Chapter 01 – V
Everything was so blurry and I could not remember everything clearly. From behind the glass capsule, my eyes were just able to barely catch a scene of a science laboratory. My whole body was completely drowned in an unknown liquid, so cold that my naked body stops shivering altogether. Later on, a man in white coat walked toward the glass capsule that contains me. He made an awfully scary smirk at me like some kind of psychotic murderer looking at his prey. I could not clearly describe his face in detail nor guess his age because the glasses were too blurry. He gawked at me for a few moments and simply walked away without saying a word. I wanted to know what he wanted, as well as the reason he had to made that awful smirk at me.
However, the next thing I know, the coldness on my skin suddenly turned into numbness as every tissue on my muscles began shaking madly. I tried my best to keep myself conscious and find out what is going on. Apparently, my body is being tortured by some form electric shock. My mouth opened up wide, trying to ask for help. But the water pressure from the liquid surrounding me pushed its way into my mouth, flushing my voice down my throat. Soon, my consciousness started to fade and everything becomes black.
That was the nightmare I had been having for the past three years. Every time I woke up from it, I always found myself drenched in sweat. The worst part is, no matter what time I woke up from the nightmare, I have to get up from bed right away because the bed and blanket were too wet for me to continue lying down.
This morning is no different.
I lazily crawl out of my room half-awaked with a fluffy bed hair. The sound of a ladle crashing with a pan echoed to the second floor, immediately followed by an appetizing scent. This house has only two residents: my mom and me. I have never saw my dad even once. Mom told me that he died when I was still very young. But even so, I am still happy living like this with mom, because that makes the two of us really close to each other.
I step down the stairs like a drunkard to the kitchen.
“Oh? You’re awake, Viola?” Mom turns around to me.
“Yeah. Good morning,” I replied as I scratch my eyes, trying to push away the sleepiness. My sweat-drenched pajama immediately caught her attention. I could tell because her face said so.
“Nightmares again?” she asks worriedly.
“Yeah. But it’s okay. I’m almost used to it.” I yawn and walk off to the bathroom at the other side of the hallway.
Mom said the first time I had that nightmare, I was screaming really loud and my body was heavily writhing on the bed. She had to hold me down for a while before I woke up from the nightmare. It was not until recently that I no longer scream, even though my body still sweats a lot.
My hand turns on the shower, letting the warm water run pass my naked body, washing away the sweat. I wash my face to fully wake myself up and to shake the infernal nightmare out of my mind. This is not an easy job since the pain could still come back instantly the moment I take a nap during a boring day.
After the nice warm bath, I dry my body and my purple shoulder-length hair with a soft white towel.
That’s right. My hair is completely purple from root to tip. I did not dye it either. I was born with this hair color, which is weird because my mom has dark hair, although she dyed it into brownish orange color. According to her, my dad’s hair is not purple either.
Whatever is the reason I have this color, I am proud to have it as it makes me unique from everyone else.
Well, not in a very good way, but who cares?
I dress up in my university uniform – a plain white short sleeve blouse and a short black plit skirt, about five inches above the knee – then sit down at the dining room to have breakfast with mom.
“I will clock out early today. Any special request for dinner?” she asked out of the blue.
“Oh. Let’s see. Deep fried squid and green curry please.” I said.
“Hah, all your favorites at once?” she teased.
“Well, you didn’t tell me how many requests I could make.”
Both of us laugh it off, but not too long before she launches another question.
“So Viola, how is the university? Having any difficulties?”
That’s really weird. She has never asked me about my studies for as long as I could recall. Why is she suddenly asking about it now?
“Nah. Just the same old debits and credits stuff and accounting. All you need to do is get those numbers balanced and you’re good.”
I pretend to not notice her choice of question.
“I see. Keep at it then.” She smiles and takes the dishes to the kitchen without any more words.
“Oh. Just leave the dishes in the sink. I’ll do the clean ups.” I told her when I heard the faucet running.
“That’s okay. You do yours. I’ll do mine,” she said with a smile.
I shrug and turn my head back to the news on the TV.
“[Breaking news from the NAC (Nebula Astrological Center), several astrologists reported that there might be a solar eclipse again today around 10 AM and will last for about five minutes. This marked the fourth eclipse in this month, an extremely rare phenomenon. The researchers from NAC, sponsored by the one and only Nebula Corporation, paid special interest in the matter.]”
The news goes on as I tuck another spoon of rice into my mouth.
“That’s weird. Aren’t we supposed to have those eclipses in like, once every hundred years or so?” I blurt out randomly.
“Huh? Oh. Yeah, you’re right,” mom agreed as she walks back into the dining room.
“Funny how paranoid people can be. So many people are like ‘The world is coming to an end~!!’ right now.”
“It is really hectic. With news like this every month, people kept saying it’s a sign of this and that without any proof,” mom said.
After finishing the last spoon of food, I pick up my dish and walk straight to the kitchen, crossing ways with mom. While doing the dishes, she comes up to me from behind and kisses me on the cheek.
“I’ll be going to work now. Take care of yourself.”
“You too. I love you, mom.” I smiled at her as she walks away.
After the chore, I return to my room upstairs to make my bed, which is still drenched in sweat. I spread the sheets so the smell of the sweat would not accumulate. After that, I get over to my desk and comb my hair, as well as put on some light make-up. My friends told me I have everything that appeals to a guy: Fair white skin, huggable small body, and long slim legs.
Okay, not everything.
They said the only thing I lack is bigger breasts.
Anyway, I pick up the writing stationeries scattered on my desk and put it into my favorite handbag, as well as the big bulky Intermediate Accounting textbook. I have this subject almost every day because it’s my major subject. As a result, I’ve been carrying this huge textbook with me to university for more than half of the semester.
Before leaving the room, I did not forget to grab my beloved portable mechanical pencil-sized MP3 player from the top of my bed. I am extremely addicted to music, so bad that I have to stick the earplugs into my ears every time I am not doing something that requires full concentration. Part of the reason I fell in love with this player is because of its portability. I used to listen to music from my cell phone, which of course was not as handy as this specialized player. Mom bought this for me back when I scored the highest in all sections of Managerial Accounting about two semesters ago. After that, I have been taking it everywhere with me, except while sleeping and bathing.
With everything set, I lock up the house and walk over to the bus stop. The coach that goes to my university stops at this post if there is a student waiting. Outsiders are not allowed to board it, since you will need to show the ID card before boarding. The Andoria University that I am currently attending is pretty far from my house; it takes about 30 minutes before it reaches the university. Normally, I would take a brief nap on the coach, but the last time I did that, I had that same nightmare. The guy sitting next to me had to wake me up since he was freaked out from seeing me drenched in sweat. After that, I had a nap outside of the house again…
I step down the coach once it reach its destination and walk toward my study building. As I got closer to my destination, the sky gradually darkens, and soon everything was covered in darkness. I turn my head up and look at the sky. It was the solar eclipse, just like the news said. But like I said earlier, it’s the fourth eclipse this month, so I was not really surprised to see it.
However, as I continue my way, a sharp pain suddenly emerges on an area above my right breast. It burns so bad, as if someone chuck a sun onto my chest. Moreover, my heart suddenly pounds faster as if the beat control was out of order. The pain was so bad that my body instantly falls to my knees while my left shoulder leans against the nearest building wall. What surprised me even more, however, is the fact that all of this feels extremely familiar to me; I felt this exact same pain before in the past. A Déjà vu might be the most accurate word.
After a while, the eclipse eventually ends and the pain on my chest vanishes as if nothing ever happened. I immediately stand up on my feet again, confused about all that happened earlier. My hands feel the area above my right breast, but the pain is no longer there.
That was strange – very strange.
What was that all about…?