First and foremost, I would like to repeat that this is piece of slash fiction, meaning it will contain homosexual themes. If that doesn't fly well with you, please don't say youhaven't been warned. Also, this is my first piece, so I'd appreciate any suggestions or comments that you guys could make (compliments are nice too if you think I deserve them :D) Disclaimer: The title is taken from some chinese movie I haven't even watched, but I liked the name of the lame English translation of the title. Any pop culture reference I make doesn't belong to me. Everything else does.
Another note: When reading this keep in mind that dashed lines may mean a change in timeframe, try not to get too confused lol.
There's a corny joke that goes: "If you find yourself surrounded, with a lion to your front, a tiger behind you, a gorilla to your left and a wolf to your right, what do you do?" The answer?: "Get off the carousel."
But what happens if you find yourself surrounded by businessmen, lawyers, doctors, teachers, architects, writers, husbands, wives, and a whole plethora of the workforce? Well, you talk to them, because you're at your 10th year high school reunion. And add the fact that some of our former teachers, yes, our former teachers, were there, then you've got a hell of a carnival ride.
So here I am, grabbing yet another cocktail off the waiter and chatting with people that wouldn't have given me a second look back in high school. Mingling as they call it. Reminiscing over the "good ol' times that we shared together, but more of a together in the sense of we were in the same school together, and not we shared those times together sort of together. There's a slight chance you understood what I said.
The ballroom of the Shangri-La is gleaming gold and silver. Waiters are darting to and fro, decked in the classic black and white uniform, darting underneath the dazzle of the crystal chandeliers, slipping in between suits and gowns to supply refreshments to everyone. People are being reacquainted, bonds that were lost of the years being reformed, and general good times all around. It seems that every time I see someone I recognize, a new memory seems to spring up in my mind.
When we were in high school, our teachers told us that we would be the future leaders of the world. It's funny how in ten years, so many of us are still the sons and daughters of the current future leaders of the world. So many things can happen in ten long years, and yet it never ceases to amaze how quickly the time just flashes by.
"Well I'll be! If it isn't Adam!"
I turn to face the sound of the voice. An aging old lady stands there in a purple dress, cradling a glass of white wine and smiling largely. A name comes to mind.
"Oh wow, Mrs. Atkins! Long time no see! I don't believe you still remember me!"
"I never forget an A student!" she chuckles, wagging a finger at me.
"You look as if you haven't aged at all within these ten years!"
"So Adam," she says, taking my arm, "tell me something that this reunion has made you reminisce about, or at least what you've been up to in the past ten years, but do it in 500 words or less."
In comparison to the general scheme of things, ten years is absolutely at all no length of time. Last year I traveled to Africa to deliver and help administer the medicine for the AIDS epidemic to millions of sick people. Three years ago I finished an online master's degree in Biochemistry. Six years ago I was made the Asian branch manager of a large pharmaceutical company. Eight years ago I was having the time of my life at college. Ten years ago I graduated from high school into the "real world."
But what this reunion has really made me think about fits nowhere into my span of ten years. It happened eleven years ago. Eleven years ago was when I first fell in love.
"As part of your semester grade, you are each required to submit a creative writing project."
This is received with a chorus of groans from the class. Mrs. Atkins is one of the more 'annoying' of the English teachers, to everyone else at least. Most teachers wouldn't dream of assigning creative writing to a junior year class, but she believes that essays and composition analysis doesn't constitute all of English. Personally, I loved it.
"And as part of your preparation for the rigors and challenges of the working environment," Oh, and Mrs. Atkins likes being sarcastic. "I shall be pairing you off for this project. You are to work with a random person, to be determined by the magic of the hat-with-slips-with-numbers-in-it, and you will share a grade."
Crap. Share a grade? Pfft.
"Therefore it is up to you to make sure your partner works with you on this project." Most teachers wouldn't dream of having group projects for junior year classes either, but like I said, she's different.
As Mrs. Atkins goes around with slips of paper in her hand, I turn in my chair to face Tara who is sitting beside me.
"Shit. Creative writing. God I suck at that."
"Hush, there's nothing short of a meteor striking the earth that can put a dent to your English grade Adam. What we should instead be worrying about is who we end up being paired with."
"Pshh, look who's talking, Ms. Hypocrite. It'd take a Cindy, blonde of the century, or some gorilla jock like Todd to, as you call it, 'dent' your own grade."
Oh yeah, my name is Adam Lee, and the girl sitting to my right is my best friend Tara Green. Together we are the coolest people in our entire high school. Well no. That's not exactly the case. In fact it's pretty far from the case. We are the people who other people call "socially challenged," or "mentally gifted." We just simply call ourselves "nerds."
Tara opens her mouth to retort but is cut off by Mrs. Atkins appearing between our desk, hat outstretched. There were still a few slips of paper there. I take a piece of paper. Tara takes one too and smiles as sweet as she can to Mrs. Atkins. Mrs. Atkins just glares back at her.
Tara cowers away and squints at her paper.
"I got a number one. Please please please tell me you got number one too!"
"Wish I could say I did, but I got a number six."
As the classroom seethes with the noise of students comparing what numbers they got, Mrs. Atkins gets back up to the front of the classroom.
"Okay, everyone be quiet for a moment. I have here the criteria for the project, when I call out your number, come to the front of the class and take a criteria, then when you're all done you can be dismissed for lunch. Okay, number ones please."
Across the classroom, a golden haired girl stood up and made her way towards the front of the room. Cindy Mizova. If our high school had a cheerleading team, she would be head captain, or at the very least head bimbo. Copious amounts of conditioned blonde hair, body parts that nature couldn't have intended to be so generous, and brain cells that you could count on one hand. I think she's an actress. Or a model. Or quite possibly both. Anyway, even in a school like ours where we pride ourselves on being different and not conforming to typical high school norms (partially because we are too weird to conform to norms), she was the type that floated to the top of the social pool. It's probably attributed to the buoyancy of her breasts.
Wait. Now that I think of it, I think our school does have a cheerleading team. Whoops. Guess that's what I get for never going to watch any sporting events.
So here I am, trying hard to feel bad for Tara, yet my body involuntary starts snickering, however my mind was quick on the uptake and I convert it to, what is admittedly, not a very convincing cough, which causes Tara to glare at me. Tara is going to have a lot of fun on this project.
What can I say about Cindy versus Tara? Hmmm. Well, where Cindy was curvy, Tara wasn't. Where Cindy had straight blonde hair, Tara had bushy dark brown hair. Where Cindy had blue eyes, Tara had earthy hazel eyes covered with silver-rimmed glasses. Where Cindy dressed fashion over function, Tara was function all the way. But naturally it balances out, I mean, where Cindy had an empty cavern in that bump growing from her neck, Tara had a brain. Alas, it was the fates that brought them together in our epic English project.
Oh, and where Tara is displaying her most unconvincing fake smile while moving to the front of the class, Cindy is looking like she ate something vile, probably due to having been paired up with, as she herself would put it, 'a total, like, fashion disaster and like, a total, like, geek.'
Yes. Those were three 'likes.'
Tara resumes her seat with a fake smile which I have by now learned meant that I was going to have my lunch today with an extra large helping of bitching, and the numbers continue.
And then it's at number six. I fix my glasses (a habit of mine) and stand up. Across the room, Cindy's boyfriend Blake redirects his attention from staring out of the window and stands up as well.
This must be karma for delighting in Tara's misery. I don't just get any normal stupid jock. I get the reigning prince of all jocks. Blake Edwards. Captain of our school's varsity basketball team as well as captain of our varsity soccer team. About 6 feet 4 inches of perfect white teeth, dirty blonde hair, green eyes, standard jock musculature, and bucket upon fucking bucketfuls of charm. I feel like puking.
Knowing that every girl had a crush on Blake Edwards, Tara included, I lean down and whispered to Tara, "Don't wet yourself," then walk up to the front of the classroom. I take the criteria, vaguely acknowledging Blake's presence (which must have seriously pissed Tara off. Glee.) before sitting back down.
Our school cafeteria caters to all tastes, be it western, oriental, European, etc, etc. Whereas most people would complain about cafeteria food, we don't really see much point in trying seeing as how the food's pretty damn good. All part of the tuition fees. The large windows at one end of the cafeteria open up to one of our school's field, the other end to our open air atrium. Past the field is the city and district of Parsimony, what has been called the Orange County of Florida. You know, like that show. Please tell me you've at least watched that show.
The beautiful seaside scenery of Parsimony is a magnet for rich prospective land owners the world over. The result is we have an international community of wealthy people enjoying the surf and sun. I think I read somewhere that about fifty percent of Parsimony is comprised of foreigners / non citizen residents.
But enough of that. Back to our school. See, these well to do people had to put their children somewhere, and hence Parsimony High came into being. One thousand and two hundred hormonal teenagers with too much money to spend, whittling their time away from 9th to 12th grade. Oh what fun. Like I said, I'm an 11th grade student, and there are about 300 others who share my condition.
But enough of that. Luckily for me, due to my being paired up with Blake and all, I am spared from Tara's whining complains during lunch. Instead, she decides to make a big fuss over it, continuously remarking on how "dreamy" or something or another he is. Hurray.
"Hey what's up?"
That would be Jared Balani. I inwardly pray (but not in that religious sort of way) that he would change the subject to something other than our English project. Jared puts down two trays of food, one for him and one for Stacey Johnson, his on and off girlfriend and the last member of our little group of socialites.
"So, I heard Mrs. Atkins gave out another creative writing project?" Jared starts. Great. So much for my faith in Jared.
"Yeah!" piped Tara. "In fact guess who our Adam got paired up with? Give up? Blake Edwards."
Stacey, who takes a seat beside Jared, gives Tara a mock-surprise look.
"What? Blake Edwards? Who is he again? Wasn't he the captain of those sport teams? Oh my goodness!" Stacey fawns with a twinkle in her eye to show she's playing around. "Don't you have a crush on him or something? Oh wait! It's not like you've mentioned him almost every day for the past few weeks!" Three cheers for Stacey.
Tara rolls her eyes. "I'll have you know, I admire him very much for what he does." Said Tara. "His contribution to our school sports teams increases the reputation of our school and…."
Jared then interjects, "good, you can tell him that right now, because he's heading this way."
"Yeah right Jared, no one ever falls for your stupid…"
"Hey Lee." says Blake. Tara starts coughing up some of her soft drink.
"Oh um hey Edwards, um, wow, already worrying about the project?" Ok that was direct, but I mean, what else would he approach us for?
"Yeah man, I just want to get started on this one as soon as possible. It's worth such a huge percent of our grade and I'll need a good mark on it or Coach Cullen says he'll be forced to kick me off the team next semester." He uses a tone of voice that Tara has been known to call many names. It's sort of a sultry, smoky kind of voice, the kind of voice that suggests that the world can take its sweet time; my theory is that he practices it.
Behind Blake his entourage is impatiently waiting, so I take out my post it notes (yes I carry some. So? Do you have any idea how useful they are?) and scribble my address on the front one before handing it to him.
"Here, come over sometime this Saturday, uh but not too early please, I kind of like sleeping in. We can start working on it"
"Cool, thanks man. See you Saturday." Blake says, turning back to rejoin his group. Tara watches him go, then turns on me.
"Hey Adam. Want to hang out this Saturday? Say at your place?"
"Haha Tara. He probably won't even show, you know the type. Just be glad Cindy is going to make you do all the work for your project."
- So how'd you like it so far? I have a few more chapters lined up but I keep rehashing them and/or writing new ones then changing it and yadda yadda. Please let me know what I can do to improve. (Btw, I already know that I have tense issues, I try to edit them out but sometimes they slip by hehe)