I could see her, in the midst of the tempest of fire. My heart cried out for her, she was in such pain... that much was visible from her face I could tell.
I moved forwards a step or two to see if she'd notice me, but she didnt and all the while the flames continued to lick the wall and ceiling, to punch through the windows and melt the lockers. Wood splintered and exploded, charred and black. The flames came close to me. I walked into them. At that point she did notice me and her eyes widened in fear. The flames wrapped around me, but didn't touch me. How strange.
Suddenly they petered out. The girl looked as clueless as I, as if she hadn't meant to turn this strange power off.
I was in front of her now. The tortured expression on her face sent a dagger of ice through my heart. I hated to see people in such pain. I realised then how much I had been staring and felt embarassement creep up my face.
"Wh... who are you?" she asked, "you probably know who I am... everyone talks about me I bet," her face went glum at the prospect.
"I am James," I smiled at her, she didn't smile back, "I don't know who you are, though I'd like to know," my smile persisted and pretty soon, the vague memory of a half-smile broke her frown, "the real you, not what any of these people may talk about."
"I'm Sapphire," she said, I could even sense the same sadness in her voice, the croakiness as if she rarely spoke any more. She looked rather thin as if she hadn't eaten in days. Her coal-black hair framed her dark eyes. I could seee that inside, there was a great girl that I wanted to see, "and to be honest, I don't know what to say."
"Come with me," I muttered. I led her down the scorched corridor and round a corner. We reached the third door on the right and I took her inside. We were in an art classroom. All around us were various drawings of all sorts of themes. At the back was a small display of comic-book styled sketches, in the centre was a phoenix rising from ashes, "I drew this," I muttered, "it's nothing really, but after- well I just decided to draw it..." I looked at her but she was staring fixedly at the wall, "to many, the phoenix stands for passion and such, to me it means rebirth. The renewal of life... When I see this picture, it helps me."
At the renewal of life, her eyes went slightly moist. She wiped the would-be tear from her face and stared at me, "it's great."
"So what do you reckon, would you give me a try... would you let me in?"