Play by the rules of bully
Julie saw Roman staring at her notebook, where she had written down the answer for the components he had given her to solve. The junior year had a Rubix subject, similar to Mathematics, but only that this subject contained purely equations and chemical compounds.
Roman, who had been playing with a toothpick earlier, now held it in between his teeth.
“Were you sleeping in the class when the teacher was teaching this?” Deadpanned Roman, looking up from the book to look at her.
Julie was decent with the other subjects, and it was just this subject that she found it hard to remember. And another reason was that the day the first class of Rubix was taught, it was the same day she had been caught by Mr. Borrell’s in the corridor.
“I am sure it isn’t all wrong,” replied Julie, taking the book from the table when he had dropped it with a grim expression on his handsome face.
“You are right,” replied Roman, balancing the toothpick as he spoke. “Your equation is right, but the component is wrong. It is equal to giving an alcohol bottle instead of a glucose bottle. Turn to page twenty two.”
Julie scratched her neck while feeling slightly stressed in his presence, “Now I remember it.” Of course, it was there in the back of her mind. But with him glaring at her while trying to solve it, it was just too hard to concentrate on her book.
“Let me show you how to solve it without the given method,” said Roman, pulling her notebook back to him. He switched the pencil from his left to right, which he had picked out of habit with his left hand. And when he started to write, Julie couldn’t help but stare at the messy handwriting.
“Can you see this? You put the symbol before you start adding the elements,” said Roman as he continued to scribble on her notebook.
She noticed his long fingers that held the pencil, his hand movements quick. For a fleeting second, she looked at the shadow that was created on his face. His hair had come to fall over his forehead, which was left dishevelled. At first, Julie had thought that he would try to bully her, but instead, he was seriously teaching her. Once he was done, he turned the book around for her to see.
“Rubix is like a secret house. You can either follow the path like the rest of them, or make your own way,” he said, looking up to meet her eyes.
“This looks really easy,” muttered Julie, going through the lines that Roman had written.
“I know. This is why you should learn from the best rather than learn from a second or other lower positioned person in rank,” replied Roman, and Julie pressed her lips together. It seemed like he thought very highly of himself, but at the same time, he did have high grades compared to the rest. “Stop thinking about my possible narcissistic personality and start working on the next page,” he commented with narrowed eyes, but Julie’s eyes widened.
Julie opened her mouth to deny and hide what she thought, but Roman stopped her by saying, “Don’t bother.”
While Julie moved her page, her eyes slowly looked at him in suspicion. It seemed like she had turned to an open book while surrounded by books for him to read her.
When she started to study again, she noticed Roman had leaned back with his head thrown back, waiting for her to finish solving the page. He had removed his leather jacket and had placed it behind him. His right hand had tattoos that disappeared behind the half sleeve of his t-shirt. There were creepers with scarce leaves on it, writings, an eagle with its wings spread. His fingers had letters on them.
Julie wondered how epic it would be if her aunt Sarah met Roman Moltenore.
When it was finally time for her to leave, Julie put all her things in her bag, and she saw him walk towards the railings and lean forward to look at the floor below. Turning his back, he said to her, “Let’s have our study session three days in a week. Alternate days.”
More than scoring, Julie was excited to learn the tricks of the subject, and she nodded her head, even though a day ago she had been worried. No one had caught sight of her in here with him, and it seemed that this spot was the safest one. For now, at least.
“Thank you,” thanked Julie, and when he didn’t say anything, she picked up her bag and started to walk away from there.
Making her way down the stairs, Julie placed the textbook back in the rack that she had pulled out earlier. But before she stepped out of the library, she looked up where Roman was standing. He stood with his back leaning against the rails, and at the same time, a girl arrived in front of him.
This one seemed like a different girl than the last one she had seen, thought Julie to herself. Not wanting to be nosy, she turned her eyes away and stepped out of the library. At the gates, she met Dennis, who was carrying books in his arms.
“I forgot we were going to meet at the library today,” said Dennis before she could say anything. Julie didn’t remember planning her study time with him, and noticing the perplexed expression on her face, he said, “Just so that Moltenore wouldn’t bully you.”
Julie decided not to speak about it as students were walking by, and she said, “It is alright. I studied by myself.”
Dennis nodded his head, pushing his glasses up his nose, and he smiled, “I was caught up with other things and I couldn’t get here quickly. If you haven’t finished, you can join me,” he offered.
“I will pass for the day,” replied Julie with a smile. Right now, she wanted to eat. “But I hope you will have a good time studying.”
“I will,” Dennis agreed and then said, “Maybe another day to study together then.”
“Yeah, sure,” replied Julie. “I should get going now.”
“I will see you around then,” said Dennis and Julie walked back to her Dormitorium.
When she entered the Dormitorium, she was unexpectedly pushed by someone against the wall, and she was soon surrounded by four girls, one of them being Eleanor.
“Have anything to confess, Julianne?” demanded Eleanor. She looked at Julie with anger.
“I am too tired and want to sleep, Eleanor,” Julie tried to step away from there, but one of the girls pushed her back towards the wall.
“A little birdie told me that she saw you walking next to Rome. What part of staying away from him is so hard for you to get through your tiny brain?” asked Eleanor.
“Roman? I didn’t even see him today. Who is that little birdie with lies?” Julie questioned Eleanor, and she saw the girl narrow her eyes. If it was possible, she would throw stones at that stupid bird, thought Julie in her mind.
“I saw you walking with him,” said one of the girls with an accusatory look. You damn bird cursed Julie in her mind.
“Funny, that I didn’t see him. It must be because I didn’t wear my glasses. Now why would he even walk with me or I with him?” asked Julie, acting oblivious. For girls who were younger than her, they sure liked to behave like the Queen of Veteris. “You are a beautiful girl, Eleanor. You will look perfect next to Roman. Why don’t you go and speak to him? Why even waste your time on a person like me?”
Eleanor was taken aback by Julie’s sudden compliments and the hope of her having the future next to Roman. It took her another second before she narrowed her eyes at Julie.
“You are right. I am the perfect person for him, but don’t think I don’t know when I see a threat,” she said in a low voice. “How about we meet each other in the forest at night?” she proposed.
Julie smiled, a dry chuckle escaping from her lips, and she said, “I think I will stay in my dorm. I haven’t forgotten the last time when we spent time together in the forest.”
Eleanor smiled back, “Have we started to come in your dreams? We barely spent time, Julianne.” These girls with short memory problems thought Julie to herself. Eleanor must be stupid to think she would fall again for the same trick.
When the girl came to place her hand on Julie’s shoulder, Julie moved to the side and slipped out of the circle. She said, “If you need some help in writing a love letter I will help you with it. So that you can move forward from these feelings you have for him, instead of being shy.”
Eleanor turned red out of embarrassment, “I know how to write letters.”
“Great, don’t hesitate to let me know if you need any help. I am very good at proofreading. You know my dorm,” said Julie and quickly walked to her dorm. Closing the door, she muttered, “Please write the letter soon and send it to him!”
A sigh escaped Julie’s lips, and she walked towards the drawer before pulling out a pack of potato chips. Tearing it, she sat on her bed. Her hand reached out for the letter next to the window, which was turning into a habit, and she opened it.
‘Aren’t you being brave -_- Yes, we have spent the detention together. As you didn’t answer my questions and for the bravery you have shown, let us see how you handle things, troublemaker.’
“The lies and threats you make,” Julie shook her head, dismissing his words to be nothing but empty threats.
She placed the letter on the bed and went to change her clothes.
But when she was done, a paper slid inside her room from the bottom of her door, and she wondered what it was about. Picking it up, she walked towards the door and opened it. She noticed some of the girls who had stepped outside their dorm while having similar paper in their hands.
When she read the printed page, her eyes went wide—
‘SOMEONE IN THIS DORMITORIUM HAS BROKEN THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF VETERIS. AND THE PERSON IS GOING TO GET EXPELLED SOON.’