• A figure tossed and turned under a bunch of crumpled sheets as a blanket of night fell from the sky, overshadowing the city buildings. Bright red-brown hair emerged from the covers, a pale face appeared—an expression of immense concentration on his face. He was muttering, “Sheep number five hundred and sixty eight. Sheep number five hundred and sixty nine… okay, this obviously isn’t working. I feel like a complete imbecile.” His glossy gray eyes wandered around his room, searching for a sense of familiarity in his new room. Keif only moved into this apartment with his best friend a week ago; only because it was more convenient for their needs. The gray eyes came to an abrupt stop as he caught sight of his cat. Almost hidden completely in the darkness, a black cat with fur as dark as ebony, acknowledged his owner by simply meeting the gray eyes with its own striking yellow. Keif felt the hint of a smile at his lips. If anything were to cheer him up despite his insomnia, it’d be his cat gray. Ha! A black cat named Gray; who would’ve thought such an ironic name was possible?

    Keif ran his hand through his red hair in a lame attempt to tame the random bunches that stuck out awkwardly. His pearl white teeth gleamed in the blackness of the room as he grinned; the nostalgic feeling flooded his chest. As Keif reminisced his past, Gray’s ears twitched and in one swift motion, he was up on his four feet hissing at the doorway. Suddenly, there was a crash that came from outside in the living room. Jumping up in shock from the noise, Keif froze in fear, his heart pounding in its cage as the earsplitting silence made his ears ring. His thundering heart beat more gently against his chest as Keif’s breathing slowed. Regaining complete control of his sense, Keif rolled his eyes, leaned back against the wall and said, “Very funny Myzik. It’s nearly daybreak—shouldn’t you be snoring away in your OWN room?” He crossed his arms and scoffed, “Nice try though, you nearly got me there.” It was only then, Keif noticed that his best friend had not burst into his room sniggering or any of the possible reactions he would’ve—should’ve done. Fear engulfed Keif’s entire being like a shark closing its jaws on its prey. “Myzik? Is that you?” No answer. “Dude, this isn’t funny anymore.” No answer. “Seriously, I’ll KILL you.” No answer.

    A small creak disrupted the ripples of silence as Keif swung his legs over the bed. Gray, his vibrant eyes still glaring at the doorway leapt gracefully into his arms and snarled. In the darkness, Keif’s pale skin practically glowed as he took several steps towards the door. “Who’s there?” he hoped his voice did not waver. Walking out into the living room, Keif was greeted with a bright flash as Gray jumped out of his arms. Automatically shielding his eyes with his arms, Keif took several steps backwards only to trip over a box. His eyes regaining its focus, Keif saw a figure—one that of a girl holding a flashlight, standing over him.

    Unable to say anything intimidating, he managed to utter, “Why are you here?” Under the white moonlight that flowed into the room through the window, Keif saw the girl’s features. She had a dark visage with cheekbones that formed deep shadows on her face, a sharp nose, wavy red hair, and plump pink lips that curved around her gleaming white teeth as she smiled. What frightened Keif were her eyes—an emerald green so vibrant, her eyes glistened even under the small stream of light. They pierced through him like a thousand needles and he felt like everything was a part of his very being was ripped from his soul and revealed to this lady in front of him. Yet at the same time, Keif felt that these eyes were familiar. “Why’re you so quiet? I was expecting you to yell or something.” The woman had spoken! His gaze reverted back to the emerald eyes. She crouched down to face him. “Don’t you remember me?” “Obviously not…” Keif frowned, his forehead wrinkling. “Heh. I suspected as much. Anyway I’m not a thief of whatever you think I am. I have a key.” The girl smiled again. “Huh!? How?” Keif exclaimed as he stood. Without waiting for an answer, Keif answered the question himself, “Myzik.”

    Adrenaline pumping through his veins, Keif stomped into Myzik’s room, grabbed a textbook from the carpet and threw it into the mess of covers on the bed. The book hit something with a thud, bounced off and dropped to the ground. A human-like figure in the covers moved around and groaned. “Yo, what the heck was that for?” A boy with mahogany brown hair and light brown eyes appeared from under the blankets with a pained expression. “That is most definitely going to bruise. Geez, Keif, what’d I do wrong NOW?” If Keif had not restrained himself because of the presence of a female, Myzik would have been back in bed, unconscious and all black and blue. “Hmm… I don’t know… maybe because you never asked me nor told me that you gave a key to our home? Maybe because the person you gave it to snuck into apartments and scared the living CRAP out of me?! I don’t know Myzik, you tell me.” Venom dripped off of Keif’s words as he glared at his brown haired friend. Gray, seemingly aware of his owner’s sudden hostility against Myzik strutted into the room and purred in minor attempt to calm him. The cat had always shown some liking towards the boy. The green eyed girl had followed Keif into Myzik’s room and stood by the door with an amused look on her face. “Hello Myzik.”

    “Pffft…” Myzik began to laugh. The room was graced with the sound of laughter as both the girl and Keif’s best friend clutched their stomachs in pain. “Ha ha, ah ha ha! K-Keif! I uh, aha ha ha ha ha! Can’t believe you don’t remember her! It’s Kael! You haven’t seen her in a long while, but you guys have actually know each other when you were, like, five? Six? I don’t know. She moved to Africa for a while. She’s also the one letting us rent this place.” Myzik snickered. “Which explains why she has a key; she used to live here.” Keif’s pale skin went pink as he blushed. Regaining his original posture to avoid anymore embarrassment, he said, “That still doesn’t explain why she had to come in the middle of the night.” Myzik shrugged and the two turned to face Kael who had a sheepish expression. “Well… I actually kind of left something behind and I really needed to get it back. I called Myzik prior to this, but when I knocked, nobody answered. I figured he’d forgotten about it so I just came in. I had no intention of waking anybody up, honest!” Kael raised her hands in protest. “If Myzik had only REMEMBERED our agreement—but being the idiot he normally is, he forgot.” A low rumble erupted from Gray’s throat which sounded much like chuckle, which lead to giggling fits and unstoppable laughter.

    After several minutes of gasping for air, Keif looked up, his cheeks rosy from laughing. “Hmm, so what did you leave here that was so important?” Myzik sat down on the green fuzzy carpet and looked over at Kael, his eyes also questioning her sudden appearance. Kael’s piercing green eyes connected with Keif’s gray eyes, suddenly filled with anger. “It’s none of your business!” “Whoa, whoa, calm down lady—how can we help you find what you’re looking for if we don’t know what it is?” Keif raised his arms in protest, a bit taken aback by her sudden mood swing. “Who said I needed you to help me find it?” Her flaming red hair swooshed as she turned to Myzik, “When you moved in, did you happen to find a small box under the bed in that room” Kael pointed at Keif’s room. “That’s Keif’s room. I haven’t even set foot in it. You shouldn’t go in or you might break your foot stepping on something.” Myzik explained. Keif rolled his eyes, “Shut it. Stop describing your own room. My room is perfectly fine.” Without even turning to Kael, he answered her question nonchalantly, “There wasn’t anything under the bed. Sorry.” Kael gritted her teeth as she turned her head over to look at Keif, an infuriated look on her face. “Look at me when you speak. Are you lying?” Once again the green eyes met the gray ones, and for one moment, Keif thought she was reading his mind. “No, I’m not.” Myzik, a bit frightened of the tension, was wise enough to not intervene. Narrowing her eyes at him, her lips curving downwards, she took walked a bit closer to Keif. A bit intimidated by her sudden approach, Keif tried to take a step behind him only to back up into a wall. Then, all he felt was pain. At that very moment, all Keif wished was that he was either wearing shoes or at least socks and that she didn’t wear her heels into the room. He glanced at his already bruising foot and looked up just in time to see her storm out of their apartment.

    “Women. Bah.” Keif muttered as he sat down next to Myzik on the floor. Myzik laughed but stopped when he saw the expression on Keif’s face—if he pushed anymore buttons he wouldn’t live long enough to see the sunrise. “I’ll uh, get you some ice. You know… for that foot.” Myzik pushed himself off the carpet to go to the kitchen. Keif crossed his arms and sulked. ‘How dare her! Stepping on me like that! I didn’t even do anything wrong! I probably won’t be able to walk correctly for weeks!’ Keif cursed angrily under his breath. He was able to hear a cacophony of sounds from the kitchen. Myzik reappeared and handed Keif a plastic baggy filled with ice. The red haired boy couldn’t help but groan when he felt the coldness on his foot—it was like getting stepped on all over again. He could feel it throb with every beat of his heart. Trying to get Keif’s head off of Kael’s foot stomping, Myzik tried to crack a joke. “Well… uh, always remember that you can tune a piano but you can’t tuna fish?” Despite the pain he was feeling in his foot, Keif looked up, his gray eyes meeting the brown ones and he smirked. “Lame pun, much?” “I have more. I once emailed a bunch of puns in hopes of making several of my friends laugh. You included. No pun in ten did.” Myzik grinned as he executed a few more well placed yet extremely lame puns.

    The two boys spent a whole half hour exchanging jokes and puns. After a while Myzik decided to retreat to his room to catch up on some sleep—after all, they had spent almost half their night up talking. Keif put his hand on the floor and pushed himself up, putting most of his weight on his uninjured foot. He grunted, his face scrunched up in pain— his foot had swollen twice its size over the half hour. A bruise had started to form where Kael’s heel landed and it stared up at him like a reminder. It was almost as if it had appeared there to make Keif feel guilty. The red head slowly limped towards his room door, slower than a tortoise. Instead of climbing back into the safe retreat of his bed, he kneeled on the floor beside the bed and peeked under it. ‘When I moved into this room, I never bothered looking under the bed and paid more attention to getting my things unpacked. So technically, I wasn’t lying about there being no box just that he never CHECKED if there was a box.’ Keif stuck his arm under the bed and felt around. His pale skin seemed to turn even whiter as he grasped something that felt much like a box. “Okay. So there actually is a box. Why do I care so much? I can just ask Myzik to give it back to her. He said I used to know her. Why don’t I remember her? Why do I feel so bad about this? It isn’t even any of my business! Plus she stepped—no, she stomped on my foot. Manly, crazy, psycho woman.” Keif muttered as he pulled out a box. It had a green lid—the same emerald green of her eyes, and was decorated with a flowery design on the bottom left hand corner. It was small and had a pentagonal shape. Looking closely, Keif noticed that the flowery design was painted on, although not done very well and looked a lot like a work of a child. Without even thinking about the consequences, he automatically tried to open it although with little success. ‘Is this thing locked?’ he wondered. He turned the box around to check for any locks or contraptions keeping it together only to see dried up glue under the cover keeping the lid of the box intact. Keif raised his eyebrow and continued his investigation in silence. Carefully, he peeled off the dried glue and pried the box open without damaging it. Placing the lid on the floor next to him, he ran his fingers over the flowery design. He didn’t know why, but he couldn’t help but feel a sense of familiarity—a certain connection with this box. Placing his attention back to the contents of the box, Keif found himself staring at a bunch of photos, trinkets, papers, and some clippings. ‘What is this, a time capsule or something? Creeeeeper.’ He said quietly to himself. His gray eyes caught site of a clipping that seemed to be more wrinkly and old looking than all the others. Picking it up, the gray eyes widened as Keif read the headline.

    “Six-year old boy hurt severely in big accident… red hair… hit on the head… possibly amnesia…” the gray eyes scanned the paper as Keif read the article to himself under his breath. He couldn’t believe it. Did he really know Kael? Is this article about him? Is that why he feels so familiar with all of this yet at the same time so distant? Keif closed his eyes as he tried to remember something—anything from before he was six. He couldn’t. Why was he not surprised? Keif couldn’t understand his emotions. They were confusing him and he felt like a sheep lost in the woods, unable to find its shepherd. Quietly, he closed the box and placed it on his desk next to his bed. He’ll give it to Myzik tomorrow to return to Kael. Perhaps, if he could muster the courage, he could ask her a few questions as well. As Keif stood up straight—he didn’t even feel the pain in his foot anymore—he felt something rolling down his cheeks. His pale hands touched his face and he was surprised to see that they were tears. He was crying and he didn’t even know why! Wiping away his silver tears, he climbed into his warm bed, hid under the covers and just waited for the next day. Gray, who was in the room, stood up and daintily walked over to his owner and placed a paw on the crumpled figure under the sheets. The golden eyes watched knowingly at its owner as the sun started to rise.

    “Keif… Keif!” Myzik shook Keif in the shoulders as he tried to wake his best friend up. “Hnn… five more… minutes…” the red haired boy stuck his hand out and swatted at Myzik’s hands. Rolling his brown eyes, Myzik leaned over to his friend’s ear and whispered, “Kael’s here to see you. She doesn’t like to wait. Unless you’re a fan of looking like a hobbit with two bruises on your feet, I think you’d want to wake up.” The gray snapped wide open as he sat straight up, hitting his head against Myzik’s. “Owww.” Myzik rubbed the back of his head as he backed out of the room, “I think I’ll get some ice… for myself.” Keif rubbed his forehead hoping that it won’t bruise as well as he got up and went into the bathroom. After cleaning himself up, he walked out into the living room, only to be greeted by the glowing green eyes. “Um, hey.” He gave her a small nod as he went over and sat down across from her. He averted from her gaze as he tried to go over every detail of the living room. The dark leather sofa, the glass coffee table that shone rainbows under the sun, the blue-orange organza curtains—anything to avoid her eyes. He just couldn’t stand looking at any of that stuff again. What if he started crying unintentionally again? In front of a girl? And Myzik? How embarrassing. Keif decided to ignore all of these feelings and to pretend that nothing happened. He had never opened the box, he never read the article, and he’s never met Kael ever in his life. Whatever happened then was the past and he had forgotten it. Most people don’t remember what happened to them when they were six anyways. Keif decided he will start anew. “Things didn’t turn out so great yesterday. Sorry about that. Be right back for a second.” Keif ran to his room and got the green box. He then walked back out and handed it to her. “This is yours.” Kael’s green eyes widened and she took the box from Keif. “D-did you look inside it? The box, I mean.” Her piercing green eyes looked at Keif. He bit his tongue as he refrained from giving a sarcastic answer—he didn’t want to be a jerk. “No. In fact, I don’t think we actually gotten introduced to each other formally yet.” He stuck out his hand and smiled. For some reason, he felt more like a jerk after doing that. Kael shook his hand but she didn’t smile. “I’m Keif, nice to meet you.” He tried to take his hand back but she didn’t let go. “Uh, Kael…?” She looked up at him, her green eyes filled to the brim with tears and without a word, with all the strength she could muster, she stomped on his other foot with her heel and left. By the time Myzik came out into the living room, all he saw was Keif in tears with two swollen feet. “What? Did you make her wait?”