Riptide

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Chapter 19

School made what happened at the bus stop look like a fairytale compared to what came next. I tried to keep my face hidden from the people who simply wanted to witness something out of the ordinary to happen. I never gave it to them and continued on with my day as though nothing had changed.

Unfortunately, during each of my classes, I was forced to remove my hood. I took a deep breath and slowly grabbed the front of my protection and slid it off, letting my midnight blue hair fall into place on my shoulders. I could hear the trade of theories from all across the room as each teacher directed the class back to their lesson.

I remember the first time most-clearly. “Oh my God,” Chloe “whisper-yelled” from beside me. “It looks so good! I can’t believe you haven’t done this before, it really shows off your eyes.”

“Thanks,” I said quietly before turning my focus back to the front of the room and trying not to draw attention to myself.

After class when we would normally go to break, Mrs. McDonald, our math teacher pulled me aside. “Ms. James,” she said. “I’m concerned that you have missed too much classwork and will not be able to continue in this program,” she said.

I simply smiled confidently. “I hear your concerns,” I said, opening my backpack and pulling out the stack of papers Chloe had given me. “But I am very much capable of continuing,” I said, handing her the stack.

She looked it over, awe in her eyes as she reviewed each question carefully. “You did this without help?” she asked inquisitively.

“Yes ma’am,” I said. “I had a few days after I got out of the hospital to complete the classwork.”

“But this is the amount of classwork I would give students a few weeks to complete,” she said.

I nodded. “I know. I noticed that Chloe also gave me a few pages which I would assume we don’t cover for another couple weeks or so.”

She looked at a few of the back pages before continuing. “You’re right. I don’t cover this material until November,” she said. “But then you were able to do this without any instruction at all?”

“It’s really quite simple once you recognize the pattern in the numbers.”

She hesitated for a moment before asking me if I would mind staying during break for a few minutes. I looked outside at the large crowd of people who waited for me to exit the room. I told her I had nowhere to be and would be happy to stay. “Great,” she said, moving to her desk and opening a drawer I had never seen her open before. “I was wondering if you could take this test, just to show me how much you know.” I agreed, not thinking much of it. “Wonderful, take out a pencil and put your backpack on the back wall so I know the answers are from you,” she said, handing me another large stack of papers.

I did as I was told and waited for her signal to begin. She gave me a thumbs up and clicked something with her mouse.

I sailed through the questions, barely having to think. The answers seemed just to come to me in the blink of an eye. I looked up to see Mrs. McDonald watching me with such curiosity that I knew something was up. The farther I went the less it seemed the questions had to do with what we were learning and yet, I still understood it completely as if I was there when the math was first invented. Before I knew it, I was halfway through the test and only a few minutes had passed. I glanced back at Mrs. McDonald and realized she was still watching me. I ignored the bad feeling this gave me and went even faster, completing the test with just under ten minutes left in our break. Mrs. McDonald looked shocked and asked me if I had double checked each question.

I nodded, knowing my answers were correct. I watched as Mrs. McDonald read through the first question carefully and pulled out the calculator on her phone to help her with the math. I watched as her eyes bulged out when she saw my answer was correct. She did this three times after that before even noticing that I was still there. “You can go,” she said absentmindedly, not even looking up from my work. I nodded and left the room.

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