Please don't hate me! I have no excuse for this, just that I didn't get it done on time. I'm so sorry guys! Please enjoy this until next Friday rolls around and I have the next chapter ready.
Getting to school on Monday, I felt like I was walking on pins. Everyone kept looking at me, and now I’m starting to worry they may know. No one should know, but maybe they do?
“Hey loser, where were you? You’re never sick. Are you doing something you shouldn’t be?” Urg! Why her? Why now? First Marlene, now Hannah.
“I was at home, sick. It happens to all of us. Now can I go to class Hannah?”
“Only if you tell me why you’re in such a rush. You’re smart, and are never here this early. So what’s really the case?”
“I was sick and have to go get my assignments, why can’t you understand that?”
“Because I don’t believe you were sick. You’ve seemed nervous and all the teachers were buzzing about you doing something when you were gone. So what happened? Tell me now or you’re gonna regret it. Did you do something only a bad girl would do and had to take care of it? Discussing your options for when that baby may come?”
“What?! Do you honestly think I’m pregnant!? I don’t have time to have sex with any random guy! There is no pregnancy!”
“Carrie! You’re back!” Mr. Schmit! Thank you!
“Yeah, thankfully I stopped throwing up, but not in time to come back to school Friday.”
“So glad to hear that! Now, about your assignments. Let’s talk in the classroom.”
“Uh oh, looks like someone’s in trouble.” Hannah muttered under her breath as I passed by her. “Have fun with that fail.”
Oh, I will enjoy that fail. Because it was a win and my ticket out of here.
I enter Mr. Schmit’s room, not sure of why he wants to talk to me. “I have all the homework from Thursday and Friday if that’s what you wanted to talk about.”
“No, Carrie. I trust you have it finished and you can turn it into the absent bin. But what I want to know was, how did you do? Are they calling you back for the third round?”
“No, Mr. Schmit. No third round for me.”
“What?! They must have untouchable standards. I’ve heard you practicing in my room after school and during lunch when you were trying to avoid people like Hannah and her posse. And I’m glad to keep my door open for you if you still want to come in.” He’s always like this, acting like a father would. Mr. Schmit is a pretty young guy, but beyond nurturing. He’s almost as protective as mom is.
“I would love to keep coming in, but I can’t. They want me to be practicing almost constantly. I made it!”
“Carrie! Don’t give me a heart attack like that again!” And with that, I found myself in one of Mr. Schmit’s fantastic bear-hugs. The kind where you’re lifted off the ground and spun around in circles.
He places my feet back on the ground and we continue to talk. “I know! It’s fantastic! There was another girl there and she had a good voice. I thought I was going to essentially lose to her. But she was an absolutely terrible person. She had this sweet southern belle disposition around the staff at TS. Around other wannabes like me? She was worse than Hannah. Yes she could dance and sing, but her personality kicked her out. I was the only foreign one to move on, and the only foreign trainee for TS this year.”
“How were the people? Did they treat you Ok?” The look on Mr. Schmit’s face was trying to hide the sheer worry he had.
“Yes, the people were lovely. There was one person, Sul Jung Nam, who pulled a ton of strings to get me every leg up I could have. And he’s the main reason I was accepted. It also doesn’t help that one of their biggest groups was watching my dance audition over Skype and wanted to hear me sing, then told the big-wigs to sign me and form their sister group.”
Mr. Schmit sat, frozen in his spot with his jaw on the floor. I think it took him a good few minutes to fully absorb what I just said. And I swear, he was so close to having a fanboy break down. It’s a look I’m all too familiar with. I never knew Mr. Schmit had this other side to him.
Slowly, his eyes widened and the realization hit him. “YOU MADE IT! I knew they would’ve been crazy for not accepting you! This is exciting!” His face turned in an instant from joy to concern. “How is this going to affect you academically? Do you need an easier workload?”
“No, I should be fine. I didn’t want to tell any of my teachers I made it in case they lighten my workload. I mean, a 16 year old taking every advanced class she can and is now adding so much more to the pile of things she has to do? Some teachers might offer to give me any extensions I need. Or even pity. But that’s not what I want. I want to be challenged like my classmates and for nothing to change.”
“Ok, if that’s what you want Carrie. And I promise I won’t tell any students unless you want me to. You’ve always been more isolated, and, if I’m correct, you don’t have a single person you talk to on the same level you would a friend. If you need to space, I’m more than willing to let you use my room for practices if you need to.”
“Thank you so much Mr. Schmit.” I hug him this time, and bury my head in his chest.
“Thanks for everything you’ve done for me.”
“You’re welcome Carrie. You are probably the most amazing student I’ve ever had. Don’t you change on me now. And never forget where you started. It may look painful now, but someday you may miss it and things may be beyond challenging. But these memories will help you remember why you’re doing this.”
“I never knew I had a philosopher for a teacher.”
Mr. Schmit chuckles. “Well, I did find it necessary to take a philosophy course or two to understand you teenagers.”
“Nah, you just need to be one to understand us.”
“I’m always here for you if you need me. It will never change. And I’m not supposed to do this, but I’m going to give you my number incase you need someone to talk to once you’re back in Korea. And call me Kevin. But, of course, it does need to stay Mr. Schmit during school hours.”
Man, I am lucky to have someone watching my back.
“But what about Hannah? By now she’s probably told the whole school I’m hiding a pregnancy.”
“Let me handle her. I’ll pull her into my office for a few minutes to straighten her out. You just take care of your classwork and talk to the rest of your teachers.”
I turn around to leave and do as he said, yelling behind me, “thank you Mr. Schmit!”
Just as I’m almost gone, I hear him mutter something along the lines of: she needs to be careful. Someone has it out for her.
Hope y'all enjoyed it!
Love you guys! ~Elayne
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