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Calliope's Call

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Mori Calliope is not having a good day.

Staying up late doing homework, Calli ends up being tardy to school for sleeping in. Her third infraction, which most likely results in after-school detention. With slacking grades and an energy drink hangover, Calli feels positively exhausted. Not to mention, her precious guitar has broken, leading her to possibly be kicked from her band.

Along with, above all, the absence of a good friend.

Amelia Watson has been friends with Calli since elementary school. A feisty blonde girl with a pension for white shirts, red ties, and plaid skirts, Amelia’s been with Calli through thick and thin. With Amelia’s brains and Calli’s brawn, there was nothing the two couldn’t accomplish.

Then Amelia had to go get a girlfriend.

Not that Calli can blame her, Gawr Gura is a perfect match. A small, white-haired girl with a blue hoodie and a love of sharks, the girl’s manic energy is a perfect match for the blonde. Calli’s happy for the couple, it’s clear those two were crushing on each other since they first met.

It just seems they spend all their time together!

Takanashi Kiara is Holo High’s resident extrovert. Befriending Calli practically since birth, it seems like Kiara is far more intent on being Amelia’s matchmaker than seeing how Calli is doing.

Slumping over to her locker, clad in a heavy metal t-shirt and ripped blue jeans with black sneakers, Calli digs around her cluttered locker to find the textbooks she needs for her classes.

“Um… Hi, C-C-Calli!” A soft voice utters.

No person annoys Calli more than Ninomae Ina’nis. A brilliant artist and straight-A student, Ina’s pretty much in every class Calli has. Being a creative student outside of class and always answering the teacher’s questions in class, Ina seems a favorite among school faculty.

Whenever the two end up crossing paths, Ina shyly looks up before blushing red and hurrying away after breaking eye contact. It always makes Calli bothered, why should Ina have to be nervous around her? Occasionally offering to tutor, Ina must be seeing Calli as some useless idiot.

“What do you want?” Calli snarls.

Standing before her, Ina plays with loose strands of her dark hair, tucking them behind her ears. Wearing a silly little beret, dorky wire-rimmed glasses, and a goofy, paint-stained, grey striped blouse with a black skirt, grey socks, and nice black shoes. Always smelling like lavender, and not the fake stuff either.

In truth, Calli’s always envied Ina’s sense of fashion. Not having to worry about a big chest, wearing clothes you’re comfortable in without having to look cool. Calli is jealous of Ina’s confidence.

Ina’s eyes lock to the floor, she’s nervous. As she should be, Calli decides.

“Are you ready to book it back home for the weekend?” Ina laughs faintly, pointing to Calli’s stack of textbooks.

“Ha. Ha. It’s Monday, Ina.” Calli snaps. This is the straight-A student?

“Ah, yes... “ Ina realizes, before nervously tugging at the fabric around her neck. The two stand in awkward silence for some time.

“H-here!” Ina offers a neatly folded piece of paper to Calli before Calli it is snatched from her.

“What is this?” Calli demands.

“I-it’s, I… well…” Ina stammers. Calli looks down at Ina, the girl’s sweaty, her breath is hitching in her throat, and she’s trembling, even more, her eyes locked to the floor.

It’s probably a test, Calli decides. Some insanely difficult exam Ina did well on that she’s decided to show Calli to assert her superiority in some way.

Well? Spit it out.” 

Ina mumbles something quietly to herself.

“Go on.”

“It’s… a poem,” Ina sighs, her face wincing with shame.

“What, for your college-level English class or something?

“No, I… I made it for you, Calli!”

Calli stares at Ina in disbelief, before chuckling to herself. The chuckle turns into a laugh, which becomes more boisterous and mocking, much to Ina’s despair.

“Do you expect me to believe that? I don’t know what kind of sick joke you’re playing, but I don’t like liars, Ina. Why don’t you go and bother someone else?”

“B-but Calli …”

Emphasizing the point further, Calli stares right into Ina’s grey-blue eyes, which she imagines to be full of contempt for her. Roughly crumpling the paper into a ball and shoving it in her pocket, Calli continues to glare at Ina.

“O-okay, Calli… I’m sorry!” To Calli’s surprise, Ina’s bottom lip begins to quiver as tears slowly trickle down her cheeks. Quickly dashing off in a hurry, Ina’s footsteps pitter-patter as her teardrops hit the tiled hallway floor.

Calli can feel dirty looks being thrown her way, but she doesn’t care. As far as Calli’s concerned, Ina was probably just acting. Some trick of deception to make her look bad. As Calli reaches to throw away the paper, she looks to see actual writing on the inside!

Might as well read what made her so upset, Calli figures. Straightening the messy ball of paper, Calli finds neat, stylish handwriting in purple ink. Must be Ina’s, Calli decides.

Mori Calliope, why do you hate yourself?

The very sight of you alone gives to me good health.

Stunning red eyes, and light skin so fair.

What thoughts excite me when I see pink hair!

Dressing in black, hoping only to scare.

Why is it my heart you want to ensnare?

It saddens me to see you, tired and bored.

My ears perk at the sound of a new chord.

To see you perform with such skill and grace!

All done quite well with such a pretty face.

I do know how much you like to act tough.

Seeing how sweet you are is quite enough.

I struggle now with what to say or do.

Mori Calliope, I love you.

Ina

The only imperfections Calli can find on the sheet of paper are weird stains dribbled all around the writing. Wiping at her eyes, Calli realizes she’s been crying, her tears leaving marks on the page.

“Oh, Ina... " Calli sighs.

Now it all makes sense! Ina wasn’t embarrassed around Calli, she’s just nervous to talk to her! All Ina wanted to do is help, and Calli feels a dull ache in her chest for thinking of how she reacted.

So, Calli steps foot in a nearly empty library, looking to apologize for the way she acted and thank Ina for the lovely poem.