The professor’s voice bounced off the cement block walls and lab tables giving his words a brittle quality. Stella twisted around to see if any of the other students noticed this, but most weren’t even taking notes. Those with laptops open were either shopping or updating statuses. A chime caused her to glance at her phone. Instead of seeing a message from another student, about dying from boredom, the text was from Cameron.
Need to see you right away. Ditch class.
Her heart leapt a little when she saw his name. Besides being the resident bad boy, he was her bad boy. The thought made her smile. It lasted only a few seconds as she considered his behavior. Lately, Cam had been no treat. Always demanding she’d do things for her, never considering she might have a life too.
Part of her wanted to jump out of her seat to see what the dark eyed junior needed. Another part counseled her to stay. The only reason she made it to college was due to a merit scholarship. If she didn’t keep her grades up, she’d lose the scholarship. Leaving class, especially during Dr. Inglehardt’s exam review would be academic suicide.
Still, Cameron was her boyfriend and she was lucky to have him. Cam wanted her. He needed her. According to her father, all she did was ruin his life, by being born apparently. Other parents divorced. At least half the kids on campus came from divorced parents. Few had parents who battled as bitterly or as publicly as hers did.
Picking up her pencil, she forced herself to concentrate on the notes on the board. Her attention wandered. Lately, it went down pathways she’d rather forget. Her parents red-faced, screaming at one another, somehow unaware she was even in the house. Not only did she discover her mother got pregnant with her to trap her father, but she also learned her father was no prize in the bedroom either. These were all things she could have lived without knowing.
Her phone chimed again. She knew without looking that it was Cameron. The man might be hot, but inpatient. Sighing deeply, she slumped in her chair. No way around it, Cam would keep texting her until she showed. Mitch, a classmate and co-worker, leaned over to whisper. “I’ll make you a copy of my notes. I’ll bring them to you at the computer lab.”
“Thanks.” Her reply unfortunately attracted the prof’s attention who stopped writing and glared at her.
“Some of us think this review is for my own benefit.” The few students who were actually paying attention giggled nervously.
Stella picked up her pencil and pretended to write until the prof turned back to the board. Her chance to escape, silently she gathered her notebook and phone and shoved them both in her bag. Mitch gave her a wave as she turned for the door.
What a nice guy, she considered the lanky male with the bad haircut. A few of the girls joked about a blind man cutting his hair. At the time, she’d said nothing, but she should have stood up for him. Mitch trained her for her computer lab job. Never lost patience with her no matter how many times she had to ask him the same questions. Now, he was taking notes for her too.
The sunlight hit her as she pushed the heavy exterior door open. Temporarily sunblind as her pupils adjusted to the bright light. A student behind her pushed past her, jostling her a little. Voices made her step out of the way before someone else rammed her.
Wasn’t that Cam near the weeping magnolia tree talking to Carlotta? The exotic Puerto Rican had most of the males on campus running into walls. The beauty not only had plenty of curves, but her accent attracted them too. Her mother’s words about men loving anything new and different came to mind. At the time, she thought her mother meant cars.
Seriously, she left class for him and here he was flirting Senorita Skank. Well, screw him. Maybe she’d just return to class and hope the prof didn’t notice her exit, not likely. The best she’d could do was go to her room and study. Of course, she’d have to walk past Cam. No problem, she’d pretend she didn’t even see them.
Join me next Sunday for another snippet.