"This can't be true, I'm dreaming", she thought for the nth time. "It's impossible man… I mean.. how could they come up with this absurd idea?" She spoke aloud while moving to and fro. " I'm sure it's a dream.. I've been sleep deprived for a week thanks to that damned poster presentation…. It's all hallucination. I just need a good sleep and tomorrow everything will be fine. " Afraid that what happened earlier wasn't a dream, she hurriedly grabbed the blanket and jumped on the bed, closing her eyes shut in a vain attempt to get lost in dreams valley.
"It's impossible right?... Yeah… it's impossible." She kept mumbling to lull herself to sleep. From afar, she could hear some music, folk songs maybe… "It's just a hallucination… Don't get distracted", she reprimanded herself. "It's a nightmare, and if you try to look into it, it'll turn into reality. An unbelievable to be exact." She spoke again, persuading herself not to think about it and slowly drifting to sleep, mumbling incoherently. A week's sleep deprivation took over as she let herself loosen up, a peace settling in her tensed features and naturally she adjusted herself to a more comfortable position in the soft mattress before going to an unconscious sleep.
In her dream
Wind caressed her features as she stirred in sleep. Her head, hung low, slowly moved upwards to take in the environment. It's the tuktuk they ride to go to their school. "Strange", she thought. "We're still on our way? I thought I slept enough to reach home by now", she spoke aloud while trying to suppress a yawn. These long, boring noons of summer were a headache for the bunch of students riding this tuktuk. Unlike all other schools across the province, they were not able to enjoy a three months long summer holiday. Thanks to their witch of a head mistress who insisted that they're in their final years of high school and so they should work hard instead of wasting their three precious months into sleeping.
Her mouth twitched on the thought. "It's not fair. Every high schooler is enjoying 'Summer Noon Sleeps' and here we're, cursed by the headmistress, obligated to study till lazy noons. Who wakes up so early after a short night sleep and goes to school to spend one heck of a lazy day studying while dozing off….? I wanna sleep a whole afternoon.." she thought whiningly.
Not to forget, this bunch of poor students (in her own opinion) lived in a one hour distant village from the school which means two hours extra fatigue on daily basis. Before she could drown herself in the world of self pity, a suppressed giggling sound caught her attention.
Looking instinctively on her left side, she found a group of four people trying to hide their smiles. Her eyes immediately turned sharp, analyzing them with suspense. "What is it?"
"Nothing." An indifferent answer.
"Don't try to fool me" she gave a dangerous look to her cousin cum best friend.
"I'm serious… it's… nothing" Jae Hee said before bursting into laughter. To Seo-hyeon's fury everyone else soon joined her. She composedly looked at them one by one.
She was sitting on the right side of the seat, with her was Jae Hee and then Bella. And the seat opposite to them had two teenager boys. The one in front of her was her brother Min-Jun, precisely called June and beside him her best friend and Bella's brother Baek Hyeon who had some strange emotions on his face other than laughter, confusion maybe. Jae Hee being her uncle's daughter and leaving her brother, the other pair was siblings. Their family friends. Together the group of five is called a squad. Jae Hee, Bella and Seo-hyeon in their 2nd year of high school and Bella's brother in his first year of high school. As for her brother, he was in his last year of elementary school. The three families were one big family in the village and often had dinner together.
Their faces were turning red from laughter and that was her end of patience.
"If you don't tell me right away, I'll make sure to spill latest test marks of all of you at home."
The tone was serious enough to stop them right away.
"You won't do this " Jae Hee said looking at her shocked.
Jae Hee contemplated before speaking,
"You are going to be angry if I tell you"
"I already am."
"Promise me not to harm us."
"I'll decide after listening."
To her fellows she sounded like a cruel fellow. But the thought about what they're about to say to her sent them into fits of laughter again.
The gesture made her angrier. "What's so funny huh?"
"Okay… okay I'll tell you…" Jae Hee said lifting her hands in the air as a sign of defeat. Still trying hard to control her laughter. Their laughter was starting to irritate her now.
"We came up with a crazy idea…" Jae Her ended up laughing madly without completing her sentence.
"What the…" Seo-hyeon shouted in irritation.
Someone said "There's nothing new in art, except talent."
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