Namdrul wasn't just cool guy. He was probably one of the smartest guys I knew. "What I don't understand is - why don't you score on the exams?" I asked after he just explained the watershed model in the most basic terms. "Well, everyone likes textbook answers and I just like to write it the way I want. My answers aren't wrong - they just don't fit the... er... 'model' answers", he said. I took the chance to look at his chiseled jawline and long lashes. It was so unfair that his lashes were longer than mine.
"You're staring." I quickly looked away. "I wasn't", I denied guiltily. He chuckled. "It's not a crime", he said and swerved a turn. Flustered, I turned on the radio. "The radio is full of crappy songs", he commented after a while. "It isn't. I actually like what they play!" He was quiet as another song came on. I wanted to spite him by singing in my most off tune voice. I held back because, well, it wasn't my car and I didn't know if Namdrul was as cold as most people said he was. If he could write answers knowing they wouldn't score him marks, he probably could leave me in the middle of the road. These short legs weren't made for hiking all the way to college.
"I don't have a problem with the billboard top 100 or whatever. I just find them immensely repetitive. I prefer music that was made for the sake of music, not to fund some popstar's billion dollar yacht", he said. He reached out and switched on the aux.
"This is the type of music we deserve." A song I had never heard before played. "Cause it's easy to get lost in what you never had..." crooned the singer. "I have never heard this song, it's actually quite good", I said. His driving slowed down visibly and a few cars overtook us. "These songs deserve to be heard. At the same time, I just don't feel like sharing it with the world. People have a way of ruining good things." "You have a very pessimistic view", I said. "And you must be too optimistic."
I wanted to tell him that he didn't know me but he would probably make fun of me. "Tell me a fun fact - something I probably don't know", I said, trying to change the topic. "Bears get cavities because they like sweet stuff", he answered. "Wow, I didn't know that", I marveled. His driving pace became slower. It would have been faster to just walk at this point. I glanced at him as he just looked on. We were almost at the college. "You can drop me at the gate", I told him. "I can drop you at your dorm, I don't mind", he said. I shook my head. "It really is okay." I didn't tell him that I didn't want everyone grilling me about our supposed relationship.
He didn't say a word as he pulled over at the gate. "See you in class", I said. He just shrugged and drove off like he was being chased by a hoard of hungry raccoons.
"You really do move on quickly." I saw the guy from the bookstore. "Do I know you?" I asked, confused. He bit his lip. "Wow, okay. So that's how we are playing it. Good day", he said angrily and left. I felt sad watching him leave but I decided not to pursue it.
I lugged my finds from the day and made my way to my room. Kinley was a total mess as she scurried from her bed to mine. "I totally forgot about the signatures! I need to go get a scanner or something and..." she rambled on. Her hair was all tangled and her shirt buttons were in the wrong buttonholes. "Calm down, sit. Tell me slowly so that we can do something about it", I said pulling her down. She sat down and buried her head in her hands. "I forgot that I need to get mom and dad's signature for the form. I thought my signature would be enough. But apparently, I cannot be considered he guardian as I am also in college. The rooms are all getting booked out and even if I can get the signatures, I think I will be late."
"I have been so occupied lately and ...", she sighed loudly. "Let's get the block coordinator to sign off on it so that we can secure the room. I am sure it can be done", I said patting her head. "Did you forget that Tshering is in charge of the block for the juniors?" She said. "So?" I asked. Whoever Tshering was, he wouldn't be unreasonable. Or did Kinley think that? "I will go meet him, you get in touch with your parents", I said taking the form from her hands. She hugged me. "I can't believe you would do this for me! You're an amazing bestie!" I gave her a gentle push. "I need to go, so you should get a move too."
She gave me a mock salute as I left the room. I understood why she had said I was amazing when Tshering opened the door. He was the same mean senior I had met earlier. "I thought you would never come here again", he said emotionlessly. I swallowed the irritation bubbling up my throat. "Hi! I needed to talk to you about something", I said as pleasantly as I could. He opened his door wide and walked to his bed. I didn't follow him in but spoke from the doorway, "I wanted to ask if you could grant authorization of next semester's room booking for the first years. I will be getting the signatures by tomorrow... I am just worried that it will be too late if I don't get it done today as..."
Tshering didn't seem to be listening as he laid on the bed. "Are you listening?" I asked politely. He propped himself on his elbow. "Come in and close the door. I don't want to discuss at the doorway especially when it is a favour you require. I don't need people knocking down my door about how I grant authorizations without the proper paperwork", he said lazily. As unethical as it seemed, it wasn't my place to comment. I walked in and sat at the furthest chair from the bed. He raised an eyebrow. "So like I was saying..." I started.
He sat up and walked over to me. "I heard everything. Now, this isn't right, is it? Granting an authorization when you don't have the papers?" "It has been done before", I reminded. He smirked. "Maybe, but you need to make a better case out of it if you want to convince me." This was directly out of some cheap, over written soap opera - blackmail. "What do you want?" He didn't stop smirking. "A pocket full of sunshine", he said. I stared at him, was he quoting a song or was it a metaphor for something? "I am not sure I understand", I answered.
He sat down next to me. "Oh, but you do understand. Just say you will, and I will authorize it", he said. I didn't know what he meant but thinking about it, I could always find out. I knew I could back out if it was something wrong. Even though it would be bad to back out after saying yes, I could do so. So I said yes. I said yes to his pocket full of sunshine.
"Good, I will give you a month to keep your word. I will wrap up my business and you should too", he said. I nodded like I understood. He smiled and it was different from his smirk. He stroked my hair. "Thank you Pelgyi", he said gently. I nodded again and making an excuse, I ran off.
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