Biting down hard on her almost bloodied thumbnail, Emily focused hard on the test before her. That teacher must have been out of his mind. One hundred questions, half of which they didn't even learn in class, to be done in a forty-five minute class period?
That proved it. Mr. Hayes utterly despised his students.
All of them.
She quickly scribbled down a compare and contrast between the two American wars listed at the top of the page before quickly flipping through the pages she had left.
Three pages to go.
Emily's head shot up at the sound of the bell, and her eyes widened. Not good.
Jennifer bit her lip as she stood from her seat, looking to the older girl who hurried to right down the answers. "Em, do you want me to wait for you?" Just because they were in a rough spot right now, the Christian hesitant to get too close and the brunette still grieving over her best friend, didn't mean she'd ever leave her girlfriend alone.
Giving a grateful smile, the eighteen year old vigorously shook her head. "No," she said hurriedly, erasing a mistake she had made in one of her answers. "I might take a couple minutes. You go and I'll just see you next class, ok?"
Jennifer gently nodded, leaning down and pressing a soft kiss to her girlfriend's forehead. "Ok, I'll see you soon."
Emily let out a loud sigh as she stared hard at the last question on her paper, her eyes reading the same words over and over as her brain almost shut down.
Mr. Hayes eyed the newest member of his class, sitting himself down at his desk as he watched her concentrate hard on the test he had handed out. "Ms. Prentiss, it's time you get to your next class."
The brunette shakily nodded her head. "Yes sir." Circling every first answer on the last section of the test, Emily begrudgingly stood from her seat and taking her backpack from the ground. She made her way up the row and handed her test paper to the older man, giving a small smile when he looked up to her. "See you tomorrow, Mr. Hayes."
Squinting to see through the glass of his frames, the teacher held up his hand. "Hold on." He gestured for the brunette to sit herself back down. "Let me grade this now and I'll give you a late pass."
Emily frowned before sitting herself down in the seat just across from the teacher's mahogany desk. "Is everything alright?"
"I watched you scribble down almost every answer, Ms. Prentiss," he nodded, eyeing her pointedly before looking back down to the test paper. "I'd like to let you know if you'd failed here and now. That sound alright?"
The eighteen year old held her breath as the stern man skimmed over the last page of her work before glancing back up to her, her heart racing at the look his cold eyes were sending her way. "Did I do alright?"
Mr. Hayes felt dumbfounded as he stared at the foreign girl. "You aced it."
Emily had a smile spreading over her lips, nodding to herself as she looked to the test in his hand. "Wow, great."
"I'm sorry, but how is that possible Ms. Prentiss? I saw you write down your answers just as the bell rang."
Not knowing how to answer the older man, Emily shrugged her shoulders. "I'm sorry Mr. Hayes, I don't know what to tell you. I did take this class two years ago, so it's possible that I've retained the knowledge from then."
Mr. Hayes glared. "You remember from two years prior?"
"It's actually not that difficult, sir."
Setting down the test paper, the teacher slowly shook his head. "Ms. Prentiss, I've noticed your participation in my class the past week drop significantly, and now you all of a sudden get a hundred on your test?"
Emily bit her lip, her head shaking softly. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "My head has been somewhere else, yes, but I'll try and do better during class."
Mr. Hayes looked to the brunette with softer eyes than he ever had before. "Ms. Prentiss, what's been going on?"
The teenager felt her eyes sting, emotions immediately flooding throughout her body at the simplest of questions. "Sir I'd rather not speak of that."
"Emily, I'd like to know exactly what's been on your mind so we can try and find a way to fix it. If it helps you do better in this class, and in your personal life, then it would be better to speak about it."
Feeling her lips quivering, Emily's dark eyes looked up to meet those of the older man. "I pushed my girlfriend."
Mr. Hayes watched as the brunette girl quickly began to crumble underneath his gaze. "You mean you physically pushed her?"
"Yes," she nodded hastily, feeling a small amount of relief be pushed off her shoulders at the fact that the stern man completely ignored the fact that she just admit to him that she was homosexual. "My friend back in France recently passed away, and I missed his funeral, and I was very upset and I ended up shoving her out of my room and I just feel horrible about it." Her eyes looked back up into those of the older man and saw his tender gaze on her. "We're trying to work through it and I'm trying to win back her trust, but it's hard and it's taking up most of my thoughts and I'm so sorry it's leaked into this class."
Mr. Hayes leaned a forward an inch, shaking his head at the sadness he saw in the foreign girl's doe eyes. "Emily, you're dealing with a lot. Even I can understand that you can't compartmentalize what's been going on, and for that reason it's ok if your mind wanders. It's trying to get away from reality for just a moment, and that's alright. If you like, I can give you a few days off of work to give you a little extra time that you mean."
Emily almost smiled at the care that threaded through her teacher's voice, and she shook her head softly. "Thank you sir, but I don't need that. I'll be alright soon," she sighed, wiping away a tear that had wandered down her cheek.
"Are you sure?"
A hard knock on the door caught the attention of the pair, and Emily's eyes immediately widened to see the principal of the school standing in the doorway. "Mr. Jareau?"
The blond man nodded hastily. "Come on Emily, I need you."
"What is it?"
James sighed as she buttoned his suit jacket to cover the bottom of his tie. "Rosie fell and her stitches tore."
Emily's jaw dropped, her hand immediately reaching down to grab her bag. "What?"
"We need to get to the hospital."
The brunette stood from her seat and ran out the door, yelling out a sincere 'thank you' to the teacher that had let her cry.
Mr. Hayes smiled softly at the desk that the foreign girl had vacated, nodding to himself at the conversation having been had. She was a good girl.
He smirked. A Jareau dating an intelligent and obviously beautiful foreign teenager? That family was in trouble.