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Blossom (Short Story)

This is a short story I wrote based on protests on campus a while ago. It made me think of the mock in this country.

I spotted him down the corridor from my office. We called him Blossom. That’s what my best friend and I did for all people. Always assign a fake name so that we could talk about them in public, even in their presence. He was checking the notice board, but kept a sideways glance at me. His eyes darted back and forth from me to the board. I was expecting a student, but with the protests at campus that week, not many were showing up. I claimed the money for that hour anyway. Being a student tutor is no joke. He was moving down the notice boards, getting ever closer to my office. I suddenly realised that I had been fumbling with my office keys for a good ten minutes as I stared back at Blossom. He was a few meters away from me now and flashed a shy smile.

“You are Alex, right?” he asked me.

“Yes, yes I am”, I said confused as to why the guy I had been eyeing for two years was suddenly speaking to me. Come to think of it, it was also the first time I had seen him without his tail, also known as his boyfriend, also known as Beater since the rumour started that he slapped Blossom that time in front of the Law department.

He said something to me, but I could not hear as the protesters made their way past my window down below. Hundreds of students angrily pulsing through the pathways of the university looking for blood. I asked what he had just said, but he said “never mind” and looked away.

“So, it’s good to meet you”, I said, just realising that I had not asked his (real) name.

“You too, Alex”, he said, and looked away again, down at his feet this time.

“So, where is your…”, I hesitated as I thought hard trying not to give away my attraction for him, “…friend today?” I asked.

“Oh, him”, he said. “That’s not important. He’s just a friend anyway”, he said quickly. The protesters were now fading as they moved across campus. Security was deployed at all entrances to the buildings, but many of the other tutors and lecturers did not bother coming in.

“Why are you here?” I asked. “It’s not safe for you to be out today.”

“I came to see you”, he said. My heart jumped, but I was dubious.

“Why are you with him?” I asked.

“Him” I said again, sounding like a spoiled child. I watched them for years as they sauntered across campus, Blossom usually a step ahead and Beater trailing him as he stared lovelorn at the boy who should have been with me.

“It was pity”, he said. “He needed me, and I felt I needed to help him”, he said. “He had no one, so I thought, why not”, he said looking down at his shoes again.

“But there’s someone who I really want”, he said looking up to my knees. I needed no further invitation as I stepped forward, grabbed his shoulders and lowered my head to kiss him. He gasped for a second but quickly conformed to my body. The office door now open, I pulled him inside, not daring to break the kiss. It oscillated between soft and tender, and rough and needy.

We were now on my desk and he was on top of me.

“I knew it!” someone screamed from my door. It was Beater as we started and looked up.

“You fucking slut, I always knew it”, he said as he stepped forward and grabbed Blossom off of me and slapped him. I jumped up but that fat oaf is faster than he looked. He slapped me too, although a bit harder than he did Blossom. I fell back, dazed. He turned back to Blossom and fell down on top of him. He started choking him and, half crying said, “I did so much for you and this is how you repay me. Why? Why me?” he blubbered. I got up and pulled him off Blossom who was now trying to catch his breath.

The protesters made their way back as I could hear them again. Beater said something to me but I could not hear as they were getting louder. He pushed me back and tackled me down on my desk. I got my knees between us and tried kicking him off, but he was too strong. I tried listening as he mumbled incoherently and that’s when I realised that Blossom was on Beater’s back fighting him off me. I tried thinking how this image had just got stranger, but my thoughts were being overpowered by the noise. Wait, I thought, that noise is coming from down the corridor. The protesters were in the building, getting closer. He just managed to fight my hands down and started throttling me as he did to Blossom a few moments ago. Then the tempest blew in.

Dozens of angry, hungry students in the doorway to my small office. Blossom turned to them, but Beater, completely oblivious, was still trying to get his revenge on me. The next minute went by in a blur. Beater got pulled off of me amidst cries of “That’s him” and “Get the bastard.” Apparently he was one of the student assistants working at financial aid who benefited when students were swindled out of their bursaries by the powers that be. He was carried out and no one even bothered asking what was happening between the three of us. Amazing how people let things slide when there is money involved. In an instant they were gone. I pulled Blossom to his feet. His eyes were like two humming birds in his head as he rubbed his neck. He was lame, but soon held on to me. We stood there for a while as the protesters faded again in the distance. “So, where were we?” I asked as he held me tightly.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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