Let me set this scene up for you, or try, with some background into this book. This novel is a rewrite of the very first novel I wrote, Dena Powers: Superhero? for those of you familiar with that. I'm turning it into a post apocalyptic/dystopic society. After a civil war, most of those with super human powers (but not all) have taken over the US and claim to be gods, creating a Theocracy. There's now a caste system, and endogamy is against the law.
“Wouldn’t it be romantic though? The son of a Priestess and the daughter of an Infidel? Star crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet?”
I turn to Mary just before entering the locker room. “Did you ever read Romeo and Juliet?”
She stares at me and says, “Well, no.”
Crossing my arms in front of me, I stare her down. “Did you at least see the movie?”
Her cheeks, still rosy from playing volleyball, grow even redder with shame. “I think I may have fallen asleep.” Exasperated, I shake my head. “Well it was before the war! Back then I found it boring! ”
I grab her by the shoulders and people start to push past us into the locker room. “They died,” I told her.
She looks down, pauses for a moment and says, “That’s not good.”
“No, it’s not.”Looking back up, she turns her head slowly to the left. I can’t help but turn my head in synchronicity. “But the way he looks at you, it’s like something from a fairy tale.”
My eyes once again stop at Ian Ketchum. His expression is hard to place. Pensive for sure. Maybe regretful? Aching? I’m sure I’ve looked at him the same way myself. He’s the first boy I noticed in this god-forsaken school, and not just because he has this wispy brown hair with blond highlights you can only see beneath the sun. And not because the families of the Priests and Priestess’ have eyes the color green you’d find only at the deepest point of the clearest lagoon. Definitely not because his smile is one you only see when someone is thinking about worlds beyond their own.
No, I noticed him because of who he is. Even though I don’t know him very well, I do know this, he’s not like the other disciples; he treats the Infidels without disdain or disgust, without judgment. He makes no snide comments nor pokes fun. He doesn’t spill his drinks on us, trip us in the hallway, or knock our books out of our arms. He treats us the way very few in the higher classes do, like humans. And right now he’s looking at me in a way that electrifies and terrifies me at the same time.
Our eyes connect and a small smile forms at the ends of his sweet lips. Realizing I’m smiling in return, I panic, stop quickly, and pray no one noticed. Bursting through the locker room door, I try to forget all about the hair and the sun, and the eyes and the lagoon, and the smile and the moment I had with Ian Ketchum.