"Miss James." My Bio cluster/Genetics professor, Mrs. Brown said calmly in surprise. I looked at her with apologetic eyes.
"I'm sorry, professor." I said, clutching the strap of my bag on my shoulder nervously as I became aware of several eyes on me.
She gave me a look through her thick red rimmed glasses, pushing them further up her nose. "Do you realize that you are almost twenty five minutes late to the class?"
"I know, but someone-"
"I don't want excuses. You must not be late to class. Either be on time or don't come at all."
I dropped my gaze from her to the floor. Mrs. Brown was a bit hot headed lady. She was kind and good but she could be scary if she wanted to. And no one dared to be late to her class. But I was. It just so happened that a girl accidentally spilled her drink all over me before class and I had gone to clean up. And I didn't even hear the bell signaling that Mrs. Brown's class had started.
"If you were a mere five minutes late, it would have been okay, Ms. James but do you realize that you are twenty five minutes late? Twenty five is a lot."
"I-I'm sorry," I stammered, a result of being the center of attention of so many people.
"Well I'm sorry too for I'll have to take one point from your academic performance."
"No!" I burst out. "I mean, Mrs. Brown please no, don't do this. It won't happen again. Please."
"Give me one reason why I shouldn't, Ms. James. Do you realize how bad you performed in the last test?" She asked.
I remained silent. I had done pretty bad on that test. The concepts weren't easy and I rarely had time to study because of my part-time job.
"Do you even remember what is Centimorgan, Aneuploidy, Monosomy and Trisomy? I'm pretty sure you learned it in your AP Biology class in your high school."
I looked at her with a sheepish smile plastered on my face. "Uh, Centimorgan is a...genetic disorder in which a person has four-no, um three copies of a chromosome instead of two," I said unsurely, looking at her hopefully.
"That is Trisomy. Not Centimorgan."
"Oh, um...sorry." I said quickly. Her stare intimidated me and I looked down again at the suddenly interesting patterns on the tiles, hoping she would disappear into thin air.
"You don't know what that is? Two points will be taken away." She said calmly. "I don't want you in my class today."
I didn't budge. "Please."
"No," she almost raised her voice. I sighed quietly. I had no wish to further embarrass myself.
I left before she told me to one more time. I spent the rest of the time in the library studying.
For the next class, I made sure I was early. The professor was not there yet when I entered the class. I walked up to my seat which was at a far corner, away from the lecturer's sight.
There were a lot of students in the class. They were all chatting with their friends. I looked away from their happy faces and took out my book. I was not exactly smart but I got fairly good marks in all the subjects except for Bio cluster/Genetics.
I opened my book and stared at the pages. I was not reading but I didn't want to look at the people around me who were with their friends.
I had a best friend, Olivia who worked at a café with me. She was like family to me. And then there was Mrs. Odin. She was a kind lady who owned the café I worked at. She treated me like her own daughter and I really loved her. She lost her daughter in a car accident a few years ago. It was something horrible that she recounted to me when I started working at her café a little less than a year ago. She was understanding and I was sure she wouldn't be mad at me for being late today. I considered Olivia and Mrs. Odin my family.
Soon enough the professor entered the class. I paid attention to what she was teaching and took notes.
I watched as she scolded a guy in the class. He talked rudely to her. I hated my classmates. They were all filthy rich unlike me. But that's not why I hated them. It was the way they talked to the others, the way they behaved that angered me. Most of the people didn't talk with me because my status was not as high as their and I was not rich. But it's not like I was poor and starving. Mrs. Odin paid me well. Some of the people were nice enough to be my friends but I could see that they behaved friendly with me because they pitied me. And I didn't want their sympathy, I wanted real friends. I wasn't good at reading people so I couldn't be sure. Maybe my inferiority complex was to be blamed.
The teacher resumed her teaching and after an hour, the class was over.
I made my way out of the class and that was when someone shoved me away from their path. The books in my hand fell down and I turned around to glare at the person who pushed me.
Ashley Johnson walked past me. She didn't notice my glare.
"Can't you walk properly?" I spit out. She turned around.
"You were in my way," She sneered at me. "And oh my God! Did you just touch me?!" She made a horrified face at me.
"I don't touch shitty things. I'm pretty sure you pushed me." I was not like them, but that didn't mean I'll keep my mouth shut when such things happened to me.
"What did you call me?" She took a step closer and grasped my arm. Her perfectly manicured nails dug into my skin.
"You are a piece of crap. Get your claws off of me." I said and wriggled my hand out of her tight grasp.
"Shut up, you...you bitch!" She released my hand and glared at me. "You deserve what you got."
"What do you mean?"