CHAPTER VI: Kamek
I rolled over in bed and checked the clock next to my bed. It read 4:30 AM. I just could not fall asleep. I had been tossing and turning all night, worrying about Kamella. She meant so much to me. I had decided to secretly follow her to the Underground Ghost Ship today so I could fight by her side when Mario arrived. True, I would be disobeying Bower's orders to stay in the castle, but how could I just sit around and wait while Kamella risked her life? And what if she was killed? I had to face that it was a possibility. After all, Tarantox and Bouldergeist had seemed like they were impenetrable, but apparently they had been defeated by a plumber.
I sighed miserably and slowly slid out of bed. What good would it do me to lie in bed and worry? I would go down to the dining room and wait there for Kamella. She was bound to come to the dining room for breakfast as soon as she was up. Sleepily, I made my way to the dining room and sat down on a velvet cushion. My vision seemed to be foggy with sleep... Maybe I would just shut my eyes... only for a second....
* * * *
"Hey, wake up, sleepy head!" A loud voice broke through my pleasant dream and brought me back to reality. The image in my head of my body entwined with Kamella's slowly faded as a hand shook my shoulder. I looked up to see Kammy smiling at me cheerily. "You look tired, Kamek. What's up?"
"I'm just worried about Kamella," I confessed. "Is she up yet?" I scanned the large room for the familiar purple-clad figure with green lipstick.
Kammy frowned slightly, paused, then replied, "No... I have something to tell you about Kamella, Kamek. I really think you should know." Kammy's brow creased and she hesitated.
"Well?" I probed, "What do I need to know about Kamella?"
Kammy frowned but then held out her hand and presented a photograph. I took the small photo out of Kammy's hand and scrutinized the photo carefully. What I saw made my heart break in two halves. Iggy Koopa and Kamella were wrapped in a tight embrace and they were kissing each other on the lips... There was even some of Kamella's smeared lipstick on Iggy's cheek. I opened my mouth to speak, but no words came out.
"I'm really sorry, Kamek," Kammy comforted me genuinely. "It's just that Kamella is messing with several guys. She is also in a strong relationship with Hammer Bro. Surely you have seen them together?" I remembered Hammer Bro sitting with Kamella last night... The way he caressed her cheek...
"She is only trying to win your favor, Kamek," Kammy explained. "She needs someone her own age, like Hammer Bro or Iggy. You are quite a bit older than her, after all."
I felt like someone had torn my heart in two and then had tried to smash the two pieces back together. Several emotions filled my mind. First, I was furious. How dare Kamella display her affections to me when she truly loved another? How dare she try to flirt with three guys at once? Second, came the hurt. I loved Kamella with all my heart, she filled my thoughts and possessed my mind. She had stolen my heart and had then shattered it. And finally came the embarrassment. I had thought Kamella had cared for me, had loved me, and had wanted to spend the rest of her life with me. How could I have let myself be tricked like this?
"Um, Kamek?" I glanced up to see Kammy fidgeting uncomfortably next to me. I had forgotten she was here.
"Yes?" I asked absentmindedly, still shocked about Kamella.
"Can I go to the masquerade with you?" Kammy blurted out nervously, her face turning tomato red.
"What masquerade?" I asked puzzled.
"Wendy's holding a masquerade this Saturday," Kammy explained.
"Sure, you can be my partner," I agreed. Suddenly, a new emotion flooded through my body... It was revenge. I would take Kammy to the masquerade and show Kamella that she no longer mattered to me.
Kammy flashed me a large smile. "Oh thank you, Kamek! We will have such a wonderful time together!" I listened absentmindedly as Kammy blabbed on and on about her plans for the masquerade.
Suddenly the wooden door creaked open and Kamella entered the dining room... with Hammer Bro at her side. Her eyes darted quickly around the room and then focused on Kammy and me sitting together. She smiled at me. I stared back at her coldly, how dare she still try to pretend that she loved me? I had been so blind, obviously she and Hammer Bro were a set. They always seemed to be together. Kamella stopped in her tracks and stared back at me, bewilderment and hurt written all over her face.
I turned away from her and suddenly tried to be deep in conversation with Kammy. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Kamella and Hammer Bro sit down at a table a short distance away from me. Hammer Bro left to get a plate heaped with scrambled eggs, but Kamella stayed seated, staring at me intently. Then I saw something that made my broken heart split into even more pieces. Two tears slowly dripped down Kamella's cheek and fell onto the table. Kamella smeared them away angrily and then she quickly stood up and rushed out of the room. This was not the way I had expected her to act. After all, if she hadn't felt any affection for me, then she shouldn't be crying her heart out for me, right?
"Kamek?" I jumped slightly and then realized that Kammy was talking to me.
"Oh, sorry," I apologized to her. "I'm just a bit... tired, that's all."
"It's okay," Kammy replied.
I tried to make myself focus on what Kammy was saying to me, but my thoughts kept trailing back to Kamella. I just couldn't seem to stop thinking about her. After all, she was going to the Underground Ghost Ship today... what if she were killed? Kamella is out of your life now, I told myself firmly. It doesn't matter what happens to her.
* * * *
Two hours later, I was sitting in the courtyard... in the same corner where Kamella and I had kissed only last night. So much had changed since then. Just then the door to the courtyard swung open. I looked up to see who had disturbed my peaceful solitude. Kamella strode out of the door followed by two Magikoopas. Something was very different about her. Her normal purple robes were replaced by midnight black ones, her fingernail polish had changed from blue to black, her lips were a deep ebony color. I knew she saw me, but she didn't glance my way at all. She held her arm out at an awkward angle and her face seemed much too pale. She was in pain... emotionally or physically, I did not know. I had to stop myself from running to her and enfolding her in my arms. I remembered the feel of her lips on my mouth, the way she held me tight...
Ugh! Why couldn't I get over her? There were other girls out there. I knew Kammy would do just about anything to love me. I thought about what Kammy had said about Kamella's age earlier. It was true that she was 23 and I was 38. But age didn't seem to matter when two beings loved each other with all their hearts, right? Now I could see that Hammer Bro was a better match for Kamella. He was much closer to her age since he was only 25.
I watched as Kamella
exited the gate at the other end of the courtyard. She was off to
Underground Ghost Ship, no doubt. My heart contracted rapidly, would
I ever see her again?
CHAPTER VII: Kamella
I slumped down on the floor of the Underground Ghost Ship. I felt faint... So much had changed this morning. It had seemed like a normal morning to me... but when I entered the dining room, my world had turned upside-down. Kamek was sitting with Kammy and he had actually scowled at me. Had I done something wrong last night? He had been the one who had initiated it, after all. I had figured that he must have finally decided that Kammy was prettier than me. I had tried to tell him that before, but he had been blind to it. I had changed my makeup, hoping that would make me more beautiful. But then I realized the biggest issue: I felt fat. Kammy was very skinny, maybe if I became as skinny as her, Kamek would love me again. I would starve myself. It was the only way to win Kamek back.
But already I was paying for not eating at all today. I felt faint and weak. I knew I wouldn't be able to defeat Mario at the Underground Ghost Ship. But what if I died? There was nothing to look forward to in life without Kamek anymore. Two tears leaked from the corner of my eye and slowly dripped down my cheek.
"Are you okay?" asked one of the Magikoopas I brought with me to help defend the Ghost Ship.
"I'm fine," I snapped irritably. "Mind your own business!" I hated showing any signs of weakness. The only thing I had a weakness for was Kamek.
Just then a loud thud sounded from the other side of the Ghost Ship. I turned quickly towards the direction of the sound. It was Mario. A sharp pang of hatred shot through my veins. Mario was the reason for the deaths of Bouldergeist, Topmaniac, and Tarantox. I hadn't known any of them well, but I had considered them friends.
I turned towards Mario, preparing to send my purple fire at him. I figured it was my best attack. But the purple fire would not come. I didn't have enough strength to summon it. Panic filled my heart. What did I have the strength for? Fireballs and Koopa shells. I sent five fireballs out of my wand followed by a Koopa shell. I knew that Mario had used the Koopa shells to defeat me last time, I wasn't stupid. But this time I didn't care if he defeated me. He could kill me for all I cared...
I watched as Mario
avoided the fireballs with ease and picked up the Koopa shell I had sent
at him. Two seconds later I felt the shell hurtle straight into my
chest. I stumbled backward, and gasped for breath. But the
breath would not come. I gagged and wheezed and slumped to the ground.
The two Magikoopas I had brought to the galaxy rushed forward and started
pelting Mario with fireballs. While I was still trying to catch my
breath, another large Koopa shell smashed into my injured arm. I
screamed with pain... it felt like someone was trying to tear my arm out
of its socket. Still struggling for air, I fell to the ground of
the Ghost Ship with a loud crash. Black stars rushed forward to meet
me and I had fainted.
CHAPTER VIII: Kamek
I paced back and forth in my study room anxiously. I could not get Kamella out of my mind. What was she doing now? Had she dueled with Mario yet? And was she still alive? I didn't understand why I still cared about her so much. She didn't care about me; so why should I still be in love with her?
I had to find out if she was okay. I glanced at the large clock hanging on the wall of my study room. It read 5:30 PM. I had agreed to meet Kammy for dinner at 6:00 so I had just enough time to find out about Kamella's activities before joining up with Kammy. Quickly I grabbed my wand out of habit and stuffed it in my robe. Then I raced down the many flights of the stairs to Bowser's throne room. I rapped on the door cautiously, hoping Bowser was not in one of his foul moods.
"Come in," Bowser called pleasantly. I pulled on the heavy golden door knob and stepped into the spacious throne room. In the middle of the room, Bowser and Peach were seated at a small, wooden table. They appeared to be drinking tea and there were small, pretty cakes in the center of the table. Kammy was also seated at the table... that was interesting. I wondered what she could possibly have to do with Bowser and Peach's relationship. Bowser and Peach were complete opposites. I would never understand why Boswer loved her so much. True, she was very pretty and delicate-looking, but what did that matter? I always looked for personality in a relationship, not beauty... Although it could be a nice bonus.
"Hello Kamek!" Bowser smiled at me, obviously enjoying his interaction with the princess. "Have you met Princess Peach yet?" He turned to Peach and said, "This is Kamek, Peachie. He's Head Magikoopa. He was the one who raised me to become the King Koopa."
Peach's perfect lips turned up slightly in a small smile, "It's nice to meet you, Kamek." I saw Kammy roll her eyes at me out of the corner of my eye. I knew that she, like me, thought that Bowser and Peach did not work together.
"Welcome to the castle, Princess," I answered politely.
"So what's up, Kamek?" Bowser asked curiously.
I bit my lip, not sure how to phrase what I wanted to say. "Well?" Bowser asked, slightly irritated now.
"Um... I was just wondering... how are the galaxies holding up?" I asked hesitantly.
Bowser's face darkened immediately. "Not very well actually. Mario has now destroyed forty of my galaxies. I think he is at Buoy Base Galaxy currently."
"I was wondering how the minions who you put in charge of the galaxies are holding up?" I rephrased, trying to find out about Kamella's whereabouts.
"Oh, that..." Bowser answered with a long pause. "Well Blooper was defeated at Beach Bowl Galaxy. She's recovering in her room currently, I believe." I nodded politely, trying not to let my frustration show. I would just have to ask Bowser about Kamella, I had to know what had happened to her.
"What have you heard about the Underground Ghost Ship?" I asked, my face flushing. "Is it holding up?" I saw Kammy's face instantly turn into a scowl; she knew that I was wondering about Kamella.
"I haven't heard anything about the Ship yet," Bowser replied. "I assume it is holding up." He shrugged absentmindedly. "Anything else you wanted to know?"
"No," I replied, backing towards the door.
Kammy stood up too, "Are you ready for dinner, Kamek?"
I nodded and held the door open for her. Bowser frowned at us. "Fine, just leave us all by ourselves then!" Kammy made no reply. Quickly, we escaped Bowser's throne room before he worked up a temper, and headed towards the dining room.
"Thanks for saving me, Kamek!" Kammy sighed gratefully. "I have no idea why Bowser wanted me to sit in there with him and Princess Peach... I just about died from boredom! Oh well... Let's go eat, I'm starving!" She took my hand rather boldly. I stared at the wrinkled, clammy hand in mine. It was so different from Kamella's smooth, cold hand. I really didn't want to get a serious relationship started with Kammy, but I didn't know what to say without hurting her feelings.
Two minutes later, I opened the door of the dining room and walked in, still holding Kammy's hand. I could feel everyone staring at us. I turned bright red and looked at the floor. I could just imagine the rumors that would go around. It hadn't been a secret that Kamella and I had been far along in our relationship.
"Woah! Look at that!" I heard someone whisper to my right. I turned slightly to see who had commented. It was Wendy. She loved to gossip. She seemed unaware that I was listening, because she continued whispering in Iggy's ear, "It's Kamek and Kammy! What happened to Kamella? She loved Kamek so much... I thought they made such a great couple. Kamek must've dumped her. That's rather cruel, though, I must say! Kamella's poor heart must be shattered!" Iggy turned bright red and nodded without speaking. I saw he was gazing straight at Kammy with an odd expression on his face.
"What's wrong with Iggy?" I asked Kammy.
Kammy instantly colored and quickly replied, "Oh nothing. He's just... not feeling good." I stared at Kammy skeptically, but nodded, not wanting to cause an argument.
Kammy and I wandered over to the counter laden with all kinds of scrumptious foods. I placed a small portion of asparagus casserole onto my plate while Kammy heaped creamy lasagna onto her plate. We sat at a small table set for two in a secluded portion of the room. Kammy happily started chit-chatting in between bites of lasagna. I poked at my food, not feeling very hungry. Finally, I stuck a small bite of the casserole into my mouth. To my surprise, it was awful! But then I remembered that Blooper, who was presently in bed, usually did the cooking. I was curious who had done the cooking tonight.
"Kamek?" Kammy's voice broke through my daydreaming.
I jumped slightly, than smiled at Kammy and said, "Sorry, Kammy. I'm kind of tired today." Kammy nodded, pasting a smile on her face.
We finished the rest of the meal in silence. Kammy knew better than to continue to chatter to me, and I was thankful to be left in peace. I was still worried about Kamella. It sounded like she was holding up, but something could have happened...
"Do you want to take a walk in the courtyard?" Kammy asked cautiously after dinner. My heart was torn in two; if I said yes, Kammy would think I wanted to start a relationship with her, but if I said no, I would hurt her feelings. But I had been kind of rude to her today... so I nodded.
A genuine smile appeared on Kammy's lips and she took my hand again. "Cool!" she stood up, brushing crumbs off of her long robe. I rose from my chair and let her lead me out into the courtyard. I was reminded strongly of the time when Kamella and I had come here together... That had only been last night... So much had changed since then. The night was rather cool and the sky was darkening dramatically.
"It looks like it's going to rain soon," I commented to Kammy, hoping for an excuse to go back inside.
Kammy gazed up into the heavens. "You're right. Let's sit on the bench... It's covered by trees so we won't get wet." My face fell, Kammy was right. Monstrous trees made a covering above the marble bench. Reluctantly, I followed her and took a seat next to her. Kammy hesitated for a moment, than spoke in a shaky voice, "Kamek... It's hard for me to say this... but I-I love you. I've w-wanted y-you ever since we met. I'd be loyal... unlike Kamella..." She had placed her hands on my chest and was gazing hopefully into my eyes.
I was in an awkward situation... I could either reject Kammy or go along with this for now. I hesitated, then chose my words carefully. "You've always been my best friend, Kammy... I know you're loyal."
Kammy's smile faltered. "But y-you don't l-love me?"
Ugh! Why did she have to be persistent? Finally, I made up my decision. I would fake love for Kammy... just for now, not forever. I needed someone to hold me and kiss me... I felt so hurt and wounded by Kamella's treachery.
"I do love you, Kammy," I replied, guilt seeping through my veins.
Kammy's face visibly lit up. "Y-you do?"
I nodded, feeling even more guilty. Then I took her into my arms and wrapped her in an embrace. I felt her wrap her arms around my neck excitedly. My conscience was really bugging me now... I was doing wrong. I couldn't help it, though... I couldn't jilt Kammy now. I went against my consciencethat was screaming at me loudly to stop, and gently pressed my lips onto hers. It wasn't at all like kissing Kamella, though. I didn't feel the excitement or deep desire pulse through my body the way it did when I kissed Kamella. I remembered the curves of her body, her soft lips, and gorgeous smile...
Creak! The sound of footsteps sounded from the stone walkway through the courtyard. Kammy and I quickly parted and turned around to see who the invader was. A small Magikoopa was striding quickly down the path, carrying something black in his arms. I squinted through my spectacles to see the bundle in the Magikoopa's arms. The black shape shifted and then groaned in agony.
"It's okay," the Magikoopa whispered to the figure in his arms, "you'll be okay." Then the shape turned slowly so I could see her face.
It was Kamella. Dark, burgundy blood had dried from a gash above her left eye, and her eyes were filled with pain. I watched her, paralyzed. She was looking right at me now, I wondered if she recognized me. Heat rushed to my face; had she noticed my embrace with Kammy? I stared deeply into her eyes, willing her to look at me and flash me the old familiar smile I love so much. How I longed to run over to her and pick her up in my own arms where she belonged... Then I would embrace her, kiss her, tell her how I loved her and could not survive without her.
But Kamella's eyes were empty and filled with pain, I knew she didn't really see me... not through her pain. Stop. Kamek, I told myself angrily, Kamella is OUT of your life. Forget about her... Find a way to love Kammy instead. Pain shot through my own broken heart, I had to get away from the dreary courtroom, away from Kamella's broken body and Kammy.
don't feel well," I told her briefly, then started towards the door to
the courtroom at a fast-paced walk. Kammy nodded, but frowned slightly.
I didn't look back to see if she had followed me, I just had to get away.
CHAPTER IX: Kamella
I gazed out the window in my bedroom at the dreary, gloomy day outside. It mirrored my mood perfectly: my arm was sending sharp pangs through my body, I was feeling faint, and Kamek was not here to comfort me. I scowled out at the dark sky outside. Nothing seemed to be working out right. My head kept spinning and I felt very lightheaded, probably due to the fact that I hadn't eaten for a day and a half. My fingers were trembling... either from hunger or from rage at the world.
I was furious... at everything. How dare Kamek dump me for Kammy? I had always suspected that there was something between the two, but my suspicions had been confirmed last night. Kamek had been embracing Kammy out in the courtyard... only a day ago and I would have been the one in Kamek's arms. I frowned, still puzzled by what had changed Kamek's mind about me so quickly.
Sighing deeply, I turned away from the window and wandered down the hall... not really thinking of where I was going. As I aimlessly turned a corner, I ran smack into something hard. I stumbled backwards and would have fallen if it had not been for the two, strong arms that caught me before I hit the hard, marble floor. I looked up to see who had caught me, a little part of me hoping desperately that it was Kamek. But it was not.
Hammer Bro smiled down at me. "Hi Kamella! What's up?" Then he noticed the long gash on my forehead that I had received from fighting Mario in the Underground Ghost Ship, and frowned. "Woah, what happened to you?"
"I had to fight Mario again, remember?" I reminded him.
"Oh yeah!" he answered. "Are you sure you can be out of bed so soon?" I noticed that he didn't ask what happened on the Ghost Ship. I supposed it was pretty obvious that Mario had defeated me.
"Magikoopas heal very quickly," I mumbled, not liking to talk about my wounds. They reminded me of defeat... which made me feel humiliated.
"Oh... Well that's good!" Hammer Bro quickly resumed his smile. "You know... There's been something I've wanted to talk to you about. Are you busy?" Curiosity quickly engulfed me; what could Hammer Bro want from me?
"No, I'm not busy..." I trailed off.
"Cool!" Hammer Bro grinned at me happily. "Let's go to the library, we should be able to talk without interference there."
I followed Hammer Bro as he weaved through several corridors to get to the library, wondering why he wanted to talk "without interference." We arrived at the library only a few minutes later. It was a large room with high ceilings, and stacks upon stacks of books lined the many bookshelves that were placed around the perimeter of the library. I had been here on several occasions with Kamek; he was so intelligent... probably due to all of his studying. My heart sank sadly at the thought of Kamek...
"Here, you can sit here," Hammer Bro interrupted my daydreams and pulled out a soft, velvety chair for me.
"Thanks," I replied, grateful to sit in a nice, soft sofa. Hammer Bro sat across from me, also seated in a velvet cushion.
"I've wanted to tell you this since we met, Kamella." Hammer Bro's expression turned serious as he gazed at me. "I've never been in love before... not until I met you, that is. You send off a sort of... spark in me. I love you, Kamella."
I sat shocked in my chair, gazing at him with my mouth gaping open rudely. This had not at all been what I had expected him to say. My first reaction was to tell him that my affections were for Kamek, not him. But then I remembered how Kamek had dumped me for Kammy without a single gesture of remorse. Envy filled my head... What if I could make Kamek jealous? How would he feel if he saw I had replaced him with Hammer Bro? Ahh, sweet revenge!
I could be a good pretender... I would act like I loved Hammer Bro. I quickly replaced my gaping expression with a sweet, flirty smile. "I have never loved another either, Hammer Bro. We are perfect for each other."
Hammer Bro leaned forward and grasped my hands excitedly. "You really think so, Kamella?"
"Of course!" I replied without hesitation. Then I sneakily wound my arms around his neck so we were inches apart. Hammer Bro's face shone with excitement and he gently placed his arms around my waist.
Then we were kissing. It was so different from kissing Kamek's lips. There was no passion in the kisses, they felt empty to me. But I could deal with it to get my revenge on Kamek.
After several moments, Hammer Bro gently lifted his mouth from mine. "Will you be my partner for the masquerade, Kamella?"
Masquerade? Oh yes, Wendy's masquerade... which I had agreed to help her prepare.
"Definitely," I agreed. "Speaking of the masquerade... I had probably go help Wendy get it set up. I did agree to help her, after all."
Hammer Bro's face fell. "Oh... okay. Well, come see me soon, okay?"
"Oh yes," I agreed, "my day wouldn't be complete without you."
Hammer Bro flashed me one of his quick grins. "Okay then."
I quickly left the vicinity and wandered around the corridors, not sure where to find Wendy. All of a sudden, I grew fainter than before... The world started spinning before my eyes... Maybe I should get something to eat... But then all was darkness and I tumbled unconsciously down two flights of stairs and lay there stunned.