The Teaching Assistant, Part 29

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

Part 24

In terms of academy rules, Amelia wasn’t surprised. She was sure it was stated somewhere in the handbook Mrs. Webb had given her before class. Trading her heels for the uncomfortable flats, and now this? It was an easy theme to pick up on–younger academy girls had stricter rules to follow as they developed, and older ones had more freedom. That’s how it was at most schools, of course, but a prestigious preparatory academy like this clearly heightened such things. 

When Amelia had been preparing for the day, however, she had been an adult preparing for a day of observations. Now that she was stuck as a student, however, what could she say? It was clear what Maxine was doing. She knew Summer was right, but couldn’t give the popular girl the satisfaction. But Maxine also didn’t want to let Amelia off the hook, so she waited until the other girls left before reprimanding her for the very thing summer had tattled on. 

“Maxine, I’m not even supposed to be here . . .” Amelia said. Maybe she could get through to this girl. It would at least be easier than talking to a teacher who apparently had read the file of lies Ashley had created. 

Miss Maxine,” she corrected, “And I know. No one likes being transferred in the middle of the year. Look, I know it’s your first day, but I can’t make exceptions. If I were you, I’d read the uniform section of that book tonight, and then reread it once or twice. That’s the easiest part to mess up when you’re first starting out.”


“The rest is mostly common sense, though I’d also recommend going through the whole handbook when you get a chance. You really should have done so before starting here; perhaps your parents didn’t tell you.”

Or, in other words, Maxine was being nice and offering the benefit of the doubt. Amelia was slightly relieved when the initial ‘I know’ didn’t mean that Maxine was part of Ashley’s team, but the rest didn’t make it sound like she would believe Amelia’s story that wasn’t actually a story. “It’s not that,” Amelia said, “I’m actually-”

“Millie.” The awkward nickname was said more pointedly than anything before it. “You’ll get a little slack on your first week, but please don’t push your luck. Arguing with prefects or teachers can earn you a similar infraction to the one Summer just received. Consider this a warning. Do you understand?”

Quietly accepting her fate, Amelia muttered, “Yes, Miss Maxine.” This girl looked to be around Ashley’s and Claire’s age. And yet, Amelia was allowing herself to be treated like the thirteen year old girl everyone somehow believed her to be. She couldn’t help but blush at the resigned words that had just escaped her lips; deep down, she knew that not speaking up was more or less confirming her student status to Maxine, but it didn’t feel like she had any other choice at the moment. 

“Better,” Maxine nodded. It was more encouraging than patronizing, but it was impossible to not hear at least a little bit of the latter whether she meant it or not. “Now, we don’t believe in sending girls off to fix things like this during lecture hours. Missing class would be a detriment to your education. For something like this . . . ” she opened her binder and pulled out a green slip of paper from one of the pockets that was the same size as the pink infraction one. “What’s your last name?”

“Mar-” Amelia cut herself off. Her real last name, Martin, wasn’t on anything official. Ashley had made sure of that, when picking and choosing which parts of the paper registration form had made it onto the school’s online system. Once again going along with the false reality against her better judgment, she shifted to, “Roberts.”

“‘Mar-roberts?’ Can you spell that for me?”

“Just Roberts. Sorry. I thought of my middle name.”

“Margot?” Maxine guessed, “And oh, that’s right. You’re Ashley’s cousin. I remember her mentioning that a relative was starting this week.”

Amelia was oblivious to the fact that ‘compulsive liar’ was part of her file, but it was slowly becoming a reality as she kept up the act with omissions and reluctant agreements. She was already suffering through ‘Millie,’ and the middle name the prefect suggested wasn’t exactly her favorite either. “Marissa,” she said. Not even the same starting letter as her real one, but it was prettier than the alternative in her eyes. 

Maxine marked a few things on the green slip, then handed it to Amelia. “Here. Keep this with you, and show it to anyone else who tries to write you up for the same thing.”

It made sense. The pink slips stayed with the prefects, but a duplicate like this would keep a student from getting in trouble multiple times in a row. Disrespect was obviously a new infraction every time, but uniform violations were different. That was what was circled on the form for Amelia–‘uniform violation’–as well as the girls’ names on their appropriate lines and a quick note about the make-up. 

“Okay,” Amelia replied. What else was there to say? She tucked the green slip into the binder Mrs. Webb had issued her. The last thing Amelia needed was for Summer, or any other classmate for that matter, to get on her case about a first day infraction. 

“Do you know where your next class is?”

Not at all. That’s what she had been relying on Piper for. “No,” she admitted, “I have science next. Umm, earth and physical; Room 304,” she clarified, after glancing down at the schedule showcased behind the clear sleeve on the cover of her binder. “Can you point me in the right direction?”

“And risk being late?” Maxine asked, “I’ll escort you, Millie. I’d hate for you to get in trouble twice on your first day here.” 


Amelia was tempted to brush off the offer. She was an ADULT. Not a barely teenage student. But she also had no idea where anything was yet, save that her next class was probably on the third floor of some building. And there was a distinct lack of students in the halls now that a few minutes had passed; most of them were probably already in class, save for the one or two stragglers. Despite her distaste for what Ashley had pulled, Amelia was a good student. Being late wasn’t in her nature. “Thank you, Maxine. Miss Maxine!” she quickly corrected. God, it was so weird calling an eighteen year old girl that. 

Luckily, Maxine seemed more amused than judgmental. After a light chuckle, she did make a point to say, “Try to get in the habit. Like I said, your grace period only lasts so long as a new student.”

“Yes, Miss Maxine,” Amelia said. It still felt weird. 

With an affirmative nod towards the phrase, Maxine gestured towards the direction they needed to go. As they walked, she explained some of the academy’s layout. Math and Science shared a building, as did History and Literature. There was a vague separation of grades by classroom floors, but it wasn’t a perfect system due to the upperclassmen having a less linear schedule. Intermediate girls, however, all pretty much followed the same structure until they were sixteen or so. 

As Amelia guessed, her science class was on the third floor. Thankfully, they made it to the classroom thirty seconds before she would have otherwise been late, so Maxine didn’t have to escort her in and explain things like she had offered to do on the walk up. Regardless, Amelia felt like the center of attention anyway. She was still the new girl, and had to go through the same process with the science teacher that she did in her previous class. 

With the science textbook added to her collection, she felt more like her younger self than ever. With two heavy books, a binder, and the academy handbook in her arms, it was easy to flash back to middle school when she would be stuck carrying a similar armful of things when there were a few back to back classes where it was impossible to make it back to her locker without being late. 

Westridge didn’t seem much different, based on the stacks the other girls had on their desks as Amelia walked towards a free chair near the back. If anything, this school might be worse–instead of lockers in nearby hallways, they would have to trek all the way back to their dorms to exchange materials. 

It wasn’t until she was sitting down that Amelia realized that Summer was at the desk behind her. The two other girls that had been with the popular blonde before were in the back row as well, seated on either side of her. 

Unfortunately, Amelia had already set her things down, and it was too late to change course. Class was starting, so she nervously sat and hoped for the best. 


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End Chapter 24

The Teaching Assistant, Part 29

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


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