Title: Portmanteau

Author's Note: This was written after I was given an English assignment stating to write about - and I quote - "two people who come across a suspicious-looking parcel, ending up with unexpected results". Yes, so I hope you enjoy it! Criticism and praise are welcomed.


I narrowed my eyes. I could feel Adam's warm, moist breath on my face as we both inched closer to the odd-looking brown box in front of us. Wrinkling my nose, I felt a weird sense of satisfaction as I attempted to poke at the sides of the parcel, my skin gliding over the smooth, glossy exterior of the receptacle.

Slap!

"What the hell was that for!" My lower lip protruded out to form a pout as I withdrew my hand away. His eyes danced around in delight, a smirk playing on his lips. I glared at him. Adam has never changed since I first met him four years ago. Sometimes, I was glad. But this was not 'sometimes'.

"Learn to take a joke," he grinned, his hand reaching over to ruffle my brown hair. I waved him away, and when he didn't budge, I just elbowed him in the stomach. Sniggering, I shot him a sympathetic look as he playfully punched me in the arm.

I sighed once more, switching my attention back to the box. Adam and I had found this little parcel at the back of the class. It had no name, no address, no date. There was just a tiny symbol at the back, indicating the name of the delivery company.

It was a 'mysterious thingamajig', as dubbed by Adam. I tilted my head to the side to get a better look.

"Perhaps it's a bomb."

I turned to my left and found him running his finger through his blonde curls. I raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah, and I've decided to do my homework." I laughed. Ignoring me, he continued.

"What about secret enemy weapons," he quipped. "You know, those you see in Captain America."

I didn't answer him.

"…How about the President's secret book?"

"For Pete's sake, Adam!"

"ALRIGHT. There is no need to shout in my ear," He instinctively pulled back in rude shock. Giving up, he got up from his squatting position, slumping back into his seat. I just stayed there, my hand rubbing against my temple. I started to wreck my mind for some plausible ideas, but now all I could think about were grenades, bombs and rocket launchers. Dammit, Adam.

I glanced around. There was nobody left in the room…

Something inside of me was nagging to rip off the cover, but I just stared. I stared, and stared and stared. I barely concentrate in class, so it came to me as a shock when I found myself so absorbed in a parcel which didn't even belong to me.

My brain works in the strangest ways.

Behind me, Adam was listing the various ridiculous ideas that could be in that box. My mind trailed off to deeper thoughts the minute I heard him say 'unicorns'.

"Just. Open. It."

"It's not right! Besides, it could be someone's unicorn."

"Oh shut up, Poppy."

I stuck out my tongue at him before returning my gaze back to it. I was already on the verge of tearing my hair off, my fingers itching to find out what was in it. As I fidgeted in my place, I could feel Adam's presence lingering above me. I could imagine his bluish-green eyes gazing straight down at me, as he smiled to himself, like how he always does when he looks at me.

It probably wasn't the correct thing to do. No, it definitely not the right thing to do.

I groaned.

"To do or not to do? That is the question," I muttered under my breath.

"I do believe it's 'to be or not to be'?"

I smiled.

I should have known better than to quote Hamlet in front of Adam. He was a complete Shakespearean fan boy, so much so that he has read all 37 plays he wrote. It was no wonder why he was a straight A student in Literature, and his fantastic ability to write romantic, almost mushy, poems won over every other girl in school. Not to mention, he had a 'cool' British accent which made girls swoon (except me). So, one couldn't blame his gigantic ego, which probably spanned the size of ten football fields.

"And, if you don't mind me asking, since when do you ever have moral integrity?" Adam shoved me forward, his head leaning over mine. My jaw tightened.

"Here's a mirror," I stuck my hand in my pocket and handed him my mirror, "look at it, and then tell me if I should even bother to answer your question," I whispered between gritted teeth, as I looked up to face him. He merely smirked.

"Fine, I'll do it, just...give me a minute."

I shifted myself closer. Slowly, but surely, I held onto the box with both hands. Lifting it up ever so gently from the ground, I felt my heart beat faster and faster with every passing second. Landing it neatly in my lap, my eyes twinkled with excitement.

This was it.

I took a deep breath.

It…was…an…

…empty box?

I furrowed my eyebrows, cocking my head sideways. What? Empty? How could it be-

Just then, I heard a snigger not far from me. I froze. I recognize that voice.

"Happy April Fools', my friend!" Adam chuckled as he darted out of the class, running like the wind. It all happened so fast, that when he most probably bolted all the way to Timbuktu, I was still rooted to the ground, processing everything.

So, it was no surprise when the need to give chase finally dawned on me.

"ADAM MARTINSSON!" I dashed out, my head all giddy from the madness, my legs travelling on adrenaline. I could feel rage overwhelm every part of my body as I heard laughter echoing down the hallway to the other end of the school.

I grabbed his shoulder, just before we lost our balance and fell to the ground. Laughter was aplenty as we wrestled with each other, pulling each other's hair and practically punching each other in the chest.

I giggled as he brushed my hair off my face. We looked at each other, our eyes meeting. He grinned.

"Oh, Poppy Anderson,"

"Yes?" I smirked.

"Don't ever change."

We laughed.

My life is a many-splendored thing.