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Mad Dewey Dash; Open to all! Plz luv meh
Topic Started: Jan 6 2016, 06:20 AM (1,215 Views)
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((Joshua Bracewell continued from Extraordinary Machine))

A wide grin was plastered across Joshua’s face as he strode contentedly down the down the corridors of the ground floor, several hefty textbooks tucked under his left arm with the other lightly clasped around a half-eaten pear. With few classmates occupying the area to exchange pleasantries with, he instead opted to look to the variety of posters plastered across the walls to occupy his thoughts instead, taking note of as many upcoming events as possible as he passed them. One in particular stood out to him, though: a lime green sheet of paper with his smiling face pasted across it and the words ‘BRACE WELL WITH JOSHUA’ sandwiching it in a vibrant font. He thought he’d retrieved all of his propaganda from the election, but his campaign had been so heavy and intense he figured it would’ve been impossible for him to not miss at least one.

He was still riding the high of his win, though his pride over the achievement had been dampened somewhat by seeing the disappointed looks on his competitors faces once the victors had been announced. If there was a way for all of them to share in the role, then Joshua would have chosen that option in a heartbeat. The guilt had been gnawing at the back of his mind for several days, subdued only by the flurry of tasks that continued to crop up in orderly fashion, one after the other; like the one he was headed to now: tutoring.

Mathematics wasn’t his greatest subject, but he still did well enough at it to qualify as a tutor for those who struggled with all the formulae and equations. He couldn’t blame them, really – if it weren’t for the cocktail of energy drinks he took before a big test or the ever-present pressure to maintain his GPA then he figured it’d be just as likely for him to be in their position instead. His student for today was Kealani Salder, a Polynesian girl who was as sweet as honey and terrific company. Tutoring her made him feel connected to his own islander roots, though she seemed slightly resistant to discussing it in much detail. But he knew she probably had her reasons for it, and it wasn’t his position to pry.

Joshua paused for a moment once he reached his destination to place the core of his fully-eaten pear into his lunchbox, remembering to save it for the family’s burgeoning compost heap at home. It was his mother’s latest project, in an effort to use less chemicals on their garden and ‘give back to the earth’, as she called it. He was always amazed at how his mother could come up with so many schemes for the benefit of the environment and the people around them, and was even happier to be able to contribute, even in such a small way as saving his food scraps at school. Helping with his parents’ interests was always an assured way of interacting with them, and being able to help the world at the same time was even more of a blessing.

Having rebuckled his schoolbag and opened the doors of the Beale Library, Joshua cast his eyes over the area before settling on his target, who’d already acquired company in the time she’d been waiting. He always tried to get to his appointments early, dreading the idea of disappointing someone or making them wait, and so he was unaccustomed to his students already having taken their seat before he got there. Inwardly chastising himself, Joshua made a mental note to get there extra early next time the two of them had an appointment.

As he got closer, he realised he could put a name to Lani’s seating partner: Nate Turner, a fellow junior. He was an utter sweetheart, and in Joshua’s eyes had always performed admirably at the theatre shows and swimming comps he’d seen him participate in.

“Hey Lani! Hey Nate! How are you guys? I'm sorry for keeping you waiting.” He waved cheerfully as he closed the distance between them and took a vacant seat at the table where they were situated, the tassels of the dark blue sweater draped over his shoulders swaying gently as he grinned at the duo.
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“Thanks Nate! I had so much stiff competition, so I’m sure it was neck-in-neck,” Joshua beamed, gently resting his pile of textbooks upon the table and placing himself in the nearest vacant spot, shuffling slightly as he did so. The hardback plastic chairs in the Beale Library had always proved themselves to be particularly uncomfortable for Joshua, especially ever since his sudden growth spurt midway through sophomore year, and he had to wiggle around in his seat before he didn’t feel quite so awkward.

As the group spoke, a senior that Joshua vaguely recognised from the theatre shows he attended for yearbook approached the group and introduced herself as Jane. Joshua was about to introduce himself in turn and was contemplating inviting her to sit with them before she promptly left, situating herself in a nearby seat. He was saddened that she hadn’t chosen to pursue any more conversation with the trio, but was still grateful that he at least now had a name to match the face whenever he next saw her around.

Opting not to comment on the brief encounter, Joshua instead focused on Nate’s inquiry about leaving, and Lani’s assurance that she herself would be comfortable with him remaining. The puppy-dog eyes that the other boy made when he questioned his welcomeness tugged at Joshua’s heartstrings; he couldn’t bear the thought of upsetting him. In Joshua’s mind, there’d been no question about Nate staying if the others wanted him to; he was none too eager to split the duo up, especially with the company they’d provided for each other before his arrival. Plus, if Nate was having trouble with the same Mathematics test, then that was even better; if he could help just one more person than he’d expected to, it’d make his day even brighter.

“Oh, of course that’s fine! The more the merrier, right?” As he spoke, he lifted the first textbook off the table and sifted through to the appropriate section. “Are you having trouble with the test too, Nate?”

There’d been so many questions to get through that Joshua had almost forgotten about the Tupperware container of baking Lani presented him with, which he now turned his full attention to. He had to hold back a gasp at the intricate detailing of the brightly-coloured citrus balls; the effort she would’ve put into preparing them was obvious. In Joshua’s eyes, this was the perfect sort of gift for him: something homemade, personal, and in no way material.

“Oh, and these citrus balls, Lani! Thank you so much! You must’ve spent so much time on them!” Gesturing towards the container, he nodded at both Lani and Nate, eyes alight with excitement. “Please, both of you, have one!”
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“Oh, I’m Joshua. Joshua Bracewell,” Joshua said, simultaneously answering both of Jane’s queries by lifting Lani’s container and offered it to her as he spoke. “And sure! They’re free for anybody, honestly.”

In his efforts to ensure everybody was aware the citrus balls were free for all, Joshua almost forgot to take one for himself. Not wanting to offend Lani, nor have her believe his thanks was anything less than the sincere gesture it was, he plucked the nearest one up and popped it into his mouth. As he bit down, he was immediately greeted by a cocktail of flavours dancing delicately across his palate. He swallowed the remainder after a few more bites, savouring the lingering sweetness in his mouth.

“Wow, Lani!” He gushed, “these are fantastic! You and your mum have done an amazing job!”

Unfortunately, it was shortly after that moment that Nate apologetically announced he had to leave their group, hurriedly slinging his bag over his shoulder before bolting from the library.

“Bye Nate!” Joshua offered the other boy a quick wave as he dashed from the room, leaving a stack of textbooks behind in his wake; with the speed at which he rushed away, he couldn’t be sure Nate had even heard him, let alone seen his gesture. Poor guy – he must’ve been in a real hurry to forget about his books. Joshua could only hope none of them were particularly important, but he made a mental note of their titles just in case Nate didn’t return for them before their session was over and the group dispersed. If he didn’t, Joshua planned on returning them to their respective shelves himself, not wanting to leave any extra work for the library staff.

Turning his attention back to Lani and Jane, Joshua opted to ask the latter a question that’d been resting at the back of his mind since her presence in the room had been first brought to his attention.

“So, what brings you to the library on such a nice afternoon, Jane?”
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