Chapter 1: What He Said
“What the hell? Are you serious?” Prem’s loud voice carries over the din of students talking in the lunch area. Several people turn to look but go back to their friends and food when they realize who it is. This particular fourth year is well known for his boisterous antics and nasty temper, although the temper has cooled off considerably in the last year for some reason. Most attribute it to the busy schedules of the final year.
“I saw it with my own two eyes on the way here.” Opening his eyes as wide as they’d go, Bright points at the twin brown orbs. “Ai’Arthit was having a cozy lunch at that coffee shop on the corner with Namtarn. His arm was around her and her head was resting on his shoulder.”
Leaning dramatically on Toota, Bright lays his head on the bigger man’s shoulder and looks up at him while batting his eyes. The look was sickeningly devoted and gave Toota goosebumps. With an annoyed look, he smacks Bright in the middle of his forehead and shoves him back.
“You’re seeing things.” Shaking his head, Knott shakes the pen he was just writing with at his friend. “Namtarn has been dating Jay for the last four years and Ai’Arthit is with n’Kongpob. No way is anything happening between those two.”
“Namtarn WAS dating Jay. They broke up last week from what I heard.” Clasping his hands together, Toota gives a significant look to the others. “Trust me. When it comes to the dating status of cute guys like Jay, my information is always correct.”
“See!” Bright slams a fist on the table in front of him triumphantly. A wide grin spreads across his face. “I told you I wasn’t seeing things. Now that Namtarn is single, Ai’Arthit can try his luck.”
“Shut up, you idiot.” Slapping a hand over his friend’s mouth, Prem stares in horror at the person standing behind Bright. The ashen look on the boy’s face was enough to confirm that Kongpob had overheard the damning conversation, every word of it.
“Hey, n’Kongpob…” Standing up, Knott tries to do some damage control but it’s too late. Kongpob, without even glancing at the older boys or greeting them, turns and swiftly walks away. “Shit! He’s heading towards the café!”
“You and your big fucking mouth!” Releasing Bright, Prem smacks him upside the head in disgust.
“Hey! I wasn’t the only one talking. What about Ai’Toot?” Rubbing his head, Bright scowls over at the man who is suddenly very preoccupied with his fingernails.
“Don’t look at me! I only commented on Jay’s relationship status.” Toota shrugs his shoulders. “You’re the one trying to hook up Ai’Arthit with that girl.”
“I wasn’t trying to hook them up. I was just saying that she’s single again.” Defensive, Bright crosses his arms and snorts. “Ai’Arthit did say before that he was always waiting for them to break up so he’d have a chance with her.”
“He hasn’t mentioned that since he got together with n’Kongpob and you know it.” Knott says in irritation while packing up his things. “I’m going to go check on Ai’Arthit. Are you guys coming or not?”
“No, thank you.” Toota says primly. “I am not one for watching other’s heartbreak. Besides, I have a study date in the library. Let me know how it goes.”
“Not me! N’Kongpob might decide to kill the messenger if I show up.” Crossing his arms in a big X, Bright packs up his bag and stands next to Toota. “I’ll go to the library, too. I still have a paper to finish.”
“Don’t even think about interrupting my date.” Glaring menacingly, Toota whips his bag over his shoulder and struts away after a wave at the rest of their friends. Bright hastily follows, not wanting to be left behind and possibly roped into confronting Kongpob.
“What about you, Ai’Prem?” Almost resigned to going alone, Knott looks over at his last friend at the table. He has little hope of this guy assisting him.
“I’ll come.” Standing, Prem throws his stuff into his backpack.
“Seriously?” Knott’s surprise is evident. “You haven’t exactly been thrilled with Ai’Arthit dating n’Kongpob.”
“I don’t have a problem with them dating.” Mumbling his reply with his eyes downcast, Prem walks up beside Knott. “You might need backup if those two are fighting. Ai’Arthit doesn’t exactly have the sweetest temper.”
“I know.” Grateful for the company, Knott leads the way to the coffee shop hoping they aren’t too late or, better yet, that nothing happened.