“Hey, I have a question...”
“Hmm? What is it?”
“Do you believe in parallel universes? You know, since the university itself is so big and wide?”
“‘Parallel universes’? No... not really.”
“Yeah, I thought so. Just imagine. What if there’s like another me living in a whole ’nother world? Maybe I can do magic in one, maybe I’m rich in another. It’s so fun imagining the possibilities!”
“You’re just saying that ’cause you’re poor.”
“Ow! What was that for?”
“Get your head together. It’s good to imagine stuff like that, but think about it. We’re almost finished our last year of school. Start thinking about your future.”
“Aww.. lighten up, friend. Just because we have a few months left doesn’t mean we can’t spend it together!”
“How did you even come to that conclusion...? Heh, Anthony and you are just the same.”
“You laughed! Yay, that’s a win in my books.”
Once again, it appeared that she had found herself in a dark void. She felt as it she was blindfolded. Blind, unable to see what was ahead of her clearly. Long, slender fingers reached out in the darkness, trying to find anything, to get a sense at where she was. With a quiet sigh, she stumbled around as she walked cautiously. Step by step, hoping she could feel something with her legs.
This was not the first time she was caught in such places.
A familiar feeling travelled down her spine, making her shiver involuntarily. Fear crept into the corners of her heart. Feeling somewhat paranoid, she turned around, squinting her eyes trying to see what was there. Cerulean blue eyes widened at what she saw and she could not stop the small whimpers as she took steps back.
Vague silhoulettes of hands were stretched out to her, as if wanting to grab her.
She was unable to stop the scream that had voiced out. Adrenaline coursing through her veins, she ran as fast as she could. A random direction, somewhere, anywhere. Just away from that frightening figures chasing her. But no matter what she does, she could not escape. A desperate cry escaped her lips when she felt a hand gripped her leg, causing her to fall.
More and more hands took hold on every part of her body, as if engulfing her in darkness. A pale hand reached out from the dark, followed by a mess of a black hair, trying to squirm away from the shadows. She screamed out in despair.
...But nobody came.
Hope came crashing down when she realised that there was never anyone in the void. Just her alone. Tears lingered at the corners of her eyes as her tight grip on the ground lessened, until she let go, allowing the silhoulettes to drag her away.
What was she thinking? She was alone in the end.
Then, she heard it.
A response. A light in the darkness.
And she crawled towards it, hands outstretched.
“Miss Snow!” A deep voice called out, jolting the woman from her short slumber. Cerulean blue eyes fluttered open as she adjusted her purple framed glasses. She had not realised that she fell asleep. Glancing up nervously at the stern face of her boss, she asked.
“Yes, sir? What do you need?”
Mr. Thompson was an accomplished man, preferring his work over anything else in his life. With his slightly tousled blond hair and dark blue eyes, complete with his formal suits, he became the admiration amongst many female workers, as well as the jealousy among men. Despite that, he did not seem to notice that particular fact.
Unfortunately, he does not exactly tolerate slacking workers and unluckily enough, he caught her at a bad timing.
“Might I ask why were you sleeping?” He asked, narrowing his eyes.
“Ah, sorry, sir.” Her face flushed, embarrassed. She could hear her coworkers whispering at her misfortune, giggling. “I was a little exhausted from working overtime. I didn’t get enough sleep.”
“Are you saying that I’m a terrible boss?”
“What?! No, no-” The black haired woman stopped when she heard the low laugh. Surprised, she looked up at him, noticing how those dark blue orbs were twinkling. She gazed back at the floor, mentally shaking that thought off. Now was not the time for romance.
“Speaking of, do you have your report done?”
“Yes.” She pulled out a drawer and took out a folder, passing it to her boss. “Here you go, sir.”
“Thank you. Try not to let me catch you sleeping again, yes?” He winked at her and turned his attention towards the rest of the employees present. “And the rest of you, I want those reports by tomorrow.”
A chorus of “Yes, boss.” rang in the air as Mr. Thompson strolled into his office, causing the tension to cease to exist. Immediately, some of her coworkers, particularly the women, glared behind her back as she rubbed her face tiredly.
“What?” Arissa Snow glared at her neighbouring deskmate and friend, Seo Ri. She was a foreigner originating from Korea. “Can’t you spare a second to wake me up?”
“I’m sorry.” Her brown eyes held an apologetic glint. “I was about to wake you when he walked in.”
“It’s fine.” She sighed and glanced at the wall clock.
“Alright, I’m leaving.” Arissa began to pack her stuff, putting her laptop as well as her papers into her bag. “Are you staying late?”
“Yeah. I need to finish this by today if I want to rest tomorrow.” Seo Ri replied, tucking a brown strand of hair behind her ear. “Family business, remember?”
“That’s right.” She vaguely remembered her friend talking about it last week. “Good luck then.”
With the lingering gazes of her coworkers, it would seem that everyone was jealous at the fact that their employer talked to her, of all people, Arissa stood and exited the office building she worked in. She took a deep breath, fresh air into her lungs from hours working in a air-conditioning room.
That was when she felt a tremendous headache.
Groaning softly, the black haired woman pressed both hands on the sides of her temple. It felt as if she was being pounded repeatedly, loud ringing echoed in her eardrums. A few concerned by-passers asked if she needed any help, but she could not respond. She barely heard it.
Then it stopped.
She blinked confusedly before waving away the people crowding around her.
What was that? Arissa frowned deeply in thought, and sighed. Whatever. I don’t have time for this.
With that event still lingering in her mind, she turned and walked away.
In a small room, a girl stood there, barefooted. She wore a simple white dress, with black armbands on her wrists. Her long pink hair flowed like a river down her back and her eyes closed gently as she listened to the hum of the engine.
“Lumen status: unstable.” A soft voice murmured, as she waved her hands. Glowing translucent screens of various colours flickered into existence and the pink haired woman examined them, light green orbs processing every information. “Searching for source... thirty percent... fifty percent.. ninety percent...”
“Error. Unable to finish process.” Her eyebrows furrowed as thin lips tilted downwards in a frown. “Scanning for available options. One.. two..”
Just two? She pursed her lips in thought. “Identifying option on-”