Sarah Jane hastened her steps down the hall and out of the main school building. She had to make a break for the bleachers before Jenny and Catrina saw her coming out of Econ class. She didn’t want to talk to them about her dilemma, either one would understand what she was in for.
Making her way to the backside of the bleachers, rocks crunched under her feel. The sound was exactly how her nerves felt if that was even possible. Once out of site she sank to the dusty ground and stared at the golden-velvety mountain side that climbed a mile high. For a moment the strength of the unforgiving mountains that surrounded her small town gave her courage to face . . . face . . . no . . . the scene unfolded in her mind. Her father would lift the phone and Mrs. Swift, her Business essentials teacher’s frog like voice would sound in her father’s ear. He would receive the news, his expression would fall and then he would hang up the phone. Her pulse tripled and she became light headed, she rocked back and forth. Oh what was she going to do?
After a minute or so of mind crushing silence slow moving footsteps met her ears. She turned toward the sound. There was a head full of black unruly curly hair and the saddest looking light brown eyes she’d ever seen. Her heart beat slowed and she stared, there was something about those eyes that made her . . . she didn’t know . . . feel calm. She shook the thought off as an image from yesterday came into focus. Luke pulling her damn hair, like they were still in grade school. Anger ignited once more. What am I doing talking to Luke Patterson.
She stood up in a rush and dusted off her pants. Her eyes locked on his and shifted away and then locked once again. He stood in front of her with his hands shoved into his pant pockets, black shirt hugging his lean body. He looked worried, that was funny Luke never seemed to worry about anything.
“This was a bad idea. I’m sorry, Luke.” She brushed passed his arm and he caught her wrist gently. Looking back at him, she pulled free.
“Come on Sarah Jane. I saw you this morning. Something’s bothering you.”
She bite her lip and ran a hand through her hair. He was right she needed to talk to someone. She closed her eyes and just blurted it out feeling that would be the least pain way to get through this awkward moment.
“I’m failing Business essentials!” Luke visible deflated and she frowned. “What’s that look for?”
“I thought you were going to say someone died.” Luke said, leaning up against a leg of the bleacher. “Failing a class isn’t the end of the world.”
“Easy for you to say. You don’t have your father wanting you to run the business end of his ranch this summer alongside him. If he finds out I’m failing he wont give me a chance. He’ll ask Brad Hughes to do it, my dad’s foremen. I don’t trust him. There’s only a month to get my grade up.” When the words escaped her lips panic set in. She bent over ready to be sick.
Luke touched her shoulder. When she looked up she saw a beautiful smile split his face. It was a smile she’d never seen before. It took her breath away.
“I have been doing the books for my family’s orchard farm for a year now and I have an A+ in Business essentials.” He touched a strand of her hair and then straightened taking a step back.
Sarah Jane scowled as his hand left her hair and stood up, thankful for the distracted.
“Is that some kind of offer to help me?”
“It is if you want it to be!” Luke turned and walked away.