Part II: Of Tricks and Resolutions
As Robert walked out of the class towards his locker, he saw an undesirable figure waiting for him at just the spot.
He frowned involuntarily, before quickly recovering and putting on a fake smile.
“What brings you here, Hudson?” he asked casually, turning the locker combination.
“A very good morning to you, too, Matthews,” a grumble came from Michael Hudson.
“What is it, on this very bright morning?” asked Robert, still quite unconcerned. He rummaged in his shelves, not once sparing a look at Michael.
“Your business is over now, isn’t it?”
“Oh? Did I have a business?” asked Robert, voice rather sarcastic. “I didn’t know I had one. Pray, how much did I earn?”
“Matthews, be serious!” snapped Michael, but the younger lad took no notice. He simply feigned a yawn and began to walk away.
“If you have any more nonsense to tell me, do yourself a favour and don’t approach me again!”
“Aren’t you a pleasure to talk to!” remarked Michael, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
Robert paused to turn around and say: “Neither are you an angel, Hudson; therefore, never say that again! One more time you say anything about Laura, you’re dead meat!”
Just as the boy was taking the staircase down to the cafeteria, a panting Laura caught up with him.
“Hey…Bob-by!” she whispered. “I’m here…sorry for being so late… the professor was giving me such a pile of jobs to do!!” she explained in great animation, making the boy laugh.
“Don’t worry, Laura – even I came out just now!” he assured her. He debated for a bit, whether to tell her about the little encounter he had had with Michael or not, before deciding to keep it for himself…at least for now. “So, what’s for Lunch to-day?”
“Nothing…got to buy! Mama was too sick this morning to make anything for me, so she gave me money to buy food here.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Hope she gets well soon! She’s such a dear!”
“She is!” exclaimed Laura. “I don’t know where I’d have ended up, if it weren’t for her – and yours, too, of course!”
The two chums stepped into the cafeteria and made a beeline towards the side with all the food stalls. They bought their food – mostly identical – and went around in search of a table to sit at. They found one partly occupied and settled down.
“So, how were classes?” Robert asked Laura.
“Same old, same old…droning,” sighed the little girl, as she opened her food pack. “What about you?”
“I would give the same answer,” replied Robert between bites, “but it was actually rather exciting to-day!”
“Really? What happened?!”
“Jonathan played a trick on our professor to-day!” And he proceeded to narrate the incident, which sent Laura into a fit of giggles.
“Oh my…your class has the most fun!”
When the two friends sobered up once again, Robert spoke up:
“So, what’s your New Year resolution?”
Laura tilted her head slightly to the side in thought. “Resolution…? I haven’t quite decided yet…”
Or so she thought at the time…
“What about you?” she asked, as an afterthought.
“I want to make Mommy proud of my marks for once…I want to top the class in the next exam!”
Laura giggled. “Oh really? What makes you think she isn’t proud of you already? She always tells me that you didn’t turn out like your father – like it’s a good thing or something!”
“Oh well,” said Robert, scratching his head; Laura thought that he looked really adorable when he did that. “I suppose that’s right.”
“Don’t you dare underestimate yourself! I know you’re better than you think you are!!”
“Thanks, Laura! You always make me feel so good about myself!”