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The Story Of An Introvert-4

by NivedaJames22


Chapter-4

Ruth stood in front of the art-room door, heart filled with apprehension. 

Putting her fears aside, she pushed open the door quietly and surveyed the scene inside. Around five or six students were sitting on the floor on huge circular poufs of multiple colours. The ceiling was a forest of dream-catchers of all shapes, sizes and colours, from a sober white one to a more flamboyant rainbow-colored one.

A girl with a neon orange bandana in her raven-black hair was obsessively tearing scraps of paper into tiny bits. The boy sitting next to her was nervously chewing the tip of his pen, oblivious to the fact that it had leaked, and was now giving his teeth a bluish hue. His neighbor was a girl with a bored look in her startlingly green eyes, chewing gum with a monotonous motion. Next to her was George, an old friend of Ruth's, who was doodling on his notepad with a furious pace, one hand ruffling his curly brown hair. Adjacent to George was Anna, who was carefully watching the little stage that had been erected towards one end of the room, in the midst of a dozen mannequins wearing bits and pieces of clothing that identified them as Greek Gods - Zeus holding a thunderbolt, Hera with a peacock crown, Athena with an owl-shaped locket, and so on. 

On the stage, a boy was posing in an extravagant gesture, one hand thrown up dramatically and the other one his hips, facing away from the audience. After a few seconds, he turned around and executed a formal bow, miming "Thank you!" with his lips. 

Ruth gasped in shock when she saw his face. 

When did Talmeer start modelling, she wondered.

As the applause came to a standstill, Talmeer looked up and saw Ruth. 

"Hey Ruth! What is the Head Nerd doing in this neck of the woods?" he asked cheekily. 

The others turned around and beheld Ruth with interest. Even the previously bored gum-chewing girl looked curious about the purpose of Ruth's visit.

Ruth wished that the floor would crack and swallow her as a whole. Anything was preferable to being gawked at by a dozen people.

After a few minutes of awkward silence, Ruth explained that Ms. Chaile had send her to be a member of the crew. A buzz of voices broke out immediately, criticizing Ms. Chaile irreverently, and questioning why she would impose an obviously uninterested Ruth on them to curb the flow of their creative juices. 

Or at least, that was what Ruth expected would happen. Her ears started burning at the very prospect.

Instead of adding to her obvious embarrassment, the entire group welcomed her with open arms. The pen-chewing boy, who introduced himself as Pratik, pulled out a pouf for her. Anna stood up and welcomed her on behalf of the Greek Week committee. 

"We meet during every break. By today, we'll hopefully wrap up the auditions and start taking measurements. We also have to start working on the details of the costumes, and we're staying back after school today to discuss that. If it's possible at such short notice, you can stay back. So that's that," Anna finished, slightly out of breath. 

"Maybe you guys should all introduce yourselves, so that Ruth know your names at the very least," Talmeer suggested.

And that was exactly what they did. The room was soon flying with names, everyone speaking at once. They all laughed. For some reason, Ruth felt at ease with them, despite their obvious irreverence for what she termed the "cold truth." 

Despite all the insults she had hurled at artists back in Ms. Chaile's office, she found herself settling in, shaking hands with Layla the paper tearer, Pratik the pen-sucker, and Aysha the gum-chewer. George high-fived her, and teased her about finally succumbing to what he described as "the magnetic pull of the arts."

As soon as they began discussing the Greek Week, Ruth realized that there was a major flaw in their organization. More like the lack of it, she thought to herself wryly. 

All of them would start with the costume of Apollo, then someone would mention that they should use eco-friendly products only. Another person would argue that pollution was a fake conspiracy started by the KGB, which had apparently gone underground after the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, to conquer the world. Someone else would disagree, saying that the false rumor of pollution had been started by aliens, led by the zombie Hitler. And they would rage against each other on and on, until the break bell rang and they would all return to their respective classes.

After surveying the scene for the first ten minutes, Ruth decided that it was time to take things into her own hands. 

"Ahem," Ruth cleared a throat that was already uncluttered. 

All the others looked at her expectantly. 

"No offense, but you all need a little more focus. I love random debates, even if they're about theories as far-fetched as yours, but we have a job to do. I think we should restrict the topics of discussion to those concerning the Greek Week only," she suggested.

For one awful moment, Ruth thought that they were going to pooh-pooh her suggestion.

That was when Layla stood up, adjusted her bandana, and applauded her Ruth for her decisiveness.

"We all needed that," she said, momentarily abandoning her scraps of paper.

The others nodded in agreement, and for the second time, Ruth cringed inwardly at having misjudged their warm manner, even towards one who disagreed with all their principles. 

Talmeer started a round of applause, not claps, but snaps. Almost as if it was a poetry reading.

With Ruth's level-headed common-sense and slightly brisk manner, they decided on the rough draft of the costumes of the twelve Olympians, including Hestia, Hades and Persephone as well. 

Talmeer was disappointed when they excluded Hercules, but Anna gently cajoled him into accepting Apollo. 

The auditions were also taken care of with unanimous agreement, except for Aphrodite, who was proving to be as fickle as her godly portfolio, Love. Layla, George and Anna wanted to have Mila, a slender, doe-eyed beauty with thick, straight honey-brown hair cascading all the way down to her waist, while Anna, Aysha and Pratik supported Rebecca, a short, fair girl with a smattering of freckles and huge brown eyes and wild curls that stopped at her shoulders. Ruth refrained from offering an opinion, remarking only on the curious fact that both the short-listees didn't have an extra pound on their frame. Finally, Anna's faction gave in, and allowed Layla and crew to have their way.

Just then, the warning bell sounded, indicating that the break would be over within five minutes. They all raised their coffee mugs and screamed "Slainte!", scaring the wits out of Ruth and Talmeer, who had never participated in an Art Team project before. After draining their mugs, they all stood up, exchanged hugs, and left the room in twos and threes. 

Ruth was about to descend down the staircase, when she heard a boy's voice scream "Ruth, wait up!" 

She turned around to see a panting George, his yellow-t shirt soaked in sweat. 

"Long time, no see, huh? How've you been?" he asked, as he attempted to regain a normal breathing rate.

"I'm good Georgie. What about you?" Ruth replied with a smile, recalling the first time they had met, as kindergarteners. 

Just then, Talmeer joined them, and with mock gallantry, offered George a handkerchief. 

"I hope that my humble towel may be of service to you, Lady Georgie," he said bowing deeply.

George threw a playful punch directed at Talmeer shoulder, but the gallant knight was also extremely agile and quickly ducked, avoiding the blow.

"Penny for your thoughts, my lady?" Talmeer asked, turning to Ruth, who was regarding the duo with an amused expression.

"I just remembered the first time I met Georgie," she said.

George blushed self-consciously, one hand automatically pinching his ear, as he was wont to do when he felt embarrassed.

Talmeer laughed out loud, saying "You know Georgie, you've really changed since back then, when you were this chubby little boy who ruthlessly pushed me into a sandbox. Ah, the pain!"

George was obviously about to interrupt with profuse apologies, but Talmeer didn't give him a chance, as he continued, "I'll always be grateful to you Ruth, for lifting me up when I fell down, without even waiting to laugh. I always regretted not thanking you, but then again, that was mostly because you yourself pushed me down by the time I got out 'Than'."

It was now Ruth's turn to blush. Her ears turned bright pink, a shade almost identical to that of Aysha's gum. She rubbed her nose with her index finger, as she was wont to when she felt embarrassed.

"I'll say this for you Georgie, you've changed a lot. I think you've become nicer, and less of a push-me-into-sand kinda guy," Talmeer said.

"And I'll say this for you Tal, you've become less of the kind of the guy I'd wanna push into the sand, although that side of you does show up occasionally, like say, right now," Ruth said, without a pocker-face, although hints of a laugh betrayed themselves in her cheery eyes and in the twitching corners of her mouth.

"Well, Tal, I'm honored that you think of me like that. I guess I owe two great friends to your forgiving nature, and to my mother's forethought in packing extra chocolate milk," George said.

The three of them laughed at the memory of a repentant four-year-old Georgie, who on apologizing to Talmeer after the sand-box incident had found the latter extremely forgiving. It was only after the two boys and Ruth had sworn to be friends that Ruth extracted the pound of flesh from George. 

"To seal our friendship, we must share a drink. I think you have extra chocolate milk George. If we all share it, our friendship will never break," Ruth had solemnly advocated.

Eager to please his new friends, George had done exactly that, carefully handing the extra juice cartons to Ruth and Talmeer.

"To friendship!" they had toasted, before downing their respective drinks and acquiring thick chocolatey moustaches.

"You were a regular little Portia even then, Ruth!" George exclaimed, grinning at the memory,

"What say we all descend down these stairs, my fellow musketeers? That is, only if you guys wish to make it in time for the next class," Talmeer said, glancing at his watch.

And so they climbed downstairs, reminiscing and laughing. 

The three parted ways two fleets of stairs and a truckload of childhood memories later, Ruth and Talmeer to their Biology class, and George to his Math class. 


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Wed Apr 21, 2021 3:35 pm
hannah0528 wrote a review...



Hello NivedaJames22! @hannah0528 here for a quick review. I am so sorry for not reviewing it earlier, got a little caught up in like XD. Well, I am here now and I hope it is helpful!


Grows:
"When did Talmeer start modelling, she wondered."
You need a question mark after "modelling".

"...Ruth and Talmeer to their Biology class, and George to his Math class."
I don't think that the names of the classes are supposed to be capitalized.

Glows:
Wow, this was a great chapter! I like how they became friends with Georgie at the end, it is nice to see Ruth expanding her social boundaries! I like how all of the kids in the art room actually listened to her and didn't laugh. Talmeer is kind of annoying and I like that. I hope this review was helpful! Keep writing, and have a great day/night! I hope to hear more from you!


Hannah






@hannah0528 I'll fix those errors soon.

Thanks for the review! (:



hannah0528 says...


of course!



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Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:42 am
ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...



Hello Niveda!! Again!

Ruth stood in front of the art-room door, heart filled with apprehension.

Here, does apprehension mean worry or angst? If yes, I would suggest replacing that ‘apprehension’
Around five or six students were sitting on the floor on huge circular poufs of multiple colours.

How can one sit on poufs? That will damage them. Isn't it? I think so.
A girl with a neon orange bandana in her raven-black hair was obsessively tearing scraps of paper into tiny bits. The boy sitting next to her was nervously chewing the tip of his pen, oblivious to the fact that it had leaked, and was now giving his teeth a bluish hue. His neighbor was a girl with a bored look in her startlingly green eyes, chewing gum with a monotonous motion. Next to her was George, an old friend of Ruth's, who was doodling on his notepad with a furious pace, one hand ruffling his curly brown hair. Adjacent to George was Anna, who was carefully watching the little stage that had been erected towards one end of the room, in the midst of a dozen mannequins wearing bits and pieces of clothing that identified them as Greek Gods - Zeus holding a thunderbolt, Hera with a peacock crown, Athena with an owl-shaped locket, and so on.

I should praise your power of describing the characters here. Normally, such long descriptions sound very boring But in your case, it doesn't sound boring at all.
On the stage, a boy was posing in an extravagant gesture, one handing thrown up dramatically and the other one his hips, facing away from the audience. After a few seconds, he turned around and executed a formal bow, miming "Thank you!" with his lips.

The language is not clear. Make it clear. Words like ‘handing’ and the phrase ‘on his hips’ are vague.

This was so good. I should really praise your vocabulary. You really have a good one. This was a great descriptivr chapter and I loved how you portrayed each character with different character traits. I am excited to see what Ruth does in the next chapter about that modelling. In some places, the spelling of ‘Georgie ’ is written as ‘George’ pls correct it.

Can u pls tag me on the release of the next chapter?






Hey!
I think you get these large, circular poufs that you can sit on...I've seen them somewhere...

I'm sorry about the 'handing'. That is supposed to be hand...my bad!

About George, his name is George, it's just that his friends call him Georgie. That's not an error.

Sure, I'll tag you when I release the next chapter.\

Glad you enjoyed it! (:

Thanks for reviewing!





Oh sorry! I misunderstood that poufs!! I thought it as a part of dress!! My dictionary has gone mad! It's giving me wrong meanings. Okay, I understand that.
The three of them laughed at the memory of a repentant four-year-old Georgie, who on apologizing to Talmeer after the sand-box incident had found the latter extremely forgiving. It was only after the two boys and Ruth had sworn to be friends that Ruth extracted the pound of flesh from George.

But what about this one?





I'm so sorry, but I didn't get your doubt...could you explain what you didn't understand?





There, it's not a part of dialogue that the friend will call him georgie. Isn't it? But there's a spelling named %u2018georgie%u2019



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Tue Apr 13, 2021 2:46 pm
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi NivedaJames22,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

I'll start straight away with things I noticed while reading:

The boy sitting next to her was nervously chewing the tip of his pen, oblivious to the fact that it had leaked, and was now giving his teeth a bluish hue.


In general, you have included some wonderful descriptions in this section, this one I picked out because I found it the funniest. You should always keep this in mind when writing, use colours in conjunction with other terms or use these little details to get to know a bit more about the characters' personalities as well.

When did Talmeer start modelling?, she wondered.


Here (I don't know which character) one has to go. I would actually take the question mark away, as it is a train of thought from Ruth that is not yet finished in this sentence.

Ruth wished that the floor would crack and swallow her as a whole. Anything was preferable to being gawked at by a dozen people.


This is a very good portrayal and reaction to Talmeer's comment, where I was already hoping that Ruth might run out. It is precisely such short comments that make her, as an introvert, very approachable.

Instead of adding to her obvious embarrassment, the entire group welcomed her with open arms.


I expected that thought to be in Ruth's mind, and I think I speak for a lot of people, but not every thought you have about a reaction has to be real and bring out the worst. And yet you have these horrific scenarios in your head before reality sets in.


All of them would start with the costume of Apollo, then someone would mention that they should use eco-friendly products only. Another person would argue that pollution was a fake conspiracy started by the KGB, which had apparently gone underground after the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, to conquer the world. Someone else would disagree, saying that the false rumor of pollution had been started by aliens, led by the zombie Hitler. And they would rage against each other on and on, until the break bell rang and they would all return to their respective classes.


What I really like about this section is that it doesn't seem far-fetched at all, but real and what you might expect in a club at school.At least I've had discussions with classmates that aliens are responsible for the seasons. :D That also gives the story more density and authenticity when such short passages are inserted. I can well imagine Ruth just sitting there and listening and being fully eagerness.


I liked the chapter very much. The descriptions you put in and the little remarks about Ruth (or even with other characters) give the story a certain liveliness. Ruth in particular stands out as the main character. She seems convincing and not acted, which I like.
Your portrayal of the other classmates is also well done, as already described, and I also took a different look at Talmeer because I had him a little differently in my mind from the previous chapter. I'm glad to see that he's not just the pompous, somewhat boastful type, but can also be friendly. I particularly liked that in the conversation with George when they were talking about their time in kindergarten and how they have changed.
I don't have any criticisms here where I could say something needs to be improved. So far I like the story well, as it can probably be understood by many, apart from fantasy, as the focus is on a normal schoolgirl. As I enjoy reading both genres, I find it very refreshing right now to find your story amongst all the magical worlds as it is very relaxing. But I also can't help worrying that there's something huge coming up for Ruth, which she doesn't like at all. At least she passed the first test with flying colours!

Have fun writing! :D

Mailice.






@MailicedeNamedy
You're right about the question mark. I'll change that ASAP.
Thanks for reviewing!




Some call me a legacy, others call me a hero. But I assure you, dear admirers, I am only human.
— Persistence