1.Tom wheeler never really understood it. He never understood why he felt the way he felt for her. Profoundly enough, he knew it was the hormones. Oddly enough he couldn’t control it. He sought reason to everything, but the unexplained rush of blood through his veins when he first saw her or his elevated heartbeat whenever she would be near him bugged him. It hadn’t happened before. The problem was that she was the new student in class, so all this was new for Tom Wheeler. He wanted answers. He tried reading books, the only companion he ever went to whenever in doubt. He had absolute faith in his books. He believed that everything that has ever transpired has found its way into writing by someone somewhere. He just couldn’t find it yet
* * *
It was Friday and lunch. Tom didn’t enjoy canteen food. He knew for a fact that Darcy the kitchen cook used stale raw materials for preparing their lunch. He had prepared a word document stating the evidences to the principle but later decided he didn’t care. He would skip lunch and go hungry on many occasions. But today he decided to eat in the canteen as he had nothing better to do.
- Tom was used to being alone. He took great satisfaction in the fact that he was content in his own company. He didn’t need friends. He would tell himself about the vastness of the never ending universe and when we put it to perspective how insignificant we really are. Like speckles of dust in the air that get their moment of recognition only when the light shines. But since he saw her, he realized there was something missing from his life. Though like most people in this world he rarely believed he would get his moment of recognition in the light, but if it does happen he wanted to share it someone, he wanted to express It to someone. He needed someone to whom he could tell things he did, he felt.
* * *
He took his plate and poured his food on it. He noticed Darcy shooting a look towards him, perhaps someone else had found out or perhaps she just hated him, he didn’t care. He didn’t have any friends, so he didn’t have any company while eating lunch so he found himself a deserted table and proceeded to eat his lunch in silence. After the first bite, he started thinking of how his mother could cook better than this blindfolded. Just then a flicker of red caught the corner of this eye. It belonged to a girl who was standing at the counter. Darcy pouring some of that thing she called food into her plate. And then she turned.
- One day, Tom had asked father about why did he marry mom. His father smiled at him as if used to this sort of questions from his son and answered, “During my high school I was a bit of an odd pickle, I wasn’t necessarily easy to be with. But your mom saw through me, she accepted my flaws and insecurities. I felt better around her”
“So love is basically a tool to make yourself feel better about your flaws and insecurities?” Tom asked
“No, it is the thing with which you come to know of your flaws and insecurities and make peace with It. Look son, everyone has his or her flaws, they just choose the people they want to show it to.” He smiled.
Tom knew his flaws. He was shy, antisocial, uptight and ALONE.
* * *
He could feel his heart starting to race and the flow of blood through his veins. Here she was with a plate in her hand walking towards his table. He started taking gulps of the food in front of him. She sat down opposite to him. He kept staring at his food.
“I’m sorry, there were no table left” she spoke and it sent shivers down tom’s spine
“fine” he mustered, looking at his food as if it would disappear if he looked away.
“Hello?” she asked
“Hello…. Yeah!” he answered looking up
“The food here is pathetic. Much better than my previous school still” she smiled. He couldn’t help but notice the beauty in the curve of her lips and the sweetness in her voice.
“Yeah, yeah..true that” he struggled
“Oh! Sorry, I totally forgot to introduce myself, I’m June” she smiled again looking for a response.
“Umm..nice, yeah..ohh, I’m Tom…Tom Jonathan Wheeler” he tried smiling but he couldn’t. He kept thinking about what his father told him about how everyone has flaws, but in that moment, he couldn’t find any in her and that baffled him.
“Nice meeting you TOM JONATHAN WHEELER” she emphasized his name as if it was some joke and laughed. Tom didn’t understand.
“By the way, I’m new here and have no friends yet, and I have to complete my term portion. I was wondering if you could help?” she asked. He didn’t even hear the question but something in his head said that he was already convinced.
He just had one question. He looked up to her and asked,“I’m your friend?”
She grinned and said, “If you want to” she looked at him and held her hand up for a shake.
He looked up at her, deciding.
- All his life Tom had been alone. This was the moment he always wanted, but never got. To have a friend. He didn’t care about what his father told him, he didn’t want to find her flaws and his, he wanted to find himself with her. He didn’t want to find her insecurities, they were hers, he wanted to find her. He didn’t want to find the answers in a book written by someone, somewhere he wanted to find a friend.
Maybe he would never find his moment of recognition, maybe he would never find the light, but he could have a friend and not be alone and he made his peace with that.
* * *
“I would like a friend” he said looking up at her for the first time properly. And she was breathtaking as he had imagined.
He held his hand up and went for a shake and held her hands. They both smiled.
“All right then” she stood up. Tom stood up behind her leaving their trays on the table.
“Let’s go” He made his way behind her. He looked at Darcy and smiled. He felt calm.