“It was not enough.
It was too much.
It was everything.”
― Jill Shalvis, Lucky In Love
”Good morning, class,” miss Vanessa, the English teacher, said when she entered.
All the students stopped their discussions and paid attention to miss Vanessa’s clothes.
She was wearing a nice French beret, a blouse with the colours of The United States flag, a dark blue skirt and she was having a bag with the UK flag on it.
Almost everyone seemed surprised by her look. Miss Vanessa has always had the most remarkable clothes and style from school, but she’s never worn these garments in this combination.
It was something new.
”Good morning, miss Vanessa!”
She had sat in her chair before she began to speak.
”So, I see that you are staring at me. Does anyone know why I am dressed like that? Any idea?”
Ross was the first person who commented, of course:
”This is the day when you, finally, decided to leave this country and you don’t know where to go. So you have dressed with one piece of clothes from every country you have on your mind, just to make it easy for us to choose a place for you, right?!”
Both, miss Vanessa and Laura, have rolled their eyes as soon as he has finished the sentence.
Ross used to be this sweet, smart and funny guy. But something happend with him this summer and now he’s perky and he makes cocky jokes. He never leaves Laura alone, but he’s still one of the best students, so the the teachers can’t really punish him.
They can’t risk to lose their great student.
”Oh, Ross! I see you’re in the mood. Would you like to tell us what we are celebrating today?”
Ross had bitten his bottom lip with some force, before he smiled.
”No I wouldn’t.”
Miss Vanessa counted to ten in her mind and then she spoke again calmly.
”Sorry, let me rephrase it: Ross, tell me what are we celebrating today and I would love to stand up when we have a conversation.”
And Ross stood up.
Unfortunately, he didn’t even know the date of the day. He knew it was September, almost October…25th?
Nooooo, 26th, it was September 26th.
Oh, it was The European Day of Language!
He remembered, but he didn’t say anything. For some unknown reasons, he was acting like a careless, cocky boy when he actually wasn’t anything but that.
”Can I ask someone to help me,” he asked innocently while he was staring at Laura, not even thinking about it.
But miss Vanessa saw his look and smiled.
”If you’re sure you don’t remember, you can. I’m actually curious who will you choose.”
She was sarcastic, but no one seemed to notice it.
That made Laura leave her book and she paid attention to the blond guy and to miss Vanessa.
”Laura, can you help him? Please, ‘enlighten’ us with the right answer,” miss Vanessa asked her after she stood up.
Laura had taken a deep breath before she talked loudly and clearly.
”Today is << The European Day of Languages>>!”
Both, Ross and miss Vanessa, this time smiled.
”Laura, you can s…”
”Wait,” Ross interrupted miss Vanessa ”I’m sure Laura knows more about this celebration than every single person in this room, except you, of course. And I’m really curious to find out more about it.”
If the looks could kill, he would be dead and buried.
”But that’s one of the greatest ideas you’ve always had. So Laura, come here and tell us about this celebration!”
Laura blushed, but she didn’t know if it was happening because she was angry on the blond who smiled to her innocently, or because she was embarrassed. Or both.
She almost fell with her face on the ground when she passed Ross by, because he ”gave her a foot”.
She looked at him with a deadly glare, but he just smiled.
”I’m going to kill you,” she whispered just for him and she went to the teacher.
”So like I said before, today we are celebrating << The European Day of Languages>>. This day was proclaimed on the 6th December 2001. If I remember, by..”
”Boo-ring,” Ross said stretching in his chair.
Laura was even more annoyed.
”Did I ask for your opinion? I’m pretty sure I didn’t, did I?!”
The rest of the class said an ”Ooooo” in choir.
”Easy guys, don’t fight! Laura, I think Ross was trying to tell you to let this ‘formal’ information away… Talk about the reasons why they proclaimed this day, their objectives, you opinion about it. Actually, I want you all to tell something about it. I really want to hear you.”
Laura counted to ten and she tried to look not at the ‘joker’ anymore.
”Well, its aim is to encourage language learning across Europe. Their objectives are to alert the public of the importance of language learning and diversity the range of languages learned in…”
”And why is the language learning so important,” Ross asked obviously paying attentiom to the brown haired girl in front of him.
”If you would let me finish my sentences, you would get your answers,” she said boldly to him.
Ross rised his eyebrows totally surprised by her courage.
”In order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding,” she spoke and he gave her a curious look.
”Oh, please, don’t give that crap! Tell me why is so important to learn languages that you don’t know again and this time screw this information that I can google. I’m pretty sure you’ve just quoted from Wikipedia. Am I right?!”
Laura gasped surprised and she nodded.
How did he know?
”See, I can read you like an open book. Just screw these things and speak with your own words! Didn’t you get an four on your AP Composition test? Or are you not that good with words?!”
Ross spoke ignoring miss Vanessa who told him to watch his inappropriate language.
Even through she knew he was trying to get her, what he did, his words, he was challenging her and she couldn’t refuse it.
”Ok. They want to alert the public of the importance of language learning and diversity the range of languages learned in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding. Another objective is to promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe, to encourage lifelong language learning in and outside of school, but let’s screw, like Ross said, their words. Let’s talk, all of us, about it!”
This time miss Vanessa didn’t say anything about Laura’s inappropriate choice of words. She was too surprise of her students’ exchange of looks.
Of, that was new!
”You know, everyone says it’s good and important to learn other languages, but even through they say it, most of them have no idea why it is so.”
”And you do,” Ross asked her.
He was curious what she’ll answer.
”Let’s see… I totally agree with that <<culture>> and << increasing>> things, but, in my opinion, neither of these is the most important reason why people should learn other languages. It’s about persons. Their ideas.”
”Are you sure?”
Ross was up in a second starting another round of their discussion fight.
”Yeah! People communicate most with words. Some talk too much, others are too afraid or shy ”to speak their minds”. We talk, we communicate. But how can you communicate with a person if you don’t know his or her language,” she asked the rest of the class.
”With gestures, mimics, with your facial expression.”
Who else would be if it wasn’t Ross the one who answered?!
He was still up, actually closer to Laura and to miss Vanessa.
”Yes, you can, but how long? There are some things you can’t tell with gestures. Like…you want to tell a girl from another country you love her, how would you do it?”
Ross was standing in front of her and smiled with his dimples.
”It’s easy actually. I,” he started and pointed to him with his index finger. ” love,” then he made a heart in the air with both, index fingers and thumbs.” you,” he pointed as example to her.
She felt her heart starting to beat faster.
Man, he was probably hearing her heartbeat.
”Thhhat’s greeeat,” she bubbled. ”But how would you declare your endless love to her. How would you tell her her how pretty she is, how would your relationship work if you don’t understand, literally, each other.
Ar first it may work, but after a while, it’s not going to. Your love’s going to fade. That’s why you need to learn the other one’s language, at least one of you.”
Ross couldn’t hide his smile anymore. This girl in front of him was so into discussion. He knows why and he likes it.
She was so pretty when she was talking so much.
”That was what your father/ mother did after they met each other?”
Even miss Vanessa was speechless seeing how ”into” they were.
”How did you know?”
”Your last name is totally an Italian name. But it doesn’t matter now. You were saying something about language, do you remember?!”
”Yes. So, this day…This day is also about colaboration and understanding. It’s about help and perception, realization. It doesn’t matter who are your parents, how rich you are, how you look, how old you are or what’s your religion.”
”It matters what kind of person you are, how you treat people, if you help someone if he or she asks for it. And this day was proclaimed << The European Day of Languages>> to remember us that we must be good and help each other no matter where we are from. We can be friends just that we need to work a little bit to understand each others. And one of the ways to make it is to learn, to speak the same language,” Ross interrupted her.
The class erupted in applause. Miss Vanessa smiled and told them they may go back to their desks. After a second she decided to thank them for that debate.
When Laura almost passed Ross by, he catched her arm turning her to him.
He leanded to her ear and whispered:
”You were saying something about talking to the person who is from another country. You were saying we need to learn their language to talk to them.
She held her breath when she heard his low, husky tone.
”Well, then you’re gonna love this.”
She wanted to ask, but he spoke again surprising her.
”Vieni ad un appuntamento romantico con me!”
She was spechless. He’s just spoken Italian with her and he…
Ross released her hand just to give her a piece pf paper with some figures lined up.
A phone number.
He let her to her desk and told her something before he went away.
Of course, in all this time, miss Vanessa wasn’t paying attention to them, beeing too busy to write something in her agenda about them.
”Chiama mi,” he said with a cocky smile on his face.
Laura fell, literally, on her chair making her friend, Raini, come closer.
”What did he tell you,” she asked whispering.
If nothing means ” Come with me on a date!” and ”Call me!”‘, yeah, he did tell her nothing.
Happy 13th European Day of Language anniversary!
And they say 13 isn’t a lucky number.
Haha, Lucky Thirteen…
* gifs source: tumblr