What am I going to do?

4.5K 79 4

What am I going to do?

A Short Story by Ashful

But here I’m no one, a Cosmic Castaway- Nigel Nisbet

My tongue felt inexplicably thick as it plastered itself to the roof of my mouth, stuck to the sensitive skin like a dry and coarse nettle clinging to the cotton of my tights. The look of horror on my face was felt more than anything else and I’m sure he must have seen it, along with all his friends who had stopped talking and turned to me.

The skin of my cheeks grew unbearably hot and I felt my hand shift over the books I carried in my arms- heavy tomes of political philosophy and existentialism; subject matter worthy of an A-class student like myself and not the blithering idiot I was making myself out to be.

“Um…” The sound left his lips with an uncertainty that made me cringe- it confirmed the fact that he had heard my muttered comment a few moments prior.

I shifted my fingers over the books for the second time, clutching them so tight I could feel my knuckles turning white. His brown-eyed gaze shifting over my face made me terribly aware of all my faults- those irksome insecurities that arose to the fore when one was faced with excruciating humiliation and scrutiny. The spot developing on my chin; the awkward tilt of my nose; the fact that I hadn’t plucked the dark hairs of my eyebrows in almost two weeks and please, God, don’t let there be remnants of lunch upon my face. All these came barrelling into my mind at rapid pace, adding to my restless unease, my inherent awkwardness around people in general.

“Sorry!” I blurted in desperation before pivoting on the balls of my feet and stumbling away from the group of boys. They had all looked at me as if I were mad, wholly and completely bonkers.

What an idiot! I cursed myself vehemently, shame curdling in my breast. Of course they would have heard me, why wouldn’t they? Anyone could have heard me clearly- it was one of those noiseless days, unbearably hot, with not a breeze to break the insufferable heat that pelted down from the heavens. The pavement outside the Political and International Relations building had been deserted and silent, most of the students opting to venture to the dining halls for their lunch at this time. The sound of a whisper would have travelled far this day.

And I had to open my mouth and say it- the most inane and idiotic thing ever uttered in front of a person before.

I hadn’t thought about it at all, actually. It had just happened. I had come out of the building after a brief meeting with my lecturer regarding an essay I was compiling only to see him and his three companions, gathering on the corner, talking animatedly about nothing and something at once. They appeared to be cajoling him, punching him on the shoulder, laughing uproariously at something he did. As I ambled closer (I had to walk past them in order to get back to my small apartment about a block away), I heard one of them say to him, “You’re a legend! Tiffany Feldman, dude!”

My lips had worked on their own accord, my tongue and throat even more intent on doing so, and I had unwittingly uttered before I could stop myself, “You’re a jerk.”

I don’t know why I did it. I had never had any qualms with him before and we weren’t even acquaintances. I don’t think I have ever spoken to him or even seen him around that often. All I do know is that he shares two of my classes with me and is incredibly jock-ish; one of those boys who are always at the club with the most girls, plays a lot of sport, generally well-built and good-looking enough to have admirers wherever he went. In all the two years that I have been at university, I knew that I had never seen him alone, in solitude. He had always been surrounded by a large group of peers, always.

What am I going to do?Read this story for FREE!