“Why me, my boy, you burn so bright
Do you illuminate?”
-Boy Lilikoi, Jónsi
“I’d like to introduce my best friends – Christopher and Naomi.” I read from my sheet of off-white, slightly scrunched up paper as I stand shaking slightly from the stress and nerves. I really don’t do public speaking. I hate my RE teacher for doing this to me.
I look at her, my dull aqua eyes begging for mercy. She just smiled in her merry Scottish way. I look back at my paper, to remind myself of what I was talking about.
“Christopher is a musician and he’d kill me for telling you. He plays acoustic guitar and piano and I admire him for this. He is one of my heroes.” I look up and see Chris blushing at the back, leaning against the windowsill. He shoots me glares for embarrassing him but I continue.
“Naomi writes. I can’t explain how epic her words are. Naomi, she’s just cool like that – my other hero.” I say, although she’s not in my class to hear it. I don’t take GCSE RE, thank god. Chris doesn’t either, although I don’t know if he did it for me or not.
I improvise ramble a little about why I enjoy my time with my best friends but I never do my homework and therefore didn’t have much time at break to write my speech on my heroes. It doesn’t take long and I’m soon back in my seat, next to Christopher, at the back by the window. He’s ignoring me because I told everyone about his secret talent.
“Hey Chris,” I mutter to him while one of the other girls go on about her celebrity crush I don’t care about – he looks out the window absentmindedly, trying to seem like he’s not interested, although I know he’s listening. “Dude, I’m sorry.”
No response. I roll my eyes and sign, dropping my chin to rest on the edge of my palm as my elbow rests on the desk. Chris is a bit of a drama king sometimes, it frustrates Naomi. But I have a lot of guy friends who I see at music school on the weekend, so I’m used to it.
I try again, “Christopher Rade, listen to me.”
Still nothing from the ape beside me. I punch his arm as hard as I can (which really isn’t very hard at all).
“Oww! God Laura!” he complains sarcastically, rubbing his arm. I grin and stick my tongue out at him.
“I hope you’ve forgiven me for busting your talent now.” I ask mischievously.
Noticing our teacher getting up to speak, he punches me lightly and murmurs, “I suppose so.”