Mr. Ross went on with the class while I stared at the screen of my cellphone, waiting for Alex’s reply. It never came. He probably had his cellphone in his bag while his head was buried in a mountain of textbooks somewhere. The library was like his second home so it wasn’t unusual for him to go incommunicado for long periods of time.
“Miss. Messy Brown Hair, can you please tell the class the major reason behind the ill feelings that developed between the United States and Latin American countries in the early twentieth century?”
I lifted my gaze from my cellphone to meet the stares of the forty five other students in my class. I felt like shriveling into dust and floating away through the windows. For starters, I didn’t have ‘messy brown hair’. My hair was brown alright, but despite the fact that I didn’t use a flat iron that morning, I wouldn’t classify it as messy. It was straight, just not celebrity straight.
I started, but couldn’t find the words to continue. Latin American countries had ill feelings towards the US? How was I supposed to know that? Besides, there were a thousand possible reasons for any country to have ill feelings towards another country. How was I to make a guess?
I heard suppressed snickers among my classmates and felt the heat rising in my cheeks. The only thing worse than a dumb idiot in History class is an angry, red faced dumb idiot in History class. So, I decided to take the honorable fall.
“I have no idea, sir.” I replied.
“Consider this your first warning. When I’m in class, I expect a hundred percent concentration.” He snapped.
I thought I saw his eyes flash golden yellow for a split second but I wasn’t so sure. I buried my head in shame, waiting for the class to end. He turned around and scribbled some sentences on the board.
“Everyone, your research assignment for this class is on the board. I expect a five page summary by the next class.” Mr. Ross stated.
He gathered his teaching materials into his briefcase and walked out of class.
I zoomed in with my cellphone camera and took a picture of the board. The research assignment was on the belief shaping myths of the early twentieth century. I had to turn in something good – to hopefully redeem my currently nonexistent image. I knew the library had a lot of material on the early twentieth century and made a mental note to go there in the evening.
Since class was over, I called Alex’s cellphone. It rang out. I didn’t want to appear like a stalker or a person with no life by calling and texting multiple times, so I decided to give it a rest. I’ll see him back in the dorm room at the end of the day anyway.