5.
The girl opened her eyes and the birds sang for the morning’s arrival. It was a long sleep in that quiet, dark, and everlasting place. She was finally unrestrained from such vain and loneliness, after all. She stretched her arms out and took a good long yawn, as if everything was usual and unsurprising. She did not expect this day would come like this, through. Already given up, being there again was too good to be true for her. The sights of the city had changed since then: the buildings, the tress, and the people…Everything was different. But the air was the same, she thought. She took a deep breath to feel the liveliness of the world she had once missed. All the memory returned freshly and vividly. She smiled.

Perhaps the God had given me a second chance, she thought, if there’s any “God” at all. Then, waves of overflowing emotions suddenly overwhelmed her mind: she could see all the joy and sorrow of the past, as well as those fantastic moments and of course, regrets. She felt an ache inside her heart that words could not describe.

It was the time to complete what she had left behind back then, she decided. And she moved on–

=========================================================================================

“So a new student will join our class. Her name is Melody and she’s only back from a foreign country recently. Class, please be nice and help her around.”

The homeroom teacher announced in the next morning. The girl he mentioned, whom was relatively shorter, was standing beside him shyly. She had black hair in twin tails, a perfect match-up with the crimson-red pupils. The class, especially boys except All, was excited all of a sudden for having a new cute girl joined. They threw all kinds of questions at her and she couldn’t decide how and what to answer first. But once Joe stood up, everyone resumed to silence and Melody could finally take a break from so. The teacher then assigned her a seat in front of Al’s. Enne was not feeling comfortable with that, though she tried her best keeping her smile when Melody walked to them.

Through the day Enne was happily observing that the new girl wasn’t really paying attention to the board. She’s consistently doodling or sleeping behind the textbook. This gave Enne even more motivation to concentrate in class, as she thought that maybe Al would turn to her sometime for she tried hard. The day passes by quite quickly, as usual, the only difference was with the addition of Melody. At lunch Kyla tried to invite her to join them, but she disappeared right away, so they followed the same routine essentially.

School ended again and Al stood up and headed out first. Melody somehow followed him as he left. Enne was about to chase after–

“Enne, would you mind giving us a hand? We are desperately needing help now for Student Council!” Kyla asked.
“S-Sure.” Oh god, she thought, not now. But she said yes anyway. She hates how she can never say “no” to people. She stood there watching the two leaving, and it felt really awful.

“When are you playing this game until?” Al asked when they passed through the front entrance. It was too obvious that she was behind all the time. “I guess there’s no other better things to do for you?”
He turned around and saw her trying to hide behind a tree, but not fast enough at all. Also, something made a “cling-!” sound when Melody moved. It was the hair clip with a bell on her hair that caught his attention. Somehow it looked very, very familiar to him that he froze for a moment, but he resumed his walk right way. There’s no time to think radically, he thought, gotta go work soon.

But his thoughts were disrupted by that bell already. It triggered something he could not remember from his own memory and it bother him, strangely. Even until he entered the workplace his heart would not let him settle. (At the same time Melody successfully sneaked into the restaurant as well.) The owner greeted them and he nodded without thinking. He entered the kitchen and got started.

Tonight there seemed to be way more orders than usual. Al hadn’t stop for a single minute making food, even with the aid of his boss. He appreciated that, though. Working was one of the few things that could get him “away from the world”. Hours easily passed by and he headed out to clean up when they were about to close the store. But he soon found out that it wasn’t gonna end so simply: Melody was there, still eating, with her empty bowls and plates piled up like HILLS. No, mountains, he thought.

“Why are you here?” He stared at her.

No wonder he had to make so much. It was all her…how much did she even eat?

“Why can’t I?” She looked at Al curiously.

“Well, we’re closing now, so you better get going.”

He took away all the dirty dishes and cleaned up the entire restaurant. After finishing off what’s left in the kitchen, Al was ready to leave, and he saw Melody still sitting there.

“Go home.” He said.
“Don’t have that.”
“Well, don’t you have a place to live?”
“No.”
“Lies.” Al picked up his backpack. ” Either way, I’m closing the store and you have to go.”

He closed the lights and the windows, but she’s not moving. He pulled her up and dragged her by the arm all the way outside, then locked the door. He let her go and headed to campus residence while Melody continued tailing him from a few meters away behind. He frequently turned his head around to check if she was following, and she would hide poorly behind a ( ). After a few more cycles, he decided that enough was enough.

“Go home.”
“Okay.”

Their distance did not increase at all.

“I told you to stop following, didn’t I?”
“…” She stood still and stared at him this time. His eyes turned away.
“Go home.” He pointed at where behind her.
“Okay.” She didn’t move a single inch back.
“I said, don’t you have a damn home or something?” He shouted at her: “Why are you following a high school guy at midnight?”
“I’m living with you?”
“Are you freaking mad? No one has ever informed me!”
“No.”
“Don’t you have a place to live?”
“With you.”
“No, absolutely no!” His voice got louder. “No girls are allowed to enter the boys side, and even they are you aren’t coming still!”

He rushed towards the building. Passing through the gate, ran upstairs to his room…when he was about to shut the dorr, Melody appeared again right in front.

“What the hell are you doing? Get out, or both of us will be in trouble!”
“No.”
“No, go away already!” He couldn’t help controlling his volume anymore. “Why can you be so stubborn?”
“What is this?” Joe from downstairs had noticed them. Al quickly grabbed Melody’s arm and pulled her into his room as Joe came upstairs too. It was only seconds after he swiftly hid her under the bed as Joe showed up at the door. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing.” Al tried to keep a poker face.
“I heard something from your room.”
“Nothing, just my phone went off.”
“Oh, really. Interesting ‘ringtones’ there.”
“I guess I can have hobbies, too?”
“Yeah, totally.” He smiled. “Next time you’re kicked out from the residence.”
“Right.”
“And did I just smile perfume?” He sniffed. “You ain’t hiding girls in your room huh?”
“As I said, I guess I can have hobbies, too.”, Al responded: “Spraying perfume in my own room isn’t against any school rule, you should know that.”
“Ha, you’re right.” Joe laughed as he walked down the stairs. “Watch your manner. You should know how much authority I have, too.”

Al closed the door and sighed. Messing with the Student Council president was never the funnest thing to do, but he could never stand that guy. But they got away anyway.

“You can come out now.” He said to her and she crawled out under the bed. It was 12:30 a.m. already and he realized that she would be the greatest trouble either letting her stay or go, which the latter could cause worse troubles. Who knew what kind of stupid things she would do if she’s wandering around the city at night? “Now, get to sleep. You can sleep on my bed for now.”

 

“Where’re you sleeping?”
“None of your businesses.”
“Sleep with me.”
“No.”
“Then I won’t sleep.”
“I don’t care.”
“Sleep with me!
“No.”
“No.”
“Stop already. If you want you can leave.”
“If you’re not sleeping with me, then I’m gonna scream real loud.”
“Fine! Move over a bit!(He pointed at her) Only tonight! Tomorrow you’re gone! And don’t you dare doing anything funny!”

He lied down beside her but facing the wall, and put on the bedsheet. Melody sneaked into it and leaned on his back. Her hair was touching the back of his neck and he could smell her body scent. It was like orchid.

“What are you doing?”
“I need bedsheet.”
“Then move! You can have mine!”
“I’m screaming.”
“Okay, okay! Stay where you are! Geez!”

He closed his eyes and tried to ignore her warmth. She fell asleep on his back already. He sighed again, for he felt that this would be the longest night ever to him.

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