I was the one student in the classroom that couldn't care less about what we were learning. Everyone else was in a panic to study and learn so they could meet the approaching finals well-prepared. Of course, I didn't have a chance in hell. The teachers decided long ago that I wasn't worth the time, considering that everything up to know I failed. So there I sat at the back of the classroom seeing things that the others could not. Strange men in black suits and top hats standing menacingly over each student.
I didn't say anything anymore. What was the point? I was taken out of school for telling people the strange things I saw. Bloody people, discarded limbs that appeared to be torn from their owner and even wild animals that were so decayed you could see through their monstrous bodies, there were so many gaps in their bodies. In those two years I learn one thing. It was a mistake to tell people what I saw.
I watched each figure. The creatures stood tall and with decayed grey faces. Their hats shadowed their faces well and each stood behind a student, leaning over them and looking down at their work. Slowly I looked upwards at my shoulder-surfer. Like all the others he stared down at me and I stared back. For a while he stared into my eyes and I stared into his. I wonder if he could see me.
My lips mouthed the word 'hello' and the figure reacted. Its head cocked to the side in curiosity. It wondered and I confirmed by cocking my head to follow his. It backed away suddenly from the desk and stared at me with astonishment. I mouthed my thanks as I looked back at it and turned to my journal. Flicking through the pages of monstrous creatures I had drawn from the past I soon found a blank page and began sketching the man in the top-hat who knew I saw him.
As if on queue the man dashed to my side surprising me. He squatted down, holding onto the edge of the desk, his shadow clouded face watching me draw. I ignored him as best I could, but with every stroke of the pen he soon came to realize I was drawing him and he was deeply shocked. His head turned to face me and he leaned in uncomfortably close to my face.
"You see...you see," the monster whispered.
Fully aware that I was in a crowded classroom I didn't reply verbally, but acted as naturally as I could. There was nothing these creatures could do to me, they were as harmless as a brush of wind. I tried to meet its eyes, but just stared into the space I thought they would be and nodded. He was aghast and back away terrified, falling back onto desks, his hands and feet pushing against paper, pencil and student without moving any, but propelling himself.
At this point I decided it was time to leave the classroom and confront the creature properly like the ones I had seen in the past. I raised my hand and excused myself and the teacher didn't reply verbally. He continued his droning lesson and gestured with his free hand at the door. He didn't even look at me and it disgusted me. Nobody in this school was worth anything to me, except for the man in the top hat.
I opened the door and gestured with my head for him to follow. He did in an instant and walked with me down the hallway towards the girls bathroom.
"What's your name?" I asked it first of all.
"Sebastian..." the man whispered. Did he always talk like this?
"What are you, Sebastian?"
"I am a man, a man."
"I know you're a man, but you're a male what?"
No response, but he continued walking by my side, leaning forward and slouching so his shadowed face could get an easy angle on staring at mine.
"What are you doing, are you doing something, what are you doing?" he asked me.
"I could ask the same of you," I muttered.
"I am following you because you can see, you can see."
"And that means something to you?"
"No, but you're different. The other people and animals ignore me, people and animals ignore."
"I can understand the feeling..."
"Oh, I know. I have watched you almost all day now and people ignore you greatly, but still, at least they know you're there, you're there."
"And how long are you going to watch me?"
"I don't know, as long as you want, I guess...I never stay in one place, never stay in one place."
The way the man repeated himself. I doubt it was a stutter, he finished a sentence easily enough. I guess it was his way of saying he was finished talking and I could respond.
"I'm not in the market for friends, Sebastian, not in the market," I told him.
"I shall leave, shall leave," Sebastian replied immediately, but regretfully.
The tall man paused in his retreat and stood still.
"Come here," I ordered. He turned and marched over to stand before me. "You can follow me around, but you will understand if I don't talk to you where there are people, there are people."
"I do understand your fear, your fear," Sebastian replied in his whispery tone. It was as if he was speaking in my head and that made me feel a little more uncomfortable. Still, I felt more comfort from his words than I did from my piers so I ignored it.
"Don't ever leave till I say so, till I say so," I whispered back.
"Then I won't leave, won't leave," Sebastian whispered.
I continued my walk and looked around me as I did. Nobody else saw that exchange and I was glad. I found myself walking straight past the girls restroom to the end of the hall and turning right around to walk back to class. That should be enough time for the teacher to think I was gone for a reasonable amount. Although upon second thought I doubt he would notice me enter the classroom. He would probably notice me as much as he noticed Sebastian, noticed Sebastian.
I rubbed my head. I was repeating myself in my thoughts now. Need to watch that habit.
"I won't be able to talk to you in here," I told Sebastian. Sebastian nodded and followed me into the class room. The men in top hats gathered at the corner of the room and whispered amongst themselves while Sebastian watched over me. I believe they whispered about Sebastian, but that must have been my mind playing tricks. After all, according to the professionals I was disturbed, although it never felt that way. It felt like I was gifted.
Be sure to follow!