The day couldn’t have gone slower, but I guess it’s the typical rule. Lessons were lazy, most teachers not even bothering to attempt to teach anything. Instead we just played group games, and in the case of our biology class, watched films on plant photosynthesis. In drama we performed our final pieces. I managed to make the entire class laugh, and I even got awarded an A by Mrs Harp, who dramatically proclaimed that I was a ‘star in the making.’ It greatened my mood anyhow.
I was not to be swayed when English came along. Mrs Fitzergeld handed us back our essays. I don’t think I’d ever been so nervous to receive a grade before in my life. I got a B+, which was enough to make me stare at it continuously in astonishment. In a red scrawl of writing next to it, it read; ‘a surprisingly inventive and insightful piece of writing Stephanie. I didn’t think of you as capable of such.’
She didn’t seem anymore fond of me though. She asked me to read something. I calmly declined her suggestion. She got annoyed at this. I don’t know whether it was simply the agitation of waiting for the day to end so I could be free for 10 weeks at last, but in aggravation I snapped ‘I don’t want to read. Get over it. Just leave me alone.’
Not taking lightly to this, she sent me out of the classroom. I leant against the wall outside with my arms folded. As luck would have it, I saw none other than Ryan walking down the empty hallway at the same time. He was carrying a pile of large identical books in his arms, so high that they hid the bottom half of his face. You could still see his eyes though, and that gave him away. He stopped by me and blinked.
‘Mrs Fitzergeld is out to get me.’ I explained.
‘Ah.’ He said.
The classroom door opened. ‘Now Stephanie-‘ Miss began, stepping out but pausing when she saw Ryan ‘Oh, hello Mr Ross. Can I help you with anything?’
‘Um, yeah – these are for you.’ He said, handing her the pile of books ‘Mr Tetris said you can bring them back at the end of the day.’
‘Lovely’ she said, taking the books into the classroom and reappearing a few seconds later. ‘Do say thank you for me.’
Ryan nodded and began walking off, looking back a few steps behind her to mouth ‘Good luck’ to me as Miss began her pointless lecture on behaviour and attitude or something like that. I gave the occasional nod now and again to give the barely believable illusion I was actually listening to her. My eyes gazed after Ryan who turned to look back at me a total of two times before he turned the corner of the hallway.
‘...And I can find hardly any evidence of work in your book. It confuses me how you can show such little promise in your lessons Stephanie, yet can go home and produce a piece of work that is B+ standard. It’s almost suspicious even.’
‘Are you accusing me of cheating?’ I said, snapping my head up suddenly.
‘I’m merely wondering if they are entirely your own words. The copy and paste tool can be all too easy to use.’
‘I didn’t copy and paste anything.’ I said sharply.
‘Well, I’ll believe that when you start showing evidence of such capability in your lessons.’ She said snootily. ‘Now sit down and get on with your work.’
I followed her back inside the classroom practically shaking in anger and staring absolute daggers at the back of her head. I was like a bomb on the verge of explosion. How dare she? I looked once again at my marked paper. The grade probably meant nothing in her eyes, but it meant everything to me. At least I knew I deserved it.
I didn’t bother ‘getting on’ with my work. I sat still in simple protest, my arms folded, staring straight ahead of me. The two of us exchanged scowls with each other, but she said nothing. I didn’t care what she had in store for me as payback. Summer was a few mere minute hand movements away, and I wouldn’t have to endure her or her stupid class again for an entire 10 weeks.
_ _ _
‘So Spencer’ I said ‘Remind me who’s coming tonight?’
‘Just us lot and Brendon.’ He answered.
‘Brent’s not going to be there?’
‘He’s on holiday for two weeks in Portugal.’ Ryan said. ‘Why, did you want him to be?’
‘Um, no.’ I shrugged ‘I was just wondering.’
As a sort of celebration of the arrival of summer vacation, Spencer had invited us to spend the night around his house. According to Kate, Spencer’s house came complete with a pool, a plasma screen TV, and a snooker table.
‘Oh shoot, I forgot my project.’ Ryan said, unbuckling his seatbelt and opening the car door. ‘I’ll be back in a minute.’
He was a little longer than a minute. Long enough so that even I tired of myself blabbing on and on about how positively great summer was going to be.
‘What took you so long?’ Spencer asked when Ryan eventually arrived back.
‘Uh, nothing.’ He said, sitting down and flicking his eyes up in the rear view mirror to glance at me.
‘Where’s your project?’ I asked, noticing he had returned empty handed.
‘Oh damn.’ He said, releasing the seatbelt he was about to buckle and rushing back out of the car, as the three of us exchanged perplexed glances.