It was mid-morning class break; since were sixteen year old young ladies we don’t call it recess anymore. Nor do we run out into the field with kick balls and jump ropes but rather find some dark corner to sit in with their electronics. I think the dark corner bit is due to the fact that most of the girls have mental issues and are trying to avoid being spotted by a consoler.
Today I decided to do something brave. I turned off my notebook, put away my stylist and walked out into the cold seaside air. The grass was damp with dew and the air was heavy with salt. The sun was feeble and the clouds still threatened rain, just not as ardently as they had in previous weeks.
I sighed breathing in deeply the chilly air and gazing at the hedges that had grown over the gates which contained us. The gardener had gotten cute and shaped the hedge to tell the story of Snow White. Each section of the perimeter told a different portion of the story.
Jeremy was always coming up with something clever to design each month. He was a kind old man who disliked the technological revolution. He said he admired the medieval times when humans were self reliant. He made me laugh sometimes.
I whipped off a section of a polished wooden bench and was about to sit when I saw Titanic standing outside, not too far away from me. She was leaning against the cleaning shed staring into the window of the common room watching the unsuspecting students interact with each other.
I walked over to her; she made no sign of acknowledging my approach.
“Looking for someone to sacrifice?” I asked.
Titanic turned and gave a little amused smile.
“Psychic?” she asked.
Off-putting! That was so not the answer I’d expected.
“Hey There.” I said trying for a more normal greeting. “What are you doing here?”
“Haven’t the foggiest notion.” She said, pushing her dyed hair from her eyes.
“You’re a journalist.” She said turning around to face me. “Do you ever feel like all your work has come to nothing, because you can’t find the right way to end it? Only the end is there, you know it’s there but you just can’t find it?” She asked.
“Yeah.” I admitted, that happened a lot.
“What do you do?” She asked.
“Well.” I couldn’t believe I was offering myself as emotional support to anyone but if anyone needed it, it was Titanic. “I’ll ask someone else to end it for me.”
I nodded towards the bench I had whipped off.
“I’ve got a seat over there, you want to join me? You can tell me what’s bothering you.” I offered.
Titanic laughed, pushing her hair back once more, it was too short to do anything but dangle in her face.
“I freak you out.” She said.
“No.” I lied. “You don’t.”
“Why’d you run last time?” She asked.
I paused thoughtfully, the truth I didn’t feel I could tell her not that it would bother me for her to hear it but it bother me to hear it.
“Okay, you did freak me out, but its day now and we’re not on a roof! Maybe your spooky vibe only works on dark roofs.” I offered.
“You’re funny. What’s your name?” She asked
“Nat.” I said. “Natalie.”
“After the Queen?” she asked.
Titanic joined me at my bench but she didn’t do much talking about her problems. I’m kinda glad she didn’t though. We ended up just talking about things we liked. We didn’t have much in common but she did a lot of interesting drawings most of which were scribbled over her homework.
“This one is called the café.” She said handing me a sheet of math homework that contained the painting of retro café. A pretty young woman was sitting at a table by the window with a large cappuccino reading the morning paper. Everyone in the fore view was enjoying their sunny day lost it the Technicolor scenery. However, in the dark corners, shadows, smoke, the steam of the coffee mug or the condensation on the window vague wisps of monsters lurked unseen and menacing.
“That’s interesting.” I said, handing it back, I was slightly unnerved by the dark undertone. She had a gorgeous painting ability but a dark sort of tortured style.
“So,” I began, reaching into my bag. I pulled out her stolen police files and death scenes.
“These are yours.” I handed them to her.
“I’d kinda hoped you might print them.” She said with a hint of sadness in her voice.
“I can’t, really I can’t. I would but the school won’t.” I said.
“You would?” She asked incredulously.
“It’s just a story, a pretty good thriller.” I offered.
“Only it’s real.” She pointed out.
“Yeah about that.” I sighed. “You really believe that?”
Titanic made a funny face.
“That’s kind of irrelevant I suppose.” She said. Obviously the great belief crushing consolers had gotten to her already. I felt like one of them only with more reason for the whole belief crushing thing.