Since I've been listening to that song from when I wrote Unbreakable Hostage so much, I thought I owed you all another taste of the book. It's only a taste. Ya still gotta download it, people! Come on, it's only $5.99, it's not a HUGE investment. Plus, you're gonna like it anyway, so it's worth the six bucks! ;)
Lareina meticulously brushed and blow dried her thick black hair. She watched herself carefully in the mirror as she did so. Lareina always tended to the smallest of details with everything in her life. She also enjoyed looking and dressing well. Tonight was no exception. Tonight, she was going back to school again. She still couldn’t believe it was actually happening.
She had been teaching math at a local high school for several years now. She already had her master’s degree. She loved math – especially algebra - and she loved the idea of reaching her students, but she didn't feel that she was actually touching their lives as much as she had hoped. Her students hated math. Math meant nothing to them. Lareina couldn't even try to count the number of times her students talked back and told her what a waste of time it was. It seemed that no matter what she did; no matter what new approaches, methods or techniques she used, they still abhorred the boring but necessary subject.
Lareina fought to keep her students interested, but nothing ever worked. Day after day, Lareina felt her spirit was being crushed by the students' severe lack of interest. Lareina wanted more, though; she wanted so much more than this mediocre teaching job was giving her. She wanted to teach students who shared her passion.
So, she decided to make a change. She was going to UCLA to get her Ph. D. in order to teach university level students. The positive environment, and working with students who also loved algebra would be a good change for Lareina. This was absolutely the right decision, she told herself.
Lareina Oliveira was a short Hispanic woman. She and her family had moved to America - to Los Angeles - when she was ten years old; and yet to this day, she still had a noticeable accent.
She stood at only five feet tall. Her skin was a glowing olive color. Her hair was as black as a moonless night sky. She had mesmerizing hazel eyes. Like many Hispanic women, she was quite buxom, but she also had a tiny waist, and great curvy hips. She was nearly perfectly proportionate. With a figure of 34-26-36, she had the ideal hour-glass body.
Throughout her life, Lareina had been approached by numerous men for everything from a fun, friendly night out to one night stands. She even had limitless offers for modeling work, but she turned them all down. Her passion was in mathematics and algebra. Her parents had sacrificed so much for her to have a good life and education here in the United States. She wanted to thank them by pursuing a good education and career. Although she was flattered that so many found her to be beautiful; math was her world, and always would be. She made sure that no one or nothing would ever change that.
She finished brushing her thick, shiny, jet black hair. This was her first day towards her goal of acquiring a Ph. D. Today was her day in working towards a new, rewarding life.
Excitedly, she grabbed her purse and ran down stairs. She left a quick note for her roommate, Sandy, on the kitchen table.
The University of California started classes before the local high schools, so Sandy was enjoying the remainder of her summer vacation while she could.
Lareina and Sandy were an interesting, if not comical, pair. They had met through work: they both taught at the same high school. Working together and living together for several years, the girls had a tight bond. They supported each other; encouraged each other; were always open and honest with each other, and they also liked to tease each other. Lareina was the Hispanic woman who taught math; Sandy was the white woman who taught Spanish. They often joked about the irony of their teaching jobs. Even after several years, they still had a great friendship and were perfect roommates for each other.
Lareina left a short, quick note reminding Sandy that she would be in class, but that she would be home for dinner.
She looked at her license plate as she walked to her truck which was quietly parked in the garage. Her license plate read, “X is 2.” It was the closest she could get to having it say, “X equals two.” Her license plate was proof that Lareina absolutely adored algebra. Lareina chuckled to herself as she got into her black Chevrolet S-10 king cab truck and drove through the streets of Los Angeles to reach the University in time.
Lareina sat at the front of the classroom. She enjoyed being in the front of the room, right in front of the professor. She felt she would get the most out of the lectures by being front and center. She was also the type that could be distracted, and she did not want to ruin this opportunity. This, the first of many classes, was far too important for Lareina to lose her focus.
As she set her books on her desk, a corpulent man passed by her desk. Like so many men before him, he did a double take when he saw Lareina. He stared, taking in Lareina's stunning looks. Slowly, nearly breaking his neck as he did so, the fat man walked to the back of the classroom while still watching Lareina.
Soon after, the professor walked in. She was a tall, thin, regal woman. Her hair was chocolate brown, pulled back into a tight bun. She wore thick glasses. She looked to be a woman in her mid-sixties or so. Despite her age, though, her features were lovely and surprisingly beautiful.
“This is a Ph. D. level class,” the professor started as soon as she walked into the classroom. “I expect a full effort from each and every one of you. If you are in this class, you should be pulling straight A's. I demand a lot of my students, in order to weed out the ones who are not Ph. D. material. Is that clear?” The teacher's voice was cold and strong. “My name is Doctor Bauer. I am here to teach, not to be your best friend. I will, however, work with you if need be.
“Now, let's go through roll call.”
“The roll call should be pretty short,” Lareina thought to herself. There were very few students in this class. Hopefully, they were all as dedicated as she. Being surrounded in a positive, enthusiastic environment was very important to Lareina. She quietly prayed to that this class would be the constructive setting she so desperately wanted.
“Here,” a voice from the other side of the room called back.
The girl sitting at the desk next to Lareina said, “Here.”
“Here, and please call me Tony.” It was the large man who had walked passed Lareina before. He was sitting at the back of the classroom, in the same row as Lareina; almost as if to watch her from behind.
“Here!” Another male voice called out.
“Present,” yet another male voice called out.
“Here, Doctor Bauer,” Lareina said gently since Dr. Bauer was standing right beside her.
Dr. Bauer leaned over Lareina’s desk. “Impressive. You are one of only two women in this class. I will expect much from you,” the doctor said quietly to Lareina.
“Yes, ma'am,” Lareina softly replied.
“And lastly, Phillip Stanley?”
“Here,” the last male voice called out.
“Ok, good. You're all brave enough to show up on the first day of class. That's a good sign.
“I've taught many a class where the wimps don't even try on the first day. This means that I expect each and every one of you in class every session in this semester unless there are extenuating circumstances. And by the way, a cold or an upset stomach is not an extenuating circumstance.
“Here's my syllabus for the semester. I highly suggest that you read it thoroughly after we go through it here, so that you fully understand my expectations for this class,” Doctor Bauer said as she walked through the fairly empty classroom passing out the thick packet.
Lareina walked to her truck after the four hour class was over. She knew this would be an intense program, but she was prepared. Luckily, since she arrived at the University early, she was able to get a parking spot near to the entrance of the building.
She loaded up her truck with her books and her bag, and then finally pulled herself up and in. She started the truck and drove off.
Tony Covelli sat in his old, tired, red 1984 Mustang and watched Lareina's every movement. She was beautiful. He really wanted to get to know her. He caught a glimpse of her license plate. “X is 2, eh? I'll have to remember that,” he whispered to himself.
It took his aged, worn car several tries before it started up. Once the car finally started, he drove off.