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Love Part 9

by Tawsif


“Okay, then. Meherin, you gave up. Great. Well done. But you see, you deserve some punishment for not giving up in the first place.” I turned around and looked at the boys. “Doesn’t she, guys?”

“Yeah!”, “Give it to her!”, “Hell she does!” were the replies.

I turned back at Meherin and started making for the table. Meherin was literally bloodless, sweaty, and shaking too. And I was a brutal predator, creeping toward my prey in style.

Like the previous bench-encounter, I stood on one end of the table and she on the other. The table wasn’t too long, but long enough so that I couldn’t reach her stretching my arms and trying my best to hit her with the ruler. And every time I missed and she looked back at me, the terror I saw in her eyes…… It was sheer poetry.

“Look, Tawsif!” she tried to negotiate. “You got what you wanted. Now let me go.”

But I shook my head. “No, my girl. You have a punishment to take.”

And right then, I dashed along the side of the bench and swung the ruler. But I missed her by inches. She drew back immediately and hurried away to the other side of the bench. But since the table wasn’t as wide as it was long, we weren’t so much apart now. I took the chance and struck her shoulder with the ruler. It was a tight little strike, somewhere between a slap and a pat, and not painful at all.

Meherin acted like it was a hell of a smack, though. She winced and ran from the table back to the benches. I could’ve hit her again as she ran past me, but I didn’t. I only so much as lifted the ruler again, and she sprinted so fast that it pretty much seemed as if she was running for her life.

The boys went crazy now, shouting and cheering and thumping on the benches madly. I waved at them, ambled back to the benches like a hero, and had to receive a torrent of slaps and punches on the shoulders and back. Then I put the ruler back into my bag and turned to the girls’ benches.

Meherin looked embarrassed, but it wasn’t that kind of embarrassment. She wasn’t offended at all. In fact, the other girls were enjoying this too. They had to; it was quite a show I put on today.

“Aw, Meherin! Are you hurt?” I teased. “Don’t be. I’m so sorry.”

The boys started laughing again, and the girls too giggled.

“Are you still sad? Come on! Smile for me, will you? Just smile.”

Meherin hid her face now. But I knew she was smiling.

“Still sad? You know what? I think I’ll apologize to you.”

I took the ruler out of my bag again. I had another crazy idea!

I stepped forward and stood in the gap between the two columns of benches. Then I dropped on one knee and stretched my right with the ruler—the way I’d watched so many Hollywood actors do—and said, “Take the ruler, Meherin! Punish me! Punish me all you want!”

Everyone’s jaw dropped in the girls’ benches. And I bet same was the scene behind me as well. Blood was streaming like electric waves all over my body. This day couldn’t have turned better!

With a shaky voice—I had no idea how I could make my voice sound so pathetically shaky—I kept pleading, “Oh, Meherin! I can’t live with this guilt. I can’t bear this shame. Hit me. Punish me. Please!”

She probably realized I wasn’t going anywhere until she hit me. So she walked to me and took the ruler, and I bowed my head down like I was going to receive a knighthood or something.

She barely landed the ruler on my palm three times. All I felt was a tap, then another, then another. Then she put the ruler back and shied away. "You got your punishment. Now calm down.”

I intertwined my fingers and went on with the plead. “Thank you, my lady. Thank you so much. You’re so kind and—”

I would’ve gone on, but I had to stop. Because Mrs. Mahbuba, the Math teacher, had entered the classroom. I got to my feet quickly and went back to my seat. I looked at my hand and saw the ruler. I put it back to the bag too in another swift move.

If Mrs. Mahbuba saw what I was doing—down on one knee, in front of Meherin—she’d probably send me to the Principal’s Office.

“Goodness me! I can hear your screams from the Teachers’ Room for god’s sake.” She takes off her round glasses and places them on the table. “Stop all the chatting and bring out your books.”

So she didn’t see it. Thank god!

Mrs. Mahbuba continued teaching us how to do math using Unitary Method, and as always, I didn’t pay attention. I’d finished learning Unitary Method back at home myself. That’s what I did all the time, finishing up lessons before teachers taught them in class so I could be keep myself ahead. That also gave me the luxury to be careless in school and be miles away from the lectures.

Right now, my mind was replaying the things that happened not too long ago.

Meherin’s face was so red! She was so scared! It was like Tom versus Jerry. I was Tom and she was Jerry. Though in this case Tom was all over Jerry. Tom was the winner.

I should be auditioning for films, man! I can’t live with this guilt! Punish me! Gosh, some dialogues! And I made my voice sound like a bloody poet or something. Didn’t know I could do that!

I bet she won’t ever do that again. She’ll always give the planes back. I think if someone even intentionally throws a plane at her, she’ll give it back too! Thanks to me!

You do enjoy playing with girls, don’t you? It was the inner voice.

Of course, I do. I like playing with them. I like beating them, like I did today. And I’m pretty good at it. Remember how I beat Nidhi?

Yeah, that was one epic victory, the voice says.

Thinking about that exam brought back memories: How I felt so thrilled when I got my answer-script; how all the thrill vanished when I saw the disappointment in Nidhi’s face; how the anticipated success meant nothing.

My heart started to pound. It had to; it always did when Nidhi reigned in there.

I glanced.

She had her eyes on Mrs. Mahbuba, concentrated, nodding and taking notes every now and then.

I felt something different. It wasn’t that familiar enigmatic feeling that filled me every time I looked at her. It was something different.

And I didn’t know what it was. 


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92 Reviews


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Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:39 pm
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ShapeOfVoid wrote a review...



Heya again! So,um, a lot has happened in the past three chapters, and i'm just going to sum up all my thoughts in one review, kay?


Pacing

Aight, so if I start from chapter seven, we've had quite a couple of things happen - the rumours started, the first revelation of love happened, we got some information on the bus systems and campus life (and like, yeah, i had no problem understanding that part cuz mon dad's a scientist in the nuclear physics department, so we kinda have the campus thing too)(although we chose not to live in the campus) and of course, Meherin.

Reading it all together, it comes to my attention that it's all rushing too fast - a thing happens, but we don't get the time to process it - before we know it, the MC has moved on to the next fixation.

Take the eighth chapter, for example. You started by talking about the campus system. So here I'm thinking, okay, let's see where he's going with this. So I'm waiting - you explain how Nidhi comes in one of the buses, and yeah, that's fine. And then, the MC decides to check one of the buses out, to see it - now here is where the confusion seeps in. What are we supposed to do with this? Because, in harsh terms, this would most definitely be called stalking. MC might get a free license for being in love, but it is still very much stalker-ish. And then, it abruptly changes, by MC getting interrupted by a non-consequential character. Okay, fine. Stalker disaster avoided. But then, the reader goes on to read, and suddenly there's a very boy-girl division fight, and in the midst of it all, i pause and think - wait, hold on, what does the bus incident have anything to do with this? Like, my brain was still stuck over there, because it was not yet ready to move from one incident to next. This shows that a shift in major events happened too quickly for the reader to process. We're left wondering why we even read the bus scene, because we got to learn nothing from it. Except for the fact that our MC is so in love with a girl (who he's had maybe two conversations with) that he becomes stalker-ish.

So yeah. Pacing is important for storytelling; to let your readers digest an event. Stacking up too much on them just leaves them confused, especially when you're already writing about a school system that most of your audience won't be familiar with (i read some of the other reviews, and saw one asking what Grade 1 meant - so if such little things make people confused, imagine how confusing the remaining aspects are - all the private school shenanigans, and how we all have one classroom for all subjects instead of different classrooms for different subjects, not to mention all the islamic customs and social values we have to uphold. rushing things on top of all these is not going to be good enough to keep your readers interested.)


The Meherin Event

Okay, loads of mixed feelings here.

First off, I'm glad to see some side characters. I'm not sure I like Meherin very much; she seems like a real prat, but I'm also not very happy with how she was described. Like, look here:

"She looked up and smirked. That girl wasn’t pretty at all. Pale black face...."

Tawsif starts the description by talking about her appearance. Which fails to tell us anything about Meherin, but tells us a lot about MC - like how his judgement is based on appearance; which scorns the feminist in me. He doesn't personally know any of the girls, because he hasn't had proper conversations with them, and yet he's decided who he likes and doesn't like, all because some people are prettier than others.

This is also a point where character development could occur. If at some point Meherin and Tawsif could become friends, it would really warm my li'l brown heart. It would also show how much growth has occurred. If something like this does happen, though, make it gradual - i'm sensing hostility,and that doesn't usually go away in a day.

Second - it's going to be awfully important for you to clarify what MC means when he says:
"I like beating them, like I did today."

For a second, i was horrified, wondering just how many girls he'd beat with a scale, but then realised he probably just means having a win (any kind of win) over them. This could blow over badly though, without proper clarification.

the terror I saw in her eyes…… It was sheer poetry.

^I'm also a little worried at this point. MC enjoys making girls afraid of him? He enjoys terrorizing? That's toxic masculinity. There's a lot of growth required.

The incidents of the paper-plane were also kinda rushed - personally, i feel like you could've ended the scene when Meherin offered up the plane - that was already a win, right? Instead, the protag petulantly continues up his play, which i think is kinda immature- but I don't really know his age, so maybe it adds up, depending on which class he is in.

Either way, I think it's high time to start up a proper plot, with problems and all, which maybe unites the girls and boys to work together. The gender division is giving me sad, twingy feelings and i'd really like some equality and strong feminism.


Emotions, and Actions - Show Us, Don't Tell Us

Meherin looked embarrassed, but it wasn’t that kind of embarrassment. She wasn’t offended at all.

Question! How does the MC know this? Was there a twitch in her eyebrows that gave it away? An almost-smile? This is a classic example of simply telling the reader, instead of showing us, that she tried to look embarassed but wasn't actually. Showing maks the audience feel more connected to the story. Telling us just makes the reader judge the MC as a know-it-all.


I think i'm gonna end here. You'll get bored if I go on and on. Also, thanks for your appreciation on my reviews - it's been a long time since i've actively reviewed, and i'm so glad you chose not to get offended on strict critique and took it nicely. I never know how to give enough compliments, and sometimes i'm very brutally honest, but I really, really want this story to improve! It's got a lot of potential, and i'd love to read more of it.

Happy Review Day!

Image




Tawsif says...


Thanks so much. I've been getting a lot of praises for this novel. I guess I needed some strong criticism too.
Just for your information, I'm trying to make the MC immature and slightly sexist. And your review proves that I'm getting there.
And again, I'll tag you in the next parts. I hope you'll be kindly keeping my request as you did now.

THANKS A LOOOOOT.



ShapeOfVoid says...


<3 i'll most definitely try to review the rest! i'm not very good at keeping up with them, tho - the reviews i did today came after long months. It basically depends on my mood; and this month's hp theme really piqued moi interest :D



Tawsif says...


Okay. But then I request you to keep a nice chilling mood for me for a while.



ShapeOfVoid says...


<3



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Points: 64
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Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:58 am
xArrows wrote a review...



Arrow here!

Alrighty, given that I haven't read the other chapters, let's see how well I can do this xD.

Despite how Tawsif seems to act towards Meherin, I do like this act of letting the victim get a bit of satisfaction. In this case, Meherin tapping Tawsif with the ruler. Which, by the way, I absolutely love! I do not see any errors with this, but I do hope in the next chapter we will see Tawsif get chewed out by his friends about why he acted the way he did with giving Meherin the ruler.

Overall, the story is perfect!

With pawfuls of love,
xArrows




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Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:47 pm
JesseWrites wrote a review...



Jesse here to review, so I am hopping in now.

I believe that your works are wonderful.

I can tell that this story references "Tawsif" which is you. I like that aspect of having yourself within.

The closing line left me hanging. I feel insulted by that cliffhanger.

I think the feeling is love, which is the title, so I am not far off.

I don't see any errors. Kudos!

Thanks,
Jesse.





My culinary streak is in everything that I write.
— LadyBird