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Heartless (Chapter 2)
I shut and locked the front door of my house behind me when I got home from school. “Dad, I’m home!” I called out to the empty living room. I knew he was home, considering that he didn’t have anywhere else to go. He had been unemployed for a little less than a year now.
Sighing, I padded to my room, passing the closed door that led into my dad’s bedroom as I did so. I didn’t bother to knock. I knew he wouldn’t open it up. Instead, I tossed my backpack down on my bed and pulled my algebra textbook out of it. But the moment I laid eyes on the problems that had been assigned as homework that night, my head began to throb. I was in no mood to do my homework. It could wait until later tonight.
So I decided to call Cali and see if she wanted to hang out for a little while. I took my cell phone out of the pocket of my worn jeans and quickly dialed in her number. She picked up on the third ring.
“Hey,” she said into the phone. There was something off about her voice though. It kind of sounded like she was crying.
“Hey,” I replied, my concern audible. “Are you ok? You sound upset,”
“That’s because I am upset,” she informed me. “Ms. Daily called my parents and told them about how she dropped me down to regular English. They got so freakin pissed at me. My dad started yelling about how unacceptable my behavior was becoming and then my mom grounded me. So now I can’t go out for two weeks.”
“But what about next Saturday? They’d make an exception for that, right?” I cried.
“Nope,” she remarked flatly.
“But it’s our two-year anniversary. I was really looking forward to it,” I exclaimed, feeling beyond disappointed. I’d wanted to do something really special for Cali this year, but now I wouldn’t get the chance too.
“I know. So was I, but there’s nothing I can do. That b****, Daily has officially screwed my life over,” She let out a deep sigh and sucked in a shaky breath afterwards. “Oh, and my dad pretty much promised me that I won’t be getting into Princeton now. He said it was one thing to take a regular English class, but a whole other thing to be dropped from an honors English class. Apparently, it shows a lack of progression, which is not up to par for Ivy League schools.”
“You don’t know that for sure though,” I told her, trying to rebuild her confidence in herself.
“Yeah, but I’m like, ninety-nine percent sure, and that overrules the other one percent. So now I won’t be able to get into an Ivy League school and we won’t get to go to college together like we planned. And it’s all Ms. Daily’s fault! She could’ve at least warned me that she’d drop me from the class if I didn’t start picking up my slack. But no, she just went ahead and did it without even giving me a chance to prove myself! It’s not fair!” I could tell by the muffled sound on the other end of the line that she was crying again.
Now that I saw how serious this situation actually was, I did feel pretty bad for her. If she was right about the Princeton thing, then our plans for the future were no longer a possibility. Everything we’d been striving for the last two years was now gone. All thanks to Ms. Daily.
I bit down on my lower lip as anger surged through me. It really wasn’t fair. Cali was right, Ms. Daily should’ve warned her about dropping her from the class beforehand. She obviously didn’t care enough about Cali to do this though. But I cared about Cali a lot, and all I really wanted at that moment was to get her to stop crying. She might have slacked off a bit in class, but that was no reason to be kicked out of the class all together. It was definitely no reason to have her future taken away from her either.
“You’re right, this isn’t fair. It’s actually a load of bull…but she’ll be regretting it soon. Because we’re going to get our revenge,” I assured her.
“So you’ll actually do it?” she asked me, sounding hopeful.
I swallowed hard. My conscience was telling me not to, but I blocked it out. I was much too livid to be worrying about what was right and wrong. “Yeah,” I said. “I’ll do it.”
“Awesome,” she said to me, sounding a bit happier already. “So starting tomorrow, you need to make sure to be extra flirty around Daily, ok?”
“Ok,” I agreed. I had a feeling this task was going to be extremely awkward. I would just have to make it work though.
“And don’t worry,” she stated. “I’ll help you out throughout all of this. I’ll make sure you don’t rush into things, make sure you aren’t too pushy, stuff like that. This is totally going to work though. I can’t wait to see the look on her face when she gets fired!”
I tried to be as excited as Cali was about this, but I couldn’t. I still had a sense of uneasiness in the pit of my stomach. The thought of actually taking someone’s life and completely tearing it apart was a lot for me to handle. But as long as I reminded myself who I was doing this for, I would be fine. It was all for Cali. It was for the justice that she deserved. If Daily could ruin Cali’s life, then I could ruin hers.
“Either can I,” I said, sounding more eager than I actually was.
“Ok, well I have to go now because my mom’s yelling at me to get off the phone. But I’ll see you tomorrow,” she said.
“Alright,” I replied. “Love you,”
“Love you too,” Then she hung up and the line went dead. I dropped my phone onto my bed and let out a deep breath.
I couldn’t believe what I had just agreed to do. I’d just promised Cali that I would get a teacher to fall for me, hook up with her and then get her fired for it. There was no going back now though. I’d already told Cali that I would do it. I couldn’t just go back on my word. It was too late for that.
I knew getting revenge wouldn’t solve anything, but Ms. Daily deserved this. It wasn’t like I was doing it for no reason. Because of her, I would spend Saturday all alone instead of with the girl I loved. I wouldn’t be able to go to Princeton with that girl either. At least, it was pretty likely that I wouldn’t be able to. If I just kept reminding myself of this, then I began to feel less guilty about it.
But in the back of my mind, I still knew that what I was doing was extremely wrong.
“Sam?” I turned my head at the sound of my dad’s voice as the door to my room burst open. He stomped inside, his eyes looking a bit glazed over and his mouth forming a tight, straight line. “Why didn’t you tell me when you got home?” he demanded, narrowing his dark brown eyes at me.
“I did,” I replied evenly. “I guess you just didn’t hear me,”
“Or maybe you just weren’t loud enough!” he remarked, his words coming out all slurred together.
“I was loud enough. You just didn’t hear me because you were locked away in your room, just like always.” I retorted bitterly.
“Don’t you use that tone of voice with me!” he commanded, stumbling a bit closer to me. He was tripping over his own two feet, and needed to lean on the chair at my desk in order to hold himself upright. “I am your father, and you will show me some respect!”
“I don’t see how I’m being disrespectful here. I just told you why you didn’t hear what I said so that you wouldn’t get all mad and blame it on me. Not that it worked…”
“Don’t talk back to me.” he ordered, his tone stern. “I know perfectly well what you told me. But you said it with attitude, which is why I’m getting mad.”
“Whatever, can you please just get out of my room now?” I remarked. It had been less than two minutes and I was already sick of him. That was a new record.
“This is my house, so I can be in whichever room I want to be in whenever I want to be in it,” he told me with a superior tone to his voice. He took another wobbly step closer to me as he continued speaking. The sour smell of whiskey was practically exuding from his pores. “Now why don’t you make yourself useful and run out to the grocery store to get me some Newports?”
“I’m sixteen, Dad,” I reminded him. “They won’t let me buy cigarettes from them. Plus, I don’t have my license yet.”
“Oh yeah, you can get good grades in class but you can’t pass your driver’s test,” he said tauntingly. “I forgot about that,”
I bit down on my tongue, fighting back the remark that I so desperately wanted to say to him. “Well now you remember,” I snapped back instead. “So would you mind leaving now, please?”
He glared at me for a long moment before finally responding. “Fine,” he uttered back to me. He shot me one last grave look before he left my room, slamming the door shut behind him.
Once he was gone, I let out a sigh of relief. “Finally,” I murmured to myself. I was so sick and tired of coming home to a drunk dad. Whenever he was drunk, which was quite often, he got so irritable and defensive. It drove me completely insane.
I usually tried to avoid him as much as possible, because I hated being around him when he was drunk. Sometimes, I was forced to just deal with him though. Sighing, I glanced over at the picture I kept on my bedside table.
I was only four years old in the picture, and I was sitting on the lap of a beautiful brunette woman. My mom. Her eyes were the lightest shade of green I’d ever seen and her smile was glowing. She just looked so full of life. It was kind of strange to see her this way though, considering that she was dead now.
She passed away eleven years ago, back when I was only five years old. She had gone to a friend’s baby shower and was driving back home that night. Out of nowhere, a drunk driver came swerving around the corner and crashed right into the left side of her car. She couldn’t hit the brakes in time either, so the impact of the crash sent her car skidding across the road. She ended up going straight into a light post and getting tossed out of the front of the car because her seat belt hadn’t been working properly. Because of what had happened, I’d made a vow to myself to never ever drink. However, the accident had the complete opposite effect on my dad.
He’d been an alcoholic ever since she passed away. It was hard growing up in a household where the only authority figure I had was never there for me. I had been forced to become a pretty independent child because I’d never had a parent to pack my lunch or get me on and off the school bus…or do anything else for that matter.
It was kind of shocking that he had kept his job for as long as he did. But after he’d been fired from it two months ago, the amount of drinking just increased for him. Now, it was like I didn’t even have a dad anymore. He was always locked away in his room, doing whatever it was that he was doing.
I knew from what I’d learned in health class freshman year that he was showing some major signs of depression. But the one time I’d tried to talk to him about seeing a doctor about it, he’d gotten angry with me and started yelling. I just stopped trying after that because I knew that nothing I said would change his mind. So now, I just lived with it as best as I could.
It wasn’t easy having a father with a drinking problem, but I was used to it. And at least that way, he wasn’t all concerned about what I did. So he wouldn’t figure it out when I began my student-teacher affair with Ms. Daily. At least not until the very end of the plan when the police found out about it. Then they would tell him for sure. But that was fine with me, because I knew for a fact that he really wouldn’t care.