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FOREIGN BLISS

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opposites attract
independent
band
student
drama
sweet
YA Fiction Writing Contest
city
sassy
love at the first sight
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Blurb

Daphne Rosemoore is an 18 year old college student that is naive in many ways. Due to being sheltered in the huge walls that was built around her, her knowledge about the outside world were quite limited.

Despite her shortcomings, people still sees her as the epitome of a good daughter and a promising prodigy. Because of the pressure that slowly ate her well-being, she developed series of bad habits that she desperately tried to hide behind the mask she wears everyday.

Overthinking just to make sure she did everything alright, short temper because she doesn't want to lose focus or change the way it was supposed to, and many more. But oh, everyone gets tired too.

Her vast knowledge about almost every learning category is undoubtedly true. But her naïveness about the most famous word that almost everyone knows is noticeable as well: she has almost close to no understanding in the word LOVE.

But everything changed when she saw Christopher Evans, a member of the band 'Gray Sky' that her bestfriends, Melanie and Fiona support. When she agreed in trying to know the band more, she hadn't expected that her life would change drastically.

Gray Sky is a famous band that is quite well known in different parts of the world. But with Daphne being herself, she isn't interested in other things that she sees as a distraction in her usual routine, so she is one of those other people that doesn't know them. But meeting them taught her more about life.

***

"I love you, D." he honestly confessed. "Even with me being like this?" Daphne asked. "Will you really love me the way I am?" she asked, fearing for rejection or any negative response.

Christopher smiled. "Of course." he said and raised their hands. "See this?" he asked, tightening his grasp on her hand. "You're not just someone like that, or a girl living in a way like that." he said and chuckled. "You're the owner of my heart. That makes you my queen."

Finally, with a smile that can outshine the brightest star, Daphne hugged him. That's the exact time she knew what the foreign bliss she's feeling is, and that feeling is called LOVE.

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CHAPTER ONE
Black long sleeves under the gray jacket? Check. Denim pants? Check. School bag? Not check. Daphne stared at her half-opened bag with nothing positive included in her internal monologue. All her mind’s full of were questions mainly about herself, her actions, her looks and such. “Should I bring the other things or-” before she could finish the question she’s asking herself, the clock on her drawer rang loudly enough for her to feel panic building in “Crap.” First: she’s supposed to go to school the moment her clock rang, second: she’s supposed to be out her bed and not overthinking about almost everything, and third: she’ll definitely be late on her first day. “For crying out loud.” Daphne muttered before zipping her bag completely and put it on her shoulders, then stood up from her bed and walked towards the mirror, examining herself from top to bottom.  “Ugh, whatever. I don’t care anymore.” she said and rolled her eyes before slowly walking out the room. Not after five steps, she found herself walking back her mirror, and her eyes were checking her outfit, again. “Daphie, you should go now!” her mom shouted from their kitchen. Daphne sighed and decided to remove the mirror’s image on her mind and walked away her room. Stop minding what others think, she thought to herself. Daphne tend to work her image according to what satisfies the people around. She’s a human robot, according to her classification to herself. That is the biggest problem she’s currently having, she wanted to be free yet she’s afraid. Afraid of almost everything. “Daphie, you’re going now?” her mom asked after she went down the stairs. “Yep, and mom, can I have a sandwich?” Daphne asked and kissed her mom’s cheeks before walking to the shoe rack, taking her shoes and tying the laces quickly. “Thanks for the-” she hadn’t finished her sentence when she saw her mom standing on the same spot where she kissed her cheeks. “Sandwich?” she said finishing her words, but this time, is laced with confusion. “You should eat healthily, breakfast is the most important part of the day.” her mom reasoned out, putting both her hands on her hips. “But-!” Daphne started, unsure about her next words to convince her mom let her skip breakfast. It’s not the first time she’ll do it, she does it most of the time when her parents weren’t around. The reason? She’s late, again. Because of her overthinking, again. “But..uh..but..but dad!” Daphne said, shouting the last word while looking with hopeful eyes at her dad that just emerged from the kitchen, carrying a cup of coffee and now looking at her with confused eyes. “School?” Daphne said in a questioning manner, hoping that her dad would get the clue. Then the miracle she’s wishing for came, her dad nodding at her before looking at his wife with a smile. “Let her grab some sandwich, honey. You don’t want her to be late right?” Her mother looked at him then darted her eyes at Daphne, visibly confused and rethinking whether to let her daughter go with a sandwich or let her be late for the sake of breakfast. With a sigh, she finally said her final decision.  “Fine, I made some chocolate sandwich over here.” Daphne let out a small cheer and quickly dashed to the kitchen counter, hurriedly grabbing two pieces and run towards the door, not forgetting to make the usual hand gestures with her dad and kiss her mom’s cheeks. “Bye guys!” she said before closing the door behind and run again, this time, much faster than before, hoping to catch the bus or at least run with a great stamina and reach the school almost on time. To sum up her unfortunate journey, she almost can’t see where she’s going because of her urge to avoid being late, tripped almost eleven times because of small rocks or plain nothing, and bumped into walls or posts whenever she’s taking a sharp turn or didn’t paid attention to the direction she’s heading to. Luckily she finally arrived at her school, Avanuez University, but the unlucky part is that she arrived 15 minutes after the school bell rang. “Excuse me, can I-” Daphne was cutted off when the brutally strict guard, Bertrand, spoke with the same deep voice that scolds the students who broke any of the rules.” No can do missy.” “This is just the start of this school year, right?” Daphne started off, smiling innocently, trying to convince the guard to let her in. “You can be a little softer for us.” she added, her smile growing bigger and hopeful. The guard blinked, making her hope rise a tiny bit. “No.” Daphne sighed, trying to calm herself and stay normal. This is another weakness she possesses: short temper. She was about to talk again and let her demon side take over when someone from the guard’s back caught their attention. “Come on, pal. That missy’s gonna miss the morning announcement.” the other guard, Nicholai said. In their campus, they labeled their guards as the stripes duo. Bertrand being the black, and Nicholai being the white. It’s also ironic that Bertrand’s last name is Liberty, that’s why student’s make fun of his name behind his back. “Thank you.” Daphne said and saluted at Nicholai after passing by Bertrand who’s left behind, glaring at floor. Nicholai laughed and jerked his thumb towards the school announcement hall. “Don’t repeat your record of 78 lates last year, missy.” Daphne laughed and saluted again, before waving her hand and started running, again, to reach the hall and hear at least the farewell speech of the school’s head. “-and lates were not gonna be handled easily this year.” That was the words that rang in her ear the moment she entered the hall while supporting herself with the door. “Thanks for the nice words.” Daphne muttered to herself before finally letting go f the door beside her and roamed her eyes inside. “Those who’ll have two lates will have two hours of school service. Meaning, they’ll spend their breaks at the grounds, sweeping the floor or anything that the cleaning staffs would order. That was the easiest punishment, so beware of being late.” the school head added, making Daphne roll her eyes and stand quietly behind the former last girl in their class’ line. “’Yeah, easy.” the girl in front of her who’s wearing a white and grey outfit and partnered with high heels, said. Daphne noticed the voice and quickly slung her arm on the girl’s neck. “So much for saying you dyed your hair blonde, brownie.” Daphne said, teasing one of her two best friends, Fiona Miller, about her saying that she’ll dye her hair blonde this time, but ended with a chestnut brown one. “And so much for saying you’ll be earlier than us.” the other girl in front of Fiona butted in, revealing Melanie Cross, her other best friend. “And so much for saying you’ll wear all pink today.” Daphne fired back, noticing the pink and blue outfit of Melanie and with her flats shoes, defying her vow that she’ll start her school day with a pinky bang. “Guess we’re all liars.” Fiona said making the two laugh, only to be silenced by their already elected class head, Yuan Evergreen, who’s on the third to the last of the line, exactly beside Melanie. “-and I would appreciate it if you’ll remember all the new rules and regulations I just mentioned earlier. Good day, students.” the school head said, earning a round of applause from the students after finally ending her speech. “You girls are so noisy.” Yuan said, shaking his head after the class head walked down the stage and the students slowly starting to go into their respective classes. “And you are such a kill joy.” Melanie said and rolled her eyes.  Yuan just sighed and ruffled Melanie’s hair before jogging away, leaving a shock and now so irritated Melanie. “Jerk!” she shouted while her hands were trying to bring her hair back in it’s usual position. The three of them hated many things that are similar to each other: and of it is their hair being messed with. “We just experienced an almost homeroom lecture with the school head being our adviser some moments ago, and now we’ll walk to our classroom just to be briefed with I-don’t-know-what-this-time.” Fiona said while they were currently on their way to their classroom that is located on the fifth floor of the third building in the west, which is, unfortunately, in the complete opposite direction on where the announcement hall is. “Have you heard of their concert this coming July?! That’ll definitely make me break my poor pink piggy bank again.” Melanie suddenly said, opening up the topic to them, well, particularly only to Fiona who’s into their group as well. “What?” Daphne asked when she felt gazes being cast on her. “What what? Girl I told you to listen to that disc I gave you! You didn’t listened to it?!” Fiona said, her tone slowly raising while speaking. ”Well, my sched’s kinda full so-” “You traitor!” Melanie’s sudden outburst cutted Daphne’s reason making them look at her, with Daphne being slightly irritated, getting annoyed that she’s been cut off while speaking for lots of time already. “You said you haven’t bought any of their discs yet! Did you just-!” Melanie stopped midway and ruffled her once a neat hair again before glaring at Fiona, who’s know smiling innocently and acting like she didn’t do anything that pressed her best friend’s angry button, probably pressed it to the maximum level. “Ugh! I bought two sets of their disc collection because you said you want it as a gift!” Melanie continued, her face already red, making Fiona genuinely shocked. “My poor pinkie!” Melanie said over dramatically, pertaining to the piggy bank she treasures so much. “Y-you did?” Fiona asked, still unrecovered from the surprise. “Yes! Your birthday’s coming up so I thought I should give you a set of it to and-” Melanie hadn’t finished her want when Fiona suddenly attacked her with a bear hug. “Aw that’s so sweet!” she said before releasing her. “My brother just bought it a week ago. He said it’s his advance gift to me because he finally got his first paycheck as an engineer.” she added. Daphne stood there awkwardly. She doesn’t share the same sentiments when it comes to the band they’re talking about. She doesn’t even know the band’s name. Should she congratulate them from resolving the issue? Or should she stay on where she is and watch the following scenes to unfold? Before she could think about it further, a shout from the other direction, earning their attention. “Hurry up! Mrs. Graye told me to fetch you three!” Yuan called near their building’s entrance. Without further ado, they all sprinted like they’re in a relay race. “Why do I keep running today!” Daphne said loudly, her voice being dragged away by the wind. She’s currently having a mini-breakdown because of her continuous exercise starting from their home. “Come on, she’s on bad mood today so she sent me here.” Yuan said after the girls made their way to him, all still trying to catch their breath. “What happened on your way here by the way?” Yuan asked, observing the three who experienced a sudden marathon. “Daphne happened.” Fiona said, wiping her face with her handkerchief. “Yeah, Daphne striked again.” Melanie seconded, now feeling fine. Daphne just rolled her eyes and adjusted her almost empty bag on her back, already used with the people around her using her name as the term for their so-called-late-spell. That’s why Daphne kind of understand why the school head implemented that new regulations, maybe because of her. Back then, she hasn’t received any punishments. Why? Because it’s either she’s saying a valuable excuse or she bargained with participating in the hard contests almost every students avoided. So basically, they treasured her brain so they couldn’t punish her. But maybe some students copied her late comings so the school head made those rules. Daphne couldn’t blame herself though. The ratio of her coming late to school or any events because of her overthinking mind and being late because she feels like it is 7:1. But of course, she can’t say that aloud so she’s just thinking of other excuses that are valuable and enough. “Why would she ask you to fetch us?” Daphne asked while they’re walking with a faster the usual pace, aiming to reach their room on time. “She said she’ll announce something.” Yuan answered, giving her a glance. “Ad which part of announcing tells you she’s in a bad mood?” Melanie asked next. “Yeah, it’s normal for her to always look serious as if always rethinking her life decisions on why she’s teaching and not relaxing.” Fiona said, agreeing with Melanie. But either way, Mrs. Graye is their favorite teacher so far. A straight-forward, blunt and strict one. Daphne hated people sugar coating their words, because that’ll hurt more. For her at least. Because she believed that people who can’t say it out loud feels pity, and that feeling tells her that what she did might be so disappointing so people can’t say it to her bluntly. Yuan hummed, then shrugged before answering. “I don’t know, I just want to make you girls panic.” he said then laughed, causing the three frown and roll their eyes simultaneously, with Melanie making her hand fly and slap the back of Yuan’s head. They knew each other practically since birth anyway. “Ow!” Yuan said, reacting to her harsh action. “But seriously though, you guys were needed for her announcement.” he continued, his hand still on the part where Melanie hit him. “Maybe it’s urgent for the first time.” he added. After taking the last turn and reaching their assigned room, they were welcomed with the teacher with her usual thick book on the table, usual thick turtle neck long sleeves with black pants attire and her eyes covered with her usual thick black glasses. But one thing is unusual for them, her tight bun was gone and was replaced with Mrs. Graye’s long brown hair flowing smoothly on her back, with some resting on her left shoulder. “Please sit in your seats, ladies.” Mrs. Graye said, making them snap out of their curiosity and walk towards their seat in the middle part, with their position as Fiona on the third to the last, Melanie into the second, and Daphne in the last seat, exactly beside the window, her favorite seat spot. “Is it just me or her tone’s softer this time.” Melanie whispered just enough for her seatmates to hear. “And she’s prettier too. Without the strict principal look.” Daphne added. “And looked like a different person.” Fiona said, adding another thing they noticed. “So students.” Mrs. Graye said, making everyone fix their eyes on her. She cleared her throat and roamed her gaze to the whole class. “Thank you.” Mrs. Graye suddenly said, making them surprise and curious at the same time. Seeing the whole class’ reaction, Mrs. Graye couldn’t help but laugh, making her students release a quiet gasp, almost in sync that made the atmosphere lighter and caused them to laugh. Once the laughter died down, it was Mrs. Graye’s turn to let out a small laugh. “I guess this is the first time I’ve seen you enjoyed my time.” she commented then smiled. It was a rare sight seeing Mrs. Graye having fun with students, and in their time, they can only remember two times, and now being the third. “I now realized it’s fun to be around kids.” Mrs. Graye said, deepening their curiosity. “You guys should know..that I’m pregnant.” the words she dropped sounded like a rare trivia for them. Silence enveloped their classroom until Mrs. Graye let out a sigh. “I just want to remind you guys that I’m not that old. I’m only twenty-nine.” she said, smiling once again before continuing. “I can still have a kid.” Seeing that her students were still in shock, she cleared her throat and roamed her gaze again, preparing herself for her next words. “You know guys? I never hated you at all.The same with the other classes I handled before.” she said, starting her speech that is filled with her feelings. “I just want everyone to succeed. Learn everything you guys needed in order to achieve your dreams. I know I sounded like a strict professor, looked like I don’t accept anything that is a failure, and looking at you guys like I don’t want to see you at all.” she continued, tears threatening to fall. “I’m sorry for that. Maybe I focused too much on my job that I made you guys hate me.I’m sorry. But at least know that I do love you all” Mrs. Graye said, ending her words and wiped her eyes with her bare hands. Another misunderstood person by the others, Daphne thought. She raised her hand, gaining her teacher’s attention. She stood up, her face showing an appreciative smile. “You know ma’am? I never hated you.” “What?” Mrs. Graye asked, surprised that there’s one that said those words. “Your strictness made us follow the rules and directions seriously. Your blunt words might hurt, but that’ll make us work harder so you won’t repeat those words again. You may look like you don’t care for our feelings but you know how to control your words.” Daphne explained. “They might not notice it but I did. You’re saying it look’s ugly when you know the person’s strong enough to hear it. Then you’ll say do it again if the person cannot. ” Daphne continued, leaving Mrs. Graye crying again and some of her classmates agreeing with her. “S-sorry..must be my hormones acting.” Mrs. Graye said, trying to cover up her tears and laughed a bit. “Thank you Daphne, it’s enough for me as your farewell gift.” She said, making her students shocked again. “My husband and I will move to another country. I just attended today as my last meet with you guys.” Mrs. Graye said, taking her book from the table and roamed her eyes in the whole classroom once again. “I’m sorry for not saying this years ago. I love you guys okay? I regretted not making memories with you all but hearing Daphne’s words made me feel better.” Mrs. Graye said, this time, her face shows a sad smile. “Your new teacher will arrive tomorrow.You will have the hours with me as your teacher free for now.” “Bye.” Mrs. Graye said, waving her right hand and faced the door. But before she could leave, Yuan stood up, gaining her attention. “Everyone. Stand.” Yuan ordered, his classmates immediately followed. They knew what will happen. “Salute!” Yuan said, making all of them raise their hand in the form of salute. “Say: we love you ma’am.” “WE LOVE YOU MA’AM!” Their sudden actions made Mrs. Graye burst into tears, her hand wiping her eyes while she’s staring at them. “I love you guys too. Reach your dreams okay?” Mrs. Graye said, making the students shout a loud YES in unison. Satisfied, Mrs. Graye waved her hand once again, this time, smiling with tear stained cheeks. After their teacher left, some remained standing while some seated then started minding their business. “I’ll miss her.” Fiona said after taking a seat. “Me too.” Melanie seconded. “You know, Gray Sky’s next music theme was rumored to be about missing your special someone, or probably feelings involved when you're in love, like having a soulmate.” Melanie suddenly said. “Really? Mrs. Graye might not be my soulmate but I’ll sure miss her.” Fiona replied. Melanie nodded and looked at Daphne who’s busy staring outside the window. Seeing this, she tapped her shoulder, making Daphne look at her in a questioning manner. “You should know more about Gray Sky so you won’t be left out when-” Melanie’s persuasion of Daphne listen to Gray Sky stopped midway before her eyes went wide, realizing something. “I know! My pinkie’s sacrifice won’t be in vain!” she said loudly, putting her arms on both of Daphne’s shoulders. “I’ll give you the other disc collection I bought!” the words that escaped her mouth made Daphne worried for her next actions.

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