Chapter Twenty: Big Enough to Make National Headlines

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 Chapter Twenty: Big Enough to Make National Headlines

      “Thanks, Dr. G.,” I bid, hitching my backpack over my shoulder as I attempted to leave the room. Preston was texting away at the desk beside mine and Dr. G. was at the front of the room, flipping through some papers.

      “Of course, Ms. Ross,” the aging man said, shooting a warm smile my way. “You’ve been working on your writing, I assume?”

      “Lately I’ve actually been in more of a drawing mood,” I admitted sheepishly.

      Dr. G. was my English teacher, and somehow between in-class assignments, homework, and the endless amount of papers that I had written for the class, he had discovered that I liked to write, and was good at it. He had seen me jot down things in my notebook, and once interrogated me about it after the lesson, questioning why I had done such a thing in the middle of his class. I explained that when an idea or word or phrase popped into mind, my immediate reaction was to write it down. Being a writer himself, he understood perfectly, and allowed me to continue with my habit throughout the year. As for my drawing, he wasn’t exactly as lenient. I had been caught drawing a few times during his class, and each time I had been at the receiving end of one of his notorious glares. The writing he was okay with, but the drawing…not so much.

      “You’re a creative kid, Olivia, I’d just veer towards literacy rather than art if I were you. It’ll give you more options later in life,” the man advised.

      “I understand that perspective, Dr. G., though writing is a form of art, so I think that I’ll stick with the broader category and not limit myself to one field just yet,” I told him with a fond smile. He grinned back, nodding his head at me in acceptance of what I had said.

      “Yo, Liv,” Preston addressed me, “you in the mood to chill in the gym for lunch today?”

      I was about to respond to my best friend, though my favorite teacher did so before I had the chance. “Preston,” Dr. G. began in that tone of his that possessed a sprinkle of disappointment and a dash of sighing in it, “if you’re going to speak in my classroom—an English room, no less—please stick to at least the basic guidelines of the English language.”

      “Yeah, totally will, Doc,” Preston dismissed the educator.

      “Prest, he doesn’t want you to say ‘yo’ in his room,” I translated with an exhale of air. Preston’s eyes then lit up, as if only now coming to the realization of what our teacher had meant.

      “Got’cha, Dr. G.,” Preston said, lightly taking my hand and quickly leading me out of the room as to not get prosecuted for his “unique” speech patterns any longer. Based on the direction Preston was going, I deducted that we were headed to debatably my least favorite location in the entire school: the gym.

      We had made it a good way down the hallway from our English class, when we heard both of our names being called from behind us. “Preston Kent, Olivia Ross!” We both spun around (Preston more eager than I, for he was basically a hyperactive hummingbird and I wasn’t), only to face that girl from English who we had been partnered with for the long-term project on ethics. She was the competitive one who always wore headbands and was probably just another Elle Ross clone, only worse. And there she was, beckoning our very names. Lucky us.

      “Hi,” Preston called from where we were, not bothering to approach her, for she was already on a mission to reach us with the fast pace she had taken.

      “Have you two even started your parts of the project yet?” she asked, wasting no time getting down to business. It wasn’t going to be a conversation that explored the meaning of life or even the weather. It was purely professional.

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