The hallway resembles one from a horror movie. The lights are still not on, and I don’t care enough to do anything about it. The cloudy sky stops the rays of the sun from attacking the campus, making this place dim, and lonesome.
Or at least, that’s what I thought, before spotting a figure, roaming the halls the same way I do.
Free from the restraints of reality.
A lost connection.
Just walking; toddling around, as if nothing else matters.
Thanks to the darkness within the halls, I can only make out the outline of its body; and the black hoodie it seems to be wearing does not help at all. This figure just catches my eye and decides not to let it go.
I keep following it and pretend we're walking towards the same destination. We end up returning to the same lecture room, and the same seats. The person I'm following wanders around among the countless rows of seats, toddles towards my chair, and passes it without a second of hesitation, deciding on where to sit a couple of seats away from mine, horizontally, and vertically. The room is as hot as literal hell, especially if you sit at the back like that. The seat that person chose was already placed on the further half of the room if you consider my seat the mid-point. The dark figure sits down with a loud thump, and for the first time, I get to have a glimpse at her face.
She lets out a heavy, tired sigh.
Or a moan of pain, whichever describes what she does better.
Her dead, emotionless eyes are glued to the board, and she looks like she’s lost in the ocean of her thoughts; then, she leans forward, and rests her head on the table, staying in a sleeping position, her eyes still open.
I keep on watching.
I jump up, and turn around, to be greeted by Sonny and the snarky expression on her face.
“Where have you been all this time? I’ve been…” I immediately push my right arm against her mouth, shutting her up before we are found out.
“Hmmph hmmph HUM hii…” she protests, and I point at the random girl I was stalking minutes ago, glaring at her with a hectoring expression.
I finally let go of her, once she gives me a hmmph of surrender.
“That’s the girl who doesn’t really show up a lot. So, why are we watching her?”
“Because…” I begin.
Why ARE we watching her?
“I don’t know. I feel something weird when I look at her. Don’t you?” I transform my doubts into a question. The best way to clear your doubts is to ask for confirmation from others.
“Well, she has bags under her eyes, she doesn’t sleep well, her face is emotionless, and her hair is a mess.” I nod. Sonny is a skilled observer, and that’s one of the many reasons she’s able to communicate with others. “But isn’t that basically the appearance of every single introverted person, including you?”
“I don’t look like that.”
“You’re right. At least she has some sort of charm hidden beneath that appearance, along with something that resembles dignity. You just look like the drug addict hobo we used to avoid in high school.” I ignore the huge insult she threw in that comparison, and just look at the girl again. “What I mean is,” She continues, “Just because someone looks like that, it doesn’t mean anything is wrong, or going to be wrong. It’s just the appearance. You look even worse when you’re in your room, and that doesn’t indicate anything.”
I stay quiet the whole time, giving her a slight nod or interjecting a “hmmm” every now and then. “That was not what I was talking about when I said weird.”
Sonny gazes at her once more, sizing up her appearance again, before replying. “Then what?”
“She’s wearing a hoodie. It’s quite cold outside, so it makes sense if she wears it outside. But this lecture room is the hottest place on the entire campus, and it even gets intolerably hotter the further in you go, since there are many heaters in the back. Everyone switches to a thin T-shirt the second they arrive; they’d even come here naked if they were able to. So why is she still in a hoodie?”
“As I said,” Sonny exasperates. “It doesn’t mean anything. Maybe she gets cold easily, or maybe she’s merely embracing the introvert stereotypes.” She comments.
“Fine.” I accept my defeat. “I’m not sure if she’s the person we’re looking for, but going through several years of trouble, gave me the ability to detect a troubled soul.” I put more gravity in my words in hopes of convincing her. She rolls her eyes and lets out another sigh.
“So you’re basically trusting your guts. That makes more sense than any other bullshit assumptions from before.”
“WHY WOULD A RANDOM FEELING MAKE MORE SENSE THAN FACTS BASED ON OBSERVATIONS AND CONNECTIONS?” I scream, not too loud, but loud enough for it to carry out the purpose it had.
“Facts can lie all the time, but feelings,” She puts her left hand on my shoulder, and makes me stare at her eyes.
I look away.
“Feelings would never lie to you.” She finally brings her hand down and pushes her face closer bit by bit instead.
“That,” I shove her away. “Sounds like a generic line from a generic romance novel.” Her shiny eyes and sparkly, warm smile gives their place to a wicked wince, as she clicks her tongue and looks away.
“It wasn’t a romance novel; it was a pick-up line book, for emotionally sensitive people.”
I thought I was the only pathetic loser who would ever gaze upon such material. I try my hardest not to laugh at her idiotic scheme, but a slight chuckle escapes my mouth, which she spots immediately and shows even a bigger frown from before.
“If you’re that eager to converse with this dumbass, then let’s see your pick-up lines getting used here.” Are the last words I hear from her before she pushes me inside the empty lecture room.
The girl at the far back of the room doesn’t notice my sudden entrance, and stares blankly at a certain, faraway point in front of her until her gaze finally lands on me, and she sizes me up.
I’m completely alone.
Sonny has already run away, with her tail between her legs.
I’ve been found out.
“So, did you get tired of just watching me from afar?”
I was wrong.
I've been spotted a long time ago.