The winds howled at our class windows. The constant piter pater of the rain kept a steady beat. Something about the whole atmosphere was enough to send shivers down my spine. I looked all around class, taking in what class foliage was set about. The class in its totality seemed grey. Or so that term fits so well since the entire air of the class seemed all too meek. It was math class. Another appropriate reason to put my head down and take a nap. I loved the inhibited solitude attained from sleeping thru such a monotonous subject. Or rather, I wished on that particular day it'd been the case. Just halfway through the first class of the day, the principle walked in to our class. I was really hoping she'd take her time. Following her though was a girl I hadn't expected to take a double take for. If I could describe to you her beauty in words, I would. However something about her seemed off. Her expressions looked acted upon. Her smile. Was it real? I could have sworn I was onto something. Paranoia really struck me back then.
"Excuse me class," the principle began, "I'd like to introduce you to your new classmate Mary Cooper."
All Mary did was smile that ominous smile. As Mary went to take her seat, I made sure of it that I hinted her not to take a seat near me. Yet of all the spots she could have chosen, she chose a seat next mine. As if I'd already silently signalled for her not approach me. Guess I hadn't conveyed my message properly. I took, ever so slowly, peeks of her from the ridges of my eyes. Despite her elegance in all, something about her made me shaky. I felt shivers run up my spine again. "She's bad news." I thought to myself.
Math class finally finished. Just as I was about to take my leave, as if she were intentionally trying to hook on to me, Mary started talking to me. I stood up and tried walking away in hopes that she'd think that I didn't hear her. But then she took me by surprise.
"Hey Robert!" she said loudly. "Well that's strange." I thought.
I asked her, "How do you know my name?"
"I've always known your name Rob!"
"Umm I'll have to just ask you, but have we met before?"
"No we haven't. Doesn't mean I wouldn't know your name." she replied
"That's fairly creepy to be honest." I said
She giggled a bit before confessing, "Dude relax, I saw your name in the administrations office along with a picture. Some hall of fame board or something."
"Ahh that makes sense. Almost took you for a creep back there."
The air that seemed to previously surround her had partially lifted. "She doesn't seem too bad after all. The start of a beautiful new friendship maybe?"
The weeks that followed weren't what I would mark off as great. I'd really gotten to know Mary by then. We'd really hit it off. Though for some obscure reasons, I'd never felt great around her though her company was by all means endearing. But what struck me most was at how inattentive she was to how I felt. As if she totally hadn't noticed that I wasn't feeling good. Couldn't blame her though, I probably didn't convey my emotions physically enough for her or anyone else to notice. And as much as I felt ashamed to say, being around her was not fun at all. It wasn't that she wasn't outwardly or quiet, but that just being around her was discomforting.
"Hey!" she said bumping into me in lunch break while at the same time snapping me out of my thoughts.
"Hey Mary, join me." I said as I took a seat at one table. She sat next to me.
On most breaks she'd usually mouth about any topic that sprang to her mind, yet today, she seemed almost out of it. Somewhat nervous like she couldn't get herself to talk. I guess I'd waited about ten minutes before she decided to speak.
"So, umm, wanna come by my place after school?"
I'm not sure what it was, but something about being invited to her house made my heart race.
"Sure!" I spoke on a whim. I regretted it as soon as I said it. "Damn, what've I done? How could I have accepted that so easily?" The remainder of lunch break was held in silence. But as we were getting up, she asked, "You alright?" I was hesitant to answer. "Should I tell her or not?"
"Yea, I'm good. Why wouldn't I be?"
She flashed a smile and walked off.
One look into her room and you never would have guessed it was a girls room. Besides the one poster of some model on the wall, her room was by all means, plain. I seated myself on her bed. "Hah softer than mine." So I decided to break the ice,
"Why'd you want me over?" I said. She looked me over with distress. Casually taking out a cigarette pack from her drawer.
"Umm," she began, "Wanna try?"
"Yea I don't smoke dude. I replied
"Well just give it a shot." She said. I gave in. "What's the worst that could happen, right?"
As she lit up the cigarette, she asked, "So what's bothering you?" Those words, I'd never expected from her. It came off as quite a surprise.
"You knew how I was feeling?
"Of course! You radiate sadness! I'm your friend after all. Why wouldn't i notice?"
"No way.." I said as I worked my way with the cigarette. It may have been minutes or hours, but all we really did was just sit there. Nothing happened for a while. No one spoke. Not a word was uttered. Her phone ringing eventually broke the silence. She walked out of the room, leaving me to myself. The blankest face I ever had was what I wore. "What the hell is going on?!" I shouted in my head. I couldn't keep my train of thought straight. Thoughts spewed here and there. Why I was going out of my mind was something I'd wanted an answer to also.
As Mary made her way back in, I could tell from her posture that she wanted to tell me something. She started fidgeting about her phone, apparently trying to summon up the spirit to speak. But before she managed to, I blurted,
"What do you want to say?" Caught off guard, she started laughing.
"Oh hah yea," she hesitated, "I've just been wanting to ask, do you.."
"Umm do you wanna like.. Do it?
By now, I started laughing. She couldn't have been serious! "Oh haha! Great one Mary! You almost got me there!
Her face was flushed by now. "I mean it you idiot!"
The grin that was on my face had settled into a broad face. "Wait really?"
"Yea.." she replied
Months after that incident, I'd started going over to Marys to "smoke". I hated that it'd become a norm to me. I didn't expect to end up at this particular point in our relationship. Every day seemed to get much worse. Like the feelings I had were growing deeper, getting worse. I knew something about her was subject to suspicion, but I could never place my fingers on it. Yet now I'd done things far beyond what I thought I could have done. Everything I'd ever done so far was related to Mary. I was out of my mind. I just wanted her gone, yet being around her felt so normal. Or was it?
"This isn't normal.." I muttered
"What?" she said?
"Oh sorry, was just thinking."
"Ahh alright. Well tie this around your arm" she said as she handed me a rubber band.
"How long does it last?" I said as I tied the rubber around my arm.
"Don't worry about that. But I promise you, you'll feel so good." she said as she readied the syringe.
I held my breath as she injected me. It took a while but before I knew it. I'd blacked out.
I awoke in a daze, with Mary right beside me. I couldn't feel myself. Or rather, I'd felt like I'd lost my humanity. I couldn't tell for sure, but something in me snapped. I looked in horror at what we'd done. And as if a trigger, I recalled everything bad I'd ever done. And everything involved Mary. I'd become someone who literally followed what she said. I'd lost my own will. I couldn't begin to understand why I'd began doing any of this at all. I dashed over to my trousers and ran out of her house. As far as possible. The reality of the matter was, I was scared beyond my own comprehensions.
"I can't turn back! Don't turn around! Don't turn around!"
I hadn't see her for weeks after what had happened. I almost felt bad as many people in class began asking me where she could be. I'd become worried by now since she hadn't come around. No phone calls, texts, nothing. Something about her absence was relieving.
But as I was leaving the school, a car pulled up. Horning at me, I approached the car. The windows started rolling down and I saw in the drivers seat, Mary. "Hop in." she said. I nonchalantly entered the car. We drove for maybe miles all the way out to the train tracks. The outskirts of the town.
"Listen," she began, "I know what I got you into was wrong. I know that I should have done better in judging how you'd react. I should have known better. I'm sorry."
It felt good hearing that from her. But my mind still bombarded me with questions. I still didn't get why she decided to tell me this now. And also why she'd brought me to this particular place.
"I've done all these things because I wanted to make you feel better." She said.
I started growing anxious. I couldn't decide what was worse. Between the fact that Mary was always just trying to make me feel better or that nothing that she ever did for me made me feel better. I couldn't hold back anymore. What I'd left inside me was now eating me up. I had to tell her how I really felt.
"Mary," I shakily said. "I don't have to do this. Why hurt her this way?"
"I can't stand being around you." "Damn, I've done it now!"
"I don't feel good being with you. Nothing you've done has ever made me feel better."
She remained silent for what felt like hours. "Maybe I shouldn't have spoken."
She turned to me and nodded. "Alright." She said. Then she stepped out of the car. "Come with me." I stepped out of the car and to where to she was headed. As we made our way down grass and dirt, she stopped in front of the train tracks.
"I've tried and I swear I only have. But if you really feel sad, go ahead and just kill yourself. Obviously, nothing can make you happy."
I felt like something had pierced me when she said that. What she said was true. Nothing made me feel even remotely happy. But I instinctively still shouted, "No!"
*Ting Ting Ting Ting Ting Ting Ting Ting Ting Ting Ting Ting*
The sound for an approaching train.
"Look at what you tell yourself! Nothing satisfys you! Don't you want out?! This is your chance! Your escape!"
I looked at her. She was insane. But in all honesty, she spoke more truth than I could handle. My vision beginning to blur. I'd actually always wanted out. This really was my chance. Mary began to cry. Her makeup creating lines on her tear covered face.
"Come with me."
I walked up to her as we both went onto the tracks. The train appeared in the distance. As it, from my view, began to slowly approach us , I looked at Mary with a smile.
"You sure about this?" I asked her one last time as the train approached faster
"Yea." She replied
The train was now seconds away from impact. The sounds were getting louder. My heart started racing as Mary asked me for the last time, "Are you ready?!"
I looked as the train was seconds away.
I looked to my side.
A smile crossed my face.
Mary wasn't there anymore.
*Ting Ting Ting Ting Ting Ting Ting*
. . .
I stepped off the tracks right before impact.
My heart was beating out of control. I had just survived almost dying. I'd taken notice of what went down. Tears started streaming down my face. "Thank you." I muttered.
What remain of Mary was just figments of my past thoughts. Mary was here yet gone. Though for the first time in a long time, I felt free.
I felt good.