#10

Kelly Calloway sat at the unbalanced wooden table in the teachers’ lounge, leaning her elbows on the table while munching on a sandwich. She was staring out the window next to her into the parking lot. The bright and sunny morning had turned into a gray and overcast afternoon.

“PBJ again? You know, white bread isn’t all that good for you. You might try whole grain,” said Rick Temple, sitting down next to her. His red tie was loosened just a bit around his neck. Reckless, she thought.

“I don’t have diabetes, and my cholesterol is fine, Mr. Temple,” Miss Calloway said, taking a sip of milk from her thermos. “Besides, not everyone has the time to go climb Mount Everest or swim the English Channel like you do.”

Rick Temple smiled. “You think I’m in that good of shape? I’m flattered.” He saw Miss Calloway’s cheeks redden. She ignored him.

“Did you and Bonnie have a good time last week?” Miss Calloway asked. Her voice was a little sharp, almost like she was jealous of Bonnie Bristol.

“We went to the concert that we had tickets for for months, so yes, we had a great time,” Mr. Temple said. He knew she was still angry. “I told you I forgot the date and I thought it was the day after we were supposed to go out. You know I’m not that big of a flake.”

“I still don’t see why you have to go out with her, anyway. I know we’re not a thing or anything, but you’re the one who told me you’d ‘like to get to know me better,'” Miss Calloway said. She was picking at the crusts of her sandwich now, almost finished.

“She asked me to go out with her as a friend. She’s new here, just like you. She was just being friendly.”

“Is it called friendly when she accidentally flashes her class when her blouse pops open? I heard the gasps and applause all the way from the music room,” Miss Calloway said. She had finished her lunch.

Mr. Temple couldn’t just flash his perfectly straight and white smile. It never worked with Miss Calloway. He’d have to find some way to make it up to her.

***

Olivia Gardner sat in the cafeteria with Jack Turner. He had forgiven her, much like he always did. They had always done that for each other, no matter what. Their friendship had been going strong for over ten years, and it was silly to let it go. They looked out for each other.

“So, has Tom said anything to you today?” Jack asked, dumping a few remaining crumbs of potato chips in his mouth.

“I texted him this morning to see if he wanted to hang out after school, but he didn’t reply,” Olivia said, defeated.

“He’s right over there. Why don’t you just go talk to him now?” Jack said, pointing at the table full of football jerseys and over-sized necks.

“Maybe after. He looks busy.”

Jack looked over again. Tom was spread out in his chair with his arms crossed, watching one of his meathead buddies throw cheeseballs at the cheerleaders. “Liar. Go over there.”

Olivia knew Jack wasn’t one to take no for an answer. She didn’t even bother to fight him. Rising, she took a deep breath and smoothed out skirt and fixed her hair. “I’ll kill you if he doesn’t say anything,” she said, making a face at Jack.

She walked over to the table and tapped him on the shoulder. “Hi, Tom,” she said. “Can I talk to you for a minute?”

He looked up at her with big, confused eyes. She didn’t hate it. “I gotta go to the bathroom anyway. Walk with me,” he said.

They walked down the hallway and Olivia couldn’t think of what to say, but she tried whatever floated into her mind. “Well, the dance is this Friday, so I just wanted to know if you were going to pick me up?”

Tom laughed, indifferent. “Yeah, I guess. How’s seven? Your mom can get pictures and all that.”

“Seven sounds fine,” Olivia said, hating herself that she was blushing over the quarterback. It was all finally happening. She was about to say something she would regret when her phone buzzed. “Excuse me,” she said. She looked at the screen. She had new message from her mother.

END

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