Expressions

Misunderstand: a short story

BY LAWRENCE XU

Staff Writer

7 o’clock in the morning, the alarm wakes William up from his sleep. Today’s Monday, just like any other Monday, nothing special about it. On the way to school, he suddenly remembers that he’s finally switching seats in his Chinese class. He smiled all the way to school.

“I can’t wait to see where my new seat is.” He becomes more and more anxious about his new seat.

It’s finally fourth period. William rushes to Chinese class with excitement, only to learn that he’s once again sitting around people he doesn’t know at all. It was by the end of the class when he learns the names of the people sitting around, but forgets it the next day. There was one name engraved in his head: Joy.

William sits right next to Joy in Chinese, and they are also partners when teacher gives out short reading activities. He’s fluent in Chinese, and often helps and corrects Joy when she’s unable to say the words correctly. More than often the teachings result in a short casual conversation until the teacher resumes the lesson. Their friendship built fast. A week before, they were only classmates with friendly conversations. Now they’re enjoy time together out of class. Over the course of the next two months, William would spend more time with her. They started their daily texting, enjoying talks about their unrestrained imaginations.

“Pleeesaaase can you come to my dance show?” Joy begged William over the text. It was already the end of May. William knew about the dance for quite some time. He planned to surprise her after the show and finally ask her out. He had to say no to Joy painfully every time she asks, in his mind, it is worth it the lie. Little did he know that nothing will go according to plan.

William drew a poster with words “Will you be my angel?” and bought flowers. Now everything is set as he entered the theatre to find the least obvious. As the show began, William struggled to keep his eye off from Joy’s majestic moves, while dreaming about all the possibilities he and joy have.

William was the first to come out of the theatre after the show ended, but he stood far away from crowd. The dancers came out one by one. William waited anxiously, thinking about what to say and preparing to face any type of reaction. Few minutes later, Joy finally came out from the exit. It took Joy some time to greet the other people, finally seeing William far away from everyone else. She immediately ran towards him, saw the poster, and gave him a big warm hug.

“Thank you for coming!” Joy accepted the poster and flower without even looking closely at it. The two of them spent the rest of the night, eating and talking about their future and plans together. On the way home, William cannot suppress his extreme excitement for finally having a love of his life. He couldn’t sleep for an entire night, waiting eagerly for Joy to reply after she got home from school.

It never happened. William waited the entire night. He thought it was simply because she was too tired to reply. He tried messaging her the next day, but even though she came online many times, she didn’t check it. Finally, on Sunday he tried to call her, but was ignored every attempt. He began to worry about it, but denied it based on her initial reaction. He waited until Monday to find out what was going on. He couldn’t find her until lunch, as if she was purposely avoiding him.

“Sorry, I don’t like you the same way you like me. I like you as a friend.” The last words from Joy.

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