I looked both left and right before cautiously stepping out of the dorm room. The bell rung, startling me and indicating that the block was over. I was still given one more extra free block, so I didn’t take much care and notice to the bell. Instead, I just kept walking down the long corridor, it was then, did I spot students walking down a set of stairs, some chattering with others, and some entering their own dorm rooms. It looked like an ordinary school break. Except the people were completely the opposite. There were muscle-based guys and girls with buzzcuts and dyed hair. I stumbled over my own feet, as I looked in awe at the students flooding in.
I watched as a group of guys walked down the hall. There were four of them. There was one that caught my eye. He had brown hair and green eyes. This brown-haired boy was the hue of the sun-loved acorn ready for the earth. He looked incredibly pretty and eye-catching. However, he was also bombarded by other girls following behind his tail.
I stopped staring the moment he caught me. Changing my thoughts from him to the way the halls were getting so crowded. I had never been claustrophobic before, but in this almighty swell of humanity, I felt the panic rise in my chest. When they moved, I had to also; and if my feet failed to keep up, I risked being trampled underfoot. I wasn’t small, and neither were these people. They looked and probably were gaunt and serious. I could smell them too, the people I mean, an unholy agglomeration of perfumes, body odor, and over-applied cologne.
I slip into the crowd. I wouldn’t trade this anonymity for anything. I caught myself staring at that very same boy I was looking at earlier. Careful not to be trampled over, I stepped a bit closer to the walls, turning my head every chance, I get. It seemed like this singular group was extremely popular. No one could ever get enough of them. The boy had tattoos snaked along his left arm and hand. He had his brown hair put up into a short half ponytail half down hairstyle.
I didn’t realize that most of the people had already gone out and into their next class. It quickly became apparent that I was staring at someone, so I swiftly took out my map and unfolded it. I was a tad bit hungry, so I wanted to see if I could head to the cafeteria before lunch started. Lunch was going to start after this next block, so I wanted to at least eat a bit. I didn’t plan on attending lunch, as I was probably going to end up sitting alone anyway.
The bell rung, and I put the map back into my pocket. I let out a relieved sigh as I scanned the empty hallway. I felt a small warm huff on my neck, swatting my behind, thinking it was some sort of bug.
“Well, hello there.” I yelped, my heartbeat racing. I turned around and ended up staring at the boy I was looking at earlier before.
“Um.” I unintentionally looked him straight in the eye. He smiled a bit, sarcastically waving in front of my face. I smiled awkwardly and backed up.
“Should you not be in class?” I looked at him. Trying to stray away from the fact that I had been staring at him for the past few minutes.
“I’ve never seen you here before, you new here?” I coughed a bit and nodded. I felt uncomfortable, the distance between us was not that far away. “Name?” He looked me in the eye, and I lowered mine. Damn it. I didn’t want us to meet like this. I was expecting one of those cliché same-class meetups.
“Zayn.” He smiled. His pink pale lips curved. An irresistible, tender, captivating smile on his face. I am not exaggerating.
“I’m Mateo.” His smile spontaneously put up a smile on mine too. As quickly as my smile formed, it disappeared.
“You’re late for class,” I spoke softly. “The bell rang four minutes ago.” He shrugged and walked off. Interesting interaction, yeah? Sure, he was pretty, but he needs to replace his skincare routine for practicing his exits in conversations. Or maybe he just didn’t feel interested after I said my name. I decided to ignore it and turn around, mentally guessing where the cafeteria was. I walked a little further until I saw a sign hovering over me. It had cafeteria typed out in huge bold letters, and an arrow printed on it as well. Did they serve meals even if it wasn’t time for one? I shook my head. I hope they did. They better.
I walked up to the cafeteria, spotting a large metal door. Two guards holding huge guns were situated in front of the door. I stepped towards them, and they stepped forward too.
“When can I go in to eat?” I looked at them, clearly not fazed.
“When it’s time for lunch. You’re supposed to be in class. Lunch is next block.” The guard spoke clearly, but in a monotone voice.
“Oh. I’m new here, so the principle let me have two free blocks.” I explained calmly.
“I see.” The guard nodded his head.
“The second block will end in another fifteen minutes.” The other guard spoke up.
I gave a small bow and headed the way I came from. Maybe I could use the next fifteen minutes to try and look for the library. I’ve never been in a proper library before, I was only given a few books as a child, so I was looking forward to just this one part when moving to a school.
I looked up and down the map that was given to me and smiled when I found that I was not too far away from it. As I approached a large set of doors, I unconsciously knocked the door, then mentally slapped myself. All those delivery jobs that complimented the cashier jobs were really getting the best of me. I entered the large room; it was grand and large.
It had a few tall walls of ancient volumes, though it looked like they mostly are now a sort of decoration to set the scene. Shelves among shelves of books expanded over the wall, as if they had been planted as seeds and grown by virtue of the sunlight that filled the room. Upon the shelves were the rainbow spines of a banquet of books. Whenever I saw books, the first thing that came to mind was the magic of stories told in black ink.
When I lived at my aunt’s place, I would sneak into her studies and take a couple of books. I always ended up getting the classical books. I walked into the classical section of the library, dragging my hand across the many spines that held the pages together. I recognized one book as ‘Little Women’. Pulling it out, a collective woosh of dust followed it. I guess no one really went in here.
The book itself was several hundred pages with brown littering the corners: each gentle to the fingertips. The cover of the book was a simple earthy hued color warming to my eyes. After all these years being huddled in this shelf, it was still soft to the touch and the edges had a similar look to some beloved teddy bear. I carefully opened it. Inside, the pages looked as if they had been bathed in golden rays and taken them in, so softly golden. The letters took their places as if by a composer’s hand, one who was accustomed to the sweeter notes of beauty. I smiled when I saw the words. Before I could even flip to the next page, the bell interrupted my moment, and I let out a loud sigh. I wondered if I could just take it. There was no receptionist like a regular library. It was as quiet as ever. I figured no one would notice, let alone care; that I took a book. Naturally, I took it. I stepped out of the library and headed to the cafeteria. There were students slowly walking, chatter filled the hallway and I immediately felt uncomfortable. I looked like a complete nerd holding the book, but I didn’t care. Entertainment to the least.
As I entered the cafeteria, I noticed that there were already lots of students seated at tables. Each table seemed to have people who had similarities. It was like those school themed movies. I saw a trailer once on a huge billboard screen in a plaza. I missed when I’d have my meals up on the highest floor of the abandoned building. The view was always so pretty, and the wind that brushed my skin made me feel so free.
Oh well, I already accepted my fate.
A/N: Sorry for the late post! I was going to post this chapter on Friday, but decided against it due to my busy schedule. Thank you for being so patient! I feel so incredibly motivated seeing that my story already has 300 views. Thank you for all your support!! <333ns 220.127.116.11da2