My Mother's Boss
So many events happen in senior year, so many teens await this day they're finally seniors in high school. Be it the popularity – and therefore seniority – that other teens dream for or possibly the promise of a huge prom they finally get to attend, or perhaps the fact that it brings them one step closer to leaving school. Whatever the reason may be, senior year is also hectic; what with the students hysterically trying to find out what they want to do with their lives whilst also trying to get good grades in order to graduate.
That year of high school is supposed to be the best, if not full of stress. The seniors get to attend the prom, they pull the senior pranks, of course, they all party for some unknown reason, and then they finally graduate. Leaving behind all those friends, finally being released into the world after being in school for nearly their entire lives from age six to eighteen.
Though my experience was completely different, abnormal. My experience of senior year changed drastically one fateful Wednesday morning during my fifth-period class.
~ ~ ~
I doodle in boredom on my notebook, wishing my best friend Lydia was in this class so I can pass notes behind the teacher's back. I sigh lightly, zoning back in to listen to my droning teacher, Ms. Stine.
“This month is Parent Appreciation month, now everyone knows what that means. Each one of you will shadow one of your parents for the month, it doesn't matter which parent you shadow but I urge you all to choose the parent whose job would interest you the most.” Ms. Stine announces when I zone back into her boring lecture. Of course, the entire class erupts in a chorus of loud groans at the announcement.
We've all heard the rumors from the other seniors about Parent Appreciation month, and we all saw the date in our syllabus we got on the first day of school last semester. It wouldn't be such a horrible ordeal if all we had to do was stay at work with our parents, but that's not all we're supposed to do, according to the other seniors. We all blew it off though, as immature teenagers do, which was probably a stupid move on our behalf.
“I do not want to hear any of that groaning, you all knew this was coming. I suggest you all take a lot of notes because after the month is over you will hand in a fifteen-page paper about what your parent does, what their job is, and how efficient the workplace is in general. I'll give you all a hand-out now about what should and should not be in the paper, so there will be no excuse if you fail to turn in a proper paper.” She adds and continues after passing out a large packet of papers for the project.
“Along with the paper, you will give a ten-minute oral presentation about what they do. You'll turn in the report on the first of next month, the same day you will give your speech. Of course, I shouldn't have to tell you this but I don't want you to write in fifty point font and hope it passes because that will be an automatic fail. You must write in MLA format, twelve point font, and Times New Roman.” She pauses to give us time to complain but we all know better than to argue or complain.
“When you turn in your paper it will be like all the others. You will turn in your notes, an outline, a rough draft that shows the correction marks, and the final polished paper. You will all have different schedules due to the fact that all your parents will work different hours so I have already worked out a schedule. All of you will come to school in the morning, wait until lunch then leave during lunch to shadow your parents. This will give you enough time every day to observe their working habits. Those of you whose parents work at night will have to come see me after class to get a schedule. You'll receive all the homework for your other classes every morning so as not to miss anything.” We all nod even though it's obvious more than half of us don't want to do this. Of course, she continues before we can ask any questions about the wretched assignment.
“It will start tomorrow, on the first to make this a full month. This is worth half your grade, so do good. But it's also a requirement to pass my class. So if you somehow have managed to keep your grade at one hundred percent during last semester along with this semester you will still fail the class if you don't pass this assignment. I will fail you if I feel you didn't pay enough attention and put in enough effort to everything, so pay attention.” She adds sternly and we all nod once more. She then goes into detail of what we need in our presentations and papers, explaining the packet she gave us page by page.
When the bell finally rings the entire class leaves in such a hurry I'm surprised there isn't vapor trails in their absence. I lazily walk out the door last, ignoring the other students that are pushing around to get to the cafeteria for lunch. I slowly head to the feeding room myself, only stopping when someone jumps on my back. I sigh and cringe when Lydia all but screams in my ears, causing them to ring.
“Onward march, Lev!” Lydia points in the direction of the cafeteria in determination while I continue to just stand there in the hall.
“What are you doing, Marry?” I tease, leaning back in an attempt to throw her off my back but to no avail. She groans, jumps off my back then continues to walk beside me as we walk to the cafeteria.
“You know I don't like being called Marry, it sounds Holly.” She shudders and I laugh. She hates being called Marry, her parents are – to say the least – very religious Catholics so naturally they named her after the virgin Marry.
Of course, she's anything but Holy, she's an atheist which her parents hate and try to “fix” on a daily basis. She's also not into guys, which her parents also try to “fix” on a daily basis. When she came out they freaked out on her, and now look to her younger brother to make them proud. And as like the stereotypical Catholic girl, she's a tad bit promiscuous. She's also long since basically changed her name to her middle name, Lydia. No one ever calls her by her first name, mainly because she gets so mad when people do.
“I guess it is ironic considering you've slept with almost everyone in school.” I muse and she grins.
“Oh please, I haven't slept with everyone. I haven't slept with you.” She winks and I roll my eyes. If she wasn't my best friend, I would probably get pissed at her for saying that. Though, we've known each other since first grade, our parents have been best friends since high school so we grew up around each other. We're usually inseparable but this year we were placed in two different classes, but I don't mind too much.
She's incredibly weird though, and quite perverted. Not to mention sarcastic. Her hair color changes on a weekly basis, one time she died it bright pink. She also draws attention to herself by wearing god awful neon colors that don't match at all. It really amazes me that she's not messed with at school, at all. Then again, that could be because she's into martial arts and can incapacitate someone in less time than it would take to scream.
“So, what's new?” She questions brightly and I sigh, deciding to tell her about the assignment in English. That's one of the two classes we don't have together so she doesn't know about the horrid assignment yet.
“You know how everybody said one day we would shadow our parents? And we just blew it off?” I question and she nods for me to continue, her fake purple eyes eyes glancing away from some girl to stare at me.
“Well, that day has come. I just wanted to warn you.” I add as we walk through the cafeteria doors. The smell of food assaults my nostrils while the sound of chattering students fills my ears, making me cringe slightly at the assault on my senses.
“Shit.” She curses. We step up to the lunch line to wait but a perky blonde chick, who admittedly is gorgeous, cuts in front of us.
“Excuse me.” I snap in irritation and she turns to look at me, sizing me up.
“Yes?” She purrs, her voice a bit too high for my liking.
“Look, just because you're pretty doesn't mean you can cut in line. We were here first, and if you don't move I'll move you myself.” Lydia snaps before I can open my mouth to ask her politely to move. She huffs, glares at Lydia but goes back to the back of the line anyway. I arch a brow in question at Lydia, wondering if she's in a bad mood or just irritated with the blonde.
“Don't you think that was a bit harsh?” I question. She rolls her eyes and shakes her head, waving me off, uninterested.
“Nope.” She states and smiles brightly when we get to the food line. We grab our food and sit down at our usual table in the middle of the crowded lunch room.
I stare at my food fondly, wondering briefly if I eat too much but those thoughts are washed away as I take the first bite of the junk food that will surly lead to an early death.
“Lev, you look like you're ready to make love to your food.” Lydia states, laughing a bit. I glance over at her and grin.
“Just admiring it.” I reply. She shakes her head and rolls her eyes but continues to eat her own food. As I take another bite of the heavenly food our other friend, Jessica, sits at the table. Lydia glances at her then grins.
“Jess, doesn't Lev look like he's two seconds from screwing his food?” Lydia asks and Jess shrugs. I send a glare at Lydia but she swiftly ignores it while Jess takes in my appearance.
“We--” Jess starts but I moan, rather loudly, cutting her off because the food is just so amazing.
“I mean, I was going to say no, but I think I've just been proven wrong.” Jess muses and I shrug it off, continuing to dig into my food. After we're finished I begin working on math while Jess and Lydia chat about random things that I honestly couldn't care less about. I zone out momentarily, ignoring them, until I hear my name come up so I focus on their conversation again.
“So, Lydia. Did Lev tell you about the new assignment in English?” Jess questions Lydia who groans.
“Yes, it's horrible.” She grumbles over-dramatically just as the lunch bell rings, indicating lunch is over. We all go our separate way, and I end up falling asleep in a few of my less important classes. When the last bell rings it's like music to my ears.
When I get out to the parking lot I notice Lydia and Jess waiting in front of my midnight blue Camaro. Unfortunately, I'm their ride to and from school, which can get irritating but at least I don't have to go out of my way to drop them off. We all get in, turning on the radio. I drop Jess home first and glance at Lydia.
“So, home or did you want to hang?” I question, because most of the time she'll hang around my house after school to avoid her parents. She seems to think about it for a few minutes but shakes her head.
“Home, I've got homework to do. Not to mention we both have to get ready for the job shadowing assignment.” She adds with a heavy sigh and I nod sorrowfully at that.
“I hate that you're right.” I mumble and drop her off at her house. When I get home I go straight to my dad who's sitting at the couch reading the paper.
“Hey Dad. I need to shadow you this month.” He stares at me for a moment, processing my abrupt words.
“Why?” He asks curiously.
“A school assignment. I have to leave school at lunch, spend the day at your work and write a report about it.” I explain and he nods slowly, thoughtfully. Then he shrugs and turns towards the direction of the stairs.
“Sheryl,” Dad calls and my mom comes into the room not five minutes later.
“Hm?” My mom hums in question, her hazel eyes that I inherited glancing at my dad curiously.
“Lev is going to shadow you for the month.” He states, glancing down at the paper innocently while both my mom and I stare at him in confusion.
“But I want to shadow you, your job is fun.” I add and he looks up at me once more.
“Nah, all I do is sit at a desk and order people to demolish buildings. Plus, my colleagues are old, all in their sixties. While your mother's colleagues, on the other hand, are much closer to your age. They're still in their twenties, some are even your age, you'll get along with them better.” He explains and I continue to stare at him.
“She sits in a desk all day, too.” I state. He shrugs, turning back to the paper again.
“You're shadowing your mother, don't argue. Now, go do your homework.” He orders without glancing at me and I roll my eyes, obeying his order. I finish all my homework by eleven so I get ready for bed, praying my dad is right and I'll get along with my mom's colleagues when I meet them tomorrow.
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