Chapter 10

"Raph!" I called out as I tried to catch up to him. "Raph! Wait up!"

Raph stopped long enough for me to catch up and started walking again. "Go away, Ave."


"Go away."

"I’d say ‘make me’ but then I get hurt," I replied. "So instead I’ll say this: Why tell me to go away when it’s Leo that you’re mad at?"

Raph didn’t even look at me; he just mumbled something about Leo going too far.

"Tell me, do you two always fight?"

"Go away, Ave."

"Don’t call me Ave."

"Fine! Go away, Aeval."

"Don’t call me that either…" I paused for a moment and said, "I think it was my mom’s name."

Raph stopped and gave me a weird look. "I knew that wasn’t your name… So what’s your REAL name?"

"It… it’s…" I scratched the back of my neck and sighed. "I’m not entirely sure… I think it’s Randi but then again…"



Raph nodded. "I like it… Now go away, Randi."

"Alright. Fine. I will… I’ve got nothing at the subway… well except for Magia… but Venus can take care of her… I’ll just leave now." I turned and began to walk the other direction calling back, "See ya, Raph."

"Hey!" Raph ran after me and grabbed the rim of my shell. "What do ya mean you’re leaving?"

"I mean I’m leaving."


"Didn’t you just tell me to go away?"

"I meant for you to leave me alone; I didn’t mean for you to leave totally!"

"Your tone told me that you wanted me to leave totally."

"No!" Raph protested. "I don’t want you to leave!"

"Why?" I asked. "It’s obvious that you and the others find me annoying. Heh! When the phone startled me and you gave me that sneer? I know what that sneer means."

Raph released his grip from my shell. "I wasn’t sneer’n at you, Ave… I mean Randi… I was just… mad… but not at you!" He mumbled something under his breath and scratched his neck. "I was mad at how the others were laugh’n, that’s all."

"…Oh… is that so?"

"Yeah! I mean…" He stopped and quickly looked around. "Hey… Randi… I wanna show ya someth’n."


"Shh!" He softy pulled me by the arm and began to walk toward the ‘garage.’ "Just follow me."

"Follow you? Looks like you’re taking me."


Raph took me to the roof of an old apartment building, only it wasn’t an ordinary city apartment rooftop. It had been painted in designs I assume that he and the others did. In a box near a wall was a boom box that Raph turned on to a hard rock station.

"Do you like this kinda music?"

"Me?" I asked slightly nervous. "I’m indifferent. I like all kinds of music."

"Cool," Raph said as he sat on the edge of the roof and looked out into the city. "Beautiful. Ain’t it?"

"Yeah, I guess…" I looked up at the sky and sighed contently. "I love cities… but there is only one thing wrong with them."

"What’s that?"

"Can’t see the stars."

"Good point. Hey, come over here."

I gave him a nervous look. "Don’t go pushing me off the side now!"

"I ain’t gonna do that!" he protested. "Come on! I ain’t gonna hurt ya."

"Are you sure?"

"If I wanted to hurt you, I would have done it a long while ago."

I sat down next to him and quietly looked out into the city.

"So… how old are you?" he asked casually.



"You act surprised."

"Nah…" Raph shrugged. "Just wasn’t sure how old you were."

"How come?"

"You act my age."

"I do?"


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