The cat blinks at me from across the table. Its glossy black coat slightly shines in the light as it leisurely stretches its back, mouth wide open in a frighteningly tantalizing yawn. The eyes gleam at me as it returns to staring at me, almost sly. I know it’s silly to think that of a cat, but there was something peculiar about this creature…
As I continued to stare at its eyes, a shiver travels the length of my spine; there’s a hypnotic quality to the brilliant gold eyes, without any flecks or flaws and the pure gold seems to pull me in. Before I know it I’m leaning forward on my arms and moving towards it. It takes me a minute to shake off the goosebumps rising on my skin.
It’s just a cat, I tell myself, a soft, feline creature.
I look at the laptop to check the time, but the screen has gone black.
I move my hand and press a key to turn it back on, but something catches my attention right before the screen lights up. I spin my head to look behind me, but there’s nothing more than another stack of discarded books on a table, among the seemingly endless bookshelves and study cubicles.
After a long look, I turn back to the screen. I could’ve sworn I saw a shadow dart through the room as per the reflection, but there was clearly nobody but myself in this part of the library.
It was 7:30 in the evening. This time I am the one who is left blinking. I’ve been here for six hours, give or take. Books open here and there, some lying in an orderly fashion next to paper scribbled with my own handwriting, others stacked on top of each other. I was studious, and this was by no means a rare occurrence, but there was something wrong with the whole scenario.
I couldn’t remember anything that I’d done.
It was as if the past five hours had ceased to exist, yet as the clock on the wall told the same time as the laptop, I couldn’t deny this was where I’d been the whole time. Rubbing my eyes, I reached for the bottle of water next to my backpack, only to find it empty. More confusion found its way into my system. The bottle was a large one I usually reserved for summers but had brought out months before we were through even half of the winters. Even as an adult, I had problems with water intake, so seeing an empty bottle in place of one I was sure had been filled to the brim didn’t put me much at ease.
I picked up the papers that were lying closest to me. It was my handwriting but I couldn’t for the life of me, recall when I’d written it. It had happened a few times before during my teenage years when I would scribble itty bitty notes in novels, and then forget about them, but this was entirely different.
The streets were unnervingly quiet as she briskly walked towards the grocery store. It was a bit of a long walk to the store because of the location of the apartment she was currently staying at, but it was time to cook a proper meal. Maybe she’d invite the next door neighbor over if her roommate still wasn’t back by the time she was done. The only time she’d cooked before, the neighbor had commented on the delicious scent of spices wafting through the joined complexes. These foreign people loved anything even slightly “exotic,” and she didn’t mind the company. Away from all her old friends, things got a little lonely at times. As the automatic doors parted on the way inside, I hoped they had all the ingredients for the meal.
She couldn’t understand the text.
When had she written this and about whom? It wasn’t for lack of imagination, and by the looks of things she had been focusing on her creative writing class, but her mind came up as blank as she tried to recall this piece. Searching through her memories, there was nothing leading up to this.
She raised her head from having read the paper and was taken aback to find the cat gone. The absence of those golden eyes was almost as heavy as their presence had been.