• Noel Looked up at the white sky, it was snowing in Tennesee. It had been snowing all throug the day. she was waching it out of the classroom window. School had just let out and she was walking home. Up ahead she saw Damian, one of her best friends and a crush. She waddled up some snow and threw it at him. He screamed girlishly and turned. Noel was smiling, holding another snowball.
    Raygen stared at the painting, debating with herself what color to splatter on next. Deciding on blue, and suddenly hearing a girl's scream, she accidently whipped the paintbrush on her chin, and smeared it up onto her cheek and then to her ear. She set down the paints and took off her apron. Tripping on the steps to the front yard, she stopped short realizing it was just a couple of kids from school.
    Damian, now realizing what had happened, Screamed "Your gonna get it now!" And with that he Bent down to pick up a snowball.
    but befor his hands even touched the snow, Noel threw another snow and hit him in the face.
    Noel giggled, "I dought that" noel said. She walked up to him and brushed the snow oout of his face. She apologized, and patted him on the back. Damian liked Noel as did noel like him, but niether of them had the courage to tall each other. Raygen stared at the boy and girl; one she recognized as Damian, the girl she didn't know.
    "Love blossoms at all times of the year," she frowned.
    Picking up snow, and smearing paint onto a part of it, she balled it up into a square and chucked it at the two. Missed, of course, but it went through the gap inbetween them.
    "Hey, Raygen," Damian said enthusiasticaly.
    He decided not to mention the paint in thoughts it would embarass her.
    "This is Noel," damian said putting his arm on her back.
    "Hi," Raygen smiled, pleasingly. She walked the few feet over to them. "Nice to meet you, Noel."
    Catching Damian eyeing her cheek, she grinned. "I know, when I heard Noel scream I smeared paint all over myself. Looks like a four year old trying on lipstick for the first time, eh?"
    They all laughed. "So what are you guys doing here?"
    Noel laughed when Reygen thought that She had screamed. Damian frowned and nugded Noels elbow.
    "Nice to meet you to." Noel said with a smile on her face.
    "We were just walking home," Damian said.
    "Yeah," Noel seconded.
    "What? Didn't Noel scream?" Raygen looked puzzledly at them both, and giggled when she realized it was Damian who had screamed.
    "And somehow found the time to start a snowball fight?"
    "So, Raygen, you want to come to my house with me and Noel for some Hot Chocolate?"
    Damian said. Noel was confused He didnt mention anything about that earlier.
    " I have a few other friends coming over also." he added.
    "Noel and I, and sure. I like hot chocolate," Raygen said. She had noticed his incorrect gramar and corrected him, unintentionally. It was habit for her to correct people, it was annoying to her when people said things wrong like that.
    "Who else is coming over?" she said.
    "Oh no one really, Just Jamie, George, and, Chris." Damian said. Noel Felt totally blocked off from the convorsation, although she was somehow part of it. She had nothing better to do but to stare into space. She day dreamed about damian and her talking. In her dreams, he had told her he liked her, no... Loved her. An oncomeing truck stired her from her day deam. She sighed. She was dissapointed that it was only a dream. She notices the now begining to fall heavier.
    "Oh, them." Raygen stuffed her right hand into the pocket of her jeans, and with her left smoothed her blonde hair back and looked up into the iron gray sky.
    She felt as if someone else was nearby; and sensing that there was, she looked to her left and saw Ryan, her longtime best friend and neighbor, grinning from ear to ear and clutching a snowball with his gloved hands, the kind of gloves that the fingers are cut off so your fingers are visable.
    "So you comeing?" Damian asked casually.
    Noel saw Raygen lookeing to her side. She followed her stare. A kid from school she noticed to be Ryan was standing near a snow covered pine tree. She was about to say hello when a whole gang of Ryan's friends came around the corner. All of them had snowballs. There where about 5 of them.
    "Ambush," Noel whispered, her eyes growing wide realizing that the freezing cold snowballs would soon be hitting her and the rest of them.
    "ATTACK!" Yelled Ryan. And with that all of his friends raised their arms.
    "Ryan you traitor!" Raygen shouted,picking up snow and flinging at him and his friends. She recognized them all; she'd met them at one of Ryan's birthday parties years before.
    The snowballs flew out of the hands of Ryans friends. Noel thought quick, she dashed behind Damian and put her hands over her head. Reygan started throwing snowballs frantically. Damain bent down to pick up a snowball. At that time he realized Noel behind him. He stepped out of the way to expose me to the snowballs.
    Aww man! Noel thought. She was only whereing a skirt, and was freezing so she decided to hide behind a tree. On the way she had fallen and cut her knee deeply. But but staying there and whining about it wouldnt help, now would it? So she still ran.. She got to the tree and started crying. Waching the cut, she became dizzy and passed out.
    Raygen laughed as snowballs flew everywhere, and Ryan was basicly in front of her, still grinning, but his face was more playful than ever. She was surprised at how handsome his eyes were today; his face was coated with thick snow and his long black hair was, too.
    Damian was throwing snowballs also, but Noel was probably hiding somewhere, maybe she ran behind the huge bushes and pine trees that lined Ryan and Reygan's houses.
    "Damian!" Noel screamed. Kids were laughiing so loud, she could barley hear herself.
    "Damian....." She tried again. No answer. She tried to comprehend the situiation. She knew Damian would give up in a little bit, but would he think to look for her? Or would he think that she had gone home?
    "Ok, Ok, guys," Ryan said to his friends, "Thats enough surprise for one day." The crowd waved goodbye and trailed off, so there was almost silence now.
    She tried for a third time
    "Damian.." She said, this time feeling confident he would find her this time.
    Raygen smiled at Ryan, who'd stayed behind with them.
    "Where did... Noel...?" Suddenly, she heard a faint sound: like someone crying. Then there was a shout;
    In a quick blurr, Damian recognized the voice, and dashed to where Noel was yelling from. Raygen ran after him, dragging along Ryan by his hand. There were red sploches bruising the snow; It was not paint. Definitely not.
    Noel, eyes half closed, smiled. She was relieved.
    The once warm tree had become freezing. Damian looked around it. The first thing he saw was the cut, brused and deep. He noticed that almost all of her leg was covered in blood.
    All he could do was stare. Then Ryan came around the corner.
    Raygen could barely comprihend the situation: Noel had fallen. She needed help. She must've been so cold, must've been sitting there for at least a half an hour while the snowball war was going on.
    "Oh my god," she [[Raygen]] said meekly, stumbling backwards as Ryan caught her and helped her up.
    "Dude, get my parents!" He shouted to Damian, and knelt down to help Raygen sit. "It's the house next to her's." He gestured to her [[Raygen]].
    Damian ran to the house Ryan had gestured to. He reached the steps and almost slipped on the ice. but cought his ballence. He knocked on the door. A Woman in her mid 30's opened the door. Damian was still catching his breath. The woman was confused;
    "May I help you?" She asked in a worried voice.
    "My friend.... She must have fallen and cut her leg deep. She needs help, and... and " Damian said.
    The woman paused.
    "I'll get the first aid kit." She said returning into the house. It must have been hours before Noel saw Damians face again. Or at least it felt that way. Raygen and Ryan were huddled around her. Ryan had layed his coat on her shivereing arms. She felt sleepy and dizzy.
    Raygen stared at Noel's shivering face, her eyes were closed and her cheeks were not rosey with live and joy anymore. Her face looked purple, her hair was silvery with snow.
    "Ryan..." Raygen pleaded, placing her hand on his shoulder and looking up into his eyes. "What's gonna happen?"
    Before he could answer, Damian came rushing back, the woman came out too. She instructed Damian to carry Noel into the house. Noel felt his warm hands under her.
    She was happy to know he was back. The snow was falling in buckets now. She couldnt see anything, but aperently they could see her.
    she wrapped her arms around his neck. Damian was still n shick, yet he put that aside. Damian was the first in the house.
    "Put her down on the couch." The woman said.
    She examined the cut. "thank god that i am a doctor." She said.
    Raygen felt herself wrap her arms around Ryan's waist, she couldn't bare to look at all of that blood that was engulfing Ryan's couch, the sick, worried look on Damian's face. She could sence the terror rising up in the room, hear the raspy breaths of Noel, and feel the rapidly beating heart of Ryan, who hugged her and watched his mother bandage and clean Noel's cut.
    Ryan felt sick. He felt that he should take the blame. He started the snowball war. And therefore caused Noel to fall. Damian on the other hand felt somewhat guilty. He should have been listening and looking out for Noel.
    He looked down at her. She looked lifeless but he could tell she was breathing.
    The room was quiet, painfully quiet. The pain in Noel's leg was almost litterally killing her, and what was worse was the pain of not knowing what was going to happen next. Was she going to be alright? Was she going to be able to spend her life with Damian, like she wanted to? If not... What would she do?
    Raygen had started to cry. She had buried her face in Ryan's sweater, and Damian was hovering over Noel, not taking his eyes off of her.

    Noel opened her eyes slowly. She was in a bright room, all of the walls were white. She senced that she was no longer in Ryans house. Her eyes slowly ajusted. Damian was there, his hand in hers. She smiled.
    "Some Snowball Fight, huh?" she said sarcastically. "huh?" Damian said lifting his head from the side of the bed. He quickly took his hand back. She noticed his embarassment. She reopened her hand. He hesitated, but eventually took it.
    Raygen had fallen asleep hours ago on the hosbital couch, the one right below the window, her head in Ryan's lap, his head facing the ceiling. He was asleep too. Their hands were hooked together weakly, and Raygen's cheeks were blazing red, even though she was asleep and in the cold room.
    Noel sat up. She yawned.
    She looked at the clock. According to it the time was one o'clock in the morning. She looked over to Raygen and Ryan. They looked so troubled, even in their sleep.
    "What happened?" She asked. Raygen woke up.
    "You... you passed out on Ryan's couch," Raygen started, "And his mom called the hosbital; she told them she didn't want this young girl on her couch all night and to come and get you. So then maybe ten minutes later the ambulance came and... well, here we are."
    She hadn't sat up yet, or let go of Ryan's hand, for fear of waking him up. Damian was just sitting next to the bed where he'd been when Raygen fell asleep, staring at Noel and holding her hand.
    "How ... nice of her?" Noel said. She suddently remembered the cut. She Pulled of her covers. She gasped faintly. The cut was bigger then she remembered. They must have gave her stitches. The cut ran across her leg.
    "Wow, Was it that long before?" Noel said in disbelief.
    Noel "Yeah," Raygen smiled, amused with Noel's obvious surprise. "You've been asleep since yesterday believe it or not. Your parents were here all day with us, they left at about 11."
    Ryan snored so loudly and suddenly Raygen had to jump, and then giggle quietly. She sat up slowly but still held his hand, putting her feet up onto the little couch.
    "Speaking of your leg..." Damian muttered, barely loud enough for them to hear.
    "What about it?" Noel asked.
    "Ummm..well, you... you wont be able to... walk..after you heal. Raygen still avoided looking directly at Noel. Instead she looked up at Ryan, who was still dozing away like nothing was happening, or if it was a normal, avarage night. Like nothing was happening, a world of peace; but it was actually the total opposite. Nothing was going as planned, nothing was right. Nothing peaceful. Nothing.
    The light flickered out, coating the room with a dark, deep feeling of gloom.
    Ryan snapped awake, and looked up.
    "I'll go get a nurse, or something.'' He said leaving the room with the door open to let some light in .
    Noel felt hopeless. She couldn't face the truth, the unforgiving, cold truth that she was most likley never to walk again. Damian sat next to her, hugging her tight. She never wanted him to let go.
    "This has to be one of the worst weekends in history," Raygen frowned, and slouched back onto the couch, as Ryan returned following a young-looking nurse, maybe in her late 20's or early 30's. She quickly replaced the light bulb and clicked on the light. Ryan sat down next to her and gazed lazily at Damian and Noel.

    Raygen awoke the next morning. Damian was still sleeping, Ryan's arms were still wrapped around her, tugging at her hand and woven against her wavy hair.
    Noel was awake, staring out into space, also wrapped in Damian's arms as she was Ryan's. Something in her pocket vibrated, and she pulled out her cellphone. The caller ID said "Home."
    "Hello?" Raygen answered, getting the attention of Noel who looked towards ((sp)) her.
    Noel looked up at Raygen, smiled weakly and looked back down. She felt week and tierd still.
    Raygen hung up the phone.
    "Good morning," Noel said. She didnt want to move. Damian looked so peaceful and she didnt want to ruin it
    "Hi," Raygen smiled back, clutching Ryan's hand. She felt like she'd known Noel for more than only 3 days, but that wasn't the real story.
    "When are they releasing me? I want out." Noel said. She had finally grasped the matter and was takeing it well. Then sudently The nurse they had seen before, had walked in to the room with a weel chair.