“I love you!”
Huh. What? What did she say? Did…did she just confess to me? Is this a dream?
Standing before me was Emilia, the idol of our school. There is not a single boy in the school who doesn’t have a crush on her, including me. Many boys came to school just to catch a glimpse of her. She is kind, caring and smart. She is the epitome of beauty. A perfect being. Her confession was like getting struck by lightning. I was flabbergasted and lost the ability to speak.
“I…”, I stuttered
“You don’t have to answer now. I’ll wait.”
Wait! I already have my answer. You don’t have to wait. All of this went through my head but speech had already forsaken me.
Suddenly I felt something soft and wet on my cheeks. In the next moment, she was gone, without hearing my reply. I made up my mind to tell her my feelings after school.
The rest of the day was hell. Everything felt like it was taking too long. I wanted the school to end quickly but each minute felt like an hour. I guess my absent mindedness didn’t sit well with the teachers. I was scolded and told off by every teacher and one even sent me to the principal, probably because I was ignoring everything he said to me. But, I didn’t care. I just wished with every cell in my body that school ends quickly.
Tick. Tock. Tick! Tock! Just five more minutes. Come on time, you can do it. You’re nearly there! Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two…..One! The bell sang its merry song and I dashed out of the room. I think I heard the teacher calling me…….but who cares! I bolted down the corridor. It was the last room. I will definitely let her know.
Everyone had just started to shuffle out of the room when I reached. I desperately searched for her but she wasn’t there. Finally, I mustered up courage and asked a girl from her class.
“She wasn’t feeling well. So, she left just after lunch.”
What? She left! Why? Damn! Cant this day get any worse, I thought as I walked away dejected.
“Yo!” it was Jack, the playboy of our school, All the girls were mesmerized by him. He was handsome, tall, captain of the football team and a genius to boot. I just grunted back in reply.
“So, what was the hurry man? The speed with which you ran out…..you probably set a world record!”
“Ha-ha. Very funny.”
“But seriously, you should have seen the expression on Teach. He was so furious it was comical. Your definitely gonna get an earful tomorrow.”
“Whatever”, I mumbled. Getting scolded was the last thing on my mind. But seriously, could this day get any worse. Anyways, why is this guy tagging along? Any other day, I would have enjoyed his company, but today I needed space and silence to think and ponder. We continued on in silence. I could tell Jack was getting uncomfortable and was trying really hard to come up with something to break the silence.
“Hey, look! That’s terrible.”, he finally said. There was a tremble in his voice, which broke my train of thoughts and made me look up. An accident had occurred. A bus was smashed into the bus stop. There were blood splatters on the road and pavement. Oh, so someone got hit, I thought devoid of any emotions. The police were still on the scene.
There were a lot of murmurs all around
“You know it happened just a couple of hours ago.”
“It was a student. The poor soul.”
“The driver fell asleep.”
“It was a student from Hikarizaka High.”
Wait. What? Hikarizaka High? That’s our school. I looked over at Jack. His face was animated with shock and fury. I, on the other hand, had better things to worry about.
The rest of the way back home was as boring as could be. Nothing interesting happened and only silence; I liked it. That’s exactly what I wanted. I think Jack got the message that I was being bothered by his presence or he was still shocked. I can bet a million bucks it was the latter! Nevertheless, I got my sought after peace.
Coming back home didn’t help cheer me up either. There was no one here to welcome me back. My parents had gone on a business trip and my sister was staying over at a friend’s. Ah, poor me, all alone. “But everything will change. Tomorrow! Tomorrow for sure!” I motivated my self and tried my best to liven up the gloom around me. Last night’s leftovers for dinner and then sleep.Quick and easy. Sleep will take care of this snail of a time and then tomorrow, the big day.
It’s 3 AM. I’m wide awake. “Why can’t I sleep?” I scream, “Come on sleep. Hit me. Hit me with all you’ve got!” I pleaded but nothing. I hadn’t ever been more awake in all my life. Even counting sheep hadn’t helped.
Ding! Dong! The doorbell makes me wake up from sleep. Sleep? I wouldn’t actually call it sleep. I was both awake and asleep at the same time all night. I would rather call it a limbo. I look at the clock, “Five. Who would come this early?” I yawn and get up, thinking if I should just ignore it. Knock! Knock! Bang! “Coming!” I answered snapping out from my daze. Who is this rude person? I opened the door and was about to give him a piece of my mind when,
“What! You just woke up? You know you are gonna be late.”
“Huh?” I replied feeling drowsy again. It was just Mark. We have been best buds since kindergarten, “What are you doing here so early and in uniform as well. It’s only five, school’s at eight,” I yawn, feeling amused at his foolishness. For some reason though, I was feeling uncomfortable.
“What are you saying? Are you sick or what? It’s 7:45, we only have fifteen minutes.”
This jolted me awake. The last bit of sleep completely left me. I rushed back in cursing myself and the alarm clock. Why? Why did it have to break down today of all days? “Hey, I am gonna go then. Hurry up, or else you’re going to be late!”, Marks called after me. I swear I heard him laugh. I’ll get him back afterward.
“I-I’m s-sorry for being late.”, I somehow managed to say between my deep and heavy breaths. My cycle had a puncture; yes it had to happen today, so I ran all the way. I probably could have won gold at the Olympics at the speed with which I ran. The teacher, our Math teacher, just scrutinized me, anger written all over his face. Our Math teacher was a grumpy old man. The only good point he had was that he spoke little or never. Today, I lucked out. He just grunted and continued on with the class. I took this as an indication to go to my seat silently. I couldn’t sit still in this class or any of the classes that followed. I was moving around in my chair, tapping my feet and making weird sounds, which drew in a lot of scornful glares from both those around me as well as the teachers.
Finally! Lunch Break! I zapped out of the room. My goal, crystal clear. I had agonized over what and how to say it in all of the morning classes. I couldn’t be more prepared. Sorry to make you wait, Emilia.
I reached the classroom. There was an uncanny almost ominous atmosphere. Everyone looked as if they’ve seen a ghost. The whole class was filled with a gloomy and distraught aura. I scanned the room. No Emilia. Where? Where could she be? Lunch had just begun. She couldn’t possibly have left already.
“Yo! Do you know where Emilia is?”, I asked one of the boys.
“E-E-Emilia?”, he asked.
“Yes, Emilia”, I replied but the look on his face unnerved me. His face showed nothing but sadness and grief. Not only that but the whole class was staring at me. Weird. Did I do something to become the receiver of such gazes? But still, a knot formed in my stomach. Something was wrong, bad. Thoughts, horrible and disturbing thoughts started coming to me. I quickly swept them away and asked the stunned boy again,
“Yes, Emilia. Can you please tell where she is? Did she come to school?”
“Emilia, she got-“, the boy meekly began, “-she got caught in an accident.”
All thoughts left me. My mind went blank.
“What? What did you say?” I ask shaking the boy.
“She got hit by a bus. The driver had fallen asleep”
“Where? Where is she now?”
“She got admitted in Central Hospital. Her condition is cr-“
I dash out pushing the boy away. I didn’t want to hear or know what he had to say next. I was out of the school in less than a minute and ran to the nearest bus stop, which luckily was just outside the school. The bus, on the other hand, took decades to come and when it finally did, moved slower than the slowest turtle! ‘Faster’, ‘Faster’, ‘Hurry’. This was all that was going through my mind.
Central Hospital, finally reached it. I run straight for the reception.
“Emilia. A student of Hikarizaka High School. She got caught in an accident.”
The nurse looked at me with pity.
“Room 102. But her cond-“
I didn’t wait to hear the rest. “102, 102, 10-Here!” I arrived in the room. I took a deep breath and prayed she was alright. Then, I walked in.
A pang of sorrow struck me. I rushed to her side. She was unconscious. Her parents were there as well. Their eyes were swollen. Tears began to well up in my eyes.
“Emilia. Emilia, it’s me. Wake up.” I said as cheerfully as I could, trying to reach her somehow, “Please. Please wake up.” Tears started pouring out.
“I-“ It was Emilia. She spoke. She regained consciousness.
“Emilia! It’s me! I love you!”, my happiness knew no bounds, “I love you. So, get better quickly. We’re gonna have lots of fun and create fond memories. So, please, please get better.” I cried, trying to pull her out of the void she had so nearly fallen into.
“I’m happy you felt the same. I love you-“, she smiled. A single teardrop rolled down her cheeks.