The Teaching Assistant, Part 29

by: Lady Lucia | Story In Progress | Last updated May 18, 2024

Chapter 23
The Teaching Assistant, Part 23

Part 23

Dead wrong.

There had been a fleeting moment where Amelia hoped that the girl had screwed up, followed by a pang of guilt as she realized she was wishing for a thirteen year old to be publicly wrong just so Amelia wouldn’t have to deal with the personal embarrassment of being so incorrect herself. But Lyra had the right answer, and Amelia’s graph didn’t even come close to what the figure was supposed to be. 

At least Mrs. Webb hadn’t told the students to exchange papers. That was pretty common in Amelia’s public school childhood; either that, or passing their work forward. The last thing Amelia needed was for one of her ‘peers’ to see how she apparently had no idea what she was doing. Instead, the teacher jumped into the day’s lesson. Starting with a few minutes of review, she broke down the problem they all just worked through. 

Amelia was in full on student mode. Taking all her personal knowledge, as well as the tidbits from her recent skimming, she paid close attention and took aggressive notes as Ms. Webb went through the equation step by step. It made perfect sense once everything was slowed down and taken apart, and fragments of old knowledge started coming back to Amelia along the way. By the end, she wished she could try another problem on her own, but it was time to move on. Even the ‘new’ material, however, was probably easier for the rest of the class than it was for Amelia. She was being thrown right into an ongoing curriculum, which made following along tricky despite how hard she was trying.

When class was over, Amelia found herself immediately thrown into a completely different kind of gauntlet. As the new girl, she naturally drew attention to herself without even trying. No longer bound by the strict quietness Ms. Webb compelled with her presence at the front of the room, the nearest girl hopped up from her chair and walked over. “Hey, Millie! Welcome to Westridge. Don’t worry, we’re all more fun outside of class!”

“Umm, hey,” Amelia replied. Belatedly remembering Ashley’s directive, she pushed a small smile onto her face in case her ‘cousin’ had circled back to check up on her. “I’m-” she hesitated. No, saying she was observing would be stupid. Clearly everyone thought she was a transfer student, and there was no reason to explain it to a random classmate. “I mean, class wasn’t too bad.” She just awkwardly blurted out the first thing that came to mind. 

“Uh huh. Sure,” the girl said, with a knowing smile, “Says the super stressed girl.”

Had she been that transparent? Obviously so, if an intermediate student could read her so easily. “It was just a lot,” Amelia admitted.

“Public school girl? Sorry, not like that. I mean, whenever non prep school girls transfer here, it’s like skipping half a school year and then being told to catch up and keep up.” Excessively straightening her back and tilting her chin up, she said, “Here at Westridge, we strive for excellence in every endeavor.”

Amelia couldn’t help but chuckle at the mockingly pretentious tone. “Sounds about right.” Looking back, Ms. Song had definitely said something similar about ‘excellence.’

“Anyway, I’m Piper,” the girl said, “Where are you going next?”

Home. If only. Amelia’s mind had been quite busy absorbing as much math as possible, and she had long forgotten anything about what the rest of her day looked like. Grabbing the binder she had been given, belatedly realizing that she wasted an opportunity to correct the nickname to her full name, Amelia said, “Earth/Physical Science?” 

“Cool, me too. I’ll walk you!”

Amelia wanted to decline the offer, but didn’t know how. This girl was years her junior, and clearly believed that they were the same age. Plus Amelia really didn’t want to face another teacher berating her. If Piper led the way, there was less of a chance that Amelia would get lost and arrive late. Scooping up the heavy pile of books, Amelia made it all of two steps out of the classroom with the girl before finding herself face to face with another three girls with matching hairstyles. She vaguely recognized them from the class they just had. 

“Hey, Piper!” The tallest girl, a blonde standing in the middle of the trio exclaimed. Her lilting tone and smug smile said it all: popular girl with a mean streak. “Introduce us to your new friend?”

Piper seemed to immediately shrink. Gone was the fun, friendly girl from just a minute ago. “This is Millie,” she quietly said. 

“Good enough,” the blonde shrugged, “Run along, now.”

For a moment, it looked like Piper wanted to say something back. Instead, she just turned to Amelia with a mumbled, “Sorry.” Then, doing as she was told, she scurried down the hall, away from both Millie and the group of girls. 

“Millie. Cute name. I’m Summer.”

“Umm, okay?” Amelia replied. Girls like this might have been a threat once upon a time, but she was way too old for posturing and unnecessary drama. Summer was the kind of student that Amelia would have enjoyed to take down a peg or two. Not in a vindictive or excessive way; it was more that girls like this really needed to get over themselves and come back to reality. Of course, Amelia wasn’t being seen as an adult at the moment, which complicated things. Also, it was beyond unfair for a teenager to be that tall. Per uniform rules, Summer also wasn’t wearing heels, which meant all that height was natural. “Look, whatever this is, I’m not interested. I have to get to class.” The first half of her dismissal was the most adult Amelia had sounded recently, until undermining herself at the end.

“Not interested? Summer pouted, “That’s not very nice. You’re the new girl, aren’t you? Don’t you want to make a few friends on your first day?”

“No, thanks,” Amelia replied, “I’ll stick with Piper. Or anyone else, honestly.”

“Rude. Last chance, Millie. Do you want to be my friend?”

Not even a little bit. Settling on something slightly more polite, since Summer was doing the obnoxious girl thing where technically there isn’t anything wrong with what’s being said. Instead, it’s all about hint and tone, while being able to selectively feign innocence if ever called out. “Ask me later,” she said. Or never, since there was only so much time left before she was done with this nightmare of a day. 

“Shame,” Summer said. Waving down some nearby girl, she said, “Hey, ponytail. Miss Prefect.” When the girl actually began walking over, Summer added, “Sorry, I don’t know your name.”

The girl was Asian, though her features made it difficult to make an educated guess beyond that. She was also clearly from a few grades up, based on her demeanor alone. “It’s Maxine,” she said, “May I help you?”

“Mm hmm,” Summer nodded, “Millie here is wearing make-up. I tried to tell her it’s against the rules–I mean, she’s literally holding the handbook–but apparently she thinks she can get off easy as a transfer student or something.”

“Summer’s just trying to get me in trouble since I won’t play her stupid games,” Amelia said. It was one thing to let Ashley get away with her lies. But this girl? No way. Unlike the situation with her ‘cousin,’ Amelia had nothing to lose by coming clean about cringey girl drama. 

Maxine just sighed. 

Pulling out a slip of pink paper from her blazer pocket, she jotted down a few things. “Summer. You’re getting an infraction for disrespect. Please address teachers and prefects properly, even if you have yet to meet them. Would you like some examples of phrases you could use?”

“No, thank you, Miss Maxine,” Summer said. A pretty forced, neutral tone. “May I go to class?”

“Of course. And I can’t write you up for being a tattletale, but I wouldn’t encourage it. Us prefects are more than capable of doing our jobs.”

“Yes, Miss Maxine.”

With that, Summer sauntered away with her girls in tow. Still fairly cool and confident, despite being chastised. Although it wasn’t too surprising, considering the type that she was.

“Thanks,” Amelia said. She didn’t really need the protection of some high schooler, but it was nice all the same that she didn’t have to deal with Summer and company any more. 

“Don’t thank me yet,” Maxine replied. She pulled out another pink slip. “Unfortunately, I do need to give you an infraction as well. Make-up is against school policy for girls your age.” 

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End Chapter 23

The Teaching Assistant, Part 29

by: Lady Lucia | Story In Progress | Last updated May 18, 2024


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