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The Other World- Part 11

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River woke up to the obnoxious sound of his blaring alarm clock. He moaned and turned over in his bed to shut off the sound that haunted his every morning. It had been one week since Brooke’s disappearance. This was River’s first day back in school, and he was dreading the questions the kids would ask him.

But he still grudgingly crawled out of bed and splashed cold water on his face to wake him up. Then he got ready, still half asleep, until he smelled his dad’s omelet. Once the scent reached River’s nose, he sprinted down the hall and jumped the stairs, racing to get to the stools where they ate. His dad slid the omelet off of the pan it was cooking on and onto the plate in front of River. River wolfed the food down like it was the only meal he’d eat all day.

“Calm down, we have plenty of time before we have to leave.” River, with some omelet still hanging out of his mouth, looked up at the clock.

He swallowed his food and gasped, “Dad, that clock is 10 minutes behind!”

Oliver looked up at the clock hanging up on the wall, then he picked up his phone, which was laying face down on the counter. It read 7:45 .

“What time does your school start?” he asked.

River peered over his shoulder at his watch and ran to go get his backpack, shouting, “In 5 minutes!” Oliver slapped his face with his hand and quickly put his coffee in a travel cup to drink on the road. He grabbed his coat and his hat, then he took off down the hall after his son.

River repeatedly pressed the down button on the elevator door and waited impatiently for his father.

“Hurry up!” he whispered.

Oliver ran in and the elevator went down. When they reached the lobby, both of them sprinted to their car. River took advantage of Brooke’s absence and hopped into the passenger seat. Oliver took the wheel, started the car, and they were off. Halfway to school, when they were already one minute late, Oliver snuck a look at River. He was leaning out of his open window, watching the clouds with an unusual intensity.

“It’s going to be a while until you see her again buddy,” he said. He didn’t mention the fact that neither might see her again.

“I know, you’ve said that before,” River replied. “But the last time we were here, something unexpected happened. I’m just making sure I’m not caught by surprise again.”

Oliver looked at his son strangely. River must have noticed this, because he then said, “Plus, I don’t want her to know that I’ve been using her laptop for the past week.”

Oliver chuckled and turned back towards the road. Two minutes later, a very late River ran out of the car into the school. Not even bothering to drop his stuff of at his locker, River ran across the large private school to his homeroom. He burst through the door, panting from the heavy weight of his backpack. All eyes turned to him. River stood up straighter to try to preserve his pride and dignity. His teacher was that old strict lady with the gray hair none of the kids wanted to get.

“Do you have a pass for being late?” she asked, turning her attention back to the computer in front of her.

“No.” River muttered, grumpily.

“Third tardy of the year.” she said, her voice dripping with disappointment. “Sit down!” she commanded. River hurried across the room to the ‘misfit’ group of kids he always sat with.

“Dude, where have you been?” asked Elliot, his closest friend out of all the people he knew.

“I’ve been sick. Brooke’s still at home.” River answered.

“Well, you have a mountain of work to catch up on.” Elliot’s eyes drifted behind River. “Speak of the devil.”

River heard a loud noise behind him. He turned to find the evil Ms. Reap glaring at him. Because of her last name, Ms. Reap had been nicknamed ‘The Grim Reaper.’ And the look she was giving River right then made him feel like he was staring right into the face of death.

“Since you’ve been gone, all of your teachers have been giving me the work you’ve missed,” she gestured to the stack of papers on the desk behind him, at least a foot tall. She smirked at her least favorite student. “Good luck.” she sneered. Then she waltzed off to her desk.

“River, you’re screwed.” said Charlie, who only associated with River in his spare time. “I know.” River muttered back. Today was going to be the worst day ever. He didn’t even have room in his backpack for all the papers. He’d have to carry it around with him all day long. River groaned.

He opened his bag and looked at the third book in his fathers series. “I bet whatever you’re doing, it’s much easier than this,” he thought. Really, it’s up to you whether he was right or not.

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