"Take care of yourself, all right, Anton?" his mother ordered rather than asked, stroking the wavy, light blue hair of her only son. Though Anton was not usually this condoning of his mother's affections, he declared this a special occasion and let her ruffle his hair to her heart's content.
"I will, I will", Anton grumbled, successfully covering the reluctance in his voice. He stood there on the curb outside of CantaBound Academy, his dream school, until his mother's car was completely gone from view. This is what you wanted, he told himself. She did this for you. Don't blow it.
He turned the corner indicated on the map as he walked past the gate, and almost immediately, the sound of music filled his ears. He stood, mesmerized, for just a second, then was practically lifted off the ground from a capricious feeling of confidence. He couldn't believe he was starting sixth grade here, at this amazing place!
The day had continued to go on as he made it to his first period, then his second, and third, and so far, he had met many interesting people, but the most show-stopping person he would encounter had yet to come.
Sooner than it felt possible, lunch time arrived. Anton took almost no time taking a seat by himself, deciding it would look cooler if he made it seem as though he was intentionally alone. Good thing, too, because in the corner of his eye, he could see a girl -- about his age, he thought -- approaching him. She had medium-length, stunningly pink, wavy-curly hair that was tied in a neat ponytail on her left, and eyes to match. For almost a second, Anton thought she was the prettiest girl he had encountered all day.
until she opened her mouth.
"Hello! You're a newbie, I presume?" the strange, pretty girl asked, with a smile so sweet, it went many levels past creepy. Before Anton could get his thoughts together, let alone answer her, she smacked her hand on the table and yelped, "Oh, of course you are! Why else would you be sitting by yourself?" He couldn't help but raise his eyebrows.
"It's very nice to meet you", she said, with that same smile. "My name is Echo Carnation!"
Anton felt himself blink a few times, then said meekly "..Echo?"
The girl shook her head with enthusiasm. "Short for Echolette. I know what you're thinking, but my name is considered normal around here. What's your name?" Again with that smile.
Anton coughed and attempted to reassemble his cool demeanor. "Anton, Anton Watersprout."
The girl reached out and shook his hand roughly. "See? You have a weird name too!" He wasn't sure if he felt insulted or accepted. "What do you do?"
His brow furrowed at her question. "What do you mean?", he asked, perplexed.
She sighed and replied, "You know, your musical forte? What you got in the Academy for!"
Anton sighed. "Oh", he began, "I play trombone", he said simply.
A mild look of approval came over her visage. "Great, we need more brass players in Rainband! I'm assuming you're in Rainband, due to how.. bright your color is! I play French Horn". She had a bossy sort of voice that could form an echo anywhere, and Anton now saw the irony in her nickname. He couldn't help but chuckle.
"What..?" she questioned, furrowing her brow as well.
When Anton realized he was laughing, he soon composed himself again and replied, "Nothing".
Almost as quickly as it had disappeared, Echo's smile formed again across her countenance. "Well, it was nice meeting you! Come and find me if you need help with anything! I've been here for a long time". She ended her last statement with a dramatically lingering sort of longing, and gracefully walked away as she had came, with that smile on her face and her nose in the air.
Anton raised his eyebrows once again, wondering if he had really just had an encounter with this strange girl. Once he realized it was real -- that she was real -- he began to wonder if her face was pretty enough to make up for her personality if he ever decided to find her again.