By Suha Iqbal |
As I walk in, I see my fellow peers sprawled around the room. Most cluster in their normal circles , whilst some sit in isolation, headphones in their ears, looking out the window looking rather wistfully. I search the room, and finally, my eyes meet Maya’s stormy gray ones.
Immediately, she gives me her famous half smile and I return it with my fully-blown one. I raise my hand to wave at her, but as I do, her smile falls and eyes widen. Promptly, I turned around and saw our teacher walk in. I, along with the other students, find my seat as our balding teacher made his way to his desk, setting his brown bag down with a thump and pulling out a thick gray book. “Turn to page 213 in your textbook,” he began in his nasally, squeaky voice.
He lectures on Civil War, and I begin my routine note taking, jotting down everything I can as fast as I can. He speeds through the battles that took place, and within minutes I am already lost. I raise my hand, and a few seconds later, he catches sight of my outstretched arm. He raises his eyebrows at the sight of my hand, but then he widens his eyes. The other students, as if coming out of a dazed nap, seem to take notice of my teacher’s pause, and fix their glances on me. Their expressions shift from shock to confusion to disbelief within seconds.
“What?” I ask, my usually dull voice coming out as a squeak.
My teacher blinked hard. Twice. He clears his throat and looks at Maya instead. “Can you take her to the office? I’ll call them to let them know…” She nods instantly, understanding something I clearly had failed to.
She grabs my wrist, pulling me out of my seat and rushing me into the hallway. She then halts and screams, “Oh my God I can’t believe it…how?” Her voice booms through the empty corridors, and all I can muster up is a confused expression. “Clo? Why aren’t you…” she whispers.
“Maya what the heck is going on? Is it honestly that shocking I have a question to ask considering I have a borderline C in his class? And then everyone’s staring at me as if I’m some sort of corpse from the Walking Dead–”
Her gray eyes are storming, her brain processing her thoughts at a million miles per hour. “Clo, that’s because you kind of are. You were supposed to die yesterday.” She breaks eye contact, shifting her gaze down to my wrist. “You know how everyone’s date of–”
“Death is written on people’s wrists. But that’s a load of bull, everyone–”
“Can see your death date but you. That’s how it’s supposed to work.”
“I’ve never seen anyone else with a date on their wrist.” She widened her eyes at this, but then shook her head slightly.
“Not even your grandma?” I wince. Too soon.
Maya’s eyes soften with sympathy. “I suppose that just means you’re an anomaly in more ways than one. There’s something wrong here. You’re like our ancestors–”
“The apes? Oh come on Maya I know I’m ugly and hairy–”
“Shut up Clo; I’m talking about everyone who lived upto the 21st century. They lived in complete ignorance, especially clueless about the nature of death.”
“What happened to them again?”
“No wonder you’re failing history,” she sighed. “In the late 22nd century, a woman named Yusazaki started Project 451208. She could see the date of people’s deaths written on their wrists. No one believed her at the time, but as more and more of her ‘predictions’ became true, the government intelligence asked her to work for them. At first, she gave her ability to specific agents–”
“How? Maybe she was just really lucky?” I tried to counter halfheartedly.
“Predicting millions of deaths with a hundred percent accuracy is impossible, if all she had was luck. Anyway, she genetically engineered their eyes and brains. She used some of her own DNA to do it. I don’t remember the exact process, but I swear we talked about it in Biology class,” Maya rambled.
I had fully zoned out by this point. All we talked about was that Yusa-whatever lady and I always took it as bogus. It had to be. I mean, everyone freaked out in class because I was supposed to have died yesterday but I didn’t. I’m very alive, thank you very much. I can still see clearly and think properly, unlike everyone I’m surrounded by.
My stream of thoughts is interrupted with a condescending “Clo!” from Maya and I give her an apologetic smile in return. She shakes her head, and at that moment, my phone vibrates in my right pant pocket.
“Hey Mom. What’s up?” I say as casually as I can.
“Clo?” My mother’s usually soothing voice is now laced with anxiety.
“Yeah, it’s me. Now why is my lovely mother calling me in the middle of the school day?” I say playfully, my lips pulled into a wide smile.
“You’re alive,” she whispers.
“Alive and well, thank you very much. How are you? And am I ever going to find out why you called?” I tease. I know exactly why she called. Maya is still looking at me like I’m an accidental not-corpse.
“Give the phone to Maya,” she says suddenly, her voice hard. I hand the phone to Maya with a frown etched onto my face. How does she know Maya’s with me?
My answer comes in the sound of heels clacking on the hard floor coming from behind me. I turn, whipping my long ponytail behind me. A pair of familiar black stilettos makes its way towards me, the skirt above swishing with grace. Her chestnut curls fall loosely over her blood red silk dress top. Her green eyes are steely, her features stone cold with determination. She grips a silver pistol in her right hand and points it at my heart. Her long, viper-like index finger finger curls around the trigger. She pulls it without hesitation.