Clingy big-eyed monkeys can be cute sometimes. But not this monkey walking beside me right now.
“I’m gonna fail this project….”Gregory begs.
Well that’s good news. I quicken my pace so that I’m practically jogging. Gregory catches up and grabs at my arm desperately, “Just this one time. You know I can’t-“
“Poopy hands off me, I’m telling you,” I stop walking, glaring at his hand.
“Let me copy and I’ll let go,” Gregory negotiates. Monkey. I flash him a mocking ‘yeah right’ nod before I push my way through the library door, half-hoping maybe Gregory would be too scared to follow me into the place of books and knowledge. He’d cringe at the sight of a kiddo encyclopaedia, not to say-
“Library, huh? Great. Now go find a nice place and get your assignment done. I think I’ll do the copying here,” he says from behind.
I whip around, my eyes narrowed, “Do it yourself. Mr Brown said copying is not allowed.”
Gregory puts on his innocent look, “Sandy dear, you know Bio is never my thing. I certainly can’t fail this one. It’s included in our grades….you can’t just refuse to help and watch me fail…..where’s your conscience?”
“In the bin,” I reply and plop down at the corner table. I dig out my books and pen as Gregory takes a seat from across, scraping his chair against the floor noisily.
“Shh!” the temp librarian at the counter hisses at us, her face stoned.
I hook a thumb towards Gregory while he hastily smiles and makes a lip-sealing motion to the librarian. Not that we are afraid of the librarian. It’s just that our school’s a little too creative on the punishment for being loud in the library. If you get listed by that librarian, you stay for the whole afternoon and help carwash the teacher’s cars. The teacher’s term is detention. We students call it youth labour.
Gregory turns back to me, drumming his fingers on the desk impatiently, “As if there’s even a student shadow here…” he complains, while I start scribbling out my project on a paper, totally tuning him out. Until he deliberately throws a book onto my paper, that is.
The book hits my pen and my hand slips, scraping an ugly line across my lines of writing. I stop dead, glaring at my ruined work.
“Sandy dear…..can’t you at least find it in your heart-“
I hold up my pen slowly, “Do you know what this is, Gregory?”
Gregory shrugs, frowning, “A pen?”
Pursing my lips, I utter my words a little too patiently, “Yeah. A pen. With a sharp end. Call me sweetheart one more time, and I’m gonna stick this thing right into your nostril and make them bleed.”
It’s Gregory’s turn to freeze. He stares at me, “My, you’re violent.”
“So stay away from me,” I tear my gaze away, pulling out a new paper from my bag before I dip my head in concentration again.
Apparently, Gregory just won’t leave me alone. He grunts, “Sandy swee-“ he shakes his head before continuing, “I mean Sandy Swiss Roll, how-“
“What the HECK is Sandy Swiss Roll now?” I snap.
Gregory waves dismissingly and continues, “I mean, come on….help me out.”
I give him a honeyed smile and turn my attention back to work again.
Leaning back in his chair, he sighs, “What do you want me to do?”
My head whips up, and tapping my pen against my chin, I think hard before answering, “Take me to Coachella.”
Gregory flashes me a bored look, “You might as well ask me to kiss a tarantula.”
I smile and begin scribbling again, somehow satisfied.
We’re carrying out a Bio experiment tomorrow, something on determining the vitamin C content in various foods. Mr Brown wanted us to draft out our own experiment procedures. Well it’s an individual experiment. All one needs to do is google the experiment or even simply fish out a Bio reference book to be able to complete the assignment. But this monkey in front of me seems to not realise that.
“I’ll give you sushi treat,” Gregory wriggles his brows teasingly. Uh huh. Certainly a monkey.
Not looking at him, I say, “Coachella.”
“A movie ticket.”
“Ten packs of Cheetos.”
Gregory leans forward abruptly and glowers at me, “Know what? I quit. No more bartering. I’ll steal the assignment from you myself.”
As if still not satisfied, he chucks another textbook onto my writing hand, making my pen slip again, and of course, another hideous line across my new work.
I examine that horrible, incurable mark on my paper.
I’m gonna kill this monkey.
If there’s one good thing about me, it’s that I don’t rush revenge. I mask the bubbling volcano inside with a casual sigh, “Where are your sidekick football buddies when you need ‘em?”
Gregory lifts his brows, “They’re not taking Bio, Sandy Swiss Roll. Don’t you know your own classmates?”
I nod knowingly though I already know that. I cap my pen and put aside my books, “I’ll read out the whole thing. You jot down. Be done with it and leave me alone.”
His brows shoot up to his forehead while he watches me cautiously.
“Ten packs of Cheetos,” I remind him while thumbing through the pages of my book.
A grin crawls its way onto Gregory’s face and he gushes, “You’re an angel.”
I purse my lips further, afraid that I’d burst out guffawing during this peak moment. Hold it in, Sandy. Not now. Laugh later. Right now, you act.
Finally manage to smoulder my laughs, I breathe out subtly. I look up and instruct, “Now jot down what I’m about to read.”
“Waiting,” Gregory chews on his pen while he pats the paper in front of him.
“You do know how to write the aim and variables and all, right?” I raise my brow uncertainly. Gregory shakes his head, a disgusted look on his face, and so I have to read out the whole page to him while wondering what on earth he’s been doing during every Bio lesson.
My mouth slips slightly into a smirk when we reach the materials part. I cough uneasily, “And for the materials, you’ll need to bring an orange…”
Gregory scowls as he writes it down, “Orange contains vitamin C?” he exclaims at the air, while on the other hand, I’m gaping at the book I’m holding like an idiot. This monkey doesn’t know a freakin orange contains a freakin huge amount of vitamin C, for god’s sake?
I shut my jaw and scoff.
“What was that?” Gregory taps his pen impatiently.
I clear my throat, “And Snickers,” I said, “Snickers are really sweet, and sugars are made of vitamin Cs.”
I watch in awe as he jots that down. Where’s this monkey from? Even a kid knows sugars don’t contain vitamin Cs. Holy. Shitcake.
“And?” Gregory looks up from his paper.
“A can of Coke, some kiddo jellies…..and plain noodles, that’s all,” I clear my throat, somehow feeling a little guilty.
I watch at him write, my eyes getting sore as I try to read what the heck he’s writing. His writing resembles nothing decent but choppy worms.
“Ha! All done,” he flourishes his pen in the air dramatically while grinning, “No thanks to you, bitchy squirt,” he sticks his tongue out at me.
I swallow down my wrath and add casually, “Yeah yeah, oh hey, I think I left out something, have you listed down…..” I frown down at my notes seriously, “….. umm, a bottle of mineral water? Well you know minerals contain a lot of vitamin C, right? It’s theoretical,” I add unnecessarily.
“Mineral water. Right,” he nods, before scrambling up and dashing out of the library with the paper in his hand.
I stare at the door where Gregory was seconds ago in shock. Is he seriously this brainless? Vitamin Cs in Coke and mineral water and….yeah, PLAIN NOODLES for whatever’s sake? Gee. Which colourful planet is he from?
I burst out laughing, barely holding it in any longer. I’d like to see Mr Brown’s reaction tomorrow when he sees what one of his students has brought him.
Till then, bazinga, monkey.