I had not written my English notes that day.
"You should hang out with good students like A, or else you will lead your life like a donkey", my English teacher suggested.
"Yes, ma'am", I replied.
So that day, I sat beside A.
A: He's recognized as a good boy in our surroundings. I mean he doesn't talk from the behind of a teacher, never wastes a second watching movies or reading magazines, reads textbooks, writes notes and completes homework AND does extra questions everyday. Overall he's rated 5/5 by the teaching community, unofficially of course. On an average, he had scored 95/100 in all the tests till that day.
Our class topper who is a step or two ahead of A scores 100/100 most of the times unless he has to go home with a 99/100 or 98/100. He's also a 5/5 according to the teachers, just like A.
They were the glorious ace students of our college.
"A is a really a good friend.", I thought that day, observing his behaviour.
Because he talked to me often. Usually he just babbled about things such as maths, science and literature which freaked me out -- but he talked nice. I'm told sometimes that I'm good at music. A even started to say that he was a gigantic fan of me and my music. He behaved jolly around me. I believed him.
His favourite conversation topic was pouring dirt over Mr. topper... verbally.
"Everyone has someone to hate", I thought, surprised by the fact that even good boys like A hates one of his fellow students.
He would start long talks with me accusing Mr. topper every now and then. It was usual for Mr. B to enter the scene who sat before us two. If the time was perfect, Mr. C, Mr. D and friends joined the group -- all who hated Mr. topper.
"Something must be wrong with this Mr. topper", I thought.
These A, B, C, D guys did not like this topper a bit because he was a greater student than them. Other than these guys talking, I had never seen/heard him doing or saying anything bad to anyone.
Well, I was a commoner and was not a partner in their business; nonetheless I was supposed to listen to their talking and laugh with them. A had the greatest ability to creatively curse Mr. topper although Mr. B, C, D and friends were also exceptionally good at it. I remembered, "Practice makes perfect".
One day I was staring at the wall, listening to this group talk.
"He just memorizes the whole text book", said A.
"Yeah. He failed practicals last week", said B.
"He's an idiot! Ha Ha Ha Ha!!", in chorus A, B, C, D,... roared.
Our Science teacher entered, while the roar echoed around. He gave a quick eye-beam like super-man but turned it off when he came to know that it was A who had made the noise. No one messed with A. Then he went on to distribute the answer papers of the last science exam in which I had hard time answering.
A had got 90/100. He was about to cry when he got his answer sheets because 90 was way below his standards. Soon we came to know that Mr. topper had only scored 95/100 which was rather surprising. Suddenly A's face lit up. He was happy because Mr. topper had not got full marks. Had the science teacher been not there, he'd have danced!
"Yessss!", he exclaimed swinging his hand forward like Brett lee savouring a wicket.
Then when the class was over, he went near Mr. topper. He started jumping around him, saying that he was a huge Mr. Topper fan.
"How intelligent you are, man! How could you score that much in such a tough exam. WOW!", I heard A's voice.
Although the topper was book-smart, he couldn't identify A's fake fandom, but at that very moment I had torn apart A's mask in my mind.
He played nice around everyone including the teachers and won their sympathy. But deep in his heart he was a worthless low level traitor. I did a mental comparison of the jumping he had done around the topper and myself. Both his fandoms -- of my music and of Mr. topper's marks -- were followed by a faithless bashing which I was sure he'd do the next day in his group talk.
I sent an anonymous email to him that night:
I'm a fan of your mask, A