I felt frozen and confused, I couldn't understand what I was hearing or why it was affecting me this way. I heard the door of the room suddenly shut, my eyes snapped up to see that Elis had closed the door. I don’t know why she did, she can’t hear what I can, but I was grateful nonetheless. I sat down on one of the chairs that was pulled out from the desk. It had been a long time since the last time I couldn't control my hearing, I forgot how disorienting and nauseating it is.
I could hear Elis but it sounded muffled and far away. That strange heartbeat was still so loud, it drowned out even my thoughts. I suddenly felt warmth on my hand, Elis had put her hand on mine and started to rub her thumb in slow circles over it. She was crouched down in front of me not saying anything now. I found myself focusing on her hand and it’s warmth. As I did, the sound started to get further away as the room slowly came back into focus. Eventually I found myself firmly back in the room I was in, present with Elis there. I had been looking off unfocused somewhere but was able to look down at her face now. She didn’t say anything and held a small smile, her eyebrows upturned with a level of sympathetic concern. Her hand was still on mine and her thumb was still gently rubbing over my hand in that melodic kind of way.
“Sorry I…” What was I apologizing for? I don’t even know. Usually stuff like this didn’t happen, if it did you can bet my dad would have made me homeschooled. I can’t afford my abilities slipping through my control like that.
“You’re fine Sai, I know what it’s like.” I blinked a bit hearing Elis’ response. She knew what it was like? “Anxiety, disassociating because of that anxiety, I get it.” That’s not what I thought she was going to say but, I appreciated her trying to understand. She can be pushy and a little to overtly positive for my liking but I guess I should give her more credit. She’s kinda growing on me. Plus she really did help me, thought she doesn't know the reality of what she helped me out of but considering what she mentioned it’s close enough in some ways.
She looked at me in a way that made me wonder if there was something else she wanted to say. The silence lingered though and I concluded that whatever it was she wanted to say, she had decided not to voice it.
“Thanks.” I say, finally filling the quiet that was hanging heavy in the air. I think the other people part of the journalism club were contributing to that though. I could see from the corner of my eye that they were trying to pretend that they were working on the things in front of them but it wasn’t hard to tell that they were in fact eavesdropping.
I wasn’t paying incredibly close attention to them though but found my attention turning back to one of them seeing them come closer. They were wearing the boys uniform while having rather delicate facial features. They seemed a bit ethnically ambiguous. I watched as they bent down and picked something up from off the ground a few feet away from me. Wait… is that…? My hand reached into my pocket. It was gone. The card was gone. I looked back at what they had in there hand as they stood up and looked at it more closely. They frowned a bit looking at the card. Did they know what it was? More importantly, if they did know, would they be willing to tell me? I looked back toward Elis. “Do you think… you could get me a glass of water?” I asked, feeling a little guilty about it. She smiled and nodded before standing back up again.
“Yeah of couse, I’ll be right back.” She left the room and I turned to the person still holding my card. They were already looking at me when our eyes met. I didn’t have to say anything before they walked over. They leaned down to reach my level as I was still sitting and held the card out to me, there dark back hair which was cut bluntly into a bob fell forward to frame there face better. From this close I could better see their dark lashes and thick blocky eyebrows. There mono lidded eyes had freckles framing them, it brought out the flecks of chestnut and gold in there iris’.
“Careful.” They whispered to me in an oddly calm tone. “In this school, you can’t trust anyone.” I took the card from them a bit slowly.
“Dosen’t me not trusting anyone first mean I have to trust what you’re telling me?” I find my self asking. They don’t have any particular reaction to my question. “Do you know what this card means?” I finally ask. Ah, there it was again, people keep looking at me with words they want to say lingering in there eyes but never actually opening their mouths to say them. “Do you have something to lose if you do tell me?” They weren’t trying to change the subject so maybe I actually had a chance of getting something out of them. They breathed out a bit shortly though there nostrils but there facial expression barely moved.
“It’s a scare tactic, but also an invitation. If you leave it nothing will happen, but if you pursue it like you have been, well, you’re going to find a club. One the elite of the school run. I’ll tell you now though, they just gave that to you because you got in through a scholarship, almost no one gets in through a scholarship.” Huh, alright. So that’s what this thing is?
“So you’re saying they’re just curious about me, is that it?”
“Probably.” They answer. I look down at the card in my hand, flipping it over as I do.
“So that’s all this is huh? That’s kind of underwhelming.” I heard a sound that I could have sworn was the kind of half breath people do instead of fully laughing. I look up to see them having cracked a very small smile.
“You’re an odd one.”
“Thanks, it’s not the first time I’ve heard that.” There was a pause before either of us spoke again. “I know Elis introduced me but I don’t know your name.” They were the only person that was willing to answer my question so far, I figured getting to know them wasn’t a bad idea. They paused for a moment and looked at me.
“Callias.” They told me. “As for pronouns, use whatever you want.” I blinked, not expecting them to follow up there name with that. I guess it must be common for people not to know what pronouns to use for them, they present rather ambiguously. It was nice though.
The bell went off and the other two in the room started to gather there things to head to class. Callias looked at me one last time before turning and going to gather there own things. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Ah, I guess they were referring to their advice about not trusting someone.
Elis came busting through the door a little out of breath, holding a half filled glass of water in her hand. I put the card in my pocket as discreetly as I could.
“Sorry I kind of forgot that finding a glass in the school actually isn’t that easy.” She said bringing it to me. I took it from her as she handed it off. “You might want to drink that quick though cuz we need to get our butts to class.” Another day begins, only this time during lunch I’m planning to find this elite club or whatever it was. Crashing a party always sounds like a good time.