The Y-files [GL]
While on the road, I sent a message to the FBY line group that we were planning on making a recording with Therese and Eve during lunch break, and asked for Gazette and Elodie's help with that. After that I sent personal messages to Tina and Elsa to ask if it was alright if we came by with Therese and Eve after school, to give them the chance to apologize in person. I also sent a message to let Elsa know that we wouldn't hold it against her if she didn't show her face during lunch break, but that she was welcome to join if she wanted to. That way Elsa could choose if she already wanted to face her assailers, without having to worry about what we would think about it.
A few moments later we arrived in the FBY room. Therese and Eve were already waiting for us there. They were both reading a yuri novel. “Homework from Ms. Lourdes.” they said. It seemed that Ms Lourdes took her role as head of the CYA really seriously.
Once the bell for lunch break rang, the others arrived one by one. To my surprise Valerie and Mia came over too, and asked if they could help us with everything for the play. Valerie was wearing a stunning dress. And was acting like a true ojou-sama. I could understand why her fan club was worried. Mia on the other hand had bound her hair together in a ponytail, and was wearing stylish feminine pant suits. She was rocking the prince part. They really seemed like two different people.
Well, I was not going to say no to extra help. It was a fact that we could use all the help we could get, and the more people engaged, the more chance I would have to be excluded from that play. I really wanted to avoid being on stage at the school festival.
Again, I looked around in a panic. This was again one of those moments where something would happen out of nowhere, forcing me into the play, and away from my kitchen. But nothing happened. I really was becoming paranoid because of everything that happened during this last week, wasn't I?
Then Elsa arrived. Everyone became silent, and we could feel the tension rise in the room. Then Mia went up to her, so everyone was a bit scared about what was about to happen. I could hear Elsa gasp. Then Mia said : “I am sorry for what I did to you and your girlfriend. I know my words won't make it up to you, but you can rest assured that the same will not happen again to you or to anyone in this school.”
Then Valerie said “As a matter of fact, Mia promised me that she would help me protect anyone that we see getting bullied in this school.”
That was one hell of a scary tag team to face. I don't think we will see many bullies at our school for the rest of the school year.
It seemed Valerie and Mia were getting along pretty well all of a sudden. I guess you shouldn't underestimate the power of the Romeo and Juliet staple to bring people together.
Elsa brightened a little at those words and accepted the apologies of the sixth graders.
Then Therese and Eve came up and started apologizing a bit clumsily and with stutters. But Elsa just answered rather bluntly “Let us do that later when Tina is with us. She suffered the most so it will be up to her if we forgive you.”
Although it wasn't really a solution it did clear the air for now.
Everyone sat on the sofas, and was eating their lunchbox. That reminded me of the fact that I needed to find a babysitter. So I threw it out there in the group if anyone wanted to babysit for Emma. Not even 5 seconds later Fien was sitting right in front of me on her knees looking at me with puppy eyes begging me if she could do it. “Please, I always wanted to be a babysitter. I am an only child, so I never got to.” She then put a little pout on her face.
Saying you’ve never done something before wasn’t the best way to create trust in your capabilities for a job... Fien clearly still had a lot to learn before she entered the job market. But in this case, since Emma already knew Fien, and if there really was a problem mom and Frank would just be downstairs, I decided it would be fine to let Fien do it. That was already one line to scrap from my to-do-list.
The second I said yes, Fien became super excited, and ran around the room super happy screaming: “I am finally going to be a babysitter!” She really was like a happy go lucky chihuahua.
Well, with that energy level, at least I did not have to worry about Emma wearing her out.
After our lunches, Elodie, Gazette, Eve and Therese went to the communications room to record the public apology. Gazette and Elodie would afterwards work their social media magic.
After they were finished, Gazette and Elodie came to Elsa and meThey asked us if they could come with us to the hospital, to film the response of Elsa and Tina. Elsa seemed rather reluctant to do that, but then Elodie said “This could be such a great promotion for the idol formation!” At those words Elsa gained glitters in her eyes, and said they could film the whole thing if necessary. She then sent a message to Tina explaining what she had agreed to.
Once you got to know her, Elsa seemed rather easy to deal with. You just had to know how to push her buttons. It is hard to believe I had so much trouble dealing with her for such a long time. Well, at least that seemed to be all in the past.
Elodie said she had found the perfect teacher to direct the play. Apparently one of our teachers was in a famous theater group and had a lot of experience as an actor. The only problem was that she wanted to talk to me before committing. I could feel something troublesome brewing.
“Who is the teacher?” I asked.
“You don't know? Ms. Narcy Stick off course. She has been in movies and on television many times.”
I didn't watch much television. If I had that kind of time, I would spend it in my kitchen. But of course, of all the teachers it had to be the most troublesome among them. Well I could at least have a word with her, and hear her out. I wondered whatever she could want from me. After all, I had not much to do with the play.
I decided to get it over with immediately so I got up to go to the teacher's lounge. Anna also got up and decided to go with me. Luckily the lounge was just at the end of the hallway. We went and asked for Ms. Stick.
“Ah Claire, how lovely of you to come so quickly. She then looked at Anna but decided to act like she wasn't there. Let us go talk somewhere quiet.”
We were being led to a room that was used for student guidance.
Something was wrong. I could feel she was planning something. She was being way too nice.
When we were in the room she smiled at me and said “If you want me to help you with that play, you will have to make it worth my while.”
“You want money?” Anna said, a bit surprised. “I am not sure that we can do that.”
Ms. Stick looked offended. “Of course I am not talking about money. I have a 2 conditions:”
She looked me very serious in the eye before continuing.
“The first one is a rather simple one. Claire, you had been undermining my authority in class, and I never got to put you in your place, due to you transferring yourself to an apprenticeship contract. Therefore I want you to become my personal assistant, for as long as I am the director. Of course I understand that you have other obligations, but I expect you to be there during rehearsals, and to do any task that I give you without questioning.”
This sounded actually worse than having to be in the play. So she wanted me to become her personal slave. Well, if it was only during rehearsals I guess I could stomach it for a week and a half. She was a teacher so I was sure she wouldn't abuse the situation.
But if she wasn't keeping this for last, I wondered how much worse the second condition would be.
“And the second condition?” I probed.
“This is not to leave this room.” She looked at Anna and me and waited until we both agreed.
“I have a date this Thursday evening with a younger guy. I have only chatted with him online and he seems really knowledgeable about restaurants. It has been a while since I have been on a date, and I want to leave nothing to chance. After seeing you do that challenge with the mayor, I wondered if you could cook for our date. That way I can offer him a cook he never tasted any food from, and impress him.”
Normally I would jump at the chance to cook, but this Thursday was just impossible. The brasserie was closed, mom was on a date, and Frank already asked me to look after Emma in the evening because he had some errands to run.
“I am really sorry. I would not mind cooking for you, but I already promised to look after my niece this Thursday.”
“Then I guess we have no deal.” Ms. Stick responded. I could see the disappointment on her face.
Anna then interfered: “I can look after Emma if you want. You can cook for them in the Brasserie. It is closed, so it will be an intimate tête-à-tête.”
Ms. Stick's eyes changed back. I could feel her thinking something along the lines of “I have you now.”
Against my better judgment I agreed to her terms. We needed someone to direct the play, we didn't have much time, and I would just have to stomach it all for a week and a half. “Just consider it part of the job, Claire.” I told myself.
She then proceeded to share her line contact info with me, and said: “First rehearsal will be tomorrow afternoon. Make sure everyone has a script, and all actors are there.”
Ugh that was a lot of work she just dumped on me.
“Okay, then I will see you tomorrow afternoon. I look forward to it.” I could see a little sadistic streak in her eyes.”
Anna answered for me “We will both be there.”
I looked a bit surprised at Anna sticking up for me like that. When she noticed me looking at her she gave me a wink. Making me blush and quickly turn my head. Even though she was helping me, I really was still having a hard time dealing with that woman.