Existence 01 - Existence
up higher on his shoulder and flashed me one more grin. “I’ll see you later.”
He walked away, leaving me slightly flustered. I fought the urge to turn around and watch him saunter off. A slow, clapping noise startled me and I spun around to see the talking soul leaning against the lockers with that blasted, crooked grin.
“Impressive. A female with enough nerve to admit she can be wrong, apologize, and offer to rectify the situation.”
I rolled my eyes and sighed, knowing the hallway wasn’t completely empty so responding wouldn’t be possible. “Go away,” I hissed anyway, before turning to head for the cafeteria.
I stood in my living room, frustrated over losing control of the situation in my meeting with Leif. I’d gone to the library prepared to set up our scheduled tutoring and I’d even made notes in the handbook Mr. Yorkley gave to all the tutors. I’d gone to the trouble of creating a schedule for Leif to use, making notes of the days and times of our sessions. I wrote out instructions for him on what to bring and how to take notes in class. Everything seemed so cut and dry. Yet, nothing had gone as planned. I hadn’t taken into consideration that studying with Leif last period would be impossible since all football players must report to the field during last period. I also hadn’t thought about his afternoon practices and his evening job at his uncle’s surf shop. The doorbell rang before I could get any more upset over nothing going the way I’d planned. I couldn’t shake my irritation as I opened the door.
Leif smiled apologetically, “I’m really sorry about this. I feel bad you’re having to work around my schedule. I know seven is late and, well, I’m sorry.”
The steam I’d managed to work up all evening as I’d thought about having to work around Leif evaporated. He seemed sincere and a little nervous. This wasn’t the way I expected him to act. Where was his arrogance? Was he always so nice? Surely not. The guy had dated the wicked witch of the southern coast for two years. I stepped back to let him in.
“That’s okay. Go ahead and sit at the table and I’ll get us something to drink. Do you like root beer?” I asked, walking toward the fridge so I wouldn’t have to look at him.
“That’s great, thanks.”
I took my time, getting the sodas out of the fridge and opening them before walking back to the kitchen table. This would be the first time I’d ever really talked to Leif other than the brief conversations yesterday and today.
“I brought the schedule for class and what all is expected in this course. I have one week before the first speech is due and it needs to be on something I feel strongly about.”
Okay. I was a tutor. I could do this. He was just another student who needed my help. “So, we need to decide what you’re passionate about.” He chuckled and I glanced up from his syllabus. “What?” I asked, when I saw his amused expression.
“What I’m passionate about?”
I rolled my eyes and held up the syllabus. “You know, something you feel strongly about. Like your purpose or platform.”
He nodded with his amused grin still in place. “Passionate, I like that. Let’s think of something I’m passionate about.”
This one shouldn’t take him long to figure out. Some football topic or sports related issue had to be swirling around in his head. I reached over to open the notebook. “Got any ideas?” I asked.
He appeared deep in thought. It surprised me a little. How deep could one get when it came to football? “The importance of adoption.”
I started to write down his answer as his words slowly sank in. Adoption? He wanted to write about adoption? “Okay,” I replied wondering if he would elaborate on why he wanted to discuss this. I completely agreed with him, but how could Mr. Popular be passionate about something so important?
He studied the pencil in his hand and flipped it back and forth between his fingers. I could tell he was deciding on how to explain to me why he wanted to write about adoption. So I managed to keep my mouth shut and wait. Finally he glanced up at me. “I was adopted after living in foster homes for five years. I’d given up hope that I would get a family by the time I turned nine because most people want babies. I was given a chance most nine year old foster kids only dream of.”
If he’d just spoke to me in fluent Chinese I wouldn’t have been more shocked. Adopted? Leif
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