Chapter 7:

Chocolate Milk

New Leaf!

I walked out of the room I was in.Bookmark here

I seem to be in the same corridor I was in last night. On my left was the door used to exit this unit. On my right on the same wall where I emerged from was another door that probably led to an identical room. And on the wall that was in front of me were two doors; they were both closed.Bookmark here

Opposite to the exit door was the end of the hallway, leading to an opening.Bookmark here

I walked in that direction.Bookmark here

Once I reached the opening, I looked to my left.Bookmark here

… And there he was — Mr Dead Fisheyes, still emitting the same serious vibe as always… Okay, the dead fisheyes comparison was a bit of an exaggeration. He seemed to be sitting at a kitchen table and tapping away at a laptop.Bookmark here

He turned his head to me. And spoke in a monotone voice.Bookmark here

“Good morning, Camryn.”Bookmark here

Oh yeah, I guess I did give him my name last night.Bookmark here

“M-Mr Morales… g-good morning.”Bookmark here

I walked towards him. The square table that he was at seemed to only fit four people, one on each side. However, there was only one other seat, and it was opposite to him. I approached that seat but did not sit in it.Bookmark here

I thought there would be silence between us, but Mr Morales rose from his seat.Bookmark here

“How are you Camryn?”Bookmark here

“Oh! I-I’m good, thanks.”Bookmark here

Same straightforward tone as always. I think he was concerned, but it was sort of hard to tell.Bookmark here

Mr Morales walked to a nearby counter and picked up a plate covered with another. He also brought along a cup.Bookmark here

His attire was different from last night. Instead of a suit worn to an office job, he was wearing black jogging pants and a white tee shirt. Was it his day off today? Because he was definitely wearing loungewear.Bookmark here

“Camryn, about last night. Judging from the sound coming from your stomach, you seem to have passed out due to hunger. Are you hungry? Here.”Bookmark here

There was still a bit of a questioned expression on my face.Bookmark here

Mr Morales placed the plate and cup on the table in front of me. He then went to a refrigerator and retrieved a carton and a clear bottle of a viscous brown substance, also placing them in front of me.Bookmark here

“It is breakfast. Please sit and eat.”Bookmark here

“Huh…? O-oh. Th-thanks for the food.”Bookmark here

I carefully lifted the plate that was on the other one.Bookmark here

Under it was a knife and spoon of course, but there were also… pancakes? Sir, how old do you think I am? Eh, whatever.Bookmark here

Then, in the bottle was… syrup? I hesitantly drizzled the brown liquid over the food in a circular pattern. I then cut off a piece with the provided knife and fork and ate it.Bookmark here

The taste was sweet — or at least it was to me.Bookmark here

However, there was another taste. That taste… It's always present whenever I eat food. I couldn’t describe it… No, I actually don’t want to describe it. Doing so would only bring up unwanted memories. The only thing I could say to describe the taste was… salty.Bookmark here

But it was also sweet. The sweetness surprised me, so I tensed my face a bit. Did Mr Morales see, because he reacted?Bookmark here

“Oh, s-sorry, do you not like it? Sorry, I was not sure of what you liked.”Bookmark here

“No, no, it’s good.”Bookmark here

“Really? That is good. Anyway, here.”Bookmark here

Mr Morales reached for the cup that I forgot about and poured some brown liquid from the carton into it. He passed it to me.Bookmark here

I took a sip of the beverage… What the heck? What is this? It’s so good! It was kind of sweet, but not to the extent of the syrup. And… I don’t know. I couldn’t describe it, but it was so refreshing to drink. And that other taste — It was still present, but it was really faint.Bookmark here

“Whoa… what is this?”Bookmark here

“Oh! I-It is chocolate milk. S-sorry if you wanted something else. Um… I can get you some water if you want.”Bookmark here

Chocolate milk, huh? I’ve never had it before. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had chocolate. Okay, I’ll definitely look for chocolate next time when I’m out shopping.Bookmark here

“Oh, no, no. Actually, this is delicious! Thanks!”Bookmark here

“That is good. You are welcome.”Bookmark here

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And with that, I finished. The whole time I ate, Mr Morales was doing work on his laptop, but he would look up to check on me every so often.Bookmark here

I… hope my eating habit wasn’t concerning him. Every piece I ate from the pancakes were small, and after every bite, I took a large sip of the chocolate milk — it was to the point where the carton was almost finished. It... was probably because of the other taste that plagued my mouth. Yes… an attempt to cleanse the flavour born from unpleasant memories… Bookmark here

I was interrupted when Mr Morales spoke.Bookmark here

“So, are you finished eating?”Bookmark here

He slid his laptop towards the edge of the table. When he spoke, he spoke formally. His face showed some expression, but it was mostly static. The tone of his voice was mostly the same.Bookmark here

“Yes.”Bookmark here

“I see… Okay, I have some questions for you. Are you okay with answering them?”Bookmark here

I looked down.Bookmark here

I knew this would happen. If something abnormal occurred, of course you would ask about it.Bookmark here

But the question was… should I lie or tell the truth. To be honest, I did not know. Bookmark here

First off, could I trust this guy? I felt like I could — but at the same time, I felt like I couldn’t. He… It felt like he didn’t really care about what I told him. Was that good or bad? Did it really matter if I lied or not? I… did not know… But anyway, these were just thoughts, and thoughts cannot physically affect anything. I’ll never discover his true intentions unless I talk.Bookmark here

Also… personally, I didn’t really want to tell the truth. Being honest could lead to a lot of things, including Mr Morales potentially being able to help, but… I didn’t want to. Am I… scared? Possibly. The truth… was something… I’m running from — hide from it, and don’t face it.Bookmark here

Six months ago… flashbacks of that time crammed my mind. It made me shudder… it made me want to hide… it made me want to stop doing anything. It… I… I… um…Bookmark here

I should stop. Thinking will just make me cry, and that will probably just inconvenience Mr Morales.Bookmark here

Besides, even if he is trustworthy, could I truly trust him?Bookmark here

“Y-yes… Ask anything…”Bookmark here

“You do not need to answer certain questions if you do not want to. Just say so.”Bookmark here

What? How considerate. Did he sense my hesitation?Bookmark here

Hm… can I really trust him?Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.