“Well Zach, good to see you made it to class. Will you stay this time?” joked Mr.Handson, and Zach sunk into his seat. The students smiled amongst themselves. Zach cast him a level look, deciding that it would have been more appropriate for Mr.Handson to give that jab in Algebra, where the incident had actually occurred. But who cared, this guy was so incompetent that the material merged and melted together in a heaping pile…
“I’ll stay until I get my diploma, you’re staying until you get your pension.”
“What was that?” Mr.Handson raised an eyebrow.
“I’ll be out of here in two years. You won’t.”
There was an uncomfortable silence, and Mr.Handson turned to the board.
“Take out your books.”
Zach fumbled in his backpack, only to come up with nothing. Oh well.
“Wuthering Heights.” Mr.Handson paused unenthusiastically, “One of the classic British novels of the 19th Century…”
Literature was boring. He knew he would fail and take it over the summer, and in the back of his mind he figured he should drop the Goddam class already…
But that would mean running away, and after the F Incident, that was what They wanted. They wanted to see him run away in fear, publically fail and walk with his gaze perched a little lower. But they wouldn’t get that, not even over his own dead body. So he sat there in all of his stubborn pride, not learning anything nor caring to.
“Now, you might be curious why I have selected this book, of all books…”
“Because you have bad taste.” Zach thought to himself. It was reduncent to say so, it was freaking obvious. He had no curiosity for this Wuthering Heights; hah-pah, he’d read the first twenty pages and they sucked.
Even though he wasn’t entirely sure why, he still did his homework. That fact filled him with a stubborn pride, which had remained even after he calculated that he could at best average a C- by the end of the year. Yet laziness would be admitting failure… and failure was one F word Zach couldn’t accept. There were deters and there were victories, but Zach Tyler did not fail.
Well, his current “reading response” had received a B-.
There, at the bottom of the last page was written “Do not write in red ink. -5 pts… 20/25”
Handson drawled tediously onwards, “There is a curiosity in the text relating to the personification of buildings.”
The only curiosity that gnawing at Zach’s mind now was what was on that paper…
Probably nothing important.
Probably a belated “hey, let’s fuck in public someplace sometime.” Pah.
No, that probably wasn’t it. Gentry wouldn’t waste paper for that, he would probably sashay around in those tight swimtrunks of his, throw his head back in the shower and slowly peel down the soaking spandex…
Not a good thought to think in Lit.
Gnawing, chomping, black-eyed oversized rodents…
“… it is a book of a torrid romance…”
“Romance is only interesting if you’re living it.” Zach thought to himself, as he reached into his packpack and discreetly pulled out the note. With a mixture of reluctance and unrelenting curiosity, he unfurled what had once been a starchy white, neatly folded paper and glanced at the message. In crisp, tidy letters was written, with painful precision and right angles:
“Library. 4:00 PM.”