Techivita/Koshira’s note: Oh look, we did a thing. (Like I said Mymoena, we were going to post it today. ~Eve) We didn't think you guys would actually like it THAT much that we would have to write a next chapter. But oh well. We introduced some more people! HURRAH! Oh and don't worry. There's not that many feels in this one but trust me. The feels will come. Oh and everything turns very wibbly wobbly later on, so have fun!
Chapter 2 – Help, I Need Somebody
Written by Katasu1996 and Techivita
Ashley didn’t really understand her two friends lately. Josh cancelled on her yesterday saying he couldn’t hang out because of “complications.” Josh never cancelled on her. Ever. He would always try to come, even just for a few minutes. And even if he did cancel, at least he would tell her a few days in advance. He had no idea how annoying it had been to wait in the cold for thirty minutes when she could have left with everyone else earlier.
At the same time her mind wandered off to Surat, the boy she considered as precious as her own child, if she ever had one. He had been dozing off too often, even during chorus; the one class he was majorly enthusiastic in. Even Mr. Marwah reprimanded him once, yet he still kept napping. He also never really responded whenever she called him her “petite croissant”. He’d just sigh and ignore her. And for some reason, he would often brush his fingers against his lips…
Ashley flipped her hair so it would brush less considerably against her neck and drew a slow, concentrated sip from her cup of coffee as she swiped her ID and entered the building. Her eyes squinted, focusing on the task at hand with a great determination.
Oh she would find out alright. Totes would.
“So, don’t you think Surat has been acting weirdly lately?” Ashley asked.
It was first period, before she had her theory class. Matthew, Alex and Evelyn sat at the circular lunchroom table eating their bacon, egg and cheeses they had gotten earlier.
“Your petite croissant?” Matthew asked in a mocking tone as he took a sip from his iced coffee.
“Yea him. Don’t you think he’s been acting weird lately?” Ashley replied.
There was a pause.
“No. Why?” Alex responded.
“He’s just been… I don’t know. Weird. He’s not being a ‘cute little puppy’ anymore. Also, he looks really depressed.” Ashley responded with an annoyed tone.
“Maybe he grew some balls and decided not to be the adorable puppy.” Alex responded mockingly.
Ashley nearly wanted to choke him. You didn’t just say that to one’s little “petite croissant.” She shot a menacing glare at Alex, who in turn, shot his hands up mouthing mercy.
“Surat will always be my cute, petite croissant puppy so SHUT IT,” Ashley snarled, gulping the last of her coffee. She quickly stood up, wrinkles forming between her brow as she slammed the now empty cup against the table.
“I’m going to find him and talk to him. Something is up.”
Everyone at the lunch table watched as Ashley swung her bag over her shoulders and grabbed her bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich as she stormed out.
“I don’t know, has Surat been acting weird?” Evelyn said, munching on some of her sandwich.
While everyone else gave each other quizzical looks and discussed the topic at hand, Alex stared off into the distance. Only Dasha, walking over to the group, saw the flashes of anger in his eyes…
Amberley didn’t have much that she cared about. She cared about “things” like Doctor Who and K-Pop sure. But not like if-I-don’t-do-this-then-I-will-be-pissed-at-myself-for-the-rest-of-my-life care. It wasn’t that she didn’t “care” about her friend’s complaints and their daily life stories, it’s just that those kinds of things sounded like gibberish and over excessive talking in her point of view, so she tended to zone out and not listen to the nonsense.
However, this was different.
This involved two of the NICEST people she knew. Oh, her care level was up alright.
Josh had been acting weirdly for the past three days. It wasn’t that Amberley and Josh were particularly close or anything, but she knew Josh because Josh made it so everyone knew him; even if you had only met him once. And she could tell he hadn’t been his usual self since the incident with Surat three days ago. Whenever he came down to the mezzanine he always looked pretty depressed and extremely tired. She assumed it was because of one of Mr. H’s tests, but she doubted that Mr. H would give tests three days in a row.
Amberley waited for Josh to finish taking his stuff from his locker before she decided to approach him. She took the moment to commend her deductive reasoning and excellent journalism skills. Without them, she wouldn’t have found out through a series of sources that Surat and Josh had spent a very long time together in the Nurse’s office, after Josh elegantly carried Surat there to be treated for sprained ankle.
She also knew things hadn’t been the same between the two since.
“Hey Josh,” Amberley said nonchalantly, as he walked away from his busy locker section. Josh, who had been obviously day dreaming, snapped back to reality, realizing Amberley was in front of him.
“Oh… Yeah, uh… hi Amberley.” Josh attempted to create a whole-hearted smile, but failed epically. The smile formed crookedly, and gave off a taste of sadness.
“Okayyy…. We need to talk.” Amberley said as she gave Josh that usual I-Know-It-All-Guys smug smile as she and Josh began to walk together to his Tech class, located in the basement of LaGuardia HS. “I know you and Surat had a fall out, soooo, tell me what’s going on since I’m pretty sure I can help.”
Josh stopped walking down the stairs and stared at Amberley with wide eyes in shock. How did she know?
Was… That the late bell? Josh started rushing down the stairs.
“Great timing.” He thought as he quickly rushed down the steps towards the basement doors.
However, his good fortune came to an end when Amberley grabbed onto the back of his backpack, not allowing her one primary source of information get loose.
“I don’t think Mr. Lewis would be that mad at you if you came in late… Well you’re late either way, not that I would encourage this late behavior… But you need to tell me! Seriously! What is going on? Both of you haven’t been yourselves for a few days now!” Amberley yelled.
Josh stopped running and slumped onto the stairs, rubbing his temples with his fingers in frustration. Amberley was right. He wasn’t being his normal self.
“I just…. It’s that… Since I met Surat, I don’t know, I’ve been so much happier, and I just found myself wanting to be with him, look at him, touch him..”
Amberley sat down, pulling Josh down to sit next to her on the steps, as other lingering students rushed to their classes. Josh sat with his head tilted downwards, making his hair cover most of his eyes, sheltering the sadness behind them. He brought his hands up and covered his face to his eyes, slowly wiping his hands down his face in utter frustration.
“When he got hurt…. I wanted to protect him so bad…. And then he was sitting there, in the room and I couldn’t help thinking “this boy is so beautiful” and I brought myself closer and just when I was about to bring my lips to his….”
Josh sighed and closed his eyes, while Amberley held her breath at the intensity of it all.
“I don’t know. I panicked? I changed my mind, and… I left him, that boy that I think I care for so much. And… we haven’t talked since.” He looked over to Amberley hoping for reassurance. “What should I do?”
Amberley didn’t even know what to say. Of course she expected something along the lines of “shocking” when Josh told her his story, but…. She just always imagined Josh as not being a homosexual.
But then again, it was Josh. Literally, he could be shipped with anyone.
As for Surat, she wasn’t particularly surprised and didn’t really care; since he was basically Mr. Marwah, it wasn’t really a surprise…
“So… What does this mean causeee…. have you even dated anyone before?” Josh shook his head no, dropping his head between his knees. He had never felt so strongly for someone before, and Amberley had been the first person he told…
“You’ve at least gotta talk to him again. Distancing yourself isn’t going to help you!” Amberley said.
“I haven’t been able to see him since the incident.” Josh replied “It’s like he’s trying to avoid me or something.”
Amberley patted him on the back, trying to comfort him. “I may have something that could help you.”
She pulled out a neatly folded green slip of paper and handed it to him. Josh looked at it skeptically. How would a paper help him find Surat? Especially if he was trying to avoid him? He slowly unfolded the paper until he could see what was written on it.
It was Surat’s schedule.
“I don’t condemn you stalking him, but you’ve gotta at least find a way to talk to him.” Amberley said.
“How… How did you get this?” Josh asked suspiciously.
“Oh… I have my ways.” Amberley replied mischievously.
Josh got up quickly, realizing it had been a while since the late bell rang. “I’ll try to get back to him.” he said, giddy with excitement “Wish me luck! And thank you!”.
He walked down the stairs with a new-found determination.
Ashley found her target. Her petite croissant was in English class and he was asleep… again…
But at least this time he had a reason. There was a sub, which meant there was no reason for him to pay attention anyway. Good thing it was the cello guy too, cause at least he doesn’t care if anyone walked in. She opened the door, waved to the teacher and sat down in a desk next to Surat.
Ashley folded her arms on the desk , slowly leaning her head into them. She used her small but long fingers to swipe the brown strands of hair out of her face to stare at Surat as he slept. She really did love him like a younger brother or the child she never had; just watching his gentle baby face snuggle into his arms gave her joy. His long eyelashes were still visible through his thick black glasses that perfectly accented his face. His soft, black hair was swept around his forehead; his clear, tan skin reflecting a tint of the sun which shone onto him from a nearby window.
“No. Ashley. Focus” she thought. She squeezed her eyes shut and re-opened them with newfound energy. “You have work to do, okay?”
Ashley leaned over, bringing her lips to his ear. “Suratttt~” she sang-whispered.
Surat stirred slightly, but generally stayed in a deep sleep.
Ashley didn’t have time to be sweet to Surat. She huffed, and with a quick motion, tackled Surat with a suffocating hug: “MI PETITE CROISSANT~!!!”
That certainly did it. Surat woke with a start, with a confused yet horrified expression on his face.
“Lord save me” he thought. “It’s Ashley.”
Ashley squished him with all her might (and boy did she have a lot of might), leaving him gasping for air when she’d finally let go. She shot deathly glares at any of the other students who were still staring at the somewhat eccentric girl, and they quickly went back to their conversations or whatever they were doing.
Once Surat had finally re-gained the oxygen Ashley had driven out of him, he slumped back into his chair, making that sad puppy face Ashley had seen so often.
“Suraaat” Ashley speech-sang “Don’t be like thaaaaaat.”
Surat just sat there, looking hopelessly doleful.
“Suraaaat” Ashley said, a little louder and more demanding this time “Tell me what’s wrong.”
Surat couldn’t tell her what was wrong. How could he explain that he was suddenly and utterly enthralled with Josh? He had only meet him a couple of weeks ago, and just telling that to Ashley was probably a big game changer in her eyes.
He thought she liked him. And saying that you’re probably gay to a girl who likes you isn’t probably a good idea.
“Let’s say…” Surat started out carefully, trying to phrase his situation as objectively as possible. “Hypothetically…there was a guy…and he likes a certain someone and he and this someone have a moment and just maybe, maybe this someone likes him back….”
Surat didn’t even get to finish his sentence. Ashley jumped at his words, her eyes glistening with a scary kind of happiness.
“YOU LIKEEEEE SOMEONE~?”
Surat grabbed Ashley and covered her mouth with his hand.at her down into her chair, cupping her mouth with his hands.
“Decrescendo!!! You don’t need to tell the whole world.” Surat whispered angrily, his face quickly turning into the color of a Jigglypuff.
Ashley wriggled with excitement at the news.
“C’mon, that hypothetical thing was totally bogus. OMG who is she, do I, like know her? aghhhhhh~ just tell me!!!”
Surat winced at the mention of Ashley’s expectations for his someone to be a female. Well, he did have a girlfriend before….. Did this mean he was bi? Oh god, was he really turning into Mr. Marwah?….
“Helloooo!!! Earth To Surat! Are you having a major crisis there?…” Ashley snapped her fingers directly in front of his eyes, catching his attention.
Ashley wrinkled her nose. “Why do you look so horrified?”
Surat shook his head, trying to come back to reality. “It’s just…. I don’t know what I should do…”
Ashley squeezed Surat into her arms with pride. “Mi petite croissant is growing up awwww…”
Surat groaned. Why did he tell Ashley out of all people…
He pulled away, struggling to receive oxygen. Ashley gave him a mischievous smile, pulling her chair closer to his. “Well,” she started off in a whisper, “when you had your moment, like, what happened?”
Surat thought back to the incident in the nurse’s office. “I mean we almost kissed-“
Ashley’s squeal practically shook the room. Surat sighed again.
“Decrescendo!!!l he hissed. She sat back down, nodding.
“Almost,” he emphasized, sighing sadly again. “He was going to kiss me, but then he left….”
Ashley leaned back, listening intensely. “But they were gonna. That means they like you!” Ashley powerfully slapped him on the back, forcing Surat to cringe. “Cheer up! Go confess! You got this~”
Suddenly, the bell ending class rang. Surat, filled with newfound energy, looked over to Ashley and gave her a grateful nod. “Thanks.” He dashed out the classroom, looking forward to see Josh for the first time in three days.
Ashley cupped her hands around her mouth. “Go get em!” she yelled, dropping her hands down, swinging them at her sides with happiness.
But suddenly a thought came to mind…
“He was going to kiss me, but then he left…”
Did Surat say “He?”
Ashley’s screams could be heard throughout the whole hallway.