Deion & Aarav

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Deion

Riding home with Quincy was stressful, as always. The car would stop and go, break randomly without need, and make everyone who walked by either give them a concerned expression or laugh their asses off.

Quincy being Quincy, he would simply flash his dimples the whole car ride and encourage the car with his motivational speaking.

"Come on, girl, you can do it!" Quincy preaches two blocks away from Deion's house.

Driving up towards them was a police car. Deion's heart began to race. "Stop! Duck!" Deion shouted to Quincy.

"What? Why?" Quincy asks.

"Cop, dumbass!" Deion shouted, making Quincy gasp and duck down quickly. The cop drove by them in suspicion but passed nonetheless.

"That was close..." Quincy said as Deion sat there motionless, eyes wide and breathing deep and heavy. "Yo, you alright?"

"Yeah... I'm fine." Deion managed to say. "Let's just leave... Now. Please." He said breathing heavy.

Quincy steps on the gas without another word and they soon end up in the driveway of the Brown residence.

Quincy and Deion said their goodbyes before Deion opened the door to reveal the stench of bourbon and vomit. He gagged and pinched his nose.

"Hey... Derek." His father said.

"It's Deion!" Deion shouted, sounding like Squidward.

"Oh..." His father slurred and giggled. "I split 'some bourbon in the kitten, son..." He giggled. He must be drunk again like always, Deion thought to himself, wondering where he even got the money.

"Oh." Is all Deion said to his father before walking up the creaky steps.

"So ungrated that son is..." He heard his father say over the creaking. Deion rolled his eyes at the words and plopped down on his bed with a heavy sigh.

An alert came on his phone from his teacher suddenly.

Project this Friday! Click the link below to find your teammate.

Deion clicked and the link opened a google spreadsheet. He scrolled down to find his name. Oh crap, not him, he thought. He stared down at the name typed in italics beside his. Aarav Reddy.

This'll be one hard project to do cooperatively. Hopefully, if a bad grade does ensue, it won't affect his college applications of his GPA. He's worked awfully too hard for one classmate to fuck it all up simply because he's a stubborn asshole.

Deion sighed angrily. "Won't this be fun." He joked and gave a small laugh to himself.

***

The next morning Deion walked to class and not failing to pass by Breeanna and Aarav. Aarav didn't fail to send him a dirty look as he passed, either. After 10 minutes of sitting in silence waiting for the teacher, the class soon started.

"Hi, children! I hope you saw my post yesterday! There will be a project starting this Friday!" Ms. Guzaskus said happily and the whole class groaned. "Oh, be positive now! It'll be fun! You and your teammate, which I hope you know your teammate, will have a project in which you each discover each other's cultures or heritage! Ask around the house about your heritage and share it with each other!" Deion looked over at Aarav who was rolling his eyes and laying his head on the desk.

Deion raised his hand and the teacher called on him. "How will the project be submitted?"

"Good question! Either make slides, make an oral presentation, or perhaps a poster including both you and your partner's info on your heritage and then write a paragraph explaining what you discovered about your teammate and heritage during this project." Ms. Guzaskus smiled at Deion and Deion smiled back, nodding his head to say he understood. "Any more questions?"

Aarav raised his hand and spoke without being asked, "Can we change our partners?"

Ms. Guzaskus sighs, "No, Aarav, you cannot. You all must learn to work with others regardless of the relationship you have with them. I was forced to work with this woman who was so mean to me, but I did it anyway because it's the adult thing to do. It'll also teach you to go outside your friend group and meet others! It'll be fun, guys! Now, pair up with your partners. I'll put the spreadsheet on the board just in case you didn't see it." The teacher goes over to her computer to do just as she said and everyone else began to move to their designated partners.

Deion reluctantly did so as well. "Hey, Aarav." He said nervously.

"Hey." Aarav mumbled angrily. "By the way... Call me Reddy when around me." Aarav demanded.

"Alright, Reddy..." Deion said and tried not to sigh or roll his eyes. "So what culture are we going to look at for you?"

"There are many things we could look at... It's either Hindu or Telugu." Aarav monotonously mumbled.

"Oh, cool! I don't know anything about Hindu or Telugu culture. I didn't even know Telugu was a thing. This will be interesting." Deion smiled.

"Yeah..." Aarav sarcastically mumbled.

"I'm not really that close to my heritage, but I know I've had family in Kenya and Egypt," Deion informed.

Aarav didn't seem to care, yet he still nodded.

"I'll go home and start researching as soon as possible. Or I could ask your family! Maybe that'll be easier." Deion suggested.

Aarav gave a sarcastic smile, "Whatever finishes this project faster."

"Alright, what's your address and number?"

Aarav sighed and tore out a piece of paper. He wrote, 225 S Creek Way and the number, 520-788-8331.

"Thank you, Reddy." Deion said with a smile.

"Yeah." Aarav said simply.

"When should I be there?" Deion inquiries.

"Today at 5 p.m." said Aarav.

"See you there!" Deion says with a smile and walks back to his desk.

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