Natalia Davis

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Euni again
has to pounce on my bed
in order to wake me up
the next morning,
to my dismay.
When I blearily
glance over at our
alarm clock,
I see that it reads
about fifteen minutes earlier
than the time that we normally
have to wake up by.

"It's too early,"
I grumble at her
as she rips open the curtains,
blinding me with
early morning sunshine.
"I think you set
the alarm too early..."

"Nope!"
She turns back to me
with a smile that rivals
even the sun outside.
I notice after a second
of watering eyes
that she's already dressed.
"We have to get there early
if you want to meet everyone.
They all have stuff
after school, so
then's not an option -
and anyway, I want you
to meet them all
ASAP."
When I throw a
side eye in her direction,
she proceeds to insist,
"It's important!
Really!
You need friends, Matty,
whether you think so
or not."

I realize that she's right,
of course -
but I still don't appreciate
the few minutes of sleep that
her mission has caused me
to lose.

We leave the house
before Thias is fully ready.
Euni shoots him
a quick text
explaining why we've gone on
without him
before ushering me
out of the house
with a speed that would make
her track coach proud,
but makes my legs
burn with the strain
of keeping up.
As we speed-walk
down the sidewalk, I
unconsciously count
the number of seams
in the pavement
that we step over,
my gaze turned down
to avoid Eunice's prying gaze
and incessant chattering.
Maybe it's because
I'm nervous about meeting
my sister's friends, but I
can't seem to concentrate
on anything
right now.

I reach fifty-three by the time
we turn onto
the front walk of the
school building.
Hesitantly, I
lift my gaze
as Euni steers me
off to the side, towards
the set of picnic tables
on the side lawn
near the cafeteria door.
Sitting at the closest table
are a few people
I vaguely recognize as
people that Eunice greeted
yesterday
as we walked into school together.
They're juniors,
I assume,
though as I've never met
any of them before,
I can't say for sure.

"Hey, guys!"
Euni calls out,
waving the hand that is not
steering me towards
her group of friends.
It reminds me a lot
of the group I sit with
at lunch:
secluded, close-knit,
and unwelcoming to
intruders like me.
When Euni releases me,
I hang back,
uncertain of what
I should say to them.

When my sister notices
my conundrum, she
gives a small smile.
"This is my
little sis, Matty.
Matty, this is
Darien, Martha,
Ashlyn and Trevor.
We all run track
together."

And sure enough,
they all have that
lean, aquiline grace
that my sister
has come to possess
in her three years
on the team.
Still, the guy
that she pointed out
as Trevor
clears his throat
with a grimace.

"Except me,"
he grumbles.
"Way to forget
the cross country guy..."

The rest of them
laugh, then,
and though I still feel
a little uncomfortable
with the situation, I
force a laugh, too.
They seem like a
happy little family,
just the five of them.
I feel a little
guilty
for trying to push my way
into their midst,
even if it was
Eunice's idea in
the first place.

I'm just about to
excuse myself when
a voice picks up from
behind me,
accompanied by the sound
of hurried footsteps.
"Hey,"
it calls out,
"what's the occasion?
If I had know you guys
we're having a party,
I would have gotten here
a lot sooner!"

"Hey, Talia,"
the others say
nearly in sync
as the clicking of heels
stops just behind me.
My sister suddenly
begins to chatter
to the newcomer
about me
and how it was perfect that
she was here now
to meet me,
but it all fades to
a dull roar
as I turn around and,
for the first time,
lay eyes on
the girl I would later
come to know as
Natalia Davis.

Long blonde hair frames
an angular face,
perfectly complemented by
her caramel-colored skin tone.
She's tall,
towering over me -
and even over Eunice, who
I've always thought to be
rather tall.
Her heels probably
help that.
Though I know for a fact
that she isn't on
my sister's track team -
as I've been to
plenty of her meets
and have never seen
anyone quite like Natalia before -
she is slim
and dainty
and very much unlike
my short and chubby figure.

"It's nice to meet you,
Matty,"
she says through the
buzzing in my ears -
and her smile, I find,
is the brightest I have
ever seen,
even as it is
turned away from me
and she steps back
from our little assemblage,
heading to the front doors
to the tune of the
warning bell.
I feel the loss of it
like a hammer blow
in my chest.

It's only later
that I realize
I never said anything
to her
in reply.

×

And here is where it begins, my friends. Natalia fuckin Davis. Oh my golly.

I was really super pumped to finally determine for sure what she looks like. She was originally gonna be white and have a pixie cut, but I changed my mind at last second. The more POC characters the better, right?

If you guys like this chapter, I would love if you would vote and leave me some feedback! It'd be much appreciated! c:

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