Sorry it took so long, needed to perfect it! Hope you love it...I was kind of weary about this one because it exposes a lot but I hope I did it okay. Anywayz, if you read it, why not take a second to tell me what you think in the comments? Thx!!
Chapter 6: Mr. Rosenberg’s Secret
I rolled my eyes, “Yeah, right, Seth! Now tell me what’s really going on.” He had a serious look on his face, but I refused to believe it. He was simply just making fun of my advanced swimming skills, right?
“Hollace,” His voice sounded a little weird, “I’m…not joking.” Still no smile.
“Yes you are,” I smiled crookedly, “Although it’s not very funny.” I backed away a little bit, kind of freaked out at the games Seth was playing. The way his face seemed to contort when he said that I was a mermaid made me think that he was serious. I mean, serious.
“You have to believe me,” Seth sounded desperate, “They sent me here to retrieve you, Hollace. You have to come with me…you have to come home.”
I backed away even further, my heart pounding. I was scared. “Seth,” I tried to sound gentle, “Your being insane…I’m not a mermaid and I’m not going anywhere with you. I…I…think you need some help.” I backed up against a pine tree, although he kept coming closer to me.
He rubbed his eyes, “I’m not being insane! I’m serious. I know you wonder why you’re so good at swimming when you have no family history of it. I know you wonder why even the swim-team guys don’t understand and I know why you’ve been drawn to me…but I can’t tell you unless you want answers.”
It was like he read my mind. Of course I wanted answers to those things…but how could being a mythical creature connect with any of those?
“No!” I screamed, “You’re psychotic and I want you to go away!” I didn’t mean it. Seth may have been acting psychotic about the whole mermaid thing, but he had answers. Wasn’t that what I wanted?
Before I could throw my dignity away and protest, he shrugged and ran off. I mean, literally. One second I blinked and the next he was gone with barely a rustling tree branch to prove he had once been here.
“Seth?” I called out softly.
He didn’t emerge. The only sound was the water swaying softly, as if it had not been my death trap just seconds ago.
Come back, come back. I need you, please! A tear rolled down my cheek, but I did not brush it away. In a moment, I had thrown away answers. In a single moment where I had put my pride above what really bothered me, I had thrown it all away.
A couple days went by and Seth did not show up at school. Whitney pouted, and I walked along in a daze. Strangely enough, even though Seth had only been at the school for a couple of days, he had impacted me enough to change my life.
It wasn’t until a couple days later that Minnie confronted me about it. We were heading to Mr. Rosenberg’s class, (which did I really need a grumpy teacher to add to my mix of a downward spiral?), and she was talking about her F on a test when she just stopped.
“Hollace Scott,” She sighed, “Something is wrong. Something you are not telling me. Which no offense, but it hurts. I thought I was your best friend, but clearly you are not telling me whatever is on your mind.” She narrowed her eyes.
“You are my best friend!” I told her, “But you’d never believe me.”
She huffed, “I know you wouldn’t lie. Of course I’d believe you. You believed me when I told you that Ricardo was emailing me and we were having these really deep conversations, right? I don’t see much of a difference.”
I rolled my eyes and continued walking, “There is tons of difference! For one, Ricardo is not accusing you of being a mythical creature or claiming he knows everything that you’ve ever wondered about.”
Minnie tilted her head to the side as we stopped in front of Mr. Rosenberg’s doorway, “What are you talking about? When we get inside, write it in a note and tell me.” I nodded and walked in the classroom.
Like always, Mr. Rosenberg was in his mood, which was, I’m pissed off and I hate teenagers and children. Therefore, I bore you with endless lectures on grammar and appropriate behavior in the classroom.
“Take a seat, Ms. Scott and Ms. Larson,” Mr. Rosenberg warned as we lingered over at Minnie’s desk. I wondered if that warning was more for me than for Minnie.
“Remember the note,” Minnie whispered before sitting down and from the looks of it, doing her best to camouflage herself against the laser eyes of Mr. Rosenberg.
I waited until Mr. Rosenberg was heated on his favorite topic: Posture. Then, I began to write the note:
It started with Seth. Remember how he said he liked swimming and I was so psyched about It cuz I felt like he understood me?
I flung the note at her desk with a sneaky and fast motion. Minnie nodded simply and being the perfectionist I knew she was, took her pencil and took her time printing a nice and readable reply before flinging it back:
Duh! You were on that rampage for DAYS! How could I forget your sulky-eyed stares at Whitney’s table?
I refrained from laughing at Minnie’s response, since I knew that it would draw attention and Mr. Rosenberg would see the note. Why not let him have his fun as he compares us to 1800’s young adult posture? According to the tidbits I picked up, “slouching” was not invented till the twenty-first century. I took care in writing my reply, knowing it would definitely freak Minnie out:
Well, something happened in that hallway when I went to talk to Seth. First, he totally blew me off like nothing—no spark had ever occurred between us! Then, I kind of overreacted and left the building, (don’t tell anyone!) and went to my swimming place. I swam down and my ankle got hooked on a piece of seaweed and I would have died if Seth wouldn’t have jumped into save me. Afterwards, he told me I wouldn’t have died because I was a mermaid!!! And then he just left. (It’s all true, trust me!)
I didn’t waste any time putting the note into Minnie’s hand. Once again, I had flown under the radar of Mr. Rosenberg’s watch. My stomach felt nervous but relieved as I awaited her response. Even from not looking at her, I could tell her mouth was open and she was staring at me with wide eyes before writing back frantically:
Holl! Are you serious?!? Because it’s not a very funny joke and I know that you’re a really good swimmer and some points of this create a logical explanation, but IT’S INSANE! Mermaids, (proven by scientists) are non-existent. And I know you are my best friend and I should believe you but this is a lot to process, you know?
I had barely time to read it when I felt the white paper being snatched out of my hand. I gasped, looking up to see Mr. Rosenberg examining it closely with mock interest. “Humph,” He sneered as he walked away, “Quite the little fibber, aren’t we, Ms. Scott?”
My cheeks burned red as I felt all eyes on me, “No. It’s a long story.” I felt like crawling inside of a hole to get away from all this attention. Everyone seemed to wonder what was on the note, but Mr. Rosenberg held it out of reach. In a way, he was the worst one of all. He was the one who played the childish games and still demanded respect. Yeah, right.
“Not really,” He grinned mockingly, “It’s simple, it seems. You’ve summed it up quite nicely here for Ms. Larson, who is still not sure whether to believe it. From what I can tell, it involves you and Mr. Tucker who is absent again.”
Whitney glared at me, “Have you no restraint, ‘Hollince’? He’s mine!” She said my name wrong, despite the fact we had been in classes since kindergarten together. She knew my name very well. With that, Whitney sat back down, her face seemed to be flushed with anger and embarrassment from making a scene.
I felt speechless, and instead, gave Mr. Rosenberg my coldest stare as he continued talking about posture. Minnie glanced at me with a look of helplessness as she didn’t know what to do for me or my whole “mermaid” fiasco.
Luckily, the bell rang soon. I was just about to leave too, as I had already packed my things up for a quick getaway. Not only did I have Mr. Rosenberg’s pink slips to fear, but now an angry Whitney to add to the list.
Like a trained ninja, I slipped through people, leaving them wondering if a slight breeze had gone through the room. (Okay, I wasn’t that good, but I was pretty darn good at the whole “graceful ninja” thing.) I’d almost made it to the door too, when I felt a sharp tap on my shoulder.
At first, I thought it was Whitney, because she probably was dying to know what happened between me and her boyfriend, but why would she tap my shoulder? Girls like Whitney went to head-on-head confrontations, where you couldn’t just turn the other way and slip away.
I turned around. Mr. Rosenberg was giving me his refined, thin-lipped smile that dripped venom more poisonous than a Cobra’s. “Ms. Scott,” He said snootily, “I’d like to see you after class.”
I sighed and nodded. There goes my lunch hour. Seriously, I needed to talk to Minnie, considering what I told her! She must think I’m a psycho, I thought to myself.
The rest of the students thinned out, laughing and talking. Some shot me sympathetic looks and others ignored me. Whitney didn’t mind shooting me a “If looks could kill” kind of glare, along with her lost puppies, Gigi and Kiki.
Finally, Mr. Rosenberg shut the door and closed the blinds. (Okay, I’m not going to lie. That kind of freaked me out. Why would he need to close the blinds?!)
I gulped as I hovered over some random desk. “You needed to talk to me about something?” I asked, fiddling with a loose thread on my hoodie.
Mr. Rosenberg shuffled his papers, “Yes. After briefly reading your note that you had sent to Ms. Larson, you have me curious.”
I whipped my head up and stared at my psychotic teacher, “Curious of what?”
“Do not play dumb, Ms. Scott,” Mr. Rosenberg met my stare, “That note was not just some petty gossip that infests the minds of young adults. It was…supernatural.”
I racked my brain for an excuse, “No, it wasn’t. We were reciting lines from a play. I’m sure you’ve heard of ‘The Mediterranean Mermaid’, correct? Things are not as they seem.”
Mr. Rosenberg shook his head, “No I have not, because it doesn’t exist. Although you are correct in the matter that things are not always as they seem. I pose an example of that.”
I tilted my head to the side, “What?”
Mr. Rosenberg chuckled. Except it was the type of chuckle a villain might pull before unleashing his wrath. And that scared me. Mr. Rosenberg stopped chuckling and looked at me seriously, “I’ve watched you from the moment you entered my class and seen the way you acted. For the most part, you were normal. And then that Seth student came along and you changed. That’s when I knew you were the one.”
I backed away, “I—I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Every step I took back was a step that Mr. Rosenberg gained on me.
“Yes you do,” Mr. Rosenberg sneered, “At first you were scared, but now regretful of turning your back so easily. My assignment was to find the chosen girl and retrieve her. Of course it did not specify who. I always had an inkling that it was you, Hollace Scott, but never was I for sure. That note you so foolishly passed was my ticket of evidence that you were her.”
I gulped, “Who are you, really? And what do you want with me? Do you have answers as well?” I sounded like I was reciting play lines, although I wasn’t. I was just trying to get a grip on my spinning world.
Mr. Rosenberg patted his history globe on his desk, sending it in a fit of spinning. In a way, I felt like that History globe. Going in every direction at once. “Do you really want to know? Because I’m not sure you do,” Mr. Rosenberg continued to spin his globe carelessly. It was the same question Seth had asked me.
“Yes,” I nodded, “I’m not about to do anything—go anywhere until someone tells me what is going on.”
Mr. Rosenberg sighed a heavy breath, as if he did this kind of thing every day, “You see, Ms. Scott, you are not like the rest of those petty human children out there. You are supernatural.”
He paused before continuing, “I’m supernatural as well, although I’ll get to that in a second. As that foolish boy may have told you, you are a mermaid, yes? Now, do not get the idea that suddenly will get red hair and tons of fish friends because that part is all…embellished. Your rightful home does lie beneath the surface with people just like you, although you are different than them. You have a certain destiny to fulfill.”
I tried to grasp what he was telling me without feeling faint, “Are you saying you are a mermaid too? And why are you telling me this? What is my destiny? Do I have a tail like the movies?”
Mr. Rosenberg scowled, “Mer-MAN is the correct term and you ask too many questions. My assignment is only to retrieve you and bring you back. I don’t have to answer any of these questions, but I do. I am supposed to bring you back to your rightful home, but as instructed, not forcefully. The Malum Syreni are trying, as they call it, to become better citizens.”
I tilted my head to the side, “Who are the Malum Syreni?”
“The mermaids to which you belong to,” My teacher explained, “Anyway, all I need for you to say is ‘Ire’. The Malum Syreni did agree that you must say this key word before I bring you back. Ire means go.”
I nodded. “Okay, then. I—” Except, I was cut off by the sudden slamming of the door opening and closing.
“Don’t say it!” A voice screamed. I turned around to see Seth Tucker standing in the doorway. His black hair was slightly ruffled in hysteria, his eyes pleading with something I’d never seen before.
“He—he’s evil!” Seth shouted, “The Malum Syreni are evil, and he is one of them. You do not belong with them, Hollace. He’s lying to you. Whatever you say, do not say ‘ire’ or all hope will be lost.”
I looked at Mr. Rosenberg, shocked. Amidst Seth’s outburst, he looked very calm and collected as if he was training a puppy. “Now,” Mr. Rosenberg looked at me, “How can you believe him? Did he tell you anything? No. All he did was blurt out something and run away like a coward.”
“I was respecting personal choice!” Seth growled, “Unlike you Malum Syreni, we don’t force people to go with us or trick them into saying Ire. And if you don’t let me lead Hollace away from here, you will regret it.”
My head was spinning as I looked from one to the other. “You’re just a boy!” My teacher spat, “Do you honestly expect me to believe that you could outsmart me, let alone get away with the chosen one?”
Seth grinned, a familiar grin that I recognized. It was the grin that he had shown the day he’d told me about his love for water, the grin that made me feel like he was different. And that’s when I knew who I would go with.
I backed away towards Seth, “Look, Mr. Rosenberg, I really appreciate the offer, but I think I’m going to—” I didn’t get to finish because a chair was suddenly coming towards my face. “AHH!” I screamed and ducked.
I felt Seth’s hand grab mine and I let him tug me away from the battle scene. Seth locked the door behind him and we blended into the hoards of teenagers. “Where are we going?” I whispered frantically.
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