“Attention class, make sure to complete your homework over the weekend!” The bell had just rung, signaling the end of the school day. It was another dreary Friday; there had been passing showers throughout the day, and the ground was soaked with water. As students were packing up and leaving the building, several screams could be heard from the classroom.
“KYAAAH Carnel you look as handsome as always!”
“Carnel, want to walk home with us??”
“Please let me touch your ears!”
At the doorway, Carnel could be seen surrounded by a bunch of fangirls, who may or may not have been waiting to ambush him since the beginning of last period. He still couldn’t get over the fact that he had become popular among the students in his class, not because of his amazing combat skills, which had gotten him accepted into the academy, but because of his strange ears and charisma. Smiling apologetically, Carnel excused himself from the enlarging crowd and ran over to Nathalie, who was walking out of the other door.
“Hey! So I still don’t really understand this ‘homework’ stuff, would you mind helpin’ me when we get home?” he asked. “I still don’t really get what a ‘French’ is either.” Nathalie sighed, probably for the fourth time that day. “You could always ask one of your friends at the door,” she replied. She didn’t mean it in a sarcastic way; Nathalie genuinely could not comprehend why Carnel always asked her for help with his homework, especially when he had friends who would be overjoyed to assist him. Sure they stayed in the same house, but it’s not as if he wasn’t allowed to go home with anyone else but her; surely no one would mind if Carnel stayed after school for a bit longer for studying purposes.
Carnel's face colored a bit before answering. “Well, I really like the way you explain things, even if I don’t totally get what you’re saying. I just… really like your voice.” Nathalie paused for a moment and looked up at him, the first time since he had walked up to her. The boy had his arm over his eyes in an attempt to avoid eye contact, and his face had almost became as red as his headscarf. She was a bit taken aback. No one had ever complimented her on her voice before; it wasn’t something she had thought was one of her defining traits. Shaking her head subtly, Nathalie murmured, “You are quite the peculiar character, Carnel.” He in turn peeked out from under his arm, surprised that Nathalie had called his name. Resuming his composure, Carnel questioned the girl again. “So since you haven’t said no, does that mean you’ll help me? Please, I promise I’ll return the favor!” She nodded, saying, “I don’t know how effective my instructional ability is, but I will attempt my best.” Immediately, Carnel’s mouth widened into a grin, and his eyes lit up like a puppy who had been given a treat. “Thanks a bunch, Nathalie! You’re the best!” The pair continued their walk home, with Carnel relating to her stories about his time in the army and Nathalie quietly listening and occasionally asking questions about various topics that piqued her interest.
It was a dreary Friday afternoon, but although the ground was wet and cold, the atmosphere was warm and fuzzy for the two, who had barely noticed the drizzle that began to fall halfway through the conversation.