I try to follow Max and Peter out of the cafeteria but I'm intercepted before I make it to the exit. It's Mrs. Basks the school counselor. Her lips are pursed.
“Hi?” I say nervously.
“Hi Maddison, I'd like to talk to you in my office.”
My palms are sweaty as I follow a good distance behind hoping, praying that she didn't see me punch Maddison, so I can at least lie about it later. She keeps stopping to peer over her shoulder. I assume she wants to make sure I'm still following.
In her office, she seats me in front of her desk. She takes her time sorting through papers while she sits across from me. I wait anxiously.
“Okay Miss Bellherst, In light of recent events I think I'd like to give you the option of speaking with a grief counselor,” she looks down at a piece of paper in front of her."I know you refused to stay home and take the personal time allocated to you, which, you have every right to do. I see you have a study hall 6th period, that may be the opportune time to meet with miss Hanley. She specializes in human behaviors, more so than I do. However I would like to speak with your father and get his permission to go forth with this.”
She reads my expression. “Something wrong Miss Bellherst? You look a little... dumbfounded.”
“Um, you know what I really don't want to get my father involved in this. In fact I'm already seeing a grief counselor on my own time,” I lie.
She jerks back in surprise, “Oh?”
“ Yea but thank you for your ...support.” I stand up to leave but Mrs. Basks is still starring at me curiously. I extend my hand for her to shake, to bridge the awkwardness of me dismissing myself from her office. She ignores the gesture.
“Okay Maddison, I would still like to see your father and meet him in person. I don't seem to have any information on him in our system.”
She gasps, “You do know your father right.”
I nod. So I'm not technically lying just yet.
“I just need to make sure you have a parental figure still and I will need to speak with him pronto.” She checks her calender on her desk. “Would you ask him to swing by tomorrow? I'm free all day.”