Authors: Wanitta Praks
Tags: #sliceoflife, #contemporaryromance, #teenromance, #teenfiction, #contemporaryfiction, #dramaromance, #romeojulietstoryline, #schoolromance, #starcrossedlovers, #teenfictioncontemporary, #tragedyromance
I turn to him, a suspicious look on my face.
What’s in that head of his?
“What stuff?” I ask.
“Voyeurism,” he says.
“Voyeurism?” This has me confused. “Jesus,
Kai. You dirty head.”
I flick his head with my finger. He’s really
a dirty-minded perv.
Kai only laughs.
“Okay, sorry, sorry. But seriously, bro,
what has you so interested over there that you need to stare at
those two stud—hey… Wait. Isn’t that the girl you kissed at the
festival and Samuel from our class?”
Samuel, you four-eyed moron. Just wait until
I see you alone. I’ll give you a taste of my fist.
“Yeah. Her name’s Ivy,” I tell Kai. “She’s
also my home tutor.”
“You mean the one you’ve been telling me
about. The one that’s teaching you algebra so you can ace Mrs.
Dale’s algebra test this year?”
“Small world, bro. Who would have thought
the girl you kissed would end up being your algebra tutor?” Kai
bumps me on the shoulder. “Does she know you’re her hot, mysterious
“So you guys talked about it, then?”
“Because it’s embarrassing. Let’s just leave
this subject. Okay?”
“Come on, just give me a little inside
Doesn’t this bastard know when to shut
“I said move on to the next subject,
“Whatever, but why are you staring at them
“I’m trying to petition for my right as a
“I’ve been neglected.”
“It’s not just
, Kai? It’s about
standing my ground and knowing what’s right.”
How can he not know about student rights?
It’s mandatory. Every student has a right, just like citizens who
live in our country.
“You can’t go and get a job and then neglect
it after two sessions. It isn’t right,” I tell Kai, my eyes still
fixed on Ivy and four-eyed Sam.
“Hey, Zac, I understand how you feel, but
the only ground I’m standing on right now is my stomach. I’m hungry
like hell, bro, so let’s just get out of here.”
I don’t listen to Kai. My eyes are too
absorbed by Ivy.
“Look at her. She’s so into four-eyed Sam
that she doesn’t even notice I’m still sitting here staring at
“Zac, you’re talking to yourself.”
Kai gives me a weird stare.
Why is everyone giving me weird stares
When she finally looks up again, I catch her
eyes and wiggle my eyebrow once, signaling to her that I win round
one. She only shakes her head and twists her seat to the side so
her back is now facing me.
“Zac? Hey, Zac? Are you even on Earth right
now? Zac, bro, if I wasn’t that close to you, I would think you
have a heavy crush on her.”
The word “crush” gets my attention. I twist
my head so fast to glare at Kai that I almost pull my neck muscles
in the process.
I can’t have Kai knowing I like Ivy. Well,
not yet anyway. Not when I’m not even sure myself. Who knows? This
might be just a baby crush. So I lie to him.
“I don’t have a crush on her. It’s merely
“Still, I think your principle lies with
Elsa or your band, not algebra.”
Conversation over. Back to my staring
Knowing he can’t get my ass off the seat,
Kai finally relents.
I know he’s waiting for me to flush my
so-called principle out of my system. He knows I never last long in
anything. I have a short attention span, so he’s waiting for that
ultimate moment when I give up. But he’s clearly mistaken. Today,
I’m in for the long haul. I’m not going anywhere until Ivy decides
to give up teaching that four-eyed goofball and come back to the
After five minutes of Kai sitting down like
a good monk, he starts reacting like he’s allergic to seafood. Not
that he’s allergic to seafood; that’s just my comparison. He jumps
up and down in his chair like a monkey whose ass needs scratching.
He fidgets and twitches. Then finally, he smacks me on the shoulder
when I don’t give him my attention.
“That’s enough. I can’t take this anymore.
I’m not a stone, bro. I need activity. Or else my brain cells will
“Bro, your brain cells have already died, so
stop complaining and sit back down. We can’t make too much noise
here,” I warn.
There’s no telling what these librarian
ladies are capable of. They may look nice, but they can turn nasty
in a split second if you don’t shut your mouth.
“I’m not sitting. I can’t stand this. I’m
“Fine, go chew on a burger or something.” I
throw him twenty bucks and wave him away. “Now go and leave me in
“Seriously, man,” he reprimands but then
pockets the cash.
What a good friend I have. Telling me off
but taking my money anyway.
“I say you seriously like her. Look at the
way you’re eyeing her. It's like you’re jealous of Samuel or
something. I’ve never seen you act like this before. It just feels
“Well, this is me being normal,” I tell
“You call this normal? You act like you own
her or something. Like… um… what’s the word? You know… her
boyfriend. A possessive boyfriend.”
“I am not her boyfriend,” I shout at him.
How dare he accuse me?
My loud comment earns us a scold from the
head librarian. I nod to show her I got the message. Keep quiet or
“Well, you kissed her, didn’t you?” Kai
“Yeah, but that was a dare,” I whisper
“Kai, are you going to go or do I need to
kick your ass?” I hiss.
I’m starting to feel impatient again. Will
he leave me in peace or do I have to kick him out?
“Chill, bro.” He lays his hands out in
surrender and moves backwards, then says before disappearing, “Just
give me a call when you’re ready to move your butt off that
I give a smile, shake my head at his teasing
antics, then turn back to Ivy to scan for any signs of movement on
Everything is normal. Breathing a sigh of
disappointment, I pick up a book and resign to wait a bit
I’m so engrossed in this book about
geography that I don’t even know how fast time flies by. By the
time I finish it and look up, only four-eyed Sam is there.
Ivy must be on her break. What a perfect
Staggering up with the help of my crutches,
I limp to where four-eyed Sam is sitting.
“Hey, you,” I call out.
“Oh, hey, Zac.” His face perks up the second
he sees me. “How’s the leg?”
Is he stupid or just plain senseless? Can’t
he see I need these things to get me around? Or maybe he’s just
being a smartass. So I ignore his question and pull out my ultimate
“Why is Ivy teaching you? I thought you were
already good at algebra. You got an A for our test last year if I
“Yeah, well, I just want to get ahead, and
since Ivy’s a year ahead of us, I thought I’d ask her for pointers.
I want to become a
Smartass, fully overloaded smartass.
“…And you know. She is kind of cute, in her
own reserved sort of way. So I thought I could get to know her a
If it weren’t illegal to smack someone in
the head with these wooden crutches, I would seriously think of
doing just that. This four-eyed dude needs a lesson. You can’t use
this tactic to get a girl.
Wait, maybe you can. Isn’t that what I’m
doing? Throwing a tantrum, having a staring contest, aren’t they
all in the name of fighting for my student rights, when in fact
they’re just façades for me to continue to see Ivy?
It doesn’t matter, because in this case, Ivy
is still wrong. She should’ve chosen me instead of this four-eyed
Sam. Neglecting a real student who failed algebra for this lame
brain that is already a genius in the field just doesn’t make
sense. Unless she hates me, which doesn’t seem likely either
because I’ve never done anything to hurt her in any way. Unless…
Oh shit. Has she figured it out already?
Does she know I’m her Phantom? Did she hate our kiss?
Oh damn, my brain is going into a
I growl out my frustration.
“Give me that book,” I snap, snatching the
textbook Sam’s busy writing on. I leave him with his jaw gaping all
the way to the floor and stalk back to my nest, waiting for Ivy to
come collect her book.
It’s not long before my plan works. I smile
in glee as that voice floats to my ears.
“You stole Sam’s textbook.”
“So what if I did?” I glance up to see Ivy’s
angry face. I want to chuckle in my satisfaction, but I think
that’s going a bit too far. I’m not the evil guy here. Four-eyed
“Why?” she asks, angry.
“Because you’re teaching him,” I accuse and
I tell myself I’m not behaving like a
nine-year-old throwing a tantrum because he doesn’t get his toy.
I’m only doing this because I’m petitioning for my rights as a
Ivy looks at me strangely for a minute,
shakes her head. and then does the most peculiar thing. She
Jesus help me, but she sounds so lovely when
she laughs like that. Her face just totally transforms, lighting
her beautiful chestnut eyes. She should laugh more often.
Wait a minute…
Damn! I think Kai’s right. This is no baby
crush. I like this girl. I seriously like Ivy.
Like she doesn’t want me to witness her
wearing more than the grouchy mask, she clears her throat and turns
her eyes to me again, serious.
“Look. I’m really busy today. So please
leave. You’re distracting my student.”
“Student?” I ask, aghast. “Your student is
standing right here.” I point to myself to emphasize I’m her
student. “I’m one of your students, Ivy. Shouldn’t I”—I even
deliberately stretch out the word to make myself feel
important—“have the rights of a student too? This student here has
been neglected by her tutor. And so this tutor better take full
responsibility and start delivering.”
“I’m sorry, Zac, but my schedule is really
full. I don’t think I can teach you anymore. Please
“But I don’t understand.”
That’s right. I don’t understand. All I
—is for Ivy to teach me.
Here I go again. Another tantrum.
“I’m sorry,” she says passively. “Just go
home. There’s no use in you waiting for me here. I won’t be
finished until late.”
“I don’t care. I’m not going anywhere.”
“Fine. Suit yourself,” she says, taking the
textbook from my hand. She turns and disappears back to Sam.
I’m pissed off. But all I can do is watch
her go. My eyes catch sight of Sam’s. He’s smirking at me like a
cat who’s stolen the cream.
God, I want to bang his head with my
I slump down in my little nest and wait it
out. This time I’ll gain victory for sure.
I idle my time away by reading random books
about history and facts, stuff I’ve never known existed.
Did people really think the earth was
Footsteps approach me. I glance up and see
the head librarian smiling at me. I return the gesture.
“You should head home now. We’re
I look around the library, and sure enough,
there’s only me. The sky outside is already dark. How long have I
My face turns red as I come to the
Damn! She tricked me. And even left here
without saying a word.
Kai arrives the minute I snap my phone shut.
He must have been hanging in the comics section, waiting for my
Sitting in the car, heading home, my mood is
worse than Mount Vesuvius erupting. I’m not going to give up that
You want me to chase you, Juliet? Well, get
ready to be chased because this Romeo isn’t going to stop until he
No Way Out
“I can’t believe cheese is so expensive
here,” Clare complains when she carries the groceries home after
having done the shopping with me. “A block of cheese is like a kilo
I have to agree on the cheese being very
expensive in this city, but to compare it to a kilo of gold, now
that’s going a bit too far.
Our life in Auckland was saturated with
dairy products, being that it’s very cheap to import all that stuff
over there. Out here in the South Island, I would have thought the
price would reduce dramatically, since there are cows and sheep
everywhere, but I’m wrong. Even I have to look at the price tag
twice just to make sure my eyes haven’t deceived me.
Knowing it will now cost us twice as much,
we reduce our dairy products and increase our fruit intake instead.
I don’t mind this change in diet because I like fruits. Plus, Moon
will get the benefit of fresh nutrients, but it’s Clare that’s the
main problem. She likes her cheese. And tonight she wants homemade
pizzas piled high with mozzarella.
Putting all the groceries on the kitchen
counter, Clare randomly fires me questions about my tutoring
position and my student. I don’t want to talk about Zac or my
teaching ability as an algebra tutor, so I lamely twist the answer.
We end up talking about Mandy and school instead. But Clare doesn’t
let the topic drop and corners me back to the subject of my
“Is your student a he or a she?” she asks
while nibbling on bits of shredded cheddar.
I pretend not to hear her and keep packing
away the canned goods into the cupboard.
“Ivy, come on. Spill a bit.”