Chapter Five

A story

– ‘You said you can help me… Change my life’ an old homeless man said.

– ‘What is he talking about, Chris?’

His father stared him, a point of anger in his voice. As the young man stayed silent, Mr. Turner ordered his son to follow him in the kitchen. The homeless forty year old man stood still in the hall, gazing around to acknowledge who were those people and if he didn’t fall into a trap. Few minutes later, the teenager and his father came back. The father kept walking to disappear behind a door while his son stopped his steps in front of him. ‘It was false. I was pranked.’ The young man looked him in the eyes. Then he gave him a sign to follow him. They went upstairs. Along the corridor, they passed in front of four closed doors. The young man slowed his pace. He opened the fifth one. There was only a large bed with a desk. Walls were white. Only one window enlightened the room, giving a view to a small alley. At the right of the entrance, a door gave to the bathroom. ‘It’s an unused room’, the homeless guessed. ‘This is your room. Until you find and can afford your own place.’ Chris said. ‘Dinner will be ready soon. After that, you can rest. We’ll start tomorrow.’ As the teenager started to leave him alone, the homeless man whispered: ‘Henry… My name is Henry.’ He turned around to catch any reaction. The young man didn’t move. He waited a moment, replied: ‘Chris’ then left. Henry scanned his new place. He put his dirty bag on the chair and checked the bed. His eyes scanned every corner of the room, from the ground to the ceiling. He couldn’t believe what was happening.

The next day, the homeless man was woken up by a knock on his door. He just had the time to open his eyes that a young adult appeared. He sat with difficulties, trying to welcome his host properly. After a quick moment of silence, the teenager gave him some instructions and walked out of the room. Henry needed few minutes to gather himself. He remembered where he was and mostly, why he was here. He stood up, grabbed clothes left on the desk and went to the bathroom. He looked at the shower: ‘It’s been a while’, he thought. Like a kid, he played with water, soap and shampoo. He took his time. When he finally decided to step out, his skin looked like a hundred year-old man. He grabbed a towel. Soft. And warm. He approached it to his face. He could smell the sweet smell of fresh laundry. Then he dressed up before going downstairs where the teenager and his father waited for him. In front of them was a table full of food. More than Henry could ever imagine: breads, croissants, a big pot of Nutella, coffee, tea, muffins, crepes, pancakes, juice, bagels, butter and other food he didn’t know about. His eyes sparkled. Tears started to appear in his eyes. His belly brought him back to reality. He sat down like a kid, acting shy. The father served him some coffee, put two sugars while his son prepared him a plate. Henry followed their movements with his eyes then looked at his hosts. The father nodded as a sign of approval. The teenager didn’t care, eating his crepes. He didn’t hesitate anymore and dived in.

An hour and a half later, the young man and his guest headed towards the mall. They came in a Devred store to pick up few suits. Henry felt lost in the middle of all of these luxuries. He felt useless getting in and out of fitting rooms. Mirrors around him reminded him his reality: he was old and had nothing for himself. He tried not to watch, denying the truth he managed to avoid all these years. As the day went by, the teenager gave him advices on the way he should present himself. He listened carefully. As the sun went down, they headed back to Chris’ home with their hands full. As soon as he stepped into the hall, the young man’s phone rang. He picked up and went away. Few seconds later, he came back, gave Henry his bags and left without notice. Henry watched him leave, astonished. He waited five minutes in front of the door, thinking his host will be back. His father came in: ‘Dinner is ready if you’re hungry.’ A silent passed. ‘He won’t be back right away. You should eat and get some rest. Tomorrow won’t get easier.’ Henry silently obeyed. In the middle of the dinner, he finally dared to ask.

– ‘Wh… Why does your son help me?’

– ‘You will have to ask him. Not me.’

– ‘Will he answer my questions?’

– ‘Find out yourself. Tomorrow, when you will be alone with him.’

The next morning, Henry appeared in the kitchen where he found his hosts. He shared a look with the father. The late one left the room for them. They stayed in silence for a moment. The homeless sat next to Chris. He stared at him. Feeling the look on him, the young man raised his head.

– ‘Can I ask you a question?’ Henry said.

– ‘No.’ he said without hesitation. ‘I found some firms that might suit you. You will be interviewed for jobs. You will start at the bottom then you’ll climb the ladder.’

On that, he stood up and went in his room. Ten minutes later, he came back, ready to go. Henry got prepared and followed the young man across the city. The first interview went bad. Henry didn’t know what to say or how to act. But Chris didn’t seem to care. Nothing changed at the second interview. It was even worse than the first one. Henry didn’t get any help from the teenager. On the way to the third one, the young man stopped and turned to him. He scanned his attitude: ‘Stand straight. Look up. When you enter in the room, remember: you have nothing to lose. You have something to offer. If it goes wrong, it doesn’t matter. I will find other interviews.’ Then he headed to the next point of rendezvous. As he opened the door, he stopped the homeless: ‘One last thing, if it goes well. Don’t be afraid.’ Henry entered in a restaurant where an employer waited for him. An hour later, he came out of the place, a huge smile on his face like a child who’s discovering Disneyland. ‘Congratulation’, Chris said. Few moments before, Henry heard the three magic words: You are hired.

Back at Chris’ home, they’ve got separated. The young man disappeared behind his door’s bedroom, leaving the homeless man alone. When dinner came, the house sounded empty. Like a no men’s house. Henry came in the kitchen where the father waited. The late one invited him to sit down and began to eat. Silence became heavier each second. All we could hear was spoon against plates and the clock in the living-room. Henry couldn’t take any longer. This atmosphere was the opposite of his mood. Inside, he was so excited. His leg couldn’t stop moving. His heartbeat went fast. He tried hard to contain his smile.

– ‘Congratulation’ Mr. Turner said.

– ‘Ha. Thank you.’ Henry looked around, searching for his host.

– ‘He’s not coming.’ Henry was surprised.

– ‘Ho. I was hoping to talk to him about…Few things.’ He paused. ‘Why, does your son helping me?’

– ‘You already asked me that.’

– ‘But you didn’t answer.’

– ‘I told you to ask him directly.’

– ‘I did. He didn’t answer.’ Henry stared at the father with insistent.

– ‘Alright. About a year ago, he saw a movie about a teacher who gave an assignment to his students. One kid had an idea that made sense to my son. He’s trying it… on you.’

– ‘What was that idea?’

– ‘He’ll tell you when time will come.’ Silence came back.

– ‘And… How did he manage to find so many interviews…In one night?’

– ‘He has connection.’

– ‘At… his age?’

The father smiled and left the table, leaving the man alone again with all his unanswered questions. Few days later, Henry woke up in his room. He stared at the ceiling a moment, then sat before standing up. He stretched. He stood still a little more time, gazing around him. He got prepared with a huge smile on his face. When he was about to live for his first day of work, he looked himself in a mirror. What he saw amazed and scared him. He didn’t look the same as he came here first. In less than a week, his life changed completely. His first day of work was about to begin. He stepped outside and headed to his new life. As he walked away, Chris watched him leave, hoping he was right.

To be continued

Chapter four

A story

On the roof top of the highest building in town, N.4 scanned the area searching for any variation in the air. He switched building every five minutes, going from West to East. The fear of being purchased by the master haunted him. He was terrified. But he had a plan: ‘Find him.’ It was an easy plan. So he focused on this only task for the last few weeks. But he had no results. Until one day, a new aura appeared out of nowhere. It was weak and unstable, but enough for N.4 to track it. He rushed to Manhattan where he spotted a stranger who emitted the unsteady energy. The aura became stable and more consistent. As he came closer, N.4 slowed down his pace to finally stop on top of his target. He looked down at the street, paused for a second then stepped back, surprised. What is he doing here? He knew who the stranger was. The late one followed his prey but was located. The prey walked around the building where N.4 stood, ensnaring the stranger who seemed to not noticing anything. He followed them from above. It’s not good. He hesitated: should he let the stranger follow his prey, being attacked and eventually get killed or should he save the stranger and probably lose track of his prey… again. The late one slowed his step, ready to confront his follower. ‘His death could be useful to complete my mission…’ N.4 mumbled. Right before the stranger turned the last corner, N.4 jumped off the roof, in front of him. The stranger froze. His surprised face didn’t last more than three seconds. Then he sneered. They stared at each other when N.4 finally broke the silence:

– ‘What are you doing here?’

– ‘Why so serious? Relaax, N.4! I’m here to help you.’

– ‘Who send you?’

– ‘Thaat, i can’t tell you, but i think you have an idea on it.’

– ‘Why?’

– ‘Whyy? Well, let’s think. It’s been… almost seven months since you left the castle. You don’t give any news and the only time you call, you’re telling us you lost the target… I think you can imagine the reason of my presence here.’ He paused. ‘I’m here to succeed where you failed.’ A contemptuous smile could be seen on his lips.

That last sentence resonated in N.4’s head as an echo of what he feared the most. Failure. Anger gained him. He was ready to silence anyone who might jeopardize his success. His aura grew fast around him. Time has stopped for a second. The stranger didn’t react. He stood still, watching with pleasure his opponent losing control of himself. Suddenly, the air lightened: he calmed down. N.4 took a deep breath and closed his eyes. His shoulders were relaxed then he launched a sigh. He looked at the stranger, determination in his eyes. The tracker walked closer to his interlocutor then paused: ‘We finish with this, then after that, I am gonna kill you…Owen.’ He walked away. ‘Even if we are brothers?!’ Owen shouted. ‘Okay…’ The two brothers walked side by side toward the last place where N.4’s youngest sibling last saw their prey. Owen led them to a new building, built ten years ago for the privilege of unfortunates. The creator of this facility was a comedian who had the courage to protest out loud for what he believed was unfair. He created an association where anyone could volunteer to give food and warm and safe places to sleep for the homeless. As the association grew over the years, the comedian expanded his organization by buying more buildings and renovated them. The two brothers stood in front of one of the newly renovated facility. The wall was colorful, almost blinding, full of life as if it would give the homeless some. They entered to investigate on their prey. The place was loud, crowded by homeless men and women. All seats were taken. Few people were walking around tables with plates in their hands, supplying those who wanted to eat more. They came in and out of a door background. N.4 started to scan everyone hoping to find a potential hostage. He hid in a corner to not look too suspicious.

Most of the homeless were grimy. They were all dressed the same way: with a dark green cap, an unwashed shirt, a long overused leather coat, mittens, some garbage collector’s pants and rain boots. The smell they gave off stung N.4’s eyes. Tears appeared in his eyes. Women’s hairs were long, dark and greasy. On their face, any and each houseless had oil stain like it’s a way for them to recognize each other in the street. Volunteers, on the other side, were cleaned up. Compared to the homeless, they looked like models. They all had a smile on their face, laughing at any jokes, trying to make people forget why they were here for. N.4’s stare stopped on someone: a young girl. She looked innocent with her smiley eyes and her constant and pure smile. Her dark long hair floated on her shoulders every time she turned her head. Each of her steps was lightweight. It seemed like she was flying over the floor. Around her, a thin film of condensed air stuck along her body. Undetectable for a normal human eye. N.4 kept his on her. The more he stared at her, the more he was certain: he has found his hostage.

To be continued

Chapter three

A story

The next day, instead of heading school, Chris walked straight to the park. He stopped at the entrance as if he wasn’t allowed to walk on this green area. It was ten in the morning. The weather was a little bit windy but the sun began to show up with his warmth and sweetness. There were few people in the park: runners, late workers whom tried to combine running and walking to go fast but avoid to sweat, and old couples whom paced as slow as they could, taking their time. Hours passed. Families invaded the place enjoying this beautiful day of May. Some teenagers and young couples improvised a quick picnic. After eating, children ran everywhere chasing a butterfly, a ball or just ran to spend their energy while their parents were sitting not far away, doing small talk and keeping an eye on their future. The young man stood still for the entire day. When he started to get hungry, he left this place of visible happiness and headed back to his home. On his way, he crossed the girl he ran into the day before. They both pretended not seeing each other and kept walking their own way. As he walked through his house main door, his father got down the stairs. The man smiled quickly but the teenager went straight to his room. Three hours later, the phone broke the silence that reigned since they moved in. Outside his room, Chris could hear his father answer. Few seconds later, footsteps came closer and closer to stop at his doorstep. When Mr. Turner opened the door, he found the room empty with the window wide open. ‘I’m sorry. He’s not here. Do you want to leave a message?’ he said. An innocent female voice answered: ‘Can you tell him that i called, please?’ He agreed and hung up.

The night has fall. The moon took over, leaving the sky dark dressed with stars. Chris found himself in the middle of Taan Aka Park, at the same spot where all those families were gathered to enjoy this sunny day. He observed emptied lawns, passages lit by streetlights and dancing shadows of trees. A gentle wind brushed leaves, making fly those who were on the ground. Chris’ eyes scanned the vast empty space that was in front of him. Children’s laughter could be heard as an echo of the previous day, silhouettes appeared here and there like ghosts of a past now unreachable. His eyes stopped at a man who stood few meters away from him. They stared at each other for several seconds before the man approached and hugged the young man. After a moment, Chris and his father walked home. His father dared to share some old, forbidden memories, trying to make his son smile.

Mr. Turner hasn’t heard his son’s voice for several months now. He hasn’t seen him smile nor laugh either. He didn’t even shed a tear since he woke up after his mother’s death. He had no longer any expression on his face. His son looked at the world through livid eyes, moving like nothing matter anymore. He lost his taste for life. And every project he used to talk about, even the smallest, were a reminder of the sudden loss and all the pain that came along.

Days passed and Chris skipped school more and more. Worried about him, Mr. Turner decided to take his son at an association. The building looked semi-old. The front wall was covered by colorful graffiti. The organization only used the first floor. The room was large enough to welcome seventy persons, volunteers excluded. But that day, the room wasn’t crowded. While Mr. Turner spoke to the person in charge to get some information, Chris waited in the middle of the room. A young girl came to him, a shy smile on her face. She waited for him to notice her, but he didn’t. So she introduced herself: ‘Hi! You are Chris, right? The new student… At Sung High? I’m Karen Sawyer. We’re in the same class.’ They shared a long look. She expected him to say something or just even show that he recognized her or any reactions but none of that happened. A man joined them. He looks a lot like Chris but older and with more charm, Karen thought.

– ‘Hello, i am Chris’ father.’ He said.

– ‘Hi, i’m Karen, a classmate.’

– ‘Oh! What a coincidence, don’t you think, Chris? Do you volunteer here?’ She nodded. ‘Perfect. Then maybe you can help my son take his mark here.’

– ‘You gonna work here?’ she asked to Chris. The late one turned his impassive face to his father.

– ‘Yes, he starts today.’

After a moment of incomprehension, Mr. Turner left the young teenagers by themselves and disappeared in his car. Chris and Karen stayed in silence for a minute, hoping for this awkward feeling to pass. Someone behind the counter interrupted their silence. They were called by the manager. A man in his thirty, closing the forties, was dressed with a dirty black shirt, old jeans and overused shoes. He seemed to not care about his presentation. When the two teenagers were close enough, he gave them instructions about the room installment. They listened carefully then began to work. Nothing came out of their mouth. Some polite smiles and shy laughter were seen and heard from Karen.

In the middle of the morning, they were giving different assignments. From afar, Karen watched the young man, trying to figure out what kind of person he was. She saw him being busy, getting the job done. He stayed alone, in his world. Then out of the blue, he walked toward an old man, who stood outside the doors for a while now. They talked for a moment. Then Chris handed a piece of paper to the homeless man. When he returned to his duty, Chris saw her staring. Karen blushed and went back to work. She tried to hide her face behind her hairs.

At lunch, she tried to reach out to him again. She sat at his table and thought to anything she could say to him. Five minutes have passed and nothing came up. When finally: ‘So, how do you know this place?’ She wasn’t expected any answer as he didn’t seem to be a big talker but: ‘I didn’t.’ She looked at him. His face still showed no expression. His eyes were staring at the floor, lost in his thoughts. He looked like a statue. A cold statue. But his voice was the opposite. It was grave, calm, deep and unbroken. The voice of a singer. She thought quickly to another question to get to know him better:

– ‘So… How long do you live here?’

– ‘Three weeks.’

– ‘And where did you live before?’ She knew the answer but she wanted him to speak so she could hear his deep voice again.

– ‘L.A.’ A moment passed. ‘And you?’

– ‘I…I grew up here. My parents moved from New Jersey to Manhattan when i was born… What did you say to the old man?’ He looked at her in the eyes, then walked away, leaving Karen speechless.

The afternoon went on without another word. The two teenagers were seated the room to accommodate the homeless for dinner. The young man left right before the doors open and rushed to his place. Hoody on, headphones in his ears, his steps were in time with the music. Suddenly, he felt a presence behind him. He stopped. Then he kept walking. A small aura could be felt now and then. At the next corner, Chris turned left then right three times to get back where he was. The presence was still there, but it was clearer. He knew then: they found him. Chris managed somehow to lose his tracker and went home safely. When he walked through the doors, his father was waiting for him with a serious face on. ‘I’ve been followed.’ Chris said. His father looked surprise. A rush of adrenaline rose for a second in his body. ‘We’ll deal with that tomorrow. Before that, explain me something. How does this old man know you?’ As he finished his sentence, an old man, dressed with torn pants, a shirt stained brown under a dirty military coat and some oversized work boots, came out of the living room to appear next to Mr. Turner. His hairs were long, messy and mingled with his beard. He was at ten meters away from Chris, but his smell reached perfectly to the door. The old man looked straight at the young man, tears starting to come out.

– ‘You said you could help me… Change my life.’

To be continued

Chapter two

A story

In a dark alley-way, a man, dressed all in black, was hidden behind dumpsters, observing afar a young man. He finally found him after months and months of research. Since this mission was given to him by the master himself.

Three months earlier, while conducting intense training with the bodyguards of the master, Command came to him and ordered him to follow. They went deep inside the castle, to the master room at the end of a long corridor. When they entered, the room was silent, windows closed, no furniture were visible, only a large bed with a bedside table and few monitors weakly illuminating the headboard. There was a man, middle age, lying in the bed. Monitors’ sounds were in rhythm with the master’s heartbeat. The two men came closer to the foot of the bed then kneeled to pledge their allegiance. ‘Good morning, Sir Malgers.’ they said in synchronization. ‘Sir, this is N.4, the most efficient tracker i trained.’ continued Command. Monitors’ sounds reigned again. After a moment, the master’s arm raised slowly. The nurse, who stood aside of his bed, came closer and listened to what her master was whispering to her. As soon as he finished, she repeated with her sharp loud voice: ‘Find him and bring him to me… Alive.’ ‘Yes, Sir’ they replied in union. The two servants stood up, turned their back and left their master alone with his nurses. As he was about to close the door, N.4 dared to take a glance at his master, as he never saw his face before. But as soon as he met the gaze of the master, the ground disappeared under his feet. He felt himself falling into a huge gap leading to hell. Suddenly, the door closed on him and he found himself in the corridor. The ground has returned. ‘Don’t EVER do that again’ whispered Command.

The tracker started his journey across the country the day after his assignment. He began where everything toppled: at Cal Malgers’ manor. He looked for evidences amongst rubble: traces of blood, aura residue or fingerprints that can give him any direction to follow. After a close observation, he noticed some aura particles here and there, heading toward East. They were tiny but sufficient for him. On his way, he found other evidences leading him to South America, Australia, Canada, Japan, back in Nevada, then Florida. In Miami, he stopped following stupidly obvious clues and started to look more deeply. That brought him to New York where he lost his target. Then began a long period of wandering.

His food wasn’t healthy: he only ate triangular sandwiches without any taste, from supermarket opened 24/7. Then, one day, he decided to offer himself a real meal with flavor: he chose to buy hot-dogs. He engulfed a dozen of them then went to Central Park to digest everything. He completely forgot about his mission and took a nap. When he woke up, he descried the silhouette he desperately looked for. He followed it closely. He was afraid to lose sight of it when he had looked for more than six months. His spinning was going well. He didn’t let his prey with a sole and was sure he wasn’t spotted. He was proud of himself and thought about his future reward when he will capture his victim.

Master and Command would be very happy with his capture. But first, he needed to establish a plan, the man he was about to kidnap is still the one who put his ailing almighty master. But when he came back to his senses, he lost his prey. Again. He panicked. He scanned the main street. Cars, which were traveling in headlights, blocked his vision. He ran on the sidewalk, exposing himself, then rushed to cross the street. Two cars almost hit him, He ran to the opposite direction for few meters, stopped, out of breath and grabbed his phone. One ringtone. Two ringtones. He waited nervously. He started to sweat. At the forth tone, someone picked up. ‘N.4 speaking.’ He paused. ‘I…I lost him.’ A silence fell. Cold sweats trickled on his forehead. His hands were trembling. His eyes scanned every inch of the street, hoping to find him. His heart beat fast and his legs ran everywhere. The pressure of the silence drove him crazy. ‘Find him or you better make sure, i don’t find you.’ His anxiety turned into fear. All his senses were in alert. His throat was closing, it was hard to swallow. The person on the phone hanged up without saying another word.

Furious about the news he just heard, Cal Malgers tried to stand up off of his bed, ignoring doctor’s orders. We could feel and see his frustration: a deadly aura began to rise but didn’t last. His wounds weakened him. A silhouette appeared in the door frame. She approached slowly, with a walking stick.

– ‘What… do you… want, old lady?’

– ‘I’m asking you, Cal.’

– ‘Power’ he replied.

– ‘Only power?’

– ‘What d’you… mean?’

The old lady stared at him intensely then directed her look to his right eye. He had a reflex and passed his hand on his wound as if the pain was as intense as when it was made. A light appeared in his eye: ‘And his death.’

To be continued

Chapter One

A story

Sunlight came through the window to end up on his face, giving him a sweet heat. He opened suddenly his eyes, his retinas retracted due to the change of brightness, his forehead was sweating and his heartbeat went faster as if he had run a mile in sprint. He felt lost between reality and dreams when he suddenly heard a voice putting him out of this state of confusion.

– ‘Chris?… Chris! Wake up! Your breakfast is ready. Get prepared for your first day. I have to go to work… An emergency i need to fix right now. I’ll be home around 8 pm.’

The young man raised his arm to let his father know he got it. As soon as his arm touched the floor, the door closed and footsteps departed. He lay for a while staring at the ceiling, his arm on his forehead, and waiting for the alarm to ring.

His new high school, in which he will spend the rest of his schooling, was like a city in a city. Big walls surrounded different buildings isolating students in a timeless space, away from the outside world and probably from any distraction. The teenager stood in front of an imposing gate where an almost constant stream of students and professors walked through every day. As he observed the sign overhanging the entry, a man, around his forty, white hair, wrinkles marked on his face, a black suit with a white shirt beneath a red tie, walked toward him with confidence and an almost forbidden authority. The old man introduced himself as the dean of Sung High and led the way to his office to finalize Chris’ registration. Without asking any question, Chris followed the dean through a huge garden in front of what seems to be the main building. His office was roomy, secluded and calm, away from the hubbub of residents of the facility. His desk was in front of the door, almost against the wall. In between the door and the desk, there were two sofas facing each other, between which was installed a coffee table. Hanging on the walls, we could see different degree obtained by the director. Few shelves gave the room a bureaucrat appearance.

The man in suit invited Chris to take a seat while he collected a file on his desk. The young man did so in silence. The fact that the dean himself took care of him was strange. I’m just a student like any other so why the head of high school needed to welcome me, he thought. The dean sat down, opened the file, read it and started to comment: ‘Chris Turner, 17, born in Mahajunga. Spend his first two years of high school in Eltic High, lead his basketball team to championship final and win it. Good grades… You seem to be a serious student as i can see.’ He looked at the teenager to detect any reaction, but this one stayed imperturbable. The dean continued his reading in silence for two minutes then closed the file and put it on the black table. The two men exchanged a long look before the director stood up to take few papers on his desk. ‘Here. I need your signature on the bottom of those pages. It will confirm officially your registration in our school.’ he said, giving the young man a pen. ‘I give you a copy of those documents and your schedule. You’re starting with History. What a chance. I will lead you to your class as soon as we finish’, he continued. ‘Any questions?’ When he was done, Chris looked up deeply to his interlocutor then turned his head to the small sign where was engraved the dean’s name:

Dr. Michael Laine

He stared at the dean again then shook his head as an answer. A smile was drew on Dr. Laine’s face and let the new student know that it was time for him to meet his new classmates. They took the same path as before in reverse then entered in another building which seemed to be older than the first one. They went on the second floor, walked through a silent, and kind of scary, corridor. When suddenly, the dean stopped. Chris almost hit him. He waited in the hallway while the director interrupted a class and motioned to the teacher to follow him. The dean and the teacher stepped away from the young man and started to whisper as they gave few looks at Chris. Instantly, the latter knew. They are aware of my past. After a minute, the dean left without a word and the teacher led the way into the classroom.

When he put a foot in the room, every eye were staring at him. He scanned the room then went in the back where a seat was vacant. The professor waited few seconds giving the newcomer time to settle then continued his lecture on Japan’s History. Chris’ attention wasn’t directed to the teacher but through the window. Towards outside. The vast world. After only ten minutes, a bell rang announcing the end of class and the beginning of the break. Everyone ran toward the exit as if the door would suddenly close trapping them forever in that room. The young man took his time, waited for everybody to stop walking on each other and went out safely. On his way to a noiseless place, he ran into a girl. She stumbled and dropped her books on the floor. As a reflex, they both reached for her books and stood together. Chris disappeared instantly in the crowd before the girl could say anything. Okay, she thought.

She looked toward the way the new one left for a while when a friend called her: ‘Karen! What’re you doing? Let’s go!’ As the day went by, she observed him discreetly: he stayed alone, in his world, in any and each of class. He was staring at the outside world and didn’t pay any attention to teachers or even his classmates. He didn’t speak to anyone. She didn’t hear his voice once at least. Every time she stared at him, she found something disturbing about his attitude. Something really sad. At the end of the day, her friends and her went to a coffee shop with free WIFI, put their computers out on the table and tapped : Chris Turner on google.

– ‘So? Have you found anything yet?’ asked Malcolm Reese, as he arrived late.

– ‘Name: Chris Turner… I mean Chris is not a short version of his name, it’s really Chris’ answered John Porter, disturbed by this information.

– ‘We don’t care. What else?’ interrupted James Akan.

– ‘He lived in LA until a week ago – about a week ago, a week ago… Ok, i stop – His father is the head of a large company. We don’t really know what they do but it seems to work pretty well’ continued John, slightly irritated by the remark.

– ‘He doesn’t have any siblings.’ said Charlotte Peterson. ‘He doesn’t have Facebook either… That’s weird.’

– ‘And Twitter?’ asked James.

– ‘He has one but he doesn’t tweet anything.’ answered Sarah Johnson. ‘Do you have anything else on his parents?’

– ‘Yes.’ replied instantly Karen Sawyer. ‘His father is Miles Turner… Whoa, the founder of ASU company. Married to Jean Roy… Who died… Six months ago…’

Outside the coffee shop, on the other side of the street, a young man was staring at the group of high school students. When they discovered about Jean Roy, he felt a wave of anger growing inside him. He walked away in a small alley before he exploded. At the end of the dark and dirty road, the young man stopped in front of a wall. He stood still for few seconds trying to calm himself down. He slowly closed his hand as he’s containing his emotion. Head down, all the memories popped in his mind. Painful memories that he tried so hard to erase. As he was about to break down, he suddenly jumped but never went back on the ground. He went straight through the troposphere then the stratosphere to finally coming back down near rooftops. He flew between several towers and landed in a small street where nobody could see him. He took his time to get out of that street and get home. As soon as the door opened, a man came in the hallway, with a smile on his face. Chris and his father shared a look for a while. Then the teenager went up in his room. His father watched him climbing the stairs and disappearing behind a red door.

Six months ago, i lost my wife and my son…

To be continued