I can feel myself losing control, but I remind myself that I’m not allowed to hurt humans, so I simply clench my fists, set my jaw, and pretend that I’m slamming Kely’s face into my locker as I close it. I put the lock on and turn to get to class.
Only one more period, I tell myself. One more hour until you can get away.
Kely’s taunting laughter interrupts my thoughts. “What are you thinking about?” she sneers. “How you’re gonna kill yourself tonight?” Her five extra shadows laugh meanly, except for one of them, who looks sad and pissed.
“Hey stupid, next time you try to insult me, why don’t you make sure it doesn’t insult any of your shadows. Melanie’s little brother tried to commit suicide last week. I don’t think joking about the idea is the best way to keep her under your finger,” I tell Kely, who just rolls her eyes.
“Oh, so now you think that you can boss me around? That deserves a punishment, doesn’t it, girls?” Kely says to her bobbleheads. They all nod, except for Melanie. “I think you should give meeeeeee… that!” She points to the crystal strung around my neck with a simple black string, and begins to reach for it.
With my right hand, I swat her hand away, while my left hand twitches toward the plasma gun hidden in my belt, but I force it away. “Don’t touch that!” I growl. “If you do, I swear, you’ll wish that you were never born.”
She stares at me for a second, then starts laughing stupidly, along with all of her copiers, excluding Melanie. “C’mon girls,” Kely says. “We don’t want LAME-ia to go psyco on us, do we?” She and her shadows walk away, laughing manically.
I sigh and reach for my backpack, fingering the crystal on my neck. If only she knew what it did.
The twilight crystal gives planet Earth light each day. I’m a guardian, along with my twin sister, Sankium (Sayn-kuhm), and our friend, Haikee (Hi-kee). My name is actually Lameia (Lay-mee-uh), and I don’t use a different name because the Reddikan counsel forbade it, and also it’s the name that I was born with, and I love it. Reddika is our home planet, where we grew up for the first 20 years of our lives. Then, we’re assigned a job on a planet, and if you excelled in school, you may get a different planet. The object that you get assigned to has to be guarded from the Cloysin, the evil race from planet Cloysia. The Cloysin want to steal every planet’s object, and then use them to take over the galaxy. Haikee, Sankium, and I got assigned th Earth with the most important job for the planet- to guard the twilight crystal. Four years ago, we got a surprise when Haikee’s little sister, Maylen, was assigned to the twilight crystal, too.
Since we have the most important job, when we have kids, they won’t be taken to grow up on Reddika. We get to raise them and teach them about the planet ourselves. The only problem with us being on Earth is that, on Reddika, it’s custom to have children at around 30 years old, which wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that we age differently than humans. On the inside, we age exactly the same, but on the outside, we age at about half the speed, and normally live to be about 200 years old. So, when we have our first child, we look about 15-ish on the outside, which is frowned upon by humans, who think that you should have your first child in your mid-twenties or later. That’s why, when I had my twin boys, Nikolai and Ronan, I stayed at home, and Sankium and Haikee had to tell everyone that I was going to school in Europe for a year.
As I sling my backpack over my shoulder and think about my sons, someone taps me on my shoulder, interrupting my thoughts. I turn to see Melanie standing there, looking sad still. Then she starts to speak. “Thanks. You know, for standing up for Ryder and me when Kely joked about it,” she says, looking like she’s about to cry. “I never wanted to hang out with her to begin with, but couldn’t stand her teasing. I just wanted to say that I think she’s a jerk for treating you like that. You don’t deserve it. Also, I think that it’s stupid how she makes fun of your name. I think that it’s pretty. We can’t help what our names our, anyway.”