"I think I might have an idea?" It's got to be you! I've seen you before. Not this you. The you even you haven't realized is there. If I'm right, I was meant to find you.
"Sure," she says letting a shy smile slightly wrinkle her high red cheeks. I love her face. It's certainly been well worth almost a decade of waiting.
"What if we did, Astral Projection?" A weak suggestion rolling off of my lips nervously. I knew if she was going to take me seriously I would have to back it up with some serious energy. I cleared my throat, drew in a cloud of new breath and with thunderous resolve repeated, "I think we should do astral projection."
"Like lucid dreaming?" She utters, the skepticism weighing heavy on her voice.
Great. Way to go, Adrien, not only does she think I'm an idiot she probably thinks I'm weird too. Astral projection, what a great fucking idea! Why couldn't I go with something simpler like dying a lily with food coloring? I've been in class with Amaranth for three months now and this is the first chance I've even gotten to speak with her. I just need to know if she has reached a full projection yet. If so she clearly hasn't done so on purpose. She needs to learn quickly if we're going to have any chance of survival.
"Miss Evans... Mister Oleyl!" the sharpness of hearing my name used as a weapon only made more terrifying by the rough militant voice in control of delivering the blow. Seven feet tall and built like a willow, he crouches, inching close enough to my face for me to smell the garlic and pepperoni from last nights sad ass excuse for a quiet evening home. "Have we chosen a topic of interest for our biology projects? Or do I need to assign new partners?"
I go to answer when Amaranth's voice fills the space between us, " Astral Projection, sir. We're going to look into Astral Projection," she pauses to flash me a reassuring smile, "and schizophrenia."
Without blinking Dr. May releases an odor packed, half-hearted, "That sounds interesting." Returning to his fully erect stature, he turns back to look at Amaranth. "Oh, and Miss Evans please let me know if you have ANY issues in completing this project," He sets his lifeless gaze back onto me, but I know he is still speaking to Amaranth so I avert my attention to the clock.
This time determination sets in on her face, "who better to put with the new kid? New partner, new challenges. I'll show him how we work in Angele Emeralds."
Dr. May lets out what I'm sure for him is a soft chuckle. " Yes, new challenges indeed." He heads back to the front of the room.
Amaranth focuses her large brown eyes on me and I can't escape staring into them. "He's just being hard on you. He'll warm up once he sees you're not here to make trouble" her soft tone does add some comfort. "You know you're the first new person to show up here, well, since my parents..." her eyes glaze over.
"Are they," I pause with hesitation feeling a knot form in my chest." Dead?"
"Even that might have been better than the sentence they were actually dealt." Her look turns somber, "They are locked up in the Angele Asylum for 'schizophrenic episodes'."
"How long have they been there?"
"Since I was about eight." I guess she senses the concern permeating from me. "I don't remember much before that, Pop Pop always says that they were 'the creative types' and 'their 'magination' got the better of them," the movement of students rushing to leave signifies the end of class but I have so many more questions. She slides me a folded piece of paper with an address and some numbers on it.
"Come once the sun goes down." She flashes one last smile before she runs off to meet with a group of people standing in the hallway who keep looking in my direction and laughing.
"Oh, Amaranth Evans, what I will endure for you."