Header Illustration by Tom Humberstone.
Welcome to the Waypoint High School Class of 2016 Yearbook. We're giving out senior superlatives to our favorite games, digging into the year's biggest stories via extracurriculars , and following our favorite characters through their adventures together in fanfic. See you in 2017!
A perfect line of dark blood red lipstick glided along a slightly gaped mouth in the shape of a lazy O; the lips rubbed back and forth with a practiced air and then blotted onto a piece of creased toilet paper.
"You've been in a mood ever since Victoria graduated. I just hate to see you like this." Emily continued leaning over the sink, examining her flawless makeup application, but past that, into the reflection of the lanky girl behind her.
Amelie folded her arms.
"There's nothing to worry about. I just...miss her, that's all." Her s-sounds were purred, closer to a z than a hiss, the vowel sounds leaned over with what was an unmistakably French accent.
"Well, she's not coming back. She's at college. You'll be at college soon. You know how long-distance works, don't you? You're a free woman now." The lipstick was capped as ruthless punctuation.
Emily Kaldwin, former class president and HBIC of Waypoint High School turned around, resting her weight against the lip of the sink as she gazed at Amelie Lacroix, the beautiful and chilly foreign exchange student who was also her best friend. The two had met in freshman year, and now being seniors, ruled the school with an unmistakable spooky coolness. They were feared, they were loved, but they still would stay up late at night and eat too much ice cream while complaining about everything.
Amelie glared at Emily for a moment. "I know you're right, of course, because you always are. But it doesn't mean I have to like it." Her arms folded in resignation, a finger tapping in thought.
"Why don't you chase after... uh, what's her name? That girl that talks to you in science class? Lena?"
Amelie knew that Emily's attempt at pulling a name from the air was a feint; it was Emily's business to know every single person in their graduating class and she remembered a scary amount about everyone, personally. The fact that what was maybe a tiny crush on the goofy British girl was zeroed on immediately was terrifying. You always feel secure that other people aren't paying attention to your fine details, that you can hide things in the margins of their attention.
Related, on Waypoint: Check out what else Emily Kaldwin gets up to at Waypoint High in this comic by Stephan Maurice Graham.
Huffing, Amelie pretended not to notice. "Her? She just asks me for notes because she forgets hers. Have you seen her Instagram? She takes pictures of airplanes. Who does that? She's got her head in the cl-" Her words trailed off.
Emily's attention was elsewhere, looking suddenly pensive. She fingered the heart necklace around a neck, a gift from her mother who had passed on.
"Let's go to class."
"Sure, but I don't like it when you get that look in your eyes."
Amelie strode up the brick walkway to a cute white house, workout bag slung over her shoulder. Emily had pressed her to come over after she was done with ballet practice, so she obliged, hair still pulled tightly into a bun. She turned for a moment to look at the truck in the driveway—a yellow box that had an imposing rat perched on the top. It read—ATTANO EXTERMINATOR SERVICE—and never failed to make her laugh. Something about how happy the rat looked, considering what Emily's father (Adoptive? Biological? She was not sure and never thought to ask. He was just her dad) did for a living.
She rang the doorbell and smiled when said father answered the door, still in his navy blue work suit, salt and pepper beard and kind eyes, despite a fairly worn face.
"Good evening, sir."
"It's nice to see you again, Amelie. Emily is upstairs, I think she told me you two are going out, make sure she doesn't get into trouble?" He winked, and Amelie caught herself thinking it even looked dashing.
"I will try very hard, sir." She giggled a little before bounding up the steps to the second floor.
The other girl was sprawled on the bed when Amelie entered the bedroom. What greeted her was not Emily scrolling through something on her phone, but the familiarity of the place. It was pin-neat, but packed full with a life full of being a girl. Trophies and ribbons hung back in bookshelves that were jammed full of new acquisitions about politics and feminism, posters of art and various bands right next to childhood drawings she still had kept since they were pictures of her mom and dad. It made Amelie feel a little homesick, but the moment passed.
What greeted her was not Emily scrolling through something on her phone, but the familiarity of the place.
"We're going to the diner in a bit, I hope you're hungry."
"I'm starving. I could eat a whole plate of French fries."
Both of them snorted a little.
"What are you looking at?" Amelie flopped next to Emily, turning the girl's hands so her phone screen was visible.
"Oh, you know, hate-reading Delilah's Facebook."
"What's she saying now?"
"Oh, you know, the usual. Weird articles about possession and whatnot."
"I am so glad my family doesn't use social media, though it means they keep asking me about stuff here."
"She's the only family I got other than my dad, really."
The two of them lapsed into an awkward silence, Amelie staring at the ceiling while fussing with one of the bobby pins in her hair, absentmindedly.
"Did you hear I got the prom committee to change the theme?"
"Your influence is far reaching, even right into the hearts of the dance police."
"It means you're going to have to go now, no complaints, since I have to go."
Amelie frowned. Despite being an actual dancer, she found the idea of standing around strange American boys trying to move arrhythmically incredibly trying on her patience.
"Are you asking me to go as your date?"
"Hah, no, Wyman is coming with me too."
Suddenly, Emily sat up and shoved her phone in her pocket.
"I think I can handle getting you a date, trust me. Now let's get some food." She grabbed Amelie's hand and pulled her up.
Emily stared at her reflection in the giant glass windows of the diner. Across from her was Amelie digging silently into a huge plate of fries, mayonnaise and ketchup mixed into an orange goop. She looked up as the door shook open with a bell and returned to sipping her coffee.
It was all worth it, of course.
"So what was this about getting me a date? With who?" She chewed on a fry ungracefully.
Emily's eyes gestured upwards as a gangly figure bounded up to the table.
"'Ello, loves. Mind if I have a seat here?"
Amelie nearly choked. She shot Emily a look that could kill.
"Sure, Lena, be my guest." She looked at Amelie over the rim of her coffee cup, smiling, as she scooted over to let the slender British girl in.
It was all worth it, of course.
When Amelie stepped onto the dark dancefloor, swan-like, and Lena with her tiny orange dress and matching bowtie, asked her to dance, it made Emily swell with pride over a job well done. It was one thing to be president, but to be a matchmaker besides?
She fiddled with her necklace again.
The heart wants what the heart wants.