She chased the bus down the stretch of road, the usual, familiar scenery zooming past her as she ran. Kicking up the leaves and nearly stumbling over a rock, she managed to reach the bus before the driver made to close the door.

“Thank you,” she panted, making her way down the aisle to her favorite seat by the window.

She heaved a sigh of relief as she reached into her bag for her cellphone to check her time. She had to be in time for the next class or her plans for the rest of the day would all be delayed. Searching through her bag anxiously for her cellphone, she calmed herself down by taking deep breaths.

“I’ll be on time, I’ll be on time…”

She never planned her day to be jampacked with so many things before: class after class, assignments after assignments… It was enough to drive anyone crazy. But if she did not fulfill these, she would definitely go crazy…

The bus jerked and out fell her mp3 onto the floor. The plastic fell apart and the mp3 bounced out of it when the bus jerked once more.

“Oh no!” she reached down for the mp3 and picked it up hurriedly, blowing the dust off the mp3 and inspecting it inch by inch. With a pang, she discovered a scratch on the screen. She had had it for more than two years now… And it was one of the things she treasured most. She stroked the light scratch on the mp3, leaning back on the seat and looking out of the window, biting her lip.

There used to be a pair, identical ones. They were gotten on the same day as well, although at different shops, under the recommendation of someone who meant so much to her. It was chic, small and red, his favorite color. She never used to like red much, not until he did. He got his mp3 with his first pay from army, while she got hers with her first pay from work too. Money never used to be of any problem at sweet times like this, the honeymoon period of the relationship was stronger than anything else.

The other one was sold a few months ago, although she was adamant to keep hers. It had remained protected in the plastic armor, without even the tiniest scratch. Often, she took it out to polish it. It meant more than just an mp3 to her, even if its twin was sold. But now, looking down at the scratched music player, tears welled up in her eyes. The twin was gone a few months ago, but it did not matter, for he remained by her side. But now he had chosen to leave, and all she was left with was one of the couple mp3s they had bought together… Yet she had failed to protect it.

The bus zoomed past her stop as tears rolled down her cheeks, finger still stroking the little scratch on the mp3 as though it would make it disappear… as though it would make her feel more complete.


Queen Bee

The Queen Bee

She stood in the middle of the basketball court, ball in her hands and trembling. The skies were turning gray, the crows were cawing, mocking at her; or that was what she thought. The concrete floor of the court was wet with several small puddles. The school was quiet, having ended three hours earlier. Leaves rustled coldly in the slight breeze, whispers from the girls at the sidelines pricked her like the ends of sharp sickles, gouging her heart out. The boys were laughing, like vultures feeding on her exposed flesh, enjoying every bit of it, all of them, with the exception of one.

“Stop it guys,” Jeffery said, taking the ball from her.

“Say it, Angel,” one of the guys jeered. She refused to return his gaze. “Say it, or I’ll read it out!” he waved a little pink Hello Kitty notebook in his hands.

Angel stared, her eyes flying to meet Joan’s, who was standing haughtily at the sidelines, her girlfriends flanking her sides. She had been wrong right from the start, wrong to believe that the queen bee would be her very best friend in this new school where she had no friends. But her regret and realization came too late as the boy turned the pages of the little notebook and started reading aloud. A new feeling rose up in her chest: hatred.

Angel sat on the grass, watching Jeffery shoot from the distance. Ten years had passed since that day and they were still playing together alone on the very same basketball court. Every year, without fail, Teachers’ Day was when they would come back to play. The court had changed. The old, run-down nets and stands had transformed into new hoops. Paint no longer peeled from the stands, and the old gray concrete had been painted over with deep mossy green and dark red. The biggest change, however, was the giant concrete building that towered over the basketball court. But no matter how things changed, Angel could still taste the humiliation in the air. No amount of dust or rubble, nor even sands of time, could take that memory away from her. Who cares if they were only eleven? Who cares if children that age forgot the feelings of their peers when excitedly exploring the mysteries of secret admiration and infatuation? Jeffery did not have to know how humiliated she had felt back then, standing in the court and facing the menacing crowd. Much less did he need to know, as he went over to give her a peck on the lips, that she was the one who had planted the cigarettes in Joan’s schoolbag back then, twice, just to get her expelled.

The Queen Bee© 2011 by AubyStories. All rights reserved.