast as I could till I was spent. I just simply wanted to be as far away from them as possible. Only when I was in a somewhat more secluded place did I stop. However, it was by no means friendlier there. I was standing in a middle of a neglected yard, on my right there was an old abandoned factory and a couple of apartment buildings, in which the workers of the factory had probably lived once. Actually, there wasn't much there besides those. I wanted to go home; I had enough adventures for one day.

Dragging my bag behind me, I set off in a search for the nearest bus stop. I was pulled out of my mulling about Gaston's sexual orientation (a very suitable thought for the time and surroundings) by a loud bang coming from somewhere behind my back. I looked around. There was a crushed pane lying at the foot of a large, slightly-dilapidated house; it had probably just fallen out. Dark grey smoke was coming from the inside of the house. The building looked deserted on the first sight; the roof was green from the moss, one of the entrances was buried, the walls dirty. However, if someone was inside, he surely needed help.

I dug out my cell phone from my bag and run to check on the person, or persons, indoors. The smoke ceased to escape through the pane-less window, but since I already was there, I might as well come in.

I opened the one functioning door and slowly stepped into the room. I was greeted by another bang and some more smoke. When it dispersed, my mouth fell open without a sound. And then I gave out a yell of fear and shock. In the middle of a blood-red room, sitting human-like, was a huge serpentine creature of a mossy color.

A dragon! A real DRAGON! On top of that, a dragon that was half covered with used tissues, which were in fact coating the entire space. On the right, on the left, in the corners; they were everywhere. I couldn't believe my own eyes. No, no, it's not possible. It's just the smoke! I'm not thinking logically because of it and my brain suggests to me the most incredible pictures. I have to get out of here. I will go, catch some fresh air and then come back.But instead of leaving, I yelled, one more time that day.

"Lightningaaaaaaaaaaaaaale, new consignment of seos and tiss-…" Out of a next room came Izabela holding a tray full of pills, vials, which I had not so long ago seen in front of the Foreign Languages School, and an enormous amount of tissues. She stopped dead in her tracks as she spotted me. Her intense gaze fixed me from head to toes.

"Happy? You know what do I need it for now." She motioned to the tray with her shin.

© 2012 Izabellla

Author's Note

English is not my native language so if you spot any mistakes please let me know.

Izabela's dialogue is supposed to be wrong; she just has problems with language. Next chapter will clear that up more.

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Added on May 16, 2012
Last Updated on May 16, 2012
Tags: fantasy, dragon, warrior, girl, world, danger



Warsaw, Poland

I'm materialistic, selfish feminist with homicidal tendencies, who live with Horacy's life philosophy (stoical-epicurean philosophy). I have music addiction and pink-repugnance. And you wouldn't want .. more..

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