Ryan and I sat on brown benches yesterday.
The air was stale like air becomes when too many people walk through it. Adamantly, their noses in the air, thoroughly convinced that regardless of how awful their marks are or how late last month’s assignment is submitted, they will successfully walk through this air.
The sad part is that they were right.
The air was a lighter shade of brown than everything else. The barely-there floor smiled up at me sardonically for it was barely there but I was all there. A hundred percent, in the flesh. This might rattle my arduously fabricated sense of self and well being on any other day. It didn’t faze me as much today.
A girl in a pink top watched us out of the corner of her eye. She was waiting for somebody. This was evident by the way she pretended to text while she glanced up every five seconds. Then to the left, at us. Or by the way she exasperatedly yelled “Where the fuck are you?” into her rose gold phone periodically.
Where the fuck was he? Was it even a ‘he’? Would it be appropriate to ask?
Ryan said it wouldn’t.
We talked for a bit, about how awful his marks were and how late I could get away with submitting last month’s assignment. After much debate, we came to the very logical conclusion that I couldn’t push it past next week. Somewhere in the middle of discussing the perils of mechanics lab (She almost broke her arm because of the jib crane) and how welcome but unlikely rain was, it started to thunder. People hurried around with bags clutched close to their bodies, like that could act as a suitable substitute for the umbrella they had persistently refused to carry with them that morning (I will be alright, mother). This was October and it was a matter of pride.
We just sat there, even the sullen floor was grateful for the roof overhead. The cold breeze made the girl in the pink top sneeze. Or maybe it was crying in the rain that did it.
“Where the fuck are you?” she sniffled, having given up on pretending to text.
Four sneezes later, a tall boy with wet hair appeared, his face conveyed that walking through air pained him deeply. He was clutching his bag like it was his last hope for survival in a dark and desolate world, chock full of sobbing girls, rose gold phones, and rain that ought to start announcing its arrival better.
Ryan raised an eyebrow. I continued to mumble on about the assignment and how six questions were far too many for innocent young students to complete within a week. Nobody bothered to point out that it had been a month now. We were giving the rain company in eavesdropping intently.
The girl in the pink top was standing and rubbing her eyes.
“I had to work and then it started to rain so I had to wait it out under-”
“Do you know how long I’ve been sitting here?” her now-red eyes narrowed.
“Forty two minutes,” whispered Ryan. I kicked him under the table. He kicked me back. Two bruises later, we were interrupted by high pitched shouting, which sounded very much like the shouting of an angry girl in a pink top. This was not a coincidence.
“I told you to carry an umbrella in the morning. I specifically texted you.”
“But baby it’s October and-”
“What work was this anyway?”
“You know that assignment that was due last month?”
“Why haven’t you completed that yet? And why did you pick now to do it, when you knew I was sitting here and waiting?”
“Baby I’ll lose marks if I don’t fin-”
“You could’ve texted me?”
“I was going to, the second I was done and-”
“Forty two fucking minutes. Honestly, fuck you.”
And with that, she stormed off, leaving behind a grinning Ryan, a slightly bruised me, and several pieces of a broken heart that used to belong to a damp-haired, damp-eyed tall boy.
I submitted the assignment two weeks later. The tall boy never did.