STEVEN JERAL HARRIS
EMERALD B. LORDSFAME
The Blaires Are Nut-Jobs.
It’s only my second day in Pre-calculus and Professor Welsh gives us a quiz, which I’m highly doubtful about. Afterwards, I take a nice break in the student lounge to eat before heading off to my next class, Psychology.
As I walk through the halls I keep an eye out for Jason, and a sharper eye out for the Blaire family. I’m trying to avoid them as much as possible.
Soon, I’m transferring to my favorite class, Introduction to Literature. Professor Grant gives me a welcoming smile as I enter the room. One by one, the rest of the students fill in the vacant seats. The last one to enter, Daniel, marches towards the back with his large frame and takes a seat. Professor Grant shuts the door and walks to the center of the classroom.
"Hello everyone and welcome to day number two of my class. I have an interesting topic lined up for you guys. Today we will be reviewing..."
Suddenly the door swings open and Kendrick enters with an angry look on his face, yet again.
Professor Grant eyes follow him into the class, up the steps, and in a seat two rows down from me.
"Thank you for making it on time Mr. Blaire."
Chuckles swell throughout the room. The chuckles stops instantly when Kendrick slams his books on the desk which makes some students, including me, flinch. A girl next to him stares in total shock by his utterly rude outburst. A second later, she gets up and move a couple chairs down from him.
“Kendrick, is there a problem?" Professor Grant asks with a burning stare.
The entire class is now completely dead quiet.
"If you don’t want to be here, then there's the door. This is my class and you will respect me here; do you understand?"
I hear Kendrick breathing heavily, although I’m two rows behind him. Suddenly Kendrick mutters something foul underneath his breath.
“Excuse me?” Professor Grant backfires.
“I said… fuck this class,” he replies loud enough for everyone to hear.
The mood in the classroom has changed from pleasant to disturbed in a matter of seconds. The faces of my fellow classmates are frozen in astonishment.
“You are excused Mr. Blaire.” Professor Grant tells him with a burning leer.
“Now you’re kicking me out?”
“I will write a letter to the dean.”
Kendrick snickered at Professor Grant’s comeback.
“Go ahead. I own this school.”
“Not this classroom, not while I’m here.”
Kendrick begins to laugh as he collects his things. He stands to his feet and makes his way down the steps slowly, eyeballing Professor Grant fiercely the entire way. A fresh mischievous smile appears on his face as he leaves the classroom. Professor Grant clears his throat and continues.
"If anyone is having personal issues, please keep it at home, and don't bring it to my classroom." He stops to trace everyone. "Okay let’s proceed. Today we will be reviewing several other genres that author J. L. Lucas has explored. How many of you have done your homework and read his autobiography?"
Suddenly the door swings open once more and hits the wall with a clamorous sound which echoes throughout the room. Again, the entire class freeze abruptly as a tall man, dressed in a white collared shirt and slacks, marches into the classroom. The look on the man’s face is something between furious and homicidal.
"How dare you talk to my son that way?" He yells at Professor Grant with fiery hatred.
Professor Grant’s face flattens. Then it hits me, this furious man is no other than Cornelius Blaire, Kendrick’s father.
"I can easily get you fired tomorrow. I own your ass!" He shouts at Grant.
Professor Grant’s face twists with disgust.
“Were you eavesdropping?” Grant asks.
“I heard every damn word. I dare you make a fool out of my son again. I promise your ass will be fired tomorrow." Cornelius says with his pointer finger beaming between Professor Grant’s eyes.
Professor Grant swipes Cornelius hand away.
“Who do you think you are?” Professor Grant backfires aggressively.
Cornelius immediately steps closer to Professor Grant, so close that their noses are almost touching.
“Cornelius, if you put your finger in my face again, I’m going to break it.” Professor Grant replies in an angry yet composed manner.
The grip on my pen suddenly tightens. My eyes are beginning to sting from me unblinking, yet oddly enough I can’t manage to blink because I’m way too absorbed into their argument. Nothing seems to be functioning correctly in my body except for my burning eyes and my pounding heart. At this very moment the classroom is beyond silent. It’s as if someone placed me into a real life photograph.
Everyone is completely glued into their seats and not in a good way.
“Come on, William, take a swing.” Cornelius whispers in his face.
My heart is starting to pound harder against my ribcage. The tight grip on my pen is starting to get moist with sweat. Cornelius fist is so tight it becomes slightly red. A moment seems like forever as their homicidal gazes remain intertwined. But then Professor Grant steps away from Cornelius. He clears his throat, takes a breather, and regains his cool.
"I’m teaching a class right now. This matter can be discussed at a better time," Professor Grant tells him through his teeth.
Cornelius lifts his chin arrogantly and says...
"I’ve said what I had to say. And I don't make promises I can't keep, William."
Cornelius rotates towards the door but stops midway. He pauses, only briefly, to stare at something over my head. He then leaves the room without shutting the door. I’m relieved that he’d left because I was holding my breath the entire time. Now I’m stable enough to breathe again. I then trace Cornelius leer behind me.
I figure out what he was looking at just before he’d left the class. It’s Daniel. I spot Daniel, in the back row, standing up in defence mode. Then I shift back at Professor Grant, who is frozen in place staring at the open door. The hatred in his eyes is cooling down.
I take another look in the back of the class.
Daniel lowers slowly into his seat, yet the anger in his face remains fresh. At the same time it’s hard to tell if he’s angry or not because that’s his usual expression.
The students gaze around at one another with confused looks.
"The Blaires are nut-jobs." A boy whispers to another classmate behind me.
Professor Grant adjusts his suit and sighs. He walks over to the door, closes it, and then repositions himself in the middle of the room.
"Okay class. Sorry about that rude and unnecessary behavior." He says while pausing again to regain more stability.
Seconds rolls by and he remains unresponsive.
“With that said, let us continue.” He finally proceeds.
The hour of class is so awkward. Cornelius is way gone, but the tension he carried in is still warm under my collar. Small conversations about their argument are already taking place around me. I can’t help but feel highly embarrassed for Professor Grant.
His personality has suddenly changed dramatically.
I guess the Blaires have an immeasurable talent of bringing out the worst in people. He’s not the typical fun loving Professor Grant that I’ve come to know.
Instead he’s a lot quieter and gloomier than usual.
Soon, I’m gathering my belongings and making my way towards the door. He sees me coming down the steps but doesn’t smile at me like he usually would.
His face is completely flat. I pause at the doorway and give him a warm smile, hoping he will do the same. He, who can barely look me in the eyes, gives me a very feeble smile as I leave the class. I want to say something, something to make him feel better, but I decide not to. He tries to hide his anger but he has a poor way of hiding it.
I glance back from the hallway and see Daniel approaching him, and then they begin another private discussion. I continue down the hallway, hearing students gossiping about the argument, now amongst groups.
Before long I’m heading home. That argument left a huge mark on my psyche. I can’t seem to shake off the tension they created. Then I have a feeling there’s more to Glenworth than most people think. And I’m eager to find out what’s really going on...
...to be continued
Watch out for the next episode... New episode reads on Tuesdays