Chapter Nineteen

Creative Writing, Story

“Hello, my name is Professor Richard, I am covering for Professor McCormick, he is not in today. We are going to go straight into the lesson, we don’t have enough time to cover everything, if you have any questions keep them for the end of the class, and I will answer them then. If I catch you talking you are ought to leave the hall, I don’t give chances here. Am I understood?” There were grunts and sounds as reply. “I am going to start on prepping you for an upcoming paper that will count to 15% of your grade. You are to write 1,000 to 1,500 words essay on a close textual analysis of one short poetry or prose passage – you will be given a selection of passages to choose from.” As he continued explaining the assignment, I heard a vibration from my phone, I opened the text message in the group chat and I made a sound resembling a laugh, and whispery murmured a response. “Hey, you, excuse me. Why are you talking? Did I ask for you to talk?” I brought my head up to see who he directed the question to, to have his eyes on me, regarding me with an unimpressive look. “Why are you talking? Did I allow you to speak? Come to the front of the room,” he demanded, his voice getting higher with each word he spoke. I felt my heart drop, the anxiety crawling through my body, my throat all dried up, my mouth unmovable, and I watched him, he was serious. “Come on down now, I don’t have time,” he uttered callously.

I didn’t allow my body to think, I just did, not looking at anyone, but at the brown carpeted floor, which was pristine and clean, not a molecule of material was out of place. Once I reached him, I turned around, “now repeat after me.” I could hear the snickers coming from the seats, the sweat glands working as the nerves amplified. “I should be listening to Professor Richard, I am talking when I shouldn’t,” I repeated the words, watching the people in front of me, at the facial expressions, the ringing laughter exploding inside my ears, taking me back to when I was 15 years old, and people laughing at me. The faces changing to younger faces, college becoming secondary school, the auditorium hall turning into a medium sized classroom. “I’m sorry for wasting your time, I am not going to do that again,” he said, and I repeated. I glimpsed at the top row, his mouth moving and his eyes on me. I’m such an embarrassment. “Now go back to your seat, this is what happens when you don’t listen. I’ll do it again if I catch any of you talking over me or talking at all.”

I went back to my seat, crestfallen at what just happened, my lips quivering, my body hot and sweaty. When I’ve went back to my seat, I got my headphones from my backpack and put them in my ears, blasting music in an attempt to forget, to become invisible, and to escape from the past and the present. I could feel eyes drilling holes in my back, but I didn’t see, waiting for the hours to pass. Just like that, one more changed everything. I could hear a deep voice over the sounds from the music.

“You shouldn’t have done that, that shouldn’t have happened. You shouldn’t have-,” I could hear the voice, it was like a faraway white noise. Someone went down, I could see from my peripheral view that it was a Versace backpack and a beanie, I knew it was Ricardo, the door slammed as he departed the room. The friction of the doors clinked against each other, reverberated across the room. The scene repeated itself through my brain, between today and two years ago. As if nothing has changed, as if I never moved on from it. Ironically, I was the last person to leave the lecture hall, my eyes blurry as tears fell, my hands unsteady as the waves of emotions unfurled through me.

“I’m sorry. I went too far,” the teacher said, sounding apologetic.

I laughed instinctively, what else do I do? “Don’t worry about it, it has nothing to do with you. I’m just thinking about the past is all,” I ran down the stairs, seeing people from the class hanging around the corridor.

“I’m sorry if it seemed like we were laughing at you. We weren’t, we were laughing at him, he was so unfair. Are you okay?” The girl said, I smiled weakly unable to reply, feeling the tears coming again. I briskly walked to the nearest toilets, feeling the strong presence as I passed. Once I found the ladies room, I rushed to the cubicle thankful that the toilets were empty. I slid down the metal door and let the river flow, my body shook in sync with the dam, my mind replaying scenarios from the past to the present, the room, and the people. The tears stopped to continue all over again, “so stupid,” I whispered, feeling the thin toilet paper completely soaked through. I don’t know how long I stayed in the toilets, it felt like forever, the whimpers and gasps not stopping as they heave with the tears.
I found myself thinking about Ricardo seeing me like that, he wasn’t laughing even from a distance. I could see the empathetic expression masking his face, at his non-judgement and felt his protectiveness even from far away. His mouth was moving from where I was, as if he was whispering words to himself as his eyes stayed locked on my face. At how he left the room, after saying, “that shouldn’t have happened.” He saw, he can’t like me now, how can he like a girl like me? She is a walking joke, a humiliation, this only happened to me, he didn’t do it with anyone else, I was an example. Once the tears dried down, I left the cubicle. I grimaced when I saw my reflection, the state my face was in. My eyes were red, glossy, my face was botched and pinkie red, and awfully puffy. My eyes stung when I touched it, my skin too sensitive and soft. I washed my hands and placed them beneath the dryer and left, not acknowledging the other girl that was in the toilets. As I left the toilets, my eyes landed on the dark, familiar, twinkly orbs, he was quiet, watchful, and observant. He leaned against the wall opposite the toilets, no words were said, only eyes looking at each other. His hands were on his pockets, his face emotionless but his eyes were flashing emotions as quickly as they came. He defended me, again, he didn’t have to, but he did. He was the only one who spoke out and against, he left the room because of it, and for the first time he didn’t care about being seen or having the attention on him.

“You waited?” I started, my voice hoarse and dry, he nodded his head, his eyes still studying me. “Why?” I asked, he shrugged his shoulders. “I’m okay,” I whispered, the words were for me than it was for him. I couldn’t detect the emotions his face expressed as he came towards me.

“He shouldn’t have done that,” he murmured as he closed into my personal space. He stood in front of me, for a moment, I arched my neck to meet his eyes, his eyes were soft and vulnerable, gently caressing my face.

“Thank you,” I uttered, my voice quiet in my ears.

“No more saying thank you, Kalina. I’m sorry that happened to you, are you okay?” I shrugged my shoulders, my lips quivering again, my eyes stung as the tears gathered for another round. As soon as one tear dropped, a soft and warm padded thumb make contact with my face, wiping away the teardrop, and then another trickled, and the river glided down again. His fingers caught each tear and didn’t let up until they stopped, his hands ended up cupping my face, and my face was inches away from his, my breath shallow and restless, his and my breath were delicately mingling with each other. “I’m sorry Kalina, forgive me,” he whispered, and I knew it wasn’t about today.

“I’m sorry too, I missed you,” I expressed, my body felt too weak to find strength and too vulnerable to be strong.

“I missed you too. Kalina… wait for me.”

“I’ll wait,” I uttered, my head rested against his chest, and the rhythm of his heartbeat was alleviating the pain like a cooling balm. His arms wrapped around my body, his chin leaned on the top of my head and his hold gradually tightened their grip, and my body craved more of his touch. He was safe and everything was okay with him here.

End of chapter

I wanted to share a drafted chapter. If you’ve reached the end, thank you for reading it means a lot.

The 17 year-old-boy that changed my life

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