CHAPTER 62: PLEASED
And it turned out to be exactly what I had feared. This bastard only heard half of the whole story.
Seriously. Now he's all broody even though his team is way in the lead in total points. He's really unhappy right now. And instead of being pissed and ignoring me, he's just pissed and insisting on hovering over me even more now! Damn it.
I should've known by now though. Phun Phumipat is stubborn. He's the type that doesn't let go after he's taken a bite on something. He bites especially harder when he's moody. Case in point, we were told by the staff members that we can go do our own things and head to bed after we were done with the games. The first thing Phun decided to do was marching over to where I was. He was ignoring everything and everyone. He made sure there was no way Earn could hang around me, let alone have a conversation with me. And I meant that in a literal sense.
It's not even like he talks to me even though he's hanging around me either! He's around but he refuses to speak to me. Sure, he'd speak to Joke or Nant. He'd even chat with my friends like Ohm, Palm and Pong. He'd even go as far as talking to Earn and Pete. He'd pretty much talk to anyone except to me. Apparently, I had earned his silent treatment.
Then why the hell are you hanging around me and scaring people away from talking to me?
I keep wanting to curse him out but stopping myself. Plus, it's not like he wants to talk to me. So guess what? I don't want to talk to him either. (Ha) If it's going to be like this then screw it. I figure I'll just try to act normal while I have Phun abnormally hovering over me constantly like a shadow.
I mean, none of this normal! He keeps following me everywhere! He follows me when I leave to take a shower. The shower here is an Open Air one, meaning there's a huge tub in the middle and people use smaller bowls to fetch water from there and rinse themselves. It's a public and shared space, so the guys can show off their goods if they so desire. (Or not so good, but I have no desire to look.) Phun is sticking to me real close since it's not a private bathroom. I get a shock when this student council secretary attacks me with water and shoves a bar of soap at me. Then he repeats the barrage of water process all over to rinse me off. Then he chases me out with his flicks of his hands and orders me to get dressed.
Dude, where's the fire?! This Noh won't back down that easily! Hahaha. I keep playing around with Ohm and Palm. I ignore the death stare from whoever is nearby. My friends and I pick on Pong and attack him water. And why shouldn't we? Apparently, he knew this place only had a public bath. (Because he called a staff member and asked ahead of time.) But he didn't tell any of us! He knew about this so he prepared a pair of dark red boxers to wear without having to worry. The rest of us have on pairs of light green, light yellow, light blue and light pink on. (We might as well not be wearing anything at this point.) He's different from us, so he's going to get it!
Take it off!
Ahahaha! This is hilarious! It's so satisfying to watch the young master Pong, who had just washed off his scented soap, rolling around on the cement floor. (I repeat! This is a cement floor instead of a tile floor.) Heh heh heh. From far away, it would look as if we're beating him up. Frankly, getting beaten up might be the better option here at this point for him instead of getting stripped like this. Sorry, my friend. We're all pretty much naked so don't think you'd get to walk away from this so easily!
My friends and I are making such a ruckus inside the bathroom as we pick on Pong. Finally, Ohm completed the mission by successfully yanking off those red boxers off of Pong! Ahahaha! It's too bad there were no cameras around. (Who'd bring on here anyway?!) We all whistle and cat call at Pong for a while and decide we better start washing ourselves all over again since we were rolling on the ground. I mean, the cement floor isn't exactly clean. (So gross...) But anyway, how come Ohm is so quick to finish his shower?! I just started again and I see him walk off to where our clothes and towels are hanged. And then I understood.
That asshole! He's using my towel again!
"Damn it, Ohm. Are you for real?!" I shout at him at the top of my lungs. He laughs at me, seemingly without a care in the world. (Bastard!) But before I can curse at him some more, a soft and familiar scented towel lands on top of my head.
Phun is pretending like he's oblivious. He runs his fingers through his soaked hair. I notice that he's blocking my body with his own. I furrow my brows before I look down at my light blue boxers that I have on. Yes, the fabric is pretty thin but it hardly looks obscene (especially compared to Palm's light yellow boxers, hahaha). I quickly accept Phun's towel without making a fuss.
I carefully dry myself with Phun's fresh towel, making sure that I don't use up all the dry spots. I quickly return the towel to its owner who has a pair of light orange boxers on. It's soaking wet to the point where you can see every single details. I wanted to tell him that I don't want anyone else but me to see him exposed like this but I didn't want to be the first to break the silence between us.
We quietly get dressed next to each other (all the while trying to block one another's body from view). Then we walk back to our living quarters in silence. On the way back, I keep glancing to my right to look at Phun's expressionless face. He's carrying all of my stuff inside his arms. And I wonder, if I had beaten him to it and carried some of the stuff, would he be holding my hand with his free hand now if he could?
I know the answer to that question very well.
We finally arrive back at our room. It is technically a room, it's just that it's a classroom. (We're at a school and not a hotel after all. Y_Y) The room we're sleeping in is a huge classroom. It reminds me of where undocumented immigrants were living from those documentaries that I've seen. As expected, everyone else is already asleep by the time we get back. We quickly and quietly find our own spots that we fortunately had saved with our backpacks. Otherwise, we'd be sleeping on top of each other.
I'm putting my things away next to Ohm. He's slathering on scented lotion. Ugh, who is he trying to kid? That lotion won't help him look better! Ha! I think silently to myself. I didn't even get a chance to open my mouth to speak with a hand lands on my head with a thud.
"What the fuck?! Why did you smack me?" Thud! It's my turn, take that! I receive a big bottle of lotion on my head in return. Ow, this hurts! He's hurting me!
"I could tell you were talking shit about me in your head. I could see it on your face, asshole." How'd he know?! I mean, how is he such an awful person?! Sure, I did talk shit this time but what if I didn't? Fucker. I stick my middle finger at him before opening my palm for some of his lotion. Hehe. I like the one that Ohm uses. It smells nice. I often ask if I could borrow some when I hang out at his place. It makes me feel so comfortable and I fall asleep very easily. I never bothered to buy one for myself though because it's very expensive. (You know how it is, when you weren't born as good looking as me, you gotta spend some money. You know what I mean Ahahaha!)
"Are you gonna get some sleep any time soon? We gotta get up early tomorrow," Palm reminds us from nearby. Pong is next to him who is next to Ohm. I take a look at my watch and it's past one in the morning now. I give him a nod and zip up my backpack.
"I'm turning the lights off then," Earn says since he's the closest to the light switch. The rest of us give him a quick nod before the light dims. Before the lights went dark, I noticed that Phun were next to Joke and Nant. They're at the opposite side of the room. I can't help but wonder if he finally chose to stop stalking me. But whatever, I'm so sleepy now. I yawn as my head touches my pillow. (It's actually my backpack but I'm treating it as my pillow.) I would've fallen asleep if it weren't for...
There's someone sliding in between Pete and me! (Ohm is to my right. Pete is to my left and Earn is next to him. But who the hell is it?! I turn my body to look in the darkness. I can make it out that it's...
...that bastard Phun Phumipat.
Yo! I nearly yell out loud but a warm hand covers my mouth. I furrow my brows and look at him. He's been brooding all day but now he has a finger on his lips telling me to stay quiet. I nod at him. I furrow my brows even more as I glance around to see if anyone else had woken up and seen us.
This is probably the first time in the past six hours that he's smiling (at me). At least I think he's smiling because it's so dark that I can hardly tell. Maybe I'm seeing things. I narrow my eyes and try to look harder when a warm arm pulls me in for a familiar hug.
Phun holds me gently, the way he usually does when he helps me fall asleep. His warm palm pats me on the head almost playfully. He presses his lips against my forehead. I do the same for him as I slowly drift off to sleep inside his warm embrace.
I don't know if anyone will catch us in the morning.
But that's okay. Because as long as Phun is here, I am safe.
I truly believe that. :)
Jeez! Why is it so loud this morning? I barely had enough sleep, damn it. I furrow my brows with my eyes still closed tightly because it feels like the sunlight is trying to pry them open.
"Shit, Noh! Wake up! Wake up! Wake uppp!" Ugh! I know there is only one person who would ever try and wake me up with his feet! I flip my body away from him and swing my arm over the person next to me out of habit since I was doing that all night.
"Hey!" Why the heck is he yelling? Wait, that isn't Phun's voice! I flinch and quickly pull my arm back before I open my eyes. The unlucky victim that I just tried to cuddle with was Pete!
"Noh, you took my virginity!" Fuck! I'm fully awake now and I stick my middle finger at him even though we're not exactly close. (Cause he decided to be a smartass with me.) Eh, maybe it was my fault because I was the one cuddling him first? Haha. But wasn't Phun sleeping next to me last night? Was that a dream? Was I actually cuddling with Pete the entire night?! No way.
I rub my eyes to get rid of my drowsiness before I try to search the room for where Phun might be. As it turns out, he's still sleeping soundly in the other end of the room. (Why the fuck didn't everyone wake him up too?!) And the person next to me, who I thought was Phun the entire night, turns out to be Pete. He was an innocent bystander that I ended up hugging. Fortunately, he seems find and is now joking around with his friends. He doesn't seem to be bothered by what happened. (I'm not either.) I scratch my head as I start to believe that last night was all a dream.
Ugh, forget it. Phun is now waking up since we're being so loud. He's still giving me the silent treatment. He grabs his toothbrush, toothpaste, and a cleanser. He stops at the door, probably to wait for me. As if I'd go with you! I cock my brow at him obnoxiously before I sit and wait for Palm and Pong while they gather their stuff instead. I leave with them and leave Ohm behind since he told me that he had already finished his business. (When?) He wants to get some more sleep. Okay, whatever.
When I return, I notice that Palm's name card is missing a piece. Ahahaha! I almost forgot about the Vampire game. Palm was stupid to leave his name tag in the room. The vampire got to him. (I didn't even know this was allowed!) That's what happen when you get careless. Hahaha. Who killed him anyway? I quickly turn to look at Ohm. He gives me a smirk as though he's warning me not to get careless. I get a chill down my spine and put my own name tag around my neck in a hurry. I suppose having Phun sticking around me isn't so bad. At least that bastard Ohm won't be able to get to me!
After witnessing the gruesome murder (thanks to Palm's humiliating ripped name tag, people can't help but wonder how this dude only managed to survive less than a day), all the campers meet up at the soccer field right outside the school building. The college seniors asked us to stand in line with our colors as if we're middle-schoolers. Phun is now separated from me having to sit with the other yellow name tags. (Naturally, he gave me a stink eye before he left.) Meanwhile, I'm with the group of red tags. (Getting political again?) The college seniors begin telling us about today's activities and which group will be responsible for each part of the projects.
Since we're here to plant trees, there's not much else to do than...planting trees. Except we're not exactly regrowing a forest because they're having us planting vetiver grasses instead. They're supposed to help act as a natural fortress and absorb water to prevent floods. Well, it's not too bad. It sounds simple, we'll just be sticking grasses into dirt. I let out a yawn while I listen to them teach us how to plant grasses properly. I'm already dozing off and I hear Earn's chuckling at me.
"Are you getting sleepy, Noh? Did you get any sleep last night?"
"Yeah…" I start to think about last night again now that Earn has brought it up. I think I slept well last night. But how come it felt like I was dreaming about Phun last night? Maybe I actually didn't?
I turn to look at him with a sleepy expression on my face. "I did but...I wanna sleep some more."
"Haha, go ahead. I'll wake up when we're ready to leave." Awesome, dude! I smile and accept his offer. Then I proceed to rest my face against my knees and drift off. Thanks, man!
"Noh, Noh. It's time to leave."
Huh? What's happening…?
I lift my head up from my knees. I see other campers getting up to leave. I'm the only one still on the ground (since I was napping) and now I'm breathing in the dirt and grass that the other campers have dusted from themselves.
"Cough, cough, cough." Damn it, you guys! Don't kick up a storm, I'm still sitting here!
I make a fuss internally as a small towel gets tossed my way.
"Thank you, Earn!" I quickly cover my face with it and take this chance to get up off the ground. I look up to see...Phun.
Aw, shit. I thought it was Earn! I'm fucked.
My mouth hangs open as I stare at Phun who seems to be pretending like he's gone deaf and did not hear who I thanked. It's better this way, I guess? I start to thank him when I catch myself. If I speak to him first then I'd lose, right? (We're playing a game now?) I hand him back the (used) towel. Phun takes it back without uttering a single word. He refuses to move until I move.
Oh, come on!
"Which is the yellow zone, Phun? Is it far away?" Earn asks him while the three of us make our way there. It seems like a long way to go. I actually have no idea which zones are for which colors because I was asleep when they were telling us earlier.
"Near the cotton trees. They said we'll be near the water too." Phun answers with a smile as he carries two shovels on his shoulder. (One of them is mine.) Earn smiles back at him.
"That's nice. Our zone is further back. I don't think there's any water there. I bet it'll be hot. Noh, will you be okay?" Well, it's nice of you to include me in your conversation. I blink a few times before I look up at the bright sun. Then I smile sheepishly.
"Of course. I'm a JROTC after all." And I only played hooky four or five times. Heh heh heh.
"You're in the lower level, why are you even boasting? Wait 'til you're in the big leagues like us then you can talk. Right, Phun?" Yo, what the hell? I was lucky to land in the lower level, so what? You two are just jealous. I glance at Earn but he stops messing with me. He's now talking shit about a soldier that they both meth with Phun instead. Well, isn't it nice that you two are getting along?
I glance at the two of them while they're having fun chatting with each other and I can't help but smile. This is what I like about Phun. Sure, he gets jealous and is possessive (other people don't know about this except me) but he's not the type that would pick a fight. Phun has never took out his issues on our friends causing any embarrassment for me. Phun has never hurt me physically or emotionally. Sure, sometimes he'd get upset and does weird stuff that he usually does because that's the type of person he is. (Like what he's doing now.) Sometimes he'd quietly interrupt others from approaching me. And causing a scene publicly just to prove that I belong with him? Forget that, he'd never do such a thing. Phun has always treated me with respect and I appreciate him for that.
I glance at Phun with a smile on my face. He looks confused and probably wants to ask why I'm looking at him like this but he won't. (This Cold War is still going on.) Heh heh. He's curious and I'm enjoying it so I whistle happily just to egg him on. Then I hear a voice interrupting me.
"Noh! Good morning! Are you looking where you're walking? Hehe." Whose voice is that? I look around for the source of the voice that sounds familiar to me but I can't place my finger on it. And then I discover the source.
Oh. It's that girl from the convent!]
Ah, shit. I turn pale because while she recognized me, I don't remember who she is. What should I do now? Will she be hurt if she realizes that I don't recognize her? Ah, I wish I had a lifeline right about now.
While I'm racking my brain trying to remember her name, the girls in front of me is showing me the way. "It's Jeed. I saw you yesterday but I didn't call out because I was afraid that you wouldn't remember me." Oh, yeah! Jeed! That's her! Now I remember!
Now that Jeed had re-introduced herself, I couldn't help but grin wildly like I'm mental. (I couldn't help it, I was glad I remembered. I notice that Phun looked upset for a second but I paid him no mind.
"Of course I remember you. Haha." Liar, liar. Pants on fire. Just add this to the long list of sins I've committed. I'll pay for this later in hell, I guess.
At the very least, my lie managed to make Jeed smile. "I'm so glad! Hehe. I actually run into you often near the convent but I never said hi because I was afraid you didn't remember me." Can we not repeat the part where I didn't remember you? (Because I didn't. -_-) I smile sheepishly in return. Before I can reply, a familiar deep voice interrupts me.
"You're on the pink team, Jeed? So you're on the same team as Ohm then?"
"Yeah, the kinda loud guy, right? You're on the yellow team, so you're on the same team as Yuri?"
"Yes." And the two continues their long conversation to the point where Jeed doesn't get a chance to interact with me. And that is fine by me, really. Enjoy your chat. Go on. Walk between Earn and me while you're carrying a full conversation with Jeed while you're at it. (Hmph!)
He's actually doing it, by the way. -_- I am amazed that he manages to carry a conversation with Jeed the entire way. (He doesn't even talk this much when he hangs out with me.) Even though we're literally walking on rice field ridges. Yes, there are rice fields surrounding us now. Phun is still talking to Jeed while having to walk on the ridges as obstacles nonstop. There's no lull, not a single moment. Heh heh. Isn't this just great. So happy for you. You're actually trying to hit on her, aren't you? I could see it in Jeed's eyes and that's kind of taken by him. I'm itching to say something. I want to warn Phun that he might be getting himself in trouble.
In the end, this dream (whose?) shatters when it's time for Phun to leave us to join his fellow yellow team members. He left behind Jeed, Earn and me to continue our journey toward our own zone. Before leaving, Phun glared at me as if to warn me. What? You think I'd try to hit on her? She has already fallen for you, you bastard.
I snarled at him before leaving behind to join Jeed and Earn. We're barely talking, but not because I'm upset or anything like that. But it's so damn hot. It is so hot that I need to put a towel over my head or I'd pass out from heat exhaustion. We haven't even started working yet and I already feel like going back to sleep. I can't even imagine how bad it'd get once we get to work. Earn and I make small talks and complain about the weather as Jeed excuses herself since we've arrived at the pink zone's team. I spot Ohm helping a cute girl carrying bunches of vetiver grasses in the distance. And even though he's far away from me, he still attempts to flash a huge grin and show how he has it better than me. Heh, that bastard. Sure, now you're acting like a gentleman. When he's around us, he's lazier than a sloth. Goddamn him! I stick my middle finger at him before I walk past the group dishearteningly.
"A single zone is pretty wide. I wonder if we'd be able to handle it." Earn complains softly as we continue to travel through each zone. It takes a long while to get through one, so much so that I don't even want to imagine how large ours could be. And I'm not the type that exercise regularly either. Yeah, I'm in the school marching band, but I haven't actually done any actual marching lately. I had always procrastinate and practiced in the clubroom. Earn, on the other hand, probably has nothing to worry about. The cheer team goes all out during practice and being chosen to be the captain meant Earn worked the hardest of them all.
"As if you got anything to worry about." I pat him on the back a couple of times and beam at him. He smiled softly in return.
"I meant you. I was wondering if you'd be able to handle it." What the heck? Did he mean well or was he just looking down on me?! I move my hand from patting his back to smacking him in the head. Hahaha. He may be the coolest captain of the cheer team but even this president of a lame club manages to get in a hit or two.
"Fuck you, I'm super fit! Look! Look!" I give him the honor by showing off my bicep muscles (or fat) to him. Hahaha. Earn is rendered speechless for a moment before he starts saying something.
"Shit, Noh. I think it's time you start working out." Asshole! I didn't ask for your opinion!
Three hours later and I am starting to agree with Earn's earlier suggestion.
How is it this damn hot?! It's so hot that my fats are melting off of me. And I got a lot of a fat! There's a lot of melting going on right now. Shit! I wish I could take off my shirt but there are girls around and I wanted to be respectful. Not to mention the Angels Gang has grown in number now that there are other schools here too. (And they're much scarier.) I have no choice but to keep wearing the green shirt that insists on drawing in heat mercilessly. Jeez!
Planting grass is actually harder than it looks too. I thought it would've been simple and I could take it easy. Like, dig a small hole and stick a bunch in it and be done. But in reality, it is much more complicated than that. The ground here extremely dry. (And I mean dry, I couldn't imagine something so dry if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.) It's so dry to the point where there are cracks everywhere. Everyone of us is having a hard time digging. We didn't even bring enough shovels for everybody so we let the girls and guys (who are girls on the inside) use them. A tough guy like me? (Yes, in this moment I am the toughest! You can't argue with me.) I'm only using my hands!
Digging and planting grasses with bare hands mean getting cracks and blisters. Earn's fingernails have started bleeding. (You idiot, you were digging with your nails?) So the two of us decided to procrastinate under the shades because we felt like we couldn't continue digging. Unfortunately for us, there are no tall trees in this area. We only have high grasses that we could sit near and avoid the sun.
"Hey, Noh. How are your hands doing? Lemme see?" Is now really the time to be so chivalrous, Earn? I chuckle dryly as I look at my damaged hands. There are cuts and scrapes all over. I glance over to look at the guy in front of me whose hands are in a much worse condition than mine. I couldn't help myself and tell him off. "You're asking how I'm doing? Have you seen your own hands? I'm gonna go get the first aid kit for you, okay?"
"No, you don't have to. My hands aren't that important. You're the one who needs them to play instruments."
Wow, I completely forgot about that part. "I'll be fine! If I can't play then I can just slack off during the club meeting, ahahaha!" Ow, why'd he hit me?! Did the spirit of p'Diew possess him or something? I grab my head and points at his face as a warning.
Truthfully, Earn and I are on a break from digging because there aren't that much left to do. There's only a few more that need to be planted. For our team, we had decided to take breaks in a pair. (Instead of a full house. What? That wasn't funny? Fine, no more jokes from me. Hmph!) Earn and I were the last two who hadn't gotten a chance to take a break yet. (We were working full throttle.) The rest of the team members unanimously thought it was time for the two of us to take a break. They would handle the rest of the planting themselves and finish up. And this is how I ended up sitting next to Earn in such a close proximity because there's only enough room for shade. Hey, hey. Don't you even think about running to Phun to tell on me because he's already marching over here!
"Still not done yet, Earn?" Per usual, he's not speaking to me. He's talking to everyone around me but me. Of course! I shoot him a look. He's smiling from ear to ear as he rudely seats himself between Earn and me.
Are you that needy, you bastard?!
"Not yet, there's only a bit left though. Your team finished already?"
"Yeah, we did. A bunch of people jumped into the pond to play in the water after!" Aw, that sounds like a lot of fun! I quietly listen and almost asked him to go play too. But then I remembered that this Cold War is still ongoing.
Damn it. Sometimes I really do hate my own pride.
So I keep quiet and let Phun and Earn chat among themselves about a bunch of stuff. I start to feel sleepy, really sleepy. It's probably because of the heat. Maybe my body just want to go into rest mode and ride this heat out. My eyelids feel heavy. But then I notice that there are a lot of blood on Phun's hands.
".........." Man, I'm dying to ask him if he was doing okay but my own ego won't allow me to start talking to him first. I'm pathetic, aren't I?
But if I do this, it probably won't count as me losing, right? I secretly take his hand into mine gently, feeling afraid that I might hurt him. I hope that this action is enough to let him know that I am worried about him.
Phun takes a second to look at me while he chats with Earn. His lips curl into a gentle smile. He reaches out with his other hand to guide my head to lean on his broad back. I break into a happy grin before I press my cheek against his back. My hand is still holding his.
When will he start talking to me again? I'm dying to make up with him.
I don't know how much time has passed. In my sweet dream, we're having a picnic on top of a mountain. The weather is cool and breezy. There's a bucketful of iced cold beer to help us relax. Someone is playing an acoustic guitar nearby. This dream is so sweet to the point where I don't want to open my eyes and face reality (of this god forsaken heat). There are also pretty girls all around us too.
Damn it! Who pushed me off the cliff?! Fucking asshole! I nearly hit my head on the ground. (Fortunately, Phun's hand stopped my fall.) I woke up in a panic only to find out that it was none other than Phun himself that pulled me out of my fantasy. He moved away and woke me up and I nearly smacked my head into the ground too! You bastard!
"You--!" I almost cursed at him when I remembered that we were still in the middle of the Cold War. It means whoever speaks first loses. (Seriously?) Realizing that, I sneer at him as best as I can while keeping the insults to myself. Fucking asshole, you did that on purpose. I try to convey that with my eyes. He stares back at me. Yes, I did. What are you gonna do about it? I'll get you back for this later!
I can hear Earn laughing loudly while I try to pick myself up with the help of Phun's hand. Oh, now you're trying to be nice after that bullshit you pulled with me? I still won't forget what you did! I think to myself as I dust my butt off and join them to head back to the area where we were planting grasses.
"Did everyone finish a while ago? Sorry about that. I was really enjoying my nap." I apologize to Earn before he waves me off for doing so.
"It's fine, we had just finished. Ohm, Pong and Palm came over earlier but saw that you were asleep so they left. I think they went to play in the water.
"Damn, I wanna go too!" When we were making our way to our zone earlier today, we had to walk past a large body of water and I was really tempted to jump in then and there. After finding out that my friends are already playing in the water, I want to join them even more. Man, I wish I could just fly over and dive into the water right now! (Didn't certain somebody feel so tired that they were out like a light just now?)
"Yeah, we should hurry before the day is over." Earn takes a look at his watch and rushes me. Naturally, I follow along.
Yay! I can't wait to jump into the water!
It's just like what Earn told me. I see over a dozen campers already having a lot of fun in the water when we arrived. I watch as Ohm tries to show off to the girls by doing a backflip into the water. (I'm gonna laugh my ass off if you hit your head instead.) But it seems like the screams for him from the ladyboys are actually louder. (Haha!) I quickly take off my shoes and head to join my friends from my school and from the other schools who are clearly enjoying themselves.
"Lemme play too! So you finished with your zone a while ago?" I crouch down and ask Ohm since I still haven't decided on how I wanted to show off my jumping yet. Ohm is teaching Palm how to flat like a starfish in the water. He looks up at me.
"Yeah, ages ago. My fingers are all pruny now."
"His team finished so fast. I bet they cheated." Palm looks up from his starfish pose and tells on Ohm. Ohm splashes a huge wave water at him in return. They really should be playing according to their age at least. I hope he realizes this is a pond and not a proper swimming pool.
"I think the reason they finished so fast was that Ohm ate all the grasses. You know he probably couldn't help himself."
"Fucker!" Hahaha. We burst into laughter and give each other high-fives since we managed to sneak an insult at Ohm. Just then, I hear some shouting from behind me.
"Move! Move! Move!" It's Earn and Phun. They're sprinting over together from a distance. Then they both synchronized their dive. Shit! They looked so cool! How should I jump now so I'd look cool too? Should I do a flip? Or a half twist? (Okay, take it down a notch.) As I'm pondering, someone knocks me over and I fall into the water.
My so-called cool dive has turned into a belly flop.
That freaking hurts!
I can hear loud laughter from the campers, probably because I looked ridiculous. (Noooo!) And my stomach hurts now too. Ah, I feel like I could burst! I better not find out who did this to me or I'll tear them to pieces. I groan as my friends dunk my head underwater instead of checking if I was okay.
We continue to play happily in the water. This is actually my first time playing like this. I've only played in the ocean, swimming pools and waterfalls. I've never played in a pond like this before. It's a bit scary too. (Because it's pretty deep, my feet can't reach the bottom.) But it's a lot of fun though, probably because I am here with a bunch of my friends and I don't think they'd let me drown. Hahaha. (Why am I jinxing myself?)
"Ahhh! Don't!" While we are having fun with climbing back up and jump off over and over with different poses, I hear a loud scream near an ice cream cart that is parked nearby for the campers to buy.
Everyone of us turn to the source of the scream immediately. We see a cute girl with light skin and not a drop of sweat on her. (Seriously? Swear that she's been in the sun all day too?) Around her are girls in their soaking wet clothes doing their best to persuade her into jumping into the pond by pulling her arms.
"No! I'm serious! Don't! No! Please! Don't!" I watch Yuri as she holds a spoon in one hand and a cup of ice cream in the other pleading with her friends to spare her. It doesn't seem like her friends are letting her off easily. Haha. (But Yuri is afraid of water? I recall her being the first the run into the ocean when we went to the beach together.) The girls seem to have superhuman strengths right now. (They sure weren't putting this this much efforts when we were planting grasses. Ha…) They manage to pull Yuri all the way to the edge of the pond before they give one last strong push.
"You're all so mean!" Yuri is thrown into the water not too far from me. She is underwater for a few moments before she surfaces and starts yelling at the top of her lungs. The group of girls that pushed her (Jeed included) are giggling and clapping gleefully. They jump in and join Yuri in the water.
"Wasn't that your ex, Noh? Mind if I ask her out?" Pete swims over to where I am and teases me. He can if he wants to. I hope she says yes. It'd be nice to see her smiling again.
We played in the water for a long while before the staff members came to get us. It's time to get ourselves cleaned up so we can have dinner later. Slowly, the campers leave the pond. I'm wringing water from my wet shirt and I notice that Yuri is still the only one in the water.
"Yuri, what's the matter?" A girl, whose name is May if I recall correctly, shouts from the edge of the pond since everyone else has gotten out of the water. Yuri simply shakes her head in return.
"Yuri, come on. We should leave before the restroom fills up." Yet, Yuri still refuses to leave.
I turn to look as I continue to wringing my green shirt. It's still pretty wet so it's dark green for now. This helps me realize something.
"Hey, Noh. You ready to go?" Joke asks me as he puts his flip flops on so he can leave with the rest and head back to the school building. (Emphasis on school...and not a hotel.) I raise my hand and ask for a second before I take off my flip flops and jump back into the water.
Yuri seems to be startled when she sees that I'm swimming over to her. I choose to stubbornly to do this even though she might not want help from someone like me anymore.
I stop in front of the familiar face before I take my shirt off and put it on her.
"Don't worry about returning it later." Her wet white shirt is clinging to her skin. It's thin enough that you could see through it and reveals the black bra she's wearing underneath. I understood why she didn't want to get out of the water and why she didn't want to play in the water in the first place.
Yuri keeps her head down and doesn't meet my eyes. I didn't expect her to thank me in the first place. I swim away and return to my friends after I had finished putting my green shirt on her.
"Jeez, way to show off, Noh. You got some balls going shirtless with that huge gut on you, haha. You cold though, dude?" Ohm teases me but there's a hint of worry based on his question. It's a little chilly but I'll be just fine. I watch as my friends meet one another's eyes as if they're planning something quietly. Nant is the first to take off his shirt.
"Since Noh's going shirtless, I might as well join him too!" Everyone else begins to take off their shirt and throw it over their shoulder. This is a little obscene though, isn't it? Haha. We might scare the girls though. I pat them on the back to show my gratitude for their kindness the endure the cold with me. We leave with arms around one another's shoulders.
My heart feels bigger and it probably has nothing with getting bloated by water either, I think. :)