Chapter 4 - The Neverending First Day
"Class dismissed," Ms. Stanford sighed after the bell rang. I'll bet she was exhausted trying to get our class' attention. After all, it was difficult to concentrate with my shitty darling around. He was just a new student and everybody's already making a fuss.
Well, it was inevitable because that bastard just had to open his mouth. Pushing those stupid thoughts aside, I found myself looking forward to my relief: lunch.
Usually, Ella and I would ditch yucky cafeteria food and bring our own lunch. And since the cafeteria was too crowded - I hated crowds mind you - we'd eat and relax on the school's rooftop. Nobody goes there anyway, and we were granted permission by the faculty.
"Let's go," Ella smiled at me, waving her bread at my face. Yes, this woman had bread for lunch. She said it was part of her diet or something. Not that she was fat or anything. I, on the other hand, never hold back from the insatiable appetite I have.
"Okay." I said, fixing my stuff.
As I neatly arranged my notebooks inside my bag, Ella hopped towards Daniel's desk. My hand stopped moving and my head quickly snapped to my best friend.
Oh no. Something bad is gonna happen now that Ella knows about that stupid arrangement.
"Hi!" She greeted cheerfully. In response to that high level of energy, Daniel just looked at her, a bored expression on his face. Ella didn't waver from her excitement though. "I'm Tina's best friend. Call me Ella."
"Hey." His tone was less than half enthusiastic compared to Ella's. Ugh, this guy. He's like a robot.
Ella's grin couldn't get any wider. "If you need help or want to know anything about my stubborn lil' best friend here, don't hesitate to ask me."
"What? No! Ella!" I said, giving up on tidying my stuff and ended up stuffing everything in my bag.
"Sure," he said. When I whipped my eyes to where he was to send him a glare, he finally cracked a grin at Ella, and then at me. "Please help me out."
I opened my mouth to say some kind of profanity, but found nothing that could express the amount of my current emotion enough so I shut up. Plus, saying bad words is improper, especially since I'm the student council president.
Ella, on the other hand, felt the complete opposite of what I was feeling. I have a really bad feeling about this. No doubt, hundreds of plans are already circling inside her cupid mind right now.
Help me God.
"Where are you guys going?" He asked just as I stood up. I was still glaring at him so Ella replied instead.
"We're gonna have lunch at the rooftop."
I took Ella's hand and tugged her away from the robot. She must not get any closer. "C'mon let's go already."
"Can I come with you guys?" He asked, stopping me for a minute. My mouth was more than ready to say no until he continued. "I don't know my way around the school yet and I don't know anybody here, so."
I scoffed. "Absolutely n-- "
"Of course!" Ella chirped happily. I gaped at her. I can't believe her! She smiled at him before she smiled at me, quite deviously if I may add. "He's your responsibility now, right Miss President? In more ways than one."
I can't believe she used my own duty against me! This is what happens when the best friend of the biggest matchmaker in school finally has a potential love-interest.
I groaned in my head. No. Just, no.
I was silent for a few seconds. They were waiting for what I had to say. Well they didn't leave me much of a choice now did they?
I gave Daniel a pointed look before I sighed. Heavily. "Fine. But behave."
He smiled innocently. I scoffed again. This little devil. "I'll try my best."
The wind was rather fierce when we arrived at the roof top. Because I got so preoccupied about how to handle the butthead and about tonight's festival, I forgot to bring my lunch. Perfect.
I feel like my energy's completely drained, and it was still just the beginning of the day.
"Over here!" Ella excitedly called us. She was already sitting on our usual spot. She patted the solid ground and winked - the woman had assigned our seating arrangements to her benefit. "Daniel, you here! And Tina, beside Daniel!"
"You're way too energetic," I sighed in defeat. Who cares anyway. I just want to rest already.
Ella was already munching on her bread, and I didn't care to look at what Daniel was doing, even when he was right beside me.
I just can't stand his face. After humiliating me at the classroom? He's gonna have to sleep with one eye open tonight if he still wants to wake up the next day.
With my stomach grumbling, I groaned silently. Why. Why did I forget my lunch?
In the middle of my hunger, I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. Usually I wouldn't use gadgets because I just wasn't interested, but as the council president, this was a necessity for daily reminders, reports and other emergencies.
The secretary just texted me, saying that something went wrong with last month's account book.
I huffed silently. How come they just noticed it now? They should have reviewed it. Seriously do I have to do everything around here? I typed in a reply before standing up, Ella and the robot staring at me as I did so.
"I'm going to the office for a bit," I announced. We had our own office as the student council, so that's one of the perks of being a part of it. "Something went wrong with the accounts."
Ella frowned, but didn't complain. She knew how much my position and my responsibilities meant to me. "Okay. Be back soon okay? You haven't even eaten your lunch yet."
I glanced over at Daniel for a bit and made a mental eye-roll. He was just reading some comics in his phone. After that, I gave Ella a small wave and left. I hope she won't ask that robot too many questions.
"Who was in-charge of last month's journal?" I asked the members, strictly. We had a long table in the middle of the office set for our meetings, and I usually sat in the middle as the president.
They all lowered their heads and then one of them slowly raised his hand. It was Vincent, one of the business officers. "I was. Sorry Tina, I didn't double-check. I just noticed when the accounts didn't balance in my laptop."
"This is..." I mumbled, in a loss for words. I looked at him a bit annoyed; he cringed and waited for more scolding. "We send our books every month to the principal's office. You're telling me the journal we sent last month was incorrect? As well as the ledger?"
"Well..." he said unsurely. "The assets won't balance with our equity and liabilities, so I did a few tweaks so - "
"You did what?!" I exclaimed, cutting him off. I can't believe this! "You faked some digits?!"
He was sinking lower and lower in his seat. Ugh! Of all days for this to happen, it had to be hours before the festival. How am I going to explain this?
I held my head and tried to keep myself calm. Don't lose your composure Tina.
The whole council was silent as they waited for my next orders. I was tired. But I already know stuff like this would happen when I accepted this position, so I'll handle it. I always have.
"Give me the last month's journal." I told them, not even attempting to hide the annoyance in my tone.
Vincent gave me the notebook cautiously, as if I'd bite his hand off if he made one wrong move.
I took my calculator out of my bag and summed each column. After that, I found the fake digits and encircled them with a red pen. Then I took this month's accounts and ripped the pages off.
I could tell my members were petrified in their seats. They were always afraid when I was in silent mode. It was sometimes worse than my beast mode.
"Adjust the accounts. Properly," I gave the notebook back to Vincent with a stern look. He gulped before he nodded and took the notebook.
If he adjusts the accounts from last month, then this month will be affected too. And since I'm in-charge of this month's journal, I'm responsible for starting it from scratch.
I want to scream. This is so stressful.
"Excuse me, students who are not a part of the council are not allowed in here," one of the members said to someone from the door.
I lazily looked up to see who it was and I swear, my eyes dropped from their sockets. Well, not really, but you get the gist.
"Daniel." I deadpanned, sending him a wild glare. "What do you want?"
He casually stepped inside the office, ignoring the warning he was just given. I stood up from my seat but he was already in front of me.
His neutral expression suddenly turned into a pout. "Don't leave me."
The nerve of this guy! I sighed heavily while massaging my temples. I already have enough problems in my hands. "Are you a kid? Can't I leave you alone for just an hour?"
"No," he quickly replied. "I'm your responsibility too, remember? Take care of me properly."
A grin smoothly appeared on his face as he said those words. I noticed that the council members were just pretending to work, because I could see them taking a few glimpses at us from time to time.
Did the rumors already spread this far?
Trying to avoid an argument as much as I can, I held back from my anger and released a sigh. I'm shortening my lifespan by doing this job. "Alright fine. Go sit over there and-- "
"Behave? Yeah, okay." He said before I could finish. Without another word, he sat on the empty seat behind our long table and took out his phone again.
I sat back myself and continued what I was doing. As long as he shuts his mouth, this will go smoothly.
It's been half an hour. I scanned my comics in my phone quietly as Poopy continued her work. I'm really not as bad as she thinks. I can behave.
When I looked at her, her eyes were so fixated on her notebook, and she was so focused. It was almost inspiring to look at. But then again, she was working too hard. She hasn't even eaten lunch yet.
I studied their office and noticed that the atmosphere was kind of like our office back at London.
I didn't want to bother her. Her best friend Ella told me how important this position is for her. I'm not gonna ruin it for her.
Smart words coming from the guy who just humiliated her this morning.
I want to make it up to her. I mean, we haven't been in good terms since we met again, and I don't want this whole hate thing between us to drag.
I just... don't want her to hate me.
"They just won't balance!" Some guy furiously whispered. Another guy nudged his shoulder and sent him a look. "I can't tell the pres I can't balance the accounts! She'll have my head!"
Accounts? They were having trouble with their accounting?
"Sum it up again. Maybe you missed a number. Happens all the time." His companion said.
I glanced over at Poopy and noticed that she was too absorbed in her work to notice me leave my seat.
I went to those two's side of the table and quietly looked at the notebook. It was so messy, and unorganized. It barely resembled an actual journal, or any book of accounts.
They noticed my presence behind them and unsurely nodded their heads in acknowledgement. I was too busy analyzing the journal to spare them a glance.
"Do you know how to fix this?" He asked. Anyone could tell he was already desperate.
I nodded after seeing the potential problem. "Hand me a pen."
He gave me the one he was holding. I encircled some digits that didn't seem to fit in the columns before I looked at the guy sitting in front of me. "Give me the receipts for this month."
In an instant, they gave me a file stapled with all their expenses last month. It was arranged chronologically. Good.
I put a parenthesis on two of the amounts, which meant they were supposed to deduct those amounts, not add them. That's what caused all the imbalances. They probably mistook the expenses for something else.
"Don't you need a calculator?" He asked. I shook my head as I wrote the total and then underlined it twice to signify its importance.
"Reconstruct the table. It's messy." I said before I gave him back his pen and went bsck to my seat.
He looked at me unsurely again before he and his buddy looked at the notebook, tapping on their calculators and rechecking the data with the receipts.
I was back on my phone, but I secretly took a glance at Poopy. She looked so stressed.
"Hallelujah!" That guy stood up from his seat, raising the notebook above his head. It caught everybody's attention. "Tina! The accounts are balanced!"
She sent him a scowl before motioning him to come closer.
After showing her the new adjustments, her expression softened, meaning she was relieved that at least that was finally solved.
I hid a grin. I hope I helped.
To my surprise, he pointed at me. Poopy raised her brows as she looked at me. I pretended not to see them and just continued scanning whatever in my phone.
"Your future husband is really capable pres!" He said. When he realized what he just said, he cringed, and then slowly looked at the consequences. She was glaring daggers at him.
Everybody in the room were staring at me. I sighed. I hate getting stared at by a lot of people. I hate getting a lot of attention.
It's a bother.
The other guy from earlier walked towards me with a smile. What does he want? "You said to reconstruct our tables. Can you show us how? You look like you're really good at this."
I glanced at Poopy again. She was just looking at me, and I'm not sure how to describe her expression. I took the pen the guy gave me and quietly wrote down everything they needed to avoid making the same mistake again. I also gave them a few tips on how to arrange the data in an organized fashion.
This was easy compared to what I had to deal with back at our company.
When everything was settled, everybody in the room patted my shoulder with friendly smiles, showing how thankful they were for me helping with their current crisis as well as giving them strategies to deal with potential issues in the future.
They knew me as Poopy's fiance, and she did not look happy. Still, she didn't complain and just quietly allowed me to do what the rest of the student council asked of me.
I'm not doing this for them. I hope she knows that.
We went out the office quietly. Poopy walked ahead and I just followed from behind.
She's quiet. I think maybe I did something wrong.
She stopped in her tracks and I mirrored her movements. She slowly turned around, her eyes meeting mine in a hard stare.
I was prepared to get yelled at for not behaving like she said, but I was surprised when she did the opposite.
"Thanks," she said, her expression softening. She's so unpredictable sometimes. "For helping us out back there. I mean it."
I nodded, politely receiving her gratitude. I feel at ease now.
"Did you do stuff like that in your business in London?" She asked, genuinely curious. I nodded again.
"Okay," she said, folding her arms against her chest now. "What do you want?"
I stared at her. "What?"
"What do you want?" She repeated, putting more emphasis in her words. "I don't like to be indebted to anybody. So just tell me what you want."
Nothing came to mind when she asked me, to be honest.
But she looked like the type of person who wouldn't just let this go, so I told her something simple, and something that'll be beneficial for her as well.
"Just give me a tour around campus."
That's what she was supposed to do next anyway.
I hope this helps her.
I have no idea why one minute I want to bully her, and then the next minute, I want to help her. And this was weird, considering I knew most of the answers to my own questions all the time.
I hardly even question myself except for the endless confusion of what to eat for lunch.
Poopy nodded, looking a bit suspicious of my request. I just gave her a look. I don't know, I was too tired to make some kind of expression. Moving the muscles in my face was a bother.
"Alright." She said, and then she checked her watch. "We'll start right now."
"This is the administration office," she said as we walked inside said building. "You processed your documents here before you transferred to this school so you must be familiar with this place already. Next is..."
The rest of her words faded away in my mind. This was so boring.
Why did I even ask for a tour? It's not like I'm interested in this school anyway. I feel like I'm gonna fall asleep on the spot.
I don't know how long we've been walking around campus and how long she's been explaining stuff that went from one ear of mine to another.
So, I decided to tease her again.
I want to see the amusing expressions on her face again.
I can't help it. I'm bored.
"You're boring." I said. She stopped. Uh-oh, I think I just sounded too blunt. But I kept on going anyway. "You're so, so, so, so boring."
Why the heck did I just sound like a kid?
An unpleasant look crossed her face as she folded her arms against her chest once again. "Well I apologize for that. I'm just showing you around like what you asked and what Miss Stanford ordered. What else do you want me to do?"
Her tone was impatient and I noticed how she puffed her cheeks in annoyance. She was losing her temper.
I found it surprisingly funny but I hid my smile and kept up my straight face. I wonder how mad she'll get? Will she explode? Pfft.
"I don't know," I put my arms above my head and narrowed my eyes at her. "Strip and dance."
She took a step back. "Keep dreaming."
"Then do something to entertain me," I persisted. I said this with a straight face, but I was actually just teasing her.
"I'm not your maid, alright? Don't just order me around!" Her face was flushed now. I wonder, will it get redder if I do something new to her?
"That's right," I walked closer and closer to her. Because she kept taking steps back, her back ended up against the wall.
Looking up close, I noticed that she had a really pretty face. Her eyes were beautiful like sapphires - hypnotizing. Her skin was clear and smooth, her lips pinkish without even a trace of lip tint. I snapped my head out of my thoughts. She grew up to be really pretty.
What the hell was I thinking? This wasn't like me at all.
I held her chin up so she could focus all her attention on me. Instead of being nervous like most girls would, she looked more than pissed.
"You're my fiancé, so soon after we get married, you're mine and I can order you around as much as I want to."
Her expression quickly changed. She looked panicked and her face turned red. She slowly escaped from the corner and looked at me half-frightened, half-angry. Shit! What have I done?!
I wanted to apologize for teasing to that extent, but instead, I scoffed and turned around.
"I was just kidding. You really thought I was serious with you?" And then I clicked my tongue as if I was bothered with her presence. My tone ended up more arrogant than I had intended.
I am a complete asshead.
"So you just want to play around with me then?" she spat, venom on her tone of voice. I noticed her clenching her fists and I regretted everything I said. Giving me a last glare, she spun around and left me alone in the administration office. Luckily there was no one there to witness it.
I was just staring at the ground until she finally disappeared. Realizing my mistakes once more, I kicked the wall where I seemingly trapped her with earlier until a small crack became visible. The pain on my foot didn't bother me as much as my past actions did.
Damn it, I played around too much.
I cooled down a bit but my feelings hardly made any difference on my outer appearance. Having an emotionless face was pretty convenient.
I was at the door of our classroom now. Before I stepped inside, I heard familiar voices arguing over something.
"Everyone is required to have a partner during the dance, and that's already taken care of," Ella said.
"That has nothing to do with me," Poopy, Kristina said.
Even just thinking about her name is hard and kinda awkward. I'm not used to saying her name since all I've been calling her since we were kids was Poopy.
"I'm not joining the activity the sports club president organized. I'll just facilitate the students."
"No. When I say everyone, I mean everyone. And obviously, that includes you too. Don't be such a busybody." Her best friend sounded serious now.
I heard her groan in protest. "Are you kidding me? Who would ask me to dance?"
I mean, you know.
"I already listed you with Daniel as your partner. Don't worry. The both of you will be together the whole night. I already reserved your costumes for the event tonight."
There was a moment of silence. That girl did what..?
"Ella why did you decide this all on your own?! Why didn't you ask me first?! I'm not gonna have that jerk as my partner! I'd rather go alone!"
So she already hated me that much huh? Serves me right. I'm an idiot after all. She should just punch my face and get this all over with.
My mood dropped tremendously as I entered the classroom. I noticed that she and Ella were surprised to see me but I pretended like I didn't know anything.
I sat on my desk, stretched my arms above my head and buried my face under folded arms. I need a nap. Man this is such a bother. It's still my first day here and already, a lot of drama happened.
This is all my fault. Why I acted like such a kid, I don't know.
And to top it all off, she's mad at me. She hates me. I might as well die. Oh look. I'm creating my own drama in my head. Wait, why am I so bothered about this anyway?
Screw you mind.
How can I make it up to her? I don't know how to apologize. I've never apologized to anybody my whole life. This is so ridiculous.
Should I buy her food? Maybe she'll forgive me.
Nah, that's just the same as bribing her. And a dance, with her as my partner? I can't even imagine.
I peeked at her from my current position and my breath got caught in my throat when I saw her glancing at my direction as well. We both quickly averted our eyes. What?
My thoughts were interrupted with a loud announcement from the speakers.
"Attention all students. Please proceed to the gym right now. The costumes are in the dressing room and everyone is required to be ready with their partners in full costume at exactly four o'clock. Thank you." The voice from the speaker said.
Oh. Oh, boy.