Voices in my Head: Part Seven (1)
"What I don't understand is why we even need to go to school," Sora whines, walking into her room.
The three girls thank the soldier that escorted them, and Rei shuts the door behind them. Turning to Sora, she responds, "Well, why wouldn't we? Think about it. If we were to lose this war..."
"And that's a big if," Hitomi adds.
"...then it won't matter either way, and if we win the war..."
"She means 'when' we win." Hitomi adds.
"...then we'll still be expected to have an education. And I don't know about you, but I don't want to be in High School until I'm in my twenties because it was delayed by a bunch of aliens with a superiority complex."
Sora lets out a long sigh. "Yeah, I know you're right. But it's soooo boring!" She flops onto her bed and places her pillow over her face.
"I don't know why you're complaining." Hitomi takes off her uncomfortable shoes and messages her sore feet. "Ever since we got here, your grades have been great. Even better then Rei's."
"It doesn't make school any less boring," Sora mumbles from under the pillow.
Rei sends Hitomi a nervous look, and gets one in return. Cautiously, she asks Sora, "How...how have been feeling? You're okay...right?"
Sora tosses the pillow to the side and sits up. "I'm fine. How many times are you going to ask me that. It's been like, what, six weeks? And you've asked me that about a thousand times."
"We just want to make sure you're okay." Hitomi sends her a nervous smile. "We're friends, and that's what friends do, right?"
"I know, you know." Sora looks both of her friends in the eyes, and they give her a questioning look. "I mean, about what happened there. About the state you found me in." She places her clasped hands in front of her stomach and opens them to demonstrate.
"Who told you?" Rei asks angrily. "It was Jake, wasn't it? How could he tell you."
Sora shakes her head. "It wasn't his fault. I noticed how cautious everyone was being, so I forced him to tell me. Tricked him, really. Told him you guys you already told me. He was really mad when I told him you hadn't. But it's okay, you know. I was a little freaked out at first, but I'm in one piece now, so I'm fine. Understand? I'm okay, so please stop worrying about me. Other then that, we all went through the same thing. Same attack, same abduction. And we all lost...our families." The three girls sit in sullen silence for a moment. Sora then puts on a smile, and says, "But we have each other, right?"
"That's right." Rei nods. "Alright, we promise we'll try not to think about...that anymore."
Hitomi stretches. "Well, now that that's taken care of, I'm starving. Where's Jake? He's usually back by now, and I could go for some dinner!"
"I don't know." Rei walks over to the door and peaks out. "He's usually back by now."
Sora jumps to her feet. "Well, then, let's go look for him!"
Shaking her head, Rei says, "We aren't supposed to leave our rooms unescorted. We could get in trouble."
"Oh, you worry too much." Sora walks out into the hall. Spinning around to the others, she asks, "You two coming?"
Rei and Hitomi exchange a glance. "Um." Rei scratches her chin. "Someone should stay here in case Jake comes back, right?"
Hitomi nods. "Yeah, and I need Rei's help on...uh, some homework."
Sora shrugs. "Alright, suit yourself. I'll be back. Have fun with just the two of you." Rei nods and closes the door. Sora raises an eyebrow. Why were they blushing? She shrugs again and starts down the hallway.
After fifteen minutes of searching, questioning friendly looking soldiers and staff, all while avoiding or hiding from security and less savory looking soldiers, she notices Jake making his why down a hallway near the labs.
Noticing her as she runs up to him, Jake folds his arms and, in a frustrated tone, asks, "What are you doing out here, Sora? You're going to get yourself, and me, in trouble."
Sora flashes him her puppy-dog eyes, and in the most innocent sounding voice she can muster, says, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be bad. We were just worried when you didn't come home."
Jake rolls his eyes. "You're act is improving. Keep working at it, and maybe it'll work on me someday."
Sora smiles. "Practice makes purpose, right?"
Jake starts making his why back to the room, Sora following closely by his side. "There was trouble by the labs. A dead alien was only mostly-dead, and it got up and attacked a soldier. I was asked to act on security while they cleaned up."
Pouting, Sora says, "That's not fair. That Haven guy works you too hard. You've done such a good job, and he still treats you like a dog."
"No, he doesn't." Jake ruffles Sora's hair. "I just have a lot to prove to the other security staff, and he's just making sure they know I can do my job."
Sora grabs Jake's hand and pulls it off her head. "Well, that's fine if it's true. But sometimes, you're too nice for your own good. Keep that in mind."
"I will." Jake moves to pull his hand away, but Sora keeps her hold in it. Shrugging, he asks, "So where are the other two? I'm surprised they didn't come with you, considering how inseparable you three usually are."
"Yeah, well, the two of them had a talk with this one soldier that walks us back from class everyday, something they said they heard she knows all about, and ever since then they've been finding any excuse they can to be alone." She gives Jake a frank look. "You want to know why I think that is?"
"Why?" Jake looks down at Sora, and reading her expression says, "Oh. Really? That's, um...that's..."
"Gross, if you ask me." Sora chuckles lightly.
Jake shrugs. "Well, times are different, you know. And if their happy..."
Sora laughs loudly. "No, it's not that. It's just that Hitomi has lived with Rei ever since she lost her parents almost seven years ago. I always thought of them like sisters. And sister don't...you know."
"Well, as people get older, feelings change. It's part of...of growing up." The pair walk in silence for a few minutes. Jake again tries to pull his hand again, but Sora only tightens her grip. "Uh, Sora? Why are you..."
"You know." Sora interrupts. "After we had our talk the other day, I talked to Alice, down in the infirmary."
"You did, huh?" Jake gives her a nervous look.
"Yeah, and she told me something you left out." Sora wraps her arms around Jake's arm, and rests her head against it as they walk. "She said that most of the others gave up on me, even her. But she said you refused to. That you even told them to leave you behind. That was really sweet of you."
Jake laughs nervously. "Well, um, Hitomi and Rei were scared, and I couldn't just..." Sora nuzzels closer to Jake's side, and he stops. He pulls his arm away from her, and kneels down in front of her, grasping her shoulders. "Sora, please. You need to stop this."
"Stop what?" Looking into Jake's serious eyes, Sora scowls, angrily asking, "Why? What's wrong with me?"
Jake shakes his head. "Sora, come on. You know it has nothing to do with that."
Sounding desperate, Jake answers, "Well, to start out, you're too young. You're only thirteen, and I'm..."
"I'm fourteen now!" Sora practically shouts. Jake pulls her into a side hallway, away from prying eyes. "I had a birthday while we were in that hellhole," Sora continues, "And I'll have you know, we're only three and a half years apart!"
Jake speaks in a quite tone, hoping Sora will do the same. "Be that as it may, you're still so young. Maybe three or four years is different for people in their twenties or thirties, but you're still just...just..."
"A child?" Sora's volume stays as high as before. "So I'm not mature enough, is that it? Not some tall, big-chested bimbo? Well, I'm still growing. I've grown several inches, and I'm starting to fill out. Look!"
Sora reaches down and starts to lift her shirt. Blushing, Jake grabs her hands to stop her. She suddenly leans forward and kisses Jake on the lips, but he pulls away. Raising his voice, Jake says, "Sora, that's enough. I know you're still growing, but it isn't just about a mature body, but also a mature mind. And how you're acting now just proves you aren't mature enough to make these decisions. You...you're acting like a spoiled brat. If you'd just wait until you older..." Sora slaps Jake hard across the face, her face beet-red with anger. Jake nearly yells at her, but instantly softens at the sight of the tears rolling down her flushed cheeks. "Sora...I'm sorry, I didn't mean..."
Sora tears away from Jake, his pleas for her to stop falling on deaf ears. She flies past confused soldiers and staff members, her blurred vision causing her to bump into several of them as she tries and fails to wipe the tears from her eyes. Stopping to rest, she sobs loudly, until she hears two security guards yell towards her. As they run towards her, she ducks around a corner and through the first door on her right. In a room filled with people wearing lab coats rushing to and fro, she ducks under a desk. At the sight of the security guards entering the room, she crawls from one desk and table to the next, finally sneaking into a room in the back.
Finally getting a grip on her emotions, Sora wipes the tears from her eyes. Good job, Sora, run away crying because he called you a brat. That'll show him you're mature. Stupid, so stupid. Sora looks around at her unfamiliar surroundings. She is in a large, open room, the clean, white walls and equipment indicating a lab environment. There is a single man near the door she came in, too busy watching half a dozen monitors and listening to what sounds like J-Pop on headphones to notice Sora.