“What is your favorite color?”
“Black,” Baize answered.
Oliver lifted an eyebrow as he leaned back in his chair.
“Black is not a color. It’s actually the absence of color,” he said. “Every color has its own wavelength. Black nor white have a specific one.”
Baize stared at him for a moment.
“Thanks for the cool lesson, Bill Nye,” she smirked. “Black is more valuable than any other color. It’s a lifesaver.”
Oliver rolled his mocha brown eyes.
“Lemme guess… because it makes you look slimmer or tougher?” he chuckled.
“No. Because pixies hate it. Bright colors create endorphins,” Baize answered. “Endorphins create happiness. Happiness makes them more powerful.”
Oliver just stared at her, puzzled.
“I can show you after school. Meet me at the bike rack by the English building.”
“Alright…” Oliver replied.
“Mr. Watson, can you save your drum solo until the bell rings?”
“Oh.. sorry,” Oliver responded as he set his pencil down.
He tried to stay focused, but he kept imagining what the pixies look like.
“Ugh… stop it,” he thought. “She is probably messing with you.”
Concrete and simple things comfort him. Baize was everything but simple. Yet, no other girl has sparked his interest.
“I just hope I won’t make a fool of myself…”
When three o’clock came around, Oliver could feel his heart pounding faster than a rabbit’s foot. He leaned on the bike rack, holding his skateboard in his right hand as he watched Baize unlock her bicycle.
“So where are we going to find these mystic creatures? In the woods?” he asked.
“Obviously. They wouldn’t be chilling at some Starbucks,” Baize answered. “Come on. My mom expects me home in an hour.”
Oliver smirked as he set down his skateboard and followed his purple-headed crush.
They arrived at the Wallingbrook Grove fifteen minutes later. It rained the past few days, so the grass was as soggy as breakfast cereal.
“This way. Watch your step,” Baize said as she got off her bike and started walking beside it.
“Glad I didn’t wear my good Nikes today,” Oliver responded as he put his skateboard in his backpack.
“Thank goodness,” Baize snickered.
Oliver blushed. He enjoyed her quick comebacks.
“Here. Put this on.” Baize handed him a black sweatshirt. “They will swarm you like bees if you show up in that.”
“What? They are not marvel fans?” he joked.
Baize cracked a smile, which made him smile even bigger.
“So how and when did you discover the pixies?” he asked as he jumped over tree roots.
“My brother dragged me to his LARP competition here one afternoon this past summer,” Baize replied. “I was trying to find him and tripped over a big weird-looking stone. When I picked it up, a few pixies flew out.”
“Oh… what color was the stone?”
“See for yourself.” Baise pointed to the ground.
Oliver spotted a big, oval, deep violet-colored stone. He got closer to it to read the markings that looked like tiny Mandarin henna tattoos.
“Apparently, that is their native language. I have been researching, and I’ve found nothing.”
“Have you asked them?” Oliver looked up at her.
Baize put her hand on her hip.
“They were too busy attacking me, so no.”
“Well, let’s find out.” Oliver lifted the stone.
“Wait! Your ha..” Baize yelled.
Before Oliver knew it, a dozen tiny pixies with really sharp wings and teeth attacked his head and face. It felt worse than a bee stung. Baize quickly grabbed his red Spiderman cap and put a black beanie on his head.
“Come on!” Baize grabbed him when the pixies backed off and flew back into the hole in the ground.
“I think my favorite color is black now too,” Oliver exhaled when they came out of the woods.