Again

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Chapter Six

I was sitting in an empty classroom studying for an upcoming Biology test when---

“Last night I had a dream.”

That sudden interruption caught me off guard and I looked sideways to see Devon entering with a smirk plastered on his face and eyes glittering with mischief while the door swung close behind him.

Ugh.

I honestly felt at that point as though the world had chosen me to bear all the sufferings on behalf of the entire humankind.

Peace was one thing that had brutally vanished from my life ever since Devon came. And it just got worse with every passing day. He followed me wherever I went, irritating every nerve that constituted my existence.

“I’m studying for a very important exam. So kindly empty your shitty mouth elsewhere,” I told him.

“Oh, I see,” he said thoughtfully,” Anyways, let me tell you about my dream.”

I rolled my eyes in annoyance and frustration. Argg!!

“Relax, you weren’t your stubborn and incorrigible self in my dream but smart and sensible for a change,” he drawled.

What the actual fuck?

“How dare you have the audacity to call me an incorrigible??” I retorted, giving him a pointed look.

“Good that you’re aware of what that word means. I honestly thought that quarterback arse has sucked all your senses to fill some of it in his empty head,” Devon said callously.

I felt anger climbing up my spine with rapid speed. “I know much better words than this,” I said in a sickly sweet voice, “Infact I know the perfect words to describe you. A Blithering Shrimp, that’s what you are”

“Could have done better. After all, you’ve twenty six alphabets at your service,” he said with a lopsided smile.

“The human race will be depressed if they come to know that you’re thriving amidst them. It’s not too late to lock yourself in a coffin forever,” I said crisply.

“I love it when you try to insult me so bad because I don’t feel insulted,” he said huskily.

I got so pissed that I just didn’t know when I flung the pen in my hand towards him with full force. Devon caught it mid-air before it could smack his face.

“You lose your temper way too quickly,” he said calmly with a smirk, “Let me get your mood right by telling you about my dream.”

Devon came nearer and began to bend closer and closer to me while I pressed my back against the chair. He began to speak in a low husky voice when our faces were inches apart.

“We were out in the woods holding hands and when night came, we set up a tent and were sitting around a bonfire.”

I decided to give him a taste of his own medicine. “What a coincidence! I saw the same dream too. Did you see the part where a wild animal came from nowhere and ruined your face with its sharp claws and I was cheering out loud for the creature? ”

Devon smiled a bit as our gazes clashed. “Nope. I saw the part where you took me inside the tent and kissed every wounded spot on my face, including my lips.”

“You’re sick,” I spat in anger, shoving him away.

His eyes suddenly turned intense as they bore harder into mine. “Nope you’re,” he said, “Because you just can’t see how much I want you.”

I just walked out of there. More than being frustrated with him, I was frustrated with myself for listening to his trash.

I was walking through the coridoors on my way to the football field when I saw a group of girls coming from the opposite direction. They were talking excitedly among each other about something. Some were even hyperventilating and possessed dreamy eyes.

I happened to overhear them gushing when I walked past them.

" Gosh! He is so hot!”
" I know right! His body is pure sex just like his looks!”
“Holy macaroni! Did you see those sexy abs of his?”
" And don’t forget his biceps!”
" It’s official. I’m fantasizing him tonight and many nights after today!”

Their voices faded off my ears as I steered farther away from them.

“You heard those girls, right?” asked Stef when I came across her next.

“Unfortunately, yeah and I don’t want to talk about whom they were talking about,” I said in a resigned voice as we walked the length of the hallway together.

“Well, this is the reason why Josh was being so difficult today,” Stef groaned in frustration.

“Damn what did he do now?”

“You should ask what I did for him.”

“What did you do for him?”

A pained expression crossed her face. “It cost me three burgers, four packets of french fries and one coke to improve his bad mood.”

“Whoa! Feels like I’m hearing a bankrupt story. What happened?” I asked, sensing that she was talking about something that I wasn’t aware of.

“All because of the Boys’ Gymnastics class today,” rued Steffy. “Apparently all the guys were shirtless for a particular exercise. Don’t know how a girl got to know of it and then there were many girls who were secretly peeking through the club door to catch a glimpse of Devon’s bare torso.”

“Oh,” I muttered. So I had guessed it correctly that those girls I passed were swooning over Devon. Funny that I still continued with my faith in humanity and had high expectations to be proved wrong.

“And Josh was in such a sour mood because of that,” Stef went on as we took a turn. “He couldn’t stop ranting how girls don’t notice him at all because of Devon.”

“Josh should seriously get over this stupid jealousy,” I rolled my eyes.

“Almost all the boys are jealous of Devon,” said Stef, matter-of-factly.

“But they really don’t have to be, you know,” I said in an obvious tone. “I’m telling you Devon has always been way too much overrated.”

“You can’t really tell. After all, you haven’t seen Devon half-naked, have you?” shrugged Stef.

“Whatever,” I said with a wave of dismissal.

I couldn’t care less because nothing could change the fact that he was a despicable guy.

After a momentary pause, my friend spoke, “You look tensed and upset these days. And though you wouldn’t tell me about it, I know the reason anyway. El, I cannot see you suffering in silence because of that boyfriend of yours.”

“Nothing like that, I’m fine,” I denied.

“Dump that guy. You deserve better,” she said quietly.

“Stef, please! We both know you strongly disapprove of Luke but I’m happy with him. And everything is great between us,” I lied.

Ever since that evening, I refused to meet him at the club, things have been difficult between us. Honestly I didn’t really know where we stood on the relationship radar.

“Alright, if you insist,” she raised her hands in surrender as we came to a halt near the foot of a staircase. “Anyways, will catch up later. Adam must be waiting for me in the library,” she added, but it looked like she didn’t intend to say that.

“I like the sound of that,” I winked at her.

Stef laughed, trying to conceal her blush. “Nothing the sort of what you’re thinking. He just wants my help to find a book. That’s all.”

“He would have asked the librarian then,” I said teasingly, “Enjoy, you. Hope you guys don’t take long to make it official soon.”

When I got to the football field, I saw Luke and his team mates huddled together near the bleachers and talking. Luke had his back towards me. Just as I was about to call out to him, the most unexpected thing happened.

“Can you folks just fucking stop discussing Parker for once?” roared Luke, his hands balling into tight fists. I could see his face now that was contorted in anger. The next thing I and everyone there knew, Luke had stormed out of there....

I rushed in the direction Luke had just gone. I found him inside the fitness center which was empty right then.

“Luke,” I approached him cautiously from behind. “Don’t get yourself worked out so much. You--”

“Eleanor, I appreciate your concern,” he interrupted me without turning to face me, “but I want to be left alone for a while. Please leave.”

No. I wasn’t gonna walk away just like that. He was in pain and I won’t go anywhere without sorting him out. I walked to his front and stood face to face with him. He chose not to look at me but glance sideways. His face was still creased with lines of anger and frustration.

“Luke, listen to me,” I said soothingly. “Don’t let Devon bother you. It’s not worth it. Just keep being who you are. Don’t let people’s talks affect you,”

“It’s easy for you to say that ’cause Parker’s presence hasn’t changed anything for you but everything has changed for me in school! Try being in my place, you’d hate your own words!!” Luke shot back heatedly.

“B-But I’m always there for you..” I fumbled, taken aback by his rudeness.

“Oh, Really? Your presence is not helping me in any way,” he snapped back.

I stood there shocked while Luke left.

I walked along the lone corridor feeling downcast. I was indeed hurt by Luke’s words but I understand that he was outraged and irritated. I know he didn’t mean any of it. When he calms down, I’m sure he would come around.

It was later when I met my friends in the canteen for lunch, I learnt something that shocked me.

“I saw Parker at the field today,” said Josh, “Must say he’s a sick football player,” he added grudgingly.

“Infact, I heard there are high chances he might replace Luke as the new quarterback,” said Adam.

So this was the reason behind Luke’s outburst? He is bound to feel insecure as Devon is overtaking him in everything in school, be it academics, popularity among teachers and students and now sports too. The whole school is talking about Devon and looking upon Luke as ‘outdated’.

I can’t even imagine Luke’s state if he loses his quarterback position because it means so much to him.

I was in the Locker Room, stuffing my books back into my locker. I closed the door of my locker shut after I was done and turned to leave when I saw Devon casually leaning on the adjacent bare wall with a lazy smirk playing on his lips and eyes fixed on me.

I looked away from him in disgust and was heading out of there---

“The quarterback douche has hurt you and you’re still not kicking him out of your life.”

I stopped on my tracks and looked at him fiercely. He was now standing straight with a dark grim face and intense blue orbs.

“Shut the fuck up,” I said coldly, “It’s all because of you.”

“All because of me? Really?” he chuckled humorlessly. “Is that what you do? Blame someone else because you don’t have the guts to face the truth inspite of knowing it well enough?”

I didn’t respond. Instead I started to leave with long strides---

“You’re running away, Eleanor,” his sharp voice from behind rang in my ears causing me to halt again, “Aren’t adversities supposed to bring couples closer and make their bond stronger? But what did your so-called boyfriend do? He pushed you away. Which means he doesn’t consider you important enough to share his problems and vulnerabilities with you.”

“That’s not true!” I retorted strongly, turning to face him, his words cutting through my breaths like a pointed blade.

“Funny that your Gran and best friends didn’t tell you that truth is bitter,” he said callously, “You deserve better. And I am that better.”

Devon walked past me and disappeared out of sight bruising my existence...

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