On Tuesday morning Tori had called the lady who had bought her bag. She informed me after 3rd hour that she hadn’t got an answer, but she didn’t want me to worry. She was going to call back every hour until that lady answered.

             I tried very hard to act like I wasn’t freaking out the whole day. My relationship was in trouble, Tori’s job was in trouble, I couldn’t even focus on my school work. There was just no way. My grades ended up slipping again. They didn’t get low enough for me to fail, but I would be graduating with lower grades than I had planned for.

            It wasn’t until Wednesday that Tori got an answer. That only left us with two days left. She explained the whole story to the lady though, and she said that if she could get time off of work, she would be down here by Friday night. That’s right when I would be graduating, that’s right at the end of our time limit. Tori didn’t seem too worked up about that though, she confidently told Heather to make sure she was there for the ceremony. With the thought of busting us right in front of everyone, Heather happily complied.

            After that, all we could do is wait. I was at least happy that if she could make it in time, the lady was actually willing to give it back. Tori had left out the reason she was being blackmailed. I believe she made up some random story, but either way, the lady had felt bad for her and decided she could let Heather ruin Tori’s career.

            I sat with her after school again, this time I actually helped her with something, just so we wouldn’t be making the situation any worse by making people suspicious.

            “Do you think she’ll be able to get time off on such short notice?” I asked.

            “I don’t know. I sure hope so. I told her to come here if she does. Now we just have to pray that she shows up.”

            That’s exactly what I did for the rest of the week. Friday afternoon I got dressed in my graduation gown and hat. My parents drove me to the high school and I stood in line with the rest of my senior class. No one else knew. Only Heather, Tori and I knew. I tried to act calm even though I was afraid I might not make it into the room without having some kind of panic attack. When it was finally time to walk into the gymnasium, I took a deep breath and marched forward.

            One of my favorite teachers was the speaker for out class. He was really funny too. Listening to him almost made me forget about everything else that was going one. Every now and then though, I still looked around to see if anyone else was walking in, preferably looking for Tori. I never saw anyone though, so I turned back around and tried to pay attention to the rest of the ceremony.

            After what felt like four hours, we finally got around to the part where they called everyone’s names as we walked up to get out diplomas. This now meant that the ceremony was almost over. I was feeling lightheaded and at this point, really just wanted to go home, fall asleep, and wake up to a normal life again.

            I heard my name called.

            “Kelsey Elizabeth Hayes.”

            At first I spaced out and completely forgot what I was supposed to do. The girl next to me nudged my arm though, and I finally stood up and walked to get my diploma. The names continued and I looked around the room. I couldn’t focus on anything though. I was too nervous. Everything seemed like a blur, and the lights were too bright. There wasn’t a lot of excess noise in the room, other than the calling of names, and the kids walking up to the podium, but my mind seemed to be filled to an unbearable point. It was all my thoughts running through my head.

            I went and stood in my old spot and waited impatiently for the whole thing to end, when it did, I hurried out of the crowd as fast as possible. I went straight to my parents, so they wouldn’t suspect that anything was up, but then I went to find Tori.

            She was standing with Heather in the background and they were talking. I walked up cautiously.

            “Congratulations!” Tori said enthusiastically, trying to act as though everything were normal and that’s why I was really going over to her.

            “ Thanks. Anything?” I asked.

            Tori shook her head and Heather smiled.

            “Nope. Looks like I get to go find the principal now,” Heather said.

            She started to walk off.

            “What are we going to do?” I asked.

            Tori shrugged.

            “I really don’t know,” she answered. “I guess… maybe… there’s nothing we can do.”

I covered my face with my hands and tried to breathe evenly. How had I gotten myself into this situation? That’s when I heard someone calling Tori’s name.

“Victoria Williams?”

I uncovered my face and looked over at the tall blonde lady that was now walking toward Tori.

“Yes?” Tori answered.

“I’m Megan Anderson. You called me about a necklace.”

She held out the necklace and dropped it in Tori’s hand.

“Oh wow, thank you so much! You have no idea how much this means to me!”

Tori hugged Megan, and when she let go, she turned to me.

“I’m sorry, but I have to go find Heather now.”

“Okay,” I said, and watched as she hurried off.

Megan turned to me and smiled.       

“Well, I’m glad I could make it in time to save the day.”

“That was very nice of you. You really didn’t have to come all the way down here to give an expensive necklace back to some lady you barely know. What made you do it?” I asked.

“I’m a teacher,” she answered. “I understand how Victoria would feel if she ended up losing her job.”

-

So that was it. Tori got to Heather just before she found the principal. She returned the necklace and Heather gave her the tape. Just to be safe, Tori later smashed it into about a million little pieces so no one would ever be able to get a hold of it again. After that, we were free.

There was still the whole thing about not letting anyone know right away, just so it wouldn’t look as weird. I was okay with that. I did get to spend the night at her house without really worrying though. Tori wasn’t my teacher, I was 18 years old, and I had everything I wanted. Plus, I was going to community college in the fall so I wouldn’t be moving for at least another two years. Yep, I couldn’t complain. As unexpected as it was, everything had turned out exactly how I wanted it to turn out, and now, there was nowhere to go but forward.

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***** As much as I wanted to get more into their relationship, I wasn't entirely sure where that would go, so I made it end here. However, if you would like to read a story that gets more into the whole, student/teacher relationship, for my next project I plan to do just that. For now though, thank you for reading this story, and I hope you enjoyed it. *****

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