This Is MY Story
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I woke up, barely breathing. The first thing I saw as soon as I opened my eyes was a foot shamelessly resting on top of my chest. I glared at the foot, planning to tickle it, but I threw the idea away, seeing that the said foot is just inches away from my face. I don’t want to be kicked in the face first thing in the morning. I pinched the foot, however; I regretted it the moment the foot suddenly jolted upwards, only to fall back to my chest again. This caused me to wheeze at the sudden impact.

“What the actual !” I can’t help but curse out loud. Aziel stirred from his sleep and tried to open his eyes, but failed and got back to sleep. I held Jayce’s ankle and roughly removed it from me. I threw his leg to the side and pushed him out of the bed. I heard a groan from him, but as quickly as his sleep was disturbed, his breathing went back to a steady pace- showing that he went back to sleep again. I sat up and stretched my sore arms, caused by being cramped up in the bed. I had to wake up more than twice last night just to remove their heavy legs they kept on placing on top of me as if I’m their damn pillow. It also didn’t help that Jayce was snoring right beside my ear.

In conclusion, I did not have enough rest. I glared at the both of them before getting up, intentionally stepping on Jayce, making him grunt. After freshening up, I took my cloak and went outside. I was planning to get some wood for them, but I’m not good with directions and I’m easily lost. Like how every time my mom and I go shopping, the minute I wander off for just a second, I’ll lose her immediately. There’s not a time where I get lost from them whenever we go somewhere.

A sudden wave of motivation hit me to warm up and work out. Halfway through doing the routine, I saw them walk outside the house and did what they usually did.

After two weeks of training, I learned how to get myself out of rope and lock holds, how to avoid or stop hits, and I can now run for 10 minutes straight without my lungs crushing in the first few seconds. I’m getting better. This can at least buy me some time to escape danger. Now, I’m getting excited about the next lessons. After mastering basic self-defense, Aziel said he’ll teach me how to attack.

Our training would still be later in the afternoon. With nothing left to do, I sat down on the picnic table outside to think. This time, I didn’t allow myself to worry if they’ll be trustworthy or not or if I’ll survive here. I just miss home. How did I end up here? In one second, I was just popping zits, now I’m in this whole other world. I was so deep in thought that I didn't notice the alpaca stalking its way toward me. The next thing I knew, I felt a tugging at my hair. I tried to look sideways, but it hurt my scalp.

“H-HEY! STOP IT!! OUCH!” I yelped as I tried to pull my hair away from the alpaca. Good thing I was successful. But I was only successful because the alpaca gave me a new haircut. I brushed my hair with my hands and felt weird when my hands felt no hair past my nape. I tried feeling my hair with dread snaking its way up.

“Maisie, what seems to be the prob—” Aziel abruptly stopped and the basket he was holding slipped for dramatic effect.

“What’s the commotion about—” Jayce followed and stopped when he saw the scene. He then burst out laughing while holding his stomach. I don’t blame him, though. It’s not every day you’ll see an alpaca as a hairdresser.

“My hair…” my lower lip wobbled. I don’t really mind having a haircut, but the process of how my hair was shortened will surely leave a lot of flyaways and split ends. It does not feel soft anymore.

“Do you have any sharp blade? I just want to fix the cut, and maybe stab Jayce,” I asked Aziel with pleading eyes while Jayce hadn’t stopped laughing his guts out.

I’m still waiting for the guts to come out, though. I bitterly thought to myself.

“Are you certain? Wouldn’t that make your hair shorter?” I shrugged nonchalantly. He only let out an uncertain ‘ok’ before leaving my sight. While Jayce was still laughing with his mouth wide open, I took the chance to throw a snowball at him. The next thing I heard was him choking a bit while spitting the snow out. Serves him right.

He glared at me, but his bunny smile quickly replaced it.

“You can throw all the snow at me, but nothing will be more hilarious than an alpaca eating your hair,” he snickered and tried to avoid the incoming snowball.

“We have no scissors, but this dagger will do. Do you want me to cut it for you?” Aziel came back holding a mini sword that was at least a forearm’s length. It’s shiny under the sunlight; clear that it has taken good care of. I nodded and turned my back to him. This was not the first time I’m having a pixie cut. Sometimes in life, you get bored out of your whims and your hair becomes another victim of such a predicament.

I felt the blade touch the hair, and he quickly sliced away the bad parts of my hair. When he finished, I touched the ends and felt the softness I was looking for. I thanked him before dusting away all the hair that fell on my clothes. When I looked up, I saw them staring at me. To hide my discomfort, I rose a brow at them.

“You could pass off as a boy,” Jayce said, which caused Aziel to widen his eyes and smack Jayce’s head. Jayce looked at Aziel in disbelief, his body language asking Aziel what he did wrong. I shrugged it off and turned around.

I'm a little hurt; I guess.

This has been one of my insecurities: looking ‘like a boy’. It feels… ugly. I can’t see the good in that comment, even if they mean it as a “compliment”. But compliments are supposed to make you feel better.

It’s ok. You’re ok. That’s his opinion. What matters is what’s on the inside—

But I’m also rotten on the inside! Joke ½.

Oh well, life is fleeting. Looks are temporary. Might as well just live my life happily. I said my usual chant whenever I feel sad because of something related to me.

I ran my hand through my hair and turned around to face Jayce and winked at him “flirtatiously”, but I laughed and cringed as soon as I’d done it.

“Where did you get the dagger?” I asked Aziel, in hopes to drop the subject of my looks. He seemed to understand and nodded his head in thought.

“A gift from my mother.” He smiled fondly while looking at the dagger.

“May I?” I asked as I reached out my hand. He gently placed it at the palm of my hands. The weight took me by surprise that it fell. I immediately stepped back to avoid my feet from getting stabbed.

“That was heavier than I thought.” The dagger looks really thin and light, but it weighs like 10 pounds. Or I’m just weak. I crouched to retrieve the dagger, but what I didn’t expect was to have an arrow next to it. Huh?

“MAISIE!!” I heard Aziel and Jayce shout my name. As I took hold of the dagger, it suddenly rained arrows. Was the dagger cursed?! Jayce dragged me to the house, but Aziel had other plans. He dragged us to the upturned picnic table that served as our shield.

“What are you doing Aziel?! We need to hide!” Jayce half yelled and half-whispered. I nodded frantically to show my agreement.

“Maisie, please trust me just this once. You need to run. Run away as far as you can from here. Avoid the main kingdoms as much as you can. If you find a small cottage or anyplace far away from the main streets, you take shelter. Beg if needed be. Do you understand?” I looked at him in panic and confusion.

“Trust these words. After you’re gone from here, you shall trust no one. Not everyone kind to you can be trusted.” He looked at me with seriousness in his eyes while I can only nod. I can’t still fully grasp the weight of the situation.

When we heard multiple shouts from other men, Aziel gave me a satchel together with his sword.

“We will distract them while you run,” he said with finality in his voice. The usual warmth that I see in them is gone, replaced with a cold demeanor; colder than the ones they gave me on the first day of training.

“GO!” was the last thing he said to me before pushing me in the other direction. My feet scrambled to run while I held the satchel and dagger he gave me for my dear life. I so badly wanted to turn back and help them, but I trust Aziel’s words. Besides, I might just hold them back.

I continued to run wherever my feet brought me. I don’t even know this place! Much less the world that I am in!

When my adrenaline toned down, I leaned on a tree while trying to catch my breath. The trees are endless. I can’t even see the edge of this forest. I was heaving my lungs out when suddenly somebody grabbed me from behind, locking my arms to the side. My senses and reflex were late, that my attempt to apply what I have learned from my self-defense class was futile.

“Don’t make this any harder for the both of us,” the baritone voice surprised me. It was deep but velvety. Just how many times did this guy hit puberty? The answer to my question came when I feigned weak to not struggle, losing his tight grip on me for a while. I used this opportunity to shift my hips to the side, allowing more space between us. As awkward as it may seem for me, I hit his groin with my hand. It would’ve been better if I can use my knee or feet. This caused him to double over in pain, allowing me to u

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