As I Wake

Curse this Nonchalant Man!

A man? Why would he be here in the middle of nowhere in the motherland of storms? My eyes couldn't believe what they saw.

He was tall, about six feet, wearing some kind of uniform, I presumed. From bottom to top, he wore blue worn-out sandals that looked like they needed some repair. His pants, blue as well, had a white and blue band around his right leg. Of course, he would be wearing an ordinary long-sleeved blue shirt as well. Whoever this person was, his uniform doesn't have any style. His shirt was covered by a sage vest supplying many snaps and compartments. I could only guess the possibilities each pocket possessed. Most likely inside were different knives, any one of them willingly to be the lucky winner to slice my throat.

His facial appearance was, by far, the most intriguing feature. Well let's face it (no pun intended), there wasn't much competition compared to the rest of his outfit. A navy blue mask covered his chin, mouth, and nose, along with a headband covering his left eye. It had a silver plate with some kind of swirly engraving on it. His only visible eye, his right, looked bored, tired, and serious, all at the same time. It was beyond me why he looked so calm. With a crop of silver-grey hair, that completed his look.

We had a staring contest for what felt like ages. He was drenched and must be cold, but didn't acknowledged it. What was he thinking about? He was so hard to read. Curse this nonchalant man!

My body sat motionlessly as he slowly, stepped towards me. Once again, I was not feeling any emotions, nothing mentally. At least panic should rise within me, but my body stayed still; I stayed still.

Call me crazy, but I felt quite the opposite. Not terrified, instead intrigued. This man was a complete mystery, but he was the first sign of life I'd seen since awakening under that damn tree. I could be in danger, but anything was better than sitting helpless. Either way, I would be on my way to the afterlife.

The Mystery Man was just a foot away as I continued to stare up at him. Curious of his next action, I waited, positive he would pull a knife or some sort of weapon out of that convenient vest of his. But, which?

He opened his mouth and I anticipated what he might say. Maybe it would be demanding like 'Come with me' or maybe he would be blunt and say 'I'm going to kill you'. Maybe he would say…

"Hey," the Mystery Man spoke.

Say… Wait, what. Hey? Hey!? We're in a storm in who knows where and at any given moment, could get struck bylightning or hit by a tree and all he can say was 'Hey!?' Were my ears failing me too?

"Hey," he repeated, squatting down at eye level with me.

How was I supposed to reply to that? 'Oh, hey there, how's it going?' If he hadn't noticed, we're in the heart of this monster storm! Curse this nonchalant man!

I opened my mouth to reply, but my throat was either dry or I was a mute because no sound left my lips. Maybe I should had practiced talking aloud before. Go figure someone would be stupid enough to be walking around during a storm, let alone plan to make small talk. I assumed that if anyone somehow found me, they would have killed me instantly. But, how wrong could I be! This fool wanted to make small talk before he killed. Why doesn't he just dig my grave while he was at it?

As I foolishly tried to speak again, Mystery Man unsnapped one of the pockets to his vest and began to pull something out. I knew it had to be some kind of weapon but still I flinched, stupid reflex. I was ready for whatever came next even if my reflexes wanted to twitch. He continued to pull out… a handkerchief from his pocket.

Immediately, I jarred my head back and scrunched up my face in disbelief. What does the Mystery Man need with a handkerchief? Maybe he wanted to blow his nose or clean his hands before he dirtied them with my blood.

Completely out of his pocket, he took the handkerchief and handed it to me. If I wasn't confused before, I certainly was now. He simply placed it into my filthy hands. The handkerchief was just as boring as this guy's uniform, plain white with no designs on it. With no clue what he wanted me to do with it, I looked at him.

He must have read the puzzlement on my face because he took the handkerchief back. "It's for the wound on your arm. It looks pretty deep and you don't want it to get infected," he said as he began to wrap the plain white handkerchief around my dirty, emaciated arm. "There much better," he claimed proudly, as if he felt accomplished that he helped a poor, half-dead girl out.

All of this was too strange. This man magically appeared and instead of killing me, he helped me. What. The. Hell.

Still squatting, he asked, "So where'd you come from? It looks like you were escaping from something."

Even if I could talk, there wouldn't be an answer for him. My useless memory didn't recollect anything, especially where I came from. I shrugged my shoulders because, pathetically, that was all I was capable of.

"I see. Well, let's get you out of here. It isn't safe for either of us right now."

From his face, there was no need to show him that I was exhausted. He could already tell from how disheveled I looked. It didn't take a genius to figure out that I couldn't move anywhere on my own.

Without even consulting with me, he picked me up. But, I don't struggle as he carried me, bridal style, to wherever this strange man's mind planned to take me.

As he walked, beyond his face, I could see the sky. The black swirling clouds before were beginning to calm. It cleared has birds began to chirp, the sign of survivors. The rain wasn't coming down in bucket , only a mist remained. It was getting brighter and felt as if my spirits were brighter too—not focused on death, but on survival. I was actually going to find a safe shelter after all.

I tried to communicate by mouthing the words. Who are you?

He looked down at me and smiled behind his mask. "Just call me Kakashi."

Ka-ka-shi. I mouthed the words silently before my heavy eyelids began to close and was welcomed to darkness once again.

Curse this nonchalant man…


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