Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SLIP OF THE TONGUE (01/26/17)
- TITLE: Accidental Partnership
By Donna Powers
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In my defense, Mr. Hammett is probably the world's most boring teacher, and I consider Science the world's most boring subject. So, when he started to drone on and on about the solar system, I probably wasn't the only one thinking about something else.
My thoughts were all about the upcoming Barrett Boys concert, and how I'm so excited my parents are letting me go for my next birthday present. I absolutely love their music, and Robbie Barrett is just so gorgeous. I was thinking of his latest hit song, and his amazing blue eyes, when I heard Mr. Hammett drone my name,
“Miss Ellis,” he said. I suddenly realized he was staring right at me. I hurtled partially back to reality and asked him to repeat the question.
“I asked you who you wanted.”
Now, in my my mind, I was still staring into my favorite singer's eyes, so I blurted out,”I want Robbie.”
An audible “Oooooooh” ricocheted around the room.
I suddenly realized what I'd done. The only “Robbie” in the classroom was Robbie Rivers. I had no idea what I'd just said I wanted Robbie Rivers for, but I knew I wasn't the only one in the classroom who wouldn't purposely choose Robbie Rivers for anything.
Robbie Rivers wore glasses thicker than most decks of cards, and the only “contest” he'd ever win in our class was the “prize” for weirdest voice. We were seniors in high school, but Robbie's voice sounded as if he were still in sixth grade. He was so nerdy that even the school nerds avoided him. He walked with an awkward, swaying gait and in class, he always was always sporting a large, red handkerchief. And he uses it! I mean: who uses “hankies”, anymore?
Robbie Rivers, that's who.
And I'd just said I wanted him. I blinked; wide awake and back to the classroom. I gritted my teeth and shot a wavering smile at Robbie, whose cheeks had turned the color of a fire engine. Whatever I'd just chosen him for, I prayed it would only last for a day, at the most.
Mr. Hammet wrote something down, and then turned to the student sitting behind me, and asked who she wanted. She predictably chose her BFF, while I quickly scrawled a note to find out what I'd just done and passed it over to my own BFF, Julie.
In just a minute, I had my answer.
I'd just chosen Robbie Rivers as my Science project partner.
Oh, man... just shoot me now.
The rest of the class passed somehow, and luckily my next class was lunch. But my “luck” ran out when my new project partner walked clumsily up to me and smiled. “Hey, thank you. Thanks so much for choosing me as your project partner.”
I gulped. He looked so happy; I couldn't bear to tell him my choice had been an accident. I beckoned for him to sit at my table. I figured I should make the best of things and see just how badly our Science project was going to turn out. Haltingly, I asked if he had any ideas for the project.
“How about a project on the solar system?”
Oh, for Pete's sake. It was worse than I'd feared. “C'mon, Robbie. What do you want to do, download pictures from Wikipedia?”
He blinked and answered, “No. I went on a trip to the Hayden Planetarium with my Scout troop, and we took lots of pictures and I got lots of handouts.”
He whipped out a cell phone that had to be 5 years old, but it had picture after picture of planet models and star formations . He started yammering about how he really liked studying the stars and how his favorite planet was Neptune. I smiled as encouragingly as I could and let him tell me about some constellations he'd seen last week.
In retrospect, I was suddenly grateful I'd decided to daydream today, because I suddenly realized: I'd hit the project partner jackpot! I breathed a sigh of relief and began to think I might actually survive this project, after all.
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