My other World
I didn’t do anything for the rest of the weekend.
Thankfully the day that followed the leadership application being due was Saturday, so I had a chance to be alone after the… whatever happened when I fell asleep. I didn’t have any injuries from the battle in Acacia when I woke up, but I still felt a lingering effect on my skin. The echoing sound of the wooden home I was slammed into, the screams, the infinitely extending flames throughout the entire town. Everything about that day in Acacia was unforgettably horrific, and I didn’t feel like doing after all of that.
Sleeping wasn’t even an option, either. Out of fear that I would see the sights that I did before, I didn’t sleep the whole weekend. Despite my beliefs that it would be impossible, the anxiety that shot through me every time I closed my eyes, matched with the anxiety I felt whenever I opened my eyes worked better than any coffee I’d ever tried.
I didn’t listen to any music. I didn’t watch any shows, or catch up on any anime with new episodes out. I didn’t even eat much, besides the meals that I had to have with my parents as a family. I just kept my eyes open in the darkness of my room, trying my best to sort things out. Or at the very least, ignore some of the more intrusive thoughts in my head.
And before I knew it, it was Monday. With a bit of hesitancy, I went to my closet, reached into the back, and pulled out my flute case. Gripping its handle tightly, I knew all that was left for me to do is find another path forward.
. . . . .
“-Myself, that would be- what?”
“Yeah, I talked to Mr. Friedman, and apparently some of the clarinet applications had to be thrown out 'cause they quit the band. So, Mr. Friedman had one more slot, and I recommended you.”
“You recommended me?!”
“Yeah, of course!” She grinned. “I remember when you first joined the band, you seemed so excited for a Freshman. I didn’t make it to Band Camp that year… but I totally remember you! Also, Destiny’s a friend of mine, and I think she’s gonna be a Drum Major next year, so I trust her gut feelings.”
“Now, don’t get anything confused- Leadership Camp starts tomorrow, but your position will be determined by the leadership we already have… like the Drum Majors, Mr. Friedman, the Section Leaders, et cetera… so I need you to promise me one thing, right?”
“Tell me you believe you can be Drum Major, all right? ‘Cause if you’re not prepared to be the kind of leader me and Destiny think you can be, then I don’t think it’s worth our time to waste effort on someone who looks like they’re afraid of their own shadow. So, what do you think about that?”
I paused, thinking for the second. I wasn’t thinking about the noisy sound around me, nor lunch. I wasn’t thinking about Destiny, and the awkward situation I left in. I wasn’t even thinking about Margie, even though she was right in front of me. I needed to think about myself for a moment. What happened to me? Was I ready for such a task? Someone was putting all of their trust in me… and could I deliver?
“I don’t think I can become a Drum Major.” I plainly spoke. “But… I also know that the reason I don’t think that is because I don’t know if I can change. And at the same time, I don’t think I can change without trying to become the Drum Major next year. So… I know I can’t keep my promise, but will you let me try?! Please?!”
Margie grinned from ear to ear. “Perfect! I love that answer! No promises necessary then, but I’d still like to shake your hand.” We both extended our hands, and I gave her a confused look.
“Because it’d be nice to shake hands with the next Drum Major.”
“Well…” I smiled back, a bit of my confidence finally regained. “Don’t worry. I’m not sure, but I think you’re looking at him.”
. . . . .By the time I’d regained my motivation, which was in the middle of Pre-Calc, I realized how little energy I had left. After a whole weekend of trying to not sleep, the overwhelming feeling of exhaustion overwhelmed me. And, as the lull of a class that wouldn’t matter took over, I realized I was finally able to close my eyes.
“Oh, this was the guest room at my father’s farm. We mainly just used it as storage most of the time since no one came to visit though…” She trailed off, looking around the room with a sense of longing. It was then I remembered her during the battle against the Demon King…
“HE KILLED MY FATHER, THE BASTARD!” She cried, tears running down her face as she pointed to the figure cloaked in shadows.
“I’m sorry for asking.”
“Oh no, it’s fine!” She spoke, with a lighter voice trying to ease the tension between us. “But I wanted to ask you…”
“What’s up?” She stuttered at first, before taking a moment to breath and clarify in her mind what she wanted to say.
“Will you help me kill the Demon King?”
“Oh! Okay, that’s what you were gonna ask.”
“What did you think I was gonna ask?”
“Well… I mean I honestly had no clue, I just didn’t expect-”
“I understand, it’s a weird question to come from someone like me… but I want revenge. My father was a good man, and that demon killed him in cold blood… I never thought I’d see such a vile creature in my life, someone who could kill so many of my friends and just laugh at it all. And, it’s almost like I feel more bloodthirsty myself, but I know that I just can’t do nothing. And I know you’re a good fighter! I know we didn’t win the other day, but I can’t do this alone. I need a Hero.”
“I’m no Hero…” I clarified, before realizing what I was saying.
What did I want? Did I want to be in these dreams anymore? Not really, but while I kept having them, I wanted to kill the Demon King as well. He mocked me and my fears, all while torturing and tormenting the people that I thought represented a simple purity that hadn’t existed in my life for a long time. If there was anyone crazy enough to want to kill the Demon King in the town, I thought it’d be me.
“And I don’t know if I could do this… but I have to try.”
Destiny’s eyes glowed.
“So… let’s do this. Let’s kill the Demon King.”
Things I Want To Do:
- Become Drum Major
- Kill the Demon King