AN: Sorry for the delay with the update. Been a little busy. I'm getting more hours at work, and I'm trying to finish up my schooling. I'm also working on my new story ideas when I have the time. Anyway, I hope you all like how this chapter turned out! Read on! PLZ R&R!
Disclaimer: See earlier chapters.
Chapter 12: Confrontations
Seth met up with Luke, Summer, Anna, and Marissa in the hallway outside of Dr. Kim's office. Once Seth explained what was going on, they all agreed to speak to the school board on Ryan's behalf.
"H-How's Ryan?" Marissa finally asked.
"He's all right. He was trying to get some sleep when we were leaving." Seth told her. "He's not really up for visitors right now."
"Of course." she said hastily as they all saw Kirsten, Sandy, and Caleb coming down the hall with the head of the school board.
"I thought there was going to be a board meeting." Seth looked at his parents.
"I convinced your mother to try it this way first." Sandy told him.
"We're going to try a private meeting first." Kirsten told them all. "If this meeting doesn't go well, then we'll demand a board meeting."
"Dr. Kim will see you all now." the secretary came out of the office.
"Seth, you guys wait out here for a little bit." Sandy told him. "We'll come out to get you when we need you."
"All right." Seth nodded as he watched them all go into the office and he slumped against the wall and sat on the floor. "We're all in for a long wait, guys. My dad's a lawyer. He likes to talk."
"Seth?" Anna sat down beside him. "Is Ryan really not allowed any visitors?"
"No." he whispered to her. "I just didn't want Marissa to make a scene. I don't think he wants to see her."
"So can I stop by to see him later?"
"You'll have to ask my mom about that. She has become very overprotective of him since the accident."
"That's understandable." Anna sighed. "I wonder what's going on in there."
"I'm sure we'll hear it in a minute. You've never seen my mom going after someone who's gone after her family."
"Sounds like an awesome mom." she smiled over at him.
"Ryan doesn't seem to think so."
"I'll bet he does. He just doesn't want to admit how he really feels about all of you."
"Maybe he thinks that if he admits how much he really needs you all, then it'll all disappear. I think he's afraid of that happening."
"You might be right. Those are very good insights."
"I pay attention." she smiled at him.
Sandy followed behind his wife and the woman from the school board. He felt guilty for leaving Ryan at the hospital by himself, but the doctor had just given him another dose of pain killers so he would most likely sleep the entire time that they were gone. He took Kirsten's hand and gave it a squeeze to remind her to take it easy; at first. But if the woman pushed her buttons in any way, all bets were off. And he wouldn't try to stop Kirsten from the wrath that she would bring down on the woman.
"Mr. and Mrs. Cohen," Dr. Kim stood up to give them each a hand shake, but they refused. "What can I do for you?"
"We want answers." Kirsten stated.
"What-" Dr. Kim looked up in surprise as Caleb entered with their guest. "Ms. Warren, what brings you here?"
"There have been several accusations brought up against you and several members of your staff." Ms. Warren informed her. "I, for one, would like to get to the bottom of it and settle this as soon as possible."
"Yes, of course." Dr. Kim's smile suddenly faltered. "May I ask who filed these complaints?"
"We did." Sandy told her. "It has come to our attention that you haven't given Ryan a fair chance since he started here."
"If Mr. Atwood has any problems with me or my staff, he should've come to me."
"Ryan wouldn't say a negative word about anyone unless someone's life depended on it."
"Ryan is not the one who revealed the actions of the staff here." Kirsten informed the Dean. "It was our other son Seth."
"I haven't had any problems with Seth in the past-" Dr. Kim started.
"Seth would never lie about something like this." Kirsten cut her off, knowing where she was heading. "There are other witnesses to many incidents since the school year began."
"It's obvious we're not getting anywhere here," Ms. Warren spoke up. "I'm going to have the witnesses come in and give their statements. And while I'm at it, I'm going to have each of Ryan's teachers come down so I can interrogate them as well."
Ms. Warren stepped out of the room briefly and she returned with Seth and the others. Seth stood next to his parents as Dr. Kim looked even more nervous as they all filed in front of the desk.
"Seth, could you please tell us about the confrontations that Ryan has had with Dr. Kim?" Ms. Warren looked at him.
"I don't remember them all." Seth started. "But there was one that happened his first official day of classes. It was right before classes started. Dr. Kim noticed Ryan in the hall and she stopped him. I was maybe two feet away from them, but I could hear them both perfectly. She told Ryan that just because he had rich foster parents that could talk his way into the school, that she wasn't going to tolerate any fighting. And that any sign of trouble, he would be out of here."
"And what was Ryan's response?"
"He was speechless at first. Then he reminded her how much not only mom and dad have contributed to the school, but my grandpa as well. He said it'd be a shame if it suddenly stopped and the school didn't have enough funds to be able to continue adding onto the school and having all the dances and, in Ryan's words, all the other pointless school crap."
"And you've all been witness to at least one similar incident as well?" Ms. Warren looked at the others and they all nodded. "What about Mr. Atwood's teachers?"
"The history teacher," Luke spoke up. "I've heard him say to Ryan on several occasions that it was a huge mistake to mix cultures."
"There was an incident in pre-calc." Anna spoke up. "Ryan and I worked on one of the assignments together. We had the same answers for every problem. But when they were handed back, Ryan had a C-, and I had an A. When Ryan argued about it, he told Ryan that he needed to work harder."
"You and your staff had no right to treat him like this." Kirsten seethed as she moved closer to Dr. Kim's desk. "You agreed in that first meeting that Ryan deserved a fair chance, but you haven't given him one from the moment he walked through the doors."
"We want her terminated from her position." Sandy demanded. "She should not be put in charge of any student at this school."
"I assure you Mr. Cohen that she will be reprimanded with a punishment that she deserves." Ms. Warren told him. "I will need to pull up all of Mr. Atwood's old assignments to see where we go from here."
"Ryan kept all his old assignments, tests, and quizzes. I told him it would be easier that way to study for the end-of-year exams." Seth told them.
"Do you know where he keeps them?"
"Yeah. I can go them for you right now."
"I'll take him." Sandy looked at Kirsten. "You should get back to Ryan."
"I want a final decision about all of this by tonight." Kirsten told Ms. Warren.
"I understand, Mrs. Cohen." she told her. "I'm going to speak with all of Ryan's teachers and go from there."
"Not all of his teachers have treated him unfairly," Anna spoke up. "His English teacher, Mr. York, he's been encouraging Ryan all year. I'm pretty sure it's Ryan's favorite class."
"Thank you, Miss Stern. I will remember that."
"Let's get out of here before I do something that I regret later." Kirsten stated as she glared at Dr. Kim once more before following everyone out of the office.
Kirsten arrived at the hospital again and quietly walked into Ryan's room. He was fast asleep once again so she silently sat down in the chair by his bed and started reading one of the magazines that Seth had brought for her. After awhile, she heard a noise and saw Ryan slowly coming awake. He turned his head and looked over at her.
"Hey. How are you feeling? Any better?" Kirsten put down her magazine and moved closer to the bed.
"Maybe a little." he sat up a little more. "How'd the meeting go?"
"They're going to make a decision about Dr. Kim's future at the school by the end of the day."
"Where's Seth and Sandy?"
"They went home to get all your past assignments to take to the school. We don't think your teachers have given you a fair chance."
"I'm not worth all this trouble." Ryan mumbled.
"Yes, you are." she stated firmly. "I know that you haven't heard it much in your life up until this point, but you are."
"Hey. You're awake." the door opened and Nurse Amy came in with a tray of food. "Why don't we try and see how much you can eat this time."
Ryan sighed as he slowly sat up and Kirsten took the cover off and handed him the spoon as Amy left them alone again.
"Nothing too heavy." Kirsten told him. "Just some chicken broth, pudding, and some jello."
"It doesn't look very appetizing." Ryan mumbled.
"Try a little bit at least." Kirsten encourage and he slowly started eating as Kirsten started telling him about a new project that she had started at work.
"Hey, kid." Sandy returned with Seth a little while later. "Are you up for any visitors? There's someone out here who wants to talk to you."
"It depends who it is." Ryan mumbled as he glanced at Kirsten.
"It's not Marissa." Sandy assured him. "It's Ms. Warren from the school board."
"Has she made a final decision?" Kirsten put her magazine down.
"Yes she has. She wanted to tell us all together." Sandy explained to them. "So should I let her in?"
"Yes. Of course. Let her in." Kirsten looked at Ryan as he sat up a little more.
Ryan was more than a little apprehensive as he watched Ms. Warren come into his room. She placed a big folder down on the moving table and he knew that it was his file.
"Well Ryan, first of all, on behalf of the entire school board, I would like to say how deeply sorry for what all you have had to endure since the beginning of the school year." she looked at him sincerely.
"And?" he looked back at her.
"And we have reviewed every one of your old homework assignments, tests, and quizzes. Though we aren't able to re-grade them all, we have come to the unanimous decision that your grade average has been changed to a B average in every class. Except for your English Composition class. You've held an A+ average in that class since your first day."
"And what's going to happen to Dr. Kim?" Kirsten asked.
"She has been fired with no chance of returning to her post. Until we can find a reliable replacement, I will be taking over her post."
"And the rest of Ryan's teachers?" Sandy asked.
"With the exception of Mr. York, they have all been put on a 90-day probation period. Any complaints against them at all, and they'll be following in Dr. Kim's footsteps."
"Well, I'd say that's a step in the right direction." Kirsten agreed. "But what about Ryan now? Obviously he won't be able to go back to school for a couple weeks at least, but I know that he wants to keep up with his school work."
"Yes." Ms. Warren took out some papers and handed them to Sandy. "I have set up a school website for Ryan where he can submit his assignments and take the tests and quizzes online."
"This is very generous of you." Sandy looked through all the papers.
"It's the least we could do after everything that Ryan's been through since the beginning of the school year."
"What about Ryan's meeting with the school board?" Kirsten asked. "Given the circumstances with Oliver-"
"All the charges against him have been dropped." Ms. Warren assured them all.
"Thank you." Sandy glanced at Ryan and saw that he had his arms crossed in front of him. "Ryan, do you have any questions for Ms. Warren?"
"What else is there?" Ryan eyed them all wearily.
"What do you mean by that, Mr. Atwood?" Ms. Warren looked at him, concerned.
"He's waiting for the bad news." Seth spoke up. "He's not used to something good happening to him."
"I can assure you, Mr. Atwood, that there is no bad news coming from me. But I would like you to come to me in the future if anything like this happens again."
"I'll try." Ryan said softly.
"Ok. I believe that's all." Ms. Warren gathered up all her things. "If there are any problems in the future, I hope that you'll please contact me."
"We will. Thank you." Sandy walked her to the door and turned back around and looked at Ryan. "Well that's good news, right?"
"Sure." Ryan mumbled as he glanced over at Seth. "Did you talk to anyone today?"
"Anna asked how you were. She said she was going to stop by later if it was all right. Marissa asked about you too, but I told her you didn't want any visitors. I figured you didn't want to see her."
"No." he firmly shook his head. "I don't want her anywhere near here."
"Then we'll let the doctor and nurses know." Kirsten told him. "You don't have to see her if you don't want to."
"You don't have to see anyone you don't want to, kid." Sandy added. "Except for the doctors and nurses of course."
"Thank you." Ryan said softly as he tried to hide a yawn. "I think I'm getting tired again. Is it ok if I go back to sleep?"
"Of course. We''ll go down to the cafeteria for a little bit." Kirsten told him.
"We'll be right back, kid." Sandy assured him. "If you need us, have one of the nurses page us ok?"
"All right." Ryan told them softly as he drifted of to sleep and the three of them left his room.
Sandy and Kirsten sat at a table in the cafeteria discussing what they would do for Ryan as Seth sat silently for once as he slowly drank some coffee. Kirsten's cell phone started to ring and she sighed as she started to dig around for it in her purse.
"If this is my father wanting to talk business again, I swear-" she found her phone and glanced at the caller ID. "It's Nicole returning our call."
"Seth-" Sandy glanced at him.
"I got it." Seth started to stand. "I'll go see if Ryan is awake yet."
"Thanks, son." Sandy watched him leave the cafeteria and turned his attention back to Kirsten's phone conversation.
"Thank you so much for getting back to us so quickly." Kirsten was saying. "We really need your help with Ryan."
Seth stepped off the elevator and slowly walked down the hall back towards Ryan's room. He heard some raised voices as he started to open the door.
"What are you doing in here?" Seth zeroed in on one specific person in the group of people that were gathered around Ryan's bed.
AN: So what'd you all think? I hope you liked it. PLZ R&R!
I hope everyone who celebrates it has a good Halloween with the parties and taking your little ones Trick-Or-Treating.