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~ Awẹ́lẹ́wà ~
I have a crush on my professor.
Now before you assume anything, I should let you know that it accidentally happened. It wasn't supposed to happen. But it happened after the day that my dad passed. We lost him two weeks before Christmas last year.
And because of that, I was struggling last semester.
I had to take simple classes and decided not to take the second organic chemistry class until this Fall. You see, I failed the class last year, so I have to take it again.
And Dr. Clark is the professor who teaches it every Fall semester. I couldn't take the class taught by another professor last spring because I feared I was going to fail it for the second time because of my personal loss.
Now I am stuck with Dr. Clark.
My accidental crush.
He is ruthless. And he so happens to have stolen my heart.
It happened last semester, before the start of Summer. It was the last day of Finals that semester of my junior year. I was running late to my first class as I sometimes have a habit of doing.
And I'd bumped into Dr. Clark on my way to class.
In my mind it was like those Asian dramas, you know, the one where the girl and boy bump into each other and sparks fly. Well, in reality, the only things that were flying that day were my legs.
He hadn't even tried to stop my fall that day as I fell down flat on my butt. He just looked at me with hate in his eyes, said something about watching where I walk, and then walked away in his black slacks and blue and white striped shirt with sleeves rolled up to his elbows. I think I might have remained in that position for about five minutes staring at the hallway he'd just walked through.
I know. Pathetic.
Those Asian dramas have messed my brain up, and now I can't stop daydreaming about him. I honestly just have mixed feelings, to be honest. A part of me hates him and can't stand him and I just want to pass his class and graduate, never to set eyes on him again. The other part of me - the senseless part - daydreams about him, allowing his devilishly handsome face and features to intrude on my dreams.
And now even as I make my way down the hallway to my first class this first semester of my senior year, the class that began fifteen minutes ago, my heart is beating fast against my full chest.
I am running, panting, knowing fully well that Dr. Clark does not tolerate being late to his class.
Blame it on my car that wouldn't start this morning. It took me almost twenty minutes to get it to start.
I stop to catch my breath.
"Late again, aren't we, Lewa?"
I hear Dr. Price say somewhere during my sprint.
Isn't she supposed to be having a class now?
I shoot her a quick fake smile before continuing down the hallway.
Urgh! Calm down, Lewa. Calm down.
I slowly turn the doorknob and begin to quietly make my way to a seat at the back, all eyes on me. It doesn't take long before Dr. Clark turns his attention on me, placing the dry erase marker on the lab desk in front of the classroom. Placing both hands in his pocket, he says to me:
"Leave my class, Miss Ade."
I stand frozen in the center of the classroom. I can hear a few giggles sounding from the back of the classroom as everyone in the room focuses on me. One glare from Dr. Clark and the giggles cease. A few of the students are now holding pity.
"Sir-" I attempt to explain but he raises a brow and motions with his eyes in the direction of the door.
This man hates me, I'm sure of it.
I release a sigh as I make my way out of the classroom. I'll have to ask someone for the notes later. I can't afford to fail this class again. I have to graduate this year.
But it seems like I'm not done being humiliated because just as I close the door shut, my skater skirt gets stuck in between. Great.
I release a shaky and frustrated sigh as I yank the material out of its stuck place, my hand subconsciously finding its way to my backside. A tear on that part of my skirt isn't exactly what I need right now.
I make my way to the library as I briefly glance at the time on my phone. I quickly send a text to my best friend Cody who is also a senior this year. He's a year older than me but honestly Cody is one of the few people in this world that I can be myself around. Cody and his girlfriend Caden, who I'm also friends with. I click send and immediately a reply comes through.
"Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear that, Lewa. I'll come see you at the library after my class. I have something for you. x "
A smile forms on my face as I quickly shoot him a response and shove my phone back in my backpack before making my way to the elevator, hoping my skirt is still tuck in place.
You see, I'm not the skinny type.
I have thick thighs and legs, and my bust area isn't small either. My backside compliments the rest of my body, as my mom would say, because it's noticeably big. I'm five feet seven, and believe me when I say I have tried to lose some pounds but my mom always tells me that I'm not fat, and that I have the right fats and muscles in the right places.
I know what she means but that doesn't make me accept it so easily. I'm still quite conscious of my body type.
She says I'm blessed because I have a noticeably small waist.
She calls me beautiful.
I know she's trying to boost my self-esteem but being the person that I am, I'm still struggling with that.
I have long black curly hair that I mostly put in a loose bun; and I'm dark skinned. When my hair is in its naturally curly state, it gives the illusion that it's not too long, as the curls just fall around my face and down to the back of my neck. When it's straightened, which is something I rarely do, it falls all the way down to my back. I know, that's one of the things I hate having to deal with about my hair. But the truth is, I like it nonetheless because it makes me stand out.
I hate being like the masses.
I'm Nigerian-American. Born in the United States to Nigerian parents, I am the second and last child. My older brother, Olu, is married with a son, and he lives in Texas now. He'd moved from Chicago to Texas a year after he'd gotten married to Toni. We are quite close though, and he may be coming home this Thanksgiving. I hope they do.
After my second class ends, I quickly email some folks in my Organic chemistry class; and I spend the next hour and a half writing down the notes and reading through them, my head nodding more times than I have time to assimilate.
After I'm done with the struggle, I check the time on my phone, and I can hear my stomach growl. I begin putting my books in my backpack and make a mental note to meet up with Cody after I've had lunch. He ended up not meeting me at the library because I had a class at that time - my second class today - when he was just done with his first class for the day. Cody is also a Chemistry major but he passed Ochem last year when we both took it.
We do have two classes together this semester though, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing a friendly face in those classes.
After lunch, I begin to make my way back to the library to take a short nap because my next class isn't until 4pm. And it's only 1:15pm now.
But then another thought crosses my mind.
Dr. Clark usually has his office hours from 1pm to 3pm on Mondays and Wednesdays when I have him for Ochem. And I do have some questions after writing the notes and reading them. I really need to see him and clarify a few things he'd taught in class today. It sure doesn't help that he'd asked me to leave because I was late.
I release a nervous sigh as I begin to make my way to his office on the second floor of the science and technology building on campus. As I near his office, I can see that the door is slightly open, as is customary for faculty members to do sometimes.
I take in deep breaths and rub my hands together several times to clean off some of the sweat. Then I briefly close my eyes and open them before gently knocking.
His voice breaks my thoughts.
Without raising his head, he says,
"Have a seat."
I obey as I pull out the chair across from him and sit, making sure my black skater skirt is gathered decently around me. Because of my generous backside, I always have to make sure my clothes, especially my skirts and dresses, are decently covering my body. I subconsciously clear my throat, trying to clear out all this nervousness.
Dr Clark is a human being like me, just like the other professors, Lewa, so calm down. Just calm down. Ask your questions, listen, and get out. That's all. That's it.
I wrap my arms around my body and grit my teeth at the fact that my professor hasn't even acknowledged my presence yet. Also, why is his office always cold? I should've brought a jacket to wear over my cream short sleeve shirt.
And as if wrapping my arms around myself was an indication, he finally raises his head to look at me.
And I think my heart just stopped.
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