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Beautiful With You Part Five
Chapter Five

The whole first month of college went quite smoothly for them. Once they really got into it, the routine was easy. Even for Jade who worked in the afternoon and went back to school at night and with a boyfriend thrown in the mix. She still managed to find all kinds of time to study. Maya was ignoring Frank for most of that month and it felt like weight being lifted off her shoulders. Now she had more time to focus fully on her schoolwork. And Audrey was taking Professor Brook’s advice and was going out and having fun just as much as she was studying. Professor Brooks had suggested numerous different art museums and stuff all over the city. It made the final draft of her essay a breeze to write. They were all actually kind of enjoying college.

David pulled up in front of the gates and Jade turned her body to grab her bag from the backseat, “Thanks for driving me today David. You’re sweet. I could’ve just driven myself ya know.”

“I know but I haven’t seen much of you lately,” David replied with a smile, “What time do you need me back here?”

“Around 11 so I can get to work,” she said. She grabbed his head so he’d be force to give her direct eye contact, “Don’t be late David. Because if you’re late, I’ll be late. And if I’m late, I’m gonna be really pissed off.”

“Why do you care if you’re a little late for work?” David chuckled and Jade grabbed his head again, “Because it’s a job and it took me the entire summer to find it. Do not ******** this up for me David.”

“Ok, ok!” David smacked her hands away and leaned away from her so she couldn’t grab his head again, “I’ll be here to take you to work and then take you back here after that.”

“Good,” Jade smiled and leaned forward, holding his face in her hands as she kissed him, “I’ll see you then.”

Jade got out of David’s truck and he drove off as soon as she shut the door. She found Audrey first and they stopped to hug, “How’s living in a dorm?”

“It’d be a lot nicer if I didn’t have a roommate,” Audrey laughed, “Or a roommate I knew at least.”

“Maya would have gone to the dorms with you if she didn’t have a place of her own,” Jade said, “And I would’ve but I didn’t want to pay even more for a dorm room.”

Audrey nodded and then gestured to the front gate where Jade and David had just been, “I’m glad you guys have managed to last a month.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well in freshman year, after that first month you started becoming really unhappy because ya know, David has mixed up priorities and all that,” Audrey said, “Has he gotten better at that?”

Jade didn’t want to answer that. Because in the past month, he’d rescheduled two dates because he had a show on those nights and had dragged her to at least three shows. Going to concerts got a little boring when you saw the same band play the same songs and then watched your boyfriend flirt casually with other women right in front of you. But this was probably was the life you chose when you decide to date a musician. There were some things to work out. But relationships weren’t perfect. Maya was just complaining about Frank the other day. She was saying whenever he was with Gerard and Vivian he turned into a big man child. So even four year long relationships had their issues. Then again, Maya hadn’t spoken to Frank in a month.

“Well I have to get to class,” Jade headed for Professor Winter’s class, “I’ll call you later.”

Audrey headed in the opposite direction and Jade walked across campus to Professor Winters’s class. It seemed like every time she arrived, he was alone. She checked her phone. She came in at least ten minutes later than she did the first day. He was standing in the front of the classroom, standing over his desk looking at a piece of paper. The sound of Jade’s boots caught his attention and he laughed when he saw her, “I knew it would be you.”

“How’d you know?”

“Your boots,” he said, pointing to her feet, “And besides that, you’re always the first one here every time. You really love this class don’t you?”

“I’m a writer,” Jade said, “Of course I do.”

Professor Winters sat on top of his desk and crossed his arms, “I’ve been reading a lot of your stories lately. You’re quite the story teller. You’re one of my favorite writers.”

“I don’t know. I know my friend Maya is taking this class too,” Jade kicked her foot and turned away, “She’s a brilliant writer.”

“Maya Strong?” he said, “Oh she’s good too. You two just have different styles. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re good at what you do Jade.”

“Thanks,” Jade felt her cheeks burn and she hurried to sit down so she didn’t have to talk to him anymore. As she sat down, people started to enter the room and she watched Professor Winters’s change to professional mode. She hadn’t really realized until she watched his whole body change that he was being so casual and friendly with her, not just on a teacher student level.

After that class was over, Jade stood at the gate, waiting for David to show up. He was supposed to be here by now and if he didn’t show up in the next thirty seconds she was going to be late for work. She sighed and began to fidget as she pulled out her phone and angrily punched his number into her phone. He didn’t answer until it was about to go to voicemail, “Jade. I’m sorry I can’t pick you up today.”

“David! Are you kidding me right now?!” Jade shouted, “You were the one who begged me to let you take me to school. If this was gonna be a ******** problem you should have just driven me home this morning so I could take myself!”

“Jade I’m sorry!” he said, “We have a show in two weeks and we have a last minute band practice. Don’t you have someone else to drive you?”

“No David. Maya and Audrey have normal class schedules!” Jade snapped, “And what do you mean two weeks? We have plans that night David!”

“Well you can come to the show instead!” he said and Jade knew he was probably smiling like that was the greatest idea in the world.

“David I like seeing you perform but I don’t want to see your band play every single goddamn weekend,” she groaned, “I like having you to myself sometimes.”

“Well I’m sorry Jade,” he said, “We’re getting paid big for this show. I can’t cancel it.”

“Fine David. I’ll figure something out,” Jade sighed and pulled out her wallet to see if she could call a cab or take a bus to work even though she really didn’t want to do that since all she had were twenty dollar bills.

“I love you,” he said.

“You’re an a*****e,” she replied and she hung up before he could respond. She began looking for a number to call a cab and in the back of her mind was hoping her boss would understand this one time that she screwed up and let her unreliable boyfriend drive her to school with the unrealistic idea that he would actually show up to take her to work. She rubbed her eyes to keep her tears from falling. This was so embarrassing.

“You need a ride somewhere?” Jade jumped as Professor Winters came up behind her.

“How’d you know?” she asked.

“I heard you,” he said. She looked at her phone and blushed, stuffing it into her bag, “Well my boyfriend was supposed to come get me but um, he bailed on me so I’m kind of stuck. What are you doing here anyway?”

“I was going to get some lunch really quick and then come back,” he said.

“I work at the bookstore a few minutes away,” Jade said, “If it’s not out of your way, it’d be really nice if you could do that for me.”

“I’d love to,” he said, “I know exactly where it is.”

Jade followed her car and looked around to make sure no one saw her get into his car with him. It would look bad if someone saw a student getting into a professor’s car even if it was just an innocent ride to work so her boss wouldn’t kill her for being late.

“So what do you do?” he asked, “At your job I mean.”

“Well, we’re trained to do pretty much everything,” she explained, “Some days I’m at the register and sometimes I have to work at the café.”

“That bookstore has some amazing coffee,” he said, “I may get some before I get my lunch.”

There were a few minutes of silence after that as he drove down the street towards the bookstore. When he pulled into the parking lot she finally started babbling like a crazy lady, “I really wanna thank you again for this. I’m really sorry you had to do this for me. I’m never letting my boyfriend drive me to school again I-”

“Jade, slow down,” he touched her shoulder and pressed his lips together to keep from laughing because he could tell she got irritated every time he laughed at something she did or said, “It’s ok. I don’t mind. And this isn’t out of my way at all. Just relax.”

“Well you’re my professor. You shouldn’t have to do this for me,” Jade sighed as she got out of Professor Winters’s car, “It’s not cool of me to do.”

“Well I wanted to,” he said. He patted her shoulder as they walked into the bookstore together, “And you’re the only student I’d do this for ya know.”

“What? Why?”

Professor Winters quickly changed the subject and started nudging her, “Well don’t you have to change into some kind of work clothes?”

“Oh right,” Jade ran into the employee bathroom and changed into her work clothes and clocked in just in time. A minute later and she would’ve been late. She would’ve only been a minute late but she was taught since she was a kid that a minute late is still a bad thing. When she clocked in, she noticed Professor Winters was still in the bookstore. She put her hands on her hips and pointed outside, “Don’t you have to get your lunch?”

“I wanted to get coffee first,” he said, “I was hoping you’d be the one to make it for me.”

Jade looked over at the corner of the bookstore. There was one other person working behind the counter. She grabbed an apron off the hook and put it on, tying it behind her and going around the counter. When the guy behind the counter with her saw Professor Winters, he smirked, “Norman! I haven’t seen you around here in awhile.”

“Well classes started and I don’t have much time to get coffee anymore,” he said, “I’ve got Jade helping me today.”

The other guy looked at Jade for a second and then scooted over to the register at the other end of the counter to serve another customer. Jade couldn’t help but laugh at herself, being self conscious about serving her teacher. But she rolled with it, “What can I get you?”

Professor Winters looked at the food displayed next to Jade’s register and stared at everything for a few minutes before he tapped the glass with his finger, “I’d like one of those chicken BLT sandwiches.”

“Didn’t you want coffee here too?” Jade asked as she typed in the price of the sandwich into the register. Professor Winters tapped his chin, looking at the large menu dangling above her head and his fingers grazed his bottom lip and he finally pointed his finger at her, “Surprise me.”

Jade pulled the sandwich from out of the display case and wrapped it up for him as he pulled out his wallet and paid her. After he paid her, she turned and started making his surprise coffee for him. She didn’t really know what to make for him so she made a drink she was the best at making. She put the cup in front of him and drizzled caramel on top of it, “Caramel Macchiato. Enjoy.”

He took it from her and took a sip of it, licking his lips with satisfaction as he held it up for her, “This is excellent. Usually I just get a regular old black coffee.”

“Well, you gotta switch it up a little bit,” she said, leaning forward against the counter.

“It’s always kind of fun to try new things,” he added. They stared at each other for awhile. People around them seemed to notice because they were watching the two of them interact. Winters sipped his coffee again and held up the sandwich, “Thank you Jade. I’ll see you later.”

“Sure. And thanks again for giving me a ride,” she said, “I can take a cab back later.”

“It was no problem,” he began walking away. When he got to the door he grabbed the handle and stopped, parting with a smirk, “I enjoyed this time with you.”

Frank had left voicemails, text messages, Facebook messages, and e-mails asking her what he’d done wrong. The first time he’d asked, she’d told him clear as day that he was stupid when Gerard and Vivian were around and he made plans with them anyway even though he knew damn well Maya hated them and she was just tired of it and she needed some time to calm down and then maybe she’d think about forgiving him for being stupid.

After a month of not returning e-mails, messages, and phone calls, she was in her English class listening intently as Professor Gray gave his lecture. Maya looked down at her notebook to write down some notes and the sound of the doors slamming open woke everyone up and even forced the annoying fan girls to switch their attention to the fool bursting through the door. The slam made even Professor Gray jump a little. Maya stood up and was ready to get violent because there was Frank standing at the door looking around the room for her.

“Frank what are you doing here?!” she yelled, “I’m in the middle of a class you couldn’t wait an hour?!”

“No!” he shouted back, “I’ve called you and texted you and e-mailed you. Nothing!”

“Well maybe if you listened to me as much as you seem to listen to Gerard and Vivian, you would’ve remembered I told you I needed time,” Maya said harshly.

“That was a month ago!” Frank argued, “It takes you that long to calm down?”

“When someone pisses me off as much as you have yes!” Maya grabbed him and began dragging him towards the door, “Go home Frank. Don’t go sit on my porch. Don’t wait outside my class. Go. Home. Now I know I’m speaking English, but I just need to make sure you are.”

“Maya I can’t leave until I know we’re going to be ok,” Frank resisted and Maya suddenly felt like she was a mother trying to control her child’s temper tantrum. All eyes were on her and she hated all this attention being directed at her. She felt a strong hand grab her shoulder and pull her away from Frank. There was Richard standing over Frank, who was around Maya’s height but he looked so small compared to Richard’s 6’2 height towering over him.

“Listen very carefully Frank,” he said, starting off slowly. But the more he spoke, the quicker and louder his words came, “I don’t know what’s going on here but it is clear that she doesn’t want to talk to you right now and it is incredibly rude to burst into my class during a lecture for something so petty. This isn’t a movie, bursting into your girlfriend’s classroom isn’t spontaneous or cute. It’s rude. Now do as she says and leave before I have to make you leave.”

Maya had never seen Frank speechless before. But after Professor Gray’s tongue lashing, he didn’t have anything to say to that. After having his mouth hang open in shock for a minute he finally nodded and rushed out the door before he could get yelled at again by him. Maya sat back down in her seat and Professor Gray regained his composure and walked over to the whiteboard, “Now as I was saying…”

After the lecture, Maya sat in her seat and waited for everyone else to leave. When everyone was gone, she nervously approached his desk as he was organizing papers the other students dumped in front of him. She handed him hers and hugged her binder against herself, “I wanted to thank you for helping me earlier. I can’t believe he just came in like that.”

“Anyone can get onto this campus,” Professor Gray shook his head as he straightened the papers and paper clipped them together, “But you’re welcome. What was that all about anyway? If you don’t mind me asking.”

“Well my boyfriend really is a nice guy it’s just his friends,” she said, her nose scrunching up in disgust at the thought of Gerard and Vivian, “And he always gives in to what they want and he acts like a goddamn idiot when they’re around and ya know…he knows I hate them too. It’s not like he’s unaware. He knows very well I don’t like them. It’s just annoying. Stupid drama.”

“Well if you don’t mind my advice,” Professor Gray paused to get a yes or no from Maya. She gestured for him to continue, “You don’t deserve someone so immature. And people generally don’t change Maya. You deserve someone who is going to treat you like a queen, someone who deserves to be treated like a king. And you’re a pretty girl Maya. You deserve great things.”

Maya’s heart pounded hard against her chest and she forgot for a moment how to breathe. She was too frozen to even open her mouth to thank him. Her trembling lips just curled into a smile and she nodded. Professor Gray touched her shoulder and she felt his finger squeeze just a little, “I hope I didn’t make you too uncomfortable by saying that.”

Maya swallowed and shook her head, “No. No of course not. Thank you so much sir.”

“Anytime,” with that, Maya hurried out the classroom. When she was outside, she took a few deep breaths and it made her dizzy. If any other teacher had told her that, she would’ve thanked them with ease and left. But when he said it, it had this effect on her. She replayed it over and over in her mind and she felt her stomach jump a little when she recalled him telling her she was a pretty girl. Especially when he said it with his accent, it made her melt. She got into her car and looked for Frank in her contacts. She stared at his number for the longest time before she finally pressed call and pressed the phone against her ear. Frank answered on the second ring, “Maya I’m glad you called!”

“Frank, I wanna meet up and talk about us.”

When everyone was in class sitting down, Professor Brooks clapped his hands loudly and rubbed his hands together in his normal excited way, being a little fidgety as paced the room, “Well, it’s been a really great first month and I’ve been looking over your work very closely.”

Audrey and the other students leaned in because they knew exactly what Brooks was going to say. He folded his hands behind his back and grinned, “And I know you’re all wondering who is going to be chosen to work with me on my project.”

Audrey heard a few anxious girls and a few people sucking in their breaths. Brooks leaned his head back and closed his eyes, “And I can confidently say that…”

Everyone started shaking their arms, begging him to just spit it out. He opened his eyes and smiled, “I’ve narrowed it down to five students.”

The whole class groaned but Audrey was the only one who was laughing. And she was kind of relieved that he had narrowed it down to five. She wasn’t ready to hear him pick someone else to work with him. She wanted this so bad now that she’d had the chance to get to know him a month ago when they went to the art gallery together. She hadn’t spent any time with him since and she really wanted to. But she knew every other girl did too and she had lots of competition. Those girls were out there and noticeable. Audrey was very quiet. She just kept her eyes on Professor Brooks and her notes while some other girls whispered among themselves, listening to about half of what he was saying. She didn’t think even with the personal time she’d spent with Professor Brooks that he’d notice her. But she tried her hardest to keep her hopes up and if she was in the top five, she was going to step up her game and work ten times harder to have a chance of being picked.

As Audrey left the room after the lecture was finished, Brooks stopped her before she could get far, “Audrey come here I wanna talk to you.”

Audrey moved to the side so the rest of the students could exit and she walked over to his desk. Professor Brooks was again getting fidgety like he did when he got really happy and he grinned, “Well you know how I’ve narrowed it down to five right?”

“I do.”

“Well I just had to tell you that this isn’t true,” Audrey’s heart dropped to her stomach for a second. Was he dangling this top five thing in front of them to motivate them to work even harder so he could just laugh and say “Ha I tricked you!”

“I’ve already picked someone,” he said, “I wanted it to be a surprise but I just have to tell you right now.”

“Who did you pick?” Audrey asked slowly, trying to mentally prepare herself for his answer, good or bad.

Professor Brooks gave her a sneaky smile, “Well, it’s one of my female students. She’s very smart. She’s the best student I’ve had in awhile and she’s one of my favorite students.”

Audrey bit her lip to prevent Brooks from seeing her smile, “Who is it?”

“It’s you!” he exclaimed, “I’ve picked you to work with me!”

Audrey knew it was her before he said it but she gasped anyway like it was a huge shock. Without thinking she threw herself at him and hugged him tight. She didn’t realize she’d done it until after her arms were around his neck but at that point she didn’t care. And she felt his arms hug her around the waist, “Thank you so much sir! Thank you for this amazing opportunity. I will not disappoint you!”

“I know you won’t,” Brooks patted her back and they stepped away from the hug but Audrey kept her hands on his shoulders. She didn’t really know what to add so she just stared into his eyes until he laughed and grabbed her hands and pulled them off his shoulders, “Well don’t just stare at me. Go tell your friends go celebrate!”

Even though he’d told her to go, his hands still had a hold of hers and she wondered if he even noticed because he wasn’t looking at anything but her. He finally glanced down at his hands and yanked them away, laughing at himself, “Sorry. Now go on!”

Audrey waved and ran off, pulling her phone out of her pocket to call her friends. She would take Professor Brooks’s advice this time and actually go out and have fun. This was definitely the time to celebrate with Maya and Jade.

YAYYYYYY everyone's happy so far. Why is Audrey's part always so short? Sorry my lovelies. I'm kicking some a** right now I know. If you could see me, I'd be bowing right now. Applause is not necessary but it is appreciated xd mrgreen anyways, HERE IT IS


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