Sunday, September 21, 2014

High School Drama - 4



She and he travelled in different circles...and why was it still so hard to brush offwhat he’d said and move on.

She had convinced herself that any feelings she had for him during the first year of school was nothing but infatuation. She had believed that she had gotten over him well and fully. But today’s incidents had shaken her faith in herself and her conviction that she was over him. It had taken nothing but a few minutes of attention from him to work her up. 

 For the first time in many months, Sam felt her eyes welling up. She didn’t want to come out of that stall ever. She could see Allie’s feet outside the stall, walking from one end of the hall to the other. 

Sam knew that she could stay in the stall for as long as she wanted, but it wouldn’t be fair on Allie. She knew that her friend would wait for as long as it took for her to come out. She also knew that Allie was looking forward to spending time with Nathan, her boyfriend, before her curfew time. 

Sam wiped her eyes and took a deep breath. She had to put on a brave face. She might be weak when it came to Alex but she didn’t want anyone else to know that. 

Sam opened the door of the booth and stepped out, giving Allie a small smile. 

“Let’s go! I don’t want to be late...Mom must be waiting for me to get back home before she can leave for the restaurant.”

Sam walked forward. She could hear Allyson trying to start conversation. She turned around quickly, and faced her friend. 

“I’m fine! If you think I’m going to spend more than 30 seconds of my time thinking about someone like him, you're mistaken. So quit asking me if I’m okay. “

Allie nodded with her arms raised. She brought her right hand to her face, pretended to zip and lock her mouth and toss the imaginary key away. She then gave Sam a salute with a solemn expression. 

Sam couldn’t help laughing when she took in her expression. She punched her friend lightly on her arm and walked out along with her. 

Just as she was about to step out of the main door, Sam heard her name being called out. She turned around in time to see her English teacher, Mrs. Jacobs walk up to her. 

“Samantha....please don’t forget about the Drama Club meeting tomorrow. We have decided on the play we’re staging for Drama Club’s annual celebrations.”

“Sure, Mrs. Jacobs. I’ll be there. Which play did we finalize on?” 

Sam asked with trepidation. Mrs. Jacobs was famous for choosing the overly dramatic plays most of the times. 

“This time, we have decided to go with.....", Mrs. Jacobs paused theatrically....and then continued, 

" Romeo and Juliet”...Mrs. Jacobs had her hands clasped together close to her chest, beaming, her excitement obvious. She looked like a child who had gotten her favorite toy for Christmas.

Sam sent up a silent prayer of thanks. She was glad it wasn’t another one of those dark and political tragedies. Mrs. Jacobs seemed to pick out. The last time, she had chosen Macbeth for the Drama Club’s annual play; there had been talks about trying to stage King Lear or Julius Ceasar this time. 

Sam would know, of course. She was one of the early members of the Drama club, and had always volunteered to assist Mrs. Jacobs with writing the script and dialogues for the plays the Club staged. 

She had resented her mom and gone on silent treatment for a week for having her enrolled into the club. But as her mom had predicted, it was her involvement with the club that had helped her get over her overly timid nature to some extent. 

Of course, the club didn’t bestow her with the much needed presence of mind and assertiveness, but she would take whatever was on offer. 

"We have a few new club members this time...That'll help when it comes to casting, dont you think, Sam?

Sam nodded in affirmation. She was just glad that she didnt have to go on stage again. The last time, they hadn’t had enough actors and she had been forced into doing the role of one of the three witches. 

 It was bad enough that she had forgotten her lines in the middle of the play, and had given the audience a good laugh at her expense. Thanks to her role, she had been stuck with the nickname “Witch of Scatterbrain-y-ille” for the rest of the term.

“We haven’t really decided on the roles yet...we’ll do that tomorrow in our meeting.”...Miss.Jacobs smiled at her. It was difficult not to like Mrs. Jacobs. It was occasionally felt that she was a little wooly-headed but she was a good teacher nevertheless.
Sam nodded, smiling at her. She tried to look excited but all she wanted was to get out of the school as soon as possible. 
 
“See you tomorrow, you too Allie”, and with that Mrs. Jacobs was gone. 

Allie looked from Sam to the retreating back of Mrs. Jacobs, sulking.

“Do I really need to come?” 

“Well...you’re technically a member of the club, so yes....you’d be expected there”, Sam said in matter of fact way as she walked out of the main entrance of the school. 

“Noooooo!”, Allie whined. 

“It’s the first day of summer break...I don’t want to come! Can’t I skip just this one?”

“Well, if you’d rather help your mom at the shop, suit yourself. It was your idea to tag along with me so that you’d be able to hang out with Nathan under that pretext. “, Sam snapped.
“You’re mean!”, Allie exclaimed and stuck her tongue out at Sam. 

Sam looked at her friend, laughing. She shook her head, smiling when Allie made a show of sulking and walked off. She could see Nathan waiting for her next to the school bus. 

 As Sam walked down the entrance staircase, she noticed Alex and his friends perched on the balustrade, chatting.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

High School Drama - 3



She knew her mom worked really hard to make sure she and Ethan had a decent life... (Continued)
 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Her mom had been through a lot... she had walked out of the marriage with Sams’ father she was pregnant with Matt and with no family to turn for support; it had not been easy for her. Yet she had survived. Though she never told her, Sam was proud of her mom. Yes, she resented her mom secretly for having taken her and Matty away from dad, but her mom had done everything she could to make sure they were happy. Her mom called her her little elf....and though she made a fuss every time she called her that, secretly she being called her mom’s little elf...she smiled to herself. There was the bell....she stretched her arms out...the day was over, there was nothing that stood between her and the summer break now. Sam smiled to herself. 


She picked up her book and backpack and walked towards the door, Allyson tagging along, talking about the movie. It was yet another one of those sappy romances that Allyson enjoyed watching. She had agreed to go for it only to keep Allyson happy. 


 As she stepped out of the class, after letting those too eager to start with their summer break; which meant everyone else, Sam came to a halt. There he was, waiting outside the class, leaning against the opposite wall, earphones plugged in, looking at his ipod intently. He was nodding his head slightly, apparently engrossed in the music playing. 


“This is a first”, she murmured to herself as she walked past Alex. Allyson sniggered beside her...Sam glared at her and Allyson became silent...not for long, she was sure. 


“Do you think he was waiting for you?”


“I hope not....that’s the first time His Highness has waited for anyone as far as I can remember”, Sam replied, rolling her eyes. Allyson stifled another giggle, trying hard to keep a straight face. Why was he here...?


“Hey!”...Sam stopped as she heard a deep voice call out from behind. She slowly turned around, just in time to see Alex sauntering towards her. She noticed how his brown hair had grown out of the crew cut and had started curling a little at his neck. Her fingers itched to run her hand through his hair...Sam was shocked when she realized what she had been thinking...


He was not good for her, Sam knew, and she would never be good enough for him. As he came to a halt in front of her, Sam raised her head, locking her eyes with his deep blue eyes challengingly. 


“What?”


“Huh?”...he seemed to be surprised at the hostility in her voice. If he was waiting for her to flutter her eyelids and act like one of the other girls who fawned over him, he was in for disappointment. 


“What do you want....? Why are you following me around?”...Sam asked, with a glare. Her voice sounded too dry even to her; she hadn’t realized that her throat had gone dry. She could see that there was a crowd forming. Most of the students in the hallway were watching them. 


 “Following you? Seriously?”...there was a smirk on his face as he said it. 


“I’d rather call it stalking if someone made it a point to be in your face, wherever you went”, she continued, ignoring his jibe.


“What do you want?” 


“Stalking?” Couldn’t the jerk keep his voice down? 


“Me... stalking you? Interesting!”, Alex repeated, pointed towards him and then her, sounding amused by the idea. 


“ I came over to ask if your mom catered to private parties...my mom had met her at the last parent meeting and they had got talking; And I was stuck with the task of getting her number from you. 


I tried coming up to you in library, and you walked off. I ran half a mile so that I could give you your phone, which YOU had left behind..., and you bolted again...and now, all I wanted was to ask for your mom’s business number, and you accuse me of stalking you?” He gave her a smirk without breaking eye contact.

She could feel her palms starting to sweat....she fisted them and stayed still, refusing to be the one look away first. She felt worried that if she broke eye contact, she might either end up bolting, or worse still, punching, and breaking a very handsome looking nose...


“And of all the girls...to think I’d stalk you...”, he sounded insulted as he smirked once again, eying her up and down. 


“Take a good look in the mirror before accusing someone of stalking YOU next time”, Alex whispered as he got close to her before he crossed her and walked away . 


She heard the gasps coming from around her and wished that earth would split and swallow her right then.

“Stalking indeed”, a musical voice spoke up from behind her. Even without turning around, she knew who that came from. 


Sheila stepped in front of her and simpered. 


“I’m surprised he called you a girl!”, she made a show of looking Sam up and down, imitating Alex.

“It’d take a second good look just to make sure you’re one....I’m surprised that you had the guts to accuse him of stalking YOU”...she giggled. 


“It’s not empty heads and doll faces that make girls girls”...Allyson piped up, stepping in front of Sam.

“If I had any sense...”


“That’s enough, Allie”...Sam told her friend sternly. 


“I’ve had enough for today...”, she continued.


With whatever dignity she could muster, Sam raised her head, turned around and walked out of thecorridor, ignoring looking at Sheila and everyone else. She could hear footsteps hurrying behind her.



“You alright”...she heard Allyson ask from behind her. 


Sam chose to ignore the question. She walked straight into the restroom and locked herself up in the first empty stall she found. She couldn’t believe his words would hurt so much. 


What was wrong with her? She always knew he was one of those conceited jerks who looked down upon everyone else. She and he traveled in different circles...and why was it still so hard to brush off what he’d said and move on.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

High School Drama - 2

She looked at the phone, and back at him, her brows knit together in a frown.

(Cont'd)

What did he want from her? They had been in the same school for three years now, and he had never paid any close attention to her so far…so why this sudden interest?

“Here…take it”, he waved the phone in front of her.

“Th…thanks….I must have forgotten it”, Sam stammered as she picked up the phone from his palm. Her fingers brushed his palm…she withdrew her hand quickly, forcing herself not to blush again. If this was how she reacted just because of an accidental touch, she was in deep trouble.

Fighting the blush, she glanced up quickly and gave Alex a faltering smile before focusing her eyes on the rough edge of the tarred pavement behind him.

She wasn’t sure she believed what she had seen just now. She glanced at him once again and saw him looking at her curiously, smiling again.

“What?”….

“You look cute when you are confused….”. This time, she was surprised.  She knew that she wouldn’t be able to act nonchalant now….she wasn’t sure she had heard him right.

“Huh?”  She hadn’t noticed that he had stepped closer.

“And you look beautiful when you blush”, his voice whispered in her ears, she hadn’t realized that he had leaned in.  There was mischief in his voice, and laughter too.

She knew that she had gasped, and took a step back. She must have looked quite stupid, standing there, her face red, looking at him as though he had grown a pair of horns right before her.

Sam turned around and sprinted, climbing the steps leading to the school building, two at a time, not pausing to think about what she was doing. She turned around when she reached the top of the stairs, only to see Alex standing rooted to the spot, looking slightly shocked. If nothing else, she had managed to shock him, Sam thought to herself, as she turned around and walked into the school building, leaving him behind.

“He said what???”…..Why was everyone acting so weird today? Allyson had decided that shaking her would be a good way to make her repeat her words…

“Allie…!Quit shaking me!!!, what’s wrong with you?”….Sam pushed her friend’s hands off and walked towards the classroom.

“He said I look pretty, beautiful…something of the sort, when I blush…I’m sure he was teasing me…the stupid jerk!”…Sam spat out knowing Allyson was right behind her.

“Why would anyone say something like that if all they wanted was to tease you?” Allyson had caught up to her.  She looked at Sam quizzically…she had a point….

“What did you say?”….she was dreading this question. She could lie, and make up something…but then she was never a good liar, and this was her best friend, her only friend, she was talking to.

“Nothing…I kind of scooted”. She waited for Allyson’s reaction as she settled down at her desk, and dumped her books on her desk. She looked over and saw Allyson sitting lost in thought at the adjoining desk.

“Hmm….I guess I would have done the same thing….But why is he talking to you now? What does he want?”

“That makes two of us trying to figure THAT out…he must have had a concussion….or perhaps, he’s lost his mind”

“Yet….Strange! I think….” ,…Allyson sat back in her chair, thoughtful.

“Forget it. So, our plan for tomorrow stays, right”….Sam waved her hand in the air and leant towards Allyson’s desk. She had to divert her attention, and divert it quick or else she would have to bear with all her questions and deductions for the rest of the day. She had had enough of Alex and talks about him for a day.

“Sure……Make sure you’re on time…..I don’t want to miss the beginning of the movie!”, Sam heard Allyson exclaim as she rummaged through her bag for her glasses.

“I’m always on time…what do you mean”….before she could start arguing about it, Mrs. Roberts entered the class.

As the class was called to order, Sam flipped through her book onto the latest chapter they were discussing in class…”World History”…

This was one of her favorite classes; she had always enjoyed learning about the past, about the revolutions, fantastical wars and interesting snippets about what had happened centuries ago…it allowed her to take a peek into what had shaped up the world as she knew it now.

 But today, she couldn’t focus on what was being taught….her mind was in overdrive trying to figure out the mystery of what had happened in the present to learn about the unraveled mysteries from past.

Sam was as surprised as Allyson by Alex’s strange behavior but then she was sure that it was certainly a mistake of some sort. Maybe he had mistaken her for someone else….she couldn’t think of any other logical reason for his behavior.  Would he talk to her anymore? What if he did? How should she behave? Should she act cool…or should she show just the right amount of interest? This was so difficult; she wasn’t good at this….and why would she be? She was rarely considered pretty…with her short, curly hair, nerdy glasses and lean frame…she’d be surprised if someone looked at her and realized that she was a girl.

Sam slid the glasses up her nose and tried to focus on what Mrs. Roberts was explaining. She seemed to be talking about Classical Greece, and about the project for summer break.   She’d have to check with Allie about the project and read the chapter once again; if her mom decided that it wasn’t a good day to try out her cooking experiments. Having a mom who knew to cook had its own perks of course…but not if it also involved assisting her in the kitchen and cleaning up after her. Her mom was a fantastic cook, she had to admit…but cleaning up once she was done was a mini project in itself. She knew her mom worked really hard to make sure she and Ethan had a decent life…