"Now I must say, I'm very pleased with all of you," Mr. Waters spoke, setting down the white board marker on his desk and turning around to face the lot of us. "The reports and presentations that you've all done with your respective partners were great - not that I expected anything less from a graduating class."
His calm blue eyes lingered on me far longer than on any other student's before looking away. I let out a sigh of relief, leaning back against my chair. With that gaze he'd just given me, I knew that I was officially off of his blacklist.
"You're welcome," Damien whispered into my ear from the desk behind me. As per usual, I swatted his face away with the back of my hand, hearing him let out a lowly chuckle as he settled back into his chair. He was right though. If it weren't for how surprisingly hard-working and dedicated he'd been toward completing our project on Stalin (more so than me), I would have been landed myself no greater than a C.
"Anyways," Mr. Waters said, noticing the look of boredom set into everyone's features. He cleared his throat. "I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving break!"
And right on time, the final bell rang as a wave of excited shouts broke through the classroom. Fellow classmates bolted out of their seats, throwing their already-packed bags over their shoulders and started to make their way out of the History classroom. Mr. Waters smiled and shook hands with the few that stopped to greet him back, although by the tiredness of his form, I could tell he'd been looking forward to the end of this Wednesday just as much, if not more, than the rest of the school.
I stood up and started to pack my bag, throwing in my notebook, pen and textbook into my bag before zipping it up. Nick hummed happily by my left doing the same as I, Leo was talking to Mr. Waters at the front of the class and Damien was busy trying to annoy me as usual, prodding my hip with his finger.
"So, any special plans for the four day weekend ahead?" he asked, continuously poking my hip. I slapped him lightly on his arm, throwing him a glare to tell him to knock it off.
"Yup - I'm going to soak up my time away from Damien Cross. That's the most special thing I've got planned."
Nick laughed at what I said, Damien chose to just poke me harder and I simply tried to ignore the two as we made our way toward Leo who ended whatever conversation he'd been having with Mr. Waters, turning around just in time.
"Is he still bothering you?"
I gave him a look. "Always." Was that answer really necessary?
Ever the hero, Leo swooped in without having to hear my reply and lightly nudged Damien, instructing him with a single look to stop poking me. Of course, Damien listened. He always listened to Leo. I wondered if Leo was the unofficial leader of the gang, or if he just had a leash solely fixed on Damien. Either way, I was happy when the jabbing at my side stopped, and took the liberty of leading the group out of the school.