09~ Scheduling Dates
“Are you sure the authority will support your proclamation?” I furrow my brows, preliminarily making a disagreement to the imposed idea. “As much as I know, teachers are not allowed to provide private coaching classes to their students as long as they hold a position of teaching personnel in this University?”
Two pairs of affectionate eyes settle on me, their faces painted with an interesting big duh. Somehow Mr. Stone’s unsympathetic emotions have been transmitted to my guardian in the fullness of time. My father’s discontentment is getting emblazoned on his face, and a feeling saying it will be his new brand mark for quite some time casts a vivid impression of the upcoming calamitous event waiting to meet me.
My nurturer glowers, discreetly ordering me through his thin line of sealed lips to stay stationed tongue-tied like a statue. I stop my thinking immediately, and take the position of attention with my gaze straightly aligned.
“Oh my dearest Miss Becker” Mr. Stone with his lips crafted in an exuberant smile clap his hands joyfully.
Is my ear ringing: me and dearest to Mr. Stone? That can surely make the joke of century!
“This is an exceptional case, where I think rules can be disregarded.” Emitting an air of radiance and sophistication, like a professional, the block of stone continues his trade of hypocrisy. “We will move on with the syllabus very quickly in the class, and as a law-abiding gentleman, the rule book here says chapters already taught in class once cannot be repeated twice just for the benefit of an absentee.”
“Luci, you should be thankful to this gentleman.”
Sure dad. In your absence I would have not only expressed my gratitude towards him, but also demonstrated it physically.
Mr. Stone beams at me chattering, “I hope if we work together, we will manage to cover the left out syllabus.”
I have a better response hovering in my head, but unfortunately uttering it out will snatch away the shelter from above my head.
“Miss Becker, you’re a gem with so many hidden talents. Together we will make a good team, don’t you think?”
I cock my eyebrow with disbelief. A person as bitter as Mr. Stone can’t possibly be this sweet even if he is on a dose of posturing with all those goodness and positivity. He surely has to be a drug addict.
The series of thoughts sprinting across my peanut-shaped brain leave his question unattended. In no time I get subjected to my very first punishment as my hand receives a brutal yank.
Circumstances as of now have not been in my favour so my unwilling soul is constrained to drown Mr. Stone with my politeness.
“I’m extensively obliged to you, my Sir, for your assistance. Thank you for devoting your precious time to think about my future. I don’t think I will be able to express the gratitude I currently feel for you through my words, my dearest Sir.” I massage my aching hand while very ungraciously thanking the compassionate figure because of his sea of kindness.
But my gratefulness is something my parent seems not to be pleased with. I find his eyebrow pointed at me, holding a promise to help me revise my knowledge of expressing appreciation once we reach home.
But on other hand my dearest teacher, being flattered from my appreciatory message, remarks in his imperturbably unpolite fashion, “I will have a talk with our principal, and let him know everything about this special case.”
Now that Mr. Stone is slowly reappearing his his uncheerful form, his supply of everything certainly will contain informing our grey beard principal every single bit of details, details specifically including my involvement with Ben in a special activity inside the dank basement.
My father implores, “Sir please make this arrangement as fast as possible. I don’t want her to lag behind in any way.”
“If you insist I can talk to the principal regarding this matter. However I might require consent from the guardian of a student for providing home tuitions.”
“Of course Mr. Stone I have the consent. I can accompany to the principal if needed. I think you’re most eligible to teach her biology conscientiously.”
Mr. Stone smiles hesitantly. “Oh no Mr. Becker. I’m nothing. There are other brilliant teachers out there. Though I’ve cracked quite a number of competitive exams, I’m sure those who had their ranking after me, that is, from second position are equally qualified. It was a matter of luck I must say that I got the opportunity here to teach these precious gems.”
It is a serious matter of suspicion how can a person can express their vulnerability while emphasising on his achievements, and at the same time phrase it in such a way to make them seem subservient. Mr. Stone has the art of cajoling kindled in him. He hold the potential to use this art for three purposes simultaneously.
1.) Showing his paramountcy in the field of knowledge.
2.) Proving himself as hard working and a believer of destiny.
3.) Manipulating people to get what he wants.
The effect of this art on the opposite party is drastic. His eyes shine in pure admiration, the same look a parent gives when he or she finds a qualified life partner for their child. He is determined not to let Mr. Calvin Stone, the master of biology get decamped from his grip regardless of whatever adversities he has to face.
He boasts, “Mr. Stone out of all teachers I’ve met you’ve captured my eyes the most.” He chuckles softly, and adds as an afterthought, “Mr. Olga is an exception to my list and you’re placed after him.”
“I’m honoured, Sir.” Mr. Hypocrite simper and perform a mimic of fake bow. “Shall we visit the Principal then, Mr. Becker?”
The questions gets answered excitedly.
I must do something immediately. God only knows what Mr. Stone has cooked in his mind. With a new found ascertainment for determining the truth of Mr. Stone’s interest in home tutoring me, a courteous smile rummage across my lips, and this time willingly add grandeur comportment to the words coming out from my lips. “Mr. Stone, may you take the pain of investing a little time for your student?”
“Miss Becker for that we need to take a final approval from Principal.”
“I meant I need to talk to you in person.”
“I’m standing right in front of you.” He informs me with a leer.
Thank you for the information. I wish you were a corpse. I would have very actively and wisely engrossed myself in the activity of murdering you!
However, this wish of mine is not coming true in any way with my father’s presence. So, I shake off my longings, and smiling a bright smile, I approach him in the sweetest way ever possible.
“I meant to conduct a tête-à-tête if your time permits.”
He gives me an inferior look, considering me unworthy for wasting his time upon. “No, it doesn’t!” He confirms impolitely as always, thus closing the discussion.
Three words to reject me down, huh? You better enjoy the last days of your life to the fullest Mr.....
“What is so important Luci? Why is my present not appreciated?”
My father’s interjects my train of thoughts, thus ceasing my plans too of what happens after he survives his last days on earth with great enjoyment. It forces me to shift to plan B. If not Mr. Stone, I am confident to successfully persuade my father to put an end to this non-sense.
“It’s nothing dad.” I say anxiously, “Dad, I don’t want to waste your time. The business trip has been exhausting. The only cure which will help you to fight away the exhaustion is a session of proper resting. We can ample amount of time to discuss my matter with Principal later.”
He shakes his head incredulity. “REST ARE YOU SERIOUS LUCI? After what you’ve done I can hardly think of it anymore.”
“Dad look I deem myself to be the luckiest person to be tutored by Mr. Calvin Stone. Thereby, I wish to discuss my regular routine immediately with him so that we can work together in the current time, and find an appropriate timing slot to favour both of us. Once our timing gets fixed, we can approach the Principal and start our lessons immediately.” I sigh sharply, and look at my father with my eyes brimming with concern. “But we both know if your health can deteriorate if you don’t rest properly.”
“Eagerness I see huh?” He scans me with his penetrative gaze from head to toe, and then after a meticulous examination, he enquires with unexplainable enthusiasm, “Why do you bunk his classes young lady?”
This time I decide to provide an honest explanation. “I had no idea that a new teacher had been hired for us in place of of Sir Olga.” Now comes the part of partial honesty. “But now I do realise my fault, and accept my punishment without raising any objection. I admit whatever I did was very wrong.”
My confession earns me a considering look.
“Dad I’ll never give you a chance to complain next time I promise.” I assure laying emphasis in word of honour. “Never ever Dad...I promise.”
Everything goes still then and there after my oath of allegiance to honesty. Even the heavy breathing of my father, struggling whether to forgive me or not is highly audible in this state of pin-drop silence.
Mr. Kind-Hearted, a man who is enamoured of silence and stillness meddles in our father-daughter conversation saying, “Miss Becker if I’m not wrong, I heard you calling my father as Professor Monkey.” He goes on smirking, a hundred-percent guarantee certificate attached to his words. “And if my memory isn’t betraying me yesterday this special name designed by you was used twice. Am I correct Miss?”
My face blanches, breathing rate accelerates, bundle of veins turns purple, and all of a sudden the two pillars supporting my body weight become wobbly. This is something to which my wide range of plans has no answers. I hunch my shoulders rocking my body from one side to other.
Mr. Stone displaying too many emotions in his expressionless face sculpted by carving, casting granite is more hazardous than a nuclear grenade.
“LUCIFER BECKER” a bellow ascents in the air immediately followed by words escaping in between gritting teeth. “HOW DARE YOU?” More rants and rave get fulminated. “You little...”
Considering cussing not a polite gesture in presence of an outsider, he zips his mouth with a groan.
He inhales and exhales deeply, refusing to speak anything for a minute.
“Why? Just tell me why? I’ve not paid yours fees for all of this.” His anger bursts into rows mumbles. This is the state of hopelessness and ignorance, where a person understands being furious is a waste of energy.
“Me never!...of course not...me...no! no!” I hear myself expressing cowardly in fragments, my fibs getting laid unevenly.
“In that case let them help you recall the situation, you know, situation related to when you were caught in-”
Knowing what bombs he is eager to drop, I cut him off instantly. “Oh yes! That! Duh!” I strike my finger’s tip, pretending to have recalled the real scenario. “I remember discussing...um this topic on...” I think for a second and hurriedly add, “oh yeah the stairs with my friends. How forgetful of me!”
Mr. Stone’s face twitches not failing to portray his disappointment behind the mask of sparkling smile. His effort to make me pronounce the truth out of my own mouth goes in vain. A victorious smile spreads across my lips.
“Unbelievable!” My father wails. “It’s miserable to hear that all your friends, along with you, are included in this non-sense. Comparing your teacher with monkey...” He reaches for his temple in distress.
“Never dad. That’s sound so inhuman.” Damn where is my self-esteem? I’m calling myself inhuman. This Stone needs to be smashed into fine dust using a hammer. “Rather, we were-” I think for a brief second before resuming to speak. I utter out the first word striking my mind like a bolt of light.
“ANALYSIS!” I cry out. “Analysis!”
“Indeed?” The question bombarded in chorus rises to a clamour, with one tone being bloodthirsty and the other skeptical.
Mr. Stone snarls like a predictor waiting for its prey in fall in his hoodwink, “Elaborate.”
“My dearest Sir, in case you have misunderstood, let me clarify.” My lips flash a golden simper. “Me and my book worm friends from other majors were analysing the character from a famous novel of Anton Chekhov - The Beggar.” I elaborate the topic, granting his wish. “Olga was the old lady cook who helped Lushkoff to achieve the peak of success. Suing the imposter Lushkoff. who at many instances has tried to use dishonest means to earn me by using sham identities and hypocrisy, was a part of her process to help the man understand his self-conceit. Finally her selfless acts made her an inspiration to the guy.”
“Isn’t Olga a lady here?” Mr. I-Don’t-Waste-My-Time-Unnecessary having wasted his time in concentrating my analysis of Olga remarks, “If Olga is a good character what makes the significance of the nickname.”
“Well this lady, who has a great knowledge of philosophy and has meticulously studied the world, is indeed a Professor. However she used to throw heaps of curses at Lushkoff, so initially, one of my friend came up with the term ‘monkey’. This led to the emergence of Olga’s nickname, Professor Monkey in our group of book worms.”
In a reassuring tone, I say to Mr. Stone, “You see Sir, it has nothing to do with your father. You caught me at a wrong time which created this misunderstanding but now I’m glad to have it unclogged.”
Thanks to my best friend, Adrena, for recommending this book.
Mr. Calvin Stone is in the process of shooting out more troubles for me, but luckily my dad saves me. Not that I can’t handle them, but who wishes to volunteer themselves in spending time with this bastard?
“Acceptable. But I’m still disappointment. You need to focus on your biology classes and not in other subjects in this class time.” In conclusion, my character analysis fib works on him smoothly.
Father informs happily, “I’ll leave you two alone now for discussion of dates.”
Finally Mr. Stone will come out unshielded for my attacking. I can use this time judiciously in thanking him for his charity.
“If the institution gives the permission, he can start teaching you from today.”
Floating blissfully over my master plans of how secure and preserve his dead carcasses (he is nothing less than a brute), I nod encouragingly not even bothering to the outside world. A time comes, though lately, when I realise to what I’ve agreed.
Mr. Stone tutoring me today...oh no no no...!!! My eyes turn to find my father’s absence beside me. My eyes trail down to where he is walking to in order to give us private space to hold our discussion on dates.
I shout out, “Papa...I have my modelling lessons tonight. It will keep me busy.”
Without caring to face me, he retorts loudly, “Not my problem.”
“But Mr. Stone might not be free today.” I shriek.
A problem from his admirable Mr. Stone’s side creates distraught in him. Instantly his movements come to a stoppage, and he whirls around to face me, wow not me, Mr. Stone with pleading eyes.
“No problem, Sir. I can manage my time schedule and tutor Miss Becker today, only if she can do the same for me.”
“Of course she’ll.”
It’s unbearable beyond my level of tolerance how two men, with one being my father most importantly, have discarded my nineteen-year old ass from decision making process.
I protest, repeating my statement, “I’ve my modelling classes today. Don’t you remember, dad, how much I love modelling?”
He responses in Mr. Stone’s fashion of curt tone, “No, I don’t. You are grounded. Your modelling classes will be substituted with biology classes, and Mr. Stone will be your home tutor.” He rebukes directing icy glare of ignorance at me. “It was because of your whining for which I was forced to send you for modelling classes. However in return of this favour, you were expected to pay full attention to your classes, especially biology.”
“But you can’t shatter my dreams because of my inability to attend seven classes in a week.” I outcry.
“Unwillingness,” he corrects.
“Firstly, skipping consecutive classes for a week make a huge loss. Secondly, I excepted my daughter to be honest regardless of the deeds she perform. If it wasn’t for Mr. Stone, I would have never known.”
“I agree the fault is all mine but my punishment has already been designed. I am grounded... isn’t this enough?”
My parent heartlessly jab, “NO.”
The dissent shooting from his mouth with the highest velocity almost knocks me off my feet. I have always loved modelling. I really do. This University isn’t my dream. It is not my career. My eyes swell up with water, and I have to try harder to blink them away than pushing away my negative thoughts.
“Sir, I don’t want to interfere in your personal conversation, but I feel this punishment is a little excess upon her shoulders. I’ve a better idea.”
The familiar cold voice bites my ears, slowly poisoning my system like the venom of a cobra. His unneeded sympathy makes my veins burn in frustration. He is the one to besmirch my good girl reputation before my dad’s eyes. His honesty is to be blamed for destructing my dreams.
“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. SHUT UP!!” I yell at him at the top of my lungs.
My father’s voice equally matches my level of anger. But, it doesn’t scare me anymore. My life has already been burnt down to ashes by the living aspirations of my family. He will not support the career of my own wish anymore. Never ever. When he has found a reason to use against cancelling my admission, regardless of my say, I don’t have a care now.
“No dad, I had enough! You don’t love me. If you did, you would have been so heartless like him.” I rub the drops of tears which are steaming down my eyes as soon as I resume speaking. “I’ve not born to fulfill your dreams. I have my own dreams.”
I pirouette to face Mr. King Cobra.
“To you, Mr Kind-hearted Stone,” Letting out a fake chuckle, I continue. “I don’t need your mercy. Understood Bastard?”
My father’s mouth widen at my impolite response. As I said, I don’t care anymore about the emotions of this old man. That bastard educator says nothing as well. An uncomfortable silence falls upon us. My father takes time to proceed the whole thing before blaring out my new punishment.
“Lucifer Becker, I will call your modelling institution right away and cancel your admission.”
Placing down my hands in my the side pockets of my jeans, I pick up a slow pace heading home leaving the trails of yells and threats haunting me down. Voices fade down as I exit the gate of our university.
I am ready to go against my father for my modelling career if required. No second thoughts! No chickening out!
My father may snatch away all my electronic gadgets but undoubtedly, as my greatest punishment ever designed, he will make sure to hire Mr. Calvin Stone as my tutor.
However, I make a commitment in my own name to shove down this bastard out my life. I will not let him win! I will force him to give up his profession. I will bring a scratch to his reputation. I will push him to brutal humiliation.
While heading home, which has turned into a prison, I switch on my phone for the last time before it gets snatched away, and check my notification list.
Through my blurry vision, I spot two texts from my favourite site: testmylimits. It uplifts my mood automatically, and I wipe off my watery eyes happily.
I log in the site keeping my fingers crossed. Like a light in my darkness, my eyes reach the ultimate level of satisfaction on spotting his text messages.
I quickly read them.
YOU ARE FORGIVEN, L.
My racing heart calms down. My sobs cease. In the next message, he has texted down his address commanding me to meet him up tonight.
It is so strange how his messages alone can tranquillise the raging storm inside me.
I can’t wait have a face to face interaction with him tonight. My only obstacle is Mr. Stone. According to the wishes of my father, we will have to start our session tonight.
A brilliant first-class idea strikes my mind. A snigger plays across my lips. Mr. Calvin Stone, you better watch your steps!
TO BE CONTINUED...
My dearest Rays of Sunshine,
Do you think Luci’s daddy is crossing the line while thinking of a good punishment for his daughter?
About “The Beggar”, I think you found the reliability built by Luci between Olga, the cook and Mr. Calvin Stone’s father.
1.) Hoodwink: Deceiving someone.