The Dysfunctional Life of Abhiprithi Ali

(shortened to:)

Too Bad You Can't

Random Fact from the Smart Person: Monday is the favored day for suicide.

(any surprise there?)

I hate my name.

I mean, what sort of hideously creative parents would name their child Abhiprithi?

And we're Indian.

And no, not Pochahontas Indian. My family is a brown-skinned, black-haired, fat-lipped, short-heighted example of pure-blooded Indians.


So where on Earth did they come up with Abhiprithi?

As if that's not bad enough, being pure Indian means only one thing.

No. Romance. What-So-Ever.

And that wouldn't be too bad if I wasn't the biggest romantic of the century. I mean, I'm right up there with Anne Rice and all. My dream is to grow up and write dirty, trashy romantic novels that'll have people blushing to their toes and ears.

Okay, well, maybe not, but I'll be damned if I don't want a romance story like that in my life.

And I probably won't get it, sadly.

Strangely enough, though, I am completely unaffected by handsome guys. Well... I get shy... and my skin color hides my blush... and I try not to look 'em in the eye 'cause then I'll probably start drooling... yeah. Whatever.

Continuing on.

I mean, not to say there aren't aspects of Indian culture that I don't like. I mean, I am a total sucker for lehngas. You know, those long flowy skirt-thingies with the airy scarf and super-decorated top? Gah, drool. And those bracelets, what are they called in English again? Oh, yeah, they're called bangles.

Yeah, whatever.

I'm probably not showing it, but girl am I smart. Straight A student born and raised, on a playground where I spent most of my days...

Sorry. Is it kinda obvious that I watched The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? It's a really funny show, lemme tell you.

Now. Back on topic here. I can do this. I'm a straight-A student. The teachers love me. The nerds despise me. I despise the fashionistas. They despise me. I'm the golden child of my family... the only child of my family.

Which is kind of sad. I mean, all my aunts and stuff have, like, three children under their belts. I hear my maternal grandma had, like, eleven children or something, and my paternal grandma had seven children. Whoo, were they busy.

Some people would accuse me of not having any respect for my culture. I look more at it as not finding anything interesting in my culture. I mean, sure, the Bollywood movies are really cool and stuff and there are more than a spare few chick flicks and tear-jerkers (a big up). And God, you gotta love the songs.

But nothing too different from American culture, you know.

Now, what was the point of this?

Oh, yeah! Now I remember!

I want to rant on and on and on and on about my terrible, terrible day.

So, there I was, being a good little student in my honors literature class (what would you expect from a nerd, huh?) and not paying attention. In my opinion, who cares about Romeo and Juliet? Sure, sure, it's a romance story, but people do not go murdering themselves over stupid medicines gone awry. I mean, feel Juliet's pulse, you idiot! What kind of a beep doesn't check someone's pulse, huh!?

Yes, I am too wimpy to curse and instead say "beep". Deal with it. I prefer not to dirty my dainty, fat-lipped mouth with such crude mannerisms.

I'm snickering now. I mean, imagine that said in some self-righteous, holier-than-thou British accent. I don't know about you, but I always imagine arrogant people having British accents. I really have no clue why, actually...

Yeah. Anyways.

Then, on came my name over the speakers.

"Ali, A... a... Aa-bee-pretty, please report to the front office."

Gah. Always happens. Always happens.

No one really laughed in my class; they're used to people stumbling over my name. Heck, it's second nature to me. It gets kinda boring, having the sub look at the list of students and say, "Er... I'm terrible at pronouncing names" or something to that effect. Yes, I can tell that you've never pronounced this little Indian sucker before.

So, with as much dignity as I can muster, I push the notebook I've been doodling terribly drawn manga on into my backpack and get up. There's still an hour left to the whole period, so it was highly unlikely I'd need to take my backpack. Just for good measure, though, I zip shut my pencil case, shove it in my front backpack pocket, and eye the class evilly, ready to protect my super-cute mechanical pencils with my life.

I was met with uninterested stares. I guess the people who've been in my class have gotten used to my quirks. I'm not exactly inconspicious about them, you know.

And I wasn't pretty worried about why the principal or whoever called me up. I mean, how could I, Abhiprithi Ali, be accused of a single crime to mar my perfect permanent record? I mean, sure, I've got a few citations under my belt (dang, I'm such a bad girl), but never a detention - gasp.

Well, sue me for suck-up-ness.

So, I just walk over to the front office. Nothing really exciting happened.

And then I was met with the principal's frighteningly smiling face, complete with scarlet lipstick, pink rouge, thick black mascara, and permed blond (more yellow, actually) hair.

Instantly, I knew it was a mistake not to worry about this trip to the front office. Why on Earth would the principal be smiling in such a freaky way?

"Welcome, Abby!" she said, in this bubbly sort of voice that would probably scar me for life.

Most people call me Abby, to shorten the Abhiprithi.

"H-hello, principal," I said warily. "How are you doing today?"

What? I had to live somehow. Don't bite the hand that feeds you, after all.

"Fine!" she answered promptly. "You?"

"Fine, thank you."

Stop looking at me like that.

"Welcome! Really welcome! Now, you've always been a stellar student!"

I nod humbly, meanwhile wondering if the principal always spoke in exclamations. So maybe I was a bit arrogant...

"Thank you, principal."

"No, no! It's a pleasure to have you at this school! Taking into consideration your stellar grades, I've decided on a very crucial decision which may decide someone's future - whether they shall live a decent life or whether they shall not. And I believe that you are perfectly suited for this!"

Aw, shucks.

Well, that's what my reaction would have been if the principal's eyes hadn't been glinting evilly. Seriously, that woman was scary.

"Er... thank you, principal."

Aren't I sounding repetitive? And can you believe it, I said it all in this pleasantly formal and respectful sort of voice that did not waver or betray my foreboding. You gotta be proud of me.

"Oh, stop thanking me, dear! Thank yourself! It's humbling how you've taken it upon yourself to excel in whatever academic field you try."

I pretended not to notice how she stressed "academic". So what if I sucked at PE? Not all of us were born with good genes, you know.

She continued, "So, I've decided, you'll tutor Matthew Black until he can raise his GPA to a 2.0 at the very least!"

How could that damn woman be so excited? I probably looked like a goldfish out of water; my mouth was opening and closing that much.

"M-matthew Black, principal?" I questioned tentatively. Hey, it could just be that my ears weren't working.

Wondering why I was so freaked out? Matthew Black was, like, the bad boy. As in, motorcycle dude, you got it. Detention, anytime. Skip school, sure, why not. Future juvvie inmate, can't wait, man. Gang leader, no sweat. Heck, he already was the leader of some gang. No clue what it's called, though. Like, the Vipers or something. Geez, what a corny name. Anyways. He was that type of person.

The type of person I despised. I mean, why throw away your life like that? Get good grades, get smart, get a good job, and laugh at all those homeless hobos that were once your fashionista classmates. That's totally my motto.

Although he probably didn't need it. He was the type of person that people just instinctively followed, you know? The type that's the male version of the queen bee... what's the term? Can't remember, so whatever.

The type people avoided like heck. Or sucked up to in a disgustingly obvious way, cause if you got on his bad side, it was all like...

SQUASH. Like, a little stain on the sidewalk. Crushed as a bug. Or insect. Or tiny mammal. Or tiny reptile. Or tiny amphibian...

Whatever. The main point was that he could totally obliterate you.

Like a miniscule little piece of bacteria.

And he didn't even have to want to.

"Yep!" said the principal perkily. I swear, she acts more like a prep than a principal. Prep, principal... alliteration, wouldn't you know it? My Honors language arts teacher would be so proud.

Yes, I couldn't resist rubbing it in your face.

"Oh... that's nice..." I said faintly. "Um... are you sure he needs help that much? I mean, his grades can't be that terrible..."

It was decided. My death warrant was stamped, signed, and delivered via first-class mail.

If death warrants are delivered, that is...

The principal shook her head tragically. "No. Surprising, isn't it? Such a bright young boy, gone to waste..."

Somehow I had trouble imagining Matthew Black as "a bright young boy". It just didn't mix, you know. Like oil and water didn't mix. Or... or...

Dammit! I can't think of anything!


I nodded in agreement. Hey, path of least resistance. "But... he doesn't exactly need me... what about a teacher?"

"Ah, if only," she sighed dramatically. "However, it seems he holds no respect for them. I was hoping a child more around his age would command more respect."

Hey! Who're you calling a child? And anyways, how could I demand respect?

Well, anyways. I was taking that as a compliment.

"Anyways!" she continued. "I'm gonig to call him over here so you two can meet... and do things..." Here, the principal winked.

Yes, it is true I am a romantic. No, there is no way I am going to do things with Matthew Black. THE Matthew Black.

I wonder if I looked green.

Anyways, I could only watch in a sort of numb horror as the principal pranced to the intercom.

Principal, pranced... Alliteration!

Yes, well, anyways. I do that a lot. But apparently I am not supposed to use "a lot", as that refers to a real estate term and not an unspecified but excessive amount of a noun.

I waited. And waited. And waited.

And edged away from the principal.

And continued waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

And finally, looking easy as easy could be, in pranced Matthew Black.


That cheerful thought was the only thing that ran through my head as the principal explained the whole beepin' situation to Matthew Black.

THE Matthew Black.

Stupid, goddamned principal. What did I do wrong?

He began taking a leisurely inventory of me.

Stupid illegitimate child. I could growl. But nobody growls at Matthew Black. So, I settled for looking coldly back at him.

Now, it may not show, but when I clam up (which is often, lemme tell ya), I act really cold. It's just that I'm as shy as heck, and it's easier to act like you don't want people near you than to actually try making friends and embarassing yourself. I know. I've tried.

Acting cold is how people know you don't want to associate with such lowly beings as them, after all.

He turned back to the principal and said, "What makes you think I'll actually come to her... sessions?"

Ooh, the daring.

But before that, oh no you di-in't.

He probably noticed my disgruntled look and laughed, saying, "She's a bit too eager."

That... that beep!

"For what?" I retorted icily. Gotta love my composure.

He looked surprised for the tiniest while while I grinned triumphantly - mentally, of course. I couldn't show any semblance of emotion to a bug as he.

"Me, of course," he said in this easy voice.

"Me?" I repeated, grinning wickedly inwardly. Rhyme... Anyways. I had the best idea for a retort.

"Yes, me." Now he looked like he was attempting to speak with a particularly idiotic specie of plant.

"Really? Me?" I repeated. Haha, falling for my trap...

"Yes, me." Was he annoyed yet?

"Sorry, I'm not a narcissist."

I got strange looks from Matthew and the principal, shockingly enough. Not a great reaction, as reactions go.

"Yes, anyways," said the principal briskly, "hopefully I can trust you two to set up your own time and date for the sessions -"

"Hold it," said Matthew glibly. "I never said I agreed."

The principal glared at Matthew, and it was a scary burn-and-rot-in-Hell-after-dying-painfully-at-my-hands-and-being-dumped-in-some-remote-bog-to-rot-away-for-all-eternity-while-you-burn-and-rot-in-Hell sort of glare.

Damn, that woman was scary.

There was silence.

Then the principal smiled evilly as I backed away. An evil smile like that could never ever mean anything good. Stupid Matthew and his pride, didn't he know to run while he still had the chance?

He just sat there, looking as unruffled as ever.

Did I tell you? Matthew Black is hot. As in, Orlando-Bloom's-got-nothing-on-him hot. Tall, dark, and handsome hot. Arrogant personality.

A girlfriend machine, in other words.

Going on.

"You'll attend the sessions, or else" - here, the principal paused dramatically - "you'll be kicked off the soccer team."

Oh, yeah. He plays soccer, doesn't he? Is he good at soccer, too? I wonder...

There was a short pause. "Fine, then." He turned to me. "Meet my a three-thirty after school in the cafeteria." And then, like some... some... some king, he swept out of the room.

That evil beep... what if I had something to do at three-thirty? My overprotective parents themselves were loathe to let me out of the house. Grr.

He would pay.


And not in the company of teachers, of course.