Bright and Tutah are standing in the doorway of our last class with their arms crossed. I look behind me to find Arthit and Knott standing in the same manner.
“What the hell is this?” I grouse. I don’t want to be late.
“An intervention,” Tutah tells me. “Who are you, and what have you done with our friend?”
“Huh?” I look back at Knott, hoping he might be able to explain this idiot to me.
“You heard him,” Knott puts in. “Answer him.”
“What are you guys talking about?” I say, running my hand through my hair, “You are the ones that have gone mental.” I look at my watch and realize I am going to be late if they keep this up. “Let me go already.”
“See. That is what we are talking about,” Arthit says, poking my chest as he says each word.
I grab his hand. “That hurts, you freaking little monster,” I growl and glare at the rest of them, “Are you not going to let me leave?”
“Where are you going, and who are you going to meet?” Bright steps up to me, “Tell us, and we might let you leave.”
“Might?” I question, taking a step toward Bright. Get in my face, will you? “Might let me go? And why do I have to report to you guys?”
I feel a hand on my shoulder and turn to see Knott. He has his parental face on right now. I hate that face.
“I am going to go play basketball,” I relent, “Are you happy now? Can I go? I am going to be late.”
“Basketball? It’s not a date?” Tutah looks shocked. “I was sure you were dating someone considering how you are acting. Are you playing basketball with your date?”
“Yeah, who is she?” Bright giggles. “Tell me! Tell me! Tell me!!!”
“What are you, a kid?” I ask.
“Do you think that idiot is a grown up?” Arthit snorts. “Tell us.”
“You are just as bad as he is.” I shove Bright out of my way. “I told you guys where I am going, so let me go.”
Tutah blocks the door when I try to leave, and I growl.
“Let him go, Ai’Tutah,” Knott orders, “He told us where he is going.”
“But he didn’t say with who,” Tutah whines. “So cough it up. Who is the unlucky girl?”
“Oh my God, people!” I shout, “I am going to play basketball with N’Wad. HAPPY!!”
Tutah shakes his head no slowly. “No. Now I am terrified,” Tutah mutters, “Who the fvck are you?”
“Huh?” I am dumbfounded, “Why are we back to that question?” I want to kill my friends. Maybe if I start with Bright, they will realize who the hell I am!
I feel a palm on my head and turn and glare at Knott. “I am not sick, asshole.”
“N’Wad?” Arthit questions, “The grumpy first year who you have almost killed?”
“He is not grumpy. And you have no room to talk. You are the king of grumpy,” I sigh. “He is quiet.”
Bright reaches over to place his palm on my forehead, and I slap it away. Why am I friends with these idiots? I look at my watch. Damn it! I am late now.
“Look,” I say, pointing my finger at my friends, “I am late. Can you stage this so-called intervention another day? I promise I will not escape.”
“Go,” Knott agrees, “But we will have this discussion again.”
“Fine,” I push past Tutah and head to the court.
P’Prem is late. Maybe he was just humoring me when he agreed to come to play basketball with me. It is just basketball, so someone, please tell me why I am bummed by him not showing up. Why does it feel like I was stood up?
“Sorry,” P’Prem says as he runs up, “I need to change. Don’t leave. I will be right back.”
He runs off before I can say a word. I place my hand over my heart. Why is it beating so fast? What is going on with me?!?
“I’m sorry I was late,” P’Prem tells me when he comes back from changing as he puts his bag on the bench.
“Why were you late?” I ask, trying not to sound petulant, “A professor?”
“No,” P’Prem catches the ball. I just passed him, “My friends.”
“What about your friends?” I continue as I try to guard him.
“They staged an intervention,” P’Prem laughs as he shoots and misses. “Shit! I told you I haven’t played since high school.”
“Yeah, yeah,” I scoff. “Intervention? For what?” He is not as bad as he thinks he is. He can guard well.
“They wanted to know where I was going and with whom,” P’Prem explains, blocking my shot and running it back out.
“What?” I am confused. “You are just playing basketball.”
“Yeah,” P’Prem answers, “I was sort of hiding it. Sweet!” He adds when he scores and catches the ball, throwing it out to me.
“Why?” I take a second to plan.
“Didn’t want to play twenty questions with them,” P’Prem grumbles as I get around him.
I shoot before he can block me. “That’s three. I lead.”
“Good game, P’,” I comment, handing P’Prem a bottle of water.
“You still beat me,” P’Prem groans. “I can’t believe I am this out of shape.”
“You said you hadn’t played in a while,” I console my tired senior. “You didn’t lose by much. I think you held your own pretty well.”
“Stop sucking up, nong,” P’Prem laughs. “I lost by ten points in the first game. Eight in the second and twelve in the last one. I sucked.”
“Yeah, you did,” I chuckle, “But it would be mean to rub it in.”
“And this is you not rubbing it in?” P’Prem says, quirking an eyebrow.
“Yep,” I beam.
“Are you going to participate in the Capture the Flag event?” P’Prem looks at me seriously. Where did this topic come from?
“Wouldn’t it be weird for me to show up for that?” I ask. “I have thought about it, but I am just worried about how my classmates will see it if I just suddenly show back up at the end.”
“Don’t overthink it,” P’Prem shrugs. “They all know you left because I was an ass to you that day. You participated in Freshy Games and helped us win in basketball. I don’t think they will think anything of it.” He looks at me and smiles, “I would like you to be there.”
“Why?” I ask, looking back at P’Prem. He seems invested in me showing up, and I want to know why.
“Because I ruined your SOTUS,” P’Prem shrugs again, “It would make me feel better if you could at least be there in the end.” I nod. “I am trying to be a good senior,” P’Prem finishes.
“Guess I am going,” I lean back, looking at the darkening sky. “I would hate for you to try to be a good senior, and I blow it off.”
“You are a snarky bastard, nong,” P’Prem laughs, standing up. “Come on,” he holds out a hand to help me up, “I believe the bet was that the loser buys supper. Let’s go.”
What are the odds that the most annoying nong in the universe would turn out to be my co-code? Seriously! I want someone to do the math and tell me. I look down at the other end of the table, and I still want to make him do Sit and Stands. He had the nerve to call me Ai’Oon. That reminds me: I need to kill P’Tum for calling me that in front of him. First, 0062 finds out I drink pink milk, and now he knows my damn nickname. Fvck my life. I should just ignore the idiot and enjoy the night.
P’Fon is asking the nong sitting by P’Tum why she chose to come to our university.
“It’s close to my home,” the nong answers.
“That’s a very interesting reason,” P’Fon laughs.
I remember her from SOTUS. She is the one who hyperventilated that day. I am with P’Fon, her reason is interesting.
“What about you, N’Kongpop?” P’Tum asks, “Don’t tell me that it’s close to your home too.”
I try not to look interested in his answer, but I do want to know it.
“No, it’s not. Actually, I wanted to study Economics.” N’Kongpop explains, “But my mother wanted me to study Engineering. So I enrolled in this university for Engineering.”
The second he said he wanted to study Economics, I saw red and tuned out the rest of the conversation. I can’t believe he took a spot away from someone who wanted to be here.
Walking out of the restaurant, we all say our goodbyes. Looking to my left to see I am left with N’Kongpop. Why me? Where the hell is Knott?
I pull up in front of the restaurant to pick up Arthit, and I am surprised to see 0062 there also. From the look of things, I would say Arthit and this nong have had words. Again. What is with these two? Sometimes I think Arthit is ok with him, and then the next moment, I fear for the nong’s life. Tonight is the latter.
“Where the hell have you been? What took you so damn long?” Arthit barks the moment I come to a stop. Well, hello to you too.
“I needed to buy something,” I explain.
“Never mind. Let’s get going,” Arthit growls.
“Sawasdee Khrap, P’Knott,” N’Kongpop says.
“How will the nong get home?” I ask. Are we just going to leave him here?
“He’s old enough to know how to get home by himself,” Arthit huffs. “Go.”
I guess we are leaving him. I don’t know why these two don’t get along. I know 0062 is a pain in the ass, but would it hurt Arthit to at least try to be nice. What could they have argued about at a restaurant? Arthit had told me this was a code and co-code meet up. Ironically, he and 0062 seem to be co-codes. Some God must be having fun.
I get back to my dorm and flop down on my bed after dropping Arthit off and listening to him rant about 0062. Arthit has gone mental to want to change the whole Capture the Flag event just because 0062 wanted to study Economics originally. What the hell is wrong with that? I am sure he is not the only student who studied something they didn’t want to!! We know one!
My phone rings, and I answer it without looking at the caller ID. “Hello?” I hold the phone away from my ear, “Can you stop yelling, Ai’Prem. I don’t know what his problem is! He just told me we are changing it. I know. I said I know, Ai’Prem. If you are just going to cuss, I am hanging up. Bye.”
“I am never having kids,” I shout. “Ever!”