Chapter 13 - Daniel's Rival
"Tinaaa!" I heard Ella yell from behind me. I was about to turn around until she sprung her arms around my shoulders.
It was our break time, and every-bored-body rushed out of the room as soon as the bell rung.
A few girls stayed in to chat with Kristopher. He looked like he didn't mind. In fact, he looked like he was enjoying their attention, unlike Daniel when he first came in this class.
"Ella," I laughed as I removed my best friend's arms around my neck. She really loves hugging. I'm used to it now and it feels really calming since I'm always in a foul mood.
I love hugs but I don't usually initiate it. Ella's hugs were sometimes suffocating but it was fine.
Of course, if it were other people, they'd be castrated immediately.
"Why are all the girls in our class like that?" I tilted my head back to where Kristopher was currently surrounded by a group of girls. I wrinkled my nose when I realized some were flirting with him, and he was flirting back. "Do they have some kind of pretty-boy fetish or something?"
"Well," Ella twirled her hair around her finger as she glanced at their direction. "He is cute. He is a celebrity. He's friendly and approachable. And to top it off, he has a sexy accent. Attractiveness level one hundred."
I nodded, taking in what she just said. So having a different accent was attractive? Well, to be honest, it did sound pleasing to the ears.
I don't understand a girl's logic.
"He's weird." I concluded before closing my bag. "I have a feeling I'm going to be annoyed by him in the future."
"I get it, since it's you," she chuckled. Was that a compliment or an insult? "But he hugged you earlier. Do you two know each other? Is he one of your childhood friends too? Wow, all of your friends are hot. Including me of course."
Before I could finish a whole sentence, the topic of our discussion caught us looking at him. His face lit up immediately and he waved his hand. "TINZ! YOOHOO!"
I broke eye-contact immediately. I sighed at Ella, who was just giggling at that new student's hyper personality. They would make great friends since their personalities matched. I continued what I was saying.
"No, I don't know him. I just bumped into him two days ago, and then met him again yesterday."
"Oh?" She scratched her chin playfully upon glancing at him. He was pretty much enjoying our classmates' compliments and warm welcomes. "Sounds like fate to me." When she saw how I glared at her, she shook her head and laughed. "Kidding! I wonder why then. Is he interested in you?"
"Why did he choose this school?" I asked, mostly to myself. "A big celebrity like him should enroll in more prestigious schools. Rich schools. There must be a reason why he's here."
It was so suspicious, and I was completely convinced that there was something he wanted since he chose this school. Plus, it was only a week or two ago when Daniel, the probable genius, transferred here as well.
Why were famous/genius people transferring to our school all of a sudden?
I'm not gonna accept that the reason was because our school was getting famous or anything. Because that's not true at all.
"Maybe you're just thinking too much," Ella waved an airy hand, signaling the end of our discussion. "Say Tina, are you free this Saturday?"
Still adjusting to the sudden change of topic, it took me a while to reply. I was still contemplating my thoughts, and I thought of my schedule for the week. "Yeah I guess so. Why?"
"That's great!" She beamed. "Let's go to the beach!"
"Why so sudden?"
Ella sent me a warm smile, but the excited twinkle in her eyes made me reluctant to turn down the invitation, and a bit uneasy because I don't know what crazy plan she has this time.
"You've been so occupied with the position as president lately that you don't hang out with us anymore. You need to go out and relax. C'mon! It'll be fun!"
Relax? Well. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea. I really do need to go out sometimes.
"I don't mind going but..." I remembered something crucial. "I don't have anything to wear."
"Even better!" She exclaimed. She was such an optimist, this girl. "We'll go shopping later after class. I was planning on buying a new swimsuit anyway. So, you in?"
I smiled at her and nodded quickly, already affected by her excitement. "Okay. But Ella, please don't hook me up with strangers again?"
I remembered just a month ago when Ella invited me to a dinner party. She introduced me to some guy, who I admit was kind of a looker, and left us both to talk.
I didn't know what to say or what to do since she left us all alone, so that guy ended up doing most of the talking the whole night. I got annoyed since he was so talkative and kinda self-absorbed, so I ignored him for the rest of the evening.
Sad to say he didn't like me that much after that. And I honestly thanked him for that.
Ella cringed when she remembered what happened. She shook the memory away and showed me a bright smile. "No worries! It'll be just you, me and some other girls!" She hugged me again. "I'm so excited--"
"TINZ!" An annoying voice cut her off. We looked at Kristopher, who was now jogging his way towards us. Ella was still locked around my neck when he finally arrived at our desk.
I don't want to deal with you right now. And ever.
"TINZ! I need to talk you!"
Why the hell was he shouting?
I groaned as Ella withdrew her hands and gave me a wide smirk. I completely ignored her. "What now?"
"Tinz!" He chuckled and looked at me as if he just found his lost puppy. I kept calm and held my forehead.
"Don't shout. And don't call me Tinz. What do you want?"
A meaningful smile crossed his face, and I wasn't sure if it was a good one or a bad one. He was quite hard to read since I barely knew him. And I was annoyed how he was acting so familiar with me. He even gave me a damn new nickname.
As if Poopy wasn't enough already.
"Well," he started. "The teacher said you'll be my personal tour guide for today didn't she? Let's go later after class and have lots and lots of fun!"
Ella and I exchanged looks. Lots and lots of fun? What was he, a pre-schooler?
He sounded sarcastic though. Why did it seem like he was putting on a show?
"And..." He scratched the back of his head shyly. I'm not sure. Was that a shy move or a sly one? He was an actor after all, he may be just fooling me. "I really want to know more about you. Hey, let's be friends."
I gaped at him. I was speechless. "Uh. Sure?"
"That's great!" He suddenly jumped and gave me a full hug which surprised me, Ella and the rest of the girls who remained in the classroom. I couldn't breathe with the force he was using on me. I can't even complain. "Let's have some fun later!"
I found a weak spot and I attempted to hit him with full power until someone peeled him away from me as if he was a leech stuck on my skin.
I awkwardly put my clenched fist inside the pocket of my skirt. Nobody saw that.
"I wanna go too," Daniel appeared out of nowhere. He was currently grabbing a hold of Kristopher's collar. So he was the one who pulled him away. I'd thank him but no thanks.
I could've handled it myself.
Ella was grinning sheepishly at me as she motioned her head towards the two boys. I knitted my brows and massaged my temples. This is exhausting.
"Oh, it's you," Kristopher abruptly took Daniel's hand off his coat. His tone was the complete opposite from earlier. It was dull, annoyed and plainly displeased. Again, did these two know each other? "Careful, this is Cashmere."
"Uh-huh," Daniel sounded like he couldn't care less. The two boys eyed each other for a while and I swear, I saw something like lightning sprouting from their eyes.
I cleared my throat to avert their attention from each other.
"What is it Daniel?" I asked.
He sent me a dry look with his already expressionless face. This guy's even harder to read. "Like I said," he glanced at Kristopher before turning back to me. "I wanna go too."
I sighed. Don't they know how they're just adding to my load of work? Do they think this school is some playground and I'm their guardian?
"Just let him tag along," Ella whispered, noticing my debating look. "He's worried about you."
Worried. Pft. Worried.
"But what about our shopping trip later?"
Kristopher began a conversation with Daniel as I was talking to Ella. He smiled at him and let out a small, friendly laugh. "I'm sorry, who are you again?"
Daniel smiled back.
Oh my God. He smiled back. The robot smiled. Now I'm certain there was something wrong.
"Daniel." The butthead simply said.
"Nice to meet you," he held out his arm and shook (squeezed) hands with him. "I'm Kristopher."
The atmosphere between the two seemed heavy. Even I could feel it. What was going on?
Again, I cleared my throat. Ella just continued to grin beside me, not at all helping with the situation. I called Daniel's attention. "Why do you want to tag along? There's no need."
I held back a glare when he put his hand on my desk and drew his face closer to mine. Damn it why does he keep doing that? Is he trying to look at my pores or something?
The corner of his lip twitched up into an annoying smirk. "Because your mom told me to be with you at all times, since you'll probably trip over your own foot again."
I resisted an eye roll and a hiss. His reason was unreasonable. Just like my mom.
"Why would her mom ask you?" Kristopher suddenly interrupted, looking at Daniel like he was some kind of vermin or something.
I get it. They don't like each other already. And I do not want him to know about my relationship with the butthead.
I looked at Daniel to silently tell him to make up an excuse but his eyes were too fixated on Kristopher's to notice my frantic message. He seemed really pissed off now. A calm kind of anger, which was much scarier. "Because I'm her fiancé, that's why."
I almost choked on my own spit.
Does he want to be stabbed with a pitch fork?!
I groaned internally and possibly externally as well. Why do boys do this? I mean, they just won't back out from a stupid fight! Why does he look so intimidated by Kristopher anyway? Is he jealous or something?
Ha-ha. A robotic butthead? Jealous? He's not capable of such thing. And neither am I.
Kristopher had a look of surprise in his eyes. Not like the way our classmates reacted when the stupid revealed our relationship, but his reaction was way more intense.
His eyes were in perfect circles and he looked like he couldn't utter a single word. Was it that unbelievable? Or did he actually believe it?
He quickly shook off his expression just now and laughed. "I see! You never told me about this, Tinz you sly little devil!" He then formed a smug look on his face. "So how far have you two gone?"
"UGHH!" I couldn't help myself groaning loudly. "Why does everyone keep asking that?! Why do you all care? It's none of your business!"
He was unfazed, and he even persisted with his ridiculous questions and possible teasing.
"Because a pair like you and Danny is the most intriguing thing that's happened in this boring school, maybe. You're like celebrities. People want to know what's up. Trust me, I know."
He grinned widely and I suddenly had the urge to knock his perfect white teeth out. He just insulted our school. The bastard's asking for a death sentence.
Before I could give it to him, Ella held my elbow to stop me. She stepped forward and asked a question I would've asked, but couldn't because my anger distracted me.
She watched Kristopher suspiciously. "Danny? You give every person you just met nicknames?"
The grin on his face disappeared instantly. And then it went back up again. Huh, must be very convenient to be an actor. "I had a friend named Daniel once. Called him Danny. I got the names all mixed up--silly me!"
Ella didn't reply. The suspicious glint in her eye didn't disappear. I know she wasn't satisfied with that answer and I know she knows something was going on between the boys. It was so obvious, right?
Instead of pushing him to a corner, which Ella was very capable of, she spared him a sweet smile and ended the discussion right there.
"Funny," Daniel cut in, earning our attention. He was still glaring at Kristopher. If they keep glaring at each other so much, their eyes were gonna rot. Which wasn't so bad, now that I thought about it. "I had a friend named Kristopher once too. I forgot what I called him though. Was it... Tops?"
Kristopher snorted before he could finish his sentence. "That's a funny nickname."
"It's hilarious," Daniel said, although his expression did not match what he was saying. "And nobody calls him that but me and another old friend. But that's another story."
Ella and I were just quietly staring at the two as they continued talking in cryptic words. I noticed how Kristopher clenched his fist and hid it inside his pocket. His face was turning pinkish, but he maintained his calm smile.
I know I shouldn't say this but as soon as I saw that act, I was like: Fight, fight, fight.
I'm too much of a war-freak. I must stop. This isn't what a student council president should be thinking. I have to stop them before they really do break into a fight in which I know I won't stop and will most likely enjoy.
I stepped in between the two and pulled Ella for support. "Alright then. I think we better go now."
Much to my surprise, Kristopher caught my arm and sent me a sneaky grin. "You like that guy?"
I just stared at him, my whole body was tense. I wanted to steal a glance at Ella and ask her for help but Daniel was right beside her. I can't turn around and look at her, otherwise, I'll end up looking at him too. Which was not very convenient in my current situation.
I don't understand why my heart throbbed.
I cleared my thoughts and released a heavy sigh, concealing my feelings of confusion. I withdrew my arm from his grip and gave him a menacing look. "No."
When I said that, I felt like I did something wrong. I felt guilty, and utterly conscious. What would Daniel's reaction be? Will he get mad? What. There's no way. Ugh! But what should have been the right thing to say?
"I see," Kristopher grinned again, looking obviously pleased. Too pleased. I saw that his eyes were triumphantly looking at Daniel, who was right behind me. He was like taunting him or something, I don't know.
"In that case then," he said as he took my hand this time and brushed his lips against the back of my palm. "You wouldn't mind going out with me, would you?"
Despite all the complex emotions stirring inside my chest right now, the only thing my mind was concerned about was Daniel.
What was he thinking? Was he mad? Was he jealous? Was he gonna pull me back and give this new kid a piece of his mind? Was he--
Since when did I rely on him to defend myself?
I'm just making myself more confused than I already am. I should just stop overanalyzing the situation. I abruptly snatched my hand back and offered him a more intense glare. I know he was just saying that to piss Daniel off more. I hate being used. "Yes, I do mind. And no."
He clutched his chest and let out a chuckle. "Ouch! So blunt! I got rejected right on the spot. My heart is broken."
Sure it was. That's why he was smiling so widely. Jerk.
He tilted his head to the side. He just won't give up. "If you won't go out with me, then I'll just have to steal you away."
This time, my blood boiled. Did that line come from one of his scripts? His cheesy act did not affect me in any romantic way possible. In fact, it annoyed me how he thinks he could win me over by some clichéd line.
I know I don't watch a lot of movies to prove my point, but I'm not that oblivious to know that it was such an overused line.
Whether he was serious or not, I'm still annoyed. So annoyed.
I folded my arms against my chest in case he grabs me again. I tried my best to control my anger. I had anger issues. I know. "Steal me away? Excuse me, I'm not property. And nobody is stealing me away. You got that?"
That line was pointed at Daniel as well.
Kristopher's eyes widened, like he wasn't expecting such a reply. Or maybe he wasn't used to getting rejected by girls. Too bad. Ella and Daniel were silent behind me. I didn't want to see their reactions at all. This is such an embarrassing discussion.
Kristopher unexpectedly snorted. I looked at him like he was crazy. Then he pushed the back of his hand to his mouth, as if he was forcing himself not to laugh.
What? Did I say something funny? I want to slap him right now. Can I? When he gazed into my clueless eyes, he burst out laughing like it was the funniest thing he heard his whole life.
"WHAT'S SO FUNNY?" I matched the volume of his laughter, except mine was in anger. Or in shock.
I feel like I'm being treated like an idiot right now.
Calm down. Calm down.
Do not punch him.
He's the new kid. You're the president. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Think of happy things.
Think of lifting that chair beside you and slap that dolt upside the head.
No! Do not beat him up. Not even in your head.
Ah screw it.
I was so surprised when he suddenly asked Tina out! Part of me got excited for Tina, getting asked out by a celebrity, and a part of me just didn't trust that guy.
Well, the whole of me didn't trust that guy. He was just weird. Weirder than me probably.
And that's saying something. It's dangerous.
The whole time Kristopher attacked with sweet lines and charming smiles, Tina resisted and defended strongly with blunt replies coated with pure rejection.
It was so amusing to listen to such a conversation. It's sad though. This was the first time that someone had the guts to ask my best friend out, and it wasn't even serious.
I wanted to get mad at Kristopher but I don't know why I just couldn't. I don't think he's a bad guy. I think he's mysterious, but he's not a bad person.
Meanwhile, I kept stealing glances at Daniel. His expression was like the usual, but I noticed how his eye and nose would twitch from time to time.
His stony expression was breaking. Hehe. He looked so troubled and it seems to me that he's only holding himself back from kicking him in the shin.
He's so jealous and he's so pissed. It's adorable how he's like this because of Tina. I feel so proud of my best friend. And I'm getting so excited! Is this going to develop into a love triangle?
In the middle of my thoughts, Kristopher snorted, silencing all of us. I don't think Tina said something funny. Then he burst out laughing, out of nowhere! Tina looked so mad. She probably thinks she's being treated like an idiot.
Danger. Danger. Tina is going to go berserk. I have to stop her before she does something that'll make her end up in prison. And I'll have to bail her out because I know I'd rather die than see her in those tacky, orange uniforms.
"WHAT'S SO FUNNY?!" She exclaimed, getting ready to jump on him. Oh dear.
I quickly went beside her and placed my hand on her back, somehow trying to soothe her. Now I can proudly say that I'm the only one in school who can calm this girl down.
Well, I'll probably have to share that awesome title with Daniel soon. And I'm totally okay with that, as long as it's him.
She glanced at me and sighed heavily. "Let me kill him."
I giggled at her face. She looked like a troll. "Don't."
"Then give me the motivation not to." She said in monotone. I thought for a bit.
"There's no Kung-Pao chicken in prison."
Tina looked at me like she was gonna cry. Like seriously. This girl loves food way too much, especially Kung-Pao chicken.
"Tinz..." Kristopher choked out between his laughter. "I didn't think you'd take what I just said so seriously! You're so funny Tinz!"
And then he laughed even harder.
Okay. He's just asking to be buried alive. I just saved his ass. Now he's digging his own grave again.
"Again with the Tinz?!" Tina yelled, seriously angry. I'm quite confused myself.
How the heck did he come up with Tinz? It sounds like the 'tin' from tin can, only fancier. Or more annoying, in Tina's case.
Now that I think about it, she's got herself some new nicknames since these two new students arrived. Poopy, Tinz--I wonder what the next new student will call her.
"Stop calling me that."
"You're adorable when you're mad." Kristopher teased.
Tina was fuming. "Stop. Now."
"TINZ! TINZ! TINZ!"
They proceeded with their childish argument. It was honestly interesting to see Tina get this flustered by someone other than Daniel.
Frankly speaking though, since these two showed up, Tina's been showing so many expressions lately.
She has a short temper yeah, but I don't think she yells for the reason that she's angry most of the time. Knowing my best friend, she's just trying to act mad to conceal her embarrassment.
Nobody knows, but Tina was a very shy girl. Timid at times, but when she sets her eyes on a goal, she goes for it straight on.
I looked at Daniel beside me again. He was staring intensely at the two, and he didn't look pleased at all. I was afraid he'd suddenly beat someone up.
When he noticed me staring at him with a silly grin on my face, he quickly turned his head to the other direction and acted as if he was searching for something. Yeah right Daniel. I caught you.
Ah! Sorry, I just can't help myself from feeling giddy.
I just want to scream and giggle and laugh and jump and sing! I'm so excited! I don't know why I feel so excited for other peoples' love stories.
Well. Theirs' will be better than mine any day.
I couldn't help it. I jumped in between Kristopher and Tina, and I began pinching her cheeks.
"Ella!" She stuttered, looking confused as to why I suddenly started stretching her face. "What are you doing?"
I squealed before giggling. I so can't wait to see how this potential love triangle will progress!
I turned around and smirked at Daniel and Kristopher. They looked a bit confused. Kristopher stopped laughing a while ago.
"Sorry boys, but Tina's mine after class. She can't show you around today Kristopher, she's gonna be busy shopping with me."
And then I secretly winked at Daniel, sending him the message that I just did him a favor. He pretended to be innocent. Heh.
Kristopher pouted, looking a bit disappointed, but his cheerful personality didn't make it that obvious. "Aw, that's too bad. Well, next time when you're free then, Tinz!"
He raised his hand up and stuck out his little finger. Wait. Was he..?
He glanced at Daniel mockingly as he did this. "Pinky swear?"
Smooth move dude. Smooth move.
I heard a scoff beside me and I didn't have to look to know that it was Daniel. Something tells me there's more to these boys and pinky swears than what meets the eye.
"Seriously?" Tina sounded like she couldn't believe what that boy just did as well.
I really didn't want this whole thing to drag on, so I just told her to do it and get it over with. She reluctantly did so.
"Alright fine. Pinky swear." She wrapped her little finger with Kristopher's and then they pressed their thumbs together to 'lock' the promise. She sighed. "Seriously this is so unnecessary. I'm obliged to show you around even if you don't ask me to."
Kristopher replied with a cheerful smile. This guy is just too hyper. But not more than me. Daniel stepped in as well, ending his role as a spectator. "I'm coming too whether you like it or not."
He really doesn't trust Kristopher.
"Of course! The fiancé should always watch over his lovely wife-to-be. Because, who knows?" He made such a questionable grin. "Some guy might jump at her and do something you won't like."
The two boys exchanged threatening glares and silent war-cries.
Or maybe that's just me. Hehe!
"No problem there," Daniel replied, sounding confident. "She'll probably beat him up before he even tries to do anything. It's that guy you should be worried about."
They were shooting daggers at each other.
After that, Kristopher finally backed down and sent Daniel a crooked smile. "Heh. Nice meeting you, Danny." Then he turned to Tina and I as quick as his change of expressions. He was happily grinning at us. "Well then, I'm off ladies! My bodyguards are already waiting for me at the gate. Ciao!"
And then he left. Skipped, to be more exact.
He's too happy, that guy. I think we're gonna get along well!
"Bodyguards?" Tina mumbled beside me. She scoffed. "Rich bastard."
I grinned maliciously inside my head. Alright Ella, time to work your magic. In other words, butt into your best friend's and her questionable fiancé's lives.
"By the way!" I suppressed a squeal and wrapped my arms around Daniel and Kristina, squeezing their faces together just like how I played with my dolls when I was a kid.
"Daniel, would you like to come shopping with us? Tina could really use some advice on what type of swimsuit she should wear for our little trip this weekend!"
The horrified look on Tina's face said it all. She pushed his face away and shrugged my arm off. "Ella?!"
"Alright." Daniel replied.
Was my mouth still on my face? I think it fell off because I was just smiling too much.
Everything was going according to plan.
"Great! After class then!"
Tina made an incoherent cuss or a wail of some sort. I just laughed. As she began fixing her things, grudgingly, I looked at Daniel and sent him a wink.
Again, he pretended to act innocent and looked away. He knew perfectly well that I was planning something. And he's silently helping me with it.
Don't you two worry. Just leave it to me. You'll be thanking me soon enough.
If you don't kill me first, that is.