Trace of Ink
By Zale_Valrez
Date: June 2, 2022
Ch. 10Got Into Trouble

Chapter 9: Got into Trouble

As the class hour has met its end. Fera went straight out of the school campus.

"Fera!" someone call her before she could take a step out of the school gate.

'Did I leave something again?' She mentally asked herself. "Oh, hey!"

"Going home already?" He asked, Fera, noticed the sweat on his forehead and messy hair.

"Yeah," she answered hesitantly, 'he smells good still,' she thought.

"Would you mind if I walk you home?" He smiled charmingly, his charismatic build and smile were too dangerous to trust if Fera would judge.

"For what reason...exactly, I mean why?" It came out a bit panicky and she almost cursed herself upon sounding silly.

"No, don't be skeptical about this. I only thought that maybe I could walk you home. You know, maybe we could be friends?" She realized that they'd been standing in the middle of the gate and they have drawn much attention.

"Not a problem at all." She answered so they could move already and get away from those stares that were creeping her out.

"Yeah? Let's go?" His smile widen even more and he somehow lost his eyes by doing it. They started walking away from the crowd.

"So, do you have a boyfriend?" Fera already knew, where they were heading to.

"I don't," she answered while struggling from the inner battle inside her, it was she doing just fine. Was it offending or flirting?

"Good to know, are you related to Nick somehow?" Good thing he was keeping her distance from Fera as they walked because the entire walk was awkward for her.


"If you don't know, one of our schoolmates said that you two are together or dating."

"I never remember that we did something affectionate to each other that made everyone think we're dating." She concluded, for her all of it was nothing.

"Yeah, I believe so. Maybe because you two were seen together most of the time. But I believe you two don't have a relationship." 'He was making it too obvious that he was just accompanying her for information,' she commented.

"We're neighbors maybe that's why."

"Their tongue was ungrateful sometimes," and he laughed at his joke. Fera being merciful, smiled for moral support.

"We'll be graduating soon from junior high, what major are you taking?" 'He's making a good conversation huh?' she couldn't help to remark.

"I think HUMS would be fine or ABM."

"I'll go for GAS, my brain doesn't suit that kind of major."

"Suit yourself." However, she was formulating a plan to drive him away.

"Oh, by the way. Can I get your number?"

"Can you tell me what you want?" There, she had given up on trying hard to be respectful.

"I want you." That straight-to-the-point confession caught her off guard.

"Okay....and what is that mean?"

"I want to court you." The courage he did have was impressive but that crept Fera out. "Can I court you, Fera?"

"I'm sorry, Tunner. I'm really sorry but the relationship is too much for me at the moment. I know I cannot handle such responsibility yet." She politely declined, and Tunner's hopeful face fell in just a snap.

"I understand, I can wait." And he gave her a weak smile. They've reached the apartment without realizing it and Fera awkwardly bid goodbye.

"I'll be going now, I'm sorry to decline but you'll find someone better." It was the most sincere way she could deliver her apology but it sounded not that genuine. Since she sounded bored. Tunner only nodded and smiled.

"Okay, goodbye." Fera went up first before he started walking.

She went inside and she could feel at home. Since her apartment was still undone, she sat on her chair facing the mini table across the wall. She gathered her newly bought painting tools. She tied her hair into a messy bond and started painting.

She used black paint to outline a woman's face. Round shaped eyes and full lips, she added curly hair and on the left part of her face, she added a huge drop of tear below its eye.

Inside that huge drop of tear she carefully created an image inside it, a figure of a girl being caged. It was small, without looking closely you wouldn't notice it.

"Knock! Knock!" she let her brush go and went to open the door.

Her lips parted and looked at the man in front of her unbelievably. She opened her door wider so he could enter. As soon as she closed that door, "what happened?" she blurted.

He sat on the couch and Fera quickly went to her Frig and offered water.

"Got a bit in trouble," he answered and drank the whole glass of water.

"A bit? On what part? You have scratches all over, and bruises fit well on you." She spoke laced with sarcasm.

"I at least fix everything up." He showed her his key. "Tomorrow, everyone can move on already."

"Are you alright?"

"Yeah, just a few scratches." His white shirt was now dirty white.

"If few means multiple times three, I will agree." She turned her pivot and got an ice bag for him.

"You should rest now," all she could say. "And congrats." She thought, she must be saying congrats since it was an achievement for him.

"Yes, thanks to you. I just want to say thank you." Nick stood up and returned the glass to Fera.

"No, take all the credit. I don't think I did help and I won't be helping if ever I had a chance. I'd rather stay at home than go with you and went home with blood all ever my face." He chuckled as he started walking to the door while Fera was walking behind him.

"Whatever, good night."

"Okay-okay just go." But truly, seeing him in that state made her feel guilty. She shouldn't have given him words of encouragement to him. He looked like a beaten eggplant. She thought of mending his wounds but she doesn't know how to.

She sat back in her chair but she already lost her mood to finish her painting. She washed her hands and went to her computer. She email Lora to send her details regarding how his investigation went.

After a few minutes of waiting, Lora responded in a timely manner. She sent some video clips too, he bravely confronted the teacher then a fist flew onto Nick’s face. She flinched seeing Nick receive the impact, he took several steps back and almost lost his balance.

He has opened his mouth again and said something. Mr. Constancio's eyes sharpened followed by a harsh move of his jaw and his lips turn into a grim line. She saved all the clips and files in her safe storage. She gathered important files too, Nick was being impulsive in doing things.

Mr. Constancio could easy easily flip the table to his favor, he has the privilege and money. Nick forgot how powerful he was, why would the government side with Nick when it was Mr. Constancio who was been paying higher taxes.

Fera has all the knowledge of how justice work, and plays with those big people. Evidence was much more valuable than a statement of the most truthful man in the world whether it was doctorated or raw.

Money was more powerful than the voice of a victim who was screaming for justice and fell on their knees while begging.

She emailed Lora again and asked for evidence she could get to support Nick’s claim. Erika had been found dead in a hotel room. Fera deleted the clips of Nick broking into Constancio's private property. She clean every trace that Nick clumsily made.

The next email from Lora was about the incident Nick passed a piece of evidence to prove Mr. Constancio's relationship with the victim. The crime was suicide yet it was because of the teacher.

"I need solid evidence," her soft raspy voice resounded within her room. She took her bag and took her recorder device out from it. Her whole day was recorded for safety purposes, it was her fifth birthday gift from her father.

She cut the long audio record and extracted the part where Mr. Constancio and Erika talked at the back of the building.

She emailed it to Lora with her encoded files that stated how Erika was related to Mr. Constancio, the time and clip of his appearance in school, the Wednesday they've seen talking, at the end of the class Erika rode into Mr. Constancio's car. That time Fera and Nick were arguing about whether Fera should be got on Nick’s motorcycle. Thursday she have a clip that both Erika and the teacher hadn't appeared in school. Friday, which was last morning a clip of him entering the school ground, that same time he bump with Fera.

'Send this as Evidence if ever Mr. Constancio files a case on Nick about trespassing or he turned the table upside down.' she quoted the mail.

Fera leaned on her chain and slowly shook her head. "He's careless, isn't he?"

She suddenly felt her cellphone vibrate, she took it out and the name of her dear cousin reflected on her screen. She swiped to decline at once and waited for him to call again. And true enough, he called again.

'What was that?' a monotone voice greeted her.

"For you to know that I'm not in a good mood for bullshits," she boringly answered.

'You never been in a mood to talk to me,' he corrected into the right term.

"Good to hear that you know. What do you want?"

'I only want to ask about your well-being, and I could say that you could still breath, that's good.' That made Fera's eyes rotate.

"Anything else?"

'And I heard you're meddling something.' And Fera's unimpressed face turned into the dead.

"I meddle nothing, Fredy."

"Who is this Nick Kingston Hernandez?" Fera unconsciously licked her lower lip.

"You tell me," she instead answered.

'Your neighbor.' And Fera seemed to forget how to breathe, " He's playing hero, isn't he? Why are you helping this man? You know how much trouble he created today."

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