The tall green coconut trees brushed past the speeding bus under the blazing afternoon sun in a blur. Noah had his head rested nonchalantly against the warm glass window, seated on the soft leather covered cushion in deep thoughts.
It had been a year since he walked through the gates of Zion College with all the wonders highschool could offer. The friends, the fun, the fights, and the freedom were progressively becoming his addiction.
He wearily stared at the chocolate-brown eyes and plump lips perfectly etched on the oval face with prominent jawlines which stared right back at him from the side glass window, wondering what that feeling of emptiness which constantly grew within him was, as he got closer to his destination.
The void swam through his bloodstream flowing in his veins and wrapped around his seventeen years old mind of a misfortune he knew nothing about but he could literally feel in his bones.
The three hours journey finally came to an end when the sign post which read "Welcome to Zion College" was made visible as the bus driver slowly pulled up to a complete stop. A sly grin played on his faint pink lips as he slipped out of the comfort of the cushion and got off the bus with his luggage settled by his feet.
Noah contently smiled away his worries when he felt the cool sea breeze brush passed his face, uniform of blue shirt and a kaki short danced to the tranquil rhythm of the wind's movement.
He picked up his luggage and hurriedly walked through the opened black painted bars of the school gates, passed the Science Laboratories which was the first building. The familiar light skin, curly hair and light brown eyes he had always admired mindlessly strolled down the corridor of the Old Library building with that cheerful smile which stole his heart months ago.
"Hope!" Noah called out to get her attention as he briskly strode towards her. Hope's smile broaden when she saw the dark skinned boy with complimenting chocolate-brown eyes approaching her. She squealed and practically jumped on Noah and embraced him in a bear hug when he was close enough.
"I didn't realize you missed me this much, how are you?" Noah managed to say through the tight embrace he was engulfed in.
"Fine!" She replied with much enthusiasm when she finally let go of him. "And I hope you know that you are in a very big trouble." She informed with a devilish smirk plastered on her round face.
"Please wipe that smirk off your face. Trouble is not a good thing." Noah whined and Hope was prompted to burst into laughter before she offered to help him with one of his bags as they walked down the pavement.
Zion College was a boarding school for both genders and just like any other boarding school, it was a ground zero for all forms of indiscipline and laziness. It had a strict rule stating that -all students should report to school on the first day of every term and failure to do so was severely punishable-, but what would they have Noah do? Fly like a bird through the night sky to school when his family was facing financial difficulties?
"So how was your summer holiday?" Hope initiated as she struggled to keep up with Noah's bag hanging off her shoulder.
"Well the usual. My parents are always working, my brother never cease to piss me off especially now that my elder sister is married." He replied and quickly waved a greeting to a student passing by.
"So what, you want me to throw a pity party for you?" Hope rolled her eyes and chuckled.
"Rude." Noah accused, "but something fun happened anyway. You needed to have seen my parents' play fight over a piece of pizza." They both bursted into laughter and Noah repeatedly slapped his knees in an attempt to contain the amusement.
"Are they never teasing each other?" Hope managed to let out in between laughter. They two soon halted with psycho-laughing when they began to catch weird and unwanted attention from students wandering the campus.
"Well, you will have to stop here if you don't want to see what you ought not to see at your age." Noah teased with a brow raised and a mocking smile pulling on the ends of his lips when they reached the boy's dormitories. Hope twisted her nose, totally mortified.
"Excuse me, it's nothing I haven't seen before and it's not like I don't have a brother who is by the way older than all those HIV/AIDS stricken figures walking about in there." She bluntly said, pointing towards the dormitories hidden behind a huge cemented fence. Noah's eyes shot wide open, his mouth did the same. Hope possibly hadn't realized the implications of what she said.
"So you are basically telling me that you spy on your brother when he is undressed. Do you spy on me too?" He questioned and a blush rushed up Hope's cheeks, looking everywhere else but at him.
"Oh, I didn't mean it like that. I mean, there is always a time when you accidentally walk in on one of your siblings undressed." She explained with a flushed face and a thinnish voice, plus Noah's gorgeous figure was making it impossible for her to control her emotions. She had always had a crush on him.
"Yeah I understand, and it is not a pleasant sight to behold because of its awkwardness." Noah replied and smiled down at her when he noticed the momentarily tension building up.
"And thank you for helping me with my bag." Noah appreciated and gently slipped his bag off Hope's slender shoulder.
"No problem. See you tomorrow and you better hurry up and sign in with your House Master and well... enjoy your punishment!" She chipped in before running through the sea the short grasses towards the girl's dormitories at the opposite end. Was it just Noah or was Hope trying to flirt with him, "enjoy your punishment!"?
Noah picked up his bags and entered through the gate to the dormitory building and to think that the only punishment he would be getting was from the House Master for reporting to school late, he didn't see this coming.
Right in front of him stood senior Uriah, his Nightmare in Shiny Amour, who was out for his downfall, pain, and suffering and in that order ever since his incident with the senior in the last academic year.
"Welcome back to school Noah." Uriah greeted but Noah wasn't deceived. He could practically smell the mischief lacing Uriah's voice. The smirk and the cold eyes Uriah flashed at him was a good giveaway of his intentions.
Noah cowered a bit at the undisclosed threat as Uriah walked away to his friends. Right then at that very moment, he realized that Uriah Atsu was going to be the death of him and he meant that literally.
Merci pour la lecture!