For once without Plan-B

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Chapter – 3 The first argument

Helena POV:

“What?’’ I asked surprised when Pearl gave the mobile to me

“Here ! this call is for you. Once you finish we are going to have a serious talk’’ she gave the mobile and left with Drake towards the mall from the parking lot, while I followed behind answering the call. Once done I ran to reach Pearl and returned her mobile and could see her fuming in anger.

We both stared at each other waiting for other to speak. A while later I bent my head down and that was the breaking point of pearl.

“What’s wrong with you Hele? Why do you want to move out of my room so fast. What’s the urgency?’’

“Pearl can we discuss this later’’ I spoke giving a glance towards Drake who was staring at me in amusement

“Drake and Bert knows everything. So No, we are not discussing this later but right now’’

I sighed covering my face with my palms

“I think we should meet Bert and be seated in the restaurant and talk. I know this is going to be a long discussion’’ Drake said, while Pearl nodded and dragged me to the restaurant where Bert aka Albert was already waiting.

“My my what a surprise, finally the e-brain has come out for once to hang out’’ he grinned

“I know you know everything Albert. Pearl just said me. So stop acting surprised’’ I replied, as everyone took their seats

“Anything I need to know, you guys are looking quite serious’’ This time Albert was concerned

“Long story short, Ms E-brain has pissed off your girlfriend, don’t know the exact reason but it is related to moving out’’ Drake replied casually

“I just received a call from one of the real-estate agent informing me that he found a one bedroom small apartment for Hele and set an appointment for Hele to visit or finalize rather.’’ Pearl spoke at a stretch

‘’Pearl, you are in a student room and I know you are answerable to the owner. If I continue to stay with you for a long time, you might be falling into trouble. One day or other I need to move out so why not as fast as I can reducing the risk surrounding you’’

‘’Listen Hele. First thing my owner is a kind hearted person so there is no way he would deny your stay. As a matter of fact I was thinking of asking him if he can check there is any room available in our building. Second you can never put me in any risk.’’

‘’I know Pearl, but that’s not what I want. I don’t want to stay in your building’’

‘’Why?’’ Drake and Albert asked at the same time

‘’My parents do know where Pearl stays, not because they are concerned about me. They don’t know what I was studying but they do definitely know with whom I am friends with. This is a matter of their reputation. I don’t want them to come and disturb her about my whereabouts. Not that they cannot find me if I am in Ghent or in Belgium, heck in entire Europe too, but I am pretty sure for about a month or so they wouldn’t even think about me. But after a month I for sure know they will drag me even if I am in hell’’

‘’How can you be so sure that they would start searching for you after a month’’

‘’Right now they would be trying to settle things with Dortmund’s. They would explain Dortmund’s that I will return to them within a month. If I don’t return then they would eventually start a search. ‘’ All three frowned trying to understand the words.

’’My family has a very strong yet low opinion for me. My dad would definitely think that I would run out of funds in a month. According to him I am worthless, so a good job is out of my reach, hence after a month I would be left with no option except to return to them. That’s why I am sure till one month they will not disturb me.” I averted my gaze from three of them, trying to control my emotions.

“I am sorry Hele. I shouldn’t have got angry on you’’

I shook my head ’’you are concerned for me Pearl, the only one who was and is concerned. You have every right to be angry with me. I don’t mind. I know my life is pathetic but as you said I want to take risk and for once live without Plan-B. I might end up as a failure but will at-least have a satisfaction that I tried’’

“I guess my intestines are cursing me to feed them” Albert spoke out of nowhere, making all three of us glare at him

“What? Don’t stare like that, you know every time my stomach grumbles I picturize as if my intestines have a body of their own and they appear in front of my eyes and say “bloody bugger, feed us something else we are going to produce toxic gases that will eat every bit of you bringing you to death” he explained making everyone burst into laughter

The orders were placed and in few minutes the food was served.

“So where is this small apartment located that I presume you would visit’’ Drake asked

“That’s on the other end of the city. We have buses available once in an hour to reach to the city center’’

“Helena do you realize how dangerous it could be when you return after the night tuitions. Hell the tuitions end at 10:00 PM and the last bus is at 10:20, you miss the bus you would end up nowhere’’ Albert opined

‘’I know but I guess the apartment is meeting my requirement though I am yet to see. With the funds I have I can comfortably stay there for next 6 months paying the bills along with rent, even if I buy a laptop apart from clothes and other necessities. The other thing the agent said is there is no condition that I must stay for certain period of time. So I guess whenever I get a stable job, I can vacate and move to a better place’’ I shrugged

“Still Helena, I would suggest not to jump into a decision so soon’’ Drake said

“I have no other go Drake. I might end up taking that. But yeah thank you for your concern’’ I replied and rest of the lunch went silent.

Later we went to watch a movie, and then Pearl and I went to buy some clothes, footwear and mobile. The number was exchanged and Drake drove Pearl and me back to the student apartment. Both of us went to give tuition and returned and called the day.

Next morning, Pearl left to visit one of her aunt who was admitted in hospital. Pearl insisted that she would come along with me to see the new apartment where she probably would move to, but now the plan changed, I had to do this all alone. I got ready and stepped out of the building to find Drake standing against his car.

“What are you doing here?’’

“Pearl called to drive you’’

‘’you need not do that Drake. I can go on my own.’’

“Ms. E-brain, I know but I cannot dare to deny Pearl’s words and eventually get choked to death by Bert. So grant me my life and let me drive you’’ he spoke dramatically making me chuckle.

‘’Ok life granted. I don’t want to be late so shall we leave now?’’

“Yes Ms. E-brain’’

“The drive would take around 45 minutes, so you need to talk something to keep me sane. I am a complete mess in silence” Drake smirked while my eyes grew wide

“I should have not got into the car” I mumbled

“I heard that”

“Good you asshole’’

“Hey I am a thorough gentleman you gotta know this”

“Tell this to one of your fuck buddies, they would believe you. I am not a fool, you better know that”

“Why do you think so?’

“What, that I am not a fool?’’

“No, that I am an asshole and I have got fuck buddies”

“That’s because for 2 years I have seen you with a new girl in your arms almost everyday’’

“Really” he looked at me for a moment and then resisting his laugh he said “you used to stalk me. I am surprised as well as flattered”

“Don’t flatter yourself. You hardly attended classes and Pearl used to tell me about you’’ I quickly lied as I didn’t want to boost his ego by saying I actually looked for him every day and got disappointed when I saw him with a girl.

“If you mean so’’ he shrugged as if catching my lie

Both of us went silent for few minutes and I was getting nervous.

“You okay Ms. E-brain’’

“why do you and Albert call me E-brain?’’

“Extraordinary brain you have so we call you that. It’s a compliment you know and we both mean that.”

“I am not having any extraordinary brain’’ I made an air quotes gesture.

“Come on, who in the earth other than you would get straight A’s throughout their studies and then end up as a gold medalist in all three majors from one of the best universities in Europe. If I was a scientist then I would have dissected your brain and tried to find out what’s lying in there’’

“Thank God you aren’t a scientist’’

“Yeah. As much as I like dissecting your brain, I can’t stand looking at blood. I might even pass out’’ he quickly went calm

My eyes widened as he shared one of his fears to the person who mostly resented him and silently adored him.

“listen that was a secret even Bert doesn’t know. So you better not tell this to anyone’’

“and what if I say?’’

“Simple, I would tell to all our friends and even in the university that I kissed you in the car and you gave in’’

“As if they would believe you’’

“they will Babe. Everyone knows my charm’’ he winked

I was shocked and anger took over me “You would never say that got it. I… kissing…. you ….will never happen’’

Babe … when did I say you have kissed me. I said I will tell everyone I kissed you”

“Don’t Babe me. I am not your girlfriend. This... This is exactly why I call you asshole’’ I gritted my teeth while he giggled

So that implies my secret is safe’’ he concluded pulling the car to the destined place and parking it in the parking lot.

Both of us got down and looked around. The area seemed to be secluded and the apartment seemed to be new one. The agent came down running and greeted us . Drake stood at a distance while I spoke to the agent. Soon I followed the agent to see the apartment. After around 15 minutes they both came back and Drake could see I was skeptical.

“Can we go back’’ I looked at Drake

“Yes, get in’’

Once we were on road, he could see me in thoughts

“So, have you decided?’’

“I don’t know what to do’’

“what do you mean, you don’t know?’’

“The place is secluded, hardly one apartment is being filled and the rest of them are empty. The one which is filled is also taken by three boys. I could smell alcohol and cigar while passing by the filled in house. It got me scared.’’

“Then what is there to not decide. You wouldn’t be moving here’’

“I don’t have other option Drake. I have to take this risk’’

‘’No you aren’t. You can’t put yourself into trouble in the name of risk and I am not allowing you to do so’’

His statement made me angry

“Who are you to not allow me what I want to or don’t want to do. I am independent girl and am capable of taking my own choices and making my own decisions. Don’t try to control me’’ I snapped making him angry

“Listen Helena. I am not trying to control you neither I want to. Do whatever you want. The place doesn’t look good and I was concerned because you are Pearl’s best friend.” He snapped back and drove the rest of the way without speaking a word.

I could see he was genuinely concerned and instantly felt bad for snapping at him. I tried to apologize but he kept an angry face throughout the drive and this saddened and discouraged me. Once we were at Pearl’s apartment, I got down and before I could apologize he drove away not even sparing a glance at me.

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