The end of the week seemed to arrive much sooner than I thought it would. Adjusting to the school was just as quick and surprisingly smooth considering I'm surrounded by rowdy teens. The students were all talkative and energetic but I suppose it's because I'm the science teacher and the anatomy of the body is somewhat interesting to their age group - or they just prefer hearing their voices instead of mine. Although the school is rather small, I still haven't seen her again. She definitely doesn't attend my classes, nor my tutorial. I've searched the other classes with my only clues being the hat or headphones, but she was no-where.
I'm starting to wonder if she's even really a student here. If she wasn't, why would she be wearing a uniform... idiot. Now I'm beginning to wonder if she was actually real. She was here quite early on Monday and then M.I.A all week?
"What's with her?!" The anger in my voice surprised even me. Sigh.
"I need to clean up before I head out." Placing my hair up in its usual bun, I set to work. Hushed voices rose a few minutes later outside the classroom, and I move to investigate, well, eavesdrop.
"... know right. I heard that too."
"Do you really think she'll be coming back next week, Lore?"
"Apparently she will be."
"Ugh... she really creeps me out you know. That resolve of hers."
"Same here. Ever since the argument last year she hasn't said a word to us."
"Well to be exact she hasn't really spoken to anyone."
"I guess being the daughter of the chairman's friend does come with its perks."
"She's missed an entire week this time though. Normally that's grounds for expulsion, right?"
"Yeah but guys can you really blame her for not wanting to come?"
"Shut up, it's not like she spoke up against it!"
"Yeah but..." their conversation ends as I open the door, the three girls staring at me before sighing in relief.
"Oh, it's you, Mr. Fairchild." Amy said, her montone expression returning to that of utter boredom.
"Ladies. It is the weekend, why haven't you left yet?"
"Waiting for Luce. She has detention." May says in a matter of fact tone and I rolled my eyes inwardly.
"Were you cleaning by yourself, sir?" Jess quietly asks and I turn to face her.
"Um, yeah. I figured I'd clean up a little since I have the time."
"Don't you have a girlfriend waiting for you, sir."
"Umm..." their eyes studying me. This is dangerous.
"Who were you girls talking about just now." Their disappointment was more than visible but relief washed over me when they rolled their eyes at my obvious subject change.
"We were talking about S squared." My eyes widened at the sudden mention of that name.
"The Silent Student?!"
"Yup the one and only." May scowls as she says it and I feel myself frown at her attitude.
"So, she's an actual student here?" And real.
"Have you met her sir?"
"Ah, yes. On Monday."
"Monday?!" They all stare at me in disbelief.
"Yes, she was in the classroom when I got in."
"She rarely attends, so why was she in the class if she wasn't going to come to the lesson?" Her tone, although neutral, was laced with sweet poison.
"May, why do you sound so disgusted about her coming in?" She asks almost in a whisper.
"Shut up Jess!"
"Hey, don't shout at her!" Amy shouted.
"Now, now girls. Calm down." They all sighed.
"Who is this S squared anyway?"
"Atlas... well apparently she's the daughter of one of the Chairman's close friends..."
"Wait... Atlas? The absent student isn't..." At that, they all laughed at my surprised expression.
"No sir, Atlas is a girl. She had short hair when those photo IDs were taken. Everyone makes the same mistake if they haven't seen our student details." With that, the conversation ends as Luce re-joins the group.
"Well then Fairchild, if you're ever bored and lonely don't be afraid to say so," May says, a cheeky smirk on her face. Rich kids, I swear. As for Atlas, she remained on my mind the entire weekend.
From what I heard of the conversation, she misses lessons quite often and she appears to be your typical rich kid. Maybe my assumption of her was wrong. But, why was she there on Monday? Why was she absent all week? And WHY is she on my mind so much?! Well she is my student, so I guess this is normal. A teacher worrying about his student. Yeah that's it. Finishing my coffee, I aim to finish up marking the homework from yesterday before the days end. Come to think of it, although she was marked absent all week, I got no notifications for concerns. I guess what the girls said was true. Perks of having connections.
"Ahhh almost finished." I sigh as I reach for the last paper... Atlas Winters?
"How did she do the assignment? She wasn't in the lesson when I set it... Was she?" I stare at the neatly written essay,
"No, no, no, no. She was definitely not in the lesson." I couldn't help the smile that formed at the phantom essay. At least she did it.
"Did she really write this?!" Shock and disbelief tugged at my brain as I finished reading her essay. It was so well written I struggle to believe this was written by a student. Even for one at a high-school level, this is way too sophisticated. And how did she know these terms and hypotheses? I taught these from the new textbook on Tuesday and some of these I haven't even thought in lessons yet! It's not plagiarised so it's got to be her work, right? Writing A+ at the top of her paper I move to the balcony lighting a cigarette, the light drizzle sounding on the leaves of the tree near my apartment.
"This girl truly is of a strange species I never thought existed." Until now.
The soft hum of the music coming from my headphones move around in my head. Great, I fell asleep with them on again. I hurriedly take them off as I hear footsteps approaching my door. As he enters, I get up and move to the bathroom."Good morning Milady." I scowl at him before closing the door."I told you not to call me that old man." He starts to protest but I turn on the shower drowning out all the noise around me."Today you finally start attending the Academy normally again." He says as I exit the bathroom."So, back to fake normality. Hopefully, father doesn't find a way for one of his stupid games anytime soon." I stare at him as he places my pill bottle into my bag along with the text books I'd left on my table."Your father would be pleased with how well you're holding up Milady." Pleased my ass."We both know I'm still playing along with his stupid game because I have no c
Going off quicker than I thought it would my alarm sounds through my headphones stalling my music.“Ugh, I've got five minutes to get to tutorial.” Sighing, I switch off my alarm, looking up at the sky... looks like rain. Sigh."Today truly is going to be interesting." As the final bell for tutorial rings, I begin making my way from the roof. By now, everyone's in their respective classes so weird looks are at a minimum, my footsteps sounding along the near empty halls. As I approach my classroom my body slows down and I stare at the door. Another day in paradise, right gran? With my headphones still on I push up the door and enter. The shocked looks on their faces are enough, and the gasps are blocked out by my headphones. I smile inwardly as he looks towards me, and by god that man’s eyes shouldn’t be on a teacher. Especially not him. Shallowing nervously, I step further into the room. He looks equally as shocked as my classmates but he quickly re
"I can't believe she called me annoying." Taking another sip of my beer I glare at my colleague sat across from me laughing."That's Atlas for you. However, I'm surprised she even spoke to you," his brow arches as he looks at me over the brim of his glass, "I must hand it to you, your persistence, though annoying, really is beneficial.""What do you mean by beneficial?" Iask returning his stare."I mean maybe you'll be able to help her out of her shell. Help her have a more natural high school experience.""Wilson. I'm simply a teacher..." I place my glass on the table sitting back in my chair, "By the way. Why did you give her the sheet for the essay assignment without informing me?""I see she told you," he sighs as he finishes his drink. "Atlas misses lessons quite often because of her family situation, although no one really knows what that is exactly. However, she never fails any of her exams a
My feet seem to move by themselves and before I knew it, I was standing behind her. Scanning over the contents on the pages I felt my body react. Clearing my throat, I look away and she jumps in response, a soft shriek escaping her lips."Atlas.""Sensei!" Her face goes blank and she snapped the book shut. The cover catches my eye and I smile as realization sets in."So that's what you read in school, Ms. Winters?" She glares at me before looking away."So what? These books are prohibited so I found a way to read them without disturbing anyone." her voice as she spoke seem to lose pitch and drift off at the end. Ah, so she can be cute too."I see. Is that what you're always reading?" I ask as I move to stand in front of her. As though on guard she moves her feet from the ledge turning to face me tucking the book in the satchel at her feet."No." She looks away again as a slight flus
The ride to her house was quiet as we maneuvered through the late-night traffic. Far too quiet. Her light tap on my shoulder stops me in front of the Havens apartments blocks and she gets off."Is this really where your parents live?" I ask, looking from her to the building."No," I look at her in confusion, "this is where I live.""What?!" The surprise in my tone was evident as she stares back at me weirdly."I don't live with my parents. I live alone." Her tone was flat as she said the word parents."But... You're still in high school!" she continues to stare at me in that weird way with her head tilted to the side like a confused puppy, "What parent allows their sixteen-year-old daughter to live by herself! I don't care how much money you have." She continues to stare at me in silence."You really can be funny sometimes Sensei.""I'm serious, Atlas." I could feel
I groaned, annoyed at the sound of my phone ringing. I knew who it was without even looking at the caller ID. He's been calling to wake me every weekday for the past two weeks, at the same time to ensure I don't sleep in, so I'm not... late. Sigh. Sensei, you need a better hobby."I do have an alarm you know." I answer with a sigh."Well, it doesn't seem to stop you from turning up to tutorial after the last bell, so, I'm your alarm." He sounds slightly sleepy still, a soft yawn escaping him causing me to smile broadly. I haven't been able to tell him that I do in fact arrive an hour early every day but just choose not to go to lessons till the last minute. To be honest, after what happened between us that night I still haven't told him much about me and he doesn't push me to answer the questions I know he wants to ask. I haven't told him exactly who and what I am and I don't think I have the guts to, well not now anyway. I mean how would anyone rea
Following our eventful morning, I leave her in the classroom to go collect the attendance form from the office. And as scripted, someone was due to disturb my peaceful journey."What do you want Jon?""You seemed in high spirits so I thought I'd annoy you just a bit." I roll my eyes, ignoring him and continued walking."I swear you are the definition of a pain in the ass." He chuckles, making me frown. This guy is too weird."So, was that the chairman’s car I saw leaving as I was coming through the gate?""I wouldn't doubt it. He came by to welcome me apparently.""Hmm... he came personally? What's the old man planning now?" His voice was low but I could still make out enough of what he said and I stopped in my tracks."What do you mean? You know something don't you?" He grins, putting his hands up in surrender."I know nothing, my friend."
Ah, there it is again. For the past couple weeks after the chairman’s visit that morning, she’s been called to the Head’s office every Wednesday during her lunch break and normally stays in there till the bell sounds again. She always looks more exhausted than she went in. I want to ask her to tell me more, but I know my poking and prodding isn't helping her. From the rumors, she's supposedly the student council president but that’s yet to be proven since no one's ever met the president - apparently. This school has a weird tradition where the presidents' identity is known only by the Head and the staff and then at the end of their three years, they reveal themselves and get rewarded based on their services and achievements rather than their families status. But for the past two years, no staff has known who it is, only the Head. Even the title of Council President was changed to Deputy Council Rep, meaning there’s definitely someone above. I can’t help but find it suspicious that t