Chapter 5:

Chapter 4

Vanilla Twilight

I remember this place, is what I would have said, but walking up to it shut off my mind completely.

“Why… are we here, Aya?” I mumble under my breath which was loud enough for her to hear it and give me a response.

“You picked 4, so we’re at 4. Why are you the one complaining now?!”

For once, my lucky number brought me something I’m not fond of.

“Y-yeah, but, you could have at least told me that we’d be going to a school. And not just any school, but my old school at that.”

Just standing in front of the gate sends chills down my spine, as if I had just stepped into a notoriously haunted building.

“This is your old school too?! What a coincidence! Since we’re the same age, that means we were in the same grade level, at the same time!”

We were in the same school at the same time? Then how come I’ve never seen her around? Surely I would have noticed those bright red eyes of hers. I know they’re just plain contacts, but this school never had a rule against them.

I wonder why I haven’t seen her around…

We leap over the gate and into the school premises. I haven’t been here since I graduated almost a year ago. But… I can say for certain that this does not bring back any good memories of the time I had here.

The school is situated in the middle of condominiums, stretching along every corner. I don’t know how they were able to find, let alone build, a school with all the necessities within a square area.

This place has an entirely new feel to it, probably because what we are doing is trespassing, but also because I’ve never seen what this place is like in the middle of the night.

“Are you sure we’re allowed to do this?”

“Seriously? You’re going to ask that after we leapt over the gate?”

“Hey, I was the one who vaulted cleanly, I had to help you get over it.”

“Y-you don’t have to remind me like that! I’m perfectly capable of handling myself, thank you very much.”

I suppose I don’t have to worry about her that much especially after she stated that. I’m afraid of talking to her more with the fear of being ratted out again. It’s not like I have to worry about her anyway.

I haven’t thought about someone else in a long time. It has always been just me, and my own worries.

“Do I look happy?”

Her words earlier echo in my head. I wasn’t able to give her an answer because I couldn’t think of one. Does she look happy to me? Is she not happy, and that’s the reason why she asked me that?

There are still far too many things I do not know about this girl, so I can’t give her any definite answer. Maybe I should observe her for now.

“Hey, hey, did you know that there’s apparently a ghost roaming around here?”

She freezes me in place with a single question.

“G-g-ghost? D-didn’t you say that you don’t believe in ghosts?”

She flashes a cheeky smile. “Of course, I don’t! Because I haven’t seen one myself. Let’s go!”

I don’t like where this is going, especially because I’m being pulled towards a gray area of what could be a rumor, and what could be reality.

With that said, her excitement soon diminishes after a couple of strides as she slows down her pace to a walk.

“Do you, uhm… have an idea of where it could possibly be?”

Is she being serious?

“I cut this entire school and my experiences here out of my head. How should I know where this supposed ghost is?”

“C’mon! Give me a wild guess. What could possibly go wrong?”

There aren’t any places where we can go, since the school locks its doors hours early. Not only that, but It’s also a week before Christmas, so there are no classes for another couple of weeks.

“I guess we can go try the field?”, I suggest as it’s the only place where I felt at peace when I was here.

“Alrighty! Let’s go!”, she grabs hold of my hand again and instead of running, she casually walks beside me.

I don’t understand anything about this girl. The way she talks, the way she moves, and the ideas that spontaneously pop inside of her head are befitting of literally anyone else other than her.

How can I explain it… it’s like she has all the personality traits of a person who she isn’t?

Like she’s forcing herself to be someone she isn’t.

Araya Aya, who are you trying to be?