Authors: Mercy Amare
“So, Ty is your boyfriend?”
“No,” I say quickly. “He’s definitely not. I’m so not ready to be in a relationship. But we are dating.”
“That’s really sweet,” Toby says. “I know that he’s in love with you and he will make you happy. You should always follow your heart.”
“When did you get so sentimental?”
“When I realized how short life is,” he says. “I just texted Ty. He’s on his way to get you now.”
“Thanks,” I say.
“You’re welcome,” he says, then pauses. “Kihanna, be safe.”
“Love you, little sis.”
“You too,” I say, then end the call.
Toby is the best brother ever.
Monday, November 8
I got an F.
I’ve never gotten an F in my life, and yet, here it is on my test in red.
Okay, so I haven’t been doing
in college algebra all semester. I’ve kept a B average in the class, but mostly because I always do my homework. I’ve made a few C’s on my test, but managed to get an A on my midterm after pulling a couple of all-nighters.
Finals are coming up, and now I’m worried. I obviously haven’t learned what I was supposed to. While everybody else is moving forward, I will be stuck on this one lesson and be left behind. My head hurts just thinking about it. So, after class, I go up to my teacher, Mrs. Rice.
Mrs. Rice is young, only in her mid-thirties, and she’s petite. She has a nice smile, and she genuinely didn’t seem scary at first. But then, on the second day of class, somebody showed up two minutes late.
And Mrs. Rice
to let them come into the classroom.
I, being a college freshman, was
. I didn’t think teachers could do that. But apparently, they can. And Mrs. Rice has thrown many people out of her classroom—a few people for texting, one girl who fell asleep, one guy who talked to the person beside him. I’m pretty sure that guy was just asking to borrow a pencil.
Needless to say, she’s strict. And as I walk towards the front of the classroom, I can’t help but feel nervous about talking to her.
“Mrs. Rice,” I says, approaching her desk.
She looks up. “Yes?”
“I’m Kihanna,” I say, just in case she doesn’t know.
“I know who you are. You’re the only one who hasn’t missed my class this year. You also do your homework,” she says.
I grin, because I
what she said was a compliment. “The reason I wanted to talk to you is because of my latest test. I got an F...”
“You’re definitely not strong in math,” she says. “But you’re a bright girl.”
“I just really want to do well in this class. Midterms are coming up—”
She cuts me off. “Even if you fail your midterms, you will pass this class.”
“Well, I want to pass with a good grade.”
“I’ll let you re-take the test,” she says, then writes down something on a piece of paper. “Here is the number of a tutor. Set up a session for today. I’ll let you retake the test on Wednesday. I don’t often give second chances, so please don’t take it lightly. I will know if you didn’t study.”
She holds out the paper and I take it from her. “Thank you.”
With that, Mrs. Rice turns back to whatever she was doing before I walked up.
I leave, feeling one hundred times better.
Being a good student does pay off.
Once I am outside of the building, I decide to go ahead and give the tutor a call. Somebody answers on the second ring.
“Hello,” a male voice answers.
“Hey, umm... Mrs. Rice gave me this number. I need a tutor,” I say. “I need one today, because I get to re-take a test on Wednesday.”
“Which math class are you in?” he asks.
“Okay,” he says. “My only opening today is at five o’clock.”
“That works for me.”
“Cool,” he says, then tells me which library on campus to meet him at.
As soon as we hang up the phone, I get a text from Micah.
Hey. You free? Chelsea and Simon miss you. So do I ;). I thought maybe you could come watch us practice.
What time? I have tutoring at 5.
Tutoring? What subject?
College algebra. Apparently, I suck at math.
You should’ve come to me. My major is business. I rock at math. College algebra is easy for me.
Practice is at 5 tonight, so I guess I’ll take another raincheck.
Another text comes through, and I think it’s Micah.
Poor Micah. You shouldn’t lead him on like that.
How does this person know what I was just texting to Micah? Is my phone bugged? How? I just got a new one, and I haven’t set it down anywhere. My phone is literally
Maybe Gabe would know. He’s a phone genius. He was able to check his ex-girlfriend’s text messages. Maybe he can explain it. I look at the time on my phone. It’s almost one. Gabe’s class should be letting out soon, then he’ll be heading home. I guess I will just talk to him then.
After that, I’m getting a new phone.
When I get back to the apartment, Gabe is there.
With a girl.
Gabriel is sitting on the couch with his arm draped around a pretty blonde girl.
“Kihanna, hey,” he says casually. “This is Amber. Amber, this is my roommate, Kihanna.”
His roommate? Really? That is how he’s going to introduce me?
Amber smiles at me, but it doesn’t quite reach her eyes. “It’s so nice to meet you.”
I’m sure it is.
I don’t acknowledge her, and instead turn to Gabe. “Can I talk to you? Alone?”
Gabe looks at me, then at Amber, then at me again. “Yeah, okay.”
He gets up from the couch and follows me back into my bedroom. I shut the door because I don’t want Amber to hear what I’m saying. The
I want is for this blonde bimbo to find out about what’s going on and sell the story to some magazine.
“First of all, what the hell is she doing here?” I ask him.
I roll my eyes. “Of course, Amber.”
He shrugs. “We have a class together. I invited her over to hangout.”
“Are you forgetting about Brian?” I ask.
“What does Brian have to do with me asking a girl to come over?” he asks.
“First of all, I don’t want her here. Stuff that goes on in this apartment is private and I don’t want any media outlets finding out. I haven’t even told my dad, because if I do then I will have to go back home,” I say. “And second, you don’t know that Brian won’t kill her.”
“What reason does Brian Asher have to kill Amber?” Gabe asks.
“I don’t know,” I answer. “But he could. You don’t know that he won’t.”
“You sound jealous.”
“Of her?” I ask.
“I’m not,” I say quickly.
“Well, if you’re done being jealous, I do have a guest,” he says.
“Actually, I needed to talk to you for a reason,” I say. “And stop calling me jealous, because I’m not.”
“Whatever you say,” he says.
“My phone is being hacked,” I say. “Brian sent me a text earlier and he knew everything that I had just said to Micah via text message.”
“Brian’s not that smart,” Gabe says.
“Well, he obviously
smart enough. Brian is smarter than we give him credit for. I mean, he stalked me for nine months, and was dating me for three of those months,” I say. “Who are we to say he’s not smart enough to hack my phone.”
“I am saying he’s not smart enough,” he says. “Not alone.”
I groan. “No, not this again. Don’t say he’s working with somebody else.”
“Give me your phone,” Gabe says.
I pull it out of my pocket it and hand it to him. As soon as it’s in his hand, he reaches for the door handle.
“Where are you going?” I ask.
“To tell Amber to leave and then I’m going to figure out how he did this,” Gabe answers.
“Do you need help?” I ask.
He laughs. “Do you really think you can help me?”
“No, probably not.”
“Exactly,” he says. “Stay here. Ty will be here soon. I’m going to my dad’s office.”
“But that’s an hour away from here.”
“I’ve got a car,” he says.
I sigh. “Why are you helping me? I mean, I dumped you. And I wasn’t exactly nice about it.”
Not that Gabe was nice either, but I shouldn’t keep score. He has done more for me than I can ever repay. I should have definitely been nicer. Though, no matter what the situation, breakups suck.
And here I am dissing the girl he brought home. At least he’s bring her home to watch TV and not hookup.
Still, I’m jealous. I don’t
to see him with another girl. I guess this is why you aren’t supposed to live with your ex-boyfriend. Or in my case, ex-boyfriends.
“Kihanna, no matter what happened between us, I still care about you. We dated over five months and we spent over a year of our life together as friends. There is absolutely no way that I would abandon you,” he says.
“Won’t Amber be mad that you’re basically kicking her out?” I ask.
Gabe shrugs. “She isn’t my girlfriend. She’s just a friend. If she has a problem with it, then it’s her problem. Besides, when I get a girlfriend, she will know that you’re important.”
“That would make most girls jealous.”
“True,” he says. “But I want to be with a girl who trusts me.”
“I trusted you,” I say.
“You did,” he agrees. “But I didn’t trust you. I thought I did, but I didn’t act like it. Sorry about that.”
“We both made mistakes,” I say.
“I took you for granted. I realize that now. You need room to breathe and grow, but I didn’t want that for you. I can see why you like Ty and Micah,” he says. “They’re far less boring than me.”
Gabe reaches for the door handle again.
“Hey, Gabe,” I say.
He turns back to look at me. “Yeah?”
“If you really like Amber, take her out on dates,” I say. “Buy her flowers and romance her. And definitely don’t have sex with her until you’ve been dating a month.”
He laughs. “Okay.”
Gabe walks out the door, and I’m wondering
I just gave him dating advice. I don’t want him dating Amber. Hookups are one thing. They still hurt, but it means part of him is still in love with me. But if he’s dating somebody else, it means he’s moving on. I know it’s only fair, because I have moved on, but I’m not ready for him to move on.
I’m glad nobody else knows my thoughts, because what I thought was awful and selfish. But it’s how I feel.
Feelings are complicated.
I don’t know my tutor’s name. If I was smart, I would’ve asked for it when I was on the phone with him. I also would’ve asked where he would be sitting in the library, because right now I am just walking around without direction.
I see a guy sitting at a table in the corner with quite a few books in front of him. I decide to walk over and see if he’s my tutor.
“Hey I’m Kih—”
He cuts me off. “You’re late.”
I open my mouth to talk, but nothing comes out.
“Are you going to stand there wasting my time, or are you going to sit down so we can start?” he asks.
I am about two seconds away from telling him where he can stick it, when I remember Mrs. Rice. She likes me. I’d rather not ruin that by telling this guy off. It’s hard to get on her good side, and I
to pass my class.
I take a seat. “Sorry.”
He doesn’t say anything.
“What’s your name?” I ask.
“What does it matter?” he asks. “Knowing my name won’t help you pass your class.”
“Right,” I say, under my breath, then pull my math test out of my bag. “This is the test that I failed. I’ve been making decent grades all year, but for some reason I just can’t get this.”
He grabs the test from me, and starts looking over it. He makes
sounds every once in a while. After looking through it, he pushes his glasses up on the bridge of his nose and passes the test back to me.
“I can help you,” he says.
“Awesome. Thanks,” I say.
“My cost is one hundred dollars an hour, and you’ve already wasted ten minutes, so we only have fifty left,” he says.
I want to punch him.
Thankfully, I don’t. Instead, I nod and smile.
rather fail math.
“You have to pay me up front,” he says.
I roll my eyes and pull out my purse. I throw the one hundred dollar bill at him. “Can we start now?”
He shoves me bill in his pocket. “No need to get upset.”
I take a deep breath and count to ten in my head. “I’m fine. I just really need to pass this class.”
And finally, we get started. My tutor keeps his snarky comments to a minimum and we spend the next hour, or, err... fifty minutes... studying. By the end of the session, I feel a lot better, and I’m confident that if I study more on my own I can pass the test on Wednesday.
“Here is a practice test,” he tells me, handing me a piece of paper. “When you finish it, take a picture of it and email it to me.”
“Okay, thanks,” I say.
When I leave, I’m determined never to have to use this nameless guy as a tutor again. Though, thankfully, after I pass college algebra, I shouldn’t need another math class. Ever. I will celebrate the day I pass.
We’re all a little crazy.
I hate math.
It seemed so simple when my math tutor was sitting there, explaining it to me. It almost made sense. But once I got home, I spent four hours working on the practice test. I snap a few pictures of the practice test and send them to my tutor. I find out from his email address that his name is Phillip Montgomery.