Categories > Original > Romance > Vivian0 Reviews
Everyone has a story. My name is Vivian Jean Hastings, and this is mine....
"Vivian!", said Mrs. Fairwell, snapping me out of my trance. "Tell me how to conjugate prendre with je."
"Take the re off of the end of prendre, and add an s," I say.
"Definition," she says.
"Prendre of course!"
"To take. Prendre means to take. Unless, of course, you are ordering a meal. In that case, prendre means to have," I answer.
"You are a lucky girl. Now, please give your attention to me instead of that window. Or do you find the window more alluring?", she asks, raising her eyebrows.
Yes, as I matter of fact, I do.
"No, Mrs. Fairwell. Im sorry. I'll pay attention," I say.
"Merci Vivian," she says to me before turning back to the board. "Now, when conjugating prendre with Ils or Elles, you must remember to add an extra n..."
I sink in my chair and stare at the clock, willing the bell to ring.
When the bell finally rings, I'm surprised that Mrs. Fairwell asks me to stay behind.
"Yes, Mrs. Fairwell?" I say.
"Your grade has been slipping, Vivian," she says, flipping through a stack of graded papers.
"Yeah, I know. I'm trying Mrs. Fairwell, really. I'm just...having a tough time," I say.
"Is something going on at home? Are you fighting with a friend? Please tell me Vivian. What is it that's making your grade slip so crudely?" she asks.
I turn my head away from her. "Nothing. I'm just a little stressed out. That's all. You know, it is my senior year," I say.
"That's not the only thing Vivian. This is your test from the beginning of the year, and this is your test from yesterday," she says, holding up two papers. One a flawless A, and the other a taunting D-. "You don't seem to be getting the answers right anymore." Her expression is now questioning.
"That’s not true! I answered every one of your questions correctly just twenty minutes ago!" I defend.
"Vivian, you've known that stuff for months now! What is it you're not telling me?" she asks, her expression still questioning, only now it has a hint of sorrow as well.
I sigh. "Nothing is wrong Mrs. Fairwell. I told you, I'm only stressed. I'm sorry. I'll try harder. Promise," I say, quietly, afraid of possibly falling apart if I try to speak any louder. I turn towards the door, but Mrs. Fairwell stops me.
"You know, Vivian, talking about it could make you feel a little better," she says cordially. I turn back towards her and see she's smiling at me. I look down at my shoes and bite my bottom lip, then, hesitatingly, I walk over to the chair next to her desk and sit in it. She puts her hand gently on my shoulder, and, still looking at my shoes, I say, "I think Junee is dying."
Her hand moves from my shoulder to her mouth in one quick motion, and, just as I feared, I fall apart.
If I had to give my life up for someone without hesitation, it would without question by my Grandma Junee. I love her so much, and having to admit that she could be dying tore me apart. I listened to the sound of my sobs being echoed by Mrs. Fairwell's. Mrs. Fairwell and Junee have been best friends for 36 years now. Junee used to watch over and care for Mrs. Fairwell when her mother went out, arriving many hours later, drunk and in a bad mood. Junee finally put her foot down and got Mrs. Fairwell's mother some help. She then committed suicide three months later, Mrs. Fairwell's mom, I mean. Junee used to visit Mrs. Fairwell at the foster home, and they'd play board games and talk about nothing for hours on end. Mrs. Fairwell never forgot it, and despite the dramatic age difference between them, (Mrs. Fairwell is 46 and Junee is 82) they've been best friends ever since.
"My dear, sweet child", says Mrs. Fairwell, pulling out a handful of tissues from the tissue box. She hands me a wad of them and keeps the rest for herself.
"It's so sad. I honestly have no idea what I'll do if it happens. If she...leaves," I say, breaking down into more sobs.
"I know dear. Junee is an extraordinary woman. She was there for me when I needed a friend the most. For that, I will always owe her," she says, embracing me in a sympathetic hug.
"Um, Mrs. Fairwell, my french grade is dropping, remember?," I say, trying to change the subject of my favorite person in the world possibly dying.
"Oh, yes, it is," she says, getting the message and wiping away her tears, only to have her efforts wasted by a new family of them.
"Well, I would really like to get into a good collage, and I'm not going to let a stupid french grade, no offence, get in my way. It's what Junee would want," I say, looking at the floor again.
"You're so right. Nothing is more important to Junee than a good education," she says, smiling at the floor.
"So," I say, "what do I have to do?"
"Well honestly, now you're not going to like this, but I think the only choice you have is to get a tutor. Well, that or drop out of the class," she answers.
"Oh, no Mrs. Fairwell. I am NOT dropping out. Junee hates quitters. I guess that only leaves me with a tutor then," I say, making a face of disgust.
"Yes, you are correct," she says, turning back to her papers, silent tears still falling down her elegant cheek bones.
"So, what do I have to do? Do I have to fill out a paper, find someone on my own time, or do you assign someone to me?," I ask. This is all so new to me. I've never been tutored before in my life.
"Well, you'll have to find someone on your own time, but I do have a suggestion," she says, pulling out a tub of third year papers.
"Yes?," I say, looking curiously at the tub of papers.
"I have a third year student. He is the best in the class. He will know how to help you. Well, I think so anyways. He's such a nice boy. I can't possibly see him turning someone in need down," she says.
"He?," I say.
"Yes, he. Well, Ian Daniels to be exact. He's a senior as well. I'm sure you know him," she says.
Of course I know him. He's the only boy in the world I've ever had a crush on in my whole life!
She pulls out a group of papers from the tub. She lays them on the desk in front of me. About a dozen flawless A's are staring up at me. All of them autographed at the top by none other than Ian Daniels.
"Well, you have my input. Do what you want with it," she says, scooping up the papers and placing them neatly back in the tub.
"Thank you, Mrs. Fairwell. I'll ask him," I say, rising from my chair.
"I'm sure he won't disappoint you," she says, also rising from her chair.
"Thank you so much for your help and concern Mrs. Fairwell," I say, returning my gaze to the floor.
"Anytime, Vivian," she says.
"I'm sorry I ruined your day," I say.
"Oh, my dear, what do you mean?," she asks.
"Well, now that you know about Junee, you're going to be worrying and sad all day," I explain.
"Yes, that is true. But, I'm a worry wart anyways. I do have three children you know," she says, reminding me of my friend, and her youngest child, Dixxie waiting for me in the lunch room.
"Well, thank you. I guess I should get some lunch before fifth period starts and Dixxie starts to worry," I say, heading towards the door.
"You're welcome. Anytime Vivian! I'm here for you anytime."
I walk out the door and head to lunch, stopping in the bathroom along the way.