Stiff on his chair and with eyes pinned on the ground Narancia could feel the revolting atmosphere of the principal office. His throat was dry but breathing from his nose was still quite impossible to do, given the current circumstances. It was one of those times again, he reckons, he didn't even need to look up to look into the principal's eyes to know his expression. He just sat there and watched a drop of blood drop from his nose onto his lap.
Words came out weakly but carried still the tension from earlier."Lemme go to the nurse". He was denied, as he expected, especially after the third time in the same month, he knew his case wasn't looking good. The principal frowned and shook his head as Narancia scoffed and looked at the door. "why am I the only one getting in trouble anyway?"
Words like these were meaningless in this case, with Narancia's terrible record, filled with absences, low grades, failing classes and multiple teachers' notices, it was easy to pin the blame on him for today's shenanigans."Ghirga, you've failed everything but P. E. this semester. In all your exams you havecheated and being caught red handed. You could be expelled from the amount of absences you have collected over this past month alone. What do you have to say for yourself?"
Narancia sank in the uncomfortable chair. Why did the principal gets the cool chair anyway? He closes one nostril and blows air from the other, getting rid of the blood that had been collecting in it. The smell of it was clogging his mind, and him already being in a haze wasn't helping him at all to focus.
"I'm talking to you!" Narancia's expression gets even more bitter, and he's using his sleeve to absorb the blood. His words come out slurred out, out of order and looks over at the door as he explains. "they keep making fun of me"
"No matter who is doing what, you should know that picking up fights is against the rules. Were you taught no manners?" this is starting to grind up his gears and its quite visible now, that even when seemingly in low energy, there are things that can make Narancia explode all too recklessly. The principle collects himself, and clears his throat.
"I'm aware of your... Situation at home." the eyes that now no longer avoid his gaze are widened and foggy. The principal didn't want to mention it this clearly, but it's obvious that troubled youth today is becoming more and more of a reality. He watched it become apparent, or perhaps its always been there but now he can make a better judge of situations like this. "I've heard it from your father when you enrolled."
The atmosphere turned so stuffy inside the already small office, Narancia could feel his head getting dizzy, his brain can hardly decode whatever his ears are bringing into it. "It's disheartening, to see a student throw his life into violence this way. I'm sure you're better than this Ghirga." Narancia's anger that has been building up dissolves on one second, and he plops down on his seat. He didn't even realise he had stood up. He brings his hand on his forehead and the principle continues as Narancia feels the cold sweat on his own face numbing him down.
"The school knows, we try to be considerate. With your record we shouldnt allow you to participate in the passing exams for senior year." Narancia swallowed hard. The principal loosens ever so slightly his tie, so as to still remain proper but it's obvious that even he tries to beat around the bush for this topic.
Narancia parts his lips and only a whimper comes out. He was not one to usually try to collect himself, as consequences went over his head. "The boy that started this is in helping out for the summer camp as retribution, but with your grades and absences I'm afraid we can't do the same for you."
Narancia feels the earth underneath him shatter. "Your father didn't answer the phone at all and we've been trying to reach out on him for hours." He was nervous and tried to think of any way he could help hismelf out of this. "I'll come to all the classes! I promise I won't miss another day ever!" the principal can see the desperation in his eyes and brings his hand on his chin in thought. "if your grades improved, and your behaviour improved, then we could make the argument during teachers' counselling to not expell you."
Narancia breaks into cold sweat. Who talked about better grades? He just meant he would come to each class but that didn't mean he would be better at tests and homework. Those things were never for him, he was not the brightest when it came to anything that has to do with school. Everyone told him his whole life, and he knew that was the case, his grades had always been on the lower side, and that by cheating too. He wasn't even good at making his own cheating papers.
"I need help for that, I'm really bad at school!" the way he formed his sentences so simply and to the point, with no filter also seemed to work on his favour. The principal starts a thought he soon regrets bringing up "Maybe hiring a tutor would help -" Money, that was a big problem he was made aware of the Ghirga family lacking in. Narancia was too in shock in his own mind trying to process things and started blurting out his own nonsense
"anyone from school that would help me? Please! I don't want to fail the class!" he was practically crying, though not in sobs, not yet. His eyes were flared up, even behind puffy tears.
Narancia was dismissed and told to come back to the office at the end of the day. He participated in the remaining classes, but the teachers were informed to fill in absent on his name, not sure if that was allowed, not that Narancia cared at this point. His classmates avoided him, even the acquaintances he had in there, and everyone now knowing about the fight that yet again Narancia made, it sure made it difficult for him to even want to participate. Not that he could, even if he wanted to. He had no idea on what page they were, no idea what subject they were being taught even. He knew he was in the right class, because he had a messy note stuck on his locker with each class for his schedule, but found hismelf even more lost with each. The teachers seemed to pay no attention to him, so he freely scribbled lines on the back of his notebook.
The principal talks to the phone and from behind the door, a light knock is being heard. Narancia dares to look back, not paying attention to his sweaty face or the dried blood on his nostril that had been there since the incident , not even focused enough to straighten up his blazer or tie. A tall boy walks in, well groomed and with an elegant posture, but he was just as timid as he looked poised. The principal gestures the boy to take a seat, and he stiffly and neatly does. Narancia has seen this boy before at the school hallways or at the lockers, but never felt like he wanted to interact. He was a junior of his and that's all he knew, simply because he had never seen him in any of his classes. Well its not like he had gone to many himself though...
"Ghirga, this is Fugo Pannacotta. One of the ace students in the advanced classes of the second year" Fugo politely extends his hand but Narancia doesn't know what to do with it. He gives him a side high five, which takes both the boy and the principal by surprise. The principal clears his throat, the youth really needs some teaching now, and that's what's this about, so he tried not to pay too much attention to the incident just now.
"Ghirga, the boy will tutor you. Get you back on track. Maybe you can live by example of how a student acts -" he boy seems quiet, obedient or maybe too obedient. He doesn't break his posture or blank expression, he only brings his hand to tighten his tie. A very unusual one, with strawberry pattern going all the way down , unlike the one in the dress code. Narancia isnt having it though, and gets back to the point without further distractions. " He's younger than me! Are you kiddin'? I'm not treating him as my superior. He should refer to me as his senior, which I am! "
"Ghirga I don't want no attitude coming from you!" Narancia crosses his arms and puffs his cheeks. Somehow this reaction didn't fit the description of what a thug only looking for trouble looks like. The Principal's secretary had come to interrupt the advanced Math class some point after lunch. Explaining the situation, all the other students were reluctant and tried to get the responsibility off of them by telling her that the troublemaker should hire his own tutor. Obviously there was something deeper going on, which is why the school resulted in butting in, Fugo was sure. He also felt some sort of sympathy perhaps for the boy? It definitely was not pity, but he couldn't explain it well. He didn't know who "Narancia Ghirga" was, but there must have been much more going on for a fight like this to break in. Not only that, but seemingly with the short description the secretary gave of the boy's record, everyone was skeptical and scared to reach out. This matters had to be taken into his own hands, Fugo felt the urge and without thinking raised his hand to volunteer. Besides, this could be more beneficial for hismelf as well, could add to his credit. Well it wasn't why he decided to do it but the logical side in him wanted to explain why he so selflessly raised his hand.
Fugo clears his throat and asks to interrupt, which makes Narancia turn his attention to him. "I heard you were the one that asked for help. I think it's very admirable of you to be this brave about asking for something like this." the principal was taken aback from Fugo's choice of words and proceeded to take it as his cue to lighten the mood. "Yes. See? You two are equals." Narancia whines still, his face turning to the side "I'm still older than him though"
The meeting proceeded. Fugo and Narancia exchanged numbers and addresses, Fugo had a long phone call with his parents which he abruptly closed, only to inform the principal that it is okay to proceed with whatever he seems fit. Narancia's brain is working on auto mode, not thinking too much about anything. He hadn't given hismelf the chance to take everything in yet, but he felt less nervous that's for sure. Studying truly is really hard, but maybe he can convince this bit Fugo to make him cheat sheets? He really seems like the person that follows the rules strictly though.. Before he could dwell any further the principal dismisses them, telling them to find the dates and hours according to their schedules.
"How about we go over to the library?" Narancia stopped on his tracks and turned to face the boy. He had to look up to meet his eyes, and Fugo felt the peer pressure of his gaze. "What?! Don't tell me we're studying right now?!No way dude, I'm not ready! " Fugo could not resist the urge to smile. What a handful he is. A bit of comfort emerged into him, like he's always known of Narancia's extroverted attitude. "No, not right now, I was thinking we could discuss when we'll meet up and where for each day"
Narancia lets out a big sigh of relief, and his body relaxes, continuing his stride with him down the hallway. "Ah dude, say that from the beginning! You scared me for a moment there!"
"where are you going? The library is over this way" he pointed straight ahead whereas Narancia was heading towards the staircase. He looks back and forth and smiles awkwardly, bumping on his side with his elbow "Haha..! I was just, testing you!" Fugo's eyes narrow down "you don't even know where the library is, do you" Narancia looks at every direction possible, visibly sweating but Fugo just rolled his eyes with a sigh escaping his lips, continuing on their way. As they walked they didn't talk, and while it didn't feel necessarily awkward, Narancia wasn't used to quiet walks like that. He was curious about this boy, he wanted to ask him what he did for fun or if he likes any movies or anything, but he decided against it as they reached the door of the library sooner than he expected. Later for sure, he declared, he'll get to know him better. For now it's important to stay focused on the priorities