Felicity sat in front of the class as she usually did. No one wanted to be there. The sun was shining, the pools were open, and she swore she could hear the sound of children laughing in the distance. Most teens her age were out there having fun, but frankly, she didn’t mind. She was taking summer school classes by choice. Why? Because she wanted to graduate early. This was her second summer taking a few extra classes. If her calculations were correct, she would be graduating at least a semester before the rest of her peers.
She laced her fingers together on her desk, a smug grin graced her face.
“Shit,” said a boy, stumbling into the classroom. He stood there in his one hundred dollar sneakers, gym shorts, and polo and somehow he still looked a mess.
“Thank you for gracing us with your presence, Mr. Queen,” Mr. Prescott muttered.
“There’s no place to sit.”
“You can sit next to Ms. Smoak.” He pointed to the spot next to Felicity.
“And since you seem to have a problem with that, it can be your seat for the entirety of this course.”
“Man,” he whined.
Felicity tensed as he slammed his backpack down on the shared desk. It was more like a long table than the chair-desk combos they were used to, but they would do. She discreetly moved her chair to the left a couple of inches. If he didn’t want anything to do with her then she definitely didn’t want anything to do with him.
“I’m Oliver,” he said.
“I don’t care,” she replied.
“Hmph.” He promptly turned away from her and used his backpack as a pillow.
She rolled her eyes.
Mr. Prescott began the class. He stood in front of them already defeated. It was obvious he didn’t want to be there either. She wondered what kind of vacation he was missing. He was a tall and thin man, with equally thin, wire-framed glasses that hung off the edge of his nose. His hair was short and sandy blonde and he dressed like you think an english teacher would dress; button-up plaid shirt, black slacks, and a matching black vest over the shirt. Felicity definitely didn’t think Mr. Prescott had some beach babe waiting for him somewhere.
“In this class, we will be building a persuasive essay.”
“Can I persuade you to not?” The annoyance beside her chimed in.
Mr. Prescott sighed. “If I hear from you again, Mr. Queen, you will be staying after class.”
Oliver grumbled quietly.
Felicity got out her laptop and began taking notes.
Oliver scoffed. “Nerd.”
“At least I will pass and won’t have to take it again in the fall.”
“Shut up,” he hissed.
On the second day, they were tasked with writing a journal about the importance of persuasive essays.
“What are you writing about?” Oliver whispered.
“I’m not helping you.”
“Because you can do it on your own.”
“No I can’t.”
She turned towards him. “What do you mean you can’t?”
“I’m not smart enough.” His face dropped and he looked down at the desk.
Her brows furrowed. “What do you mean you’re not smart enough?” she asked. “You’re smart enough to write a paper.”
He chewed on his lower lip and shook his head. “Just tell me what you’re doing.”
Felicity watched him for a long moment, but she wouldn’t go against her own rules. “No.”
He clenched his jaw and stared down at his paper. By the time the class was over, he hadn’t written anything. She could tell Oliver was rich and someone that usually got what he wanted. She wondered why someone like him didn’t think he was smart. Shouldn’t his wealthy family have a hoard of tutors or something?
Felicity turned in her journal and sat back down. “Oliver—”
“Don’t talk to me.” He got up and turned his journal. It had nothing but a title and his name on it.
“I’m not going to let you cheat,” she muttered when he sat back down.
“I said don’t talk to me.”
“Be quiet you two,” Mr. Prescott said. “You can wait two more minutes to start talking.”
They sat in a painful silence until they were allowed to leave. Oliver got up quickly and ran out the door. She followed him as fast as she could.
“Hey!” she shouted, grabbing onto his backpack.
“Haven’t you done enough today?”
“Excuse you!” she snapped back. “You don’t even know my name and you think you can bully me into letting you cheat off of me?”
“I know your name.”
“Well, it is your name.”
“Look, you have been nothing but a jerk since the moment you came into that classroom. Why would I want to help you?”
Oliver glanced around at the passing students. “Because if I don’t pass my summer school classes then I’m going to get held back.”
Felicity looked at him very seriously. The reason she was taking summer school was so she could get out early and he was barely hanging on a thread. She already skipped a grade and was heading into her Junior year, freshly sixteen.
“I don’t want to be a seventeen-year-old sophomore, okay? Everyone I know is moving on and I can’t be left behind.”
“Why are you even telling me all of this?”
“Because I trust you.”
He groaned. “I don’t know. You have a trustworthy face and you seem really smart.”
“I am really smart.”
He narrowed his eyes. “Well if you’re going to brag about it, how smart is really smart?”
“I skipped freshman year and went straight into sophomore. I’m also only taking these classes to graduate early.”
“Man, you shouldn’t even be here. That’s not fair.” He pulled away from her.
“Wait.” She grabbed his arm. “Wait,” she said calmer this time. “I can help you.” She reletened. “But you have to stop acting like a jackass.”
“Hey.” He tugged his arm away.
“You know what I mean. Stop interrupting the teacher and actually pay attention.”
He sighed heavily. “Okay.”