A Shade of Halloween

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Chapter Seven

The car pulled over and I glanced at my mom’s pretty features. Her full lips had a smile on display, but her green eyes belied her true feelings. She was worried about me and how I was going to cope on my first day back in school after the incident. That much was clear, but because I wanted her to believe I bought her facade, I said nothing about it. Most people said I looked nothing like her. I really didn’t look like any of my parents, to be honest. For a long time, I believed I was adopted. But my parents said I wasn’t. My birth certificate also said I wasn’t, so I had to believe it. The only resemblance I had to any of my parents was the color of my eyes. They had the same shade as my dad’s and that was pretty much it.

“Try and have a good time in school today.” My mom said, pulling me out of my mental zone.

She handed me my sandwich in a brown paper bag, which I accepted with a smile.

“I will, mom. You don’t have to worry. I’m fine.” I kissed her on her cheek.

I don’t know how convincing my smile was, but it seemed to work. My mom watched in silence as I got out of the car and hung my backpack on my shoulder. I waved her goodbye and watched her drive off before continuing my walk to class. Since the incident with Alex, I moved back home on my mom’s insistence. She claimed to need the company because my dad was out of town but I knew that was just her cover story. My dad was always out of town on business, ‘making the money to give us the comfortable lives we live’ – his exact words. Since I wasn’t exactly ready to go back to my dorm after what happened, I agreed to my mom’s demands.

I got into my history class and placed my textbooks on the table. I switched my cell phone to silent mode and waited for Mr. Ross to come in. I didn’t feel like listening to the sorrowful condolences coming in from my classmates, so I plugged my headphones into my ears and put my favorite playlist on repeat. At exactly 8 am, Mr. Ross came in and began his lecture. I managed to remain invisible, following all his stipulated rules to avoid his verbal attack.

“Hey, Selena. Have you heard about Harper’s party? Everyone’s going.” Tim Ropes whispered, halfway through the lecture.

I gave him the death glare and signaled to him to shut it. Thankfully, Mr. Ross didn’t notice and the class went on. I really didn’t grasp anything that was taught because my mind was all over the place. Somehow, I managed to maintain my ‘focused’ demeanor which feigned concentration. All I saw was Mr. Ross’s lips opening and closing – and that was when I wasn’t completely zoned out. Mr. Ross concluded the day’s topic and wrote the assignment for the next class on the board.

“This class is over, make sure to pick your graded papers on your way out.” He said, reminding me of my paper which I never turned in.

Students made their way out of the class, leaving Mr. Ross who stayed back to pack his teaching materials neatly into his briefcase. He supervised the collection of graded papers until everyone was out of the class – except me.

When we were alone, I walked up to him and handed him my paper. I knew his rules about late submission, but I had to at least try. If not for the incident, I would have turned my paper in on time. I mentally prepared for whatever the outcome was, but that didn’t help release my breath which was caught in my chest.

“Mr. Ross, here’s my paper for the last assignment. I wrote it before the deadline but couldn’t turn it in because my roommate was found dead on my bed and I collapsed from shock. I’ve been in the school’s hospital since then.” I said, fighting back the tears that were threatening to fall out of my eyes. Talking about the incident always brought tears to my eyes but sometimes, it was unavoidable – like now.

“I believe my rules aren’t too difficult to understand. I don’t accept late papers IRRESPECTIVE of your excuse!” Mr. Ross snapped coldly.

A knot formed in my throat from the hurt I felt.

What a heartless douchebag.

As hard as I tried, the tears refused to stay behind my eyelashes. I turned away from him so he wouldn’t see me cry. I didn’t want to give him any more satisfaction.

Alex’s death was not an excuse and Mr. Evil-Ross could go to hell for all I cared.

I walked out of the classroom, leaving him there. I went to my locker in the cheerleading section to have some alone time. When I got there, I almost collapsed from shock at the sight in front of me. Mr. Ross was standing there, leaning against my locker! It was completely impossible for him to be there. I left him back in class and went straight to my locker. He didn’t walk past me at any point. Even if he did and I somehow missed him, how did he know which locker was mine? For a few seconds, I was confused – and transfixed. I wanted to turn around and run in the other direction but my legs were firmly rooted to the spot. Mr. Ross looked straight into my eyes and whispered to me. I had no option but to listen as the words rolled smoothly out of his lips.

“Meet me in my office.”

Suddenly, the invisible force holding my legs in place released its grasp and I could move again. I found myself walking behind Mr. Ross, as he went straight into his office. There were no questions asked.

We arrived at his rectangular shaped workspace and I immediately noticed how impeccable it was. There was no paper or file out of place, not even slightly. Textbooks were tucked neatly in bookshelves and student papers were arranged to perfection on his polished wooden desk. He placed his briefcase gently on the table and proceeded to lock the door. I blinked several times as he slowly made his way towards me. A part of me knew what he was about to do and screamed at me to run or shout. The stronger part of me told me to stay quiet because that was what he wanted. As crazy as it sounded, that was what I did. It was very confusing. Why would I want to do his bidding instead of mine?

Mr. Ross finally got to me and placed a stray strand of my brown hair behind my ear. He traced a line with his finger from underneath my earlobe, through my neck, to my chin. A knot formed in my throat as I tried to suppress the deep feelings of lust his actions evoked within me. Why did he affect me this way?

“Do not move.” He whispered, looking straight into my eyes again.

His eyes seemed to bore holes into my pale skin, but in a good way. He leaned into me slightly, placing his face very close to my neck. I felt the warmth of his breath as his nose rubbed gently against the exposed skin of my neck. Everything he was doing was inappropriate – but oh, so appealing. I wanted to take a step back but I realized I really didn’t want to. I was transfixed once again, losing control of my own movement. Perhaps I was in shock. Mr. Ross didn’t look like the kind of instructor to pick such an unhealthy interest in a student.

Why is he coming on to me?

Several other similar questions roamed around in my head but none escaped my lips. I seemed to have had an invisible gag stopping me from saying anything I thought he didn’t want to hear. I swallowed hard as his hand traveled through my body, feeling me in all my special places. He moved through my side until he got to my knee, where his hand rested for a few seconds. Then, he went up my thigh… underneath my skirt. I wanted him to stop but at the same time, I didn’t. It wasn’t like I could stop him anyway. I was locked in his office, secluded from everyone else. He held the back of my neck firmly and looked into my eyes. For a brief moment, I thought his eyes conveyed anger. The expression was gone before I could make sure. He smiled for the first time since our encounter, leaving me completely shocked.

Is Mr. Ross capable of a kind expression?

He pulled my face up towards him again and held it in place. His eyes kept looking at my facial features, searching for something. I wanted him to kiss me but he didn’t. He just kept staring at my face and exploring my body with his hands.

“Be mine.” He whispered.

I barely heard him but I understood what he meant. For some strange reason, I yearned for him – in an unholy way. I wanted him to do things I couldn’t admit even to myself. He closed his eyes for a brief moment and opened them again. This time, they burned fiercely. Not like a real fire but his look was very intense. He pushed me onto his polished wooden desk and turned me around so that he stood behind me.

Then, he took me.

It was a slow, sensual exchange, one that felt very familiar. I wondered why, because I had never been with anyone like that before.

What he did was wrong, but it felt right. It was explosive, but it felt so calm. It was insane, but it felt most welcome. I felt a burning inside me. An explosion that erupted deep within. I opened my mouth and screamed, just as my body jolted back to reality.

I was in the hospital room, right on the bed where I was questioned by the detective. I didn’t realize I had fallen asleep – but everything felt so real. It didn’t feel like a dream to me. I felt and experienced everything. I remembered every detail – the smell of his cologne… the passion he evoked within me.

“You’re awake!”

My mom’s sleepy but excited voice made me turn in her direction. I offered her a small smile and tried to sit up on my bed but I felt too weak.

“No, honey. You should rest.” She said, stroking my hair with her slender hand.

“I need to go to the bathroom.” I said to her, trying to find an excuse to be alone.

“Okay, honey.” She replied, calling for a nurse to take me.

That wasn’t what I wanted. I needed to go to the bathroom alone – to check if my encounter with Mr. Ross was truly just a dream.

I knew how everything felt. If it wasn’t real, I needed to make sure. The only way to do that was to confirm to myself that I was still a virgin. That was the only way I could be convinced.

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