"It's so f*cking tight." I huffed in a raspy voice whilst poking my fingers through the pink flap. "Have you licked it? Why does it stink?" Grunting once again, I worked my fingers into the impenetrable folds and my fingers started getting tired already.
Finally getting it parted, I peeked and discovered that from the entrance to the edge, it was entirely vacant except for a piece of red note inside the expanse.
I glared at the little pink envelope that was responsible for the paper cut I just received. This was the second letter this morning and the first period hadn’t even started yet.
Annoyed, I tossed the envelope with the note onto the rooftop’s cold cement floor and crossed my arms with my eyes narrowed at the boy in front of me.
“You said that you were repaying me for the money you borrowed last week. What do I find instead, my little Maximus? A scrap of paper with no money in sight,” I scoffed.
“I-I am sorry, Belle,” Maximus immediately ate a humble pie.
He bent down to gather the fallen pieces of paper on the floor–trembling in fear. I stared down at him in disgust. How could someone be so weak? Seeing him trying to stuff the note in his pocket, I grabbed his hand.
“Hold on, what's that?” I asked.
Yanking the card away from him, I read his bold declaration that he tried to deliver.
To my dearest Bele,
Since the first day I saw you, I fell deeply in love with you. Will you please be my Valentine this year?
Forever Yours, Maximus.
Wow… this was the worst one to date. I gritted my teeth when I saw the way he had spelled my name. This i***t…
“Oh my god! f**k off already!” I screeched. “If you’re so ‘in love’ with me, at least learn how to properly spell my name. It's Belle. Double L. I had higher expectations from a nerd, such as yourself–what a letdown. Now, get out of my sight and never show me your sickening shits again. Got that?”
I watched him scurry away to the rooftop door. My anger boiled over as I glanced down at the note. I crumpled it in my hand and tossed it into the nearest trash can. Looking out across the school grounds from the roof, I tried to calm myself. It’s wasn’t Maximus’s declaration that set me off, I always had plenty of those. It was how he misspelled my name. Whenever I noticed my name misspelled I couldn’t help but get angry.
“Belle,” I heard an ardent voice call me.
Turning to the stairs, I saw my best friend, Eve, running towards me at full speed. She was wearing a red romper with her beautiful brown curly hair pulled up in a ponytail. I thought it was cute how her hair swished back and forth as she ran. I chuckled as she stopped in front of me panting.
“What’s the rush? Something serious?” I asked.
Nodding, she said, “The principal is calling for you.”
My smile fell at the mention of the principal. That bastard had always hated me! I walked with her quickly towards the man’s office, while racking my brain for a reason why I was being called into his office.
“What the hell?! It's only the first day of my senior year. Is it… Oh, wait!” I instantly stopped walking and a deadly shock registered on my face. My eyes widened and I asked, “D-did I fail last year?”
I hardly ever checked my results and I couldn't remember what I got on my tests last year. Noticing that I was breaking out into a cold sweat, Eve rolled her dark brown eyes at me.
“Oh, yeah! You know what? You have a point! Being the top student of the class… yeah… you definitely failed. Give me a break.” she said sarcastically.
One of the many reasons why I loved Eve so much was because she never envied me, but always appreciated and supported me.
“Then what? Complaints?”
Being labeled as the rebel of the school, I was used to it and even claimed it at times. Getting complaints was second nature for me, but I didn’t think it would start on the first f*****g day.
“I think this is a new record! The class hasn't even begun yet and I have already received my first complaint,” I said.
Eve remained silent as in deep thought and then said, “I wouldn’t be so sure. He could be calling you in for your annual lecture, complete with utterly useless advice.”
Crap. Of all days to be called in, it just had to be the day I decided to wear clothes that made me look even more like a troublemaker. Stopping at a window, I looked myself over. I was wearing my favorite denim jacket over my red cropped t-shirt and my most comfy ripped black jeans. This was just asking for a longer lecture. I sighed and tied up my straight brown hair, letting the smaller pieces hang down to better contour the shape of my face. Then I buttoned up my jacket halfway to cover up my stomach. The jeans were ripped across my knees so there was really no fixing that. I just hoped he wouldn’t notice.
Looking at Eve when I finished all of my small adjustments, I asked, “Aren’t you coming?”
“Of course, let's go,” she smiled.
We continued to walk down the stairs and headed towards the principal’s office, which was in the building across the lawn.
“By the way, why did Maximus ask to meet you on the roof?” she asked as we passed the eighth-grade classrooms.
I chuckled and replied, “He was asking me to be his Valentine.”
She snorted, “Well, that’s ridiculous as f**k. Seriously? Does he not remember how we bullied him in junior high?”
Maximus was a nerd and an i***t, which explained his incompetence at coming to me with a confession at all.
I snickered, “I guess he wants to be bullied during his senior year too, babe.”
“Let's do it often,” she said in agreement.
As we strolled across the lawn, we noticed that students from all different grades were steadily gathering around each other. Some were friends chatting about their break, others were couples hanging all over each other and some were new students mingling trying to find out where they belonged. At seeing me, some of the students were attentive and polite, while others greeted me with a forceful smile. However, I only felt satisfaction when I saw fear cross their faces.
“Where is Sunny? Have you seen her yet?” I asked while scanning the crowd.
Eve shook her head and said, “Nah, she is probably hanging out with her collective guys aka her moons.”
“She needs to rotate those moons of hers,” I muttered.
Finally reaching the principal’s office, I turned the doorknob to peek in the room. There he sat, our principal, Mr. Pius. He was wearing a black suit and was immersed in a science-fiction novel. Why he loved novels of that genre, I’ll never know and I, as sure as hell, didn’t want to find out. Clearing my throat, I knocked on the door and stepped inside.
“Good morning, sir. You called for me?”
Hearing my voice, he glanced up at me. Closing his book, he said, “Yes, I did. Come in, Belle.”
With a soft smile, I entered the room. He noticed Eve trailing behind me and his face went blank.
“Why are you here, Eve?” he asked.
“Belle isn't feeling good today and I was worried about her. So I accompanied her to make sure she was okay. You know, she is my best friend,” she said with a sweet smile.
“That’s so kind of you,” he said impressed. He shifted his eyes over to me and his countenance fell instantly. “But Belle, you are not kind at all.”
“Here we go again...” I muttered under my breath, which made Eve chuckled quietly.
“Although I don't have any complaints against you yet, I am very sure there will be a pile of them soon. So, I have called you beforehand to discuss your behavior for the coming year.”
I took a long breath and said, “Sir, I’m–”
“As a principal in this well-known school, it's my duty to protect the students from bullies like you,” he interrupted. In all honesty, he probably didn't even hear me. He got up and faced the window and with his back to me, he continued, “Your father is the top businessmen in the area and you are the top student of this school and that's why...”
“I keep giving you warnings instead of expelling you after all the complaints from my other students,” I mouthed his words as he spoke them.
“What a f*****g broken record,” I thought dryly.
“Last year, one kid dropped out because of you and oh, you even bullied my son,” he said with a sigh.
Wait… what? I didn't even know he had a son! I looked over to Eve, who knew practically everyone in the student body, with a confused expression.
“His son? Who’s his son?” I whispered.
“Noah Pius…” Eve replied.
I thought for a minute. Nope… nothing, I had no clue who she was talking about. I shook my head at her.
She sighed and whispered, “You rejected him last month.”
Well now, that makes sense to why I was in this rat bastard’s office so early in the morning. Oh… I was so pissed. The nerve of this guy! I inhaled deeply trying to calm myself down.
“It's a crime and downright shameful, Belle,” he continued and I resisted myself from yawning. Mr. Pius then turned from the window and looked me, dismay in the eyes. “However, I am not going to tolerate this anymore. This is your senior year and I know you don't want to get expelled. So, you better straighten up. Alright?”
“Okay, sir,” I answered, nodding my head while hoping to God he was done.
“And, look at yourself. What are you wearing? For God's sake, it's a...”
A knock interrupted Mr. Pius from boring me to death and I was about to get up and hug whoever was responsible.
“Who is it?” he asked.
“May I come in?” asked a low-pitched voice from the cracked door.
I didn't look at him at first, but his voice caught my attention immediately. It was more than anything a girl would want. It was manly, lovely, and husky at the same time. Curious to who the owner of such a voice belonged to, I turned to glance behind me. My body stilled as I saw the guy with a backpack hanging from his shoulder.
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