"Good morning, dear students, both new and old. Today, we celebrate the beginning of classes. For some of you, it is the start of a new chapter, and as your current student council president, I welcome you, to your high school life. The part of your lives where you celebrate your youth, meet friends, have hobbies, have relationships, but more importantly, to become a good member of society. "
I never understood these welcoming ceremonies at the start of every school year. I am aware that it is for the orientation of the new students, but what about the old ones? Do they still need to sit in this crowded building and listen to the same over- saturated speech every year like they're supposed to memorize it or something? It would be better if they limit the strict attendance in this program to the newly enrolled students. But seeing as how these kinds of schools which are located in cities never really seem to care about the convenience of their students but care more about the amount of revenue they get, there is no use in hoping for change. After all, schools are a kind of business after all. Heck, if I manage to own a school in the future I might treat the students there the same way. This probably makes me a hypocrite for ranting about it in the first place.
Considering the amount of students paying more attention in talking to their friends rather than listening to the copy-and-pasted speech being given by their beloved student council president, I'd say this ceremony is as useless as filtering mineral water. But I digress. I'll just keep my earphones on and ignore what's happening around me. I've done it so many times by now that I consider it as instinct.
"Stand up, Damis,"
There's a bad side in doing this though.
And that's if something important actually happens,
I won't be able to notice it.
I stood up as fast as I could. Feeling both surprised and confused I pulled my earphones off so fast that I thought the wires broke off then switched my attention on to what's happening. I looked in front and saw that all of my classmates, no, all of the 3rd year students, all on stage and they're all waiting for that one student that is still not standing with them, and I was the only one left in the sitting area, alone and embarrassed. I looked my homeroom teacher, her face bared an expression of anger and disappointment. It was almost comedic. Some of the freshmen laughed at what happened, though I know most of them laughed because of my teacher's ridiculous reaction. There was also my friend Noah with a smirk that meant something like "I tried to warn you", his face also filled with disappointment. I also started to be disappointed at myself, who knew disappointment was contagious. What a great day to start the school year, huh? Moving on from what had transpired I steadily sprinted up to the stage and joined my classmates, being on the same height group as him, I stood next to Noah. He was trying to hold back his laughter.
"So… how long did it take me to realise what's happening?" I whispered.
"About five minutes." He let out a chuckle, "You have to stop wearing those earphones all the time dude, or at least lower the volume next time." He answered, barely managing to hold back his laughter.
"How about next time you pull my earphones off when something important happens because that's not going to happen."
"That sounds like a good idea, but I can't guarantee I'll be able to get to you faster than Ms Palmer."
"Noah, it's okay. I trust you."
"No you don't."
"Yeah, I don't."
We started giggling like little kids doing a prank.
"Besides, if I do that, we won't be able to see Ms Palmer's contorted face that often."
"That's true. But seriously though, pull them off next time."
"Don't worry my man I got your back. And your earphones."
Apparently the point of us graduating students singing the hymn on stage was to inspire the new students. Ahh, I remember when I used to be a freshmen and saw all of the seniors singing on stage. They inspired me to want to skip the opening ceremonies. The bored and indifferent look on their faces as they sang the hymn showed just how much they wanted to be anywhere but there. Although the pathetic display of forced enthusiasm the teachers seemed to be very happy, also I swear I saw the principal in tears while watching us sing. Old people sure are passionate.
Minutes went by and after a few last words we were finally allowed to leave the stage and return to our seats. Just as we began returning to our seats our homeroom teacher, Ms Palmer approached me and whispered something I hear very too often.
" , come the teacher's lounge later, we have something important to talk about."
I couldn't help but sigh, "Yes, ma'am."
I walked to my seat, stressed by the fact that I was about to get scolded by my homeroom teacher during the first day of class. However, seeing that most of the chairs were already occupied including my own I decided to sit on whatever chair was left. Also, Noah disappeared all of the sudden, and I have no clue where he might have went. He's always like that. But he's always there when I need him so I don't really care that much about it. I looked for a seat that was nearest to the exit and decided to sit there. I have a rule, one of five rules, well they're more like things to remember rather than rules but anyway, I have this rule that if I end up being in a situation where things suddenly turn bad for me, I'll try to find a way that will not make it seem so. In other words, optimism. Even though I lost my seat I'll be the first one to leave this place. Unless the teachers decide to line us up before going to class. As I prepared to put on my earphones I felt a slight chill on my back, as if someone was glaring at me. I turned around feeling terrified of what abomination is staring at me, and I saw my teacher giving me the "Don't do anything you'll regret" eye. Well, I can always wear them later. I sat there, wondering when the ceremony will end. Opening ceremonies are scheduled to be an hour long event, though it is not certain when the event will end.
Today's ceremony was supposed to start at 6 am but ended up starting 25 minutes late because of an unexpected event which I had personally witnessed earlier this morning, a traffic accident involving a car and a delivery truck. It happened a few blocks away from where I walked on my way to school. I saw someone die in that accident. A middle aged man, who judging by his attire was on his way to work. It looked like the airbag didn't trigger during the accident, his face was full of shards of broken glass. His neck snapped from the impact. His daughter who was sitting in the back seat was out cold but was uninjured; she was in her uniform and looked like she is a student of this school. At least she has an excuse for being absent during the first day of classes, lucky her. While thinking about the recent accident I remembered something else. A girl named May; a classmate of mine since the first year of high school. Looking at her reminded me of myself for some reason. Oh, I remember now. Even though a gruesome traffic accident happened in front of her, she was calm. In contrast to the shock, confusion and panic that was on the faces of the other witnesses. I never thought I'd see the day where someone could be as calm and indifferent as I am during an event like that. She has been my classmate for all these years but I never knew that she was like that. It looked like she's been through worse. As though nothing can ever compare to whatever she had seen before. It was like, she was used to it. I thought of her as a silent, introverted girl, the kind that doesn't have many friends not because people avoid her, but because she likes to be alone. During that moment, my opinion of her, though insignificant, changed.
"Man, the men's CR smelled like shit." While I was staring at the distance, deep in my thoughts, Noah came from behind and sat on the chair beside mine, "So, what did I miss?"
I snapped back to reality then coughed as if to ready my mouth for conversation.
"Well, a student fainted and was taken to the hospital. The paramedics were like all over the place. It was crazy as hell."
"So… nothing happened?"
He rested his hand on my shoulder, as if I failed at something and he was trying to comfort me.
"Man you sure suck at lying. I mean the hospital really? Don't you know we have a school infirmary?"
"Yeah yeah I'll try harder next time."
He shakes his head as if in disagreement. "Here's a tip at deceiving people, if you're going to lie about something, make sure you won't get caught."
"Well isn't that common sense?" I thought to myself. I sighed then pushed away his hand from my shoulder.
"I'll remember that." I added.
"Also, you always move your feet when you lie."
Hearing that made me feel disappointed. I expected to grow out of that mannerism by now.
"Hmmm... What if I just moved them because they were uncomfortable?" I argued as if trying to make an alibi.
"Saying obvious bullshit before slightly moving your feet gives it away."
Well that is a good point.
I'll just have to pay more attention to it from now on.
"You just made me a better liar. Thanks." At least, I felt like it did. He let out a chuckle. I almost had mistaken it for a cough.
"Glad to help."
I felt a slight shiver. It felt like someone was staring intently at me again. Probably Ms Palmers, but I didn't do anything wrong though. I looked around, trying to find the source of the terrifying gaze. Upon finding the source, my fear disappeared, and instead I felt puzzled. The one staring at me was not a teacher, but a certain female student who shared the same recent experience as I did. It was May. When our eyes met, I suddenly recalled the calm expression she had earlier this morning. After that she turned away as fast as she could, she looked slightly embarrassed.
Just before Noah dozed off my voice brought him back to life, as if it was some sort of alarm.
"What- no- wait, Ahem. Come again?" He rubbed his eyes, trying to fight his drowsiness.
"Say there's a girl. The two of you don't know each other. But then you find out that the girl has been staring at you for some reason. Why do you think the girl would do that?"
"By girl do you mean Ms Frendricks?"
What he said catches me by surprise. "How did you-"
"This isn't the first time she stared at you like you were some freak show. She's been doing that since last year."
"Hold on, let me get this straight, she's been keeping an eye on me since last year and you never told me about it. What the hell dude."
"Sorry, I just thought it would be better to let things take its course."
Something about what he said made me scratch the back of my head. "What do you mean?"
"What I mean is that, she's obviously interested in you. I just thought it would be better if I let it happen naturally without involving myself."
Contrary to what Noah was suggesting, she didn't look at all like she was interested in me. She stared at me looking like she was staring at a trash bag filled with used diapers after a few neighbourhood dogs indulged in its contents.
"I doubt that she's interested in me in any way."
"She is. She wouldn't be wasting effort to twist her neck 90 degrees just to stare at you for god knows how long if she didn't." He proceeded to tap my shoulder, as if trying to get my full attention.
"How about you approach her after this ceremony, I have a feeling she has something important to tell you."
"How did you get that idea?"
"Trust me. I know quite a few things about people."
Being the socialite that he is, I decided to trust him.
"I guess… I can talk to her when I feel like it."
He placed his hands on my shoulders. He looked oddly proud.
"I never think I'd see the day when you finally decide to approach a complete stranger, not to mention a girl. As your dear friend, I'm proud of you." He wiped his non-existent tear off his eye. Well, he does have a point. This is the first time I wanted to talk to someone other than Noah at school, much less a female.
"It's a sign of progress I guess." I put on a half-hearted grin.
Without warning all of the students stood up in unison. The opening ceremony has ended. Everyone got ready to leave and go back to their respective classrooms. Luckily the teachers didn't decide to line up all the students so everyone proceeded to walk on their separate ways. That didn't matter for me though because even before I could walk five steps away Ms Palmers called my name making me remember what she told me earlier on stage. Noah gave me a nudge and as he left the venue, he waved goodbye. "Good luck."
I appreciate the thought, although "Rest in Peace" would have been more appropriate.
Oh boy did she give me an earful. I left the faculty room, questioning my life choices. I looked at the clock outside the faculty room's door and saw that I spent half an hour being scolded by her though I swore that it felt like an hour's worth. Feeling exhausted I decided to head for the nearest comfort room, hoping that washing my face with cold water would bring me back to life. While walking I noticed that there were a lot of students around the halls, too many for me. I reached for my earphones which is located on my left pocket but ended pulling out nothing. "Where the hell did I put it?" while mentally screaming these words, I frantically looked for my earphones in every place I could think of, then I remembered Noah. That sly son of a gun. He must've taken them. To be honest, I should have expected this. This wasn't the first time. Moments later the school bell rang signalling the start of second period. The students that were frolicking in the hallways disappeared one by one into their respected classrooms. I for the other hand started sprinting as fast as I could to my own classroom on the second floor. Forget my earphones, if I'm late I'll have to deal with Ms Palmers again. While going up the stairs I saw May standing in front of the steps, she shouldn't be there. Without a reason to care in the first place I continued my race against time and ignored the girl, though admittedly ignoring her was a mistake. She suddenly grabbed my arm with such force that it was sure to stop me in my tracks, but my feet didn't want to stop moving making me lose my balance and end up flat on the ground.
"Ouch… The hell was that…" I exclaimed while trying to prop myself up.
After I stood up she looked at me like she wanted to say something, me on the other hand was busy avoiding eye contact as I tried to figure out a way to escape this situation. Just as I was ready to walk away and forget that the event ever happened, she began to speak.
"I… Ahem. Sorry about that." She said that, with a not-so apologetic expression.
"Grabbing you was the only way I could think of to get your attention."
Okay, here we go. I coughed as if to ready my mouth for conversation.
"… The bell rang so we need to go to class now…"
"It's the first day of classes so I'm sure that there won't be any lectures this period."
As much as I don't like this situation, she's right.
"But… don't the teachers usually check the attendance even during the first day?"
"Don't worry, usually the attendance only counts for 5% of the computation of grades of a student which has no noticeable impact on the overall grades itself. Anyway, it's a bad idea talking in the hallways while classes are in session. Follow me."
She told me that like I was obligated to join her in her endeavours, which I was not. But by the way things are going, leaving won't help. That was the impression I got from her. But then again, being scolded by Ms Palmers two times in one day won't help either. When she began walking up the stairs, I also started to walk towards the classroom while trying to avoid her attention.
She let out a sigh.
"Did you know how long I waited here just to have chance to speak with you? Please don't make it feel like I wasted my time."
The words she said resonated with me for some reason, enough to make me choke a bit before going on a complete stop. It made me feel something that I haven't felt in a long time. I felt guilty.
"You… you didn't."
Upon hearing those words she made a gentle smile.
"Can I hear that again?" she said, like it was some sort of command, a command that, surprisingly, I wasn't against following.
After letting out a brief sigh, I repeated myself, "You didn't waste your time."
"Aren't we supposed to not be here?" I whispered while she was struggling to open the rooftop door. "And isn't that thing supposed to be locked?"
"Instead of asking all those useless questions would you mind helping me with this door?" she said while breathing heavily.
"Useless what- we're going to get in trouble you know…" I tried to reason with her.
"Please." After uttering that word she stopped, still facing the door.
Hearing that word, I couldn't do anything but let out a deep sigh. "Make room."
After a few more attempts we finally managed to open it.
She continued to open the door, sunlight gradually crept in the doorway. The brightness took me by surprise, almost blinding me for a moment. When my sight came back to normal I saw May, her black hair dancing along the gentle breeze. She stared blankly at the distance and for some reason, she looked sad.
"So… what did you need to tell me?" I said after managing to catch my breath.
"No not tell, ask. I need your help." She said, still looking at the distance.
"Okay… with what? Oh, and while we're at it, why me of all people?"
She continued to stare at the distance like she was trying to look for something.
"Look, we don't need to talk about it here in the rooftop so… let's just go back to class, Okay?" I suggested, trying to get her attention. It doesn't look like she's listening though.
"You know, I was planning to confront you about this for a long time now. I just wanted to wait for the right time. I… have a confession to make, I have been… observing you… for quite a while now…"
"Wait what!?" I exclaimed, looking as surprised as someone who just discovered that some stranger was stalking him.
"Since… second year to be specific…"
She glanced at me and looked as though she was surprised with my reaction.
"Oh come on, it's not a big deal." She said while crossing her arms.
"So… you were stalking me?"
"Oh please, stalking indicates that I am obsessed with you and also am going out of my way to follow you around gathering as much information about you as humanly possible, which I did not. I'm not obsessed with you, at least."
"So you admit that you were borderline stalking me, sorry I need a moment to let this sink in."
"As I said I wasn't stalking you, I was merely gathering information about you to test a theory I made."
"And… what theory is that?"
"An ability to foresee death"
Hearing what she said paralyzed me for a moment. I took a big gulp of saliva that for some reason filled my mouth as I desperately tried to think of something to say.
"Are you… Okay?" she asked, looking a bit confused. Probably because I looked like I just shit my pants.
Man, I don't like where this is going. After experiencing some light-headedness due to the stress I'm currently experiencing, I regained my composure and decided to give my usual reply towards questions like these. Believe it or not this was not the first time someone confronted me about this.
"S-sorry… I don't know what you're talking about- "
"Damis, is it? Let me ask you a question. Do you have any idea about the one and only constant in this world?"
"What do you mean?" I asked. What the hell is she going on about? What she said confused me enough to make me lose my train of thought.
"You know, I believe there is one constant in this world, or rather the only constant I care about. And it is that I'm never wrong."
I can't believe she can say that without even blinking. That sounded so far-fetched that I wouldn't believe it even if I wanted to.
"Sceptical, I assume." She began slowly walking towards be then stopped a meter away. She then proceeded to stare at me starting at my shoulders down to my shoes. I can't help but feel awkward though the situation doesn't even faze her.
"You live alone, don't you?" What she said caught me off guard and made me slightly lose my balance, forcing me to step backward a bit. After smiling at my reaction she continued to speak.
"I'll take that as a yes. Also, eating cup noodles for breakfast is an unhealthy way to start the day."
"W-wait how did you-"
"And it's seems as though you lost something, no, you already know where it is." I was starting to get uncomfortable.
"Yeah, I get already, you can stop now okay?"
She looked like she was ready to burst with laughter but at the same time she didn't. But she looked so full of herself to the point where it almost annoyed me.
"Care to know how I knew all that?" she said with a smug look on her face.
After pondering about it for a while I finally thought of an answer that was rather more obvious than I thought. "Well… if I had to guess it's probably because you were stalking me." She frowned after hearing what I said. I don't know why but seeing her face like that felt like I achieved something.
"What about that thing I said about something you lost? Hmm?"
To be honest I have no idea how she could have figured that out having it only happen minutes before I encountered her.
"Well, any idea?" she asked, eager to hear an answer.
She smiled then pointed at my pants. "Your pockets"
I reached down my pockets and saw that they were pulled out, probably because of what I did earlier.
"Anyway now that I told you something quote-unquote unusual about me, how about you try to enlighten me about… yours."
She stared at me, waiting to be entertained. Little does she know that there is actually another "constant" in this world, and that is my never ending persistence.
This was a lie of course.
Preparing to speak, I stood on my feet firmly.
"Sorry, as I firmly said before I honestly have no idea what you're talking about." I declared, finally gaining the courage to look at her eyes.
"Well well, I guess there are actually two constants in this world." Taken aback by her latest remark I lost my composure. This girl is a weird one. Suddenly I remembered something of importance in this situation. Something that I want to get clarified.
"You still haven't told me why you need my help." I reminded her.
"I need you to help me find a murderer."
"Excuse me?" I asked thinking that I wasn't sure about what I heard.
"Ugh this is getting awfully redundant. I know you heard what I said, and I'm never wrong." She said while also sounding redundant. I don't know if she was being sarcastic or actually serious, though it was clear that it was the latter. She stared at me, waiting for a response.
"As I said before, you also have something quite unusual about you and after some observations I found out what it is. You can see people's deaths."
Just before I gave a response she cut me off and continued to speak.
"And could you do me a favour and stop trying to deny it, I know I'm right and if you want me to explain how I got to that conclusion I'd be more than happy to. I wouldn't have any reason to confront you if this wasn't the case after all."
I can't think of any other way to approach this situation. Even though it felt like I was going to be digging my own grave I decided to let her hear what she wanted.
"Let's say I did have the ability to foresee people's deaths, how would that help you find a murderer. It's not like I'll be able to see what caused the death…" I replied while trying to hide my nervousness. After hearing what I said she began smirking at me, it was then that I realised that I said something I shouldn't have.
"So you can only see the victim's condition after the cause of death, interesting."
I began to panic. Before I knew it I was slowly pacing backward trying to reach the door and hopefully make a run for it.
"Oh I wouldn't do that if I were you, unless you're interested in seeing the only thing that's worse than death," After threatening me with an equally intimidating voice she began reaching for something in her pocket, something that looked like a pen. She continued her threat, "Nothing." and with the click of the pen she began walking towards me.
I know a lot of things, I read many books, listened to many lectures, answered many academic questions. I was good at it. I became one of the best students in my class because I was good. However, I failed to notice something crucial in the situation I ended up in. I never once thought that maybe, just maybe, this girl right in front of me holding a pen might be legitimately crazy. And at this moment, I think she is.
"Hold on, I'm sorry okay? I'll stop, promise. I won't run away…" The look of terror was visible on my face. After seeing my pathetic display she began laughing her ass off.
"Did you really believe that I was going to stab your eye sockets? " she placed the pen back in her pocket.
My fear dissipated and was replaced with anger "I never knew you were that rude of a person."
After she was done laughing she started wiping the tears on her face "Well the way I see it, the more you begin to know about someone, the more inclined you'll be to tell them more about yourself."
"No." I was starting to get pissed.
She looked at me with crossed arms.
"Wait. Are you seriously upset right now?"
I took a deep breath then began saying the words that I hoped was enough to make her give up. "I'm sorry but I think it's better for both of us to go our separate ways already." I told her while trying to be as sincere as I can. I felt like I had enough for today, I just wanted to go someplace quite.
"'Look, I'm sorry if I seemed to be a bit disrespectful, and during our first meeting nonetheless, but I don't see any reason for us to leave already, we're only just getting started-"
"You said you don't like wasting your time right? That's why I'm ending this conversation here. I am not interested in helping you nor do I have the ability to see people's deaths. "
"Impossible." She declared, almost shouting.
Hearing her stern voice as she said that caught my attention.
"September, last year, our teacher had an unfortunate accident during class that caused his untimely death. A few minutes before it happened you left the room in a hurry without asking permission from the teacher or even telling anybody. That in itself was nothing worth noticing but, the thing is after the teacher died you came back with the school nurse and that's what got my interest. I began thinking about it even after I got home that day thinking about how weird it is for you to know that the teacher will need medical attention even before it even happened especially when there were no signs that led to our teacher's heart attack, even the paramedics and our classmates were convinced that the attack came suddenly and without warning. I know you were close with that teacher but judging by your reaction during that time you had no idea about his medical condition. So after deciding to observe you for a while and especially after the accident this morning, I am certain that you can see something that is at least connected to a person's death. Let me tell you something, I never draw conclusions without any solid basis and that's why I'm confident in saying that I am never wrong. I take account every variable, every possibility, every impossibility, and form my conclusion based on my observations. If you think that you can pass of my assumption as something of a misunderstanding then I'm afraid that it's not going to work. You may give me the same reply you give to all of the people that confront you about this but I am far more difficult than those people. You're right, I don't like to waste my time, so if you make me set aside the time I spent observing you this past year, then I might consider stabbing you for real this time."
Hearing her long speech rendered me, speechless. I just stood there for a moment while she stared at me, waiting for a response, unfortunately, I couldn't think of anything to say. And having to remember that tragic event made it even harder to think. The long silence seemed to bother her, enough to make her scratch the back of her head.
"You know what? Fine. I'll leave you alone, for now. Seeing how stubborn you are makes me lose all my motivation to go on with this, and 2nd period is going to start soon so we better get going. But this isn't the last time we'll speak, keep that in mind." She began walking towards the door, I moved aside in order to avoid her, almost losing my balance in the process. Just before closing the door she stopped while facing the other side. "You move your feet when you lie, just wanted to point that out." She continued down the stairs, never looking back. And as she predicted the school bell rang signalling the start of 2nd period, just how does she keep doing that? Not long after frantically rubbing my face I followed. Though I think I left the rooftop door open by mistake, I just hope no one finds out about that.
"Yo, where were you?" Noah asked while I sat in my chair beside his.
"Somewhere I'd rather not talk about right now."
"Come on dude, tell me, unless you want to kiss your earphones goodbye." He said while holding my earphones in front of me.
"I knew you had them." I reached for my earphones but he moved it away from reach.
"If you want to get the hostage you got to give me what I want first."
"Fine." I reached for his ear to whisper about everything that happened. I could see him trying to hold his laughter.
"Did she really say that?"
"Yeah, I didn't think that she would find out about that, I mean-"
"I can't believe she almost stabbed you" almost failing to hold in his laughter he let out a chuckle, "Dude, that's some messed up shit" he proceeded to wipe the tears off his face.
I suddenly felt the urge to glance over May's seat to see what she's doing. I saw her staring at the window, the same way she stared at the distance earlier in the rooftop. Just before I pointed my attention back to Noah her expression went from calm and collected to pissed off and annoyed, maybe she's thinking about what happened earlier.
"But seriously though," he said while placing my earphones on my desk, "Doesn't she seem a little bit, I don't know, desperate to you?" what he said made me rethink about my conversation with her, trying to re-examine the whole situation again.
"No, she didn't, wait-" I stopped halfway, thinking that I noticed something that felt suspicious.
"You encouraged her, didn't you?"
"W-what? N-no, come on, why would I even… Anyway you should've seen Ms Palmers during first period, she looked pissed as hell for some reason. " The way he reacted and his poor attempt at changing the subject proved my suspicions. And HE says I'm a bad liar.
"Don't change the subject, why the heck didn't you tell me about her stalking me and wanting to talk to me about finding a murderer and all that stuff?" now that I think about it, encouraging me to approach May must've been all part of his plan.
"Whoa chill dude, I'm just as confused as you are. Yeeaahh she did tell me about wanting to talk to you about something but she didn't tell me anymore than that, I swear."
Feeling exhausted I decided to let this one slide, "Yeah, I'm actually not that angry about it, what's done is done. I just hope that our chat earlier was the end of it." Yep, it's better to stay optimistic. A problem ain't a problem till you think it is.
"Well, I wouldn't count on that." He said while looking towards the direction of May's seat, making me glance at her out of curiosity. She was staring at me, no, it was more like she was staring at the both of us. "And she did say that she'll be speaking to you some other time right?" as he said that our 2nd period teacher arrived in class, all of the students stood up to greet him and his almighty presence, and while standing up I answered him, "It would be better if it was a lie."
Classes has finally ended, usually I'll feel rather elated by being able to go home but today left a sour taste in my mouth, especially after lunch. I decided to go to the library before going home to check out some books I wanted to borrow. Noah on the other hand needed to attend to his part time job. After arriving and discovering that the school library was closed I decided to check it out tomorrow instead and be on my way home, it was strange, seeing it closed even though it was open during the morning. Before reaching the flight of stairs I noticed May standing in the corner as if she was waiting for someone, fearing that she was waiting for me I decided to use the other flight of stairs located in the left wing of the school building, even if it meant that I had to walk twice as much just to get there. I put on my earphones then after remembering about buying some groceries I rushed down the steps and walked to the nearest convenience store. It took me a while to get everything I needed, if I was asked how long it took I would say about 20 minutes of looking around the store and another 5 minutes of waiting in line to check out. With everything in hand I continued my way home, before reaching the intersection I saw May again waiting for the lights to change, she was the only one standing before the pedestrian lane waiting to cross which seemed odd, taking account the amount of pedestrians walking along the streets, it was a bit unusual seeing that no one besides her needed to cross the road. But maybe I'm just overthinking things. Seeing her again made me remember what happened earlier that morning, causing me to feel uncomfortable. Suddenly I felt lightheaded, as if all the blood circulating around my head stopped flowing, my vision blurred and for a split second a terrible scene flashed before my eyes. I saw May, her lifeless body flat on the pavement on which she was standing. Her neck looked contorted, as if it suffered an immense impact from something considerably larger than her. Blood dripped form her eyes and spilled form her mouth, it was disgusting. After my vision had recovered I felt an enormous urge to vomit because of what I saw, followed by a pulsating pain from the sides of my head, it felt as though something was trying to claw its way out of my skull. After the pain dissipated, I was alerted by the situation, May is going die today and according to what I saw it was going to happen soon, but I have no idea how it will happen. I thought about all the possible causes for her death and found that the most logical one I could think of was by a large vehicle, probably a van or truck. After reaching to that conclusion I tried to think of how to approach this situation, I wanted to tell her about what I saw and because she already believes that I have the ability to foresee people's deaths then she'll be more likely to believe me, but while I was remembering about our conversation earlier at the rooftop, the death of our teacher and how I failed to save him suddenly came to my mind making me hesitate about doing anything. I never wanted to experience what I felt back then again, then I remembered her, how she looked like when I saw her before the opening ceremony, how she reminded me of, me. What Noah said about May being desperate flashed inside my head, I need to save her, or I'm going to regret it someday, and regret is an emotion I'd rather die than feel again. I rushed to her, as fast as my legs could allow me. Upon reaching I was breathing heavily, and after taking a moment to recuperate I tapped her shoulder and blurted out what was going to happen to her. "Hey, l-look, you're going to die." I said rather bluntly, but I felt like she'd prefer things to be straightforward. And I prefer things to be that way as well.
"Hold on, I waited for you at the stairs earlier, where were you?" she took a glance at what I was carrying, "Oh, you went shopping then-"
"Look, we don't have time for this, you're about to be run over if you stay here." I interrupted her.
"Ha! So you finally admit it. I knew I was right" A distant scream could be heard, accompanied by the sound of screeching metal and after looking behind I saw her killer. The truck had blown one of its tires and the only thing that was left was the tire's metal frame that sparked as it dragged through the pavement. Having only noticed when it was already 5 meters away from us I felt the urge to grab her and move away as fast as I can, but my whole body froze during the situation and was unable to do anything, so this is it, huh? The time I decided to help someone is the time I was going to die, though the only good thing about this is that I won't have to live with regret afterwards. And as the truck dragged closer to us it unexpectedly stopped just a few inches away from where we were standing. I stood there, dumbfounded. Well, it looks like I was going to live another day. Grinning at what just transpired I turned my attention to May in order to see her reaction, but as soon as I turned my head towards her she pulled my arm while she ran away as fast as she could.
"W-what are you doing?" I screamed as I tried to keep up with her.
"Getting us away from the blast zone" she answered.
"Blast zone? What are you talking about? It's over, nothing's going to-" before finishing my sentence I realized what she was talking about. Something inside the truck hissed as we ran away from it, it sounded like air escaping out of a hole. The truck's tires were burning and after taking a glance at the side of the truck, I discovered that it was carrying tanks of gas. I tried to remember the image that flash before my eyes earlier and realized that I failed to notice how dark her body looked like, like it was engulfed in flames. She was not going to be run over but she was about to be engulfed in an explosion. And without a moment's notice the truck exploded, the shockwave sent us flying but it wasn't strong enough to cause us any injury. We stood up, brushed ourselves off and looked around the area. The explosion affected everything within 7 meters but miraculously, no one got hurt including the truck driver who jumped off even before the vehicle came to a complete stop.
"I guess you'll need to go shopping again." She said, and upon hearing it I realized that the groceries that I were carrying was nowhere to be found and was actually caught in the explosion after it had fallen, probably while we were running away.
"My… groceries…" I said with a pitiful tone.
"Well, I'll be off then. See you tomorrow." She said as she crossed the road, seemingly uninterested about what had just happened. She looked as calm as always, making me wonder if I even needed to save her in the first place. Hearing the sirens and the gathering of crowds, I decided to leave too, I guess instant noodles for dinner will do.