Chapter six of Uncharted Stars. Things start to heat up a bit. A bit. I guess.
UNCHARTED STARS- CHAPTER 6
Jinny kept her word and sent me the email I’d requested. To be honest, I don’t even recall giving her my email, so I don’t know who she asked for. Perhaps she’d noticed Will coming in with me. I like noting people’s personality and traits. Observation skills is something I noted about Jinny. (To be honest, I think I note many things about Jinny, but I don’t think about them. Or I try not to think about them. The lies people make to themselves. The feelings they try to shut away).
The email said:
I’ve found a document on the Student Council website that details the roles of Student Council President. The list is brief but pretty clear.
- The President runs all Student Council meetings.
- The President has the final say on major decisions.
- New ideas must be taken to the President for approval, who must in turn check with Mr nicholas.
- The President coordinates the work of the different Student Council departments: the Media team, the Events team and the School team.
- The President should come up in Assembly to speak about the events to come.
I’ve also attached a list of the people in this Student Council to this email. You can open it. Lastly I want to say that since Sports Day is in three weeks, by about next week Mr Nicholas and Mr Neil will probably ask to look at our plans. We better get started if we want to do well. Can we talk at break tomorrow? Just come over to where I sit.
My eyes passed on 5, but I quickly took note that it was not a requirement for me to come up to speak, just simply a recommendation.
No way will I come up and speak. That’s insane. I don’t want a heart attack quite yet. I don’t want to die young. (Although maybe dying isn’t such a bad idea).
My eyes next set on the last paragraph. “Can we talk at breka tomorrow? Just come over to where I sit.”
Sure, why not. I leaned back on my comfortable chair.
Perhaps Student Council President wasn’t such a bad job after all.
* * * * *
I walked to the cafeteria the next day to find Jinny eating a char siu bun. I’d barely ever found her alone without sitting with her girl friends, so it was quite a surprise. Strangely I found that I was sort of happy to see her sitting alone. It’d just mean that I got to talk to her one on one, I guess. I didn’t want to admit why I felt happiness about that, however.
“Hey Jinny.” I said, smiling. Smiling helps make a good first impression, right?
Jinny looked up and smiled back. “Oh hey, Pete.” Another good thing about speaking to Jinny was the comfort of hearing one’s own tongue from someone other than their aunt and their uncle. Chinese and English were both languages that I was proficient at, but nothing was like the comfortable tones of the Thai language.
I sat down opposite to her as she produced out a notebook from nowhere and rapidly turned through the pages, which, I noticed, were full of scribbles, notes and drawings. Somehow it reminded me of a quote from Albert Einstein that said something like ‘if a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, what, then, of an empty desk?’ I guess the same could be applied to notebooks. As Jinny flicked through, she used her other hand to flick around her hair, which, I also noticed, was a habit girls tended to have. (For heaven’s sake, I’d like to figure out why the hell it was so fun to run your hand through your own hair every three seconds). Jinny was no exception to this habit.
“I’m trying to find the Sports Day notes from last year.” Jinny shook her head. “I can’t find it. Brought the wrong notebooks, it seems.”
“You seem to take a lot of notes.” I commented. I’d have said something more meaningful that would actually add to the conversation but I guess I felt shy in Jinny’s presence, and I didn’t really know what to say. Jinny simply replied that it wasn’t strange that she has a lot of notes. “I’m usually the one taking notes for Student Council. I also have a lot of notes for my music.”
“You’re not a Midnight Wolf by any chance, right?”
That made her laugh. “No! I’m independent.”
The first thought that crossed my mind was ‘Thank god, I thought I had a crush on a rebel; just a best friend is enough’. I then immediately tossed that thought into a mental thrash can. I realized that there’d been a bit of silence while I cleared away my thoughts. “How’s your singing?”
“Hey, I can’t say how my singing is like! I’ll send you a link to my YouTube channel this afternoon.”
I smiled. “Good enough. We’re getting sidetracked though. So what do you want to talk to me about for Sports Day?”
“Everything. We’ve gotta plan the whole thing.”
“Everything?” I repeated.
“What do you expect?”
“Wait. Doesn’t the school have their events and we just have to help organize it?”
“No, we do everything. We have to plan the whole thing, give it to the school; if the school says OK then we do it.”
Only now was I starting to appreciate the task at hand. I was filled with thoughts, whirling thoughts that couldn’t be organized, about how to set this whole thing up. In my absentmindedness I nearly reached for one of Jinny’s buns, but I realized that stealing one of her buns would not make a very good impression on her and I stopped my arm just in time. Damn, that bun sure looks good though. I do find Cantonese food attractive. “Well. Okay.” I said, because I was so good at finding smart and deep things to say.
At that moment, two kids ran up to Jinny and sat down right next to her. I recognized them from Student Council, but I didn’t know their name. They immediately chatted to Jinny excitedly.
“Jinny! When will we start doing something for Student Council?” one of them asked. I looked at them blankly while Jinny just smiled, and looking at them I felt like she could have been a sister to the two kids.
“I’m planning Sports Day with Pete here.”
“Sports Day. That’s pretty cool.” said the boy.
“These two are Alex and Jane. They’re siblings.” Jinny told me. “Very easily excited.” She then turned back to the two. “Sit here and be quiet. Don’t interrupt.” I had to smile at that. Such a sister.
“So what do you want?” Jinny asked.
I shrugged. “I hardly know how to start. Sadly I’ve only been in Student Council for two days.”
“Yeah, I know that.”
“What do YOU suggest?”
“Anything’s possible, really. Gotta have some court sports. Some field sports. We got to the plan the last event from scratch though. Usually it’s something involving the whole school in one activity.”
“How about field hockey for field sports?”
Alex started complaining immediately. “Field hockey sucks. Someone whacked the hockey up my butt.”
“Don’t comment or you’ll get one in your butt from me.” Jinny said half jokingly. “How about football?”
“Of course we need football.” I said. “I’ve yet to see a Sports Day without football.”
“I rock at football.” Alex proclaimed to the world. “I can shoot at any goal.”
“And I can use you as a football and shoot you into a thrash can. Quit commenting.” At this point, the bell sounded which told us it was three minutes before class. I sighed. I had Math next and I did not find Math exceedingly enjoyable. I’d need to run quick to get there in time.
“Talk today after school?” Jinny asked.
“Sure.” I could go without piano practice for a day to come and plan Sports Day with Jinny certainly. We got off the bench and for the first time I walked out of the cafateria with someone that was not Will. Someone, I hoped, who would be more than what Will is.
* * * * *
That afternoon, after a dizzying series of classes such as Math, PE and double Science, I found myself walking along the corridors to the library, looking forward to the meeting, even if my head was still whirling about the rules of trigonometry. I walked alone like usual; I didn’t suspect anything out of the ordinary would happen.
I was wrong.
Two students suddenly came up to me from a room and blocked my way. They both wore masks, and I couldn’t identify who they were. The corridors were narrow and I certainly couldn’t barge past. I swore silently. If these wanted trouble, I didn’t have anyone around to help. I looked around. Was Will nearby?
I tried asking nicely. “Sorry, but I’m walking here. Do you mind making way?”
“No, Pete, we need to talk to you.”
“Not now. I’m in a hurry.” I tried to push past but they grabbed my arms.
“You’re Student Council President now, right?”
“Yes. Now let me go.” They simply held my arm tighter. I looked around desperately. God damnit, where was Will and his Wolves when you needed them?
“What makes you think you’re going to be a good leader? You’re a nobody. You should resign.”
I tried to smile, as if I wasn’t scared. “Resign? Why should I resign? Who are you to say I should resign?” Obviously that was a mistake. They were both bigger and more muscular than me and their temper wasn’t very good, either. They simply gripped my arms so tight that it now hurt. I swore. So much for that show of courage.
“Let me go, now.” They just chuckled at that.
“Who are you to say we should let you go? You should resign. We really do recommend that.” One of them leaned their masked face closer to me, as if to intimidate.
“Why are you so interested in making me resign?” I asked. The pain was starting to become unbearable.
They didn’t get to finish a sentence. A shout came from behind me and I turned my head to look. At first I’d thought it was more of these damned masked students coming to me, but to my great relief, it was Will, streaming with about five of his friends, presumably Wolves. The masked students weren’t going to stay to fight. They weren’t interested. They simply pushed me down to the ground and fled the scene.
“Well,” I said, as Will helped me up, “thank god you’re here. I had a wonderful time with them.”
“Who were they?” he asked. “What the hell did you do to get yourself into trouble with them?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know, actually. But they asked me to resign.”
Will spat. “Resign? Are they crazy? Resign from what? President?” I nodded.
“That’s insane.” Will said. “ No one even cares about that role. Who wants it? It’s just a load of work.” I had to agree that not a lot of people cares, so it was surprising they’d try to come to me to pressure me into resigning. I sighed.
“Someone probably wants my job.”
Will gripped my shoulder.
“You are not going to have to resign. I don’t know who they were, but I will find out and no one escapes my Wolves. You can have my word.”
I nodded. “No one escapes your Wolves.”