Exclusive Part 1 – Where’s a pointy math compass when you need one?

Monday afternoon. Last period French class. I was ten minutes in to the weekly pop quiz, and question seven mocked me. Jerk.

I scraped the purple nail polish off my middle finger and sighed. Knowing the difference between passé simple and pluperfect wouldn’t solve the real problems in my life: fifteen was too young to drive, the monster zit on my chin throbbed, and I had yet to participate in the adolescent ritual known as hooking up. Yep, this girl’s never been kissed, groped, or nibbled by the opposite sex.

Sweet sixteen better be freaking fabulous.

I gripped my pen, eager to mangle more verb tenses, but a groan from Madame Beaumont’s desk made me perk up. From my front row seat, I enjoyed a privileged view of her lolling head. She rocked a bird’s nest—bits of leaves and grass tangled with her matted brown strands. I spotted a burr. A night spent in a ditch, maybe? Everyone knew the French teacher drank. Sometimes, if you stood too close to her, you could identify the liquor she had guzzled the night before. Peach schnapps was a favorite.

Boy, was Madame ever in bad shape today. Spittle dripped from her lips and she groaned again. Earlier, while handing out our quizzes, she had lurched against my desk, pawing the air. I had ducked and weaved, but I swear her fingers had caressed my ponytail.

Students often placed bets on when Madame would be axed.

My money said today.

To be continued…

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