The clock ticks. The hand moves forwards, backwards, backwards, then forwards again. I lower my eyes and wring my hands. I blink back the strong light coming from above. Why am I here? How did I get here? Am I really here? How I wish I could wake up...
And if I did wake up, where could my imagination take me? Where haven't I been before? Tightening my grip on the pencil, I sit up straight and tap my foot. One, two, one, two. ...
Then this weird feeling comes over me. It's a sort of feeling that you think... Anywhere but here. I realize that there's nothing for me here, that I should pack my bags and run away out of this nightmare, out of this place that eats me alive each day, that leaves me with an empty shell, nothing more than hollow.



There he is, standing in the doorway, allowing his eyes to slice through mine. Every part of my body is scalding and my fingers begin to tremble. It's been so long. It's been too long.

"Come on, Sophia. Come with me." He gestures for me to stand up and go to him.

"Landon, I thought..." I close my eyes and open them again. "I thought you forgot about me."

He stares at me intently and slowly shakes his head. "No. I could never forget about you."

"I thought I'd never see you again," I say softly, feeling all the eyes on us for the first time. Let them stare, I think.
Pushing back my chair, I glare at the teacher who is near me. She raises her eyebrows, but before she can speak. I say: "No empty threats. They won't work."

I run to Landon and he clasps my hand in his. "Where to?" I ask.

"Wherever you want," he answers.

Now it's as if I've broken free, it's as if nothing matters anymore. Nothing. This is what I have been missing, I think to myself. And for how long? Longer than I can remember.
Once we're outside the building, Landon backs me up against a concrete wall and leans in. He kisses me, his tongue on the soft part of my palette. I put pressure on the nape of his neck. Press harder, harder, there. He lets out a shaky breath and tightens his grip around my waist

. "Why are you even here?" I ask him, sounding surprisingly naïve.

"You're so pure," he replies in a low voice. "I'm going to do something about it."

I pull away and take a few steps back, my eyes are huge.

"Sophia," he says. He licks his lips. "You never should have trusted me."

He wants to feed his hunger. He wants to eat his victim alive, feel its cold sweat wiped on his hands, feel its skin between his teeth. "Run," he whispers.

A drop of blood hits the ground.

I'll catch you.

With a jolt, I snap back to reality.

The clock ticks.