Omg. Worst. Day. Ever!
How the holy heck did I end up at the only dive in Oasis Springs? It was such a small town. Totally am jetting out once I get my pHD.
“Why do I hate my life?” I said, sitting next to my BFF’s in the world. I was crazy lucky they were here. Myla Owens on my right and Susan Sabatini on my left. Myla went to Oasis Springs University where we all met. She was working on her vet degree.
“Just guzzle, Charlie. That’s what I’m doing.” Susan methodically downed her beer.
I shook my head. “A ten fricken page paper due in one week? Dr. Day has got to be kidding. And on the The Temple of Queen Twosweat. I mean that thing was only discovered last year. There’s not even a simipedia on it. He’s going to be the death of me. Thank God my other classes have normal professors. I’m counting the days until this semester is over.” I wanted to scream.
“Yeah. I guess we’re just going to be living in the library.” Susan hiccupped. It was going to be a looooong night.
“Do you realize, Myla, that he made one of the girls cry yesterday? She didn’t have the summer reading done so he said she was on notice. If she screwed up one more thing, she would be barred from the expedition. I swear the guy has ice in his veins, not blood.”
“You want me to put cockroaches in his bed for you? His brother is my boyfriend after all. Wouldn’t be a problem for my sweet honeybees!”
“Oh please don’t do anything to upset him!” Susan said. “Dr. Deathday might up the pages on the paper. We want him rested and happy! Who knows what he might do when he’s tired?”
Myla shrugged. “Okay, darling. It was just a thought. He’s honestly a really nice guy in person. Maybe you should become friends with him?”
I laughed. “Are you kidding? No one gets close to the infamous Professor Day. Not after what happened to his poor long lost girlfriend. He’s like a scary legend on campus.”
“All I’m saying is you two should come out with me and Zack sometime. Hang out at the house. You’re both my friends so it wouldn’t be weird. Then maybe he’ll chat. A little brown nosing couldn’t hurt.”
She had a good point. I thought about chatting with Dr. Day and weird heebeejeebees skittered up my back. “Sorry, Myla. That would be just plain awkward. Sort of like us hanging with a gargoyle made of stone. On my first day, he made me come into his office so he could chew me out but he only stared at me until I almost got down on my knees and begged him to say something. Anything! Just to relieve the tension. No thanks.”
I took a pull on my beer. “I think I’ll do what Susan is suggesting. I’ll just get drunk and worry about my troubles tomorrow!”
On my fourth beer, I was feeling pretty good. I didn’t even think about Dr. Day once! “Stay with us, sweetie,” I begged Myla. “You don’t need to go out with Zack. Chicks before dicks, I always say!”
“Sorry, sweetums, but he’s been patiently waiting over there with Professor He-who-must-not-be-named. Give me kisses, though. Love you, two!”
It was nice to be out, relaxing for a change. When my brother suggested going to the Oasis Lounge, I almost didn’t. I had a lot of work to catch up on but he was right. Grading papers could wait. When was the last time I’d even grabbed a beer with friends?
I was glad Todd Monteira agreed to go with us, too. He was a chemistry professor at the University of Archaeology and almost as married to his work as I was. We’d become so close over the years. A brilliant scientist, I always got his opinion whenever I needed something dated. His mind was like a computer that could instantly remember things that I couldn’t, too. He’d broken up with his girlfriend, Melina, years ago right after high school. She actually ended up moving to Del Sol Valley and launched a singing career. But unlike me, Todd usually had a date on his arm. Thankfully, not tonight.
Zack wiggled his fingers. “So like I was saying, it’s going to be our first month anniversary. I want to do something romantic but not too over the top. Any suggestions?”
My brother and his girlfriend, Myla, were going light speed in the relationship department. It kind of made me nervous. He’d never had a serious girlfriend before. Always told me getting tied down wasn’t his thing. But with Myla, that all changed.
I liked seeing my brother happy and in love, though. It looked good on him.
Someone cleared their throat behind us.
“Oh shit. Guess it’s time to go.” Zack looked like he got caught with his pants down.
“If you’re going to talk about me behind my back, you should at least make it juicy, babe.”
He flirted back. “You know I don’t kiss and tell. Not my style.”
Scraping his chair back, he waved and said, “Later, dudes. And Liam? Try to have a good time. Why don’t you get drunk and laid and make your brother happy?”
I shook my head at his joke. After I finished my beer, I was definitely heading home. I had class early in the morning.
I watched as the two of them flashed goo goo eyes at each other. I really hoped they made it. Myla was a sweetheart and funny. I’d love to call her my sister one day.
“Want another beer, Liam?” Todd asked. “I’m buying.”
I chuckled. “Well, when you put it that way, how can I refuse?” Guess those papers could wait. One more round shouldn’t hurt.
“So like screw him, you know, Susan? Why does everyone kiss his ass all the time? Even the other professors worship him. Like he shits gold or something. I mean, yeah, we’re learning a ton, but geeze. He’s a walking, breathing nightmare. If only I could tell him off just once without getting crucified by him, I’d do it. He made me so mad yesterday with what he pulled on Sarah.”
Damn. How many beers had I chugged? It was like once Myla left, all my brain could think about was Dr. Deathday. Ugh!
“Oh, please don’t tell him off, Charlie. I couldn’t take being in that class without you. You’re like my anchor in a swirling vortex!”
Waiting on our second beer, I heard a bunch of whooping and hollering behind me. Someone was having a party.
“Uh…Liam? Isn’t that one of your students?”
“One of my students? Here?” I hated hanging out at places where my students went. Thought this dive bar was safe. The clubs were down the street, after all.
I turned around to see two of my students, actually. Susan Sabatini and the one making a total ass out of herself was Charlene Darby. The girl was brilliant. Got a full ride to the university. But she was a bit lazy. Probably because things came easily to her. I figured she was spoiled as a child.
I covered my face, hoping she wouldn’t notice me. Charlene hated my guts and made that very clear almost every day she came to my class. Sure I was a hardass. That was my job. To push the kids and make it tough because if they wanted to succeed at archaeology, they needed to be able to work long hours even in the hot sun. It wasn’t day camp and it wasn’t like the movies. Sometimes we faced unknowns that could threaten our safety. If their heart wasn’t in this, then I wanted them out.
I figured the girl wouldn’t last through my class. Looked like she was well on her way to a hangover, too. Probably wouldn’t show up tomorrow. Which would give me cause to put her on academic probation. That might wake her up if she thought her scholarship was in jeopardy.
The sun peeked through my window, waking me.
I was having the most wonderful dream.
Dr. Day turned into the sexiest guy ever and was holding me, telling me I’d be okay.
That jolted me out of bed. “What the…?” My head felt like I’d done headstands all night, throbbing like a heart attack and my mouth was full on cotton. Hello, hellish hangover. God, why did I have to chug all that beer?
I slogged through the mess on my floor to the mirror.
My hair was back to its natural state and my makeup was dripping over my face like I’d been crying.
And then the blur of the night hit me like a slap.
For some gawdawful reason, I’d switched to wine. Wine always made me melancholy. And I thought about having to endure Professor Day’s class. I hated it. Hated him. And I threw myself the biggest pity party, thinking all my hopes and dreams were going to be crushed by him.
Susan had already left but I stayed. Ugh. Why did I stay?
And in my drunken state, I heard Dr. Day talking to me, but I couldn’t move or even register what he was saying.
All I remember was he took the drink out of my hand and said I needed to go home–that class was early and he didn’t want me to be late.
But my legs were so wobbly and I think I was crying? Blubbering about all the hateful things that had been on my heart this whole time.
Oh. My. GOD! Did he take me home? Did he see my mess?
And more importantly, I knew this. He was going to KILL ME!