Miss Smith turns around to glare at me. "Annie..." Her voice surprisingly, pleads me with. I just stare at her, my thoughts elsewhere. Everything that happened and everything around me felt like a dream – it didn't feel real.
"Miss Smith" My voice is dry and horse, as I clear my throat.
Her hair is wild and her fingers nervously tap against the wooden edge of the school desk. Her eyes nervously flee mine and for once I wonder why this is affecting her so.
"Annie" A calm detached voice breaks away the silence; I turn my head and am met with the steely eyes of the resident class jock. "You can't tell anyone about this"
My eyes run to them both. I look from Miss Smith ( who I notice is now standing as far away from her student as possible), to Brian ( who looks like he doesn't have a care in the world). If they were so afraid of the consequences of being found out, then why were they together to begin with?
My nod is half hearted. How could I even begin to comprehend this situation? I mean, it's not every day that you walk into a classroom and find your nerdy, librarian like English teacher in the arms of the class jock. The absurdity of the situation hadn't even hit me yet.
"But now, you know"
All eyes in the room focus on Brian, who looks deep in thought. "You know our little secret and for me and Natalie, that could be very dangerous"
I back away from them. "I won't tell anyone" I promise.
"No, that's not enough" His eyes focus on mine, cunningly. I wonder what it is that he is planning now. I already said that I wouldn't tell anyone. "You are now a part of this"
"Brian" A soft voice cuts through. "Maybe we should leave her out of this; she already said she wouldn't tell"
"No" The line of his jaw remains stubbornly firm. "You have to be a part of this"
Me- being a part of this? What did he mean by that?
I didn't have to wait long for my question to be answered.
"Annie, you are going to be our cover"
I just stare at them in shock.
Miss Smith moves closer in to me. "Annie" She states, her voice still soft, gentle. "Please do this for us- you are the only one that can"
Brian stands by myself, and leans down at me threateningly. "You will do this for us" He nods his head, confidently. "Otherwise, I, myself will find a way to personally destroy your reputation so that no one will ever believe a word that you say"
"A teacher and a student" I threaten, rather unconvincingly. His tall stature is still intimidating, and leaning over me, but I refuse to show discomfort. "I wonder what the school board would say about that."
He clucks his tongue in disapproval. "I think you are forgetting something- my dad practically owns the school board. I doubt that they would listen to you, and I bet they would prefer keeping their funding over chasing down a blatant LIE"
"No" I refuse to fold "I will tell them and everyone will know. I wonder what they would say about you then." At my next statement, I look directly at Miss Smith. "I wonder if they will put you in jail for something like this. Or maybe they will just never let you teach again"
Miss Smith turns deathly white, her face so pale that it resembled chalk. "Please, don't" She squeaks.
"I will" I turn to them both, as I take large steps away from them. "And I am not lying. So just leave me out of this sick, twisted game that you are both playing"
"But—"My voice stops suddenly, in the silence. "I do expect something from both of you in return for my silence"
My gaze travels first to Miss Smith. "You will give me higher marks in your class, and ones that aren't so obviously high, but ones that are high enough" And then to Brian, "And you will stay out of my way and you will owe me one – so whatever I need, whenever I need it – you will get it for me, with no questions, no complaints and no grumbling because it you don't..." I turn to them both, " I will expose your secret and there is no way that the school board is going to overlook the abuse of authority from one of its teachers, and especially not one that involves a scandal that will diminish the reputation of the school"
Like, a cat that had got its mouse – I stare at the expressions of both of the people standing in front of me. Of the cocky, arrogant jock who only minutes before still believed that he had the upper hand, and of the young, cowardly teacher who had just realised she had made the worst mistake of her life.