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Realistic or Modern 𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬 [ic]

Sub Genres
  1. Realistic
  2. School
  3. Slice of Life


✧・゚: *✧・゚:*



My world is full of color.

Every turn down a new road is like looking into another kaleidoscope; dizzying shades colliding, converging, weaving an abstract and abstruse pattern. I see the saturated fog before I hear them laugh, or cry, or scream. I stand in a crowd, and it is like I am standing under the stained glass roof of a desolate church, taking in their shimmering hues, alone.

I am always alone.

I am always the single audience to this chaotic stage, watching, knowing. And then, moving on.

My world is full of color, but not the beautiful kind.




✧・゚: *✧・゚:*



school garden

Dust that glimmered under the warm stream of sunlight and a cacophony of petals, playing a stark melody against the quiet background of viridescent blurs — or so went the ideal composition of the image in his head. And it would have come true, if not for the random intrusion of a dark head of hair, presumably attached to somebody lying in the grass, disrupting his perfect picture in nonchalant ignorance.

Jingyu looked up from the camera screen that his gaze had been attached to for the better part of the past half hour, squinting under the instant attack of the afternoon sun. As his vision adjusted, he could barely make out the features of the figure and, as they shifted slightly, the name tag on the school uniform. He shouldn't have needed to focus so hard to see those things, as close as he was, but he'd been needing glasses for a while. He had decided to forgo them all this time, because, well, why would he want to see even clearer than he already did? Or so he convinced himself. Moments like this made him reconsider.

Still, he could recognize the girl. Surprisingly, since Jingyu couldn't name half his classmates on a good day, though his success this time was more to be attributed to her popularity. Han Daiya was, in his limited memory of her, flawlessly social and constantly smiling. And perpetually fake. All blank eyes and artificial laughter; a colorless girl.

A sudden thought occurred to him, and he glanced down at his camera, still half-heartedly pointed in her direction. He could always see the colors better through the lenses, even the faded, or lingering ones. Or, he frowned, hidden ones. But he hadn't seen that since that day-

A pause. He flinched. Blinked. Stared at the screen a little harder, a little too long. Watched, as she sat up and turned around, as she stared back, in confusion and disbelief. Watched as she stood up and stomped towards him, flickering with finally come bit of color at last, taking a step back for every step that she took towards him, before finally turning tail to escape. He didn't think he could handle a casual conversation with her after what he saw.

He'd never seen a heart so black before.



ଘ(੭ˊ꒳ˋ)੭* ੈ‧₊❀˖°


the photography room

"What do you think, Dai-dai?" Were they passing 2B? They must be, considering the expectant glances in her direction, though they surely looked through her at the boys that gave the trio curious stares as they passed by the classroom— Waiting eagerly for her response, so they could give their little laughs and tight squeezes on her arm like they were the closest of friends.

She would humour them, as she always did.

"Ah, I don't know."
she said, plastering on the vacant little smile she had become so accustomed to wearing. It was a satisfactory answer for whatever conversation they were having, and the girls matched their script beautifully, a routine that Daiya had come to both expect and resent for its consistency.

Her gaze drifted, flitting up to the signs that hung just above the door of each classroom. Had the photography room always been on this floor?

The boy. From this morning. And the elusive pictures he had stolen of her on his damned camera.

Daiya glanced into the room as they passed, her mind musing at the low odds that he might actually be in there off such a loose connection, though a figure within made her pause.
"I need to use the bathroom,"
The girls, too, stopped in their tracks, exchanging a hesitant glance at each other, then to her. Unspoken words of reluctance in their eyes that she knew were on the tips of their tongues. She would save them the trouble.
"You guys go ahead."

There was no protest (not that she had expected any), and Daiya watched with indifference as their backs disappeared down the stairs, the sound of their shallow chatters blended into the rest of the school's ambience. A hasty look-around, perhaps one befitting of a criminal, before she slipped quietly into the dim room.

His back was to her, but she estimated they were around the same height. Even the way he slouched was reminiscent of the mousy, dodgy way he'd fled the scene. It should be him. Was it?
"Hey, were you..."
she called out, her voice light and careful to not bear animosity regardless of the irritation begging to be let free,
"...By any chance, the boy in the garden this morning? With— with the camera?"



✧・゚: *✧・゚:*


club room

The club room was empty, as it often was. Quiet, peaceful. Jingyu was always glad for it. He was always glad to have some respite from people, and he was sure they were glad to have respite from him, too. Nobody liked to be around as colourless an existence as he was — as he preferred himself to be.

Today, though, the tranquility of the room failed to comfort him the way he hoped it would, and neither did the photographs flitting across the screen. He was looking through them, but he wasn't really looking. He was thinking of a girl, a dark cloud, and the meaning of it all. Jingyu had thought he'd learnt to stop caring about new colours and their significance since quite the while ago, but now it seemed he'd really just not seen one new enough.

Absorbed in his own musings, he hardly registered the soft creak of the opening door behind him. Even if he had noticed, he surely would've thought nothing of it, because the only people who came to this room were the sparse fellow members of the photography club. As those who had arguably had the most interaction with him since high school begun, they had long since moved past any attempts to make small talk, through the whispers & sideway glances that weren't subtle enough, and into a mute acceptance of his equally mute presence.

"Hey, were you..."
A high voice gets his attention the way the door couldn't. His hand freezes on the buttons. She sounded familiar in a distant way and the words she says next tells him why:
"...By any chance, the boy in the garden this morning? With— with the camera?"

Like frames on a glitching video, Jingyu took way too many milliseconds to straighten up and even more to turn around to face her piercing stare. Like karma around the bend or death with a list, she caught up to him, in the end. Her demure, pretty features and quiet tone were useless; he could see the shades of irritation buzzing around her like a warning sign.

he debates the merits of lying briefly, but decides against it,
"I am, yeah. Why?"
His hands wrapped a little tighter around his camera, despite the strap around his neck that ensured nothing could separate him and it. He paused to wonder why she would even bother looking for him, actually, when nothing much had transpired between them in the garden other than his awkward escape.

"Oh. Oh, I didn't- I didn't take a picture of you, if that's what you're after,"
he continued, growing warier still when he saw spots of determination flicker around her, though his tone remained rather apathetic. Let's just get out of here, the voice in his head urged, and he weighed his options: slipping past her somehow through that narrow door, or trying to persuade her to leave him alone.



ଘ(੭ˊ꒳ˋ)੭* ੈ‧₊❀˖°


the photography room

As she thought.

She offered him a gentle smile, a fruitless attempt to ease his nerves, though it grew wider as he stammered on as if mirroring her irritation.
"Oh. Oh, I didn't- I didn't take a picture of you, if that's what you're after."
Daiya noted the way his fingers' muscles flared against the surface of the camera. Tense, wasn't he? Not a people-person, maybe, or someone trying to dubiously lie his way through.

"I see,"
she said, nodding understandingly as her eyes widened in innocent curiosity,
"Could I still... see the photos you took, though?"
Her gaze flicked down from his face to the camera in his hands, then back.

A drop of silence hung in the air, the quiet shuffle of his foot against the tile floor. And the laughter, behind her, somewhere off in the hallway but growing closer by the second.

What was she doing here?

Daiya stared him down a breath longer, before the smile fell and her hands reached out, deftly grabbing the camera. He let out a noise as the strap around his neck tightened, the groan falling onto uncaring ears as she fiddled ineptly with the camera.
"People like you..."
she murmured in a hushed tone, finally finding her way to the gallery and flicking through the photos with a keen eye. Searching for any semblance of her figure amidst the numerous shots of flora, but there were none— not even a lock of hair visible.

Her gaze lifted from the camera, shooting him a glare. There was no way he'd been telling the truth, surely?



✧・゚: *✧・゚:*


club room

A flicker of disbelief cut into her agitated hues; not a sign of somebody you want to be confronted by.
"Could I still... see the photos you took, though?"
She requested, and if he wasn't concerned that she would simply snatch it away from him, he might've hesitated less to agree, just to prove himself as truthful — the way her eyes fixed on his camera, however, instilled in him some trepidation.

And he was right to be scared. Hardly a moment past between the sound of her words and the sight of her outstretched hands closing in on his neck, along with the disorienting feeling of being yanked downwards, leaving Jingyu dazed by the sudden switch in the Daiya's persona. He stared blankly as she scrolled through the pictures, rapidly at first but slowing down as, surely, she realized she wasn't featured in any of the shots, after all.

He chewed on his bottom lip — he'd done it too often today, it was on the edge of bleeding — trying to find the right time to retrieve his camera from her hold. It failed to come, until her fingers paused on the buttons and her glare finally moved from the camera onto him. In the background, he heard the bell go off, and the buzz of the hallway lift and reside like a wave.

he muttered, grabbing the camera and tugging, thankfully removing it from her now-loose grip without much trouble,

What was he thanking her for? He didn't know and it didn't matter. Her expression of mistrust shifted slightly into... well, a different kind of mistrust. Jingyu wasn't sure he wanted to know what she was thinking; he slung the camera back around his neck, and this time resolutely stepped towards the door. Her glare followed him, and she had the look of someone with choice words just waiting to leave her tongue. The speed of sound was approximately 350m/s, which was a hundred times faster than he could move — but he was going to try his best.

"You better not try to tell-"
she began to speak again, as expected. Jingyu slipped past her to get through the door, his right shoulder touching the door yet his left managing still to bump into her. Sorry, he said in his mind, but failed to vocalize it in his hurry. Instead, what he said was a
"yeah, sure"
, that held very little traces of sincerity for how absolutely he meant it.

Stepping into the hallway, he turned around to give a half-hearted nod in goodbye at her and left, marking the encounter already in his heart as something to never happen again.



✧・゚: *✧・゚:*



Sometimes, an absent mind can capture the small details passed over by those too focused on one thing, Jingyu found. Or maybe that was just the indulgent, faux-deep imagination of an idle teenager — just another layer of excuses, he recognized in fleeting moments of introspection, for not paying enough attention to the world around him.

Regardless, the point was that he was absentminded when he walked amidst the stream of uniformed figures, heading towards the school gates and then nowhere in particular. He wasn't going home. Not yet, anyway. His presence would hardly be missed, he was sure. Music floated from the headphones, through one ear and out the other, a muted background noise only slightly more prominent than the bustle of the students.

And that was when, even despite — or thanks to — his acute inattention, he saw it.

That color. That dull gray, that begged not be seen, yet was the only one he truly saw as it passed him by. A dreadful, dreaded color. A color, so devoid of life, of hope, of anything good, it sent a chill down his spine. A color he associated with a lonely, fading back. With bitter guilt and a drastic goodbye. With a person who had given up.

His steps came to an abrupt halt. The confused, annoyed looks sent his way barely registered as his eyes searched in desperation and, ultimately, vain for that spot of gray. His breaths grew almost panicked against his will, as he pushed against the flow of the crowd. He saw it. He wanted to be wrong, but he wasn't. He was sure he saw it. But where was it, now? Where had they gone, whoever they were? What were they going to do?

The creak of the door to the staircase caught his notice, then, just a classroom away from him; the one that should have been locked. His legs moved before his brain even did, as if it already knew. He pulled the heavy metal door, letting it swing behind him as he slipped through, just in time to see a figure heading up the final few steps to the rooftop. Or, rather, he saw a pair of pale bare feet and a slender hand weakly, a pair of white shoes dangling in its grip.

She opens the doors, and light gushes through the opening, illuminating the dark stairway and engulfing her slight figure.
he tries to call out, but his breath catches in his throat. He realizes, suddenly, that he has been frozen by the entrance since the moment he saw her. And the doors shut behind her.


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