I never thought she would come back. Really, it was more like a dream. She went away for so long, I thought for sure now then it was for the last time and I’ll never see her again. I’m just glad she’s back. I’ll never let her go again, that I promise you.
Well enough about my long lost dog. My name is Saim and what I like to do is play with people’s perception. You probably thought my dog was some girl I let go or something. If you didn’t, you’re not a very good liar then. You see, I’m at the edge of my high school year this year so I thought to myself wouldn’t it be nice if I leave the school with some impact that would leave people talking for years to come?
Of course it would be. What a stupid question. I go to an all-boys school and things get really boring at times. Sure, it’s a lot of fun but the conflicts often time involve fists and loud cursing. I never get to see people backstab one another or silently crush one’s social life like what happened at Sapphire High, an all-girls school just a few blocks away from my school, Xypher High.
So one day during chemistry class a thought manifested itself in my head. I didn’t really know where the idea came from or how did my brain acquire the capacity to decipher such a dastardly plan. At first, I only questioned myself, “What would make a guy suppress his emotions so much that it consumes him enough to get pass barbaric fist throwing and succumb to a higher level of hurt?”. Then it occured to me. Inadequacy and silenced jealousy.
You see, guys are simple, just ask their mothers. I have a sister who has a citizenship in some foreign country I can’t even pronounce so I’m stuck at home with my four younger brothers. Fights are inevitable, of course. But it’s the mechanics of the conflicts that intrigues me. It may look the same to an outsider but there’s much difference in essence of conflicts between my brothers depending on who started the fight, what’s at stake, which one of my parents are home, who’s stronger, who can run faster carrying the toy.. You know, that kinda stuff. I just want to take that mechanics and just see how it plays out in Xypher High.
So that fateful Tuesday morning, I talked to three guys. Alif, the least social non-nerd guy in the whole grade, if not, in the whole school. Abraham, A quite popular guy who’s known for his acting and ‘volunteer’ charity work, and Sinclair, a guy who couldn’t care less about who talks about what. He takes the phrase ‘living in his own world’ to an entirely different level. And yes, every soul in Sapphire High knows who he is. I chose the three of them just because their characters are very similar to that of my brothers. That makes it easier for me to manipulate.
“Sinclair, did you hear?” I started the conversation
“No, and I don’t care.” Sinclair hastily replied.
“But I haven’t said a word!” I tried to catch up with his haste.
“You said four words, now scoot.”
“Oh yeah, who am I kidding. You wouldn’t wanna know about the list.”
Well, so much for a conversation.
Then I pretended to just simply walk away because that certainly nudged him a little. Not enough for him to ask, but enough to make him ponder. I’ll leave his thoughts boiling for now. Next was Abraham.
“Hey Abe! How’s the drama going?” I started with a more upbeat tone.
“Oh it’s going great. I met your friend Safiah yesterday at the animal shelter. She seems to be really fond of the cats there.” Abraham likes talking about people I don’t want to hear about.
“Yeah, I broke up with her because she smells like cat. I’m a dog person. But let’s leave that aside. I’m here to ask about that list I hear people are talking about non-stop! Annoying. You must know all about it. Who started it anyway? I heard some people from Sapphire. You know Amanda, right?” I poked.
“Wait.. what?” A clear interest sparked from the look of his eyes.
“You know! That so called ‘market’ list! It annoys me that they ranked the guys here.” I just made that up on the spot.
“Huh? Wait. Wait. I think I heard of it. I’m not sure who started it… What have you heard dude?” He asked me back.
“I’m not sure, but I heard they did some sorta ranking by calculating how smart, hot, approachable, funny, you are… But like I said, I’m not really sure. Heard you were 11th though.” The list has gotten character and detail.
I knew he would be vain enough to admit that maybe he had heard of that phony list, and that his ego would not allow him to just stand back and accept that he was not one of the ‘marketable’ guys in the school. I left him with that feeling to go talk to Alif.
“Hello 7th! How are you? We haven’t talk to each other for so long..”
“Excuse me?” He was obviously baffled.
“Oh I was just greeting you, 7th.” I smiled widely
“Okay? Err. Bye?”
“Bye man, take care.” I walked away again
And that’s exactly why he’s the least social person in Xypher High. Languid, non-responsive, but unusually intelligent though. Oh how I wait for the next day to come.
Early that night, I called two of the most popular girls in Sapphire High. Both of them, Cammy and Amanda, happen to be two of my closest friends who really can’t stand each other. I just gave them a vague idea of the social experiment I aimlessly and happily named ‘The List’. I knew that the whole school would know about it before they both realise that each of them knew, that’s how large their influence is on the factions in their school. I kinda told them the list was created by some guy named Casper from Etallic High, a rival school of Xypher. I even threw random names of guys in my school and their supposed rank.
That night was one of the few nights I slept knowing that school on Wednesday would be fun. Usually it’s just filled with all my boring science classes.
Come Wednesday, I came to school with a big smile on my face.
(End of Part 1)