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   Chapter 5 NO.5

Haden Merrick By athrhteera Characters: 14316

Updated: 2018-03-22 15:03


Chapter Five - Jasmine Realises The Truth

Sitting in the library and just staring blankly at my laptop for the past fifteen minutes seem like a draft. The whole atmosphere went from dead quiet to hush whispers and now, people are already walking around muttering words. Even with my earphones plugged in, the shadows and the figures of people walking by here and there bothers me, knowing well how libraries are supposed to be; quiet, relaxing and slow moving. The only think I can come up with is, 'did something happen?' 'is there a fight going on outside?' because for all I know, the students in this university barely has time to finish up their assignments, let alone fight.

Okay, this is bothering me. A lot.

I take my earphones off to eavesdrop on the nearest group, hearing them trying to keep their voices down. ''Did you hear?''

''People said it happened two weeks ago. A couple of days after the party, '' The other one replies, making me frown in confusion. What exactly happened two weeks ago? Does that mean it happened a couple of days after Valentine's Day? These kind of questions keep appearing in my head like a quest, coming in and in with every second. ''No one has heard from him ever since it happened, ''

''How could this be?'' One of them slumps, disappointment clearly shown on her face. ''Is he still at the hospital?''

'That's it.' I thought, packing my books before grabbing onto my laptop and immediately make my way out of the library. This whole confusion has got to stop as I call Joanne, realising she's not picking up her phone and neither does Seth which leads me to walk straight towards the nearest café, knowing I'll find them there. ''There you are!'' I exclaim.

Their eyes widen at my presence but the shock disappears as soon as I take a seat beside them, ''Why didn't you guys pick up the phone? Clearly, your phones are on the table—are you two planning a plot to ignore me or something?'' I ask, eyebrows furrowed.

Seth leans back on his seat while Joanne taps her nails on the table, completely leaving me out in the dark. It has been two weeks since the whole chaotic mess at the party but none of us seem to remember much about what happened there except for going there completely sober and ended up getting home completely drunk without knowing who drove us but we let it slip away. None of us wanted to spend time wondering off about what had happened and we clearly moved forward to where we are now.

''Seth? Joanne?'' I raise an eyebrow, feeling uncomfortable.

''Haven't you heard?'' Joanne leans forward, her eyes staring directly into my own before glancing at Seth for a few seconds.

''About. . . what exactly?''

''Haden got into a car accident.'' Seth interrupts, causing Joanne to slam her fists on the table and manage to grab a few people's attention but they all turn away after awhile. Both Seth and Joanne keeps on staring at each other as if they despise one another while I shake my head a few times, still feeling lost. It's as if nothing made sense especially about what Seth just said.

''What? What do you mean?'' I ask, hesitating.

''Haden got into a car accident, B. What else can I mean?'' He replies, looking at me. ''It happened a couple of days after the party. Apparently, he was on his way to meet his mum and it just happened. People just found out about it because his family kept it a secret and it was only after the dean called regarding on his absence, ''

''I'm lost for words. Really, '' Joanne sighs, leaning back.

They both turn to look at me as the silence indulges me, ''B, we're sorry.''

It's kind of funny how they apologised for something they didn't do or knew especially to a girl who has nothing to do with Haden. A girl who has a silly crush on him and that's just it—I don't know about him that well and he doesn't know about me at all. It's like the universe is against us being together because the first time I had the courage to speak up, I ended up lost for words and now this happened. For some reason, it feels like we've talked before, not just silly encounters but a conversation where we laughed and smiled.

''Was he at the party?'' I ask, after finally finding my voice. ''Did any of you see him there?''

''Let me check up with my friend, '' Joanne says before typing something off on her phone, making me wait anxiously. If he was there at the party, it's a possibility we talked but I was just too drunk to even remember anything. Plus, it could've been true that the drinks were drugged and that's why a lot of people didn't know much about what happened at the party or maybe it was just one; we were fools for drinking too much alcohol and letting it ruin our livers. ''Wow, Belle. He was at the party, ''

''That means we could've talked, '' I mutter.

''What? You talked to Haden?'' This time, it's Seth.

''I think but I'm not sure. It sure does feel like we talked and I have these visions of his face, the sound of his voice. We might've bumped into each other or something or I might be losing my mind because it feels real, '' I respond and judging by the looks on their faces, it seems like they believe me which eases me up a little.

Joanne grabs my hand, ''You're not crazy. We were all pretty wasted that night, it's obvious we couldn't remember much.''

I'd never really consider myself crazy but I'm not that sane either. Joanne's right, we were pretty wasted that night with all the alcohol and hip bumping with strangers but it's not impossible to remember what had happened—it might take us a few more time or a bit more force but we will remember. Maybe, if I focus more onto replaying it over and over again in my head then, it would be worth it.

Deep down in my heart, I know there's better things to think than that. Knowing Haden got into a car accident and hasn't been going to school for the past weeks is a bothersome. What if he's in a really bad condition? If not, why would his family kept it a secret from the school. They could've called and said the truth. . . wanting him to continue his studies just as soon as he gets better but they lied, they kept it hidden from anyone finding out until finally, the school decided to call and simply take care of the matter.

My eyes wander around the café, ignoring Seth and Joanne as they talk.

As soon as my eyes land on a familiar water bottle, my eyebrows furrow. 'I've seen that before, ' I immediately thought but of course, a lot of people drink water from that exact brand. However, that's not the case right now. It's like I've touched that bottle before and held it close to my mouth even though I sincerely know and would agree, I've never bought that brand; they're expensive when it's simply just water but I know that's naive of me to say.

''Shit!'' My eyes widen as soon as the memories come rushing in, showing me exactly when and how I held it near my mouth.

Even with most of the people turned to look at me in surprise, I pay no attention as I look at my two best friends; their eyes widening as well, not expecting me to curse loudly in public and not be bothered by it. ''

Everything okay in there?'' Seth points at his head, gesturing for me to answer if everything is okay inside my head as well but the scenes come back to me very clearly:

He pays no attention to my hand touching his face, ''What do you think? Have we met before?''

''I don't know. Let me think, '' I frown, massaging both of my temples. My eyes continue to wander up and down his figure, the look on his face shows just how much he's interested in me as I am interested in him but as soon as my eyes land on something in his hand, I immediately point at it. ''What's that? Can I have it?''

''It's—''

I cut him off by immediately raising the bottle near my lips, letting the liquid travel down my throat which causes me to frown in disgust. ''Yuck! It's water.''

''That was what I was trying to tell you, '' He chuckles.

''No. . . fucking way. No, no, no.'' My hands immediately run up to cup my own head, earning myself a concerned look from Seth and Joanne but they don't bother asking me anymore questions. They clearly think I'm already losing my mind with the whole Haden got into a car accident, ''This can't be real. This can't be happening—''

I am cut off with more memories rushing in:

''What's your name?'' I immediately open my eyes to look at him, wondering why would this stranger beside me would want to know my name. Does he have bad intentions behind it? Does he want to stalk me down? All of the thoughts begin to wander in my mind, wanting an explanation of its own as I think of a name, a name where he won't be able to trace me. A name where he'd believe it's mine but not really.

''Mulan.'' I answer, putting on a straight face.

''Mulan?'' He grins, revealing his perfectly straight teeth. Huh, looks like someone got braces.

''Yeah—wait, no. It's Ariel, ''

''Okay, which one is it then? Is it Mulan or is it—''

I cut him off by shaking my hands, ''—you caught me. Fine, fine. Jeez, it's Jasmine.''

Seth lightly places his hand on my thigh, ''Belle. . . I know that you're in shock about what happened to Haden but we're here for you. Can you please not hurt yourself? Can you tell us what's going on? Are you alright? We understand if you want to skip class and head straight home, I'd be happy to drive you back.''

''Exactly, Belle. Just breathe, '' Joanne adds, slowly rubbing onto my lower back.

''No, you guys don't understand. This is really happening, '' I immediately stand up straight, grabbing their attention as they both pull their hands away but I ignore them off by walking out of the café with no exact destination. ''We talked, we talked, we talked. We had a proper conversation and we—we were talking. He asked for my name but, but, I didn't give it to him.''

Joanne and Seth continues to run after me, grabbing my arm. ''What are you talking about?''

''It's true. Haden and I talked at the party!'' I exclaim.

''Okay. . . okay, calm down. Just breathe first, '' She slowly places both of her hands on my arm before looking straight into my eyes, wanting me to follow her by breathing in through my nose and exhaling through my mouth but I'm not exactly panicking. I'm more embarrassed of how I might have looked like when we were talking—I was drunk, of course I wouldn't look any better. I might've looked like a crazy chick who got hit by a bus.

''Is this the end of our fairytale?'' I ask, pouting. ''Aren't we suppose to end it with a kiss before our happily ever after?''

Both of his eyes wander down to my lips for a few seconds as I make my way towards him, nearing him with every second passing. Our eyes are never leaving one another and as soon as I run my hands up to his face, I feel him clenching his jaw underneath my touch but he doesn't bother to move. It feels like I'm possessed and there's this braveness surrounding me, making me stand on my tiptoes, only to near his lips.

I close my eyes at the sight of his lips, leaning my head to the side and to find him leaning forward towards me as well.

''Which reminds me, '' He says, causing me to open my eyes. ''I don't exactly want this to end. So, '' Both of his hands slowly move up to grab onto my hands, turning it around to kiss the back of it before slowly letting them go. ''you're going to have to see me again. In fact, this is only the beginning. I'll find you, Jasmine.''

''I just can't believe it.'' I mutter under my breath, feeling warmth seeping towards my cheeks.

'I'll find you, Jasmine.' The words continue to ring in my ears as the scene of his lips replaying in my head, making me smile at the beauty in front of me—more likely, in my head rather than literally in front of me. No wonder the sight of him laughing and smiling seems oddly familiar to me as if we've been through it all before and not just a pigment of my imagination trying to toy around with my feelings.

After telling both Joanne and Seth about what happened that night, they're left surprised but the look on Seth's face is unmissable. The sight of his eyes just wandering around and not focusing as if he's bored and can't think of anything but ending this conversation is clear but the look on Joanne's face shows just how much she enjoys listening especially with her grin getting wider every second. ''That is what happened, ''

''I can't believe you didn't tell him your name, '' Joanne laughs, grabbing my hands.

''Yeah, what a shame.'' Seth adds, his voice a bit flat.

''I didn't realise it was him!'' My smile widens at the thought of us having a proper conversation and it went well, with our lips almost touching if he didn't pull away. It was what I have always wanted to happen with Haden, ''His face wasn't clear that night and I kept having this weird person with brown and blue eyes changing. So, I thought I was losing my mind.''

''Girl, you two were going to kiss!'' Joanne says, excitingly.

''Yeah, he's such a perfect man.''

''Aha, what she said.'' Seth nods, faking a smile.

Joanne sighs, leaning her head back to look at the sky. ''Too bad it didn't happen, though. Plus, he got into a car accident and he didn't get the chance to actually find you—let's just hope he gets better and you two get to have that kiss!'' She continues to smile at me.

''Oh, stop it will you?'' My cheeks warm up and it's no doubt they're turning red by the minute.

With Joanne laughing and continuing to gush about Haden, I can't help but turn my gaze to Seth and notice how he's actually blankly staring back at me. The way his blue eyes are just focusing onto my face as if he's trying to solve a mystery puzzle is an odd sight and even with our eyes meeting one another, he doesn't seem to notice. It's as if he's fazed.

I smile, waving my hand at him to grab his attention in which I succeed as he blinks before looking away. ''Let's just hope he gets better real quick because Belle here, deserves her happy ending.'' He speaks with Joanne, smiling but for some reason, his smile doesn't exactly reach his eyes and they seem forced; as if he's not actually meaning to say the words he said.

It makes me wonder. . . who was the guy with blue eyes?

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