Erin would just as well have not taken the class at all, but sadly, art school or no art school, math was a required course. Of course, that didn't mean she had to pay attention, or even do well. The post-secondary program she was interested in required very little prowess in mathematics.
That's not to say she couldn't have done well, she just chose not to, if only as a way to rebel against being made to take it, and because it was boring. So she spent the entire period, the last of the day today, sketching nothing in particular on the paper that should have housed the notes she should have copied of the board while she should have been listening to the teacher.
And today was no different. Addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, simplification and solving; all were ignored, beaten out by artistry and boredom for sole custody of her attention. Her hands moved on their own, while her brain simply sat back and watched, for a change. It was a relaxing endeavour.
"I'm sure you could tell us the answer, couldn't you Erin?"
Erin looked up, tranquillity shattered. The voice was her teacher's. No surprise there, given what it said. What was surprising was that he had even bothered. He knew she never paid any attention, and he knew her default answer;
"Nope. I was busy daydreaming," she said, not even the smallest hint of embarrassment or even mirth on her features. It was a tired, rehearsed line, but her stoic way of saying it usually hinted to teachers that they should leave her alone unless they wanted a headache.
Now, Mr. Frychowski didn't want a headache, but he had purposely bothered Erin. He had had a particularly bad time the night previous, and was still fuming about it. Seeing a student sitting in his class, ignoring him, doodling, and worst of all, looking tranquil, was grating on his nerves. If he couldn't have peace, no one would.
So instead of ignoring her and moving on, as was usually the case, he stalked slowly over to her desk and looked down at her.
"Clearly," he finally responded. "And about that idiot Turner, no less."
This sentence hit Erin hard.
Turner was Ray's last name, and, to her horror, she realized that her first instinct had been to retaliate to the teacher's words, and actually stick up for him. Ray was an idiot, everyone knew it, teachers, students, and especially her.
But that wasn't even the worst of it. She wanted to ask how the hell the teacher had known what she was thinking, except that she wasn't thinking about Ray. Her mind had been peacefully blank. So how had the teacher come to such a ridiculous conclusion? She didn't generally make her relationships known to the teachers, and this was creeping her out more than a little.
She shot the teacher a strange look and turned her gaze from him, intending to just ignore him, and was rewarded with a further unpleasant surprise.
No fucking way.
She had looked down to her notebook and realized that in her drawing daze, she had drawn a black and white pencil sketch of a man that looked amazingly like Ray for something so rough. And the teacher had seen it. She was mortified.
Am I really thinking about him this much? This wasn't supposed to happen! It was supposed to be over!
As her faced drained to a whiter shade of pale, Mr. Frychowski wore a satisfied smile. No teacher had ever cracked Erin like that, and he knew that for a fact; the teachers kept dibs in the break room. He was immensely proud of himself, and his mood even improved a little as he turned his back to her and went back to teaching.
Erin sat there stunned for a moment. And then another moment.
Mr. Frychowski noticed, and decided to take one last jab at her. "Could you tell us the answer, Erin? Or are you too busy with Turner?"
"(3x+y/2)²," Erin said blankly, and nearly instantly. At the same time, she pushed all of her things into her bag and stood from her desk, not even pausing for a moment before leaving the classroom.
Mr. Frychowski spent the rest of the class being grumpy again.