He sat on the kitchen table, legs dangling and eating an avocado. I stood there gawking. Amazed at how he ate it with his hands. He ran his knuckles around the inside of the husk, stripping out the flesh and licking it off of his fingers, causing them to be a stained, oily green color.
It was now 9pm. I was freshly shaven with my hair pinned up and dressed in one of Daisy's dresses. The one that was looser at the top and tighter at the bottom, with straps as thin as spaghetti. It was a silk Valentino dress. The dress is red, but so darkly shaded it almost came off as black. Daisy insisted I put it on and show up unannounced at Mr. Grayson's home. As a way of, "reminding him what he's missing", as she said.
I slumped in the doorway, balancing a bag of groceries on my hip before I accidentally drop them onto the floor. Oh damn.
"Miss Tembo", he says, catching site of me in the doorway
"Uh...sorry... I uh. I..." , I ramble, picking up the salmon and putting it back in the grocery bag
He laughs at me, getting off the counter and walking up to me. "What are you doing here?"
"I... I wanted to see you", I blink, "is she home?"
"Who?", he cocks his head to the side
"Your wife", I mumble under my breath
"Oh", he sighs, "No, uh...she went out for drinks with her friends.
I doubt that she'll be back before at least midnight"
"You look lovely"
"Want some?", he offers me his avocado and I cringe at the sight of it. I hate avocados.
"No thank you"
"More for me then", he turns the avocado skin inside out and pulls out more of the remaining flesh with his front teeth. The sight is strangely...erotic. "What's in the bag then?"
"What?", I ask, still focused on his mouth
"That bag Nailea", he points towards the groceries, "what is in it?"
"Oh...uh, I brought some groceries. Salmon and stuff. I thought I'd make you dinner. If you like of course"
"Well then let's go"
We enter the kitchen and I start to unpack the groceries. Mr. Grayson takes out the pots and pans. Well, the pot and pan. He doesn't have a lot of kitchen stuff. I guess that makes sense, seeing as how his wife is hardly ever home. I washed my hands, as did he before going into the next room to put on some music. Mozart. He played Mozart.
I picked up one of knives, the smallest one and started to cut up the cherry tomatoes in fours. I sliced perfectly. Watching him ogling me from the side of my eyes. It was almost like I fascinated him. That's a good thing though. Isn't it?
I continue to slice, smiling when Mr. Grayson starts to bop his head along with the music. I accidentally cut through my finger and flinch. "Ah", I wince
"Ugh, why can't you be careful?", he groans, "come here"
He brings my finger to the sink and washes out the blood.
"I'm sorry. I got distracted", I apologize quickly. Hoping he won't get mad at me again
He shakes his head and pulls my finger to his mouth, gently biting the tip. Which I find strange but also attractive at the same time. "Sorry. I like the blood", he whispers
"Uh...can I have a band aid?", I shrug, trying desperately not to look flustered
"Stay here, I'll get one"
I watch him as he disappears upstairs.
Suddenly the smell of burnt salmon overpowers my nostrils and I let out a curse word before looking through each of the cupboards for an oven mitt. I hurriedly look in all of the top cupboards with no luck. I turn my head over my shoulder and notice a little cabinet hidden in the corner of the bottom counter. I walk quickly towards it and as I open it, I'm almost suffocated by the strong, sharp and almost painful stench.
I cover my nose with my inner elbow and when I look closely, I see a bunch of panties, probably over fifty, all stained with what looks like....dry blood?
"Oh my gosh", I mutter to myself and quickly close the cabinet. My heart is now pounding and I'm dumbfounded. What the hell did I just see?
I turn to look at him, trying to hide the fact that I'm now completely terrified. "Hm? Yeah? Hi"
"Aren't you scared?", he asks me. His voice dark and deep and sultry
"What?", I gulp. My heart pounding
"I said, aren't you scared that the salmon will be ruined?", he walks towards me and grabs my wrist, putting on the band aid. He locks eyes with me and there's a darkness that I never saw in this way. "You're trembling. Are you alright?"
"I'm fine. I just, Uhm...I tried to look for an oven mitt", I manage to say without trembling. I hope. Well, I think I might have trembled a little.
"I don't have one", he tells me then picks up the hot pan with his bare hands, laying it beside the stove. "I'll set the table", he smiles.
Am I overreacting? Please tell me that I'm just overreacting and that wasn't odd at all. Not even in the slightest.
When I enter my room, I'm not sure how to act. The first thing I do is get a class of water and join Daisy on her bed. I run through the entire night with her and tell her absolutely everything that had happened. This time, I didn't leave out a single detail because I needed to know if this was as weird as it felt.
I tell her that after finding the...well, you know what I found, I sat down for about 15 minutes before telling Mr. Grayson that I didn't feel very well and had to come back home and lye down. If there's one thing I've learnt from binge watching You on Netflix, it's that if you find something crazy in a crazy persons house, you have to act completely and utterly natural. Or else they'll lock you up in some weird glass box, murder you and then write a book about a false affair you had with your therapist.....or, something like that.
"Maybe they were his wife's?", Daisy suggests, "I know a surprising amount of women who don't believe in tampons. It's weird but, it's true"
"There was like fifty pairs in there Daisy. What kind of person owns 50 pairs of underwear and didn't wash them after having their period?", I sigh, "Oh...and, he bit my finger after I cut myself and then said he likes the blood. Who says that?"
"Maybe that's just his vibe. Like, some kind of kink or something"
I huff in frustration, laying my head onto Daisy's pillow.
"Look, you're the one involved with him, alright? So if this is something that you found really strange then just, ignore him"
"How will I ignore him? He's my professor!", I sit up
"Okay, then just, tell him you want to stop seeing him. Don't mention why though. Just like, say you met someone else or something and go back to living your vanilla life", she tells me
"Well, I'd rather my vanilla life than a life where I find bloody panties in a kitchen cabinet", I murmur
"Whatever Nai", she cooed, "can I go to bed now? Please?"
As I crawl into bed, I take out my phone and send my final message to Mr. Grayson. Hoping that after tonight, my life will finally go back to normal.
From Nailea's iPhone: I can't see you anymore. I've met someone else and I think it's best that you and I maintain a student- teacher relationship. Goodbye Mr. Grayson.
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