Lucia Covas woke up each morning and thought about Matt. She got dressed, washed, ate and thought about Matt. She caught the bus to school and thought about Matt. She sat and stared at Matt.
She didn't notice, but slowly her life was revolving more and more around him. She was young, and thought she knew what she wanted.
Her Dad was a scientist. He told her a friend of his was on the verge of being able to convert water into fuel. She didn't understand why her Dad, lovely Dad, didn't deserve to have discovered it.
On the 2nd May, 1969, Lucia's life changed. She went to school, thinking about Matt, and saw him at the roadside with another girl. A girl with longer, darker hair than her, a better brown tone to her skin, and richer, bigger brown eyes. Lucia couldn't process that Matt hadn't chosen her.
The girl was Greta Marcos, daughter of one of her father's colleagues, the one on the verge of turning water into fuel! Lucia got off the bus and walked away from the school. She couldn't take another day thinking of her lovely Matt. She went home that evening as if nothing had happened. But everything had.
Her father sat at the table that night, tetchy and bouncy as if he had something to say.
"Can you keep a secret?" he asked Lucia and her mother. They agreed.
"My mate's tested his research, and it was right. We can now turn water into fuel!"
In the light of her parents' celebration, Lucia's lips turned white and she fell deathly silent. She didn't understand her hatred to Greta, and wasn't sure if she could control it.
That night, she didn't know what she was doing. She spent a large portion of the night tossing in her bed, until a shaking hand felt downstairs for a knife and turned her mental pain into physical. Tears and blood stained the knife; her muffled moans alarmed her parents. She'd carved a simple crossing pattern into the flesh of her arm.
Her parents distressed. Her Dad cleaned the globdules of dried blood from her arm and put her to bed. He stayed nursing her, while her mother made urgent, hushed phone calls in the hall.
They made her go to school the next day. The dry baking heat of the sun kept her from covering her arms. Her friends were angry and deserted her, Greta arched an eyebrow and edged away. Matt held her arm too tight, though it was intended to be gentle, said nothing and walked away. it bled again where his hand had been. Whispers started around her, hushing as she got closer to the rumours and gossips.
That was the day the press came to Sunset City.
They'd heard about the research, and had come to inteview the scientists behind it.
Lucia's incident was forgotten by the Sunset City dwellers as they celebrated their town's instant fame.
The press left after some hours. They and visiting scientists ere returning tommorow, for a better coverage of the story and copies of the all important research. But for now, it all stayed in the Sunset City research facility.
The nights worried Lucia. She was never quite sure what she was doing, never quite able to think like herself. She stood outside Greta's window that night at 1:32am. Greta was clearly visible from the window, but slept and didn't see Lucia.
Lucia toyed with the idea of killing her. But that would be wrong, wouldn't it? It wasn't her fault Matt loved her, was it? No. No, of course not. It was Greta's father's! For coming to Sunset City, and bringing Greta to steal away Matt's suseptible affection and stealing Lucia's father's glory for himself. And what had brought him here? That damn research facility! That is what should suffer!