Ch 2 - Echoes
Before reaching the rooftop, we had to face the labyrinth of a place that the cubic, old school building of four floors boasted. I had to stop to wonder why this large of a place would be disconnected from the school. Considering the passage of time, this would probably be the last year for this building, as we notice several construction equipment and yellow lines of tape at the ground floor. The number of trees bordering it from the school fields seems to have increased. It's looking even more abandoned than last year. The lack of glass on most windows and the broken or missing doors intensify the vibe.
The sound of the breeze entering the building gives us a mild dose of nostalgia, and the cold halls where students used to flock and gather remind us of that certain inevitability.
The inevitability of separation.
We were here in our first year. So we can only attempt to take turns towards every forgotten corner; the urgency of getting to the rooftop besets our desire to do so.
The five of us grow silent as we march upstairs.
"Hey," Jake swoops in from behind and nudges me. "Do you mind if we stop by the old arts room?"
"Just you and me?" I ask.
He gives me this stare, subconsciously telling me that he's noticed my behavior being off. Out of all the members, he's the one that I trust the most, so I see why not.
"Stella," I tap her on the shoulder as they're already getting far from us. "You girls go on ahead."
She turns around and also gives me a stare, albeit in a different context. I feel her abounding sincerity piercing through my facade. And she silently nods as her hair is gently pushed towards the side, revealing to me not only her concern, but also the feeling that she's done a revelation of her own.
The other two turn towards us after we walk away to an array of hallways. Perhaps it was too late to tell them more, that only a few words were indeed necessary at the moment.
We finally reach the art room.
I am reminded on how I wasn't very proficient in art, and how I only joined the club to learn how to draw. And I did learn.
But, I wouldn't say that it was the only reason.
I go to my favorite spot in the art room: which is obviously by the window. The chairs and tables were no longer there, and so were the canvases and framed paintings. Only dilapidated empty shelves and the decorative stumps lined up against the window which may also serve as substitute chairs remained.
The window perfectly overlooks the entrance and the field, even though it's not such a height. I grow amazed at this, and bring out the Shard just to let it refract the faint light that peers in from the outside. It creates the iconic streaks of colors. And I am reminded of the Spectrum. Somehow, it's no longer disturbing me. The breeze that continues to greet every room in the building maintains a stronghold of comfort within myself.
I didn't notice Jake, who was actually already observing what I was doing, laughing all by himself as it looks like he remembered something.
"You're finally easing up," he says. "This place does hold a lot of memories to it."
"Yeah." I reply. The only thoughts that would come up are the times when I struggled in learning to draw. It was just a hobby for me back then. A lot of things have happened.
As I continually alternate my focus from him and the Shard, his yawn breaks off the nostalgia that I was in. His brown, spiky hair tosses and turns as he finishes stretching.
"So, let's get down to business," he puts his hands together and proceeds to look outside while he stands beside me. "Is the Spectrum still bothering you, even until now?"
"That was a stupid question." I answer in my head. How could it not? But I also felt a conflict towards that answer. It's as if that a part of myself was telling that I actually enjoyed the Spectrum. I couldn't lie towards myself, and had to admit that it was true.
"Probably," I answer, finally keeping the Shard back in my pocket. "And of course, what happened still had to ring in my mind."
Otherwise, I wouldn't consider myself sane by that time.
"But, that's not all now... Isn't it?" He asks as his tone changes.
I can only frown towards how he makes this so tormenting.
"No," I glare at him. "Get on with it."
"Right, right. You've never had the courage to actually man up to it." He sighs. I think about how great of a comeback I can make out of that, but I hesitate anyways.
A long minute of silence passes by as I wait for what he'll be mentioning. I can almost hear a virtual clock ticking in my head, and even imagine how the scenario will turn out to be.
Then, he finally says it.
Upon hearing it, another set of mixed feelings replaced those that were regarded towards the Spectrum.
I groan as a surge of emotions and thoughts alike flood my consciousness.
"I won't force you," he calmly tells me. "But, I'm sure that now is the best time to talk about it, and you haven't been exactly paying attention towards what you feel."
"You should look a little more towards what's around you," he adds. "You're observant, aren't you? Although, analytically, as your Color says so."
His choice of flurry of words made it like he was lecturing me. The damn hypocrite.
The both of us then dismiss ourselves from the mood.
"I think that's enough," he says as the tension dissipates. "Let's leave in a while."
"Touché," I say as I point a finger. "Although, you are quite observant yourself, you've been ignoring it, whereas I just failed to pay attention. That's way worse of a crime, now that I think about it." I finally get the chance to have a say towards him.
"I-Ignore?" His voice shakes, and he slowly backs away. "Y-You're making no sense."
I sigh and decide to cease my assault in respect to him not continuing to bombard me with unnecessary regret. We both shake hands as if to declare a truce, and run fast towards the rooftop, where we left the girls to themselves.