Part Two was published on the 20th of November.
CONTINUE WITH PART THREE.
Una screamed in her sleep. I was putting my homework into my cotton sling bag when my blood ran cold. It was close to 11.40. A nightmare, perhaps. She seemed a bit pale lately and doesn’t talk as much (with her friends.) Family problem, boyfriend problem, take your pick. Almost everyone asleep was bolt awake. The ones awake ran towards her. I turned sharply in her direction and I thought that I saw a crawling shadow under her bed. Laila gave a start. Una’s recurring piercing screams were a subject of discussion in the coming days. Every single day, she kicks her tall pile of books and watches as it scattered on the floor. She then sat back, fresh tears in her eyes, her chest heaving and hugged Zati so tight that the poor girl couldn’t breathe.
“It was a monster. It scratched me!” she wailed.
She showed 3 long, red scratches on her right arm. There are some other injuries to her thighs too. Another long one on her back.
Kak Betty, the official dorm prefect rushed to her side and immediately ‘comforted’ her saying that the same thing happened to her teammate. The terrified girl had to be sent home because she was having terrible nightmares and was so scared to even sleep. Her injuries were worse because it wouldn’t stop bleeding. Her parents sent a notice saying that she won’t be back.
Una’s sobs grew louder.
“This school is haunted!” she declared out loud. The crowd looked at her misery and unanimously agreed. It’s not unfamiliar to hear voices or inexplicable footsteps late at night when no one was stirring. They heard it, too. Like me, they just prefer not to acknowledge it in anyway. The exam is near and the stress is mounting. Even the teachers are immune to this subject already. The students’ imaginations are limitless, they say. I wouldn’t call it an excuse. Sometimes you can tell by the vibes of the people and the whispers of the old pillars that something bad is hanging in the air. Something is pending. It’s not over yet. Laila and Zati pushed their beds closer to Una’s and all 3 of them slept together, probably holding hands. This seemed to calm everyone down.
In the middle of the chaos and gentle persuasion, I had to force myself to not smile or smirk. I didn’t care about her crocodile tears or her fears. She deserved it. I, of course knew this other girl – the talented goalkeeper of the school’s reputable handball team. She was the reason I was shunned and spat by my so called best friends.
I wish for the best and hope that she dies in her sleep.
The bathroom was filled with people when I got back from the co-op. Well there were some even in uniforms! They can’t be plumbers. We clean the toilet on Friday nights so it would not make sense for it to have any serious hair clogs by Saturday evening.
The bald, muscular man wore a nametag. I heard he was called Inspector Tan.
What are police doing here, in our bathroom?
His boots were black and immersed in dark liquid. Until it found a patch of water on the floor that it released the color. It was as red as blood.
“What happened?” I asked around, but no one seemed to hear me. I am aware of their partial deafness so I just sat and try to listen attentively to their rhythm. They were busy pushing themselves towards the wooden door, looking for something. It’s funny how their slippers are making that slippery noise symphony. They needed a sign or a clue. They didn’t trust the inspector for the whole case so they appointed themselves as deputy. After 20 minutes of this, most of them sit back and exchange gossips.
“She slipped,” hissed someone.
“And broke her neck? Come on!” continued a girl with ponytails.
“Poor Zati. May she rest in peace,” said a Form Five wearing a pink short and the group start looking at the ceiling, murmuring something in between their breaths.
I cannot imagine how Laila and Una would react to this. They were spending the weekend with their relatives. Utterly devastated is not even an appropriate word to explain their feelings. They were unbreakable and this seemed to me that the unthinkable had happened. I wanted to ask Inspector Tan about it but his face meant business. He shouted at 3 different people and almost pushed a big girl that blocked the stairs. After 2 hours, they carried out a stretcher with a black, matted body bag and I actually wonder why wasn’t I feeling anything sad in particular. I should feel something; at least a little sad. I knew this girl, her family, her favourite color, her favourite movies, her favourite songs, her favourite boy band, even the type of man that she would love to marry (although pointless now) when she grows up.
I felt a weird chill in my neck and I suddenly remember that I haven’t fed my friend yet.
END OF PART THREE.
Part Four will be published on the 24th of November. Thank you.