Chapter 5:

Weird Stuff in Misted Point

With Oasis (Vol. 1)

Our second kiss was not long after our first. A little less than two days after our first kiss, on a Monday afternoon, we skipped class together during seventh hour, and instead spent the class period in a discreet corner of the hallway. It was there, in that secluded area, that we shared our second kiss.

When did we have our third kiss? Why, right after our second, of course. Then after our third came our fourth, then fifth, and honestly after that I stopped counting.

Lou was a tad nervous during the lead-in to our second kiss— duh. Considering her adverse reaction to our first, such nervousness was a matter of course. But she didn’t cry or shake or hyperventilate after our second. In fact, all she did was smile. So, we kissed more.

By the end of the day, kissing had become something casual. Something we can do whenever, so long as we’re not in the public eye. Yes, we’ve become the trashy highschool couple that skips class for the sole purpose of kissing, but we’ve at least not become so degenerate so as to do so in front of our peers. 

At least, not intentionally.

However, some rumors have recently sprung up in regards to us two kissing in the halls (mostly mocking in nature), so I reckon someone caught us when we weren't looking.

Over the next two and some weeks, we kissed a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I think we’re in that phase of high school romance where you just kinda like, keep kissing and don’t stop. The phase where in your teenage passion and naivete, it feels like if you don’t kiss each other every time you meet the world will mysteriously stop turning.

At least, that’s the impression I get.

Of course, I don’t necessarily feel those things the same way other people do…

Or rather, my emotions have been weird lately. The fact I even have the emotional capacity to be able to truthfully say ‘my emotions have been weird lately’ is, in and of itself, weird.

Kissing is fun.

But it isn’t just fun. It’s weird.

To be completely honest, I was a little underwhelmed by our second and third and fourth and etc. kisses. Feeling underwhelmed as early as the second kiss is like some sort of forbidden emotion, I get that, but I think it makes a bit more sense in the context of my frame of mind at the time.

My first kiss was so exciting. There wasn’t just a spark in my soul; it was damn near burning me alive. Well, okay, it was nothing that violent, but I hope you catch my drift.

My second kiss wasn’t nearly so exciting. It was still fun, sure. But it was more of a vague, stunted pleasantness, rather than the heart-pounding excitement of my first kiss.

Well, I guess that’s normal for any couple though. No kiss can truly replace your first. No other kiss feels quite the same. Your body and mind get used to it. It becomes, to use my prior terminology: casual.

But this is where things get proper wacky.

I guess I’m the exception to the rule, or perhaps my conception of the rule was inaccurate to begin with, because as I kept on kissing her, it got more fun. It wasn’t ever as piercing as my first, but that vague pleasantness grew with each successive kiss. It wasn’t exciting. It definitely wasn’t exciting. I’m not even sure… I feel hesitant saying this, but, is that happiness?

It’s really depressing to be unsure of that.

Well, things only got wackier two days ago, when I was in my third period science class. Mind-numbingly bored. The teacher was doodling away on the chalkboard, talking about moles or something, and I couldn’t help but wonder what sicko turned the kind of animal Lou would consider adorable into something as freakish as a unit of quantity to be used in scientific math equations. Whoever did that should be locked up for good, for the good of humanity.

And it was at that point that I thought it.

Man, I really wish I was in the commons with Lou laying on me right now...




Normally when Lou’s laying on me I’m like ‘Oh, woe is me, I’m so deadpan and bored, why can’t I feel emotions’, you know, like, the opposite of a good time. Did I suddenly gain a heart without realizing it??

So, later that day, me and Lou skipped class again (this time during sixth hour, sometimes we like to switch things up) and I had her lay against me in the commons. And…

I was still bored.

But no, there was definitely something different. Normally when I’m bored there’s an underlying sense of desperation and panic to it. Like, ‘Why can’t I feel anything??’. I fearfully ask myself those kinds of questions. But when Lou was laying on me… the emotion didn’t change, but the nuance did. The desperation was gone. Now, it wasn’t ‘Why can’t I feel anything??’. It was ‘I guess this is how it is’. The static I always feel inside cleared up— until it became a serene sort of nothing.

This isn’t how people normally experience emotions. I get that much. And that much I still consider to be a bad thing. But having a change of pace… is relieving.

But why did these things happen?

Why is kissing Lou so fun? Why does her laying on me approach at least some semblance of a pleasant experience? These are unpleasant questions, if I do say so myself, but I also can’t help but ask them to myself time and time again.

What changed?

The obvious answer is that I fell in love with Lou. But is that really it?

When you’re in love with someone, aren’t you supposed to hang onto every word they say, and laugh at their jokes, and feel elated at skinship? Compared to that, I’m a lot more muted. No, more than that, I still mostly feel bored when talking to Lou. Just the same as always; unimpressed, unenthused, ready to discard it all and move onto the next thing.

It can’t be love, can it?

If I only feel pleasant while kissing her, or when she’s laying on me, isn’t that just chasing dopamine hits? Aren’t I just following my libido? Maybe I only enjoy kissing because I find it erotic. Or, no, do I find it erotic in the first place? And besides, finding it erotic would be weird, since I haven’t had a libido for like two years now. What does love even feel like anyway? How do I know when I’m in love? These are all such annoyingly teenage questions…

Which leads us to today. Early December. Study hall.

Me and Lou were skipping class.

Shocking, I know. Positive plot twist right there. 

Although in this case, I’d say about a third of all students skip study hall, since it’s basically our only free period. After all, who actually studies? The dumb kids like me don’t because we’re lazy, and the smart kids like Lou don’t because they’re so smart they don’t need to. Only a very small percentage of people actually bother with it. So, study hall is a de facto free period, and you might as well use your free period to roam the halls.

We were in a hiding spot. A small recess in the wall, located at the very end of one of the hallways, that seemingly serves no purpose. No purpose; other than to serve as our hiding spot. It was a little cramped, but I got the feeling Lou didn’t mind that so much. She was laying against me as usual. Her head against my chest, my arms draping over hers.

Lou began. “Have you heard of Misted Point?”

“Misted Point… no, what’s that?” I replied.

“It’s a spot in the school with no security cameras.”

“You mean the locker rooms?” I deadpanned.

“No, I don’t mean those. I mean on the east side of the school, there’s a spot just outside the building along one of the walls that isn’t captured by security cameras.”

“And where did you learn about that?”

“The grapevine. Rumors.”

“...Doesn’t that sound totally like a trap though?”

“Huh?” Lou blinked with confusion. “Whaddaya mean?”

“I mean that, like, as a teacher, right? In order to catch troublemakers like us, you’d intentionally start a false rumor, and spread it among the students. Then, people would flock to that spot on the east wall in order to smoke weed and stuff, but since you were lying, it’d all be caught on security footage, and you’d all of a sudden be able to catch a lot of kids in illicit activities.”

“That… actually makes a lot of sense.” Lou’s head sunk further into my chest. “I was hoping to do some graffiti there… but I guess you’re right, maybe we shouldn’t…” She seemed dismayed.

But there was something that Lou said that caught my attention. Graffiti… Graffiting the school!?? What a risk! “Actually,” I continued, “now that I think about it, we could just visit the area in question… What's it called, ‘Misted Point’? And we could check for security cameras in order to gauge the rumor’s validity.”

That perked Lou right back up. “Really!? Well, I guess the possibility of graffiting the school isn’t completely off the table then!”

“Although, why is it called Misted Point?”

Lou assumed a sleazy expression. “Think about it!”

… “Ah. How creative," I said with a sarcastic tone. "Well, anyway, if we’re gonna graffiti it, we might as well scope out the area right now while study hall’s still going on. Wanna do that?”

Lou’s eyes sparkled. “Sure!”

We crawled out of the teeny nook we shared, then both stood up. I waited for Lou to take the lead so that I could follow her to the spot she was referring to, but she instead stared straight at me, dead in the eyes, then pointed her finger towards my face, and declared “You shall take me there in a bridal carry!”

… “We’re at school though. Don’t you know how many people will be staring at us? We’ll become the center of like, a thousand different rumors.”

“Aren’t we already the center of a thousand different rumors?” Lou countered. Her gaze then became more stern, and the sparkling in her eyes dimmed. “The other girls already think I’m a slut, or something, just because of how I act around you. There’s nothing for me to lose.

“There’s nothing for you to lose, either,” she pointed out.

“Unfortunately, that’s a true statement.” I haven’t really gone into this, but like, do I need to? A quiet kid who keeps to himself and opts not to talk to anyone out of a general disinterest towards people, as well as having a sort of piercing, deadpan look to his eyes. At school, there’s no archetype considered shadier than that one.

“So even if we’re at school, and even if everyone hates us, we can at least make it all the sexier by you holding me like I’m a cutie!”

I sighed. “You know what, I absolutely hate to admit it… bend your knees a little bit, Lou.” She did as I said. I proceeded to swoop her up off her feet and into my arms. Her logic made sense. Way too much sense for the girl who once began a story about the time she tried learning to knit with ‘Getting mauled to death by a tiger is kinda fun once you get over the initial shock of it’.

I’m actually getting sorta used to carrying Lou. Granted, I’m weak, so it still makes my arms sting, but they sting much less than the first time I carried her around. I still remember the first time I carried her, and could only manage for a minute or two… completely lame. But now I’m actually becoming a pro.

Lockers passed us by slowly, numbers counting down; winding down, falling to zero in slow motion. I had a girl in a bridal carry, of course it was a slow-moving ordeal. There were students everywhere, all in their little groups, chatting with each other. Sometimes they were too preoccupied to notice us. Other times, they stared and pointed and laughed and whispered amongst themselves, often in a blatantly derisive manner, their attention directed towards the trashy couple walking by with their lovey-dovey-ness on full display.

“Hey,” Lou said. She was looking up at me from her place in my arms, her eyes not just dim but dark. Proper dark, to match her darkened expression. “What do you think of school?” Her voice was quiet; nearing whisper volume.

“I don’t like it,” I replied to her, matching her volume.

“I… thought I might like it. I thought when I came back to school after all this time, I might learn to like it again.

“...Isn’t it unfair?” There was a shimmer in her eyes. A pitch black shimmer, like the darkest shadow on the darkest night of the darkest century. “Hey, don’t you think we’re put upon? Don’t you think it’s horrible? We’re quiet. We mind our own business. We keep to ourselves because we’re misanthropic and all that. We don’t do a damn thing… Yet you’re a shady, weird, school-shooty kid, and I’m a slut. In their eyes, that’s who we are.

“They say all sorts of horrible things behind our backs. They mock us because we dare to show a small bit of affection to each other in the hallways. They yell out ‘Hey, you’re in public!’ and ‘Wait ‘til marriage!’ when we so much as hug in the hallways. Rocco… isn’t that just the worst?”

“I try not to care about it,” I replied. “Well, I used to find it harder to ignore. But… it’s called the mere exposure effect, or something like that. So if I suddenly became well-liked, I think that’d make me feel even worse.”

In response, Lou muttered something under her breath.

I couldn’t quite hear what she said.


Security cameras.

The watchful eyes of the school.

…Well, referring to them as such makes highschool sound like the setting of a dystopian novel. Maybe that’s an accurate description though?

The eyes detect all wrong-doing, except where they can’t see.

It’s for this reason that the school bathrooms and locker rooms are notorious for student crime. This crime mostly consists of smoking, vaping, drinking, and the use of other drugs.

Sometimes it’s violence, or worse.

I’m the pessimistic type that wonders about all the sorts of things that happen outside the piercing gaze of Stoneswan High’s eyes; all the sorts of things that are so horrific they don’t make it to the grapevine. But it does me no good to dwell on those things.

The point is that traditionally, these are the places where school crime happens.

Every room inside the school save for the aforementioned exceptions, as well as the parking lot and most of the campus— at least to my knowledge, these are all covered by the security system.

But somehow, someway, there’s a gap. An unintentional blind spot.

With Lou nestled in my arms, the two of us navigated all the way to the east side of the school. From there, Lou directed me towards an out-of-the-way, well concealed hallway. The hallway was slim, and suffocating. Like the walls were cramming you into a space you weren’t meant to fit in. Like if you breathed too much, the place would run out of oxygen. It was a locale unbefitting of a high school, yet totally befitting of a high school.

At the end of the hallway was a door. Banged-up, with peeling paint, it was the entrance to Misted Point.

“This place is so creepy,” Lou commented from my arms. Then she donned her classic tricksterish expression. “Wooow~ I’m so glad I’m in your arms so you can protect me, the damsel I am! I’m cute and little and need you to protect me-”

“I will throw you onto the ground.”

Lou winked. “I’m an M, so that’s hot! ACK! ACK!

For the record, I didn’t actually throw her onto the ground. I actually karate chopped her on the forehead. You know, like usual. Except I forgot that when having Lou in a bridal carry, I kinda need to support her with both hands, else she’ll unbalance and come crashing down. So, when I moved my right hand from her thighs to her forehead… I promise I did it by accident, really! But she ended up falling onto the floor bum first.

“I changed my mind,” Lou said, with her limbs spread out across the floor like she was preparing to make a snow angel. “I’m no longer an M! Pain isn’t hot!”

“For once I’m actually sorry,” I said, offering her my hand to help her up. “I genuinely didn’t mean to do that.”

“Don’t lie! You definitely meant to do that, the perverted sadist you are~”

“I will drop you again, but without apologizing.”

And with that sketch out of the way, I helped Lou up. Then, I pushed open the door, with Lou just behind me, clutching the sleeve of my shirt— and we became witnesses to (I still can’t get over how appropriate a name this is) Misted Point.

To our right— the brick wall of the school, which extended forward quite a ways.

To our left— empty desert field, reined in by a chain link fence, which denoted the border of the school grounds.

To the front— same as to our left (empty field contained within fences), except that just beyond the fence, a road was visible, albeit one that didn't seem like it got much traffic.

At our feet was a square of pavement, but no more than a square. It quickly ended, giving way to sand and rock. Above our heads was an overhang that cut off with the pavement, and therein shaded very little beyond the pavement.

And… This shouldn’t have been surprising. Really. I was surprised, but it shouldn’t have surprised me. Considering that Misted Point is so notorious that even someone as unsociable as Lou found out about it through the grapevine, this turn of events should make sense.

We weren’t visiting Misted Point alone.

We were met with the sight of a trio of girls. All three were seniors to my knowledge.

I don’t know their names, but I’ve seen them around, so I can say this much about them with confidence: they’re all the type who hold their heads high. Who speak loudly and clearly. Who control the flow of conversation. Who command everyone’s attention. Who have the gall to do it all.

In other words, the opposite of me and Lou.

All three were leaning against the brick wall of the school, just outside the shade of the overhang, participating in the point’s namesake. They were surprisingly old fashioned; they weren’t doing weed, or vaping. Held in each of their hands was a single cigarette, the type that was going out of style thanks to rising prices and widespread knowledge of their danger.

Two of the girls gave us a passing glance— one bereft of surprise or panic or anything resembling fear, before turning back to each other and their cigs. One of the three kept their gaze held towards us. “Yo, aren’t you two the couple that won’t wait ‘til marriage?” Her tone was dismissive at best.

I felt Lou’s grip on my sleeve tighten, and upon turning back to her, I saw it. That face I rarely see from Lou anymore. A completely neutral stare, something that could barely be consider a facial expression.

I turned back to the girl who had taunted us. She held her hair high in a ponytail, and had her midriff exposed, not via the design of the shirt, but by tying the back of a normal T-shirt. For someone teasing us for being trashy… tying the back of your shirt to expose more skin is kinda trashy in and of itself. Not that I’d usually judge someone for that, but to me, getting onto us about being lovey-dovey in the halls while wearing a shirt like that is surely hypocrisy on some level. Though pointing out the hypocrisy, even internally, is quite petty on my end.

“Is it true that this place has no security footage?” I asked her.

“Look up.”

I did as she said, and scanned the ceiling above us. Sure enough, there were no cameras in sight. I looked back at her. “Could we bum two cigarettes?”

“Huh??” The girl bristled. “Oi, this stuff is expensive now, y’know! Even more so for people like us, who need to buy it second hand. You can’t just ask for it willy nilly!”

“Fair enough,” I replied. I pointed to the brick wall. “How far along the wall can you go without being captured by security footage?”

“No clue,” she said, exhaling smoke.

“How often do people come here?”

“You mean teachers?”


“Students are pretty much going in and out of here the entire school day. What, do you want to do weird stuff to your girl here?”

“Yes.” I turned back to Lou out of curiosity. Her neutral gaze was decidedly unwavering, but she was blushing intensely. “Lots,” I continued, eyeing the trio once more.

The girl tilted her head up to look down on us with disgust. “At least you’re honest,” she said in a tone of begrudging sincerity. She put her cigarette in her mouth, then sighed— her breath dark and visible. “I’m in no position to complain, I suppose.”

With that necessary step out of the way, I ventured forward, past the trio of girls and the reek of smoke, into the sun, casting my gaze up to see if there were any security cams positioned along the wall.

Once the girls were sufficiently behind us, Lou relaxed her face, and then began talking again. “Why did you ask for a cigarette? Don’t tell me you smoke. ”

“Well, we have three witnesses. Three people who saw us ask a bunch of questions about exactly how far we can go without being caught by the security cameras. If we came here, asked a bunch of questions, scoped the place out, then left without even trying to do anything with this place, and then a few days later there ended up being a bunch of graffiti on the wall… It’s unlikely they’d be able to deduce just from that that it was us, but nonetheless, I wanted to throw them off what little of a trail we left. If I pretend like we wanted to smoke here, all of a sudden our presence isn’t suspicious.”

“Then that bit about you wanting to do weird stuff to me here… was also just to throw them off the trail, right?” Lou looked disappointed. 

“I’d rather do that stuff in private-”

“Oh, look over there!!” Lou pointed from behind me, placing her finger just within my view. I looked to where she was pointing to, and sure enough, there was a security camera facing out from the wall out to the left. In other words, even this far along, sure, there was a security camera, but it was faced away from us.

“I’m eyeballing this,” I said, “so I might be completely off, but this camera won’t catch us unless we walk basically right under it.”

“That seems about right,” Lou replied. “It seems like the camera’s mostly there to capture that empty field, for whatever reason. Hey…” she finally let go of my sleeve and instead propped herself against a wall, echoing the position of the girls, who were visible in the distance behind us. “Notice anything odd about those girls’ behavior?”

“The one girl thought we were gross?”

“That one girl is Serena. She’s a cunt.”

“...Woah!” I can’t remember the last time I’ve said something with enough oomf to warrant an exclamation mark! Despite being a christian, Lou swears. But of all the words, and to use it so confidently against someone… “I didn’t know ‘cunt’ was in your vocabulary.” Although I guess she did say slut earlier…

"She’s one of those super cocky people who has no problem spreading rumors willy nilly. Constantly talking down to other people... yep, definitely a cunt.

“Oh, but that’s not really related to my point about them acting weird. Or actually, maybe it is. Anyway, the point I’m getting at is…” Lou’s gaze intensified somehow. She didn’t look angry, but she definitely didn’t look emotionless. There was something simmering under those dark eyes… “They weren’t scared.”

“Well, we’re not really scary people-”

“I don’t mean it like that,” she cut me off. “Rocco, when we do stuff we’re not supposed to, we’re always on the lookout for people, right?”

“Of course.”

“So, if we hear something, we get startled.”

…I thought back to the girls’ reactions to seeing someone come through the door. “I think I see what you’re getting at now,” I said, propping myself against the wall next to Lou.

“They weren’t afraid of someone catching them. Jeez, how brazen can you be?”

“To be fair,” I offered, “people supposedly come here all the time. So maybe they’re just used to people opening the door.”

Lou set her gaze skyward. “I think they have it in their heads that they’re untouchable.

“Well, I guess that’s just a nitpick,” she continued. “So, do you think you want to graffiti this wall behind us?” She knocked her knuckle against the bricks for emphasis.

“Absolutely,” I said. “It definitely seems plausible for us to do. Although…” I looked out at the open field ahead of us. It was all contained within metal fencing which bordered the entire campus and marked what was school grounds and what wasn’t. “I wonder how much of that is captured by security footage. This wall having no cameras means nothing if the path to it is recorded by them.

“And even if we made it to this wall by going through that door during the school day like everyone else, the security cameras inside the building would be able to narrow down their list of suspects significantly, and we’d definitely be on that list. It’s definitely a situation with a lot of chances for failure…” Crap, ‘chances for failure’!? That sounds so exciting!

“Rocco.” Lou put her hand on my shoulder. “Normally you’re the leader with our crime stuff.”

“I’ve never thought of myself that way, but I guess, unofficially, I am, since I have more experience.”

Her eyes shone with determination. “Let me take this one! If there’s ever a crime I’ve wanted to be the leader of, this is it!”

It wasn’t a hard decision to make. “Ight,” I responded.


That Saturday, when 10:00 a.m. hit, Lou visited my house for the very first time.