My head jerked up when my forehead hit my desk from dozing off. This was what this class was doing to me. I'd spent the previous night working on my essay and I forgot to sleep.
Along with my very few hours of sleep, my English grade had gone to the wolves. I was barely surviving with an award winning 71% although I basically spent my life during the nights studying for this class and doing the stupid homework. It never paid off.
"Keller, I don't doze off when you talk, so I suggest you stay awake for me." Ms. Michener, the wrinkled English teacher eyed me with her beady grey eyes in my seat in the back corner of the classroom. She resembled a dinosaur that was shaped like an egg. While she was ancient and had extremely crinkled skin, she was also somewhat bent with her hunch back and her completely round physique that made her seem very egg-like.
I sat up, rubbing my eyes, "Whatever."
Let me tell you this now. No, I wasn'tthat much of a trouble maker excluding my somewhat sarcastic comments and my annoying habits that people tell me about—I have yet to notice these habits. However, I was extremely tired. When I'm tired, I just become straight up rude. It was a flaw that I desperately needed to work on…later.
"Thank you." I think Ms. Michener smiled while she croaked at me, either it was a smile or the look of pain… but I wasn't exactly sure, "Now that I have your attention, would you like to summarize the first three chapters of Things Fall Apart?"
Blinking a couple of times so that my vision would no longer be blurry, I silently cursed myself for not reading the night before, but despite this I pulled out my book and scanned the first couple of pages, "Sure." I squinted, "So, the main character is, um, really strong, and he, uh…" I flipped through a couple of pages, "won a wrestling match or something?"
The dinosaur's face set into this disappointed look, it wasn't very flattering. "Or something, Ms. Johnson, I want you to read your homework from now on." She made some noise like she was dying and then called on someone else to describe the chapters.
After mouthing 'I don't care' into my desk, I her moving on as my dismissal to fall asleep once again. It was her fault I was tired; it was her class where I would sleep.
English was my least favorite class. Why did I need to learn a language that I grew up speaking? I didn't. Both of my parents were, and still are, into math and sciences, and what can I say? The apple tends to stay perched right under the tree where it fell.
Maybe about two years later, the bell finally rang for the end of school. Yes, English was my last class. It was like ending my day on a bad note every single day.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get out of the classroom fast enough to avoid Ms. Michener calling me to her desk. Groaning, I ran my hand through my curly, short brown hair to get it out of my eyes.
She made this face when I got to her desk, "Keller, I understand that you're tired, and that this is your last class of the day, but you need to stop sleeping in this class. Your grade is constantly going down and you need to get it up unless you want to see me again for the summer." She ruffled through her papers before unnecessarily adding, "And I don't want to see you in the summer."
Neither do I, dino-woman, neither do I.
"It's only September. Summer isn't until forever."
She tucked a piece of her stringy, white, need I mention thinning hair behind her ear, "At the rate your going, you need to start now to keep your grade from being a D."
I forced a smile on my face, "I'll work on it." Then I turned to leave.
"Keller, I'm utterly serious. You're smart, and if you're going to do something, you need to do it all the way. Never do things halfway."
Who says utterly other than dinosaurs?
I gripped my bag, not looking around. Since when did she become Obi Wan? "Great, bye." Then I left. See, this was the effect that being tired had on me.
A jab was sent into my back, and this time, instead of ignoring it, I groaned and pulled my head out of my locker where I had happily dozed off while retrieving my books.
Darla stood by my locker looking as dangerous as she always did with her piercing brown eyes and Korean good looks. She was incredibly short, around 5'1, but her loud voice made up for her height.
"Geez, you need to get some sleep, your neck will probably get messed up with all of that sleeping you do in your locker."She practically yelled at me. The girl was a freaking boom box.
I rubbed my neck, still waking up, "Hello to you too Darla. Was there anything that you wanted?"
She laughed, her black hair shaking, "Is there a problem with me coming to warn my best friend about the hazards of sleeping with her head in her locker?"
"I dozed off!"
"Maybe you should sleep at night!"
I rolled my eyes, "Maybe I would if Michener wasn't such a heinous beast!"
"Honors English is definitely harder than Michener."
Finally starting to pack my bag, I shook my head, "I doubt it. Michener is terrible."
"So I've heard. Somebody told me that she teaches the regular students how to write."
"Don't judge me because I'm not an English freak like you." I stuck my tongue out at her.
She snorted, "Real mature, Kells."
I zipped my blue bag and slung it onto my back and then shut my locker closed, "So do you know if you can go to the concert or not?"
For my birthday, a month ago in August, my mom bought me two tickets to a My Chemical Romance concert in December. I had yet to convince Darla to join me.
"You know I don't like them as much as you do," we walked through the parking lot to her car. "Maybe you should ask Roman to go with you. You know he'll say yes."
Scrunching my nose, I grimaced. Roman was my next door neighbor who just wouldn't leave me alone. Ever since he got a job at the garage by the school, my parents asked him to be my personal chauffer… I'm not sure why anyone would say yes to something like that. In short, he was my car ride when Darla wasn't around—I saw him too often. Roman was a college dropout, not attractive. He had to discover the hard way that his Caribbean good looks weren't enough to get him a job better than at the car shop. Nonetheless, the guy was a creep, and he was always around.
"Uh, I don't think so." Jumping into Darla's small, black Prius, I gave her my best puppy-dog eyes, "Please, please, please, come with me to the concert."
She put the key in the ignition and looked behind her before putting the car into reverse and backing out, "The concert is really close to finals."
"Your face is really close to finals." I muttered.
I leaned my head on the closed window, "Sorry, I just really want you to come. Think of it this way. When we were little, I always came to your ballet recitals… now you can pay me back by coming with me to this one concert!" I jerked up, my short curly hair bouncing with me and held out a finger, "Just one."
Keeping her orbs forward at the houses passing swiftly behind us, Darla rolled her brown eyes, "You were in ballet, and then after you quit, you didn't come anymore."
"I came to a couple."
"To pick me up."
I slouched in my seat, this was hopeless. We went through the same argument every other day and I still hadn't gotten anywhere.
"Okay then," I glanced at my house as we came to a slow stop, "I guess you don't have to go. I'll just be sad and lonely as I listen to my favorite band play my favorite songs without my favorite friend." Sighing dramatically, I swung my feet out of her car and looked back. "But it's okay. I'll be thinking of you as I sing along to I'm Not Okay without my best friend because really, I'm not okay… But I'll be fine."
I sighed again before picking up my bag and closing the door behind me. The dramatic card always worked on Darla.
The sound of a rolling window came from behind me, "Kells! I haven't said no yet; give me some time to think about it!"
My fist punched into the air, "Yes! Awesome! Okay, I'm not rushing you!" I grinned at her, "Thanks for the ride, I'll see you tomorrow!"
She laughed and drove away.
I knew I could convince her to reconsider, in no time she would be set on coming with me.
The sound of a lawn mower started as I was halfway down the path to my front door, "Hey Keller!"
Pausing on the pavement for only a second, I tilted my head, not acknowledging the shirtless guy in the lawn next to mine, "Roman."
"Do you wanna go—" The sound of the lawn mower came to a stop, and I couldn't walk fast enough to my front door. I just didn't want to be bothered by him.
I interrupted him, "Nope, sorry. You need to mow the lawn, I need to sleep. Bye!"
Unfortunately, I made the mistake of glancing behind me one last time to see Roman jogging across my green lawn. His narrow eyes met mine as an impish grin crossed his features before he swiftly wiped a hand over the beads of sweat lining his freshly cut hairline. With all of that sweat, I wasn't sure how his oval face stayed so smooth and not greasy.
Somehow, after he looked at me, I let him catch up so that he—and his very toned body—was standing next to me at the front door."Listen, Roman, I'm tired, it's been a long day, so I'm just going to—" I raised a thumb and pointed at the door that I was now leaning on.
"Hey, I was just wondering, am I picking you up tomorrow?"
All of that energy to ask me this simple question? Hello, phones were created for a reason. I wondered what he did when he had to pee.
I sighed, turning and sticking my key into the door: wrong key. Groaning, I tried another, "Yep. You don't mind?"
"I never do."
Finally, the wooden door opened with a homely creak.
I stepped inside and grinned at the guy behind me, "Good!" And then I slammed the door.
I reread the email over and over to make sure my eyes weren't deceiving me. I shook my head, this couldn't be possible. It was the most horrendously wonderful thing I'd read… ever.
From: Mr. Adams (the head of the school)
To: High School
JUNIORS AND SENIORS, I am very sorry inform you that Ms. Michener has resigned for personal reasons. We have already installed a new teacher to take her place for tomorrow. We expect you all to behave for the new teacher.
This message made me genuinely happy. No more Michener! More sleep! Alas, there was some kind of mercy in this world! The dinosaur was extinct.
When I got to dinner, I was smiling my face off. My parents thought something was wrong with me. Even Roman noticed the change in my attitude the next morning when he drove me to school. I actually thanked him for driving me to school every day this one morning. He must've thought I was high.
The first half of the day passed smoothly. I had no worries of Ms. Michener asking me to re-edit the [probably horrible] essay I turned in yesterday, and I didn't even bother to read the homework since she would no longer be around.
I sighed again at the lunch table, "I can't believe that she's gone! I got my first full night of sleep since school started!"
"We know." Zane rubbed his red hair as his girlfriend, Nancy, repeatedly banged her head into his shoulder. "You've exclaimed your happiness multiple times. Shut up Keller."
"I don't think you guys understand how—"
Nancy lifted her blond head and interrupted me, "No, we understand. Get over it Keller, she's gone now, let's talk about something else." I sucked on my teeth as she rerouted the conversation, "Has anyone had the new teacher yet? I'm supposed to have him next period."
Darla shook her head, "I'm not in his class, but I overheard Rosemary and Claire talking about how attractive he is."
"It's not possible for an English teacher to be attractive." I scoffed, "He's probably tall, wiry, and nerdy looking."
"I heard people talking about how good looking he was too. I guess he is pretty good looking, I had him first period." Nancy shrugged, "But you're probably right, his personality is probably horrible since he's an English teacher."
Darla narrowed her eyes, and since she was Asian, it was really hard to see the irises, "Hey guys, English teachers aren't that bad!"
"That's 'cause you're in honors." I sniffed, biting into my sandwich. It was turkey and mustard on wheat.
Everybody, excluding Darla, agreed with me that typically, English teachers were heinous, pusillanimous, odious creatures who are only understood by the like-minded, people like Darla and other honors students. No offense to Darla, of course.
She was an exception. She was one of the few English people who was still cool.
Anyway, all of the English teachers that I'd had lacked personalities. I had no high expectations for this 'Mr. Jameson.' Even if he was attractive, he'd be a face with no soul behind it.
Darla rolled her eyes, "Whatever," then her face brightened, "Is anyone going to the regatta on Saturday with me and Daniel?"
Daniel was her boyfriend; he was also in honors English, only, unlike Darla, he had no soul. It wasn't like he was a bad guy or anything, nor was he a redhead. Daniel wasn't bad looking either. He was tall, black, and he had really nice teeth. He was just boring. Together, Darla and Daniel were in crew and they had boat races (or regattas) almost every other Saturday.
I shrugged, "I want to go, but I don't really like crew. If I were to come it would be because your crew coach is absolutely delicious." I bit my lip and wiggled my eyebrows.
"Yuck, that's disgusting. Come to one practice and you'll hate him." Darla scrunched her nose.
"I don't know. I think your coach is pretty good looking too." Nancy shrugged.
Zane pulled back from Nancy and gave her this hurt puppy dog look, "Hey!"
Nancy held up her hands in surrender, "I didn't say I liked him. Plus, you should appreciate the fact that I have such good taste in men." She leaned forward and kissed him on the lips.
Nancy was right though. The crew coach was possibly the most attractive coach I'd ever seen. He was Lebanese so he had this delicious dark skin, dark eyes, and super sexy curly, black hair. He wasn't too muscle-y so he didn't look too over done with the steroids like other coaches. He also had the most mellifluous deep voice and luscious lips… and he was tall.
If I didn't have asthma, and if I wasn't too old, I would've definitely joined crew.
Unlike the rest of my grade, I was 19 years old since my birthday in August. According to the—really stupid—rules between the schools, I wasn't supposed to compete in the sports because, apparently, I was supposed to be stronger. I was old enough to be a freshman or a sophomore in college.
After lunch and during seventh period, I wore myself out wondering about the loser who would replace Michener. When I finally got to the class, I went to my normal seat in the back of the room and dozed tired from all of the excitement of knowing that that horrid Michener was gone. The new teacher was probably a pushover anyway.
Someone was shaking me.
"Shake her harder, I don't tolerate sleeping in my class."
I awoke to the most delicious sound ever. Whoever it was had a voice that sounded like Brad Pitt, Simon Baker, and Zachary Levi rolled into one.
Reluctantly, I opened my eyes to see the most beautiful grey eyes. I blinked again. Did I know this person? He was tall, tanned, and he had dark brown, not quite black, curls in his head. God I loved curls! His lips were pursed into a scowl as his mesmerizing grey eyes looked down upon me.
Sitting up, I swatted at the hand of the girl who had been shaking me and I peeled one of my curls off of my face and wiped my mouth my with the sleeve of my sweatshirt, just to make sure I wasn't caked with dried drool.
Clearing my throat I looked up at the man, "Yes?"
He gave me a weird look and turned around to walk back to the front of the class. What a firm butt!
"It's your turn."
"My turn to what?" I asked, confused.
"Say something about yourself; I'm trying to remember all of the students by what they tell me. If you haven't been able to figure it out, I'm Mr. Jameson, your new English teacher." He told me, leaning on his desk.
"Oh, well, I like to sleep."
The class snickered; they were used to my cryptic comments in this class. English made me cryptic.
Mr. Jameson raised his eyebrows. Rosemary and Claire were right; he was extremely attractive with an incredibly suave demeanor despite the dark green patterned vest he was wearing on top of his white dress shirt. It wasn't a piece of clothing that I'd ever recommend, but he pulled it off quite nicely. I watched his mouth as he spoke… Now that I thought about it, that was creepy. Scratch that last statement.
"I believe we have all deducted that. Tell me something else, something interesting."
Despite his looks, I wanted to go back to sleep. It was ironic how I was worn out from anticipation for this moment, but now that the time had come, it didn't seem nearly as great as I made it out to be. "I'm not an interesting person."
The side of his mouth quirked up in a crafty smirk, "I beg to differ, tell me something. Your favorite color? Favorite movie? Why your hair is so curly? Favorite soup?"
What random things to ask.
I rolled my eyes, "Well, My favorite color is teal, not blue, not aquamarine, teal. My favorite movie is currently Hoodwinked because I pee in my pants every time I watch it." There were a few snickers in the classroom, "My hair is so curly because I'm half Filipino and half black, and my favorite soup is chicken noodle soup because there is a song and a dance written about it."
Mr. Jameson blinked. "I take it you're Keller Johnson."
"Really? Thanks for telling me." I snorted.
"Ms. Michener warned me about you."
"Is that right?"
"Yes." He looked up from me and looked to the dude sitting on my right. "Moving on, you, tell me something about yourself."
I frowned; we weren't even done with our conversation… How rude. Brushing it off, my drowsiness took over and I laid my head back down on my table.