The Chameleon

Leo sees the world differently. But that's not the only reason she's different.

Chapter 1

The Jungle

by: Hyouka
A lot of people say that high school is where you’re supposed to find yourself, right? You step through those doors on the first day and the illusion of books and movies bring you to believe that you will meet a really attractive person of the opposite gender, and you will become best friends and probably will be dating by the end of the year. You expect to find yourself a quirky group of friends and a certain teacher that you really like and a bully that you really don’t. You’ll find something you love doing, like a hobby. You’ll meet a girl who hides her emotions and is amazing at singing or something of the sort – that’s what society has brought us to believe.

Now, I’m not one to ruin your fun or anything. But the second I step through the doors to the high school, I don’t feel at all like that. I feel more like I’ve just stepped through into another dimension entirely, entered into a world full of fierce creatures and fights for survival, like the creatures of the wild that felt so far away not four seconds before.

There, stalking its prey down the hall, is a lone tiger, its muscles stretched in concentration as it follows the long scampering gazelle. Whether it’s going for a fight or for a mate, I can’t really tell. But the resemblance is stifling.

I feel a hand touch my shoulder as the reality slowly shifts away like sand. I find myself staring into the wise eyes of a tall man with dark hair, wearing a blue polo shirt that suddenly looks foreign like it doesn’t belong in such a surreal place. I stare at him for a long moment.

“Miss?” he asks, his hand stretched towards the staircase. “I believe it’s time for first period, if you don’t mind.”

I break his trance and glance again across the hallway. The lone tiger has vanished, leaving me alone in the jungle, like the lost bird that I’ve somehow already become. I’ve begun to wonder if maybe the man beside me is the real enemy here – a hawk that’s frightened away the rest of the wildlife of this place. But no point in starting that.

“Yes.” I say, hiking up my backpack. “Right.”

He watches me as I scale the stairs without effort, gliding towards my first class. The hallway seems long and vacant, like a forgotten cave somewhere far away where I’ve never been. And to make it worse, I’m not sure exactly if it’s completely empty.

I pass by a single raven, staring out the window opposite its perch. In my non reality, it’s a boy with hair dyed dark as night and eyes that look like the ocean, but I see the birdlike stance in his posture and that is how I see him. As the lone raven.

I walk in stunned silence to my first class, where a giraffe of a woman slides a screeching white speck across the board. The kids in the room sit in uniformity, like statues of creatures that once were. The woman’s medusa like effect gives me a sense of respect as I sit down.

And I blend.

I have never considered myself to be one to fit in, no, it’s nothing of that sort. I don’t fit, like the other calm members of society, into this world. I do what not many others can. I blend, I blend into the colors and the sounds until I am simply unnoticeable. I am always there, a simple wallflower amongst the creatures that don’t care to even attempt at noticing me.

I am the chameleon of this strange, cold little jungle of society.

So when I finally leave this class and find myself suddenly noticeable, bright orange in the darkness I didn’t expect, I am frightened.

I enter the lunchroom with my tray already picked out. The cliques that have always existed are suddenly more prominent this year in the tables and groups, and I notice only one table that seems even slightly suitable to me. So I walk towards the anime group, where the kids don’t ever say a word, and even though my lack of any ability whatsoever makes me stand out, my appearance doesn’t.

As I watch in amazement at a small girl drawing an equisite tropical flower, I can’t seem to notice as three kids sit down beside me.

They are interested first in my name. A boy, shorter but cheery with fire-red hair and light brown eyes, asks the question so innocently that I can’t help but answer.

“They call me Chameleon,” I say honestly. They did, anyway.

The boy laughs and smiles at me, pulling up the hood of his bright green sweatshirt. “Can we call you Leo, then?”

“It’s a weird name for a girl,” the taller boy of the two says. His hair is brown and curly and his eyes are such a pretty blue color that I want to smile. He looks quite athletic.

I look at him and shrug as slightly as I can. “I like it.”

“What did they call you before?”

“My real name.”

“What is your real name?”

“Just call me Leo.”

He looks at me, slightly puzzled. Somehow his thick nose and bright, curious eyes remind me of a wolf. “Alright, then. I’m Emmett.”

The younger of the two boys, Yoyo, they call him, smiles slightly. “You’re weird, Leo.”

I nod. “I’ve heard it before.”

The final kid chimes in. It’s a girl this time, with long bronze – colored hair. She wears a dress and cowboy boots and her pretty curls flow over her shoulders like rain. She’s actually very pretty. “I’m Olivia. Did you have friends in middle school last year?”

“Well, I did.”

“And?”

“One of them moved away and the other killed himself,” I try to make it sound casual, but still the last words catch in my throat.

She freezes, and then coughs a little bit. “Oh.”

“It’s fine.”

The three stand in silence – Yoyo, Emmett, and Olivia. The fox, the wolf, and…and…

“What’s your favorite animal?” I ask her suddenly. She widens her eyes, but seems to answer fairly quickly.

“Totoro.”

“That’s not an animal.”

She grins. “It should be!”

“You remind me of a meerkat.”

For a long moment, there’s silence. Then Yoyo starts laughing. Emmett joins him. I stifle a giggle myself.

“Okay, that’s totally awesome!” Yoyo gasps, gripping his sides. “I like you, Leo, you’re weird!”

“So I’ve been told.”

Have I made friends? I’m not sure. So I close my eyes and add myself to the group. The fox. The wolf. The meerkat. And the chameleon.

I like it.

Skip to Chapter

29 Comments

© 2020 Polarity Technologies
X
X

Invite Next Author

Write a short message (optional)

or via Email

Enter Quibblo Username

X

Report This Content