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Chapter 10

After Meetings. “That was a rather tense meeting we had back there.” He says. They were sitting on the stairs and it was late afternoon. He remembers they were also talking one time like this, on the same location, on the very first day of the first year. “Why’d you trip, though?”

“I don’t know. My shoe got stuck or something.” She replies.

“How’d you handle all that teasing?” He asks.

“Well. He says ignore ignore ignore.” She replies. “Though sometimes it is hard and I get pissed off, too. Well, good thing he spoke back today. I don’t think that’ll change anything though.”

“Hmmm.” He says. “If we were classmates I would’ve seen so for myself.” He grins.

Meetings. They were having a meeting for the two sections. They were planning on the design for their t-shirt and it was a little too complicated. He was near the door and she was near the board. She was writing something while everybody else was arguing for the color. Her chalk snaps in two and she picks it up on the ground.

The classes continue to decide about the color. She writes “white”, “blue”, “gray”, on the board. The others start voting and they were raising their hands. For some unknown reason she trips on something on the floor. She falls back but he catches her awkwardly from his seat.

The moment was a little too tense and everybody started teasing her more with him. They were calling them names and both of them were ignoring it, like they always do.

“Stop it, you guys. It’s not really like that….” He looks at her from his chair. “Right?”

She nods her head slightly.

The others didn’t quite believe him and some of them we’re still teasing them.

Her head turns to the door and she sees him standing there. Their eyes meet and her brows arch.

“Hey, hey, let’s continue this meeting already.” He says and everyone looks at him.

“Jealous?” He hears somebody say.

“Haha. Very funny.” He replies with a smile because he doesn’t really get affected that much.

Replies. The room was still cold, though the number of people had dwindled down to a mere two. Her mom was sleeping on the couch, and she was watching the television. The reception was awful, so she turned her attention on her phone. She founds his text message.

“Sorry I haven’t had the chance to come.” He says.

“That’s quite alright. Didn’t really ask you too, anyway.” She replies with a tongue-out emoji at the end.

“Could you come tomorrow, though? At the retreat?”

“I hope so. Ugh I hate being admitted. I hope I’ll be discharged tomorrow morning, at least.”

“You better be.”

Games. “You don’t like me, do you?” He asks her one time. Both of their fingers are on the same screen because they were playing against each other on Guitar Hero, or something like that.

“I don’t actually don’t like you.” She says. “We are just not that close. Well, I think it’s because they are teaming me up with you, so that makes it hard for us to talk openly without being observed, don’t you think?”

“That actually feels good to hear.” He says. He smiled for the first time that day.

“Ha!” She says. “I won!”

“Might have let my guard down for a bit there.” He smirks. “Rematch.”

Rains (Again). It was 4 PM and they were dismissed of class. It was late in the afternoon and the sky was crying. He looks around him and his classmates were all too busy bringing out their umbrellas from their bags. He didn’t bring his own and hates himself for it. The people leave in pairs or in groups. He caught sight of her outside, staring at the expanse of dark clouds above. He wonders if she doesn’t have an umbrella too.

He sees him approach her. He had no idea why he suddenly hides below the window.

“Aren’t you going home yet?” He hears him say.

“I’ll wait and hope this ends after a few minutes. Then I’ll go home.” She replies.

“Don’t you have an umbrella?” He asks.

“I have.”

“Then why aren’t you leaving?”

“Because I hate getting my shoes wet.”

“They’d still get wet even if the rain stops though.”

“Not if I’m careful.”

“This sky might not calm down for a while, I guess.”

“I’ll just wait.”

“It’ll get really dark-“

“You know, you can go first.”

“Do you really want to stay here alone?”

There was a pause. Perhaps she was looking behind her. Most probably she was doing that, and he had no intentions of standing up or whatever. He wonders why he was somehow nervous of being found.

“Fine.” She says.

He waits for the moment he thinks is safe before finally standing up. He goes out the empty hallway and looks at the sky. He stands on where she was standing a few minutes before. He holds out his hand to catch the rain. He sees her below, and he sees the image of him chase her and fit awkwardly under her umbrella.

He purses his lips and hates himself for quite a lot of reasons.

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