Chapter 6:

Chapter 6

Mokhoddis School Days Episode II

“I know what to paint but not how to paint,” a deep thought emerged in Mokhoddis’ mind as he walked home from alongside the riverbank. The sun was no longer visible over the horizon. He stopped and looked out into the river once more, purples and pink swirled around in the sky, clouds now glowed a beautiful fiery orange, burning into his retina. “In a painting, the painter breaks the rules of the world and in doing so becomes the master of his or her own universe.” Mokhoddis never thought of painting that way. Any video games he beat and any tests he aced in life so far were based on following logic and rules. Maybe that’s why he was struggling with painting so much. “Judging by Rashid’s old paintings, he too came from where I started but unlike me, he became an amazing painter…”

“-I have my composition down but after adding details it’s looking a bit wonky.” Familiar voices populated Mokhoddis’ ears, but as he turned to look, his vision had a large sunset shaped black void in the middle which slowly faded and came back with each blink.

“...” The voices stopped, Mokhoddis saw two familiar figures in his line of sight that were rapidly approaching. He quickly dashed over to and sat down under a tree near the river bank. As the figures approached he called out, “Are you E-ejnyiong your y- youth I see?”

“Huh?” Both Phet and Rubina replied in unison.

Mokhoddis fixed his hat, “You guys must think a lot…” Mokhoddis unzipped his jacket attempting to emulate delinquent aura. “Or did you just not hear me?”

“Oh hi Mokhoddis. You’re not at the arcade? Well this is quite the revelation. Having second thoughts about painting yet?” Rubina’s voice called out.

Mokhoddis glanced forward, and put a wheat grain in his mouth.

“Aren’t you gonna say hi?” Rubina said.

“Oh, hey, didn’t see ya there.” Mokhoddis replied.

“But you greeted us?” Phet broke into the conversation.

“So uh… what are you doing here by yourself?” Rubina asked with a curious look on her face

“What? Can’t a man enjoy the nice outdoors for a bit?” Mokhoddis replied, chewing on the wheat grain.

“You have to be joking, you're no man, you’re a boy. And not to mention you’re a loser who spends all his time inside his room or at the arcade. For you to be out here something major must’ve come over you.” Rubina chuckled. “Spill it.”

Phet looked at Mokhoddis concerned.

"If I tell you, you’re gonna laugh and get a big head around me." Mokhoddis said. “You can’t handle such information, a little girl like you.”

"No I won't and yes I can too handle such information, to remind you I am literally the student council president as well as the class president."

"You were already laughing before I said anything. Besides, you only got the position because I refused, therefore…" Mokhoddis took a drag out of his wheat grain pretending it to be a cigarette. “By my deduction, even given your status on the board of directors, you’re still not mature enough to handle such info.”

“Board of directors? What are you talking about?” Rubina tilted her head slightly. “Alright then, Let me do a bit of deduction myself. You feel guilty about being mean to Phet and more importantly me and want to paint with us so you came out here to cry where no one can hear you over the sound of the rushing water instead of just apologizing to me.” Rubina grinned.

The sight of her smug face irritated Mokhoddis so he got up, “And what are you doing out here? Feeling down that your painting prowess is not as advanced as Nina’s?” Mokhoddis paused, “And you!” He pointed at Phet,

“M-me?” Phet looked around nervously sensing Mokhoddis’ anger.

“You’re fat!” Mokhoddis said in a fit of rage.

Mokhoddis remained standing there under the maple tree of the riverbank. A gentle breeze blew by Mokhoddis, lifting his hair gently up before abruptly dropping it back down. He stood, focused as if he was cementing himself as part of the scenery. As the sun fell into the river and was fully extinguished. There were no calls from the dove as the silence befell the town, suffocating it. His face flushed red just as the sunset was moments ago, sweat dripped from his face as he realized what he had done. His hubris keeping him from apologizing.

“I know.” Phet said, looking down at the ground. “Look man, we were just out walking to the arcade hoping to find you to play some SpaceMan together.”

Rubina turned away from Mokhoddis.

Mokhoddis turned away from Phet.