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Fade Into Midnight Chapter 1

photo (2)
Illustration by Helena Yeung.

by Helena Yeung, Literary Editor

I remember a very faint sound, slowly drifting through the tunnels. I was underground, I’m sure of it. There’s no one else around, but the songs that ran inside my head. They’re singing cries of their despair, but I didn’t know where they came from. It was so dark, I couldn’t see a thing. I used my hand to guide me, feeling my way through the tunnels. The tunnels were long, wide, and possibly dangerous. I took another step, and that’s when I heard it.

The very faint sound, was someone else.

It calls my name, as if it needed me. It sounded like a boy, but I couldn’t tell. I didn’t know which direction it came from, but it felt extremely close. The songs stopped, and the darkness seems thicker. I suddenly felt an instinct to look up, so I did.

“Hey.” he said, and I screamed.

And that’s where the nightmare would end.

People are always around me, but no one seems worthy of talking to. I glanced around wearily at my classmates, all talking to each other and giggling about their weekends, friends, and other useless crap. Everyone’s just crap. My cell phone buzzes, and I winced in relief that it was on silent. Cell phones weren’t allowed in classes, but I needed mine with me today because I was expecting a text from my dad. He’s visiting from California today to see my sister and I here in New York, and he said he’ll text me when he arrives at the airport. It’s been four months since I’ve seen him, and sometimes it can be pretty painful. My dad and I were always really close, but his job needed him to move to California for two years. It’s been a year already, so that’s good.

It wasn’t my dad however, who texted. It was my friend Cane, who wanted to borrow my laptop during lunch to catch up with her homework. I texted back that she needs to buy her own stupid laptop and do her own homework, and she replied with a smiley face and a heart. Typical Cane, thinking I’ll be okay with anything. She’s probably right, because I found her at lunch and handed her my laptop.

“Here you go idiot.” I muttered, and she grabbed it eagerly.

“Did you get that email from Mrs.Clark?” She doesn’t even say thanks, great.

“I don’t check my emails.” I sat down and ripped Cane’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich in half, and started eating it. Her mother makes the best sandwiches, ten times better than the ones at school. Cane’s used to me eating some of her lunch, so she just ignores it and turns my laptop on. I scanned my eyes around the cafeteria, just observing the students. Everyone’s just laughing, or squealing, annoyance of gossip. Nobody’s paying attention, nobody at all. There’s no focus, just pointless existence. I’m probably a pointless existence. That’s just great.

“I’m going to go.” I finished my sandwich and stood up, as Cane just gave a little nod at my direction. “Return my laptop in my locker by last period please.” I walked towards the exits of the cafeteria and headed outside. Cutting classes were easy here, and it was what I’m about to do. Usually I come back around last period though for some reason, and I’m not even sure why. I guess I’m too much of a wimp to just go and not come back for the day. I walked away from the school, and headed to the park a few blocks away from the school building. It’s usually peaceful at this time, since everyone’s either in class, work, or old. The park is my place to be, when I needed time to think, or concentrate. Sometimes I can sit there for hours, and enjoy every passing minute of it. It’s hard to explain, but it’s where I mostly needed to be.

The name of the park is unknown to me, because the sign that says the name is all broken up. Pieces of the remainings can’t make out the name, so I just call it the park. I had something serious on my mind today, and I wanted to sort it out there. Actually, I have many things to be thought out today, might as well use this time efficiently. When I finally arrived, I sat down on my favorite bench, the last one right besides the small fountain. I took out my mini notebook and pen from my pants pocket, and starting writing down the vague memories I have of last night’s nightmare.

“There were tunnels…and darkness…the same voice…” I mumbled and jotted it all down, dating it and scribbling as fast as I can. The more time slips away, the more the information seems to disappear. They can’t disappear, they’re important. They’re significant. “There were also…what was it…” I stopped writing, trying hard to remember what happened after I heard the voice. I know something happened, something frightening. Suddenly, I hear laughter behind me. I turned around quickly, and grimaced. Sandy and her high-energy girlfriends are cutting class too, and they’re walking around giggling about lipgloss or something.  I rolled my eyes and watched annoyingly as they walk pass me, unknown of my existence. That’s just the way I like it.

I began to look down, trying to get back to my thoughts, but something caught the corner of my eye. I looked to my left, and saw this darkly-depressing dressed boy beginning to walk past me as well. I didn’t know who he was, but I’ve seen him probably twice or so in school. I didn’t care much though, so I went back to scribbling. “I was underground…I was terrified…I was confused…” I was mumbling again, all concentrated, when something hit my shoe. I looked down, and it was a small dark blue wallet.

“Sorry.” The boy bent down and picked up his wallet, and quickly placed it in his pocket. He looked at me, and then paced away. I would’ve just shrugged and said whatever, but my heart was beating fast. My eyes glued onto the back of his head as he went further and further, until nowhere in sight. I was breathing hard, hand gripping tight on my pen. I looked through my notebook, flipping pages back and forth to find my notes on the end of my nightmares, where a boy says “hey” to me and scares me. I finally found it on the second page, and carefully wrote down in capital letters:

THIS BOY IS IN MY SCHOOL.

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