With Drawn: Part 5 — Win-Win

Mystic Island Middle SchoolContinued from: With Drawn: Part 4 — A Mouse in a Maze

John Berkley peeked in through Amanda Lansing’s open office door. Amanda was sitting at her desk, surrounded by IEPs and folders filled with students’ files. She was texting someone on her Smartphone. John said, “Hey.” He said it in a very casual and friendly tone. It was a tone one might use with a good friend or with a lover. John wanted to be the latter with Amanda Lansing.

Upon hearing John calling to her, Amanda jumped a little, looking spooked. This meant that her eyes got wide and she gasped. She had this reaction because she was not expecting John Berkley to be standing in her doorway and calling her name. She then looked guilty because John had seen her texting rather than working on her paperwork. Amanda placed the Smartphone on her desk and pushed it away from her. “Oh, hey, John,” Amanda said in a friendly tone.

John liked the tone of Amanda’s voice. Her voice was high but husky, childlike but sensual. Her voice was very much like her smile.

“You’re here late,” John said.

“Yeah, well, I have a lot of work to get done,” Amanda said, pushing the Smartphone further away from her on the desk.

“That was some meeting for Jacob Grist today, huh?” John said.

“Yeah. It got a little contentious at times.”

“You could say that,” John said.

You could say that is a statement that doesn’t have any real meaning. People say it to show agreement. The statement has no real meaning because Amanda did just “say that.”

John said, “Jacob’s stepfather is a little nasty.”

“You could definitely say that,” Amanda said, even though John already did say it. Amanda said, “I couldn’t believe he made that comment about my shirt.”

John flashed his gaze from Amanda’s cleavage to her eyes. “Oh, I know,” John said. “What a jerk.”

Amanda said, “I heard that Jacob got himself into a little trouble today in class. Something about a drawing.”

“Yeah. He drew a picture of a gorilla ripping off another student’s head. He just served detention with me.”

“Really?” Amanda said. “Why with you?”

“I asked Principal Cooper if Jacob could serve his detention with me. I wanted to try and connect with him, you know, because Jacob and I get along pretty well.”

This was, in fact, the reason that John had come to Amanda’s office in the first place, to let her know how nice he was for helping Jacob, and he tried to keep the self-importance out of his voice.

“That was a good idea,” Amanda said. “He does seem to connect well with you. That was very noble of you.”

John liked the way Amanda said this, and John forced his gaze from her cleavage. John said, “So you have a lot of work to do, huh?”

“Yeah,” Amanda said. “But I think I might leave it for tomorrow. I think it’s time I get away from it for the day.”

John chuckled. “Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.” He paused a moment and then said, “So, hey, do you want to go and grab a coffee?”

Actually, this was the reason John had come to Amanda’s office in the first place.

Amanda didn’t answer at first. She glanced at the floor, then at her Smartphone, and then back at John. She said, “No, I don’t think I can. I’m pretty tired, and I’m having dinner with my boyfriend tonight.” Amanda stressed the word boyfriend.

“Oh, okay,” John said. He forced a smile onto his face. “Yeah, I need to get home, too. It was a pretty long day, and I’m tired. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Okay, bye,” Amanda said.

Both John and Amanda’s voices were still very friendly in tone, but the friendliness seemed forced at that moment.

By the way, Amanda does not have a boyfriend. She said she had a boyfriend because she realized that John’s asking her to go for coffee was actually his way of asking her on a date, and she did not want to date him. This is called a “white lie.” A white lie is a lie that is used so that one person does not hurt another person’s feelings. So John Berkley left Amanda Lansing’s office thinking that Amanda had a boyfriend and that this was the reason she did not want to go out with him, and Amanda did not have to feel bad that she hurt his feelings. This is known as a “win-win situation,” because both people feel good.

Continued in: With Drawn: Part 6 — The Warrior

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