Happily Amber After

Monday, 31st May 2004

As much as I’d like to think that today was actually a real good day… it wasn’t. Like, don’t get me wrong, it was, I mean, I got some good news about my exams AND we got our Senior badges today (yes!), so during recess and lunch, there were like, no year 11’s on the school grounds.

Except for me.

Yeah.

I couldn’t even enjoy my new found freedom because…

I decided to wait around for Taj.

But… he wasn’t at school today.

I even went to his group of friends to see if he was there.

“Sorry Amber, Taj isn’t here,” Megan sadly informed me as she got up and sort of pushed me backwards.

I was taken by surprise, “Oh… ok then.”

Megan pushed me back further away from the group and lowered her voice, “I heard that you were meant to come to the after party. I’m so sorry.”

“Sorry? What for?” I asked, totally confused.

It’s not Megan’s fault that Taj didn’t msg me. Maybe she meant she felt sorry for me… but there’s no way I want her sympathy.

“Well, it’s not my place to say, but…” she trailed off for a moment, “Just keep trying to contact him, ok? You guys really need to talk.”

Ok, now I was getting annoyed, “You can’t just say something like that and not tell me what’s going on! What the fuck’s happened?!”

Megan looked around frantically, “Amber, you have to go. You need to hear it from Taj.”

Then, she turned around and sat back down with her group, just as Leanne appeared out of nowhere. I thought about talking to her about Taj, but I just can’t stand her. She’s a total cow. And she’d probably find some way to insult me. So I just walked away. But… Megan was acting hell weird. And it’s really put me on edge. Like, what was so urgent that I needed to talk to Taj about? She couldn’t even tell me if he was ok or not. I guess she didn’t really want to interfere and I totally respect that, but you can’t just say ‘you guys really need to talk’ and then not explain why.

As I was walking back to the quadrangle, I came face to face with Mr Travis.

“Amber Atkinson,” Mr Travis said as he beamed at me, “I’m glad I found you. Do you have a moment? I’d like to talk to you about your upcoming exams.”

I gulped, “Uh… ok?”

“Lets… go to my office to discuss this further, shall we?”

Great. I followed Mr Travis into Student Services and sat down in his office, bracing myself for some bad news.

“So, I know that last week we discussed exam arrangements due to your upcoming operation, however, some concerns have been raised in regards to lead in time,” Mr Travis informed me, much to my surprise, “There was consideration in relation to being disadvantaged with sitting your Physics and English exams because of the lack of time you may have in comparison with other students, which is completely reasonable.”

It took me a while to process what Mr Travis was saying to me, “Um… ok?”

Mr Travis laughed, “Don’t be nervous, this is potentially good news for you.”

I lifted my head a little, “It is?”

“Well, if you’ve been a good student, it will be,” Mr Travis said as he leaned back in his chair, “It has been decided that the average mark of your assessments throughout the past semester will be weighted, and a score will be allocated accordingly as your exam mark.”

Wait. What?

I shook my head a little, “I don’t understand.”

“There is always the risk – which I’m sure you wouldn’t take – that by sitting the exam early that the integrity of the exam content may be leaked, which is why it was decided that this was the best way to proceed, given the circumstances,” Mr Travis tried to explain to me.

I still didn’t get it, “Uh… ok…”

Mr Travis took a deep breath and leaned forward, “It means that you will not be required to sit your Physics and English exams.”

I stared at him. Was he serious? I don’t have to sit them? At all?

OMG! It’s like a get out of jail free card!

“Are you sure?” I asked sceptically, “This isn’t a joke, is it?”

Mr Travis laughed, “No, it’s not a joke. But if you would like to sit your exams early-“

“No!” I blurted out without thinking, “No, I mean, you’re totally right. Everyone else will have more time than me to study and that’s not fair. I’m just bummed that I won’t be sitting the exams because of my operation and it’s all going to be based off my class assignments. I mean, I’m not the smartest person, so I know that by doing it your way I won’t be getting like eighty percent on my exam mark to bring up my overall grade, which totally sucks, but, I’ll live.”

I tried not to smile. This was like, the BEST news ever! I seriously don’t give a shit if they give me 50% for my exam grade – it still means that I’ll pass both subjects this semester! And I don’t have to sit the exams! I did my best to act a bit annoyed with the decision, until I left Student Services and did a fist pump in the air.

Mr Travis is seriously the BEST!

But it wasn’t Mr Travis in the end that I needed to thank…

I had English 4th period and when class finished, Miss Dunst asked me to stay back.

“How is everything going with you Amber? You seem much happier today,” Miss Dunst said to me as she smiled.

“Yeah I am,” I replied cheerfully, “I got some good news about my exams. Well, good enough news.”

I wasn’t stupid enough to let her know that I was sooooo happy with not having to sit exams.

Miss Dunst blinked a couple of times, “Oh? Mr Travis has spoken to you already?”

“Well he – hang on. Wait. How did you know that Mr Travis was going to speak to me?” I asked her suspiciously.

She smiled at me, “I knew you were a bit upset about the whole situation, so I… just offered him an alternative solution.”

I was shocked. I had no idea that Miss Dunst had gone to such lengths just for me! Like, I know that she said that she was going to talk to him, but I didn’t actually think that she would do it. It must have been her idea all along! I knew she was my favourite teacher for a reason! I’m so glad that I moved to her class.

“Wow, I didn’t think you were serious…”

“Well, you seemed extremely upset. I just wanted to help. I’m glad you’re feeling better Amber,” she said sweetly as she locked up the classroom.

“Thankyou so much Miss Dunst!” I said gratefully, “It really does take the pressure off, considering I still have to sit three other exams whilst recovering from my operation.”

She smiled at me, “Glad to help. But a little word of warning. I’d be careful of who you tell about your exam arrangements. Others may not completely understand your situation and may be quick to judge.”

Translation: be careful of who you tell because they might get shitty that you don’t have to sit the exams and you’re getting off lightly. Yup. Got it.

I thanked her once again and went in search of my friends. But I didn’t find them. They had gone to the shops across the road and left me behind. It was so embarrassing, sitting by myself in the quadrangle. I just pretended to do homework at the picnic bench to pass the time. But I was actually writing a letter to Eliza. And by the time that lunch was over, it was completed.

And I posted it after school.

Even though I felt like I’d actually accomplished something today, I just felt empty inside. I felt anxious. About Taj. I stayed on MSN all evening and he wasn’t on at all. I tried calling him and msging him – I even threatened to not talk to him anymore and break it off, but I still haven’t heard from him.

Why is he treating me like this? Don’t I deserve an explanation? I mean, I feel like I’m going nuts! I didn’t have dinner tonight because I’m too nauseous. My mouth feels dry and I’m shaking…

Sometimes I really hate night time. My brain just seems to go into overdrive and I can’t stop thinking about the worst things possible. Like, right now, I’m 100% sure that he’s cheated on me. And as much as I don’t want that to be true, my gut is telling me that that’s the reason why he’s avoiding me…

I really hope I get some sleep tonight, otherwise I’m going to go insane!

Amber A.

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1 Comment

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