Chapter 5:

Dancing Raindrops

The Day I Forgot About You

Neo was leaning against the entrance wall, looking at the sky forming violent clouds as if searching for an answer to what he should do.

The boy's exhaustion was increasing, especially after spending hours thinking of a solution. Many places were closing, and there weren't many options left. He didn't know anyone and had no way of contacting someone he had met before.

If only he could make it back to the infirmary, he could sleep in one of the beds there, as he had done earlier.

"Wait!" he thought, maybe that's exactly what he should do.

Passing through the gap in the gate was out of the question, so he looked at the wall and imagined that it wasn't too high to jump over.

He gathered strength in his legs and took a leap so high that it felt like he was flying. He grabbed the top of the wall with his hands and with a little effort propelled himself into the schoolyard.

"Easy part," he thought.

Perhaps the biggest challenge would be getting into the school.

Neo felt a few drops of water on his face; he didn't have much time before he would get drenched.

He first tried the front doors, which were obviously locked. There was no other way to get in. He walked around the building looking for an open window or a door that someone had forgotten to close.

However, without success.

The rain, which had started as small droplets, intensified into heavy rain, and Neo looked up at the clouds. His attention turned to the large clock on the front of the school. On its side, there was a metal door that appeared to be open. He would have to climb the fire escape ladder to reach it, and with the rain, he wondered if it was really worth it.

As he climbed the stairs, he felt a knot in his stomach when he reached the middle due to the height and the strong wind blowing that night, not to mention the rain that made him afraid of slipping.

Once he reached the top, he approached the door he had seen from below. He tried to open it by gently turning the doorknob and putting his weight against the door.

Neo heard a click coming from the doorknob when he turned it all the way, and to his surprise, it was open. He proceeded cautiously and pushed it open gently, causing the door to creak slightly.

Upon entering, he saw the large gears of the clock moving slowly. He looked around and found a door that led inside the school, but it was closed.

There was no one around.

He turned towards the door he had entered through and was surprised.

On the doorknob, there was a key in the lock, along with other keys. Hanging with them was a paper with Neo's full name.

He looked outside to see if anyone was there, closed the door, and locked it. The place was dark, so he couldn't read the letter.

He then turned his attention to the door leading into the school and tried using the various keys on the keychain he had picked up, and one of them ended up working.

Neo locked the door as soon as he entered; he was paranoid after receiving a letter addressed to his name.

He went downstairs and looked for the school gymnasium. It was likely to have towels, and he could even use the shower. He had to unlock the entrance, but at least he could take a hot shower and dry off.

He found some sports clothes and decided it would be better to wear them instead of his slightly wet uniform.

After locking the door he entered, he went to the infirmary. He could navigate the place much better than the first and second time he had been there.

Another locked door stood in his way, and he saw small labels on the keys indicating which room each key belonged to. He quickly scanned them all and found the correct key, using it to open the door.

The room was exactly as he had seen it earlier that day. He turned on the light to read the letter he had received.

"It seems you were quite clever in finding a way to spend the night, so as a reward, I decided to give you a little help, but don't get used to it. Especially since I was prevented from helping you further.

The keys on the door, I took them from the principal's office. Make sure to return them to their proper place later and tidy everything up in the morning. Try not to leave any traces of your presence.

Take care, Neo.

Leo Lancaster"

After finishing reading, Neo felt uneasy.

He hung his uniform in a high place to dry, turned off the light, and lay down on one of the beds while he thought. There were so many questions, and he was so tired, so incredibly tired.

Who was Leo, and why did he have the same last name? Was he being spied on? Why was Leo helping him? How did he break into the school? Why couldn't he help him anymore?

The first rays of sunlight entered the infirmary window, bothering Neo's eyes, causing him to wake up slowly.

He sat on the bed and yawned lightly, taking some time to remember "who he was," "where he was," and "what had happened the previous day."

He looked at the clock and was startled; the school would open soon, so he needed to hurry.

He got up from the bed, quickly straightened the sheets, put on his uniform, and left the infirmary, locking the door.

He ran towards the principal's office in search of a place to leave his key. He found an open safe with some papers and other things that he preferred not to touch. He simply placed the keys inside and closed the door.

He looked around to see if anything was out of place, apparently not. Now he just needed to hide and pretend that he had entered along with the other students.

He ran to the entrance, where there were two corridors and the stairs that a person could choose to follow. Neo crouched down in the left corridor for those entering while he looked at the doors.

It didn't take long for someone to appear, opening all the entrance doors.

It was Karine.

As soon as she entered the school, she headed towards the corridor where Neo was hiding. He froze; his body felt cold. He had been naive to choose to hide there.

Karine came closer and closer. The boy started to panic but didn't move. She would surely see him.

She suddenly stopped. She turned around and went in the other direction, shaking her head from side to side as if she had forgotten something.

Neo sighed in relief.

He was saved.

He continued to watch the entrance and beyond. Neo remembered that most of the students arrived at school on foot. It could be just a coincidence, but he couldn't help but think about it.

Far in the distance, he spotted a student approaching, and that was a sign that he could stop watching the entrance. If someone found him, he could say he had just arrived.

Since he had time, he decided to explore new places to become more familiar with the surroundings. He already knew where the infirmary, Karine's classroom, the cafeteria, and the gymnasium were. Where else could he go?

He hadn't been to the central courtyard of the school yet.

An open space with grass, stone paths, and several scattered benches. Neo was impressed by the abundance of flowers in the place, transforming what would be a mixture of green and gray into a sea of color. Blues, whites, pinks, reds, and yellows.

Neo didn't know the names of the flowers, but he certainly appreciated their presence.

It was starting to get hot; one could say it was stuffy, especially due to the rain the previous day. He sat down on one of the benches to rest.

Despite everything he had been through, he was happy. He would soon see Saya. He compared the warmth he was feeling to the warmth of her smile, knowing he would see her again soon.

His attention shifted from the flowers to a man standing at one of the entrances to the courtyard.

It was Erick, and as soon as he noticed Neo, he approached, waving as if he wanted to start a conversation. What did he want?

Slashed Ink.
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