THE PECULIARS’ TALE: CHAPTER 23

Translated by: whosays25

Edited by: seiji96

/23/ To Change the Hearts

-Morris-

Welcome to Villa Barbara.

When we arrived we were greeted by the beautiful scenery, luscious green trees, colorful wild flowers and high mountains. It pictures peace and harmony.

“Man, it’s so cold outside.” Tadeo complained after we came out of the bus. Miss Karen instructed us to put our things first in the lobby before going to the common room. She said that the facilitators will take care of putting our belongings to our rooms.

We’re going to stay here for a week. Recollection is not bad at all but my classmates were not so excited and enthusiastic about it.

Recollection.

From the word ‘recollect’, it is the act of recalling something from memory.

Memories that we left behind.

We would remember the events and feelings that we shared in the past. The happy memories and the painful past that keeps haunting our present lives. However, there are times when remembering would hurts too much.

It might be easy for a postcog like me, a postcog who could peek on someone else past through their eyes.

However, it doesn’t mean that I would be exempted in feeling the pain.

I know I’m not the only one that feel anxious about what would happen in this whole week. I’m not the sole person here who fears being hurt by recollecting. I know that everyone else have something being held in their memories. I know.

I’m just hoping that no mishaps occur. Jill already destroyed the caste but it is still there. Ireneo never changed, but he couldn’t touch Jill since he’s also under provision because of her suicide act. However, if he does touch her, I’ll make him regret it.

Inside the common room, the facilitators discussed the rules and regulations and reminded us to be safe while staying  for a week. They gave us our designated rooms which are located on the second floor of the main house.

Almost everyone is quiet while sitting and waiting for the first activity to start.

“I hope the whole week will be fun.” I heard Mariah’s voice. Her group were sitting near me.

“I hope so too. My gut feeling about this is not good though.” Chris, who was beside her, whispered.

“I can feel it… I can feel the pressure.” Penelope said.

“It’s getting closer now? Eh? That’s a song!”

“Mariah, it’s not the time to joke.”

“I’m sorry, Penpen. I just couldn’t take this kind of atmosphere, eh. Look at everyone’s face.”

“Umm… Yue?”

“W-why, Jill?

“Can you now tell me about it?”

“About what, Morie?” Mariah cut in.

“On who’s the blogger. Yue said that he had tracked the address.”

“Whaaat? Yue, OMG. Tell us who did that?”

“Ssshhh!!! Aya, don’t be noisy.”

“Sorry, Baldo. I was just excited.”

And there’s a long silence. They’re waiting for Stephen’s to answer. Unfortunately, he replied a sigh.

“S-sorry, guys. But can I say it after this recollection?”

“But – “

Before they can even protest, the facilitator along with Miss Karen and a man wearing a white polo suddenly arrived. They began the introductions. After that, the facilitator left while Miss Karen took her spot in one corner. The man was left at the center. He introduced himself as Rommel Romulo, a seminarian. Before anything else, an opening prayer was held.

“Why do you think you are all here?” After the opening prayer, Sir Romulo gave this question. It’s a rhetorical one so we don’t need to answer.

“You are all here to reflect, have peace and silence in your heart, and walk the path leading to our Lord.” He said, “If you noticed, you’re all facing a mirror.” In the front, there’s a huge mirror there, and we could see ourselves. “But you’re not aware that every wall in this room is a mirror.” Sir Romulo went to one part of a wall. That was when we noticed that there’s a thick curtain before it. He pulled a rope which made curtains simultaneously revealed our innumerable reflections. All of the walls were made of mirrors.

“It means that no matter where you look, you would see nothing but yourselves. The purpose of this recollection is to reflect yourselves, in order to change your hearts.”

Change of hearts.

The next instances made us bored. I mean, everything was dull. The seminarian focused more on his lectures.

When they gave us a thirty minutes break, I hurriedly went out. I searched for Miss and I found her at the lobby’s entrance. I grabbed her arm but she shook it.

“Whoa! Morris, easy.” She said.

“You said you’re going to do my favour.”

“You’re very impatient. Dear, five days are long.”

“What are you going to do? You’re not the one in charge of the activities.”

“Rommel is my acquaintance. And I have plans.”

“Don’t tell me that person is part of Memoire.”

“No, he’s not.”

“Please, Miss. Tell me what you planned to do.” I’m starting to lose my temper. I don’t know why but she’s right. I think I’m feeling irritated by how slow the events were unfolding.

“I’m not going to tell anything.”

“Why?”

“This is your favour. If you really want to succeed, then just watch and wait it.” We stared for seconds. “Just trust me, Morris.” Then she left.

I was already leaving but when I turned my back, I saw Mariah standing near a huge vase. When I entered, she barred me.

“What’s between you and Miss?” She suspiciously asked. “I always see the two of you together in the garden.”

‘’Nothing.”

“Eh between you and Lily?” Mariah Martinez. Everyone called her Aya, that nickname is given to her by Lucille. “She’s your girlfriend, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Then why are you going after Morie?”

“Because I love her.”

Not all that you see outside is real. Everything is different inside and outside. I know her, Mariah; I know who she really is.

“You’re damnable, Morris.”

“I know.”

She stepped back and went inside while I grinned. Then I followed. I returned to my seat where Lily, the one they called my girlfriend, is waiting.

“Where did you go?” She asked.

“Outside.”

“What did you do?”

“Nothing.” She no longer replied. Lily is my girlfriend. But I’ve never been a boyfriend to her. There’s a reason for everything and for this. She won’t let me go, but someday she will.

Sir Romulo came back. He made us arranged ourselves and started his talk again. Sir Romulo started another discussion which is more on spiritual activities. He showed us different inspirational clips and videos but none of them touches everyone’s heart.

Wherever I look, I could see their reflections. There’s no change, no progress. It made me expectant of what would happen.

“Just trust me, Morris.”

My only favour for Miss was to change the hearts of everyone. This was why she made the theme to change everyone’s hearts.  This was what I only wanted. This is what I asked to Miss Karen.

It could help Jill, and also us, to move on from the painful past.

***

Second day.

After the breakfast session, they impatiently made us go to the common room for this day’s activities. When we arrived there, the chairs were forming a circle. The curtains were pulled to the side so our reflections could be seen again.

Half an hour passed. No facilitators came. Even Sir Romulo was not around. The lights except from the one placed at the center died out so it became dark. Miss Karen suddenly appeared at the center.

“Good morning, everyone. Because of urgent meetings, Sir Romulo went back to the seminary and it will take long time to replace him so they made me the temporary in-charge of this recollection.”

Everyone reacted. I think this is part of her plan. Miss glanced at me and it was a sigh for me to start.

“Let’s skip the introductions. I know that the purpose of all of this had been discussed yesterday: to change your hearts. And so, why don’t we put a twist to everything? I mean, why don’t we make your last recollection memorable?” She sounded creepy. The people beside was scared by her and also Lily who suddenly grabbed me. Though I ignored it.

“Our first activity for this morning, we’re going to play Wink Murder.”

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