Chapter 32: Extending a Helping Hand
“I don’t understand anything that’s happening.” Principal Hughes mumbled as he looked down at his table.
“What is there to understand, sir?” Sarah sighed. “I am just trying to get a second chance to get my grades up.” She shrugged.
“But why is Penny here?” Principal Hughes frowned, staring right at me. My eyes widened for a split second but I covered up my panic with a bright smile.
“Moral support.” I chirped.
And to make sure that if any drama occurs, I have the front seat for it…
“Sir, I really need to get my grades up and I am ready to work hard for it.” Sarah gulped.
“She’ll work hard and I will make sure that she does.” Cassie promised. Principal Hughes sighed and closed his eyes for a few seconds.
“Miss Cooper, I can talk to your teachers and ask them to arrange some kind of assessment. But they won’t repeat anything that they have taught. You will have to study everything on your own.” Principal Hughes responded.
He glanced at me to see my reaction but I just smiled at him.
I might not like Sarah that much because of what I have heard about her and also seen, but this was about something bigger than high school.
High school is just for four years. And most probably, we won’t even remember much of it when we leave in a few months.
I for one won’t remember all the schools I’ve been to… And caused trouble in…
“I will sir! Thank you!” Sarah exclaimed with a huge smile on her face. She looked like she wanted to jump up and down in excitement.
“But, judging by your previous records, I can’t really trust you to be able to study everything on your own. You will need someone to tutor you and if possible, give me the feedback every week.” Principal Hughes said with a serious look on his face.
“But won’t the tests show whether she’s studying or not?” Cassie frowned.
“If I ask the teachers to put their efforts into making a test for you, I need some kind of reassurance that all that effort won’t go to waste.” Principal Hughes shrugged.
“But who will tutor me? Everyone’s busy with their own work since only a few months are left before we leave high school .” Sarah panicked.
“You will have to find someone to help you, Miss Cooper.” Principal Hughes sighed. “That’s my condition.” He added.
“I’ll tutor her. I can tutor her over video calls.” Cassie offered.
“That’s so nice of you Cass. But won’t it be a problem since you are already very busy with your own studies?” Sarah sighed sadly.
“I’ll manage, Sarah.” Cassie reassured her. “This is about your future. It’s important.” She smiled.
“How will you give me the feedback, Miss Cooper?” Principal Hughes asked Cassie.
“I’ll call.” She shrugged.
“Cass, you tutoring her isn’t a viable option!” I butted in. “I know that you want to help your cousin but it is going to be so hard! It’s almost impossible!” I argued.
“But what other option do we have?” Cassie asked.
“Well, Penny could tutor her.” Principal Hughes suggested. I turned to glare at him. “Your grades are pretty good, Penny. You can help your friend out.” He shrugged innocently.
The glare that I was sending the principal should have made him get a heart attack but I guess he was used to it as my uncle.
This is the first time that I am saying this but I wish he wasn’t my uncle!
“Penny, please help me out! I really need your help!” Sarah begged. I gulped as I looked at her.
“Penny, help her. For me?” Cassie added with a puppy-dog expression.
Damn! What do I do now?
I was all in to help Sarah but I didn’t want to make my friends hate me. Sarah might not have done anything bad to me but she was my friends’ enemy.
This is a real dilemma…
I finally had friends that I wanted to be around for as long as possible. I couldn’t jeopardize such a good friendship just for someone who might change…
Why did Uncle K have to suggest that? They weren’t even thinking about me before that!
“Penny, I’ll keep this a secret. None of your friends will ever find out. But please help me!” Sarah whispered to me. I gulped at her sincere tone.
Why did this girl change now? Couldn’t she remain the cold hearted boyfriend-stealing girl I knew her as?
“So? Will you help her, Penny?” Principal Hughes asked. I could see the amusement shining in his eyes.
I’ve never felt such a strong urge to strangle someone before today!
He’s your uncle, Penny. Relax.
He’s practically your father. You can’t murder him.
Breathe in and breathe out. Calm down…
“I-I’ll help y-you?” I gulped as my voice came out a little strained. I took a deep breath, calming myself down. “I’ll tutor you.” I sighed.
“Thank you, Penny!” Sarah squealed, wrapping her arms around me in a hug. I awkwardly patted her back, not knowing what to do.
Principal Hughes snorted, covering it up by coughing a little.
I wish I had lasers in my eyes so that I could have killed him with them!
Breathe, Penny… The prison uniform won’t look good on you! Relax…
“Very well then. I will be seeing you every Monday in my office for feedback. You should get back to your class now.” Principal Hughes said, looking straight at me.
I’ll make the prison stripes work somehow! Can I just kill him now?
“Absolutely, sir.” I said through my gritted teeth. “Thank you very much.” I smiled at him sweetly, silently telling him about the tantrum I’ll throw when we get home.
“Thank you, sir!” Sarah beamed. She looped her arm through mine as she started walking out.
I can’t take this any longer!
“Sarah, why don’t you go? I have to talk to Principal Hughes about something.” I smiled at her. She smiled back nodding before she skipped out of the office.
Cassie smirked, controlling her laughter as she looked between me and Principal Hughes. She saluted him before following after her cousin.
As soon as the door closed behind Cassie, I turned to Principal Hughes with the deadliest expression I could muster.
“What?” He asked, no longer being able to hide his amused smile.
“Why the hell would you do something like that to your own freaking niece?” I hissed. He chuckled, walking around his table.
“Sarah might not be the greatest choice as a friend but she’ll keep you away from Damien.” He shrugged when he came to stand right in front of me.
“Oh my goodness! When will you give that up?” I exclaimed, throwing my hands up in the air.
“When you are far away from him.” He replied without missing a beat.
“For heaven’s sake, I am going out with Ethan now! Damien’s just a friend! And tutoring Sarah won’t change that! He’d still be my friend!” I yelled back, not being able to control myself.
Principal Hughes froze at my words, making me frown slightly. Then I realised what I just said and my eyes grew wide in horror.
“You are dating Ethan? That boy on the baseball team?” He demanded angrily. I rolled my eyes at that.
“He’s the captain, Uncle K.” I sighed.
He wasn’t the principal now. He was turning into a father now. And I knew how angry he was.
“Why, Penny? I thought that you hated him. You even pulled a prank on him!” He exclaimed.
“There was a little miscommunication.” I answered.
“Why do you have to just hang around the troublemakers?” He boomed. I sighed, shaking my head.
“He’s a really nice guy!” I defended Ethan.
“Then why didn’t he ask me for my permission first?” He hissed. I narrowed my eyes on him.
“That’s because I cannot afford telling anyone that you are my uncle!” I replied.
“You are not going to talk to him ever again, Penelope!” Uncle K ordered.
“I will agree to that when you tell Aunt Athena who broke her favorite vase.” I shrugged. He froze at my words. “You see, being your niece means that I know how to blackmail you.” I smirked.
“How do you know about the vase?” He asked in a whisper as if he was afraid that Aunt Athena would hear him if he spoke any louder.
“I saw you breaking that vase.” I whispered back. “And I recorded it by mistake.” I added with a smirk. His eyes grew wide at that.
I was just testing another way to hide a camera and record a video for the next time I decide to pull a prank on someone. But I ended up recording Uncle K when he broke Aunt Athena’s vase.
When he lied about it the next day, I decided to keep the video to blackmail him whenever needed.
“Penny…” He trailed off as he stared at me.
“Just so you know, some people wanted to pull pranks on you and I stopped them.” I said, remembering Ethan’s words. “I won’t be stopping them anymore. I might just help them too.” I shrugged before leaving his office.
Me: We’re back!
Penny: And if it all works out, we’ll be back again in less than 24 hours!
Mason: Shocking, isn’t it?
Jason: Well, if the author manages to write another chapter today, she’ll be updating again!
Me: If not, then I’ll update tomorrow.
Xander: But this is only for Inkitt readers.
Damien: From the next update, Inkitt will be two chapters ahead for this month!
Me: I will try my best to finish the story during this month or before the 15th of September to avoid the paradox of having to continue the story way beyond the date I started the first story last year...
Mason: Works for us!
Jason: The sooner you finish this story, the sooner you’ll start with ours!
Me: Uhh... I’m not really sure...
Mason and Jason: What?!
Xander: *chuckles* Losers!
Me: I’m not sure about anything writing related at the moment. But if you guys like my writing style and want to read any specific genre, do tell me about it!
Mason: *puts on a fake mustache and wears sunglasses to cover his eyes* *in a deep voice* I am your biggest fan and I want you to write a story for that amazing boy, Mason!
Me: Mace, you do know that since you have blonde hair, your mustache would have to be blonde too, right?
Mason: I coloured it?
Jason: *rolling his eyes* Idiot!
Me: Anyways, thanks for reading!
Penny: Hopefully, we’ll see you all soon!
Jason: Until then, stay safe!
Me and Mason: And eat cake!
Curtains close as the characters start rehearsing for the next chapter while the author gets back to work...