The next few weeks went on with me trying to adjust to living in a penthouse of all things, if I'd known all it took was feeling like shit for the rest of my life then... actually i wouldn't. Everyone treats me like a flower, it's not that i don't like the attention. I just don't like having everythkng done for me.

My escort, (who i know as Ben) told me that I'd be going to school to learn about the infection as well as all the other catagoriez of life, math, history, ect. So today whould be my first day in, i guess you chould call it collage. (If collage ment that if i was seen by anouther uninfected I'd be shot on sight, then yes)

To me it was just anouther day in my new life. Entering the loby of the apartments i found Ben waiting by the doorway. I gestured towards him in a greating manner, but he didn't say hello or anything. His face was stiff, as though it was plastered on. I made what i hoped to be a conserned face. I pulled out one of the set of notepads i was given to talk. i began to write the question,

"what's wrong", but was stopped midway. Ben pushed me along to the car without saying a word.

i couldn't understand way he was being so tense, was there something going on that i didn't know about. I stopped pondering over the thought because i knew it was true. (Noones going to waste there breath on a mute like me).

As depressing as it was, i couldn't deny it. As we reached the school grounds i noticed the sound of a bell.

"Was it the late bell," i thought as i pulled my bag onto my shoulder and stepped out of the car.

There greating me was a man in a suit, i chouldn't figure why he appeared so tall to me. Then i remembered the earitating mater of how I'd stunk to 5' even. I was pacticaly a twig in comparison to most of the men around me and it sucked,

"if only i had my old stamina back" the thought made me feel small. I put on an act to great the man without showing my earitation.

"Hello, my name is Mark Coldrent. However, you can call me Principal Coldrent," he said as my face broke revealing an obvious frown.

i couldn't beleive he just said that. I imagined he realized his mistake because he immediately apaligized. I wasn't liking how my day was turning out so far. Coldrent began with simple greatings, ( probably hoping I'd cover his unintentional insult.)

"Your black coat looks realy warm and your white scarf is very, long" coldrent wasn't very good at describing things, but to be fare i had the same reaction. It was at least two meaters long and the width was about 8 inches. Whoever the owner of the apartments is, he realy didn't want me getting cold.

I continoued into the building with Mr. Coldrent as he talked about the buildings history, I'd explored the building on my last visit to the campus. Three stories high, a total of one hundren and forty eight classrooms and a library. I just thought about how much of a pain the stairs were going to be.

We proceeded to the thrid floor were my classes would be held. When we reached the classroom that whould be mine, Coldrent pulled me close in a sudden hug. He started giving his senser condolences for what had happened to me. (As if he'd seen it before) i lifted my arm and pated him on the back to signal i was ok, but even as he let me go i saw a saddened look upon his face. With that done he left.

i looked in his durection for a monent longer before entering the classroom, the teacher and students looked up in almost perfect harmony. The teacher spoke first,

"Ah, you must be Amu. Please take a seat were ever you see is vacant."

i made my way to the very back hoping to find an open spot, sadly there wasn't any. I heard what sounded like a whispered remark,

"Great first thing in the morning and there's already gossip" i thought as i took a seat in the front row.

The teacher continued speaking about what i assumed was history. The whispering became louder, but i still couldn't make out a word. I gave up on the notion as i pulled out my notebook and notepad. The teacher rambled on and on about how the war of something dragged on between the U.S.A and japan for i guessed 4 years. (His accent was very... Unworldly) i just couldn't understand it. Thankfully the bell rang and it was time for secound period.

The day went like any schoolday, i listened and when it was time for the next class i moved. Noone really talked "to me", but the same wasn't true for "about me." The gossip went on forever, like who is he or is he some rich kid. I didn't even bother wasting paper saying hello since they wouldn't take the time to know me. However, the final period of the day was diffent as I'd soon find out.

Entering the classroom i found an empty seat and sat down, i didn't see any problem with it sence it was in the front corner of the room. I was filling out my notepad with simple answers like yes, no, maybe, stuff that i could reuse if i needed to, (at the rate i was going i thought I'd never use them.) When out of nowhere a dude takes my notepad,

"great the class bully how perfect." I thought getting out of my seat.

"What's this your diary, ha what a fag," these words didn't mean much to me so i ignored them and reached for my notepad.

he pulled them just out of my arms reach and started prancing around the room with it, like it was a trophy. Nobody was even laughing, way make my day more miserable for no reason. My day hadn't been a complete shit so my next course of action might of been over the top, but i realy wasn't in the mood to write to someone who wouldn't be willing to read. I kicked one of the desks as hard as i could in the bullie's derection, (he was running so i thought I'd only slow him down). As he hit the desk i watched as if it played out in slow motion. He tripped on the desk and flew face first onto the floor, gliding on the ground for only moments before coming to a stop. Right on cue the bell rang for class to start and in came the teacher.

"What in blazes is going on in here!" Said the female teacher.

i walked over and took my notepad from the bully who was still laying on the floor. He didn't look very happy about me making a fool out of him, but i was hysterical with laughter. As was the class. I couldn't help, but feel a since of pride as i walked back to my desk.

"I may be weak and fragile like a flower, but i can still handle myself when pushcomes to shove," that was the statment that i felt radiate off of me thoughout the rest of the class.

the teachers name was Mrs. Honer. The other students explained what happened with there own versens of how it went down to the teacher, but no scalding was given. However, i assumed that this teacher had anouther form of punishment. Seeing as how i didn't faceplant like the bully she was probably going to make my school year miserable.

"Beter try and stay off her radar" i thought as i watched her start class.

i was taking notes on how the infection changes people in the mind from electrical impulses that chould be misread, when one of the students (the bully) starts whispering how i was such a good student. The room starts laughing it up from, they didn't care about how i felt on the subject, (not like i can say anything to protest). The teacher suddenly stopped teaching. Everyone raised there heads, questioning why she stopped. Crossing her arms and turning around she said,

"None of you understand the trama this has on a person do you, you just think its natural since most of you have lived with it most of your lives, yes?" the bully stood up and replyed,

"I dont see what chould change, I've had it for 18 years and i don't see the problem."

all the other students were silent, i understand bullies do it for the attention, but pissing off a teacher was one thing i thought no bully would do. The teacher stood there for a moment, her expression blank as though contemplating. Then she began a story,

"Seven days ago, i whould have said the same thing. Seven days ago, i would have scalded you and the new student without regaurd for your personal feelings on the matter." She passed turning on the overhead projecter. An image came into veiw, but it was blured. She continued saying,

"Three days ago, i didn't see how the effects of being infected while in an uncaring environment. I didn't see how cruel the..." she stopped again tears streaming down her face.

Gathering herself for a moment she looked at the class and said,

"The following person you see has had his face digitally removed for privacy reasons, he hasn seen this photo and probably never wishes to see it again. I ask that noone say or do anything until i say"

The photo came into veiw with a blured face, but i could tell without looking who it was. It was me, before i lost my time. The body i was proud of, the memories of my friend and my father. The laughing, the joy, all of the life I'd lost.

I hid my face as much as i could as the teacher placed a note on my desk, continuing the speech. The note read,

"I can speak words, but you and i both can see that only actions speak louder."

The letter read as if it was asking something of me, the conclusion i drew was something i truly never wanted to do. But like it said in a way;

"actions speak louder then words."

The teacher gestured me over to her and as i stood people looked at me with no thaught to what was happening.

"The student before you is the person in this photo and all though it is selfish of me to ask, he will show you what i saw and should anyone laugh, i will see you expelled" said the teacher

I stood before the teacher, my eyes hiden away with my hair. The teacher asked me if i was comfortable with showing my chest. I wasn't, but i knew it was the only way to get the bully to stop after what i did to him. I undid the scarf around my neck, foulding it nicely and placing it on her desk. Next i unbuttoned the coat, also placing it on the desk. There were whispers, but i chouldn't focous on that. I then pulled my shirt off, as it lay beside me i turned to face the classroom. Only gasps and other sound were heard, as the teacher continued to speak.

"He can never speak again, and he is permenetly impaired from head to toe. "

I didn't bother looking up because i knew only eyes of sympathy were there.

"If anyone hear feels they have it worse then my suggestion to you all to take a good long hard look at yourselves because you won't have my simpathy otherwise."

With that said, the bell rang for everyone to go home. As they left, i noticed the bully headed towards me. He looked at my with sympathetic eyes, i couldn't say anything so i didn't know what he wanted from me. Our eyes slowly drew away from anouther as i turned to put on my cloths, his words were probably going to be "I'm sorry" or something of that nature. I only heard his footsteps as he walked out. The teacher came up to me and apaligized for placing me in such a sad position, but i was done being sad and earitated for the day. I just looked at her and for just a secound, i felt beter. A smile fell upon my face, but as fast as it came it was gone.

Walking out to the car i found Ben holding the door to the car, i walked up to him and swung my fist as hard as i chould. To no success, he caught my fist with ease. I began hitting his chest with my other one. He swiftly grabbed my other arm, making it to were i chouldn't hit him anymore. Tears welling up in my eyes as i struggled pointlessly to hit him. It had to be him, he was the only one around that chould have it. As i eventually gave up on the notion of hitting him he let me go. I pulled out my notepad and rappedly wrote down my damand. My pad read, 

"Give me my bag back!"

Placing it in front of Ben i stood waiting, he walked toward the car and puled out my bag. I snached it away from him and held it close to my chest. I then entered the car, he closed the door and walked to the other side, entering the driver seat. I wrote on my pad again as he turned to say something to me. Before he chould open his mouth i shoved the notepad in his face, even if he didn't read it he should understand i didn't want to talk (let alone understand).

He drove me to the apartments. However, i didn't wait for him to let me out. I wanted to get away, to hide, to be alone. As i exited the car i heard Ben try to protest, my response was slaming the door. I made it to the penthouse and locked the door behind me before the pain took over.

The pain wasn't uncommon because of my body, but today along with the betrayal i felt. All i could do was weep as my body burned with pain. I was still holding the bag close to me when the pain finally went away, i pulled out the medicine i was givin for the pain. Two tabs for severe pain and one for regular (I took one).

Afterwards, i started shifting through the bag. All the food was gone of course, but that wasn't what i was looking for. After several pockets and zippers, i found it. I picked up the object and found it was just as i left it. The object was a photo incased in a plastic frame, the photo was of me my bestfirend and our families. Our moms hadn't been touched by the infection yet. The photo seemed to be age less. The tears i thought had dryed began to flow again, but this time i was crying because of a happy memory. A memory that continued towards my dreams as i fell asleep holding the picture close to my heart.

The next morning i awoke to the sound of a buzzer, i guessed it was a doorbell of somekind. I walked to the door opening it just a crack so noone chould see me. A man stood holding a basket, i think it was supposed to be a gift basket. I chouldn't tell from the splitting headache i had, I'd need to look at what my doc perscribed to me because i felt like i was hung over. The man just placed the basket at the doorstep and left. i didn't care for his leaving stuff on my doorstep, but i didn't feel like getting into it with writing because it involved thinking. I opened the door all the way and saw that it wasn't just one basket, it was many. I counted fifty baskets with food and other house hold trinkets. One had a set of silverware, anouther with plates. There were about twelve baskets with kitchen suplies alone and very one of them had a letter. Most of them from my classmates and teachers. Hell, i think i got some from the nurses and doctors as well.

it took me hours to go though all of them, my head ache had disappeared with all the excitement. I wrote down every name written on the cards, hoping to at least thank them for the wonderful gifts. I wasn't really eating well by only having takeout, but now i could cook a meal. One had books on how to cook, clean, and look after yourself. One card and basket stood out most of all, it was the smallest basket, but it contained a small letter and a scarf that was the same lingth as my white one. Exept it was blue, the card read,

"Please don't be mad at Ben, i asked him to hold onto the bag until you requested it. Also the photo was shown to the class as a part of the leason plan. As much as you may have disliked it, you will be about to make friends now. My sincerest apaligize for your discomfort and displeasure. I hop to see you smile when we meet. Yours truly, M."

I was speachless, this Mr. M was the culprit behind the photo at school. I didn't even know a mr. M. Why was he contacting me? Was he the owner of the apartments? My headache returned and i wasn't able to concentrate anymore. I just squred everything away and went to the shower. Mabye when im though I'll feel beter.

Aouther's note: hope you injoyed chapter 3, I'll make more soon. p.s. thankyou for your comments/ opinions, i will try and look over my work more carefully.

 

Pen-ave haven

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