Even though the number was unfamiliar, I recognized the voice as soon as I answered the phone. It was The Cheater.
The Cheater was a student of mine. Her uncle called me to set up some tutoring because of her struggles in math. She was taking an online class and was very vague about any details I tried to coax out of her. Eventually, I got a clue that she was using our tutoring sessions to cheat. *GASP!*
I stopped the tutoring, stopped the abetting. She would have to find another partner in crime. This was back in early December. I hadn't heard from her, her uncle, or anyone else since.
Until last weekend.
I answered the phone to her familiar needy tone. There was a mumble in the background *TELL HER 'HAPPY EASTER'*
"Uhm... Happy Easter Abby. It's The Cheater"
*seriously?* "Hi Cheater, Happy Easter".
"Could you come tutor me this week?"
Me to Myself: No. NO!
Myself to Me: She sounds so needy, though.
Me: Yeah, just like ALWAYS, remember??
Myself: Maybe she's cleaned up her act. It's been a few months.
Me: It's the same way she lured you in the first time, and kept you around as long as she did!
Myself: I can't figure her out. Is she really that clueless, or is she really that conniving?
Me: CONNIVING! You are the clueless one if you say "yes".
"Actually, my schedule is full this week", I replied, glad to not have to waver with myself anymore.
More mumbling, more neediness...
"Oh. Well. Okay. Thank you."
So then I felt kinda bad. For about a minute. And then I remembered how she pulled this same act before. The please-help-me-because-I-have-to-pass-this-class-and-I'm-too-shy-to-ask-the-teacher-anything, which turned out to be the please-tell-me-all-of-the-answers-because-I-don't-really-want-to-learn-anything-I-just-want-to-get-credit-for-this-class.
Mom of Cheater called again Tuesday.
"Hi Abby, can you tutor Cheater Wednesday and Thursday? She has her test on Friday".
"No, sorry. I'm all booked until the end of the school year (not a lie, I really am - YAY). I think what she really needs is some real tutoring to actually learn the material, and she is so far behind because she probably cheated herself into a class that is way over her head. If she flunks and has to do the class over, I'd be happy to help out this summer", or something like that. I'm pretty sure I left most of that middle part out, but the beginning and ending were there, along with...