ii. let me not mar that perfect dream

I didn't go to the library as often as I used to, anymore. Whenever the skies were ochre and peach, I was usually at the café near the school, sipping Caramel lattes and drawing poor excuses for sketches. I would chat a little with Roxas – my so-called 'best friend' who kept guffawing at the 'Riku Story' – who worked at DIA Café after school to pay for his tuition. Sometimes, Zexion, Axel and Olette would join and we'd all have a false sense of happiness – at least for a short while.

I guess you could say I was – I am – a coward for hiding from Riku, but that little conversation (or lack of it) a few days ago made me realize that I was more than contented watching – not stalking – him from afar. It was my paranoid little fantasy – for him and I to live 'happily ever after' – but I wasn't hopeful (or desperate enough) to make it real. I mean, I wouldn't go burning bridges and punching villains to get my fairy tale ending. (And truth be told, I'd really have to do those things just even to talk to Riku. He has clingy fangirls.) I still have some dignity left, you know.

…Well, at least I'm pretending to not lie about the dignity I never had.

"Hey, Namine!" Roxas greeted me, a cheerfully shy smile on his face, as I entered the quaint café. "The usual?" He asked, and I merely nodded. I then plopped myself on one of the couches in the back and pulled out my sketchbook.

The scent of paper and ink and caffeine was intoxicating. I could get lost in this pseudo-Wonderland of mine and I wouldn't even care if I didn't get out alive. I was possessed again – possessed by the spirit of nothingness – and that possession meant I would lose track of time.

"Here," Roxas told me – though his voice was slowing fading in my mind – as he handed me my latte. I think I mumbled a 'thanks,' but I couldn't be certain. Nothing ever was, in my Wonderland.

And so, I just kept on drinking and drawing; drowning out the voices of those around me. I was between and beyond everything in this world. I felt cold and warm and up and down and nothing and everything when I just continued drawing.

This was my dream; my long, perpetual phantasmagoria of nightmarish fragments. This was my life, my everything, my reality.

But, like every good nightmare, I was bound to wake up, sometime. The true reality came crashing back down, crushing all my false hopes and wishes. I found myself inside the café once more, with people of all shapes and sizes happily talking and drinking caffeinated drinks and binging on highly-sugared pastries.

I felt lost in this reality. I think I preferred my uncertain Wonderland.

"Namine!" Once more, I was face to face with a certain silver-haired golden boy I was trying to avoid. At that specific moment – my moment of loss – he entered Destiny Islands Academy Café with all his popular chumps and yet, he chose to sit beside me.

Sometimes, I wonder who is the watcher and who is the person being watched. Should I feel happy, or frightened?

My mind couldn't process these unfamiliar thoughts, so it chose 'frightened.' I tensed visibly, and sipped my drink with such…unNamine-ness…that I was almost certain that Roxas would come to me and slap me or something for conversing with popular people.

Apparently, this reality wasn't certain, as well. And this day was so darn full of uncertainty, for in a split second, all of Riku's popular friends sat slipped into the couches surrounding me, without any hesitation.

Honestly, was he that powerful that he could control everyone's minds and forcing them to sit with an unknown human being like me?