Would You Paint My Dunk
When will this ceremony end?
My right hand covered my mouth as I yawned in my drowsiness.
Today is Monday, August 14th, 2023, my first day at Astro University. Here I am, standing amidst my fellow students in the assembly hall.
People said that ceremonial speeches were long and tedious enough to make you sleepy, but I never thought it would bore me to this extent.
Can't the person who is speaking at the podium just shut up already? We didn’t come here to listen to this shit.
As much as I wanted to doze off, my 6’6” frame made me stand out from the rest of the students, leaving me no option but to keep opening my eyes and listening to the boring speech.
“... We shall reach for the skies! As our motto, Astro University will lead you into a bright future!”
I yawned again as I covered my mouth with my hands.
Why can’t they keep the formalities short? Who fucking cares about the motto of the university or anything like that? Please, just stop.
“And now... We shall listen to the words of the new student representative...”
A beautiful girl with long black hair walked up to the stage, her ID card around her neck swinging like a pendulum. She reached the podium and looked at us, adjusting her square glasses with her left finger before she began her speech.
“Hello. First of all, I would like to thank you for allowing me to deliver…”
Ah, damn, another boring speech.
Well, whatever, I don’t care.
I only applied here because I wanted to play basketball anyway.
This university’s basketball team, Astro Jets, is currently one of the top Division One basketball teams that always appeared in the regionals every year.
Furthermore, this university is known for its bountiful harvest of talent, as professional basketball scouts picked a lot of prospects from here.
I want to be a basketball legend.
Becoming a basketball legend is cool, right? Every night, I dreamed about a scene where I made dunk after dunk in the regional basketball stadium. Cameras will be pointed at me as I make some highlight reels, showing my greatness on the TV.
As I couldn’t help but dream big, I remembered that my father didn’t make it for the drafts.
He was a talented man who put much effort into basketball. Every day, he would hone his skill until the sunset. In his third year, he became the ace of his university and made himself known to the scouts.
Sadly, fate doesn’t allow him. He got injured in the finals, crushing his only good chance to get scouted. Otherwise, he would have been the first-round pick.
Following in his footsteps, it was time for me to realize his dream, reigning over his long-forgotten goal.
With a sports scholarship, the bar on my academic requirements wouldn’t be too high, letting me focus on basketball instead.
“Great speech. Thank you, honorary student. You may now return.”
The girl stepped down from the podium as the principal took over.
“And that concludes our ceremonial event. Students, please proceed to your classes. If you don’t know your schedule, you can log in to our university website to find out more.”
Pulling my smartphone out of my pocket, I used my student account to see where I should head next.
Well, the following class is in twenty-five minutes, at C307. I should get there early and find a good seat, preferably one where I can sleep unnoticed. Who knows? Maybe I will need it one day.
“That’s all. You are dismissed.”
As the speaker left the podium, students started talking to each other. The previously silent atmosphere was now filled with chatter.
Finally, it’s over!
Feeling relieved, I stretched my arms. After all, I was fatigued by just listening to the long speech.
Students in front of me are now crowding towards the exit door of the hall. Half awake, I followed suit, only to crash into someone.
With the force of my hit, a girl fell over before me. A sense of guilt suddenly filled my heart. How could I not? She must be in pain after being tripped by a big guy like me.
Looking at her, she was like a fallen Goddess who fell from the sky, carrying a book of life in her hand with her name ‘Jessica’ written on it. I was petrified by the sight unveiled before me, turning me into a stone statue.
There’s no more fitting word to describe this scene, and I couldn’t help but be captivated by the slender beige-skinned girl before me. Her azure eyes, her flower hair clips and her white dress dignify her even more.
However, I quickly realized that I was being rude for staring at her. I shook myself, snapping out of her mesmerizing charm. Besides, I shouldn’t be thinking about romance when I’m entering this university for basketball.
Like a divine being, she rose up, wiping her clothes of impurities.
“That’s okay, please pay attention to where you are going next time.”
“Yeah, I’m so sorry.”
I bowed again, and she had already disappeared from my sight. Just like a Goddess that vanished after giving divination, she was nowhere to be found. Realizing she had gone, I headed toward my next class.
In the corridors, I saw some couples holding hands as they walked close to each other. I couldn’t help but be astonished by their actions.
Romance on the first day of university, seriously?
Right after the long boring ceremonial speech, no less?
I can’t get these guys.
Did they come to the university to find a lover or what?
Whatever, it shouldn’t be my problem. It’s their problem. I had nothing to do with them.
Disgusted, I dashed off to the C building, quickly climbing the stairs. White tube-shaped lamps in the ceilings illuminated my path as I wandered the corridor, looking for my classroom.
“C305, C306, C307, this is it.”
As I arrived, some students had already chosen their seats. I saw three boys grouped up at the front table, talking to each other about video games which I never heard about.
Also, there are four girls gathered in the back left corner of the room, discussing their favorite sweets and hobbies. A few students peered out of the window on the right side of the room, looking at the sight of the university’s grounds.
It was such a boisterous atmosphere, which made me feel envious of the other students.
They are so full of energy in the morning.
How come they are brimming with happiness and energy after listening to the boring ceremonial speech? I don’t understand.
If only I could be energetic just like them...
I looked around, and it happened that the back right corner seat was vacant. Swiftly claiming the spot, I put my bag on top of the table and laid my head, attempting to rest briefly.
Just before I could doze off, the class suddenly fell silent following the sound of a door clicking.
“Good afternoon, I’m your lecturer for...”
Realizing that the instructor just entered the classroom, I gathered all my consciousness and turned my head forward, trying to pay attention to her.
“... Since this is our first meeting, we will start with introductions. When your name is called, please raise your hand…”
I had lost my focus before I heard a voice that seemed to be calling for me.
Feeling that I had just been called, I mustered all my energy to stay awake.
“Keith Wallace. Is there anyone named Keith Wallace?” The lecturer asked.
“Present,” I responded.
With my attendance recorded, I quickly dozed off as she called other students’ names.
Just as I was drifting off, the lecturer clapped her hands. I shook my head to keep myself awake. At least for now, I didn’t plan to sleep through the course, even though I felt pretty sleepy.
Why did I pick a back seat, you ask? Well… I can sleep over the class to recuperate my fatigue from basketball practices in the future.
“Okay. Since everyone is here, we can begin the lecture. Open to page four and...”
All the students, myself included, paid attention to the class. I didn’t want to fail, nor to cram for exams in the last days. After all, I don’t want to hold back my basketball career by repeating a year.
Taking notes of everything important told by the instructor, I didn’t pay attention to the time as two hours flew by, marking the end of the class.
“Okay, that’s all for today. Class dismissed!”
Chatters filled the atmosphere as the lecturer left the scene. The rowdy ambiance filled the previously silent room. A few students packed their belongings, and some of them casually spoke to each other.
I took a glance at my smartphone to check my following schedule. It turns out, I don’t have time to rest. The next class is at C511 in 17 minutes, I have to go there quickly or I would be late for class.
Without further ado, I put my smartphone away and packed my things into my backpack. Slinging my bag onto my shoulders, I headed up to the fifth floor, looking for my classroom.
Opening the door, I dashed to my usual seat in the back-right corner of the room. Before class started, I decided to take a short rest.
A few minutes later, a male lecturer came into the classroom. The routine of introductions, attendance, and lectures started once more. Two hours flew in a flash as I paid attention to it.
After class ended, I descended the stairs and headed to the cafeteria on the ground floor.
This day is boring!
That’s what I thought,
little did I know that everything would change in the next few minutes.