07~ Cold Stone
My head spins back to gain a surreptitious glimpse of him. Well, his expression is pretty much the usual: a stolid, unemotional, ready to murder you fizzog. However, there is a slight distinguishable difference evident now in his style of outstare. Those beautiful grey balls have somewhat been re-casted, depicting no existence of light and life in them. His gaze is penetrative, and sharper than a pointed knife.
My body glaciates in the spot with my fingers being stationed on the doorknob. A long uncomfortable silence haunts around the room, burying me with under the heavy weight of terror. The feeling of angst consumes me gradually. On the other side, the silence is building in air consistently, and perturbing my brain cells exponentially with horrendous consequences, which can actually be proven as fatal for valuable life.
My body has involuntarily crafted itself into a shrivelled and parched nugget. A big solid burden like a heavy slab is dangling at the back of my throat. The worst part is in my awful state, my brain and body is repeatedly failing to offer support and cooperation.
I find my eyes reluctantly been stuck at the imperfectly perfect Aphrodite, stirring superfluous emotions within my system. A silent man who has mastered the art of concealing his feelings can be more dangerous than a demon.
What can be this ‘important business’?
I try to brood around all the possible reasons for which he can ask me to stay. Secretly, I’ve already begun chanting the name of Almighty and praying for a quick recovery of Mr. Olga Stone. If my life continues in the same manner, and forcefully have to face the junior Stone regularly, there is a high probability that I may end up in an asylum.
“Sir, I have highlighted the areas in the chapter, which apparently turns out as problematic segments for me.” Miss Elliot’s distinctive voice reaches to my rescue just at the most appropriate timing, thus breaking the congregated lumbersome silence. I huff.
Cara I LOVE YOU. YOU’RE MY LIFE SAVIOUR, MY ANGEL, MY BESTFRIEND, MYLIFE, MY OXYGEN, MY...
I make a wise decision by ceasing to recite the rest dozens of clichéd words from my rubbish list. The purpose is to pour all the gratefulness brimming my heart, and supposedly I’m confident the narrative list would have never finished.
We direct ourselves in her direction. She flutters her eyelashes the moment her eyes catches the deadpan gaze of Mr. Stone. Even if lately a sense of regret builds within her for having interrupted our silent conversation. Undoubtedly, Mr. Stone considers speaking out of turn as an indiscipline act, but in this case Cara Elliot cannot be blamed since practically no conversation was being conducted.
I notice as his lips part a little, and then shuts down. Dissatisfaction written all over his face.
Cara, using her skills to comprehend the situation, shrugs, “My deepest apologies for causing an interruption.”
Mr. Stone says with a tone as cool as a cucumber, “Just as you should be.”
“I’ve a question. I-”
Bad move girl!
My expectation doesn’t slap me for the first time. Cara’s sentence gets interjected by the sound of Mr. Stone’s throat clearing. Mr. Tongue-tied gives a satisfied nod, and answers decently, but ensuring to maintain the coldness in his voice. “Satisfactory!”
“I’ll get to you soon.”
“Yes you should go to her, and give ME the freedom to go.” I mumble as softly as possible.
PLEASE LET ME GO!!
Keeping my fingers cross, I chant this mantra during the entire time of their brief conversation.
“Miss Becker, you’re not going anywhere.” He confirms firmly, crashing my dreams.
“Face me when I’m talking, Miss Becker.”
As he pronounces my name second time in row, my body whirls round automatically, like a spinning top in the twinkle of an eye. Standing, and facing his challenging eyes has its own consequences. My mind fills to its brim with the worst nightmares of all times. Reporting the basement matter to our Principal is one of them.
Like a dutiful follower of time, I affirmed staunchly, “I thought the ringing of bell signified dismissal of class already.”
He throws a misanthropic look at me thinking it’s his weapon to scare me off like all other person. I pity his poor imperfection of always emphasizing his primacy over the other party. He thinks those two insignificant uninviting minuscular eyeballs can make anyone have a frost bite and and hurriedly head-for-hills. Well, if this remains his ideology, I may have to change it.
As a counterattack I behold his contact, trying my level best to match with his level of frigidness. My amateur attempt of making him retreats doesn’t prove to be as effective as planned because Mr. Benumbed has evidently been graduated with Masters, Diploma and PHD from one of universities of Polar regions, which makes him a natural professional charmer oozing out inhospitality bitterness and inclemency, added with a sharp piercing set of tools. He has developed a thick fur, similar to a polar bear and he utilises this tool to resist frost bite from the opposite party.
He sassed, “The bell doesn’t dismiss you. I DO.” His outstretched finger pointing towards interior of our classroom expresses his unspoken words. Go and sit down.
My hand drenched with sweat slips off from the doorknob.
I espy the sight of Mr. Stone marching back with a ramrod spine, like a professional trained soldier, in the direction of his chair. This squeaks in enthusiastically how quicker my unanswered question will remain actually unanswered.
“Um sir?” My dry vocals vibrates in attempting to clarify the doubt hovering in my mind. A silly question it is but not a harmful one. The strength of harm depends on the dealer, and in this case it’s the famous Polar Bear, the one animal towards whom I have started feeling a sense of abhorrent recently.
His intention gets crystal clear to me when a bunch of paperwork lands on the desk with a heavy thud. This is the second time I have been given to overcome rejection.
If earlier I was suffering under the blurriness of whether I have had registered myself unknowingly for this special treatment, now the reasons lay before me and the matter gets simplified and resolved in my head. This matter has a close correlation to my recent event.
I breathe slowly in order to inhale the fresh warmth and positivity from an artificially manufactured negative atmosphere, especially in my honour.
Still I plaster a bright smile full of tenderness and warmth with an expectation to have this melt the mountain of ice. “Sir...I want to attend your class, but” I say beaming and forcing a bigger smile than my lips can hold, “where shall I sit?”
He scans the paper resting on his desk. God only knows whether my words have reached to his ears. Scrupulously I study his figure moulded from granite: strong hard and in a perfect shapes with prominent edges just at the required places. Holy Moly, threats of hellfire and damnation!
You should lay your eyes on your teacher...Master will be angry.
I chirp again, “Where should I sit? Do say.”
He shakes his head derisively in bewilderment. My response is met with a chuckle from Cara’s side.
“SOMEONE SHOULD GO THROUGH THE LESSONS.”
His barked our order has successfully silenced Cara Elliot, and has thrown me in the pit of predicament. Wait what is use of this emotion in my nest!? Indeed my question is full of relevance.
Really? Or is it because you want to test his limits?
Shut up you sneaky little vixen! The question has evolved because of my obedience.
“To answer your question you will sit on the floor, Miss Becker.”
Wait what did I acknowledge to? Sitting on floor? My eyes are surely to pop out of my facial structure if my ear is functioning properly. I feel the urgency to visit an ENT. Certainly, no teacher can give such weird instructions, right? Though this teacher we’re speaking of here is one special personage who has been raised as a civilised kid.
My narrowly slitted eyes find their target.
“What did you say, Mr. Stone?”
He decides to pour a little non-existing kindness from his heart, and makes a repetition rigidly though not caring to look up at the speaker while doing so. “Why? Are you deaf, Miss Becker? My instruction mentioned you to take your seat on the floor.”
Thanks to this kind fellow for rearranging the sentence.
He thinks I am deaf? That son of a...
His unexpected outburst of impatient order interrupts my thoughts, more likely rupture them. I have received the answer to my previous question. My ears are perfectly alright, but I don’t know how long they will be in a good state. At least, I hope the time with this hot-headed, cold-hearted BASTARD flies by soon. However, shoving down all the silly thoughts in a bin, I was forgetting a major thing: the rudeness. His rudeness has reached its peak this time.
He can’t disrespect his students by dumping the weirdest orders at them, and then expect them to follow them.
“The floor is cold. I can catch a cold which can prove to be fatal for my health.” Surprisingly my voice sounds so controlled when my body is sitting on the edge of explosion.
“Very Well, you have guessed it correctly. If you don’t know where a student should sit then I can’t help it.” Heartlessly he continues in taking pleasure to degrade me. “I have not been given the duty to teach my students manners?”
Is he trying to call me ill-mannered indirectly?
Of course he is donkey.
I thank the little devil ungratefully, and hope to crash her head very soon, which somehow appears to coincide with my desire to pummel Mr. Stone’s head presently and the sweet state of aftermath pleasingly races through my veins.
The episode from yesterday’s lecture of him supporting Amanda’s ridiculous comments floats before my visionary. It is very much fresh like the morning dew drops on grass. More fumes of vent run through my body, building the determination within me to fight back him to gain to self-respect. Not only fight back mentally but also physically to show him my Karate skills, while giving him a good explanation on how to be a good teacher.
“Miss Becker, I believe your disobedience will forbid you from obeying my instruction. This requires you to sit on the indicated place you have been ordered to sit upon.” Very slowly his head rises and his stony gaze meets my fuming eyes. We maintain our eye contact. Both of us remains silent. I should have used this opportunity to punch an unarmed Mr. Stone but my nerves protest to follow its master’s orders. Those unemotional sea of grey sea seems like contains so much more emotions but all are hidden and treasured in its high depth. Screw him!
He snarls, “So instead of asking those rhetoric question and wasting my time, why don’t you take a seat in the first bench?”
He breaks our eye communication, and sinks back to busying himself amongst the number of organised stack of papers decorating the surface of old furniture.
“I’m extremely sorry for her behaviour, Mr Stone.” Muttering a feckless apology with an added sneer, I walk to my destined place stomping my feet, and settle down.
“What class do you usually have after my lecture, Miss Elliot?”
“Applied Mathematics.” The reply comes instantly just the next very second his questions ends with a question mark.
“Alright. Complete the pending work quickly, and go for your next lesson.”
“A-A-A-About these high..lighted portions?” A series of slurring sound reverberates in the room.
“Meet me in staffroom after all your lectures are terminated. For now, you have my permission to take help from your textbook.”
Aww so gracious of you Mr. Stone! I taunt at the back of my mind.
“Thank you, Mr. Stone.” Apparently she performs the best imitation of my secret performance in mind. Though she fails to add the taunt, and her cherubic motive is in contradiction with mine, in overall it doesn’t alter the fact that Mr. Stone is not going to answer her sweet thanks-giving with a smile, or to be least a simper.
A few minutes of heavenly silence follow by in the midst of which I perlustrate the dimensions of my classroom. 56 tiles..57..58..59...
“Miss Becker I don’t like repeating. Walk up to me.”
His soft yet harshly pronounced commands involuntarily snaps me at the position of attention, and in no time I find myself following his orders unwillingly.
“Quickly Miss Becker.” The master of promptness and punctuality adds as an afterthought.
I walk with a waddle investing my time highly to conclude my unfinished business of counting tiles. The distance between our seating arrangement is short, and my high obedience is forcing me to comply his orders of wanting me to be careful with my steps. It’s just he isn’t highly well-mannered to express his emotions coldly.
“Miss Becker this isn’t a park. Walk properly and quickly.”
Lovely outburst of warmness, isn’t it?
A proper walking doesn’t involved hastening with steps and a quick walk does. Personally feeling the need to follow his words exactly, I alternate my strides between fast and slow.
I achieve my Walk-Properly-and-Quickly medal for successfully accomplishing my mission when I deposit my body near his desk, and Mr. Stone, indeed a stone in reality, thump a blank sheet of paper against the desk, producing a loud unpleasant noise. My shoulder shudder in response.
“Do you want to attend your next lecture?” He speaks with a tone as cool as cucumber.
The words bang against my eardrum. Want to attend? It seems like he enjoys bringing down my character every time.
Pushing away the fear I look at the bearer of a similar set of eyes.
“English is my favorite subject. Plus Miss Manson teacher is pretty good, puts up a good behaviour with of the students, just like a role model should.” I simper, looking pleasant with myself and my honest confession. Now this shall teach me the important lesson of life: Earn respect instead of demanding it.
“Your favorite subject is English? Oh no! I had mistakenly considered it to be some crazy activity of making sounds in dark area.”
My eyes glaze up with fire. If Cara has not been present here, I would have not hesitated to strangle this man. But, the fact why he supports Amanda Gloria has been clearly explained to me. Of course they two inhumane beings belong to the same genre. Their minds are occupied with the same level of evilness. DEMONS!
“Absolutely true.” I wave my hand dismissively, and ridicule cheerfully with full of life inside me. “But don’t you think calling ‘that’ activity crazy sounds a bit off. I mean, look, you are standing because your parents did not consider the act to be crazy. Isn’t it true, Mr. Stone?” I flutter my eyelashes innocently.”
Feeling attacked he directs his gaze at the paper and try to freeze them to death as a part of revenge.
I have busied myself in celebrating my victory to such an extent I have not realised that my English Professor has not been informed about the current situation which has me in its restrains. She will accuse me for being late for sure, and I am not willingly to make excuses for an unworthy fellow whose name begins with C and ending with a N. Indeed English is my favourite subject.
I demur, “My English Professor is unaware of the current situation.”
“It really doesn’t matter though I have informed her already.” His tone sounding ten times more refrigerated as before reduces the temperature of the room to the lowest level ever possible. A small shockwave runs down my spine.
My question remains unanswered, and meets no expectancy of being answered. He doesn’t like repeating himself more than once, does he?
His pen comes to an abrupt halt when it meets with the edge of last line of the paper.
“Go stand idle. Go and write a paragraph about yourself!” He commands being deadlier than before in his words.
He doesn’t look back at me but replies. But when he does, he makes sure to push and have them plunged into the death sea of silence. Certainly, he hardly gets the taste of a defeat because he emerges out as successful every time but currently...
I let out a silent giggle.
I’ve prematurely acquired the knowledge that this guy is twisted in every possible ways, and his weirdest of weirdest tasks doesn’t topple over my sweet victory.
I dismiss myself, and walk back to my assigned seat carrying a mouth brimmed with triumphant smile as my trophy.
Not knowing the motive of him behind the task, I grasp my pen from my pouch, and start working on the assignment.
Write about myself...why? Most importantly, what should I write? My favourite stuffs? Or introduce myself?
The best idea strikes my mind. An idea which will reduce my effort of thinking, and his time of checking the assignment. Well, it is repeating the same line: I am Lucifer Becker. The idea is appealing, and practically is helpful for both the parties. Moreover, he has instructed me to write about myself. Introduction is always important. He never asked me, specifically, to write different sentences in order to fill the paragraph. He can’t be displeased for his own fault of not giving specified instructions. I know my brain is overloaded with smart ideas.
While praising myself for having the idea popped, I write the heading in bold and big fonts: ABOUT MYSELF. Soon, I start filling half of the page with the one single sentence. The idea reduces my stress of thinking , and most importantly saves the time of the reader. If it wasn’t for this plan, I would have had to invest time highly in thinking about what to write.
I try to determine his real intentions while filling the paper. Unfortunately to my disappointment I fail to conclude my task successfully since no good reason justifying this weird task strikes my mind. Moreover I have no absolute intention to not attend my favourite English lectures. But when this silly assignment is consuming energy and pen’s inexpensive ink, will that bastard pay the cost for refills?
Though I am made to hear a few energetically said laconic speeches on my tardiness, I manage to maintain my calm and his figure finds no spots of bruises and injuries.
Within five minutes I finish my assignment. Even before Cara I hand him my assignment. He seems a lot more surprised that I have expected him to be considering my writing speed.
I voice, “Surprised?”
He regards me coolly for a fraction of millisecond, and then recasts his face with ingredients like darkness, lifelessness, bitterness, acerbity, dry humor or absence of humor, resentment and the most tasty spice of coldness.
“I expected you to have finished this minimal task long ago.” He lies flatly and admirably. However his business with paper, which I correctly identified as grading sheets by the end our my session, doesn’t let him go through my paragraph. Saved!
Soon I get granted the freedom to use the exit. There I proceed to attend my English lectures the next door with a mind full of questions.
After a long exhausting day, I walk out of the campus with my weary eyes, and a headache. Mr. Stone meant it when he said my English professor was updated of my state. This helped me to enter inside smoothly. He’s a gentleman when it comes to keeping promises.
My thoughts regarding my new teacher meets a disruption when my eyes fall on a tall man waving at me from the parking area.
Undoubtedly the man with stubble beard and neatly center parted hair, accomplished by his handsome features and a clear high defined radiating skin, which begrudges other men of the similar age group of late forties, is my father.
I rush towards him, and throw my hands around him excitedly encircling me. “DADAAAAAAAA!!!”
He takes me in his embrace happily and greets me, “Hey Luci!”
“What a surprise dad! You never fail to amuse me. I supposed you wouldn’t have arrived before the weekends.”
“So did I.”
We share a moment of laughter, enojying each other’s company after a long time.
Breaking our embrace he enquires eyeing my miserable condition, “So how did the lectures go?”
“Interesting...I learnt a lot”
Self-study is a better option.
But I do not wish to disappoint him with all my bragging so I lie smoothly. Also, I don’t intent to spoil the happiness. We’re meeting after a full complete month. We surely will have another time slot to discuss studies. Only studies and no University, especially the exceptionally exceptional exceptions in the name of troubles I created in here.
As a manner of changing the subject, I ask beaming, “So what brings you here Dad?”
“I came here to surprise my girl.” He kisses my forehead gently and then continues, “And also to talk with Mr. Stone.”
All the bright colours drain from my face when his real intention gets laid. If my day has not being enough worse fortuitously, then this effort of God will inevitably turn into the worst of my imagination.
TO BE CONTINUED....
My Dear Rays of Sunshine,
Don’t you think fortune is shinning brightly upon Lucifer. Note the sarcasm here. Who do you think is Sir Dominant (Luci’s Master) in reality?
**Please note the update schedule for this book is EVERY WEEK ON SUNDAY 1:30 PM IST**
Fizzog: A person’s facial expression.
Misanthropic: Showing dislike for something or someone.
Perlustrate: Examining thoroughly and carefully.
Abhorrent: Hate or disgust.