Chapter 63:

Bailey Hollow: Painful Past Part 2

New Leaf!

The end of my second year… The most commonly thought about thing is summer. It’s the thing that most everyone anticipates. I mean, who wouldn’t? Students are given two months of no school… They can use that time to relax… They can use that time to have fun at beaches… They can use that time to stay inside playing video games… They can use that time to hang out with friends… And with the completion of final exams just recently, everyone craves that academic break…Bookmark here

But that’s not me… Bookmark here

Speaking of final exams, I did extremely well on them. So, after doing some math, I calculated that my average final mark, including my marks from the past semester, will be ninety-nine per cent. Of course, that’s an excellent mark… I mean, every college and university would kill to get the person who achieved that mark to attend that school.Bookmark here

However, I can’t be happy about it… It’s Ren Morales again… What were his scores on the exams? One-hundred per cent… So what are his final marks? One-hundred per cent… And what is the average of all of his marks during the school year? Obviously one-hundred per cent!.. And that was the same score he got last year… He got one-hundred, and I got ninety-nine… That’s why he was constantly at the top of the Top, and honestly, I don’t think his momentum will slow down…Bookmark here

It was the last class of the day — the last class of the school year… I’m in the same class as Ren. Actually, all of my classes since the beginning of this school year were shared with Ren. I chose the same courses as Ren, and whenever our schedules differed, I argued with the staff. And, I made sure that we both had the fairest teachers. I hate Ren, but there’s a good reason I did this — actually, it’s because I hate him. He’s my rival… And in this competition, I want total equality — I can’t have a fair teacher while Ren has a BS one that gives perfects and lollipops to every student that writes their names on tests. I gave both of us fair grounds to compete on because a win is worthless unless the winner can actually verify that it’s a win — advantages discard the thrill of succession…Bookmark here

Since it’s the last day, all of my peers weren’t doing anything serious— either talking with each other, watching the movie on the screen, playing on laptops they brought from home, or just stayed at home altogether… With my head down, I was staring at Ren… Not doing anything but peering out of the window. He was wearing the black and yellow school uniform and had his back straight with his feet firmly planted on the ground… His stance kind of perplexed me — he isn’t doing anything serious, but he looked so professional and serious. It doesn’t concern me, but why did it look like it was his duty?.. What was he thinking about?..Bookmark here

“Sup Bailey!”Bookmark here

My thoughts were interrupted when someone called from beside me. I didn’t raise my head and instead just rotated it while still on the desk. Connie Capperman…Bookmark here

I frowned.Bookmark here

“Oh, hello, Connie…”Bookmark here

I think Connie Capperman is the most annoying person in this school — obviously, that’s an over-exaggeration. But I just don't like him. Always in people’s businesses… So annoyingly loud and cheery in attempts to be friendly and likeable… Sure, he does succeed in getting others to like him, but he’s still annoying to me. I just don't like being around him.Bookmark here

“So, are you just sitting here? Ah, that's boring… Come join us!”Bookmark here

I shook my head.Bookmark here

“Nah, I’m fine, thanks…”Bookmark here

“Okay… Then I’ll join you!”Bookmark here

“What!?”Bookmark here

He pulled a chair from a close-by desk. He spun it around — wannabe cool teacher style — and sat in it with the back in front. He leaned so that he was at about the same level I was at.Bookmark here

Why is he sitting with me? Obviously, because I’m not doing anything, but doesn’t he want to sit with Ren more? I mean, they seem to be friends. Ren and Connie usually sit together at lunch and in classes they have in common… And I’m not entirely sure if they’re friends because Ren usually has an expressionless face, so he’s hard to read. To me, it seems like Connie just likes bugging his introverted classmate, but that might be false…Bookmark here

“Fine, whatever… But if you annoy me, I’ll dismiss you immediately, and forcefully if necessary…”Bookmark here

“Okay.”Bookmark here

Honestly, I don’t care at the moment. I’m preoccupied with my feelings of aversion towards Ren to be pestered. Bookmark here

I listlessly sat in silence discreetly staring at Ren for a few seconds… Loathing him for a few seconds…Bookmark here

“Smash or pass?”Bookmark here

“W-What!?”Bookmark here

I sat up and looked at Connie in shock.Bookmark here

“He’s hot, right? I mean Ren…”Bookmark here

“W-What are you saying!?”Bookmark here

“I mean, you’re staring at him. C’mon, you weren’t being very discreet about it. I mean, your head was pointing in his direction.”Bookmark here

“O-Oh… Well, I wasn’t! I was just, um, spacing off…”Bookmark here

He started waving his hand teasingly… His signature annoyance…Bookmark here

“Yeah, yeah, sure… But let’s do without the lies. Do you like Ren?”Bookmark here

What an immature question! He’s a child! Now, he’s a teen-child! In the future, he’ll be a man-child! And further past that, he’ll be an elder-child! And beyond that, he’ll die with a tombstone saying ‘Here Lies a Massive Child’!Bookmark here

“W-What type of question is that? And of course, I don’t!”Bookmark here

“You can’t hide it… I mean, it’s written all over your face.”Bookmark here

What face are you reading!?Bookmark here

Connie shrugged while smiling indulgently and sat up straight.Bookmark here

“But I can’t really blame you. Ren is extremely handsome.”Bookmark here

Are we looking at the same person? Like, Ren Morales, right? The boy sitting at the window? The boy with the dead fisheyes? The boy that looks like he’d be many years older than us? Seriously, how can he be considered attractive? Or likeable? Or tolerable?Bookmark here

“Hey, if I were gay, I’d be all over him!”Bookmark here

You aren’t?Bookmark here

I sighed…Bookmark here

“Okay Connie, please leave. You’re annoying me…”Bookmark here

“What? Why? Are you embarrassed that I’m just telling the truth?”Bookmark here

“What? No!”Bookmark here

I pushed my chair back and faced Connie’s aggravatingly ardent face.Bookmark here

“Just admit it — you love Ren!”Bookmark here

I sighed.Bookmark here

“You want to be near him…”Bookmark here

I was too tired and preoccupied to be annoyed by Connie.Bookmark here

“You want him to care for you…”Bookmark here

I spoke uninterestedly.Bookmark here

“You want to get to know him…”Bookmark here

But that could change if he pushed me over my tolerance limit.Bookmark here

“You want him to hold you…”Bookmark here

I was reaching my limit quickly.Bookmark here

“You want to start a future with him...”Bookmark here

Very close… Bookmark here

“You want him to do loving things to you…”Bookmark here

Okay, I’m officially over the edge.Bookmark here

“You want him to-”Bookmark here

“Gah! Connie, stop it right now!”Bookmark here

As I screamed, I quickly lifted my hand and dragged it across Connie’s face — I slapped him with all my might…Bookmark here

And there was a loud sound that followed the collision of my hand and his cheek… And silence ensued after — the movie was the only sound that was heard because everyone was dumbfounded. Everyone stared at us… My classmates… The teacher… Even Ren… And Connie was just sitting in his chair looking down.Bookmark here

Oh, shoot… I messed up because I couldn’t contain my temper… But it was partly Connie’s fault for annoying me, right? No, I have to be the bigger person when dealing with an idiot…Bookmark here

After a few seconds of silence and disbelief, the teacher called on me.Bookmark here

“Ms Hollow? Excuse me, what was-”Bookmark here

“Ah, how terrific!”Bookmark here

The teacher stopped and stared at Connie in perplexity.Bookmark here

“Ah, what an amazing slap!”Bookmark here

When’d he turn into a masochist?Bookmark here

“Such power… Such tenacity… And how stylish!”Bookmark here

Style? Nothing stylish about a slap…Bookmark here

Connie slowly jutted his head up and smiled at me.Bookmark here

I inched my eyes to look at the teacher. He stopped staring at us and instead went back to working, or watching the movie, on his computer. He seemed to not think it was serious when he heard Connie praise it like it was asked by him.Bookmark here

I was still kind of confused about the situation. Connie helped me? That’s fine, but I think a punishment would have been more suitable. I mean, I failed to contain my anger…Bookmark here

To avoid any more attention, I decided to leave.Bookmark here

I rolled my eyes at Connie and got up.Bookmark here

“Um, Teach, I’m heading to the washroom.”Bookmark here

“Sure…”Bookmark here

As I started walking towards the exit, Connie called to me.Bookmark here

“Oh, and Bailey…”Bookmark here

I sighed.Bookmark here

“What now?..”Bookmark here

“I think I know the real reason you’re going to the washroom…”Bookmark here

“Oh, shut up.”Bookmark here

After what just happened, it would be wise to contain myself… But damn, it’s hard.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Perhaps Connie contributes to my hatred for Ren… I mean, he claims that he’s his best friend, and they mostly hang out with each other. Hanging out with a moron like Connie… Ren can’t afford to do that. To be carefree while being at the top of the grade… That’s impossible! Why is it that I’m so determined but only placing second, while he’s frivolous but constantly taking the top spot!? It’s just so irritating!..Bookmark here

Taylor Victoria
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