TIP: You have nothing left
In the two previous chapters, Robbie and Mullet almost lost their lives from the previous event. But in exchange, Shouko put herself in the final slot so she could let her friends survive. And not to mention she knows everything. Apart from everything, the school trip they would join only left them friendless.
(Note: I leave one bad word here)
Enjoy the Trip!
Day 47 – Two weeks left
Both Robbie and Mullet walked off the bus with their half-weary faces. Robbie spent most hours in his home last night, only having 5 hours of sleep. He is not only sorting all his stuff for today's school trip. But as well as coping against depression that struck him for hours. One of the causes of his sleep-deprived.
"Yo, Mullet," Robbie called his name, but no reply.
"I know you're tired as me. Preparing these bags and dealing with what happened last night,"
Again, Mullet did not respond to Robbie. He just threw his face away with a sad yet worried expression. In Robbie's mind, he knows if Mullet lost his best friend. He is too depressed to attend the school trip. But mysteries still remain covered. Robbie has no idea if Mullet has a small will to betray him - ending his life to escape.
After putting his duffel bag and backpack, Robbie puts his palms on the bus trunk – warming himself thanks to the engine heat. If not, he might suffer the cold weather that bites him.
"Are all the bags and suitcases been put in here?" his homeroom teacher asked.
"Yeah. I am the last one," Robbie nodded.
"Good. Now get in,"
Another cold air bites his skin once Robbie puts his foot into the bus despite wearing warm clothes inside his sports jacket. Since his best friend is boarding the other bus, he has nothing he can do except play with the flying particles inside.
"Hey, wake up. We've arrived," someone pat Robbie's shoulders.
It took three hours and 40 minutes for the bus to arrive somewhere that Robbie never goes before. The place that his eyes neither he reached nor knowing it. A beautiful five-story lodging with an eye-soothing landscape from any point of view. Forests that everyone can explore its beauty and a river that anyone can enjoy, such as fishing or playing with water.
After all the bags are placed, the students are gathered. They later check in to acquire their home key, which each room is filled by two students. Still lucky enough, Robbie got his room on the third floor – not too top and not too bottom. Dead middle.
Upon reaching the third-floor lobby, He and Mullet meet each other.
"You got the third floor too?" Robbie asked.
"Yeah. Lucky, right?" Mullet smiled, "I guess if you want to sleep in my room, it will be fine. But no homo, okay?"
"Hehe… why would you say that? Bruh…," Robbie grinned lightly.
"Can I sleep in your room too?" Kano spawned behind them out of nowhere.
With his tracksuit open, Kano appears on them with a delightful expression. A pure sunflower burst on his face representing overwhelming happiness. Apart from that, Kano's expression is just a polar opposite of the two.
"Oh. It's you," Robbie replied and returned his face back to his best friend, "I don't know if we can sleep together if it's permitted,"
"Hey, come on. I am here!" Kano tried to get their attention.
"Kano," Mullet tapped Robbie once – stopping the conversation, "I thought I told you to stay away from us,"
"What do you mean? You didn't say anything to me," Kano replied in vain.
"I already told you for days, and you don't get it. You are just too annoying," Mullet stabbed the air with his index finger, "Can't you even respect our private time?"
"Annoying? Aren't you as same as me? Always getting in my way every time I wanna be the top of the class,"
"Aren't you as same as me?" Mullet mocked, "This one? Is intolerable. This one just went too far. Plus, if you want to be top of the class, why not consider me an enemy instead?!"
"Of course, I will not do such a thing, I just want to be your friend," Kano replied.
"You want us to be your friend," Robbie replied, "you want it, not us. You make that decision. Don't ever you forget that. Just like Mullet said. Things would have been better if you were not our friend or even you got close to us. And the sad and cruel thing is we are regretting to accept you if we already know you just ended up like this,"
"Excuse my rudeness. But it is what it is. You get what you fucking deserve!" Robbie closed the conversation.
Whole activities in the lobby stopped at once. Not only realizing that Kano lost his friendship with Robbie and Mullet. But it was also the moment where Robbie cussed clearly. A viral shock for the students and employees seeing someone behaves such rudely.
Meanwhile, deep in Robbie's heart, He is angered by Shouko's death. But Kano still behaves as nothing happened apart from the fact he murdered that girl.
"Okay," Kano smiled, continuing. "If you really hate me… if you really don't want me as your friend… it's fine. But I just want to tell you. Don't you ever forget everything I have done for you this far, okay? And also, always remember me. Because one day, you will know what I am saying,"
Kano leaves the duo with no resentment stitching him. He just walked as nothing happened with his final words coming out before reaching the stairway.
"I thought we were always together,"
Well… the risk is… limelight of shame… darn it.
The consequences of his actions come true. Everyone in the lobby speared Robbie with a negative expression. Some of them are shaking their heads and death stares.
"Can't believe you did that, traitor!" the waiter spoke.
"Your behavior is inexcusable!" the waitress continued, "hurting someone's feelings and curses right in this place? You have no heart in you, loser. Don't you know where you are now?! Thank goodness you are here for a school trip. Otherwise, we had to kick you out,"
"I thought you are as good as your friend," a student complained, "but I was wrong. You are an antisocial jerk!"
"Guys, enough!" Mullet yelled, "just let this one slide, okay?"
"Yeah… right," a student replied in disgust, "hurting someone's heart and want us to let this one slide. Don't be his doll, Mullet,"
The whole atmosphere goes back to normal as there is no more drama to watch. Each student is now doing their own business, such as putting their stuff in their bedroom.
"I guess justice for good-looking is not working, right?" Mullet tried to make a joke but failed.
"Yeah," since Robbie took it seriously.
"I will be in touch,"
"Oh yeah. Meet me in my room after you put your bag in yours," Robbie almost forgot if he wanted to talk about something.
About 15 meters away, Robbie reached his room – number 314 – written in black color in front of a white rectangle sign. He stares at it with full focus, examining what is inside his sleeping cabin.
By using the room key with the same number, he unlocked it.
To his surprise, he did not enter the room. The appearance of everything inside is familiar to what he remembered back in his dream (read ch.39). everything is similar. Two comfy beds with a bed drawer each. A wardrobe and a drawer with a mirror are placed neatly. Also, a window that leads directly to the forest and field underneath.
But one thing is missing – a sheet rope on the right bed.
Robbie just put his backpack on the right bed, his sleeping spot. He is too busy to put all his clothes in the wardrobe. Everything is similar – too real to consider this is all just a coincidence.
Now it's time for you to leave. There is a warm wooden bedroom across the hall from here. You might gonna do something worthwhile in there. And also, remember to close the door once you are inside.
This is the place… but will I get trapped here?
Robbie moves to the window to see if what he sees is matches what he dreamt before. And again, there is no room for difference. Groves of trees with a great view also appear.
"Robbie," Mullet knocked on the door six times.
The call shattered his focus, moving his body to that brown wooden door. He turned around and let his friend comes in.
"Hey, I just called you thrice, and you didn't respond," Mullet spoke while entering.
"So, what do you want to talk about anyway?" He closed the door.
Robbie directly spits out what he wants. "Do you remember what the shadow person said three days ago? I think this is the place,"
"Wait, what?" question mark popped up on Mullet's head, "I have not gotten any message from him days ago. What do you mean?"
Mullet shook his head, "But if you pull me back to the previous dream, the shadow person said was right. When he told us we're going to a cabin in the woods, this is the place he meant,"
"But after that, did he come into your dream again?" Robbie asked in detail.
"Like I said, no. He didn't come into me three days ago, or even days before,"
"That is weird. I got that dream, but you don't," Robbie scratched his head.
"What he said to you in your last meeting with him?" Mullet asked him back.
"Wait," Robbie recalled his previous dream.
"he said he doesn't need to come at your dream before. He also told me I would be on my own. Does that mean we had to find our way out alone?" Robbie felt his iris contracted – knowing his thought might be real.
"No. Just… be together, okay? Stick to the plan." Mullet convinced him, "Don't be like that, man. You said we are gonna work this out together. Do you remember?"
"Sorry, man. I just…,"
"Panic? Confused? Lost in the middle? Me too, brother. You are in the same boat as me. That's why. We need each other to sail it," Mullet replied, "Go and put your stuff. I will be waiting outside,"
The afternoon rhymes pretty well with the whole atmosphere. The class is preparing dinner in two hours. All the employees give them the raw ingredients while the kids are lighting up the charcoals on fire. Robbie and Mullet are in charge of the kitchen – doing their cooking magic.
"You wanna make the coffee?" Robbie smug.
"No way, you are better than me," Mullet replied with a comedic smile, "Instead. Why don't we change roles? Good luck not overcooking these meals. Aaaand wish me luck not to mess up the whole potions, wizard,"
"Good luck then, butcher," Robbie mocked him back, "Does it sounds creepy enough?"
"Meh… it's cringe, haha!" Mullet grinned while putting woods and charcoal under the furnace, "Just kidding,"
"Then I'll take that as a no,"
"No, wait. That sounds good. Honest,"
"Hey, excuse me," two girls appeared behind them.
"Yeah?" Robbie turned his head.
"You want to help us with the drinks, right?" a girl in a hairband asked.
"Are you sure you can help us make drinks?" she asked again.
"He's good at it,"
"Just don't do the hot drinks now. Prepare the juices if you want to because I need to help him this time," Robbie guided them, "I will see you guys after this,"
After all the raw ingredients are prepared, it's time for them to do their best. Meanwhile, Robbie decided to help his friend since he can brew the coffee and make the drinks much faster, and it tastes better when hot.
"Fillet these fishes, will ya?"
With a single command from his best friend, He moved to the knife rack. Robbie examines the knife one by one, choosing the sharpest yet ideal on his grip, so the meat and vegetables he cuts will not end up weirdly. He chooses the eight-inch blade off the slot and begins to deal with the fish and meat next to him. Meanwhile, Mullet is seen washing the vegetables before either handing them to Robbie or dicing it by himself.
Suddenly, the way Robbie cuts the fishes caught Mullet's attention.
"Dude. Is that how you cut it?" Mullet asked with giggles.
"Yeah. What's the problem?" Robbie asked with an innocent face.
"That's one of the ugliest slices I have ever seen, and you wasted some meats," Mullet laughed and put his knife down to help Robbie, "Now for a sec,"
"Alright. Since you're better than me at cooking, why don't you tell me?" Robbie accepts the mock with a smile.
"Alright," Mullet nodded, "First, you chose the right knife. You even feel the softness while cutting through, right?"
"Good. Now the way you do it like this…,"
He let off the knife to Mullet to do the work. Robbie now has his role as a student who watches his chef cutting through the fish. No reactions are coming out of his face as he is fascinated with how Mullet fillets it like a professional chef. No meats are wasted.
"There you go," Mullet sharpened the knife once for him, "Now your turn. Don't rush,"
Robbie received the sharpened knife and was ready to prepare the remaining meats. What his mind focuses on during filleting are four things. Which is butchering is aesthetics, equal size, hygiene, and re-sharpening his knife over time.
"Mullet, may I ask you something?" Robbie spoke while his hand got possessed by the knife.
"What is it?"
"You're so great at cooking, you know. Since when have you been interested in it? If you are a fan of the kitchen," he asked.
"Oh. Actually, I am not used to the kitchen knife before." Mullet replied while dicing the vegetables. "but it all went back when my mom cooked me a bowl of chicken soup. I asked her if I could help her next time. So at least I got experiences when I was seven. Duh, I was still a kid - the knife was a no-no. But my mom eventually let me do small work until I fully learn from her. And thus, I start learning recipes and skills from anywhere ever since,"
"I guess taking a part-time in the kitchen is really a good idea," Robbie grinned.
"Indeed. New recipes and ideas come in as well." Mullet replied, "Also same as you. You are great at brewery and coffee-ing. You know these days we're all looking for a hidden gem, which you are one of them,"
"Thanks. I guess we are the same,"
After all the students are finished and satiated. They have been informed to stay indoors until 9 PM. The teachers are still giving them to relax and have fun around, letting the students' weariness off their souls while they prepare anything for tomorrow.
"Nights like this don't last forever, right?" Mullet put his hands on his hips.
"Yeah," Robbie replied before sipping his bottled juice.
"You know what," Mullet sighed before continuing, "sometimes I wish it repeated several times until we sick of it. Then, let's plan an exit and find something new – These nights, I mean,"
"Well. I can't agree with that, tho." Robbie shook his head. "Why? Because when the time goes on loop and the clock reaches 0:00, you will set back to your current position – sleeping. And it will be down bad if you got stuck inside with small or even no hope of breaking the loop,"
"Now picture this," Robbie continues, "You got stuck in the same day for ten years, and you lost count. You got bored, right? No. but more like severely depressed,"
"You tried to kill yourself, but any efforts are useless since they all don't work. You will be put back in bed with the same story repeated for your lifetime. Now you wanna pull back your words?"
"Unless… you solve the puzzle and know how to break the loop. But your chance of doing so is only one. You miss, and you're done,"
"You know what? Let's stop this fictional conversation. It's getting late," Mullet forced Robbie to end the explanation. He had to accept defeat since it is useless to argue about it.
"Yeah. Let's order a coffee or something before hitting the sack," Robbie drank his juice before buying Mullet a coffee, "There's a vending machine with various drinks on the second floor,"
Robbie hurled his empty juice bottle into the recycling bin. The bottle bounced off the wall before dropping into the trash bag. Feeling nothing to do, they took off to the stairway. Their squeaking running shoes sign everyone that they are about to walk down to the second floor.
On their way, Mullet gives him a question.
"Hey, Rob. How's your sister?"
"My sister? She's fine," he replied, "How do you know if I have a sister?"
"Back in the day when we were going to the countryside. I ride the bike with my brother. I see your little sister met you once you off the car,"
"Wait, were you stalking me?" Robbie looked at him, feeling suspicious.
"Why would I do that?" Mullet chuckled.
"You mean your house is not far from my sister's?"
"It's my cousin's house, to be exact," Mullet answered, "Is she living alone?"
"She lives with my aunt. And is that your concern?"
"Hey, I just want to know," Mullet shrugged.
"Then that is none of your concern," Robbie replied, "Why would you ask such a question? I respect you for not asking you such a thing. What I know is you live with your brother. That's it,"
"Oh, sorry if that's kinda rude to you," Mullet tried to pull back his question since Robbie took it seriously.
"Well… we're almost there," Robbie sighed.
Hearing all the questions from his friend gives him the same question – his parents.
"Mullet, can I ask you back – if you live with your brother, how about your parents? Why they don't want to live with you?"
"My parents are working in the other city," Mullet replied, "They actually wanted to live with us. But there is no use since my mom and dad are not relocated like anyone else,"
I guess some are got relocated.
"You live with them, right?" Mullet asked.
"Yeah. They got relocated until about graduation day, or until I attended a college. Then, I am on my own,"
"You're lucky enough to still sleep on covers with your parents in the same house," Mullet averted his gaze.
"Don't say like that, man," Robbie shook his head, "Besides. You live with your brother. And I am pretty sure that he has a father role like your dad treating you. And also, your parents will always face time you to look you both,"
"I guess we're the same then," Robbie gave Mullet a smile.
"Still having parents' role,"
They finally reached the vending machine that Robbie mentioned before. And as he promised, The drinks inside are more varied than the others but have less quantity since the vending machine has the same size.
"Rob. I changed my mind. I wanna chocolate drink," Mullet gives Robbie his money.
Apart from the relaxing night they have, Mullet racked his brain about the Loop's theory – exactly what Robbie said before
…when the time goes on loop and when the clock reaches 0:00, you will reset to your current position…
…it will be horrible if you are stuck inside with no hope of breaking the loop.
…You got stuck on the same day for ten years…
…any efforts are useless since they all don't work. You will be put back in bed with the same story repeated for your lifetime…
"These all make sense… what if they actually did this to trap us here forever?"
Mullet suddenly realizes why they went on a school trip. Without waiting, he whispered to Robbie. I thought it was a joke.
"Robbie, I realized something,"
"This is a day after Shouko's death. And we just get here right away like… there is no proper preparation,"
"What do you mean?" Robbie scrunched his eyebrows.
"It's simple. What is the point of this school trip? Aren't we supposed to study at school like usual?"
To be continued…
That's for chapter 42.
Sorry that I took a long time to finish this chapter. I just entered the new semester in college and I can't manage my time to continue this and my assignments. Plus, I am not doing a full online class since it's time to attend the classroom now.
Just be patient.
And as usual. Thanks for reading!