My eyes scanned through the notice board where the exam results were on. Ace Knights, first position. My lips formed in a thin line as I took in my marks that I had scored. Five points less than full marks. Why? A sigh escaped my mouth as I thought about how I got to eat that remaining five marks. I was continuously dozing off in the exam hall and it was all because of....because of...something I don’t even know.
“Congrats buddy, you are the topper, again,” Jung grinned as he made his way towards me while I stared at him lost in my own thoughts.
“Hey! Ace!” Jung’s voice broke me out of my state and I looked at him baffled by his sudden raise of voice. “Yes?” I asked as he narrowed his eyes at me. “You don’t really seem happy for being the student who has topped the exams,” he looked skeptical for a second but before I could answer his question, a look of understanding got his expression and his eyes widen up the size of saucer as he glared at me. “This is the problems of people like you. Just unsatisfied with whatever you have!” he huffed and I shrugged at him.
“Ace, do you not understand? You are the topper. Topper! You have only five marks less than the full mark while the second person in line is one-fifty marks less than you. Do you understand the difference? You are on different level in terms of scoring marks,” he said and that made me turn around to look at the exam declare paper to find the person who came second was none other than Veronica Sullivan.
“Argh! I’m so vexed with you,” he called out and it was when I noticed Veronica standing in the corner with her arms folded over her chest. Minutes later her eyes fell on me and she gave me a small wave with a smile. “It’s not the marks that I’m after, it’s the knowledge,” I said as I ignored her and turned around to leave.
I was just in the middle of my research when I felt someone sliding the chair next to mine. From the fragrance, I could tell that it was Veronica. But, I concentrated more on my book rather than her intoxicated, mind-diverting fragrance, and all of a sudden, I felt that annoying increase in my heart beat.
“Ace?” I heard her whispering to gain my attention and all I did was to adjust my eyeglasses as I concentrated on my book.
“Are you like, ignoring me?” she asked in an uncertain tone.
“What’s wrong? What did I do?”
“I came here to thanks you. It was only because of you I could score the second position,” her voice didn’t really mirror her words. She was expressing her gratitude but her voice seemed to have some other emotion and that made me look at her.
“Alright,” I said with a nod.
“What’s wrong?” and this time her neutral facial expression changed to a worried one. “You don’t really seem happy with the marks I have scored or are you not happy that I stood second?” she said and that made me raise an eyebrow.
“Its nothing like that!” I said as I looked back at my books.
“Or....is it the fact that you are burdened by the fact that I could surpass you in the next exam?” she said with a hint of playfulness in her voice and I looked back at her. “Do you really think, that would even matter to me? Scoring marks or being the topper doesn’t really affect me. I am only after knowledge,” I told her and that made her nod as she bit down oh her lips and clasped her hand over the desk.
“I know. I have heard from other students that you have always dreamt of becoming an astronaut,”
“You seemed to have an interest upon my life, I see!” I said and she seemed to look off guard. “No!” she exclaimed looking flustered, “that’s not what I mean. I have just heard from people about your dream. You are the genius student of this school after all,” she breathed out.
“Tell me Veronica, do you not think that after scoring the second position you should really concentrate more on your studies to really surpass me the next time?” I asked and all she did was grin.
“Nah! I am happy with whatever I get. It’s just that I managed to get the marks only because of you. The methods you taught me were really simple and easy for a dense student like me to understand and it is what I’m really grateful off! Thank you,” she smiled and that made me turn my body towards her as I looked straight into her eyes.
“Veronica, first thing first! Not everyone gets to be in this school. So the fact that you are here means, you are not at all dense. Second thing is, as not everyone gets to be in this school, you need to be cautious with what you do else you are going to lose your place and someone else is going to have your place just in a snap,” I told her and she furrowed her eyebrows seeming confused.
“Place? Someone else will have my place? What do you mean? I don’t understand!”
“What I mean is... stop getting yourself in trouble...knowingly,”
“What trouble did I get myself into?” she asked unfazed by what I just said. “You got into a fight with Chelsea, didn’t you?” I said and for a second her eyes grew wider but then she averted her gaze to her front folding her arms over her chest as she leaned back on her seat.
“And how do you know that?” she asked and I could feel the change in her voice. She was getting aggressive and irritated.
“The fact that you didn’t even deny it means it's true.” I said and she whipped her head to my direction. “Nobody told me that, I have heard from some girls next to my locker talking about the ugly fight between you and Chelsea.
“You seemed to have an interest upon my life," she smirked and that made me roll my eyes. "Even though that's none of my business, I thought I should tell you for once that you should concentrate more on your studies, if you want to stay in this school. Because, you are saved this time as Chelsea doesn't really have any proof against you or else she would have gone to any extent to get you out of this school because of her relationship with Elliot," I told her as I closed my books.
"And not only this but you also have a habit of roaming lonely in midnight in the campus. Do you even understand how risky it is?" I asked and all she did was to narrows her eyes at me.
"What about you?" she asked and that caught me off guard.
"Yes, you! What about you? Do you think you are good because you are letting the bullies off the hook every single time?" her eyes fired up and I shifted in my seat breathing deeply.
"Do you think you will be able to change them just because you are good? Or wait a minute!" she said and hummed a few seconds snapping her finger two to three times. "Or are you trying to maintain your good boy vibes in this school, Mr. Ace Knights?"
"Good boy vibes?" I questioned and she nodded "Isn't it why you take the risk of being caught and follow me every single night while I wander around and you go back once I climb back to my hostel premises?" she asked and that made me clench my fist.
"So you knew? Yet, you chose to waste my time?" I asked gritting my teeth. This girl!
"Wasting your time? Excuse me? I don't recall asking you to follow me in the night. You chose to do that on your own. Whatever it is...still you hose to break the rules. So, what's the difference between you and me now?"
"Hu? Mr. Ace Knights?" she challenged and it was enough for me to take a sigh as I packed my bag ignoring her. "You know what? Just forget it! You are just so rebellious that it is really hard for me to make you understand," I said and she stood up from her chair, aggressively.
"Look Ace," she begun but I cut her off in the middle as I stood up throwing my bag over my shoulder as I looked at her face while she seemed to be seething in anger. The girl somehow resembles my father's personality a little and that made me sigh.
"Forget it Veronica! I helped you with your studies and now when the exams are over I think we should concentrate more in our own lives rather than thinking about others. I am sorry that I followed you but believe me I wanted your safety and till the very last day, I thought you would stop wandering alone in night but now that you know, I think I'm going to stop following you. It is upon you now, what you want to do. I wanted to give this advice and it is what I did. Because, seeing you score second position surpassing all those old students, I thought you have the ability to do something in your life. You do have the ability. But believe me, if you keep on getting into troubles, nobody can save you," I said and turned to leave. I could still feel my heart beat beating vigorously against my chest but this time it was not because of what I felt for Veronica but because I was out patience and I was exhausted from talking too much, without breathing.
All I had in my mind, as I walked away was that Veronica would look on what I just told her. But if she didn't then god only help her.