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“I need all of these things Mr. Pom. I actually noticed that after the midterms my potential finally fully developed. It would be a shame if I won’t use it to the best of my abilities,” Wave convinced their teacher.

It had been three days since midterms happened and Wave hadn’t calmed down. Not one bit. He’s going to destroy this school with his own hands using the school’s money. It would be the best revenge.

He was now in contact with Narak using the game he had created. He downloaded it in her phone using the girl’s email and contact number. The girl uninstalled it a couple of times until Wave had had enough and made his game uninstallable. For his first level, Wave instructed Narak to disguise as him and steal the school’s old generator. He even instructed her to pose in front of one of the CCTVs installed in the room.

He could now very well imagine Mr. Pom’s distress in knowing that one of his students was being a juvenile. Wave wanted them to doubt him, to make him their first suspect, to always be on his tail. After all, robbery in broad daylight was the most exciting.

“I can downgrade some of the specifications if you like,” he tried to bargain.

Mr. Pom looked at the list again and heaved a great sigh. “No. Nothing can come in the way of you developing your potential. I’ll see what I can do. I’d talk to the director just to give you what you want.”

“Thank you, Mr. Pom,” he gave him a polite smile. He couldn’t be cheeky or else Mr. Pom will know that he’s about to plan something.

He needed to be stealthy. Make them doubt him but still won’t do anything until the last minute. Not until Wave already destroyed the school they have built for so long.

He stood up and was ready to leave when their adviser’s room opened and Pang went inside. Wave tried to calm himself down. He will destroy this boy in due time. He looked at Pang in the eye and gave a scoff, Pang, on the other hand, was trying to not look at him in the face.

What’s wrong with him?

He shook his head and left not forgetting to close the door. He then began to smile. He couldn’t wait for next week.

-

Wave was at the rooftop, breathing the cold afternoon air when all of a sudden he heard a creaking sound. He looked at the rooftop’s door and saw Namtarn getting in. It’s the first time he saw Namtarn without Ohm or Pang with her. The three of them became inseparable ever since the gifted class started.

“What are you doing here?” Wave asked, tilting his head to the side.

Namtarn held on to the railing and looked at the view. “I’m trying to breath some fresh air.”

“It must’ve been exhausting having two annoying vermin at your side all the time,” Wave joked. He had always liked Namtarn. She’s quiet and reserved but headstrong. She’s got few of the traits he really liked. Too bad she preferred the company of idiots.

Namtarn laughed. “It really isn’t that bad once you get used to it.” Namtarn was clutching the handrails tightly; too tightly enough to make Wave realized she wanted to say something.

“What is it? What do you want to ask?”

Namtarn bit her lower lip making her seemingly unsure. “Isn’t it lonely? Not having any friends? You know you can always come and talk to me about anything.”

Wave looked at the setting sun, its deep orange hue bathing the whole school. “It really isn’t that bad once you get used to it.” He repeated her earlier answer. “Why, do you want to be my friend?” he raised an eyebrow.

“Of course. I’ve always wanted to be your friend, you know?”

“But you’re friends with Pang.” Namtarn’s face fell with Wave’s statement.

“No matter. I will still make you my friend.”

“How?” Wave crossed his arms.

Namtarn pointed to several piled up wooden boxes. “Let’s sit there and tell each other’s stories.”

Wave shook his head but still somehow followed Namtarn.

“Okay, I’ll go first. My dad died when I was still ten. He was walking home late because he was finishing some work at his office when out of nowhere several men ganged up on and killed him. My mom got devastated she began to control my whole life. Almost like wanting for me to not get out of her sights even for just a second.” Namtarn looked at Wave a sad smile painted on her face. “You might be wondering on how I was still able to enroll here despite her attitude. Well, it was really simple. I never told her I would, I asked my grandparents to sign the waiver and by the time she knew it I was packing my bags and ready to go.”

This is something new to Wave, he knew Namtarn was stubborn but he never knew she would go to such lengths to get what she wanted. He figured out that you never truly know a person if you never bothered to talk to them.

“I know I was being a bad daughter, but I couldn’t help it. I need to get away and try to live my life on my own. I once told Pang and Ohm that I wanted to live a dangerous life because I’ve never really experienced it.” She looked down and began to rub the soles of her shoes on the cemented ground. “Do you think I’m a bad daughter, Wave?”

The question caught him off-guard. He couldn’t answer. He didn’t know. His parents died when he was still 13 and he never really truly bonded with them since they we’re both busy with work and trying to make ends meet.

“I wanted to answer you but I don’t really know what to say. Maybe there are things that only you can answer.”

“Maybe,” Namtarn agreed. “But I want to know the answer as soon as possible. Okay, you next.”

“What do you want to know?”

“Anything.”

Should he trust her? Should he tell her the thing that he had kept for a while? The thing that made Wave distance himself from people and made him distrust them?

Maybe it’s time to let go of his past. Maybe Namtarn would understand his pain.

“When I was still in grade eight, I once made a research paper on the rooftop.”

“Really? In grade eight? That’s so awesome.”

Wave hummed. “I was doing it for a scholarship competition conducted by the Ministry of Education. But I wasn’t alone, I had someone overseeing my entire progress.” he held on to the box he was sitting. Waves and waves of locked up memories assaulting him all at once.

“I was with my teacher, her name was Ms. Narra. She was great, she believed in me when nobody else would. Believed in my capabilities and saw through my reserved personality. She made me confident in my ability, made me love computers. Every day with her seemed almost magical I never really wanted it to end. I wanted to be successful because of her.” Wave smiled, a sad one.

“Do you like her?”

“Why do you think that?”

“I saw you smiling while you were talking about her. It’s okay, though no need to be shy. We all have someone we adored matter of fact I know someone.” Namtarn abruptly cut what she was about to say and stood up. “We should get going its already dark. Ohm and Pang might be looking for me.”

“Wait,” he took hold of her hands. “You were about to say something before you stood up.”

“Was I?” Namtarn looked uneasy, like someone had caught her doing bad things.

“Never mind. We should go,” he stood up and dusted his back.

They were laughing and talking about ordinary things when they saw that four people were waiting for them at the foot of the staircase. They hastily made their way down.

“Namtarn,” Pang looked betrayed. “Wave, where were you? I held a meeting and only the two of you didn’t show up.”

“I told you I’ll be making my Math paper, I got bored so I went to the rooftop and found Wave there. We were only talking, nothing more.” Namtarn said defensively.

“Why were you looking for us, is the meeting that important?” Wave knew what this was all about. They were on his heels now. The game has finally started.

“Someone stole a generator from the Home Economics Room, was it you who did it?” Ohm said straightforwardly.

“I didn’t steal anything,” It’s true. He didn’t steal anything, he asked someone to steal it for him. “You can ask Claire here if I was lying.” Claire shook her head.

He had known this loophole in Claire’s potential for a while already. As long as he looked confident enough, his real emotions wouldn’t show. Her potential was looking through someone’s body language and heart rate. It won’t show what the other person was truly thinking about. Maybe in the future she’ll be able to do that, but not right now when it wasn’t fully developed yet.

“See? Maybe give me solid proofs before you accused me of something.” He walked away. “Namtarn, let’s go. You told me you want to dress up my wound, right?”

Namtarn slowly walked towards him but not without looking at the four people they left behind.

“Maybe you were a little harsh back there, Wave. Especially with Pang,” Namtarn drawled. They were at the clinic with Namtarn tending his wounds.

Wave stiffened, the antiseptic stinging his wound. “They did it first, I just defended myself.”

“You’re right but,” Namtarn said, taping and gauzing his wound. “They only care about you, you know? We’re your fellow classmates. We look out for each other.”

Care?

No one cared about Wave and the only person he truly cared about betrayed him and used him for her personal gains.

“I need to go. It’s getting late,” Wave informed Namtarn, standing up.

“Wait,” Namtarn took hold of his arm. She walked to a nearby cabinet, opened it and put several medicines, gauze and antiseptic into a small plastic bag. She gave it to Wave. “Here, take these. You can use them to clean your wound.”

“Thanks.” He walked back to his room.

The darkness and silence that consumed him when he entered his room comforted Wave. This is his sanctuary. His own self is his only home.

He went straight to his study table and opened the laptop perched on top of it. Several codes welcomed him, he touched its screen and told it to display the thing he had been busy preparing.

The screen showed a black and blue website embedded with pixelated words and logos, somehow like a 90s PlayStation game interface. The director dared call him childish, Wave wanted him to see just how far his childishness could take him. Wave got his phone from his pocket, unlocked it and made it display the same thing as what was in his laptop. He needed to contact Narak and gave her another order before he formally starts the game a few days from now.

Gather 10 friends and destroy the administrator’s office. Grade in English Language will be increased by 50 percent.

It’s the perfect opportunity he’d been waiting for Ms. Ladda just went away and joined a teacher’s conference. It would be great to see the face she’s about to make once she got hold that her beloved office had been ransacked. Wave thought that the teacher deserved it for always being harsh to the students. And the way she just let Wipawee’s death slide didn’t bode well with Wave.

His phone created a musical sound indicating that Narak finished her task.

People would really do anything just to get high grades. How sad.

He’s now reminded of Wipawee’s death and how everything started to go all spiraling down for her. Wave could not help but compare it to his own. Teachers called him stupid because they were all jealous he’s smarter than them; classmates looked at him condescendingly because he was different; and his grandparents always getting angry at him for the littlest things and blaming him for things out of his control.

At first, Wave thought he was Nicha. There were similarities between the both of them. They were both geniuses, always above the class and have been granted a potential that only selected people had been given.

But.

That’s it. That’s where their similarities ended. Nicha need not struggle. She was loved. She was greatly cared for and escaped the possibility of ever paying for what she had done.

And then it hit him

Maybe he was Wipawee and Wipawee was him. They were connected and the same. They had continuously struggled to be better but were always barred by everyone. Always compared to others no matter how hard they tried. Their only difference was that Wave was a little bit smarter than her. And he would make sure he would go down and take everyone with him.

Especially the director.

Especially Pang.

Pang. How he hated him. He’s the embodiment of the person he despised the most. He’s stupid and a good for nothing, but everybody cared about him. Everybody loved him despite all his flaws and all his shortcomings. He’s got everything that Wave didn’t friends, parents and the acknowledgement of the director.

Wave closed his laptop and called it a night. He needed to wake up early to get the new set of computers he ordered from Mr. Pom. He would go to that abandoned attic he saw yesterday and start assembling the computers for his master plan.

-

There’s something going on between all his gifted classmates, they were all busy chatting with each other. It wouldn’t have been obvious if Punn wasn’t on his phone, the guy always listened to the teacher’s discussion.

He needed to know what they’re up to.

He looked at his phone and saw that there weren’t new messages coming from their class’ group chat.

So they’re already suspecting me.

He looked at Namtarn and thought that maybe she’d be down on his side. Although they had not talked again face to face, they had been conversing with each other quite a lot on LINE. He thought Namtarn understood him, in more ways others couldn’t and that made him like her more. So he hacked into her phone and tried to snoop on into everyone’s conversation.

Ohm: Punn can copy Wave.

Claire: Shut up, Ohm.

Pang: Are you sure it’s not Wave?

Namtarn: Let me do some investigation on him.

Wave wasn’t really surprise any more, people just keep on disappointing him. He thought he had found a friend in Namtarn but turned out she was like everyone else.

Investigate me, then.

Wave hurriedly left for the door, knowing that Namtarn was at his heels, he knew where he had to go. He walked further down the hall until he’s at the foot of a familiar staircase. He went up and opened the door for the rooftop. He’s going to make his confession but he won’t let Namtarn get away with it.

“Hey, Wave,” Namtarn called for him.

Wave turned around and faked a surprise when he saw her. “What are you doing here?”

“I just want to talk to you.”

“About what?”

“Nothing,” she walked closer towards him.

“You want to talk to me about nothing?”

She became silent after that. Wave figured out that she didn’t know how to breach the subject so Wave’s about to help her. “Hey, Namtarn.”

She hummed, indicating that she’s listening.

“Do you want to know how it all ended between me and Ms. Narra?”

She didn’t answer so Wave continued, “After we finished my project, Ms. Narra distanced herself from me. I was thoroughly confused so I went to the teacher’s office and asked her the reason why. She said that it’s because the school’s been very suspicious about our closeness and asked her to put some distance between us. I was frustrated because people are really out there stopping us from being happy.”

He looked away from her and started looking at the view below them. “I held her hand and was about to kiss her when all of a sudden one of the teachers came to the office and saw what I was about to do. Our relationship was shaken to the core and no matter how hard I explained no one would hear my side. Eventually, Ms. Narra got dismissed from the school and then she was out of my life.”

“Do you know how hurt I was that no one would believe me?” he asked her. “How about you, Namtarn, do you believe me when I say I didn’t do it? That it wasn’t me who stole that item from the Home Economics Room?”

“Yes,” she said. “I believe you, Wave.”

What a liar.

He opened his phone and read through the ‘No Wave Group Chat’, “At ten thirty a.m. you sent a text to a group chat I wasn’t part of. You want to know what you sent? Well let me read it for you, ‘Let me do some investigation on him’”

“Wave,” Namtarn looked guilty.

“Do you want to know something else? No, I wasn’t the one who stole the generator but I was the one who asked another student to steal it. And as what you have might have now guessed, yes, it was me who hacked the school records.” He began to walk away. Namtarn held on to his hand.

Wave was about to yank his hand away when he saw Namtarn’s state.

What’s happening to her?

“Why did you do it, Wave?” Namtarn said, her left hand holding her temple.

“Did you read through me? Stop it. Stop it, Namtarn,” he begged.

“Why, Wave?”

“Because she betrayed me. I trusted her but she betrayed me. She made me look like a fool. She passed my work and told everyone that it was her thesis when it was all mine. It was my hard work,” Wave cried, finally telling the truth. “So I did what I had to do. I exposed her to the entire school. That she was a liar. She bought her diploma.”

“But it’s wrong, Wave,” Namtarn looked like she was about to pass out.

“What’s wrong with getting even? I’m just making sure that I’m never going to lose to pieces of shit like you.” Wave pushed her, making her fall to the ground.

Wave bolted for the door and locked it. He peeled the gauze he had put on earlier that day and threw it to the ground.

He had some work to do