22 Small Talk (22)

After I woke up from my nightmare, I couldn't go back to sleep again. It was five in the morning. The constant whooshing of the rain and my erratic heart calming down were the only sounds I could hear. I pulled up the blanket over my head to cancel out the noise but it didn't work. It had become a constant routine to struggle to sleep every night. I plugged in my earphones and played some songs to divert my attention from the noise outside and the noise inside my head. When the darkness bid goodbye and the sky seemed lighter outside, I decided to get out of my bed. My window was foggy and the rain had settled to a light drizzle.

Before leaving for school, I made sure to call Grace. She sounded happy. Her work was almost finished there and she couldn't wait to get back home. I was excited too. At least I would have some company here that would keep me from wondering about unrealistic things happening lately.

The clouds were opaque and dense when we arrived at school. It was misty wet and the rain was softer now. At school, everyone was discussing about the murders. Everyone had their own theories about them. Most of them agreed with Cee' idea of witches while the others disagreed. In almost every corner of school, I would find someone who would bring up the topic. It was not helping at all. My thoughts momentarily trailed back to the recent nightmare I had. It gave me a headache. It was stupid to entertain such ridiculous notions. After all, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

During recess, I sat with Cee at our usual table. She was super happy about how people agreed with her article. The whole time, she blabbered regarding how she's going to publish the interview with Mrs. Woods in the next e-zine and how excellent idea it was. I pretended to pay attention to most of the things she said, but the frustration was beaming clear on my face and she read me like a book. 

"You don't look so good today. What's up?" She pointed out my lack of interest. 

"Its nothing. . .Just a little headache." I lied and looked down at the unbitten apple on my food tray. 

Almost everyone was already in classroom when I set foot into biology. I was doodling aimlessly at the back of note book, when I heard his silvery voice. 

"How you doing?" He angled his chair towards me and then settled down. His hair were dripping wet, disheveled with some strands falling onto his forehead. Even after that, he was so captivating, like he was an actor from some movie. 

"I'm good." I replied tearing my eyes away from him. I doubted he would think of me as mentally retarded person, if I stared at him any longer. 

"Your face says otherwise!" His gaze was appraising. 

"Is that so obvious?" I replied and behind him I could see Mr. McKnight entering the classroom. He set his books on the table and began with the ongoing topic.

"Yeah" He continued, "What happened Katherine?" Something about the way he addressed me by my name was very enchanting. He was waiting for my reply and I wasn't sure how to answer him. He was utterly polite today but I doubted if I could confide in him. 

"I'm sick of everyone talking about the recent murders." I finally replied, realizing there was no longer a way to keep it all in. 

"Yeah it's a hot topic today." His eyes were fixed at the chalkboard, on the diagram Mr. McKnight was explaining. "What are your thoughts about the murders?" He asked, still looking at the chalk board. 

"Seriously!" I blurted. "You want to listen to what I think about those murders?" I asked. 

"I guess that's what I meant." He pressed unwilling to let go of it. 

"Does it matter?" 

"Of course it does." He passed a fleeting look at me then turned his head away quickly towards Mr. McKnight. I had a feeling he was putting an effort to make a small talk with me. 

"Those murders are indeed very odd." I mused. "Those strange symbols and the way the bodies were crucifixed, makes them more scary. Someone in their right mind would never do something like that." 

"I heard you and Cee were up on solving the mystery." There was hint of mockery in the way he spoke every syllable. "Especially Cee' article. . . She's done a lot of research." 

"She has only put forward a theory. There's no need to ridicule her." I defended Cee, even though I knew how hilarious it was but she was my friend and I had to take her stand. 

"Oh I'm not ridiculing her. I'm just simply appreciating her work." 

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"So you agree with the witch theory?" I asked, unable to restrain my intensity. 

He shifted in his seat and his eyes met mine. "I believe there's always more to everything than it meets the eye." He was inclining towards me now. "Do you not believe in witches?" 

"I don't. . ." I lied. "They only exists in folklores and myths." I added to make my lie more convincing. 

I noticed his lips turn into a smile but it faded away the second he looked at me. 

"Are you sure?" He raised an eyebrow. "Do things out of blue not elevate your curiousity?" 

"They do." I replied. In fact, everything happening lately had my curiosity skyrocketed. 

"And have you ever tried to find answers to those questions? If you do find the answers. . ." He leaned in closer. "I bet you won't be disappointed." He was unnecessarily close, his husky voice went straight into my ears. 

He shifted back in his seat and put his hands behind his head. There was a smirk plastered on his lips and for some reasons I had a feeling that he had challenged me to some mysterious quest.

My confusion must have reflected on my face as he suddenly changed the topic.

"Are you coming tomorrow to the forest park?" He picked up his pen, and I did the same as Mr. McKnight began dictating something. 

"I am not sure about that. What about you? Are you going?" I didn't know why but I sounded excited. 

"I'll go if you go." He put his pen down and the bell rang, pulling me out of daze. 

He was suddenly out of his seat and was about to leave but he stopped and turned. 

"I'll see you tomorrow, I guess." And then he was walking away, before I could even formulate a reply. 

 * * * * *

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