I didn’t know whether to run away or pray that I would just disappear. Even I think that the most rational thing to do at the moment was to just walk away. Because that’s what I’ve always been doing - escaping reality in order to not fall into this abyss. But the fact that I have somewhat grown the courage to simply walk in at them during their moment of intimacy has totally shock myself at all. Things went by too fast. I had strived in without saying anything at all and had grabbed my stuff from the table and simply walked away. That was a combination of my short live courage and weakness.
Regardless of what I had just witnessed, I was sure to keep my mouth shut, not daring to give my biased opinion. Right after my inevitable experience of a heart-thumping moment, I decided to find a better study place. A quiet surrounding was what I needed to heal.
The computer lab is where I ended up staying. It wasn’t quiet but neither was it too loud. There were just a bunch of responsible students or the lazy ones, either finishing an assignment or cramming to get a work done knowing that it was due on this particular day. I sat in the very corner, where I found gamers shielding their monitors from the teacher’s view who was supervising it.
One guy, in particular, raised one of his foot at a nearby chair next to mine. Somehow I felt awkward sitting next to him. I let out a short breath and continued studying over my notes. But I guess I was foolish thinking I could just ignore what did happen. It was actually pretty funny to see the both of them jumping away from another, similar to a parent who had caught their child fiddling with their cellular devices at a late night when they’re supposed to be sleeping. What made it funnier was when Sabrina looked at me with so many mixed emotions that I just couldn’t understand. She was a hurricane that came into my life, constantly ruining my built emotions, then deciding to vanish for a moment, just to re-appear again.
The way she delivered herself, so fast yet so graceful, and I wondered if I would ever have built the same confidence to say something. Anything at all. Suddenly, I felt a tap on my shoulder and I looked over my shoulder to see the teacher, his forehead wrinkled just as his polo shirt was. He stood hovering me for a few inches and then pointed at the corner, where the door was, where she was.
Sarah leaned at the door frame, daring to hold a book at her procession, her eyes fixed on the pages. I wasn’t sure why she was here, but I somewhat felt glad that she was. Sarah was the friend who constantly followed me around, not bothering to ask. She also knew when to give proper space and when it would be the right time for her to console me after.
“That girl is asking for you.” The teacher says, then dismissed himself after I nod in acknowledgment. I hastily started picking up my notes then shortly after, I noticed that I was missing an important document.
“You’re resume is pretty well built.” I heard someone say. Then I saw him holding the papers I was missing. Before I could ask him to return it, he handed it to me and said, “Don’t worry it wasn’t my intention to look at it but for you to have exceptional computer skills somewhat amazes me.”
What was he trying to say? “Um...”
“Are you looking for a job?” he asks, returning his gaze back to the computer screen.
“I-..” I halted. I wasn’t looking for a job. That resume was for me to submit to my career development teacher. Now that I think about it, having a job seems pretty sagacious for inspiring students and it does give its benefits for skills development - where communication was something that I lack off.
“Jessica!” I heard Sarah call me. We looked at her approaching. “I was waiting for you.”
I quickly turned my attention away from the guy and looked at her. “Right.”
“Is there anything...” She trailed off and looked at him. “Who is he?”
She chuckled.“That sounds gay.”
He smirked and looked at her for a brief second and said, “You’re gay.”
She frowned for a second and then linked arms with me all of a sudden. I held tight on my stuff in my hand and gripped the strap on my backpack, letting it hung down low.
“Only for Jessie.”
I gulped. Harvey smiled, “You’re pretty blunt, just like your cousin.”
Sarah shook her head, “Please we’re different.” Then suddenly, she grabbed me away along with her, dismissing their short-lived conversation without further ado. There was a comfortable silence after. She held onto me as she continued to read a book, which I then got curious about.
“What are you reading?” I asked and then peeked over to the side, a bit closer to her, to see what she was reading. The book was entitled Lost in Neverland.
“Is that some Peter Pan revised story?”
She shrugged. “I never watched Peter Pan so...” How the hell can she not know Peter Pan?
“Is there a character named Peter Pan?” Again, she shrugged. Maybe she wasn’t able to decipher what the story was all about. I frowned.
“How about Tinkerbell, you know that fairy?”
She stopped walking causing me to halt in my tracks as well. “Nope. There are no main characters here. Each character tells her own story, I think. The story is about seven girls who wander off their minds and then woke up in a fantasy world of Neverland.”
“So basically all of them somehow dreamt about Neverland and then got trapped inside their own dream?”
“I guess. But I’m not sure whether they did dream about Neverland. I just started reading it but it’s very interesting.” she smiled. I was glad to hear she actually enjoyed reading at least one book. And I too wanted to know more about the story.
“Can you lend me the book after?” She only sticks her tongue out in response.
“Maybe. Come on let’s head to class”
I nodded and took her offered hand.
During the afternoon classes, my mind wanders off to different places. I wasn’t able to focus knowing that my heart was thinking of someone else. I was utterly confused by the feelings that bloomed fast inside me. But because of Emmie’s encouraging words, I wanted to give it a try. A mixed feeling of excitement and fear. But what exactly is this feeling?
I looked over at Sarah, seeing her occupied with the same book once again. She was obviously not paying attention to the teacher who had told her to put the book away. I silently laughed. That was probably how I looked like whenever I get busy reading. Emmie had always tried to keep books away from me so that I could just play with her.
Suddenly, I recall a faint memory where Emmie had first learned that I dearly loved books. It was during junior high, inside a classroom where she and I came late to class that morning and missed out field trip. The class wasn’t going to be back until lunch. Until then, the other teachers just told us to do our homework in the classroom. I have already finished my homework so I had nothing to do. As for Emmie, she had work to finished but she was too lazy.
I didn’t want to fuel her laziness by playing cards with her. So I took that time to pull out a book and started to read. I had ignored her whining and whaling. It almost came to the part where she was actually going to cry for being ignored. It was hilarious.
When the teacher finally finished the lecture, I started dozing off and just rested my head on the table. I could feel a faint headache that would soon worsen by the end of the day. I looked over at Sarah to see her at me. I managed to hand sign a ‘What?’.
She looked at me confusedly before writing something in a paper and holding it out for me to see. “Are you okay?”
I gave her a thumbs up and pointed to my head and gave it both thumbs up and a thumbs down. She chuckled and then wrote again.
“Do you need Tylenol? I got some.”
I smiled, shook my head, and mouthed her ‘thanks’. I prefer for it to go away.
Deciding I should just do the assignment at class, I started working on the first few questions. Sometimes, I felt my phone vibrated in my pants and so I took it out and saw a message from Emmie
Opening it, I read Please take me away from here. Classes are boring.
I chuckled and then replied Same. What class do you have?
She immediately replied fast. MAATH. FREAKING MATH
Good gracious it’s JUST math. I replied.
PUH-LEASE I’d rather go home and eat veggies.
Yeah, go have an eggplant.
EW you nasty piece of cake. At least I don’t eat broccoli. * cough *
Why do I sense a different meaning from what you’re saying?
Because I’m awesome and you’re not.
And excuse me, broccoli’s are fine. I argued.
Yeah, but if you look at them they look like bush down your pants. HUE
What the effing shiniggans?
And that’s how my conversation with Emmie lasted for 5 minutes.
After classes ended, I was quite startled when I saw Sabrina waiting by the door. I knew she was here for me since I shared this class by people whom she didn’t know. I didn’t know what she wanted but I guess I had to be civil for the sake of my headache. When each and every student had already gone out the class, I was the only one left who was still packing my stuff.
‘This day is so slow’, I thought. I heard footsteps coming. ‘Well shit shittery bakery’
‘Jessica’, I mocked inside my head. Please, someone, take her away.
“Jessica” she called once again. Emmie must’ve forgotten to call me during emergency times.
“What?” I asked. Cool, the best way to start a conversation is to sound like you didn’t want to talk to them. Greatest strategy to keep hoomans away. Yes, hoomans.
She opened her mouth and then closed it, which she repeated twice.
“Are you a fish?”
“W-Why?” she asked, taken back by the random question. Um, why the hell was she wearing something that’s about to spill her melons? or was it because I was focused on that part of her body?
“Cause your mouth acts like one.”
“I don’t have slimy lips.” She touched her lips to prove that. True, they’re soft alright. What are you talking about?
“I meant what you were doing earlier. You were mimicking an actual fish.” I said.
“Ha-ha funny. Would be funnier if your lips were on mine. Maybe we could mimic a fish opening their mouths together.” A sly smirk was now forming on her face when she noticed me gaping at her. She did not just say that, especially after what I had just witnessed with her and Carly. I was truly pissed for some reason. A fist formed by my hand.
After securing my backpack behind my back, I made sure to look at her eyes before saying. “Maybe if your lips are finally single then sure, why not”
I was not going to get played by this game, whether she likes it or not.
“Wait what do you mean?” she asked.
Too late I was already walking away
You’re so stupid.
Well, I’ve been deep in this sleeplessness, I don’t know why
Just can’t get away from myself
Oh hell no.
When I get back on my feet, I’ll blow this open wide and carry me home in good health
I sighed grabbing my phone and scrolled through my playlist, searching for another song that may suit my mood at this moment.
God, it’s been so long wide awake that I feel like someone else
I’ll miss the way that you saw me or-
I clicked next. Jungkook’s cover of ‘Paper Hearts’ played. Taking a deep breath, I slouched back in my seat and looked at my unfinished essay. I did not know how to start my assignment. Actually, not because I did not know how but more like I couldn’t. My mind was too occupied thinking about something... and someone. I felt troubled, confused, and uneasy whenever I think about it. I did not know how to feel nor did I know what to do.
“Ughh.” I groaned to myself and laid my head on the table. Maybe Em would know. Perhaps she could help me. But knowing her, she’d probably laugh at my own silliness. Such things have caused me so much disturbance. I knew I had to stop and focus.
“Okay. Let’s finish this up, Jessica.” Sitting up straight I began to type and occupied myself with school work for the remainder of the night.
After finishing my assignments at near midnight, I went downstairs to the kitchen to grab myself dinner since I was unable to do so earlier. Surprisingly, dad was there holding a cup in his right hand and reading over some documents. I was guessing coffee since I could smell the pleasant aroma of it. He saw me approaching and instantly dropped his mug to the side.
“Aren’t you supposed to be sleeping?”
I smiled. “School work dad.”
“Interesting. What specifically kept you late tonight?“, he asks. I sat next to the stool beside him and started making hot chocolate for myself.
“Just some essay.” Stirring the liquid, I watched as the powder melts into the warm water.
“How’s school?“. I blinked and peered over at him.
“It’s okay.” I started. Stirring my drink unconsciously, I began to tell him about how school was in general. Of course, I did not go into detail with whatever was not needed to say. For example, her... and them. I was probably going to be questioned anyway. I wanted to avoid any discussions.
“It seems you’re doing well. Are you... Have you gotten used to this?” He asked cautiously. I gulped. It seems as if I was not over the fact that this change happened. But I was no longer angry since I know as his daughter, I had no right to take away his happiness. If this was what he wants, what he was happy about, then I knew I had to cooperate. Living with the Anderson’s weren’t a bad thing. I just didn’t like the idea or thought that I was replacing my dear mother. And in no way I was. I knew well that Caelie was trying her best and I appreciate her for being patient.
“I’m getting the hang of it dad. Thanks for asking.” I smiled.
He smiled back and then went to the living room, only to return with a package on his hands. “I have something for you.”
“What is that?“, I asked, interested as to what it was. He came over to sit beside me again, then we had a talk.
During that night, I couldn’t fall asleep. There were so many things happening and I didn’t know how to console myself. Kristina has always been a help when it comes to school stuff, but when it comes to my own personal feelings, I didn’t know how to deal with it. But that wasn’t the priority of what I had to settle - I have yet found the time to personally bond with my new family. Come to think of it, I have been avoiding Caelie’s requests. At times like these, I only wanted to go home and live my old life without worries. But no, now it’s different. I turned over and unlocked my phone. Unconsciously, I opened LINE and messaged Em.
J: You up?
Emmie: HeY HOeeeee!
I rolled my eyes and texted back.
J: why are you like this...
Emmie: because I am awesomez :’) hey btw..
J: I will block you.
Emmie: NO PLS I LOVE U WHYYYYYYYYY. Ok seriously, what’s up?
J: I can’t sleep.
Emmie: Omy, thinking about me all night, huh. wiNK WONK
J: I question our friendship 24/7 :’)
Emmie: You love me, admit it.
Emmie: mmmm BBY. wanna go on a call?
J: I refuse
Emmie: WHY? U NEVER message me first without a reason!
J: I just said I can’t sleep.
Emmie: K just go on call and I’ll sing you a lullaby.
J: No thank you
Emmie: Ok I’ll message Sabrina to message you-
Emmie: WHY NOT????
J: Cause she’s the reason why I can’t sleep.
Emmie: Oho. INSERT LENNY FACE
J: What is a lenny face?
Emmie: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
J: I don’t understand that face
Emmie: LOL fine if you won’t go on a call, I’ll just spam you with my memes.
J: OK NO STOP. I will call you right now.
She immediately called me and of course, I had to answer, not forgetting to annoy her. I waited until the third ring until I picked up. Emmie startled me when she started talking loudly and I had to pull my phone away from my ear for a second.
“What the heck Em,” she laughed and said. “Your fault for not picking it up. Anyways, what are you up to?."
I bit my lip and mumbled. “Nothing.”
“Ass.” she countered.
“You suck... ass?” I grinned. A word I learned from her.
“Yes. Yours”. What in the world.
“I’m hanging up”. I threatened.
“NO! Okay, I’m bored, school is back and I’m just like no to homework and projects at the moment.” She sighed and continued. “Even now I am doing my homework as I am talking to you. Heck”
“Good. I am your motivation.” I said.
She chuckled. “Excuse you? Think your all that special to me huh?”
“Yes,” I nod.
“I like that confidence. What’s up with you?” she questions. I can hear her mumble her homework questions after.
“Nothing. I am sleep deprived. My mind is speaking nonsense.” I turned the pillow over cause it got warm. Ah, the cold side. Don’t you just love the cold? Yes, I love the cold me. I am such a depressing person. Why do I talk to myself?
“Listen to music or something. By the way, I have a funny story to tell. So like my friend bought me this hand cream and it was like written in Japanese or something so I googled it, and I didn’t even know it was hand cream at first. It translated to eyebrows so I put the cream in my eyebrows. I stood there in front of the mirror and was like something is wrong”, she rambled. “Like what the fuck Em”
I burst out laughing. She is so stupid.
“Ok, I’ll tell you more and hopefully you’ll get bored and fall asleep or something.”
I just made an ‘mhm’ sound.
“You know how my aunt is like not fluent in English and she has this accent. So one time we were at the mall with us and she wanted to go this store with my uncle. She told me my mom Give a few minutes, which sounded like she just said F U.”
“My mom flipped thinking my aunt just cursed at her.”
Half an hour later, my eyes began to close when she continued to talk, slowly her voice drowning in the back of my head. I let my thoughts aside and focused on just meditating. But it became useless when a text notification came on my phone screen. I wasn’t sure if I was hallucinating or it was just part of a dream I may be already in, but in notification screen, it said the words I miss you.