Chapter 1 - The Beginning
Copyright © DenGlemtePrinsesse, 2019
For the nth time, I cautiously put the cabbage in the basket he's holding. Gentle enough not to awaken the sleeping dragon I am avoiding, the very moment we stepped out of the house. To my surprise, his hand stopped mine from getting into the basket. I looked up to him, questioning.
He took the cabbage from my hand, flipping it to the other side, justifying his action.
"Oh." I tried to smile brightly to his poker face as I get a replacement of the damage cabbage, then smiled more brightly as I put a new one.
"That's the last on the list. Can we eat before we―" The annoyance on his face had stop me. And before I knew it, he was already there, making his way to the cashier.
It's been two months since the last day of summer vacation when my Mom had gone to US with my Dad and my elder sister. The reason for the sudden dispersal, I wish I hadn't known. It's only me and my brother who were left here in the country for educational purposes. Since my brother is the oldest, he insisted that he's independent enough to live alone, and as for me, my Mom brought me to her best friend, Aunt Joyce and asked her to take good care of me.
Since Aunt Joyce wanted my stay to be free, she and Mom had a hard time convincing one another. They transferred my things as soon as she said yes and finally agreed that my Mom will pay half of the house expenses. And then everything was settled.
Their house is fine, there are three bedrooms on the second floor and two on the first floor plus the master's one. The house isn't too big, but it's comfortable to accommodate people. They gave me one of the three rooms upstairs, the biggest.
Aunt Joyce is kind and so does his husband, Uncle Jayson, they were in their early 40s like my Mom. Their nephew, Dave, who happens to live with them also gave me a warm welcome. Although he's a year older than me, I never find it hard to get along with him. Dave has always been nice and considerate towards me. He seemed to be somewhat like a real brother to me.
Everything and everyone are all completely fine except for one, Mac.
Ever since the day I transferred here he never fails to make me feel outcast. He always gives me those intimidating stares, the cold treatment and one-liner response- sometimes none at all. I don't understand why he treats me like that, that's why I had extended my ways to understand. But as I'd come to wrap up how things will end today, I had to admit it won't be easy.
"Thank you, Sir. Come again." The counter girl smiled at him. I was about to get one of the three full size grocery bags over the counter but he did it first. Gentleman enough not to let me carry any of those heavy bags, I know there's still kindness in him. He must have been just too picky to when and whom he'll let it show.
"Walk faster." He said, impatient.
I kept my pace behind him. Afraid to walk too close to irritate him, and too far to get lost. We stop just right before the exit of the mall, his back still facing me. I revolved my eyes from floor to floor, killing time and avoiding the awkward silence. I saw bunches of girls walking pass the entrance, their eyes were glued on Mac, but he doesn't seem to notice. He's still looking straight to where Dave had vanished earlier.
At the bottom of the escalators, straight and not so distant from where we were waiting, stands a small chocolate kiosk that above all the booths in here, had caught my attention.
"Can I just go and check that out. I won't take long, I promise." I asked, walking in front of him, pointing. He followed my fingers, and after a matter of searching, his eyes landed on me. He must have realized that the kiosk is not that far and that they can easily call me once Dave had arrived, so he didn't bother to object. Sure, he's still wearing his poker face on, but the fact that there was no official presence of objection coming from him, I took it as a yes.
"OMG! Don't look up." One of the people behind me said. If her statement was sincere and that she really didn't want her friend to look up, she might want to consider reverse psychology. Anyone who'll hear that will be tempted to look up, and so I did. They were talking about the guy on the second floor, he's alone there so I assumed.
"What was he... never mind, let's go home."
"See? I told you not to look up."
"I'm sorry, I was curious."
"You're not supposed to be here." And then suddenly, the voice was too close. So close that it appeared to be intended for me. I looked back to the girls behind me, but it doesn't seem to be from them, they weren't even looking at me.
Halfway through my destination, I felt a spasm of odd sensation went through me. And then, I saw several things happening simultaneously. The people, coming from different directions started bumping me. As if the mall is not large enough to make room for everybody. Every bump was followed by a questioning look, eyeing me for my sudden stopover, but even I couldn't explain why. Abruptly, everything began spinning round. I tried to look back to Mac, but with all the circular movement, I couldn't distinguish him from the others. I walked forward and quick in search for a support but the movement had worsened my situation. Everything in my vision started fading, not a second later everything's black. But, despite the darkness, funny that I can see stars. Not like those shown in the movies, revolving on the heads of the characters whenever they hit something hard and became disoriented. I only saw five small stars, all was regal.
The first two, green and red, was the farthest. They were positioned firm and too close to one another. The third one was a light blue, and it was moving, fast approaching. But, despite the entertainment that the stars had given me, I was suddenly anxious, and frightened. The environment was alarming, like something doesn't seem to be right, and it was never calm. My knees suddenly turned jelly that I lost my balance. It was obvious because the position of the stars was changed. And there I saw the fourth one, it was purple, it was the highest. Like the first two, it was immobile. And then, I felt like I was shaking. That's when I saw the last star, the white one. The brightest, steadfast and not so many inches in front of me. It was the closest.