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|Breaking the Ice|
February 13, 2014
Princess Yue. Wait... Princess? This white-haired girl who I just learned the name of is the princess? I should've known it was too good to be true! A princess with looks so breathtaking would never notice a guy like me. I'm just a southerner. I'm pathetic in comparison to her upper-class rank. But at the same time there's this voice inside my head that keeps telling me to just talk to her, and the increasing speed of my heartbeat by the second doesn't help at all. When would I get a change to talk to her? If I don't do it tonight, then I'm for sure it's not meant to be. Would it be even if I do get a chance to speak with her? Or am I right about her not even noticing me?
"Thank you, father. May the great ocean and moon spirits watch over us during these troubled times."
Her voice. It's sounds so sweet, so gentle; like music to my ears. So much volume and power in her tone. It was as if the world stopped and listened when she spoke--at least my world. The room hasn't been this quiet since before everyone arrived. Her words, spoken with such honesty and full of cultural belief. She probably prefers a man with intelligence and classy manners. Meanwhile I'm only intelligent when it comes to weaponry and manners could be improved by a little. Who am I kidding, a LOT.
My stomach growls again like I haven't been feeding it enough. I'm pretty sure I've eaten two plates of whale and more kale cookies than a person should try to stuff in their faces, but I guess one or two more wouldn't hurt. The Chief has signaled this waterbender with his students to perform on stage, and I could really care less how amazing his skills are. There's some more food in front of me with my name on it!
Of course with the luck I have, as I stuff as much food as my mouth can contain at once, I notice Princess Yue walking right behind me. She turns herself around, pulling her long, purple coat up. Is she actually sitting next to me? This is a dream come true! Except not a completely good dream since I'm stuffing my face. What a way to make a good first impression. As she fully sits herself down, I turn my back to her. I don't want her to see me with food in my mouth! That's unprofessional! As I swallow the last of my food down, I think about how I should formally introduce myself. Just be cool. She's just the princess. A very beautiful princess who's been making my heart race since I got here. Good thing I'm sitting down, because there's this strange feeling in my knees. They feel like their aching. Almost as if their weak. I take a final breath before I finally turn back over to her, seeing her incredible beauty face to face.
"Hi there, Sokka, Southern Water Tribe," I let out with a low, manly voice.
In return, Yue bows her head, replying, "Very nice to meet you."
She actually acknowledged me! I can't believe I had so much confidence to even say something to her! But what else is there to say? This is not starting off the way I have been hoping it was going to. I think at this point, we both start looking away from each other, lost about what to say. I think this is my chance to recover.
"So... uh... you're a princess? Huh!"
She nods at me, with a huge smile across her face. Even though I'm smiling myself on the outside, I just wish I could slap my face, because that was the worst ice breaker I've ever said. Why am I so off right now? I'm usually really good at conversations.
"You know, back in my tribe, I'm kinda like a prince myself," I let out without thinking.
Before I even have a chance to say anything more truthful, I hear Katara laughing at my failed attempt to impress Yue.
"Prince of what?"
"A lot of things! Do you mind, I'm trying to have a conversation here!"
"My apologizes, Prince Sokka," Katara says to me sarcastically as she bows to me.
I'm so annoyed by my sister's witty comment, that I almost forget about Yue. When I turn back over to her. She's staring back at me! What do I say? Haven't I already messed up enough? But even with her looks of confusion and somewhat impatience to see if I'll speak again, she's becoming more beautiful in my thoughts. I don't think this party is enough to get to know who she truly is. Perhaps I should ask her out. Ask her out? I've never actually done that before. Just be cool.... breathe.....
"So it looks like I'm going to be in town for awhile. I'm thinking maybe we could... do an activity together?"
"Do an activity?" Yue replies, with another huge, but gorgeous grin on her face.
Do an activity together? What is wrong with me? I can't even look her straight in light, blue eyes anymore. It suddenly feels uncomfortably warm in the room, but I know it can't be the building; it's made of ice. I can feel drops of sweat running down my neck and face. I just want to restart the night again, but be better with my word choices. I wish I could hide my face from her, but she's sitting right next to me; I'd only look like a fool. Then I look at the food in front of me. Without hesitation, I stuff my mouth again, and cough it down in one swallow. Yue looks at me with much concern on her face. Almost as if she's disgusted as well. Great, not only am I a babbling hog-monkey, I'm a pig too.
"Very smooth," Katara says to me sarcastically.
As if I really needed that to be said. I already feel humiliated enough! But instead of talking back to my sister, I just sit silently at the party, and try to eat my dinner as professionally as possible. With each bite, I can feel this upset feeling in my stomach, and I'm not sure if it's because I've eaten too much or because I really messed up with Princess Yue. Maybe princesses and peasants don't make a match. Very lowly, I look up at Yue as she eats a couple bites of whale. A woman who likes whale is the kind woman I want to get to know, but I'm sure that after tonight, she never wants to speak to me again. Even with this sudden empty feeling inside, I can still feel an increase of heartbeats whenever my eyes look over at Yue. I'm not exactly sure what my heart is trying to tell me, but it sure seems to be overcome with something. I almost jump from the sound of Yue's voice.
"Are you enjoying the city so far?" Yue asks.
She's talking to me again? I have another chance to make up for my mistakes!
"Yeah, this place is very different from the Southern Tribe," I reply almost stuttering within my words.
I try to hide my sigh of relief from Yue. It's probably the most normal thing I've said all night. I can feel myself becoming less sweaty on the outside, but still kind of shaky on the inside. Still, it's nice to have a little more confidence around her for the most part. I'm still trying to figure out why I'm so nervous around her. Is it because she's a princess? No, no, I'm not nervous around Aang, and he's the Avatar! I remember what Katara teasingly said after I first laid my eyes on Princess Yue. "I think somebody likes someone." It's constantly echoing in my mind, telling me that Katara is right. I DO like Yue. I really do. But I still don't understand why these feelings I'm having that's I've never experienced before makes me feel so... weak. Is this how you're supposed to feel?
Before Yue can respond to my statement about the how different her tribe is from mine, her father walks over to her, and whispers privately in her ear. She looks upset at first, as if she doesn't like what he's saying, but nods nevertheless. As Chief Arnook walks away from the table, exiting the building, Yue turns to me with a serious facial expression.
"I'm sorry, but I have to leave now," Yue says almost in a depressing manor.
Why must she leave so soon? It seems like she just got here. On the other end, her gone would stop from any future embarrassment. I nod in response, but I it doesn't feel right for me to end the conversation on such a rather bleak note. As I watch her get up, about to exit the building, I turn around and say, "It was nice meeting you." Yue turns around, in sudden shock that I had finally said something back to her. I remember what her father said right before she entered the room about her turning sixteen today. I smile widely at Princess Yue before I finally end my sentence and our departure saying, "and Happy Birthday."
Yue, now smiling and I think even giggling to herself replies with a 'thank you', before leaving the building. I made her smile! I think I'm finally coming around and with this awkward feeling that makes me gush over her whether she's next to me or just in my thoughts. As the party continues to go on, it just gets more and more boring to me. The only thing that's keeping from leaving this building is the food left on the table. Although I feel the need to leave anyway, I have a sudden loss of appetite. It could be from the large amounts of food I consumed since I took my first steps into the building, but something is missing. Ever since Yue made her departure, the uplifting happiness in the room has disappeared. Do I miss her? I think so. The party is no longer fun for me. I actually wish she was her even if that means I'd eventually embarrass myself again.
It seems like hours have been going by, but it's just minute after minute. Second after second. Will I ever see Yue again? Will I ever talk to her while secretly admiring everything about her from her beauty to the things she says?
Before I know it, the party is over. I have never been so happy to leave, I'm pretty sure my foot fell asleep a couple times within the duration of the party. Stretching my arms in the arm slowly as I bend my back over is the most soothing moment I've felt since the party began. While leaving the building, Aang and Katara exchange exciting comments about their first waterbending lesson tomorrow, but all I can think about is how tonight went with Yue. Oh, how just the thought of her makes a smile form across my face so tightly that the pain actually feels relaxing. As we walk back to our temporary home, Yue is constantly in my daydreams. I feel nauseous as the thoughts of her pile up in my brain, but despite what my gut feels, the smile can't go away. I almost feel like falling back first on the ground and forgetting about everything except her, but I know I can't. But I don't need to fall intentionally; I've already feel like I've fallen.
Once we make it back to our place of stay, my daydreams of Yue come to an end when Katara amusingly remarks about how I was a nervous wreck at dinner with her.
"I was NOT a nervous wreck!" I exclaim
"Lighten up, I was just teasing," Katara explains. "Besides, it's okay. You like her and it's obvious."
Is it really that obvious? Was I really that bad at the dinner table during the party? Yue continued to talk to me, so I couldn't have been that bad.
"Okay fine! So I like her, big deal."
"Well she must be a big deal to you if you like her so much," Aang says while laying down.
"I don't like her THAT much, just enough--"
"Enough? Enough how?" Katara asks curiously.
"I don't know, enough to make me feel different things I've never felt before! Can we just get some sleep?"
I really don't like the on the spot questions about the feelings I have for Yue. Mainly because I'm not exactly sure how I feel about her yet. I know that I like her, but I'm not sure how much I really do. Aang and Katara laugh off my change of subject, and we all decide to get some sleep. I'm unusually the last one to fall asleep tonight, but I can't stop thinking about tonight with Yue. I try to fight the thoughts out of my head by tossing and turning in my sleeping bag, but it's not working.
Or did it? Because I did eventually fall asleep that night, and was the last one to wake up. I open my eyes to Aang and Katara getting ready for their first day of waterbending training. They told me they'd be back here as soon as training was over, reminding me that I have warrior training myself to attend to this morning. After they left, despite wanting to be lazy for the day after that party from last night, I drag myself out of my warm, comfortable sleeping bag. I was going to put my hair up in my warrior's wolf tail and then put my coat and boots on, but I was so out of it last night, I slept the same way I look right now. Without really giving much more thought about my morning appearance, I just decide to leave with a bag that contains my boomerang, machete, clubs, and jaw blade. I was hoping the walk to the training area wouldn't be far, but from the looks of it, it's going to take awhile to get there.
I try to find my way through the tribe with some shortcuts, but I think it's been making me more lost. I can't even remember how I got to the bridge I'm currently walking on. Halfway across, I notice a very familiar form of transportation flowing below. A boat floating down the canal... AND PRINCESS YUE IS ON THE BOAT! Just seeing her again makes my heart race and stop all in one moment. I have to talk to her again!
"PRINCESS YUE! GOOD MORNING!" I yell to her as I run down the stairs of the bridge.
While catching up to her boat, I have to jog just to be in sight with her. Just be cool. Small talk. Deep breaths...
"Hey, how about that picnic last night? Boy, your dad sure knows how to throw a party!" I say while continuing to jog.
"I'm happy you enjoyed yourself," Yue says in her sweet sounding voice. It's even beautiful in the morning.
"Well it wasn't as much after you left."
Yue looks shocked as I just told her that. That's honestly how I feel, but was it to was that too deep? Too desperate sounding? As Yue looks away, a smile is drawn from her lips, and her cheeks flush a bright pink. I was smooth! As her smile gets bigger, I can't help, but smile too. I also think her blushing is contagious, because I can feel my cheeks getting warmer as well.
"So I'm still hoping we can see more of each other."
"Do an activity you mean?" Yue asks amusingly.
"Yes! At a place... for some time."
I can feel this increasing amount of excitement build up in my heart, making it race faster than ever before. I hope Yue has spare time for a date. A date? I might have a date? With a princess?
"I'd love to! I'll meet you on that bridge tonight," Yue says as she points to a nearby bridge in front of us.
I want to jump as high as I can go, I can't believe I just scored a date with Princess Yue!
"Great! I'll see you--AH!"
My sentence is cut off by myself falling into the cold water. I was ecstatic by Yue agreeing the spend time, I wasn't paying attention to the fact that the sidewalk stopped. I get my face above surface just in time to see Yue staring at me, laughing with her hands covering her mouth.
As Yue waves as me, apologizing for the incident, I can care less that I just fell into the coldest water I've dipped in since I've been at home. Maybe I'm a little embarrassed, but I don't care; she was laughing and her laugh sounds absolutely adorable!
"That's okay!" I shout, waving back at her. "It was worth it," I say to myself, now laying my back on the sidewalk, and feet still in the water. "See you tonight," I say quietly as I look up to the sky, still in disbelief over how I have arranged a date with a princess, but at the same time, I'm also lovestruck. I did it. I broke the ice.
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