Chapter 3: Smiles
One Saturday Charlie and Jonathan were hanging out in the garden; they were tired from playing basketball. “Hey Jon, how is it going with Kathleen?” Charlie asked. Jonathan smiles and says “We are talking casually, just friends or should I say classmates”. “Jeez you are too slow you should court her already, it’s been a month now you know” Charlie adds. “Court her? I don’t know how, so master guru please teach me” Jonathan jokingly says. “Listen to me my young apprentice, just be yourself, be nice to her, ask her out on weekends. Like today instead of being with me you should be with her did you ever think about that?” Charlie asks and Jonathan looks confused. “I wonder what she is doing now?” Jonathan ponders.
“She said she has someone she likes, but she didn’t describe that person much so how am I going to compete with that?” he asks. “Stupid! Why do you need to know the other guy? Just be yourself and impress her with your capabilities. Never pretend to be someone else to try doing things that you cannot do or else it’s going to bite you in the ass in the end if you fail. So forget about the other guy, if she falls for you at least you can be sure that she likes you for what you are and not who you were trying to be. Do you understand my youngling?” Charlie preaches.
“Just be myself, thank you master you are indeed wise. Wait, how come you don’t have a girlfriend then?” Jonathan asks and Charlie begins to grin. “You see my student, I have not found a worthy woman to be by my side” and they both start laughing.
The last day of classes for the week, Anne and Kathleen were walking briskly towards their next class after lunch. “Hey Kath, you have been close with Jonathan lately, so what’s the story there?” Anne asks. “Nothing much we are just friends, well the instructors are making a big deal of him being number one and me number two, it’s like they want us to compete. Honestly I can’t do what he does, he is like a machine, so serious most of the time” Kathleen replied. “So it’s just friends and nothing more?” Anne seriously asked her. “Yes, just friends. Hey why is the class so noisy?” Kathleen asks as they near their classroom. They inch closer and take a peek inside and see Jonathan being surrounded by their classmates.
“Seriously I was this big, and did you know I wanted to join in athletics, I wanted to run in the 100 meter dash but they said it’s not possible since I might shake the ground when I run which might distract the other runners!” Jonathan said and all people around him burst into laughter.
“And can you imagine the announcer saying, on the first and second lane Jonathan Parker!!!” he adds and some start to cry in laughter. “And you know one time when I used to be fat I went to the beach and girls started to run after me, yeah lots of pretty girls. I ran as fast as I can you know and they were shouting ‘WAIT FOR US FREE WILLY’. I was a celebrity back then you know” Jonathan jokingly boasted. His classmates were amused and kept laughing even the two girls at the door could not help themselves.
“Hey Jon, what made you decide to slim down then if you were having fun when you were fat?” one classmate asked.
Jonathan stood up and bowed down his head, people around him started giggling thinking he was acting. “Well you see my friends, I did this because of a girl” he uttered and everyone started to be quiet and listened on. Kathleen froze and remembered what happened on their graduation ball and started to feel sad. “Hey Kath I bet it was when you turned him down during the ball right?” Ann whispered and accidentally opened the door and Jonathan saw Kathleen standing their looking at him.
Jonathan was shocked but kept his composure and said “YES! That girl in the department store one day when I was buying underwear, she told me there was no more underwear that would fit me. I could not imagine myself wearing diapers. So I ran with my only underwear, I ran far, I ran until I could fit into an underwear size that was available in the store. So every day I had to check you know”.
Everyone went crazy again even Anne could not help herself from laughing hard. Jonathan saw everyone laughing but when he looked at Kathleen he noticed she was not laughing. Kathleen knew Jonathan was lying and she felt sorry for him. “So he did that because of me” she whispered. “What?” Anne asked. “Nothing, let’s go in the professor is coming.
Kathleen hurries inside and sees Jonathan already seated. She sits down beside him but he was looking far away. Jonathan was so ashamed and he knew Kathleen overheard everything even though he was able to shift the story he knows Kathleen knew what he was talking about. Two subjects flew by without them speaking to each other. The last class of the day came and they had a big surprise.
“Okay everyone seems to be in good spirits today, I shall give you a group research then. You can group yourselves into two except for Mister Parker and Miss Rollins. The two of you shall be in one group and I shall give you a tougher task” said the most hated professor.
The professor gave the other groups their tasks and gave the two special students their own.
“Okay then you may use the remaining class time to discuss with your partner on how will present your research. You shall be graded accordingly based on content and performance to answer questions. You have one week to do that.” He adds.
Kathleen reads their assigned task and shakes her head. “So how would you like to take this on Jon?” she asked him. “May I take a look at it?” he asked. Jonathan scanned the research task and nodded as Kathleen looked at him worried. “Does he really want to challenge us or does he hate us?” Jonathan quipped and Kathleen started to laugh.
The professor noticed her laughing and said “So you think that’s easy enough then why don’t you be the ones to present first. You were supposed to be presenting last you know but it seems that is too easy for the dynamic duo”. The professor walked towards them grinning and most of the students were looking at them.
“Sir I wasn’t laughing about these I am sorry” pleads Kathleen but Jonathan suddenly stands and says “Make it three days”.
Everyone was shocked to hear him stand up to the professor, Kathleen looked at Jonathan and she saw a different expression in his face. The professor started to laugh and patted Jonathan at the shoulder. “Now now don’t be too sure of yourself, three days you sure are funny young man”
“Three days” Jonathan repeated as he stared the professor in the eye with determination.
Kathleen was shocked to see Jonathan so serious, the expression on his face was terrifying.
“Okay I shall take your offer, but if I am not satisfied with your presentation then I shall give you no credit at all” the professor snaps back and stares at Jonathan. Both of them not backing down as Kathleen gently tugs at Jonathans pants begging him to back off already.
Seeing that Jonathan would not back off the professor did the first move but did so grinning as he stepped back. Professor Richard Turner was feared by many students. He was branded to be a terror because of his hot temper and almost sadistic ways. This was the first time a student ever stood up to him and the tyrant backed off. The other students were smiling and some of them pumping their fists in victory. Kathleen sees the others silently celebrating so she turns to Jonathan again who is still staring at the professor. The fear that once filled her mind a while ago now turned into admiration.
Jonathan finally takes a sit and takes a look again at their assigned topic. “Jon, do you really think you can do it in three days?” she asked him. He looked at her and said “No” and Kathleen began to panic. “What? Then why did you say three days then?” she asked him. “Normally it would take three two weeks at least to do this task. You asked me if I can do this in three days? Alone I might be able to finish this in a week at most, I am sorry I am not used to working with anyone, I have been quite a loner, hearing that we would be together on this task so I estimated if we worked hard we could do it in three days, I think” he said and smiled.
Kathleen starts laughing and Jonathan starts to wonder. “What’s so funny with what I said? This is a team effort isn’t it?” Jonathan quipped. “It just that I saw you smile for the first time, I was used to seeing you smirk or pout, or being serious. You should keep smiling always, you are cute when you smile” she said. Jonathan felt a different sensation upon hearing those words from Kathleen, his cheeks started to get warm, he felt so happy but suddenly became shy. “Well they say when you pout you exert use more facial muscles you know, so I just wanted my face to be physically fit. That’s why I seldomly smile.” Jonathan jokingly reveals and Kathleen burst into laughter once more.
“Tomorrow is a weekend; do you want to do this at your house? I can come over if you want. Or we could meet here and do it in the library.” Kathleen said. Jonathan found both choices tempting and he could choose any since he shall be with his dream girl. “Ah well I leave that decision to you, I am okay with any of them” he said. “Okay lets meet here tomorrow at eight in the morning then let’s go to your house” Kathleen declares and Jonathan smiled once more.
“Okay that’s fine with me” he replied and still could not remove the smile in his face. Kathleen giggled and asked “Why are you smiling all of a sudden?” and Jonathan scratched his head and said “Well you told me a while ago I should keep smiling, I’m just being obedient you know. Am I overdoing it?” he easily thinks of a way out of his predicament which made Kathleen laugh once again.
“You really are funny, I wish we became this close before” Kathleen suddenly says as she smiles at Jonathan. He does not reply but made funny faces forming different smiles. “So what smile do you think suits me, this one, this or this one?” he asks but Kathleen just kept laughing and laughing as he did several more faces. Deep inside he did not want to stop, he was so happy being able to make Kathleen smile and laugh. He was doing something right for a change.