“Travis, could you explain to me the reason for the fall of the Aztec empire?” the history teacher asked, probably glaring at me through her thick glasses.
“Huh?” I muttered, dropping the pen I had been twirling. I wasn’t oblivious to the stares I was getting. The whole class was practically drilling holes in my head.
“The Aztecs Travis, you know about them don’t you?” Miss Smith continued clearly enjoying herself. I glared at her briefly. How dare she pick me! That’s what teachers always do, pick someone who clearly doesn’t know jack of what they’re talking about. I directed my attention to the other students, I couldn’t give the teacher the satisfaction of my glare. They turned away quickly. I could feel a smirk starting to take form on my lips, nobody wanted to get on Travis Witham’s bad side.
“Actually I don’t,” I said in a matter of fact tone, playing with the blond bangs in front of my eyes. I don’t know it. So, kick me or something.
“That’s all I had to hear,” Miss Smith said folding her arms over her chest. She smiled briefly as she adjusted her glasses.
“Class page 56, exercise 3.” Miss Smith blurted afterward. I frowned at her. Am I really getting away with that so easily? I don’t particularly trust Miss Smith, she’s probably the devil’s incarnate. I shrugged. Whatever, I’m finding out soon enough.
The class was particularly slow, or maybe it was just me. I couldn’t help wondering about what happened earlier with Miss Smith. Is she really going to let me go like that? I wondered throughout the class. Hum, what could be her worst comeback?
Maybe a note to my parents? Been there, done that.
Detention? A possibility.
The bell for the next period rang not too long after. I hesitantly packed my books. I knew something was coming, I could feel it. Maybe if I just hurried along she’ll forg—
I knew it.
“You’re going to be tutored by Alexander,” Miss Smith said, adjusting her glasses before giving me a firm look. I seriously don’t know what she has against me. Okay, scrap the late assignments and cockiness in class and you’ll realize I was just fine.
“I know you think you don’t need it, but you’re failing hopelessly.” Miss Smith continued, arranging the stack of report sheets on her table. I frowned, I wasn’t failing. I’m getting straight C’s here. I thought as I rolled my eyes. I wasn’t particularly concerned about being tutored, I could easily scare whatever wimp was assigned to me but the name fit in my mind oddly... who the hell’s Alexander?
“By the way, he’s not one of those you just scare away,” Miss Smith said as she gave me an accusing look. You see, this is why I hate History, the teacher knows way too much.
“I don’t scare them,” I said, trying to develop some sort of comeback.
Hey, I actually don’t scare them I just glare at them.
“Sure you don’t,” Miss Smith said sarcastically as she rolled her eyes. She’s a smart teach, I’ll give her that.
“I want you here after school to meet Alexander, and no excuses,” she said, handing me a late pass for my next class.
I handed over the late slip to the Chemistry teacher before settling down beside Jasper.
“Hey mate,” Jasper half whispered. His head was bent over his notes, and his bangs made a curtain over his eyes.
“Don’t hey me,” I grimaced, still annoyed from history class. Why did she have to be so nosy?
“What happened?” Jasper asked, raising his head to look at me, his pale green eyes piercing my green ones.
“Miss Smith happened,” I said in a matter of fact tone. Jasper just sighed.
“What now, detention?” Jasper asked curiously as he bent over his work again.
“No, she said I need tutoring,” I said, annoyance kicking in at full speed.
“Look at the bright side; you get to come for practice at least,” Jasper said. I shrugged. The coach has already accustomed to me missing practice due to detention already. I’ve been playing soccer for years now. A few missed practices could easily be solved by me and the guys heading out for a game during the weekend.
“Who is it this time?” Jasper asked a little above a whisper.
“Some Alexander dude,” I said, picking up a pen when I noticed I was getting a warning glare from the teacher.
“Alexander?” Jasper asked confused. I know right, I didn’t know the guy either.
“I know, I have no idea who that is either,” I said, scribbling nonsense to make it look like I was taking notes.
The class was a drag. And when the bell went for lunch I sprang up from my seat with a Hallelujah! Sure, Jasper gave me the You’re embarrassing me look, but I didn’t care at the moment. Lunch was the only period I got to see most of the gang.
“How are we even friends?” Jasper whined as he rolled his eyes. Jasper could be so unbelievable. Sometimes, I wonder how he even got on the team, he’s such a sissy.
It didn’t take too long to get to the cafeteria. Our usual table was occupied by our friends. Most of them were wearing their team jerseys and the girls their cheer outfits. The girls that hung around without outfits were mostly some of our pals’ girlfriends.
“Hey,” Jasper said, falling into his seat as I took the one next to him.
“Hey,” Samantha said, her eyes still glued to her blackberry as she occasionally bit her lip in concentration. Her dark hair was neatly pulled in a long ponytail behind her head. ’Course she’s hot, but she’s hyper crazy too. Her phone is basically her lifeline; take it from her and you better expect to die.
“Hey. Travis, we’re meeting right after school today. We need to plan that sick party we’re throwing on Friday,” Jonah said, receiving a few approving nods from the members on the table.
“Yeah, about that...” I trailed. I’m not really proud of the amount of time I get detention, okay? Ignore my attitude and you’ll see it really wasn’t my fault most times.
“He has to meet his tutor after school,” Jasper blurted out. I glared at him. He’s not my mouthpiece!
“Not again dude! Who is it this time?” Jonah sighed as he ruffled his short chestnut hair that was almost military style. I think his dad made him have it trimmed so short all the time. You know, kind of comes with having a general as a dad. I think.
“Some Alexander dude,” I blurted afterward, shrugging as a show of disinterest. I really didn’t want to talk about this now.
“Did you say, Alexander?” Samantha asked lowering her phone for the first time since we arrived. Is this some sort of lunch miracle?
“Yeah, Miss Smith said...” I trailed has Samantha cut me short.
“Miss Smith?” Samantha said, her eyes widening.
“Yeah the history teacher,” I said, rolling my eyes. Samantha has always been overly dramatic. It was just going to be some nerd.
“Keep your panties in a bunch Sam, it’s just some nerd,” Jasper said making the table erupt in chuckles. He totally read my mind. Is it me, or am I the only one that considers that theft?
“He’s not just some nerd," Samantha started, poking her pink painted finger against Jasper’s chest.
“He’s the crazy one that happens to be Miss Smiths’ nephew,” Samantha said, still trying to bore a hole in Jasper’s jersey.
“Don’t you dare let Miss Smith force you into this Travis! Heck, I’ll be your tutor!” Samantha insisted, her baby blue eyes widening with terror.
“Don’t be silly Sam, he’s just some dude. Besides you couldn’t even tutor a burger,” I said, making Sam shake her head violently. I got to admit, she looks hella cute when she does that.
“No, no, no! Remember Casey was the nurse’s assistant last year? She said his folder had prescribed medications for bipolar disorder and sociopathic behaviors.” Samantha whined clearly not happy we were all ignoring her.
“Piff, I can handle myself. Besides, all you girls do is gossip. I’d probably have to check the weather myself if one of you said good day,” I said ignoring the frown Sam was wearing.
“Don’t say I didn’t tell you,” Sam warned as she stuck out her tongue and returned her attention to her phone.
Girls. I thought rolling my eyes.
The whole class erupted in murmurs as the last bell for class went. I groaned, realizing I still had to follow up with this tutor.
“Sorry Bro, but it has to be done,” Jasper said, patting my shoulder reassuringly. I hate when he does that. I am not some girl.
“Whatever,” I said brushing Jasper’s hand away. History wasn’t too far from my last class. A few turns and I’ll be there in no time.
“Nice of you to join us, Travis,” Miss Smith said, adjusting her glasses as I walked in.
“Us?” I asked, raising my brow in confusion. The class was empty. Okay wait, there some dark-haired boy seated at the far back of the class who’s probably Alex. I noticed his hoodie was a little too big for him. He had his head bent over a book probably some novel.
“Alexander,” Miss Smith called as the dark haired boy raised his gaze to me. I froze, I hadn’t seen anyone with eyes like that. Alexander’s eyes were like deep puddles of chocolate. They held a hint of boredom but I wondered what they looked like smiling... gasping... Okay, PG thoughts Travis, PG thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, I am not, I repeat, I am not gay.
“Travis, this is Alexander. Alexander, Travis,” Miss Smith introduced us briefly delivering me from my thoughts.
“I’ll leave you two to it,” Miss Smith said, exiting the classroom with her handbag slung over her shoulder.
“So,” I started, trying to start a conversation. Thanks a lot, sure leave me here with some mentally ill psycho. Okay, I would never admit it out loud, but Samantha’s warning was nudging at me. Alexander just stared at me briefly before retrieving a pair of geeky glasses from the table in front of him. I watched as Alexander carefully wiped them clean with his sleeves before putting them on.
“Are you just going to stand there?” Alexander asked me while retrieving a few notes from his bag propped on the floor. I raised a brow. Alexander didn’t sound like a wimp at all, in fact, his voice held some unknown elegance and grace to it.
“Well?” Alexander asked frowning at me now. I realized I was still at the door. I shrugged and made my way to the seat beside him. I moved my seat to the side so I was directly facing him.
“If you don’t mind I always take a couple of tests before I start tutoring to know how I might approach the tutee,” Alexander said, holding a clipboard to his chest.
“Sure.” I shrugged. Better to get over with it in the first sitting I guess.
“What is your name?” Alexander asked.
Wait am I deaf? What kind of stupid question is that? I don’t know what he’s thinking, but I’m clearly not going to answer that.
“Just answer it,” he blurted, head still bent over clipboard when he realized I clearly wasn’t going to.
“Travis,” I said nonchalantly.
“Wrong. Doesn’t know his name,” Alexander mouthed as he scribbled on his clipboard. Wait did I hear what I just heard? My name is Travis! What else could it be?! Is he intentionally trying to pick a fight?
“What? My name’s Travis,” I said, annoyance sipping into my tone. Okay, maybe he didn’t hear me right.
“No, it’s Travis James Witham,” Alexander countered earning an eye roll from me. He can’t be serious, right? Alex winked briefly at me. Wait he winked at me? Somehow this was making my insides act all funny. I looked up at him trying to attempt a glare that suppressed shamefully as I stared at Alexander’s right eye; observing the beauty mark just above it. Wait, is that normal for guys?
“Fag.” I managed to blurt out, blushing at my thoughts.
“Fag in what sense? The end of a cigarette, a bundle of sticks, a message boy in a British boarding school or that immature slang used by bigots?” Alexander asked, half of which I clearly couldn’t comprehend.
“Impaired use of words,” Alexander finally mouthed after the brief silence before he scribbled on his clipboard some more. Okay, that’s the last straw. I though frowning. I didn’t sign up for this. I didn’t sign up for this at all! because Miss Smith arranged for this didn’t give the twat in front of me the right to insult me. Come on, he’s wounding my pride here!
“Fucker.” I stupidly countered. Yes, I will admit that was stupid.
“Last time I checked that wasn’t a word,” Alex said, tilting his head to the side, a smirk taking form on his lips. Okay, this kid is too cocky. Now, if I could just punch him in the face.
“Limited vocabulary,” Alex murmured as he scribbled away. I rolled my eyes. Alex is going to be a pain in the butt alright. This twat is feeling way too smart with himself.
“Nerd Alert,” I said.
Okay, whatever my reactions are, I blame the fact that I didn’t expect Alex to look up at me with an amused smirk. It was superficially beautiful. Don’t judge me, it was. Why is it now I’m suddenly remembering Samantha’s words? Were crazy people meant to be attractive? I thought, fully aware I was sinking into Alex’s puddles of chocolate he called eyes.
Alex suddenly bent over his clipboard.
Come on, I was enjoying the view. I whined in my head. Yes whined, Jasper’s rubbing off on me.
“Lousy comebacks...” Alexander mouthed as he scribbled away.
Okay. I didn’t see that coming.