Narrator: Faruq Kadir-Nayak (Adam)
I waved the rim of my white polo shirt back and forth, trying to get some ventilation. Sweat was gathering at my neck and chest, and I wished that the uniform polos weren't so thick. The air was cool - it was autumn after all, therefore my incongruous fidgeting was of some people's attention.
It wasn't quite the atmosphere, though, that made me felt so warm. It was the anxiety. Today was worse than yesterday. Waking up to the drawing of her face wasn't enough for me; I missed already the naturally sweet smell of her breath and her sensual and affectionate touch. Even just the tip of her fingernail would do. The fact that I was to be deprived of Leslie's presence was the most frustrating part of my punishment. It was rather lax, however, for my father; a weekend's grounding was not my average sentence.
My desk wobbled as I put an elbow on the far right, my head resting on the support of my hand. In front of me a copy of Carol Ann Duffy's 'Valentine' lay, Maya Angelous 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings', and a new lined paper in my 'English' section of my binder. It was the Mrs. Rosengarten's instructions to be interpreting them, but my pen was unmoving, although open.
It was only ten minutes until the clock stroke twelve and I would be off to my eleven o'clock lunch. It irritated me that my father refused to buy me a car; he felt it gave an "immature wild boy" like me too much freedom. And the other factor he didn't mention was that of financial shortage. Else, my desperation would have easily led me to Leslie.
Derek, who was sitting behind me, passing notes to his girlfriend (or really, his bitch), Nadine. He was equipped with a spacious black SUV, which he bought based on the feature of a comfortable and generous backseat. It was perfect for... leisurely activities. I contemplated asking him for a ride, but it was obvious that it would lead to questions. Questions I didn't want to answer.
"Has anyone started their second poem yet?" The teacher asked us. I put my hand up indicating false progress. Derek did the same, and she nodded at the few of us in acknowledgement.
I did such things quite often. Classrooms were places of no inspiration; it never changed, nor the people you sat in it with. And the words made it worse. With literature, it seemed always as if it said one thing then meant another. It confused me, and the dictionary was not always the answer. There were denotations and connotations; the direct meaning of the word clashing with the "true" image that it hides. Something like love, I guess. The sad kind, that ends in broken hearts and tears.
Then there's art. Drawing, painting, sculpting. There is no denotation for the picture; it means what you want it to mean. It isn't toying with your thoughts, because those thoughts define what it is to you. It's more personal. And that's how I think of Leslie and I. Our bond isn't false, and it wasn't going to be a tragedy. There has already been enough of that.