The sun had just begun to rise over fluffy, deep-orange clouds, when you walked over the empty college campus. A light cool wind was breezing through your hair as you yawned quietly. You could have just as well yawned out loud though. There was no soul out here yet, in fact you were much too early. But you always were. You just hated to storm in with the whole crowd, swimming in the middle of a noisy mess. Being there first, allowed you to peacefully arrive and avoid all that daily chaos. That was worth it for you, getting up earlier. You pulled the door to the main building open, stepping into the unlit corridor of entrance A.
It was your third day at this college. Home was hundreds of miles away, and you couldn't exactly say that you settled in yet. You had moved into a small apartment with two other girls that you didn't know before. Actually you didn't know anyone in this whole city. Hell, not even in that state. It was a little weird to feel so all alone, but on the other hand, you'd have all time to yourself, not having to deal with anyone's problems. Getting to know new people wasn't exactly easy for you, since all those little groups and gangs of 'hip' kids weren't your world. You weren't some kind of weirdo or misfit, but you preferred to hang with your own kind of people. Finding and befriending such, was a little more challenging usually. You would find someone though. You were sure of it. Maybe even the girls you lived with, weren't so bad. The next days would show.
You walked down the aisle, sipping on a cup of hot chocolate you had bought at the bakery around the corner, along with your breakfast. Not the best substance to get awake in the morning, but you liked it better than coffee. The building was a little confusing to you. Everything seemed to look the same. The walls, painted in an eggshell-white, were screaming nothingness at you and the light gray linoleum, that squeaked so unpleasantly, was laid in every room. Empty as it was now, it slightly reminded of a hospital. An old hospital. You tried to guide yourself by the room numbers, searching for a way to room 314. Walking past 024, you reached a cross-way with stairs going up and down. You put your free hand on the winding wooden handrail, stretching your head up, trying to see the numbers of the upper floor. You winced when the perfect silence was broke by the crackling sound of plastic somewhere. Your ears immediately located it coming from below. Was there really someone else being crazy enough to be here already? Your eyes moved from the up-going stairs on your right, to the left ones leading into the basement.
You slowly leaned back a little, peeking down like is was forbidden.
There was a man dressed in blue work-clothes standing there, holding a mop in one hand, using the other to tuck a piece of plastic wrapper into his pocket. The orange morning sun was shimmering in the wet floor around him. A long second passed before he noticed your presence, turning his head up to you.
»U-uh...« you breathed in, trying to decide what to say.
He was chewing on what sounded like a sticky caramel, raising his brows. The sun made his eyes light up in an amazing shade of gold. The whole picture was so out of place, that it took you a few seconds too long to get yourself together.
»Uhm, good morning.« Finally made it out of your mouth.
The man, that was most likely the janitor, kept his eyes on your face, swallowing the rest of his snack, before giving you a somewhat impish smile.
»Good morning, Ma'am.« He replied, sounding amused in a way.
»Uh... the room uhm... 314 is up the stairs, I guess...?« You pointed your index finger up, looking helpless.
He moved his jaw to the left, slightly nodding. His eyes had focused on your cocoa now, and it seemed as if he tried to catch the smell of it, looking quite concentrated for a second. Then though, as if he woke from a daydream, his eyes snapped back to you, wide open.
»Jepp. Third floor, right wing. Can't miss it.« He made it sound confident.
»Thanks.« You smiled a bit, turning away to finally get there.
You found it where the guy had told you it would be. Sitting down on the floor, leaning against the wall, you waited for the awful crowd to come.
The day had passed quickly and the next morning you awoke just as early. You had to find another room today, but it was on the same floor so you were confident about finding it on your own this time.
As you stepped out of your bedroom and into the kitchen, you almost ran into Debra, one of your two roommates.
»Oh...hey. Up already...?« You looked her over.
Debra was a very tall, slender young woman, looking older than she was. Her shoulder-long, dark-brown hair was a complete mess right now, eyes expressing pure indifference. She was staring at the coffee machine, waiting for the pot to fill. You were wondering what she did last night, but you wouldn't ask. Her gaze was glued to her boiling life elixir, she was pointing at now.
»...want some?« she raised one brow, still not looking at you.
You looked at the pitch black, steaming liquid, twitching with your upper lip.
»Uhh...no, but thank you.« You cleared your throat, grabbing your bag.
»See ya later.«
Debra just shrug as the door closed behind her.
Once again you made your way to the campus, only stopping at the bakery to get your treats.
Your mood was good, no idea why. Even though this wasn't a sunny day. Thick gray clouds had formed, making it a gloomy morning. No rays of golden sunlight to light your way this time. But whatever. Can't be like that every day. Entering the college though, you had to admit, the hallway was really a dark tunnel now. It was practically nighttime in here. You just now noticed how your footsteps echoed in the emptiness. A weird contrast it was, thinking of yesterday. Well, you just had to get up those stairs and turn right. No big deal. That's what you told yourself, picking up the pace. Making your way past a lot of doors, the stairway appeared in sight. Wonderful. You speed-walked by now, feeling like a child that has to traverse the cellar without a light. Almost there! Just a few more-
A surprised voice shouted out from the right.
You jumped away from it to the left, feeling your feet slip away on wet linoleum.
With a dull sound your body hit the ground, a sharp pain shooting from your left hip up through the rest of you.
»Gnnh...« When you opened your eyes, the shape of a man appeared over you. You squinted, realizing it was the janitor. He was looking at you, worried, but then raised an eyebrow.
»Good catch, missy.«
He was pointing at your cup, and you realized that you had held it up like a trophy, not a single drop spilled. Like a miracle. The man reached for upper arm, pulling you back up on your feed.
»Really sorry 'bout that...but...uhm... you are really early.«
As your eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness, you saw that he had just begun to wipe the floor of the long corridor. You were rubbing your butt, before picking up your bag.
»Are you alright...?« He was tilting his head to the right, to see your face.
You looked up a bit, facing him with a baffled expression on you. Those eyes that had shined like gold yesterday, looked different without the light. Still they had something to them that paralyzed you for a moment. What was it with this dude? The sound of raindrops starting to fall outside, broke the spell.
»Y-yeah. I'm fine.« You pressed your bag against you, quickly moving on to the stairs.
You felt your cheeks heat up, realizing you just slipped and fell on your ass in front of someone. How embarrassing was that? Good thing, there was only the janitor guy, not the whole damn college. Though that man gave you a weird feeling that grew the more you thought about him. It was just a feeling, but as you reached the third floor, one thought popped up in your mind, making your eyebrows narrow. Your pace slowed down, moving along the aisle.
Who the hell wipes a floor in almost total darkness?
There was no logical answer to that, no matter how you tried to explain it to yourself. What a weirdo. You finally found your room, about to sit down on the floor again, when you noticed something. You had forgotten your books at home. The strange picture of zombie Debra had distracted you so much, that you didn't take them from the table. Damn it. Well, at least being early really paid off for once. If you hurried a little, you would still make it back in time. Crowd or not.
You emptied your hot chocolate quickly, tossing the cup into a trash bin. Then you ran down the stairs again, prepared to run into the janitor once more. But when you reached the ground floor, what you saw instead made you stop in astonishment. The whole endless hallway was cleaned and still wet, making it look like a frozen road. The janitor was nowhere to be seen. Was that even possible? No way. You moved your head from left to right, carefully stepping onto the perfectly clean floor. This was starting to become creepy. Running was out of the question now, so you decided so slowly make it back to the door, when a sound caught your attention. It sounded like laughing people, echoing in the corridor to your left. It made the whole situation even more awkward. Like a strange nightmare. You looked into the shady aisle, your curiosity growing by the minute. What was going on here? Something made you want to find out.
You sneaked into the left wing slowly, acting like an intruder. You located the voices coming from another corridor. Once you came closer, you realized, it was the sound of a TV. When you stretched your head around the corner, you saw soft light shining out of a door. The people on the TV show were laughing again, making it sound like a sitcom. Your heart was beating loudly in your ears now, while you walked closer to the room. You swallowed a lump and finally peeked inside.