Just Agnes

Just Agnes

Agnes Lamb is your average sixteen-year-old: bored and desperate, majoring in procrastination and a hundred percent done with her current life.

Willing to do anything it takes to simply feel again, Agnes starts to explore the workings of her inner mind - but "anything it takes" is quite the gray area, and Agnes is blissfully unaware that in her struggle for self-improvement, she might very well be destroying everything else.

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Chapter 3

A Heroic Fern and Lamb

Tuesday’s morning light is what tears me from my sleep. It’s meek, a pearly gray barely interfused with sunrays that can’t even closely compare to yesterday’s glory. It calls for a day full of sulking and complaints and raincoats, topped with a healthy dose of reluctance. The only plus point is that bad weather is not that common this time of year – something untypical in my typical life.

Even though it’s not really time to get up yet, my hands itch to throw the covers off, yearn to get me outside and wait for droplets to rain down on my palms, or maybe haul me up onto the steep roof. Something, anything – my stomach starts to hurt with longing, but I made a promise to Lee. Not in the literal sense, perhaps, but I felt it being forged between us: a bond, an unspoken agreement to take good care of ourselves.

I turn over and close my eyes again, allowing myself to dream of a special place where there are more colors than you could count in a million years, where apple blossom is turquoise, where the Earth is ruled by Misha Collins and Ellen DeGeneres, where dolphins can fly. There is peace and prosperity and laughter and love in that world, much easier to find than here. You can jump on the softest clouds and run around in your Ugly Duckling printed pajamas and then here’s the biggest pro: you never have to be unhappy ever again.

I often wish for a place like that. Not just for me or Lee, but every person out there. Maybe if mankind gives it enough time, they can really make it come true. After all, people say no dream is completely impossible – though I do reckon the flying dolphins might take a few million years of evolution.

My hand instinctively reaches under the pillow and curls around the cool metal of my phone. I’ve dialed Lee’s number and pressed the device to the shell of my ear before I actually realize what I’m doing, and by then Lee’s morning voice is greeting me with a drawn out moan.

“I really hope that’s a sleepy kind of moan,” is the first thing I say. “If not, just grunt twice and I’ll pretend this phone call never even happened.”

“What the bloody hell, Aggie?” Lee grumbles in response. A loud yawn follows. “It’s- hang on, the lettering on my phone is far too small in the morning.” There’s a short pause, followed by an animalistic screech of disbelief. “BLOODY HELL, AGNES! It’s only half past five!”

“Lee, I must remind you of your American ethnicity and non-Weasleyness. And please do not forget your parents are still sleeping.”

“I hate you,” he hisses. “I shall never forget this, Lamb. When I finally acquire my light saber, you will be its first victim.”

“Someone is in a morning mood,” I jest. “Did I wake you up?”

“Wake me up? No, absolutely not. What a ridiculous notion. I have been awaiting this LOUD AND VERY OBNOXIOUS MORNING CALL since the BEGINNING OF TIME.”

“Good, because I had an awesome idea that could save the planet. Are you in?”

“Does it involve Mia Wasikowska, Karen Gillian or Kat Graham?” The rustling of Lee’s sheets is audible as he gets up. I hear a very ominous noise, eerily similar to the sound of an elastic band snapping back against the wrist.

“Lee, were you naked?” I howl. “LEE FERN, WERE YOU ONLY JUST PULLING ON YOUR SHORTS?”

“I will answer your question when you answer mine, young padawan.”

“Oh my – you sleep nude?”

“It’s was hot last night,” Lee defends himself. “It’s not like I’m some creepy old pervert who gets off by thinking about you, or anything.”

“All right,” I say, “let’s just keep the bottle of nightmare fluid screwed tightly shut, Satan.”

“Willingly. So, about my question – does this courageous rescue plan of yours involve any lovely women?”

“Unfortunately, Lee, not directly. In fact, by the time our brilliant scheme is working, we’ll probably be long dead.” I pull my blankets up further and yawn. “But just in case you are interested, flying dolphins feature an exceedingly important role.”

“I’m listening.”

“Okay,” I rant, “so you know how the majority of the population is miserable, right? And, like, one part is rich and then a far larger chunk is poor. So I was thinking about a perfect world, where there are more colors you could ever count and Ellen and Misha are presidents of the continents and apple blossom is turquoise and everyone is happy. Dolphins can soar sky high, too, and you can dance on clouds shaped like broccoli if you wanted to. And then I just suddenly thought, “Hey, everything is possible, right?” and when you think about it, it is. I mean, it takes time and ingenious inventions and all, but this could actually happen. There’s so much money and power and love on Earth… it should be possible, everything is. ” I stop briefly and take a breather. “Well, what do you think?”

“I’ve got just one question,” Lee says seriously. “Why only the broccoli-shaped clouds?”

*

“Okay,” I say, leaning conspiringly over the edge of the cafeteria table, “what is your input, captain?”

Lee leans in as well, an eyebrow raised. “You sound so hot when you call me that.”

“Oh, look at me.” My hands fly up to my cheeks and I pat them, pretending to be shocked. “Officer, am I blushing?”

“Ma’am, you most certainly are. Do you need any help with that exquisite glowing complexion of yours?” Lee pulls shades from his pocket and puts them on. The thing slopes on his big nose, its left end dangling just below Lee’s brown eye. “The name is Fern, by the way. Lee Fern. At your service.”

“Agnes Lamb. It’s a pleasure to meet you, officer.” Fluttering my lashes, I add in a faux seductive tone, “Pray tell me, is there a Mrs. Fern?”

With a smooth movement, Lee removes the sunglasses and says in a low, husky voice, “Why, there could be.”

I finally lose my composure, bursting out in a fit of loud and uncontrollable laughter. Tears spring in my eyes as I hit the plastic table repeatedly and fight to regain my previous poise. “There could be,” I repeat hysterically. “There could be.”

Lee smirks back at me, his face beautifully radiant with triumph. “That’s five bucks, Lamb. I told you I could do it.”

“No way!” I protest. “You made me laugh, not smile.”

He snorts loudly. “Oh, please! Those five dollars are due today, and if I don’t get them – ” Lee puts the sunglasses back on and snaps his fingers arrogantly – “I’ll have to collect them as the horribly sexy– ”

“We’re getting sidetracked,” I interrupt good-humoredly. “Stick with the plan, Watson. The plan.”

“What plan?”

“The Plan, with capital P. You know, the ingenious one where we put a harness with wings on dolphins until evolution kicks in?”

“Right, we were discussing my input.” Lee strokes his invisible goatee. “Uh, let me think… Declaring Kat Graham my wife as a reward for my heroism still isn’t an option?”

“Only if she agrees to it. Sorry, Lee.”

He goes a little quiet, and those narrow brown eyes grow grave all of a sudden. The laugh lines around them disappear; the bags under them become more prominent. “Aggie, I meant to ask you something. This plan of yours…”

“Yeah?” I ask. “What about it?”

“Are you serious about it? Like, really serious? Because it’s absolutely bonkers and I don’t have any faith in it, not one little bit. You know what I do have faith in, though?” He takes hold of my hands and squeezes them a little too hard. “Agnes Lamb, the onomatopoeia. She is the craziest and most brilliant person in the universe. And if that wonderful girl really wants to make a perfect world happen, I will go the whole nine yards. I will write a formal letter to every prominent person on this planet, I will invent flower-friendly paint, I will contact Misha Collins and Ellen DeGeneres, I will employ the whole of Tumblr, I will start a revolution. I will do all of that, as long as Agnes Lamb believes this plan is something worth fighting for.”

I look at our intertwined hands and swallow a lump of emotion. “Jesus,” I mutter. “Jesus, Lee.”

“I know,” he says earnestly, “I’m a better friend than you deserve.”

“You really are,” I tell him. “You really are, Lee.”

“Yuck, Aggie. I can see why your parents think we’re dating. Do you always act like this without me around?” Lee pretends to look snooty, but I’ve known him far too long to fall for that. It’s almost easy to detect the faint glimmer of emotion in his eyes.

“Nah. When you’re not around, I sit in the closet and kiss that picture I have of us. And after that, I weep golden tears of failure.”

“I knew it!” Lee screams, purposely falling off his chair. It wobbles before collapsing next to him with a loud clang. “I KNEW it!”

The entire mass of the cafeteria turns to stare at us. Some students look amused, but most appear confused by Lee’s random outburst. Their hushed questions travel through the room, spreading from bland table to bland table even by the time Lee has sat back down. I can’t concentrate on his animated voice, far too conscious of all the eyes focused on us.

“Lee,” I eventually hiss in panic, “they’re still looking.”

He stops mid-sentence and glances around, carefully noting the amount of people staring back sheepishly. “Hey,” he says loudly, “can I have your attention please?”

“Lee!”

Ignoring me, he stands up and clears his throat politely. “Ladies and gentlemen, I fell off my seat and screamed. This might not seem like a normal occurrence to you, but it happens. Now, please direct your attention back to the tasteless grub on your table – it is far more interesting than anything my dear friend here, Agnes, and I have to say to each other. Thank you.” Plopping back down, Lee directs a calm look at me. “Happy?”

I scratch the back of my neck. “Sorry, I felt a little…”

“It’s all right.” Lee picks at his nails. “I don’t get why you get so uncomfortable, though. They’re just people.”

“They’re not weird,” I point out. “Not like me, anyway. I just don’t like it when they look at me.”

“Why? What’s the worst that can happen?” Lee argues.

As if having overheard our bantering, a boy promptly sits down next to me. “Do you mind, Asian?” he asks me in a bored tone of voice. There’s a very thick layer of “I-don’t-care” smacked on top of the question.

“Yeah,” Lee snaps for me. “She minds, and she’s not Asian. She was born here just like us, you cockroach-screwing, dirt-licking demon twat.”

The student gives Lee a dull look. “Dude. Chill.”

Both of us send the plain boy, who is now picking at his greasy-looking pasta, a dirty glare and stand up in unison. “Watson,” I bark, “I believe we have a plan to discuss.”

“Holmes,” Lee responds while taking me by the arm, “I do believe you are right. Allons-y.”

“You’re confusing fandoms,” I mutter as we walk off, raising our chins so high we must look ridiculous. I don’t even have to look at Lee to know he’s walking as weird as humanly possible. “That’s Doctor Who.”

“No, I’m mixing fandoms,” he corrects courteously.”Superwholock is perfectly acceptable.”

“Agree to disagree,” I grumble. “Supernatural is still not my thing. I can’t get over the Bloody Mary episode.”

Lee stomps hard on my foot. “I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that sentence leave your mouth, Lamb.”

“Ow!”

“Man up, Mulan. You and I have a world to save.”

“You do know I wasn’t really serious, right?” I shoot Lee a brief look. “I mean, it’s completely ridiculous and impossible and stupid.”

“Yeah, dumbo,” Lee scoffs, “but maybe that’s why I like it so much.”

*

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