☆Chapter Nine Choice Two : "I am not."

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☆Chapter Nine Choice Two : "I am not." ( proceed to Chapter Ten )

Looking for me but they only know public information.

The answers ________ planned to give them were set in stone.

"I am not her, but she's in my class. I think she may have gone to the cafeteria."

"Oh, uh . . Okay then."

The unsuspecting senior replied with a bit of stuttering but was dragged away by her partner before she could say anything else, leaving _______ all alone in the hallway. She walked away briskly before they realized that they've been tricked. Her school hadn't enacted a new rule to sew name tags on uniforms, and this was what saved her from the girls of this school. Really, not a single friend or female could be trusted now, because the rumor must've been spread by that girl. She'd just have to watch her back, in case they coincidentally met.

This time, she didn't dare to go solo and eat, the cafeteria was a safer bet since students of both genders would be there. No one would dare pick on her if she stood with a few of her friends, if she chose to sit alone she would have to cross her fingers and hope for the best.

The trip to the cafeteria was certainly not a breeze, although there was a rather cool breeze blowing by the corridor.

~

It was a normal day. The cafeteria was always noisy with the sounds of hustling and chatting. Classes required students to be attentive during lessons, or just not to disturb others by talking. Recess, before school and after school hours were the only times for them to chat amongst one another, and they certainly aren't passing up chances. Just like any normal day.

Teachers and students alike paid not the slightest attention to the junior threading her way through the crowd. In her hands were two packets of biscuits, the final ones she could grab before the cafeteria sold out of them. The packets were of a tantalizing illustration of milk and wheat, the photos of the biscuits themselves were taken at the perfect lighting to ingrain an image of a scrumptious licorice flavored biscuit to consumers. However, the junior did not buy them for herself. After arriving at her destination, she placed them in front of another student, with black hair and dazzling red eyes that shone when they caught sight of the biscuits.

"U-um . . Piko . . These biscuits, they . . um. . Are for you."

"Oh, really? Thank you! I won't be so hungry today, I guess. All thanks to you!"

"Oh . . Ehehe, it's nothing."

He tore open the packets and gobbled up the biscuits. Beside him were girls watching him eat as if he was the most beautiful creation of God, and every one of them had food in their hands. None of them felt like eating, however. They were too caught in their delusions of Piko. Sadly, their wishes weren't reciprocated.

After that incident, Piko had done his best not to worry about _________. She always trivialized things with sarcasm and occasionally honeyed words to him, just so that he wouldn't worry about her. He had a bit of idea of what she had been through, leaving out the minor details but he got the gist, she wasn't as strong as she thought she was. During the days when she would sit in the cafeteria and coincidentally within his view, near her friends but making no attempt to chat, he would keep an eye on her, purposely gazing somewhere else and not eating with his head down in case his fangirls were watching his every move.

He knew of the times when her facial expression would change each time someone she disliked walked past her, he knew that she disliked mixing with people that paid no heed to her. If he could, he would shine the spotlight on her but she feared excessive attention as well. He wasn't sure how to show that he cared for her and wouldn't shatter her trust towards him. All he was capable of doing was watch her actions from the shadows and root for her.

Just like at the start of recess, he watched her talk to the two seniors, hoping that he wouldn't have to intervene before descending to the cafeteria. He watched as she gave a perfunctory lie to them, and walked away a bit slower than before she was interrogated. Now, as his gaze stayed on her figure lounging at the quieter sides of the cafeteria, he wondered what role he had to play to keep their secret on hold before it bared itself for all to see.

~

Utatane Piko didn't know where the bus took him. He was just strolling around in the streets, window shopping but not shopping for any type of windows, or anything at all. He didn't have anywhere to go home to. The place where he called 'home' was no longer known to him. It moved around all the time, he had no idea where it would take him each time he woke up. It didn't matter much, since he didn't have any contacts outside or inside the void. Now that he could actually get up and go anywhere, he now truly understood what liberty meant.

He had seen, and read, so much during the time he was locked in, luscious hills with blue grass and artificial green roses, houses that creaked and wobbled, run by cyborgs with a conscience but all too fragile parts, and so much more. Worlds and creations full of mystery and miracles, it seemed like a dream come true when he found out that a small portion of his books were portals, with kindly villagers and floating islands. He even rode a whale through skies dyed in pastel colors. He felt immensely let down when he first set foot upon this land outside the void, only to find that none of those worlds he'd seen existed here.

He only had a few coins in his pockets, so it wasn't enough for him to spend multiple nights in a real house. Perhaps he would have to set up camp somewhere in a neighborhood. He'd ponder about jobs afterward. If there were people kind enough to take him in, it would be for the best. Then he'd have to return the favor . . Or he could just swindle money from unsuspecting people. Either way, he had to start paving out his life from tonight.

He left the street full of vendors hawking their sales, and trudged towards the bus stop he'd seen _________ at. She was the first friend he'd managed to make, she would offer a bit of help if she did show up. The passers-by were of the working community, and they were either looking at their watches or files from work. He slid into a seat, and positioned himself enough for his abnormally colored hair to not catch the sun's rays. He didn't want people to question his origin.

With nothing else to do, he took to observing his surroundings, the pair of eyes glistening in the sunlight. His long hair tickled his neck, as if attempting to distract him from the slight tension in his body that feared that she wouldn't notice him, even if she did pass by.

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