A Story of Transcendence

He first met her on college when he’s about to cut his Physics class with his friends. Just when they’re about to leave, he caught a glimpse of her by the stairway. They made a deal – he’d ask her out and if it’s on, he’d change. A silly bet. Minutes later, his palm is all sweaty and he’s almost trembling in both anxiety and excitement.

“What the hell happened dude? It looks like you’ve seen a ghost! You barely had a conversation! She just left!”, asks one of his friends.

“I.. uh.. She.. uh.. agreed.” he hesitantly replies.

“She what?? Are you mad?”

“N-no.. No! Of course not!! I couldn’t believe it myself. It’s like… She was waiting for me…”

“Jeric, dude, can you hear yourself? Hahaha. Have you been high?” asks his other friend while joking about it.

“Get lost you two!” he says while he sits back on his chair. There is no cutting of classes that will happen today, he decided.

***

Just like that, his life took a 360-degree turn. He’d spend less and less time with his old habits and friends and more and more time with her. They’d talk and chatter just about anything continuously, day and night. Little did they realize that they were also influencing each other more. She’d help her on her studies while he gives her a bit of life outside school. It was, in paper, a perfect combination.

When they both graduated, they took different jobs. He took an office work at the city while she helped manage the family business. After office hours, he’d visit her almost everyday and 100% of the time, she’ll have a treat of some sort from him – a cupcake, flowers, a diary, even a camera at one point when he had saved enough. In return, she’d cook all his favorite meals which would put a big smile on their faces.

Weekends are just the best though. They’d spend all their time leisurely having each other on all sorts of activities – traveling, hiking, swimming, or just plain singing at a videoke bar. To the eyes of everyone, they were soulmates.

***

One rainy and particularly windy night, on the night of their anniversary, the both decided to eat at a nearby restaurant, nothing fancy. He was holding the umbrella with his right hand while his left wrapped around her waist as they try to prevent from being soaked up from the deluge. A quick and sharp gale then blew and carried away their umbrella while they were crossing the road. He instinctively leapt backwards to try and catch the umbrella, but he was met with an overtaking motorcycle traveling at blazing speed. The driver tried to break hard to prevent the impact but the suddenness of the moment made it impossible to do so. The motorcycle and its driver came off flying to the right as a result of the collision, hitting a car that’s parked on the side of the road.

As for Jeric, he flew off several meters and spent a few seconds in mid-air, then came crashing to the ground, rolling helplessly at least four times before coming to a halt. From a spectator point of view, it was the harshest couple of seconds one can see. From Daisy’s timeline though, it lasted for several minutes. Her heart jumped out of her chest and her breath taken away from her as if some vacuum entered her throat and lungs. She couldn’t stand and yet she couldn’t even fall. Her mind wants her to run to him but his body won’t respond. Her body is nailed to the ground, burning hot with her mind dazed.

She couldn’t even muster the energy to lift up her phone from her pocket when she realized that ambulance vehicles are already arriving fast. It must have been the bystanders who have witnessed the tragedy. Before she knew it, she was already standing in front of Jeric – his body being lifted and taken to the back of the ambulance van. Without her noticing it, she was in it too. It was so painful for her that she couldn’t even cry – for crying is only for heartache and pain. There is no fitting human reaction to this at all.

***

She’d spend the next year visiting him to the hospital frequently, almost everyday in fact. She’d bring fruits, flowers, and lots of stories to tell. The fruits though, he couldn’t eat, the flowers he couldn’t appreciate, and the stories he couldn’t listen to. There are times when just looking at his lifeless face would draw out bursts of tears from Daisy, each of those due to severe pain. He hasn’t spoken a word since, nor even twitched a muscle. The doctors said that with him being in a state of coma, the people around him will suffer greatly and will someday have to make a decision. But they are all hopeful. For it can only get better from here.

During the following 12 months, the once frequent visits by Daisy had normalized down. Sometimes, she’d visit only once in two weeks. And during those long periods of time when they’d meet again, she’d tell him lots of stories so he can catch up. She even told him that she met a very nice fellow who helps her on everyday struggles. She told him about the similarities that Jeric and this fellow share and wonder how they can come from different parents!

“You know what, no matter what happens, I still love you. And I’ll be waiting. Until we can come home and live like the way we used to.”

***

The following eight months, Daisy regained her energy. She wasn’t as enthusiastic as she used to be but it’s a massive improvement. She’d still bring him stories and flowers every month that she visits and would still talk about this nice fellow whom he met more than a year ago – how he changed her life and helped her get back to her feet, and how he would tend to her needs even though at times, he’d look physically exhausted. She also showed him a bracelet that he gave her.

“He gave it to me. He said if I feel like giving up, just look at this bracelet and know that you are not alone on this journey. Kinda sweet, huh? I hope you don’t get jealous though. Anyway, I’m still waiting for you. Please come back to us. Your parents are dying to talk to you again!”

***

It was soon their anniversary again and just like before, it’s raining. As usual, she hailed a cab from her office so she can get back home and prepare something for dinner. And just when she sat down on the taxi, her phone rang. It was Jeric’s parents. This was the first time they ever called her. Moments later, the cab’s destination had been adjusted – to the hospital.

When she arrived, she did not know what to expect. There was not much that his parents told her. But as she opens the door, there was his parents on his bedside, crying and holding his still lifeless hand. The doctor was also there explaining something, but she didn’t understand one word out of it. All that’s going through her mind was “What’s going on? What’s going on? What’s going on?”

“Ah, Daisy, please have a seat.” the doctor urged her.

“Wh-what’s the matter? Wh-what’s going on?”

“About Jeric. Well, to start with, he had an outside chance of waking up when we first looked at him more than 2 years ago. From our first few months of observation, his body is responding ok and we never failed to believe that someday, he could do it. For the past several months though, things weren’t as good. Even though he’s still lying down here, it’s as if his body is being constantly fatigued. It’s very hard to explain it because even us professionals couldn’t understand much what’s going on. It’s like he’s trying to get up in his mind and do something but his body won’t obey him. Also, due to the lack of physical activity and having been bedridden for a while now, some of his bodily functions are starting to give up. At this point, it’s very unfortunate and I’m sorry to tell you but Jeric’s whole body is starting to surrender now.”

His mother hugged her so tight, it just added to that familiar feeling of breathlessness. His father whispered to her that they’d be removing his life support and free Jeric of the agony and suffering.

They all wept as the doctor prepare to move outside of the room to give them a little time with Jeric. But before he left entirely, he had a question directed to his parents.

“Madam, if you don’t mind me asking, did you take something out of Jeric’s pocket? A bracelet, to be specific.”

“No, we didn’t take anything.” told his mother.

“I see. That’s odd. I’m sure I placed a bracelet there before. My mentor gave it to me a few years back when I lost my wife. He said that if I’m feeling helpless, just look at this bracelet and I will know hope. So I kinda pass it to him since he needed it more than me then. Oh well, I guess it must have dropped off somewhere. Anyway, time for me to step out side for a while. Just call me when you need me.”

And like a needle piercing her heart, Daisy remembered.

“Excuse me! Was that bracelet of blue color with one yellow thread on its knot?” asked Daisy.

“Why, yes! That’s it! So you’re the one who picked it up then? I see, well that explains it. Take care of it alright?” tells the doctor as he steps out and closes the door.

When she heard that confirmation, she thought she’d be more surprised and confused than she is now. For some reason, that affirmation was comforting. She turned back to his parents and told them if she can get a moment or two with Jeric, so they stepped out of the room momentarily. Daisy then sat down to his bedside, and held his now very thin hands.

“At first, I thought that was you. Then I told myself, “Don’t be silly, that’s just impossible!” He’d treat me the way you do, and maybe that’s why my heart grew closer to him over that period of time. I felt really bad and told myself that I was being unfair to you. But instincts are never wrong, are they?”

At this point, she could no longer hold back the tears. She cried a lot but still tried to talk with her sobbing and quivering voice.

“Instead of me looking after you, you’re the one looking after me, aren’t you? How selfless are you, you, you…! Giving up your own life for a little of my happiness! How could you do that! Please stop doing that!! How do you expect me to live on knowing you’re no longer with me from now on! Please… Stop being so kind to me…”

She wept several minutes more before she can wipe away the tears from her eyes and kiss his forehead.

“I will keep this bracelet you’ve worked so hard to give me. Now, take a rest. The world is too cruel for you to stay here. I will be fine. I am comforted by the fact that there’s always someone who loves me more than his life. I’ll take care of myself.. and your parents too!”

And just when she’s getting teary-eyed again, she just shrugged it off and kissed her on the forehead one last time.

“You are the love of my life, and it will stay that way. I’ll miss you forever!!”

She couldn’t hold back the tears then as she tightly covered her mouth with both her hands, trying to stop the crying. She then took the bracelet out of her bag and wore it. Afterwards, she carefully walked away from him without looking back, opened the door quietly, and nodded to the doctor. The doctor with the nurses then entered the room and closed the doors. Jeric’s parents and Daisy wept many tears but as long as the bracelet tightly hugs the wrist of Daisy, she knows she’s never alone. That in itself makes living and moving on all the more worthwhile.

Why do we not scream our hearts out?

His Story

At some point in time, it got harder and harder for me to come to school. I got really tired of that routine non-sense. I barely got good grades, I cut some classes for fun, and I used my free time to just read some manga on one corner of the room. I may be the epitome of introversion.

But aside from that, there was this one girl that grabbed my attention. She’s not your usual girl-whose-everyone-has-a-crush-on type, I suppose. I don’t know why but there were moments where I’d just stare at her for a couple of seconds before getting back to what I was normally doing. I’d observe her semi-long, straight, black hair being blown by the wind, her large eyes that would cut deep through her soul, her laughter that would influence the whole class. Aside from that, there’s really something about her that makes me wonder, why her? Being such an unpopular guy that I am though, no one would notice me spacing out all of a sudden, so that’s a good thing I guess.

At times, she’d be with her group of friends and she seems to enjoy it – she’s never alone. And that’s exactly the complete opposite of me. If you can put it this way, maybe she’s the only reason I go to school, no? That and my parents would kill me if I don’t. I mean who doesn’t?

One day, we had a group of threes working on some task and it might actually be the first time we’ve ever talked! Her friend introduced me to her – I just said “Hi” and carried on to being the non-person that I am. How pathetic! What a way to score! A few seconds later, I looked back at her and she looked back at her friend and she seemed annoyed. Way to go!

There’s also this one weekend where I saw her on a coffee shop near our place. She didn’t notice me buying a slice of cake and a coffee of course, so I hesitated approaching her and just walked away. I always go there when I wanted a time off from our house (I needed that!) and just read away. Thinking about it now, it was probably the worst decision of my life. I should have approached her. But being level-headed that I am, I have already thought the events that might happen considering our past experiences – nothing! That’s right, nothing good will ever come out of it. I’m just some delinquent guy.

Then, the pinnacle of it all – graduation day! That was the one day that I swore to be different – or rather, to be normal – like the other people. Where I can say everything I wanted to say, be where I wanted to be. I’d probably eat all of my pride if I need to (if that’s what you can consider it to be). Because it hurts. So much. It felt like I’m going to explode at times.

She was talking to her friends with her brittle and croaky voice, slowly waiving at them. At that moment, I realized I had no really close friends to bid farewell to. If we were to be together, where in the world would I take her? There is nothing on my world – zero. So I just looked back, walked gently towards home as I crumple a letter on one hand.

This is the real me, I guess.

She never looked at me anyway…

Her Story

I studied well and studied hard just to pass the entrance exam to that school. My aunt told me he was studying there so I did my best to get accepted. Finally! I can see him again!

It was a new school with new teachers, new classmates, new friends – but the experience was anything but new to me. I was used to that kind of lifestyle. Our family often moved places due to my parents’ work and it’s been going on since I was a child – since we were childhood friends in fact. We made a promise 10 years since – that we’ll see each other again. I did my best to make that happen.

But, it didn’t turn out to be what I had expected it to be. I intentionally ran into him the first time and I was very excited to talk to him. No doubt about it – that was him alright. I wore my perfect smile and was about to hug him in excitement when he glanced at me and continued reading some comics as if I’m just some other girl in school. Is that how it is then? Did she somehow forgot me? Has my looks changed that much?

Because of that, I circled myself with friends in hopes of him remembering how I always used to do that before along with our other friends. I would look at him at times but he’s too preoccupied with whatever he’s reading on one corner of the room. He used to be so full of life – I wonder what happened to him?

There even came a time when we were grouped into three, thanks to sheer luck. Luckily, our other group mate was a good friend of mine – she knows my story. She even took the initiative to introduce me to him and the other way around – and there was still nothing! I just painfully looked back at my friend with a certain degree of unhappiness. He just doesn’t recognize me anymore! Or does he?

After a couple of days, I learned that he would sometimes go to the nearby coffee shop and spend his time there. It was a hit or miss for me. I’d wait for hours until he arrives and when he does, I couldn’t find the words to say to him! I’d just pretend I didn’t see him and play with my phone or something. It was really, really hard. And pathetic, I know.

Then, the pinnacle of it all – graduation day! That was the one day that I swore to be honest – or rather, I’ll just say everything there is – like what other people would do. Where I can say everything I wanted to say, be where I wanted to be. I’d probably just be disappointed, but I didn’t really care at that point. Because it hurts. So much. It felt like I’m going to explode at times.

I was talking with my friends while waving goodbye and really about to cry when my close friend noticed him approaching behind me. I got startled – I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I could be. I murmured all the things I wanted to say on the top of my head and when I was about to finish, my friend grabbed my shoulders and turned me around. He was already walking away. I looked at my friend in fear and confusion but she just pushed me as I hear her say, “Go!”

I was then a few meters behind him, walking at his pace. I had sworn (again) if he would just stop, I’ll shout at him and tell him everything. I’ll grab his hand and make him remember. He walked on and on and on.

He didn’t stop. Maybe it was fate. Maybe he didn’t really cared for me anymore. Maybe… it’s just not to be.

He never looked at me anyway…

Is There Ever A Missing Piece?

Just a couple of minutes ago, I had the opportunity to read Shel Silverstein’s ‘fable’, The Missing Piece. As I browsed through the first couple of pages – which is almost 80% blank by the way – I did not expect anything at all.

BUT… As you may have guessed, it will take more than a thought or two to get me to write to my blog again (which has been sorrowfully deserted by yours truly). Having only a pac-man like figure strolling without direction and word usage even little kids could understand, Shel has produced, what I thought to be, one of the most inspirational pieces known to man. The best thing about this is that he didn’t bombard us with lessons and examples, nor did he persuade imposing thoughts. Instead, he did it in a most subtle way that will surely immerse the readers even for a three-minute read.

The story is open to all kinds of interpretations and I could go on and on with my own version of what the story would like to say – but at the end of it all, I think a common, underlying message is the title of this post: “Is there ever a missing piece?”

Throughout history, it was well-documented that jealousy is indeed a part of human nature. We try to succeed by emulating the people whom we thought have met (or even exceeded) the expectations we ourselves have set. We are setting goals and always looking forward to the satisfaction of having achieved that goals so much that we lose track of what’s really important to us and what satisfies us. His happiness may not be your happiness, and yours could definitely not be hers. We are so fixated at the fact that we view everyone around us as successful and happy that we fail to realize the little things that make our everyday mornings worthwhile.

In an attempt to gain the greater glory, to reach the higher pedestal, and to reach that something that we thought is ‘beyond’ – we ask ourselves – “What is it that they have got that I don’t?” To me, this is the concept of the missing piece.

If I were to ask myself, it’d be this: “What more can I do?” This way, I’m seeing the glass as half-full.

How about you, do you feel that you really have a missing piece?

Preview: The Glimmer of A Candlelight

“The sky is beautiful. I wouldn’t let another day pass without being graced by the warmth of this sunlight.” In that very moment, Riku bowed his head down, prayed with hands firmly clasped, and tears rushed out of his eyes, obviously trying to hold it back.

“What’s wrong, grandpa?” asks his energetic niece, Sakura, who is only about to turn 11 this month. Immediately after asking, she pulls out the white handkerchief from her pocket and wipes his uncle’s tears away. Due to their age difference however, Sakura refers to him as grandpa.

Riku does not immediately respond. In fact, he knew he heard Sakura’s voice, but could not comprehend the words that she said.

He finally uttered the words “Thank you, my dear” in a very low and quiet but firm voice. He paused for a short while before continuing on. “It was… a day… like no other.” The lively Sakura faced him, which made Riku feel even more embarassed. He didn’t want an old man ruin the day of a child who has just arrived from a far away place for a vacation. It just felt wrong. So he stopped.

“Eh? What are you talking about, grandpa? What happened?”

Just when Sakura is about to ask him again, a loud voice was heard from afar. “Oi! You two! Come back to the car now! We’re about to leave!” Sakura replied with enthusiasm, “Yes, dad!”

I really have to let this out. Otherwise, this wouldn’t ever continue again. I have been pondering about this for quite a while now and that it’s out – I MUST FINISH THIS. Please. (Yes, I’m begging to myself. Pathetic, isn’t it?)

Please, please, please look forward to it. I will be releasing more details about what I’m writing as the days fly by (you should be getting more clues from the tags section of this post). Thank you for your patience. 🙂

Hope Rekindled

To the farthest of seas…

I set foot on this shoreline with the vast ocean right in front of me. As the waves continue to rip apart the silence in this paradise, I let the waters caress my feet, pushing them deeper into the sand ever so lightly. I had wished to see more of this scenery, but it was a couple of minutes past midnight and the eyes without a light as bright as the sun can only see so far.

Resting on the waters, floating like a dried leaf, I am now under the mercy of this huge body of water. Frighten as I would like to believe, it is only tranquility and solitude I felt. The cold breeze immerses me in a deep slumber even though I am wide awake and with heightened senses. On top of me is a likewise dark sheet of emptiness – the sky whose entire dominion I could not grasp and purpose I can seldom fathom.

As I lie here, I can now truly understand how 5 minutes seemed so long here. With nothing meaningful to do, I waited for the elusive stars to emerge from their sleep. As more time flies by, little by little, these tiny specks of white dust began to emerge around me. They were behind me, in front of me, and in everywhere I see. Some would cuddle with each other, while others shine as bright as ever, just to show the others who’s the real boss. It is as if I could drown more from the twinkles of the stars than the depths of the ocean. They conversed with each other with varying gleams, sparkles, and flicker and it’s during this time that I ought to believe that they are alive – here – with us.

I could have sworn that this was (and still is) my idea of a perfect life, that this is how nature communicates with us, and that there is nothing more beautiful and serene as this moment – but my fate is cruel and my destiny is not here. I have ways to go before I end up here. So as my heart beats farewell to this transcendence, I shall make a vow to thyself – that I shall heed the call of what must be done so that this Utopia is not mine alone.

*The image above does not belong to me.

[Random]

Weee. I’ve already reached the 10th chapter of my novel. I’m overwhelmed. Thanks to those who are reading that and anticipating every chapter. ^^ In case you haven’t read it yet, then why don’t you check it out. CLICK HERE to read my on-going novel. ^^

Meanwhile, I’m searching for the MP3s of Yamazaki Masayoshi’s Hachigatsu no Christmas and Zenbu Kimidatta. Please, if anyone have them, or knows where I can download them – I’m begging you, where can I find one. I super love those songs! ^^ I neeeeeeeeeeeed to have it……!!!! AAAAAAAARgh.. Thanks in advance! ^^

Meanwhile, SV Werder Bremen haven’t won a game yet in UCL! That’s nuts. Not even against Panathinaikos, nor Anorthosis Famagusta. This is insane! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Why can’t they win. T-T Even AC Fiorentina can’t win. Waaaahh. Noooo. T-T Luckily though, Aston Villa FC and Sevilla FC are winning in the UEFA Cup. ^^ Yey, congratulations to them.

I haven’t got the chance to watch NBA now that’s why I didn’t join any fantasy games. Haha.

And another thing..

I

MISS

YOU

MORE. . .

You know who you are…

Lonely Road Chapter 6

Chapter VI. Enigma

I got it. I knew how! He was poisoned by too much carbon dioxide from dry ice. That explains it. Why haven’t I thought of that earlier? More importantly, what does it have to do with them? Carbon dioxide? Death? I wonder. I am in a very confused state right now. Is it really normal for a teenager like me to experience all these? How can I handle it? Moreover, will I survive this treacherous chain of mishaps. And with all these things puzzling in my mind, I put myself to sleep. Oh namida, I know you couldn’t stop.

Later that morning, the sun’s rays are the first sight in my sleepy eyes. Am I late? No. I may just make it in time. I wonder what happened to Patty? I’m going to ask her as soon as I land my feet on that room.

Room 103. I get this usual feeling of the number of students within this area. But somehow, I feel different. Something feels hollow. The depth of this room is missing something. Oh no! Patty’s not here. Yet? But it’s about time. That’s strange. She usually comes to school about 20 minutes before our first class.

Argh. This is torture. The next thing you know it, I may be dead. Why do this to me? Where is she? She ain’t coming to school?

“Ivan, have you seen Patty? You go to school together right?”

“She told me she can’t attend class today. She had a migraine and she’s not feeling well. And oh, she wants to tell you that she’s sorry she left you without a word yesterday. She said something just came up. I wonder what that is?”

“Oh okay, thanks. I hope she gets well soon.”

Something came up? Is the headache of any truth, or is it just a wall to cover up that something that just came up? This is really frustrating. I want to explode right now! Not only my heart is being crushed by that invisible hand, but also my whole self! This is too much to handle. I can only absorb so much pain. I am human after all.

Ten minute break before music class. I wasted eight hours of my life. I did not learn anything from any of the lecturers. Just as Ms. Mia said yesterday, I may be physically present but my thoughts are without a doubt remote from this institution. How is Patty doing? Is it my fault? I’ve never called to anyone recently, especially to a girl. But this time, I’m gonna break that trend. I will apologize. This is all because of me. I shouldn’t have involved her in this mess. I can handle this myself… Myself… Me. Alone. Can I really?…  Handle it myself?

Phone rings. Phone rings a second time. Beep sound. Somebody answered my call.

“Hello? Is it you Eric? I’m sorry yesterday I left without any notice. I promise I won’t do it again. Something just happened, like an emergency.”

Like an emergency? As in similar to? What other event is similar to emergency other than emergency itself? She’s saying strange stuff lately. There must be a compelling reason for her not to attend class today. I remember one time when she also had a headache,

“Patty, you should go home now or you might faint.”

“Oh this is nothing. Just a little sleep later and I’ll be okay.”

But I did not listen to her. I brought some medicine for her from the school clinic and luckily, she took it. That made her feel better, I can tell from her smile. If not for my persistence, she’d still be studying until she drops on the ground. And then this? You did not go to school because of a headache? That’s not much of a reason for you not to attend class.

“Oh don’t worry about that. I’m more worried about you. Ivan told me you had a terrible headache? Are you okay? I hope it’s not that bad.”

“Oh I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. I’m just a little stressed maybe. That’s very nice of you.”

“Naturally. You are my friend. Get well soon okay? I’ll hang up now, it’s almost our music class. See you tomorrow Patty. I’m sorry for the incident yesterday.”

“Oh don’t mind that. Listen well to Ms. Mia, Eric”

“Sure, bye.” You are my friend Patty. Ever since I met you, I had this feeling that we would be close. But for a closeness to reach this level of attachment at such a short period of time is quite something. Is it because I’ve changed already? Or is it because of Patty’s personality? Whatever the reason is, I’m really grateful. At least, something is still positive in this damned life of mine.

The music class ended like a breeze. That must have been the fastest lecture she had finished since she was appointed as our new teacher. I used the extra time to think things over. I went to the nipa hut again – the perfect place to be alone. Patty, thanks for bringing me here once. I liked it here. I loved it here. It is only here I felt like being home away from home. It would have been better if you’re here.

Climb. Sit. The open window. Ahh. What a lovely sight. The burning sun in a bright tangerine sky sinking in the horizon. Come to think of it, that’s all what the sun ever does. Rise and then fall. Since it was born billions of years ago, its only purpose has always been to give out energy and light and that’s it – the job’s done. It even has its own time to rest. Oh sun, if you could only feel this wretched heart of mine, then you wouldn’t shine those powerful rays on my life anymore.

These are the times I feel like being lonely. This is just normal. This scenario sets up the perfect mood of desolation and sorrow. I believe that the default emotion of every human being is loneliness. While there is nothing to be happy about, then one is definitely sad. But for me, I’m more than downhearted at the moment. This is the very definition of calamity, of disaster, of tragedy.

Tap. Tap. Tap. What’s that? Footsteps? Somebody’s approaching? But that’s impossible. Somebody else is visiting this collapsing shack aside from us?

So I stood up and checked outside. The moment I reached the door, someone immediately went in. We almost bumped to each other.

What? The melody of fate. Na.. Namie? What are you doing here? Do you also regularly visit here?

“Oh, I’m sorry. I thought nobody’s in here. Sincerest apologies. I’m gonna go now.”

“Wait! It’s okay. I’m about to go home anyway. You can stay here.”

“Oh please don’t mind it. You came in first anyway. Besides, I think somebody’s looking for me now. Well then, so long.”

“Uhm, okay.”

Another improbable scene in Eric’s wonderful, twisted life. The melody of fate continues to turn. This is unbelievable. I can’t believe such a thing really happened. I stood there, face to face with the girl in my dreams. Take note that she is the girl in my dreams and not the girl of my dreams. I believe there is a huge difference between the two.

Oh wait, that’s the best chance I had to ask her my questions. Damn, I missed the chance again. But she may be not that far yet. I can still chase her.

Run. Run. What? She disappeared in the crowd again. I should have seen this coming. I guess I’ll just include these events in my train of thoughts. Let me just go back to that old place and think things over one more time.

“Hey you, over there. It’s almost six. Go home now”, uttered the pesky guard. What an annoying voice.

“Erm. Fine.”

Dinner. TV. Pray. I hope everything goes well tomorrow. I will not ask Patty so many questions at this point. She might get sick again. That’s right. That’s probably the best thing to do.

Pray more. Oh God, save me.

Pray one last time. Sleep. Twilight rain.

Morning. I did not dream of anything last night. They say dreams last from about five to 20 minutes. It’s a good thing I haven’t got even a single second last night. That way, I can’t think of anything out of the box yet again. Oh right, Patty. I hope she goes to school today. If not, I’m gonna be forced to visit her at her house. I don’t know. Is it because… I missed her?

Room 103. There! Patty’s in her chair again. At last. Whew. God, thank you.

“Uhm, Patty. Are you feeling well now? You sure you’re not forcing yourself?”

“Oh hey, Eric. Yeah, I feel a lot better now. Thanks to you.”

“Eh? Me? But it is I who must’ve caused your illness. I’m glad you feel a lot better now.  And by the way, I figured the answer to your question the other day. The man was killed by Carbon dioxide poisoning, right? Before the two even entered the room, the trap was already set with a lot of dry ice probably underneath the table. The very low temperature is unnoticed because of the air-conditioner. The student also went for the back row, which has the highest altitude inside the room so she won’t inhale the carbon dioxide from the dry ice. Carbon dioxide is a lot heavier than Hydrogen, Nitrogen, or even Oxygen so it would settle at the bottom, and thus, intoxicating the teacher. Right?”

“You’re brilliant Eric. The window was left open to evaporize the excess dry ice and for the remaining gas to escape as soon as the murderer exits the room. Carbon dioxide is odorless and colorless, so it would not be noticed even if it’s present in large amounts.”

“It took me a long time to answer that. Another thing. What was that question for? Does it have something to do with me? Or with Namie?”

“I told you Eric, Carbon dioxide is odorless and colorless, so it’s not noticeable. You may not notice it at first but with continuous exposure to it, one might die because of intoxication.”

“I don’t like the sound of that Patty. You’re scaring me. You mean that Namie is that some sort of thing?  That the teacher’s fate in that story will be my fate as well if this continuous?”

“No Eric. No…”

This is the first time I saw Patty shed a tear. And then she started crying. What have I done? I feel terrible. I thought I’m here to cheer her up.

“Eric. It is I who may suffer that fate…”

What? You? How could that be?