Author: Loopstagirl PM
There is one particular event that makes a thirteen year old's life not worth living. But could it provide some interesting insights?Rated: Fiction K - English - Family - Gordon T. & Jeff T. - Words: 2,209 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 12 - Published: 09-20-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7398705
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing!
Sorry haven't posted anything for a while, there is stuff in the works. Bee deserves the credit for the inspiration for this – a conversation a while ago if she remembers, coupled with timing in reality made me remember this! Oh, and I know nothing about the American school system, so I don't know if you guys have these/what they are called! Sorry if I'm completely wrong here!
This one is specially for my awesome Mum!
If there was one day of the year that Gordon hated more than anything, it was Parent's Evening. It really wasn't his fault that Jimmy Hanks had deliberately goaded him again. He knew what his father would say on that matter, but as of yet, Jeff hadn't found out. In true big brother style, Scott had sorted it. But the Math teacher had always had it in for him ever since the first day, and Gordon had no doubts that he was going to bring up the latest fight. Not to mention the lack of homework over the last few weeks. The thirteen year old hadn't meant not to do it, he had just forgotten. Unlike John, he couldn't find the joy in the numbers, and other things had come first. Namely, swimming practice.
It wouldn't even be that bad if it was just Jeff. His father had decided that after the several phone calls he had been receiving regarding his fourth born, it was about time he attended himself. Last year, Scott had turned up, but all the years before that for as long as Gordon could remember had been his grandmother. This year, the unfortunate red-head had both his father and Grandmother to deal with. He had tried pleading with Scott, done anything to get his brother to come instead. Scott already knew what he had done, or rather, not done. It was as if the guy could read minds. But even he hadn't been able to help.
So it was one very miserable teenager scuffing his feet against the wet ground outside the school as he waited for his doom to be revealed to him. He hadn't been this nervous even when Virgil had found out who had stolen his paints. Hearing a vehicle, Gordon actually contemplated running for it there and then when a familiar car pulled into the parking lot. His father caught his eye and smiled over the distance between them before moving around and helping his grandmother out. If she found out about the fight, his life wouldn't be worth living. Alan had already cheerfully informed his brother that if Grandma wasn't pleased with his results, then the youngest was claiming Gordon's pudding. Personally, Gordon was sure there were laws on that, but Virgil had seriously agreed, and Gordon had no choice but to believe them and hate every second of it. It was one of his favourites tonight as well.
"Gordon?" Hearing a concerned voice, Gordon looked up. He hadn't even noticed when he had looked down, but in that time, his father had crossed the parking lot and was now crouched in front of him, looking concerned.
"Do I have to come?" Gordon asked quietly, refusing to meet his father's gaze. Jeff smiled, reaching out a hand and ruffling his son's hair.
"No matter what, I'm proud of you, Gordon. Now come on, let's get this show on the road, I want to be home by the time Scott wants to go out, it's not fair leaving Johnny with Alan." Jeff knew the easiest way to get Gordon to move was by mentioning his brothers, and sure enough, his red-head immediately scrambled down off the bench.
"Hi, Grandma," he muttered, refusing to look her in the eye. He knew out of the two adults with him which was the scarier when the reports started. But although his grandmother could make him feel like a child again, it was nothing compared to what his father could do. When Jeff got that disappointed look in his eye, Gordon just wanted to ground to swallow him up whole.
"Let's go, sweetheart. Those silly little chairs do nothing for my back these days." Gordon knew he had no choice, but to let his grandmother lead the way in. Sure enough, it was as he expected, she seemed to know everyone. Even Jeff was sending his son puzzled glances as she stopped to greet yet another mother. Gordon had to smile, despite feeling like this was going to be the end of his life. There was something rather strange about seeing his father trying to perch on the small chairs whilst figuring out who his own mother was talking too. It was almost as if he was the one having to face the teachers rather than his son.
For the most part, it went as Gordon expected. His gym teachers were full of praise, and his father had smiled that particular smile that made Gordon feel as tall as Scott and as smart as John. But he knew it was a bad idea that was their first appointment. For it only went downhill from there. He tried in English, but had trouble concentrating; science had its particular interests, but apart from that, nothing. The more academic subjects such as history had Gordon trying to slide under the table when his grandmother's lips had got smaller and smaller in disapproval about his lack of focus. Strangely there were certain areas of Geography that made his teacher smile at his progress. It was more than obvious which subjects Gordon liked. Those that held his interest provided the teacher with a keen and eager child, willing and able to learn. Those that didn't, however, and it was like talking to a brick wall trying to get Gordon to engage.
Finally though, they came to the part he had been dreading. He wondered whether he could fake needing to go to the bathroom in order to avoid it, they had been here a while, after all. But his teacher caught sight of them from across the room, and before Gordon could make his escape, he had been marched over. He tried dragging his feet, prevent the inevitable and all that, but one look from his father had him changing his tactics pretty quick. He was already on his grandmother's bad side; there was no point in making it any worse.
"Ahh, Mr Tracy." The teacher greeted Jeff easily enough, nodding to his grandmother with a smile and gesturing for them to take the chairs. Gordon knew that the man had taught his father as well, Scott had discovered that on his first parent/teacher evening and spent the rest of the night trying to figure out how old their teacher really was if he had taught Jeff as well. Gordon tried to slip into the seat on the end, but Jeff was too quick for him, and he was left sitting in the middle of them.
"Well, what can I say about Gordon? It's a pity he doesn't take after John. That boy was a genius. He's unusual for his age group, such a quick mind. Virgil seems to be following that way as well, something I hadn't expected after Scott. Don't get me wrong, the boy tried, but there just wasn't the natural talent John has. It was a shame when they moved on, pleasure to teach, the lot of them."
Gordon was more than happy to let the man waffle on about his older brothers for as long as it took. Hopefully until the next appointment arrived if possible, anything to make the man forget who he was supposed to be talking about. Out of all the teachers who had to discover the fight, why did it have to be him on the same day Gordon had forgotten his homework?
"The lack of homework always was disappointing though." Gordon hadn't even noticed the man was speaking again until certain key words caught his ear and he began the slow slide under the table, hoping no one would notice. He was as good as dead.
"Could do well if the effort was put in, that's what I always said. But there just didn't seem to be the motivation there, I could never get anything back. The disruptions to the classes, the fighting."
"We've heard similar from other teachers." Grandma's lips had all but disappeared now, and Gordon knew that he wouldn't be having any pudding tonight. The teacher didn't even seem to hear her interruption, but simply carried on talking away.
"Several reports of fighting if I remember correctly. I had to ask him to leave the class room more than once, purely for disrupting the lessons. I stand by what I always said. The brains were there, just obviously didn't have the interest."
"Gordon does struggle with numbers," Jeff cut in, and the teacher broke off, blinking at him. Gordon felt himself go even redder. He had hoped his father hadn't noticed that. But he couldn't really complain, he knew that he was lucky his father wasn't dragging him out of the hall right there and then.
"Gordon?" The man looked almost confused as he stared between Jeff and his son, before his eyes flickered momentarily onto Grandma.
"Yes, Gordon. The one we've come here to talk about. Was that not who you have just been speaking about?"
"Oh, Jeff." The man suddenly laughed, and Gordon found the noise was something that could resemble slightly alarming, he had never heard that sound from the teacher before. It made him sound completely different, and far less terrifying.
"I'm sorry, am I missing something?" There was a forced politeness in Jeff's voice now, and Gordon knew that his father was beginning to get slightly angry. If he hadn't been so mortified, he would understand why. The man did seem to keep rambling on, and the teenager knew his father wanted to get home.
"I was talking about your school days." The teacher responded bluntly. Gordon sat bolt upright, suddenly paying attention. His grandmother's lips were twitching slightly, and it was Jeff's turn to sink slightly in his seat, not realising he was mirroring his fourth born's previous position. "Gordon's doing well. I know there is the homework issue, and frankly, I've had to speak to him more than once. But when he applies himself, he does well. He has the potential to go far with this. Trouble, but not a patch on what his old man used to get up to."
"Thank you for your time." Suddenly, Jeff seemed to be halfway across the hall, and even from the distance they were at, Gordon could see the back of his neck burning. Grandma smiled and thanked the teacher slightly more gracefully than his father and began to usher the slightly bouncing Gordon across the room. Wait until Alan heard about this!
His father had clearly gone to collect the car, for he was nowhere in sight when they emerged from the building. Gordon suddenly felt very small.
"I'm sorry. For what some of them said, I don't mean to, it's just..."
"I understand, Gordon. You have to just promise me that you will always try your best, no matter what. Whether the subject holds your interest or not, you have to promise to try."
"I promise, Grandma." Gordon responded in a small voice, seeing the car beginning to head their way. If he played this right, he might just be able to have some pudding after all. "You're not angry?"
"Gordon, you know I want you to try your best, and you know that I've already heard about some of your "adventures" at school. Disappointed, but not angry."
"Oh." Gordon folded his arms across his chest, not being sure what to say. He would have preferred it if she had been angry. Seeing his defeated posture, Grandma melted.
"Besides, it's nothing I haven't heard before. You do have three older brothers."
"Like any of them would do anything wrong." Gordon muttered, not realising quite how much he idealised his brothers.
"You'd be surprised. John's gym teachers aren't all that complimentary, and you should have heard the report I got about Scott from some teacher called...what was his name again? Flich or something like that? And that was only last year."
As the car came to a stop beside them, Gordon made to move forward, but his grandmother spoke again.
"But none of your brothers are even a patch on what your father was like."
In far greater spirits than when the car had pulled up, Gordon climbed in with a wide grin on his face. It didn't escape his notice that Jeff refused to meet his gaze in the mirror and that the back of his neck was still burning slightly.