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Setting Friday Free (A Buzby Beach Novel) Chapter 03


DW is a veteran, a father, a husband, and a teacher. He's published 9 YA/NA novels thus far. The story you're reading might be next.


Garrison and Calvin

Garrison almost gave in to the temptation to take a dip in the pool before heading to school. Only imagining how his professor would react to him being late during the first week of the classes kept him from doing so.

Garrison momentarily considered telling the friends he'd thus far made at UNCW about the girl in his pool. He refrained from sharing the experience because he convinced himself they wouldn't believe him.

Garrison's friend Calvin, a guy he'd met during Orientation and again at their induction into the schools Honors and Scholars Program, arrived at the same time as Garrison did. The two of them walked to the student union, intending to grab some coffee before heading to class.

"Did you get all the homework done from yesterday?" Calvin asked Garrison as they crossed the campus from the parking lot to the student union building.

Garrison nodded. "I got it all done. Whether I got all of it right is a whole different question."

"How about the reading for Dr. Farley?" Calvin asked. "I had a hard time staying interested in that dry old history. I hope she doesn't pop a quiz on us tomorrow."

"I got through it all," Garrison claimed. "Finishing all the pages she assigned wasn't easy. I like history, though, and I studied most of this stuff in high school."

Garrison, Calvin, and Mariah

"It starts to get better," a female student informed Garrison and Calvin as she caught up to them from behind. "I read ahead."

"No surprise there," Calvin said with a grin. "How far ahead to you read?"

The female student, Mariah – her mother was a huge fan of Ms. Carey, had skin a few shades lighter than Calvin and darker than Garrison. Her mother was from Cameroon, and her father was Scottish. Mariah was also Calvin's girlfriend and had been since high school, which was when they first met, and she'd informed him that he was going to be her boyfriend. Mariah was also in the Honors and Scholars Program and almost all the same classes as the two boys.

Before seeing the girl in his pool, Garrison was convinced Mariah was the prettiest girl he'd ever known. She still is, he reminded himself. I don't actually know the girl I saw in my pool.


Garrison and Delaney

The three arrived at the student union, got their coffees, and proceeded to their first class of the day. The course was Basic Calculus. It was taught by a graduate teaching assistant named Ms. Kraus, a young German woman working on a Masters Degree. Ms. Kraus was twenty-seven, tall, fit, blond-haired, blue-eyed, and spoke with just a trace of an accent. When she was an undergraduate student, Ms. Kraus also played on the ladies' tennis team at UNCW.

Garrison took his seat in the third row from the left, third seat from the front. Calvin's place was to his right in the fourth and last row. Mariah sat behind Calvin.

The female student who sat behind Garrison, Delaney, could have been Ms. Kraus' younger self but with light brown rather than blond hair and hazel eyes instead of blue. Delaney, also a freshman, was a tennis player on the UNCW team. She'd all but refused to acknowledge Garrison's existence since the first day of classes despite them having several together.

Delaney's attitude suited Garrison just fine. Garrison was used to having few friends, and those he did become friends with; he chose carefully. Trying to be friends with Delaney would take an effort Garrison had neither the time nor inclination to make.

Delaney seemed to sense this about Garrison. If not, then his complete lack of concern over her ignoring him bothered her immensely. When she walked by him on the way to her desk on the fourth day of school, she wrinkled her nose at him and said, "Morning, Gary," as if she thought getting his name wrong would provoke a response.

Garrison laughed and shook his head but deigned not to answer. Delaney dropped into her seat behind him with a huff. Garrison turned his head to look at Calvin. Calvin was looking straight ahead, trying to stifle a laugh.

Calvin's lack of success in stifling the laugh was abruptly aided by Mariah's hand meeting the back of Calvin's head with something just short of an actual slap. Calvin grimaced but said nothing.

From the corner of his eye, Garrison saw Mariah pointing a finger his way. He quickly turned and faced the front of the room.

Delaney's Announcement

Ms. Kraus followed the last of her students into the room. As they took their seats, she took the roll. Garrison learned the first day about bells and college. There weren't any. Students were expected to be where they should be when they should be. Teachers started and ended classes on time. If you were late, it was up to the teacher if they wanted to let you come into class.

Ms. Kraus reviewed the syllabus. Then she asked if there were any questions about the document. Nearly every hand in the room shot up. For the next several minutes, Ms. Kraus did her best to answer every student's question about what was basically the contract between her and the students detailing what would be expected of each of them during their semester together. Garrison thought she did an okay job.

When no more hands were raised, Ms. Kraus launched into her first lesson. At the end of class, Delaney raised her hand to ask a question.

"Yes, Delaney," Ms. Kraus intoned in a way that made it obvious to Garrison, at least, that the teacher and selected student planned this particular moment. "Do you have something to add?"

"I do, Ms. Kraus," Delaney purred as she got to her feet. "But my question isn't about calculus. It's not a question at all, actually. I want to encourage everyone to come out to the tennis match today and cheer for the players. I know it's just a challenge match, but it would be great to have some spectators."

Garrison's heroic effort not to snort paid off. His eye roll went unnoticed by Delaney as well. That was one of the benefits of her being behind him when she made her announcement rather than at the front of the room. He dared not look at Calvin.

When Delaney sat down, she said to Garrison in a stage whisper, "Of course, I don't expect to see you there, Gary," to which Garrison replied, "I'm hurt. I'd been looking forward to attending the match all week."

Delaney responded with a loud, "Harrumph."

Ms. Kraus overlooked the interplay between Delaney and Garrison. Instead, she reiterated the homework, reminded her students of the tutoring help available both at the math lab and on-line, and then dismissed the class.

The story continues in Chapter 04.

© 2020 DW Davis


DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on December 08, 2020:

Some interesting interactions starting up!

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