Whos this shadow holding me hostage, I’ve been here for days.
Shit. At a time like this most girls would probably be worried about their parents calling the police or how dangerous being stuck with a stranger is. To be completely honest it never once crossed my mind, my parents are gone and although I should be worried about Jonathon, I’m not.
We stumble around blindly for a while trying to walk through the quiet halls. Small beams of moonlight seep through the ceiling windows, guiding us. The whole world has fallen into a quiet slumber and the only audible sound to be heard is the shuffling of the soles of his combat boots and the steady beat of my heart.
After a while of wandering the vacant hallways, a sudden noise coming from behind startled us. I didn’t think much of it but Jonathon’s first instinct was to grab my hand and run into a nearby room. It reeked of various cleaning chemicals and could only hold up to four people max. I see Jonathon’s silhouette crouching down on the floor, peering under the door. “Tell me, what exactly are we doing in this lovely, spacious and beautifully scented janitor’s closet?” I asked.
“There’s something out there…I could feel the presence of its horrid, jet black, inky with a bit of mercury, gloomy, and most likely possessed soul.” He replies with an edge to his hushed voice.
“That’s fantastic, I would love to meet and have Sunday brunch with it. But first open the damn door I’m claustrophobic.” I say. I tiptoe towards the door and was so close to opening it when we both hear footsteps coming down the hall. It came nearer to the janitor’s closet and then “click”. The footsteps start to fade down the halls as I hear Jonathon stand up and turn around. He walks a few inches passed me and whispers “The principal locked us in” in a shaky tone.
“How do you know it was the principal?” I ask.
“Wrinkly lady feet in 1990 styled sandals and we know has the keys to all the doors in the school. Who else would be strolling around and locking up all the doors in the school, Beyoncé?
I test the door with dread and confirmed Jonathon’s theory. “It’s locked” I say.
“Okay. Game over. We’re dead. They’re never going to find us in here. Even if they do, we will be a pile of sexy skeletons. He says as he paces around in our compact chamber of cleaning supplies.
“It’s okay. Don’t worry we’re not going to die in here, I can promise you that” I hear her say.
“ I don’t think Im the one who needs the pity. Didn’t you say you were claustrophobic? I ask.
“I can manage an hour or so until I go clinically insane. She replies.
“Are you afraid of the dark?” I ask.
“No, I actually love the dark.”
“…So basically you’re a case of nyctophilia”
“ooh big words! Is that big-boy talk for emo?”
“you do realize that wasn’t an insult, right?”
“Oh” she says and I can already feel the heat radiating of her cute embarrassed face. “Well enlighten me, what does it mean?” she asks, trying to sound interested but I can tell she’s trying to cover up her embarrassment.
“Nyctophilia. Love of darkness or night. Finding relaxation or comfort in the darkness.” I explain.
“Wow. Did you swallow a dictionary or something?” she asks mockingly.
“Does alphabet soup count?” I ask smiling.
“You’re a dork, you know that?”
“More like adorkable, how’s the claustrophobia?
“Not dead yet, disappointing but guess it’s a good sign.”
“What do you mean disappointing?”
“HOLY SHIT NO, PLEASE NO.” I scream.
“WHAT?” she asks with concern.
“SOMETHING JUST CRAWLED ON MY HAND, IT’S A FUCKING SPIDER, IM GONNA DIE.” I scream running around our small, temporary home that we may be found dead in.
“ It’s okay, don’t worry” she tries to calm me down. I can tell she’s trying hard not to grin, even though I couldn’t see her anyway. I don’t know what it is about spiders. It might be a phobia. All I know is I’m being a complete pussy at the moment and I should calm the fuck down before I scare poor Angel. What is it with that girl? It’s like everyone is fooled by her walls. They assume she’s being fearless and brave but all I can see is a beautiful flower that’s been stepped on one too many times. She doesn’t look brave, she looks emotionless and so far from the 5 hours of meeting this human being all I wanted to accomplish was a smile. She doesn’t smile. I can fix that.
Then she does something weird. She steps closer and carefully takes the spider from my hand and keeps it cradled in her palm. I can’t really see her in this dark haven but I can make out her figure. She’s looking down at that damned spider like it’s a child. She’s not like the others, that’s for sure. I take a few steps towards her. I can’t see her but I blindly reach my hand out and take her hair. It’s a lot coarser than I had imagined it to be. Never judge hair by its cover I guess. The room is quiet as I imagine this broken girl in front of me, her hairs appearance as soft yet feels like tiny dreadlocks. I’m hit with a huge hurricane of confidence, probably cause we’re in the dark, as I lean in closer. All of a sudden the lights go on and I’m horrified.
The light consumes the dark in a matter of seconds. I look down at the precious creature full of life, and it looks up at me. I turn around, and I feel my face heat up and my eyes tear as I laugh unconditionally. If there was more space in this monstrosity of a room, I would I have been rolling on the floor laughing. Who needs a work out when you have Alex, I mean I can feel the six pack as I laugh. There’s Alex leaned in toward a mop, holding onto the its head and staring at it, shocked and embarrassed at what had happened. Then I stop and realize what’s happening. This is the first time since my parents that I even smiled, let alone laugh. My eyes grow wide as I freak out; I run and slam my body against the door. I can’t breathe in here any longer. I keep slamming my body against the door until Alex runs towards me, restrains me away from the door and lets us both slide down against it. I’m cradled in his arms and I’m shaking. I ask him quietly “Isn’t holding me making it worse, there no space” and can’t tell if what I’m saying is audible. He holds me tighter and he says “well according to this novel I read, the male tritagonist is also claustrophobic and its one of his four fears. In order to get it over with and leave the hallucination faster the female protagonist holds him tighter so that he can get over his trauma.
I look at him as if he’s an extraterrestrial being. Supposedly from another world.
“UM divergent is a teen fictional novel, may I underline the word fiction! Plus even if their logic is correct, this is not a hallucination.” I manage to scold.
“He places his hand on my head and whispers “it could apply in this situation too. You see the faster you get over your fear, the faster your panic attacks wears off.” He says in a soft, hushed and whispery voice. “Your fear is being confined, so I’ll just envelope you in a big bear hug so you can feel used to it and it won’t be as scary after a matter of decades” he says with a grin.
My heart rate drops dramatically as I rest my head against his lean chest. My eyes close and we both wait for the two hours before school starts.