Belift Private Academy (pt. 2)

Our Beautiful Forever

The midnight air was cool against his skin as he walked through the trees. It was odd that despite being in the middle of a bustling city, the park's little forest made everything seem distant, like a far away dream. Jake found himself walking the path frequently the last few days, willpower not strong enough to keep him in the apartment 24/7, but not weak enough that he had returned to the academy, at least not yet. With every passing second he could feel the strange sensation getting stronger and he was struggling to keep himself away. 

But why?

The thought was intrusive, but had a good point. Why was he so intent on not going back? There was something or someone there that he was supposed to see, he could feel it. So why was he fighting so hard? What was the point? There really wasn't one, he decided. What was the worst thing that could happen?

You could bite.

Another intrusive, yet accurate thought. The guy from his dream... The one he'd been so close to biting. What if that became his reality? Jake knew that once he had bitten someone once he likely wouldn't be able to stop, at least not for a very long time and with hard work that he didn't know if he had the willpower to succeed at. The initial bloodlust had been so hard to suppress, and he still felt that his control over it was fragile. One bite is all it would take for everything he'd worked so hard for to spiral into despair.

He shook the thoughts away, returning to the real world, alarmed when he came face to face with Belift Private Academy. When did he get here? How did he get here? Hadn't he just been walking peacefully in the park? It reminded him of his dream, the first one he'd had about the academy. He'd been in the woods then too, been drawn here, the feeling so strong he'd run at full speed, the world a blur around him. Much like in that dream, the city slept, sidewalks eerily empty, cars oddly quiet. Jake was the only person in the area, stuck in place, the feeling like what he was looking for was nearby stronger than ever.

With his curiosity eating away at him he took a step closer to the building, then another and another. Soon he stood in front of the large wooden doors, hand reaching out to grasp the doorknob, but before he made contact, something pulled him away from the doors, brought him back to the sidewalk across the road where the sensation evaporated, leaving him exhausted and way more confused than before. He decided that he'd had enough for the day and that he would just come back tomorrow, no more trying to stay away, no more pretending the academy didn't exist. It just didn't make sense. Now that the had made up his mind, he made his way groggily back to his apartment and flopped into bed.

---

Jake opened his eyes, more rested than he had in what seemed like weeks. The urge that had been glued to him for the past few days was now just a dull ache, and he had a feeling that his decision to stop avoiding the academy had a huge part in that. He felt oddly at ease as he went about his morning routine, but he knew that wouldn't last long, that the sensation would get stronger the longer he stayed away. Still feeling a little stubborn, he took his time and once he was showered and had eaten a small snack, he pulled his shoes on and left the apartment.

The walk seemed to have gotten longer, even though he knew that wasn't possible, and gave him way too much time inside his head. His thoughts raced, jumping from one thing to the next before he had proper time to process anything, though everything he thought was somehow related to the academy. He was stuck on the idea that there was someone or something at the academy that he was supposed to see. Nothing else made sense. There was no other reason for him to be drawn to the academy. But then came the problem of finding out what or who was calling to him, and why. Two tasks that seemed utterly impossible. Even if he found the person or thing, how would he go about finding out why? If it was a person, he could just ask, but there was the possibility that they would be just as lost as he was, or even more so. He wondered if there really was another person on the the other end of this, if they felt the same urge as he did, if they too were being pulled towards him, and if so, why hadn't they met yet? Either way there was no telling what he was getting himself into. The only thing he knew for sure was that the urges got stronger the longer he was away from the academy, and that it felt like he was quickly running out of time.

Shuffling feet and chattering voices pulled him from his thoughts, and he found himself stopped in front of the academy once again. It was still early enough in the day that students were arriving, backpacks on, shoes slapping on the path through the gate. The doors that had been closed tight the previous night, were now flung wide open as the river of almost late students flowed inside. Not sure what else to do, Jake joined them, letting himself get caught in the current and get swept along with them.

The inside seemed impossibly large. He was greeted with a high ceilinged and incredibly spacious entryway, that thankfully was nowhere near as crowded as he'd imagined it be for the amount of students that had crammed through the doors just moments ago. All around him, the students went about their business, navigating the hallways like pros. Some made their way upstairs, while others remained on the ground floor, disappearing down one of the four hallways that branched out from the entryway.

"Excuse me, is there something I can help you with?" A woman asked, coming to a stop in front of him.

"Um, yes actually, can you tell me how I can get to the main office?"

"Right this way." The woman spun on her heel and walked at a brisk pace to the leftmost hallway. Jake followed silently behind her until she stopped in front of a large wooden door, much like those at the entrance, that had a silver plaque next to it. 'Headmaster' it read.

"This is the headmaster's office, which has the same function as that of a main office at a public school. Any inquiries you have can surely be answered here." And then she walked away, barely giving him enough time to call a quick 'thank you' after her.

Taking a deep, steadying breath, Jake lifted his arm and tapped his knuckles against the hard wood surface.

"Come in." A voice called, barely audible.

He opened the door, immediately overwhelmed by the smell of a vanilla scented candle that sat on the edge of a large desk positioned in front of an even larger window. Next to the candle was a nameplate with the name Choi Yoona, and written underneath that was the word chairwoman in parenthesis. 

She sat behind the desk, watching him silently as he closed the door behind him and moved further into the room.

"Please take a seat and tell me what I can do for you."

Jake buffered. He actually had no idea what he should say. Why was he here? If he told the truth he'd likely be labeled crazy and thrown out without a second glance. What would get him into the academy on a regular basis and allow him to move about freely, or as freely as possible, without being suspicious?

"I'm looking to enroll." It was the best chance he had and he still looked young enough to pass as a student.

"If that's the case I'm sure you wouldn't mind answering a few questions."

He nodded, his heart jumping into his throat. He'd never been great at interviews, not that he had actually done many.

"Well firstly, why my aacademy?"

"I feel that this academy has the ability to challenge me and hone my knowledge into a sharp blade that I can weild to further my learning and allow me to enter into a career I'm confident in." 

She listened attentively and nodded. "Do you have a direction you would like to weild this blade in?"

"Medicine." It wasn't completely a lie. He had thought about going into medicine before his life was turned upside down, and she seemed the type to meddle in student affairs, so he wanted to seem scholarly enough to reasonably spend a large amount of time at the academy. He just hoped his story was enough to convince her.

 

"I see, I'm in the company of a future doctor. One last question." She paused momentarily to look at the clock hanging on the wall beside them. "Up to what grade have you completed?"

"High school, third year."

"To move forward with the enrollment process there are some steps you'll need to complete." She turned in her chair, pulling a key from somewhere and used it to unlock a drawer of the filing cabinet behind her. When she turned back around, she held a thick folder. Leafing through it, she pulled out several packets, some loose sheets of paper and even a couple of pamphlets. "You will need to read through and fill these out." She pushed the stack she'd made across the table towards him, then paused, letting him look through them briefly before she continued. "These just include some information about the academy and its facilities. We are home to a wide variety of clubs that you may participate if you find yourself with some extra time. Upon enrollment you will receive a tour of the campus and a class schedule. But before that, you will take an assessment to decide which year and class you will be assigned to. Any questions so far?"

Jake shook his head, which seemed to please the chairwoman and she smiled.

"Then we have nothing further to discuss at the moment. Fill those out and bring them back to me. My office phone number is on one of those sheets, call me once you have them complete and we can set up a day for you to come in, you will take the assessment that day as well."

Jake nodded, stood and left her office with the large stack of papers he had to fill out and sign. His heda spun with reserfacing school-day anxiety and anticipation to find his reason for coming to the academy in the first place. He was so caught up in his thoughts that he failed to notice the student watching him from the second story balcony that hung above the entryway, nor did he notice the sudden disapperance of the strange sensation when he passed directly below him...

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