It's not easy
Everyday Santana tries to teach Brittany. Everyday Brittany tries to resist. At the end of the day both can't deny they are more than just teacher and student
It's a cold morning, signifying the beginning of the winter season. The alarm by the bed rings only twice before its shut up by a swift hand.
Santana groans, it's so hard for her to get up in the mornings. Most nights she's busy working, staying up till the lamp lights sting her eyes and she can't tell a 'f' from a't' anymore. She does her nightly routine and then falls asleep. Four hours later she's back up again preparing for another long day.
In the morning she checks her mail while sipping a large cup of coffee. It's what gets her through the day.
She doesn't get many messages, an occasional email from her friend Mercedes, making it big as a singer in LA. She ignores the messages with crude subject lines from the boys of Dalton Academy. She knows not one of them is writing to ask for her help in grammar. There are some messages from that online dating site she once registered in but didn't care much about; messages from people who are interested in her. She responded maybe once or twice but quickly gave up on the idea of dating a stranger from her computer screen. It was too much work.
That routine lasts about half-an-hour at most before Santana hits the shower and gets dressed. She makes sure her skirt isn't too short and her blouse didn't fit too tight, appropriate is what her job calls for and who doesn't want to be taken seriously. She doesn't want a repeat of what happened at Dalton Academy. Dalton quickly realized after two weeks that having a young, attractive teacher working at an all boys school wasn't going to improve their education – even if she held a Masters Degree in English Language and Literature from Brown University. She was lucky enough to get a job at McKinley High-school after being kindly asked to resign.
The drive to McKinley isn't far. The school is only twenty minutes away from her house.
Her mom passed away last year when she was just graduating at Brown. It was sad to not see her in the crowds on one of Santana's best days, but her dad had made it – for once.
The house she grew up in was passed onto her so she decided to take a job in Lima. She doesn't want to stay though, there are too many memories.
This is just temporary she tells herself as she carries a stack of papers from the trunk of her car to her classroom. She puts the corrected homework on the desk with a sigh, its Monday. She remembers this classroom; she used to have Spanish here with Mr. Shuester.
Normally Santana would spend the half-an-hour before class looking over her notes. She prides herself in being prepared to teach every class. Today though she studies the resignation papers she's already signed. It's ok here, but there isn't really anything for her in Lima; she's wanted to live in a big city all her life – Manhattan, or maybe Los Angeles where Mercedes is now. It'd be easy enough for her to get a job with the degree she's holding.
Santana is interrupted by a knock on her door. Ms Pillsbury appears and tells her she's wanted in Figgin's office.
She walks the halls that are starting to fill with students, some cheerio's here early from morning practice which must have just ended, some students here early to copy their incomplete homework off their friends.
There's already someone inside the office when Santana knocks. She can see through the glass.
"Come in," Figgin's says with a thick Indian accent, "this here is Ms. Lopez." He points to me and then introduces the blond woman sitting in the visitor's chair. "And this is Mrs. Pierce."
Santana is unsure why she's being introduced to this woman; maybe she is a parent who's complained about her although she's not sure what she could have done. Figgins has a thing about calling her in only when he or someone is not satisfied with her, she remembers from her years studying here.
"Nice to meet you Mrs. Pierce," Santana shakes her hand firmly and takes a seat on the other guest chair.
"Ms. Lopez, you must be wondering why you're here today." Figgins leans back into his comfortable leather chair, a sign that the talk will be more than a few short minutes. "You must have heard about the girl who transferred here late into the semester, Brittany S. Pierce, this is her mother. I've asked her to come here because Mrs. Pierce's daughter seems to be having a hard time adjusting to the school. Brittany is not doing very well academically, especially in the English course."
Santana listens intently, wondering what Figgins will be asking of her. She looks at the woman sitting next to her, eyes tired, face worn beyond age. From what Santana can tell, it's not only the daughter that is struggling.
"I'm sorry," Mrs. Pierce says with a heavy tone, "Brittany isn't academically challenged, she's smart, there was a time she aced everything and there were too many A's to put on the fridge."
"I think Ms. Lopez can help her achieve that again."
"What are you proposing?" Santana asks Figgins warily.
"Brittany is in her senior year, she's already behind two years. Since she's on the Cheerio's and Sue Sylvester will not have one of her stars debarred from competing because of her grades, she agreed to take money out of her Cheerio's budget to hire Brittany a tutor. I think you are the best person for the job."
Both Principle Figgins and Mrs. Pierce look at Santana expectantly, waiting for her answer. Santana has heard of Brittany, the star Cheerio that had no power with her status. She'd seen the girl walking the halls alone, keeping to herself as much as possible. Unfortunately, Brittany wasn't in any of Santana's English or History classes so she didn't know much about her.
And if she took the job it would be one more year in this town.
"What would I have to do? I'm not qualified to teach every subject."
"That's why I think you are the perfect candidate Santana Lopez. According to your school records, you were top of all your classes. Surely that is enough to help Brittany." Figgins says with a satisfied face, like his idea really was perfect.
It's a tough decision. Santana knows she could never live with herself if this girl Brittany doesn't graduate in the end. It'd be failure on her part.
She'd also have less time to on her hands.
"How many hours are we looking at?" Santana's not sure if she's directing her question to Figgins or Mrs. Pierce.
"Just up to seven will be ok; I don't know when you finish your classes here. I don't want to take too much of your time. You'll probably give up after a few weeks anyways." Mrs. Pierce's voice is defeated. Her last words though have an effect on Santana. There's something about challenges that catch her attention, that excite her. Santana has never backed down from a challenge; the more impossible it was the more likely Santana would try to overcome it.
Santana knows what her answer is.
"OK, I'll take it."
Her plans for the big city can wait.
"When will you start?" Mrs. Pierce seems more invigorated after hearing Santana's answer.
"Is it ok if I came over to get to know her first for a week? I need to see exactly where she's at in her schooling so I can help her, and then next week I can start tutoring her."
Mrs. Pierce nods in agreement to Santana's plan, "Thank you for helping. Things have been hard for Brittany these past two years and I haven't been able to help her."
"No problem," Santana smiles and shakes hands with Mrs. Pierce. She nods to Principle Figgins and then takes leave to teach her morning class.
All day Santana wonders what she will find in Brittany S. Pierce.
Tell me if I should continue