When I get to my room I drop my bag and books by the bed. I’m happy I’ve finished all my homework for the next 2 weeks. I lay in bed and turn the TV on. I flip open my laptop and open my email.
I have one email and my heart jumps when I see the subject line say, Professor Ingram
I open it but I look away, too scared to read it. I take a deep breath and look.
I’m terribly sorry for making you uncomfortable earlier. It was not my intention to. Please forgive me. I guess I felt flustered when you looked at me. You usually look very coy when you look at me, but that time you were different. I’m sorry. See you in class tomorrow.
He still doesn’t know. Thank God.
Hold up, Professor Ingram was flustered by me. I go over the email again and decided to email him back.
Apology accepted. It wasn’t that serious though so don’t worry about it. I just get nervous when people make eye contact with me. It’s unnerving. I always feel like you’re reading my mind or something. Also, I’m no one to be flustered about. I’m just a regular student.
I make sure I throw in that I’m a student. Even though it’s kind of late for that since we kissed. I bite my bottom lip remembering his lips on mine. A smile plays at my lips, but I also feel dirty. I don’t want to end up being some cheesy Lifetime movie about how I had an affair with my professor and he loses his job or something.
I shake my head. That would never happen. That only happens to people who talk too much and I haven’t told anyone except Mya. She has kept every secret I’ve ever told her so she isn’t a worry.
I hear my email notification ding and immediately click the email.
You are indeed a student, but regular you are not. I’m no mind reader, though sometimes I wonder what you are thinking about. You always look so deep in thought yet so composed and calm, well until you catch me looking at you.
Am I really having a conversation with Professor Ingram? I feel like he is borderline flirting with me, but isn’t he thinking about Audrey? As if I and she are two different people, but to him we are. Maybe, Audrey, is my alter ego. When I was Audrey, I was confident and calm. Audrey kissed Professor Ingram, not Krystal. Maybe I needed to tap into that attitude.
I only appear to be composed. I’m a rather nervous person most of the time. Especially when I catch you looking at me, but I don’t mind. You are supposed to be able to make good eye contact with your students. Also, I’m usually thinking about homework, but lately a lot of other things have been on my mind.
I wait for a reply but it doesn’t come. Maybe he is busy. I close my laptop and get into some lounge clothes. I have nowhere to go so why not be a bum the rest of the day.
My phone vibrates and the text is from Todd. I delete it without reading. I have nothing to say to him. He is old enough to know whether he can act right while being under the influence. I’m sure it’s not his first time pushing up on a girl.
As I’m eating a sandwich, I hear a knock on the door. I hop up expecting it to me Mya, but I’m greeted by a large bouquet of flower. I move them to the side and it’s Todd.
“What are you doing here?” I frown.
“I wanted to bring you these flowers. I’m really sorry for my actions Saturday night. I swear the last thing I wanted to do was make you hate me. I really like you” He looks sincere, but I still don’t trust him.
I take the flowers and he smiles. “Please give me another chance to be a gentleman.”
I smell the flower and think about the request. “Todd, I’m going to give you one more chance, but if you even lay a finger on me without permission I will kick your balls into your throat. Got it?”
He frowns at the visual then smiles “I promise I won’t do anything you don’t want me to do. Can I take you to lunch tomorrow after your classes?”
I nod “sure”
He leans in and kisses my cheek making me blush a little. I close the door and sit the flowers down on my desk. I hope I made the right choice.
I text Mya and tell her that Todd stopped by and asked me out.
Mya: Well are you going?
Me: Yeah. But it’s just a trial lunch date. To see if I really like him or not
Mya: Cool. I hope you two work out, but if not there is always Professor Ingram!
Me: oh shut up! I don’t think I’m ever going to tell him.
Mya: why! The man is probably thinking about you like crazy and will never know that the woman he kissed sits on the 4th row in his English class.
Me: lmao wow. When you say it like that it sounds so mysteriously romantic.
Mya: it is! Y’all would totally have to keep the relationship a secret though.
Me: I know. I think it’s for the better if I don’t tell him.
Mya: if you say so. I’ll talk to you later. Going out with Chris.
I lay the phone down and lay back on the bed. I can’t help but think about Professor Ingram and I’m sure he is thinking about me. He just doesn’t know it.
I’m not particularly in the mood for class today. It’s only Tuesday and I’m ready to go home but it’s my job. I write the homework assignment for the week on the board and the due date before I sit at my desk. My lecture wasn’t long because I just didn’t have the energy. I was up all night grading papers.
I open my laptop and hear a laugh. I scan the room and stop on Krystal. She is whispering something to Ms. Graham next to her. Krystal’s cheeks turn pink and she bites her lip. I can’t help but stare at her. She flips a page in her book and begins writing. She is probably already working on an assignment even though it isn’t due until weeks from now.
I lean back in my chair and observe her. She brushes her hair back and looks up at the board then me. I freeze and we lock eyes. She parts her lips and I can tell she is exhaling.
God, she is so beautiful, but she is a student. The thought makes me break eye contact. I look down at my computer.
I text my friend Jacob and ask him if he has any leads about Audrey. She has been on my mind nonstop since Saturday. I come to the conclusion that I think she knew me. When my mask fell off she ran from me.
I wasn’t even planning on going to the ball. I was forced by Jacob. Audrey caught my eyes when I was at the bar and saw her looking at me. I ended up watching her for half the night. When I didn’t see her anymore I looked around, spotting her with her date going into a door. Something in me told me to follow her.
When I get to the stairs I hear yelling and I start to run up but I see her coming down. She ran right into me. When I looked in her eyes I knew that douche had done something. I wanted to go up there and kick his ass, but I decided to take her to get some water instead. She looked panicked.
I ended up dancing with her. It felt so right with her. I kept my hands on her back to show her that I wasn’t like that other guy. I wanted her to know I respected her.
When the ball was over I walked her outside and we talked. When she looked at me I couldn’t help myself any longer. I had to kiss her. I had to feel her lips on mine. I tasted a hint of alcohol on her tongue.
She laid her hand on my face and her touch nearly gave me a chill but it was interrupted when something caught the tie on my mask. It fell to the ground and her face fell. I didn’t get to say anything because she just ran.
I didn’t even get my jacket back. It cost $400.
I frown at the thought and realize the class is over. Most of my students are gone already. I decided to catch Krystal before she leaves. I couldn’t find the graded papers and I’m sure she knows where they are.
“Uh Ms. Smith, can I see you for a second?”
Ms. Graham gives her a look and walks out.
“Sure. Need something?” She swoops her hair back and her perfume catches my nose. She smells so sweet.
“Yes. I can’t find the papers you graded.”
“Oh, I put them in here.” She walks over to the file cabinet by my desk and grabs the folder. “I thought I was putting them somewhere easy for you to find, sorry”
“No problem. Thank you. Umm, can I ask you something, Ms. Smith?”
She blinks and raises her eyebrow “Um ok.” She seems uncomfortable but I don’t know why.
“Would you happen to know anyone by the name Audrey?” I don’t know why I was asking her but it couldn’t hurt.
She looked down and started picking at her shirt. I really hate when she does that. She had mentioned that she is a nervous person in her emails so I know that’s why she does it.
“Umm Au...Audrey?” She stutters over the name.
“Yeah. I was just wondering if you had ever heard anyone by that name around campus.”
Krystal clears her throat “No I haven’t.”
“Well thank you anyways.”
I see movement at the door and look up. There is a guy standing there. Krystal turns around
“Oh Hi, Todd. Give me a minute.”
Is that her boyfriend? I frown
“I have to go. See you tomorrow, Professor Ingram.” She turns and walks out quickly. I see the guy try to kiss her, but she turns her head and his lips make contact with her cheek.
I flop down in my seat feeling like I’m never going to see Audrey again. Then I think about my weird infatuation with Krystal. Am I really torn between 2 women? One is a student. The other is nowhere to be found. I rub my forehead and pack my things up.
I get to my apartment off campus and throw a pizza in the oven. I had a large stack of research papers to grade and I don’t feel like doing them. I look at the time and it’s 9:50pm. I wonder? No. that would be inappropriate. I can’t invite a student to my apartment. Why did I have to be a teacher? I’m only 29, I should be traveling the world or something. I pull out my Mac and open it. I stare at the reply from Krystal for a moment. I never got around to emailing her back.
I really did need help grading these papers. I decided to shoot her an email.
I’m sorry to bother you but I really need help grading some papers and was wondering if you could come to my apartment and help. I’ll provide pizza and soda. You don’t have to come if you don’t want though. We could grade them in the morning if that’s better for you
I sit back and rub my chin. A few minutes pass and I wonder if she thinks I’m a total perv. Then my notification goes off.
Sure, I could come help. I’m not busy and I was just wondering what I was going to have for dinner. I’ll need your address since I assume you don’t live on campus.
Yes! I email her my address and check on the pizza.
What the hell am I getting myself into?