strange emotions of a teenager
It is a sore day today. It is as if the sun woke up infuriated this morning and decided to toast a certain side of a certain orb a little. Noon, which is right now, is the wickedest scorch my drenched shirt has experienced. I hope my pants don’t wet themselves. It’d be a shame if lanky-Larry becomes lanky-wet-pants-Larry.
I sit on the fifth bench from where I can see everyone. I decided after two terms of first row that it’s less humiliation to sit where no one can see my comically conical head. Rhea is in class today. I can see her hair bouncing playfully every time she bobs her head the way she does while in conversation. Some strands shine from where I sit. The lime green tee she has on today, hugs her snugly but is dry without a sign of dampness, as if it’s just me that the heat has chosen to penalize. She looks hot, even the little of her that I can see. I get back to my hardcover edition of Phantoms on the Bookshelves.
Jeff walks in, his hair messily spiked up, his pants threatening to fall off, his smile mischievous. Rhea doesn’t turn, but I can see her eye ball surreptitiously follow him to the corner of her eye as he walks to the empty seat next to me. Everyone looks, even the boys, even Larea-the girl with glasses thicker than my finger looks up from her Economics study-book. Jeff is my roommate, my buddy for 15 years. I love him, he isn’t arrogant like you’d expect the hottest in class to be. He’s a nice bloke. Yet I despise him. And for this I despise myself. Isn’t it perfidy to hate your best friend? This is the kind of hatred that fosters itself, despite my dislike for it, the kind that escalates its intensity at every attempt to jettison it. Jeff is a cool guy to room with: we sit to watch the soccer games and we go on to play Distress for hours. But every time there’s a knock, I know it’s not a boy and I know who she isn’t here to see. Mostly I dig my head into the bed and cover it with a pillow to shut out the wooing noises. Want I know, is proportional to dearth, as is value. Nothing is more desired than what one lacks and another has in abundance. Despite this understanding, the hatred engulfs me violently sometimes and makes me so mad that I clench my teeth till it subsides. Like right now.
“Hot day huh?” he remarks as he sits
I do not know why I do what I do next. I am unable to now chronologically arrange events of those ten seconds. It is as if a beast takes over. I cannot believe I have the audacity and the boldness for it. Also, I feel like a jerk.
I stand up, look him in the eye and I punch him on his nose a punch that’d definitely do some terrible terrible bad. There is no blood. Jeff screams an abuse (that’s better left unmentioned) as he clutches his nose and whimpers angrily. You and I would think I run for my life next; au contraire I stay there and reaffirm to an irrevocable magnitude that I am a complete jerk, to the stunned audience (which includes my lime-green clad Rhea)
“What the fucking hell was that?” he says, palm still covering nose.
The beast shouts out for everyone to hear, forgetting that insecurities are to be kept securely out of sight, “HOW IS IT JEFF, TELL ME. How is it that you never questioned AAALLLLL that you got and I didn’t? Did you ever look for a reason? NO YOU WERE TOO BUSY COOING AND ‘AWW’ING AND DOING WHAT YOU DO. WHY THEN do you want to now know why you got something I didn’t? If it all seemed to you like your birthright, maybe this is too. The punch didn’t happen because I chose to impart one, it happened because it’s a part of your “destiny” and I here am just an agent in a wet shirt that has, as always, been assigned the dirty job. AND….”.
“LARRYYY” he interrupts me, reddened nose showing “Dude are you okay?”
By now I begin to feel the heat of all the stares around adding to the existing. Embarrassed and pink cheeked, I hurry out murmuring “I’m okay. It isn’t me. The sun’s burning in fury today”