Stretching my arms up, I stifle a yawn and look at the students from my school loitering along the street. Some are flirting with girls from the convent, but most are hanging out in small groups laughing and talking. Looking to the left, I see a beautiful girl watching me. A small smile spreads across her face when I look her way and I smile back though I really don’t feel like it. I’m just too tired.
‘She’s beautiful.’ That was my thought the first time I saw her. It’s probably the first thought of anyone when they see her. Flawless skin, silky black hair, and the beginning hint of feminine curves are more than enough to catch most guys’ attention. Her wide eyes and full pouting lips can bring them to their knees. She is the dream of perfection guys tend to want and girls envy.
I have seen her standing outside the convent with her friends on several occasions, but I have never thought of talking to her or any of the other girls there. If I even take one step in the direction of the convent, it sets off a flurry of excited squeals and whispers. I know I’m handsome but those girls are scary in their admiration, so I stay a safe distance away.
Looking away from the girl, I sit down on the bench just outside our school gates and get comfortable while waiting for Fi to show up. He had called earlier asking to meet to discuss his plans for joining the student council. Usually I wouldn’t mind waiting, but I hadn’t slept well last night and there was a big test in our history class that I probably did horrible on. I hate not being prepared but there was no help for it. My little sister was upset over some girls at her school who had picked on her so I spent the evening cheering her up. Then I was up half the night trying to catch up on my studies which had me falling asleep at my desk.
“Phun!” Looking back towards the school gate, I can see Noh yelling as he’s running at me full speed, his buzzcut head bobbing between people. There is a pleading look in his eyes already. “Phun!”
“Hey, Noh.” I can’t help but laugh as he skids to a halt in front of me, almost falling on his ass in the process. This guy is so lively, his energy is even waking me up.
“Hey.” Noh throws me a friendly smile as he sits next to me on the bench and leans back to catch his breath.
“What’s up, Noh?” His smile widens as he sets a warm hand on my shoulder.
“Just wanted to say hi to the most handsome guy in our year.” His compliment makes me laugh. Noh is open and outgoing so he is a very easy person to read. Right now, he obviously wants something. “Really, the most handsome in our whole school.” He really wants something.
“Thanks for the compliment but it’s not flattery if it’s the truth.” I run a hand through my bangs and give him a cocky grin, just to see his reaction. Noh rolls his eyes and shoves my shoulder with his hand, but doesn’t argue the point. “You didn’t come running out here just to tell me I’m handsome, so what do you need, Noh? How can I help?”
“Please, please, please.” Noh latches onto my arm with both hands and tugs insistently, looking like an adorable five year old begging for a toy. I have a sudden urge to pat the top of his head but I manage to restrain myself. “Please buy some of our concert tickets.” He lets go and leans his elbows on his knees with his head in his hands. “The Seniors are going to have my head on a platter if I don’t sell any and the concert is Saturday.”
“If I buy ten, will that be enough?” I ask, already reaching for my wallet, unable to stand Noh’s crestfallen face. His head jerks up and he stares at me wide-eyed, a tiny bit of hope in his eyes.
“Are you fucking serious?” When I nod my head, he smiles so wide I can see all of his teeth as his braces glint in the sun. His hands come together in front of his face and he bows his head. “Thank you! P’Phun is the best!” He gives me another wai.
“It’s fine.” Opening my wallet, I hand him the money and he gives me ten bright orange tickets. What the hell I’m going to do with them, I have no idea. Maybe Fi and the guys will want to go with me. “Are you performing in the concert?”
“Of course!” Noh’s eyes light up with excitement but then he looks at the watch on his wrist in a panic. “Shit! Sorry, Phun, but I’ve got to run. Practice started ten minutes ago. Thanks again for buying the tickets!” He runs off as quickly as he arrived, waving at me over his shoulder.
Chuckling ruefully at the weirdness that is Noh, I stand up, intending to walk around a bit. Talking to that guy seems to have chased away some of my fatigue. Just as I take a step, a small, warm body runs into me, falling to the ground with a soft thud.
“Hey, are you okay?” Concerned, I hold out my hand to help her up and realize it is the beautiful girl I saw earlier.
“I’m fine. Sorry I ran into you.” Her voice is sweet and smooth as she smiles in apology, grasping my hand.
“I’m sure it was my fault. I just stood up and didn’t look to see if anyone was coming.” I assure her as I help her stand. “Are you sure you’re alright?”
“Fine.” She casts a furtive look behind her as her hands dust off her skirt. Following the path of her eyes, I see a group of guys from another school across the street who are ogling her. The looks they are sending her way make me worried for her safety.
“Just in case, I would feel better if you let me walk you home. Would that be okay?” Picking up her school bag, I put it with my own. “I want to make sure you really are okay.”
“Are you sure?” She asks tentatively as she glances back at that group again, her hands busily patting her hair into place.
“Of course. My name’s Phun. What’s yours?” I give her my friendliest (most non-threatening, I think) smile, hoping to put her as ease.
“Aim. My name is Aim. Thank you for walking me home.” She leads the way down the street and I follow along a step behind, keeping an eye on those guys out of the corner of my eye. Their shoulders slump in disappointment as they watch us walk away together and I sigh in relief. Aim looks back at me in question but I just shake my head and keep walking, glad I was able to keep her safe. Aim continues to walk and I can see a small smile forming on her pink lips, but I’m not sure why.
Several minutes later my phone starts blaring music, breaking the silence between us. Looking at the screen, I find Fi’s face staring back at me. Damn. I forgot all about meeting up with him.
“Yo, Fi. Sorry, I can’t meet up today. Something came up.” I spit my words out quickly, hoping to stave off his pending tirade.
“Yeah, so I heard.” Fi’s snort comes across loud and clear. “I know exactly what came up and it involves a gorgeous girl in a convent uniform. You could have just told me you needed to meet up with your girlfriend.”
“It’s not like that, Fi.” I deny firmly. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that he has already heard something since rumors fly around our school as fast as our phones can send them, especially with a girl as pretty as this. “I’m just walking her home.”
“Sure, sure.” Fi laughs, obviously not believing a word I say. “Lucky bastard. What the hell does she see in your ugly ass?”
“Look who’s talking.” I would have said more but I don’t want to startle Aim, who is staring at me curiously. “I’ll see you at school tomorrow.”
“See you tomorrow.” Fi laughs at my less than stinging reply. “Have fun with your hot girlfriend.” He hangs up before I can correct him again.
Great. Now this is going to be all over the school. Looking on either side of the street, I see several of our classmates watching us and whispering behind their fingers. I glance over at Aim as we walk and wonder if I should tell her. If it is all over my school now, guaranteed it will be all over the convent by tomorrow, at the latest. She will, most likely have to face this when she gets to school in the morning.
“Everything okay, Phun?” Her clear, brown eyes stare back at me from such a delicate face. I can’t let her face this alone. I don’t want this innocent looking girl to be the subject of such rumors and the fastest way to ruin a rumor is to make it a truth. She’s really very beautiful and seems to be nice. Any guy would be lucky to date a girl like her. It wouldn’t be so bad, I guess.
“Everything is fine.” Smiling, I make my decision but I’m not sure how to ask her out, since we only just met about ten minutes ago. Feeling a bit awkward, I end up blurting out the first thing that pops into my head. “Aim, can I walk you to school in the morning?” I feel like smacking myself in the head. This is definitely not the smoothest thing I’ve ever said. We haven’t even talked at all so far and I was already asking to see her in the morning. She’s going to think I’m a stalker or something. I really hope it didn’t come out as abrupt as I think it did.
To my surprise, Aim’s lips spread into a smile, just barely showing a glimpse of white teeth, and she nods her head in agreement. I wasn’t actually expecting her to say yes so quickly, maybe I’m even more handsome than I thought. People are always telling me and I’m beginning to think they are right.
The rest of the walk to her house is spent talking lightly about school and interests. It is mostly me listening as she talks but I don’t mind and she seems happy. Dropping her off at the gate to her house, I hand over her school bag and make sure she gets inside safely.
“Don’t forget to come by in the morning, Phun. I’ll be waiting.” Aim closes the gate and walks into the house without another word.
“Bye.” I say loudly at her retreating back before turning towards home. As I walk, I wonder if this is okay but then push those thoughts away. She’s beautiful and dating her could be a lot of fun. The other girls might leave me alone, too. I guess, at the very least, I now have someone to go to Noh’s concert with me.