Episode 19 – Called to the Office
Azalea and I walk outside. Carl’s sitting motionless on a bench, staring at his sneakers. I assumed when we got back to school, everything’d be back to normal, but suddenly, there’s this Carl drama. Jeez! What a waste! It’s a beautiful Autumn day…breeze rustling the leaves….sunshine, and Carl”s a fucking mess.
“Hey, dude, how you doing?” I ask.
He hardly moves. “Shitty.”
“What happened back there?”
“Baker’s fucking me.”
“He is? A minute ago, he thought you were a potential genius.”
“Not anymore. He told the Principal I’m a troublemaker who needs supervision. If I don’t shape up, I get the boot.”
“What?!” I exclaim. “Did you tell him to fuck off?”
“Not exactly. I mean…I argued with him…but it was pointless. They’re gonna appoint him my faculty advisor to…like…deal with my issues. It’s total bullshit. Basically, if I don’t do what he says, I’m fucked!”
Azalea chimes in. “What does he want to do? Sleep with you every night?”
Carl shrugs. “Almost…he wants to tutor me at his place three nights a week.”
I’m stunned. Always assumed teachers want to do what’s best, but Baker’s an exception…reminds me of Dad…he’s totally not who I thought he was. “That sucks!” I exclaim. “What are you gonna do?”
“Beats the shit out of me. I’m screwed!”
“Can you talk to your folks?”
“No way. They think Baker’s a god, and I’m a slacker. It’s s-o-o-o weird, because I’ve never done bad at school. I mean…I’ve never flunked anything, but the way things stand now, if I bitch, Mom and Dad’ll go fucking nuts!”
The situation’s depressing…Carl and I are close. “Listen,” I tell him, “if you go for tutoring, I’ll be outside to make sure he doesn’t do anything weird.”
“Count me in,” Azalea says. “If he lays a hand on you, we’ll kick his ass.”
Carl looks up. His eyes are red like he’s been crying….never seen him so bummed.
“Thanks, guys,” he says. “Life sucks lately.”
“We’re definitely there for you,” I assure him. It makes me feel good to know Azalea’s on board too.
We say goodbye and head to the office…face a crisis of our own.
“Let me do the talking,” Azalea says. “This has gotta be handled just right.”
I’m a little bent. “Oh, and I can’t do that?”
“You can, but you’re not experienced dealing with faculty. I’m a professional. You may have a dick as thick as my arm, but in a crisis like this, you’re a babe in the woods…could say something that gets us in deep shit…trust me. My parents are so fucking crazy, I’ve had to come up with every excuse in the book.”
“Okay.” She’s probably right. My tactic is to apologize profusely and hope for forgiveness.
When we get to the office, Azalea’s amazing. Tells the Principal that, while her Mom was visiting her sick Aunt, her ex-con Dad showed up and kicked us out of the house…explains he’s violent. Wouldn’t let us come back, so we were stuck in the woods all day. She lays it on thick. Points to me. “And Gus here, was frantic about missing school work. He had straight A’s in junior high. We tried to get back in time, but got lost…ended up hitchhiking. It took forever!”
The Principal turns to me. For once, I’m glad to have baby cheeks….studies my face. “Is that true, Mr. Dodson?”
I nod solemnly. “Yes, sir. That’s exactly what happened.”
Unexpectedly, he has another question. “What were you doing at this girl’s house first thing in the morning? Your father had no idea where you were.”
I freeze. Cheeks suddenly in flames….search my brain for an answer. Picture myself on Azalea’s bed with the biggest boner of my life.
She comes to the rescue. “He stayed over to study, sir. I called Mom and she said it was okay, and last night we stayed at Gus’s house. His father was home and we explained what happened. We wanted to call, but we left our cells at my house.”
The Principal nods. “Yes. Mr. Dodson left a message.”
I’m so friggin’ thankful! Almost like my old man again.
The Principal’s no dope…an old guy with white hair, glasses halfway down his nose…sleeves rolled up. Turns to Azalea. “Why did your father kick you out?”
She doesn’t miss a beat. “He was with a woman, sir…wanted the house to himself.”
The principal looks back and forth between us. “Are you both okay. It sounds like a rather traumatic situation.”
“Yes, sir, it was difficult. Thanks for asking,” Azalea says. “My Dad’s one reason I invited Gus over. It helps to have a man around.”
The Principal looks at me skeptically. “I see,” he says. Obviously, doesn’t view me as the strong silent type…taps his pen on the desk. Finally, a smile plays across his lips. “Azalea, as you may be aware, I’m quite familiar with the Burdette family history. Your three brothers graduated from this school, and I’ve been through quite a few scrapes with them.”
“Yes, sir,” she says. “I’m aware of that.”
I glance at Azalea. No wonder she’s so cool under pressure. Her brothers have taught her every trick in the book. Long story short, we get off with a mild warning. Azalea assures the Principal her mother will be back today (a total lie). “If a similar thing happens in the future,” He says, “I want you to call my office. We’ll have a social worker intervene.”
“Oh, don’t worry,” Azalea assures him. “When my mother finds that bum at home, she’ll kick him out in no time!”
He turns to me. “I’m still not sure what you were doing there, Mr. Dodson…especially without adult supervision, but we’ll let that go for now. Try not to let it happen again. Everyone was totally in the dark.”
“I know,” I tell him. “That was bad.”
“We thought Mom would be home,” Azalea explains, “but Aunt Lucy was sicker than she thought.”
“Yeah,” I agree, getting in the swing of it, “and since I’m new here, I jumped at the chance to make a new friend.”
“That’s right.” Azalea says. “I sit right next to Gus, and we got acquainted immediately.”
I’m thinking: Yeah!!! Two days of the hottest shit on the planet…with no end in sight!
The Principal looks back and forth between us. “I’m glad to hear you two have become such friends.”
“Totally,” I exclaim, “it’s awesome.”
The Principal gives me a quizzical look. Gotta keep my mouth shut.
As we head back to class, I’m walking on air. Turn to Azalea. “I can’t believe you had him eating out of your hand. It was amazing!”
“I wasn’t worried. The key to success is credibility…the right combination of truth and fiction….but if we ever get suspended, we’ll just make love 24/7. I can’t stop thinking about yesterday…buck naked all day! Now that’s an accomplishment! I’ve never come close to that with a boy before, but you made it easy. You were s-o-o-o sweet and horny, it was fun.”
I shake my head in admiration. “I’m incredibly lucky to have you as my girlfriend!”
“You keep thinking that, Gussy. I’m lucky too.”
To be continued… Read next episode!