Charla made her way over to the nurses’ office, where Jack seemed to be waiting, leaning against the doorjamb with a file in his hands which Charla could only guess was her’s. This man though looking so lax seemed very meticulous with keeping records of the students here. “You’re early,” he said. “And here I thought you’d try and sneak away.”
“I had a feeling if I did you’d probably be pretty angry at me.”
He laughed slightly as he entered the Nurses’ Office. “And you’d be right, now then, were you able to give that note I gave you to your Uncle?”
She shook her head. “No, he wasn’t home, my cousin told me that her father, my uncle, works at the police station as a detective, and that it’s normal for him to not come home every two or three days or so.”
“Ah right, Detective Liebert, I tend to forget how busy that they can be some times, especially now that summer has ended.” When Charla frowned he elaborated. “Oh you probably wouldn’t know, around every summer or so, we have a number of tourists that come here, and though it’s great profit for the town the damages that some of these people do is not the greatest.”
“Oh…” Charla said. “Actually I think my Dad mentioned something about that when we were preparing to bring me here.” But that still leaves it hard for Nina… guess there’s more similarity then I originally thought. I just hope that’s the only similarity.
“So shall we get started?” Jack asked drawing Charla out of her thoughts. When she nodded and entered the office Jack pulled out a chart. “Alright, so first off I’m going to ask you a sires of questions, I want you to answer them as best as you can and if we come across a question you are uncomfortable with just say “pass” and we’ll skip on over to the next one alright?”
Charla sat down on a stool across from him. “Okay,”
Jack began with simple questions, her age, favorite color, a past pet, generic stuff and the like, that was until one question came up that made her go still.
“Do you recall why your blackouts started?”
Her whole body froze as images flashed in her mind of a man she wish not to remember her hands balled into slightly shaky fists as she recalled the man’s smile making her go pale. “Pass…” she spoke nearly in a soft whisper.
Jack frowned slightly and wrote something down on the file. “Okay, what about at your old school?”
She frowned in turn. “What about it?”
“After you began having blackouts were they frequent in your old school? I ask not out of curiosity but to paint a better picture of your issue so I can deal with it appropriately in case something happens.”
Makes sense... “Not often, the only time that I can really recall off the top of my head was when a fellow classmate knocked me out.”
His frown deepened with slight concern. “Knocked you out?”
“With what if I may ask?”
Charla was quite, slightly tilting her head up a bit as if trying to recall it. “I know it was blunt, it left a bruise on the back of my head for a while, maybe a book-bag that had heavy books? I can’t really recall any of it.”
“Did you go to the hospital?” his voice suddenly on edge.
She frowned as if trying to remember. “I’m not really sure, I think I did and nothing turned out to be wrong. Although it wasn’t the first time this student would do something like that, he had done other things that weren’t physical.”
So she was being bullied, extremely from what it sounds like. “Like what?”
“Destroying my locker, my desk, stealing my things, you know the normal clichéd stuff you hear all the time. He found it funny that I had this whole fainting issue, he thought it was fake so he kept doing it.”
“Why didn’t the teachers step in?”
“They didn’t care.” Jack looked to Charla when she spoke with such a detached voice. “The teachers never seemed to care all that much, when it first happened they thought I was faking to get out of class as well. And left me, when my Dad discovered this I thought he would murder the teachers in cold blood.” she recalled his expression and how the teachers seemed to cower in fear of him. “At least that’s what he looked at the time…”
“You’re father’s rather protective isn’t he?”
“If you lost a son and your daughter was injured in a car crash wouldn’t you?” she said to him matter of factually. “You know about my brother, right?”
“Yes, I heard of his death four years ago. It must have been hard for you.”
Her eyes averted away. “I barely remember any of it. Doctors claimed it was due to the shock from the accident, and at times when I blackout I often get those memories to come back though it’s in bits and pieces nothing complete. Like a broken mirror, shattered and fractured with missing shards that may never be recovered.”
“That’s a rather profound thing to say at your age.” Jack admitted.
Charla glanced to her bag. “I read a lot, as you know I didn’t have many friends.” She smiled but it didn’t seem to reach her eyes. “But I don’t mind it all that much, thanks to those people I was able to read books I liked in peace. And other then some students I was rarely bothered with as you know…”
Jack merely looked at her, keeping a blank face, but inside he couldn’t help but feel slightly disturbed by how dead her eyes seemed to turn. This girl has been through a lot more then I originally thought… “And your father, he knew about it, did he try to help?”
The light returned to her eyes as she smiled warmly. “If I’m honest there wasn’t much he could do even though it angered him that I was being treated like this, and though it’s bad for me to say it’s thanks to the incidents in the city that my father brought me here to live with his younger brother and daughter. I’m grateful for it,” she sighed. “I just wish he could have come with, I know now talking to Nina she would have liked to have met him. But my Dad has a business to run and there were a few times where he tells me he’ll sneak away and take me out of school and go somewhere.”
“He’s done this before?”
Charla nodded. “I think it was his way of trying to make up for the issues that was happening in the school, but I was just happy to spend time with him.”
“Well what about your mother?” Jack asked. “I’m sure she was worried about you in regards to what was happening at your pervious school.”
“Pass,” Charla said suddenly, catching Jack off guard. He looked at her from his notes and noticed how rigid she had become, looked as if she didn’t want to talk about her mother.
“Oh, okay. Well, regards to how you’re feeling you seem to be fine.” He glanced at her again and saw how she was almost toying with the headphones around her neck. “You always seem to wear those even when they aren’t playing anything. It must be pretty important.”
She glanced to her headphones and nodded. “They are, so can I leave now?”
“Ah right, yes, yes you can. But Charla if you start feeling dizzy again I want you to come here right away, I don’t care what it is I don’t want to hear that you fainted in the hallway claiming your fine.”
Charla merely stared at him in almost surprise.
“What? What is it?”
She shook her head. “It’s nothing, do I need a note this time or am I good to go?”
“You are good to go; there’s still plenty of time before class so no need to rush.” Charla took her bag and slung it over her shoulder intending to leave but stopped and looked back at Jack when he spoke. “Take care of yourself alright Charla?”
Charla smiled. “I will goodbye for now Mr. Norris.” she then left him alone in his office. Alex was right. She thought as she walked down the hallway. He really does care about the student’s health, kind of nice for a change.
Jack leaned back in his chair and let out a deep breath before staring at the file and the notes that he had made. “Just what in the world have you had to deal with Charla Liebert?” he said to himself noting how pale and tense she looked when he asked her about the reason for her blackouts and what would have triggered them. The look of dread mixed with how pale she had turned, he was missing something in all this.
Then a knock came to the door. “Come in,” he said without so much as looking at who entered. “I know you’re worried, but coming to ask me about it will do little good when you could just talk with him since you know her father, Maxine.”
Ms. Clark looked with a slight worried look. “It isn’t that simple Jack, you know that. How was she doing after she fainted?” she asked changing the subject.
“She was fine, and when I just saw her now she still seemed alright, though there seems to be more than her chronic issues with fainting.”
“What? What do you mean?”
He tapped the file on the desk. “The reasons for her coming here might be deeper than just being here because of a killer in the city.” He looked to Ms. Clark. “Something that has to do with the family in particular, I mean. I know you’ve had issues with his family before.”
“That’s putting it lightly,” she said lightly. “But you think the cause for her blackouts might have something to do with the family?”
He looked to the file. “No entirely, again I’m just speculating and jumping to conclusions isn’t the best. For now let’s just keep an eye on her, that’s all we really can do as teachers.”
But Ms. Clark didn’t seem too happy with that. “I’m going to go check on her; I think I know where she might go.”
“You care too much sometimes you know,” Jack told her.
She gave him an arch stare. “As do you Mister Nurse.” And then left the office and went after Charla.
Jack laughed slightly. “Isn’t that the truth?” he looked back at the file and sighed. “Ah Johan just what in the world is happening to your kid in that screwed up family of yours?”
Charla ended up in the small garden that Ms. Clark had showed her yesterday and sat on the stone bench her head tilted up to the tree, its leaves showing signs of changing color for fall and she smiled slightly at it. This was Charla’s favorite time of year, the other seasons were fine but this one just seemed to be the best for her. taking her headphones she placed them over her ears and scrolled though her music list and came across one song she always listened too whenever she thought of autumn leaves.
It was a classical piece, with only a cello playing; some found this particular instrument rather sad sounding but to her it was somber and relaxing. She leaned up against the tree near the stone bench and outstretched her legs. She then closed her eyes and listened to the song, her thoughts taking her back to a happier time in her childhood with her brother when he was alive and the songs that he would play or just when their father took them to Germany in the summer when they were ten.
And for the briefest of moments it felt real, recalling the music her brother would play and how they were always together. Then the sound of a cat meowing drew Charla out of her memories. Opening her eyes she saw a black cat with an orange gold eye and one scared eye looking at her and meowing at her while pawing at Charla’s leg.
Charla removed her headphones and rested them on her neck before extending her hand to the black cat. “You must be Shadow; I’ve heard you’re pretty famous around here at the school.” The cat rubbed against her hand and purred loudly. “Guess I can see why.”
The black cat, though seemed to be a stray, seemed strong and fit and other then it’s scared eye it looked healthy with it sleek black short hair coat and orange gold eye that seemed to gleam strongly with life. It then crawled on her lap and began pawing her chest as it meowed at her wanting something from her.
“Sorry, I don’t have any food to give you.” she told the cat as it then merely sat in her lap now looking up at her as she continued to pet it. “At times like this it makes me wish we had a cat like you but my Mom was allergic to any kind of pet so we never had any. But I think if Carlin was here he’d like you too…”
The cat’s head then turned, eye going wide as its ears twitched before it jumped off her lap and ran off into the direction of the bushes.
“Goodbye then,” Charla said as she remained where she was then looked back up at the tree, the leaves with its slow sign of changing its color for the fall. She tilted her head back and looked at the leaves with the music still playing from her headphones.
She inhaled deeply at the autumn wind it made Charla wish that this season would never end, but it would and then that day would follow, the one day that she never wanted to remember. thinking on it now it made her wonder why the change in seasons always made her think of that day, even though it was something she desperately wanted gone from her mind.
I guess the seasons change the same regardless where you move too… Charla thought as she heard the sound of footsteps but paid no heed until a voice came next. She looked to see a young man wearing the same uniform as she was. She had black hair that was slightly wavy and light brown looking eyes framed behind a pair of red rimmed glasses, what’s more he looked to be the same height as Alex. For some reason or another she felt like she had seen this person before.
“What are you listening too?” the young man asked as the song was still faintly playing through her headphones.
“The song,” he repeated. “I was wondering what you were listening too.”
“Oh it’s a classical piece, J.S. Bach’s Gavottes first and second. Have you heard of it?”
He nodded. “Yes, though not many students listen to classical music, they’re more in modern music but a fair some do like classical.”
“Hmmm.” Was her only response as she grasped one of the headphones as her thumb
“How’s your head?” he asked suddenly, with a slight tilt of his head as if trying to look at her head.
“What?” she asked slightly confused, why was he asking her that?
“Yesterday in the hallway you blacked out suddenly. I left a note in your bag; did you get it by chance?”
“So you’re the one who left that note, I wondered about that. Um, yes I’m fine; I mean my head is fine it’s nothing you should worry over.”
“If you say so,” he said softly then added. “Charla Liebert right, you moved here recently and you’re now living with your uncle the detective that goes by the same last name.”
“Yes…” Charla said with a slight frown. “I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that everyone knows who I am.”
“Actually I know about you through my brother, he works with your uncle at the Police Department in this town. He mentioned to me that you’d be here at this school, though if you don’t mind me saying you and your uncle don’t look that much alike.”
Charla shrugged. “Not the first time I’ve heard that, my Dad always says he gets comments like that because my uncle doesn’t look that similar to him.” she paused and looked at him with a slight frown.
“Is something wrong?”
She shook her head. “No it’s nothing, um, what’s your name?”
“Mordecai Winchester, I’m a third year at this school.”
So he’s a year older than me. Yet for some reason or another she felt like she had heard the name before but for the life of her Charla couldn’t remember where. “It’s nice to meet you properly this time.”
“Same,” the bell rang then drawing both of their attention. “We should probably head to class; best before any teachers start yelling don’t you think so?”
Charla remembered her new teacher and began to worry a bit for her safety. “Right…” as she got up though she couldn’t help but feel like she had met Mordecai, or at least his name seemed familiar. But at the moment she couldn’t really place as to why.
Mordecai glanced back to Charla and recalling a person wearing a hoodie staring out at the black ocean before he made his way to his own classroom, who he had seen that night was not someone from this town, but the fact that Charla didn’t seem to recognize him was just a bit surprising but then again, after the loss of her brother there was probably a number of things that Charla choose to forget within reason…