A few weeks ago, I shared the beginning of a new YA WIP I've been working on. I'm hoping it will be the beginning of a series once I can pound out the first book.
I thought I'd share another snippet from this story, picking up where I left off last time.
Can't wait to hear your thoughts. =)
“Yes. Well…” Mrs. Faulkner cleared her throat then shifted her position. “What I mean is, are things going okay with your guardian? Are you happy at home? Are there any problems? Are you well taken care of?”
Malvina didn’t know whether to laugh or punch her. “What are you asking me? Do you want to know if Liam…Mr. Wallace…is perving on me or abusing me or something?”
“No. That’s not at all what I was-”
“Oh! You want to know if I’m being tucked in at night and getting enough hugs and kisses?”
Mrs. Faulkner released a slow sigh.
“Look. Liam is the only family I’ve had since…well forever. He feeds me, he puts a roof over my head, he protects me and keeps me going straight. I’m tired because I have too many extracurricular activities and I have an evening job. I’ve missed a few classes because I’ve slept in. I’m sorry. I’ll just cut back on a few things and make sure I’m getting enough sleep, okay?”
“Are you finished?” Mrs. Faulkner finally said.
Malvina slouched, gripping the chair between her knees.
“Okay. I was asking out of concern because I’ve been trying to figure out how we can help you with your attendance. You see, I’ve done a bit of research and discovered you are doing well-above average in all of your classes. Giftedly so. You’re probably well aware of the fact that your highest grades are in the areas of math, geography and this class. We have very few students who achieve the GPA status that you have. Your attendance, however, is less than acceptable.”
Malvina was relieved but creeped out at the same time, knowing that her teachers have been meeting about her behind her back. “Okay. So? I can make up for it somehow, right? If I have the grades then all I need to do is be here. I’ll just promise to come to class from now on.”
Mrs. Faulkner swung her legs around and slid off the desk. “I’m afraid it’s not quite that simple. You see, in this month alone you have been here for less than half of the time. You can’t just make the missed time disappear. Those ‘Lates’ and ‘Absences’ are now on your permanent report. They can’t be erased. But the other teachers, Mr. Davies and I have come up with a possible solution.”
She walked behind her desk, flipped through a file sitting on top of the paper pile and pulled one out. “We’ve created a sort of sign in/sign out sheet for you. Each of your teachers has one for you to sign at the beginning and end of class. You must also report to Mr. Davies first thing in the morning, before and after lunch, then again after school to sign with him too.”
It’s like a prison sentence! “Fine. So, if I’m a good girl and do all of this signing, you’ll clear my record?”
Mrs. Faulkner moved back around to the front of her desk, holding the paper out to Malvina. “No. The damage to this point has been done. But if you make sure to be here every day from now until Christmas Break, following the attendance rules, we may cut you some slack when you come back.”
Malvina turned to face her teacher straight on, squinting up at the woman’s dark chocolate brown eyes. "And if I refuse?”
“You’ll fail your Senior year and have to do it over again. Simple as that.” Since Malvina hadn’t taken the sign in/out sheet, the teacher slid it across the desk she was sitting in front of. Then she continued. “Look, there’s no need to get defensive here. We all see how gifted you are but your lack of effort in attendance is affecting your potential to graduate, possibly with Honors. We’ve all discussed this with Mr. Wallace too and he is in complete agreement.”
Malvina let her mouth fall open. That dirty trader! She snatched the paper up, shoved it under the cover of her history text and slammed it shut. “Fine. It’s obvious I don’t have a choice in the situation anyway. Now, if there’s nothing else I have to get going. I have a spare and I’d like to eat something before going to my next class. Is there someone I need to report to for my spare too?”
Mrs. Faulkner raised an eyebrow. “Your time is your time. Just make sure to get Mr. Franks to sign you in for Geography afterwards.”
Without another word Malvina got up, grabbed her books and her canvas bag then stormed out the door. “Aren’t you forgetting something, Miss Campbell?”
Her back to her teacher, she cursed under her breath then turned around. The corner of Mrs. Faulkner’s mouth was turned up into a smug half-smile. Malvina whipped the signing sheet out and handed it to her. The teacher signed the form in her perfect curvasive then gave it back to Malvina. But when she put her hand on it to take it back, the teacher held it tighter, and grabbed her wrist with her other hand. She put her face right in Malvina’s, their noses millimeters apart.
Even though she was looking right into Malvina’s eyes, the teacher’s focus seemed distant…spacey. And her voice was a much lower pitch. “I’m watching you, young lady. Believe me when I tell you that there are those whose eyes are on you for an entirely different purpose. Our actions are for your protection, not your seclusion. Do as we say and you will be protected from harm’s way.”
Then she let go of the paper, her regular stoic expression returned. “I believe I said you can go now, Miss Campbell. I’ve signed your form and I think we’ve said all there is to say for now. See you tomorrow.”
Malvina walked backwards to the door, fumbled with the knob, then scrambled out into the empty hallway. She stood there for a few seconds staring at Mrs. Faulkner through the window. She didn’t blink until her eyes prickled with dryness. Then she glared as her Scottish temper rose again.~~~~~~~~
She looked at her watch. Half-an hour until next class. She ran down to her locker at the end of the hallway to trade her history books for her geography ones, slammed and locked the door then ran down to the front door.
She wasn’t totally sure what had just happened but she had an idea who might know.
Alrighty! That's it for this week. I hope you enjoyed this snippet. I'm working on this simultaneously with two other projects. It helps to keep things fresh and fun. Have a great week and next Saturday we'll check back in with Wil and Gramps. OH! And be sure to check out the other talented writers HERE.