Between the Lines (Part 2)

This is the second part of the story I wrote for farhinhusain’s birthday.

Part 1


Vivid portrayals wrapped themselves around his mind, engulfed his senses, drowned out the rest of the world around him. They calmed the crushing need to be recognized, to be understood.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he laughed at the irony. He was using the action as a means to escape from the consequences of the action.

There was a shove to his side, and he almost fell over from his chair, not so much from the strength of the shove as from shock and momentary panic. His arm throbbed. Ishti and Dip stood over him, glaring, and their expressions demanding attention. The rest of his surroundings slowly came back into focus. A cacophony of white noise, the faint aroma of many different types of food mingled together.

His mind was still repeating the last three words he’d read.

“What?” Sami croaked.

“We’re going to check on Adnan. He sent his friend to say he was feeling feverish,” Ishti supplied.

Sami looked from one to the other, their demanding expressions unrelenting. Dip grabbed his arm. “You’re coming with us.”

Before he could protest, he was dragged out of their class.

It was a blessing that he didn’t have to make eye contact with anyone. Ishti did most of the inquiring directing. But the curse was that he had to be in such close proximity to so many people. It made him self-conscious, and in turn guilty because this wasn’t how he should be feeling while visiting a fellow teammate and junior.

As they entered Adnan’s classroom, the entire place seemed to go quiet. Everyone stopped whatever they were doing to stare. As if they had never seen the school volleyball team before. As if they hadn’t seen seniors before.

He couldn’t really blame them. Everyone in his class got quiet too if any seniors showed up at their doorstep. The people staring at them now were horrible at realizing how weird it felt to at the centre of such attention. One boy refused to look away even after Sami made eye contact. A lot of them seemed to have bought biriyani from the cafeteria. The place was practically swimming with the aroma.

And there were so many girls. Dip nudged him in the ribs with his elbow. “This is why he’s so good with girls,” the wiggling of his eyebrows seemed to say. Sami rolled his eyes and maneuvered out of the way of a girl passing by.

That Adnan knew how to have a normal conversation with a girl was nothing unknown. What he hated was how Dip and Ishti rubbed it in his face every chance they got.

He had the momentary urge to tell them about the one conversation he’d had recently. But it hardly even counted as a conversation. She’d done most of the talking. Plus, the thought of using Orthi as leverage against all the friendly torture felt mildly sick.

Ishti spotted Adnan at his desk. They moved toward him, and he raised his head and looked up toward them with half-lidded, bloodshot eyes. His friends parted around him, giving them space like worried parents when their child falls ill and the doctor’s called in.

Ishti, Dip and Sami reached his desk to be greeted by a weak “How’re you guys?” followed by a fit of coughing.

“We’re okay,” Dip replied. “You should really be more worried about yourself.”

“Yeah,” Ishti joined in. “How’d this happen?”

“He doesn’t really know, apparently,” one of his friends said. He stood at the far right of the circle surrounding Adnan. Beside him stood Ishti, then Dip, then Sami, all with their hands in their pockets. “He was fine this morning.”

While Ishti and Dip continued the conversation, Sami stifled a sigh and scanned the room for some form of stress relief. The walls were painted the same drab color as their class. Two boards on one wall had art and some charts containing the things they had learned that term. He had those things almost memorized by heart.

His eyes feel on the side of a cheek. Recognition hit. She raised her head from the reclined position over her hands on her desk, his heart skipped a beat.

Orthi.

She looked tired, almost like Adnan did. His eyes assessed her surroundings. Her bag was slung behind her seat and a half-empty flask of water was on her desk. Feeling the pull of eyes on him, he turned his gaze around to find a girl staring with suspicion oozing out of her features. She was walking toward Orthi’s desk.

Oh. Oh.

He turned back to ishti and Dip just as the girl reached Orthi’s desk. Their conversation with Adnan came into focus. The world was as boring as ever again, but now, with a probability of excitement. From the corner of his eyes, he saw the girl whisper something in Orthi’s ear. He couldn’t really see her expression from this angle.

What was up with him? He wanted her to notice him, talk to him, maybe. Maybe he should talk to her? But he didn’t exactly want it either.

There was a lull in the conversation just then. Sami took the chance to make small talk, however much he sucked at it. “Drink lots of water,” he said just as Orthi raised her face in his general direction. “Water heals everything.”

Dip snorted. “Yeah, classic Sami,” he said, “not paying attention and trying to make it look like he did.” Sami glared.

“Water does help, though,” Adnan croaked with a small smile.

“Hey! Sami!”

Everyone in their little cluster turned toward the source of the voice. Sami plastered a grin on his face, his heart in his throat.

Yep. She was look straight at him. She was waving enthusiastically, a big smile lighting up her features, driving away the tiredness he’d seen only moments before. He waved back, all too aware of his friends’ gazes boring holes into the back of his head. Her friend stared at her like she’d gone mad.

“Do you know her?” Dip whispered in Sami’s ear. Sami turned around a bit. Everyone was staring him. No just Ishti and Adnan and Adnan’s friend (Safwan was his name, probably), but almost everyone else in the class as well. Any who wasn’t too preoccupied had their eyes on him. “…yeah,” he replied, “this is her, you know, the one I told you about.”

Dip and Ishti exchanged glances. It was Adnan who spoke up now. “Oh, I should have guessed it’d be Orthi you ran into.” Sami furrowed his brows, to which Adnan attempted a laugh, and failed miserably.

“She always has her nose in book whenever she can spare it.” Probably-Safwan explained.

Orthi came up to them, or should I say, up to Sami, now. “I had no idea you knew Adnan,” she said.

“I had no idea you knew him either,” Sami blurted. He cringed. If ishti had bored holes before, he was slicing Sami’s head open to check for the existence of a brain now. Think before you talk, loudmouth.

Orthi chuckled. “But technically this makes you my senior.”

Sami scratched his head, racking his brain for a reply. Nothing. He settled for a nod.

“Orthi, please don’t get everyone on our team sick,” Adnan said between coughs.

She shook her head in exasperation. “If anyone can do that now, it’s you, Adnan,” she said. “And I’ve apologised already, haven’t I? It’s not like I knew I was sick that day.” Adnan glared and Probably-Safwan sighed. “He probably caught the cold from me,” she said to Sami by way of explanation.

Sami blinked, and then sucked in a breath in realisation. Of course. That made so much sense. “Oh,” he said. “Are you okay now?”

She nodded. “These must be your friends, right?” she said gesturing behind him.

“Uh… yeah.” He introduced them, and internally berated himself for wanting her to see him. Things had never been this awkward between him and his friends before. It was a miracle that neither Ishti nor Dip mentioned him mentioning her.

“Did you finish Fangirl?” he asked her while Ishti talked with Adnan some more. “Go home and rest, and get a mask or something in case it really is viral,” he was saying.

Orthi shook her head. “Two more chapters. I’ll be done today,” she said, almost bobbing on her feet in excitement.

“That’s great!” He couldn’t keep the smile from spreading across his face.

“I’d love to talk about it once I’m done,” The tone of her voice made it seem like they were in a private bubble of their own. “But, you guys have practice today, don’t you?”

All the fluttery excitement stopped and fell to the floor inside him. His smile fell along with it. He glanced at Ishti and Dip, wondering if they’d let him bail out today. They were already one member short. Maybe…

A voice at the back of his head said no. See if they let you get back to class in peace.

He pursed his lips, unsure of what to say.

“It’s okay,” Orthi said, retrieving a pen from her desk. “Do you have any social media accounts? I could add you up.” She poised the pen over her palm. She was left handed. He only knew one other left-handed person. He told her his facebook ID, and what time he would be free. She scribbled it down. He felt hope begin to flutter its wings again.

The bell rang then. He told Adnan to rest up and get well soon.

As soon as the three of them were out in the lobby, Ishti and Dip each swung an arm around Sami’s shoulder, effectively caging him in.

“Why did I start seeing pink around you as soon as she jumped in, hmm?” Dip asked poking a finger between his ribs.

“Are you planning on ditching us, Sammy-boy?” Ishti said. It sounded more like a threat than a question.

Sami grimaced. “It’s not like you think,” he said. “We just talk.”

“About what?” Dip said.

“Books?” He replied.

“Yeah, we can foresee the future when it comes to you, Sami,” Ishti said. “There’s a lot more to it than just talking about books.”

Sami wanted to retort, but they’d reached their class. Whatever it was, he was sure they meant well. He’d known them for years now. But more than anything, he didn’t want to ruin the happy feeling he’d had building inside him since seeing her ten minutes ago.

~~*~~

Sami flipped through his notebook, looking at month-old notes. Almost as if his mind were more pliant, the voice at the back of his head read every word out with cheer and an edge of happiness. No matter how many times he commanded it to say, I am humble and unimportant, it would bring it up in different words. It would be the fond glances everyone was throwing him at home, or the smile his class teacher from fifth-grade shot his way. It would be the sunny yet breezy atmosphere, or how the noisiest of his class were somehow absent today. Everyone remembers, the voice would say. You are important.

He shook the thought out of his head. It didn’t matter. He wasn’t some sort of blessing to this world. He forgot to throw candy wrappers in the bin, he ignored the hungry kids on the streets. He could be a far better person, and if he managed to do everything he wished he could for this world, then maybe he’d allow the thoughts into his head.

A deep breath managed to clear his head for a moment, although the background décor in the imaginary room was still sparkling painfully in his mind’s eye. He grimaced at the first mistake he caught. That was going to cost at least five points on the test from the morning.

The door creaking drew his attention. He looked up to find Orthi entering. Their eyes met, and he couldn’t keep the smile from forming on his face.

In the months since first meeting her, they’d bonded more and more over the books they read. Sometimes they would compete to see who could finish first. He’d lost more than once, what with his volleyball practices thrown in between everything else. Sometimes one would read something and tell the other. They’d gone from sitting at adjacent tables to sitting at the same table. It had been more convenient, when near the beginning they were both reading the same things and couldn’t wait to talk to the other.

Then, it had become habit.

It didn’t feel right to be reading anything in the library unless Orthi was sitting across from him, and she seemed to save all her reading for this time too. Sometimes even her studying.

She made her way to their table and placed her bag at the foot of it. “Homework?” she asked.

He shook his head. “Just looking through the notes for today’s test.”

Her mouthed rounded into an ‘oh’. She’d seen him do that once before. She eyed the shelves around them, tapping her fingertips on the tabletop in a rhythm. Sometimes Sami couldn’t look away from the way her hair spilled from the ponytail past her shoulder and almost onto her lap. Sometimes it was the way she seemed coiled to jump right into whatever world her mind was in. Most often, though, it was her eyes. The way they lit up when she smiled, or when he said something that made her laugh (usually something about a book, sometimes about the volleyball team, sometimes about their friends).

Say something, the voice in his head was saying. Anything, just don’t make it stupid. The sparkles were too loud for him to protest.

“Um,” he started, without really thinking, and then stopped when she looked at him. He felt heat rising under his collar. Great. What was he going to say now?

“Oh! Thank goodness I remembered,” she said, and crouched to rummage in her bag.  Sami breathed a sigh of relief. She’d saved him from embarrassment, for the moment at least.

As she came up, there was something off about her. Was it how she wouldn’t meet his eyes? There was a package in her hand, and with the other she was combing the end of her ponytail. He’d only seen her do that last week, when they’d run into each other in the morning. She’d admitted to being nervous about the monthly tests.

Was she…nervous?

He watched her take a deep breath. There was a tension in her shoulders. Yes. She was definitely nervous. She thrust the package into his arms and looked up. “Happy Birthday,” she said, her voice lower than it was even a few moments ago.

He looked from her flustered face to the brown-paper wrapped present and back again. He cleared his throat. “O-oh, you remembered?” The weirdness of her behavior was throwing him off track as well. He hardly knew what to do with his hands or his notebook from before, let alone this new addition to his possessions.

She shrugged. It was nowhere near as effortless as her usual shrugging. He detected a small smile on her face, and she was looking at anywhere but him.

“Can I open it now?”

She barely nodded, and he busied his hand in the task of undoing all the folds and taping of the wrap.  His heart leaped when his fingers found the spine of a paperback. He pulled the book out, and couldn’t help but stare at the glossy cover. The title was written in orange and green, two words, on a background the color of old faded paper. The cords of two headphones intertwined. He didn’t even need to look at the bottom. The lettering of the title seemed to scream the author’s name.

It was a copy of Eleanor and Park.

“It’s not the best quality,” Orthi said. “But I checked inside for any printing mistakes. And…uh…I own an exact duplicate…”

The sparkles were becoming too blinding now. Sami rubbed the back of his neck, unsure of what to say. The heat refused to drain away. “Um…thank you,” he said.

Ishti had gotten him a new set of kneepads. Dip had forgotten completely. The rest of the volleyball team chipped in together and held a mini celebration during lunch. They’d bought most of the tiny pastries form the cafeteria, and messed up his entire classroom. It was all maddeningly frivolous, not to mention really consuming, time-wise and energy-wise.

But that wasn’t to say it didn’t make him feel good. It did make the sparkles a bit too bright, but it was nice being at the centre of attention.

And he didn’t know why, exactly, but this felt like the crowning glory of them all. The past few months, he’d gotten to know Orthi like he’d never known any girl before (with the exception of his mother and some of his cousins, but even they seemed enigmatic at times). Orthi was simple and happy, and jolly and excited by all things that excited quiet souls. She was different, but she made him feel like he’d finally found a niche, like he wasn’t alone.

She made him want to hold onto her for dear life (metaphorically, of course. He’d only ever seen her at school, it would be beyond rude to do what he imagined in his head).

She scratched the back of her head, still refusing to meet his eyes. His eyes followed her as she walked to a shelf and picked out the book she was currently reading. He flipped the pages of his new treasure, closing his eyes to bask in the scent of the printed page. When he looked up, she quickly threw her glance from him to the chair, pulling it out.

Say something, you idiot, the voice was saying again.

He took a deep breath. “Orthi,” he started, making her look up from the page. “This…really means a lot to me.”

There was a solemn look in her eyes as she looked up. She hesitated for a moment before saying, “You…make me feel understood.”

Sami’s eyes widened. He sucked in a breath. “A-and you me,” he muttered, not even bothering to smother the grin anymore. The sparkles began to dance.

Raindrops, Chaos, Color

I am posting this guest post on behalf of Phoebe Adhora.


Do you know what happens when water falls on a sketch book? Well, let me tell you. Besides hours of effort being wasted and turned into a catastrophe of ink and tree pulp or me failing my final exams and even the tiny hairs on my scalp being pulled out by the sheer force of my bare hands, there is one other thing that happens. Amidst the chaos created by my brain, the blend of different colored ink remains unnoticed. Continue reading

Between the Lines (Part 1)

Written for a farhinhusain’s birthday. Hope you like it!
Criticism highly appreciated.


“Excuse me,” a female voice said to his side. The almost manic hysteria dissolved into quiet panic. He turned. It was the librarian. His fingers untangled themselves from his hair, and suddenly he had to deal with them hanging stupidly on either side of his head. “Are you looking for something?” she asked.

“Well, there was this one book in turquoise cover on this shelf…” he gestured toward the shelf he’d just been racking. “It’s by Rainbow Rowell.” Lord knew there was no use telling her the title of the book.

And Lord knew he had to find it if he was to stay sane. Continue reading

Shooting Star

Any words of praise and/or constructive criticism is highly appreciated. Hate too. 🙂


Sara felt the cold crawling up her shoulder blades. She drew the shawl closer around her body. Her fingers were numb, her feet freezing, but there was something about standing out in the night even in this weather. A stray dog howled down the alley somewhere. Vehicles whooshed past on the street, and up here they sounded like a distant dream. Her breath fogged just so, something she hadn’t experienced in a few years. Foggy breaths during the days were a thing of dreams now; it never got that cold here anymore.

But the prettiest thing was the sky, clear and inky black, dotted with glittery stars and the big silvery sequin on the side. She blew out another breath that almost fogged up the glasses perched on the bridge of her nose.

In the absence of huge buildings, Sara remembered, in the village without electricity, the stars looked as magnificent as she’d ever seen them. But, despite their seven-floor building being humbled by the fourteen-floor complex in front, Sara felt a sense of safety emanating from it. Continue reading

Same Old, Same Old…

The world, Syor decided, looks far more interesting if she sees things horizontally. For example the way the blades of the ceiling fan were slicing the air, or the way how she could see people’s molars while they were yawning their lust to sleep out with the exhaustively boring lecture in the background. Tilting her head she saw the professor’s bald head glistening under the lights.
“Way brighter than my future,” she mused and started to trace her pen along the pages of the notebook as letters formed words and so on. Shifting her position a little she looked the other way, saw a familiar figure on her side. First the hands,  one of them which was furiously jotting down whatever the professor was talking about, another one tapping the chin. Then the Adams apple fixed on a pale neck, the jaw. Looking upwards she saw a pair of attentive large eyes under a pair of dark rimmed glasses, slightly hidden beneath  his dark curls.
Lastly the hair. The thick, permy hair.
Asahi.
His hair and eyes were the things that caught her eyes the most. Large glassy eyes and that permy hair. An unusual combination.
Rolling the pen twice in her fingers she stretched her hand out to the back of his head, and gently pushed her pen in his dark curls.

Continue reading

A Story of Love and Grass

“Bhai koto nise ?”
I turned around at the rickshaw going past us. I’ve stopped counting how many times people have asked that. People in the cities are apparently very curious. It wasn’t like this where I lived. I would stand and walk and poop and do my daily activities and nobody would even bat an eye. But here, everywhere people are staring at me. Am I some celebrity now? Have they never seen a cow? I admit, I am rather easy on the eyes with my red leather and shiny eyes, but don’t they know it’s rude to stare?
I’ve been walking for a while now. Sure I may have gotten a little bulky the last few days, but that’s only because master was feeding me too much, now, I may be naive but I’m not stupid enough to turn down food.

 

Mokhless liked my curves. He thought they were sexy. I wasn’t like the typical blonde beauty; I was and still am a sassy red head. Mokhless was the hotshot. We grew up together since we were little calves. Bulbuli and the others had an eye on him, but we were meant to be. Inseparable till the end. I wonder what he’s doing now. My precious Moo. He is such a sweetheart.

 

“Ei Lalu, beshi genjam korish na, gate er bhitore dhuk !” the man shouted.

 

What the hell? Do I look like a Lalu to you? I am a pure Sokhina. I can’t believe you would give me such a generic name just because I’m red and pretty. Humans are such dumb creatures. No fashion sense, they wear weird stuff. And the females. Oh lord. Painting their eyes with black ink and wrapping weird things around their bodies. I really don’t get humans sometimes.

 

I entered through the gate and they gave me more food. Why is everyone so keen on making me fat? What’s the point if Mokhless isn’t even here to see me? As the night draws in, I sit down and wonder what waits. Mostly wonder what Mokhless is doing. I think this is what love feels like. We haven’t ever been apart before you see. But master told us he was making us big and fat to sell us to the city folks. Master was a good guy and I don’t mind walking a few miles, even though I don’t really get what the city folks would want with us. But if Mokhless was with me, I wouldn’t be this lonely.

 

I stare at the stars above, only failing and my vision being stopped by a ceiling. What kind of lives do these people live? Locked up in little boxes with not a hint of grass in sight. Sigh. I feel bad for them sometimes. Ever since we were young, we’ve heard stories of these boxes stacked side by side. We’ve grown up fantasizing one day coming to the cities and living a rich and happy life. Our lives were black and white. We wondered what color felt like. They said this is where the lucky ones end up. I’m one of them. I wonder what awaits me. Only the new sunrise will tell.

 

Maybe the grass is greener on the other side.

 

Drowning

I stood there, motionless, on the edge of the bridge. The gentle wind kept blowing in my hair but I didn’t put my hands up to fix it. A thought rushed to my head shouldn’t I be leaving a note or something? But then again who cared anyway? No one liked my presence anyway, how in God’s name would anything change in my absence? I’m a parasite to everyone’s world. Coming to think of it, I was making them a favour actually. I wouldn’t be a disgrace to my mom anymore. She wouldn’t have to constantly keep reminding me of how useless I am or how I am not like, what’s that phrase parents use? Oh yeah, like “most children.” This is the best thing I can do for everyone around me. My friends, people who I know since I was kindergarten. They wouldn’t have to bear the problem that went by the name “Scott Stanley” anymore. They wouldn’t probably notice the first few days and I don’t blame them. They didn’t seem to notice much when I got sick. My best friend is definitely gonna find a new and better best friend as soon as she permanently gets rid off the deadest weight of her life. I don’t blame her either. Its pretty dead between us for the past one year. It’s just, I don’t know what happened. I didn’t bother to ask her either. I guess we grew up or something. Everything changed so fast and I couldn’t keep up. I’m already pretty dead to everyone’s life. Why would it matter if it had really happened? My biology teacher, Mr. Salman once told us, “before eating something unhealthy, we often say ‘who cares let’s just eat’ ” and he told us to delete the “who cares” part because someone always cares. Maybe that doesn’t apply to everyone. When it ends, people will ask, “Why? He had everything. Genius at school, good at football, had friends, but why’d he let go of all that?” Love. It’s all love. The strongest human emotion. Everything becomes nothing when you have no one in the world understands you. No one who really cares about you. Genius, football, friends become meaningless without compassion. That was the last thought I had on that bridge. They say when you’re drowning, you don’t open your mouth, it’s an involuntary action. Even though you feel like your head is about to explode, the instinct to not let water in is so strong that it provides a little time until you actually drown. That was the same case for me. I saw a bright white  light at surface, glaring at me, as if, it was welcoming me.

Death Bell

A group of 20 high school students partook an elite class to prepare for college exam. Among them are Kayla, and her best friend Marissa, and the class clown Kevin, who harbored an affection for Kayla.

On the first day of their elite, they were assigned to write a description of the talking which were shown in the class TV. Suddenly, the class was interrupted by the TV showing a video of the top-ranking student, Madison, trapped in a glass that was slowly filling up with water. A voice over the PA system announced that they have to give another exam. Failure to answer them in time would lead to their death. It also warned them and their two teachers, Chris and Charlotte, against leaving the school. The first question was written in the glass tank:

1st: Solve all of equations which are written down and combine them into one complete answer in time. => Unknown. There are 2 equations of circle: x^2+y^2-10x+12y+57=0 (Central point coordinate and radius are (5, -6), 2, respectively), and x^2+y^2-10x-4y+25=0(Central point coordinate is (5, 2), radius is 2 as well).                                                                                                                                                                        The class fails to solve the first question to save Madison.

Despite the warning, the class tries to leave the school building, but found their hall monitor, Leo, beaten to death. Mark (Guard and caretaker of the school) was the only person there to guard the students. Soon they noticed that another student, Samuel, was missing. That time a sound of a bell was heard. Again the same voice from the PA made an announcement for the students to prepare for the second test and also warned them not to leave the school. It was going to be a listening test. The paragraph would only be heard once. From the PA they heard Samuel screaming. That time a voice of a small girl asked “What is your name?”. He answered “Samuel”. Then the girl asked “What is your sin?”. He cried and said “My mom was greedy!”.

2nd test: Go to the auditorium and find out the 8 characters of the word ‘Greed’ in Chinese.

After thinking for few minutes Kayla found the answer but unfortunately, she was too late. Samuel’s dead body was dropped from a gap in the ceiling of the auditorium mysteriously. Hot wax covered his whole body which means he was kept under candles drippings. And the answer was written on his chest with a blade. Seeing the body made Joshua vomit. That time he was pulled out of sight, unnoticed. The students then realized that Joshua was missing too. Chris, a teacher, suggested splitting into two groups. Kayla figured out the connection between the deaths and the students rank so she went with Kevin to the office room. According to the ranking 1st Madison, 2nd Samuel and then Joshua, after that, Sophia then her  best friend Marissa and then herself and so on. On the auditorium few students, including Sophia, were planning to go and hide in their classrooms. Marissa thought it would be safe so she also wanted to go without telling Kayla. They told their teachers that they wanted to go to the washroom. There were many students that’s why they got the permission. Kayla told Mr. Chris that students are being killed according to the ranking. So, they thought of splitting into two groups. Kayla and Kevin went with their teacher Charlotte with some few students to dig out some information.

There was another bell sound. Following the instruction Mr. Chris arrived with few students in their computer lab. On the board there were some pictures and a question.

3rd: Complete the sentence relating with those pictures and find the password. Write the answer in the computer.                                                                                                                                                       The students again found the answer which was “One fine spring day. Remember the auditorium”. But when they entered the password, they saw Joshua’s dead body. The answer was on his chest. There were a lot of cuts on his body with blade and his mouth was stuffed with flower petals.

In a class the few students were sitting when they heard a sound of footstep. Suddenly the door broke and the light turned off and on by itself. That time again someone abducted Sophia. Terrified, Marissa hid under the table. Mrs. Charlotte and other students soon arrived upon hearing the scream. And they came to know that Sophia was also missing. Marissa felt guilty for not telling Kayla, but kind hearted Kayla forgave Marissa.

It was night 9:00 pm so they were eating in the cafeteria. After hearing about the answer of Joshua’s death “One fine spring day. Remember the auditorium” Kayla again suspect these deaths were going for Jasmine’s death.

Jasmine was a student who used to be the best friend of Kayla. She was the top student of the class. But, on one fine spring day she was found dead on the auditorium. Mr. Choi stormed off because he did not believe in ghost or any kind of spiritual powers. Then again the bell sound was heard. That time no one wanted to go. Mr. Chris went alone to kill the person because he still believes that there is no ghost just a person. And Mrs. Charlotte, Kayla and Kevin followed the instruction of the PA and came to a class. Again they found a question.

4th: By changing the spellings of the text, complete the sentence. => It consists of several kinds of anagram, associated with the array of old cell phone keypad.

They found the answer and it was “I know who killed me. My anger will endure, face the truth.” All the answers were related to Jasmine’s death.

But from the CCTV cameras live feed, they saw Mr. Chris with a mysterious woman standing at the staircase. But when all went there it was empty. Suddenly, they heard a beep sound when they headed there they saw Sophia was stuffed in the washing machine which was on. And the answer was written in her arm.

In the cafeteria the mysterious pressed Marissa’s mouth and pulled her. No, one noticed because they were all sleeping on the table.

On the lobby Mrs. Charlotte saw there one of the student, Brian, was eating their hall monitor, Leo’s hand, with a knife in his hand. But, when he saw Kayla he ran and tried to kill Kayla but, Kevin jumped in front of her and died in the act. Mr. Chris killed Brian by hitting him repeatedly on the  head with a blunt object. He thought Brian was doing all these thing. Kayla never cried for anyone but seeing Kevin dead, drained her strength. She loved Kevin. Then again the sound of the bell was heard. Which means Brian wasn’t doing it. Kayla lost her hope. But, following the instruction they came to a door that could only be opened by entering a password. The question was given.

5th: Input the number as password by resolving these association with this number sequence. Then, speak the meaning of the number. You have only one chance. : 5685 -> 2485 ->? To solve, focus on the inner 2-digit number. Multiply each 1-digit, and Focus on the outer side numbers, and then multiply each 1-digit, then the next sequence is 2485. Repeat this once more. And find the password.

The answer was 1320. Kayla said the meaning “1st place, 3rd and 20th student whose name was Jasmine.” The door opened, and saw that Marissa’s leg was tied upside down. She was alive. But if they were late, she would be thrown from the ceiling. But, the rope was too much strong to be cut. And, they didn’t have anything sharp. But the time was up. The rope was pulled up and thrown. Marissa died. That mysterious woman appeared, smiling. She tried to run away but Mr. Chris strangles the woman to death.

A memorial is held for the students killed, Kayla went to the roof top by crying but she was abducted unnoticed. On PA a person announce that one final question is still left. He shut all the doors started spilling gasoline. He said

6th: “2 years ago, on one fine spring day, my daughter was murdered by someone with a bear-shaped key chain. Who is it? Only the culprit would know the answer. Step forward and confess your sin; if you don’t, everyone here will die.”

*Flashbacks*

Mark’s daughter, Jasmine, was a brilliant student. She worked hard for entering the elite group. But failed because the killed student’s (except Kevin and Brian) parents forced Mr. Chris to give the question paper. He gave them the paper and took their money. Jasmine saw that, and warned Mr. Chris to stop doing it and confess the truth, if not she would complain this incident to the principal. But, Mr. Chris killed her by choking her with his hands on her throat. That time she turned on the video camera on her phone and threw it on the floor. But, the whole face was not showed on the video. But then Brian saw it and he thought that he was haunted by Jasmine’s ghost.

Mr. Chris confessed his sin. Then Mark came and hugged him, said “I am sorry” and stabbed him. He killed him by a hitting his head with a hammer. Mrs. Charlotte released Kayla.

About a year later, on the day of result, Kayla was ranked top in her class and it was implied that Brian’s attacks was due to her being possessed by Jasmine since the beginning.

Crystal Clear

I walked towards him in long strides, visually inhaling and exhaling in the hopes of calming my nerves which were in havoc. My cheeks, a shade of red which cannot be named. “Now or never”- I thought to myself as his lips locked with mine. They said,” love can neither be seen nor can it be heard. It can only be felt by the heart.” Yet, I wanted to feel more than the feeling itself. So, I kept my eyes open. I watched how his expression changed every moment; from shock to awe, from pleasure to that of pain as if he can’t get enough.

The bluntness of his feelings made me take a step back in a daze. “Is something wrong, Yumi?” His voice dragged me back to my senses only to be drowned by his eyes. Those eyes stitched a million unspoken words into a fine line. The depth of it scared me. They were wrong. Love can be seen in so many ways that it can be frightening to the extent that you can never return the same feelings. So, I ran. I ran and never looked back.

Thus, as I kissed another man after 15 years to seal our marriage; I closed my eyes. I closed them in the fear of finding the passion in his heart which would never burn in mine. I closed my eyes fearing he would notice that blank slate of a heart reflected through my eyes.