This is Noah’s chapter! It isn’t fully about him, but it does show off his personality a little bit better.
“How was your first day of high school?” Athena asked Caleb as he placed his bag on the desk. She hadn’t gotten a chance to ask him the day before because he went straight to bed. “Did you make any friends?”
“Why are you interrogating me? It was only one day! How could I have possibly made friends!?” Caleb argued.
“Erin and I met in middle school on the first day of classes and look at us now, we’re still best friends.”
“Thats different, you and Erin are girls…you guys can talk about makeup or whatever and get along right away. I can’t talk to girls about makeup or boys about sports.”
“Talk about singing. There has to be someone who will accept you in high school. You’re a loveable kid.”
“No mom. Thats where you’re wrong. I am NOT a kid. Stop treating me like one. I don’t need you on my case every second of every day!” Caleb shouted and stormed off.
“What the…?” Athena whispered. “Caleb! Get back here right now!” She shouted towards him. He answered with a slammed door.
A few weeks later, Athena had received a phone call. “Hello, is this Mrs. Gray?” It was a man’s voice.
“Yes, this is. How may I help you, sir?” She asked politely over the phone.
“Hi, this is Mr. Smith, I’m Noah’s teacher.”
“Oh! Hello Mr. Smith. I’m sorry about that, how is Noah doing?” She asked.
“Well thats what I wanted to talk to you about. It’s too much to talk about over the phone. I’d like to set up a meeting with you, your spouse and Noah, if thats alright with you.” Mr. Smith said.
“A meeting? That would be fine, sir. When would you like to meet?”
“Tomorrow after the school day is finished. Is that okay with you?”
“It’s perfect. I’ll see you then Mr. Smith.” Athena hung up the phone. She had hoped it was good news. She already had her plate full with Caleb’s attitude.
Elliot had gone to the movies with Erin and had yet to return.
So, Athena took the opportunity to teach Caleb how to drive and possibly get on his good side.
Caleb caught on quickly. He was a natural behind the wheel.
When Noah had arrived home, he went straight to the chess board. After Bruce taught him how to play, Noah had become obsessed with trying to beat him.
Noah was presiding over his court when Athena had arrived home. She sat at the table beside him and tried to get his attention.
“Noah, can I talk to you please?”
“That is King Noah to you!” Noah laughed.
“I am your mother, do not talk to me that way. Now, listen up because I got a call from your teacher today.” Athena told him.
He stopped in his tracks. “My teacher called you? What for?”
“I don’t know. I was hoping you could tell me.”
“Uhmmmmmmmm….I dunno.” Noah shrugged.
“Well, we’ll find out tomorrow at the meeting we’re having with him.”
“I have to go too!?” Noah whined.
“Yes. Now, go and do your homework.” Athena said before getting up.
Meanwhile, Caleb and Elliot were talking.
“How was your date?” Caleb grinned.
“It was good. Erin is really into me. Hey wait a second…why am I talking to you about all of this?”
“I’m mature! I can handle it!” Caleb protested.
“Alright, alright. I have to tell you something. I wanted to let you know before anyone else,” Elliot said.
“I…uhm..I’m moving out.”
“Yeah, Erin and I are getting pretty serious, she wants me to move in with her,” Elliot confessed.
“You can’t be serious! You’ve only been dating for like two weeks!” Caleb shouted.
“It’s been a month actually and we’re honestly in love. I don’t see myself with anyone else. Besides, I’m not getting any younger. I’m getting pretty old. I want to settle down.”
“Did you think about me? What am I supposed to do?” Caleb cried.
“What do you mean? I thought you said everything was going well in school.” Elliot spoke.
“I lied. Don’t pretend like you’ve never done it. The kids in high school are the same from middle school. They haven’t matured at all. I can’t approach any of the new kids, I’m too nervous and now…you’re leaving. How am I supposed to handle all of that!?”
Elliot felt bad and considered staying, but he knew he couldn’t baby Caleb any longer. “You have to go out there and make some friends. I’m not always going to be here 24/7. You can call me and visit me whenever you want, but…you have to try and make your years in high school fun. Promise me that.”
Caleb sent a glare his way. He was angry and he felt betrayed by one of the only people he thought he could count on.
“Caleb, promise me,” Elliot repeated.
“You know what? Fine. I promise. I will do this all on my own. I don’t need you or my nagging mom in my life telling me what to do,” Caleb growled.
“What did you just say about your mother? Bash me all you want but she has given up so much for you Caleb. You need to re-evaluate the person you’re becoming, and when you’re ready to talk, you know where to find me. Oh and one more thing. You should be glad that you even have a mother in the first place.” And with that, Elliot left the room.
A little later, Elliot decided to break the news to Athena.
“No way! Thats great. I support the move all the way! You and Erin are so cute together, and it’ll be nice to live on your own. I’ve always felt like you might have lived a sheltered life because of me.” Athena admitted.
“No way. I’m living the life I chose and I don’t regret any of it. I’m eternally grateful for all you and Levi have done for me. My only concern is Caleb. He was acting really standoff-ish to me earlier when I told him.”
Athena frowned. “I think he’s having a tough time at school. When I asked him about school a few weeks ago, he went off. I’ve been letting him cool off a bit and not bringing up school at all. Has he told you anything?”
“The kids are still bothering him.” He sighed, “I really don’t want to have to go down there and beat the crap out of every one of them.”
“You can’t do that, it would only make it worse. I considered that the first time it happened. I rather not be arrested.” Athena murmured.
“He’s got to get himself out there and into the world. Maybe a part time job would be good for him. He could make some money, meet new people and it’ll take his mind off of school.” Elliot suggested.
“Thats a great idea El!”
It was finally the day of the meeting and Athena had aged up into an adult. She changed her style to something different because of the midlife crisis she was going through. She couldn’t possibly be getting old!
Levi had also aged up. He was fine with the look he already had. Athena had loved it on him and it was what won her over in the first place, so he wasn’t ready to let it go just yet, especially since it still fit and he didn’t have money to wast eon new clothes (he was saving up for that bigger house Athena had wanted).
The ride to the meeting was quiet. Noah was clearly nervous.
“Hello Mr. and Mrs. Gray. I’m Mr. Smith.” Mr. SMith stood up from his desk and ushered the three over. “Please take a seat.” He nodded.
Athena had taken his hand. “Its a pleasure to meet you sir.”
“Its nice to meet you too. Now, lets get down to business.” He opened his leather book and began to jot down notes. “Do you know what Noah scored on the last test?“
“It was a perfect score right?” Athena had remembered signing off on it.
“It was even higher than that. I added the bonus points up separately. Noah had scored an 110%. The rest of his grades don’t reflect this at all.”
“What do you mean?” Levi asked. “You can’t be saying that Noah is a cheater, can you?”
“Thats the thing Mr. Gray. We had him take a test that would determine if he was indeed cheating and he hasn’t been. Your son is very smart. It confused me how his grades didn’t reflect his smarts. Finally, it became obvious. Noah’s head isn’t in school. It’s somewhere else. He wants to play and joke around all the time with his friends. He doesn’t raise his hand in class when I know he knows the answer.”
Athena looked at Noah who had fidgeted in his seat. “What do you suppose we do about it?”
“I don’t think talking is going to do anything about it because we’ve already had this talk, correct Noah?” The boy nodded. “I think the best option right now is boarding school. Smuggsworth Academy is for the brightest students in Lunar Lakes. He will be in a nice beautiful dormitory to sleep in and study in. Their library is top notch. I really think Noah will excel there and it would push him out of this immature stage.” Mr Smith handed Athena and Levi each a pamphlet.
“We’re not doing that.” Levi said outright. “He’s a child, theres no way I’m letting him leave to live on his own.”
“I thought you’d say that and so I think that you should enroll him when he turns fourteen.”
“But, Smuggsworth is really expensive. We have four kids, we can’t afford that kind of education,” Athena said.
“If Noah takes the test seriously, I really think he could get a full scholarship.” Mr. Smith answered. “I understand it’s a lot to take in but I just thought I’d make that option available to you.”
“Thank you so much Mr. Smith for letting us know. Again, it was a pleasure meeting you.” Athena smiled politely.
“Thank you for coming. Have a nice day, Mr. and Mr.s Gray. Noah, I expect you to have your homework tomorrow and to answer at least one of my questions. Got it?” Noah nodded timidly.
At home Levi, Athena and Noah sat down to talk about it. “Do you think you’d ever want to go away to a boarding school?”
“Whats a boarding school?” Noah asked innocently.
Athena raised her brow. “I know you know, Noah. Its a big decision now. I know. But I would just like to know if its a possibility.”
“Hey! You can’t leave the decision in his hands. He’s just a child. He’s not living somewhere else for four years!” Levi argued.
“He should have a say. I think some motivation would be great for Noah,” Athena answered.
“I don’t want to leave. I like it here with Caleb. I don’t want him to hate me like he hates Uncle Elliot for wanting to move. I don’t have my friends there either, so I want to stay home.” Noah shrugged.
“We’ll talk about this when you’re a teenager. Alright, Noah? Go and get some rest. I need to talk to your father.” Noah nodded and headed towards his room.
Athena shot Levi a look and Levi got up. “We’re not talking about this now. He’s not going to that snobby rich kid’s school.” He walked off.
“Why are you boys so stubborn in this house!?” Athena groaned.