Brown-Eyed Heaven

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5

“We have a substitute today and they are late. I know Principal Silverson is going to have a fit because he wants Emille to run smoothly without any hiccups and we still in the first week of school too. Earlier, the security guards were scanning everybody individually. I see they already got the security system working properly and updated. Good, everybody knows that nothing ever stays broken at Emille for long,” Crystal remarked.

“Yep, you ain’t lying about that,” Paige nodded.

“And one thing that you can’t lie to us about is Mr. Zack Summerville trying to make moves on you, girl!” Crystal teased.

The three girls were now sitting down in the classroom with the rest of the students. They saw Principal Silverson keeping an eye on the classroom. The substitute teacher was several minutes late for their class.

“Yeah, that’s right! We saw you, girl, looking all nervous and shy in the cafeteria?” Danielle joined in on the teasing.

Paige rolled her eyes and smirked at them. She looked up and saw the rest of the students talking and moving around, looking like they were having the time of their lives.

Paige noticed that none of the Go-Getters shared Mr. Fletcher’s class with them at this time.

Principal Silverson stepped inside the classroom. “Class, let me have your undivided attention. Your substitute is running late. They called the front office a little while ago and said that they are stuck in traffic. There was a wreck on the highway not that far from the District, but they would be here soon, hopefully. Until then you can talk in hush tones and if there’s any makeup work that you need to complete whether it’s this class or another, go ahead and complete it, please.” Then he stepped out into the hallway.

“I already finished all of my work,” Paige commented.

“Me too,” Danielle replied.

“I only got one worksheet to finish and that’s for my last class,” Crystal said. “Y’all always finishing work on time.”

“Yep, we are goody two shoes,” Danielle replied.

Crystal rolled her eyes again. “Anyway, Paige, so what was Zack talking to you about? We still on that topic, nobody forgot about you snugging all so close to Mr. Zack Summerville,” Crystal playfully tapped Paige on the shoulder.

“I want to know too,” Danielle pulled her desk closer.

“Well, we didn’t do much, just talk, he asked for my phone number, I gave it to him, and he gave me his, then he asked me out. The end.”

“Really, that’s cool. Go, Paige, you about to date your first boyfriend.”

“That’s nice, Paige, but you should be careful, no hate at all but I want to warn you,” Crystal replied solemnly.

Paige looked alarmed now. Danielle looked annoyed.

“Crystal, why are you putting a damper on her parade like that? There’s a chance that Zack might be her first boyfriend.”

“I’m not doing that. I just want her to be careful. You know, like y’all warned me about my new boo Charlie. Those Go-Getter boys are something else. They are a bunch of Alpha males and women should think long and hard before getting in a relationship with them. They treat women like another one of their possessions, a toy to be played with, once they get tired of her, they’ll just throw her away and be off to find the next shiny toy,” Crystal replied.

Danielle stared at Crystal as if she lost her mind. “Not all them Go-Getters are like that, that can be any man. From what I heard about them, they seem pretty cool and laid back, better than most guys.”

Paige began to relax. She felt better instantly. “Yeah, I agree with Danielle. There are plenty of guys like that and plenty of them that are not like that. It depends on the individual. You won’t know until you get to know the person.”

“Amen, preach, Paige!” Danielle threw up her hand.

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to sound negative or anything. I just wanted to tell you what I heard,” Crystal looked at Paige.

“True, only rumors. I get it.”

“Yeah, anyway, Zack got it going on. I heard them Summervilles and Go-Getters don’t play at all and nobody wants to fuck with them?” Danielle replied.

“Okay, alright,” Crystal added.

“So, where do y’all want to go?” Danielle kept on the Zack subject.

Paige laughed. “He told me that he was a gentleman and that he can surprise me or I can choose where we want to go.”

Danielle and Crystal ooh and ahh in unison.

A young woman hurried into the classroom. She was the very late substitute teacher. Principal Silverson followed behind her and spoke to her quietly and then he left.

“Hi, I’m Ms. Browne. I’m sorry I’m late, guys. I was stuck in traffic. That was a bad wreck on the intersection, whew,” she quivered.

Paige tuned her out. The bell was getting ready to ring any minute and it did. The class jumped up and hurried to the door, leaving the bewildered substitute standing in front of the chalkboard.

***

“...Did you see the outfit that teacher wore to class? It looks like some rags that you only wear around the house!” Crystal joked.

Paige and Danielle laughed.

“Not everybody has nice clothes,” Danielle said.

“Okay and not everybody can dress either,” Paige added.

“It feels good outside,” Crystal announced.

“I know right. I can’t wait to get home and eat. My parents are about to throw down this evening,” Danielle sing-song the evening part.

“Yeah, my mom’s cooking this evening too. My parents usually take turns cooking and it’s my mom’s turn,” Paige told them. “What about you, Crystal?”

“Me?” Paige noticed Crystal look disappointed briefly. “Oh, I’ll probably dig around for some leftovers.”

“For real. If you don’t have much to eat, you always welcome to come over my house. We have more than enough food to eat, Crystal,” Danielle offered.

“Yeah, same with me,” Paige smiled at Crystal.

Crystal smiled. “It’s cool, y’all. We have some food at the house. I appreciate the offers though.”

There was a tense moment of silence. They looked around the hallway and saw students moving around everywhere. Conversations filled the air and overlapped. Footsteps sounded loud on the linoleum floor.

Lockers and doors shut loudly. Students were walking quickly to the exits. Groups of friends left together followed by boyfriends and girlfriends holding hands.

Crystal headed to the bathroom. “I got an emergency,” she laughed. “I’ll see y’all tomorrow at school.” She ran off.

“Okay, we both know what she’s about to do. Crystal about to get down in that bathroom!” Danielle joked.

“Stop it, stop making fun of Crystal like that,” Paige hit Danielle. “I don’t blame Crystal. I would have run if I had to do number two too!”

They both chuckled and left out the front exit together.

“There’s my ride! I see you tomorrow, Paige! Call me tonight and tell me all the juicy stuff about Zack’s phone call!”

Paige watched Danielle get in her parent’s Range Rover. They all waved at Paige before they shot off through the school’s parking lot.

The breeze blew Paige’s hair from one side to the next. Paige waited on the school’s steps. She was waiting for her father to pick her up. He had texted her earlier in class.

The school’s resource officer stood near the twin doors of the school like a pitbull guarding its prey. The officer wore dark shades and was in full uniform attire.

Paige had been seeing the officer for years. He had always acted professionally toward her. She knew he was a tough and no-nonsense individual.

Paige’s father pulled up in his new Mercedes. She briskly walked to the passenger seat and got in.

“Good evening, honey,” her father, Edward, greeted her.

“Hi, Daddy! How are you?”

“Fine and kind of tired.”

They drove off into the heavy traffic.

***

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