Chapter 54: Progress Report

Olivia and I made it to home room with mere seconds before the bell rang for class. I glanced over at Olivia, she was still smiling to herself, attempting to hide it in her long, silky hair.

We’d stopped in an empty stairwell on our way to class to steal a few kisses. It had been mostly Olivia’s idea. She’d grabbed hold of his vest and pulled me to her. I pressed her into the corner, grinning mischievously like a kid stealing from the cookie jar.

She finally giggled softly. “We need to get to class…” She began.

I nodded. “Right.” I answered. I took her hand and started from the stair well.

I licked my lips. They tasted of bubble gum lip gloss, which was almost as sweet as her kisses.

I couldn’t hide a grin.

Olivia giggled, carefully nudging my arm with her shoulder. “Quit smiling like that. People are going to know we were up to something.” She smiled up at me.

“Oh, no. Never.” I teased. “In fairness, though. You kissed me.”

Her eyes widened and she gasped. “I did not.” She defended in a loud whisper.

“You did too!” I laughed.

A slow grin moved across Olivia’s face. “Okay, maybe a little.” She smirked.

We sat down in our seats and I could hardly keep my eyes off her.

Olivia flashed a shy smile at me.

The professor was saying something at the front of the class, and I snapped my attention to the front of the class.

“I’ll hand out your progress reports now, and if anyone has any questions, I’ll be available after class and at the end of the day.” The professor informed us. She started at the front of the class and began handing out sheets of paper.

“Oh, shit.” I cursed under my breath.

Olivia shot me a worried glance.

There was no way I was passing this course. Absolutely no way. There were a few good tests and papers in the past couple of weeks, but my first month of school was pretty much a disaster. I didn’t even remember going to class, let alone handing anything in.

The professor handed Olivia her report and Olivia smiled politely and thanked her.

I got mine next, and I was terrified to even turn it over. I couldn’t flunk out of this place, not with Olivia here.

“What are you doing?” Olivia asked me, in a loud whisper. “Turn it over and look at it!”

I sighed. Staring holes into the back of the sheet of paper wasn’t giving me any clues to how badly I was flunking.

I turned the paper over and glanced down at it. The first thing that caught my eye was the part that said “Current mark: Eighty-six percent.”

I gaped at it. “Holy crap.” I gasped.

Olivia leaned over, across the aisle, lightly squeezing my shoulder. “Good job, Ike!” She smiled. “I knew you could do it.” She beamed.

I raised an eyebrow in surprise, nodding. “Right.”

The professor finished handing out the papers, and began lecturing at the front of the class. I could barely listen. I would get the notes from Olivia after class.

The professor dismissed the class and I stood, shoving my books into my backpack. I kept my progress report in my hand.

Olivia smiled. “Ready to go to economics?” She asked cheerily.

“Uhh… Yeah. I’ll be right behind you. I just want to talk to professor Harper for two seconds.” I said to her.

Olivia frowned. “Problem with your report?”

“Not really. I’ll be right behind you, Liv. I’ll meet you in class.” I said.

She smiled “Okay… Don’t be long.” She smiled. There was a hint of something else in her voice.

I watched her walk from the room, following the rest of the students.

I walked quickly to the professor’s desk before I lost my nerve.

“Umm… professor Harper… uh… can I talk to you about this progress report?”

The professor lowered her glasses and peered up at me. “Yes, Mr. Hanson. Is there a problem?”

“Well, no… not… not really…” I began awkwardly.

“Then what is the issue, Mr. Hanson?” She asked, with a slightly cocky attitude.

I wanted to roll my eyes. These professors were awful. They all thought they were better than anyone else.

“Well… I think you’ve made a huge mistake on this progress report. I mean, with all due respect…” I continued.

Professor Harper raised an eyebrow. “Really? You expected a higher grade?”

“Umm… well, no actually. I expected lower. I mean, much, much lower.” I answered. “Are you sure you didn’t mix up my grade with someone else? I mean I bet there’s another Isaac in this school somewhere…”

Professor Harper smiled faintly. It was brief. I thought maybe she was afraid her face would crack. “The name Isaac isn’t as common as you might think.” She answered.

I sighed.

“I hate to tell you this, Mr. Hanson.” Professor Harper explained. “But that is your mark, and it is accurate. You’re a very bright student. Your mark is above the class average by several percent, and I’m very sure that you can actually increase that grade, should you apply yourself a little more.”

I blinked in shock. “Oh. Okay…”

I paused for a moment, staring down at my report. I simply couldn’t believe it.

“Umm… thank you for your time.” I answered. I knew I had to get to my next class. If I was late, it wouldn’t look very good on my permanent record. I knew with Professor Firestone watching my every move at this school, I needed to do whatever I could to avoid the little screw ups I knew I was going to make eventually.

“Oh, and Mr. Hanson.” Professor Harper said suddenly.

I turned slowly.

“Professor Firestone is very abreast of your current grades. He’s been watching you very closely.” She extended a pink slip of paper toward me. I recognized it immediately. It was a sheet of paper summoning me to his office. I checked the time on the paper.

Firestone wanted to see me at three-fifteen, directly after my last class of the day.

“Thank you, professor.” I nodded. I folded the piece of paper and tucked it into the pocket of my pants.

“If you need anything else, please feel free to see me.”

“Yeah, thanks.” I answered.

I walked out into the hall, finding it completely empty.

“Shit.” I cursed. If I was going to make it to my next class, I had to run. I broke into a run and even though it almost killed me, I made it to my next class just as the professor was closing the door.

My shoes squealed on the floor as I skidded into the room.

I felt every eye in the classroom on me. I got into my seat, and plopped down.

“Everything okay?” Olivia whispered to me.

I nodded.

“Was there something wrong with your grade?”

“I thought so, but there wasn’t, apparently.”

Olivia frowned.

“Mr. Hanson.” The professor scolded. “Eyes up here, please.”

“Yes sir.” I answered, causing a snicker from the remainder of the class.

“Sorry.” Olivia mouthed with bubblegum glossed lips.

“Don’t worry about it.” I smirked at her.

The professor handed out the progress reports and he gave me a strange look as he passed mine to me.

I frowned down at my grade. It read eighty-nine percent. I frowned deeper. “Holy crap.” I muttered under my breath.

Olivia laughed softly.

“I can’t believe it.” I mumbled to her.

“Do you want me to pinch you?” She smiled.

“Maybe later.” I smirked.