I couldn’t help looking around as I made my way through the halls the following morning, wondering if I’d see Christine. It wasn’t that I found her attractive or anything, or that I even liked her. I had decided to challenge her to a rematch and wondered if she was game.
My school schedule was different than anything I’d had in other schools I’d attended. They had year-round school here in Petoskey. I wasn’t looking forward to that.
It was supposedly better for reasons I couldn’t understand. Three trimesters instead of two semesters, three weeks off here, two weeks off there, not having to re-learn everything after sitting around doing nothing all summer. Blah, blah, blah. Whatever. The only thing I grasped after that lecture was that I was only going to get three weeks off during the summer.
Plus, I was one trimester behind in science because I hadn’t taken the prerequisites for geology, or geography, or whatever stupid class I had first hour.
I walked into the classroom and stopped short. Christine. Right there in the back row with her textbook open and her notebook out, scribbling frantically onto the lined paper. She must have forgotten to do her homework. I couldn’t even remember what we had for homework. I was right there with her.
How could I have missed her the day before? Oh yeah, because I hadn’t met her yet, and I’d been so overwhelmed by finding where I was supposed to be all day long that meeting girls was the last thing on my mind.
Well, not the last thing on my mind. I mean, I got a lot of attention from girls. I’ve been told I’m quite adorable. I try not to let it go to my head. My shaggy, slightly curly, sandy blond head.
What really gets the girls excited are my eyes apparently. They’re green if I wear a green shirt and purple if I wear a purple shirt and black if I wear a black shirt. More like a dark grey than black. I’ve always been a little creeped out by my eyes changing colors like that, but they make girls swoon.
Not Christine. All she wanted was to beat me on the court. Like I cared. She wasn’t even that pretty.
There was a seat open next to her, but two cheerleader-types waved for me to join them on the other side of the room. I kind of waved back and flashed them a smile but sauntered down the aisle to sit next to Christine.
“Rematch this afternoon?” she asked before I even sat down. How she even knew it was me I didn’t know since she never raised her head and was still frantically writing in her notebook.
“Definitely,” I said. I set down my backpack and pulled out the textbook and notebook. “I have to redeem myself.”
“You got that right.” She kept writing.
“Forget to do your homework?” I asked. She finally looked up and gaped at me.
I pointed to her notebook. “Are you scrambling to finish your homework.”
She shook her head and rolled her eyes. “You don’t know me very well, do you?” She flipped her notebook shut, stuck it in her backpack and pulled out a different notebook, opening it to a page with perfect penmanship and obviously well-thought-out answers complete with drawings and diagrams. Impressive.
“What’s the other notebook then?”
“None of your business.” She turned to the front of the room and trained her gaze toward the teacher, who hadn’t even started his lecture. I guess she was done with the conversation.
I tried to pay attention in class, but it was over my head. I must have looked confused because the teacher asked to see me at the end of the hour.
“Dylan Walter,” Mr. James read from his computer screen. “Transfer student.”
As if I didn’t already know that. “Yes, sir.”
“You’re a junior, right?” He peered at me over the rim of his glasses. I was positive that also was written on his computer screen, but I didn’t point that out.
“You haven’t taken Earth Science yet, have you?”
“Uh, no, our curriculum at my last school was very different than here.”
“It’s a prerequisite for Intermediate Geology.” Crickets.
As if there was anything I could do to change the past. “Uh…”
“You don’t have time in your schedule to fit that in or you won’t graduate on time, so we need to get you a tutor.”
“Okay.” I could work with that.
“I’ll speak to the guidance counselor and she will get in touch with you, probably by the end of the day.”
“Okay,” I repeated.
“The school covers the cost, so you don’t need to worry about that.”
“Oh, I can afford a tutor.” I chuckled and felt my cheeks warm. Could I ever. Geesh. He obviously knew nothing about my family. I wouldn’t mind keeping our wealth on the downlow.
It was difficult to make friends at my old schools because I never knew if they wanted to get to know me or just take a ride in my Mercedes AMG. We put that car in the garage and bought me a Charger before moving here. Still a hot car, but not as flashy.
I pulled my attention back to Mr. James. “Thank you, sir. I appreciate all the help I can get. I’ll do my best to get caught up.”
“Good.” He nodded his head definitively as if to indicate the conversation was over. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Bye.” I hitched my backpack over my shoulder and walked from the classroom.