Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.
Eight years later.
I sat upright, stretching my arms out as I yawned. The sky was a bright blue, nearly cloudless, and it seemed like the perfect day to take the finals. If I passed, I'd have just one year left of this damn place, and getting out of here was all that was on my mind recently. Having plenty of other things to ponder on, this seemed like the best one to get my mind off the things I did my best to forget. I stood up and slid my jacket on. The air had chilled in the past few days, which was rather strange considering it was nearing summer, though I didn't think to much on it at the time. The roof of the school was always a peaceful place for me to come when I wanted to be alone, at least most of the time. The door leading to the stair case swung open. I was beginning to wonder when she was going to show up.
"What do you think you're doing Eli?" I sighed and pulled my hood over my head so she couldn't see my face.
"Was just taking a nap, like I usually do. Is there a problem?" I asked, knowing there was no particular reason for her being here other than to scold me.
"Uh, well, not exactly, no...." I sighed again and began to walk to the door. I stopped as I felt her pull on my jacket sleeve.
"If there isn't a problem, there's no reason for you being up here Serah. I've told you this before." I pulled the hood as far down as it could go, hiding the grim look upon my face.
"I know. Sorry..." I continued walking and then began heading down the stairs. As much as I'd love to say it killed me to be mean to her, especially with those big brown eyes, it was honestly as easy as breathing. Pushing people away, being rude, not caring at all, it all pretty much came with pulling that trigger. A man's life ending wasn't the only effect of that bullet, and I'm sure there's more to come. There always is. When you've lived a life like my own, anything outside of my direct interests seemed incompetent in comparison to what I actually cared about. Which wasn't much. Food, sleep, anime, games, and surviving. Simple stuff I suppose, but that kept me going like a partially broken clock. Broken to the extent that it was only visible inside, but never missing a tick to a clueless onlooker.
I realized I had made my way down to the ground level of the school, so I continued towards the vending machines.
"School's nearly over anyway. Might as well skip last period I guess." I thought aloud as I slid a few quarters into the machine. I punched the numbers and waited as the bottle of water came tumbling down. Reaching down to grab it, I was surprised to see a hand already there, pulling it out and twisting the cap off.
"Um. I'm sorry, but I do believe that's my water." To my surprise, it was a tall man wearing all black along with a black baseball hat. I stared on in utter disbelief as he quickly threw up the water bottle and chugged it down.
"Ah. Refreshing. Thanks kid." He smiled and started walking away, and for a moment I was completely speechless, until he turned around that is. "By the way, you wouldn't happen to know anyone by the name of Eli would you?"
"I might. It depends on who's looking for him and what for. He's a very secretive guy, and doesn't like to be bothered much. May I ask your name and business here?" I asked, doing my best to show that I was Eli while also denying the fact.
"The name's Tyson. As for my business, I can't exactly say to anyone other than Eli. If you see him, tell him to meet me at the Daven Park's center at eight tonight." Well, he completely missed the hint, and he seemed like a total idiot. "But I guess I can tell you as much. Isn't that right Eli Caelum?" Then again, maybe he wasn't all that dumb.
"If you knew it was me, why did you even ask?" I inquired, a bit curious as to the man's motives.
"A test so to speak. We have a great mug shot of you, so there was no way I would have ever passed you up. Oh, and you passed. The meeting still stands. Eight o'clock tonight at the center of Daven Park." He stated, and quite simply too.
"Oh? Is that so? And what if I don't show up Mister Tyson?" I cocked my head, expecting a lame answer. At least, I was until he looked at me from under his hat, eyes as serious and dark as the night. He slowly pulled out a cigarette and lit it, never once breaking our locked eyes.
"We kill that girl named Serah." He walked off without another word. A lame answer was definitely not given, and it was pretty clear the guy was dead serious. As much as it pains me to say so, I'm not as cold hearted as to let an innocent girl be killed because I was to oblivious to attend a "meeting" in which seemed to be extremely important. Taken into consideration his approaching me during school hours, this must be something crucial. I figured it'd serve in my best interest, as well as Serah's, to go to the appointed location. In fact, it was all I could think about the entire rest of the day.
The walk home was a short one. When I reached my apartment I quickly threw my jacket on the couch, grabbed a water, and headed straight to my room, collapsing on my bed. I glared at the clock, allowing my thoughts to wander.
But as the time drew nearer to eight, I began to grow nervous about the whole ordeal. I hadn't put much thought into what could possibly happen, or what was actually happening, and thinking about the what ifs and the possibilities actually began to scare me a bit.
Two hours away. Tick, tock. The sound of the clock had become rhythmic as I watched the hands move dreadfully slow, yet terrifyingly fast at the same time. An hour left. Tick, tock. Thoughts of Serah getting brutally murdered, as my family had been kept creeping into my mind, and it took everything to push them away. Thirty minutes remaining. Tick, tock. I slipped on my shoes, grabbed a small pocket knife, and headed out. I suppose I'm not completely insensitive. There was no way I could let any harm come to Serah. Not the one and only person who's shown me the time of day since the accident, or the only person who didn't see me any differently from before. Protecting Serah, surprisingly to myself, was one of my biggest priorities.
As I walked through the dark, I couldn't help but think of the tall shady man lurking in every shadow and corner. I pulled my hood over my head and tried to focus on the tiny clouds of steam as my breath hit the chilled air, and keeping track of how far I was to the park. Everything felt as if it was moving so fast, that I thought as though I might not be able to keep up. It was as if the world's decided fate for me was being put into motion, but all to soon. I wasn't ready. I didn't feel ready to accept whatever fate might meet me tonight. I stopped and took a deep breath to calm myself down.
"Nothing's going to happen. Everything will be fine." I said aloud, trying to break the eery silence. I looked straight ahead until I finally reached the center of Daven Park. Nothing and no one was there. I pulled out my phone and looked at the time. seven fifty-five appeared, illuminated by the phone screen. I locked it and placed it back in my pocket, slowly sitting down on the fountain. Something didn't feel right, and my instincts and gut feeling have shown to be right more often than not recently. I suppose that feeling was more or less proved right yet again as a body, void of all life and soaked in blood, fell right in front of me straight out of the cherry tree, who's petals had been turned a blood red.