Chapter 3

"Join my band, Celene."

Her eyes sparkled with glee as she awaited my answer.

Sigh. 'What a way to start my day.'

I looked straight into her dark eyes. "Ms.  Monica. Whatever is on your mind. You've got the wrong thing. And besides, I can't sing well."

'Let's become the top idol in the world!'

'Yes.'

We all raise our fists in the air.

Another memory of the past huh? "You're lying. I heard you clearly in the park." Monica clasped my hand and spoke with determination. "I know and heard your singing voice and it's really beautiful."

"Please, Monica. No. I don't want to join and that's final."

"But..." Why do people keep saying but this and that? Can't they understand the word "NO"?

"Look this way," I removed her hands to mine. "It's not really a good thing to force people to something they don't want. If a person says no, you have to respect what they want. Or perhaps you don't respect my decision?"

"No that's not what I mean..." She opened her mouth then closed again and just sigh at the end. But then determination filled her eyes again. "I respect you! But still, even if you say no! I won't give up until you join my band." Monica put a piece of paper in front of my table.

Starting lunch break today...

An annoying girl started pestering me.

"Wow! Celene, did you make your own lunch?"

"It's my mom," I said and begin eating. I've decided to just eat in the room, though it's a bit noisy, it's much safer here. Though, there is this girl here now.

"Can I have some beefsteak?" Her eyes sparkled as she looked with expectation.

"No." I shoved the entire meat in my mouth making me almost choke. 

She was shivering as she tried to stop herself from laughing after I drank water.

"Tsk." I just rolled my eyes,

And the next day...

"Celene! Could you teach me the assignment on math?" She pulled a chair and sit right in front of me again.

"I didn't do my assignment."

"Eh! Then let's both copy from our other classmates." She then ran towards another person and after a few minutes, she dropped a notebook in front of me.

"Let's copy Hina's assignment now while the teacher is not here yet." She said as she brought her notebook and really just started copying the assignment of others in front of me.

'I'm literary speechless. This girl is unbelievable.' She then paused and looked at me with confusion written all over her face. "I thought you don't have an assignment, this is your chance to have one while the teacher is not yet here."

"No. I don't have notebooks and such." I then showed her my bag which only contained books for appearance's sake.

"Eh. Seriously?" She looked shocked.

"Then how are you able to write notes or do your assignments?"

"I don't need notes." My mind has a great memory. And I already learned so many things this past 99 years of my life.

"Eh why? How are you able to study?"

"Just answering the quizzes and exams are enough for me."

"Ehhhh? Don't tell me your the type of student who is very quiet but actually very talented and smart?" She clasped her hands in her mouth.

How did you induce that deduction? "No." I just plainly said. And exactly the teacher arrived here. Seeing this, Monica rushed to her seat and gave back Hina's notebook who is just her seatmate. 

"Ok. Submit your assignment class." The teacher announced. I brought out my notebook which was just under my table.'Yeah. I lied to her.' I do have notebooks and even assignments. I just put it under my table.

"You have an assignment!" Monica who I don't know was observing me shouted. All the class looked once again to her. 'Goodness. Does this girl don't the word embarrassment?"

"Do you problem Ms. Monica?" The teacher called her which brought back her senses and realized what she caused.

"Ah, nothing. Sorry, Ma'am Anica." Monica gave a perfect one hundred eighty degrees bow and sat again. In the entire class, I could feel an intense gaze behind me. And I never dared to look back.  

Finally, the class was already over. I hurried to fix my things. "Celene! Let's walked together to the bus station."

"No." I quickly rejected.

"Ok. I'll walk together with you."

Ah. I give up. This girl is just plain stubborn to her innermost core. I just let her be. After all, no matter what I speak this girl won't give up.

As we walked she started speaking. "You know, it's my life-long dream to perform with a live band. My father who was the greatest person I ever know played as a guitarist in a very famous band during his time, the Mix Patriot. He was the sole reason that's why I wanted to be the best band not just in the Philippines but to the whole world."

I never speak anything and just listen. Like, I have another choice. She just continued her story not minding whether I'm interested in it or not.

"And if I weren't able to pass the preliminary again, my mom would transfer me to another school. You see, she was really against me being in a band."

Preliminary? Is she talking about the Interhigh Battle of the Bands? Then if its, preliminary, I believe that the preliminaries will be finally held next week in the middle of the school grounds. Though, it is just the beginning, lots of bands from different levels were going to join there. Last year, there were almost twenty bands joined. 

"And since I wasn't able to pass last year, this is the last ultimatum she gave me. But I'm sure, if you joined my band we will be able to pass it through the prelims." She said her voice sounded dejected.

I halted my footsteps which made her stop too. She looked at me confused. I mentally released a sigh before speaking. "It's your dream, not mine." I stop believing in silly dreams before. Never in my entire life would I have a chance to fulfill all those dreams so I simply stop dreaming.

"You should find other people to fulfill the role you wanted me to have. Or else, you'll never reach your dream." I said.

"But I know, you're the only one who could help me. Plea..."

"I said no! Are you dumb or what!? Why can't you understand a simple NO!" Like some ticking bomb, I finally exploded and can't stop my anger. "There is no such thing as a dream! So stop being a fool already and trying so hard. Or better listen to your mom!" Crap! It's too late when I realized the words I spoke just now. 

Monica looked at me with teary eyes until she wasn't able to hold it and cry. She tried to wipe it out with her hands and speak between her sobs. "Yes, you're right...I know, I'm be-ing a fool," *sob* "I'm fully aware how everyone laughs at me during the introductions and even behind my back. But I can't stop right now! I won't stop even if the world is against my dream."

"I finally get it, that you don't want to join my band and I'm so sorry for that." *Sob* "But I already submitted the form of my members and you're name was already there. You could simply not join us the prelims since we are a total of seven and the minimum is five members."

"I'm so sorry, I won't bother you again." She turned around and ran away. I open my mouth and closed it again. I don't know what to say even if I called her back. I clenched my fist and punched the wall beside me.

"Damn it all!" I gritted my teeth as different emotions swirled inside me.   

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