"Can I please come over to your house? We could have a really fun time!" Breeanna asks the boy in front of her.
"Babe... I've told you. My parents are very strict on who I can date. I'm pretty sure they're arranging a marriage too." Aarav complains.
"Awwwww." Breeanna whines. She twirls her platinum blonde hair on her index finger and pouts.
"But... I am gonna take you out tonight." Aarav smirks.
"Really?! Oh, thank you!" Breeanna smiles proudly.
The bell then rings. "I gotta get the class, babe. Coach doesn't like me slacking off." He kisses Breeanna's cheek and walks off.
"See you at lunch!" Breeanna shouts as he walks away.
Aarav rolls his eyes. He hates Breeanna and her squeaky voice and ditsy personality. He would dump her to the side if it didn't tarnish his reputation. He finally wasn't being called a faggot. That was definitely a bonus. Not to mention he had fun making them cry in the end. It sounded quite cruel, but it's the only joy he could get out of life. One more girl he has is one Deion can't get. He hates him too. He's perfect in every way. Perfect grades, perfect complexion, ideal son and student, perfection on the football field, and he is the quarterback. All Aarav will ever be is a lousy fullback. He could never compete with Deion.
Deion is every teacher, coach, and parents wet dream. His parents would surely love Deion more than him. He is never good enough for them anyway. He'll never be the perfect Indian son who only dates Indian women and strictly practices Hinduism as if his life depended on it. He couldn't give two shits about his culture or religion. None of it mattered to him and it never will.
Just as he felt he could have a nice day without seeing Deion again, there he was in the front row of the classroom.
"Sit in the back beside Quincy, Aarav." The teacher says behind him. He sighs in relief and shuffles to the back of the classroom.
"Hey, Rav," Quincy says with a flash of dimples.
"Hey..." Aarav replies with a look of disgust. Quincy is Deion's crazily optimistic best friend who has an obnoxiously loud car. They're both quite annoying.
"Aren't you lovely." Quincy retorts.
"Excuse me?!" Aarav stands up in front of Quincy's desk, towering over the skinny boy with confidence.
Someone touches his shoulder, making him flinch. "Hey! Hey, he doesn't want any trouble he's just a little impulsive." Deion explains with a calm expression.
Aarav snatches his shoulder away from Deion's hand, gives him a glare, and plops back down in his seat.
Deion leans over and whispers something to Quincy. It takes everything in Aarav's power not to stand right up and punch them both square in the mouth.
His shoulder feels odd for the rest of the class. He couldn't decide if he needed one hundred showers or if he just hasn't had physical contact in so long that it just felt oddly sentimental. He sounded like some girl gone over a boy in school just because he said hi. No wonder he was always called a faggot. Finally, he decides he needs many many many showers when he gets home and vowed to beat the shit out of Deion Brown if he ever touched him again.
He finally went home soon after to the familiar smell of chakkara pongali hitting his nose. It was one of the very little things he cared for in his culture. It has always been his most favorite thing in the world.
As soon as his mother sees him she shouts, "Nani! Oh, I've missed you!" She grabs his face and kisses both his cheeks. "I'm cooking your favorite!" She announces.
"Namaskaram, Ramachandra." His father said from the dining table.
Aarav groaned. He hated being called that. It was his middle name for a reason. Not that he liked Aarav any better, but it beat Ramachandra.
"Now don't go groaning and moping about. Be positive! Brahman would give you blessings for positivity and kindness." His mother lectured.
"Padma, you've said that too many times to him. He has it memorized by now." His father spoke. Tiny but energetic footsteps come pattering into the kitchen.
"Nikhil! My little boy!" His mother shouts, picking up the skinny child and holding him close.
"Amma!" Nikhil shouts with a giggle.
They've been taught to use their native language, Telugu, when addressing their mother and father. Nikhil proudly shows off the language whereas, Aarav tries to stay far away from it. It's bad enough that his accent is made fun of.
"Aarav, how was school?" His mother asks.
"Good, amma." He's said that every year. Especially after his many years of bullying for his race and his non-existent homosexuality.
"Great! Ooh, Vindu sid'dhaṅgā undi!" His mother said, meaning, dinner was ready. Aarav smiled and quickly sat down at the table.
"Chakkara pongali! Chakkara pongali!" Nikhil chanted excitedly.
His plate was placed in front of him. Without hesitation, he scarfed it down quickly. Damn, his mother always made the best chakkara pongali. No matter where he went, it was never the same as his mother's. That's one thing he was forever proud of.
"Ramachandra, we may have found you the woman to marry. You're very close to eighteen, it's about time you find a wife. Her name is Candramukhi. You will love her!" His father says happily.
"Dad!" Aarav shouts.
"Wrong name!" His father shouts.
Aarav sighs in anger, "Nanna... I can't marry her! I don't even know her!"
"That's why you're going to meet her! Your nannamma wants you to marry before she dies. You know how special nannamma is to this family!" His father raised his voice. "You must marry her for the family! For nannamma! You don't want to disappoint me do you?!" Aarav could see tears well up in his father's eyes.
"But-" His father gave him a scowl and Aarav surrendered, not wanting to make his father go into a rant in Telugu. "Fine." He stabbed his fork into his chakkara pongali, not once looking up to meet his father's eyes.
A/N: The picture above is Aarav