“This time I’m definitely gonna nail it.”, I declared to Katherine as I entered my locker combination. I didn’t know why, but everything appeared to be going on quite nice today, at least for me. The science teacher didn’t show up so I didn’t have to worry about not doing my assignment which she gave a week ago. I also didn’t have to go to the gym class because Mr. Schwartz called in sick today. And the lunch lady had finally changed the menu. So, yeah, it pretty much turned out to be an awesome start.
“Yeah, I hope so too.”, Katherine said as I closed my locker after taking out my book on American History. There was something in her tone that didn’t feel right. It seemed as though she wasn’t so sure of what she was saying.
“What happened to you?”, I asked as we entered the corridor to the social studies classroom. “Don’t you think I would be able to perform well?”
“It’s not that.”, she replied reluctantly, “You always do your best. I have always seen you work so hard to be on the top. But…”
Katherine was stopped mid-sentence by Jordan who accidentally bumped into her causing her to stumble on the floor.
“Hey!”, I shouted and Jordan looked back. He mouthed the word ‘sorry’ before turning ahead and running towards the large crowd which was assembled in front of the notice board.
“A little help here, please!”, Katherine yelled diverting my attention away from the crowd.
“Do you know what’s going on there?”, I asked as I helped her up.
“I am fine, thank you.”, she said with a tight smile. “And I don’t know why that crowd has gathered there. But I do have an idea: Why don’t we ask one of the people standing there?”
“Yeah, thanks for your idea.”, I said and dragged her with me towards the crowd.
“Hey, Jordan.”, I called out as I saw my Biology lab partner appear from within the sea of students.
“Hi Janet, and sorry for that little accident.”, he added winking at my best friend.
“That’s alright.”, I replied and Katherine mumbled something which sounded like ‘Easy for you to say’. “So, what’s going on here?”
“This?”, he said pointing towards the crowd. “It’s rubbish, you know. These idiots think that they will ever have a chance.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know about the inter-school competition that Ms. Newton told about yesterday?”, he asked and I nodded, my stomach slowly dropping with every passing second.
“Well, she told us that the all the teachers will question each and every student and then decide who is more fit to represent the school. I don’t know whether I was daydreaming or what because no one ever called to question me! Did they call you?”
I shook my head and Jordan snorted.
“See? I knew I wasn’t daydreaming. I practically asked the whole school and everyone gave the same reaction you just gave me.”
“So”, I started suddenly finding my voice hoarse, “Who have they selected?”
“Who do you think?”
“Sylvia Morton?”, I asked hesitantly and he nodded.
“And your brother, Steve Anderson.”, Jordan added.
Something in me broke at that moment. Whether it was the fact that someone else again took my spot or my own brother took it, I wasn’t sure. I knew it was just a stupid competition but still it mattered to me more than my life. That’s what happens when you crave for things. They break you inside out.
“Janet?”, Katherine said gently placing her hand on my shoulder, “Are you alright?”
“Yeah.”, I said nodding vigorously, “Let’s go.”
“You know how people are, don’t you?”, my best friend tried to console me as we headed towards the social studies classroom. “They can be biased. You don’t have to upset yourself because of their biased nature.”
“Thanks for the condolences, but I am completely fine.”, I said taking a vacant seat. “And anyway this isn’t the first time I have faced this. I am sure one day I will get what I want.”
“Of course you will!”, Katherine exclaimed happily taking the seat behind me. “One day we will show them!”
I smiled at her unsure of whether I was lying to her or myself. Or both of us.
Note: I thought of writing a story. This is the first chapter. I will post more chapters if you all like it. Don’t forget to comment on it.