Chapter 19

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Chapter 19

I walk into English class, last period of the day, on Monday afternoon. The bell hasn't rung yet so everyone is chattering amongst themselves, some way louder than others. I spot my friend Katie sitting at her desk in the back and I'm about to go over to talk to her when I hear my English teacher say, "Nora, can I speak to you for a second, please?"

I turn around and face my English teacher, Ms. Morello, who's sitting at her desk with a stern expression on her face.

Uh oh.

"Yes?" I say.

"Actually, I would like to talk to you outside," she requests, her voice eerily calm.

"Ok," I agree.

I follow her outside the classroom and we both step out into the hallway. Jonah Peters and a few of his friends who are in the same period pass by us, Jonah giving me a "you're totally fucked" look before going in the classroom.

The bell rings and the hallway is suddenly silent, teachers closing their doors.

"I need to speak with you about your grade," Ms. Morello says stiffly.

I don't respond. What's wrong with my grade? Last time I checked I had a B plus.

"Do you know what your grade is right now in my class, Miss O'Donnell?" She asks me.

I shake my head. I hate that she called me Miss O'Donnell instead of my actual name, Nora.

"You are failing my class. You have a fifty two percent at the moment," she says grimly.

I still don't reply and just stare down at the ground. What was there to say? I guess I'm not that shocked. I probably failed the last test because I didn't study for it, and I can't exactly remember the last time I did my English homework either.

"Do you know what you're going to do about that?" She asks me, sounding irritated at my unresponsiveness.

"I don't know," I say flatly.

"I know what you should do," she says, "why don't you actually do the work that I assign you and study for your tests?"

I can tell that she's angry at me now so I say, "Ok, I'll do that."

"Good, now go back inside and sit at your desk," she says authoritatively.

She opens the door for me and I walk back inside and go to sit at my desk. Katie looks over at me from where she's sitting and gives me a little smile. I smile back at her, and for once I'm actually not pretending that everything's fine. Because it is. So what if I'm failing English right now? There's still like, six weeks left in the third quarter. For once, I'm proud of myself for not caring. I see Jonah and a few of his friends look over at me and they all say, "Ooh, Nora got in trouble." A group of girls sitting behind them giggle as well. Instead of feeling embarrassed and ashamed of myself, I just laugh along with them. Cause when it's all said and done, I really don't give a fuck.

When class is over, I rush out of the school building, pushing through the crowds of students, until I step outside of the main building and breathe in the fresh air. Even though its only February, it already feels like spring. The wind is absent and instead there's only a very light breeze that occasionally disrupts the warm climate. That's when I see him, waiting in his usual spot. I walk over to him and he gives me a hug.

"Hey, Daniel," I say into his shoulder.

He laughs and I can feel his chest vibrate against mine.

"Ready to go?" I murmur into him.

For the past few weeks, Daniel's been giving a ride home in his car. But most of the time he doesn't drop me off at home right away and instead we hang out either in the parking lot of the shopping center or we go to the beach. Sometimes he doesn't even drop me off until around six or seven o' clock. That's how much fun we've been having together lately, and it's a million times better than being by myself or with anybody else.

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