We’re sitting across from each other amongst the dinning table, just Void and me. I can tell he’s sad, by the way his head lowers, he's brown hair covering his face, his tongue dead silent. Its a tough day for sure, and was bound to become tougher by the minute.
Silence had filled the vast room since the awaking of dawn, a room in which we'd spent many days within. For it was our very own home. A home full of memories and laughter. A home where if you looked at it from the outside it may just look like a house, on the inside though it was a place of comfort. But with the sudden silence that day, it no longer felt anything like home. Home is a safe place, a place where you can return to whenever you need comfort, but this was no safe place anymore. The truth is the silence was just deceiving, as within a few hours this building was bound to go up in flames, up in screams. And at the moment I knew how much both him and I longed for the next few hours to pass quickly but we both know there’s no possible way for time to speed up.
“Nyerie, what do you think will happen after today?” Void asked softly, as he lifted his head up. You could tell he hadn’t been sleeping well, by the bags under his blue eyes and the tired glare he held.
“I’m not sure, plus I’d rather not discuss it.” I replied. “At least not here, we could be heard, remember?” He rolled his eyes and continued poking around at his oatmeal using his spoon the utensil filling the room with obnoxious clingy sounds.
Void was never fond of the unknown, he never liked the feeling of not knowing what could happen and not having the future in his control. I on the other hand never had any control over my future, and never tried too. I guess I just never wanted to hold myself accountable for anything that could or had happened.
“Why’d you even agree to this in the first place? It’s so unlike you.” He questioned. If I’m being honest I wasn’t even sure why I had agreed to Victor’s plan, but I had and for whatever reason there was no backing out. I couldn’t just tell Void, though, that I had no idea what I was doing. Cause then he’d worry, like he usually does. I had to come up with some excuse.
“I know. I just - you know, decided it was for the best. How about you?” I asked, my voice trembling in places I wish it wouldn’t.
“It’s personal.” He replied slowly. I didn’t know what he meant by personal, but I knew it wasn't the time nor place to ask. Since a fellow staff member had walked past our quiet dining hall, peeking in for a second or two before returning to their soon to be interrupted morning.
“Hey, I know, let’s visit the roof before the gathering.” Void whispered his voice full of excitement this time as he stood up. "You know distract ourselves for a bit from this anticipating day ahead of us." His hands had begun collecting our breakfast dishes that were still full of food. Making it easy to notice that none of us contained the appetite to have eaten not even a single speck of oatmeal. I frankly don’t think I’ll ever have the appetite to touch any sort of food again. Then yet again I don’t think I’ll be able to live if I don’t eat something. So for good measures I quickly popped a strawberry in my mouth, before it sank to the bottom of my oatmeal.
“Come on, you better hurry we don’t have all day.” He urged. I nodded my mouth still chewing the strawberry and followed him out into the hallway. After a few minutes we had climbed up a few levels our boots thumping against the marble floor below us. It only took a few minutes for us to finally reach the black ladder that led up to the roof of the complex. So as quietly as we could we both climbed up the ladder trying our best not to create any noise, for we both weren’t sure how chief leader Bhaskar would take the truth of our sneaking up to the roof every so often.
Bhaskar was a resilient leader. He for sure kept us in line but was definitely a hard person to persuade and wouldn’t often listen or be considerate of anyone’s suggestions. And it often made me question the trust we put into him.
“Isn’t it weird?” I asked. “How Bhaskar never allows people up here?”
“I think he’s just concerned we’d fall off the roof like his cat did.” Replied Void. I laughed, the cat rumor had been present for some time now and had started when a staff member claimed to have spotted a tiger, after that Bhaskar had limited our time outside and had completely banned the roof. Which was sad, considering the fact that there really was a nice view of the Zone.
The Zone itself was filled with mist keeping our eyes from seeing the alleys below us. In fact I’d go as far to say that from above the mist the Zone looked like a completely different city. From the radio towers that peeked up from the mist it truly looked like you were in a completely different atmosphere.
“Look.” I said pointing at the sun and quite frankly the moon. From the view it looked to be a ring of light as the moon stood aligned with the sun.
“Huh, looks like the sun and the moon have aligned for this momentous moment in history.” He replied. I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that it truly was a momentous moment ahead of us. “You prepared for Mirja’s plan? Or are you gonna bail?”
“Why do you think I’ll bail?” I asked, confused as to why he thought I would do that. Maybe he doesn’t think I’m trustworthy. Or maybe he still doesn’t believe I agreed with Mirja.
“Well as many say, maybe you really are a teacher’s pet.” Void replied as he leaned over the roof’s railing trying his best to get a look at the drop to the cement ground below. Void was known for his courageous acts of jumping off buildings. I suppose he just enjoys the thrill of it, but honestly I think he just does it for extra credit. Cause who in the world would risk their life jumping off a building. Though, now that I think of it, that courage probably comes handy at times when navigating the Zone. So when you think of it in a way, Void’s the teacher’s pet, always showing off his parkour skills of parkour when jumping from building to building his feet racing below him. “Not only that, but you do tend to bail on quite a lot of things.” He added.
“Well, you bailed megyk practice the other day, as well as team lunch the day before.” He said slowly, trying his best not to be harsh. “You know, it’s gotten to the point where even Mirja’s worried and in a way mad.” I sighed, of course Mirja was mad, she normally was. And for the most ridiculous reasons too, so let’s just say she had a quick temper.
“Don’t forget the time you bailed on exam day too and orientation.” Said a voice. Both Void and I turned our heads back towards the ladder. And there she was, her eyes gleaming furiously. “Do you really think you can get away with everything Nyerie?”
“Well, I - I” - “You what Nyerie? Don’t think you can get away with everything? Cause we all know that’s a lie.” She interrogated, her voice level raising with disbelief in me.
“Mirja, lower your voice, we’re on the roof, plus you know Nyerie has her reasons.” Said Void. But to be truthful, I really didn’t have a proper reason or an excuse for not showing up on exam day or practice or even our team lunches. It’s only right for Mirja to be mad at me, there are only really two options: either make excuses or make progress.
“I just don’t want you to fall behind Nyerie. I’ll need your sorcery at the best today, we all do...” She said her voice lowering as she glanced around to make sure no one from the ground below us could hear. “Victor might not admit it but you really are a key to his plan.”
I sighed. Mirja sure was a tough person to reason with. One moment she’ll be yelling the next she’ll be understanding. I’ve always hated how unpredictable people can be and that’s probably the reason I decided to go on with the plan. And it’s not just a reason or an excuse, it’s a fact that’s made me want to progress.
“Speaking Victor, he didn’t change the time on us again, right?” Asked Void his eyes staring straight ahead. We’re used to Victor changing times, he does it all the time and his excuse is always the same. “We just gotta twist it up a bit.” I mocked, trying my best to impression he’s enthusiastic deep voice.
Mirja giggled. “Yep, that’s Victor for ya, and no I don’t think he changed the time but we should be there early.”
“Well then we best be on our way.” Said Void, as he started making his way back down the ladder, Mirja grumbling in annoyance as she followed him her ponytail swaying from side to side.
“Ya comin Nyerie?” She asked sternly. I nodded and followed them back down the ladder and onto the marble floor below, back into the halls. I couldn’t find myself to admit that I had doubts about today’s mission plan. But it didn’t matter, there was nothing to do anyway. I’d already agreed to Victor’s absurd plan. And if there’s one thing I’ve been taught here, it's to never back out.