Chapter 7. Reti Opening (2)
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Isel couldn't see clearly under the dim lights in this room. Even so, she didn't want to squint or blink to make her eyes sharper. She chose to close her eyes and hope that her lids would stick together even though a harsh sigh wafted through her ears and sent a thick nicotine scent into her nostrils. The wet palms were now starting to touch her neck. A touch that made her teeth chatter and her lips curl hard. The next touch on her chest made Isel bite the tip of her tongue. When the salty taste filled his mouth, she wished death would come soon. Alternatively, she wanted to be able to strangle this man by the neck and kill him right now when her back began to touch the cold floor. The weight of his body began to fall on her. 

"Isel!" The call made her shudder. Especially when the man said her name while nesting his lips on Isel's neck.

“Isel! Get up!"

The voice sounded louder and made Isel open her eyes wide. Her breath hitched. Her chest heaved up and down. No more rough hands touching the nape of his neck. The smell of nicotine from the man's mouth also no longer smelled. Her back was also no longer on the cold floor, she had confirmed it by touching her hand to her bed now. Relief ran through his heart when her fingers found the folds of the sheet.

"Are you alright?" asked a voice not far from where she was lying now.

Isel turned and found Noel's face now looking panicked. She tried to smile while nodding to calm the young man who was sitting nearby.

"Another nightmare?" he asked while rubbing Isel's forehead. The touch of Noel's hand made her shudder. Isel hastily looked at the young man.

"Sorry," she said.

Noel shook his head. "Not a problem."

"Sorry, it's always like this."

"I said it's okay, Isel," he said, sending another smile. "Just relax!"

Noel rubbed Isel's forehead and moved the strands of her hair back. Isel is still often surprised when Noel touches her. Although, she likes the young man's touch. The young man's palms felt like they were being covered with grains of sand every time she touched his skin, but there was nothing more soothing than that. The rough sensation also makes it have a backrest. It's a little strange, but Isel can't describe it.

"Sleep!" asked the young man.

"You're not sleeping?"

"I'll see you later," he said.

Isel nodded and closed her eyes. She didn't want to sleep now, especially when Noel was beside her. She wanted to spend more time with the young man. However, she also didn't want to disappoint Noel if he didn't go to sleep soon. She was afraid that the nightmare would come again. The dream that brought her the long torturous nights in the corner of her remaining memory. The memories she desperately erased, only Isel never managed to do any of that.

"You can't sleep yet?"

Isel opened her eyes again. Noel was still in his position a few minutes ago. His lips no longer offered a smile, but his face still looked calm.  The young man never asked until she reached this stage. Because he knows it all. Noel understands the dark things in the past that she desperately hides.

"Do you want to hug me again?" Isel asked.

The young man shrugged his shoulders in unison. "If you don't mind."

Isel smiled as she shifted her body to make room for Noel to lie down. The young man put his head on the pillow. He also pulled Isel's head closer so that now the girl could smell the scent wafting from the young man's body. There is a minty aroma mixed with strong coffee. Maybe Noel had had a few glasses of coffee before coming to this place.


"You too, Noel," Isel whispered while sending a light peck on the young man's lips.

Noel returned the kiss by squeezing the back of Isel's head until his lips were now sinking deeper into hers. Isel's chest suddenly tightened as if all the air was being forced out of her lungs. However, she didn't want to let go of the young man's touch now. However, Noel stopped not long after. He closed the kiss with a light peck on the forehead and a pat on the girl's head. Isel took a breath. Disappointment quietly infiltrated and settled in her heart. She tried to shake off the disappointment by hugging the young man tighter.

Isel gasped again and opened his eyes again when she heard a loud crash. The shutters in her room were now slamming open and shut. The blanket was wrapped around his body until it touched her chin. The heat of Noel's palm from last night was still floating on her cheek. Isel turned her head, Noel was no longer by her side. As she looked around, only silence greeted her and there was no one but her alone.

Isel took a deep breath after seeing the shorthand of the clock on the wall now move to eleven. She tried again to close her eyes. However, the twisted stomach asking to be filled suddenly sounded very urgent to be resolved immediately. The girl got up with her right foot first on the floor. Her fingers tugged at the loose ends of her shirt. During that time, other thoughts were running through her mind. Noel's reaction to her nightmare last night at first.

As soon as she approached the table, Isel immediately pulled the serving hood and found some sandwiches containing meat and vegetables. A glass of chocolate milk is also on the table. A smile appeared on her lips. Noel had everything ready. Isel put her ass on the chair, pulled the plate closer. Put the pointed end of the sandwich in your mouth and bite it. The sound in the room is only by chewing and sometimes replaced by sips. Meanwhile, her eyes stared at her not-so-big flat.

This room is always tidy when Noel comes. The young man will arrange the lipstick by sorting the colors from the darkest to the lightest. Although, most of the colors it has been red. It's just that Noel is always alert with further reasons that even one-color lipstick has a different level of concentration. Though maybe the young man was filling his OCD desire by staring at Isel's things. However, the advantage is that Noel will clean this room until there is no dust attached. Isel sighed while observing all of this.

He's good, no it's wrong. He's too good. Even as a work partner, the young man was too perfect. Sometimes Isel felt so comfortable around him. However, it is not uncommon for her to want more things with the young man. Isel nodded and took a breath. More things that she has not been able to give until now. Maybe she won't be able to give it that much more for some time.

Isel finished the three sandwiches and took a sip of the almost cold milk. She then moved to her feet. Turn the body left and right before walking to the window. Isel looked up and reached out to touch the dreamcatcher for a moment. Her eyes stared at it with a smile on her lips.

"Thank you for catching my nightmare last night. Please, to never get tired of doing it," she said and then touched the bird's feathers that adorned the object.

Her eyes stared at the thing decorated with bird feathers and dangling beads. Noel was the one who gave this thing to her. She was sure that he only bought it at the flea market, though Noel insisted that he ordered it from the best jeweler in Dingora. “If you are bored, then send Noel here. Honestly, he's more effective than you when it comes to catching nightmares," she said again, chuckling softly and letting go of the feather he had been holding.

Isel looked down and closed her eyes for a moment. Pray?

Of course not. Stupid! There is no God in this world. God is too busy playing in heaven to never come to the earth again. People said that God hears prayers. Where did that concept come from?

Honestly, she wanted so badly to tell those stupid humans that God was busy playing music with the angels that the prayers of the humans never got there. That is why God never saves His creatures who are experiencing calamities. If God existed, He wouldn't let anything happen to her that night.

The girl shook her head a few times and then opened her eyes after the morning reflection of protest was over. Enough with this concept of divinity. She thinks that would be better if she seek fresh air outside. Walk around like a girl, not a bad thing.

After deciding to go out, Isel cleaned up quickly. She combed her short hair that cannot cover the nape of the neck. Applying powder and then red lipstick. After cursing herself for a while, she walked out in long pants and a long coat that came to her knees. Put on a baseball cap and goggles, a little disguise is necessary. She stepped lightly then moved outside while planning to do fun things today. Things that might overwhelm some cops or some people chase after her.