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Smile Sweetheart ch. 7 (continued)
I grabbed my things for the next class, and hurried off. I paid no attention to the teacher, but instead to all the faces that kept looking back at me. I shrunk down in my seat trying to be invisible, with very little success. I wished I could be Aqua Man or something, and turn into a puddle of water on the floor to be invisible. Only in my dreams.
“Ms. Hoffman, can you tell me the square root of 860472?” Mr. Maloney asked, noticing my lack of participation in class.
“Uh…” I began, totally embarrassed and clueless of what the answer was. He gave me a stern look, and then turned to Christopher Beckett, Chris for short, the brains in the class. Of course he got it right.
“Well done Christopher,” the teacher said eyeing me with a look that said be more like him.
Another twenty or more minutes dragged on until the bell rang. I gathered my things, and began walking out the door, when Mr. Maloney called me. I turned around unwillingly, as he beckoned me back to his desk; Chris was beside him, looking as though he was going to pee his pants. He was looking at me with a frightened expression. I really wasn’t that scary, was I? I tried to give him a nice, sincere smile to ease his worries. Then I scowled at the teacher, “Yes, sir?” I asked impatiently.
“I want you to take tutoring lessons with Christopher, here. Your grades have gradually fallen lower and lower, and I want to see an improvement so I don’t have to flunk you. Understood? Thank you again, Christopher, for accepting my request.”
“You’re welcome,” Chris replied. I studied him like an insect, grimacing at the thought of having to take stupid tutoring lessons. He was tall, had shaggy blonde hair, glasses, and perfectly white teeth. In all he wasn’t that bad looking, but I hated to admit that. After Mr. Maloney was done talking, I walked out of the class, with a grouchy mood.
“Hey, wait up!” Chris called after me.
I stopped and turned around slowly, “Yes?”
“I never got a time when we should get together. You know for the tutoring?”
“I’m open every single day, considering I don’t have a life,” I said bitterly.
“Sure you do, you’re going out with that Nick Bradley kid. That’s got to count as something,” he said with a shrug.
“Jeez, how does everyone know about that?” I scowled, beginning to walk again.
“News travels around fast, I guess,” he said with a little laugh.
“Ok, so umm, when do you want to get together?”
“Is Monday through Thursday good?” I said nonchalantly.
“Yeah, sure. How about at six?”
“Ok well here’s my number if you ever need to get a hold of me,” he scribbled digits down a piece of paper, that he’d ripped out of his binder, and handed it to me.
“Thanks,” I said putting it in my pocket.
“See you around,” he replied with a smile, and then walked off.
The rest of the day went by slowly, more people were trying to be nice to me because of Nick, and even gave me their numbers. Nick was new here and already he was extremely popular.
While I was packing all my homework and books into my backpack, Nick came up and leaned against the locker beside mine.
“Hey,” he said with his charming smile.
“Oh, hi,” I said blushing a little.
“I guess the news about us has really traveled fast, huh?” he said a little wearily.
“Yeah, you’re mister popularity, everyone wants to be your friend,” I said teasingly.
He smiled, “You won’t believe how many girls talked to me today. But all I kept thinking about was you, and how much I wanted to kiss you again.”
“Well I’m flattered,” I replied battering my eyes. He chuckled with me, but then his smile dropped and he pulled me to him. Our lips met, and I felt like I was being held by an angel.
He pulled away with a sheepish smile, “Sorry, I’ve just wanted to do that all day.”
“It’s…uh…me too,” I said lamely, looking down.
“Damn girl!” Margie exclaimed. I spun around to see Margie with her mouth gapped open like a fish out of water. I blushed furiously at her expression, and was lost for words completely.
“I…uh…” I stuttered.
“Oh damn, I wish I could lip lock with that boy. Man is he fine!” she said talking to herself out loud, staring Nick down like a prized possession. Nick stood there awkwardly behind me.
He bent down to my ear and whispered, “I’ll see you on the bus.” Then he kissed my hair and walked away.
Margie watched after him, and then turned to me with wide eyes, grabbing my arms.
“Do you realize how many girls would give their life to be you right now?” she said shaking me.
“Who the hell would want to be me?” I grumbled.
“I would! Dude, to have that hunk hold me and kiss me like that; who wouldn’t,” she replied.
“You should have been there yesterday,” I whispered, smiling to myself.
“Yesterday?” she asked puzzled, and then it clicked, “Details, details!”
“I don’t know if we should talk about it here,” I said looking around; there were still hundreds of kids around in hearing distance.
“Fine, you’re so going to tell me though,” she said eyeing me.
“Ok, ok,” I said. Holy cow was she demanding.
“Want to hang out today? You can tell me all about your little skipping party while eating some enchiladas. Mi madre makes the best,” she said with a little Spanish accent.
“Sure. I have to take stupid math tutoring from Chris Beckett, though, and I don’t know if he wanted to meet today or what.”
“Oh, that boy is brainy and cute. Nice job picking your boys out, girl,” Margie approved with a wink.
“It’s not like that, Margie. Do you mind if I go find him and see what he had in mind?” I asked.
“No not at all. I’ll just wait for you here.”
I roamed around the lockers for Chris, until finally I found him.
“Hey,” I said walking up next to him.
“Oh hey,” he said a little surprised.
“I was just wondering if you wanted to get together today or start the tutoring next week.”
“I did want to do it today, if you didn’t mind,” he said timidly.
“Ok, that’s fine, but I’m going to Margie Gonzalez’s house today. So was it the same time?”
“Sure, if you want. I mean, we don’t have to if you’re busy or anything.”
“I’m not. So I’ll see you at six, okay?”
I met back up with Margie, and we walked onto the bus together. Nick was waiting for me in the back of the bus where we normally sit. I hurried to the back to sit next to him, Margie followed. I plopped down next to him with a smile, he grinned back. Margie sat in the seat across from us, flirting with one of the guys in front of her.
“Long time no see,” he said kissing me. I kissed him back happily. There were a couple gasps, but I ignored them completely and kept kissing him.
“Jeez, you lowlife, stop making out with your boyfriend in front of everyone,” Shannon hissed; she was in the seat kitty corner from us. I stopped kissing Nick, turned and glared at her.
“Well at least I have a boyfriend,” I snapped. Margie stopped flirting with the guy enough to stare at Shannon, too.
“You know, the last time I checked she scared the guy she was dating off because she was such a b****,” Margie replied stiffly.
“Maybe you should mind your own business, Spanish sl*t,” Shannon shot back. Margie cursed a handful of Spanish words at Shannon.
“I don’t speak Spanish, girly, why don’t you speak in English so I can actually understand you?” Shannon replied glancing at her French manicured nails boredly. Margie stood up glowering at her.
“Come get me, sl*t,” Shannon taunted, smiling, “or are you too afraid?”
Margie charged Shannon, tackling her to the bus floor. She yanked and pulled at her blonde hair, while Shannon screamed desperately. The boys were all hooting and hollering at the cat fight, taking videos with their phones.
“Get off me!” Shannon screamed, trying to push her off. Margie just kept slapping and pulling. All of a sudden the bus lurched to an abrupt stop on the side of the road, throwing Margie off Shannon and into the seat in front of them.
“That’s it!” the bus driver said, “You two, get over here now!” They both crawled off the ground and walked to him; Shannon trying desperately trying to rearrange her now disarrayed look.
“Oh my God, you got gum in my hair!” Shannon screamed furiously at Margie.
“Guess you’ll need to shave off all that pretty blonde hair,” Margie replied with a smug smile.
“Cut the crap, now. You both have suspension from the bus for a month, understand me?” The two girls glared at him, and then at each other.
“Whatever,” Margie said walking back to her seat. She sat down with a huff, and crossed her arms.
“You ok?” I asked cautiously.
“Dandy as ever,” she replied curtly.
“Thanks for defending me,” I said, “I really appreciate it.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” she said loosening up.
“So are we still going to hang out?”
“I’m not really in a great mood…sorry…”
“Oh, yeah, its fine, I understand.”
“Do you want to come over to my house then?” Nick asked quietly.
“Of course, I always want to be with you.”
“I’ll make you something for dinner myself this time. That way we can avoid any rude waitresses and hostesses,” he said with a wink. I laughed, remembering the fun I had pissing the girls off.
“What are you going to make?”
“Hmm…what would you like?”
“How about spaghetti, and for dessert…” I eyed him playfully, biting my lip.
“I’m sure we can arrange the dessert,” he replied with a smirk, winking. I giggled with anticipation. In no time the bus stopped by Nick’s house.
“I’ll pick you up later,” he said kissing my head.
When Nick was gone Margie pushed me over and sat in his seat
“Sorry to blow off our plans,” she apologized.
“It’s fine. Shannon can be a pain, I know.”
“I wish I could have thrown her out the window,” Margie said unhappily.
I laughed, “I’ve always wanted to do that.”
“Great minds think alike.”
“You really got a good handful of her hair,” I chuckled, “and to get gum in it on top of that, classic moment.”
She laughed along with me, “I like you; you’re easy to talk with.”
“Thanks, you are too,” I said getting ready to leave, noticing that we were close to my stop.
“I gave you my number earlier right?” Margie asked.
“Yeah, I think so.”
“Ok, we’ll have to hang out tomorrow or something.”
“Yeah, that’ll be fun. Can’t wait to have some enchiladas,” I said with a laugh.
“You won’t joke about that when you try them,” Margie said getting serious for a moment, but then smiled.
“See you later,” she said waving, as I got off the bus.
I opened the front door; to be greeted by Gina sprawled across the family room’s carpet, playing with her Barbie dolls.
“Morgie! Come play dollies with me. You can be her!” she said handing me the Barbie with an arm missing and marker scribbled all over her face.
I laughed, placing my backpack against the couch, and took a seat next to her with my decapitated Barbie.
“Morgie?” she asked.
“Why were you gone yesterday? Mommy and you and Daddy were all screaming when I was going night-night. It was scary.” She looked up at me with sorrowful, round, chocolate eyes, which were pained deeply.
“I was with my friend,” I said. My boyfriend.
“You didn’t want to play with me?” she asked innocently, a little crease forming between her small brows.
“No, no, I love playing with you, Gi Gi. I just wanted to be with my friend. Can you keep a secret?” I asked giving her a dubious look.
She nodded, zipping her lips and throwing out a pretend key. She waited anxiously for me to begin.
“Well, my friend is actually my boyfriend.”
“So like Barbie and Ken?” she asked with a dimply smile.
“Yeah, kind of.” Except it’s the ugly duckling and Ken.
“Yay, Morgie!” Gina clapped happily.
“I have to take math lessons later today. Can you not tell Mommy?”
“Ok,” she said simply.
I finished the rest of my homework I had, only leaving math. Chris could help me with it, since I hadn’t paid attention to class the entire period.
It was getting close to six, so I pulled out the piece of paper Chris had written his number down on and dialed the number into my phone.
“Hello?” his soft voice answered on the other line.
“Hey, Chris, it’s Morgan. Umm…I was going to ride my bike to your house, but I don’t know where to go.” He gave me the directions quickly as I wrote them down a pad.
“Thanks, I’ll see you in a bit.” I ripped the paper off the pad, stuffed it in my pocket, and headed out the door. I yanked my bike out from under the bush, and read the directions as I biked to his house.
Eventually I found my way to his house, and he was waiting for me on his lawn with his little Jack Russell. He waved as I pulled onto his driveway.
“Have any troubles finding the place?”
“Nope,” I replied with a smile, “I’m good with directions.” While I was getting fixated, his dog walked up to me and sniffed me cautiously, and then he lifted up his leg and started peeing.
“EW!” I screamed jumping away from the little rat dog.
“Jack! Bad dog!” he snatched the dog up in his arms, and gave me an apologetic look, “I’m so sorry!”
“That’s so gross…” I mumbled gazing at my wet pants.
“Do you want to borrow a pair of my pants? I can put those in the wash real quick. Come on.” I followed him into the house, gazing around. It was a small house, much smaller than Nick’s, but in a cozy way. He placed the dog on the ground, and then led me down a narrow hallway to an end room on the corner. The room was a mess. Clothes, socks, shoes, and football pads were sprawled across the floor. He searched around in the drawers and pulled out a pair of gray sweatpants.
“Are these ok?” he asked showing me them.
“Sure. Anything’s got to be better than these,” I replied.
He gave me another guilty look, “Sorry about that, again. Well, I’ll let you change.” He turned away and closed the door behind him. I shook the wet pants off and let them drop to the floor, and then I tried climb into his pants. I hopped around trying to get my leg into the hole, attempting to balance. I stepped on a football pad, lost my footing, and crashed on the floor.
“Morgan? Morgan, are you alright?” Chris asked, sounding frightened.
“Ow, my ankle!” I whimpered. With that remark, Chris rushed into the room and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw me lying on the ground whimpering, his sweatpants half on, my underwear clearly visible. The heat rushed to my face as he stared at me, momentarily forgetting the pain in my ankle. After a few seconds he finally snapped out of his daze and helped me put the pants on. Then picked me up in his arms, and carried me into his kitchen, placing me on the counter. He searched around in the freezer for a couple icepacks, then turned back to me and placed them gently on my ankle. I winced a little, but didn’t pull away, knowing that it would help.
”I’m such a klutz,” I groaned. “I should have been more careful.”
“I should have cleaned my room,” he disagreed.
“It was my fault,” I said shortly. He didn’t respond, and concentrated on icing my ankle.
“You know what; I’m not in the mood to be tutored. I’m going home.” I pushed him away from my ankle, and tried to slide off the counter without any help. Of course, I didn’t have much success, so Chris put his hands on my waist and lifted me off the counter to my dismay.
“Thanks,” I said grouchily. “Bye, thanks for the lovely evening.”
“Are you sure I can’t help you? Ride you home? I mean, I’m sure you can’t bike yourself home. I can put your bike in my mom’s trunk.”
“I’m fine,” I snapped, grabbing my backpack, and hobbling out the door. I climbed on my bike, wincing horribly as I got going. About half way to my house, I pulled over on someone’s yard, and flailed across the grass. I pulled out my phone, found Nick’s number and pushed send. I waited patiently for him to answer.
“Hello, Nick speaking.”
“Hey, Nick, it’s Morgan.”
“Oh, hey,” he said with a smile in his voice.
“Um, I don’t mean to impose, but can you pick me up? I’m on River Drive.”
“Pick you up? Why, did something happen to you?”
“It’s a long story…” I said exasperatedly.
“Ok, I’ll be there in a few,” He said before hanging up.
I waited patiently for him, enjoying the shade and not having to be moving. I scowled as I thought of the reason why I would enjoy not moving. Stupid, idiotic Chris and his dumb peeing-on-people dog. I was never going to take tutoring lessons from that kid. Like it wasn’t bad enough his damn dog peed on me, he just had to see me in my underwear and help me put his pants on myself. How humiliating. I grimaced deeply at the whole experience.