Today’s post is a writing exercise using the Daily Prompt; what can I say? It tickled my proverbial fancy.
I want to start out by saying that in an ideal world, on July 30 this year, I would see myself holding the proof copy of my next novel to approve for publishing.
It may yet happen, but unfortunately I think it needs a little work.
“Caro, Caro? Come on, wake up!”
“Caro, you slept through class.”
“Shit!” Caroline quickly packed her belongings into her messenger bag, and both girls left.
“Lisa, shit, how much trouble do you think I’m in with Professor Blackwell?” Caro asked as they walked into the student centre. Lisa sniggered.
“He, uh, left you this note.” Lisa said as she handed Caroline the note their Professor had left. Lisa had not understood why Professor Blackwell had been smirking until she had read his note. Now Lisa couldn’t help a smirk of her own as Caroline read the note. They took a seat at the cafe, and Lisa went to buy them a coffee each.
“He can’t be serious?” Caroline demanded as Lisa sat down with their coffees, and Lisa burst out laughing.
“Oh thank God, he was joking.” Lisa started laughing harder.
“No, no…” Lisa wheezed between laughs, “He was dead serious.”
“No, I’m not doing it.” Lisa stopped laughing abruptly.
“Caro, did you read all of it? If you don’t write that assignment: he’s not even going to bother flunking you; he’s just going to bounce you right out of class.” Caroline grimaced.
“I know Lisa, but I can’t. I just can’t, that’s, it’s… Lisa, how can he ask me to write that; it’s like he knew… Lisa! Tell me you didn’t!” Lisa smirked.
“I didn’t need to. You were mumbling in your sleep when Professor Blackwell came to grill you; then he wrote your assignment. But like I said before, he’s dead serious; if you don’t write it he will bounce you.”
“I am royally screwed.” Caroline picked up her coffee cup and drained what was left of it.
“Lisa, I’ll see you later; I need to go. I have no idea what I am going to do about this.” She didn’t even see Lisa wave, or hear Lisa wish her luck. Caroline was so absorbed in freaking out that she didn’t realise that she had wandered in front of the English Department building, and she certainly didn’t see the man leaving the building before she walked smack into him.
“Caroline, what a surprise. I hadn’t expected to bump into you.” Caroline looked up, horrified that she had been paying no attention to where she was going and had managed to walk straight into the man she didn’t want to see. A thought struck Caroline at that moment, that maybe he was the man she wanted to see; maybe she could talk him out of his ridiculous ultimatum.
“Professor Blackwell. Do you have a few minutes?” Professor Blackwell smirked.
“I had a feeling you’d want to discuss your assignment; would you care to join me for a coffee?” At the thought of having the necessary discussion in the cafe, where other people could hear them; and she shuddered.
“No thank you Professor Blackwell; I am happy to wait in the department until you return.”
“It’ll be an extremely long wait, I’m afraid.” He said while gesturing to his own messenger bag, slung casually over one shoulder; and he jingled his keys at the same time. Indicating that he was going home for the day.
“Shit!” Caroline hissed.
“Come on, we’ll go somewhere off campus to have that discussion.” Caroline shuddered, then nodded – not having any other choice – and she followed Professor Blackwell to his car.
Once inside the car he grinned at her as they took off.
“You know, if you really object that strongly to having to write the assignment; I am more than happy to receive it orally.” He said with a euphemistic wink and a smirk. Caroline was fuming, she still couldn’t believe he was doing this to her. She shuddered slightly at his insinuation. While he was driving, and Caroline noticed that they seemed to be going a long way from campus, she opened the note and read it to herself again:
I don’t appreciate you sleeping through my lecture. I want 2000 words explaining the ‘Professor Blackwell’ fantasy you were concocting instead of paying attention. Please don’t bother lying about it. I want it on my desk no later than 9.30 tomorrow. I have no intention of passing or failing you on this assignment, but if you fail to complete the assignment: you will be bounced out of my class – meaning that you won’t have the requirements to graduate in December.
Professor C Blackwell.
Caroline fumed again, and realised that they were pulling up at a block of flats in a residential suburb. Slightly concerned, she glanced over at Professor Blackwell, who smiled kindly at her.
“My flat.” Caroline’s heart-rate spiked.
“I don’t think this is a good idea.” She said.
“And I think that this discussion is necessary.” He responded firmly.
“It can wait until July.” Professor Blackwell looked curiously at her.
“Because,” She began hesitantly, “I don’t have any more classes with you after July.” Professor Blackwell’s face cleared in understanding; and he nodded thoughtfully.
“In that case, I am willing to postpone your assignment until the last day of semester. I’ll drop you home, if you give me directions.” Caroline smiled.
“Thanks, that would be great.”
Professor Blackwell pulled out of his parking space, and diligently followed her directions.
“Do you have younger siblings?” The Professor asked when he pulled over outside the house Caroline indicated. There was a little girl chaining her bike against the down pipe by the front door. When he looked back at Caroline she was smiling out the window at the little girl, but then frowning she looked at her watch.
“Shit, I’m late.”
“Babysitting?” The Professor asked kindly. Caroline winced.
“Not exactly, that’s my niece, Sarah. I am her guardian, and I have been since Sarah was two weeks old. My sister would have been a great mother, but she never got the chance.”
“So, you have a kid?” He asked shakily, but Caroline smiled.
“Yeah, I guess I do. Look at it this way, now you’ve got time to decide if you really want me to give you that assignment.”
Professor Blackwell looked between Sarah, who was waving at Caroline in the front seat of his car, and Caroline, who had smiled and waved back to Sarah before holding up one hand with her fingers spread, indicating that Sarah should wait for her. Caroline certainly loved her niece, the question was how much?
“Caroline, what does Sarah call you?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, does she call you Aunty Caroline, or does she call you Mum?”
“She call’s me Mum, but she know’s that I’m her aunt.”
“How old is she?”
“How old are you?”
“Twenty-seven, I’ve had her since I was nineteen.”
“And you came to Uni when she started school?” He guessed.
“Yup, I decided that it was time to get a real job; rather than working two minimum wage jobs, but to do that I needed a qualification. Technically, I still have another year – at Teacher’s College.”
“I see.” All was silent in the car for a minute.
“When did you tell Sarah about your sister?”
“When she started school, there were a lot of questions; Lily was my half-sister, not that we thought of each other like that, and we have different last names.” Professor Blackwell nodded and thought for a moment.
“Right then, have a good afternoon and I will see you at nine a.m. on the last day of semester when you turn in your assignment; written or oral, either is fine.” He said with a bright grin, that had a hint of a smirk, and a wink.
“I look forward to it.” Caroline replied with a smirk and wink of her own, and then she got out of the car.
“Who was that?” Sarah asked as Caroline unlocked the door. Caroline turned to wave at Professor Blackwell as he pulled out of her driveway.
“Is he your boyfriend?” Caroline smiled, and they walked inside.
“He thinks he will be in July. Do you think he can handle us?”
“Does he know about us and Mum Lily?” Sarah asked hopefully; and she squealed when Caroline nodded. Caroline grabbed a selection of the last bits of different meals out of the fridge.
“Then yes, I think he can handle us. Do you want him to be your boyfriend?” Caroline thought about that and by the time that the food was ready, she knew what she was going to tell Sarah.
“Yes, but not until July. I’m not going to risk my graduation for him, not when it’s so close.” Caroline whispered as she dished dinner.
After dinner they curled up on the sofa together and watched Nemo; both of them looking forward to what July would bring. And knowing that it would be all too easy to fall in love with that man, especially with Sarah’s approval.
Let me know what you think. I think it’s pretty good.