STEVEN JERAL HARRIS
EMERALD BLUE OKIKI
The proceeding day is beyond annoying. It doesn't matter where I go around campus, all I hear is people raving about Cornelius and Professor Grant's argument. It has only been one day and the rumors have spread like a wildfire around the campus.
I'm tired of hearing people talk about it, my ears need a break from the exaggerations. What makes matters worse is some gossipers turned the rumor into something else entirely.
They're starting to say that a fist fight took place in class. If I have to estimate, I've rolled my eyes at least a thousand times so far today. My final class and most anticipated, is Biology. I'm one of the first to enter class and Jason is one of the last.
"What's up?" He asks as he sits down next to me.
Professor Nelson shuts the door and obtains center stage. As Professor Nelson gives his lecture on plant stems I lower my head away from his eyes.
"Hey, I want to ask you something." I whisper to Jason.
"Something like what?" he replies and brings his ear closer to me.
"Did you hear about yesterday?"
His face drops and I notice his expression switch into anger.
"Who hasn't?" he replies.
"I was there when it happened. They look like they wanted to kill each other." I attempt to shake the image of their bloodthirsty eyes from my head and fail.
"But the odd thing is, I asked Professor Grant about him and Kendrick and he said nothing was wrong."
He exhales slowly but it didn't release any anger from him.
"No one really likes the Blaires, but we respect them. They invest money into the school so the faculty kisses their asses. It gets on my nerves. They believe they can treat people like shit and get away with it."
"And what's up with Daniel? Cornelius looked at him the same way. Daniel even stood up like he was ready to fight."
He hesitates to respond. Suddenly, the anger lifts from his face and is replaced with uncertainty.
"Listen Iva, we all have our differences towards people. There are things in this town which you shouldn't stick your nose in," he says straightforwardly.
"But, you can tell me anything. I won't say a word to anyone."
"Iva." He stares into my eyes with seriousness, "just drop it."
"Okay." I reply.
The whole class we remain silent amongst each other. Soon, everyone is pouring out the room and blending into the college commute. As I step into the hallway Jason gathers my attention by tapping me on the right shoulder.
“Hey, Iva, I'm sorry about what I said. I didn't mean to sound so harsh,” he apologizes honestly.
“It's fine. I just wanted to know why they hate each other so much. That's all.”
“It's not like I don't want to tell it's just… it's a long story.”
“Then shorten it.”
“Yes now. Where are you heading?” I ask him.
“Getting in my car and going home,” he replies with a snicker.
“Okay then I will walk with you to your car.” I counter.
“Do I have any say in this?” he asks.
He rolls his eyes but breaks a smile shortly after, a charming one. I don't think he's very good at making bad ones. He walks out a pair of double doors and I follow by his side. Together we stroll down the campus walkway while we talk about the Blaires.
“The Blaires like no one,” he explains. “Grant and Cornelius went to school together. And it started there and still to this day they can't get along.”
“Okay, understandable. But how does Daniel fit in?”
He doesn't respond to that question. It's almost as if he's trying his best to avoid that question entirely.
We approach a group of kids hanging around three vehicles, one is a black Charger, the other is a burgundy SUV, and the other is a black SUV. Daniel is sitting in the Charger with the driver's door wide open.
The brunette boy and his female lookalike are standing next to the burgundy SUV. And the black darkly dressed girl is sitting on the hood of the Charger.
They appear to be having a conversation before I arrive with Jason.
“Hey guys,” Jason says.
“What's up, you ready to jet?” the brunette boy asks.
“Yeah, I was just talking to my friend Iva,” Jason informs.
“Oh yeah, wheels, how's it going?” the brunette boy says rudely.
The brunette girl next to him punches him on the shoulder.
“Shut-up idiot,” she says to him angrily.
Her mood changes instantly when she shifts back to me. Now she's subtle and smiling vividly.
“Sorry about my brother. I'm Jessica and this is Eric.”
“Hi, I'm Eric,” the brunette boy confirms.
“I'm Maria,' the gothic girl says with a smile.
“So you're the farm girl, right?” Eric asks me.
“Farm? No.” I reply dumbfounded.
“Didn't you say she lived on a farm?” Eric asks Jason.
“No I said she moved from Virginia, Dumbass,” Jason shoots back at Eric.
“So there are no farms in Virginia?” Eric asks me.
“Yeah they have farms but I didn't live on one.”
“So why are you dressed up like a farmer?” Eric continues.
I look down at myself and realize that he must be referring to my denim overalls.
“Believe me I have never lived on a farm, like ever.”
He clears his throat.
“I don't like her Jason. It's something about those overalls...” Eric states.
Jessica rolls her eyes and conceals her face with her palm.
“Can you please stop being a retard?” Jason says.
“Don't pay him any attention, he's annoying,” Maria says.
“And he's good at it,” Jessica adds with crossed arms.
A car creeps up slowly and stops near us. It's my Uncle Frank with another older man driving. Maybe it's his partner.
“Oh shit its five-o. Someone hide the weed,” Eric says.
“Excuse me Mr. Dodson, can you please repeat that?” Uncle Frank asks Eric.
“I'm just playing Lancaster, don't get trigger happy,” Eric responds.
Uncle Frank shakes the frustration from his head and peers at me.
“Hey Kiddo,” he says to me.
“Hey Uncle Frank.”
“Uncle?” Eric mumbles underneath his breath.
“What you guy's up to?” Uncle Frank asks.
“Nothing,” the group mumbles.
“What's going on Daniel? You doing alright?” Uncle Frank asks him.
“Yup,” Daniel replies with his never fading stern look.
“Hey Iva can I speak to you?”
As I approach his car, he welcomes me over with a mouth full of teeth.
“Who's idea was this?” I ask him.
“I don't know what you're talking about,” he plays stupid.
I have a staring contest with him until he finally gives in.
“Your mom's,” he surrenders.
“I knew it.”
“How is everything?” he interrogates.
“It's fine. Stop keeping tabs on me gosh.”
“Just making sure my niece is secure,” he looks over at the group behind me and smiles again, “made some friends I see. They're good kids. Well, I'll see you around. Call me if you need anything.”
“Okay I'll see you later.”
I walk back over to Jason as my uncle leaves the school lot.
“Your uncle, for real?” Jason asks.
“Yup,” I reply.
“Cool,” he replies.
The others behind him find a car to get into.
The twins, Eric and Jessica, get into the burgundy SUV, and Maria gets into the Charger with Daniel.
They ignite their engines. The engine on the old Charger erupts to life, releasing some heavy gray smoke from its exhaust pipe.
“Coming or not?” Eric shouts at Jason from the burgundy SUV.
“Alright, I'll catch cha later,” Jason says to me.
“See you later.”
Daniel is the first one to reverse back and leave.
Jason brings the black SUV to life and pulls out of the parking space. Meanwhile, in the burgundy SUV, Eric lowers his window in the passenger seat.
“See you later farm girl,” he says.
Maria and Jessica is right, he is annoying. I roll my eyes at his comment.
“I've never lived on farm for crying out loud."
“Liar, liar, overalls on fire,” he says just before the burgundy SUV takes off through the school lot.
...to be continued
Watch out for the next episode... New episode reads on Tuesdays