The Teaching Assistant, Part 29

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


Chapter 29
The Teaching Assistant, Part 29

Part 29

What else was there to do?

Reading the handbook had been more than enough in terms of taking a dignity hit. Amelia was twenty-two, and she was letting herself be bossed around by two bitchy eighteen year olds thanks to how they had tricked her into her current situation. But there had to be a line. She had an apartment to get home to, and a very serious personal deliberation about whether or not she would still try for this job. The enormous list of pros was still there, but the cons were slowly stacking up.

At worst, Ashley and Claire would be able to hold this over her head. And, since they were teenage girls, Amelia didn’t particularly trust them to keep it to themselves. But what about Mrs. Lewis, and Ms. Song, and all the teachers she had met throughout the afternoon? While perhaps being Ashley’s ‘cousin’ was a blessing in terms of how ‘Millie Roberts’ and ‘Amelia Martin’ were distinctly different, there was still the risk that she was statistically bound to be recognized by at least one of them. Or, God forbid, by Summer or one of her friends. 

Just in case Ashley wasn’t teasing, Amelia pushed back on her latest taunt. “I’m not sleeping here, Ashley.”

“That’s not really up to you, is it?” Ashley shot back, “First of all, Millie, I went through a lot of trouble to get you your own room. You should really be thanking me. Second, your day isn’t over until you’re done with your schoolwork. It was math and science for you today, right? Plus your remedial material?”

“Yeah, but-”

“But nothing. Honestly, you have it pretty easy. You won’t have to worry about history or lit until tomorrow. That’s literally half the work every other girl your age is going to be working on tonight. So instead of complaining, why don’t you get started?”

“And then I can go?” Amelia bluntly asked. She was getting a little tired of the game, but that tiredness was also making her cave more easily at the same time. 

Ashley just sighed. “Are you a good student, Millie?”

A lot of colorful replies raced through the petite blonde’s mind, but she managed to bite her tongue. “Yes, Ashley. I’m a good student.” Like a proper Westridge girl. She had attempted to play it cool and respond like none of this was bothering her, but it was impossible to avoid a slight blush at the borderline submissive answer. Amelia could not believe that students here were actually taught to reply in such a way. Although it wasn’t like every answer had to be like that–she just kept getting put in situations where it looked like she was more troublesome than she actually was, which resulted in pointed questions that she was stuck responding to in a demeaning fashion. 

“Then prove it. You have homework to do, right?”

She did. Both teachers had assigned work at the end of class, and Amelia had written down what was on the board despite assuming at the time that it wouldn’t matter. It was just an instinct after years of being a student and only just recently graduating from university. The syllabus for each class had readings and suggested practice problems as well, which Ashley was happy to point out as Amelia placed her stack of books and binder in the middle of the desk. 

Ripping off the bandaid, she started with science. It was the subject that would be the most tedious. As expected, she needed to flip through the book and her single day’s worth of notes again and again to find what she needed. Every answer was objectively easy, especially in retrospect after she got there, but it had been too many years since she dealt with many of the terms littering the problems at the end of the chapter. Then there was the remedial packet assigned to her, which required diving into the earlier chapters to play catch-up. 

Amelia’s aptitude test hadn’t been wrong. Science was definitely one of her weaknesses. 

Just when she was reaching the light at the end of the tunnel, in the form of reaching the last page of the small packet Mrs. Fletcher had assigned her, Claire returned. “Hey, Millie!” she exclaimed, “Being a good little girl, I see?”

“Mostly,” Ashley answered for her, “A little complaining here and there, but she’s gotten better. What took you so long?”

“The usual prefect duties,” Claire huffed, “Honestly, you made the right call not joining me. It can be so much work sometimes. Can’t a girl just go to her room without being bombarded with a million little things?”

“Tried to warn you. Although, be real. The perks are pretty good.”

“Whatever. Here you go, Millie. You better appreciate me.”

Before Amelia could question what she meant, Claire walked over and turned a small drawstring bag upside-down over her desk. A collection of snacks haphazardly landed on and around the science work she had been going through. A granola bar, a small bag of trail mix, and a few pieces of fruit. Healthy enough, though not particularly extravagant compared to the high reputation of the school’s dining hall. “Thank you, Ms. Claire,” Amelia said. The food could have been placed more neatly in front of her, but she trusted nothing at this point. Anything could be a test, and addressing a prefect properly was easily the safest option. Especially after Claire had teased about wanting to be appreciated. 

While Ashley chuckled from her spot on the bed, Claire just smiled in response. “You’re very welcome. Make sure you hydrate, too.” She placed a single water bottle on the edge of the desk. “Just so you know, this isn’t going to be a common thing I can do for you. But it’s your first day, so what the hell?”

“Bad prefect!” Ashley exclaimed.

“Sorry,” Claire rolled her eyes, “What the heck.” 

So ridiculous. But Amelia knew better than to follow suit with the eye rolling. She just waited for the two girls to get through their teasing back and forth, then made a show of opening the trail mix before pushing the rest aside and getting back to the science work in front of her. While she was admittedly a little hungry after not eating since breakfast that morning, there were better and warmer options available back at her place. Claire’s return hadn’t shifted her priorities. 

Concentrating was a lot more difficult now, unfortunately. Ashley was more than happy to announce that she was taking a much needed break from her own schoolwork, and Claire said she needed a breather after all her classes and prefect responsibilities. They jumped into all kinds of gossip and other eighteen year old tangents that Amelia could barely follow. And, while she wasn’t paying that much attention to their jabbering, the giggling and the nonstop back and forth of their voices made it take so much more effort to focus on the task before her. 

After what felt like hours, Amelia completed the catch-up assignment given to her by the science tutor. Band-aid, done. But there was still all the math homework. While it was a more straightforward subject, and one that would be easier now that she sat through a whole class going over where they currently were in the book, it would still take time to go through all the problems and whatever equations were required to reach each answer. And no calculator. Maybe it was a Westridge thing, or just the grade/class she had been stuck in, but apparently showing every step of the work was required. That meant that mental math was out as well. 

Could she ask the girls what time it was? Without a phone, or a clock in the room, Amelia’s only real sense of time was Ashley’s ‘almost 7:30’ comment. Even that could have meant a number of things, and Amelia had no idea how long it had taken her to push through all that science work. Fuck it. “What time is it?” Amelia asked. She at least waited until there was a lull in their conversation

Ashley shot her a wink. “Don’t worry about it, cousin dearest. Claire brought more than snacks, right? Or were you oh so busy with whatever crisis it was this time, Ms. Claire?”

“I was busy with stuff and brought everything Millie needs,” Claire replied, “Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, razor, soap, shampoo . . . umm, what else?” She opened her backpack and glanced inside, “Oh, conditioner. You’re welcome.”

What? Amelia genuinely couldn’t tell if she was being serious or not. It wasn’t until she glanced back towards Ashley and saw the dark haired girl with her lips pursed in a smile that it dawned on Amelia that there was maybe some intention to what she had assumed was a teasing threat earlier. “I don’t need any of that,” she asserted. Turning her attention away from the math worksheet passed out earlier, Amelia focused her gaze on Ashley. While Claire was the prefect, Ashley was the office girl who started this whole thing. “You said I’d be done after I read the handbook and-” she cut herself off. ‘Did my homework’ was not what she wanted to be caught saying. 

“I said that you needed to be a proper student,” Ashley said, correcting her, “Are you finished with everything that was assigned to you, Millie?”

The same temptation was there. To correct her, to say ‘It’s Amelia.’ But she still felt stuck in the role Ashley had manipulated her into. Not just because everything she had brought onto campus save for her underwear had been confiscated by the girl, but also because Amelia had elected to speak up before she had made it all the way through the schoolwork that was left on the desk in front of her. It was the wrong time to pick a battle. 

The only way to be a ‘proper student’ was to see it through. Read the handbook. Address Claire properly. Do her homework. The first two had been achieved, but Amelia would have more of a leg to stand on if she wrapped up the math assignment she had yet to start. 

“ . . . I’m almost finished,” she muttered.

Ashley’s response was borderline predictable. “Almost finished isn’t actually finished,” she said, like she was parroting something an average parent would say. “Am I wrong?”

Swallowing her pride, Amelia muttered, “No, Ashley. You’re not wrong.” It was so cringeworthy, but she didn’t want to give Ashley any openings. 

“So CUTE,” Claire giggled, “Back to work, Millie! Yes?”

“Yes, Ms. Claire.” Blushing more the second time around, as she added the title to Claire’s name that she made a point to avoid with Ashley’s, Amelia opened the mathematics textbook and got started on the first problem. 

Just a little longer, and she’d be done with the day’s homework. 

Hopefully, that would be it . . .

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End Chapter 29

The Teaching Assistant, Part 29

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

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