Always The Last To Know
“How did your parents take the news?” I ask Kate as she, Bridget and I set up our chairs along the sidelines of Miller’s field. It was the last Crushers’ game before the semi finals, which meant that the Crushers had to win this game to stay in the competition. The boys were pumped as they headed out onto the field to play against the Maitland Magpies.
Sam wanted so badly to end the season on a high because it would be the last that he would get to play for the Crushers so he was rallying the team, getting them hyped up in the hopes of a win.
“Well Dad did that thing where he sticks his head in the paper and pretends he’s tuning us out but Mum flipped out, she was ranting on about how irresponsible Alex and I were and how we know nothing about having a baby but she shut up so fast when I reminded her that I pretty much raised Logan after she had Kyle”
It was true, Kate’s brothers, Logan and Kyle were only 15 months apart and Tyler was 4 years older than Logan that along with the fact that Elijah was due to arrive within the next few months their house could get pretty hectic at times which meant that Kate’s parents relied heavily on her to help out with a lot of baby-sitting and making sure the older children were looked after if her parents were busy with the younger ones.
“I guess we will start calling you a breeder now” Bridget laughs, earning her a fierce look of ‘don’t even think about it’ from Kate.
“How did it happen?” I knew Kate, she was always very careful to not slip up, her Mother had put her on birth control before she’d even had her first kiss and she carried a variety of condoms everywhere with her.
“It was the night of your 18th party, we were both really drunk and really careless” She admits sheepishly.
“But you’re on the pill” I state
“I ran out and I was a week late getting my new prescription” She lowers her head down in shame, she’s had enough people berating her about her mistake, she doesn’t need me joining in too.
“You’ll make an amazing Mum Kate, you’ve already got years of practice under your belt and I just know you’ll be the best Mum” I encourage her and she looks up at me and smiles.
“Life would be so much easier if I was a lesbian, seriously, all the sex I wanted without ever having to worry about getting pregnant” She laughs.
“Seriously!” Bridget interjects, grabbing our attention, “You think my life is easy? My Mother destroyed my relationship and now my girlfriend lives 5 hours away. Do you have any idea how hard it is to have a relationship with someone when all you can do is send them emails and wait days for a reply” She huffs, frustrated by her own situation. The past couple of weeks hadn’t been easy on Bridget at all, she was checking her inbox daily but Amber’s replies were growing more distant.
I look out onto the field where the game is now in play, watching Sam run down the length of the oval with the ball, skilfully dodging his competitors and then he passes it off to Alex who makes the kick that goes flying past the goalie and hits the back of the net.
Our issues seem pretty insignificant compared to those that Kate and Bridget are going through really. When I was with Lucas I felt like I was always coming to Kate in tears, crying over the fact that he’d let me down yet again and she’d give me a shoulder to cry on and some great advice that I’d stupidly never take because he’d convince me that he’s love me and that he would do better next time...he never changed though.
“What did you do yesterday?” Kate asks me, trying to lift both herself and Bridget out of their funks by bringing the conversation back to a happier topic.
“I worked and then Sam and I went to the markets at school” I tell her, smiling to myself just thinking about what we got up to on Mr Waltons desk yesterday.
“Tell me you saw someone we know come into the clinic, like Kristen or Petra” Kate squeals, from the moment I told her I’d be working every Saturday morning at the clinic she’s been on me, making up hypothetical illnesses for all the people she despises. Never get on Kate’s bad side or she will wish rabbies on you.
I considered for a spilt second telling her about Lucas coming in to see the psychologist but then thought better of it, Kelsey had told me that all patients visiting the clinic must be kept confidential or I could lose my job. Plus I didn’t think it would be right to make fun of someone who was seeking help, even if that person was my cheating ex boyfriend.
“No one we know came in, it was all just a bunch of oldies looking to get their monthly check ups” I lie, hoping she lets the subject go, luckily the crowd around us starts cheering to indicate that the Crushers have scored another goal for the match, putting them in the lead, 2-0.
The ref blows his whistle for the end of the first half and the boys all make their way over to the coach to grab orange quarters and gatorades. Sam and Alex use their time off the field to come sit with us. I let Sam have my seat and he pulls me down on to him lap, he’s hot with sweat dripping off of him but I still snuggle up to him, wrapping my arms around his neck and kissing him sweetly.
“You looked pretty sexy out there baby” I tell him, running my fingers through his hair that’s getting longer but I’m hoping he doesn’t cut it too soon, I love how cute he looks when it falls on his face.
“Are you saying I didn’t look sexy? I see how it is, playing favourites” Alex jokes, wrapping his arms around Kate and resting his head on her shoulder. “Do you think I look sexy baby momma?”
“Always” Kate coos, spinning around and kissing her man. I admire them both, an unplanned pregnancy could have easily spilt them up but if it seems to have brought them closer, if anything.
“Did you guys hear that someone had sex on Warden’s desk?” Kate was buzzing, at lunch on Monday, with the news that a condom wrapper had been found in the history room and Mr Warden was fuming. There had been many guys in my year claiming credit of screwing on Warden’s desk, trying to gain the glory and respect of their peers but only Sam and I knew the truth and neither of us were telling a soul about what we did. We didn’t need the recognition that would be forgotten by the end of the week, we had the memories that would last a lifetime.
“Warden is just pissed off that he wasn’t the one fucking someone over this time” Sam laughs, referring to the grade he was given by Mr Warden in year 10 History.
“Was there even any proof that people had sex on the desk?” Bridget asks, rumours like these fly around so often, usually made up by students wanting to improve their social status so it’s no surprise that she’s doubtful that the actual event too place, I too would doubt it and think the wrapper had just been put there to get a rise out of Warden if I didn’t know the truth.
“I have roll call in that room, I can confirm that there was a used condom in the bin” Alex says with a giant smile crossing his face.
“If it was there before you went in for roll call then that means it most likely happened on Saturday...” Bridget starts piecing the puzzle together. “You two were here on Saturday, for market day” she points to Sam and I who both hold guilty looks on our faces, unable to meet the stares our friends are throwing our way.
“I have to go, I’ve got History after lunch and if Warden’s already in a bad mood then he will be looking for reasons to go off and I don’t want to be that reason” I get up from the table but Kate manages to pull me back down.
“Oh no you don’t, you’re not going anywhere until you admit what you and loverboy did on the desk and don’t try denying it, I can see it written all over your sex crazed faces, you two did the nasty on the desk and left the wrapper as evidence” Kate’s voice is hushed enough for only us to hear but still I glance around hoping that Petra didn’t catch any of what she said.
“It’s true, it was us” Sam confirms, earning him a high five from Alex, a giggle from Kate and and a look of discomfort from Bridget who makes a hasty exit, not wanting to hear the details of her sister and best friend hooking up on the desk.
“You dirty birdies” Kate laughs, revealing in the discovery. “Your secret is safe with us though.”
“Thanks Kate” Sam says, taking my hand in his. “I kinda want Warden to know it was me but I still want to protect my girl from the ridicule.” For a guy it would be a badge of honour but for a girl, we all knew I’d be labelled a slut and it would be hard to live that down.
“Every guy in our year is taking credit for it so if you did then no one would bat an eyelid, I say stick it to the old fart” Kate says and Alex nods in agreement.
The bell rings, signifying the end of lunch and I jump up from my seat, grab my bag and my binder and start walking towards my History classroom, I didn’t notice Sam walking beside me until I felt his fingers intertwine with my own.
Sam would often walk me to my history class after lunch on a Monday because he had a free period and I secretly suspected he did this because I shared the class with Lucas.
I kissed him on the cheek outside the classroom and went to enter but he pulled me back and wrapped his arms around me snuggly, drawing me in for a deeper kiss, I was so consumed by him that I didn’t hear Mr Warden walk up behind us, he cleared his throat loudly, making us jump apart.
“Miss Kreslin, when you’re done exchanging saliva with Mr Lions here you might like to remember that you have class” I apologise, slinking into the room embarrassed that I’ve been caught and made a fool of in front of the entire class.
Mr warden walks into the room and surprisingly Sam follows him, his face etched with frustration and anger at my teacher.
“Don’t you dare speak to her like that” Sam yells at Warden and the class falls silent. “How dare you embarrass my girlfriend”
Mr Warden is so used to having full authority over his students and he hates being challenged by anyone. He looks at Sam like a bug he needs to squash before the rest of the class get any ideas about taking him on.
“Typical of you athletic students, you think because this school throws money your way for new uniforms and treats you like you walk on water that you own this place while the academic departments get nothing but broken promises year after year. Enjoy it while you can Mr Lions because once you leave here you will be nothing but washed up and wishing you paid more attention to your studies than you did to that pathetic game you worship.”
Sam is seething, he’s one of the most intelligent kids in our year yet Warden was treating him like he was just a brainless jock. Sam looked at me and winked and I knew he was going to use this moment to turn things around and come out winning.
“It’s interesting that you bring up my studies because I’d like to educate your class on historical connection I discovered recently” Sam smirks.
“Well you have the floor, enlighten the class on what historical facts you have” Mr Warden gestures towards the students in the class, I cringe, knowing where this is leading.
“It’s to do with the first fleet and your desk here” Sam says, running his hand along the heavy, wooden desk in the exact spot he left the condom. “They were both covered with British seamen.”
The classroom erupts into loud cheering from the students, I look around the room for Lucas who is smirking at Sam’s joke. For all the shit that Lucas had put me through I still didn’t feel comfortable rubbling my relationship with Sam in his face but the fact that he was amused put me at ease significantly.
“Get out of My classroom right now Mr Lions” Mr Warden bellows, bringing the snickering to a halt, Sam looks at me and blows me a kiss as Warden ushers him out the room, slamming the door loudly.
Warden is pissed, like super pissed, Sam had made a complete laughing stock of a man who hates being humiliated and now the class was going to be punished for laughing at his expense.
“I had a lesson plan all worked out for today, it was going to be like a walk in the park but now I’m thinking that would be going to easy on you all” He smirks smugly at us, knowing he’s now gained back full control of his classroom and we are like putty in his hands. “5000 word essay, on World War II, that will be worth 20% of your grade and will be due it tomorrow.”
Gasps are resounded throughout the class room, 5000 word essay, on top of whatever homework our other teachers set for us will be near impossible to achieve in one night. The girl sitting in front of me, Rachel, meekly raises her hand and waits to be called upon. Mr Warden motions towards her, allowing her to speak up.
“With all due respect sir, I think this task will be impossible to do alone in the timeframe given” Rachel is an astute student, she works hard to stay ahead, always handing her homework in early and never falling below an ‘A’ grade in any of her classes, she’s every teachers dream and would have no problem doing the actual essay but the timeframe is unreasonable. Mr Warden takes on board what she has said and nods in agreement, oh thank God, he’s finally come to his senses and realised he’s acting like one of the dictators he has spent the past two years teaching us about.
“You won’t be working alone Rachel, this will be a group project of 2, with the groups assigned by myself”
Doing the assignment with another person would certainly ease the burden. Mr Warden starts rattling off the names of who will be working together.
“Veronica Kreslin and...” he looks around the room like he’s looking for the perfect victim to torture, I watch him closely as his eyes pass over every student in the classroom until the fall upon the one person I was hoping he wouldn’t notice. “Lucas Stephenson.” He gives me that arrogant smile as if to say ‘challenge me, I dare you’.
How the hell am I meant to explain to Sam that I’ll be hanging out with Lucas this afternoon?
Mr Warden, trying to prove that he’s not a total tyrant, allows us time in class to start our essays, everyone shuffles around their seating until they’re sitting next to who they were assigned, everyone that is except for Lucas and I, we both stay glued to our chairs until Darrin stands at the end of my desk and stares at me until I get up and cross the room, taking the empty desk next to a sullen Lucas.
“Let’s just get this over with” I mutter, more so to myself than to him but I’m sure he’s probably thinking the same thing.
“I have to look after Charlotte until my Mum gets home tonight so if you want, you can come to my place?” He asks casually, like this isn’t going to make the rift between himself and Sam pull further apart. Sam doesn’t ever talk about it but from his actions I sense that he’s insecure about losing me to Lucas, knowing that in the past I would have gone back to Lucas in a heartbeat and no matter how much I convince him that things are different now, deep down inside Sam believes he’ll lose out to Lucas eventually.
“Ah, yeah, alright but I didn’t drive today, I got a lift with....”
“I can drive you home afterwards, it’s not a problem, Mum should be home by 6 anyway so I’ll be free to leave then” A part of me actually missed Lucas’ Mum, she was always so sweet to me, even when I was crying over something her son had done she never defended him to me, she always wrapped her arms around me and tell me I deserved to be treated better and that one day I’d realise that and then Lucas would regret it. Lucas’ Dad on the other hand was an absolute pig of a man, the fact that Lucas would have to look after his 4 year old sister this afternoon, even though his Dad would be home, most likely passed out on the couch after drinking all day, was no surprise to me. “Or I’m sure Sam would probably feel more comfortable if he came and picked you up”
The mention of Sam, picking me up, throws me for a loop, Lucas is actually being considerate and nice.
By the end of class we’ve made a plan of what subject we want our essay to focus on and how to structure it, Lucas and I, surprisingly, work well together, I thought that things between us would be awkward or he’d be trying to make remarks about my relationship or hit on me like he has done every other time we are around each other but he’s being strictly business and it’s refreshing.
Sam was waiting for me after History so we could walk to Maths together. Inside I’m a giant bundle of nerves, trying to figure out how to tell him of my afternoon plans with Lucas, unfortunately Mr Warden spots Sam too and decides to show him, that no matter what, he’s always going to come out on top.
“Mr Lions, maybe next time you mouth off in front of my class you might want to consider the fact that your girlfriend and her ex boyfriend are my students and I hold all the power here” Warden smugly tells Sam before turning to me, “Enjoy your group assignment, with Lucas, Veronica” He pushes past us as a stunned Sam tries to comprehend what Warden said.
“Group assignment with Lucas?”
“Yeah, he didn’t take to kindly to being made a fool of so he’s punishing the whole class with a 5000 word essay that we have to complete by tonight and it has to be done in the group he assigned and of course he put me with Lucas because he’s a dick” The words rush out of my mouth in such a panic while Sam stands there fuming, his eyes move from me to someone behind me and I turn and find a nervous looking Lucas waiting to approach.
“Do you want to meet me at my car after 6th period?” He stammers out, gone are any traces of the cocky Lucas Stephenson I’ve become accustom to.
“Like fuck she will” Sam yells at Lucas. I turn my attention back to Sam and place a hand on his chest, his heart is racing as his breath hitches.
“Sam, calm down, I have no choice here, it’s 20% of our grade so if we don’t do it we will potentially fail” I explain, hoping to get him to see that this is beyond our control. “I’m going to go with Lucas after school, to his house to get this done”
“I’ll be picking you up from there afterwards, text me and I’ll come get you, he’s not taking you home” Sam commands and once again sets his sights on Lucas. “And if you lay one hand on her or make any suggestive remarks then I will beat you to a pulp, you got that you low life piece of shit. She’s MY girlfriend and I will not hesitate to snap you in two if you don’t respect her!”
Lucas nodded timidly and then slinked past us, I look up at Sam who was watching him as he goes, rage pouring from every part of his body before he storms off in the other direction, towards our Maths classroom, leaving me to run behind him.