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Rain, Rain, Go Away; First!
Topic Started: Apr 26 2015, 01:15 PM (757 Views)
Espi
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(Alice Baker Pregame Start)

Pouring rain was usually not something Alice took offense to. In Kingman, it was so hot and dry that rain was usually refreshing. Plus, Alice liked the sound of rain; it relaxed her. It was soothing, melancholy, and inspiring from an artistic standpoint. She liked rainy weekends, when she could stay inside and practice or draw.

Unfortunately, this was one of the times Alice took offense to the rain. For one, this was early January, and it was already freezing out at best. Moreover, she was faced with the fact she needed to actually expose herself to the rain, and had no umbrella. It hadn’t rained this morning, so Alice only had a light hoodie on to protect herself and her bookbag full of delicate papers. Not a great situation to walk home in.

As Alice stepped into the rain-soaked parking lot, she shivered and scrunched up her face. She couldn’t get a ride today; dad had one of the cars at work, and Molly was still at school, plus was unlikely to be willing to pick Alice up anyway. Alice didn’t feel like dealing with her sister today. Normally Alice didn’t mind walking, since she lived so close to the school, but now she was going to get soaked from it.

Glaring at the ground, Alice let out a sigh, pulled up her hood, and started shuffling down the sidewalk past the crowded parking lot. She lived a few blocks away, but it was going to be a long, wet few blocks today.
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Alice was quickly finding herself miserable. She had only been walking for a few moments, but she was already feeling the effects. The rain had soaked into her hoodie, her hair was getting wet, and water ran down her face like tears. She felt like a waterlogged cat already, and she hadn't even gotten out of the parking lot.

Suddenly, the drops of rain ceased, and Alice heard a quiet clattering, as if the rain was hitting something. Looking up, Alice found an umbrella held above her, and another girl beside her. Alice knew of her, having seen the other girl before, but couldn't put a name to the face. That made the situation even more unusual, though. Alice had no idea who this girl was, so why was she being approached?

Alice stopped in place, looking up at the much taller girl. "Dad's at work," she said softly. "Thanks, though." Alice offered a shy smile to the other girl. It was odd that she was helping her out, but Alice appreciated it nonetheless. She kept walking, trying to keep pace with the nice girl with the umbrella.

It seemed like an appropriate time for conversation, but Alice wasn't sure what to say. "Hey, uh..." reaching for something, Alice picked the most obvious question, "what's your name?"
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The other girl, whose name was apparently Fiyori, slowed down a bit, which Alice appreciated since she wasn't the fastest walker in the world. Sure, it probably wasn't a big deal to the other girl, but it was certainly not necessary for Fiyori to help her out, so Alice was glad she ran into her. Plenty of people probably would've just ignored her.

"Nice to meet you." Alice replied, glad her question hadn't been taken as awk-wait, what did Fiyori just say? For a moment, Alice wasn't sure what Fiyori had said, and it wasn't until Alice looked up at the other girl's blank expression that she realized no, that wasn't a joke. Alice blushed bright red. This wasn't something Alice really knew how to respond to, actually. She opened her mouth and closed it again, unsure of what to say.

"Uh..." After another awkward pause, Alice tried again. "I'm a junior, actually. I, uh..." She trailed off again, against her will. She was just...how does one respond to that? She was self-aware enough to know that Fiyori had a point. She was short, skinny and probably could pass for a little kid if she tried. Still, it was kinda paintful to acknowledge that she could be mistaken for an elementary student.

Alice looked up at the other girl again. "Sorry." she apologized, almost out of habit.
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Alice looked down at the ground, biting her tongue. She didn't want to cause an issue, since the other girl seemed to have meant it playfully, but the word hurt. She hated being called an idiot; Molly did it a lot, and it made Alice feel even smaller than usual. She turned away her blushing face and focused on the puddles on the ground.

When Fiyori stopped laughing and spoke up again, Alice was initially confused. 'These'? What were 'these'? And what was 'this'? Alice was so distracted moping that she needed a second to realize that Fiyori probably meant the umbrella.

Alice nodded slightly, taking the umbrella into her hand. She stretched her left arm up, trying to keep the umbrella balanced over Fiyori's and her own heads. The umbrella tilted slightly as Alice tried to balance the heavier top end from the very tip, but she managed to keep the majority of the rain out.
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Alice tried to conceal her sigh of relief when the other girl took back her umbrella. For how nice Fiyori had been to help her out, she sure wasn't giving Alice an easy time with it. She couldn't help but notice Fiyori removing her shoes, which seemed kind of random, but she wasn't going to point it out. Alice gave a weak smile, and continued walking.

As Alice walked, she got a little more comfortable once silence fell over the pair. The drops of rain falling into the streets was kind of nice, and the moody storm clouds overhead were very evocative. Alice momentarily got so wrapped up in how pretty it was that it took her a moment to realize she'd been asked a question.

"Just a few blocks this way." Alice said, pointing with her left hand's index finger. Looking up at Fiyori, she added, "You don't have to go with meif it's out of the way, though." It seemed the polite thing to do, even if it inconvenienced Alice.
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Alice nodded, not sure what to add. In a sense, it was often nice not to have anything planned. Free time was always pleasant, especially when you were like Alice and you could work on something like writing or drawing and enjoy it without stressing over homework or chores. For most people though, having nothing to do generally meant that you were bored.

Alice wondered absently what camp Fiyori fell into.

They walked for a little bit further, both apparently lost in their thoughts. Alice's mind drifted off again; she noticed a pretty tree with no leaves and curved arch branches reaching to the sky, and imagined her fingers tracing the same swooping shapes across a piece of paper. Hmm, maybe she could work on that later that night once her trig homework was done.

It was almost a surprise when she noticed her house a few yards further. Had they really walked that far already? The rain seemed to be slowing, as well. Alice looked up at Fiyori, and gave a shy smile. Then, a more friendly one.

"It's Alice. Thanks for walking with me." She slowly extended her arm to shake hands.
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The handshake was awkward, sloppy and in all honestly probably a bad idea. Still, Alice appreciated Fiyori more or less humoring her, and she figured it could've been worse. At least the other girl seemed pretty nice, idiosyncrasies aside. Alice couldn't exactly call herself perfect, so who was she to judge someone, one who helped her out no less. It was just impolite.

"It's right over there." Alice pointed to her house, a modest two-story building. She wondered briefly if her sister was home yet. Probably, since her school was only about a five-minute drive and Alice had been walking for a while. She wondered what Molly would think if she knew Alice had come home with another girl in tow.

"It's okay, I'll see you later." Alice said before hurrying away from Fiyori to the front door. The rain had slowed to a light drizzle, and Alice lowered her head to avoid the blinding droplets.

((Alice Baker continued in Hypotnuse Murder Mystery Case))
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