This story starts with a cliché. There was a girl, ever so pretty and smart. She walks around like she owns the whole place; her smile feels like the warm sunshine on a cold, rainy day; and yet, she’s ever so kind and fun and Keira is her name. Then there’s a boy. Ruth is equally smart and attractive but rude as hell.

Now, usually in clichés, you would expect Keira to break into Ruth’s cold heart and melt it with her warmth while Ruth would be rude to everyone but her. But here’s a twist. Keira and Ruth, they hate each other. Ever heard of love at first sight? Yeah, with them, it was hate at first sight. Keira was rude to none but him while Ruth was rude to everyone, especially her.

But much to their dismay, they had to see awfully lot of each other. At family dinners as their parents were college besties, in the neighbourhood as they both lived right next to each other and the worst, at school. Yes, same class, same school, every day. And what made it even worse was that both of them were model students, making them academic rivals as well, only adding up to the hatred. Honestly, they both had no idea of why they hated each other so much, they just did.

One fine day, Keira was all set to go to school. She came downstairs only to see Ruth’s parents instead, ready to drive both her and Ruth to school. That’s when she remembered that her parents were out of town for business since a couple of weeks. She was sad that her parents weren’t here with her on this say but being the Miss Sunshine that she was, she shrugged it off. But what was so special about this day anyway?

“Happy birthday Keira!” screamed Mr And Mrs Davis, Ruth’s parents.

That’s what was special about this day. Keira’s birthday.

“Yeah, happy birthday. Can we go already now?” said Ruth, entering the house, in his ever so cold and annoyed tone.

“Thanks, everyone.” said Keira while smiling at the couple and rolling her eyes at Ruth.

The car ride was full of bickering and shouting. Yes, the 17-year-olds were at it again. The ride got so annoying that Mrs Davis, who was sitting in the passenger seat, got off the car and switched seats with Ruth in the back seat to prevent them from killing each other.

The class was especially annoying for Keira today as Ruth had made it his personal goal to give her grief on her birthday. He was around her the whole time. She couldn’t get rid of him. He even sat with her in the literature class which was the worst decision he could have made.

“So, pair up with the person sitting next to you.” said Miss Mary “And no, you may not switch.” she said again with folded arms, looking at the famous pair of enemies as she saw them about to raise their hands. So basically, now they had to see a lot of each other the entire week for the assignment they had been given and since both of them were the “Ideal” students, none of them were backing out.

“Be the annoying little doll that you are Miller and show up at my place after 5. Well work on the assignment and of course, I’ll be the brains considering you don’t have any.”

“Like you have any. Also, I’m busy today. Let’s start tomorrow and yeah, you’ll be the one coming to my place.”

“Your parents aren’t home and it wouldn’t seem appropriate for me, a boy, to come over. Like I said, you don’t have any brains.”

“My parents will return tomorrow early in the morning for your information.”

“Still, you’ll be coming over.”

“No.”

“Let’s decide later. I’m already having a headache thinking about working with you.”

Keira didn’t have any particular reason to start tomorrow as she wasn’t really doing anything other than watching K-dramas and she didn’t have any bold reason to not go to his place but he’s been annoying her for the entire day and she needed a win, even if it’s a small one.

“My room is clean!” she said out of nowhere.

“A very useless piece of information. What am I supposed to do with it?” He said looking annoyed as always.

“My room is clean so it’ll be nice and easy to work there.”

“Fine. Whatever. Just let us get it over with.”

Keira smiled in victory while Ruth massaged his temples in frustration.

The next evening, Ruth came over. He entered the house without knocking, as he always has been since he was 5. He entered the hall only to see a Miller family discussion happening, a serious one by the looks of it as the always cheery and chattery Keira was sitting in one place, all sad.

“Ahem… Is this a bad time? I can come later.” he said, grabbing the attention of the three.

“Oh, Ruth! No dear, nothing like that. Come, sit.” said Mrs Miller in a sweet tone.

“I’m actually here for Miller, oh I mean, Keira. We have an assignment to work on together.”

“Sure. Let’s go upstairs. The discussion is pretty much over here.” she said in a sad tone, much unlikely of her usual self.

Ruth surely notices Keira’s change of aura and wanted to ask out of genuine concern if she’s okay but suddenly, got reminded of the fact that they’re supposed to hate each other. So, the words that came out of his mouth weren’t exactly comforting or caring.

“Someone died or what?”

Keira abruptly looked at him in disbelief but then scoffed and looked away before replying.

“Not yet. But someone here might die if they don’t keep their stupid mouth shut.”

“Someone who? You? Nah, don’t worry. As much as I’m annoyed by your presence, I won’t kill you.”

Keira didn’t react and changed the topic to talk about the assignment. Soon after, silence filled the room. They both were busy working when all of a sudden, Keira spoke.

“We’re moving to Ohio.”

“Huh?”

“My parents’ business. We need to move there in a month or two.”

“Oh.”

That’s all Ruth said before returning to work. Keira looked at Ruth for a few seconds then returned back to work. What else was to be expected? They were each other’s nemesis since they can remember. Of course, he wouldn’t care if she leaves. Soon after, Ruth left.

They kept meeting for the next week every day and to everyone’s surprise, they started to get along well. They weren’t exactly friends. But they sure weren’t enemies anymore.

It was the day of the assignment submission. They did well. Miss Mary was more than surprised with the outcome as she was well aware of their rivalry. She asked them both to help her collect all the assignments and keep them at her desk in the staff room as she had to run to a staff meeting for which she could not be late.

They both entered the empty staff room and went towards Miss Mary’s cubicle. When about to go out, they found that someone had locked the door, assuming that no one was inside. Keira panicked for a while before Ruth reminded her that the teachers will be back in no more than an hour and they can get out then.

They both sat next to each other looking in different directions. No one spoke for a while and when the silence became a little too uncomfortable, Ruth decided to step forward and break the silence.

“So, you’re leaving, hmm?”

“Yeah. Seems like it. I don’t really want to, you know? I mean, all my friends are here. I grew up at this place. It’ll be so hard to adapt to a new place and new people.”

Ruth just nodded in response.

“I never really knew why we hated each other so much.” he said after a pause.

“Honestly, me neither. But there was just something so unlikeable about you the first time I saw you but I just can’t place a finger on what it was.” she said jokingly.

He laughed in response. She laughed too. They looked at each other for a few seconds before she looked away again.

“I never thought we could get along. But here we are.” she said, smiling mildly as she continued “But look at this. We’ve just started to bear each other’s presence and I’m leaving already.

Silence filled the air again. They stayed like this for a while before he spoke again.

“Well, you still have some time before you leave.”

She looked at him only to discover him already looking at her. He stood up, not breaking the eye contact.

“So, what do you say? Friends?” he said, extending his hand towards her.

She stood up too, still not breaking eye contact, shaking hands with him

“Friends.” she said, smiling ever so brightly.

They stood like this for a while. And this is how two mortal enemies became friends. But is it just friendship? Or is it love waiting to happen?

Oh, wait! That’d be so cliché! But it’d be cute, don’t you think? Well, let’s leave it up to them for now.

Look at these two, still eyes in eyes and still holding hands.

So cute, their very own little cliché. 

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