Saturday, September 8, 2012

S.003: Camouflaged

Today at college, us freshmen had a bunch of transfer students came in. Most of them were Sports Faculty students, and quite a number left right after the induction assembly to the Science Faculty at Landgaarb Institute. And only a few transferees were for the Arts & Design Faculty. 

My class had this one French dude who is, apparently, the only transfer student not part of the Foster Family Program. Later on we found out he's not a transfer student at all. He's actually a local, who transferred back.

Dude's got his own crib.

"And I thought that house was vacant," I told Zeiss as he gave me a ride back to Sorbetview. I was talking about the white bungalow next door to Cobalt where he's staying. - We're practically neighbors!

"Well, it's been in the family for years," he replied. "Just that we're not usually around. I'm back for good now though. Finally gonna get some peace of mind."

"Peace of mind?" that ignited some questions in my head.

"We're here!" Zeiss happily announced. Probably evading my question. But I guess I shouldn't dig in the first place.

"Before we get in, there's good news and bad news," I blurted almost immediately when we got out of the car. "Bad news is, my house is full of deranged people."

"And what's the good news?" he raised an eyebrow.

"Good news is, food is great!"

"Itadakimasu," says the Russian bloke in his Russian accent. As a Japanese, I feel so awkward when he says that. 

All of us had seconds. - Except for Saku. 

"Must be pretty lonely for you to stay in that mansion all by yourself," Chenkov assumes. "But honestly, you were back since last week, huh? We could have properly greeted you if we knew you were there."

"Says the person who never sets foot out of the house," I mumbled with my mouth full.

"Don't sweat it," Zeiss replied. "I could have welcomed you guys to the neighborhood instead, but I was too busy settling in. - Plus, shaking off the jet lag sure takes time."

"Jet lag..." Chenkov said under his breath. His mind started to trail somewhere else.

I guess it's a feeling that is now so distant to him. Sometimes... I kinda pity the bloke.

Anyway, after the hearty lunch, I raced Zeiss to some Tokyo Drift. He kinda complained that my room is too high up and he's getting a jet lag just from climbing four flights of stairs. - Wow, four? I never counted. Just so glad the attic is all mine.

"So..." Zeiss blurted in between tunnels and slippery roads. "It's just the three of you here?"

"Nah," I sped through a checkpoint. Leaving him behind. "There's this one other kid. A hyperactive twerp."

"Oh, you mean, the lil blonde guy?"

"Yeah, how'd you know?"

"I saw your fridge magnets."

"Ah, yeah. Saku made those."

"I see him around quite often lately," Zeiss made a U-turn drift.

"Well, that kid is always here and there all the time," I wasn't surprised about it. "If CIA ever pursue him for mass murder, they're never gonna get him."

"You'd hate to be me though. - I'm always the one to have to go look for him high and low if he's not back by sunset."

I could rant about that twerp for ages.

"Guess he's the kind who spends a lot of time in the woods," more insane drifts for Zeiss.


"Yeah, I've been seeing him running around there every now and then," he paused for a deadly turn. "I'm not sure if he got other kids with him. But it seems like he's having a blast and all that."

"There? There where?" I got curious.

"The woods," he blurted as if I already knew which freaking woods he's talking about.

"The one that separates our houses," he said a matter of fact. "Oops, sorry, I'm leading."

Before I could concentrate back on the game, Zeiss already beat me to it.

But the wood thing still bothers my mind. So I get him to show me where exactly the woods that he was talking about.

"If you look closely, you'd see some kinda tent in the middle of it," Zeiss nonchalantly pointed at the thick woods behind our fence.

"Tent? Where? I don't see it."

"Dude, focus," he said.

"I see trees alright," I grumbled. "Where's the freaking tent?!"

"You gotta be kidding me," he had a worried tone. Like it troubles him that I can't see something so obviously there.

He stepped in to point out some peculiar layouts, ground colorings and such but I totally couldn't see his distinction. Either I'm going blind, or he's delusional.

Sigh. Why do I have so many deranged people around me...

"I guess you can't expect much from a camera that has no zoom function," he gave up making me see. "Didn't mean to put that stress on you."

"Say that again and I'll punch your lens to pieces," I glared at him. Who cares if he's my next door neighbor with bionic eyes.

"Chill, dude," he laughed it off. "Why don't we go to the woods and see for ourselves instead?"

And so we went. - This time, Zeiss didn't complained about the flights of stairs because when going down, I taught him how to slide. Now he wished his house was so much fun.

So we walked past my empty garage and got to a spot in between our houses where the trees seemed like they had been there forever.

There was also a faint looking path leading far into the woods. Without further ado, we deliberately decided to explore it. - Who would play out here anyway?

"Hey, look who's here?" I whispered low and signaled Zeiss to tail me closely and not make a sound. "I'm gonna surprise him, he's gonna pee in his pants."

"BWAARRGGH!!!" I thundered. Scaring the shit out of him.

Haagen shrieked like a little girl. - I'm pleased.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!" the kid exploded in rage. "THIS IS MY SECRET HIDEOUT!"

"Well, hide and seek is over, twerp," I had a smug face.

"You're not supposed to be here!" he's growling at me now.

"Dude," Zeiss gravely interrupted. "We got company."

"What's all the commotion here?"