Chapter 6 - Oblivion
Copyright © DenGlemtePrinsesse, 2020
I felt it when it hit me.
I heard it when it shattered.
It was deafening, and I'm not sure if it came from my broken bones or from the object when it hit the ground through me.
Other than that, I couldn't feel anything.
I couldn't see anything.
I was anticipating the pain, not that I prefer but the pain was given. It was a solid object that landed on me so it has to be felt. Either I'm dead or the landing was too hard it made my senses ineffective. I prefer the latter.
There was nothing after that.
It scares me that I would be seeing a white light anytime soon, I don't think I'm ready. I wasn't sure I'd already given justice to my twenty years of existence. I couldn't even remember doing anything astonishing in my life.
So when I transferred to Aunt's home and got enrolled in this university, I thought my life would finally began. Was I wrong?
I believe everyone was given a mission to fulfill in a lifetime. What was mine then? Have I done it already? I wasn't even given a chance to say goodbye to my family.
I wanted to cry at that thought.
Why is life so unfair?
I looked deeper into the darkness.
I didn't know how long or short it took when I finally seeing shapes, moving objects and dancing lines. The lights started showing up and I was thankful that nothing looks like what I'd imagine. No spotlight in the middle of darkness. Just a bright background. This was a good sign, right?
I couldn't focus. I then started hearing sounds. Hums? Music? People? I couldn't be certain. But I could make the assumption that my head was severely injured. My senses weren't working right. I was incapable of identifying the basics.
Shortly, I felt like flying. It was easy and I could feel the infinite space around me. The environment turned warmer something I considered very comforting. I felt at peace.
I was drifting to oblivion then. Until the striking bright lights started blinding me, something I had to pout about. It feels like it has been a tiring day for me and when I could finally rest, the bright lights started troubling me.
But other than that, there was nothing.
And I like that I cannot feel anything. I don't think I can handle the pain.
"Thank you, Mrs. Pizo but..." I could've jump in surprise if only I could move.
For a second, I was more frightened than relief that I was able to hear sounds again. Not that I wasn't thankful, but feeling like you're alone and going through a long moment of silence that it already became comforting, then suddenly someone would speak behind you, kind of terrifying.
"It will definitely looks a lot more complicated if a university personnel will come with us. You know how parents' react." The calm, velvet voice chuckled.
"We'll then, Mr. Bertarelli. If you insist. I'll go ahead."
I could only see her back walking away when I realized I started seeing things again. And I couldn't be certain if my eyes went from being closed.
I realized I was half sitting on a bed in a spacious room. In front of me, across this broad bed was a flat screen television. Next to it was a sofa set and there's Dave, gathering my things as far as I could recognize. He was hanging my bag on the back of a wheelchair. For certain, we couldn't be at home.
"Dave." I called. He immediately stopped what he was doing and walked to me, beaming. I smiled, an automatic reaction every time I got to see Dave. I don't know but there's something about him that would make me feel safe, always.
"You're alright." He announced, chuckling. Dave seated next to me, and then gently put his palm over my forehead. It feels warm, and again it feels safe.
I was waiting for him to finish but it was a minute or so when I realized the stillness. I glanced up at him. His brown irises were eyeing me, but Dave wasn't staring at me, something that shot wary to my system.
Dave held his face impassive. His eyes were blank but his straight eyebrows were pulling each other. Something is troubling him.
Dave has always been the best when it comes to handling situations. There could have been a meteorite shower going on in front of him and everyone would've been in chaos but he will remain calm and logical. Dave always thinks before he acts. And right now, this face in front of me, this is Dave in deep thoughts. And I couldn't understand what situation are we in with that would put Dave into such state.
Whatever bothers Dave, for certain, should bother me also.
"What just happened?" I asked.
Upon hearing my question, Dave refocused his eyes and stared at me before looking away, and taking back his hand. And there I saw a hint of hesitation on his face.
"Stupidity. That's what happened." I was taken aback when Macforth spoke, sounding irritated. My heart was racing then. It feels like watching a horror movie, when the ghost suddenly appeared on the screen without a fair warning.
I didn't know that Macforth was in the same room. He was standing by the window on my right side, looking out. His arms were crossed over his chest. He glanced at me before walking out of the room.
"You pass out." I did?
I pass out? That's it? So what was it that hit me? I felt something hit me.
"Can you walk?" Dave asked, already on his feet. I nodded, but took his forearm for support. And then we headed out of the room.
Dave held my things with his right arm, the other was supporting me— actually I let him tow me. I'm sorry for depending my whole body to him, but I couldn't focus, my mind's somewhere else. I'm thinking if there really was a crane or I was just imagining it.
When we got out of that building, I realized that we were still on the school ground, and we were at the clinic.
It's very silent. There's no one outside, the classes must have resumed. I wonder how long I stayed out.
The sun's still out, rising brightly above us but was entirely covered with clouds. It didn't take long when the van parked in front of us. Dave opened the door, getting himself in after me.
Dave placed my things on the seat beside Macforth, where their bags were. It seems like we would be heading home, and it didn't make me feel any good that Dave and Macforth had to skip their classes because of me. And as much as I wanted to tell them to go back to their classrooms because I would be fine on my own, I'm scared that I am actually not.
I exhaled. I couldn't believe how I could only think of myself. I feel so self-centered, but I really couldn't manage on my own right now.
Going out of the school ground, we drove past the statue of the man. I checked the ground to see if I was only dreaming, but there lays a huge dent on the ground, an indication that something heavy struck it, hard.
Therefore, I wasn't dreaming.
Then I assumed, the temporary blindness and deafness I went through earlier were nothing but a defense mechanism of my mind reacting to the suppose pain. It must have been my mind's way of protecting me from the anticipated pain.
I wonder if that was what really happened. Could my assumption be right? Regardless, there is a much more vital question than that.
"Dave, how am I not hurt?" I'm curious how I wasn't hurt when I was so sure it would hit me. Not that I wasn't thankful but I was too positive it would hit me. The metal was coming at me. I remember it seeing inches from me.
I looked at Dave, waiting patiently for his response. He smiled at me, saying...
"Forth, pulled you out of the way." My eyes automatically glance at Macforth's direction.
I felt like someone patted my back, hard. I feel like I forgot breathing for a matter of seconds. The idea of him, pulling me out of the way was something I didn't anticipate.
"Thank you, Macforth." And I mean it, although I had my eyes looking at my lap by now, I really mean it. And I wanted to expound my gratitude, but knowing how he hates loud people, I remained quiet. I know it would only infuriate him if I continue talking.
Stupidity. That's what happened. I suddenly remembered. Was that the reason behind Macforth's annoyance earlier? That he had his life in danger too? I should be more thankful to him then. Despite the obviousness that he does not like having me around, still he risked his life saving me. I wonder how I could thank him without annoying him at the same time.
It didn't take long when an idea struck me. The idea of me, moving out. Out of Aunt's home, out of their university, out of his sight. I smiled bitterly. I'm just starting to live my life but now it looks like I have to bid goodbye. Macforth put his life in danger to save me, how can I deny something that would make his life normal again?
While I would be moving out in two weeks from their home, but from the university... Can I just finish a semester first? Selfish.
The pictures flashed back. I exhaled, remembering how frightened I was earlier. I was hopeless then, didn't even have the slightest idea that someone could actually save me. That Macforth was ― not there.
Macforth was across the university ground earlier, with Dave. So there's no way he could be anywhere near me to pull me out of the way. I was so sure about that. I was alone beside the statue that I felt hopeless.
It was an impossible distant and any speed wouldn't ― I shrugged everything. The idea sounded illogical. Foolish rather.
I should just be thankful I'm saved and get over it.
I looked forward, outside the tinted window. The traffic light is on red. And there I saw a bookstore in the corner of the street.
"Macforth, if it's not too much, can we make a stop to that bookstore?" I asked. I figured it's the best time to look for the book since we aren't rushing home. It would be better to do it now instead of doing this tomorrow before going to school.
Macforth didn't answer but he pulled over and parked the van in front of it.
"I won't take long. I promise." I assured them, I clung my bag to my back before jumping off the van to fulfill that promise.
It was windy outside, I heard the tree leaves dancing in unison with the wind. I have to gather my hair with my hand so it won't block my sight. I didn't know Dave followed me until he reached for the bookstore's door before I could.
I handed the paper, Sir Mont gave me, to the counter girl. I figured, it would be easier if I'll ask for help than doing it on my own considering how big the store is. It's a two storey store and has a wide interior. Aside from the rows of bookshelves, there are tables on the isle that has piles of books, so I assumed that what I did was the right thing to do since I do not know where to start.
It is so peaceful inside the store, this mustn't be the peak hour for customers. The bookstore is so bright, the walls were made of glass so the brightness outside penetrates the inside of the store, it is so open.
Waiting, I ran my fingers through the pile of books on the counter, but I am not actually reading the titles. At the back of my mind, I'm still thinking how was it possible that Macforth had reached me on time, given the distance between us.
"Dave?" I called, looking for him. He's on the other side of the counter, nearer to the door. It's the pile of books over the counter that made it hard to see him.
"Hmm?" Dave turned his face towards my direction. His eyes, never leaving the glass walls behind the counter. I followed his gaze towards the coffee shop across the road, the clean pavement and the twelve-laned road.
The counter girl arrived then, handing the book to Dave. He passed it on to me and pulled his wallet out.
"He's waiting." He said, reminding me my promise. It feels like a thunder bolt sign appeared in the air, I am not sure how short we have stayed inside, but it's better not to push the button. I immediately walked out.
The wind blew passed me, I heard the sound of crunchy leaves, swirling on the ground from the corner. Suddenly, it was blowing harder, tossing my hair all over my face, entirely blocking my sight. I panicked, knowing there's still a remaining step or two of the elevated facade before I could actually reached the ground.
I immediately reach for the railings that I drop my book in the process, it was blinding. I stood still for a moment and waited for the wind to calm down before bending to reach my book, but I stop midway in confusion. Or disorientation was the right term?
Something just happened. Again.
Three things were clear. First, for whatever reason the book was nowhere in my sight.
Second, all of a sudden, I am lying on ground when I was supposed to be bending over, reaching for my book. But no, instead of the ground, I'm suddenly facing the sky. And it's gray when I'm so sure it wasn't.
And third, Dave, instead of him being behind me— inside the bookstore— is so close to me, holding me in his arms as he crouched.
I do not have the slightest idea how everything could be so confusing in just a split of a nanosecond.
I tried to remember what happened but there's none to remember. I was just grabbing my book, and then all of a sudden, I found myself in Dave's arms and we're nowhere near the bookstore.
I felt a cold sensation on my left cheek. I held it, it was Dave's microscopic necklace, touching my face. I realized Macforth is next to us, crouching too. His left knee was touching the ground. I glanced back at Dave and saw the same expression on his face like Macforth. Both of them were so serious, staring intently to whatever it is behind this blue car we're hidding.
"Did I pass out again?" Because I see no other explanation.
I reached for Dave's shoulder to help myself get up, sitting properly between them and remained hidden.
I learned that we haven't left the downtown yet. We're in front of a coffee shop, just across the bookstore. We're hiding at the side of one of the three cars, all facing west.
I tried to peak over the side of the bumper. There was a guy standing in front of the bookstore, exactly where I was suppose to be standing millisecond ago. I was there, I was reaching for my book. And now I'm here across the road when I don't even remember taking a single step. How did I get here?
Did I just go through another life threatening event? That my system decided to go on a sleep mode again? Because that is really the only explanation I can think of.
I glanced back to the stranger. He got something burning in his hand, something I consider dangerous because he's holding it too close to his clothes. And by the look of it, he must have been the responsible for the small object burning in front of the bookstore.
Still, I don't understand what's happening. Why would someone just roam around with fire and burn things on their way?
"He's dangerous?" I asked them but when I finally turned to them, Dave and Macforth are staring at me with their eyes wide open.
"What is it?" I asked again.
I started biting my lip out of curiosity when they didn't respond. Both just kept giving me the startled reaction. So I just turned back to the guy.
The guy watched as the fire on the object disappeared. He looked around and saw our van, still parked in front of the bookstore. He pointed the burning object to our van, my eyes widen, aware of what he would be doing next. I immediately stood up and was walking towards him before I realized what I was doing.
"Don't!" I pleaded, not bothering to look at my left and right before crossing the wide road.
At this moment I realized I am capable of doing rash actions out of surprise.
His head snap towards me, and from what I can see on his face, he's so surprise to see me. He must've not anticipating anyone to be around.
I was a meter away or two when I realized that the location of the burnt object on the ground is somewhat familiar.
Was that my book? I walked close to it and saw a few pieces of burned small papers on the ground. I reached one of those to checked if it was really my book but the fire went on again. I gasped.
The fire almost touched my fingers.
I immediately step backward when I realized that the fire was moving, going towards my shoes. It was fast that I had to double my steps, almost stumbling upon the process. It seems like someone had poured the gasoline in my direction and threw a match on it.
The fire was following me.
I dared to looked back hoping it would vanished, but the move only caused me a delay and even before I could step further away, the fire had already found its way to block me from everything.
Terrified, I found myself inside a ring of fire then.