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Last Day of School
An R.L. Mathewson Chronicle
“Oh, you guys are so sweet,” Haley said with a watery smile as she pushed her glasses back up her nose as more of her students handed her cards, boxes of chocolate, small giftwrapped boxes, and several bakery boxes while Jason stood there, glaring at his class who had the good sense to avert their gazes.
“You were the best teacher, Mrs. Bradford,” one of the little bastards said as he handed her a large bakery box that Jason decided was rightfully his, especially since the little bastard had been in his class last year and hadn’t given him anything but attitude.
“Aw, thank you, Eddie,” his wife said with a huge smile that had the little bastard blushing and mumbling, “You’re welcome,” before he returned to his seat.
Deciding that he’d seen enough, he cleared his throat, drawing her attention to the fact that his class was ready. When she saw him, her smile turned sheepish as she ushered them inside to join her class of brownnosers. Shaking his head in disgust, he gestured for his class to join them for their annual trivia contest with the large cup of chocolate milk that he’d grabbed when he ran out to get her favorite sandwich.
Walking over to her desk, he paused and leaned down to kiss her only to pull back and glare at the students that snickered. When they quickly wiped the smirks off their faces, he handed Haley the gobbler sandwich, turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce on a freshly baked roll, that he’d picked up for her and with a pointed glare at his class, he pushed the huge pile of gifts and goodies that her class had plied her with aside and sat down next to her.
Placing the cup of chocolate milk between them, he reached behind her and picked up the huge bag of Hershey Kisses and miniature peanut butter cups and placed the bag on his lap as he gave his class one last glare as he reminded them what he would do if they lost this for him.
Over the years this trivia contest had gone from helping their classes prepare for exams to a contest between the two of them to see whose class was the best. So far, they were tied, but this year he would be announced the winner since they’d have to put this off for a few years so that Haley could stay home with the baby and he’d be damned if he was going to wait until their child was in preschool to finish this.
“Are you ready to start?” Haley asked as she unwrapped her sandwich and took a bite, letting him know that it was time.
Taking advantage of the fact that she was currently unable to begin, he faced the room with a sigh, “First question, what instigated the War of 1812?” he asked with another one of those looks that told his class that they’d damn well better get this one.
When one of her student’s hands shot up in the air first, his glare turned murderous even as he said, “Yes?”
“President Madison took advantage of the fact that the Britain was distracted by Napoleon and attempted to annex Canada,” one of Haley’s little brownnosers said, earning a piece of candy while his class sat there with sheepish looks.
“Correct,” he said, tossing the piece of chocolate to the winner while Haley continued to sit by his side, happily devouring her sandwich.
“Second question,” he said with a slight pause and another pointed look at his class, “When did the United States enter World War II?” he asked, damn well knowing that his class had this one in the bag, because-
“It was after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, but some argue that we unofficially entered the war in 1939,” one of her students said when Haley lazily pointed towards them.
“That’s correct,” he bit out, noting that none of his students had so much as tried to raise their hands.
“Next question,” he said, throwing his wife a curious look only to find her happily sipping her chocolate milk and sending him one of those sweet smiles that he loved so much, “which state seceded from the union first, John?” he said, deciding that he was done with this bullshit and called on one of his students before Haley’s had a chance to raise their hands.
“Umm, I don’t know,” John said with a shrug when they both knew that he damn well did.
“Jessica?” Jason said, keeping his eyes locked on the lying little bastard as he called on his smartest student, who was guaranteed to win this thing for him.
“I’m not sure that we covered that topic this year,” Jessica mumbled, drawing his wrath while she shifted nervously in her seat.
“South Carolina,” the little bastard said while Jason looked at his students, noting the way that none of them could quite meet his gaze before he shifted an accusing glare at his wife, who was still sitting there, smiling sweetly at him as she slowly finished off her sandwich.
“Correct,” he said evenly as he reluctantly threw a Hershey Kiss to the little brat as he shifted his attention back to the class in time to catch the students sharing a look, a look that had him narrowing his eyes and shifting his attention back to his wife to find her looking smug before she managed to pull it back and send him another sweet smile that he wasn’t buying, not for one damn minute.
Standing up, he glared at the devious little woman, “You’re cheating!” he bit out in disbelief.
“Why would I do that?” she asked with sad puppy eyes and a little sniffle that had him shaking his head in disgust.
“Because you knew that I had this one in the bag,” he said, pointing towards Jessica, who had the good sense to send him a sheepish smile, which only confirmed his suspicions.
Shaking his head in disgust, he considered stealing the sandwich that he’d bought her, but since he wanted to actually live to see his child born, he kept his hands to himself and settled for glaring at her.
“You knew that I was going to win,” he snapped as he folded his arms over his chest.
Shrugging, she gave up on trying to play him and took a sip of her chocolate milk. “Maybe.”
“You set this whole thing up, didn’t you?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” she said innocently as she placed her cup back on the desk and returned her attention to her sandwich with a shrug just as her classroom door opened and the principal was walking in, pushing a cart filled with chocolate, bakery boxes and a huge chocolate and fruit basket inside while balloons bounced together in the air, congratulating her on her win.
“Uh oh,” Jessica murmured, letting him know where all those gifts came from.
His students ducked in their seats and did their best not to draw his attention as all those gifts that they’d bought for his cheating wife were placed by her desk. Keeping his eyes locked on the smug little woman happily sipping her chocolate milk, he snatched one of the bakery boxes off her desk and stormed off back towards his classroom as he yelled, “You’re all getting Fs! Fs!”
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