"Oh, Scott. Um, well . . okay, here it is. Maggie and I are going on a little vacation."
"What! B-but you can't leave! What about the school? What about the students? What about me?!"
"Oh come on, Scott, you'll be fine. I'll only be gone for a few days. Unless I'm lucky, of course. Heh heh."
"But where are you going?"
"Actually I'm going to be on a little show called the Last Gladiator Standing."
"What? But, um, you don't really, you know
. . stand."
"It's just the title Scott."
"And to be honest Professor, you aren't really a gladiator either. You know, no offense."
"There's not actually going to be any fighting. Besides, I can hold my own in combat. Hand me those bottles."
"But what about the school? Finals are coming up. And Cassandra Nova is hanging around."
"Well Scott, that's why I am leaving the school in your capable hands. You are in charge."
"M-me? But what about, you know, Storm?"
"It's time you learned to stand up to her Scott. Be a man. Be a leader."
As I carefully wrapped the cognac bottles in padding and placed them in my case, I couldn't help but notice the sheer look of stark panic on Scott's face. I thought about altering his mind to give him some confidence, but the boy has to learn some things for himself.