(psst! opposites attract)

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THE FIRST TIME Draco had laid his eyes on Helena was the first time he had seen art take human form. With the straightest and darkest hair he has even known someone to have and eyes grey like the shadows within a crystal, Helena is as daunting as she is beautiful. 

That, however, had not stopped him from approaching her. Glass in hand and only a slightly less subdued smile as armor, he had opened his mouth to speak only to be met with Helena's outstretched hand. 

Of course, Draco had quickly recovered and accepted it with his own. 

"I'm Draco. Nice to meet you," he said as was appropriate. Their hands were still entwined, a bit too long for his judgement, but he was not one to pull away from a lady's handshake first. There was no spark, no immediate sense of home. 

Silence had elongated itself between them, adding more and more distance. It seemed to reduce the gravity attaching the two adolescents, and Helena's eyes began to dim. Perhaps she had longed for a connection too, just as much as Draco had. Still, she smoothly pulled her hand back and smiled, albeit flatly.

"Helena Sylvan. Nice to meet you too."

And then it was small talk, their words never diving too deep because both of them were far too aware of the other's disappointment. Before long, Helena excused herself to the restroom, and they were done. 

That's it, Draco had thought as he sipped the sparkling cider, eyes darting around the room to see if there was anyone worth avoiding. Only Draco had been wrong, because eleven days later, Helena Sylvan had shown up on his doorstep.

THE ARCHED WINDOWS stamp themselves on the dark wood floors, each illusionary and congruent to the last. The light that floods in is almost rose gold as the sun is beginning to set. It encases the room in the golden hours. A cat scratches on the other side of the door, letting out soft protests to be let in, but the claw marks are never deep enough to be considered easily visible.

The girl sitting on the bed does not move. She sits staring at her reflection in the oval mirror mounted on the wall, half of her face illuminated and the other half not.

Helena cannot remember the last time she had had something interesting to do on a Sunday night. There is a void in her chest, and it has manifested in the most inconvenient and unfortunate times. Helena feels it growing, trespassing into the parts of her life that should be left untouched.

Say, yesterday's dinner with the Schleidens. They were long time family friends with the Sylvans, and Helena hit it off well enough with their daughter Rosalind. But as they laughed after Mr. Schleiden had cracked a joke (politically correct of course), Helena's suddenly cut off. Rosalind, sitting across from her at the time, had slightly furrowed her brows in question, but Helena's vision was too blurry by then to comprehend it.

Panic had flooded her chest, filling the gorge that a sudden wave of loneliness had dug. Shit. Fuck

Helena had excused herself to the bathroom once things died down, and she had not come back until twenty minutes later, much too long for a lady to be away in the bathroom as her mother had scolded afterwards.

And that had not been the last time, nor had it been the first. Helena has wondered if something is wrong with her, let the thought roll through her head like a tumbleweed in the desert. Dry and barren, that's what her head feels like.

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