Eric: Who is She?
For some reason, I can’t shake out that scene from my head when the girl who helped me was punched for being a little late. I was shocked and more shocked at how no one around said anything and went about as if nothing had happened. Also, the girl didn’t say anything either. With the way she got up again, it seemed that it was the routine she was expecting to be hit. I shudder at the thought. The way she talked was cautious and quiet. What was her story? I keep thinking about her, that man, and the weird girl I met earlier as I set up my stuff in my bedroom. I’ve brought nothing other than a huge bag of clothes and my sketchbooks.
This bedroom is enormous, with a sitting area on one side, a study area, and a huge double bed. Still, it leaves vast space to walk around. It has tall wide windows on the two sides. One side faces the town below, and the other faces the forest. Trees in the forest are giant, even taller than the house which is on a hill.
After setting up my cupboard and shelves in the room, I open up my sketchbook and begin to sketch the girl who’d helped me. My grandmother told me to stay away from all the town matters but a girl getting hit just because she was five minutes late isn’t just anything to be ignored. I want to confront that man or even that girl for what happened.
A soft knock at the door brings me out of my moment, and I hide the sketchbook under my books on the table.
The girl who’d practically shoved her face and all at me through my car’s window enters the room, and I spring up in shock. She is the last person I was expecting to come knocking, ok, maybe the second last but still.
“That wasn’t the greeting I was expecting!” She chirps and settles herself on the sofa. I thank God it isn’t the bed.
“What are you doing here? How did you get here?” I ask her, frustrated.
“I told you, your grandmother sent me to pick you up, but you dumped me by that lousy Trade D Crops!” She makes a face at me and puts her feet on the table.
“But that doesn’t explain your presence here! And feet off the table, please!”
“Ah, that!” She twirls her hair strand, “My mother is just like Mrs. Headley’s daughter here, so I come and go in this house as if it were my own minus first and second floors, of course.”
I headdesk and internally cry out at my luck.
“Aww, don’t be sad. I can never take your place. Oh, and I’m Leslie, by the way. Leslie Adams!”
I give her thumbs up without lifting my head from the table.
She chuckles and throws a cushion at me, “I will see you soon then!”
She opens the door and turns to leave but stops in the door, “By the way, stay away from Adria. I saw you looking at her at Trade D Crops. She is dangerous. Also, don’t let your grandmother know that you met her.” She smiles widely as I turn around to look at her, my eyes narrowing.
“Why is she dangerous?”
She grins, “Now you’re interested. She was found at the gate of Baskerville B a year ago. She was in bad condition with her clothes torn to shreds; her skin all dried and parched, so she wasn’t in her senses. She never told what happened to her, and eventually, people stopped asking!”
“And that makes her dangerous because....?”
Leslie gives me a warning look. Gone is the amusement which I thought was her default. “Ok, I will stay away, don’t worry!” I fake a smile and wave at her so she could leave.
As soon as I hear her going down the steps, I lock up my bedroom door and take out my sketchbook again. I quickly complete the sketch and look at it. I didn’t see her eyes properly nor her hair, for they were tucked away in her cap, and her eyes were shadowed when she was talking to me at Trade D Crops. Other than that, I’ve got her other features right. She is pretty, but her face had been expressionless. If not for her body language when she got anxious at Trade D Crops, I wouldn’t have guessed what she was thinking or feeling. I turn over the page and start writing:
1- Dangerous (according to Leslie)
2- Outsider, like me but was found one year ago. (What’s with the outsider thing anyway?)
3- Was found in bad shape (according to Leslie)
4- Lives in Baskerville B
There should be more, and there is more to her than Leslie told me. I’m sure of it, and now I am more curious.
I tuck the sketchbook in my table’s drawer and lock it up before hiding the key in my clothes. I don’t trust Leslie with the way she barged into my room and warned me. I pull curtains and turn off the light. It’s already 10 pm, and I’m tired from a long drive, so I quickly shower and get into bed.
That night I have a weird dream. It’s vivid, but the borderline is hazy:
I see Adria running away from me, and I try to call her, but at the sound of my voice, she screams, “Don’t come near me. Don’t. PLEASE, LEAVE ME ALONE!!”
I try to tell her that it’s OK, but she starts screaming every time I say something. She runs into the forest, barefoot and scared. Terrified that she’ll get hurt, I follow her, but suddenly my legs are knocked out from under me, and I fall. Then I see nothing but darkness and hear a whisper in my ear. The voice is dangerously beautiful, and it sends a chill down to my spine, and I jerk awake.
“Stay away from our girl.”