This is my second work and I'm posting it under APRIL FOOLS STORY CONTEST 2017. I came to know a little late about this contest. That's why I might not have done justice to the story, but still I've tried my best to write a story that you will like. Also, this month being a festival month, has kept me busy. I had to ask my friend, who was constantly nagging me to make 'Gujiya' (Indian Sweet) for her, to hold her horses so I can get some writing done. The festival went well and so did my writing. I hope that you will like it.
Don't forget to vote and comment. I would love to hear your opinions.
At last I want to wish you a Very Happy Holi. May god fill your life with colours of love and happiness.
God Bless You.
Enjoy the story!
'Okay! It's official! I'm late again,' I thought as I walked swiftly through the corridors of St. Mary's College. I could feel everyone's eyes on me as I made my way to the Mathematics class which everyone in my section dreaded.
It was something about Professor McAdams that made everyone skip a beat. He was especially tough on the ones who came late in his class and disturbed other students, like everyone would be paying attention to him anyway.
There was this guy who walked into the class about two minutes after Professor entered the class. He had to write the assignment given that day, five times, else he would have failed him in the finals. He is a dead beat when it comes to punctuality in his class. And here I am trying my luck by walking in his class about fifteen minutes late.
I stood at the door and saw him speaking something about integral calculus, something I never understood. I had no interest in Maths whatsoever, but it was Maths or History. I chose Maths over History. I hate repeating dates. I knocked on the door and every eye in the class turned towards me. I saw my best friend Martha breaking into a grin.
"You are so in trouble," she mouthed.
I heard the Professor clear his throat and I came back from my thoughts to this terrifying reality standing in front of me.
"I believe Ms. Riley Smoke knows a lot about Integration By Parts. That's why she decided to come late in this class," he said, his hands crossed around his chest. His eyes were red with anger. They appeared red to me at least.
"I'm sorry Professor. It won't happen again," I mumbled, my head hung low, imitating my best cute girl voice. Knowing well that it won't change anything. I am going to get punished, no matter what. He began again but was interrupted by someone.
"Sir, I have a question."
His eyes followed the voice. I too looked in that direction. We both saw Kevin, his one hand raised and his eyes staring at me, as if telling me to not to speak. How dare he?
" I tried this exercise on page 298. There is a question which uses a different method of integration by parts. Can you tell me the difference and how we can implement it?" he said, nudging at his glasses to let them climb further up on his nose.
"Oh! Well I am glad that you asked that question. At least someone is sincere in this class," professor said, looking in my direction. "Well done Kevin."
I stood there like a statue as Professor began lecturing the students about the great discovery that crazed guy has made. I looked at him and he was scribbling whatever the Professor was saying in his notebook.
"Are you going to stand there or get to your seat so you can write something down?" I heard Professor speak, looking at me.
I quickly shuffled to the back the class thinking about what had just happened. I was sure that Kevin did it intentionally. He helped me out of this situation. Everyone in the class including me and my friend Martha was surprised that Professor McAdams pardoned me so easily. All eyes were on me and it made me feel ridiculous. I began hating Kevin as soon as I loved him for what he did for me. He was such a pain.
"I am telling you. That boy has a crush on you. That's why he saved you from 'Virus'," Martha whispered in my ear. Everyone called Professor McAdams as 'Virus'.
"Oh please. That guy? He knows his place. He can't even fall in love with my boots, let alone me. I hate him big time."
"So you do have feelings for him? That's interesting," she said, nudging me.
I rolled my eyes and focussed my attention on what Professor McAdams was writing on the board. But my mind kept on drifting towards Kevin. I shook my head and focussed on the board again. I shouldn't think about that creep. Yeah, that's what he was, a creep. I wanted to hit him. I have to teach him a lesson. But for what? It's not that he has done something to offend me or something. But his actions, the way he looks at me. I have to stop this. I'll think of something.
The bell rung indicating that the class was over. My breath was caught in my chest anticipating a punishment from Professor McAdams. That boy got his punishment when he was leaving the class. Maybe he spared her at that time only to give her punishment later at the end of the class. But nothing happened of that sort. I saw Kevin walk up to him asking questions, engaging him. I thought that it was the perfect time to sneak out, and I did.
"Hey Riley!" Mark called from behind me as I was making my way to the next class.
He was the leader of the gang I used to hang out with. I had a crush on one of the guys in the group when I first joined this group. And now Mark is the only reason I still hang out with them.
He walked up to me and we fist bumped. "What the hell just happened? I thought that he was going to stone you. He had that look in his eyes."
"I don't know Mark. I guess I was just lucky."
"Oh yeah? Okay, I believe you. So what are your plans this April? Have you thought about your victim this year?" he asked with a strange glow in his eyes.
Pulling pranks on someone we chose every year on first of April, was somewhat like a tradition of our gang. Me, Martha and Mark were friends since fourth grade and we've been having these prank wars since then. Over the years the pranks were becoming nastier. Mostly I would be the leader and got to chose the victim, but this year I had so many names that I just couldn't decide.
"There are so many names Mark. I just can't decide," I sighed.
"Really? Let's do all of them."
I chuckled at his choice of words and said, "We can't do that. It's against the rules."
"Okay, what if I decide for you? I have a name and I think you'd want to fuck with him too," he said.
"Yeah? And who would that be?" I asked.
"I'll tell you later. Right now, I think you are getting late for your class....again," he said with a mischievous grin.
"Oh shit! Mark, if I get busted again? You are so dead," I said as I sprinted towards my next class.
The rest of the classes were as boring as they seemed. I somehow got through with them, but as I made my way to the canteen my shoulders had an extra amount of slump. Grabbing my lunch I skipped beside Martha who was already munching on her hamburger. I took a fry from her plate and popped it into my mouth. I pouted as soon as I realised that she was going to protest. She sighed and shook her head.
"Someone seems extra bitchy today," she said taking a bite of her hamburger.
"Because someone is extra good today," I said giving her my best Barbie smile. "Seriously if I were interested in girls. You would have been my bitch."
"Well. Lucky me!" she said. " Bitch reminds me, have you thought anything about this April's victim?"
"You know what? Mark asked me the same thing. You guys are so made for each other. I don't understand why you keep running away from him," I said wiggling my brows.
Everyone in the college knew that Mark liked Martha. They have been together since childhood. Even before I came to live and I got along with Martha. That's how I knew Mark. She was the one who introduced us in fourth grade. They have been inseparable. But something has changed. Now Martha keeps ignoring him. I know she has feelings for him but she never says. I don't know why.
She rolled her eyes and gave out a laugh.
"Says who?" she said cocking her head.
"What are you talking about?" I asked.
"You know what I am talking about. You know Kevin crushes on you, but you don't admit."
"Because it creeps the hell out of me. Honestly I do not care about what he feels. I don't give a fuck," I said with my chin up high.
"Oh yeah? Then prove it," she said.
"Prove it? How?"
"I dare you to make him this year's April Fool. Try and build a fake relationship with that closed guy. Win his heart, which I think he has already lost to you, do a little mushy things with him. Take him to the edge, but still leave him hanging. And when it becomes serious. Tell him on first of April that it was just a joke. No big deal," she completed finally.
My jaw dropped open. I couldn't believe what I've just heard. I didn't knew that my best friend could be so malicious. Her eyes were sparkling as if she has rediscovered herself. Someone brought a finger to my chin and closed my mouth which was hanging open. I followed that hand and saw Mark standing beside me. He was followed by the gang and everyone began crowding the small table. Martha snickered at that.
"So what do you think? Are you in on that, Riley Smoke? Or are you concerned that your lover boy might get hurt and will stop loving you," he said with a grin.
"You two in this together? Well, that's a first." I was surprised that Martha was working with Mark and the gang. She always got grossed by the idea of them around her.
"Make nothing of it okay. We both just want to have some fun," Martha snapped, glaring at Mark, daring him to disagree. Yeah that was Martha. She would do anything to make her day even better.
I looked at Mark and he nodded. I thought about it for a second. I really don't care about how Kevin feels. Like I said, I don't give a fuck. But I have never done something like this. Playing with someone's feeling? Yes, I know I hurt people, that's why they call me a bitch. But everything has always been impersonal. I have never hurt anybody personally.
"So?" Martha snapped her fingers in front of my eyes. "You can chicken out. We will understand."
That just did it. "Just wait and watch," I said and got up to leave.
There is difference between saying and actually doing something. I was standing at that exact crossroad. I really haven't done anything as crazy as my friends were asking me to do. But now I have gone with the wind and agreed to do it. If I back out now, they will certainly think that I have some kind of soft spot for that guy, which I don't. My mind was doing its flops and I don't think it's a good sign.
Kevin had that nerdy, silent and mysterious air about him. No one knew anything about him except that he lived alone and he loved books. I have never seen him talk to anyone other than the faculty members. He sits alone, walks alone and eats alone. No one in the college wanted to be friends with him.
I was making my way to my class when I saw him fidgeting with something in his locker. I thought for a second to make sure that I was really going to do this. Giving out a big sigh I walked in his direction.
"Kevin?" I said his name. A little command in my voice.
He turned around with a jerk and the books in his hands fell down. He quickly bends down and picks them up. He puts them back in the locker and began fumbling with the lock. Slowly he turns around and looks everywhere but me.
"I have to talk to you about something," I said.
He was unable to say anything. He just nodded.
"Not here. Can you meet me outside?" His eyes went wide and he just nodded.
I walked outside the college building and started making my way to the tree on the far side of the college campus. That' where I have seen Kevin hang out often.
As we reached there I turn around again he looks away. He looked as if I had caught him staring at my ass. I cleared my throat and he looks at me.
"What is it?" he asked. His voice audible only to me.
I looked him in the eye and asked, "Do you like me?"
As expected his eyes went wide and his jaw dropped open. He opened his mouth but no words came out of it. He looks here and there and ruffles his hair at the back of his head. His face became red and he began sweating like hell.
"Calm down Kevin. I asked you a question and I want an honest answer," I said again in a stern voice.
His eyes finally fixated on me and he stared at me for a few seconds, then came back to his senses. He thought for a moment then sighed as he spoke.
"Yes." I was taken aback by his direct answer. He didn't tried to deny it.
"Why?" I asked. Another minute of silence.
"I don't know. I just do," he replied.
"What if I refuse?" I asked again.
"I never asked you. What makes you think that I care? You don't have to like me and you can't stop me," he replied.
"But why me? I haven't been good to you ever. I haven't been good to anyone."
"I don't know," he repeated.
I sighed and looked at him exasperatedly.
"What makes you think that I will like you back?" I said.
"Then what is the point of this confession?" I said tersely.
"Nothing. You asked me and I just answered your question. Look, I know what people think about me. I know what YOU think about me. No one gives a fuck about what I do and how I feel. And I really have no hope that they ever will. I have feelings for you and they are genuine. I am not asking for you to reciprocate. I mean, who would want to be with a guy like me? I am a creep," he said, shocking the hell out of me. I just stared at him. His words beating like a drum in my ears.
"Okay," That was all I said.
I turned around and started walking back into the building. As I reached the door, I turned around and saw him sitting by the tree, with a book in his hands. I sighed and walked back into the building.
Next day I walked into the Mathematics class on time. I wasn't going to try my luck again because I know that time it's going to fail me. I moved back to the back of the room and got to my seat. I glanced towards the first row and was surprised to see that Kevin wasn't in his seat. He was late. That was very unusual of him. I have never seen him come late to any class.
Professor entered the class and Kevin still hasn't showed up. The class went on and I found my thoughts drifting back to Kevin. I wondered why he has skipped the class. Was it because of the confrontation? Maybe he was too embarrassed to face me. But why do I care?
"You lover boy isn't here," Martha nudged me.
I glared at her and she backed out. I concentrated on what the professor was saying and kept my thoughts at bay.
After the classes were over, I made my way to canteen. I grabbed my lunch and told Martha that I was going to eat in the lawn. She looked at me suspiciously so I told her that I was going to check if Kevin was in the lawn. Her brows raised at that.
"It's all part of the plan Martha. You dared me and I am going to complete the dare. I have to get close to him first," I said in my defence.
She smiled, then nodded and went away to sit with Mark. They both were getting along. I have to talk to Martha about everything.
I saw Kevin sitting by the same tree. He was munching on the contents of his plate. I sat down beside him and he looked up from his plate. He was a bit surprised seeing me there. But that surprised look quickly vanished and he began eating again.
"What are you doing here?" he finally spoke, setting his plate down on the grass. His eyes were on me and I could feel their burden. I steeled myself again and looked back at him.
"What do you think I'm doing?" I said, popping a fry into my mouth to prove the point.
He rolled his eyes at that.
"You skipped the class? That's very unusual of you," I said.
"I had some work in the Library." He grabbed his bag and took out a can of cola. He popped it open and glanced in my direction. I was still looking at him so he pushed the can in my direction.
"Thanks," I said taking it from him and took a gulp. He took the can back from my hands and took a gulp for himself. I saw him wiggling his brows as he was drinking the cola. Up close, he didn't looked mysterious at all. Setting the can aside he began eating again.
"I thought about what you said yesterday and I'm really sorry that I treated you that way. It's just that you don't interact much and we all think that you like to be like that. It just gives bad impression," I said.
"It's who I am Riley. I have been like that since my father died. I have been like that my whole life. I get uncomfortable around people I don't know. I'm afraid that I'll embarrass myself and everyone will make fun of me," he replied.
"You seem comfortable with me now," I said.
"Because I know I can't embarrass myself even more than I did yesterday." He smiled. I think that was the first time I've seen him smile. He looks good when he smiles. His glasses hide his eyes, but still I could see them glow as he smiled.
I chuckled and continued eating.
I finished eating and stood up. "Hey, I'm going back to English Lit class. You coming?"
He looked up and smiled. Putting his book back into his bag pack he stood up and followed me back into the campus. We walked to the class together. I asked him questions about some assignments and if he would help me with them.
he pulled back when he spotted Martha standing by the classroom door, waiting for me. I looked back and before he could move out of reach , I grabbed his hand and pulled him along with me. Martha perked up seeing Kevin beside me.
"Martha, this is Kevin," I said pointing to Kevin. "Kevin, this is Martha, my best friend."
"Hi, Kevin." She surprised me and Kevin by stepping forward and hugging him gently. I could see blush creeping to his cheeks and his eyes went wide.
"H....Hi, Martha," he stammered.
Martha moved back and Kevin began ruffling his hair at the back of his head which showed his nervousness. He wasn't nervous when he was talking to me. I wondered why there was a change in his behaviour. We all walked into the class and took our respective seats. The class went by swiftly.
I saw Kevin walking to his car. An idea came to my mind so I followed him and just as he was about to put the key in to open the side door, I hopped onto the hood of his car. He jerked his head in my direction. Then he began to look around and scan the lot.
"Don't worry, Martha is not here." He calmed down and turned around and leaned back onto the side door. "By the way, why were you all so clammed up around her. You weren't so nervous around me."
"I don't know," he replied.
"You know you use that sentence a lot?" He shook his head and sighed.
"It's just that....she's your friend and if she doesn't likes me? Then you wouldn't like me either."
"Let's not go there Kevin. Let's just be friends. Then we will err..I will think what I have to do with it. Okay?" He nodded.
"Hey, there's party at my house tomorrow, my mom's going out of town and Martha wanted to have some fun. So we decided to bunk into my cavern. You can join us if you want." I leaned in close to him and spoke in a low voice. "You can try to impress me and Martha there by being a good guy. Maybe you will get a reward for that."
He pondered at that thought for a bit, then looked at me and smiled.
"Is it a yes?"
"Okay, I'll come," he said. "Give me your address and I'll be there."