The breeze was soft against my cheek as I gazed at the blue horizon. The blue on blue color scheme would only work when put together by nature as whitecaps glittered the ocean. My attention was pulled down to the warm cup in my hands. Mocha. The chocolaty coffee was cooled by the ocean breeze to the perfect temperature. My notepad and pen were set beside my cup, ready to write. The laid-back teenager sat before me, staring off into the ocean, no doubt yearning to be in it. Rip Hakeber, who preferred just to called Rip, agreed to answer a few questions for me. I remember meeting him when he was only sixteen years old, and can see a growing maturity within him each year. That maturity is turning him into a deep thinker, a meditator, which gives him a mysterious air. However distant his mind was, his body seemed at perfect ease in the small oceanfront café. We sat at a small table outside, facing the water, the breeze combing through our hair. He had ordered a black coffee, but had not touched it. I took a sip of my mocha, before addressing him, hoping my voice was not full of the nerves that my body felt.
Hi, Rip. How are you today?
Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and chat.
Sounded fun to me.
Okay. Let’s get started. What does it feel like to be popular in high school?
I’m popular? Huh, who knew? (smirks impishly) Well, in all honesty, I just try to keep up with the crowd. If I fit in, then I don’t stand out.
Why do you put red highlights in your hair?
It brings out my eyes.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I don’t really know. Something active so that I can stay healthy and in shape. Plus, I would get bored with an office job or something similar.
Do you or did you ever have a crush on Holidee?
(thinks for a moment) Holidee is like a sister to me, much like Bek. I respect and admire her intelligence and skills. Could I ever love her more than a sister? Perhaps, but that was not given to me and, therefore, is not mine to have.
Do you envy Zeke for snatching her away?
No. Zeke is my friend. I believe all of us, Tom, Zeke, and myself, were all mesmerized by Holidee when we first met her. She has an air about her, which attracts people to her. She commands your attention. I suppose that comes with being a Pureblood. But I don’t think she would have fallen for anyone other than Zeke. Zeke is so easy to be with and genuine. Tom and I… well, we have a few more issues.
What kind of issues are you referring to?
Well, I don’t want to go into too much detail, for fear of giving away anything from the second book, but Tom and I both have problems concerning our fathers, which have created something inside us that is just brewing. That is all I will say.
Are you on bad terms with your father?
We don’t speak much, no.
Do you think that will ever change?
No. And before you ask, it does not make me sad. Call me insensitive, but it’s how I feel. Bek, however, feels differently. She was always the more hopeful of us two.
You and Bek have a very strong connection. How do you like being a twin?
Oh, I love my sister! Bek is the best! We understand each other better than anyone and it’s a relief to have someone I can confide in just about anything.
Do you fear that connection will ever change?
I don’t think the connection will ever weaken, but as we grow, I do realize that things will change. Bek will get married eventually and have a family, which will take most of her time, but our connection will always be strong.
Will you ever get married?
I don’t know. I suppose if I find the right girl. It is certain for Bek, however, because she is a Mother, you see. (smiles) It’s in her blood to love.
What of your mother?
My mother is an angel. Very passive in her nature, and sometimes fragile, I believe, even if she won’t let us know. She is a very kind-hearted being with a lot of love for everyone, which is probably where Bek gets it from. I have more stubbornness, which comes from my father.
What was your first impression of Holidee, considering you already knew her to be the last Pureblood?
Upon first seeing Holidee, I thought she was quite young. I know she is my age, but I thought the last Pureblood was older, or at least that is how it sounded from the stories we had heard. I had wondered at the time, if she had it in her to save us. It wasn’t a question of power or skill but of courage. It was no small task that was given to her.
What stories do you speak of?
When her parents died and I assume other Purebloods as well, whether it be old age or other reasons, stories circulated around the community that our blood was disappearing. Some feared the worst and had no hope, but then more stories began to appear of a girl who carried all of the strength and skills of a Pureblood. No one had seen this girl, and she didn’t appear in any of the normal places for our people, so it was only considered a story, a sort of fairytale. I had heard from my mother that a Halfblood teacher had transferred to my high school, which was peculiar since there weren’t many of us in this town and he was unmarried. Then, after talking with one of her friends and meeting the teacher, my mother had found out that he had transferred because of the Pureblood girl, who was to attend my high school as well.
And you recognized Holidee right away?
It was pretty obvious if you know what to look for. Her eyes are a dead giveaway, but even if I hadn’t seen them, the way people stayed away from her, rather than smothering her as new meat, was also an indication. I think humans have a sixth sense when it comes to feeling strong power. They shy away from it, unconsciously, afraid it might be dangerous.
You mentioned normal places for your race of people. Were these secret?
No, no. It wasn’t like we were magical in that sense. There were just places that our people tended to gather. It wasn’t formal or anything. Humans didn’t notice anything strange. For example, there was a café on the corner near the supermarket near my home. The café was ordinary, serving coffee and sandwiches, but it was run by a man who had an eighth of our blood and therefore gave special discounts to us. He called us his loyal customers. So a lot of us just went to have our coffee there and everyone tended to talk about the latest gossip or what they were doing with their skills. My mother took Bek and I there many times when my father was busy. She loved talking with the older ones about stories and Purebloods. She was always fascinated with Purebloods.
Why are the Purebloods so important?
They carry an essence within them that gives them the ability to be the best at every skill, as well as have a stronger connection with the ocean and its creatures. Their abilities help others, like me, to understand better and improve our skills. They are considered teachers.
Your skills seem strong.
Not half as strong as Holidee’s.
What is your favorite skill?
I enjoy doing things with my mind. Concentration and meditation are very appealing to me.
Are those you best skills?
Yes, I believe so.
What skill would you like to improve on the most?
(thinks) Probably my Healer skills. I think healing, along with Mother skills, is the most important of the skills. It is essential in a world such as today’s.
What kind of world is that?
Do you wish to elaborate?
(Takes his first sip of coffee) Mother Earth is dying and crying out to her children to stop the abuse, the destruction. We are all contaminating, changing, and destroying our world. Humans and non-humans. If we continue down this path, there will no longer be a world to live in.
Do you believe there is one part of the world that is far worse than any others?
I don’t know much about the other areas, but I do believe the oceans are the worst. The fisheries are disappearing. Animals are being captured for entertainment purposes. Garbage is thrown into the water by the tons. It is actually changing the chemistry and temperature of the waters, creating unlivable habitats for marine animals.
Do you think that your people can stop it?
No. There are too few of us and too many careless, selfish people.
So you have no hope?
Unless the world decides to change, and my race of people can come together to work on our skills, to become stronger as a people, then there is no hope.
That is a little dismal, Rip. Does it make you angry?
I get angry sometimes about the nature of people and their selfish ways, but I try not to let it get me down. I think I am more of a realist, whereas Holidee and my sister are optimists, which is what our race needs, so it makes me happy to have a leader such as Holidee.
Realists are good, also.
Yes, balance is the essence of life. That is why there is both good and evil. If we did not have one, then we could not appreciate the other.
You sound wiser than your years.
(Big smile.) Nah! I’m just Rip.
With that, Rip took another sip of his coffee and finished our chat with a smile and a laugh, but behind that smile, I could see something deeper in his eyes. It was as if he was asking a question that no one could answer.
Copyright © 2012 by B.M. Green