08~ Hire Me A Tutor?
My anxious father enquires with a fatherly smile, “You look pale Luci. Is everything fine?”
The familiar curse sounds awkwardly unfamiliar escaping my mouth in my father’s presence. Double Blast!! My father with ogling eyes gape at me as if I have grown a pair of addition ears. Though I understand the reason revolving around his reaction...
I emit a fake cough and ask, “Are you really going to meet him?”
Father scans me sceptically before adding a remark decently. “Yes of course now that you sound so eager about the whole matter.”
My semi-parted mouth dangles in the air at a loss of words to convince him to head for home.
Is he here to collect regular updates concerning my performance? But that exactly would not have brought him in my university forthwith an exhausting business trip.
My mind hovers for other possibilities. Immediately the worst from my collection strikes me as a bombshell. His unexpected appearance here might, or perhaps I should say, can have a strong correlation with Mr. Calvin Stone. The consequences of this prospect is so worse that I even don’t want to picturize it.
However, one major thing rests in affirmation: I’m going to be in a great danger in no time. Irrespective of what has invited my father here, it is sufficient to make my little heart trigger with fear.
“Why did you get so stiff suddenly?”
Waving my hand dismissively, I attempt to imitate the mirthful laughter of Angelina Jolie as a gesture of conveying the message of how perfect I am.
His frown, in response, demonstrates his discomfort and conveys me the correct message. The gorgeous smile which I had attempted to plaster, most certainly, appeared like a menacing smile of a clown and was enough of evidence to term me as an eccentric species.
I importune him with forthright questions. “Did someone call you here?”
My father narrow his eyes infinitesimally having reached the conclusion of his investigation on my recent anomalous behaviour. He answers monotonously, “Why do I have a feeling you have been a part of some crazy mischief?”
You guessed it correctly Dad!
I have to admit this Mr. Hot-Headed Cold-Hearted Stone’s mind of cunning fast moves. He calmly and silently knows how to play a game. Little did I expect my guardian to be called here for my performance behind the door. No other school official or teacher except Mr. Stone has knowledge of this incident. But what if they?
Big bolded red letter of the word SCANDAL flashes before my visionary, and washes away even the colours of black and white upon which I was standing.
He senses the paint of distress casting a strong impression on my countenance.
He said, glaring blatantly at me. “I think that you’re not looking forward to this parent-teacher exchange, unlike earlier.”
My father has always been bi-monthly visiting my university to gather updates from my biology professor. I have always been delighted on this day since Mr. Olga Stone would shower me with appreciate, lodging a complain about me is out of this question.
Well! When it comes to an unpredictable creature like Mr Calvin Stone, no one can give any assurance on what else will fly out of his mouth. And oh yes I don’t look forward to receive tons of criticism.
“Did you-” He pauses suddenly. However, his goggle-eyes borrows the task of finishing rest of his sentence.
Not that his dreaded assumption is wrong, I am a born trouble maker. Whatever harrowing assumption his brain has cooked will be not as good in comparison to my real sin. Little will he expect my teacher complaining to him regarding my talent behind closed doors.
“That means my assumption is correct. You scored low in your last biology assessment.” He says looking horrified. Shaking my body, he continues angrily, “Is it true? Tell me!”
He bellows, “SPEAK! SPEAK! SPEAK LUCIFER, WILL YOU?”
I cry out, “RELAX. No it isn’t so.”
His hands drop, and his body calms down a little.
Now using my intelligence I have to create a hinder to their meeting. Whether planned or unplanned I don’t care.
“Then why are you behaving in a weird form?”
Dodging his question, I, rhetorically interrogate, “You are here to collect UPDATES about my performance, aren’t you?”
His eyes taper again at me with suspicion. As a counter reaction I shake my head vigorously sideways in disagreement to whatever thing is racing through his mind.
I smile the sweetest smile at him which I generally reserve for special situations. Understanding the gravity of situation, I purposely weave a smooth fib. Basically, the ingredients I intend to use for this comes in a combo pack of true and false statements so that by any means, my dish make me cost much.
“Dad, you are not understanding. Mr. Stone has been diagnosed with pneumonia very recently, and he is not taking our classes anymore.”
Where is the falsification in this, huh?
“Alas! I am so sorry to hear that. I hope he recovers pretty fast,” My innocent prey grieves.
His eyes sink down, showing dullness. He seems to enjoy Mr. Olga’s company a lot. Every time my father came to visit my University in order to get updates concerning my academics from Olga, the angle sent from heaven, the duo had a habit of chattering on subjects which are absolutely unrelated to academics. Evidently, he has not been expecting such a heartbreaking news.
My father prattles in pure admiration, “He was a brilliant teacher one could wish for. His teaching techniques were so innovate. He knew how to create interest in students. He was the replica of a perfect teacher.” He takes my hands in his grip. The concern evident in his face. “I am worried about your studies now. I think we should hire a tutor. What do you think?”
“DAD WE HAD A TALK ABOUT THIS. NO TUTORS!” I retort irritably liberating my hands.
It is not that tutors mean superfluous pressure on students for which I have been dodging this question for decades or refusing to listen to him, the fact is he will assign a biology tutor for me specifically. My opinions are altogether very indifferent from his when it comes to the topic of MY career planning. According to his yearning, I should focus on medical science highly, and choose the lifestyle of a doctor.
Me, on other hand, aspires to purse modelling as my career. My aim is to be a supermodel, and walk the famous runaways like the Victoria’s Secret. It is not that my father is not supportive. Indeed he is the source of my motivation. But...But....When it comes to modelling, his conservative mindset pinions this benevolent man with strong iron chains and fetters, keeping his supportive hand away from my head. The only reason I’ve been agreed to fill the admission form of this University is for him. STRICTLY not for my heart’s longing.
“I’ve repeated myself more than once. This is probably the last time I’ll say: I DON’T NEED A TUTOR!”
“It is for your own good.”
His concern earns an eye-roll on my soul’s behalf.
I suggested unexcitedly, “No more Mr. Stone now so we should leave for home.”
I whirl around to retire from this horrific scene. Then and there my surname gets rolled around by a curt familiar voice. Only one person who practises such formality is my brand new Biology Professor. Involuntarily my legs stop on tracks. Chancing a glance upon my shoulders, I catch a glimpse of the authoritative speaker.
My eyes witness a man with the similar physical appearance as that of Mr. Stone. Grey eyes...high-pointed cheekbones...chiselled face moulded from granite with edges sharper than the sharpest knife. Unbelievable! This man is the best imitation of that son of b... Better not to think of slangs in father’s presence.
Holy Mosses! He speaks exactly with same coldness and bitterness as him.
He thunders, “Miss Becker? Have you never seen me before?”
I spring around immediately to face him with my heart pounding loudly. It’s very much the guy I met in the basement. How much I wish his unannounced emergence to be a fragment of my hallucination or a nightmare. But it is none of them. He has joined in our conversation for real. Like a Villain of any movies, this desperado has deliberately appeared here and that too at the most perfect timing.
“Repeat yourself, Miss.”
“May I know do you know my daughter?” My dad enquires politely alternating his gaze between the two of us.
“I am Calvin Stone, the substituted Biology Prof. of Miss Becker.” Mr. Stone extends his hand to my father. “My father is down with pneumonia. But the classes have not been suspended.”
“I’m William Becker. Glad to make your acquittance.”
“Likewise.” Mr. Stone smiles.
I rub my eyes and study the exchange between two men carefully. I observe unless my eyes start aching from the glorious glittering flash of radiance from his smile. His lips are definitely curled into a charming smile and it’s for real. Good Heavens! Why does my head is hurting so bad suddenly, giving me the feel I will faint from Mr. Stone’s rectitude.
“Luci why you didn’t tell me there was a new teacher?”
I was living under the misapprehension that Mr. Stone had his hands behind my father’s unannounced presence. He came here with the intention to collect his routinely bi-monthly updates. I exhale a sigh of relaxation.
“Miss Becker has been providing wrong information to you Sir so that you can’t meet with me.” He speaks in a voice which is neither too cold nor too warm.
I revolt against all the false allegation Mr. Stone is pleasing adding upon my name. “Nope. I said the truth and in fact, dad came here to meet Mr. Olga Stone, Sir.”
“You mentioned Mr. Stone was ill. Did you specify my father was ill only? Did you mention about your new teacher?”
This raider had the audacity to eavesdrop our private conversation. Is there any law in London for which people like him get arrested for violating other’s privacy. Maybe after all I should have studied law. F that! My bare hands are enough to help him see stars in daytime?
My father pokes in the conversation, commenting angrily, “No, Mr. Stone not for once. Rather she was hurrying to get home as if you don’t exist.” He outstretches his pointed finger at me. “You lied to me.”
The wave of relief vanishes. I pronounce without flashing my eyelids, “Wait. Never did I lie. I said Mr. Stone, and you know, I know, the reference made here was Olga Stone.”
Mr. Stone adds, “A partial truth is considered a fib.” He faces my father and very politely and smoothly as butter, he implores, “Please Sir don’t be angry. It’s good I came at the right time.”
And eavesdropped too Mr. Gentleman.
My father’s gaze shifts onto Mr Stone, the son of Olga Stone, and he looks pleased, taken aback by the good grace of Mr. Stone.
He admonishes sharply and coldly, cutting me off, “Luci MANNERS! You should not speak when two adults are in a conversation.”
Watching me get scolded might have been a pleasing scenario to him. I curl my fingers into a fist, and bite my tongue to hold my anger. My anger doesn’t stay for long as long as I am an audience of Mr. Smart Pants’s earthshaking advances.
He gushes delightedly, “It absolutely alright, Mr. Becker! Don’t worry about these silly things.”
A wheezing sounds evolves out of my throat.
“Any problem Miss?” A warm pair of grey eyes bore into me with searing kindness and friendliness. Oh My Oh!
Roles have been reversed!!
I experience a yank on my head out of nowhere. The corner of my eyes hover around to the person station right beside me: my father. I get subjected to another yank followed by another until the actual message is registered. Apologise is the magic word for the timing to calm my father to a minuscular level.
My father has been expecting Mr. Olga Stone, not a guy with his first name starting with C sharing the same surname as of Olga. How come it’s a lie is a matter of complexity to me!
My parent hisses, “I think I expected something else from you.”
“Sorry I apologise for interruption.” I blurt, gnashing my poor teeth.
Mr. Stone gave out a short, gratifying laugh. “I don’t mind Miss Becker as I said before.”
I...I...Where did Mr. Stone and his evilness get flushed into?
“Mr. Stone, please go forward, and give me a feedback concerning my daughter’s performance and participation in class.”
“If this is the purpose for which you came here, I might have to disappoint you, Sir?” Mr. Stone asks after breathing the aroma of coldness.
Here comes the real devil with his sombre glory. Practically I should have been horrified to hear Mr. Stone’s honest confessions about me, but I’m cock-a-hoop and elated like a dog with two tails.
I look up at his face only to realise my relief was based on a peusdo-supposition. Though his face portrays seriousness, he never for once whisked off the plastered smile and his coaxed brand of philia.
“Please begin Mr. Stone.”
I hear my eager father saying. Mr. Stone holds my gaze, discreetly asking for my acknowledgement of arranging my own funeral. Damn him and his politeness! Why can’t he now be the jerk as he is labelled as when teaching his students? He should have a clean face of zero emotions, but now his face is full of caution and care and affection and god only knows all other positive feelings...
My father seems to be ignorant to sizzling tension intensifying between his bad daughter and saint teacher. Mr. Stone gaps his lips a millimetre, the gospel complains sitting at the edge of his tongue, ready to escape but nothing he breaths excluding anticipating silence. The gap formed gets tightly seals. He is enjoying his game of teasing me, and clearly taking an advantage of my vulnerability in front of my guardian. Squeeze this toad to death!
“Is it that bad, Mr. Stone that you don’t know where to start from?”
“Most certainly Sir.” Mr. Stone nods, confirming me not to show any mercy.
“Go on please. Is she a trouble?” Father beseeches him to speak but this man born in a cold desert in the only presence of rocks shows torpid interest in granting wishes, whether he is in his real form or not.
Taking his time, he acknowledges, “Yes indeed.”
And my plight begins as Mr. Stone comes in a mood of sipping tea and later spilling it.
“I feel bad to hear that.”
My father from the side tugs down my hand. This acts as an alarm for waking up my unconscious self.
He wheezes in my ear, “Aplogise!”
Yes I’d sorrowfully apologise to God for not killing him in the classroom itself when the golden opportunity was gifted to me.
I hear a gentle whisper adjacent to my ears again. “Don’t stand idle. Do as said.”
I retort to demonstrate my aggressiveness, obeying my father’s order at utmost level. “I beg your pardon for having you troubled so much, Sir.”
And demand the same for vice-versa!
“Mr. Stone, I insist you to subject her under appropriate punishments her if she ever disobeys you. I’m tremendously worried for my ward, and firmly belief in the notion that punishment can only bring her back to a straight line. Mr. Olga might have been a little softer on her, even if I said not to do so. But, Mr. Calvin, please don’t go easy on her.”
My inner self squawks lodging silent protests, which are of no good at end. Who will take the risk of explaining this man that Mr. Olga Stone and Mr. Calvin Stone are exactly two sides of a coin-polar opposite. And also his delusional balloon concerning Mr. Calvin is easy on his students needs to be ruptured.
Mr. Stone, horrified at the suggested idea, pretends to disagree. “Oh no Sir. Punishments only spoil students more and send them to the path of annihilation. Rather, I prefer following the verbal policy of tenderness in making them understand.”
The other party makes an agreeable nod, and adds contentedly, “The best epitome of a perfect teacher. Undoubtedly, Mr. Stone,” He admires the godly figure standing before his visionary. “you’ve inherited these traits of charm and good virtues from your father. He must be proud with you.”
He waves his hand in a high-fashion manner to dismiss the appreciation. He smiles an adoring smile which has the potential to get the best ladies in London running after for matrimonial relationships. “I’ve a lot to learn from my father.”
“Look at him, Luci. This is what you call respect towards elders, which this generation lacks.”
Yes I’m looking at him for a long time. More likely, admiring him with a murderous look.
I decline the response my mind has planned, calculating how little money I have to provide myself a shelter.
“How is her recent performance, Mr. Stone?”
Mr. Stone singles out, “I can’t say much since we met yesterday.”
“So you joined last day?”
“Oh no you’re mistaken, Sir. I joined a week ago.” His smile fades a little, and I notice a twinkle of honesty in those eyes. Oh no! “I’m afraid your daughter did not show up for my lectures while attending other lectures for straight one week. Our first meeting happened in a rather unusual place.”
“WHATTT!!! LUCIIII!!!!!” Father shoves my body to face him. I meet him glaring at me with his face as red as a volcano ready to erupt. His anger might have made him ignore the second line.
I avert my gaze in another direction in order to meet his intense crimson hued eyes. Suddenly I am not looking forward to go home and spending quality time with my dad anymore.
“Wait what? Unusual place? What does it mean?”
Please spill all the tea and I’ ll also promise to throw a cup of hot tea on your face, Mr. Honest Saint.
I discover the corner of Mr. Stone’s lips crafted into an evil smile. He is smirking. Damn him to hell.
By now I am self-assured Mr. Stone’s nobility will surely have a tremendous impact on my lifestyle.
My father unable to hold his curiosity repeats again. “What’s this unusual place, Mr. Stone?”
NO! NO! NO! Meaningless to shake my head thinking he will show any mercy upon me.
Mr. Stone, while scanning me up and down with a label of brat say with disgust. “Yeah in the staircase. I caught her bunking my lecture.”
“What?” I hear my own self blurting out involuntarily. My father doesn’t appreciate my interruption again.
“Don’t you remember Miss Becker?” Mr. Stone questions civilly.
Did Mr. Hot-Headed Cold-Hearted just covered my sins? Bless this man!
Not completely a great way to cover me but partially I am satisfied. Imagine the reaction of my father if he was to found out I was in basement with a guy doing congress before marriage. I picturise him standing with a broom in his one hand and my luggage in another. Too dreadful to think about.
I shake off the image immediately, and flash him Mr. Stone smile just as to show my gratitude for not spoiling a father-daughter relationship.
My father, noticing the smile which was only reserved for Mr. Stone’s eyes, yells at me wildly, “Don’t smiling you little brat. Don’t you feel ashamed?”
Anger is a obvious consequence. I bunked the classes no matter what.
Mr. Olga never cared much about his students so he had a complain regarding anyone, including me. This is the first time a teacher has praised me so much that my man is grinding his teeth to prevent his vent from being erupted.
Out of humiliation he bends down his head and speaks coldly, “I was out of city, and hence had no idea of my daughter’s masterplans. I apologise on her behalf Mr. Stone.”
Dad spins around to face me. Fury is visible in every inch of his body. I gulp again and again. Making an excuse will be of no good because I am all exposed now, well partially. Lowering my gaze and sealing my mouth, I prepare myself to endure through his outburst.
Irritably he jabs a finger in my ribs as he infuriatedly blames me for everything. I felt my impulsive self deserves it. “You are grounded.” Or maybe it doesn’t. “Do you understand? You have disappointed not only me, but your teacher too. You have lied flat on my face everyday in phone calls, and don’t you dare think of forgiveness.”
At least being grounded is not as worse than hiring me a teacher. Mr Stone is enough at the University to handle. Well, not something I wandered about earlier but is there any specific reason for Mr. Calvin’s unexpected charity? He has spilled almost everything, but was careful not to spill the main segment.
“Sorry to interrupt but I fear this punishment is of no use for Miss Becker. I’ve a better alternative.” Mr. Stone suggests sympathetically.
“Feel free to make modifications.” Dad enunciates while folding his arms across his chest. His chest heaving up and down with despondency.
“Hiring a private tutor sounds like a better option to me, Mr. Becker. She has been missing a lot of classes. It will be difficult for her to cope up with other students.”
My father cries out being too overwhelmed with the suggestion put forward. “Very intelligent idea. How come I never considered it! It will act as a punishment too since she doesn’t want to have one.”
My eyes threaten to stay in their respective places after hearing out the punishment. All of Mr. Stone’s plans get revealed to me though lately. Going against my wishes is most certainly the best kind of punishment. And since Mr. Stone had eavesdropped our conversation, he has been enlightened with the knowledge of my dislikes. Everything is planned. Damn him! Make him rot in the hell! BASTARD.
“But it will take time till I hire a good teacher for her. If you were not attached to this University, and was not her professor, I would have hired you as her home tutor.”
“As much as I know” Mr. Stone smiles warmly. “there is no policy which says a teacher cannot home tutor a student separately to cope up with the gap if he or she needs help.”
I ogle at the two men as they make decisions between themselves concerning my life, that too, without taking my consultation.
“So it is confirmed that you’re Lucifer Becker’s new home tutor.” My dad says, unable to hold his happiness and nearly couldn’t resist jumping up and down like a child with excitement brimming his eyes.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Did you enjoy Mr. Stone’s version of charm and good virtues?
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1.) A dog with two tails: A phrase used for emphasising on how much happy a person is. Please note Luci doesn’t compares her with a dog.
2.) Desperado: A reckless person/ criminal.