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A few minutes before the bell rang, Mr. Whitaker called the time for the test. He started collecting them, whether students had finished or not. I couldn't help but think of how polar opposite he was to our last teacher. Once everything had been collected, we started packing up our belongings to get ready to leave.

Mr. Whitaker came to my desk with his hands tucked in his pockets. "So, Hazel, have you given much thought about the meeting today?"

I had completely forgotten. My mind had been a little occupied with my weird ex-boyfriend and trying to do well on this test. Sighing, I tried to think of some lame excuse.

"I don't think I can make it," I told him. "I have a lot of homework. Sorry."

"Don't be sorry." He shrugged. "If you change your mind, we'll be here in my room until three-thirty."

Smiling, I replied, "Okay."

He returned the smile politely and looked over at my eavesdropper of a best friend. "So, how do you feel about the test?"

"Oh," Rachel stalled nervously, "it was a little hard. Not too bad, though."

"What do you think, Hazel?"

"I agree with Rachel. I wasn't really sure what to expect from you, so I had braced for the worst. It wasn't as difficult as I had thought it might be."

"I see," he said, rubbing his hands together. "Am I hard on you guys?"

I wasn't entirely sure how to answer that, but Rachel did. She had an opinion for just about everything. It was one of the reasons I liked her so much.

"Sometimes," she told him. "You just move really fast. Mrs. Exley wasn't like that, so it's just an adjustment we have to make."

"Well, this is an honors class." A grin showed off his white teeth. One of his top teeth was a little crooked. It was a cute crooked, though. If there ever was such a thing. "I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't push you."

"This is also a senior Honors class," Rachel reminded him with lifted eyebrows.

He glanced between us. "Is that supposed to mean something?"

"It means we're lazy," she clarified, making me and him both laugh.

"I remember being a senior. Are you feeling that senioritis yet?"

I chuckled. "I've been feeling that since August."

"How long has it been since you were in high school, Mr. Whitaker?" Rachel asked.

She was so sneaky yet straightforward that it was laughable. And maybe a little admirable.

"Let's see...I graduated from undergrad about two years ago, so it's been about six years since I was in high school."

I could tell Rachel was trying to do the math in her head, but the bell rang before she worked it out. Mr. Whitaker shot me another smile before returning to his desk. He probably had students and fellow staff alike hitting on him.

Rachel and I grabbed our bags and followed the swarm into the hall. We didn't speak until we got outside where the sounds of chattering and shuffling feet weren't so loud. She was starting to tell me about a dumb project she had in psychology when I noticed the figure leaning against my car. I halted in my tracks.

"What are you doing?" she questioned with a puzzled look.

"Mateo is on my car," I replied sullenly.

"Well, don't you think you two need to talk? It's just going to be really awkward otherwise."

"Yeah, probably. I'm just not in the mood right now. He's probably going to want to argue with me, and I just want to go home."

Meeting Mr. WhitakerWhere stories live. Discover now