Sometimes, on cold nights, Nixie would run outside and find a swarm of bees and let them sting her. The zap of their poison woke her up. No longer numb, it would bring her back to life.
During herbal medicine class, Lazarus nudged Nixie, “look what I got,” he placed his hand on his nose, pulling out a septum piercing.
“Whoa!” Nixie’s eyes bugged out, “that looks gross!”
“I pierced it myself with a knife!” he proudly stated.
“Ew, it’s gonna get infected!”
“I think it looks cool… not like your hair, did you dye it or something?”
“I’m putting lemon juice in it, so it’s brighter.”
“It looks awful. And why are you wearing so much blush?”
“Thanks. And I don’t wear blush, idiot. I have rosy cheeks.”
“Huh,” he shrugged.
Nixie despised the way that Lazarus was always pestering her, but she didn’t let it bother her too much.
Ariel would always say, “I think he likes you!”
In which Nixie would say, “no way!” with disgust and denial.
“But he’s cute!” Ariel argued.
“Not at all!” Nixie continued to deny.
Nixie and Ariel had a very close friendship, that grew closer and closer with time. People would even mistake them for being a couple, because they were so close!
But it was incredibly fiery. One day they were fighting and refusing to speak to each other ever again, the next day they were laughing together and holding hands.
“Can you believe all the crazy rumors people spread?” Nixie giggled, one night as they were having a sleepover together. They were laying in bed, unable to fall asleep.
“You’re so experienced now, what’s that like? What does it feel like?” Ariel interrogated with intense curiosity.
“Oh, it’s indescribable,” Nixie explained to Ariel, cuddling up closer to her, “it feels so right… yet it feels so wrong!“
The two girls gazed into each other’s eyes with passion, grazing one another’s arms and thighs.
“Goodnight,” they said.
The following morning, Nixie got dressed and packed up her belongings, getting ready to return back home. She noticed Ariel smelt extra fresh, like roses and daisies.
“I’ve been thinking about you a lot,” Ariel confessed in a sweet and sultry voice.
“Really?” Nixie faced turned red. “That’s nice, I gotta go!” and rushed out the door.
Nixie’s head was spinning. She continued to have prolonged dreams about Ariel, and didn’t know what to think of it all. They had such a lovely friendship together. And that was all, right? Just friendship?
Their mutual friend, Fantasia, said to Nixie, “I think that Ariel might like you more than a friend…”
Which Nixie completely shut down, “nah, I don’t think so.”
Attempting to distract herself, Nixie was desperate to find another boy to focus on. Gandalf had cut her off and refused to answer her telepathic messages — although she still caught him staring at her from time to time.
And after making out with Xantho a few more times, he cut her off after telling her he had a girlfriend now! Nixie was flabbergasted, he refused to commit to her, and now he had found someone else to commit to! Her name was Lilly, a water nymph, and Nixie would study her from afar. Lilly was absolutely gorgeous — blonde hair that reached her toes, forest-green eyes, a quirky half-smile, and an incredibly confident attitude. Nixie attempted to reach out to Lilly and become friends, but she was distrustful and resistant.
And so, Nixie was on the lookout for a new distraction… She went to the beach alone, sitting in the sand, with one-hundred rose quartz crystals. The rose quartz energy attracts love.
A boy named Alwin approached her, he was blonde with large shoulders, wearing a midnight black trench coat. The two of them chatted for a bit, getting to know each other. Nixie mentioned that she was falling behind with her classes, and how her dad was getting upset about her low grades. So Alwin offered to be her tutor. Nixie graciously agreed, and they arranged to meet up once a week. But Nixie got nervous and bailed on him, letting the fear get to her head.
Another boy named Quail approached Nixie as she sat on the beach with her rose quartz crystals, praying for love. He had dark, shaggy hair, that covered his brown eyes. His dark skin was covered in beautiful body art. The two of them started getting to know each other, and eventually Quail offered to teach her about body art, so they arranged to meet up after class one day. But once again, Nixie was struck with panic and ditched him.
Finally, returning back to the shore with her rose quartz crystals, Nixie was approached by a boy named Felix.
“Do you even know who I am?” he teased.
“Yeah, sure!” Nixie nodded, “you’re, uh…”
“We have advanced palmistry together?”
“Right!” Nixie nodded again.
Instead of arranging a date together, he was much more direct, and suggested they find some privacy.
Nixie agreed, so they teleported to a stranded beach where no one else was in sight. And without much words, they began to kiss each other.
Afterwards, Nixie cut him off and refused to ever speak to him again.
And then, again, Nixie went back to the beach once more with her rose quartz crystals and prayed for love. A little quote played in her head, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
But this time, it wasn’t any random boy who approached her — it was Lazarus!
“What are you doing?” Nixie was stunned.
“Let’s finally do this!” Lazarus exclaimed, “we can’t hold back any longer!”
“But, but… I don’t like you, and you don’t like me…”
“Don’t overthink,” he told her as they teleported to a more private area.
And then, they both fervently seized each other. It was magical.
But the next time they saw each other, it was far too awkward. They both said “hi,” with voices so low they could barely hear each other. They couldn’t even look each other in the eyes. And that was that.
Nixie ran to Grandmother Tree in desperation, as she often does.
“I’m so confused!” she cried, “I want to be in love… but I don’t want to be in love… but I do!”
Grandmother Tree was silent.
“Help me, please!” Nixie cried out.
“I can’t fix you,” she responded, “this is a personal job you have to do yourself.”
At the start of her twelfth and final year of schooling, Nixie, Ariel, and Fantasia decided it was time to celebrate — they were all completely stoked to be finishing up with classes!
“We have to get drunk!” Fantasia insisted, “I stole this bottle of mead from my parents!”
Nixie sipped on the mead, enjoying the feeling of warmth throughout her body, loosening her limbs.
The three of them had so much fun together, dancing around on the sand with the wind blowing through their hair, the sound of the waves crashing, the stars shining brightly over them.
As the three of them were resting on the rocks, Nixie started losing control of herself when she grabbed Ariel’s foot in admiration, “oh, what a beautiful foot! A dancer’s foot, you have!” And started sucking on her toe.
“What in the world!” Ariel cracked up, “you’re crazy, no more drinking for you!”
A couple months later, the three friends were invited to a party at Flint’s home. But Fantasia was traveling and couldn’t make it, and Ariel’s strict parents wouldn’t let her go, so Nixie showed up alone… looking for adventure.
Nixie was incredibly nervous, attempting to talk to acquaintances, observing everyone. Anxious to ease her nerves, she continued to reaching for more drinks. And then she noticed that Figg was there, making her reach for even more drinks. Eventually, she completely lost count of how much alcohol was in her body.
Nixie danced around to the live music that was playing — the drums, harps, trumpets, and violins. Everyone was watching her, many were cheering her on.
But suddenly Nixie stopped dancing and randomly fell into deep despair, tears streaming down her face.
“What’s wrong?” a group rushed over to her.
“It’s… it’s… it’s Xantho!” she cried out, “I can’t believe he has a girlfriend! That should’ve been me!”
“Is he here? I’ll kill him!” Zed shouted.
“No, he’s not here,” Nixie shook her head, “I just thought of him and it made me sad.”
“Then what would make you feel better?” Zed asked.
“Um…” Nixie pondered like a child, wiping away her tears, “I can just have fun with myself! I have so much fun with myself! I love being a girl!”
Everyone surrounding them burst into laughter.
Zed pulled her aside, away from everyone else, “okay,” he chuckled, “you’ve been drinking way too much, let me walk you home.”
So he walked her home like a gentleman, assuring her safety.
Nixie woke up the next morning, dehydrated, with a pounding head and a churning stomach. The whole night was a blur, she had completely blacked out. But she did remember the sweet man who walked her home.
After that night, Nixie continued to stay in touch with Zed, grateful that he had taken care of her. He had strong feelings for her, but was extremely hesitant — for he was ten years older than her. While Nixie was still sixteen, the man was twenty-six!
Zed took her on real, romantic dates. They had a picnic together on the beach. He brought her a bouquets of roses he had freshly picked himself. And he moved slowly and cautiously, waiting until their third date to kiss her, just a quick peck on the lips. He was smart, he knew a lot, and he told Nixie that she seemed wise beyond her years, unlike her classmates.
At first they kept their relationship a secret, worried about how others would react, but soon enough Nixie wanted to make it known. She had already told her close friends, now she was concerned with telling her family…
Nixie sat down with her father, her mom-ghost also by their side, to have a serious talk.
“I want you to know that I’m dating someone — it’s Zed,” Nixie bravely announced to them.
“Oh, Zed!” her dad replied — he was a family friend, so their parents knew exactly who he was, and exactly what his age was…
“Yeah,” Nixie continued, “remember last Saturday, when I told you was going to hang out with Fantasia? Well, I lied! I was actually going on a date with Zed!”
“Why’d you feel you had to lie about it?” her mom asked with concern.
“Because I was nervous, I thought you wouldn’t approve…”
“He seems like a pretty good guy,” her dad shrugged, “I’m relieved to know that someone in the family is finally settling down. Your older sisters are always running around.”
“I think that’s sweet,” her mom smiled, “as long as he makes you happy.”
“Of course!” Nixie beamed. Her parents were so cool and understanding, as always!
It was far too easy. That night, at dinner, Nixie would share the news with her older siblings at the table. All of them were now in their twenties, all living away from home, but tonight were here for a special occasion, to celebrate Yule.
“WHAT?” her oldest brother, Beck, flipped out.
“Are you serious?” Maria, her oldest sister began to cry, “you can’t!”
The other siblings were in shock and disgust.
“But,” older brother Oakley argued, “he’s at a totally different stage in life!”
“Dad?!” older sister Kiwi said, “you’re okay with this?”
“Of course!” he told them, “I thought you’d all be laughing about it!”
And then their ghost-mom cut in saying, “all of you have to stop looking at Nixie like a child! She’s the smartest one in the family!”
Yet the arguing continued.
Horrified, Nixie got out of her chair and left, running to the ocean, where she immersed herself in the water to feel calm again.
Several moments later, Maria teleported to Nixie.
“I don’t understand,” Nixie furrowed her eyebrows, “why can’t you just support me like family should?”
“I’m worried,” she explained, “we all know Zed, and when he falls, he falls hard. He was a reputation for it. If you break up with him, you’ll ruin him. He’ll never let you go, he’ll follow you around…”
“Is that really the worst thing a person can do — fall hard for someone?”
“He comes from a broken family, so he’s eager to start his own… and if you’re not ready for that…”
Nixie sighed, “you’re right, I haven’t really thought about the future myself.”
“I’m sorry for my reaction, it was just so unexpected. But I do support you!”
“Thank you, that means a lot,” the two sisters hugged.
Nixie and Zed went on a few more dates, and Nixie was noticing that he seemed to be impatient about moving forward. He started making casual remarks about “marriage” and “having babies.” After Nixie had told him a joke, he laughed, saying, “this is why I love you!” — quickly catching himself, “uh, you know what I mean…”
Nixie knew she was definitely not in love with him. And once he started asking about seeing each other more often, she knew it was time for a talk…
“Zed,” she began, “you are the sweetest man I have ever met. This time I’ve spent with you is something that I’ll never forget. But it would be cruel of me to continuing seeing you, knowing that I don’t really see a future together… you see, ever since I was a child, I knew that my soulmate was somewhere out west, somewhere far from the water and deep in the woods. Once I turn eighteen, I intend on traveling… without you.”
“Is it because of your family, because of the way they reacted?”
“No, no,” Nixie shook her head, “my parents were very understanding, and my siblings were surprised at first, but they support me. It’s just that, if I’m not in love with you, it would be wrong to stay with you. And it’s nothing to do with your age. It’s just, we clearly want different things at this moment in time.”
“I appreciate the honesty. Can we still be friends?”
“Definitely,” Nixie swiftly nodded, “I hate to sound cheesy, but you really are a genuinely great guy. If I really didn’t think so, I would’ve just kept leading you on. I know how it feels to be lead on, it’s torture.”
“I know, too,” he agreed.
So, they hugged goodbye.
A few months later, Nixie heard spotted Gandalf — he was with Isla, holding hands. She stared at them for a moment in complete disbelief. Her heart had shattered.
Nixie ran as fast as she could to find her swarm of bees. She let them sting her, much longer this time, until her entire body was covered in red.
And now, with a few weeks left until Nixie would leave town, she heard the news that Xantho and Lilly had broken up. Apparently, Lilly had cheated on him. Unsure why, she felt great sympathy for him. So went he approached her in the garden, although she was still furious with him, she gave him another chance.
“I really missed your lips, your curves, your giggles,” he confessed.
This was Nixie’s moment to tare him down, but she felt so weak around him. She was addicted to him. So, she jumped into his arms and they began to kiss.
Until she stopped herself, “hold on! What am I doing?”
He said, “if you don’t want me, then I’ll leave.”
“It’s just…” Nixie paused. This was her moment, but she could barely get out the words… “what about Lilly?”
“It’s over! She cheated on me — multiple times!”
“Why were you two even together in the first place?”
“It’s not something we planned, it just happened.”
Nixie paused again, trying to figure out exactly what to say, “I thought you didn’t want a girlfriend.”
“I didn’t. Like I said — it just happened.”
Another pause… “I don’t understand.”
“Do you want me to leave?” Xantho was puzzled.
“No,” Nixie definitely didn’t want him to leave. She wanted to tell him off, and then watch Xantho beg for her, and then cave in, and then they could live happily ever after… but she had no idea what to say.
Still frozen, Xantho spoke again, “I thought you didn’t want a boyfriend.”
“Yes!” Nixie explained, “I did!”
“So you did want me to be your boyfriend?”
“Hm,” he furrowed his eyebrows, “it didn’t seem that way.”
Nixie was trying to get angry, but it was hard to feel angry while she was standing in front of Xantho, merely inches away from his soft lips… another pause… “really?” was all she could tell him.
“I didn’t know you wanted to date me.”
It was the last thing she expected him to tell her. She thought he was fully aware of how obsessed she was with him, she assumed he was torturing her for the fun of it… but then she looked back on all the times she pretended not to know him, how she could’ve tried so much harder to be with him, how a part of her enjoyed being physical with someone without the attachment even though the guilt eventually wore her down… perhaps he really wasn’t evil, perhaps it was all just a big misunderstanding…
“So…” Xantho stood there awkwardly as Nixie was lost in her thoughts.
“I’m overthinking again,” she smirked, throwing herself on top of him, no longer able to resist him.
Once again, the two of them shared their passion for one another. Nixie felt like a druggie getting her fix after being sober for far too long.
Before they kissed goodbye, Xantho told her, “you wouldn’t want me as a boyfriend, anyway.”
“What do you mean?” Nixie tilted her head.
“I have a lot of issues. I’ve been kicked out of my house before, I’ve been homeless, I’ve been starving… I have a sh** dad. You don’t wanna deal with that. Girls can’t handle me, they always run away.”
Shocked by his vulnerability, Nixie looked back at him speechless, with total sympathy in her eyes. She wanted to tell him, “I can deal with your issues! I can understand! I would never run away from you!” …Instead, she simply nodded.
The two of them parted ways, and Nixie would never be the same. I should’ve said more, she kept thinking, but it was too late now…