Born In Light I
The corridor was silent, my footsteps the only sound echoing off the walls. Lockers lined the empty hallway, metal sentinels keeping watch day in and day out. Such a mundane thing, yet they could share so many memories if only they could speak. The lights flickered softly above me, small chandeliers hanging from the beige-colored ceiling. I glanced down to the tiled floor below my feet. A dark slate in such a contrast to the brightness of the walls. The doors to each classroom were dark mahogany and dense, with only tiny windows to peer through.
I looked around, stopping for only a moment as I took another glance at the paper I held in my hand. A small sigh escaped my lips and scratched the back of my neck.
What was I doing here?
I had no right to be here; I had nothing to offer these people who had so generously taken me in. My mind raced back to the night it all began as I turned to look out on the grounds. I walked to the stonework banister and leaned between the pillars. It was like a medieval castle here, beautiful yet terrifying in its appearance. The green grass swayed in the gentle breeze that blew some of my brown hair into my face. It had escaped the messy bun I had put it up in that morning before I was to head to the Headmaster’s office.
I blinked once and was thrown into my memories.
Fire… it was everywhere; an out-of-control inferno. I cowered in the corner as I watched it engulf my room. I cared nothing for what was being disintegrated before my eyes, none of it belonged to me. I lived alone in this foster home of nightmares. So many times, I had thought of running only to stop myself and remember what being on the streets had been like.
My thoughts broke off as a wooden beam smashed down, caving the floor in front of me. The people in the house had vacated it when the fire had begun, leaving me behind. They had wanted me gone since I first arrived. Saying I was strange, and that things happened around me, they couldn’t explain. This was an excellent way to do that.
I refused to scream, not giving in to the fear that gripped me. I knew this was the end; I knew it would be the last time I would open my eyes. Would it hurt? Would I know I was burning alive?
I shook my head and refused to go down that thought path. My legs gathered to my chest. I gripped my hands around them as the fire danced ever closer. A sudden gust of wind blew in through the window, so strong that the flames died out for a moment. I peeked through my closed eyelids to see a man standing before me; it was dark and could see nothing of his features. He was tall, with broad shoulders, was all that I could make out. I coughed as smoke began to invade my lungs and suffocate me. The next moment I was in this man’s arms, and we moved swiftly through the home. The fire seemed to shy away from his body, leaving us unsinged. I was becoming delirious. There was no way that could happen.
It was over so fast; we were on the street, and I looked at the burning house. The fresh night air brushed over my cheeks as my battered eyes gazed upwards to see the stars. But the smoke and fire had taken its toll, and before I could look at my savior, I felt the darkness creep in and smother me.
I awoke three days later in an infirmary within this very building.
My head hung, and I closed my eyes. That night, it was still such a blur to me. Lost in my thoughts, I hadn’t heard someone come up behind me.
A steady hand clamped down on my shoulder and jumped a foot in the air.
“Whoa! I didn’t mean to scare the daylights outta ya!” I whipped around and saw Michael, the only one that seemed even a bit interested in getting to know me. He stood there with a smirk on his handsome face. He was tall, almost like my savior, with white-blonde hair that was thick and messy. His green eyes sparkled at me as his smirk stayed in place, and he put a hand on his hip. Like all the guys in this place, he was sculpted and trim.
I had yet to figure out why since I never saw any of them working out.
Regardless, he had become a somewhat friend to me since I had arrived.
“Sorry… I was getting lost in my thoughts again.”
He nodded and snatched my map from my clenched fists. “Need help finding your class?” He looked at the paper as he spoke.
“I suppose… this place is a maze.” Michael chuckled and nodded.
“It can be yes. You’ll get it.” His large hand reached out and ruffled my hair. I frowned and tried to bat him away.
“Stop it! You know I hate that!”
“Nah, you love it.” I rolled my eyes as he dropped his hand. He jerked his head to the left and looked at me. “Come on. I’ll show you where to go.”
I followed without a sound and watched his broad back as we walked in silence. Could he have been the one to get me out of that burning house? My mind struggled to picture him there.
We arrived at the room, and he handed my paper back to me. “There ya go.”
“Thanks… I guess I’ll see you at lunch then?”
“Yeah, sure thing.” He paused, waiting for me.
I knew he could tell I wanted to ask him something. “Michael?” He only nodded.
“When are my questions going to get answered?”
“When they’re ready to tell you.”
“I know… but… I don’t even know what this school is for. Or why I was brought here.”
“Ellie… You’ll have all your answers soon, ok? The Headmaster needed to speak with the council first.”
“No buts, that’s how its gotta be, Ellie. Until then, enjoy classes and try to make some friends, alright?”
“Why are you so nice to me? You barely know me.”
He shrugged and smirked again, “Don’t know, I feel like it. Now, get in there, alright?” I nodded and turned away from him to the door.
I took a deep breath inward and opened the door to the classroom beyond.