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[center A&P was the usual. It was... a lot of chatter. At least until presentations were to commence, and truthfully, I was grateful for something to pay attention to. At least this meant no talking. Nikolai was blessedly understanding. He doodled me as a scientist on a post-it and slid it discreetly onto my paper.
My lips curved into a smile. He was a good friend. His warm hazels were sympathetic, and I found it easier to look at them than the pages before me. Tough to focus when Matt was over there, likely as carefree as usual.
My ears pricked when I caught the tail end of him volunteering to start off our presentations. [i Of course] he would. I managed not to roll my eyes and spent the rest of his presentation listening to exactly none of what he was saying. It felt like forever before he finished at last.
Polite claps—some a little too enthusiastic for my current mood—and the Professor was already calling for the next presenter to be selected.
It was almost too obvious that he would pick me, but I took my sweet time as I made my way up to the front and began my presentation. I didn’t dislike them, but it made me uncomfortable to be stared at.
I had done my presentation on the muscle groups, and as an added treat, I included how it pertained to certain levels of physical stress. A pseudo in-depth relationship betwixt the two. Ballet, figure skating, swimming, gymnastics, and martial arts were my primary focuses, but I tied in simplistic things like climbing stairs and exercise to make it more relatable.
By the time I was finished, I actually felt proud of what I had managed to do. After all, it was an interesting topic. Without our muscles, we would get very little done. Quite literally.
Before long, I was seated again and Nikolai—who had been my choice—was making his way up to the front. I hadn’t known that he’d opted to do skin, but it was actually pretty fascinating. He looked so composed yet enthusiastic. Well-dressed, intelligent, charismatic. How the hell was he even single?
Had to be by choice. Like some of us managed to pull off despite social pressure. And here he was, blowing everyone away. What was I doing wrong? I could hardly get others to really acknowledge me for my smarts.
My eyes flitted to steal a glance at Matt, my earlier displeasure by no means forgotten, but I kept it out of my face. My expression remained neutral as I studied him.
He could’ve picked anyone else, why bother with me? Especially since we hadn’t even so much as exchanged greetings today. Was this his way of saying he wasn’t ignoring me? Not that I figured he was, but still.
A&P dragged a little, likely because I was already starving for lunch, and by the time we were cut loose for our next class, my head was getting light. I rose, swept my bag up onto my shoulder, and beat feet for the door, eager to at least grab some water.
On my way out, I nodded to Haans and offered a wiggle of my fingers. I’d see him later. This wasn’t the only subject we shared, after all. Nikolai was close by, chatting up some girl from class about upcoming internship opportunities.
Maybe I should’ve said something to Matthias. Otherwise, he likely wouldn’t even know anything was wrong. After all, he seemed more concerned with his conquests than anything else. Me being bent out of shape was likely a small issue compared to the time and attention he put into his pursuits.
[center A hearty laughed rumbled up from my chest when I heard what Gerald had to say about Lukas. [b “I know you did, but still. I can appreciate it when someone fucks like a seasoned slut.”] I nodded my head, glimpsing Haans choking on his coffee out of the corner of my eye. Don’t get me wrong, I love the man to death, but he was somewhat… sheltered. Whenever I had questioned him about it Haans always mentioned that it was just because of his strict religious upbringing. His parents were certainly nice folk and fantastic company, but they came across as overbearing, in my opinion. But, Haans seemed to live with it just fine, although he did seem a lot more anxious than most about a lot of different things.]
[center But Gerald and Burlin really did capture my interest when debauchery was mentioned. [b “Like, out on the town debauchery? Or yachting in the Mediterranean debauchery?”] I inquired. I was biased to yachting off the coasts of Italy, honestly. But I didn’t mind either option. Haans, on the other hand, looked like he was about to have another one of his early-day conniptions. The man seriously stressed himself out more than he really should. [b “Uh, of course! I can get us the strippers.”] I replied before looking over towards Haans. [b “What do you say? Want to tag along??”] This was only replied with a stressed coffee sip and a, [#900 “Not my cup of tea, Matthias.”] [b “I mean, we could also get female strippers for you.”] [#900 “You know I don’t do that whole deviant thing, Matthias.”] [b “You know… In all of the time that I have known you, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you even hold hands with a woman.”] I couldn’t help but tease the much more conservative man. [#900 “How about you hop off my dick about it.”] Haans said, rolling his eyes. This certainly wasn’t the first time he caught some flak from me, and it certainly wasn’t going to be the last. Very few of my friends are literal virgins, so it was funny to poke fun at Haans every now and again.]
[center The day didn’t drag on too slowly, I feel. But it certainly wasn’t going by as fast as was ideal. At least school was some type of escape from hearing my baby brother [i bitch] about god knows what. Celestino was blood, yes. But [i goddamn] was he a pest sometimes! At least I would graduate and go to medical school before he got into University. But my Honors Anatomy & Physiology class was coming up and I knew I would probably run into Dexter there. The man has been avoiding me all day, I swear! I have no idea why, though. Maybe he was in one of his moods? Who knows? I sure as hell don’t. Haans was also in the class, but he didn’t talk a whole lot during class time unless it was for a group discussion or presentation.]
[center Today we just so happened to have a project to present for a body system or organ of our choice. We were also able to work in groups if we wanted, but I opted to work alone on the presentation I crafted about the skeletal system. I was deadest on being an orthopedic surgeon anyway, so this was by far one of the easiest grades I could ace at the moment. Haans had chosen to work with a few other students to do a project about the brain as it was such a complex organ. What had Dexter decided to do? No clue. He has been treating me like I have leprosy lately, so I’d have to ask him about what on Earth is going on. But in class when it came time to decide who was going to present first, I figured I would volunteer. It would break the ice and I could get my project out of the way. Being passionate about something, in this case, bones, made it exceptionally easy for me to talk through my presentation. I had brought in bone models that I borrowed from my father as he was more than eager to lend me a helping hand for my project. I thought it was interesting, honestly. Geeky, sure, but if one doesn’t enjoy the work they do then it was going to end up boring as hell. And I was [i not] going to let that happen.]
[center Eventually my presentation did come to an end, but I opened up to the class for questioning as that was also a part of my grade; my researched knowledge. But none of them were too hard, so it was quite a breeze. [#124f56 “Good job, Herr Riedl. You can choose who presents next.”] the professor smiled, giving me a nod of acknowledgment as she continued to write on her grading rubric for me. In the meantime, I scanned over the class. I could tell who was eager and who was petrified. [#124f56 “Dexter. Feel free to take the stage.”] I stated, calmly straightening out my uniform blazer and taking my seat amongst our peers. Maybe this would catch his attention. He can’t ignore me now…]
[center Gerald, posted up with his twin could only shake his head. “Who are you telling? I told you it would be worth it. Glad he didn’t disappoint, though.”
Burlin, in the other hand, had little to say. Instead, he smiled, contemplating recent conquests of his own. It was pretty funny how different he and his brother were, though. Gerald was definitely the more extroverted of the two, but in all other aspects they were practically... wel... twins. Even their attire for the day was well coordinated. But then, they made a point to always look sharp, so what more could one expect?
“What I think is we need a little get together this weekend. Celebratory mid-year debauchery?”
“Okay, you have my interest. Matthias?” Burlin cocked a brow, eyes momentarily wandering.
Of course he was with them. Except, where was Haans? Oh, there he was. Well, I’d wave to him at least. Subtle, though. No need to catch all of their attention. Granted, Burlin might’ve spied me, but if he did, he didn’t let on. He’d always struck me as kind of aloof, though, so maybe that was his idea of acknowledgement. Whatever.
Who the- “Oh... hi Nikolai.” I blinked a couple of times, kind of relieved to see him, actually he was taller than I was, like most in our year... in our school, even. Jesus. Sandy blonde hair and warm hazel eyes. Today they were the colour of amber, and something about the way he smiled told me he had good news.
“Guess who convinced our prof to get us onto that internship?”
“At the uni??”
Okay, he had a good point. I could’ve kissed him, but I was too busy jumping for that. “YESYESYES, I could marry you, I swear.”
“All this weight I’m pulling, you might have to.” He jested, snagging my bag from me on our way to our lockers. They were practically right beside or another, which was really how we first met, but we hadn’t really exchanged words until class. Science partners. Plus, he kind of took pity on me when it came to physical education. Another blessed kindness on his part.
“No Matt today?”
“No, he’s hanging out with those guys.”
“I thought you were also his mate?”
“I don’t really feel like hearing him gush about his most recent lay, honestly.” And the sadness in my tone must’ve been that obvious, because Nikolai was staring at me in a way that betrayed all the guilt he was feeling. “Don’t feel bad, it’s fine.”
“Here, let’s sneak off grounds for lunch. I’ll make it up to you with a nice lunch and something sweet.”
“I’m going to cry the day you meet your wife. You won’t spoil me anymore.”
“Not true. Well, then again, depends on how scary she is.” He chuckled, trailing into our class after me.
Maybe I’d run into Matt at some point today, but considering I knew what he’d been up to I wasn’t so keen on hearing about it. It never brought me anything but sadness, and I didn’t have the energy to lie today.
[center I'm not a whore. [i Really!] I swear I'm not. A man with needs? Most definitely! But I am not an easy lay, unlike what some may say. I do have standards that I always employ. However, I cannot deny that I get immense satisfaction from gaining a new conquest in bed. And more often than not the come back to me and my bed. Or car. Or wherever I damn well feel like it. Although, I must admit that the sharp gaze of disapproval from my mother whenever I bring over yet another new man has gotten quite irritating, honestly. She acts like it's some huge deal; the end of the world sometimes. But at least my father seems to either understand or not care. Maybe it's both? God only knows how much, if any, debauchery he got into at my age!]
[center But today was a new day and I was already awake and alone, having already sent last night's snack home with an aching red reminder to never try my life again for the sake of punishment. I tried to warn him. But ask a ye shall recieveth, I suppose. And as much as I would have liked to play more with him this morning I unfortunately have class; one of the biggest cockblocks that I have had the misfortune of knowing all too well. But duty calls! If I truly want any shot at pursuing a career in medicine I obviously need to be punctual and studious.]
[center My own body ached a bit, but nothing a good stretch wouldn't help with. Perhaps Dexter could help? He spends so much time with Kristina doing yoga, dancing, skating, and whatever else it is that they do. He must know some good positions... for stretching that it. I couldn't help but chuckle to myself at the though while combing back my hair into it's appropriate style. I really don't like the school uniform all that much, but it was still dry cleaned and perfectly pressed nonetheless. I would [i never] be caught dead in wrinkled scraggly looking clothes. Especially if my mother has any say in it. I'm pretty sure she'd threaten me with a wooden spoon even though I'm grown now. But I guess the Italian Tradition states that one man is never too old to have his ass whooped by his mother.]
[center With my attire assembled, breakfast quickly eaten to my mother's behest, and teeth adequately brushed I made my rounds to doll out my departure affections before I left. Again, I wouldn't dare to leave without saying goodbye because again... I'd risk another ass whooping if my mother found out. And quite frankly, I enjoyed my ass being intact. But my school bag sat in my passenger's car seat as I rode down to school. Today I was supposed to have biochemistry in the morning. But in the afternoon I had my shadowing hours at an orthopedic clinic. I'm always pretty stoked about it because it's affording me potential opportunities for when I get into med school and then residency. I honestly can't wait to be an official doctor, though. My patience is always being tested, but I know that when I'm done the effort will be worth it!]
[center Soon I arrived at the school to find some of my friends congregating in the courtyard. I waved after getting out of my car and swiftly rolled up to meet up with the men I considered my brother's from other mothers; Haans, Gerald, and Burlin. I don't know why, but I'm still surprised to see Burlin for more than a minute. Dude is like a fucking phantom! If you blink you miss the guy! But I smiled as I approached, always happy to see any one of them.]
[center [b "Hey, Gerald! You know that Swiss guy? Not Dexter, but the blond one? Lukas? He's a good fuck."] I could see Haans roll his eyes so hard they nearly hit the back of his head. [b "I knew he'd be fairly soft, but holy shit. He's a fluffy fucking cupcake. 12/10, would do again..."]]
Morning crept across each house, pouring through windows and settling against blinds and curtains. For most, it was a welcome gentle rousing from slumber. For others, it basically meant the last call to drag ass out of bed and get ready for the day. I was honestly one of the latter. Waking up early wasn’t the problem, though. I tended to wake before the sun, anyhow, but the actual thought of heading in to class for the day never failed to settle into my gut just the wrong way. Anxiety wasn’t even the word for it.
Regardless, I would have to leave my sheets at some point, so I begrudgingly made the decision to free each slender limb from beneath my heavy duvet - a gift from Matt’s mum. Well… my mum. She might not have birthed me, but she was just as much mine as she was his. My second mum, on the other hand, was apparently making breakfast - an oddity considering she hardly ever happened to be here at this hour. She basically lived at the hospital, but that wasn’t exactly her fault. The price of actual talent, I guess. Still, it wasn’t like I resented her for it. She had worked hard for what she had accomplished, so it only seemed fitting that she’d want to make the most of it.
A morning shower was the first thing on my mind, before food or anything else. My bag was already packed, my clothes already selected, and all there was to do was actually present myself at the breakfast table fully groomed and smelling of florals.
My appetite wasn’t exactly there, but I managed to polish off half a grapefruit, long fiery locks still damp and twisted up atop my head in a chignon that left my nape vulnerable to chill.
“Do you need a ride today?”
“I can take my bike, it’s fine.” Didn’t I usually?
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