It was Monday and Molly walked slowly, almost hesitantly into school. The weekend was long and boring and slightly disappointing to the sixteen year old. Of course, every weekend was like that. Pushing up her glasses she walked into the long hallway that was flooded with kids. Her locker was in the rear and the door hung crookedly and the many years of wear and tear were definitely noticeable. Someone had written LOSER on her locker again.
Molly turned her head after hearing a few snickers out of her classmates. It was obvious they were the culprits. She put her combination in, opened her locker and grabbed her geometry book. Geometry, her favorite class.
Shannon McGarmet had to be the most beautiful girl in school with long blonde hair, a petite body frame and the most gorgeous smile. Her life was perfect and what made it even more perfect was her boyfriend. Alex Raymond and Shannon had been steady for over a year now and Molly always felt a twinge of jealousy whenever she saw them together. Compared to Shannon's life, Molly's was pretty plain.
"So, I was thinking about inviting everyone over to my place Friday night. The parents will be out of town and we could throw a party," said Shannon as she was passing by.
"Sounds great! Did you tell Alex?" That was Kayla Jones, Shannon's best friend and confidant.
"You know he'll say yes." Both girls giggled but when they noticed Molly was standing there, Shannon made a disgusted face and walked off with Kayla, laughing as if a hilarious joke had just been told.
Molly closed her locker and walked off, hiding her face behind her red hair and giant glasses. She didn't even notice Alex until she bumped into him and her books and herself included went sprawling to the floor.
"Oh, I am so sorry." She said as she quickly started to gather her books.
"Yeah whatever, can you like, get out of my way!" replied Alex.
Alex's friends behind him started to laugh and Molly, embarrassed, heard Shannon yell from behind her, "Hey geek, watch where you're going or you'll get your germs on my boyfriend!"
There was a howl of laughter as Molly ran into the bathroom. She locked herself in one of the bright red stalls, pulled up her feet to her chin and cried. Life was like this every day, and everyday it got harder to survive. Finally, the bell rang and Molly wiped her tears, slowly walked out of the stall and back into the hallway. It was now almost empty and she quickly rushed to geometry.
Mr. Garrett was already sitting at his desk taking attendance when she sat in her seat.
"Ok class, today we're going to talk roughly about polynomials. Who would like to tell me what that is?"
Alex raised his hand.
"Can I go to the bathroom?"
Mr. Garrett ignored him and began class as he normally did. He called on Molly.
The following three classes were boring. Lunch was boring. No one talked to her. Her only friend was Simon Baker and he was visiting the museum with his class, so he wasn't in school today. That left Molly to fend for herself all day.
She glanced toward the table where Shannon and Alex sat with their hordes of friends. If only she could be like that. If only her life were different…
She walked slowly to fifth period, where once again, she would have Alex in her class. She pushed her frizzy red hair into a ponytail, took a deep breath, and walked into the classroom. Mrs. Spinney wasn't in there yet, so she sat down at the table that she shared with Mel Davies. Mel was absent though, so she was by herself. Alex came in with Brady, his twin brother and sat directly behind her. They started whispering about something but then Brady shushed him when Mrs. Spinney entered.
"Okay, take out your books and start reading chapter eleven, the Civil War, while I take attendance."
Molly enthusiastically took out her textbook and began reading but was constantly disrupted by the sound of Alex and Brady.
Brady must have hit Alex because Alex screamed "Ow!" which made all heads turn.
"Alex, why don't you sit next to Molly Dungardt for the remainder of the class?" Mrs. Spinney's voice boomed from across the room. Molly shuddered, not from her voice but from the thought of Alex sitting next to her.
"Damn it Mrs. S! Why do I have to sit next to her?!"
"NOW Mr. Raymond and watch that language!" called Mrs. Spinney.
Alex reluctantly got up from his seat and sat in the empty chair next to Molly. He scooted his chair till he was a good distance away from Molly, but still at the table.
All during class, Molly resisted the temptation to stare at Alex and occasionally, at times, she would briefly look at him.
"Now, I see some of my take-it-easy students are falling behind. So, I am going to appoint those of you to tutors to help you pass this class." Mrs. Spinney began reading off names and then stopped and looked at Alex. "Mr. Raymond, I see you and Ms. Dungardt make a lovely pair. Molly, I would like you to be Alex's personal tutor for the remainder of the semester."
Alex mumbled something incoherently but Molly was in too much of shock to even care what he was saying. She was going to be Alex Raymond's tutor! She hid her smile, but Alex made no attempt to hide his disgust.
"Mrs. Spinney, look, I know I'm falling behind and all but I don't need a tutor. Especially no geek tutor. I can pass this class on my own with no help!" Alex crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair. He thought he had won, but he was wrong.
"Thank you for that… enlightening speech however, this is my class and I just assigned Molly to be your tutor. And I will hear no more on this matter." And with that, Mrs. Spinney ignored the rest of Alex's rant and continued reading names off the list.
When the bell rang, Alex quickly got up from his seat and almost ran to the door before Molly could even get a chance to speak to him. When she finally made it to her locker, Alex and Shannon were already there. Apparently, he was telling Shannon about being assigned a tutor because they all began laughing and someone had made a comment about "getting germs from the geek."
The next two classes were a blur to Molly and she didn't pay much attention which was rare for her. But her mind was so wrapped up in the concept of being Alex's tutor.
Alex was a hard-ass, there was no doubt about that, but Molly found that bad boy exterior so appealing. He lived the sort of life Molly wished she lived. Carefree and happy. Even if she never even got to tutor him (since he'd make it difficult for a tutoring session to actually take place) she was content with just the thought of being his "tutor".
The final bell rang and she pushed her hair out of her eyes and pushed her glasses up. She went to her locker, put her books away and prepared for the walk home. It was a good thing it wasn't a hot day otherwise she'd get dehydrated like she did last month. And luckily she didn't have homework so she had no books to carry.
Walking through the halls and out the door, she made her way to the school parking lot. There she saw Alex (again) and Shannon. Shannon was in her Mercedes, and Alex was leaning through the window, obviously kissing her. Shannon finally broke the kiss and backed out, slowly driving away as she waved goodbye to him until she could no longer be seen.
Molly walked past him and Alex seemed to notice because after pausing, he ran after her.
"Hey wait up!" he yelled. Molly, shocked, turned to see Alex waving his arms and running after her. She stopped but then thought better of it and continued walking. It would be like that time in fifth grade when she dumbly turned and waited for him to come up to her but he was instead running to a friend and passed right by her. Molly stood there was the biggest grin on her face, and felt like an idiot afterward. Never again, she swore; so she continued walking.
This time he was calling her because he ran past her and stopped in front of her, blocking her view. She never noticed how tall and muscular he was compared to herself.
"Wait up! Don't you stop when someone's calling you Maddie?"
"My name is Molly and I wasn't even sure you were calling me," she interrupted. A quick smile played on his lips but just as quickly vanished. She knew he was uncomfortable talking to her in front of his friends. He was shifting uncomfortably and his hands were in his pockets. His eyes were constantly roaming past her to see who was watching. She knew he'd make up a story as to why he was talking to her.
"Yeah whatever Molly. Look, Mrs. S said I need a tutor and frankly, I don't agree. But you see, I'm in Music and in order for me and my friends to continue playing and making music and learning, I need to at least have C's, which is why that fucking F in History isn't going to do me good. So, can you just do my homework or something so that way my grade will rise?" He spoke so fast and so low it took extra effort on her part to catch it all, and extra effort to break it down. Was he asking for help or not?
Molly's mind was too wrapped up in her thoughts that she didn't notice Alex impatiently tapping his foot. "So will you help me out or not?" he asked. So he was asking for help.
She knew how important Alex's music was to him. Her voice came out a little harsh when she answered, "I'll help you but I won't do your work. I think you're capable of doing it on your own."
"That's not what I was asking you," he retorted. His brown eyes burned into her eyes but she didn't care. She wasn't going to allow him to stomp on her anymore. "I know you weren't but I don't feel the need to do my homework and YOURS too. So, the answer is no."
He shook his head incredulously. "See Milly, I don't think you understand. My future career is hanging by a string right now and I am humbly asking for your help."
Molly scoffed and rolled her eyes. "See "Allen", I don't think you understand. Just because you and your friends think I am some kind of geek, doesn't mean I feel like being used especially by some jerk like you. What happens to your future career is of no importance to me. Mrs. Spinney said I had to tutor you, not do your work for you. I'll be happy to do that but I will not sit and do your homework when you're perfectly able but lazy to do so."
Alex's eyes roamed around the parking lot once again and upon noticing his brother and friends making their way around the school, he quickly grabbed Molly's arms and pulled her away from view.
"Please Molly. Ok, look I'll do my own work and I'll let you tutor me but will you help me?" Molly's heart beat wildly but she ignored it. She pushed up her glasses and saw the pained expression in his eyes. This would be the only chance she'd ever get to be with Alex. And she was selfish.
"Ok, I'll help you. But finals are in two weeks so we should get started right away. There's a lot to cover." Alex smiled and raised his hands to the sky.
"Yes! Thank you! I'll go to your house tomorrow. I don't want any one at school to know. Thanks a lot Marty." He turned to leave but then stopped and looked at her. "By the way, my name is Alex. Not Allen." He then turned and left, leaving Molly feeling empty without his presence. Never in her life had she played hardball with anyone but she wasn't going to allow her life to be stepped on by other people. Next year was her senior year and it was going to be different. She was going to be like Shannon McGarmet and not have a worry in the world. She was going to be different. And she couldn't wait for tomorrow.