Letters to Romeo: Bad boy good girl

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Your dorm or mine

The boy with sandy blonde hair stared at Roman with his mouth slightly agape over what Roman uttered a few seconds ago. Julie didn’t get to see Dennis’ baffled expression because of Roman, who held her gaze, and it made it hard to look away from him.

Julie couldn’t make out if Roman was playing around or was being serious right now.

“I-I,” Dennis tried to compose his expression while a clear hint of irritation appeared in his eyes. He cleared his throat and said, “I am Dennis Mcoy. You must have heard of my name, the one who has been in second place since the last three years.”

Even though Dennis was not first, it was quite impressive to Julie, knowing she was around two senior students who scored the highest. While here she was, struggling and trying to make sure to get decent grades. Though it wasn’t her fault that Veteris had such intensive studying and tests. She had got through the admission, and now it was time for her to maintain it until she was here.

Roman finally pulled himself back, taking his hands away from the table and turning to look at Dennis.

“I don’t bother to remember who comes second. It is a pitiful position,” remarked Roman, rubbing salt over Dennis’ wound.

Dennis didn’t hold back in being polite this time and replied, “I have heard a lot about you, of how you look down at the students.”

Roman bit into the stick while staring at Dennis with an aloof expression on his face. Though Maximus had told him this boy’s name before he came here, he hadn’t bothered to respond to it. But it was true. He didn’t know this boy’s existence until now. Looked like someone was trying to be brave in front of the girl. He remarked,

“Then you must have also heard of how I don’t like being interrupted when I am speaking to someone,” there was a hint of threat in the way Roman looked at the person. “Also, it’s hard not to look down when everyone is at the bottom. Maybe if they were at the top it would make it easier...” one corner of his lips pulled up.

“I will get better grades than anyone has ever seen,” promised Dennis, taking up the challenge.

Roman didn’t respond to Dennis, and he turned his gaze back at Julie, staring at her. What was she doing with this one?

“Don’t forget tomorrow. I will see you in the library at six in the evening,” decided Roman and Julie’s eyes widened.

“I can’t,” blurted Julie. The last thing she wanted to do was spend her time with him and bring more attention to her life.

When his eyes narrowed with an unpleasant look, she felt her heart slip. It seems like he wasn’t used to being refused, thought Julie to herself.

“Can’t or won’t?” demanded Roman, his demeanour turning intimidating.

Though she tried to keep a calm expression on her face, Julie turned nervous, and she tucked a piece of her hair behind her ear. Roman’s eyes caught the little movement before they went back to look at her brown doe-like eyes.

“Didn’t you say you don’t do things for free? I think you should stick to it. I am a little short of money this month because I had to-”

Suddenly every person who was nearby heard a screech that made them wince. Roman had grabbed the nearest chair and brought it next to Julie, and he sat down.

“I didn’t ask for an explanation. Can’t or won’t,” questioned Roman, sitting too close, and Julie wanted to push her chair away from him.

Because of the shrill sound, the few people who were in the lunchroom turned to look in the direction where she was sitting with the two seniors. Oh God, thought Julie to herself.

Julie stared at Roman, her lips set in a thin line. She then asked, “What if I said won’t?”

Roman, who had been biting the stick, brought it to his teeth. Bringing his hand up, he pulled it away from his mouth. He sat in the chair as if he owned the place and said, “Why do you want to settle for something so low, when you can have the best tutor? You don’t have to worry about the fees, I have other ways of having you cover the cost.”

“Sitting with you is going to cause me a lot more trouble than worrying about my low grades,” blurted Julie. She saw the faint arrogant smile that appeared on his face.

Rumours in this university spread worse than a wildfire where girls and boys indulged in gossip. She was already in people’s ‘beat with a baseball bat list’. She didn’t want to ascend to a higher rank on the list.

“Stop scaring her. Can’t you see that she doesn’t want to study with a person like you?” said Dennis to Roman. “Leave her alone. Your help isn’t needed here.”

“Nobody is talking to you, number two,” deadpanned Roman. “Unless she can’t speak for herself, which I believe she can?” He raised one of his eyebrows, and this got Dennis to close his mouth.

“You are overthinking. If you don’t want to study in the library, I will come to the dorm,” he offered to her, and a chuckle escaped Julie’s lips.

“I will be barbecued the same night,” responded Julie, already feeling the tension rise in her body.

“Fine. Come to my dorm. No one ever comes there, unless I invite them so it will be just the two of us,” Julie wasn’t sure if it was the way he said it or her brain had stopped working, but the way it reached her ears, there was something very dark and tempting about it. “I am offering to be a nice and helpful senior here,” he tilted his head to the side.

“I will think about it,” replied Julie, trying to buy time to stall for now. He was being extremely nice, and she wondered why. Was there some sort of motive behind his action?

“Cool. I will take the answer later then,” said Roman, getting up from the chair he had been sitting on.

As Roman turned and started to walk back to where Maximus was, Julie saw Maximus wave his hand at her in greeting. Awkwardly, Julie raised her hand before dropping it to her side. Turning, she ate the last two pieces of her cold fries.

“Is he bullying you, Julianne?” asked Dennis, a frown on his forehead as he looked at her and his eyes shifting back to look at Roman, who was leaving the lunchroom. “You don’t have to listen to him. We can report this to Ms. Dante.”

Julie waved her hands as if it was not a big deal, and she said, “He’s only offered to help me with the studies.”

“Yes, but he could have done it more politely. It looked like he was forcing you to come join the study group, which I doubt will be group study,” said Dennis, not liking the idea of it. “You can come and study with me if you want. I am usually studying in the library and he can’t disturb you.”

“I will keep that in mind. I should get going now, thank you for keeping me company,” she offered him a smile.

Dennis returned the smile, “Would you like me to walk you back to your Dormitorium?”

“I will be fine. But thank you,” replied Julie. Dennis was a little too friendly, something she was not used to, but she appreciated his thought.

“I will see you tomorrow then,” said Dennis.

Julie gave him a nod and started to walk towards the open doors of the lunchroom. The sky had already turned dark, bringing in the night along with the chilly weather around the property of Veteris. On her way, she thought back to her time at her uncle’s house. Yesterday when she had visited them, downloading songs was not all that she did with the internet.

She had tried to find the person named Stacy Hopkins on social media, trying to track the person to know what had happened to the girl. Last week, she had dropped by the main office to check if she would be able to ask about the free dorm.

‘I told you there’s no spare dorms and it takes months to process it,’ the lady at the office told Julie.

She had then checked Veteris website, and funnily it just didn’t load as if the website had a bad server issue. She hadn’t heard anyone miss Stacy Hopkins in the dorms or the bathing room as if she were a loner and didn’t have friends.

Reaching the dorm, Julie unlocked the door and closed it after entering. It seemed like she would be meeting Melanie tomorrow morning. Travelling to visit her uncle and aunt had been tiresome. Walking towards the window, she picked up the note, wondering if she should add more questions. She noticed a new one had replaced the note.

“So fast,” murmured Julie under breath.

She read what was in there—A psycho killer who kills dumb people. Obedient, I like it. How was your little trip? Anything exciting.

“Creeping to someone’s window is already crazy enough. How much more crazy do you want to be?” asked Julie while staring at the letter. “I am not able to decide which one of the bullies is worse.”

The way she had written the letter to her uncle, which the letter thief had, the person might have already guessed the dynamics of her and her relatives, thought Julie in her mind.

When the night pulled itself further into midnight, the students who had gone to visit their families had returned to their dorms and were sleeping. Roman sat on one of the branches of the trees with one leg hanging, and the other leg pulled up.

He held a white sheet of paper in his hand, which he had already read.

’It was alright. I met my uncle and aunt, my cousin too. I told him I wouldn’t be able to visit him anytime soon. I think he knows why I said it, and somewhere I feel guilty. But I think it is for the best. Do you ever wish that you could turn back time? For example, I would not have sent the letter to Uncle Thomas.

I have never met a person who likes to bully a person through letters.′

His lips twisted with one corner of his lips pulling up, and he murmured to himself, “Turn back time, huh,” while looking ahead of him, staring at the sky.

His ears picked up the sound of footsteps, and he caught sight of a boy in his Sophomore year, walking alone near the beginning area of the restricted forest.

Looked like dinner was here, thought Roman in his mind.

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