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Age Is Just a Number by Jeffery zedd Chapter 9

Chapter 9

Current Age

William: 23 years old

Zara: 15 years old,

Zara’s POV:

He stretches out his hand and moves his finger inward. Shamefully, I placed my phone in his palm, and he glanced at the message William sent me. “So,” he said.

“Sorry?” I said, but it came out as a question.

“No, I meant, what’s your answer?” he asks.

were

Everyone’s eyes were on me while I stared at Mr.Franklin. “Yes,” I reply slowly.

He nodded and replied to the message. Mr.Franklin throws the phone on top of his desk, and I jolt when I hear it buzzing. My eyes went towards Mr.Franklin, who smirked at me, and I know he did it on

purpose.

The phone keeps buzzing the whole period, and I continuously shake my leg, my eyes staring at the clock that feels agonizingly slow.

When the bell rang, I jumped out of my seat and flashed towards him, placing my palm out. He rolls his eyes, mumbling something about impatient teenagers, and drops the phone on my palms.

Quickly, I scroll through my phone, my eyes widening. “Mr.Franklin, I said yes!” I whined and stomped my foot.

He glances at me, cocking his brow. “Teach you to text during my class.”

I scroll through my messages, feeling thoroughly dejected. William had been messaging me, asking if I’m sure since I never turn down free food. Now, it’s too late to respond since my phone was with me for the

whole hour.

“Zara, why don’t you take a seat?” Mr.Franklin said.

I take a step back. “Whatever it was, I didn’t do it.”

He scrunches his brows together. “You’re not in trouble,” he said. Since I’m not in trouble, I sat back down. “Zara, remember when we took that test a month ago?”

“That random bullshit test that didn’t matter to my grade that you called practicing for the SAT? Yes.” |

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reply.

He rolls his eyes. “Well, the result came in.”

“How bad did I do?” I whisper.

Mr.Franklin furrows his brows together and shakes his head. “Quite the opposite; you score at the top. 01% in the states,” he replies, handing me the result. “The only thing you got deducted points for was your argument regarding the current school system.”

“Oh yes, how its f**king sucks,” I reply.

“That’s where you got deducted points. You can’t use vulgar words in the essay.”

My mouth gaped open. “f**k is a real word.”

“Yes, but it’s a vulgar slang word,” he explains.

I shrug my shoulders. “So?”

He rolls his eyes once more, and one day, I believe, they will be stuck in the back of his head. “So, I showed your report to a friend of mine at Princeton,”

you.”

“Teachers have friends?!”

“Zaral” He warns me

I gave him a sheepish smile.

Mr.Franklin cleared his throat. “After I showed my friend, he was impressed and wanted to speak with

“About what?”

“Zara, have you considered taking a Certificate of Proficiency from the State Board of Education and graduating school early?”

“Mr.Franklin 1-”

“Zara, I know you’re a smart girl, but what I don’t understand is why you would rather waste your talent laying under the radar. I read your report regarding the sweet lollipops‘ overpricing, which is very. odd, but your argument is profound. It makes me almost want to go to the grocery store and bargain for a lower price on lollipops,” he said.

“Mr. Frank-”

“I arranged a meeting with the dean of Princeton this Friday. I suggest you give it a shot,” he said, handing me a fancy–looking card with a phone number on it. “Don’t waste your gift, Zara.” He pats my back before walking out of the classroom. “Plus, I know you made a photocopy of the schoolmaster key, so can

III

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Chapter 9

you lock up the room for me?” he said.

I gave him the okay sign.

Sitting there, I keep staring at the small card, my mind wondering what’s holding me back here. I stand up, grab my backpack, and walk out, then lock the door.

I can always meet up with Nina during breaks. It’s a great opportunity, Princeton. It’s Princeton! You can’t get any fancier than that!

Releasing a deep breath, I shove the card into my backpack, walking towards my next class. “Hey Zara,” Randy said.

Randy is a nice guy that people often misunderstand as a bad boy. Yes, he has tattoos on the side of his arm. and he may or may not have a connection with the town drug dealer, but overall he is nice. Now that I think about it, with his leather jacket, tattoo, and motorcycle, he has a bad boy image, which is probably why many girls drool over him.

I waved, “Hi, Randy.”

Instantly, his smile drops, and he pulls me into a random room. “Your makeup,” he said.

My eyes widen, and I pull out my mirror, seeing the bruise making its appearance, probably because I’ve been sweating a lot on this hot day. Quickly, I grab my makeup bag and pour the foundation on my face, covering it.

“Did your dad?” he asks, pauses, and stares at me.

“Yeah,” I respond, layering it once more.

“When?” he whispered, taking a seat in front of me.

I shut off the powder and threw it back inside my bag. “Friday night.”

I met Randy when I was thirteen, and he was fourteen. We met at the park. You can say we bond over the same issues. Randy’s dad is also an alcoholic who beats him up. Randy is the only one who knows about my situation; even Nina doesn’t know. I guess it’s easier to talk about it with someone who is going through the same thing.

People always thought it was weird that we hang out since we have opposite personalities, but we have a lot more in common than people can see.

Randy stands up and embraces me. “You okay?”

1 I push him back, a smile on my face. “When am I not okay?”

He tucks my hair back. “Zara, it’s me, Randy. Stop it with the fake smile.”

Within trembling lips, the tears drip down. “It hurts,” I cry out. He wraps his arms around me. “It hurts

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Chapter 9

so much when he hits me. It hurts so much.”

After some time, I realized I had fallen asleep on his shoulder, leaning against the wall. “I can’t believe I skipped two periods because of you,” I mumble.

He smirks, “The school wouldn’t want to see that ugly face of yours, anyway.”

I smacked his chest. “You’re ugly, ugly.”

He turns his head toward me. “That’s the best you got?”

I shrug. “Randy.”

“Yes? Zara in Wonderland?” He sang, throwing an arm over my shoulder and pulling me inward.

“I got a meeting with the dean of Princeton.”

I can see his eyes widening and his mouth gaping open. “You’re f**king with me.”

“First of all, we ain’t f**king, ever,” I said.

He snaps his fingers and says, “Damn it!”

“And secondly, I’m not. It turns out I’m some freaky genius.”

A snort escapes his throat. “Explains how you always manage to ace everything despite sleeping in nearly every class.” I lean against his shoulder and close my eyes. “Are you going for it?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” I mumble.

He releases a deep breath. “It’s that William guy, isn’t it?”

Randy knows about my obsession with William ever since I was eight. It turns out that when you’re lying under the stars, talking about random things, stuff slips out.

“You know what I think?” he said.

I sat up, crossing my legs. “What?”

“fk that old man, go to that meeting, nail it, and fking go to Princeton with all those privileged kids,” he said.

“You make it sound so appealing,” I said in a mocking tone.

He rolls his eyes. “You know what I mean. Zara, are you really going to give up this once–in–a lifetime opportunity for a guy who doesn’t deserve you? You’re gifted with this mind that can get you out of this shithole of a town; not all of us get that opportunity.” He places a finger under my chin, lifting my head. “Don’t waste your youth for a guy who doesn’t know your value,” he said. Randy presses his lips on my forehead and walks out of the class.

O

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Chapter 9

“Where are you going?” I ask.

“Work,” he said, sending me a wink before closing the door.

I lean my head against the wall, my mind deciding whether or not I should skip school. After some time, I texted Nina I was going home and then crawled out the window, sneaking into the school back fence.

Kicking some rocks, I stare at the cement ground. My hand holds the card, wondering what I should do. Releasing a breath, I look up to see a car pulling, and a smile appears. William steps out, pulling his tie down as usual, but he wasn’t alone.

On the passenger side, out step a gorgeous blonde with a bdy build like a supermodel. She walks towards William, wrapping her arms around him, and he does the same. She tilts her head, her red lips smiling, and they start kssing.

For a very long time.

I took a step back and turned around, my legs quite unsure where it’s going. When I Tooked up, I was in the park. I duck down and crawl into the tunnel, then wrap my arms around myself.

Even when I got older and bigger, I guess I never actually grew up.

Age Is Just a Number by Jeffery zedd

Age Is Just a Number by Jeffery zedd

Score 9.5
Status: Ongoing Author: Artist:
“You’re right; I can’t be a kid following a guy who will never notice me forever.” Zara Lee, a young smart girl, has always been in love with the Italian boy next door since he moved to America. Everything about his handsome figure set her soul on fire. But to her, the only problem is their eight year age gap. But little does she know, that isn’t the only problem keeping them from being together.

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