Chapter 12: Testing
Our practices were going pretty well; okay well not for everyone...
We all got knocked around some by the big wooden dummies but we kept pushing. The club consisted mostly of the six of us although there were a couple others who showed up every third meeting/practice. Mei-Ling didn't put much faith in them but she helped them just the same.
Mei-Ling and Erik both felt that Veronica had some natural talent; or a lot of pent up energy. Whatever it was it was working for her. Timothy and I were lacking in the natural talent field but we had perseverance. After a month, they decided to let us have our first spar. I hesitate to call it a "real" spar since the more experienced ones paired with us newbies and downplayed their own skills. But still, it was better than the dummy.
At the end of that practice, Mei-Ling announced we'd be taking off until after Winter Break since we all had major tests and projects coming up. Veronica looked nervous as she approached Timothy right after practice. "Um Timothy....?" she asked her feet.
"Yeah Veronica?" Timothy asked surprised.
"Ineedhelpstudyingformyhistoryfinal...." she said in one long word.
"What was that?" Timothy asked trying not to laugh.
"Will you help me....study for my history final?" she asked grimacing. She knew she hadn't been nice to him in the past but she was on the verge of failing and her grade rested on the semester final.
"Of course." Timothy said casually. "Meet me at the library tomorrow after school?" he asked.
Veronica nodded. "Thanks Timothy. I appreciate it." she said with a half smile.
They weren't the only ones hitting the books that afternoon. Every computer in the internet cafe downstairs was full when they arrived. And Todd and Mei-Ling were both emerged in books for their math class.
Erik and I were supposed to be studying for our own history final too....somehow it rarely seemed to work that way. After going over the dates a few time and sensing the frustration from Veronica, Timothy suggested a change in locale.
They went back to the school and took over one of the empty classrooms. As a bit of a nerd, Timothy spent a lot of time there and new the custodial staff. They let them in.
"What are we doing here Tim? I see enough of it during school." Veronica asked doubting her tutor choice.
"Just trust me Veronica." Tim said with a smile. He pulled a stereo out from a shelf in the room and put it on the table. From his backpack he pulled out a CD and popped it in but didn't turn it on. "As an alternate on the cheer-leading squad, you have to learn routines quickly sometimes right?"
"Um, yes. What does this have to do with history?" Veronica asked motioning to the open book. "There are a million dates, I'll never remember them."
He turned on the stereo and started the CD. The song had no lyrics but was upbeat and easy to move to.
"Come her Veronica." he said motioning her over.
She didn't get up right away. He started moving to the music and singing names, dates and events to the music beat. He crooked his finger at her and grinned while still dancing.
She couldn't hold back the smile and finally got up and walked over to him. She didn't dance at first but the longer she took to join him, the more outrageous he made his dance moves and the historical lyrics. She dissolved into laughter and started dancing with him.
He repeated the lyrics full of data as they danced. The first song moved into another. All of them were instrumental and upbeat, each one he had lyrics ready for. After a few cycles of the important information, he started quizzing her while they danced. She didn't get them the first time but she knew more than she had at the library. It was sinking in.
"You planned all this, how did you know?" she asked still dancing.
Timothy smiled. "I've known you since elementary school Veronica. You're a tactile learner for the most part, I figured this would help you remember. Of course now you'll have my mediocre lyrics stuck in your head for weeks." he said with a laugh.
Veronica laughed as well. "If I pass my history test, I'm okay with that."
Timothy quizzed her again and again, all while dancing. When she got almost every question right they cheered together. And then Veronica shocked them both.
Both their eyes went wide and then they broke apart quickly. "Um....Tim...." Veronica trailed off
Timothy was grinning but held up a hand. "Don't." he said.
"Hmm?" Veronica asked still trying to figure out what to say.
"Whatever you want to say, whatever you're going to say....just don't. Not now....maybe tomorrow when my feet are on the ground again." he said with a small smile.
Veronica was confused but nodded. She wasn't sure what she wanted to say anyway. "Thank you, Timothy....for helping me today." she said looking at him, staring at him even.
"Yeah, no problem." he said staring back. "Oh...." he turned and pulled the CD out of the stereo, slipping it back into the case he held it out to her. "In case you need it. At home."
As she took it from him, their fingers touched and they looked down together. "Thank you, really. Thank you." she said. The spell dissolved, she grabbed her backpack and book and practically ran from the classroom. She ran all the way to my house and burst into my bedroom.
"I kissed....." She took several breaths. "I kissed....Tim...."
"Say what now?!" I asked from my bed.
"I know you heard me!" she exclaimed and then came around and flopped on the other side of my bed.
"Okay so...." I started to say.
Predicting my questions, she interrupted me. "I don't know" she said with her hands thrown up.
"Do you like him?" I asked.
"Yes....no...I don't know." Veronica said burying her head with a pillow.
"V, he's been in love with you forever....or at least since he discovered girls didn't have cooties." I said.
"You don't think I know that?" Veronica said tossing the pillow. "I may have ignored him but I noticed."
"My point is...he's a good guy. He may not be your type but he's a really good guy...." I trailed off.
"And?" she asked.
"And....you should pursue him if you don't like him like that...." I said finally.
"Right....you think I'd hurt him." Veronica said looking away from me.
"Not on purpose!" I said quickly. "But he loves you so it would be a hard fall for him...so just think about it before you talk to him again. Figure it out." I said hoping she was hearing me and wasn't just upset.
She looked back and I could see the truth sinking in. She blew out a long breath. "I just don't know Gin." she said to the ceiling.