chapter two - the lecture
I took hold of the banister as I made my way down the winding staircase. I hopped off the last step to make my way down to the coffee place. The university was quite a small one and not one which was well known. The only people who really went where the ones who had grown up in the town or lived here once.
This coffee place was the only one here as it was all the university could afford. This meant that it was a very popular place which you could tell by the crowds of people queuing to get inside. It was near the gates on campus but only allowed people from the university to go in. Quite a few students worked there at times to earn some extra cash.
I peered in through the window of the coffee place, deciding if I should go inside with the chance that I might have enough time to actually buy a drink. As expected, the coffee place was packed as ever and there were no spare seats of any sort. I guess I’ll just try to find a free bench. I turned around to walk to the school gardens.
The school gardens were one of the prettiest aspects of the school. A mile-long space filled with many different trees, plants, and flowers. In spring it was an amazing sight with the coloured flowers opening up in the bright sun. And in autumn when the leaves turned a satisfying shade of brown as they were now.
I felt myself relax when I had made my way past the rusty gate and stood inside the gardens. The fresh smell of pollen was in the air mixed with the damp smell radiating off the leaves. I lifted my hand up as I walked underneath a low branch, letting my hands brush the crisp leaves. A few crumbled as they fell to the ground, almost leaving a path behind me as I went.
The light perfectly hit the water droplets which lay on the leaves, making the gardens seem golden. I smiled upon seeing the great oak tree which in my eyes, stood out from the others. Their great branches reached upwards towards the sun as the leaves shaded the roots. The bark stayed firm and a deep dark brown corresponding well with the swaying grass.
Ducking my head, I crept underneath the tree branches. I let myself drop against the great tree as I let out a long sigh. Before sitting down I placed my fraying cardigan onto the soft grass using my hand to soften it down. I placed myself down on it afterward, leaning right up against the tree. I slipped my hand inside my bag, ready to revise what notes I had written in the library. I cursed under my breath when I felt the plastic cover of the chemistry book I had been reading in the library. I hadn’t had the chance to sign it out or put it back. I’ll just have to go tomorrow to put it back. I spent the last forty minutes or so flicking through the textbook, enjoying the heat of the sun as it slipped through the leaves.
When I was done I put my books back in my bag and made my way to my locker. I threw my bag inside before locking it shut. I’d come back after lunch to collect it for when I go chemistry.
When I got to the canteen I found Kelly leaning against the wall, waiting for me.
“Finally.” she sighed when seeing me. She pushed herself off the wall as we both made our way over to the lunch queue after collecting a tray. “So what happened in the library?” She asked, turning around to look at me as we joined the lunch queue. I guess word travels fast.
“Electricity went out.” I said simply, not going into specifics about how it happened. Not many people knew about the dark magic which the four boys held. Or the light magic I had. Kelly wasn’t one of the people who did. I wasn’t going to be the one who exposed her to the realities of the world.
“Yeah, but I heard it was only in the library.” She said curiously. I knew she expected me to explain to her how that happened but I couldn’t. Kelly was a very curious girl and I felt bad not telling her everything I knew. But it would change everything if I did. She wouldn’t appreciate me telling her.
“It was only in the library.” I reassured her point. No need to get any more specific.
“So where did you go instead?” She continued, making me roll my eyes at her.
“Outside.” I shrugged my shoulders. I looked away from Kelly when I saw the four boys standing by the wall in the lunch hall. My grip on my tray tightened as I looked them up and down. They seemed to be scouting out the area as they glared at all the people eating there. When seeing a girl around my height and the same fluffy black hair walked past the boys, I knew they were looking for me. Kyle growled, stepping forward as he pulled on her hair backward. She screamed, causing her plate to drop and smash to the floor as she reached up to where Kyle had pulled her backward. He inspected her sobbing face before realising she wasn’t me. He let her go with such force she nearly fell onto the floor like her plate. Kyle just leaned back against the wall again, not even having the common decency to say sorry. The girl just ran off, being engulfed in a hug by another guy who I assume was her boyfriend. I noticed how the supposed boyfriend looked back at the four boys for a second with a worried look, though nothing else. No one was going to stand up to these boys. Not even for their girlfriend. No one knew of the dangers the boys held. But they knew the boys were dangerous.
I quickly flicked my head to look back at Kelly and act like we were talking. Or at least that I hadn’t noticed them.
“Who were you looking at?” Kelly asked with a curious look.
“No one.” I rushed to dismiss the topic.
“You’re blushing. Omg, do you have a crush?” She asked, about to spin her head around. Knowing it would be a bad idea considering the boys were right there I quickly answered her question.
“Yes, ok? Just don’t turn around so they can see you. I’ll tell you who it is later.” I spoke quickly. She nodded at me with a smile.
“You said crushes were stupid.” She grinned as she nudged me in the shoulder. I gritted my teeth, preventing myself from saying they were stupid. A crush is nothing. Normally girls get a crush when seeing someone good looking or when a boy pays attention to them. You get close as friends. Then if you tell them you like them it will ruin everything. And pretty soon, you’d find out you didn’t even like them like that. So that is my point to why they are stupid. I know sometimes they can’t be helped. But I knew the type of crushes Kelly was talking about were ones which were never going to happen.
After getting our food we took a seat on our normal bench to eat our food. At a time like this, I was happy our table was by the doors to the exit and not by the floor to ceiling windows where the four boys stood.
“You got any more lectures today?” I asked Kelly, keeping my head down as I occasionally looked up to see if the boys were looking my way.
“Nah. Going to the library near my house for a bit before going home. Sorry.” she apologised. This just meant that I would be going home by myself today. I had to go shopping anyway.
“Ok.” we finished eating our lunch before having to say goodbye.
“See yah.” I called as I made my way to my locker to collect my bag. I cursed under my breath when I realized how late I was. I yanked my bag out of my locker before slamming it shut and running back towards the science department.
Disappointment washed over me when I entered to see most of the lecture hall full. There weren’t any seats left up till the last three rows. Right at the back where people were already milling around in a huddle, gossiping to no end. I unwillingly went up the side stairs to take a seat near the back. The seat closest to the front of course. It was next to two girls who didn’t seem too pleased by my presence. Probably had been saving the seat for someone but didn’t want to tell me.
I pulled out the chemistry textbook to look over in the last few minutes before the lecture started. Pausing I heard the slight uprising in voices as low as whispers spread through the half empty back rows. The two girls next to me suddenly stood up, leaving the seat next to me, probably having found a seat somewhere better. Though I was wrong there. I looked up when I sensed two people taking a seat either side of me. My eyes instantly flicked down to my book when I noticed who it was. I had completely forgotten Daniel and Noah were in this class with me. No doubt they had scared off the two girls next to me.
I held my breath, hoping it was just a coincidence they were sitting here and that they didn’t recognise me from earlier. To my surprise, Daniel reached down to grab the textbook out of my hands. He held it by a page, making me freak out that it was going to rip. He always ripped up his own ones so who was to say that he wouldn’t rip mine?
“Hey.” I said automatically in annoyance. He raised an eyebrow at me as I shrunk back into my seat. A girl instantly laughed behind us before being silenced when Noah turned around to glare at her. Daniel flicked through the book, not caring about the fact that he was bending up all the pages. He dropped the textbook back onto my lap as I quickly straightened it up. I stood up, about to try to find a new place to sit. Only Noah grabbed hold of my arm, pulling me back down to sit. My breath shook in worry, knowing I had to sit next to these boys for the next hour.
“Where do you think you’re going?” He asked in a deep hushed voice. His black hair lay sprawled out on his head as he watched me closely. I gulped, not answering him. “You’re not leaving again like you did last time.” He told me as he didn’t loosen the grip he had on my arm. “You’ve got some explaining to do.” Noah said lowly. I tried tugging my arm out of his grip, feeling uneasy. It failed as he didn’t even twitch at my attempt.
“Why did you run away?” Daniel growled. I didn’t feel the need to reply as I just stared at him, words failing me. Noah leaned into me, brushing my hair aside. For a minute I panicked, thinking my scar was on that side of my neck. But then remembered it wasn’t. He parted his lips slowly.
“Answer him.” he whispered. He knew he scared me. He scared nearly everyone.
“I was scared.” I told him truthfully, annoyed I sounded so feeble.
“So you’re scared of us?” Daniel leaned in with a smirk plastered on his face. I cowered in my seat, feeling both boys breath fan my face.
“That’s beside the point.” I tried changing the subject as Daniel moved away from me slightly, giving me room.
“The point being, you took our victim with you. And you know our little secret.” Noah pointed out, pronouncing each word perfectly spiked. I opened my mouth, about to protest to knowing the secret. But stopped, realising I wouldn’t be able to keep my identity for long enough under Noah’s intense glare.
“If you dare tell anyone what we can do, we’ll be after you.” He said through gritted teeth as he yanked on my arm for emphasis. I held in a yelp which nearly escaped my mouth. So here was the threat. I knew it was coming. But now it felt all too real.
He let go of my arm with force as he crossed his arms over his chest and leaned backward, pretending to listen to the lecture. I just stared at him for a second before reaching down to take out my notebook. I placed the chemistry book inside as I awkwardly sat in between the two boys, taking notes. I couldn’t help but notice on the small occasion when they looked my way. What if Daniel somehow saw my scar? I instantly brought up my hand towards my head. Daniel looked at me weirdly at my suddenness. I pretended to act naturally by just smoothing out my hair and then going back to taking notes. Daniel looked away from me as he looked back at the teacher.
I sat in that room for an hour sitting next to two of the boys I avoid at all costs. And I’m alive. That’s a good sign, right? When I was out of the classroom and by the bus stop I let out a huge sigh of relief. They didn’t recognise me. I might get away with this. I just need to make sure that I don’t provoke the threat to actually come true. I just need to stay out of their way and let them do what they do.