42. at the End of the Week

Logan walked out of his class and headed for the cafeteria. His stomach grumbled in hunger. He didn’t know why but his morning classes felt longer than normal. Maybe he really just needed food and refuel his mental energy.

When he entered the cafeteria, a big smile bloomed on his face. About a few meters ahead was Alex. She already sat at her usual table with her plate of spaghetti and a scowl on her face.

What could be possibly troubling her now? Logan wondered. Whatever it was, she’ll get over it once he gave her the phone back. Maybe she’d even hug him for it.

At the opposite side of her was Lauren. Logan pursed his lips, thinking they became close during the time at the library. That was good. Alex needed female companions and not just a bunch of hormonal teenage males.

He lined up for his lunch and asked for an extra set of fries. His appetite liked the smell of them. They just came fresh from the stove, hot and crispy. Then, he carried his tray of food towards the girls.

Logan couldn’t hear what they talked about until he was within earshot.

Alex whispered harshly at Lauren, her spaghetti almost uneaten, “A double date?!”

Lauren swallowed her burger bite, “You know he wouldn’t stop unless we play along with his plans.”

“I do know that” Alex sighed loudly, “But a double date?!”

She blew her bangs at the idea, an unpleasant expression on her face. Her gaze went to the windows on the opposite side of the room, shaking her head at them.

Upon hearing her talk about the date again, Lauren wiped a tissue on the corners of her lips,  “Geez, Alex. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’re more dramatic than Max.”

“You’re right” Alex nodded, returning Lauren’s stare. The silence lasted about five seconds before she mentioned her concern again , “But, seriously, a double date?”

Lauren slammed her hands on the table, a bit frustrated at Alex’ attitude, “Oh, for goodness’ sake.”

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“A double date?”

She turned around to find Logan walking around the table to sit next to Alex. His gaze switched between her and Alex. His eyebrows raised up and his eyes widened with innocence and curiosity as he waited for an answer.

Lauren pointed a plastic spoon at both him and Alex, giving them a warning, “Someone say that one more time and I will punch your teeth out of your mouth.”

Colin sat on her right, asking, “Who has a double date?”

Max was quick to take Colin’s free side and keep him from sitting next to Jae,  “I asked Lauren and Alex to go on a double date with me.”

“Ah, really?”

Lauren stuttered a bit at Colin’s gaze on her.

“We-well, Max wouldn’t shut up. I think he’s just nervous about his own date and wanted to drag us with him” she reasoned.

Max felt so smug, thinking Lauren must be so shy.  It made her cute. He considered how long would it take before Lauren would admit that she liked Alex.

“Even when I told him I have a girlfriend” Alex immediately added. She initially wanted to facepalm but she didn’t want Colin to get the wrong idea.

Jae’s lunch tray clattered onto the table, an amazed look on his face,  “Wait, did I hear that right? Al has a girlfriend?”

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Alex smirked, “Yes, you heard it correctly.”

Jae held out his hand, “Photo or it isn’t real.”

Alex scoffed. Did he think that she had no proof? ,

“Fine. Here. Oh, wait. Hold on. She texted. I need to reply.”

She fished out her phone and scrolled through her chat box to download the photo Emily sent. Using her time “to reply,” she switched her wallpaper to be her photo with Emily.

Then, she proudly showed it to everyone.

Jae took the phone, inspecting it closer. Max leaned his neck to sneak a peek over his shoulder. From the corner of Colin’s eye, he saw Emily looked towards Jae’s direction, also interested at the phone.

So Colin stretched his arm out to have a turn at glimpsing the photo. This made Lauren thrilled as they both check out Alex’ girlfriend.

Jae whistled over to Alex, “She’s hot.”

A growl escaped Alex’ lips, “She’s mine.”

Emily may not be her girlfriend but that didn’t mean she’d allow any of these boys to gawk about her—not that Emily would make it easy for them if they made a move. Alex almost smiled at the idea. As a blackbelt holder, Emily liked to take any chance at practicing it.

Lauren shook her head in amazement and handed back the phone back to Alex, “Woah, possessive.”

Jae scooped a forkful of spaghetti,  “You really had me there, Al. I almost believed the rumors that you were gay.”

At this, Colin scrunched his eyebrows together, “But those rumors were about Alex and Logan.”

Lauren almost laughed, “Really?”

On the other hand, Alex groaned at word ‘rumor’, “It’s because of the Romeo and Juliet project in English class. I’m sure you all have it.”

Jae and Colin looked at each other. Then, Jae said,  “I don’t. We must have different teachers.”

Colin also had a confused face, “Same goes for me since Jae and I share the same class.”

The rest of the group stared at them in silence, cursing them for their luck. The day of the presentation was at the end of the week and none of them seemed excited about it—except for finally getting it over with.

The way the table suddenly turned quiet made Jae and Colin curious.

“So what is the project about?” Jae asked for the both of them.

This didn’t give him any favor. In unison, Ms. Smith’s students decided to not tell them about it.

Alex broke the ice by answering, “Never mind.”

“Aw, come on.” Jae turned to his twin who shook his head.

“No, no, no. We will not speak of it” Logan told him.

“I agree on that” Max piped in, backing up the Alex and Logan.

Alex nodded at their statements, “Since you guys don’t have it, you don’t get to be a part of it.

===

Soon enough, Friday came around.

The students of Ms. Smith’s class gathered around the room in costumes and makeup. The board had been decorated like a theater stage with the ever famous drama masks of Thalia + Melpomene, the smiling and frowning faces, at the center and two red window curtains on each side.

Ms. Smith had provided them a box of props in case some of them hadn’t been able to prepare or hadn’t found the right costumes.

The order of presentation had been decided through another raffle draw. All pairs had their names written on pieces of paper  and Ms. Smith would pick one up from the basket. The pair would perform first before she would take another piece.

There had been some hilarious acts since the participants preferred not to take the project too seriously. One guy, named Jun, wore a red dress that didn’t fit him well. When the top fell over his chest, he crossed his arms, screaming, “My boobies! How indecent! We aren’t even married yet!”

His partner, Seo, a Korean transfer student, couldn’t help but laugh, “What boobs? You’re clearly flat chested.”

Jun gasped and looked away, “How dare you! I don’t want to get married anymore. We are over, Romeo!”

“Wait, wait, Juliet. I’m sorry” Seo tried to reach for the shoulder but Jun held up an arm to block it.

“Talk to the hand.”

Ms. Smith felt quite happy to see her students have fun instead of showcasing their previous complaints about it.

“Alright” she clapped as the pair finished up their turn. The rest of the class followed her example and also clapped.

“Who is next?” She announced, putting her hand in the basket. The sound of papers scrapping on the basket’s rattan served as suspense music.

Ms. Smith held up a paper in triumph, beaming as she read it out loud, “Max and Lauren.”

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