Katherine Hyde-White was drawing hearts in the margins of her test paper again. The eighteen-year-old brunette had finished her French exam early and was now bored as hell. As much as she wanted to look up and stare at her teacher lovingly, she somehow had managed to control herself thus far. "Never let them catch you." That was what her best friend, Claire Beckman, who had a massive crush on her married history teacher, had been saying for the past four years.
She sighed and looked up out the window. It was raining again. It had been raining for a week straight and Katherine had started thinking about skipping school and taking a vacation to the Bahamas. Her parents certainly wouldn't care. They were always working or out socializing. Oh to come from a wealthy family, Katherine thought, coloring in a large heart she had just drawn. I should leave, she thought. It's not like anyone would notice. Maybe… I wonder if Henry would notice.
Henry Williams was her French teacher who she was in love with. Unlike Claire, she didn't spend time fantasizing about marrying him and having lots of sex and babies. She was rational enough to know that nothing would ever come of it, and she also knew her attraction to him was based on the fact that he was older and more mature than all the boys she had ever met combined. All they ever did was party and Katherine had gotten sick of partying her sophomore year. She had gotten sick of all of them and everything that they did. Instead she spent all her time with Claire and Matt Richards, their gay, cocaine-addicted best friend.
Her thoughts returned to Henry. He most certainly would notice if she was gone. She thought of him as a friend at the very least and conversed with him frequently after class. Usually she'd stay back to 'talk about assignments,' but really, it was all about him and her pathetic little crush.
Katherine cut her thoughts off and sighed again. Best not to think about that, she thought. There was no way she would let herself turn into Claire, who was the most obvious person in the entire universe.
It was then that she noticed that someone was leaning over her, breathing down her neck. She gasped and jumped, looking up. It was Henry.
No, Monsieur Williams.
"Are you finished with your exam, Katherine?" he asked, "Or are you so distracted that you feel you much doodle instead?"
"Je suis fini," Katherine answered. "I'm not distracted."
I will not make eye contact with him, she thought. I will not be obvious.
"I'm glad to hear it. May I have your exam now, please?"
Katherine picked up her exam and handed it to him. He's so handsome, she thought again. He was tall with short sandy blond hair and thick square-framed glasses. She looked up at him and he smiled at her as her eyes met his deep brown ones.
Katherine smacked herself mentally. Idiot, she thought. She looked down at her watch. Twelve o'clock. Good, class was almost over. She could get out of here and slap herself for real.
"I like your hearts," he added before walking off.
Katherine wanted to melt. God damn it if he wasn't the sexiest man alive.
"Class," Henry said, "I have some bad news."
Katherine looked up, eyes wide.
"My aunt is very sick and I am going to be going to France for the next five days."
"No!" Shit! She thought. Katherine clapped her hand over her mouth.
"What's wrong, Mademoiselle Katherine? Are you that upset that I'm leaving?" He winked at her. Katherine's cheeks burned red. She wished that a giant black hole would appear in the floor and suck her up.
"Uh… of course." Time to improvise. "Because… we all know that a substitute won't be as good of a teacher as you."
He smiled. "You are quite right."
Katherine would have replied, but just then the bell rang. Thank god, she thought. She got up and rushed towards the door, dragging her messenger bag along behind her. Time for lunch. She had just reached the door when her foot got tangled in the strap of her bag and she tripped. She let out a squeal and fell to the floor.
Way to be graceful, you idiot, she thought to herself as the last three girls laughed at her and walked out of the room. Stupid whores, she thought, glaring after them.
"Katherine, are you alright?" Henry asked.
"Yes," Katherine answered, fiddling with the strap of her bag, refusing to look up and expose the fact that her face was bright red. She pulled her foot out and stood up. "Clumsy me," she muttered.
"See you in a week, Mademoiselle," Henry said with a smile. Katherine grinned nervously.
"Have fun?" she said, turning and rushing out of the room.
She walked quickly throughout the halls, weaving in and out of gaggles of girls gossiping about everyone else in the school.
"Uh, there's Katherine," one girl whispered.
"I heard she's having a lesbian affair with that girl Claire," replied another girl.
Katherine rolled her eyes and kept walking. This school is such crap, she thought to herself. She looked up ahead and saw Claire, who was leaning against the doorframe of Mr. Waldorf's room and twirling her straight blonde hair with one finger.
"Claire," Katherine said, walking up behind her. Claire jumped.
"Katherine! You scared me." Claire glared. "Go away, I'm busy."
"Waldorf's not here, genius."
"Oh." Claire looked down, embarrassed. Katherine grabbed her by the arm.
"Come on," she said.
"Where are we going?" she asked.
"To get Matt."
The two girls walked down the hall towards the stairwell. They looked both ways, opened the door and ascended the steps. Skipping out of school was not easy, but over their high school career, the two girls had become experts. They opened the door at the bottom, peeked out. Noting that the coast was clear, they scampered down the hall and out the back door.
"Where'd you park?" Claire asked.
"Right there," Katherine answered, pointing out over the parking lot at a black Chrysler 300M. Claire walked over to the car as Katherine pulled out her keys and unlocked it. The two jumped in.
"Call Matt," Katherine said. Claire nodded, pulling out her pink cell phone. She flipped it open and dialed a number. Katherine started the car and pulled out of the space, then headed for the exit to the parking lot.
"Hey sweetie," Claire cooed. "I'm fine. And you? …Oh good you're at home. What are you doing?" There was a long pause. "No, come skip with us." Another pause. "Well that's too bad. Kate and I want to see you…. No it can't wait till tonight… I don't care if it's Friday… please?... Yay! Okay meet us outside…. Love you too, sweets. Bye."
Claire snapped her phone shut. "He's coming."
"For a moment I was worried," Katherine said sarcastically.