An Unexpected Request
It's been a while since I've had lunch alone, spending this time writing in here. I don't know what to write. At this moment, I don't feel like reflecting on my life… Maybe I should think of things to do to "make a difference" in this school. It turns out all the little activities I put down for helping the student council was really good. Other members usually give a random classmate or friend a compliment, or greet students they don't know.
The club sometimes does group projects like hanging up posters with encouragement for upcoming events or positive messages in general. They mentioned that they hosted a Positivity Day once in the middle of the wintery, dark months last year. I never heard about it last year, but it sounded like it was a lot of fun. They had stations set up like folding origami or writing down an achievement or goal, for example. Members also went around giving out stickers and all that. But it seems like it won't work out this year. I think it's because the game ended early last year that they were able to pull it off. It sounds like so much fun, but it's too bad we can't do it this year.
I don't feel comfortable greeting random people or giving out compliments…
I'm going to check up on Aren.
As expected, the student council was very busy. While it wasn't crowding with other students who wanted to talk to the council, many students still came in and out to have a discussion with Aren. Sometimes, students were directed to June or Mike. Once again, I was gofer girl and also helped the committee members with their documents. The committee members and treasurer seem to deal with stuff related to school-funded activities, which is mostly within club activities and from what I hear in parts from students coming to Aren, the higher up members actually have to deal with problems within the masses of the student population, alongside club activities and school-sponsored activities.
Toward the end of lunch, Aren instructed someone to hang up a paper on the doors to the room that stated the student council was unavailable and that students would have to come in another time.
Although mostly everyone continued to scribble away and read paperwork, we were allowed to take a break. I asked June if they worked this hard every day, and she explained that they are busier these days because at the beginning or end of every month, every club has to turn in their club's activity logs and other such info. Usually, finalized club papers are turned in near the end of the semester, either before winter break or before school ends, and that's when things really get busy. Mike also said, while they would seem busy all the time by regular students' standards (I could tell he was looking down on me), it is definitely chaotic this year.
Aren then added, "It's not as bad as freshmen year though," then continued reading. Mike became silent to that for some reason, but I couldn't tell why. June explained that she and Mike hadn't been in the student council when they were freshmen, only Aren was. The rest of the members were older. I then remembered the fact that Aren had been student council president since freshmen year. I found it amazing that Aren could be the president right from the start. When I turned to him, he seemed to duck lower into his work.
So today in Make a Difference Club, everyone just sorta socialized with each other. In the beginning of the club meeting, they discussed several ways to make a positive difference or project ideas, but for the most part, it's a simple club where people meet with their friends and talk or do homework, which could also count as club activity if worded on the activity log in the right way, like, "I helped my friend understand their homework assignment."
I didn't see any Rebels around today and when I asked Daphne about it, she explained that they always make their own plans. They're just like a separate club, but under the same title as us.
I could only stay in the club for half an hour before I decided I should finish my homework in my loner spot under the stairs instead. It was too loud in the room. So here I am right now in my loner spot. Somehow, I had expected Luca to be waiting here, but he's probably with his club members.
A lot of people in the club are overly friendly to me whenever I speak to them. I know it's because they know about my rank, and if not, I still can't help being wary. I should do my homework. I don't have much left, but I can waste my time writing in here freely once it's over with.
AAAAGGHH where do I start? Oh, at the moment, I'm home now with nothing to do. I'll probably go for my usual walk to the park later on. But anyways! Kathy! That girl is insane! I'll talk about it later. Something else big also happened!
Earlier, after I had finished my homework, I decided to go to the student council. Through the windows, I could see only Aren, June, and Mike were in there, and the paper that stopped students from coming to see them was hung up. I wasn't sure whether I was allowed to enter or not, but Aren, as always, was quick to see me from inside the room a small gesture, urging me to come in.
And then the first thing he said once I entered was, "We were just talking about you."
I didn't even have time to be shocked before June said with a wide smile, "We decided that you should join the student council."
"Temporarily," Mike added shortly. Whenever I write it down or think back on it, Mike always seems to obviously dislike me, but maybe I'm overanalyzing it. I mean, that would either mean I'm the only one who notices or no one ever comments on it. But still, he was always polite to me up until now. It only started this year.
Anyways, one of the committee members has to be gone for all of next week for personal reasons, and they want me to fill his spot.
At first, I could only stutter, because instead of being offered to be squeezed into the council, I'm actually being requested to take a position that needs to be filled. Mike reassured me that it was a minor position as one of the committee members, but they're all assigned certain tasks, while I had been given many minor ones like delivery girl.
Still, the main thing troubling me was…his rank. I asked them what would happen to his rank in a rather nervous way, because I felt uncomfortable mentioning rankings.
"It will lower his rank," Aren told me simply and he could probably see my shock, but then added, "but he can bing his average up quickly once he's back."
They're giving me time to think about it, since I was probably visibly nervous. Whatever answer I decide, I have to choose and tell June before Tuesday, either over the phone or if I see her in person before Tuesday.
I could never handle the workload they're all given! Right? I also have Make a Difference Club and my own homework… Well, those aren't much of a burden anymore. And it's only for a week…
Would it be bad of me to think I finally just got a good reason for being able to talk to Aren all the time again? Well, not all the time, but just for a week, just 4 days. It's a good gateway for getting back on friendly terms with him at least.
Unfortunately, Aren had to leave early that day, and June and Mike had nothing going on, so the three of us hung out after school. While walking around the school, we were often stopped by students who wanted to talk to June and Mike concerning student affairs. June mostly dealt with them.
Rather than vice president, she seems more like co-president. And she also seemed very used to the president's duties, but she explained to me later that she got most of her experience from last year. It was because last year's student affairs and other president's duties weren't as crazy so Aren basically let June be co-president.
Things started to make sense after I heard that. That's why Aren was able to hang out with me for an hour after school every day last year! He could leave it to June to get some half of his work done and still do his own work once we were finished studying together.
Looking back, I still can't help but feel moved that he made time for me at all. Why did he? At first it was to isolate me right? But that couldn't be it. After a while, I was able to make friends with Mina and her friends, and Aren never tried to chase them away or anything. There's also nothing I did that could have benefitted Aren. So wasn't it truly from the kindness of his heart?
September 3, Saturday
Oh, I forgot to mention what happened with Kathy yesterday. It wasn't really anything… It was the same as our last encounter at least. I didn't know where I put my math book (I had left it in my locker) so I asked June if I could check the student council room. June (and probably reluctantly, Mike) said they'd wait for me near the H hall exit and we could all go out somewhere together outside of school.
So June gave me the spare keys and reminded me to lock up afterwards so I went into the room and looked around. But during my search, Kathy snuck up behind me and pulled my hair back, first of all startling me and secondly, hurting me! Why does she like to pull my hair so much!?
She was shouting all this stuff like I had lied about not being in the student council and that if I go near any of the Victims or Rebels, she'll not stop at just a warning. I mean, you're already being pretty abusive with the hair pulling, Kathy, you little devil, grrr.
What is up with her anyway? I haven't gone near the Renol Club since the last time she threatened me. SHE came to ME. Sure, I hang around the student council a lot, but to just assume I'm part of the student council or that I lied…! Well, I guess anyone would've assumed it. But that's not the point. Violence is never the answer!
But whatever, Kathy! I have slept on it and decided I AM going to join the student council (temporarily)!
September 5, Monday
It's Labor Day today! This three-day weekend of simply relaxing has been the best considering the high tension always in the air nowadays at school. I always walk to the park in the evening and lay in the grass. And as always, I was able to glimpse Aren passing by with his dog each time. He always looks in my direction as he passes, although I don't know if he can tell I'm always looking his way to see him or if he thinks I'm just facing his general direction when I'm resting at the park. But it's the same for me. I can't tell if he's looking at me, or just looking my general direction.
My shoulder hurts now. I was leaning on it to write that paragraph while lying down on the grass, but I'm sitting on top of this table now. There are benches to sit on, but I feel more comfortable sitting on top of it and my feet resting on the seats, and my journal in my lap.
Oh, Aren has come into sight.
He's gone now. Speaking of Aren, I've been forgetting to put on the hair clip he gave me. I wear it whenever I go to school, but I don't remember where I put it exactly, since it's usually sitting on top of my cabinet right next to my bed, but since it wasn't there, I held off wearing it this weekend. I'm gonna look for it later. It probably fell off the cabinet and is somewhere on my floor. That happens sometimes.
Huh, is that Aren again? Maybe Honey wanted to play a little longer in the park. Come to think of it, I don't know what breed Honey is. I've never had a pet before and so I have no idea about any breeds at all.
Uwah! While I was writing, Aren had come up to me! I ended up slamming my journal shut with a loud clap the moment he cleared his throat to get my attention. And then he covered his mouth, trying not to laugh at me!
But that's not the point! Aaaaghhh… I told Aren I'll take a temporary role in the student council, and Aren said, "That's what I came to speak to you about." His dog kept pawing at his leg, so first he sat on top of the table next to me and let me hold Honey in my lap.
And then, and then he asked me to stay—no well, wait, first, or actually most importantly, he apologized. Ugh, okay, so I'll just try to give what he said verbatim, he said, "That's what I came to talk to you about. But first, something I've held off for a while now."
He wouldn't meet me in the eyes the whole time, he seemed like he just couldn't. He glanced my way, but then bowed his head and looked down instead before he said, "I'm sorry. I've been very rude to you in the past without so much as an explanation."
My face is still all warm and, you know, I'm not the prettiest when I'm super embarrassed. My face was probably all red and I got really sweaty and jittery and my expression was probably weird and gross! I just, Aren was just, it was so sudden and out of nowhere!
But before I forget what he said! He continued that it's always been in the back of his mind, that outburst from last year. I tried to tell him it was okay, I especially kept trying to tell him I was at fault too, but he asked, quietly and politely, for me to just listen and let him apologize. He said he wants to start over as proper friends with me. He was still looking down, so I couldn't see his expression for most of what he was saying, but he explained that he didn't like how tense it always was between us. He felt like a troubling presence in our group, that because he was there, I could never fully enjoy my time with Mike and June. He also assumed I hung out with Mike and June a lot more when he wasn't around.
I must admit June calls me out along with Mina quite often, but I don't know where Aren got the assumption that I hated him. He wanted me to forgive him, but I didn't see anything in that aspect to forgive or be mad at except that he had assumed things. Still, he wouldn't be okay until I said I had forgiven him. And he wouldn't let me apologize for anything on my part either, so I felt rude, telling him what I really wanted, because I was asking for more from him when he wanted nothing from me.
I asked him to apologize for lying to me about the whole twin brother ordeal, because that was the main thing I had been mad about. So he did, and he definitely sounded sincerely sorry, even if he couldn't look me in the eyes. And I told him "I forgive you." I sounded like a robot.
Strangely enough, I couldn't feel much forgiveness for anything. No weight was lifted off my shoulders. I simply just didn't feel anything about his apologies. It felt so trivial.
He was acting to humble, so I built up the courage to ask why he made up that whole lie. Did he enjoy all the deception. He just said it wasn't ALL deception, but he couldn't say why he did it.
In the end, I figured he wouldn't give me the clear answer that I wanted, so I just let it be.
After that, he finally looked up at me and made an unexpected request: "I know you only decided to be in the student council temporarily, but are you willing to be a permanent member? As my secretary, I mean."
I was shocked and I think we stood there for a good ten seconds, but he eventually looked away and handed me the student council secretary booklet for information on the role. After telling me he'd give me time to think about it, he walked away, or more accurately, he fast-walked away, with Honey in his arms.