She was to be frank, a little nervous. Names were being called. Why wasn't it her turn yet? That, and because it was well, a test. The mere mention of the word 'test' could make her jittery, and butterflies would start sprouting like mushrooms in her stomach. Not that it was necessary, cos she always ended up doing well.
So, she was on one of the uncomfortable plastic seats in the stuffy, cramp place. Anyone claustrophobic would be running through the door by now. But not her, she needed to concentrate. Flipping furiously through the pages of the book for the millionth time, she practically could have recited any page by memory.
The door cracked open. Everybody looked up, thirsty for a reprieve from the yellow book in their hands, to look at their newest member. Almost immediately, nearly everyone's eyes darted back to their books. He wore sleeves of tattoos, multiple piercings and a scowl. And in everyone's mind the words "BAD NEWS" flashed like a siren.
Nearly everyone. Her eyes stayed fixated on him. His feet, to be exact. They bothered her.
He scanned around the place for a seat. Seemed like the only unoccupied seat was beside the girl. The one wearing a beige knee length collared dress and yellow cardigan, and was strangely eyeing his feet doggedly. Ugh, what the heck. He thought, and planted himself on the seat.
Twiddling her thumbs, she couldn't take it anymore. It was gnawing at her system, chipping away at her nerves like a woodpecker would a tree bark. All her life, she was one to follow the rules and regulations, never questioning them. A good old law abiding citizen. Hence, she just had to be the good Samaritan.
He was examining his fingernails when she cleared her throat. He didn't suspect anything. Didn't have time to, really and was totally caught off guard. All of a sudden, he was thrown into the abyss of what known to humans as "Conversation".
"Excuse me, Mister..." Ever the polite. "Sorry to bother you but, maybe you didn't notice... the sign on the door says that slippers are not allowed?" Her face painted a picture of total earnestness. Her finger pointed to his flip flops, one of the many pairs that he own.
He was taken aback. Unsure of how to respond. He could have flipped her the middle finger like how he would usually do in these situations, but there was something about her that suppressed that reflex of his. Was it her big doe eyes? The way she bit her lips? The way she regarded him like he was any other normal person? How she called him 'Mister'?
Ah, he was intrigued. And struggling to come up with a response. Thus, he went "So?" nonchalantly, without even moving his lips.
"So? So, you may be forbidden from taking the test!" She blurted out as if it was preposterous that she needed to tell him that. She emphasized the word 'forbidden' a tad too much though. "Are you here to take the test anyway? You seem kinda erm, mature." Seconds later, her eyes widened in realization. "Is it cos your license was exterminated (she couldn't think of a better term at that moment)?" Hell, she was on a roll.
"Er." What the fuck. "Yeah, you can say that."
"Oh." She continued, "You really shouldn't drink and drive, you know."
No response, only a slight grunt. Why is she still talking to me?
Not a conversationalist, huh. Oh well. She returned to her book.
A few moments later, finally her name was called. "PC SATU!!!"
Number one! A good sign. She grinned inwardly. She stood up, not forgetting to turn back to the taciturn one and chirp, "Wish me luck!" All she got was a reluctant "Yea" in return.
Less than 10 minutes was all it took. She grabbed her bag and headed out of the room to get her results printed. 49 over 50. She was pleased, but she could have done better, she told herself.
Before she left, she glanced at him and smiled, wondering if he would smile back. Surprisingly, his features softened, just for a sec. The corners of his mouth curled up, just a wee bit. Evidently, he wasn't one who was used to the expression of smiling.
That, was their first encounter. An encounter that occurred at where mostly teenagers took their Undang test.
Neither of them thought that they would meet again. Not anytime soon, not ever.
But oh, how they were so wonderfully wrong.