IX: A Painful Project

"Sit down before the devil comes!" I whisper-yelled to Gail who was pacing around the room in order to get a good signal on her phone. 

You are correct if you assumed that we were currently in history class and the teacher of the hour was, indeed, Mr. Pozwich, the lord of darkness himself.

Gail huffed and sprang over to me, her seat being to the left of mine after all. She huffed and sat on her chair, violently tapping the screen of her phone where the resend button was. She cussed and dropped the object in frustration, absolutely done with trying. 

I chuckled just as she groaned.

"Shut up, I'm waiting for a really important text, okay."

"Ooooh, is it from your boyfriend?" I teased. 

She narrowed her eyes at me and pushed my shoulder, "No. It's from my mom."

I wiggled my eyebrows, "Course it is."

Just as she glared, all the sound and all the life in the room died down and along came our favorite teacher ever. His glasses were put on the bridge of his nose and the items he held was dropped on his desk causing a loud thud. 

"Okay class, since I already discussed a sufficient and brief background on the Roman empire, I have grouped you into four, aside from one group that only has three, in order to make a research on our topic." he looked across the room and pushed his glasses up. 

"And I hate reading copy-pasted blah-blah, which is why the project is 20 slide presentation completed with an oral discussion. It's due this coming Wednesday, so you better start brain storming with your group mates over the weekend." Mr. Pozwich spoke in quickfire, not at all caring if you got nothing he said. 

"Alright, first group, London, Florez, André, and Vanstran, the Mishka one." he spoke reading what was on his paper, making all of us turn among ourselves.

In the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a certain, familiar pale guy I hadn't known I had History class with. 

As our guy kept saying names, Richards, Wellington, Solomon, and such as, I turned to Gail and gripped her blazer clad arm, "Dae-Hyun's in our history class too?" I groaned, gosh, how many more?

She knowingly turned to where he was seated and nodded, "Yeah, if you really can't tell. The wonder twins are here too, just in case you want to know."

"The other Vanstran-- Sashka, Xing, Declan, and Alonzo." Mr. Pozwich announced, causing Gail to groan. "Speaking of, now I'm in the group with one of the twins. Yay me."

 She turned to me and painfully narrowed her eyes, "I mean it's not as bad as having the kings on your tail but... they're zombies and a girl can only take so much."

I pursed my lips in an apologetic smile, feeling for her, fully understanding the predicament she's in, "I'm sorry."

"Nah, don't be." she barely moaned out, suddenly feeling guilty, "I shouldn't even be comparing because you've been disrespected too-too much, and-" 

"Gail, it's fine. I'm fine. We're good."

She turned to me and gave a soft smile, "Okay. I'm sorry."

"Gosh, just shut up already!" I rolled my eyes exaggeratedly and grinned, making both of us laugh.

"Okay, go group yourselves together and talk about whatever your plan on failing is." Mr. Pozwich spoke, making me whip my head to him and back to Gail in panic. "Did he say who my group mates were? Did you hear?"

Gail's mouth fell and my eyes widened. "No! I-I didn't."

"Don't sweat it, newbie. Unlike you girls, I was actually paying attention." A deep voice blurted out from behind us. 

Turning over my shoulder, I saw a dark haired, blue eyed guy with tattoos sticking out his collar and a pierced lower lip. "Alonzo," he nodded, making the girl smile.

"O'Whitely," Gail smiled back, widely. "Long time no see, how's being Forest Gump holdin' up?"

He sneered out a chuckle, but through it I swear I saw him frown, "Still chasing Jenny."

"Aww, you'll get her," she frowned softly. "Anyway, I got to go chat with the idiots that are my group mates." she grumbled and stood up, waving goodbye as I turned to the guy I was left with. He held out a hand, "Andrew O'Whitely, but you can, and should, call me Andy."

I took his hand and smiled, "Lilac Dahlberg, and, uh, I don't really have a nickname."

He smiled, "Well, you, Lilac who doesn't really have a nickname, have quite already made one for yourself. They've dubbed you Queen Empress."

"Queen Empress?" I laughed. 

He nodded and laughed along, "No actually, I dubbed you that because what they were calling you was unsavory on the highest count."

I press my lips in a smile then chuckled, "Aw, thank you. And can I ask... are you a writer?"

He showed his pearly whites, "Guilty, but not so much because you were able to piece it together."

As we laughed softly, I realized how contradicting his personality was with his appearance. He looked all tough on the outside, but seemed to be just sweet on the inside.

"Good to see we're all friends now." another voice spoke, making both of us turn to he source. Appeared Dae-Hyun in all his cockiness, with a smirk and crossed arms.



I knit my brows at that, "Daniel?"

Andy scoffed in a chuckle, "It's his English name, which is also his name in the teachers' records, which he hates because he only ever gets called that on either attendance checks, or to be told off."

I looked between them as they clenched their jaws at the sight of the other. 

I bit my lower lip and broke through the tension, "Who's our other group mate?"

"No one. We're the group that has three members." Dae-Hyun spat, sharply turning his eyes from Andy to me.

I cleared my throat, "Okay, so... maybe we could split the tasks and when you two are finished, you could send-" "No. Since Wednesday is seven days from now, I'd like to slack off on the other six, so we should finish it today. I suggest we go to my house and work on it there because I'm equipped with all the necessary things we need to finish this project."

"Alright, but I would have to check in with my parents before I agree to that." I spoke, quickly fishing for my phone in my pockets.

"And you?" Dae-Hyun smirked, bitterly.

"If she's in, so am I." Andy huffed flatly.

"Hey mom."

"Hey baby, is everything alright?"

"Yeah, I was just calling to ask if I could go to my classmate's house after school because we have a report on Wednesday and we'd like to finish is a.s.a.p."

My mother hummed, "What's your classmate's name?"

"Dae-Hyun, Lee Dae-Hyun. He's Korean but his English name is Daniel Lee, if you wanna know that too." I spoke, catching a glimpse of Dae-Hyun's annoyed expression at my words.

"Will it only be the two off you?"

"No, my classmate Andy will be there."

"So they're all boys?"

"... yeah."

"Is his parents home?"

I put my phone on my shoulder for a moment, "Are your parents home?" I asked Dae-Hyun. He simply nodded.

"They are."

"... alright then. Text Roux the address and he'll pick you up afterwards."

"Okay, thanks mom. I love you."

"I love you too, baby."

"Aww, cute." Dae-Hyun mocked, cupping his cheeks and smiling. "I'm guessing mama let you." I simply nodded in agreement. "Good then, I'll give you kids a ride in my car, since your brother slashed my bike tires." he turned to me as he stood up. "But," he turned to Andy, "You should feel relieved because if I still had my bike, you'd be walking." he snickered, then walked off back to his usual seat.

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