I went towards the furthest classroom on the 2nd floor right wing. It was the classroom where the handicraft club hold its activities. On a regular day, it was utilized normally for studying, but Friday noon is solely allocated for classes to be used by every student club, except for sports clubs, which usually hold their activities outside the school or during the weekend.
When I arrived in front of the room, I knocked on the already opened door to inform the people inside of my arrival. ”Excuse me, ” I said, slightly bowing to show courtesy. ”Is this the handicraft club? ” I asked.
Everyone inside the classroom was alarmed by my arrival, then turned their head toward me, effectively pausing their current activity. ”Yes, this is the handicraft club. ” One of the students, a guy in glasses, replied. Most likely hes my senior.
I stepped inside the classroom and approached the swarm of students in the center of the class. They seem to be observing the guy in the middle who was doing something with the clay on the table.
”Let me introduce myself. My names Uril Peterpan, a freshman. Id like to join. ” I declared.
The members were glancing at each other for a split second, and the four-eyed guy who greeted me said, ”sure, Uril. you are welcomed here. ”
Oh, that was simple. I said in my heart.
Four-eye extended his hand towards me, a gesture to initiate a handshake. ”Im Gatot. ”
I reached toward his hand and shake it. ”Nice to meet you. ” I said.
”Nice to meet you too. Go on, have a seat, ” He said, instructing me to sit down. He then continued, ”This is Mr. Daya, our instructor. ” while pointing with his thumb towards the skinny guy that looks like a hippie due to his long hair. Im not sure but I have never seen him with other teachers. I bowed towards him with a smile, to which he replied with just a smile.
”Here are the second-year students. Revan, Ayunda, and Nisa. ” Gatot kept on introducing the members, and I greeted them all.
”And this one here is your fellow freshman, Jiwo. ” He said, pointing towards the small man in the middle with his clay that was staring at me since I entered the classroom. ”Im sure you guys know each other? ”
”N-no. ” Jiwo said.
e from different classes. ” I added.
I looked around at every member and noticed that everyone here is skinny, except me. Even then I can be categorized as normal. These guys are underweight. I feel concerned about their diet…
”Uril. ” Ayunda, the four-eyed girl in a headscarf, was calling me, and asked, ”Whats your reason for joining? ”
”Im familiar with sewing. ” I said.
I was taught by my mother how to sew ever since I was 5 years old. Shes a fashion designer, and oftentimes I was brought by her to her boutique. As a kid, the sound that sewing machines make entertained me, so I tried to play around with it. I realized by now that sewing machines are quite harmful to kids, but my mother and her colleagues were very kind to guide me on how to use them. Thus, as a result, gave me experience with sewing.
”Are you really? ” Ayunda was seemingly shocked. The other members also looked at me in disbelief.
Yeah, I figured as much, thanks to Indahs reaction before. As such, I made some preparations to counter this reaction. I ransacked my bag and took out a plastic bag. I rolled down the upper part of the plastic bag and showed everyone the content. Its a bunch of hairpins with designs made out of flannel.
”You made these? ” Nisa, the freckled girl, asked.
”Yup. ” I replied.
Mr. Daya waved, signing me to come closer to him. Right behind him was a large suitcase. He crouched down to open it, showing me what was stored inside. There were a bunch of things cluttered together neatly. Among those are fabrics of various materials and sewing kits.
”This is our clubs inventory. ” He said, then returned to his seat, leaning. His eyes, which reflected calmness, were looking at me. Then he said, ”Please demonstrate us your skill. You don have to feel pressured, as I just want to know your level. Now then, pick anything from our inventory. ”
”Okay. ” I said, obediently crouched at the suitcase and took out 2 layers of brown flannel, some pieces of cotton, and a sewing kit. I plan to make a stickman the size of my palm.
I cut the flannel into pieces for 1 big round head and the body. As for the hands, I plan to just attach them to the sides. There would be no legs since people find it cuter. I imagined the process and the result, and carefully executed it.
It took around half an hour to finally finish my product. Jiwo had already shaped his clay into a… cup? That seems like a cup, alright. He finished way before me, so he observed me along with the others. After I did my finishing touch, I put my stickman doll on the table, and said, ”Its done. ”
The others were looking at it for a while, and then Gatot asked slowly, ”Is that… a voodoo doll? ”
”… Its a stickman. ” I said. I take a look at the stickman I made, and pondered for a bit.
Well, if you think about it, stickmen and voodoo dolls can be quite similar. I said inwardly.
”Oh… oh. ” Gatot said, realizing what I meant.
The other members giggled.
Mr. Daya picked up my stickman, observing the entirety of it, and said, ”This is a fine piece of art. You did a great job. There are some clumsy parts of it, but with enough practice, you may get better. ” He then returned the stickman to me.
Hearing his heartwarming compliment made me happy, especially because he has this calming voice. ”Thank you so much, Mr. Daya. ”
Mr. Daya then turned towards Jiwo. ”Now then. What is this? ”
Jiwo looked straight at Mr. Daya with a serious face, and said, ”This is a cup, sir. ”
”A cup, huh? The clay is still a bit wet, Im afraid I might ruin it if I touch it. It seems a bit uneven, nevertheless, this is good. ”
Jiwo smiled at Mr. Dayas evaluation and thanked him.
We continued our activity with Mr. Daya explaining a few things and sparking a discussion, with chitchat slipping in between. Nisa then said something to me with a faint smile on her face,
e a fun guy, Uril. ”
To her comment, Jiwo added, ”Yeah, dude. You were intimidating at first. ”
”Ahahaha. Im honored. ” I replied to both of their remarks.
The lengthy but fun chatter continued until we get interrupted by someone knocking at the classrooms door. It was Indah.
”Excuse me. ” She said, bowing her head towards us. ”May I borrow Uril for a bit? ”
I wonder what might be so important for Indah to come to the handicraft club amidst her activities, whatever she was doing. Im not sure if she already knew the handicraft clubs classroom or if she was searching for it, but she did spend her time finding me.
I went outside of the classroom to meet her and asked, ”What is it? ”
”Come with me. ” She said, without bothering to give me a sliver of explanation whatsoever, and suddenly grabbed my hand.
I furrowed a bit, not understanding what was going on. ”Wait, wait. I gotta ask for permission from the other. ” I said while resisting her pull.
She looked back at me with a serious face, and said, ”I already said Im going to borrow you for a while, didn I? ”
”Well, yeah, but still, ” I said, then turned towards the handicraft club. ”Ill be going for a while. ” I told them.
”Okay. Don be out for long. ” Mr. Daya said. The other members, instead of answering, started to whistle teasingly. I shrugged at it, and proceed to go.
Honestly, I had no idea where we were going. We simply walked toward the middle part of the school. Indah was walking ahead in a bit of a rush, and I followed suit. ”So, what is it? What happened? ” I asked her for the second time.
”I found the source of the rumor. ” She said concisely.
I looked at her, stupefied. ”How? ” I questioned.
She looked at me for a bit. ”Well, girls have their information source. ”
Oh, it must be that thing my mother used to do whenever her friends come over. I thought to myself.
I then put the conclusion I reached in my head into words and told her, ”You were gossipping. ”
”You don have to put it like that. ” She said.
Not long after, when we were about to pass by the restroom at the corner of the corridor connected to the middle area, Indah stopped a few meters from it. She pointed toward the small guy that was about to go into the restroom, and shouted at me, ”Its that guy! hurry! ”
Indah shook my body towards the boy, and my balance was momentarily lost, but I managed to stop my fall with my leg. ”Wait, wait, wait. At least give me the details first. Are you sure its him? ”
”Argh, you! ” She expressed her frustration with a facepalm.
In just a few seconds, Indah regained her composure, and explained, ”The thing with rumor is that everyone who has heard about it hears it from someone else. If the chain of narration is too long, its impossible to find out. Not to mention if someone falsely recollected whom they heard it from. Since this fresh rumor has only circulated for less than a week, it was quite easy to find out the source. Hes someone from the same middle school as you. ”
I was entirely impressed by her train of thought. Shes actually very clever, huh? Who would have thought. She said she wanted to join the journalist clubs, so perhaps she had a bit of familiarity. ”Wow. You know what? You might make a great detective. ” I complimented her.
”Argh, come on! ” She said, flailing her hand. I could see her face become redder, then she scolded me, ”Hurry up and approach him! ”
Once again, she shook my body towards the restroom. And once again, I managed to stop my fall. I looked back at her, disgruntled by her violent conduct. Then I went towards the restroom, and, speaking of the devil, the guy was about to go out.
”Hey, dude. ” I greeted him awkwardly.
He froze in his place. His mouth was open, seemingly surprised by my greetings. He looked at me from head to toe to head again, and said, ”Hi. ”
The guy was about to leave, but I had a feeling that I have to keep him here for a while. ”Um, I heard we were from the same middle school? ” I asked him.
Indah was slowly walking toward the girls restroom beside the boys restroom. I glanced at her, and in effect, the guy followed my gaze. but she seemed like she was trying her best not to look back.
The guy then faced me once again and said, ”Oh, yeah. Right. ”
”I don think weve met each other, ” I said, then offered him a handshake. ”Im Uril. Nice to meet you. ” I introduced myself.
He unwillingly took my handshake and introduced himself. ”Im Arok. ” He said without a trace of a smile on his face.
He turned his body again, eagerly trying to leave me. ”Excuse me, ” I said, attempting to stop him from getting away. ”You know, it seems that our classmates have been… assuming that Im a delinquent. You know thats not true right? ” I shoot him the issue I had at hand.
I was racking my brain about how do I approach this ever since I greeted him, and decided to tackle it this way. ”Otherwise I might be quite popular back then. Ahahaha. ” I said, adding a fake laugh at the end.
But Arok doesn want to laugh along, it seems. He gave me an angry look, and said, ”Oh, no you were. ”
Im sure Im not notorious back in middle school. Sure, I had fights with my friends sometimes, but it never awarded me a delinquent title. I wanted to ask him further, but before I even voiced my thoughts, he had already gone on talking.
”You were popular. Especially with the girls. ” He said.
Im not sure what he was talking about. Me, popular? My fame might be a little bit since I became the student council vice-president back then, but thats it. His emphasis on the girls was also a bit weird. I wanted to refute him, but best that I listen to him a bit more, so I stayed silent.
Arok then went on saying, ”I know who you are, Mr. Student council member. Everywhere you go, the girls were admiring you! even Anastasia! I had a crush on her! And you, just by existing, stole her heart from me! When I confessed my feelings, guess what she said? She said she has a crush on you! ”
He seemed so worked up to the point that drops of his saliva burst when he was… fuming. I guess his problem was being rejected by his crush. But what I don get was this baseless rivalry from him. I don even know Anastasia.
”You know what? I hate you, and Im gonna make you friendless, womanless, lifeless. Just you wait. ” Arok said his last bits, then left me.
I just stood there, looking at him going his way towards his destination, wherever that is. In just a few seconds, he disappeared from my sight due to how fast he was walking away from here.
A voice of someone familiar came from behind me, ”Is he gone? ”
I looked back and saw Indah and Sasa peeking from behind the girls restrooms entrance. Yes, hes gone. ” I said to them.
Indah went out first and stretched her neck in every possible direction to confirm Aroks absence. Sasa followed behind her.
”Why are you here? ” I asked Sasa. Indah was the one that brought me here, so I was curious why, somehow, she emerged from the restroom.
”Oh, um, I just happened to be in the restroom. ” She said while lowering her head from embarrassment. ”Sorry for eavesdropping. ” She added.
Hmm, what a perfect coincidence. What are the chances? ”No need to be sorry. ” I relieved her.
Indah then approached me, and said, ”Your friends a weirdo. ”
”I don even know him prior to today. ” I corrected her.
Seriously, whats with him and his absurd reason to hate me? I don get him at all. I guess father is right about romance after all. ”Love in school is unnecessary at all. ” I blurted my thought.
Indah slowly turned her head towards me, and from the look in her eyes, she was trying to see through me. ”You sounds like a virgin old man. ” She said.
”… Shut up. ” I said to her.
The three of us have no choice but to take a deep breath, then let out a sigh in unison.
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