I took a deep breath and turned around. Everyone in the classroom were doing their own things. But not him, not the one staring at me. Bright smile and cold eyes.
“What what, you know what. Can I have your notebook please.”
I turned away to my desk and continued writing. My palms got sweaty. I knew it’s not going to end so easily. Thirty seconds passed and cold eyes were staring again, this time in front of me.
“I need your homework, Alfred, I don’t have much time.”
Our gazes met and started to fight. I tried my best to stare straight, but the blue eyes were so sharp that eventually I gave up. I lowered my eyes and exhaled.
“Fifteen minutes are plenty of time to do it if you are smart enough.”
I knew I was playing with fire. I peeked at the face in front of me. Vulturous look, cracked smile.
“Ho ho, look who’s humorous today.”
Bam! A pale fist from the skies fell on my desk. I was staring at the fist. It laid directly on my math notebook. Immediately, the fist opened and quickly grabbed the notebook under it.
Cold eyes and pale fist went to the back of the classroom and disappeared from my sight. I opened a book and was staring at the pages. I was so tensed that I started to sweat even more. Suddenly it became so warm in the classroom, and people around me were unbearably noisy.
Then, the skinny figure was back in front of me again.
“What happened to you, why are you so sweaty? Now all the classroom will smell. Have you ever considered showering?”
Girls sitting behind me giggled. I got tomato-red. The predator was wiggling his nose for a while, and then continued:
“Didn’t we have homework today?”
“Why isn’t it here then?”
“Probably because I didn’t do it here.”
Cold eyes together with all blond head shivered from anger.
“Well, where did you do it then?”
Ten seconds of buzz and screams in the classroom. Ten seconds of silence between us.
Deep breath, cracked smile.
“You are such a fool, Alfred.”
A pale fist released my notebook on the ground next to my desk. I bent to reach it, and as I grabbed it, a white shoe landed on my hand. I cried for a moment.
“Fine. If you don’t want to share your homework with me, at least answer one question.”
I was squeaking silently as the shoe was springing up and down on my hand. I said no word because I knew it could only do worse. The shoe was dancing on my hand.
Cold eyes descended to the level of my head, which was obediently bent downwards.
Bright smile appeared again.
I was breathing heavily, because I struggled staying bent for a long time. I felt blood pulsing into my head, but kneeling down on the ground in front of him was the last thing I wanted to do. I stayed seated with my head down and gazed into the white shoe, saying nothing.
“I heard that obesity runs in families. Is that true?!”
The question was meant for me, but it was said in a way that everyone would know that I am on the trial. Suddenly, a dead silence fell in the classroom. I felt hundreds, no, thousands, of stares on the back of my head.
“What do you think, Alfred?!”
A harder push of my hand, a louder squeak out of my mouth. The blond head was enjoying this situation greatly. I couldn’t say anything now, I didn’t know what to say.
“I am sure you know this, I mean, look at yourself. But it’s strange though… I have never seen anyone in your family run.”
I froze for a moment. Sharp pain on the left side of my head punched me for a second. I stopped crying for my hand. I was intensively processing what was just said to me. And then, a small sharp giggle flew out, leading to an unstoppable series of convulsing laugh waves. I was roaring, and the blond head was still in front of me making random sounds of joy and surprise. The shoe was pressing my hand harder and harder, but I did not feel much of it any more. I was laughing, because it was true.
But it was not enough for me. I laughed and laughed, and when I could not hold it anymore and thought I will fall out of the chair, a sudden stream of blood out of my nose shot forwards, hit the pale face in front of me, and painted the white shoe red. I laughed from that as well. I laughed and laughed.
I was still laughing when the teacher took me by the elbow and led out of the class to the nurse’s room.
This story was written for a creative writing workshop at the University of Luxembourg taught by Corina Moscovich.