Me, Mark and Steve had been friends for three years .We were striding towards the right wing of the building for dinner, when we spotted a new kid at the campus. He was overweighed, had short hair, a double chin and wore baggy cargo pants. He seemed anti-social and did not interact much with others.
The school authorities were having budget issues due to which everyone could not eat more or less than a certain amount of food to maintain the nutrition and save money at the same time.
Mark noticed the new kid stuffing some extra food in the paper bag he sneaked in. The only assumption we could make was that he was going to eat the food back in his room, because, apparently, the food served wasn’t enough for him. We followed the kid back to his room and once we found out which room he was in, we decided to eavesdrop later in the night.
We decided to get ready to go to his room, take pictures of him eating and show it to the authorities to get him in trouble. With these mischievous conspiracies, we went towards his room only to realise he was not there during the night on his first day. Therefore we returned for we could not risk getting caught, as it was prohibited for us to come out of our rooms during the night.
Hence, we went back to our rooms and came to a conclusion that we should keep an eye on the kid the next day and check his room at night again tomorrow. Curiosity about his whereabouts, however, did not let our eyes close the whole night.
I woke up the next morning from the chatting of my roommates.
“Hey guys, morning! What’s with the long faces?’’ I asked them after looking at the anxiety in their eyes while I rubbed mine and yawned.
“The alarm went off last night after we went to sleep, someone was trying to break in, while fatty was out,” Steve explained. Then there was silence, a long one while fear ricocheted within our skulls multiple times.
Breakfast and lunch passed as usual, except we had our sights glued on the new guy. We couldn’t tell anyone he was out of his room late or else they’ll find out that we were out late too, and we knew he was involved in the breaking and entering the campus and people might think we might’ve helped in it since he was out.
We planned to take a look in his room one last time. We wore masks and gloves like ninjas we saw in the movies and tiptoed to his room. He was not there as usual, this time we went to search for him and found him near the entrance gate with a homeless man. The man was outside and the kid was inside the locked gate which had wide bars, also he was giving him that extra food he took from the canteen and we heard their whispers.
“Thanks for taking the blame for the alarm yesterday, mate! How did you convince them that the alarm went off because of you??” asked the fat kid.
“Ah it was easy, I told them I was trying to break into the orphanage,” explained the homeless man.
“Well, I guess I have a best friend now!” said the fat kid.
“I guess all three of us have a best friend now,” spoke Mark from behind the bushes we were lurking in.
“And that’s you,” I added, while pointing the finger at the kid.
“What’s your name?” we asked.
“Joe,” he replied nervously.
And that’s how the four of us became best friends.
Published in Dawn, Young World, June 20th, 2020