Weekly Sanity

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Chapter 20

January 24, 2014

At this point everyone in the locality knows that Chloe is dating that horrid child of the devil. Chloe had a fairly good reputation despite her weird tendencies. People started calling me by my first name, and at the same time they also started calling Chloe names. Terrible names as constant as the untiring whispers of 'freak'.

Also, there were also some that wouldn't give their blessing on Chloe and the freak's current affiliation. Apparently, most think that I somehow swayed Chloe into it by means of blackmail. At least, my 'parents' doesn't seem to really care but I bet they're plotting something. They made my life miserable for six whole years, why would they stop now?

Then, another thing that kept popping in my head was about how Chloe put so much effort for the both of us. I mean, I don't know anything about this. I don't have older siblings to look up to for tips regarding dating. Seam, my mother's girlfriend's sister, doesn't count, unless of course, you would consider that having a different boyfriend every other day as good example.

In school, if it wasn't for Zec and Mel, I wouldn't survive the fact that everyone kept parting Chloe and I apart. Every time we tried to see each other, (heck we belong to the same class) everyone seems to have a valid excuse to keep us from talking to each other. It might be all in my head but really, from serious "Mr. Social Studies wants you" and "We have volleyball meeting" to "Ooh, Chloe, please help me water the blackboard and erase the plants". Well I guess it seem perfectly believable. It's the type of craziness Chloe would react to… but in all seriousness.

Chloe was almost never around anymore to the point that she was avoiding me but everyone might just be real good at hiding her from me. Maybe, the teachers were also part of all of this too, evident with their disapproving looks directed at me. At least, Mel and Zec are pretty decent company. They keep me away from being too lonely. They would randomly come out from somewhere, like now, and one of them would stick to my left and the other to my right holding my arms like I'm their kid or something and they were supposed to be my parents. I feel most uncomfortable at the thought. I felt so small, and it doesn't help that I'm shorter than both of them (at least Chloe's shorter than me).

"Hey Miles, smile for once in a while," cooed Mel. Yes, cooed. It bothered me. Not because it was embarrassing, well partly, but mostly because Chloe does it all the time and it made me miss her more despite that she's just probably in the same building as I am today.

"Now, now, Mel, stop it-" Zec shook his head. It's good to know that at least he's on my side. "He's a big boy now, and big boys don't need to be cooed at," Zec pats my head while trying his best to hide his obvious snicker. I hate him.

I wish that they stop that- especially the part where they would hold my arm on each side, like I'm some kind of kindergartener. I'd sometimes pull myself away with force but the two of them would just laugh it off. I would then realize that I just let them hold me like that all the way from the volleyball court to the Disciplinary Committee, with a distance enough for hundreds of people to gawk at me.

After that, they dragged me all the way to the school auditorium. We call it that but it's actually an unfinished basketball court filled with dirty white plastic seats. Weirdly enough, they're still holding my arms like I'm some kind of five year old when we took our seats. They seem to be enjoying this immensely. There was supposed to be a program event this afternoon and we're asked to attend instead of our usual Friday afternoon class.

The ever so deafening 'silence' of the students filling the venue stopped when Mr. Principal made his way to the made-shift platform to give the opening remarks. I'm kind of fond of this old man for some reason despite being overly strict with the rules and despite the fact that he would always have that 'don't waste my time' aura around him. He tried to make a non-boring speech, tried to be funny at some point. Though, it ended and the audience, including me, was not sure if we should laugh or not. A few rings of laughter did escape.

"Ah well, now on to the ceremony." Mr Principal finished with an obvious scowl. From where I'm seated I cannot guess if that scowl was because of the limited number of audience who laughed with his humor or the fact that someone would dare laugh at him.

Moving on, a guy in the senior year that was probably acting as the emcee took over.

"Thank you, Mr. Principal for that interesting-" He cut that sentence short when the Principal turned back. The emcee adjusted his collar and a few giggles escaped. "Anyway- as you may have known, every year we hold this event to give recognition for the people who performed extra well in their academic and extracurricular activities as per tradition. This year, seven recognitions were to be given out. Let's not delay this any further,"

I'm actually listening to the event now, unlike when Mr. Principal was still speaking. Thinking back, this is my first time in the ceremony. I skived the last two times since I entered this school.

"For bringing our school to the National Chess Competition, Ms. Santos of Year 1F."

As I looked up to see a shy bespectacled first year girl receive a certificate, a thought lunged in. Didn't Chloe's volleyball team enter the highschoolers' Nationals for women last year? Wasn't she their ace?

"For getting the Best Essay Award during an event of the National Language Week," the emcee paused to clear his throat with a cough that strangely sounded like 'national level'. "Mr. Palacol of Year 3B."

Maybe Chloe will also receive an award. Well, I guess there's also a chance that they would give the award to the captain instead. What am I thinking? If I wanted to see I could just come to her place later, that's the plan then.

"For scoring 4th Place in the entrance exam of the National University."

I fail to see thrill of being handed out a certificate but I guess it was honor enough to be recognized publically in something you did.

What would I feel if I get one of these? But that's impossible. I didn't enter any extracurricular.

Though my mind betrayed when an inescapable illusion suddenly blurred my vision, and disabling me to hear the name of the senior who top-notched in a college entrance exam. I see myself about to get that plain piece of paper that certifies whatever honor I had given the school. Everyone would look at me nothing like what they usually look at me with. I see Chloe from afar boasting me to her friends-

"For bringing to the women's volleyball team of the school to the nationals for the first time, Ms. Garcia of Year 3A," The announcer added, "The whole team wanted her to have the certificate as their ace."

My vulgar daydream was forgotten in an instant and was replaced with sudden pride for some reason. Next, I waited for Chloe to ascend to the stage from somewhere. The hall's applause suddenly quieted down to murmurs as a person that is not Chloe go up the stage instead and whispered something to the emcee's ears.

The emcee coughed, again, to clear his voice, a bad habit of his I guess, and he started to speak.

"I was just informed that, unfortunately, Miss Garcia won't be able to join us today due to the fact that she's currently confined in a hospital. I'm sure I'm speaking for everybody when I say we wish for her complete recovery-," I wasn't able to hear the rest properly, as I focused on looking at the guilty faces of people on my either side clutching on arms knowing my desire to escape.

"LET GO!" I bellowed that I'm sure that it had reached the front. The two wasn't budging, keeping me bonded to my seat like the as harsh as the way they were silent and secretive to me these past few days.

The question: "Why didn't anyone tell me?" was remained unanswered and will be remained unanswered. I didn't care. I'm not even angry at them. I just wanted them to let go off me so I can get to her.

I tried to calm myself down and think reasonably. Zec and Mel thought it wasn't necessary anymore for them to keep a tight grip on me. I waited until my breathing goes back to normal as that was the moment they completely let their guard down.

I forced arm away from Zec's grip and then Mel's. I got up and Mel tried to embrace my arms but I already turned around missing her targeted arm. Zec was a bit slow to respond quickly making it possible for me to run away towards the exit, ignoring the fellow that was probably belonged to the event committee that tried to stop me. Zec and Mel were probably still onto me so I used the front gate instead of the more obvious and less guarded rear gate.

When I finally about to face the chance of getting out of the keyhole of the front gate, I was confronted with the realization that there's a high chance that Chloe was not even in any hospitals in the three-mile radius. And what if she's in a bigger hospital out of town? These thoughts were dancing along in my mind as I plead to the guard to let me leave school for an emergency.

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