I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.
-By John D. Rockefeller.
Chronic of red
It was around the end of the semester. The time that every student in high school longs for. And I was one of those people, finishing off one art class in a heave of sweaty panic. Lots of things had been happening to me at the time and I can say my schedule was packed with assignments and tests. But this project was supposed to be the last one and then I could sigh in relief.
However, I had until the end of the day to finish a painting I was doing and return it to the teacher.
The brush was literally wrapped in dry paint when I returned from the other side of the school with my notebook that I had forgotten in my locker. Crap, crap, crap, was all I thought and shouted quietly in my mind while my teeth gritted together. The brush nearly slipped out of my slippery grip more than once.
The whole classroom was empty, so it was just me and my art equipment. But every once in a while, I would glance out to the yard longingly to see the street few students walking along it and definitely to their homes… While I continued being stuck in a paint smelling classroom. I had run about two hours before because of a notebook and my notes in it of the whole art project – I spent nearly a week to finish them – had been left in my locker which was on the other side of the school. So, not only did I smell like paint, but sweat was literally dripping from my armpits due to exercise and stress I was under.
Why did I ever think that art would be easy? I deserved to be smacked across the face for that.
Anyway, that is not even the worst part of everything that happened during that dreadful day. When I least expected the things to get worse, they did.
So, a few moments before my demise, I had managed to add one final brush to the painting and let it clatter down to the palate. My shoulders rose high to the level of my ears before they slumped down.
"I am done!" Taking off the apron covered in different shades I let it slump down to the chair and looked at my work once – a smile forced its way to my face.
However, just like those who climb the mountains to the highest peak, they are all in danger of falling from those very heights. And because I got cocky and thought that it would not happen to me everything fell apart. My first mistake.
It wasn't probably the smartest thing to do, but I was so ecstatic and eager to get out of the building with my head held high, that I started cleaning hastily. I didn't bother to check if I really did put the thin brushes into right place or where the thicker ones ended up. I grabbed half-empty bucket of paint and briskly walked to the door. The storage for paints was in another art room.
That was another mistake I made that day.
The very second the handle was twisted by me and the entire wooden door opened, I nearly collided with someone. The shock had been great, because it was unexpected.
The next thing I knew, the bucket that I had been swinging carelessly back and forth slipped out of my hands and straight towards whoever was unfortunate enough to be standing there. It hit the solid chest and clattered loudly to the floor. My mind actually grew so silent that the metal meeting the ground sounded like glass shattering. And it was also thanks to this that I didn't feel the dread immediately. But, when it came, it hit me so hard that the air literally left from my lungs. I couldn't breathe.
Red, the only color I was seeing was stark and painfully bright against the plain white school walls. However, that was not the only white it had stained and that was the very reason all of the oxygen felt like it was disappearing from my lungs. The person who had surprised me, had that paint dripping down the front of their own white shirt, covering almost every piece of the fabric.
I watched everything happen in slow motion. The color faded from my own features and the world grew unclear before my very eyes.
"Jasper!" A high-pitched, delicate and angel-like voice yelled and broke the atmosphere. Heels were clicking daintily and approached me and the person I had just dumped the paint on.
The color literally left from my face for the second time and my lower lip started trembling. What. Have. I. Done!?
"I-I am so, so sorry!" Is the only thing that left from my mouth. But instead of going forward, I took a step back. I have never been good with confrontations or looking people in the eye in awkward situations and that moment had been like living my worst nightmare.
However, I did everything against those instincts that told me to forget apologies and run away as fast as I could. Instead, I had tried to handle the situation like a grown-up. Another mistake, because when I lifted my head up in the most apologetic and ashamed expression I could muster back then, I literally froze and stopped breathing again. My heart almost stopped beating, as well, and cold sweat dribbled down my spine like a gathering of snakes.
Dark – like solid black, steel, pitch black paint, any of those colors or even darker – were staring down at me with murderous intent. At least, that is what I gathered in a second from the clenching jaw and the pale features. For a moment, the person appeared unworldly and even more terrifying than they already appeared. The light of the outside and the hallway illuminated the sharp face and only made those stark black eyes and dark rings under them even more obvious. The later should have brought imperfection, but it did none of that. And despite how those eyes clearly were the most horrifying thing I had ever witnessed, half of me had been in awe of the beauty of the boy before me. The golden locks framing his face had been almost like looking to the eyes of the angel.
Until that moment, I thought I had already seen every possible death stare and glare out there. And I was snapped back to reality of the situation, when I took a note of how the paint made him look like a victim of a serial killer, or perhaps the killer himself. A cold chill traveled down my spine and my voice was lost. He appeared to be almost shaking, lower lip twitching into a grimace or even deadlier look.
Just kill me! I remember screaming mentally. I had wished that the earth would have swallowed me up, but the ground beneath me was steady and covered in slick paint.
"Jasper," the voice that had screamed earlier was suddenly closer and softer, calming and smooth. It came in the form of a tiny, dark-haired girl. Her startling wide hazel eyes – no, are those gold? – turned to look at me.
I blinked back like a braindead moron. I had been too ready to bawl my eyes out, but then even more terrifying sound filled the hallway.
"Oh. My. Gosh," the cursed space was large and empty enough for the echo caused by those gasped words to fill it.
The three pairs of eyes turned sharply to see a girl with her school bag loosely hanging from her right shoulder. Her eyes were wide and looked between me and the two other people in complete shock that it made her eyes plate-like. And there was a bright pink phone in her right hand which made my stomach flip over once more.
I send her a pleading look, begging her silently through my gaze to put that piece of technology down immediately. My week, my day had already been bad enough and I didn't want everyone to know how much I had screwed up that time. I liked to be unnoticeable, but I knew that things would change if that screen would flash. So, I weakly shook my head, hands growing sweaty and the world started spinning. Please, don't do it. For the love of everything holy, don't!
There was a rather loud 'click' and with that, my life was officially over.