Entry Writchal #2
[Sunday, at School]
Reza Rahman Sulistrianto
School. A really noisy place. From the amalgam of conversations of students to the lullaby like lecture by the teachers. Everyone is trying to compete on who can be the loudest, as if they’re cicadas in heat. All of this happens 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Honestly, doing this every week takes quite a toll on me. Thus, every week on a Sunday, I go to my safe haven that is–.
“Toni, already leaving?”
“Yep, I’ll be back before dinner”
“Sigh, alright just stay safe”
Closing the door, i went for the bicycle and set off. A beautiful Sunday morning, the early birds chirping, and the occasion cars passing by, it’s a peaceful day alright. Following my usual route, I head towards my school. Why school on a Sunday morning? It’s not like I have any assignments needed to be done. It’s just i like the serenity of school without it’s usual weekdays inhabitants.
Approaching school, just 10 meters away from it’s main gate I took a sharp left turn to a small alleyway. Within i stopped in front of a small store.
“Grandma, the usual!”
“Oh, Toni you came again this week, here’s the usual and go ahead and lock your bike upfront”
“Thanks, here’s the payment no need for change”
“Thank you, make sure you don’t get caught”
She’s not exactly my biological grandma but we interacted enough times to be acquainted. Taking my lunch for the day and leaving behind my bike, I return to the main street and head off to school. Before reaching the main gate, I quickly climbed the walls. Luckily, the streets barely have traffic and the walls are pretty short. Avoiding the security, I quickly entered the main building’s hallway. “Well then, where should I go today?”
Once entered the building, the feeling of silence and solitude finally kicked in. The once lively traffic of the hallways where students would traverse is now dead silent. Just in case you still don’t get it, I enjoy the serenity of the school on Sundays. The contrast between the school on weekdays and weekends is like night and day, and I love it. Just as I was taking in the silence of the hallway, I heard a meow next to me. “Meow”
As I turned around, I saw a gray cat with stripes on it’s body. I think that’s the school’s cat. Well, it’s not really our official cat but people kept feeding it and the teachers seems alright with keeping the cat around. Heck, when I first entered the school this guy’s already around. If I remember correctly he is around 5 years old this year.
“What’s up little guy?”
The cat quickly walks away, but keep looking back at me as if telling me to follow it. “Welp, guess now I know where to go”
The cat keeps going up a floor until I reached the top floor.
“Where did he go?”
This top floor actually have a flat rooftop where people can come and go, but on the weekends it’s usually locked. I know this because I tried going to the rooftop before. Suddenly I heard a rustling sound near me, it was the cat.
“Where do you think your going?”
I quickly caught the cat with my hands. The cat tried to struggle but quickly gave up knowing it is meaningless. But on closer inspection, the place where the cat tried to go, behind the boxes there is a faint light shining out.
“Was this where you tried to bring me?”
I released the cat and moved the boxes away. Jackpot.
“X marks the spot, or in this case a cat”
Behind the boxes, a gaping hole just big enough to wiggle through leading to the rooftop. The cat quickly went through. I also followed suit. “Well, well, well guess I found my new favorite spot”
Taking in the refreshing air of Sunday morning, I look around to the familiar yet unfamiliar scenery of the rooftop. Suddenly I heard a girls voice.
“Oh there you are!”
Quickly, I hid myself behind a wall where I can still take peek towards the voice. “Where have you been? I really needed a model so don’t try to run away again okay?”
I can see a girl with shoulder length hair, next to her a canvas with sketches of a cat I presume. She’s not wearing a school uniform, perhaps she’s from outside of the school?. either way, I smell trouble. As I was trying to retreat, I knocked down a bucket behind me. Shit.
“Show yourself or else I’m calling the school guard!”
“…Fine, I give!”
“…A boy? Tell me your name and school”
“…Toni, North-High, 1st year”
“North-High and a 1st year? Then you must be my junior”
“Oy, I tell you mine, now tell me yours”
“ahhh sorry, I’m Mia, 3rd year and your senior at that”
“So same school I guess? For a second there I thought you were an intruder” “Intruder?! For your information, I have permission to use the rooftop here!”
“Sorry about that, anyways what are you doing here? At a Sunday at that?”
“I can ask you that myself. Well, I got a chance to receive an invitation for university so I’m trying to fill up my portfolio to get into one”
It seems I receive a bit of her trust, as I was able to close in on her a little. “Heee, I’m guessing that’s a calico?”
“You can tell?”
“From this close anyone can tell with that fur pattern”
“It seem you can, anyways back to your question, what are you doing here?”
“Ahhhh, well, about that, I actually don’t have a permission to be here on Sunday, guess I’m the intruder here…”
“Pfft, ahahahaha, what the heck, calling someone else an intruder when yourself an intruder”
From then on we kept talking, mostly on useless stuff while she continue her painting. Time flies, before we know it lunch time came.
“Well, lucky you I got lunch on me. Want half?”
We have our lunch short after.
“Next time I’ll get 2 portions but you still pay half”
“Well, *Yawn, guess I’ll take a nap there”
As I point towards a shade in a distance.
“Sleeping after lunch? I don’t think that’s healthy”
I lay down under the shade and make myself comfy. This past few hour felt like a dream I’m sure I will wake up shortly after. As I drown in my slumber such taught came to my mind briefly.
I woke up. I look to the side and there’s no such thing as a girl painting on the roof top. See? I knew it, it was all just a dream.
“Morning, sleepy head but it’s already afternoon”
“What’s with that shocked face?! Did I interrupt a good dream?”
“…No, it’s just I’m a bit disappointed for not getting a girl’s lap pillow”
“Anyways, I guess I’ll head home first, the sun’s getting low”
“Ah, um, uhhh…”
“N-Next Sunday, can we meet again?”
“…Sure, I was planning to do so from the start”
“Yeah, having a friend or two ain’t so bad here”
“Thanks, well, see you next week?”
“Yeah, see you next week”
I said that as I entered the hole where I came from and left the school.
Monday, the next day. Another mundane school weekday. Yesterday felt like a dream, even though I clearly woke up from an actual sleep. Still, meeting a senior alone on a weekend at school still feels too surreal to be true.
“Mia was it…”
“Whoa, Mike! You were listening?”
“Yeah, I tried calling you a couple of times but you didn’t respond. Then you suddenly said ‘Mia’ outta nowhere, that’s fucking creepy dude”
“Ah, uh sorry ‘bout that”
“Anyways, who is this ‘Mia’ person?”
“…None of your business”
“Ho? Ho? Ho? What’s this? Is it Toni’s first love? Is Toni finally found something he is interested in besides breaking into school?”
This guy is my close friend, Mike. We sometimes play games together or just chat around pointlessly. As you can see, I told him about my Sunday activities. He is one of few that knows of my hobby. One time I tried inviting him to come with me on a Sunday, but he rejected me disgustingly. I wonder why?.
Anyways, enough about him onto Mia. So she’s a 3rd year here and is aiming to be an arts student huh?. She’s not a bad person or anything so I guess I can open up to her a little bit. But, why does she needs to paint on Sundays and also at school?. Guess I’ll ask her this Sunday. And thus the monochrome days pass by, and Sunday is here.
Following the path from last week, I find my way to the top floor where the hole to the rooftop is at. I squeeze myself through the hole on to the rooftop. Standing up from my crawl, I can see a girl and a canvas next to her. She no longer stand where she painted the cat from last week, but instead she’s facing toward the school gate, looking down upon the school grounds.
“…Yup, she’s real alright”
“…Ah! Toni! You’re finally here!”
“As promised. Anyways, what’s for today’s painting?”
“Today, I’m painting the landscape of the school from high above”
“So it seems. By the way about last week’s cat painting, did you finish it?”
“All done. I finished it while doing club activities and stored it in the art club’s storage room”
“So you’re a member of arts club huh”
“By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask this, but why do you need to paint at school on a Sunday at that?”
“Oh that? It’s because the portfolio needed to get an invitation is ‘make an album of drawings with the theme to your own liking. With a minimum of 5 paintings’ as for my theme, it will be ‘Serenity of School’ what do you think?Sounds cool right?”
“If I were to interpret it, I guess you are trying to tell that school even though it is known to be a noisy place but it actually have a really calming time period?”
“Bing-bong, you got that right. You might become a talented artist in the future”
“And you need to come to school on a Sunday to capture that very serenity?”
“Bull’s eye, Watson”
After that small chat she continued her painting while we sometimes chat about pointless things in between. Lunch time finally came.
“Oh look at the time, wanna have lunch? I got your portion for the day”
“Yay! You remembered. And this is the pay”
Monday, the next day. So it was all real. The fact that at Sunday, there’s a girl painting on school grounds alone. It all sounds like a romance plot, but it’s all actually real. But the album’s name ‘Serenity of School’, honestly it’s a good name but if I were to name it myself I’d call it ‘Sunday at-’. As I was about to finish my line of thought, a sudden pain came to my forehead.
“Awww, dude what the heck?”
“I tried calling you a million times and you didn’t even react. You were staring through the window as if you’re some sort of loner protagonist”
“Ugh, was I really?”
“Yep, honestly it creep me out a bit. Let me guess, it’s that girl again right?” “Yes?”
“*Sigh, this love struck idiot”
“It’s alright to have someone to love but you still need to keep your head in- check, class is about to begin”
Class begins but I didn’t pay any attention to it as the words from Mike lingers in my head.
“Toni? Toniiii?? You in there?”
“Whoa what? Oh sorry was spacing out for a second there. What were we doing?”
“i knew it, you weren’t paying attention at all. Anyways, for today’s painting I’m making an empty classroom scenery and you’re gonna be my model for the day”
“Modelling? Never done that before”
“It’s fine all you need to do is sit somewhere and act melancholic”
“Act melancholic you said? Easier than-”
As I was about to finish my sentence, an idea struck me. I sat close to the window but not right next to it, place my right arm on the desk and rest my head on my hand as I stare towards the windows by the left of me.
“Am I really allowed to be here? I mean, I can still step outside and we can still have a chat”
“No! That’ll make me feel awkward talking to you!”
“But I’m the one’s feeling awkward here!”
“Fufu, well try your best to hold yourself”
She laughed wickedly as she starts drawing sketches. We are currently at the girl’s bathroom. I repeat, we are currently at the girl’s bathroom. She didn’t tell me in advance where we’ll be going for today’s painting but instead she dragged me here. She probably did it knowing my reaction will be like this.
Today is the 5th day meeting with Mia and probably the last day meeting her on a Sunday. Since she will be painting her last piece of painting for the album. We are currently behind the school building where all sorts of sport fields are placed, such as a soccer field, basketball, etc.
“Hey, is it really alright to play catch right now?”
“No? I don’t see any problem playing it. Besides, I’m not really in a rush to finish the album or anything. We can even continue it next week”
“… So today’s not the final day we’ll meet” *mumbling
“What was that?”
“Nothing! Anyway, you’re surprisingly athletic for an arts type of person”
“Is it really that surprising? I mean, the equipment I used are surprisingly heavy you know?”
In the end she didn’t even continue her work instead only played catch with me. We’ve already moved the painting equipment to somewhere safe. In the midst of playing catch, the skies darkened and the roaring thunder clap can be heard. “I think we should head to safe place, Mia”
“Ah, yes lets go”
We started running towards the building when it started pouring down hard. Suddenly, When we reached the building a loud BANG came from outside, it appears a tree has fallen while bringing down one of the basketball’s ring with it.
“Good thing we didn’t went through there huh? Or else we’d be ghost or something”
Entering an unlocked classroom, I tried to lower my tension from all that running. “Phew we’re saved somehow, right Mia?”
No one was there.
“Mia? Where are you? You’re not playing pranks on me cuz it ain’t funny” No one answered.
Again, no one answered. Then my mind started going into a frenzy. What if she fell down somewhere and I just left her outside in this storm? Oh no, no no no no no. I can’t calm down.
“Mia!! Where are you?!”
I dashed out of the classroom and retrace my steps looking around to find any traces of her. Until I reached where we played catch a while ago. Nothing no signs of her around. What if, what if she lost her way and came to the basketball field and- and she. No! She wouldn’t, right?. I dashed towards the basketball field. There, i see a the once magnificent tree now lost it’s top. Next to it, the basketball ring stood no more, instead a gaping hole is it’s place. Inside the hole, a skeletal remains of a human cradling another skeletal remains of an animal.
“aah no ahhhhh NOOOO!!!!!”
“Kid?! are you alright?! Let me take you somewhere safe”
Someone came, most likely the school’s security guard but I don’t know for sure as my mind was in disarray. That skeletal remains is it perhaps
TV : “Breaking news, yesterday afternoon a storm topples a basketball ring on North-High. Inside the hole the basketball ring made, A Skeletal remains of a human and a cat.
TV : ”Evidence shows the remains are most likely a female’s remain by the name of ‘Mia Miles’ who went missing 5 years ago. Further analysis needed”
TV : “The school in question will be held responsible-”
3rd year. Roughly 2 years has passed since I met(?) Mia. That 5 days of being with her feels like a dream. Perhaps it really was a dream?. I don’t know anymore. I no longer came to school on a Sunday anymore. After all that happened, I joined the arts club clinging to the small chance of meeting with Mia again. Indeed, she was an arts club member that is 5 years ago. I guess she really did existed. Currently, I’ve been tasked with cleaning up the storage. Lots of dust, lots of equipment, and lots of art pieces. Then I stumbled upon a box labeled ‘Mia’.
“Don’t tell me…”
I opened the box.
“What the heck, ahahaha…”
Inside, there are 4 paintings. A painting of a bathroom, an empty classroom, the landscape of the school from above, and a painting of a calico cat with a kitten next to it with gray fur and stripes.