SILENCE

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CHAPTER FOUR: RAW ANNOYANCE

Going off quicker than I thought it would my alarm sounds through my headphones stalling my music.

“Ugh, I've got five minutes to get to tutorial.” Sighing, I switch off my alarm, looking up at the sky... looks like rain. Sigh.

"Today truly is going to be interesting." As the final bell for tutorial rings, I begin making my way from the roof. By now, everyone's in their respective classes so weird looks are at a minimum, my footsteps sounding along the near empty halls. As I approach my classroom my body slows down and I stare at the door. Another day in paradise, right gran? With my headphones still on I push up the door and enter. The shocked looks on their faces are enough, and the gasps are blocked out by my headphones. I smile inwardly as he looks towards me, and by god that man’s eyes shouldn’t be on a teacher. Especially not him. Shallowing nervously, I step further into the room. He looks equally as shocked as my classmates but he quickly recovers and moves towards me. Removing my headphones, he smiles down at me and I've got to admit, he is, in fact, a very good-looking guy, but let’s try to keep it PG. Won't be surprised if all the girls have already set their eyes on him.

"Welcome back Ms. Winters." I see the other students have been talking about me because I know he would've thought my name belonged to a guy.

"Just Atlas,Sensei," I bowed slightly. "Please forgive me for being absent on your first week, I had things to attend to." He looks me over and then smiles again before patting my head, returning my headphones.

Well since you've apologized, I'll forgive you." With that, I bow again, making my way to my seat at the back of the classroom as everyone's eyes stalk me. This... This is very uncomfortable. I straighten my back and composed myself. I really hate this. I feel my feet stagger as I reach my seat and I quickly sit down before my knees give out from beneath me. You really are a coward Atlas. Looking up from the tight knot my fingers had formed at my side, I see him smiling at me. My tension subsides a little and I look away, placing my backpack on my hook and my headphones in my desk.

"Well then, it seems like my class is finally a full house. I feel like a real teacher now." He beams to the class, the smile on his face annoying me slightly. How does one smile so carefree?

"Don't get your hopes up, sir. Her name isn't S squared for nothing you know." He looks at me as though he’s expecting me to react, but I'm pretty used to them talking about me like I wasn't there. Putting my hands in my pocket I simply sat back in my seat and stare out the window. Somehow, we got through his tutorial and the first two sessions of science before the bell for break sent the class into a frenzy as everyone went about their business. Packing my books away, I take out my headphones and get up to leave walking straight into... a brick wall?

Staggering backwards I rub my forehead, looking up...

"Sensei?" Looking up I meet his eyes which seem to stare through me. This man really annoys me, and I can't help but scowl at him.

"Is that how you look at your elders?" his eyes seemed to smile as his brows arch, "please follow me Ms. Winters."

"I told you to call me Atlas. I'm not a Miss."

"Apologies Ms. Winters." Before I could protest again, he takes my hand, dragging me out of the classroom towards the shared teachers' office.

"Fairchild Sensei... what're you doing?" My voice almost a whisper as we walk through semi packed hallway, stray eyes following our every step. So uncomfortable. Ugh, I hate this man.

"We're almost there. Bear with it, Atlas." Oh... he said my name. He sounds angry for some reason despite the control in his tone. Pushing open the door he steps in still holding my hand before making his way to the desk in the corner near the window, the motor bike boots beneath it indicating it was his personal desk.

"Can you please let go of my hand Sensei." He turns to face me, his brows frowned. Is he... angry?

"Why didn't you attend lessons last week?"

"I had things to attend to." He sits down, removing a cigarette from the box on his table.

"Something more important than your education?" I stare at him without replying,

"How did you do the assignment if you weren't in the lesson?" He asked as he rummaged through the papers on his desk before dropping one near me,

"Can you explain how you got this mark while missing the lesson and the entire week?” I stare at the essay and then back at him.

"Which of those questions would you like me to answer first?" It was his turn to stare and I had to fight the smirk wanting to creep out.

"Why didn't you say anything after what that student said?" Is that why he's annoyed?

"Is that what you really wanted to know?" He pauses as he’s about to light the cigarette, turning to stare at me again.

"What makes you think that's what I really wanted to ask?" I take the unlit cigarette from his hand, placing it back in the box and I could feel his eyes still on me.

"Teachers aren't supposed to smoke in here or in front of a student," I looked at him again, "and I felt like you were mad at me."

"Why would you think I was mad?" His eyes study me. This man really is annoying.

"Your eyes." He continues to stare at me as though waiting for more, but I remain silent.

"So, why didn't you say anything?"

"Because there was no need. I’m used to them talking about me."

"What about last week?" His brow arches and I sigh in annoyance.

"I can't promise it won't happen again, but I do apologize."

"Does that mean you'll be missing more lessons in the future?"

"Yes."

"Are you going to tell me what you do when you skip?"

"I never skip school, Sensei. All my absences are authorized."

"Well, are you?" he continues to stare at me, "Going to tell me why that is."

"I can't. It's family matters." He studies me before sighing, pinching his nose.

"Fine. At least tell me how you were able to do the homework?"

"I asked Mr. Wilson. Since he's the head of the science department I figured he'd be able to get me a copy."

"And the terms and theories you used? You weren't in the lesson so how...?"

"I read a lot Sensei." After a moment he smiles, seemingly defeated.

"Alright Atlas, you win."

"Win?" I frown at his statement and he chuckles.

"Just promise me that whenever you know you'll have to miss lessons again you must come to me and I'll gather notes as well as the homework and assignments you miss." I stared at him in disbelief. Is he being real right now? This man really is annoying.

"Huh?"

"I said..."

"I heard what you said but... why, did you say it?"

"I am not only your science teacher Atlas. I'm also your tutor so I've got double the responsibility when it comes to you." He stands and places his hand on my head while bending down to my eye level. This man is seriously annoying.

"So, do we have a deal?" I mean it's not like you'll allow me to say no you sly bastard.

"Sure, but Sensei," I swat his hand off my head, "please don't patronize me. I despise being treated like a child more than anything."

"My bad." He smiles putting his hand into his pocket.

"Well then, if that's all." I bowed and turned to leave.

"One more thing. Everyone says you barely talk, so why do you say so much to me?" I turn, staring him dead in the eyes.

"Because I find you annoying," he has the audacity to look hurt, "I figured you seemed persistent so I thought for my life to be easier I should answer your questions."

"You haven't answered all of them though."

"That's because I don't know how to?"

"How to?

"I'm not very good with words so I decide to remain silent when I can't decide which route I should take."

"Thank you for finding me annoying then," he smiles at me again, "If being annoying means you talk to me then I'll continue to annoy you, Atlas." He smiles warmly at me and I roll my eyes. Every nerve in my being simultaneously snapping. I hate bubbly people.

"You are very different from everyone here, Sensei."

"How so?"

"Everyone else is simple. They don't talk to me or try to. You on the other hand, you’re very annoying." With that I make my way towards the door.

"And you're very cute Atlas." I freeze as he says that, my hand on the door. I hope no one else heard that. Turning, I’m geeeted with his bemused grin. This idiot. Sighing, I look away.

"Please refrain from smoking in here or in front of the students in the future, Sensei." I practically ran out of the office and head to the roof. I've got 20 minutes left and I intend to find peace. Especially from him.

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