I realized just how breathtakingly sweet his voice was. It seemed to pierce the air with musical tones, trembling with a certain eternally amused suppressed laugh. He looked at me with the same fascination that I felt; we were drawn to each other. Like a moth to a flame, I thought absentmindedly. It was beautiful and it was so very breathtaking. I didn't seem to be able to look away; and he eyed me up and down as if he couldn't get enough of me. For the first time in my short, mortal life, Ididn't mind a male giving me those looks.
And suddenly the chemistry was gone; Zen turned away with an unreadable expression on his face, but in the brief moment that he had shown emotion, I saw surprise and confusion in them, as if he was coming to a realization slowly. I blinked at him, feeling confused myself. My breathing was shallow when I finally turned to speak to him.
"I-what was that?" I let out, without really knowing what I was saying. He turns to me sharply as if I have said something I wasn't meant to. His cheery complexion was crippling. He took in a sharp breath as if trying to say something, but let it out again. I just scanned his lips and stared, my eyes locked there. They looked red and soft; perfect for- I felt myself jolt and glanced away from him myself. This really wasn't appropriate, specially not when Josh was gone. I felt my chest tighten and something at the back of my mind thought, Good. Now you can focus on something else other than Zen.
The musical voice broke the silence, the hint of amusement gone. It sounded flat and impassive. As if a mask had been shattered. A mask he had kept on his face at all times.
"What do you mean?" His golden eyes were cold, but I could see the wariness behind them. That's when I knew he was just as perplexed as I was. Something had happened between us; something that had connected briefly. It was still there, it drew us to each other like magnets. But weaker now, just like the first time I had set eyes on those golden eyes. The shock didn't get any less the more frequent I stared into them. Only my surprise seemed to be getting even worse. My breath caught in my throat, and I willed the words to come out of my raspy throat.
"Nothing, nevermind." My voice sounded bitter and heavy, as if I was carrying a giant burden on my shoulders. A secret nobody else knew. But thats what he is doing, a voice whispered sweetly into my ear. He is hiding something, he is dangerous. Another voice, sounding urgent and wary. And then there was a battle inside my head, two small voices arguing to get my attention. I pushed them at the back of my head and turned to him.
Zen let out a strange choking noise; like he was trying to speak and cry out at the same time. When it was no good, he just shook his head gravely, looking surprised and maybe even scared at how he was behaving. Somehow I could tell that this wasn't how he usually behaved. I felt like I understood him in a strange, painful way. Like I had access to his emotions like a Liberian has access to every book and document in a library. But it also felt like an invasion of privacy. I had a feeling that Zen really didn't want to be understood or pitied right now. I withdrew mentally, and my grasp slipped on the endless library of emotions and memories. I couldn't grasp it again.
He turned and left without another word, conflicted. I clutched the backpack to my chest once more and showered it with shaky kisses. I didn't care who was watching me, or if they thought it was weird. I needed to do this, so I wouldn't break out in tears again. I really can't cry anymore; my eyes sting too much as it is. With a final tightening in my chest, I come to a conclusion. I needed to find Josh. The police couldn't do it, and so I had to take the responsibility. As I walked home, I made a mental list to myself as to what I would bring on my adventure. I didn't care what would happen to me. I couldn't think sensibly. All I could think about was Josh and his beaming, fair face, bright cheery eyes and small and skinny body. He was so weak, so small. It gave me even more reason to find him. I would leave the next morning.