Chapter V. Endeavor
Time stops. What’s happening? Nobody’s moving. All I can see is her. What an angelic, lovely face. Heart beats. Heart beats even faster. I can feel my face turning red. Am I stunned? I can’t get my eyes off her. I’m gonna force my way out of this. Focus. Snap. Ahhh. There.
Turn around. Sigh. Inhale. Exhale. Sweat drops. What in the world happened there? Such a wonderful sight. Small, glittering eyes full of glee and a smile that has captured this fragile heart. Astonishing. I almost fell on my knees by amazement, by wonder, by splendor.
How come I haven’t seen her before? What the heck am I feeling right now? I want to know her. No. I need to know her. Turns around again. She’s gone already? Runs to the lobby. Nobody in sight. Whew. That was fast. Tomorrow is probably a good time to know her. I’ll just call it a day for now.
Day breaks. Night swings. Dusk. Morning. Today is the day I will finally get to know who she really is and why she’s been lurking in my consciousness. Today is the day to overthrow this pride and this fear. Time to open my senses, as Patty told me. Now, I’m really looking forward Music class, or shall I say, Students-Must-Turn-To-Human-Beings Class by that Ms. Know-It-All Mia. Argh. Anyway, let’s not get too distracted by her, she’s not my main goal of the day. The objective is to learn about that mystery person and what she means to me.
School. Wander. Wonder. How do you approach this situation? I know myself and as soon as I get to that moment, I instantaneously freeze. I need someone to help me. Right. Patty. Maybe I could use a little help. I’ll just tell her that she’s the cause of my pain. My misery. This never-ending suffering. Emotional discontentment. Argh. What am I saying?
Quarter ’til five. It’s almost the class I’ve been waiting for. The stage is set. Showtime.
Sit. I can feel the number of people in this hall again. There is an amazing number of students inside. Noise intensity level is reaching the 50 dB mark. Or am I exaggerating? This is so annoying. Oh wait. The girl. Look left. Look right. Front row. Back row. Front door entrance. Back door entrance. She’s not here? How could that be?
I sit here beside Patty, Ivan, and Francis. Teacher arrives. Oh Ms. Mia. What’s in store for us now?
Oh. That’s her! That girl. She’s just late but she’s here again. Wait. How come the world is moving so slowly. This is tragedy. What’s in her that’s making me feel all these phenomena? Heart beats. Heart beats even faster. She sits at the front row, second column from the left. She’s probably with her classmates and her friends. How will I approach her? Wait, what am I going to ask of her in the first place?
I thought, “I’m Eric. Why are you appearing in my dreams?” Laugh. That’s the most ridiculous introduction I’ve ever heard in my life. Now I’m in deep trouble again. What am I to say?
“Hey Eric, what’s bothering you? You don’t seem to be paying attention to our class? I can tell you’ve been thinking something deep enough to hide it from me. What is it? I can help and I will help”, Patty asks as she probably notices my troubles.
“Thanks. Very well then. You see…”
I told her the whole story. She is somewhat intrigued, I can tell by her face. But that interest is somewhat different. I don’t see the usual Patty’s smiling face and encouraging voice that I once heard before. She is rather lowly, disappointed to some extent. One moment she’s up, and now she’s down. I wonder what effect had my story on her? I’m the one that should be affected here.
“I’m not sure if she’s the one from before, but I will ask you a question first Eric. If you do manage to answer this question, then I will answer your question as well.”
“Question? But why? I mean, okay, go ahead.”
“A student attracts a teacher in a school so that the two can have a one-on-one talk inside a room. The student brought the teacher inside an air-conditioned classroom wherein every row is elevated and higher than the row in front of it. As the two enters the room, the student walks towards the backrow without saying anything, while the teacher remained at the teacher’s desk at the classroom. The student asked the teacher a lot of questions and then moments later, the teacher was dead. As investigation crew arrives, the only mark that can be seen near the body are some drops of liquid and that the windows are open now. There was also no sign of struggle from the teacher’s body nor a sudden attack of any medical condition. That’s why the investigator immediately concluded that it was, without a doubt a murder. Now, how did the investigator know it was a murder? How did the murderer did it?”
“Huh? Well, uhm, wait. Let me think about it.”
That’s crazy. Where in the world did that question came from? And what does that question have to do with her? Or me? Or both of us, or maybe all of us? But most importantly, how did that person die? Hmmm. I like this type of puzzles but this one’s harder than I thought.
“Okay fine Eric. You don’t need to answer the question, but sometimes, it might be too risky adventuring the unknown. The risks are really demanding, but the stakes could be great; but this one’s different. Her name is Namie. She’s been a good friend of mine. We were best of friends from first grade even up to seventh. I can even remember sharing my lunch with her while she tells me a story. She had new stories to tell every day of the week, and I would usually love those stories.”
“Ah, so you know her after all. Then maybe you can help me solve my problem and even possibly, introduce me to her”, I requested with a smile.
But she hesitated. She looked in all directions – the window pane, the teacher, in her notebook – in all directions, except in my eyes. Then,
“I’ll go outside for a while”, she told me as she stood up and went for the door.
Huh? Something is definitely wrong here. If she is a friend, then why is she avoiding her like this? What could have happened between them? This is great. Another problem has shown up. But now, at least I know her name. Namie.
For the meantime, I’ll just look at Namie and… Wait. One moment she’s here, and now she’s gone again? Oh no. Could it be that… If my acumen is right, then… I have to find them fast! I’m gonna go out now.
“Where do you think you’re going, Mr. Eric Dinnan? Isn’t it class hours at this moment and aren’t I discussing here?”
“But mam, you see…”
“Yes. I can see clearly even with this glasses and what my eyes tell me is that you’re standing up and planning to excuse yourself from this class – in which case I will not let you. So just sit again and listen – this might be for your own good.”
This is absurd. I want to scream but I definitely can’t. What’s happening out there? Problems compound problems. And they say high school is the best period in one’s life? If that’s the case, then I am at the wrong end of fate. How could this be happening? Am I the conjurer of raw deal?
“Mr. Eric Dinnan. It seems to me that your presence is separated from your physical being at the moment. Where is your attention being diverted at?”
“Apology accepted. Now listen intentfully.”
Blah! Such a loser. Listen, listen, listen.
End of class. It’s now finally time to look for them.
Ten minutes later, I ended up not finding any one of them. Where did they go? I had a really bad feeling about this. I always had a good premonition, but why didn’t I see this coming? Oh man. Where are they? Patty’s not answering my calls. I am at fault here that’s why I’m gonna take full responsibility of her. I hope she’s just fine. Both of them.
Well, let’s just call it a day today. I’ll just apologize to Patty the first thing in the morning tomorrow.
I wonder how was that person killed from Patty’s question. That’s a really weird question to ask at that situation…
Oh, wait. Elevated, air-conditioned classroom? Drops of liquid? Open window? I got it. I knew how!