Chapter Four

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"Marv! Marv! Over here!"

Marwan looked around. So far today, people had been calling him different variations of 'Marvin Noah'. Through that, he found out a lot about his new identity: Marvin was on the soccer team; he was also one of the high profile cool kids who everyone knew. Square-glassed nerds greeted him in the halls, cheerleaders winked at him as he passed by, and muscular jocks held the door for him when he went to use the washroom. It was amazing.

The whole day had been a blast. Not only did he open his bag to find all his homework done, but not a single morning class had assigned anymore. And when Marwan mentioned a science fair project to his classmates, no one had any clue what he was talking about.

There was only one downside: Marvin Noah was clearly not Muslim. Now, Marwan wasn't super knowledgeable in religion, but he was still religious nonetheless. This caused a disarray of emotions inside him—his faith was one thing he would not compromise, but how would everyone take his sudden 'change of heart'?

He finally found the person calling him. It was some sports jock—all bulk and muscle—sitting with another boy and a girl. Gulping a little and feeling his heartbeat pick up in giddy anticipation, Marwan made his way over.

"What's up?" he asked coolly, masking his nervousness.

Sports jock grinned. "C'mon dude, be a pal and sit down already." He indicated the spot next to him. Marwan accepted it, not that he had much of a choice. Whoever this kid was, Marvin must be really good friends with him. Because the next thing Marwan knew, sports jock was pulling him into a friendly headlock, pumping his chest.

"Congrats, man, I heard the good news! You finally went and did it, eh?"

"Did what?"

"You know... You and Hannah Maz." Sports jock crossed two fingers together and wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. "You gave her a little present, didn't you?"

The other two rolled their eyes at his words.

Marwan though was confused. Who was Hannah Maz? But then he processed what the guy was actually saying and widened his eyes in horror.

"I did not!" he exclaimed.

Marwan had a firm set of values and chastity was one of them. He was unmoving when it came to morality, religiously so, and that meant he was still a virgin. He didn't even date, for crying out loud!

Sports jock frowned, inspecting his face.

"Oh, seriously? You didn't? Then what was that bull you were giving me before, Fred?" He looked to the guy with a glare.

"B—b—but—" Fred was a thickset, short boy with curly black hair and a nervous twitch in his eye. He looked frantically between Marwan and sports jock, like he couldn't believe he could be mistaken. "I saw them myself, Chris, I swear! They weren't doing you-know-what, but they were definitely making out!"

"Like hell they were," Chris snarled. "If you're gonna make things up like that, then just get lost."

"Guys!" Marwan interjected, not knowing what gave him the sudden burst of confidence. His mouth was acting on its own. "I'm not seeing anyone. So just let it go already."

"Doofus here claims he saw you asking out Hannah Maz," the girl repeated calmly, and Marwan was about to ask her to shut up but he stopped himself. "So we'll see who's lying now. Here she comes."

She shot Fred a look and reached over to squeeze Chris's hand. She was one of the cheerleaders who winked at Marwan earlier.

"Hey, guys! I came in a little late. Care if I join you?"

Marwan was frozen for a second time that day. This girl looked amazing. She had sleek, shoulder-length brown hair, and wide blue eyes that glittered like pearls. Her face was heart-shaped and smooth, and when she broke into a smile, it looked like rays of sunlight had lit up around her.

Marwan looked away. This wasn't right.

"Hey, sweetie," She said shyly, leaning forward and brushing her lips against his. He jumped, not expecting it, alarmed when she proceeded to sit down next to him. "You don't have to act all paralyzed around me," she continued, giving him a smirk. "It's not like our relationship changes who we are."

"So, it's official then?" cheerleader girl asked, glancing at Marwan.

"Yep." Hannah leaned into him, laying her head against his shoulder. Marwan swallowed self-consciously. He could feel the heat of her breath, the sweat slivering down his back as he twitched in his seat.

This was an unwanted turn of events. What was he going to do now?

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