I thought I might tell you what's been happening the last couple of weeks. It all started one day when Mitch came into town to pick me up from school. Justin usually brought Rosa and me home, but he was working late and he had a school board meeting to attend that night. Mr. Foster and his family had been unexpectedly called back east for some family emergency and we had a new substitute teacher who had only moved to town a few months ago.
School had let out, but Johnny, Cory, and I had been in a fight during recess and had to stay after to help clean up. You see, during recess Johnny had started teasing Rosa. Rosa, the peacemaker she is, tried to ignore him and asked me to do the same. I was trying my best but when he pulled her braids hard enough to bring quick tears to her eyes, I had had enough. I jumped up and punched him square in the face. Startled, Johnny stumbled backwards and fell on the ground, blood spurting from his nose.
But he certainly didn’t stay startled for long! He jumped right back up and pushed me down into the dirt. "If you weren't a girl, you would have a bloody nose yourself!" Johnny exclaimed.
Cory ran over from where he had been playing ball with the other boys. “Andi, are you alright? What did he do to you?" he asked, helping me stand.
"I'm fine. He just pushed me down after I punched him for being mean to Rosa." Cory turned to Johnny. "So, now you’re gonna start being mean to girls, Johnny?" He exclaimed as he punched Johnny in the eye.
I blushed. Cory didn't know about the time Johnny had kissed me.
At just that moment the substitute teacher came out. I was glad she had come because I knew that if she hadn’t, well . . . Cory and Johnny would have gotten into a real fight and one of them could have gotten hurt.
We, all three of us, were made to stay after school as a punishment. I looked out the window and saw Mitch pull up in the buggy.
I walked up to the teacher's desk. “Miss Martin, my brother is here to pick Rosa and me up from school,” I said. “May I go down and tell him why we will be a while?'
“No, you may not.” She turned to Rosa “You may go and tell Mr. Carter why Andi is going to be late.”
Rosa nodded and hurried down the stairs, and I went back to cleaning the blackboard and the erasers.
Just as I was finishing the blackboard, I heard Mitch's footsteps pounding up the stairs. I am going to be in big trouble. I thought.
Just then, Mitch walked into the room, with Rosa right behind him. Miss Martin looked up as Mitch walked in, but his eyes were on me. “Andi, come here,” he said.
I obeyed, dreading the scolding I knew was coming. As I began to walk towards Mitch, Miss Martin stood up.
“Mr. Carter, Andi is helping me tonight as punishment for a fight she got into at recess. I ask you to please not intervene.”
Mitch looked toward Miss Martin as though just now realizing she was in the room. He didn’t speak.
I looked at my brother and was startled to see the expression on his face. Uh-oh! A disturbing thought wormed its way into my head. Does Mitch like the substitute teacher, Miss Martin?