Sitting on a wooden chair, she held a worn out book in her small hands. Sunlight peeked through the slightly parted drapes hanging from the glass window on her left side, kissing her soft features, illuminating them in a faint golden glow.
Greyish-blue eyes were fixated on the tiny words, trailing after each line, lowering to hurriedly reach the end of the page and then skidding back up in the shadow of her long raven lashes to start a new page. Similar to her curled eyelashes, long locks of jet black hair were tamed in a messy bun on top of her head. Occasionally a stray strand would find an escape out of it, lingering in the corner of her vision, disturbing her peaceful reading, causing her to click her tongue before pushing the wild tress behind her ears.
Every once in a while, rapidly skimming through the text, her eyes would squint, crinkling the corners of her eyes with a few laughing lines before straightening up again, leaving no trace of their presence behind. She seemed like a reader who emotionally bonded with the characters, feeling their each and every sentiment while reading a book.
The library and the people around her appeared to have dissolved into a blob of colors as she kept immersing herself deeper and deeper inside the book she was currently reading.
Suddenly a group of people sitting on the table in front her erupted into a fit of laughter shocking her with the unexpected sound as the book she had been holding fell out of her hands. Soon, the small chuckles were closely followed by the shushing of the middle aged librarian glaring daggers at them.
‘I should’ve been socializing as well,’
She huffed as the thought crossed her mind,
‘…with friends I don’t have.’
She had specifically chosen a college out of her own continent so that she could make a new name for herself, start anew.
She wasn’t a loner in her previous school. She did have acquaintances, but that was all she had.
No close friend.
No one she could trust.
It had been like this for a long time.
“Faith,” Someone called her name, breaking her chain of thoughts.
The chair beside her screeched loudly, leading her to whip her head around only to find April holding her book in her hands, smiling down at her.
She couldn’t help smiling back at the girl beaming down at her, “Yes, April”
April was a petite blonde with big blue eyes. Her soft features made her look like a real life doll. By nature, April was a social butterfly. She had this special quality to charm everyone she met with her bubbly personality, befriending them immediately. Coincidentally, they shared most of their classes. That was how Faith knew her.
“We’re planning on going on a short trip. You know, travelling around, visiting the nearby towns. Would you like to come?”
Trailing off, she looked at April’s questioning eyes, contemplating her own decision.
She did want to go. She was tired of being stuck in this new place as the new kid, but an unnamed fear was holding the ‘yes’ down on the tip of her tongue. She was afraid, afraid of burdening others. She didn’t want to tag along just to become their baggage in the end. She had had these insecurities for a long time, insecurities that ate away at her confidence slowly and turned her into a nervous wreck.
‘What should I do?’ She thought out to herself, chewing her plump rosy lip.
“Come on. You’ve been cooped up in this college since our admission. Let’s go. It would be fun.”
This was her chance of a change. She had travelled a long way for this. Maybe she’d be able to make new friends on this trip. Maybe, she would indeed have fun.
With that little bit of self-assurance, she looked up at April and smiled.
“No, I’m not liste-” April’s eyes widened,
“What did you just say? You’ll come? Yes! I promise you Faith, you won’t regret it.”
That bubbly girl kept babbling non-stop about their trip details while Faith’s inner turmoil slowly drowned out April’s chirpy voice into nothingness.
‘I hope it doesn’t end up turning into one big mistake.’
She was excited as well as nervous for her upcoming trip. She kept having second thoughts about the decision made by her in the spur of the moment. What if she did something stupid and became a laughing stock? What if they thought her to be too boring and she ended up becoming the ultimate loner of the college?
By the time the day of departure arrived, she had already given herself hundreds of pep talk sessions,
“Whatever happens. I can at least reassure myself that I tried. I tried.”
So with this resolution in her mind, she boarded the train with others.
The place they had in their mind was Rye, a medieval town in East Sussex. There were three girls, April, Alex and Claire and two boys, Duke and Caleb accompanying her on this trip. All of them were nice to her, but she couldn’t keep up with their talks. They knew each other so well. She felt out of the place.
She sat silently, smiling once in a while. No one noticed how she slipped out of the conversation as she diverted her gaze away from them and placed her head against the cool glass window.
’I’m going to have the time of my life on this trip,’ She thought to herself silently as her eyes suddenly started to lose focus on her blurry surroundings.
A grave voice called out to her as she suddenly found herself standing alone in pitch black darkness, unable to see anything except for a never ending sea of darkness swallowing her from every direction.
“Faith,” The voice called out her name again, this time with more aggression.
“Who.. Who are you?” Her voice came out shakier than her expectations.
Gradually, the curtain of darkness embracing her lifted a bit, giving her a subtle peek of what rested beneath her. At first, she could only register melted blobs of colors sprawled across a black canvas which soon started merging together to form an appreciable picture.
There was a man, clad in black slacks, kneeling bare chest on the floor. His face was hidden from her vision yet she couldn’t help but stare at the mysterious silhouette hanging his head low whilst his shoulder shook with continuous jerky movement, it appeared as if he were crying. A sudden urge to place a comforting hand on his exposed pale shoulders hit her out of nowhere, but before she could set her plan in action, his deadly voice once again rang through the emptiness they were trapped inside,
“Why did you do it, Faith? Why?!”
All she saw was his white fangs glinting dangerously close to her face before he lunged towards her.
She woke up gasping for air, looking around frantically, calming down only when she found April’s familiar face peering down at her. There was a look of alarm etched all across her face,
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah, just a bad dream.”
“Get your bag sleepy head. We’re here already.”
April’s announcement caused her to whip her head around in record time almost snapping it in the process.
Everyone had left except for them.
‘Way to start making new friends.’
Blushing with embarrassment, she picked up her bag while trying to pat her face nonchalantly to see if there were any traces of drool left on there.
“No. You didn’t drool, dummy.”
Ending her sentence with a little chuckle, April started walking out of the train leaving Faith to turn redder than she already was.