After forty-five minutes of singing or making noises, now I can finally unleash my skill that I am fond of doing, make a blank paper to something pleasing. As our music teacher left the room and our art teacher enters, I felt thrilled. Immediately brought out another pencil case where I put the pencils that I use in drawing, coloring pencils, and sketch pad.
The teacher started the class by instructing us what to draw. Since a lot of my classmates having difficulty in blending techniques, this is what we are doing right now. Drawing something where we can apply blending.
“Franz, you already perfected that technique. I have something to do for you.”
I went to her table and listened to my separate task for today. She asks me to go immediately to the next lesson in our book. After she told me the page, I immediately returned to my seat and opened it. I already saw what I am going to do for today, but I only need to look at it as a reference.
What I am going to do right now is “perspective”.
I immediately took the pencil that I am going to use. This time I need a pencil that wasn’t thick nor thin. While I am tracing the picture that I am imagining in my mind, I saw a marron-checkered cloth in front of me. However, I ignored it because this image is rather important than entertaining this.
But when I heard a voice, I can’t help but give in.
“Franz, I left my pencil at home. Can I borrow one?”
I thought it someone that will irritate me for disturbing me. it was just Agatha, asking me if she can borrow a pencil. Everybody was shocked when she went to me to borrow one of my things.
“Would somebody save Agatha? Is everyone had another spare pencil?”
“I am worried that she will borrow a pencil for him. I remember what he has done before.”
“Come on! He will just be got angry if you don’t return his things. You know that pencils are essential to him.” Said by the tall seatmate of Isabella.
“You got it, Evan!” Frida agreed.
Despite hearing this from them, I don’t hesitate to give one pencil to her. While getting the pencil, I cannot avoid looking at her beautiful, angelic face, smiling at me.
“Don’t worry! I am going to return it after class.” She said.
I immediately gave her a pencil and gave her my partial smile.
“Thank you.” She went back to her seat and start drawing. I continued drawing this for me to finish this on time. I just think that the art class is just so short for me as it has forty-five minutes. Whereas the other of our subjects have a solid one hour. And I found it unfair.
The time is up! Some of us were able to finish the activity and pass it. This time the teacher is now satisfied with the artworks as they already get it. Meanwhile, I was able to finish my separate activity as well. She was impressed! I went back to my seat. Agatha went to my area and returned the pencil. From the composed and blissful voice earlier, become a scared and anxious voice.
“Sorry. The pencil reduces to its original size as I need to sharpen it for me to draw properly.”
I don’t know what happened. I laughed quietly but hysterically. Meanwhile, her reaction shows that she felt offended after me laughing hard. “I am sorry. By the way, it’s okay, and thank you for returning this.”
“Thank you, Franz.” She calmly and happily said and left in the slow movement. Her bouncing hair swaying back and forth, enticing me made me realized something. Just because of seeing her, I am already in cloud-nine. My heart is pounding fast as I see her go back to her seat.
I thought I’ll be hypnotized forever. Luckily, I saw the next teacher in front of the room. Therefore, I put my things either in my bag or on the floor because there no time for me to go to my locker. I am not a fan of this subject, but I have nothing to do but listen to and study.
When this class started, the teacher announced that we are going to have our fourth experiment on the other day, Friday. I hate doing this activity because my buddy always relies on me. At the end that I am the only one who is going to bring the things needed in the experiments. That when the teacher announced it, I looked at my buddy. His face has a sadistic grin on it, his aura is happy that someone will save his failing grade in chemistry by relying on that activity and continue being lazy
“But this time, I am going to assign you to a new partner…”
The face of my changed from the happy grin turn to a poker but worried face. He might be afraid that he will be put to a partner that won’t tolerate his lazy and ignorant attitude. As the teacher announced the new buddies, I am praying that I’ll be put to a new pair who more responsible and will prove the word “buddies”.
“Franz, I am going to pair you to Agatha Millett.”
I felt relief after she finally announced that I’ll be paired to a person that’s much better than my former buddy. Plus… yeah, I am attracted to her.
After the teacher finished announcing the new buddy system, she finally started to discuss our lesson which is related to the experiment on Friday. However, I didn’t listen well, having a hard time concentrating. As I am delighted that I am paired with Agatha, the girl that I like ever since I saw her last year. I don’t have the chance to have an interaction with her because I felt that she was far away despite we are in the same room. She often has the company of everybody especially her friends Isabella and Frida who was seating near to her. Now I finally could be with her.
After the discussion, the classes already finish. Now it is time for us to go home. However, the teacher told us to meet our buddies for us to discuss who is going to bring the things that we are going to bring on the experiment.
I was supposed to stand up, going to Agatha’s seat. However, she stands up after seating for nearly an hour. She was walking faster going to my seat. Again, I saw her beautiful smile and her face as she comes near to me. This gives me a bit of chill and astonishment.
“Franz, I am happy that you’ll be my new buddy!” she uttered happily.
I do want to say that I am happy too. However, I want to go home and do my thing.
We now discuss who will bring the following thing that we are going to use in the experiment on Friday.
“Who is going to bring the vinegar?”
“How about the water?”
“Uhm… we can just get water in the faucet in the school.”
“No Franz! What I mean is, who is going to bring the alkaline water?”
What is happening to me? Because I was daydreaming and not concentrating, I don’t even answer her questions properly.
“I am sorry if not answering properly.”
“I am going to bring it,” I responded.
She looks at the list and “Are you sure? You almost bring all the things that we need in the experiment.” She reclaimed.
“I am sorry. I am used to the fact that I am bringing all the things in the experiment because of my former bubby.” I stated while looking at him. She also looked at him and understands what I am saying.
“Fredrick! He is notorious for being a couch potato when it comes to group activities. I don’t even know how he able to enter this kind of school. Don’t worry! He has a new partner who will take revenge for you. He is now paired with Frida. She is good at handling people like Fredrick, making it sure that everybody will follow her, or else she will put you down.” She explained.
I am aware of Frida being nosy and pushy especially to people who are deemed to be ignorant. After a few minutes of discussion, we finally balanced who will bring the following. Both of us will bring the four items and since Agatha’s brother is taking up Chemistry, she will bring the lithium paper.
“Okay. We’re done! Let’s go home!”
She went back to her seat while I kept my things in my bag and the locker. I carried my bag when I heard Frida shouting at Fredrick.
“If you don’t bring this on Friday, I make sure that you be exposed that you are not studying well as your father expected. You always reply to every one of us for you to pass each quarter. You even prey those people who are inferior to you!”
“Frida, shut up! You don’t have the power to bring me down. Remember who I am?” he said with pride while pointing to his finger to himself. I can see the feeling of superiority to him, intimidating Frida to stop owning him. However, Frida did not allow to be owned by this person. He put his finger away from him.
“You shut up! I know who you are and don’t care about that. You are controlling our classmates because you’re just powerful and rich. How foolish of you! Mind you that I am also a direct descendant of the former president of this country. If I were you, better shut the hell up and bring those things. Prove to me that you’re filthy rich by bringing all of the items for the experiment.”
The argument becomes a challenge. Fredrick agrees to bring the “all” of the things that they need for the experiment. Meanwhile, Agatha was listening and closely witness the duel between the two. She can help but to laugh because Fredrick finally tastes his medicine.
When Fredrick went out of the room, Agatha asked something personal to her friend Frida.
“You’ll mention earlier that you are also a descendant of President Fernando. Which means that you and Fredrick are relatives?”
“Yes. Fredrick and I are both first cousins.” She answered.
Agatha was shocked about what she heard. Now she understands how Frida can control Fredrick. She knows him than everybody else.
I immediately went outside of the room to escape. I know when Frida discusses this, she will tell something that I kept as a secret. However, went I am close to the door of the room…
“And Franz is also our cousin through our great grandfather’s older daughter, Consuelo Fernando-Ryan, the philanthropist.”
And my life is over. She was astonished about the connection between the three of us.
“It is a small world then.” She sighed.
All I can do is to watch Agatha analyze everything that she heard. At least Frida doesn’t slip her tongue to mention about the complexity of how family tree. How here she goes again…
I want to run away from this. However, she pulled me back into the room and brought me back to their area.
“Franz, we are family. We are descendants of a Spanish migrant, both to Isabella and Jose. Why are you denying our connection?” while shaking my body.
“Guys! We should go home because we have things to do. I do understand the complex relationship between your family. However, I felt a bit tired and sleepy.”
After that, the three of us went home and walked through the village while talking about are things that were going to do tomorrow. I am also scolding Frida for being noisy about our family ties. I would admit that in the family gathering I am a bit close to Frida, but I hate her once she opens her filthy mouth and tells everyone what we are doing (me and Fredrick).
I am going to admit also that I still felt euphoric after what happened today, from the moment she borrowed my pencil, to be her new buddy in the chemistry class.
My head is still singing due to this happiness and until tomorrow I am still affected. I found myself weird as I walk in the hallway going to our room. Luckily, I went to school early which means that there no people witness me doing that. Last night I am just singing and happily daydreaming but now, I am jumping and singing a bit loud.
It is nearly eight in the morning and everybody is now inside the room including Agatha. As our adviser enters and starts the discussion, my mind is lurking in the other dimension. In the end, I was able to compose a poem that relates to what I am feeling right now. However, it wasn’t finished yet.
The next class is Filipino. Today, the teacher just discussed our final requirement to her which is, a play of Noli Me Tangere. All of us choose our leader, and we picked Agatha. Aside from the smartest and brightest person in the classroom, she is also our kind and calm class president. The teacher went out and attend an emergency meeting and left us to choose our assistant leader.
“Listen, everyone! We are going to nominate the assistant leader for the project.” Agatha shouted in front of the whole class trying to get their attention while everybody is noisy and doing their businesses.
“St. Ignatius, quiet!” Frida shouted causing the whole class to be quiet.
“Thank you, Frida.”
“Your welcome. I have a suggestion, why don’t you picked someone that can be your assistant leader that is good at designing, as well as good in writing.” She suggested to Agatha.
“Well, thanks to the suggestion Frida. If that’s the case, you’re going to be my assistant leader.” Her suggestion backfired to her. She is begged Agatha to reverse her decision, but her pleading is not heated. We, the whole class, laughed hard as we witnessed Frida begged to spare her as the assistant leader for the project.
“Hey! How about Franz? Franz is good in arts; he can make and probably manage the props that we are going to use in this “final” activity. He can also help you to make the script of this because he can also write good stories and poems.” She suggested. Everybody agrees including Agatha.
“Oh no, you cannot do that to me Frida Anne Marie Fernando Marasigan!” I snapped and immediately stand up and walk in front of the room.
However, “Do you want Franz to be the assistant leader?” Agatha asked the whole class. All of them happily yelled, “Yes!” as they realized the justification of Frida to be being the assistant leader.
This time it was hard to answer “No” because a lot wants me to be the assistant leader. However, Agatha decided to be more democratic and asked me. “Do you want to be the assistant leader? I am not going to force you if you don’t want.”
She still gave me an option to refuse but, it was hard. The pressure of the people around me and her regardless of letting me decide, still hoping for me to say “yes”. Her face is like she was begging me to be her assistant leader.
After a few minutes of thinking, I reluctantly accepted it.
Everybody felt happy because of the quiet person in the classroom become the assistant leader.
“Thank you for accepting it Franz!” she exclaimed while our classmates felt a sign of relief and sing in happiness.
We finally started to plan our activity and decide who will be playing the characters of this novel. After fifty minutes, we finally finished the planning. I know that these would change anytime depending on the situation. But at least we have something to start on.
It is our break time. While my classmates went out, again I stayed in the room and draw again.
No! I went to the canteen and buy my snack because I forgot to get one in the refrigerator. Although I don’t like to go there, I have no choice but to go there and buy food. I am in the line, anxiously waiting to the line. Practicing what I am going to say, the food that I want to order and ask how much of it. Little that I know, I am already in the line and still thinking about what I am going to say. My worry increased after I heard the angry murmurs of the people behind me.
“Franz, what are you going to buy?” Isabella asked me.
“Bacon sandwich with a juice,” I answered.
“Mam, one a bacon sandwich with a juice.”
“What flavor of the juice?” she asked again.
“Orange,” I replied.
“Mam, Orange juice.” She said loudly.
After I got my order, “Thank you, Isabella.”
“You’re welcome.” She responds while laughing.
I went to the garden and eat my food there while writing a poem. I still glad about everything that is happening and until now I cannot get over to it. As fast as lighting, I got the chance to finally got near to her. It was short and subtle but, I am still happy that I finally got the chance to talk with the angel.
The cold and chilly weather has come to an end.
The weather becomes warm,
And the shave of ice has finally melted.
I saw a bud,
And the sun becomes bright as ever.
After a long time in isolation,
Now it’s my time to see her.
Maybe from afar is enough,
As I have butterflies in my stomach.
My life has sprung,
Like the bud.
I went out and not waste the chance,
To be closer to her.