When class ends everyone gets up except me. I sit in my seat until the room is silent and empty.
“Ms. Smith,” Professor Ingram says as he points in front of his desk for me to come stand. I get up and nervously walk up to the desk. My hands shaking as they grip my book and my heart is beating like crazy. His first day and he already has it out for me. The last thing I wanted to do was make a bad impression. I’ll be screwed for the rest of the semester.
“Professor Ingram, I’m really sorry about making you drop your coffee. I was running late and stuff” I mumble soft enough for him to hear. I stare down at my feet as he flips through some papers.
I look at him and get a good look of his features. He looks like he is in his late twenties, but he also still has boyish young features as if he were in his late teens.
“It’s okay Ms. Smith, I...”
“Oh, please call me Krystal” I interrupt, digging the tip of my boot into the floor.
He frowns hard “Please don’t interrupt, Ms. Smith”
I want to smack myself. He hates me. He is going to fail me. I nearly ran him over earlier and now I’m interrupting him. Is it too late to take this class online?
“Like I was saying, I’m not mad. I’m impressed by your perseverance though. I spoke to Dr. Quinn yesterday and she informed me that you are her brightest student.” He leans back in his seat and rubs his chin.
“I...I work hard. I’m on scholarship so I have to maintain.” I can’t help but pick at my clothes from nerves. He doesn’t say anything so I speak up, noticing the time. “Professor Ingram, why did you want to see me?”
He looks me up and down, I immediately feel like I’m naked. I pray that my nipples don’t get hard because that always seems to happen at the most awkward times and I forgot to put a bra on when I was racing out of my dorm. I’ve never been uncomfortable with my body, I actually like wearing clothes that show off my curves. It’s more of a social problem, but I feel like he is undressing me with his eyes. Maybe I’m overthinking it. He is probably just trying to figure out what kind of person I am.
Professor Ingram starts looking around on his desk “Where’s my pen?” He murmurs to himself. I look around on his desk then on the floor “Ah, here it is” I lean over to pick it up.
When I hand it to him our fingers brush and I catch a chill. We make eye contact briefly before I look away. I see him smirk at my awkwardness. I put my free hand in my pocket and smile to myself. A weird feeling jolts through me from his touch. Maybe it was just nerves, but the feeling lingers for a few seconds making my thoughts cloudy.
“How old are you?” He asks as he looks through a folder with my name on it.
I clear my throat, “I’m 21”
He nods. I can’t help, but feel small standing in front of him, like I’m below him. I turn my head to look out the door as a few student pass by. I’m really waiting for him to get to the point of this meeting so I can grab something to eat and make it to my next class.
“Ms. Sm...Krystal, I want to offer you a position as my assistant. I’ll need a lot of help catching up.” He stands and slides his hands in his pocket.
Professor Ingram walks around his desk till he is in front of me. Now that he is in front of me, he seems a lot taller. I part my lips to speak, but I catch the smell of his cologne. I take a deep breath and my insides melt.
“Well, Krystal, are you going to answer?” He chuckles.
I laugh a little “Yes. Uh sure. I’d be happy to be your T.A. It looks good on résumés”
He smiles “Good. Thank you. Can you be here an hour early in the mornings? I’ll need help with lesson plans and such”
I shrug “Sure”
“Great. I’m sure you won’t have any problems being on time. You’d probably run over the elderly to be on time” He laughs. I blush and force out a giggle, awkwardly.
“I’m sorry. I’m just messing with you. Go on. I don’t want to be the reason you’re late to your next class” He says as he waits for me to exit his class. I grip my things and turn to walk out of class. I feel him behind me staring.
“See you in the morning, Krystal.” He says as I walk out the door.
“Bye, Professor Ingram. Have a good day” I mumble as he closes the door.
I go to my one other class then head back to my dorm. I have a single dorm so I never have to worry about a roommate. Mya was supposed to be my roommate, but at the beginning of the semester there was a mix-up and the girl who was supposed to get my room ended up being Mya’s roommate. Mya is my best friend, but I’m also very happy to have this room to myself. Nothing is more bothersome than having a roommate stumbling in at all hours of the night, either drunk or falling into bed with their boyfriends. No offense to Mya.
I throw my book bag on the floor and lay on the bed, replaying the embarrassing morning in my head. The thought of it makes me feel even worse. Throwing the pillow over my face, I groan. At least I have some sort of a job even though it doesn’t pay. I’m surprised he asked me to be his T.A. It’s nice that Dr. Quinn thinks so highly of me. Pulling out my phone, I start texting Mya. Before I can even send Mya’s text, she comes waltzing in.
“So what happened? Did he yell at you or something?” She grabs a small bag of Doritos from my storage bin and sits on the end of the bed with a garment bag. I assume it must be my dress for the ball.
“No, He asked me to be his T.A.”
Her eyes widen “Are you freaking kidding me! Hottie with a body asked you to be his T.A.? You are so lucky!”
I laugh and take a chip from her bag. “It’s not that serious. He just needs help catching up and stuff. It’s probably going to be so boring.” I shrug, biting down on a chip, passing the bag back to her.
“You are still lucky. I’d kill to be alone with him. He is so mysterious and sexy!” She falls back on the bed.
“Don’t you have a boyfriend?” I pull the garment bag from under her arm and stand up with it.
“Yes, but you can’t blame a girl for looking. I love Christopher, but you have to admit, Professor Ingram is smoking hot” She was right. He is very good looking. Very attractive to be a professor. Reminiscing about the way he looked me up and down, I’m starting to feel happier about being his T.A.
I unzip the bag and let it fall to the floor, “Holy cow, this dress is amazing. Thank you, Mya”
The dress is purple and long. It was rhinestone all over the top. I am extremely excited to wear it. Picking it up from the bag, I reach in and pull out the matching mask with a feather on it.
“Uh, I don’t think that anyone is going to recognize me in this dress” I laugh
“That’s the point!” Mya sits up.
I laugh and put the dress back in the bag and hang it in the closet. Mya and I hang out for a little while before she leaves. I finish all my homework for the week so I can try to have fun for the weekend. I am a social drinker so I do plan on having a healthy amount of fun. I’m always more outgoing with I’m a little drunk.
When I realize it’s late, I hop in the shower and get into bed naked. The heat in my room was always a little higher than desired due to it being broken. As I lay in the dark listening to ‘Retrograde’ by James Blake, I become a little nervous about being a T.A. for my Professor. I make sure I set my alarm, then I check the volume to make sure it actually goes off this time. I have no desire to run a marathon across campus again. I’m sure I lost a good 5 pounds from it. The soft music helps me relax and I begin to fall asleep. I say a little prayer that tomorrow is better than today.