“Curses.” Ray mutters under her breath. “Which curses?” I ask as we both walk towards the examination hall. We are having our exams this week and to be honest, I am doing alright thanks to Mr. Nike.
Shockingly, the essays that came out are the exact topics of me and Austin’s conversations over the weekend.
Talk about lucky.
“All of them.” She huffs. “What’s wrong?” I frown, nudging her side. “I hate exams.” I laugh at her statement. “Ray, everyone hates them.” I point out and she shrugs. “What’s the point of doing them? I’m just going to get another big-ass F on the paper anyway.” She sighs.
“Hey, just try your best. You can do it.” I give her an encouraging smile. Slowly, she nods. “Yeah, I guess you are right, Par. Thanks for the boost. I needed that.” She gives me a side hug.
I wink at her. “That’s what best friends are for, bitch; they lift each other up.” I affirm and open the door.
“So… What’s the subject that we are about to take now?” She enquires. I show her the book that was tugged under my arm. “Science.”
“Fuck me.” She curses again. I giggle at her. “You’ll be fine.” She rolls her eyes. “You mean you’ll be fine. You are the smartest kid in the school. Exams are just-” She snapped her fingers. “-for you.”
I tsk. “Puh-lease.” I push my glasses higher. “We all know that Cara is the smart-ass in this school. She has straight As in most of her examinations.” Ray makes a bored wave with her hand.
“Pish-posh. That girl summons demons to help her on exams. She can’t even do shits on her own! If she was Mrs. Smarty Pants, you would be the one asking her for answers, not the other way around!” She says and snapped a Z form at the end.
“Paradice Newman, I swear to God you should look in the mirror and realise how smart you are.” My best friend says while looking straight into my eyes.
I stick my tongue out at her. “Never.”
I take off my glasses and rub my eye.
One more minute and then the exams are over, I thought in my head with a smile.
I put my glasses back on and look around the examination hall. There is only me and Miss Francesca in it as I was the only one absent on the first day of the exams.
“Times up!” She announces and take my paper. “Well done, Par.” I smile. “Thanks, Miss Francesca.” I say, taking my Macbook (it was used to revise before the exam starts. I don’t cheat without my pals) and pencil case and practically sprint out the hall.
Because I was the only one in the hall, I wasn’t sure whether everyone has gotten out or they are still in the classrooms. My bag was with Ray because we couldn’t bring it to the hall. I decided to go down to the main entrance and see whether they are there.
“Par!” Someone calls out behind me.
I scream in shock and turn around. There stand Mr. Nike with a smile plastered on his face. “How was the exams?” He asks over the noise of the younger students. “Pretty good. Hey, did you have ‘How to Return the Favour to Our Parents’ as one of your essay topics?”
He nods enthusiastically. “Yeah! God, it was so easy because we chatted the night before about this.” God, even he realises that it was a topic in our convo. Then, he put his hands up, wanting me to high 5 with him.
Guess who isn’t going to wash their hand forever.
We high-5 and then I remember about my precious bag. “Shit. Uh…” I shove my things into Austin’s hand. “Do you mind holding these for me? Thanks.” I say without even realising what I was doing. Nonetheless, he smiles at me and nods.
I didn’t waste precious time and run upstairs to the classroom. When I go into my classroom, all eyes are on me.
“Where the hell were you?” Tucker asks and Mr. Chang (who was apparently in the class with them) scolds him for using the ‘h’ word.
After everything was settled and shit, me and Ray go down together. “You were lucky that you weren’t in the class. Mr. Chang was like teaching us complicated Maths and long story short, I have a headache right now.”
I laugh and shake my head. “That’s how he is. Needs some Panadol with that?” I ask as we walk down the stairs. “No, I think I’m good now.” She shake her hand and laughs.
“Good. Can’t have my bestie lying on a hospital bed now, can we?” She smiles. “This is why I love you.” I smile back and say, “Aww… I love me too.” I give myself a hug. She rolls her eyes. “Motherfucker.”
I see Mr. Nike talking to Sam. He was laughing and he looks so cute standing there.
“Hey I’ve gotta go. I’ll call you later, okay?” Ray declares while walking backwards. “Yeah sure.” I promise while waving and she goes off.
I walk towards Austin and stand beside him. He turns to look at me and then did a double take. “Excuse me.” He tells Sam and turns his body. “Par!” He beams. “Hey, um…” I point to my Macbook and pencil case which was held firmly in his hand.
“Oh yeah. Here you go.”
Guess who isn’t going to let anyone touch their Macbook and pencil case ever again.
“Thanks.” I say and go out to wait for the van at the guard house.
“Oh my gosh.” I hear someone say behind me. I turn and see Amie standing there with her eyes wide open and jaw dropped on the floor. “What?” I ask and put my bag down next to Austin’s.
She gasps and motions to me, then to Austin, then to me again. “What was that?” She asks and puts her hands on her hips.
I shrug. “He just helped me to take my stuff. No big deal.” I claim and open the cover of my tumbler. “No big deal? No big deal?! Par, your damn crush helped you to take your stuff! Only people who like someone does that!” She exclaims.
Mr. Nike doesn’t see me like that, okay?
I roll my eyes. “You forgot that friends do that too.” I state the obvious. “But there’s no love connection between friends. Clearly, there’s something between you and Austin.” I shake my head in disagreement.
“Nothing. Is. Between. Us. Alright? Now stop digging for gossip. Get your nose out of my business.” I flick her nose. “Ow!” She yelps and hold her nose. “That was painful.” I wave her off. “Can’t do anything about it, can I?” I say while waving at some of my friends that passed by.
“You are a motherfucker, do you know that?” She gives me a that’s-a-fact look.
I laugh. “So I have been told.”