Whole new year, sophomore year of college starting fresh. Going from New York to Chicago is weird. Especially being alone and coming here, leaving my family, my friends, and my boyfriend behind. Isn’t that just great?! Imagine having your entire future set for you, being the top highest student in your classes, having an internship waiting at your feet and a career for you as soon as you graduate. Then it just gets completely shattered and ruined because the superintendents son wanted revenge. Imagine that! My whole future was set, now I have to start from scratch.
Up and awake bright and early for my first day, first class at 8 am. Quickly hopping in the shower washing my body and face trying not to disturb my new roommate while she’s still asleep. I finish getting ready in the bathroom you know the basic routine. Shower, brush teeth, light makeup, and hair. I head out to our as you’d say “living room” I fix myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with bananas and a glass of orange juice. I pick out my outfit for the day, ripped black jeans and a white top I tie in the front. I slip on some Adidas and brush my teeth, floss and rinse my mouth with mouth wash. Spraying on some perfume and putting on my deodorant, I grab the things I need for my class and head out locking the door.
My first class seems like it’s 20 miles away from my dorm but it really only takes 5 minutes to get there. Arriving with 10 minutes left I walk in feeling a nervous pit in the bottom of my stomach I take a deep breath and head inside choosing a seat more towards the front. As the students who are already there, we sit and wait. Of course people around me already have their friends and friend groups so I’m just sitting there alone with my headphones in. Before I know it, the 10 minutes pass and the class has begun.
“Good Morning sophomores. Welcome to English Literature. I’m professor Jones.” A mans voice echo’s from the front
I look up and I didn’t even notice the room filled up with the students and the professor was at his front desk writing his name on the board. I click my phone off and look towards the Professors way. Oh my god, oh my god! That man up there is my professor? That fine ass man up there ? Oh lord, fantastic. I choke a little on the air due to gasping causing the professor to look my way. Fuck.
“Well you’re a new face. Are you new here? I’ve never seen you around the campus.” He asks walking towards us
“Uhm, uh.. yeah. I’m new at this university, new to Chicago” I respond quickly
“Well then, welcome to Chicago University and welcome to Chicago. So class, straight to work, the first thing we will learn about is Symbolism. Specifically from the book The Stranger. But before we get into that, of course the best part about every single first day of school. Ice breakers” He speaks smiling after speaking
Oh shit. The instant he smiles I lose my breath for just a moment losing focus. I snap back into reality and try my hardest to focus. I hear everyone’s annoyance and groans after he mentioned ice breakers. I always hated them, personally I don’t think they are necessary. People will get closer and learn more about each as the year passes, we are not in high school anymore.
“I know. Everyone hates ice breakers, so let’s hurry up and get it out of the way so we can start doing what needs to be done. I’ll go first to make things easier on all of you. My name is Cyrus Jones, I’m of course an English Lit professor, I’ve been here teaching for 4 years now of today. On my spare time I like to travel” he says sitting down on his desk resting his arm on his knee.
Man he is beautiful. His face and his body is spot on, the way he looks with his suit on, his shirt sleeves rolled up showing his strong arms and hands. I completely lose train of thought and focus, I try so hard to look away and pay attention as much as possible but I can’t. I begin to stare at the way his lips and mouth move while he smiles or talks and I keep thinking about kissing him continuously. In the back of my mind I keep hearing “miss” “excuse me”, snapping out of my thoughts I realize the professor was trying to get my attention because it was my turn to speak. I clear my throat and sit up in my seat.
“My apologies, I lost focus I was thinking about.. um my family back home. But uh my name is Josette, Josie for short. I originally was living in New York and attending the university there but things switched up on me. I’m 20 years old and on my spare time I like to write and read.” I say with a shaky voice
“I love to read and write as well. Nice job” he says with a smile
I smile back and turn my focus to another student beginning to speak so I don’t lose my train of thought again. Minutes pass and finally everyone has spoken and the professor stands up from his desk walking to his board. He writes “The stranger- Symbolism” on it with red marker and turns towards us again landing his eyes on me. I take a deep breath and look down at my desk opening up my notebook writing down what he wrote.
“Raise your hand if any of you read this book, The stranger” he says holding the book up
Luckily the entire class raises their hand. Probably all of us read that book during senior year English class of high school. I read that book over and over again, one of the greatest books.
“Perfect. But we will be reading this book again throughout the next few weeks. You guys will be taking down notes, analyzing this book from start to finish. Then once you all have read the book, a book report will be due. But for now, can anyone give me an example of something symbolic in this book if they can remember and, what it symbolizes” he says
“Well- there is the sun and the sea. For the main character Meursault the sun represents hostile forces in nature or the universe. In chapter 6 part 1 when Meursault is on the beach staring the Arab man, the sun oppresses Meursault. I remember a line in that scene, it reads “the sky split open from one end to the other to rain down fire” then the Arab man tries to injure Meursault with his knife causing Meursault to murder the Arab man. During the whole novel the sun and the heat from the sun makes him uncomfortable. Like during his mother’s funeral, and in the courtroom. His perception of nature causes him to be hostile and refuse to engage in life experiences. But the sea is kind of like his relief” I speak confidently
The class stays silent, clearly not knowing what the hell I just said. I look around me seeing everyone’s shocked faces then look towards the Professor who is already staring at me. He smiles widely and walks towards us excitedly.
“You are fantastic Josette. That was so spot on and perfect. I honestly am so shocked. Really great job Josie ” he says staring and smiling
If he continues staring and smiling at me like that I will never pass this class. Oh what a year this will be.