ᶜ ᴴ ᴬ ᴾ ᵀ ᴱ ᴿ 1
College is beating me.
Assignments, bullies, bitches, exams, assignments…
Things that I’ll never get to finish in one day, and never get to avoid from until I’m graduated from this hellish place. In this unfamiliar piece of land, I’m alone without my friends, without my family.
Some of you might begin to guess: she might be an orphan, her family don’t want her anymore (well, that’s rude), she ran away from her parents… And bingo, it is the last statement. I have run away from my family and decided to live all by my own in a place where they’ll never find me.
As for how did I get so much money to live alone, I happened to save my pocket money since young. Therefore, my bank account contains enough amount for me to survive the first month.
Heaving out a sigh, I sit on the bench near the front gate of my college, waiting for the taxi driver I’ve just called. He is an aged old man who lives alone as well, the money he earns by driving his taxi is his only way to live. So this is why I always called him to pick me up.
In return, he would lower the prices which I’m required to pay after reaching the destination I want. No matter how far or how close.
The car horn eventually breaks my stream of thought, making me look up from the flaring mobile screen. The old man sitting in the driver seat shines me with a cordial smile, welcoming me aboard. “Hi Uncle Daniel.”
“Hi Little Sasha, going home or to your work place?” The driver asks, looking at me through the rearview mirror once I’ve made myself comfortable on the pillion seat. His Asian black eyes are smiling, as if he’s happy to see me.
“To my work place, please.” I answer in a friendly manner.
“Aye aye.” He puts on a pirate gesture of agreeing before pulling his gear towards the letter ‘D’ and pushing the handbrake downwards. As the vehicle begins to move, I can’t help but look out through the window towards the bright, blue sky. The fluffy white clouds move slower than my little turtles but appear to be more flexible than them, as these elements manage to change into different interesting shapes.
Bunnies, babies, puppies, dragons, worms…
“How’s college today, girl?” Uncle Daniel asks, breaking the silence that turns the atmosphere awkward.
Shrugging with a pout, I say, “Nothing special, just studying and having classes.” The memories of Kayla pouring cold water on my hair sends a jolt to my heart and consequently, my throat turns bitter when I try to suppress the urge to cry.
“I hope this is really what happened for your day, little one.” Uncle Daniel sighs, as if he knows I’m lying to him. His voice contains concern and pity which I won’t wish people would have on me.
I manage a giggle while trying to hide my scar behind the mask. “There really is nothing particular today.” The driver finally purses his lips and stops asking. I know he can’t be blamed for asking me so many questions almost every day when he picks me up either from home or from campus. Because in this faraway place from my real home, he is the only one who sees me as his granddaughter.
“I’m quite tired, Uncle Daniel. Could you please wake me up when we’ve reached the destination?” I query with a yawn which drives out the old man’s cackle.
“Certainly, little one. You do need some rests.” After answering his statement with an acknowledged giggle, I put on my ear pieces and slowly drifts off to sleep.
Not knowing how long I have been closing my eyes instead of really entering my dream world, Uncle Daniel’s call for me to wake up is audible to flutter my eyelids. A mere roaring sound of old car engine vibrates through my eardrum, signaling me the vehicle is halted and parked. “Please wait, I’m taking out my purse.”
Staying silence, Uncle Daniel waits patiently until I’ve paid him the acquired amount which he always makes it half from the exact total of my journey. If I have to clarify, this becomes one of the reasons why I never consider to call taxi drivers other than Uncle Daniel, not that because I can save money, it’s because he would always keep me safe.
The feeling of safety is important for a female loner like me. And this driver has given me that through his sincerity. In fact, such act of his reminds me of my dead grandfather.
I can hear people shouting the word “naive”, “stupid” and “too innocent” at me now. But due to the every-day practice given by the mean girls, my psychological defense can be considered strong. These words would never bother me as I will throw them to the back of my head and let them rot in my short-term memory storage.
Yes, memories do decay and if I don’t take such tiny things seriously, it would be easy to forget them. Unless they are repeated over and over again.
Once I bid goodbye with Uncle Daniel, I begin to stride towards the bookstore which I’m currently working in. Being a bookworm, I would love to roam places full of thick and thin books with variety of genres. For me, each book represents a different world and sometimes, I would use them to escape from the real world to find peace or adventure in them.
Moreover that, I would create my own world by writing it out.
Since I’m promoted to be in charge of the counter, or cashier, the computer placed there would be the best tool for me to write down my imagination. Everything seems to go smoothly and perfectly for my imaginary world creating except there is no chair for me to sit on. So I have to stand in the counter for the whole 5 hours until my shift ends.
“Miss?” I look away from the computer screen when a random customer calls me. Apparently, she’s been waiting for me to pay the things she has chosen.
As fast as I can, I switch the writing page into the bookstore’s payment page. “Sorry.” And then, several beeps are audible when I scan the objects quickly. “Fifteen dollars and fifty cents.”
“Alright,” says the lady who looks like a mother and now that I’ve noticed her buying exercise books that follow the syllabi of recent elemental schools. “Here you go.” She gives me 20 dollars. “Keep the change, it’s fine.” She sends me a smile before receiving the packed belongings from my hands. Her phone buzzes by the time she leaves.
Soon, I’m greeted by another customer.
He is handsome. He is a genius. He knows everything, but me. He is my crush and I would never tell him about it. His name is-
“Hey beautiful, may I see your manager? I’m looking for a job here.” Obviously, he doesn’t recognize me. But seriously, did he just called me ‘beautiful’ with a smile instead of a disgusted face?
“I’m sorry but the manager is not here today.” I can’t believe I’m turning him down with the truest fact. “But she’ll be here tomorrow.”
“Oh great. What time will she be here then?” His voice is so magnetic and this leads my heart to pound even more vigorously. His moving lips are so fluffy and I can’t stop wondering how they taste like. “Hello?” Waving in front of me, his smile is broad and I’m going to die of heart attack.
After a few seconds of blinking back to reality, I finally illustrate the answer with cute-girl voice instead of the real Sasha’s. “Uh, I’m not truly certain, sorry. B-but here’s her name card. Y-you can try to call her.” I suggest stutteringly while snatching a clean, white card from the holder and give it to him politely.
“Okie-yay then.” He agrees rather hesitantly. “Thank you so much for the service. I hope we can meet again.” My heart is screaming until it can burst through my ribcage and my chest. And if it don’t, it would rather leave a nasty bruise there due to over-stamping with a fast speed on the same place. “Bye.”
There he winks at me.
And I nearly faint on the spot.