XI. Meeting the Principal
“Are you ready for the best two years of your life?”
“Two? Don’t you mean four?” I ask.
“Why only two?”
“Because I’m only here for two more years. After that, it will suck.”
I smirk, “Maybe it will be better once you’re gone.”
He frowns and crosses his arms. Without a single word, he turns his head towards the tinted window. “I’ll leave now then,” he sulks.
I scoot closer towards Josh until my arm touches his. “My junior and senior year will be absolutely horrendous without Joshua Greyson,” I exaggerate.
He peeks at me, fighting the smile on his face.
I released a breath, wrapping my hands over my lap while shuffling my body to get comfortable inside the car, disregarding the belt poking up my butt. “I’m going to sulk for two whole years in my dorm room, in a dark corner, I may add until I enter college.”
He smiles, turning his body to the front. “That’s better,” he said, resting an arm over my shoulder. “It better be the damn worst two years,” he mutters.
I shake my head but stumbles forward when I realize we were coming to a stop. “Where are we?” I ask, feeling butterflies scattering throughout my intestines.
Josh opened the door while I quickly mentally debated whether to tell the driver to drive me back to California. “The dorms,” he said. I jumped out beside him, unable to handle the anxiety rushing through my fibers as I clung to his shirt.
Tilting my head downward, all I see is our dirty shoes and dirt. Inhaling a deep breath, I look up, unable to hold my mouth closed. The dorms were precisely what I had researched online - definitely different from all other dorms — the front door, made of glass, wide open for us to criss-cross inside without a card scanner.
I allow my eyes to absorb the myriad of hues stocked on the mantel above the fireplace, all pearl but made unique by their variance in minerals. It was not a dormitory but a high class five star hotel - then again, the majority of the students here come from wealthy families.
I lean towards Josh, unable to prevent my body from fidgeting due to the incredible build-up of seats. “Why is everyone staring at us? Do I have something in my teeth?” I ran my tongue across it.
“Teeth,” he commands, taking a step in front of me to block others from seeing my embarrassing actions. I turn towards him, showing off every single tooth. Josh leaned forward, checking it out, “No, you’re good. A bit yellow, but good.”
I smack his arms. “This is normal people’s teeth. Yours is too white.”
He smiles, “I’m just joking...maybe,” he mumbles while I glare viciously at him. Josh clears his throat. “They probably aren’t used to seeing new students so early in the dorms since they are all gathering in the auditorium by now.”
I nod, tilting my head when a lightbulb seems to click. “Oh...wait... shouldn’t I be in there then?”
He shrugs, “Yeah, you should.”
Covering my mouth, I take a step back only to arch against the car. “Oh my gosh! When does it start?”
Josh pulls out his phone and clicks it on while his lips thin. “Ummm, three...maybe four hours ago.”
My eyes widened, “You knew about this, but you didn’t tell me?”
“It was in the packet for freshmen!” he defends himself.
"What packet for freshmen?”
“The one you got yesterday when they did the school orientation so you can choose your class,” he said in a taunting tone, almost as if screaming at me for not knowing such valuable information.
I grab his arms and shake him. “I wasn’t here yesterday!”
“Because you took me out for a fun night in town saying that we don’t need to be at school until today because yesterday is irrelevant!”
He chuckles, very lazily causing his eyes to scrunch cutely. “Oh yeah, I did say that.”
“Josh!” I scream.
He places two hands in the air. “Calm down... I’ll fix this.”
A buzzing sound roars through the school, pinching everyone’s ears. “Hailey Vaughn to the principal office, please. I repeat, Hailey Vaughn, if you are still present to the principal office, please...Hailey Vaughn.”
My eyes slowly drilled towards Josh, who gave a smug smile. “At least we had fun yesterday.”
With my head hung low, Josh escorts me to the principal office. “If I get kicked out of school. I’ll kill you.”
“Why kill me? Why not just force me to take care of your-” he leans back. “expelled ass,” he mumbles, staring at my butt.
I brutally punch him. “Because I won’t have the pleasure of choking you with my bare hands!”
He smiles, “Hailey Vaughn, I didn’t know you were into that kind of kinky shit.”
After a few moments of me almost potentially strangling Josh, we reached the principal office. We greeted the secretary, who gave me a look of disapproval once I told her my name. She called Mr.Davenson and informed him of my presence.
We stepped into an elevator where Josh kept poking me while I struggled to ignore him. Puffing a deep breath, I held it in when he ran his fingers down my tickle spots. “Talk to me. Joshie Pooh doesn’t like it when his Hay Bug gets mad at him,” he pouted.
I shot him another vicious glare and slapped his fingers away. He sighs, hanging his head down low, tilting it on top of mine. “It’s because you haven’t visited me the whole year-” he poured out his lower lips, not ashamed of the full-on guilt he was throwing me, “and I miss hanging out with you...Hay Bug,” his large ocean eyes blinked a few times.
I groan, “Stop looking at me like that! Ugh!”
He smiled and wiggled his brows. “I knew you couldn’t resist me.”
The elevator opened directly into a private office. A vast room occupied the building corner with floor-to-ceiling windows giving views in two directions: one the grand bridge and the other forest. The two remaining walls contained a door, a low bookshelf, framed prestigious degrees, and a few photos of the student’s body. His desk’s black glass surface was uncluttered: a computer, documents, and a framed photograph.
My eyes cast towards Mr.Davenson, and the world seems to be placed at a stop. Even at his old age, he had the kind of face that stopped you in your tracks with his wondrous green eyes and dark hair that washes over it.
Josh nudged on my side, causing me to stumble and snapped me out of my trance. “W-What?”
He puffs out a breath through his nostrils. “Let’s go,” he grumbles.
Once we step inside the room, Mr.Davenson stops writing and places his pen down. He stands up, eyes scanning every aspect of my body, making my cheeks heat up. “Mister Greyson, I believe I didn’t call you.”
He scratches his head. “Umm, it’s my fault that Hailey wasn’t here for orientation or the morning ceremony.”
Mr.Davenson leans back and crosses his arms. “I understand that Hailey doesn’t know about our strict policy, but you should understand that I hold no tolerance for skipping or tardiness,” his tone is deep, holding no place for excuses.
Josh steps up and covers me partially while I gaze at the ground. “Apologies, Mr.Davenson.”
Mr.Davenson chuckles and shakes his head. “You’re just like your father,” he sighs, then goes back to his desk. “This will be your first and last warning Miss Vaughn,” he said, and I nod. “Go get your uniform and schedule.”
We nod eagerly and step back inside the elevator. “You okay?” Josh asks.
I puff my cheeks. “He is a scary man.”
He inhales a deep breath. “That...he is.”
We went back into the office, where the secretary had a stack of papers ready for me. “Here is the school map, extracurricular activities, school rules and regulations, two personalized uniforms, physical education uniform, dormitory key fob, a pamphlet on what the dorms offer, student ID, and last but not least your room access key,” she said, and I saw stars momentarily. “You will have your late orientation tomorrow with all the other students who were late. During that time, you will also get your class schedule.”
I smile, “Thank you.”
She puffed out a breath of air. “Kids,” she mumbles. “Always feel like the world revolves around them.”
My brows narrow, “I don’t feel like that.” I point out then tilt my finger towards Josh. “He does, though.”
Josh rests his phone down. “Yeah, the world does revolve around me,” he admits with a lopsided grin.
The secretary releases another sigh and shakes her head. “If this job doesn’t pay so well,” she mumbles, resuming the paper works.
Stepping out of the main building, which looks like a castle, Josh takes me back to the dorms. I jump out of the car with my purse and a handful of paperwork after Josh. Instantly, he hops back into the car, but I pull him back. “Where are you going? Aren’t you going to show me my room?”
“Nope. I’ll see you later,” he slams the door shut.
Standing there, I watch as the car rolls away. “I hate you,” I whispered and turned my shoes towards the dormitory.
With each step into the building, my breath became shorter and much more shallow as I saw the students.“What is a freshman doing here?”