He felt his back being lightly kicked and closed his eyes even further before deciding to open them. Serena really wanted him to stand up, he could hear that from her voice, her wording. Almost like a threat: she would not let him waste away on the ground. Al was acting selfish by lying there. Not that it mattered. It was rude to her, yes. But it was none of his business, and him having been selfish wouldn't matter when he's dead. But it would not matter if he was not a selfish asshole by ignoring her, either. And he might feel better. It would be better to die not-sad than dying guilty. Temporarily. Al was not doing himself a favour by lying on the ground, feeling shitty and waiting for someone to finally kill him.
Three, two, one.
He pushed himself up with the help of his arms. He had decided to wake up. To face reality. As if that helped. He rubbed his eyes hoping to get rid of the dried tears and looked at Serena. His muscles felt weird. He felt cold. His heart beat was crazy. Alessio was awake.
Serena. With a collar. He was shaking slightly.
"Where are we?"
He checked his surroundings. His senses were flooded with the new information. They were in a library. But that did not answer his question. Where were they? Were they still in the US? The books. What language were they? But there was a thing that caught his attention even more. On the floor next to him, his bag. And a pole lying next to his bag. His weapon.
He recalled the introduction again. Weapon, collars, the film, Mr. Graham. Graham was such a friendly person. He was so smart, he'd never imagined Graham to die. A gun, what a surreal scenario. A gun that blew the mind of an intelligent teacher away. Blowing away all the knowledge and experience, his biography.
That person who introduced them. He could not recall the name. But what he could remember, and it was hurting much to remember it, was, that he was never going to see that man again. Never.
No, don't think about it. Don't. Serena, instead. Serena is not a stranger. She could relate. She was in the same terrible situation as him. She would understand. He could understand. Looking at her, he did not feel like smiling at her the way he did when he was in school. More like crying in front of her. But he could restrain himself from doing so. It helped to not look at Serena and staring at the floor instead.