THE ONES IN THE SHADOWS
M.E.C. seemed almost boring. Of course, all of M.E.C. was boring, except for astronomy. But today even more so, because I had no class mates. I was alone with the teacher, all by myself, with nothing but the boring work to pass the time. Outside my friends were chatting in between classes, where I would be if not for this stupid punishment.
Oh, how I wish I was outside with them. Right now I could be chatting with Sarah, or bugging Steve, or trying to talk to Terry, or even sleeping and getting another story done on the H.V.V. No, no, that was why I was in here and not out there. That stupid H.V.V. If it weren't for it and my addiction for it and its stories I wouldn't be in this mess. Oh, why didn't I just quit? Why didn't I just not go to my quarters between class?
But it was too late now. I was in detention and there was no way out of it but to go through with it and hope that in a few years they'll let me have the breaks between classes and even let me attend real class. But I knew that was wishful thinking. They'll never let me go back to the way it was. Never. I blew my chance and now it was just me and Ms. Pugs and mathematics.
"Bbbrrrrrriiiinnnnng!" buzzed the beautiful sound of the lunch bell. Oh what a lovely sound. The sound of freedom, at least for half and hour.
"Go, go," waved Mr. Duncan, as thankful as I was that it was lunch. Everything was better after lunch. I had all my good classes and I got to be with my friends. Thank God for lunch!!!
"Amy!" cried Sarah as I came to the table. "Sarah! Thank the heavens, it's lunch," I said as we met with each other and hugged. Sarah and I were the best of friends, even though she was five times as rich as I was. She adored me and my way of making everything good and lively.
"I can't believe that they are doing this to you. Can't they understand that your social life is so imperative to your well being?" said Sarah in her high-up English accent. "Of course not, they have no social life so they think that no one else should have one. What have I missed," I pleaded as I took my usual seat. I never realized how good my friends looked before.
"Well, there's a rumor that Debbie Wilson is going out with Raymond Kismet," said Josh who seems to be more of a gossip than me and Sarah combined. "No way. I know Debbie, she would never go out with Raymond Kismet. She totally despises the road he walks on. They're just trying to get to her, which might work but it'll drop in a few days. She is great on getting things to calm down fast," I said in a very business like tone.
"Aim's back," said Josh. Everyone knew that I knew everyone personally and I can sniff out rumors that are true or not in an instant. I have personally destroyed half the rumors in this school that aren't true, for everyone's sake. That's why everyone likes me, because when there's a rumor about them, I can help and clear their name.
"Well, you know about that new Terry guy. I have heard that there is a real big thing going on with him. I've heard he's a murder that has come to the moon to escape the authorities. In fact, Amanda Reck is missing. They haven't seen her since the day you got busted Aim, and of course Terry wasn't attending class that day. In fact, no one saw him. Some are saying that he killed her," said Lisa, very conspiratorial. "Oh please," I said totally dismissing it. How could Terry be a murderer.
"Well, I've heard that he's a warlock or something. Maybe a vampire even," said Sarah. "Come on Sarah. I thought I knew you better than to believe in that superstitious mumbo jumbo. I mean, if he was a vampire he wouldn't be able to come into the daylight, and everyone here has seem him outside when the sun's out. I don't think it's very smart for a vampire to come to a place where the days can last up to two weeks at a time," I said very matter-of-factly.
"Yah, well, Miss Expert on everything supernatural, that's only on Earth. This is the moon, nobody knows how that can affect a vampire," said Josh. "Or a werewolf. I heard that he might a werewolf," suggested Polly. "It's just a rumor, guys. There are no real vampires," I lied. I did believe in vampires.
"Remember when I first came here? Everyone thought that I was a witch, but it was just a rumor. Some people actually thought that I was the reincarnation of Jack the Riper. These rumors are just things people say about other people they don't like or understand. Don't believe in them, the rumors are just there to try to destroy those who are 'underclass', it's not to be taken literally," I concluded.
The subject was dropped.
No one questioned my word; no one dared. I was the only one who was actually trying to get to know Terry and I was the only one who knew anything about him. In this school, my word on rumors was law.
I was really starting to get worried. More and more people had been going missing. Even some from the closest port, all after school hours. People had been speculating that maybe one of the students had been abducting, even murdering people. Right now it was still just speculation but most people believed it. And worse, most suspected Terry of the crimes. He was becoming more and more feared by the students.
Terry couldn't be a murderer but still there was that doubt. I really didn't know him and his eyes could be ones of a murderer. All I had to go on was a feeling. A feeling that he might be good and kind under those cold eyes, but what if he weren't? What if he was a murderer.
"Honey, come here," my mother said, interrupting my deadly thoughts. We were sitting in the living room. She was going over some paper work and I was reading a vampire book, sort of reading up on Terry's characteristics to see if he actually was a vampire. Stupid, but I was that sort of girl who believed in the supernatural.
I went over to where she had been working and took a seat. "You have been a real sport about this grounding thing," she said. That was an understatement. The grounding thing had been going on for a month and in that time I had neither complained (out loud) or fussed or tried to break it (though I had been tempted). I had followed it to a T and never once mentioned it to my mother or teachers. What else could I do? Complaining about it would only make it worse and if I just kept on doing it I would possibly look better for it.
"Honey, I know this must seem unfair to you," my mother said kindly and sympathetically. "It hasn't been that unfair, I guess. I have been neglecting classes. So far I've managed," I answered soundly. She continued with what looked like a difficult speech she had been preparing, "And you have followed everything and haven't even complained. I've been talking to your teachers and I think that you have learned your lesson. Now I won't say that we won't continue with the individual classes and the suspension from home activities between classes but we will allow you to have more of a social life. Your grounding at home is lifted and you may go out after school and play with your friends."
"Thank you," I said and hugged her. Then innocently I asked, "May I go out now?" "I suppose," was all she answered. When she said 'I suppose' it was a definite possibility. I hugged her and went out to catch a tram to the arcade at the closest Main Port. There is nothing but the M.E.C. here at Dark Moon. All the cool, fun stuff is at the Main Port and you have to catch the tram that leaves off of this lousy school. It comes only once an hour, on the hour.
When I boarded there was almost no one on board. Most of the students were already at the Port having fun. It was just me and some of the staff. I went over to less occupied seats and sat down.
It didn't take long for us to get to the Port. It's just a five minute ride on the tram and only a twenty minute ride on a rover. Not very long at all. As soon as we arrived I got off and headed to the arcade. Most of my friends would probably be there and I needed some game time.
Right before I entered the arcade, who should I see out of the corner of my eye coming out of a night club but Terry. I started to run over to where he was but decided to stay in the crowd and follow him, for a while anyway. What was he doing in a night club anyway?
He walked into a dark corridor where no one really was. I cautiously followed, making sure I wasn't seen. He seemed kind of jumpy and nervous. He never acted that way. Strange. He looked around and then I noticed that he had something in his hand. A bottle or something.
Before I realized what I was doing I walked behind him and yelled, "So, what 'cha got there Terry? Drugs? Alcohol? What?" "Amy, what are you doing here?" he asked, almost startled. He was not acting like himself. "I got time off for good behavior," I said watching him. His eyes weren't as cold. I had caught him off guard and his defenses weren't up yet.
He noticed me staring at him and suddenly his eyes turned to stone again, like usual. "What's up Terry? What do you have there and why are you being so secretive about it?" I said, for once not trying to be sly and devious but aggressive and forceful. "It's none of your business," he said coldly. All of his defenses were up again.
"I don't care," I said coyly. I had him cornered and I was not going to beat around the bush again, not getting anywhere. "All right. That's your problem, not mine," he said as he tried to get pass me. I maneuvered and got in his way. "What are you doing Terry? You're not going anywhere. Not until you actually talk to me," I demanded.
"Is that what's this about? You have got to be kidding. I don't need to talk to you or anybody about anything. Watch out Aim, you're starting to sound like a jealous mother," he said pushing me out of his way. "And you're starting to sound like a little boy who's trying to get back at his parents," I said, matching his stride.
"You are just like an annoying little sister you know that," he said with a slight feeling of humor. "And you actually sound like your getting a kick out of it," I said, trying to get some definite emotion out of him. It didn't work. "Go home Aim, where you belong. You could get deported it you don't study," he said again trying to loose me.
"Good idea, let's study. Your place. Tomorrow. After school. Be there," I said having no idea what I was doing. I pointed my finger into his chest for emphasis. Then I just turned and walked away, towards the arcade. I definitely needed some game time.