I’m James Ryan.
I’m eighteen. I’m tall, good-looking, and smart. I’m one of the most popular guys in college. I’m cheerful and friendly. Every girl in school has a crush on me, yet their flirtations are useless for I am dating the most beautiful woman ever to have lived on earth.
“Hey, Jamey! Wanna go work out after classes with us?”
Twirl. Smile. “Sure!” Wink.
Every morning it is like this. I will take my long walk down the student-flooded hall to my locker. Girls will squeal at the sight of me, noticeable swaying their hips more as they walked in front of me. Boys who are closer to me will fill up my after-class schedules with plans for exercise or parties. Other boys who are too shy will still receive the big smile of mine that everyone loves so much. To me, every person I meet is my friend, and I try my best to satisfy everyone’s wishes. I never get frustrated or angry in front of anyone. Although it isn’t easy at times, my signature smile will always cover up the bad colours.
I would recognize that stupid laugh anywhere.
“Freeman.” I muttered as I kept my head down and continued walking to the end of the hallway where the stairs were.
“That’s Tutto’s last name. Jamesy should call Tutto by his first name. Tutto always calls Jamesy by his first name, right? Hahaha!”
I take back everything I said about me always being cheerful and friendly. Whenever I was approached by this guy, an indescribable fire in my stomach would start churning. Tutto Freeman was an idiot who almost always referred to himself in the third person. If you happened to find yourself talking to him, then brace yourself for a meaningless chat that would last forever. Unfortunately for me, I seemed to be the only one in school whom he ever talked to. People in our department disregarded him as if he didn’t exist, and the other people on campus wouldn’t even have heard of him. In fact, he was extremely quiet and shy around others, always sitting in the darkest corner of the classrooms, staring at everyone expressionlessly. To be frank, I would have thought of him to be rather creepy if he weren’t such a maniac around me.
“Hey, Jame-sy. Guess what?” Oh, no. He’s starting his stupid talks again.
“I don’t want to know.” I was literally sprinting up the stairs, trying to get rid of him. Yet, no matter how fast I tried to run, I could always hear his dancing footsteps following right behind me.
“Oh, Jamesy would want to know this! Did you know that angels fall? Haha!”
“Oh.” I was climbing the stairs five flights at a time.
“Tutto heard it from Tutto’s daddy.” The pest was still following me without effort.
“He’s just…joking…with you.” My words were coming out in short bursts for I was running out of breath.
“Tutto’s daddy never lies.” Freeman whined. Even though he was ascending as fast as I was, he didn’t seem to even have to pant.
“Come on, Jame-sy! Let Tutto tell you what his daddy told him. It’s a great story. Hahaha!” Freeman, whom I was having extreme trouble outrunning already, hooked a finger onto one of the belt loops of my jeans to ensure my utter captivity. “By the way, Jame-sy, where are we going?”
“I don’t know about you, but I’m going away from you.” Suddenly, I found myself standing in front of an iron door, panting and sweating violently. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I had absentmindedly climbed to the very top of the building.
“Hey! It’s the roof!” Freeman, not showing any sign of exhaustion, excitedly pushed the iron door open and skipped out, dragging me along. “This place is perfect! From now on, this place is Jame-sy’s and Tutto’s secret hiding place! Hahaha!”
There is this one person whom I would never have imagined to have wanted to introduce into this story. But I have no choice, because this story is about me and what I saw of this extraordinary boy—Tutto Freeman.
-羅寗 Michelle Ning Lo