[size=150:1o7dnrbd]Pakistani Boy Vs. African Girl (3)
This chapter is dedicated to Rabiya for being a fantastic reader!
"You look like crap," Abdul Rehman’s first words came as soon as he saw Rashid stepped into the Open Education Area, also known as the O.E.A.
There were four O.E.A grounds in JTC; each decorated in the same way with the hard, square chairs, and triangular tables, pieced together to make a circle, big enough for a group of six. The grounds were separated into four categories; North, South, East, and West, following the school’s House Point system. The open areas themselves had desks and chairs arranged for a class to study out in the open. The O.E.A that Rashid entered was South, which was easily identified from the rest, with its bright orange furniture. In the O.E.A, there were seven classroom doors fixed in places that lead to small rooms. Rashid spotted the sign S3, the classroom on the far end. He jogged there.
"I said you look like crap," Abdul repeated loudly and monotonously as he followed his friend. Rashid stopped walking and sat down on a square-cushioned orange chair. There was a row of them stacked against the wall, near S3. He heaved a sigh and took in Abdul’s appearance.
Abdul was wearing a red and white checkered shirt; dark denim jeans with black trainers that had a red outline of a lion’s head. Like Rashid, he was a Pakistani. Unlike Rashid, he was a Muslim. His brown eyes were big and his eyelashes were long and thick. He had a long nose with a little black mole at the top, just under his left eye. His lips were pink, almost red and his ears were big and slightly pointy. He had black hair that was trimmed lightly and he came up to Rashid’s shoulders.
"Tissue?" Abdul offered, pulling out a crumpled piece of tissue from his pocket, after seeing Rashid wipe his nose with his hand. Rashid looked at it cautiously. "Don’t worry, I haven’t used it," he lied.
Below the ground floor, there was a red O.E.A, the color of North. Akia stomped in, fury shown in her dark gray eyes. She scanned the open area and saw a head full of curly, ginger hair, covered with a black beanie on top. The figure wore dark jeggings and a long, white top that had black sleeves, and in the middle of the top, there was a panda. This was her friend, Marley. As soon as Akia approached her, Marley turned around and grinned at her.
"Sup, girl?" She asked, echoing the words of Connor Hopkins, a boy in their year. Akia shook her head, her weave flying with her harsh movement.
"Not much. Just the usual. I’m gonna kill that motherfucking rat," Akia answered, her voice wobbling with anger. Marley nodded her head slowly, her blue-green eyes were focused on the red and black beads stringed on to Akia’s weave. "Guess what that stupid, fat ape did?"
"My guesses are always wrong, you know that," Marley said, waving a hand in the air, mimicking Mr. Omez’s famous gesture which he uses to dismiss a subject or person. "By the way, you look really nice. I love your hair and shoes! Your necklace is pretty too! It’s a heart necklace, ooo la la," she trilled, nudging Akia. "Was it a present from your secret boyfriend?"
"My brother, actually," Akia replied sourly. She entered the classroom, N4 and sat down at the back of the classroom, directly next to the long, big window, which revealed a small part of the school playground. Looking outside, she could see two trees with white, long benches on either side and four ping-pong tables set out in front of the big, blue square – a separate building from the school.
"Did I tell you about the Illuminati?" Marley asked quietly as the teacher took the register. The African girl turned to her with a bored expression. Her eyes were lowered, droopy, and her mouth was tugged down. She shook her head. "Oh, right, I must have told Sachiko! Not you."
Akia didn’t say anything. She observed Marley’s appearance, who was whispering to her about a Satan-worshipping secret society. Marley’s hair was a lot more frizzier than usual. Her ginger curls reached her shoulders and while she talked, she had a tendency to blink frantically. Her complexion was a pale white and her cheeks were a rosy pink. Her eyes were small, just like her nose which was straight and curvy. To finish off her look, freckles were sprinkled on her features. Akia counted the freckles on her friend’s nose while she talked, and she counted a total of twenty-seven.
"Marley," the teacher, Mrs. Lambert called out, "what did I just say?"
On the floor above, in S3, Rashid slammed his head down against the table. He let out a long, loud groan. Abdul was in front of him, sitting diagonally across him. Abdul’s body was turned, so he was facing Rashid and his left arm was propped up on to the back of his chair. He chuckled at Rashid’s misery.
"Sad, man. He’s making you do your tests again," he said, joyfully reminding his moody friend. Rashid groaned louder, which sounded muffled as he still kept his head face down on the scratched desk. "Seriously, why did you cheat for?"
"I didn’t! You know, I didn’t! I don’t know why they lied to him!" Rashid spluttered out, his eyes burning with rage as he picked his head up. He slammed the desk with his closed fists. "When I find out who these witnesses are," he said, his voice lowered in a hiss and he leaned in closer. "I’m going to kill them! I’m gonna make them pay."
"Rashid," Mr. Sardon said in a lazy, deep voice. Rashid looked up at the teacher who was towering over him. He was a black man, born, and raised in England. He was the tallest teacher in their school, about 6’7. He had thick lips and a wide, flat nose that didn’t have bones. His eyes were small but looked enhanced with his thin eyebrows, arching over the top. His ears were long and oval, like his face structure. He moved his big, thick finger to his big, dark lips, indicating for Rashid to be quiet.
Rashid could feel his dislike bubbling in his stomach, ready to explode anytime soon. He took a deep breath before calmly saying, "I didn’t cheat."
Mr. Sardon yawned quietly as his eyes turned watery. There were light bags under his dark, brown eyes. As he rubbed his eyes, Rashid looked at the gold ring on his finger in disgust. There was a time that the tall, black man admitted that his ring was permanently stuck in his big finger and that it couldn’t be removed. His past words echoed in Rashid’s head. ‘I don’t want to remove it because I know, I’ll always love my wife.’
Mr. Sardon’s present voice brought Rashid’s attention back to the small, dull classroom filled with chatter as students talked to one another.
"Sorry, buddy, but there are too many witnesses that saw you. There’s nothing I can do except follow the rules. It’s only fair if you retake assessment one, two, and three." The teacher placed a big, warm hand on Rashid’s shoulder. The Pakistani boy stared ahead, straight at the whiteboard. When he didn’t say anything, the teacher said in a soft voice, "Hey, cheer up. It’s only three exams. You could have had to resit the whole lot, but you got off easy. Just stop complaining and do your best, yeah?"
Rashid nodded, still focusing on the whiteboard. His jaw was clenched and his shoulders were hunched. The atmosphere around him turned quiet as Mr. Sardon returned to the front of the class.
On the floor below, in N4, Akia’s stomach rumbled loudly.
"Wow, that’s the sixth time your tummy farted!" Marley said as she added another tally to her table. Akia scrunched up her features as she eyed the table.
"Is it necessary to check how many times my belly rumbled?" She asked crankily. When Marley nodded her head, another rumble sounded from her stomach.
"Seven!" The ginger-haired girl said happily as she added yet another tally to her table. "I hope we make it to ten!"
Akia rolled her gray eyes and stared out of the window. The sun was still shining bright, illuminating the playground. The trees stood tall, providing large shades over the long, white benches. The benches were rough and bumpy, quite unpleasant to sit on as complained by many students. There were little smudges of dirt staining the seat, as well as dried-up bird poop. The big blue square summoned a wide shade, almost covering up the small part of the playground. The only place that didn’t have shade was in the ping-pong tables section, where the equipment shone invitingly.
Akia tried to focus her vision on the ground, hoping to catch an ant moving. She couldn’t see any ants, but she knew where most of them were. Although it was not visible in her view, she knew that behind the big blue square, there was a small, narrow corner where there was a little oak tree. Underneath the oak tree, there was a pile of squashed up dirt, where many ants roamed around. Her stomach rumbled again.
"Eight!" Marley said as she bounced in her seat. She drew a big, wobbly line in her table. "We’re so close! This is so exciting! Your tummy is sure farting a lot today, I wonder why. Did you have breakfast? I did! My mum said it’s important to have breakfast ’cause it’s, like, fuel for your body! That’s so weird, right? It’s like we’re cars!"
Akia drifted off, confused with her body. She didn’t feel hungry but her stomach was demanding to be fed. She didn’t eat anything this morning and only drank a glass of water before stepping out of the house, which belonged to the council. She thought about the ants in her back garden, scattering about in the rose bushes and wandering around the soil. Then her mind drifted off to Valerie and her anger came back.
It took a while for her to realize that Marley was still talking.
"…Yeah, I know. I’m speechless too. I just found out yesterday. How weird is that? I mean, do you really think aliens created this world?" The ginger-haired girl asked, her blue-green eyes wide with expectancy.
Akia stared at her, unblinking. A loud, deep cough made the two girls look behind them, only to see Mrs. Lambert standing there with her huge arms on her big hips. She was a small, round woman, known for having a loud voice. She had short, wispy hair that came up to her ears and she had a double chin. Her face was smooth and her eyes were a golden-brown, which she covered with her round glasses. Her complexion was white and she was partially deaf.
"Aliens have nothing to do with Shakespeare," she boomed, grabbing the attention from the entire class. She began to lecture them and during her speech, Akia’s stomach rumbled loudly, to which Marley eagerly added another point.
"We need one more and it’ll be ten!" She said, interrupting Mrs. Lambert, who raise her voice in anger. Akia shot Marley a glare, blaming her for being told off, yet again. Her gray eyes looked up at the ceiling and traced the wires that were connected to the big projector.
Above the ceiling was another classroom, S4 and on the right-hand side of the classroom, there was S3. The school’s Head of Year, Mrs. Murphey opened the door and poked her head through the classroom. She was in her late fifties and it showed in her features. There were wrinkles on her cheeks, near her eyes and above her mouth. She was a small woman with long, brown hair that had blonde highlights and her eyes were a warm, honey-colored brown.
When she spoke, her words came out soft and croaky, "Everything alright, sir?"
Mr. Sardon turned to her, straightened his posture and gave her a big grin, "Yup."
The students greeted her and she waved back. Abdul turned to face Rashid and whispered, "Isn’t it obvious who started this shit?"
"Who?" Rashid demanded.
"You’re so stupid, it’s a miracle you’re even in this set," Abdul said as he shook his head, chuckling. "Take a guess, go on."
Rashid looked around at his surrounding, his eyes staring at his classmates in fury. Then his dark brown eyes landed on the front of the classroom where a group of loud-mouthed girls were. There was Chanelle Luckman, a mix-raced girl and next to her was Ladasha Cole, a black girl. Opposite them were Courtney Hamilton, a white girl and Suniya Ahmed, a Pakistani girl. Courtney caught him looking and whispered to the group, making them laugh. Then all four pair of eyes were on him, daring him to come over.
"I bet you those bitches lied," Rashid said in a low voice as he looked straight at Abdul. From the corner of his eyes, he could see the girls still staring in his direction. His heart raced viciously while he scrunched his fists up. A slight panic settled on his stomach when he saw Mrs. Murphey lead Mr. Sardon outside the classroom.
"There’s no doubt they were in on it," Abdul said quietly as he kept his eyes fixed on Rashid’s desk.
There was a little drawing of a heart-sketched in pencil and inside that wonky heart, there was the name ‘Luke’. When Rashid didn’t reply, Abdul added in a soft voice, "I heard Akia mention something about a test to Ladasha. I think she paid them to lie and get you into trouble. She probably wants you to fail in school."
There was a moment of silence between the two boys. Mr. Sardon returned and informed everyone that they had ten minutes left before the bell for second period rang. Rashid’s face had turned a dark shade of red. His nostrils were wide and he was huffing loudly. His eyes were watering while snot ran down. He used Abdul’s tissue to wipe it off, swiping at his nose violently, causing it to sting. His teeth hurt from grinding so hardly and he could taste blood as he bit down his lip.
There was nothing more that he wanted than to get Akia on her own and hurt her.