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Chapter 36: Blank Stares

I didn’t really intend to drag Autumn’s car into this but it seemed like I had no choice. Nothing could really stop a moment of realization. That was why I was driving full speed towards that place. The only place where I think I can only fit in. Montello High.

Nang matanaw ko ito ay naisip ko ang posibilidad na naging mas misteryoso pa ito kumpara dati. Muling bumalik ang mga narinig ko tungkol sa Montello High nitong nakaraang mga araw. Walang nakakaalam kung anong tunay na nangyayari sa loob nito. It seemed like it was under some sort of lock down. So why did I receive such invitation? I was from the outside. Could this be a trap? That black box! Hindi ko alam kung isa lang talaga iyong simpleng imbitasyon mula sa eskwelahan o mas higit ba. Posible bang hindi tumigil ang organisasyon na iyon sa paghabol sa buhay ko? Now, I was wondering if this one was a good decision or just an “out of the rush moment.” Isa na naman sa mga bagay na hindi ko pinag-isipan.

I stopped at the gates of Montello High. It was closed Two guards were standing on post and they just looked at me. Bumaba ako sa kotse at lumapit sa kanila.

“Excuse me. I got an invitation but I forgot to bring it,” wika ko. They just looked at me. This was crap. Mukhang hindi nila ako papapasukin. “I’m Summer Leondale,” dagdag ko. It took only a short moment bago nila pinindot ang buton na nagbubukas ng gate. Bumalik ako sa kotse at saka iyong pinaandar at ipinasok sa Montello High. I was back at this place though the guards were a little strange. Ano’ng problema nila? Jeez!

I parked the car sa harap ng gymnasium. Malamang ditto nila ginagawa ang Christmas ball. It was decorated with black ribbons and drapes. There were also red roses and few black ones. I inspected the black roses—it was real. Where did they get this?

Pumasok ako sa loob. Everything looked like they were in order. Everyone was in black ball gown and tuxedo. Some of them were dancing on the dance floor. I was the only one in  cream colored ball gown. My dress looked out of place. Para akong ilaw sa dilim.

Nakapangingilabot ang sunod na nangyari. Lahat ay lumingon sa entrance at ipinako ang tingin sa akin. Kahit ang mga magkakaparehang sumasayaw ay nasa akin ang mata. And the way they synchronized their looks—there was a creepy feeling to it. Pareho ang reaksyon ng mga taong ito sa dalawang gwardiya kanina. Same blank faces. Same blank eyes. No light of recognition. I suddenly got a sense of déjà vu. I felt like I’ve seen these expressions before. I only hoped I was wrong.

Nanatiling ganun ang senaryo nang ilang segundo bago sila bumalik sa mga ginagawa nila bago ako dumating. Dancing, driking, the stuff people do on balls. But then there was a strange quality to them. Almost creepy, like a horror film. What’s with these people? Even though I couldn’t place it, there was only one thing I was sure of: there was something wrong with them.

Someone grabbed my waist and walked me swiftly to the dance floor. My defense quickly kicked in and I curled my fist into a hard ball, ready to give this threat a punch. Natigilan ako nang magsalita ito.

“What the hell?! I’ve been wanting to see you but why the f*ck did you come back?” Pabulong nitong sabi habang iginigiya ako sa pagsayaw.

“Jin?” Gulat kong sabi. Nakaramdam ako ng pagkalma nang makakita ng pamilyar na mukha.

Montello High: School of Gangsters (Published under Cloak Pop Fiction)Basahin ang storyang ito ng LIBRE!