Chapter 1:

An Unexpected Message

ASTELLA


Iris was floating. At least that's what she assumed she was doing. Her senses are all numb. Her sense of time and space is nonexistent. She's here and there at the same time. She doesn't know what's what anymore...Bookmark here

There's one more thing that's bothering her. There's something in the back of her mind. A nagging thought that she could barely comprehend. What was it? Bookmark here

Huh… She could see something, but she was not sure what she was staring at. A boy? A smile? Or nothing at all? She doesn't know. Everything seems so far away…Bookmark here

"Iris. Why are you not happy?"Bookmark here

*****Bookmark here

"Haah!" Iris gasped for air loudly as if she was drowning just moments before. Her vision slowly became clearer as she took in the familiar mess on her office table. She immediately saw the running computer in front of her with her still unfinished work. Aww crap…, she thought as she ran her fingers through short curls.
Bookmark here

"...ris. Pst Iris!" Bookmark here

Iris jumped a bit when she finally heard the voice beside her. Still heaving a bit, she turned to her colleague at the next cubicle, whose face was contorting in annoyance.Bookmark here

"Sorry… Roy?" she said sheepishly.Bookmark here

He scoffed, shaking his head. "Years of sitting next to each other and you still can't remember my name. It's Ryan. Well, whatever." Ryan waved his hands dismissively, turning to his computer at his table. "You better finish that so we can all go home on time. You know we're waiting on that document you're working on."Bookmark here

"Sorry." she said once more, lowering her head in shame. Bookmark here

"It's fine. Just finish it. And stop falling asleep on the job. You've been doing it too much lately." Ryan adjusts his glasses. "Good thing I'm the one who noticed and not the chief." Bookmark here

She apologized once more, but Roy(or was it Ricky?) was already clicking away, too engrossed in his work to respond(or maybe he's just ignoring her). Iris sighed, shaking her head. Instead of dwelling on it, she just focused on her work.Bookmark here

This is bad. She actually fell asleep while working. It's not a good look. But it's not that surprising. She's been tired of this boring lifestyle of hers. Eat, Work, Sleep. Rinse, repeat. What's the point of everything? There's nothing to look forward to.Bookmark here

But whatever. As long as she's alive, the only thing she could do is to survive the day. Iris sighed again at the thought. What a depressing way to live.Bookmark here

*Ping*Bookmark here

She was just getting absorbed in her work and self-loathing when the small pinging noise broke her train of thought. Bookmark here

She just got an email.Bookmark here

Iris quickly checked it, thinking it was work-related. But, instead, it was something she never expected to receive...Bookmark here

*********Bookmark here

From: AlexaRamirez@***.com
To: IrisRaeDizon@***.com
Subject: Just A Small ReunionBookmark here

Hey, Iris. It's me Alex, hope you still remember me. The gang and I are going to meet up at Vinnie's family seaside villa. We're gonna dig up the time capsule from back then. Bookmark here

Hope you can come this time. It's so hard getting a hold of you. Even this email is quite hard to find. I hope this reaches you this time.Bookmark here

Anyway, the meetup is on the 2nd of June, at the xxx cafe from back home. I know almost all of us are out of town, but the three of us are still going to make time. I hope you will too, Iris. For Miles…Bookmark here

Love,
AlexBookmark here

*********Bookmark here

Iris just stared blankly at the email. A time capsule? What is she talking about? She doesn't remember burying any. And why would she do it with her and her 'gang' of all people?Bookmark here

Alex, she thought as she reclined in her chair. That name does ring a bell. It's the girl who sat right in front of Iris in their last year of high school. She remembered talking with her a few times, but…Bookmark here

She's pretty sure she's not close enough with Alex to bury a time capsule with her and her friends. Bookmark here

Still… Bookmark here

What if she truly did do that? Could this be one of the missing fragments she's been looking for? Will it at least give a hint of everything she's been questioning? Bookmark here

An answer on why she always felt so incomplete, like there's a huge hole in her heart?Bookmark here

F.C Fondness
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ASTELLA


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