The teacher talked on and on about the Livonian War that lasted twenty five years back in the mid to late fifties of the seventeenth century. History could be boring. Mr Tirone was boring.
Finally, the bell rang and Todd snapped out of his trance.
‘Thank goodness that’s over.’ Trish groaned aloud when she caught up with him at the door.
Todd agreed. ‘Yeah, I didn’t think it would ever end. I thought history was going to be an easy class.’
‘How’s it going with the assignment?’
‘Don’t ask. I mean, where do I start?’
‘We could work on it together at my house tonight. My parents are both working the late shift and my kid sister is staying over at a friend’s house.’
Todd grinned. ‘OK. I’ll come over right after I do my Math homework. Now Math I can handle but I can’t afford to get behind on it.’
She gave him her best see-you-later smile as she entered her next class. Todd continued to the gym where the last forty minutes of the day would be a little more active.
It was just after seven when Trish open the front door to him. She was wearing a pretty pink top with a low cut neckline.
‘My parents will be home about nine so we only have a few hours.’
Todd force himself to look above her shoulders where he met her smile. ‘OK. My curfew is nine thirty so let’s get started.’
He followed Trish into the kitchen where her text books laid open on the dining table. His back pack slipped off his shoulder and he let it rest on an empty chair.
‘Thanks. Do you have juice? I’m not into soda stuff.’
‘Sure. Orange or apple?’
After a few minutes of casual chitchat over the breakfast bar Trish leaned forward. ‘So, where do you want to do this?’
Her breath smelled of mint and her floral perfume tickled his nose. He cleared his throat and turned toward the table.
‘The table is fine.’ He picked up his back pack and opened the zip. ‘I just brought the main textbook and a note book. It’s great that you have offered to help. Maybe I just need to get started.’
Trish came close but didn’t sit so Todd did. Big mistake. He turned his head and placed his juice on the table to his right. He cleared his throat again. Trish walked around to the other side of the table and pulled out a chair.
‘Are you OK Todd? You seem nervous. I can assure you that no one else is here.’
Todd nodded and took another sip before he spoke again. ‘Let’s get on with this.’ He opened his text book to the Livonian War. ‘I really don’t see why we need to study stuff that happened in the seventeenth Century.’
‘I find it intriguing. I could listen to Tirone all day.’
Todd grimaced. ‘I take it that History is a favourite subject.’
‘No. I prefer Human Dynamics.’
Todd was confused. ‘What? Which one is that?’
Trish knee bumped his sending chills up his spine but she didn’t seem to notice.
‘Silly. I was joking. Now let’s open to page two-six-five.’
It was exactly nine when Todd looked at his watch. ‘I’d better go.’
Just then the back door opened and a man entered. ‘Hello there.’ He must have been six foot three at least.
‘Hello Daddy. This is Todd. We’re working on our History assignment.’
He looked from his daughter to Todd and back again. ‘Yeah right.’
Todd wished the floor would open up and swallow him.
‘Oh Daddy, don’t be so dramatic.’
Todd rose and stuffed his textbook and notes into his bag. ‘I was just leaving. Nice to meet you Sir. Thanks Trish. I really appreciate your help.’
Trish stayed where she was. It was then he noticed why. She held her text book close to her chest.
Todd left the kitchen with a nod and headed to the front door.
The following day while Todd was sitting in the History classroom early to jot down yesterday’s notes from the blackboard, Trish came in and stood behind him.
‘Thanks for a great night.’
He stopped writing and looked up. All he could think of was the moment she opened her front door.
A few sniggers followed by other students who had also entered the room.
Todd sucked in air. ‘We should do it again sometime.’
Trish winked and moved to her usual seat.
What’s going on here?
Mr Tirone entered. ‘Open your textbooks to page two-six-five. Todd Hughes, what did you learn from yesterday’s “boring” class?’
Heat rose to Todd’s face. Good thing Trish helped me out last night. He turned to the requested page and answered the question.
‘I’m impressed’, Tirone stated. ‘And I thought you went to sleep.’
Laughter rose across the classroom and Todd felt Trish’s eyes on him. He dared a look and returned her smile.
I can handle this. She’s cute enough and knows her history.
Over the lunch break Todd sort out Trish to thank her for getting him out of an embarrassing situation.
‘Hello Todd.’ The voice was soft and warm.
‘Hello to you too.’ He smiled at Trish. She’s beautiful, even in her school uniform. ‘Thanks for last night. It came in handy today.
The girls who were sitting with Trish stood and left. He felt awkward. ‘We can talk later.’
‘That’s OK. They get it.’
Todd looked around. ‘Get what?’
‘You know. You me. Us.’
‘Don’t you like me?’
‘Yes, but I thought we were just friends.’
‘Friends are cool I guess.’
Todd bit his lip. ‘You mean…all that last night?’ It felt like his stomach flipped and he found it hard to breathe. ‘What about your Dad?’
‘He’ll get over it. We’ll just have to be more careful.’
Todd didn’t answer.
‘We didn’t do anything wrong.’
‘No, we didn’t. We were just studying together.’ He thought about what he would say next. Yes, he liked Trish but he wasn’t sure if he was ready for a relationship. He had thought it would be nice to have a relationship with someone when he went on to university. He may have been ready for that. Now he wasn’t so sure. ‘Trish, where do you want this to go?’
She shrugged. ‘As far as you want.’
They were so close that he could look into her eyes. They were a pretty blue and her blonde curls kinked at her perfectly shaped eyebrows. He breathed in her scent and his nerve endings quivered.
‘I don’t know.’ He drew in another long breath.
‘What’s wrong with me?’ Her voice broke.
‘Nothing. Nothing at all. You’re perfectly beautiful. I just don’t think either of us are ready for this.’
‘Oh Todd. We could just study together after school. Maybe at your house if you’re not sure about mine.’
He sighed. ‘I don’t think we can study together now.’
‘We could make out.’
Todd smiled. ‘Why don’t we wait a while. We can be friends at school.’ He paused. ‘You helped me more than I would have thought last night. I think I may even grow to like history.’
They both gave a short laugh.
‘I’m not sure if I could handle being in the same class now.
Todd took her hand. ‘We’ll get through it. I promise.’ With that he kissed her hand and left.
© Chrissy Siggee – 2019