This short story was written for my Intro. to Writing Fiction course. Enjoy! :)
Margo didn’t want anyone to know. She wondered if her friends saw the looks Jackson gave her in the halls of their high school. What would they think? What would they say? Her mind drifted back to that one cloudy afternoon behind the bleachers in gym class.
The girls were playing soccer on the field, while the boys ran laps. Margo hid behind the bleachers to escape the wrath of Ms. Petunia Kitty. Margo despised gym class. All it did was make you sweat. She especially despised Ms. Kitty. Not only was she the cruelest gym teacher her school had to offer, but she also was dating Margo’s father. Margo seethed behind the bleachers wondering how in the world could her father date someone like Ms. Kitty. Suddenly, Jackson came out of nowhere and Margo jumped.
“Didn’t mean to startle you.” Jackson said.
“I thought you were Ms. Kitty coming to write me up.” Margo replied.
Jackson grinned and Margo internally scolded herself for thinking it was cute.
“So why are you behind the bleachers?” Margo asked him.
Jackson shuffled, moving around the pebbles beneath his feet, “Because I saw you walk behind here and I knew this was the only time I could tell you.”
“Tell me what?”
Jackson’s eyes became wide and glanced behind Margo. Margo turned around and saw Ms. Kitty, glaring at the two of them.
“Get out of here, Jackson. Margo and I have some paperwork to get done.” She said with venom.
Since that day, Margo has wondered what Jackson had to tell her, but she felt like it was a secret only for her.
Did he like her? Was that it? That he just wanted to tell her his feelings for her? Margo pushed those thoughts aside as she walked through the high school halls with her friends Terrance and Hannah.
Hannah was telling them about some awesome party that went down that weekend, but Margo was barely paying attention. Jackson passed by her and she twisted her head to see him from behind. He did the same thing and her cheeks turned rose. Margo quickly turned back around and wondered if she liked him.
Later that evening, Margo and her father were eating dinner. Her father stopped eating and turned to her, then cleared his throat.
“Margo, what do you think if I asked Petunia to marry me?”
Margo started choking on a piece of chicken. Her eyes watered up and her face became flustered. She could not believe he just asked her that. She could not believe he would even think of wanting to marry that witch.
Margo finally calmed down and drank some of her Pepsi. She put on a fake smile and looked at her father, “As long as your happy, Dad.”
Her father smiled and continued to eat.
She really just wanted her father happy. If that meant Petunia had to live with her for the rest of the school year, than so be it. She was graduating in May anyway and would be on her way to bigger and better things at Manhattan College.
The next school day, Margo had gym class again. This time she didn’t even bother to change into her gym clothes. She walked towards the bleachers and found Jackson sitting underneath.
“What are you doing here?” She asked him.
“I need to tell you something, Margo.”
Margo’s heartbeat sped up and her breathing hitched as she anticipated what was to come next.
“Your dad is dating Ms. Kitty, right?”
Margo let out the breath she was holding in with a confused look on her face. “Yeah,” she replied.
Jackson let out a large sigh, “Well Ms. Kitty is also dating my dad.”
“I don’t know what to do. Do I tell my Dad that she’s cheating on him? Do you tell your dad? I just needed to tell you, because it’s our dads we’re talking about here.”
Margo sat down next to him, letting the new information sink in. So Ms. Kitty was a two-timing cheater, huh? This was not good.
“This is not good. Last night my Dad told me that he was going to propose to her!”
“We have to tell them now!” Jackson exclaimed.
“Yeah. We do.”
After gym class, Margo sat in her calculus course wondering if it was all right that she was happy that her dad was going to get crushed tonight. Probably not, but she didn’t care. She was just glad that she wouldn’t be stuck with Petunia as a stepmother.
That evening at the dinner table, Margo looked at her father, “Dad? I have to tell you something.”
“What is it, sweetie?”
“Do you know Jackson Rez?”
“I know his father, Paul. Why?”
“Well Jackson told me some unsettling news today at school. Petunia Kitty is dating Paul Rez.” Margo slowly said, letting the information sink into her father’s head.
“That can’t be true,” he whispered.
“I’m sorry, Dad. I guess it’s good that we found out now before it’s too late and you proposed to her.” Margo hugged her father than went to her room to start her homework. She thought it was better to leave her father be as he thought over his relationship with Petunia.
The next morning, Margo met Jackson at his locker, “So, did you tell your dad?”
“No. I couldn’t do it. Did you?” Jackson replied.
Margo didn’t say anything for a minute. So her father had a broken heart while Paul Rez will go on oblivious to the fact that Ms. Kitty was a cheating witch? This was all Jackson’s fault!
“Yes, I told him.”
Margo turned around not waiting for a response. She didn’t want anyone to know. She didn’t want anyone to know that Ms. Kitty broke her father’s heart.
2012 (c) Jennifer Gioia