Chapter Twelve - Flash of Silver
Running like a rabbit that was on too much of a sugar diet, I got to the dormitory that Ashley lived in pretty much record time. That was surprising for me, considering that the girl’s building was the farthest away from the purposely centred Dining hall of all the dormitory building... set up against the hundred year old stone wall on the farthest edges of the east side of the campus.
I must have looked like some crazy person or something as I was running away from the dining hall toward the dormitory. Frankly, I think that I had knocked over a few of the younger girls from the primary grades like some large and equally as stupid football player from one of the boy’s schools that were in the city limits.... I was so focussed only on getting to Ashley at this time, I was not really thinking.
The dorm building seemed very still. I sprinted up the stairs a quickly as I could, still being winded by the run over here. I hurried up to the floor where the girl’s room was, startling the heck out of a few straggling girls that were unfortunately almost knocked over in the process of my assent. I called back my apology, but I heard only a few swears back. Screw them, I told myself
Once getting up to Ashley’s door, another problem... one that I had not even thought about running across the campus. I had pushed open the partially open door after a quick knock on the wooden portal and stepped in and came to find that Ashley was not in her room.
Ash’s room was so neat and immaculately in the light of the lone bedside lamp, so damned clean that I had to blink... the last time I had been in here I had not noticed the cleanness for reasons my mind did not want to dredge back up. I was a extremely tidy person, my mother had always said it was starting to border on an obsession... but I bet my parents never saw a room like this one. I was beyond overly neat and was organized to the tenth power. I shook my head because I knew that this was way past my sometimes necrotic tendances
I stood there amidst the nearly pristine clean room, trying hard to figure out what was I going to do next. Finding that she was not in her room had been more than a little surprising to me.
" Great!!" I mumbled to myself, still panting hard from all of the running I had done to get here. " Where is she?"
I was starting to wonder if I had somehow missed seeing her sitting in the dining hall, or inadvertently had passed her by in my haste to get here in the first place.... or if she had decided to go another route across campus for breakfast. Even though those two were more than just possible, I was more than just really sure that I had not passed her... but the emptiness of her room made me have doubts about that even them..
It was right then when I reminded myself that Ashley’s door had been sitting open a little when I found it. , so it was more than logical that she was still somewhere on this floor. Nobody who went to our school would leave their dorm rooms wide open like this even a little for the most part... so it was obvious that she was perhaps still on this floor somewhere... the question was there was almost a hundred room in this building alone. Where to start/.
I started to leave to check the bathroom area on this floor first off... that was the most plausible place to start... most people would leave their room open if they were just going there for that couple of minutes everyone needed to do. I knew that finding the facilities would not be very hard to find in the first place...the bathroom was almost exactly placed where it is in all buildings on the campus... perhaps planned that way by the ones who founded St. Tomas over seventy years ago.
After hearing about Louise, I was really needing to talk. The promise that I had given to the now missing girl was not a issue any more, we needed to get all of this out in the open if we were going to find out what has happened to the girl... and hopefully the ramifications would not be as harsh as my mind was making it all out to be. I had this feeling that it was more than just the girl had ran away from school... I had no proof of that, but I was sure that something was very wrong.
I was walking, and saw a dark skinned girl that usually hung around with Ashley, walking towards a large staircase that led down. I thought that the girl just might know where the girl was, and thus shorten the search.
" Hey, Connie..." I called out to the young girl with the jet black and very curly hair..
The girl stopped on hearing my call. She smiled as I came up to her. .
" Hey girl!" She said, with her somewhat strong southern accent, which I always had like the sound of.
" Hey..." I replied.
" What you doin’ in my dorm?" She asked. " Is breakfast that bad that you need to hide clear across the school grounds?"
" Trying to find someone... " I just giggled, remembering for a moment about the bad breakfast she had waiting in the dining hall. "
"Who?" Connie asked, always one to try and lend a hand.
" Looking for Ashley..." I said. " Have you seen her this morning?"
The deeply dark skinned girl paused for a moment, shifting her book bag she had on one shoulder. It was apparent that she was searching her memory.
" Saw her in the shower room ‘bout an hour ago. Saw her in passing right after I was done..." She thought out loud, as was her usual way. " She was going in to shower right then, but I have not seen her since."
" You sure?" I said, a little frustrated by now.
" Yep..." She drawled with a smile, the added with a chipper tone that made the morning feel slightly better than it had been.. " When I see her, I will tell her that your lookin’ for her."
The girl waved as she turned and started to hurry off. Calling out to another girl that was just starting to go down the nearest staircase, Connie raced and joined this person as they went down the steps and was probably off to probably get some breakfast before classes started. I knew that she might think twice about them hurrying over once they see the menu items.
I was now alone in the hallway as talking to Connie had helped me not one little bit.. I was no closer to finding Ashley than I had been ten minutes ago. I had only one other place that I could have thought where she could be. There was a small living room styled communal area that each floor in any of the dorm had... that was truly the very last place I could think where my new girl friend would end up being.
I was way down the hallway when I was relived to finally catch a glimpse of Ashley at the farthest end of this hallway near that communal area. I had started to feel a little more relieved the instant that I caught sight of the girl, I felt line a weight was about to be lifted from my shoulders.
" Wait up Ashley!!!" I called out as I started to run.
I pushed myself to catch up to her, but saw her head down a side hallway, one that was like many others that dotted throughout ever single building that St. Thomas seemed to have on its hallowed grounds.. I continued to try and call out to her several times as I raced down the hallway as fast as my patent leather clad feet could move, but she obviously could not hear me as she vanished from sight.
I ended up pushing myself to run even faster, even after the exertion of earlier, I wanted to close the gap as fast as I could have. I was not very far behind the girl but was trying to make up the ground. I felt my tired legs were almost like they were made out of rock after all of this racing around I had done... but they still giving all that they had.
That hallway was empty of any sign of Ashley when I got there, it held no clues to her whereabouts from my point of view... yet I came to realize that it just might not be hard to figure out as well. I knew that she had to be behind one of the four plain white painted doors I had found in this small utility hallway. With it being a dead end as well, there was no other way in or out of here without me seeing.
All of these rooms are nothing more than small storage rooms that were set aside for the towels and linen the school graciously supplied to us for showers and such. I was going to find Ashley after all of this time searching around, which gave my heart a lift... after really needing to talk to someone at this point of time after hearing about Louise so called running off like had been rumoured.
I made my way down the small hallway, listening at each door for which of these rooms she might have ducked into so quickly. I could see that one had a light shining from under the door, and there was a shadow moving around inside of the room. I was as curious to find out why she had gone into the room as I was anxious to talk to the girl.
I then heard Ashley’s voice behind the last door that was on the left of the small hallway. It sounded at first like she was having a conversation with herself in that small storage area, but I already knew what was really happening in there. I shook my head, as I did begin to realize what she was doing.
It was clear to me that she was on her cell phone while hiding in the storage room. People used many places like this around the school because it was something that is strictly forbidden to even have such a device on campus. That was one of the many conduct set out by the diocese of the church who owned the school enforced to the letter by the school administration... but everyone who went to St. Tomas still did it anyways, hiding in some of the most strangest places this school could offer up.
I decided to poke my head in and make her aware that I was out in the hallway and that I would be waiting until she was finish her call. I opened the door of the storage place which was unlocked and leaned in through the opening I had made for myself while hoping that I would not scare the living crap out of her in the process.... I knew she could be kind of jumpy at times..
I had barely poked my head in when I immediately was physically pulled into the small space forcefully by a hand which I already knew would not be Ashley’s. In a blink of an eye, I was slammed against the storage room door which had already slammed shut behind me because of the door return arm. I gasped as some of my air had been knocked right out of my lungs, that was the moment that I myself knowing that this was not Ashley.... but another person that had pulled me in like a ragdoll.
There I was, looking up and right into a very tall woman. I was very short, even at my age, but this woman towered over me like I was a young child... and she might have been even taller than my own father. She had this vibrant blond hair that was pulled back tightly into a long ponytail. The woman was obviously very athletic, almost having a male type of body... and as imposing as well..
I could not help but to look squarely into that face that loomed over me. Fear gripped me as I noticed how her eyes were such a vibrant cobalt blue. That intensity made those eyes feel as if they were cutting into me like a laser beam... for they held not eve an ounce of kindness in its coldness... then my worst fear was coming true.
I noticed that in the woman’s free hand, she held pointing towards the ceiling one very large and shiny silver gun. I could see that she had a single finger resting ever so lightly on the trigger, it looked natural. It was as if this tall and extremely imposing woman had been born with the weapon in her hand.
" Who the hell are you?" The very tall and statuesque woman asked with great authoritative bark, as her eyes seemed to turn the colour of steel. "Well?"
" I am so damned dead..." I swallowed hard, as this woman stared right through me.
My life started to flashed through my mind like a fast forwarded DVD, as my conscious gaze held the taller lady’s piercing stare. Instead of Ashley, I found a angry woman with a gun... feeling as if my life was ebbing away. It was the first time I could feel this type of fear... and I wished I could run off and save myself.