Chapter 21: Return to Form
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Lady woke up and ate a simple breakfast. He took a quick shower after eating and changed into his clothes. He put his glasses on and grabbed his backpack as a slight knocking sounded from the door. Lady opened the door to find Emma waiting there for him.

“Thank you for doing this for me” He said as he stepped outside and locked the door behind  him. Just as promised, Emma had arrived this morning to give him a ride to school. Lady followed her to her car and got in the backseat. Emma smiled as she looked in the rearview mirror. It was almost like she was taking her child to school. 

She pulled out of the driveway and began driving the two to school. She purposefully took a slightly longer route in order to spend more time with him. “Are you enjoying school?” She asked. Lady nodded as he responded, “I think so, I’m starting to make friends at least.” Emma was genuinely glad to hear that, both as a teacher, and an individual. 

She still felt slightly jealous of the fact that the people he considered friends were all girls. Probing further, she asked, “Do you like any of them more than friends?” Lady blushed as he registered her question, “Wha, of course not!” 

Emma was slightly pleased with his answer. He was certainly conscious of them as members of the opposite sex but he likely hadn’t developed feelings for any of them yet. Good, that means I still have a chance. Wait! A chance at what? I don’t see him that way She thought as she continued driving

The two finally reached school and Emma pulled into the teachers parking lot. She led Lady to the back entrance of the school and opened the door with her ID card. They split paths as Lady began heading to the cafeteria and Emma headed upstairs to prepare for class. 

Lady found Lily and Maria sitting together in the cafeteria and decided to join them, there was still some time left before classes started. “I can’t believe you’re back at school already, shouldn’t you stay at home and rest for a few days dude?” Maria asked him. Lady shook his head and replied, “I got plenty of rest yesterday. I’ll be fine.” 

“Oh, umm Lady. I checked out that anime you were talking about on Tuesday. It was pretty good. I’m still only on episode four though” Lily said. Lady and Maria began talking with Lily about the anime while doing their best not to spoil it. Lily had only ever watched sports anime and her two friends were eager to show her more. 

Lily had enjoyed the first few episodes of the show exclaiming that, “They were a lot better than I was expecting.” She made Lady promise though that if she finished the show, he would have to watch her favorite basketball anime. Maybe they could even watch it together. 

Lady didn’t have a tv at his apartment which meant she would need to take the initiative and invite him over. It was a prospect, as terrifying as it was exciting. If she were to invite him over though, she would need to hide her growing collection of artifacts.

His hoodie, the workout rag, and most recently, the dirty clothes taken from his room, she would need a place to hide them all. It sickened her knowing that she was giddy at the prospect of having a home date with him. Despite being so perverse and using his scent in the way she did, she still had the nerve to act so innocent. 

Despite the conflicted feelings, she caved at the thought of spending time with him alone. “If you want. We could hang out and watch a few shows at my place this weekend?” She put a firm hand on Maria’s thigh, who was sitting next to her, and pinched. Maria, understanding her friend's intentions, kept her mouth shut while the two waited for Lady’s response.  

Lady smiled and replied, “Sure, that sounds like fun.” His answer was punctuated by the sound of the school bell ringing. He stood up and waved at the two girls as he headed off to class. “Ah, young love,” Maria said with an exaggerated sigh. Lil became flustered and replied, “Whaa, How do you know?” 

“Well you’re not exactly subtle.” Maria said as she grabbed her bag and stood up “Just make sure you save some for the rest of us.” Lily reflected on the words her friend had said as she walked off. Her mind began to drift to the girls that had been in his apartment yesterday. Was she not alone in her feelings? Her hand formed into a fist as her chest tightened. She didn’t want to lose.

___

Lady was sitting in Ms. Sierra’s class. Despite her insistence on calling her Emma, he still thought it was odd. He tried to take notes but his mind began drifting to their interactions outside of school. It was certainly odd for a teacher to invite a student to her house or offer him rides to school. He had heard stories before of teachers preying on their students and forcing them into sexual relationships. He worried that maybe, Ms. Sierra was after something similar.

He quickly discarded the thought and reprimanded himself for accusing his teacher of such things. All of her actions had been committed from a place of selflessness in order to help him. Besides, there was no way anyone would be interested in him sexually right? He wasn’t hot or rich like the actors and celebrities on tv. Before he could spiral into any more self deprecating trains of thought, the bell rang signaling that lunch had begun. All of the students save for Lady and Anna flooded out of the class. 

Anna’s friend Sara lingered for a moment while talking with Anna before leaving. Lady had heard a rumor that the two of them had gotten into a fight but it seemed that that may not have been the case. Lady was glad that Anna still had friends despite everything he had done to her and everything she had done to him.

His feelings about her were complicated to say the least. As MagicalGirlLover, she was his best friend but here at school, their relationship was little more than bully and former victim. She had stopped bullying him during the first week of school and her friend Sara had given him a free gift card, possibly as some kind of peace offering though Lady wasn’t necessarily sure. 

The two of them got up from their desks and moved closer to the front of the room to were Ms. Sierra was standing. She had called the two into tutoring on Tuesday, though their sessions were interrupted the very next day on Wednesday when Lady was in the hospital. She set to work answering the two’s questions as they worked through correcting what they had gotten wrong on the quiz. 

Part of Lady wished that he could eat lunch with Maria and Lily because he had never eaten lunch with friends before. He realized though that he was the only one to blame for the predicament he was in now. He glanced over at the girl sitting next to him, Anna. He was surprised that she had failed the quiz as well on account of her being rather good at English. He was curious but didn’t want to insult her so he phrased his question like praise. “You usually do really well in English right. How come you didn’t pass the last quiz?” 

Anna turned towards him looking absolutely dumbfounded. She was surprised that Lady not only praised her but also remembered that she had done well in English before. I failed the quiz because I spent every class looking at you instead of our stupid teacher, the maiden in her screamed. “I guess I wasn’t paying attention,” She answered, telling a small white lie. Lady smiled as he replied, “Me neither.”

Anna blushed before turning away to look at the board. Lady took that as his que to do the same, oblivious as to whether his attempt to ease the tension between the two had succeeded. Ms. Sierra was still writing on the board and hadn’t seen the brief interaction between the two students. She continued teaching, allowing them to eat lunch as well, before the bell rang. Part of her was sad knowing that the little paradise she had carved out for her and Lady was once again being polluted with other students.

Allowing Anna into their sessions was necessary though unfortunate. She continued teaching the rest of the class though her mind had drifted to their upcoming session tomorrow. Being close to Lady had awoken something in her. A warm and fuzzy feeling that she wanted to experience more. She wished their morning car rides and lunch time tutoring sessions could continue forever. Eventually, they would both come to an end but if she played her cards right, something even better would follow. 

As stated in the comments of the last chapter, we hit #9 on trending briefly so thank you. I forgot to take a screenshot so I guess we'll just have to do it again ;) P.S. thinking of going back and adding date/time markers at the beginning of chapters and after scene changes to hopefully make it a bit clearer when events are taking place i.g.  Tuesday 5:30. 

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