Chapter 1

‘Argh, who turned on the lights’ was the first thing I thought when I woke up. Maybe someone else would find this thought amusing since only the curtains were open but I was a person that hated leaving the lights on or opening the curtains in my room. It was only after severe scolding from my mum that I stopped closing the curtains in other rooms in the house, now I only limited it to my room. Still, everyone in the house knew this so why would someone open my curtains.

“Hey, are you finally awake,” someone said.

I couldn’t see clearly so I sat up, rubbed my eyes and then picked up my glasses by my bedside. I blinked twice and focused on my sister, Natalie, whose hand was on the wall switch.

“What do you think you are doing?” I asked angrily.

“I wanted to wake you up,” she replied.

I glared at her and stood up muttering, “You could have just called my name if you wanted to wake me up, you sadist.”

“Huh, did you say something,”

“No, I didn’t,” I replied quickly. Regardless of my feelings for my sister, Natalie really is a witch. I don’t want to see sand in my food so I try hard not to annoy Natalie.

“I heard you, you know. I’m sure you know what that means,” Natalie said with a smirk on her face and crushed my dreams of eating well today.

“Tch, fine.” I had already given up on the spaghetti she was cooking today. Even though I looked unaffected outside, don’t be fooled I was crying in my heart. Natalie was after all a good cook.

As I sat on my bed lamenting my bad day, Natalie turned around to look at me. Oh no, what else does she want to do now. If she wants to stop me from eating Jollof Rice at that restaurant, I will show her I am a true man.

“Ah, I forgot to tell you but school is starting this week not next week.”

Huh, what? What did you just say right now? S-school is starting today. WHAT!!!

“And I think you will be late soon.” Ignoring all my misery, my sister just kept on talking. I am late!

“Why didn’t you say that in the first place,” I shouted.

“Ha,” she said and shrugged. What do you mean ‘Ha’? Why are you shrugging? Forget it, I’m late already. I don’t have time to play along with your game.

I quickly rushed into the bathroom and had a bath in 3 minutes-a new record. I dressed up quickly and rushed out of my room. On my way out the door, I heard my mother ask me to eat.

“No need, mum. I’m late,” I shouted back. I can eat at the school cafeteria. I looked at my watch, it was 8.00 am. Hah, I sighed happily. My school was a 30 minutes walk from the house. If I took the bus that should be coming in 3 minutes, I would reach school by 8.17 am. As school officially started by 8.30 am, I wouldn’t be late. Sure I would come late for Form time but whatever at least I’ll eat my cake.

Unfortunately, all my plans were for naught because the bus came late and arrived by 8.25 am. What a horrible day.

So annoying. I got it already. I shouldn’t have come late and all that. The thing I hate most about adults is nagging. Can’t you just say something once and think that I’ve actually got it. Jeez. Instead you always go on and on and on. Anyway, at the end, I was assigned detention to help a teacher mark some exam papers. I admit that that didn’t sound very much like a detention. But who said being first in my year didn’t come with perks. Though, marking the work of people who get obvious answers wrong is irritating and annoying, at least I don’t have to clean toilets like Icarus, my best friend, did when he annoyed a teacher.

Speaking about Icarus, I didn’t go to school today with him. How weird. Usually, I’m the one waking him up. Wait, does this mean that he came to school early today or does it mean… Nah, that idiot couldn’t have slept in.

However, as I thought that, I heard a voice saying, “I’m sorry I’m late. I was sleeping so…” I thought around and there he was. Icarus James, my best friend and greatest rival (though he doesn’t know this part). If I fulfilled the stereotype of the nerd who was only interested in books and school, Icarus played the part of the stereotypical jock who was handsome and always surrounded by people who hanged of his every word. Except that Icarus wasn’t interested in Sports but in Mathematics. It wasn’t that he was bad at sports he was quite good in them! It was just that he liked Maths more. In fact, that was the only subject he did splendidly in to the extent of surpassing me. So as a maths enthusiast, he should have been classified as a nerd like me. But he wasn’t. In fact, Icarus was popular with a capital P. He had 8 million followers on YouTube and routinely got around 4 million views per video. On Facebook, he had 3000 friends and on Instagram, he had 60,000 followers. 60,000! I guess it’s because of his good looks.

Icarus was admittedly very handsome. He had curly shoulder-length brown hair with brown eyes. He was also quite tall and muscular as a result of being good at sports. This in combination with his excellence at maths made him very attractive to women. Women always like good-looking guys but good-looking guys who were intelligent (even though he was only good in maths) were seen as irresistible.

Icarus and his good looks have been my enemies for a long time. As a 17 year old boy, I obviously want to date but I can’t because of Icarus. All the girls I have wanted to date have always liked Icarus and even when they gave up on him, they would never date me because they would “be in close contact with him”. The girls that wanted to date me only did because they saw me as a stepping stone to get acknowledged by Icarus. So even though I want to have a relationship, I have never been able to be in one because of Icarus.

That’s why I don’t mind dating someone that isn’t extremely beautiful. I just want someone that is somewhat normal looking and wants to date me because they like me. I don’t mind if they like Icarus like how girls like celebrities. I just want to be sincerely liked.

Now, this rant might make it seem like I’m ugly but i’m not. I’m not too handsome but I think I’m okay with my really dark hair and black eyes. I’ve never felt that I was an ugly person which is weird considering that I grew up with the image of ‘perfection’.

Anyway, about my girl problem, I think I’ve finally found someone who meets my image of the perfect girl and even surpasses it. Yuri Shalom. She’s 1 year younger than me, is sorta pretty and best of all, is definitely not interested in Icarus. I was so glad when I found her that I boasted about her to Icarus.

I had no desire to be a stalker so I became friends with her and we definitely bonded…in Literature class. Whatever. I’ve had a crush on her for 4 months and I decided last term that when we come back to school I would confess.

“July, snap out of it,” Icarus said. Where the hell had he come from? He was just across the room. And yes, July is my name. July Broome actually. I think my name is weird as well but it’s my name and I kind of like it.

“Rus, what? Are you in trouble?”

“Heh heh, Yeah,” he said, scratching his head. I raised an eyebrow.

“What’s the punishment?”

“Ehm. They told me to clean the field.” he was clearly embarrassed.

“Pu hahahaha,” I laughed, “So funny, Can just imagine your fans coming to see you weeding the grass.”

“S’not funny,” Icarus sulked then punch my shoulder.

“Oh, you’re sulking. What you sad for? Hahaha.”

“Hmph, I’m leaving you,” Icarus said and  left the staff room.

“Oh sorry wait. I won’t laugh, haha, at all.” I said this while laughing and followed him out of the room.

“You laughed, I know you did.”

“Sorry, haha, I won’t do it again. Hahahaha.”

“July,” Icarus said turning to face me, “You really are a mean person.”

“Are you just finding out? Let’s go to class.” I said and continued walking.

“By the way, I’m planning to confess today,” I told Icarus and smiled.

“Confess. To who?” Icarus was obviously startled and confused and it reflected in his expression.

“To Yuri, of course.”

“Hmm. Oh well, I wish you good luck.”

“Thanks but I hope I don’t have to leave it to luck.”

“Argh. You’re so cocky,” Icarus said then slapped my head.

“I like you.” Wonder who was saying this. Yep it was me. I had been waiting for the bell all throughout school today and as soon as it was over, I texted Yuri to wait for me at the Library. No one stayed in the library after school apart from the librarian and as I was the student librarian, I knew that it would be only me there. As for why I chose a place like that, confessions are a private thing, right.

“I’ve always liked you and I’d like to date you. Will you go out with me?” I was quite embarrassed when I said this. Never knew that it would be so embarrassing.

Yuri looked at me with surprise and shock and opened her mouth to respond.

“Wait. Don’t…don’t answer me right now. I’d like you to go home and think about it and tell me what you think okay. Okay?” I smiled sheepishly as I said this. Yuri looked at me for a while and thought. Then she smiled

“Okay,” she replied. I smiled happily. I had bought myself more time. “Well, see you tomorrow. Don’t forget to lock up.” Then she left.

“Yes,” I screamed jumping happily. I was sure that after thinking about it she would see how awesome I was. I’m certain about it. Ah well, better lock up and go home. I have to go buy jollof rice first though. Since, I’m definitely not eating today.



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