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“Cut it out Kemu! The teacher will be here anytime”, cried Emine.

“So what?”, asked Kemu haughtily “Such a sour-puss you are”

With that insult Kemu went back to sketching a crude caricature of their teacher Mr. Tunc on the blackboard as the whole class cheered him on. Emine looked anxiously at the door and the board. She was afraid Kemu was going to get caught and punished again.

Kemu finished the caricature and went back to his seat amidst the cheers and claps of his fellow-classmates, like a gladiator who won a fight. The cheers fell silent immediately as the tell-tale footstep noise of Mr. Tunc was heard. Any minute now he was going to enter the class and all hell was going to break loose. As the whole class had their eyes glued to the entrance, Emine got up from her seat and ran towards the blackboard. Kemu saw in horror as everything happened in slow-motion for him. Emine grabbed the eraser to erase the caricature. As she was about to bring the eraser down on the board, a strong hand held her hand and pulled her back. She turned to face the fiery eyes of Mr. Tunc.

SLAP!!!

The sound resonated throughout the class as everyone saw in shock. Emine reeled back from the pain as she left hot on the right side of her face. A red-hot hand mark was glowing on her cheek. Tears began to swell in Emine’s eyes as  Mr. Tunc dragged her out of the class and made her knell on the floor outside the class.

Emine knelt and turned her head down as her tears began to wet the floor beneath her. She felt miserable and the pain was unbearable. She didn’t know how long she was there before she heard a whisper.

“Emine…hey Emi”

She turned to see Kemu also kneeling next to her. He too had a hand mark on his left cheek. But unlike her, he was smiling.

“Why are you here?”, inquired Emine.

“Well, I can’t let you be the bad-ass of the class by going against Tunc. So I said something about him out loud and the whole class burst into laughter. He then gave me this and asked me to join you.”, said Kemu pointing to the slap mark.

“What did you say about him?”

“Come here”

As Emine crept over to Kemu, he whispered the unparliamentary comment into her ears. Emine blushed hearing it while trying to stifle a laughter.

“You are incorrigible Kemu”

“I know!! Hey, here I got you something.”, Kemu held out his palm with a single pistachio in it.

“Are you thanking me?”

“You wish!! I just can’t stand to see a cry-baby. Take it or else I’ll eat it.”

“Thank you!”, said Emine as she took the pistachio from his hand and broke it in half and handed the other half to Kemu.

The two happily ate the pistachio and enjoyed each other’s company. Not even the hard marble under their knees hurt them when they were together.

 

 

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