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Painted Green, Covered in Red

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2

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­Amity woke up with a sense of dread when she found her siblings banging against her bedroom door at six-thirty in the morning on a Tuesday. She sat up groggily, brows knitted in annoyance. The youngest Blight yawned and dragged her feet across the room. When she reached the door and opened it, she was greeted by her siblings, Edric and Emira, who both looked too excited. They were still in their matching pajamas, green hair unkempt, as if they were not planning to go to their university today.

Amity was certain it was too early to be happy.

“Mittens! You didn’t tell us your girlfriend was here to pick you up-” Edric started, jumping like a little kid. Emira pushed him aside and squealed, “You didn’t tell us you were dating Luz! So, all those times you were sneaking out at night-”

Edric shoved her and pushed himself up too close to Amity’s face, continuing the phrase, “-you were seeing her, weren’t you?!”

It took a bit of time before Amity’s eyes fluttered opened as she processed the twins’ words. Girlfriend? Luz? She slammed the door in their faces before she ran to her window, her mouth forming a surprised, ‘O.’ Her nostrils flared in recognition at the fiery, red beanie that stuck out like a sore thumb. No one else would own such a hideous thing.

Luz stood afar off in front of their large gates, whistling to herself. She looked bored. Behind her, she brought a red hatchback. Her bomber jacket was tied around her waist, hands in her pants’ pocket as she leaned on the car door. Coincidentally, she had looked up straight at the window just as Amity almost let out an undignified squeak. When Luz saw her, her eyes lit up and she waved.

“Yo! You aren’t ready yet?” She shouted shamelessly.

Amity did not sign up for this.

Well, she did but she thought none of it when Luz had asked her what time she went to school. Amity answered nonchalantly before Luz had insisted walking her home to the gothic manor that sat on a hill outside the city.

Amity recalled rejecting Luz’s offer because she had brought her car and was relieved that the dinner had been cancelled as her parents were called for an urgent business trip in the neighboring town. She remembered passing out in exhaustion without a care in the world.

She should have known Luz would start a plan the next day without her input.

Not even answering back, Amity closed her windows and pulled the curtains over it. She was going to be late.

Fifteen minutes later, she came down hurriedly, clad in a pink dress, as her siblings hollered behind her. Luz was still there, apparently not a figment of Amity’s imagination. She was on her phone, concentrated on a game, Amity assumes. When the gate closed behind her, that was when Luz put her phone away and grinned.

“We didn’t discuss this-” As soon as Amity opened her mouth, Luz had covered it with her hand. “Hold that thought, Blight.” She replied, turning away from Amity and pulling out something from inside the car. She hummed as she did so, and Amity tried looking over the other girl’s shoulder to see what was important enough to be interrupted for, only to see a white tulip come into view.

“This is for you, mi novia.”

She turned back to face Amity and handed out the flower cheekily, probably enjoying the way the girl’s eyes widened. Somehow, so many things happened all at once. Her siblings had taken over the speaker above the front gates, spitting out teasing words that Amity ignored. She was so surprised that Luz ended up grabbing her by the arm and dropping the flower in her palm.

Huh?

Amity was startled.

Huh?

This was new. Luz had never been sweet to her and neither had Amity received anything from Luz; if she was on the receiving end of something from the girl, it was punches and kicks, maybe a few band aids. She stared at the tulips quizzically before gazing at Luz, confused.

“What’s this for?”

“…Is this your first time getting flowers?” Luz said in amusement.

Amity squinted at her. “I received plenty of bouquets but not a single flower. Much less, from you.”

Luz rolled her eyes and shrugged. She stepped aside and opened the passenger seat, prompting Amity to go inside. “Of course, baby Blight has received the most expensive stuff. It’s why I settled for a single flower that symbolizes purity and respect. After that kiss comment last night, I thought it fits.”

Her siblings who were listening in exploded into what they thought were ‘smooching sounds,’ and Luz found it funny enough to pucker her lips and wink at the girl. Amity would have thrown the tulip back at her, but she held on it tightly and kicked Luz’s exposed shin instead.

The smile instantly disappeared as Luz groaned and grabbed her by the shoulder, frowning.

“Easy, Blight. I can’t exactly drive you with a broken leg, can I?”

“You’ve got two!”

Amity replied haughtily, stepping inside the vehicle. If Luz noticed that Amity had not even let go of the flower, she said nothing and if she heard the small ‘Thank you,’ Amity had mumbled, Luz’s smile was not the indication thereof.

_

“You’re kidding me.”

“Blight, stop being a tsundere.”

She did not know what that meant; but Luz asking for them to hold hands when they get out of the car for the whole school to see was absurd. After they arrived in the parking lot, Luz had reached out to her explaining that that was what couples do, to which Amity scooted away from, horrified by the idea of physical affection that not even her parents showed.

“Blight.” Luz warned, her expression morphing into something that said, ‘I’m literally doing my job here, stop making it hard.’

“It’s weird!”

“Oh my God, stop being a baby!”

Luz grabbed her free hand and laced their fingers together, pulling Amity from across the seat. She looked down at their fingers, something prickling at her skin when she realized that Luz had started rubbing her thumb over her palm in a comforting manner.

Too intimate.

Too much.

Amity experienced something swell inside her when she glanced up to protest, only to be met by Luz’s chocolate brown eyes. She had seen them plenty of times, but today it was without the usual murderous intent. Her body tensed when Luz leaned in only to grab the bag in her lap.

“There, was that so hard? Now give me your bag.”

“No-”

“Blight-Just give me that-The door’s lock, dumbass!”

Amity had no doubt that someone was bound to report to her parents after this. When the two had walked through the doors, hands intertwined, Luz holding both their bags in the other, the students quieted down. The sight of the top student holding hands with a well-known delinquent would be some juicy gossip, after all.

Luz paid no heed to this as she walked towards two of her friends at the end of the hall, tugging Amity along with her. “What are you doing?” She hissed under her breath, panic flooding her as they passed her circle of “friends”, whose eyes were fixed on the two. Amity glanced forward, only to be greeted by the familiar faces Luz always hung around with.

“Introducing you to my friends.” Luz said simply.

“But I already know-”

“Woah! Did someone put superglue on your hands or something?”

A boy with curly hair and dark skin glanced at their hands curiously, eyes holding genuine wonder. Amity remembers his name to be Augustus. A smart kid who had skipped some grades and was in some of Amity’s classes. Amity acknowledged his quick wits, but he should really work on his discernment.

“Gus, please tell me you don’t actually think that.”

Willow raised a brow, eyes also focused on their hands. She gave Amity a knowing look and Amity was not even aware what Willow knows at all. Although when Luz released her hand, shifting to balance the bags she carried, Amity was raddled at the wave of disappointment washing over her.

But it soon disappeared when she felt Luz gently wrap her arm around her shoulders, keeping her on her toes. Despite the initial squeak she had let slip out of her mouth and Luz’s chuckle, Amity stayed silent when she became mindful of where they were. Luz’s friends were still waiting, probably for something they-or at least one of them-knows already. Amity was puzzled to find herself leaning into the touch when Luz pulled her close enough to be pressed against her side. It felt nice. No, Amity was uncomfortable. Yes, that was definitely it.

“Guys, this is Amity. Mi amor.” Luz’s voice was loud and proud, boastful, and absolutely not blissful to Amity’s perked ears.

The reactions were instantaneous.

Gus’ mouth fell open, Willow looked surprised as her hands dropped to her side and Amity whipped her head to stare at Luz in shock. Amity might have been terrible at Spanish, but she understood what those two words meant, by accidentally listening to Spanish songs in passing. No thanks to Dora. The sudden declaration left Amity flabbergasted and Luz was a good enough actress to even dare look sheepish!  She was so casual about it that Amity almost believed her.

“She’s what?”

I’m what-oh right, I am.

Some silly students who were eavesdropping paused in doing whatever they were supposed to do and gaped at the two. Amity could not blame them; the possibility of superglue was more plausible than them dating. Supposedly. After what it seemed like an eternity of background noises, Willow coughed to gain their attention.

“Why is Amity so surprised?” Willow questioned slowly.

            The two-or more like everybody at this point-turned to scrutinize the young Blight. While Amity had been used to attention since she was a kid, she was not prepared to announce something part of her nonexistent love life. She was going to repay Luz later for this chaos.

“I-Yes.” She stuttered, trying to gain back her composure. She felt a slight squeeze on her shoulder and was immediately reminded that Luz was still holding her confidently. “N-Luz. Luz is my…my person. I just…didn’t expect her to tell the whole school so soon.”

She did not need to look at Luz to know that she was trying not to laugh again. Amity will deal with her later. For now, she mentally scolded herself. My person? What kind of human being says that?! And I stuttered! How would that be convincing?!

Thankfully, Divine Providence had heard her pleading prayers as the bell shrieked, signaling the start of first period. Amity excused herself, not wanting to answer any more personal questions and because she was about to risk losing her top student status.

“Wait!”

For the nth time that morning, Luz grabbed her hand and Amity frowned, already in a broody mood.

“Noce-Luz whatever you’re going to say, tell me later, I need to get to class-” She was cut off as Luz leaned in and winked. Her confusion at what it meant quickly turned into shock as she felt something moist press against her cheek, freezing her in her place. Luz took her time, enjoying the way the students erupted into loud murmurings while Amity’s mind went haywire, the lessons she had studied in advance from weeks prior saying goodbye and leaving her head empty.

She kissed me.

Her face flared up at the realization.

“I’m sorry for not asking first but I didn’t want you to be unnaturally tenser than you already are, Blight. And really? Your person? Give me a better nickname, princesa.” Luz whispered in her ear, before stepping away, a smug smile on her face.

“Good luck, hermosa. I’ll pick you up after classes.”

Amity was about to have a heart attack because of that.

She forced a smile before waving goodbye and half-jogged away from everyone else, towards her classroom in the far corner. She ignored the way phones flashed left and right and pretended her face was flushed because of anger.

By now, she was sure there was no need to say anything else.

_

Amity should not have jinxed that.

True to her word earlier that day, Luz waited for Amity outside of the science laboratory, which was her last class. Gus and Willow were nowhere to be found and Luz was holding a water bottle which she had pushed into Amity’s face as soon as she came out of the room.

“I thought you’d be thirsty, mi reina.”

She would have to search whatever those things meant when she got home. Amity was not sure what charade Luz was playing with her right now, but she was sort of grateful because she had a stressful day, and a water bottle was welcome.

But certainly, nothing is for free. When she took the bottle from Luz’s hand, a genuine ‘thank you,’ on her tongue, Luz had looked at her expectantly. Amity’s sensitive ears picked up on some of the whispers from the students that surrounded them once again and it dawned on her what the other girl wanted.

“I am not kissing you.” She whispered, the knots in her stomach tightening.

“People are watching, Blight.” Luz whispered back.

Amity’s face flared up when she saw the mischievous glint in Luz’s eyes as she bent down slightly. She swallowed the lump in her throat, hand twitching with the urge to give Luz another black eye. Amity scowled inwardly and mulled over how she was going to get her revenge for this. She leaned in with her still red face to give Luz a quick peck on her cheek. The sounds of gasps were on que and it irritated her.

Do these people not have any lives of their own?

“Thanks.” She muttered.

Luz had that dumb grin on her face again. It made Amity want to pull her hair. She sucked in a sharp breath and swiftly turned around to flee the scene, a mix of irritation and unknown feelings swirling inside of her. She did not have to look back to know that Luz followed like a happy puppy.

Amity kissed her.

Well, it was just a peck-

I still kissed her!

As soon as they turned a few more corners and finally got out of the public’s eyes, Amity bared her teeth and attacked Luz.