Thursday, December 08, 2005

Teach Me To Love Chapter 12 Part 2

Staying calm, she asked even though she was positive he could hear the hammering of her fast paced heart. It was getting very difficult to breath all of a sudden, but she forced herself to look as innocent as possible as if she had expected this all to come to the surface sooner or later. “What are you talking about, Austin?”
          “Laura contacted me during break and said you were having an affair with a student.”
          “Why would she make up those lies?”
          “Are they lies, Rachel?” he asked, leaning forward and staring very critically at her.
          With a hard expression on her face and her back stiff, she easily lied, “Of course they’re lies, Austin.” Maybe it was because she had practiced the denial so long in her head that everything came so easily. Or maybe she knew deep down inside what her job meant to her.
          He seemed to relax some, but Rachel didn’t put her guard down because she had a feeling the storm was not over. Austin continued, “I questioned the student and he denied this, but I felt differently after seeing his grades, there was some favoritism for him from you.”
          “What’s that supposed to mean?”
          Austin pulled out a report card. “That’s Derrick’s report car. Don’t you find it strange he’s near failing in every subject except homeroom and English where he has you as a teacher?”
          Becoming defensive and offended, she said, “Don’t you? Derrick’s midterm grades were perfect.”
          Austin looked confused. “That’s impossible.”
          “You didn’t check?” she asked incredulously. “You come to me with these accusations without checking his records?” She reached in her teacher’s bag and tossed the folder that had been in her mailbox. “I don’t think I’m showing favoritism. I think you have someone in this school who is determined to fail Derrick James.” Angrily she stormed out the office.
          The gossip clique all stared at her as she walked out the office to go to her class.
          Hustling in there still in a pique, the class looked surprised to see her.
          “Hey, Mrs. Herlong,” Tonya said. “Mr. Davish said you weren’t going to be here today.”
          Dwayne glared at her as Rachel came over to the desk and put her bag down.
          “I think Mr. Davish was misinformed, Tonya.” Her words had a double meaning and when she looked at Dwayne, he narrowed his eyes voraciously.
          “You sure about that?” Dwayne asked.
          “Positive,” Rachel said, glaring up at him.
          Austin knocked on her door and Dwayne had the nerve to look triumphant.
          “Don’t be so sure,” Dwayne said under his breath.
          With Derrick’s folder tucked under his arm, Austin spoke firmly. “Mr. Davish, can I speak with you for a moment?”
          “Don’t you mean, Mrs. Herlong?” Dwayne questioned.
          “No, Dwayne,” Austin said stiffly, looking as if he didn’t want to make a scene in front of all the students. “I mean you.”
          Dwayne walked out the room with Austin and she knew by the grave look in Austin’s eyes there would be a lengthy discussion about Derrick James.
          Looking towards Derrick’s seat, she frowned because it was empty. She knew Derrick wouldn’t jeopardize his education. Arwin saw the questionable look in her eyes.
          “They moved him to another class,” he answered.
          “Does that mean we won’t be doing the play?” Tonya asked.
          There was a wave of protest in the class.
          “No, it doesn’t mean that,” she assured them getting her thoughts together. “We’re going on with the play.” She started to do roll call, but in the back of her mind wondered what she should do about Derrick not being in her class. If she made a big thing about it, her emotions could show. If she said nothing... She didn’t want to just do nothing.
          On her break she didn’t bother to eat anything.
          Austin appeared at her door during her break. “Rachel, can we talk for a moment?”
          Rachel nodded and stood up to greet him as he came in the room. She was dying to know what Austin and Dwayne had spoken about. She hadn’t seen Dwayne around and she knew that Tonya had been relieved for the day in her student assisting duties.
          “As you’ve noticed,” Austin said. “I’ve moved the student in question out of your room.”
          “But your accusations were wrong,” she said, keeping her emotions in check for each word. “Why should we disturb his lessons when there was no relationship between him or I, other than student and teacher.”
          Austin said, ‘That student is the one I caught with Laura. It’s not safe for him to return to the sixth floor.”
          Flabbergasted and too speechless to ask any more questions, Rachel slowly sat down needing some air. What the hell happened?
Teach Me To Love - Chapter 12 Part 2

Sylvia Hubbard
Author of Stone's Revenge just newly re-released @ .
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