Standing slowly, I pulled my coat over my shoulders and pulled my black gloves onto my hands.
"Miss Mila! Where do you think you are going?"
I ignored her. I'd gotten pretty good at ignoring over the past week.
My classmates watched as with deadened movements I dragged the zipper up on my jacket and gathered my books into my messenger's bag. They all watched curiously as I walked across the room to the door.
"I'm going now," I said softly, my voice cracking to life barely above a whisper. The students in the front row had to lean forward to hear my words. "And you can call the office or whatever you want, but I will be back before the end of the period."
"Miss Mila…" the teacher tried again. I think she must have realized what this was all about, for she didn't try to hard again to stop me.
As she hesitated, I pushed the door open and left.
The icy wind hit me brutally in the face, slamming the air from my lungs. Instantly my body froze. I loved it. I couldn't feel my legs as I walked. I couldn't feel my face, my ears, or my nose. I couldn't feel my hands, my bloodstained hands. I couldn't feel my heart pumping.
If I closed my eyes, it was like I wasn't even alive.
I liked that feeling.
"Mila!" I stopped. Turned slowly.
"Mila," he started his face also grim. He stopped, however, when he caught sight of my face. "You're crying…"
I pulled off my glove and touched an already cold hand to my cheek.
It was so cold, my tears were nearly frozen. It was so cold; I hadn't felt the tears streaming down my face. Hadn't felt them…hadn't cared.
I turned away from the tall boy and put my gloves back on. I kept walking, not caring about the tears and not caring to find out if Damon was following me.
"Mila!" he cried.
"Come if you want," I said softly. Daringly. "But don't talk to me. I don't know you. Got it Damon?"
I kept walking. He didn't follow.
I entered the building, forgetting about the change in temperature. The heat hit me in a wave and all of a sudden I could feel my legs moving, I could feel my heart pumping wildly and I could feel the tears that had not ceased to pour down my face.
And there he was.
He wrapped his arms tightly around me and I sobbed into his chest. Little noises keep squeaking their way out. He kept running his hand over my back, soothing me.
"Cai…" I whispered hoarsely. "Oh Cai…"
We broke apart slowly. Usually Cai would be telling me that everything was going to be okay…but he wasn't this time. Because he knew it wouldn't. Nothing would ever be okay again.
He wrapped his arm around my waist as a plastic wine glass was thrust into my hand and another into his.
"He was funny. He could make you laugh even if you felt like bawling." I lifted my eyes to see Trio and Sam standing on one of the round cafeteria tables. Trio was looking into his glass. I wondered what was in it.
"But he could also be serious," Sam continued, picking up from where Trio left off. "He always wanted to help you in any way that was at all possible. Homework…rides home…" the girl smiled through her tears. "Your love life…lack thereof…"
There were some soft chuckles from around the room. I moved closer to Cai.
Wiping tears from his eyes, Trio began again. "I'll never forget him. I don't think any of us ever will. Or can. So…to you my old friend…" He raised his glass.
Cai slipped from my grip and headed towards the table. I hugged myself to keep from shivering too much.
He stepped up onto the table as Trio and Sam stepped down. He swept the crowd of people with sad sapphire eyes. His eyes rested on me and the tears began to well up again.
Cai raised his glass. "To Travis."
The cafeteria echoed his words and I closed by eyes. "To Travis."
And we drank to the memory of our fallen friend.
I opened my eyes to find a pair of concerned emerald orbs gazing down at me.
"What happened?" I asked softly.
"You just…you were just standing very still…you weren't moving...you weren't reacting…" It's Trio who's standing over me, not Cai. "Kate, are you alright? Is something wrong?"
I looked beyond his blue hair to see Sam and Cai standing watching Trio. He always had been the medical expert of our group…he took a first aide class with Travis a couple years ago…My eyes met Cai's…there was something in those sapphire orbs that hadn't always been there…
"My best friend is dead, Trio. Nothing is ever going to be alright again."
Pushing past the blue haired boy I stood and lay a hand on the table to steady myself. As soon as my vision had cleared I realized that Trio, Sam, Cai and I were the only ones still in the cafeteria.
"Classes have changed," Sam said softly locking her grey eyes on the tiled floor. Her platinum blonde hair streaked with thick teal lines fell into her face. People always told me that Sam was beautiful…I guess she was…Travis thought that she was…not that he ever told her…
Sadness gripped my heart at that thought.
"We should go to class," I whispered.
Sam nodded but Trio shook his head. "No, you need to rest Kate. Go to the nurse's office if you don't want to go home but---"
"She doesn't need rest," Sam argued pulling her eyes up from the tiles. "What she needs is to do something and not just be dawdling about. She needs something to think about other then…" Had it been any other day I would have laughed. It always amazed me how different two twins could be…
"We all need something else to think about," Cai agreed softly. He moved close to me and wrapped an arm around my waist. I leaned against him, thankful for the support. I wanted to fall asleep for a year, with no thoughts, no memories and no dreams…I just wanted to sleep…
Softly, I crumpled to the ground, Cai supporting me the whole way down. Trio plopped down onto the tiles next to my black haired boyfriend and Sam eloquently slipped to the ground next to me.
"Remember the time that he put that confetti cannon in Christy's locker?" Trio asked softly. "Remember how hard he would laugh after every one of his stupid pranks? Remember his laugh?"
"Remember how badly he would drive the teachers insane?" Sam asked, picking up her twin's thoughts, as usual. "Remember the time he was suspended for shimmying up one of the columns in the lobby?"
"Remember the time he stole the janitor's trashcan with wheels and rode it down the hallway?" Cai asked, making almost all of us laugh at the mere mention of the memory. "Remember the time he changed all of the clocks in the school to read an hour later then it actually was? Remember the time he got his leg stuck to the desk with some gum?"
"Remember the time he chased Trio down the hallway with a dart gun, just so I could shoot some footage for the film?" I asked softly. "Remember the time we were all in computer class and we looked out the window to find him walking on the roof of the portables? Remember the food fight? The cell phone incident? The music? The boom box?"
We were all laughing softly by the end of those memories. But how could you not? Travis was the most spontaneous…the funniest…the most creative…
And he was gone.
I turned to Sam, who seemed to be lapsing back into silence.
"Sam, how did you first meet Travis?"
And so the stories began.