She rang the door bell, waited for a few minutes, heard the usual buzzing sound, then pushed the door open. It was Monday, and she climbed upstairs in a weary manner but hopeful somehow. She reminded herself once more that fixing her attention towards her tutor is far more beneficial than with Matt but, it was of no use, she couldn’t help herself. As she strolled across the lobby, she caught a glimpse of him at the far end of the dining table, busy texting, as usual. It was a common sight actually, very agitating, but common. People holding on to their phones to what seems to be forever, eating while doing it possibly! However, when Matt did it (he was his phone’s addict she was afraid) she felt languid, and it rather emphasized on the fact that she felt so forlorn, further more, it has been months since she last ventured to school, so she had no interactions of people her age whatsoever.
“Hi,” she said, slumping down on one of the wooden chairs. She thought he replied with a distracted ‘hey’ but she wasn’t sure.
“How’s school?” she said in her best imitation of a thrilled, cheerful tone.
“Good,” he replied without his eyes leaving the phone’s screen for a second.
“Um, what did you do on the weekend?” she enquired, this time, a more desperate tone.
“Went out.” still eyes glued to screen, fingers busy typing.
“Ooh, where?” she had to repeat herself.
“To the mall.”
“Am I, um, irritating you?”
And for the next three minutes or so, all her questions were either answered with shaking of the head, a nod, or plain silence.
Their tutor finally emerged from the back door, he was a man in his late thirties, with a stocky figure. As he waddled towards the miniature white board, he greeted them with a fervent smile.
“How are you, dear children?” he asked.
“Fine, thank you, and you?” she replied.
“I’m fine, shall we get started?”, then noticing Matt barely taking off his eye sight to meet his own gaze, he added, “I feel obligated to take this away from you for the next few hours.” then placed it on a serving table nearby, he chuckled briefly then said to her, “Teenagers these days…” and she giggled as if she was not Matt’s contemporary. Matt seemed annoyed with the absence of his phone so she suppressed her smile abruptly. As the tutor, Mr. Thomas, wrote the first few letters of the title of the lesson on the creaking board, they heard his wife, or so she supposed, calling from a room inside the veiled hallway.
“Just a second,” Mr. Thomas winced apologetically.
Matt leapt up from his chair, reached for the phone but then realized it was out of charge, then cussed under his breath. He returned back, inserted his head phones and was about to put his head down when she said:
“Why are you so obsessed with your- oh, I’m completely sorry, you were going to- uh…” she kept on pausing uncertainly as he took off one of the headphones and stared blankly at her, awaiting her question.
“Yes?” he asked, confused, with a tinge of exasperation.
“Nothing,” she shook her head, and when he raised his eyebrows, “for real.” she assured. Seeing that, he put down his head again, then, because she wanted to get some dignity, took out the book she was currently reading from her bag, “Great Expectations”. The funny thing was that she exactly knew what Pip felt in there. It wasn’t long before Mr. Thomas re-entered the dimly lit class room, she immediately put the book away and looked upon her tutor eagerly, a sponge ready to absorb information, disturbingly fluctuated, unfortunately. Mr. Thomas didn’t bother to wake Matt up initially, then, giving it a second thought, shook Matt’s back gently. Matt’s hair was messed up in a very alluring way she thought, as he gave one of his blank stares on Mr. Thomas.
“I’m sick of this place,” he blurted out, “don’t tell me you’ll call my father I’ve had enough rows,” he clenched his teeth then added, ” all you ever think about is academics and crap! I’m stuck in this place, because of my dad only you know that?! I’m just sick of-” Matt continued yelling outrageously with occasional coarse slang words slipping in deliberately. There was nothing else she could do and she felt doltish more than helpless. He was ‘stuck’ in this place. He sweared without taking account of her presence. Save the description for Mimi, girl- she said to herself.