Chapter 11:

Never Learning A Thing

Life Eats Us Now

"Don't run after her!"

Adica's abrupt exit left me standing there, caught in the turbulent currents of my thoughts. Her footsteps dwindled into a distant echo, drifting away into the recesses of my mind, leaving behind a disorienting silence. I turned towards Emma, my eyes struggling to understand the storm of emotions inside me.

Emma gasped for air, taking in shallow breaths. "I told you, don't go after her..." Her eyes showed a mix of emotions, like she had seen this situation play out many times before and was trying her best to stay composed.

"W-what do you mean?" I studded, my heart pounding in my chest. "Why shouldn't I go after her?"

"Chasing after her will only push her further away. I'm not letting you do that!."

Despite Emma's well-meaning words, my inner turmoil raged on, indifferent to her advice. My mind was still a relentless storm, showing no signs of calming down. Yet, in the moment... "But..." my voice wavered like a candle in a strong wind.

Emma's eyes locked onto mine, her expression echoing her earlier warning. I shook my head slowly and admitted, "No... but if it's my fault, then I should..."

"What? You're thinking of apologizing? Do you really think that will fix everything?" 

My own helplessness gripped me tightly, like a vice that refused to relent. I couldn't escape the weight of responsibility that hung over me, the need to repair whatever damage had been wrought. "I... I don't know. But I have to try..."

Emma's eyes remained the same as they were before. "Don't even think about it. You don't even know what's going on... have you thought about what might happen if you say the wrong thing again?"

"D-do you know anything about her? Why she left so suddenly?" I asked, my voice filled with desperation. 

Her lips pressed into a thin line. "Why? Do you really think I would tell you?"

"But if I've said something wrong, I should apologize to her. Would you consider telling me, just for that? I swear I won't let her find out."

Emma seemed hesitant to reveal anything, but I couldn't let it go. It was unusual for me to fixate on something like this, my mind circling around a single issue. My body and mind were both exhausted... but I still needed to know. After a moment, she let out a sigh, giving in. "Ahhh... alright," Emma reluctantly agreed, pulling out a chair and gesturing for me to sit. "I'll share what I know, but you better promise not to make things worse."

"I promise."

"Well, I hope I can take you on that. You know what'll happen if you don't, right?"

"Kind of..." I gulped, "But it's my concern right now..."

"You know, you've really changed since the day you got here." she said, her eyes tracking the bits of light peeking through the curtains, like she wanted me to hush before she got back into the conversation. "Alright, so... where should I start...? Oh, did you know that Adica's also a transfer student? She joined us during the first term."

"Yeah, I kind of had an idea," I replied, easing into the chair.

She sighed, her fingers absentmindedly tracing intricate patterns on the weathered wooden table. "Well, it's a bit of a story. It was about a week after she arrived. Initially, she kept to herself, not interacting with a single soul. She always had this air of distance and fragility about her... I didn't know why, but it was as if she carried a hidden pain within. A bit like you, actually, although I don't know much about your story."

"Like me?" I responded, my voice giving off my unease. Hearing such a comparison from her was disconcerting. I had always been skilled at concealing my inner struggles, that much I was certain of. To think that someone else could detect a reflection of their own pain in me was both startling and...

I gazed down at my hands, tracing the lines on my palm while taking a deep breath. "What do you mean?"

"Yeah, somewhat like you, I suppose."

She reached across to me and gave my hand a reassuring squeeze, surprising me with the unexpected gesture. "It's not like it's written all over your face, but sometimes, you just sense these things, you know? Maybe that's how I was able to reach out to her, unlike others who simply choose not to..."

I nodded slowly, processing her words. It was so disconcerting, yet, at the same time, there was a strange comfort... learning that someone else could relate to the hidden battles I fought within

"It happened right here, in this music room when I first attempted to talk to her. The first time I saw her playing, she was all alone, and as soon as she spotted me, she ran off in a hurry. But after that, I made a few more attempts to approach her, and then one day..."

Emma's voice trailed off, and the room seemed to hold its breath. "One day?" I urged, as if those hanging words were pleading for her to continue.

"One day, she didn't run away. Instead, she just looked at me, with those eyes of hers, like she was seeing the world for the first time..."