“Miss!” Someone was shouting. Who was this? “Miss?” the voice came again. Who dared disturb my sleep?
I opened my eyes and yawned. I found myself sitting on one of the chairs in the library. “Oh!” I exclaimed. “I’m sorry!”
“You’ve been sleeping for five hours here.” The male librarian smiled politely. “I thought you’d passed out.”
“Sorry,” I mumbled again, gathering the books I’d selected.
From an aisle behind me, I heard a couple talking.
“You should’ve done that from the start, useless retard!” the female scolded.
“Uh…I thought you could handle it,” the male replied.
“Dude!” She was getting frustrated. “All you had to do was stab a couple of keys straight into their backs and they’d become dolls! What–”
“Excuse me,” the same librarian approached the couple. Out of sheer curiosity, I followed him with my eyes. The two people talking were a bearded man and a young woman with red hair, a cigarette dangling between her fingers. “Please lower your voices in the library. Miss, you can’t smoke here.”
“Why not?” she snapped, drawing a deep breath from the cigarette and blowing smoke into his face. “I’ll do what I want.”
“That’s enough, Vikka.” Her partner put a hand on her shoulder.
“Marcello!” Vikka hissed.
Someone patted my shoulder. I turned to see a girl about my age, looking quite strange and intimidating with her heavy mascara and half green, half black hair–her eyes were of two different colors too.
“Hi, I’m Fidessa,” she said. “Um…are you interested in music? Would you like to join–”
“I would!” Vikka called,
Marcello and the librarian were both fairly embarrassed by then. Vikka ignored them and came towards us, casually wrapping an arm around my shoulders and led me out of the library, with Fidessa and Marcello following close behind. The librarian sighed in relief.
“On second thought,” Vikka said once she was out of the library, “I want to provoke the librarian for a while longer.” She grabbed Marcello’s arm and headed back inside. Marcello groaned.
“Would you like to join the guitar club?” Fidessa continued. “It’s right over there.” She pointed towards a glass door. Behind the door were soft melodies were being played. “Just have a look?” she asked.
As soon as she opened the door, the guy who had been playing the guitar stopped and looked up.
Fidessa cupped my face in her hands. “Look into my eyes, Luell. Do you remember anything?”
How did she know my name?
I didn’t see anything abnormal in her eyes. What was I supposed to remember?
Seeing my blank expression, Fidessa dropped her arms and turned away. Leaning against the wall, she popped two pieces of gum into her mouth and started chewing, crossing her arms in the process.
“Phew…” the guy let out a familiar sigh. “That’s good.”
“What is?” I asked.
“That means you’re straight.” He ignored my question.
I blinked at him once, and strode towards him. His eyes slightly widened in surprise. Fidessa turned this way as well. I sat in front of him, facing him. What prompted me to do it, I never found out. But when I raised my eyed to meet his, I held his gaze.
And found my reflection in his eyes, along with memories.
“Vinzenz!” I gasped. “Your eyes…”
“What about them?” Vinzenz smiled softly, the very same one I remembered.
“They’re…real…” I shot a quick glace at Fidessa. “Yours too, Fidessa,” I recalled. That was why I didn’t find anything abnormal.
Fidessa showed a lopsided, though exhausted grin. She blew a bubble with her gum habitually.
The glass door opened again. Vikka and Marcello entered. Seeing Vikka, Fidessa swiftly turned away from her, but she wasn’t fast enough this tine. Vikka popped her bubble. In response, Fidessa scowled.
Some things never change.
Though some things do change.
For example, Vikka blows smoke through her lips instead of fire. Marcello now sells mechanical dolls for a living instead of sticking keys into demons’ backs to turn them into dolls. Fidessa goes skydiving instead of flying all by herself. Vinzenz teaches me the guitar–among other instruments–instead of paralyzing me with his tunes. Though…his tunes are still paralyzing, in another sense.
And, of course, we all smile more often. After all, we are all humans now–I have no idea why.