(Yeah, I know it’s been ages since the last chapter of ITU, but sorry, just not in the mood to post the rest of the story till it is completed, or at least progressing a whole lot faster than right now, hehe. Anyway, enjoy!)
Ch. 05 – The girl who sits in front of me
Years passed in a jiffy. It was like a breeze. I had been best friends with Uzair since then. Anna had been ever cheerful as always. Abang Zack had gone to a boarding school. He had been the jewel of the school, scoring all A’s in his UPSR exams. Everyone was proud of him, especially Cikgu Jerome (well, he is his father, kan? So, that makes sense). Hanna and Erica’s brothers Shah and Melvin enrolled into the same school as us. They are both a year younger than us, so they practically go everywhere together, not joining our team of fours (me, Anna, Hanna, and Erica). As for Abang Taufiq, he still goes to school with us every morning because he goes to the secondary school just on top of the hill beside ours.
I’ve always been in the same class as Uzair, while Hanna and Erica were always stuck together, differing classes from us. But I never got the chance to be in the same class as Anna (wonder if that’s a blessing. But I do want to be in the same class as her for once).
But this year’s different. Uzair got placed in Class 4 Kreatif while I was placed in 4 Motivasi. My heart skips a beat as I look at the class register on the first day of year four. I instantly turn towards Anna.
“Anna, we’re in the same class this year!”
Anna looked at me with a beaming smile on her face.
“Yay! This year’s gonna be fun, kan Jer?”
Er, I don’t know if ‘fun’ is the correct term, but it’ll sure be one exciting year, I guess.
We were about to move into class, when Anna said hi to someone. I turned, only to see Erica gesturing towards Anna. Then, as per usual, she gave me one of her cold stares. I really hoped Uzair was around, just to balance out this awkward situation (and where’s Hanna? Didn’t she always end up in the same class as Erica before?).
Erica, as I could see for now, is not as tall as she was. Well, actually, I had grown quite a lot over the years, and now I’m a tad higher than Erica (phew!). Still, Erica seems frightening to me (and as per usual, I dunno why). She has this dark aura reaching towards me through her stares (which I find hard to ignore).
Erica walked pass me and Anna, entering the class first.
As I enter the class, I realized that there were not many open seats left. And worst of all, there are no open seats side by side, meaning that I’ll have to seat apart from Anna (and most certainly Erica, but that I don’t care), meaning I’ll be surrounded by strangers, again!
NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! I don’t want this!! But, what can I do (obviously nothing)? I turned towards Anna, only to find that she has chosen a seat, and was already merrily chatting with the kids around her.
So, in the end, I had to choose a seat that’s away from anyone I know (more like from Anna actually, because Erica doesn’t count as someone I know that I’m comfortable with). I sat at a desk adjacent to the corridor on the third row (wonder what seat Uzair got in his class).
As I was just about to settle down, I realized that the girl sitting in front of me is not talking to anyone. A loner like me, maybe? I dunno (but maybe lah, kan?). The boy sitting behind me was already buzzing around with the boy sitting beside him (looks like they knew each other for a while) while next to me were a bunch of girls gossiping (maybe? Do they gossip at that age? I dunno).
So I decided to talk to the lonely (or is it me who’s lonely actually?) girl in front of me.
“Er.. hi! My name’s Jeremy. What’s yours?” I said, trying to be as friendly as I can.
The girl then turned towards me, and stared for the longest of time. I just look back, not knowing what to do. Then I realized that she had long eyelashes (so long in fact that I thought she looked like a doll). As I was busy looking at those lashes, she said something.
“I don’t know you. Please mind your own business.”
Then she turned her back to me.
Recess came with the bell, and I was so relieved to get out of that classroom. I was feeling a little uptight the whole morning. To make things worst, I had to do a pair work with (guess who) the girl sitting in front of me.
NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! another time (but certainly only in my heart lah bah).
The moment she turned her seat towards me, I could sense her sharp eyes crawling all over me (though actually she just sat there with her eyes straight into mine). Well, I do get the normal frightening stare from Erica, but this is a different kind of scary. If Erica’s scary is a ‘I hate you’ type of scare, this girl has the ‘I’ll eat you alive, muahahaha!’ type of scare (which clearly beats Erica’s powerful cold stare by the mile). Silence was the only word between us for a moment. Then she spoke.
“You do the first half while I do the other half. That’s it.”
Then turned back towards her desk.
WHAT THE HECK!!?? This supposed to be a pair work, kan? Not a mix and match work between two people, kan? But somehow, I do feel a little bit relieved for not having to sit facing her for one whole period.
I don’t really get her. I surely don’t. So, during recess, I asked Uzair’s opinion about the girl (because Uzair is better at interpreting people. At least that’s what I think lah). After telling him my tale, I asked him.
“What do you think, Uzair? Did I do anything wrong? Or is there something wrong with her?”
Uzair sat in silence for a while, then replied.
“Maybe she doesn’t want to be friends with you. Maybe she doesn’t want any friends at all. I’ve read about it somewhere before that there are people who don’t trust other people and don’t want any friends. Aaaaa… what did they call them again? Parana? Or is it pirana? I can’t remember. But the point is, she’s maybe one of those who don’t want any friends. So, you don’t have to be friends with her lah bah. Simple, kan?”
“Who doesn’t want any friends?”
Uzair and I instantaneously looked to the side. There stood Anna with her ‘please tell me’ face (what a nosy girl!). Then, I quickly ran my eyes towards Uzair with a ‘what should we do?’ look. But what meets my eyes was also a ‘what should we do?’ look (and I was expecting Uzair to be my saviour).
NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! for the third time that day.
I then looked back at Anna, trying to put a smile on my face to cover up my (or our) nervousness (though I doubt that I managed to. Maybe barely lah, kan? I dunno). I don’t want to lie to Anna (as mama said lying is bad actually, not because Anna’s my friend. Well, actually, it is also because Anna’s my friend). Anna just smiled back, still waiting for an answer, though. It went on for a while like that between us (and the tension building up, of course). Then Anna asked again (seriously, you are one nosy girl, Anna).
“Eh? Urmm…. that kid….(murmuring)”
“That kid? Which kid?”
I looked towards Uzair, only to find him looking the other way (Uzair, you traitor!). What should I do? Maybe I should just tell the truth lah, kan? So, I muster up my courage, trying to tell Anna in one go.
“T-T-The g-g-girl in…. front of… me…”
“Oh, you mean Zizzy?” said Erica, appearing out of nowhere. Then, she gave me her normal cold stare (with code encrypted: it’s you who don’t know how to make friends. Well, that’s what I think her cold stare means).
Oh, so her name’s Zizzy.
“No way lah there’s someone who doesn’t want any friends, hahaha!” said Anna.
“Tu lah bah, kan Anna? Hahaha!” added Uzair, laughing in sync with Anna (since when did Uzair knows how to act? I asked myself).
I don’t know how to respond to their actions. So, I just kept quiet. Anna and Uzair kept on laughing, while Erica still has her freezing eyes fixed on me (burrrrr, so cold).
“Maybe she’s just shy because you’re cute, Jer.”
I blushed. Please, Anna, don’t call me cute out of a sudden! Plus, I don’t think telling people to mind their own business as ‘shy’.
“I know! Why don’t you try be friends with her first, Anna. You’re a girl and quite friendly. I’m sure she’ll be fine if its you,” suggested Uzair, genius as always.
“Ya, kan? Then Jer and her can be friends also, kan?”
Then they laughed on.
Then, that short instant, I noticed Erica shook her head a little. Her eyes looked weary too.
I sense trouble.