Doesn't That Ring A Bell?

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Parker/Googz's P.O.V.

"Jane was a guardian?" The words just tumbled out of my mouth. I couldn't say anything else. When did this happen? Why didn't we know about this? And how does V.E.R.A. know about this?

Unfortunately, the moment I came back to reality, someone opened the door from outside. I looked up to find Judy Carter, Austin's mother, standing by the doorway with a loaded basket of laundry, surprised to find a group of teenagers sitting in a previously locked room, two of which were crying.

"I'm sorry for interrupting, whatever this is," Judy apologized kindly, waving her hand at us. "I was just going to put away these clothes, and I realized the door was open and heard Parker over there, yelling something about my... my..." Her voice trailed off; she was attempting to think of the right word to address her dead duaghter.

Austin stood up from the bed, pushing Tamra's hand off his shoulder, and looked at his mom. "They know about Jane, mom," he said calmly. "Parker and I had to tell them the truth when they found out about the room."

Judy walked into the room and carefully placed the basket next to the vanity. She took one look at me as she walked past and was immediately concerned. "Parker dear," she mumbled, placing a finger under my chin and forcing me to look up at her. "Your eyes, are red. Were you crying?"

"He's not the only one though," Austin murmered from behind her. Judy spun around to find the dried tear marks on her son's face. She gasped and reached up to touch his face, since he was taller than her. "We were telling them about how Jane d-d-di-i-e-" Austin began to fumble with the final word.

His mom immediately went up to him and gave him a hug. "You should lay down for a little while," she said when she pulled away. "I'll leave some dinner out for you so you can have a little night meal afterwards, okay?" Austin nodded sheepily and walked out the door, his head hund down.

Judy turned to us. "I'm sorry for going all motherly on Austin," she apologized. "But you'll understand."

Tamra stood up and put a hand on Judy's shoulder. "It's okay, Austin and Parker told us a lot about her. She sounds like a great girl to be around."

The mother sniffed slightly. "Thank you Tamra," she said. "For being there for my son."

Tamra smiled and looked at the rest of us. "I'm not the only one."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I walked back to my house, I replied all the memories of Jane in my head, like files on a flashdrive. When Austin first introduced her to me (she was really shy), when I caught her singing and dancing that one time (that time, so embarrassed), when she shared that popsicle on the hottest day of the year (it was sorta awkward but I was really thankful).

I still don't understand why I'm hung up on her. It's been almost two years since her disappearance; shouldn't I have moved on from my long-time crush on her? But I just couldn't; I tried to move on by finding this other girl. Yes, I know it's weird to fall for an A.I. (V.E.R.A.) but she was just so smart, like her...

Gosh!

At least I moved on from V.E.R.A.. I mean, I eventually started to listen to reason (a.k.a. Austin) and knew that I can't date her.

My thoughts were interrupted by a rustle in the bushes next to me. I turned to find nothing but the bushes, so I think I might've been losing it. Until I heard the same noise once again ahead, only a little louder. I turned my head once again, only to catch the heel of a lavender sneaker jump into the plants.

I found a nearby stick and used it to poke the bushes. "Hello?" I called out into the nothingness. "Is anyone there?"

More shuffling noises erupted from the bushes. Getting closer and closer to me with every second. "S-s-show yourself!" I stuttered, raising my stick.

Suddenly, a small figure jumped at me. I let out a yelp as it came into contact with my shoes and dropped my stick. Then, the mysterious figure began... purring?

I looked down in curiosity. I thought there was a random little kid who went all psycho and clawed at my sneakers. Instead, I found a cute little innocent black cat. My face was flushed in embarrassment; I'm just glad I was the only one out here tonight...

Without a second thought, I picked up the kitten. A memory of V.E.R.A.'s mini-obsession with cats floated into my mind and I chuckled under my breath. She was so immersed their cuteness, during a mission, she plucked a wandering one off the streets and kept it in Room 0 to show us. We found out that it had a name tag and had to return it to its owner.

Quickly, I checked if the cat had a tag. It did, but there was no name on it. It was more like a price tag; on the bronze circle written in black, it said "If lost, return to the (insert place) Pet Shelter". So, it was homeless.

I flipped over the tag and found the phone number. Maybe I could give them a call and ask for an adoption. I mean, it is really cute and kinda obedient. It reminded me so much of when Jane, Austin and I visited that animal shelter for a field trip and Jane found a similar black cat.

Call it fate if this cat is the same one.

Anyways, my mother and father really don't mind pets, no allergies, as long as I'm responsible.

The little cat started clawing at my fingers. Luckily its claws weren't all that sharp. I pulled her paw away but then she reached out with her other paw. Unfortunately, I was holding her with one hand so I couldn't use both of them to stop her.

"What's up with all these little tricks?" I muttered. Then I had a little idea. "That's it, I'll call you Trixy!"

The cat perked its head up and stopped attacking my finger. I guess she approves of her new name, I thought to myself as I continued my journey home. I looked back at my finger, checking for any marks. There were a few scars on my skin but at least she didn't damage the ring.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As soon as I got out of the shower and changed, I flopped onto my bed. My parents - like expected - allowed me to have the cat. It was sitting on a pillow on the floor by the foot of my bed.

Okay, I realized I didn't give any clarification on why I had a ring. Before you asked, no, I do not have some planned marriage and this ring was my engagement ring. In fact, this ring isn't even mine. It is - I mean, it was - Jane's, so I didn't steal it either.

I held up my hand, letting the moonlight bounce off the ring, giving it a slight aura. It was a silver ivory ring that had black music notes that shimmered purple in the light. It was a birthday gift to Jane from one of her distant relatives and she's worn it ever since her seventh birthday. I found it in the remains of the fire, and it was a miracle it was still in one piece, practically unscathed by the flames. I've worn it since that day but I didn't tell anyone I still had it. I had to hide it whenever someone was too close, and pocket it away when spending the day at Austin's. Luckily, I didn't raise any suspicion.

This ring was basically all I had left of her. Some days, I would lie in bed and just imagine what it would be like if she wasn't in the fire. Her life, her very existence, was more precious to me than this ring could ever be. But I kept it, just as a symbol of my old friend, Jane Carter.

With one hand behind my head and the other resting on my chest, I drifted into another dreamless sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sorry, but does anyone know where Reboot: The Guardian code take place? I'm stumped and I don't wanna leave the pet shelter's name as "(insert place Pet Shelter". 

So... BYE!!!

~Vocalist_Joi_13/7 says PAALAM

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