What Follows

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4.3: Lost Things and Broken Legs

`do you think anger is a sincere emotion...or the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain?`

I should probably freak out about how Sierra seems to stare right through my soul (more of at a snake that Tobias is staring at with immense fascination), but I’m disarmed by how nervous she seems.

She’s wearing black, leather pants, a black, plain top, and white converse. Her dark hair is pulled up in a messy bun with a pair of sunglasses pushed up against it. She looks like her typical self. No smudged eyes or red cheeks.

When Tobias is done with the snake-staring, he straightens up, and we both watch Sierra hastily open her small, black Prada handbag.

“Your best friend?”

“Yes-” I say as she pulls out a mirror, and tries resting it on some kind of a pit in the tree bark. She then pulls out her blush, and a brush.

“She’s applying makeup? Now?” Tobias asks, and I frown.

Sierra is heavily applying blush on her cheeks, and nose before flipping the container close, and throwing them back in her bag. She looks at herself in the mirror and pouts. She then grimaces before smiling sadly.

“She’s -er- making faces?" Tobias comments.

I don’t reply because I’m too busy watching Sierra violently rub her eyes. I narrow my eyes at her before she drops her hands with a satisfied sigh, exposing her now smudged, wide eyes.

She then quickly peers into her mirror before she triumphantly smiles, and makes more faces.

“She’s making sad faces-” I choke out, feeling quite breathless.

Tobias doesn’t say a thing, and just heavily sighs as Sierra reaches for her mirror that drops on the yellow-leaves-laden ground. Sierra grunts to herself before bending over, and dropping her bag in the process too, spilling its insides on the ground.

I told you. She’s too nervous. It’s confusing.

Sierra crouches down and angrily picks her bag with her shaky hands. She then quickly piles the dropped things inside, before picking her now broken mirror. She violently throws it away, and gets up, reaching for her phone.

She calls someone, and that someone apparently picks up.

“Mason?” She sniffs, and I wonder if she wants to make him think that she’s drowning in her tears of immense sorrow for her lost friend.

“She’s faking her sadness-” Tobias whispers sadly, and I inhale deeply.

“Where are you, babe?” She says softly despite the frown on her face and her clenched fist.

“I can’t believe it-” I say in terrible shock. “I can’t believe she’s not mourning my death. I can’t-”

Sierra is listening to the other side of the phone with her lower lip caught between her teeth, and her feet tapping the ground. And it’s impossible how the hatred emerging from my pit seems to leave a trail of non-extinguishable fire in my non-existant guts. It’s almost impossible how I’m overcome with an intense desire to smack her in the face.

It’s almost impossible how this makes me wish I was alive to show her how much of a bitch she is. How much she’s a fucking traitor. I want to take things in my hands like a big girl this one time, and I can’t do anything but watch her insult me in the worst possible way.

Because as I stand there, a few feet away from her, she’s easily getting my heart broken by her little, red nose tip, and her fakely flushed cheeks that were meant to honour my death.

I can’t even glance at Tobias because I know I must look like a nightmare. I might’ve bared a fang or two (I just sincerely hope that this spiritual body ejects fangs. I also hope to be able to freak the fuck out of her like ghosts do in horror movies).

By the time I’m done hating her to the point of simply being too hurt too look at her be herself, she had already hung up on Mason. Tobias seems, however, relaxed with a twig in his hand that he points at Sierra.

My eyes widen at the fact that Sierra, who’s currently scrolling through her phone, might see the twig floating around.

“What are you doing?!” I snap, and Tobias snaps his head in my direction.

“I’m aiming it at her heart-” He simply says, pushing the twig forward.

“She can see it!” I rant out. “You’ll freak her out-”

“Well, aren’t you a sweetheart?” He says, making a sour face. “I’ll only be at rest when this petite twig pierces her petite, stone-hard heart.”

“But she can see it!”

“She obviously cannot-” Tobias states. “As long as anything is in my hand or on me or whatever, it’s not visible. It’s like, it gets transported to our realm. However-” He smiles wickedly. “-if I do drop it, I might as well give her a well-deserved cardiac arrest. Which do you think is a better way to dispose of her?”

I blink at Tobias in surprise. “Where did the poet go? The sunsets, and all?”

“We all have our bad sides-” Tobias shrugs. ”She triggers me-”

“I just don’t understand-” I say calmly, and composedly; in fact, I’m impressed at how I am capable of talking straight without sniffing, and crying like the loser I am up till now. “Why does she hate me? What have I done?”

Tobias gives me an overall glance with his hazel eyes, runs a hand through his hair, and then says nothing. I sigh and look back at Sierra who’s busy watching the people from behind the tree.

I look down at the ground, thinking of why I’m still standing here when God has apparently given me the little freedom to get away from her, and her foul-smelling betrayal. Why am I still drawn to her, and her fake blush, and tears? Why am I okay with getting my heart broken even though I know I can ignore her?

I guess we’re all somehow drawn to or problems. Or perhaps they’re drawn to us. What I’m saying is, there’s a definite attraction, and there’s no way out. No running from what we’re drawn to. Because our problems are little pieces of us, wanting to come back home.

“Maybe we should just go-” I say despondently, feeling light-headed.

“Wait-" Tobias announces while staring at the foot of the tree that Sierra is leaning against. “Can’t you see it? The blinking?”

I slowly look where he’s pointing, and truly, I notice a red light blinking under a heap of dead leaves.

“This wasn’t there before. It fell out of her bag-”

I stare more at he leaf heap in immense curiosity. I glance at Tobias who silently cocks his head toward the ground, urging me to check it out.

“I mustn’t-”

Tobias looks puzzled at my response. “What’s wrong with you?” He narrows his eyes on me. “Has she something against you? You’ve been acting nice ever since you saw her, and it’s sincerely worrying me-”

“I don’t want to take something hers, and then get her to freak out-” I say easily.

“She doesn’t care about you-”

Getting infuriated by his insensitivity about it, I snap. ”I do!”

Tobias shakes his head. “Don’t you wanna know why she hates you? Why she’s like this?”

I glance at Sierra who’s back at scrolling through her phone. “I do-” I sigh. “Unfortunately-”

Tobias then lifts his hands, and brows triumphantly before approaching the tree’s base, and kneeling right in front of it. Sierra is just an inch away from him- in fact, Sierra’s shoe tip is going right through Tobias’ shin.

Tobias uses both his hands to uncover what apparently is another phone. He picks it up and turns his head to me with a grin. I roll my eyes and wonder how Sierra will never find this phone unless we somehow leave it for her in this dimension. And I wonder if that’s why sometimes when I was alive, things just got lost. They just disappear and reappear on their own accord.

Maybe, really, it isn’t their own accord. Maybe, it’s spirits (or whatever) like us who take our things to other dimensions, and then drop them off when they’re bored with them.

It’s haunting to think that I’ve once touched something another dead soul has touched.

Tobias gets up and gives me the phone in my hand.

“Now-” He smirks. “-we can investigate-”

“There’s probably nothing on that phone-”

“One way to find out-” He says. “Oh, and now we may leave-”

I give Sierra who’s still staring into her phone a final glance before Tobias holds my forearm, and drags me away from her, and back onto the walking aisle that leads to the church.

Being back again where I can hear people’s chatter, and children’s laughter over the sound of my non-existent heart, and the crunch of dead leaves under Sierra’s shoes, seems much pleasanter. It feels like I’ve really connected myself back to reality, and that I’m really not stuck in a dimension where an only hateful Sierra exists.

“Check the phone!” Tobias urges when we’re finally standing by the church’s wide-open doors. People are just entering: some I’ve recognized, and others I haven’t. Obviously, what will be to Sierra’s thrill, I’ve just even seen Mason slip through while blowing his nose.

I look at the BlackBerry in my hands and press it open with a lot of anticipation, and fear of what could be hidden among it’s many, many buttons. I blink at the black screen and wince when it flashes how it’s low on battery, and immediately shuts down.

"Brilliant-” I whisper unpleasantly under my breath as Tobias tsks.

“We’ll need to find a charger-” He comments.

“Well, the next time we’ll head back to Sierra’s place could be I don’t know when-” I say bitterly.

"Well...there’s another way-” Tobias says with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

I stare at him and arch a brow.

“We can steal one-”

I almost laugh at how ridiculous this sounds. “You really want God to be mad at us-”

“Well, if God led us to this-” He points at the phone in my hand. “There must be a reason. And to find this reason, we must charge the phone-”

I shake my head. “No-”

“Look, we have this whole city to explore, and we haven’t been sucked back to the Darkoom yet, so what’s your excuse, huh?” He studies with his bright irises, and I suck in a breath.

“Yeah, fine, okay-” I say, throwing cautions in the air. “Let’s go shoplifting-”

Tobias grins widely at me, his eyes locking mine. It is almost a magical moment. A moment of freedom, and wide smiles.

“You’re really growing on me-” He tells me breathlessly. “Let’s go break a leg!”

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