Nothing out of the ordinary happens these past few weeks except for the start of classes. It was the same old routine for Eliza. Wake up, eat, study, eat, study more, sleep, dream, wake up. It’s an unbroken cycle for her. Except for tonight, being the exception.
“What do you mean you haven’t written anything!?” Eliza yelled at her phone. On the other side was her partner for the class debate.
“The project isn’t anything that big! It’s just some class activity anyway. It’s not like we’re at a presidential debate or anything. Plus I have more important things to do.” A deep voice replied.
Eliza sighed. “What else could be more important than not being an embarrassment in front of the whole class and to our teacher?”
“Hold on, I have to live through this team fight.” He was silent for a few minutes before he erupted with a booming laugh. “MVP! That’s what you call a good team fight!”
“Are you done? Because clearly, you have other priorities other than to pass this semester. Do me a favor and don’t come begging tomorrow.” Eliza hanged up the phone. She’s done to her part of course, but it’s a group activity. If he fails, so does she. And she doesn’t want any other grade below B+. Eliza grudgingly began his part of the work. She filled in the most important parts, of course. But she kept his part a whole lot simpler compared to her work. She stared at the digital document, which had three pages even though she kept her vocabulary less formal and only went the direct approach of the topic.
Eliza declared she’s done for the day but one quick glance at the clock at her desk that she skipped dinner and it was way past her preferred bedtime. She groaned and went to the kitchen to grab a small bite. Upon opening her fridge, she decided to make a strawberry jam sandwich just to sate her hunger. She changed into her pajamas after her meal. It was quarter past midnight when she finally slept.
Eliza finds herself in a blinding white room, but she knew it’s not exactly a room. It’s Just an empty space for her to fill. Soon, towering infrastructures appeared. Each street in between the buildings displayed various people. She doesn’t really know any of those people, but she isn’t afraid. She knows that these people will not harm her, not that they actually can.
In the distance, there is a fog that covers anything visible in that particular area. She casually strolled into it, finding more people but slowly shifting locations. Soon, the tall buildings are replaced with smaller ones, the streets become narrower and fewer people walked by. She finds herself in front of the small café she frequented in. She climbed five flights of stairs but she doesn’t feel tired from the effort. The café itself is on the rooftop of the building, giving an excellent view of the city. It’s still bright out but the sun is beginning to set. Eliza thinks that watching the sun slowly set over the city is extremely relaxing.
She cringed at the shrill cry of her alarm clock, abruptly cutting off the beautiful atmosphere. She closed her hazel eyes and opened them once more. She’s no longer on the rooftop; instead, she’s at in her bedroom. The alarm clock didn’t stop its war cry until Eliza practically slaps it off.
And so, the cycle continues.
Her dorm-mate is already finished her breakfast when she entered the kitchen. She took the leftover pancake batter her to cook. Settling down with three pieces of pancake and a small amount of syrup, she ate in peace.
Her relationship with her dorm mate, Fate, is a strange one. They’re not really friends with each other but they’ve been sharing the same roof for weeks now to consider each other just acquaintances. Eliza and Fate rarely speak to one another that doesn’t include the maintenance of the dormitory. Fate isn’t the type of person who likes to talk about gossip or mindless chatter. Eliza found that out the hard way by asking about the rumors of her school.
After performing her morning routines, she left the dormitory, double checking the locks on the door before heading out the building. The owner sat behind her desk, peeking over her phone to see who was leaving. She gave Eliza a small nod before returning her attention back to her mobile device.
The morning fog is still present at 6:30 am, providing the streets a chilly breeze. Eliza walked all the way from her dormitory to her school. Other teens already arrived and they are having conversations that Eliza cannot comprehend what their topics are. She looked at her phone to check the time—6:50 am. Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. Her best friend, Phesia, usually arrives before her. She shrugged and headed for her seat which is located in the 4th row of the class and reserved the seat next to her. She grabbed her phone and texted.
Where the hell are you
Where in all circles of hell are you!?
Class is almost starting
Wait, which class are you in?
Aren’t you in English class today with me?
We have English at 8, not 7.
Eliza bolted out of the class. Bystanders gave her weird looks of why she suddenly ran. Her lack of sleep doesn’t really help as she bumped into other students in the otherwise crowded hallway. Blinking away her sleepiness, she finally arrived at the correct class with Phesia thankfully reserved a seat next to her. She slumped down in her seat and sighed. “Long night?” Phesia asked.
“Is it that obvious?”
Phesia shrugged. “Well, knowing you, it’s definitely obvious. What happened anyway? You don’t normally run to class much less get into the wrong one.”
Eliza gave her a look. “Lazy group mates.”
“You were assigned with Mark, right? What kind of group mate is he? The bare minimum lazy or last-minute lazy?”
“He’s neither of those. He doesn’t even care, and thanks to him, I only had like, 5 hours of sleep. He better be thankful that I saved both our asses.”
“You better catch up on sleep then, while our professor isn’t here yet. Don’t worry, I’ll wake you up. I have to catch up on my reading; after all, the main character isn’t slaying any snakes when he’s on hold.”
“Just let me sleep elf.” She smacked Phesia upside her head that ruffled her blonde hair then folded her arms to provide the comfiest makeshift pillow she could do. It didn’t take long for her to fall into slumber once more.
Eliza found herself in a land full of pink clouds which confused her. Her dreams never start out like this; much less she would like it this way. Pink clouds don’t make sense to her. No scientific reason to why it’s colored that way in the first place. Since she’s in a dream, Eliza let it go and walked among the clouds. There isn’t much for her to describe the place other than its bright and colorful. The dream reeked of sunshine and rainbows and that doesn’t improve her mood one bit. She could even hear the happy music that sounded straight out of a visual novel (Phesia forced her to play one, which turned out to be a glitchy horror fest).
She heard a giggle in the distance. This confuses Eliza even more; she never had a dream where her “people” show the slightest emotion. If anything, her dreams are built in world-building, not the character. Curious, she headed towards the sound. There she spots a white winged-stallion, its rider not even holding onto any reigns nor there do any saddle on the equine creature. The rider’s long dark hair flowed with the wind as the stallion flew in and over the clouds. They flew over Eliza as if she didn’t even exist at all.
When the rider finally did notice her, they stopped their little journey and confronted Eliza. The rider was riding side-saddle, she noted. Definitely not a safe way to ride at such speeds.
“What brings a lovely lady such as yourself on this lovely day?” The rider asked.
Eliza replied. “I think the better question is why it is so damn bright here? Ever heard of shadows? Jeez.”
The rider’s green eyes stared at her as if she’s staring directly at her soul.
“I don’t understand. You shouldn’t be here.”
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