JASMINE

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Chapter 17- Dirty Teaser

Jasmine

I am just a dirty teaser. The way I willfully flirt with Mr. Enrique even knowing jolly well he has no “interest” in me. It’s the way I get by.

I made my way to the lunchroom again. This time it was just after 1 pm. No smoothie for me today because I checked my locker. I guess Carlos was avoiding me.

On my way, I thanked God because things seemingly had returned to normal at that school.

The new gossip was about a female teacher who somehow had a naked pic shared on social media.

They forgot about me ripping that sheet or calling me ‘Free Willy.’ That’s the thing about high school days. They never really stay on one drama. It has to shift with the times.

As I made my way to the cafeteria, I saw Vaughn sitting alone at a small table. He was in his phone. He and his girlfriend broke up after he tried to clean the smoothie off my shirt

She is already dating someone else. No time to waste. That happens when you are gorgeous. Men are available a dime a dozen. Like Beyonce said “You must not know ’bout me…I can have another you in a minute.”

Well, surely, she had another Vaughn in a second.

I gazed at how he sat so flawlessly on the table. A soda and a half-eaten turkey sandwich sitting next to him.

I quickly pulled myself together and looked away.

“Jasmine.” …That was the voice of Vaughn calling me from the corner.

I turned to his direction once more and stood looking at him.

He signaled me with his hands to come over to his table.

“Wanna sit with me?” he asked.

“Vaughn, people are watching”

“I don’t care, Jasmine.”

I looked at him puzzled. I reluctantly sat at his table. I squeezed my legs together under the table and placed my shaking hands on my thick lap.

“What do you want?”

“You.”

I couldn’t help but laugh so loud that everyone looked in my direction.

Vaughn’s face was very serious. He showed no emotion. He stared dead into my eyes. I was waiting for a reaction but that wait was in vain.

I continued to laugh, echoing the entire school. I laugh when I don’t know what to say. At some point I started to choke.

“And this is funny?”

I suddenly got up from the lunch bench and proceeded to walk way, coiling my fist to my mouth, to mask my constant coughing.

“Wait,” Vaughn stood up grabbing my hands so tight that it hurt. I felt his hands shaking.

The lunchroom became dead quiet again. The students were gathering. My legs trembled. I felt weak like I was about to faint.

I gave in. After trying to pull myself away from him so many times.

He stood in front of me. Our faces inches apart. Then his lips crashed into mine.

The woooooooo from the students slapped me back into reality.

He kept his lips on mine for at least 10 seconds. I became numb. Like I couldn’t feel a thing.

“Say something,” he said, as he released his lips from mine.

But how could I speak? What could I say? Why did he kiss me? Thoughts were tangled in my head. My heartbeat increased.

“I…wha…why did you do that,” I was finally able say those words.

Then Vaughn kissed me again. This time he wrapped his hands around my waist. I felt his strong but warm embrace.

I wanted him to stop, but it was like he took control over my entire being.

“Enough!!!!!!!”

I heard the voice of Mr. Enrique. He was angry. His eyes were wild like the beasts of the fields. He clenched his jaw. His jawbones bulged from his face.

Vaughn let go his hold on me. And we both stood looking at Mr. Enrique.

“Young lady come here,” he growled.

I walked awkwardly towards my furious teacher. Vaughn was looking on.

“What kind of behavior is this?” Mr. Enrique said, holding my wrist tightly, dragging me from the lunchroom into his office.

He paid no mind to the students or even teachers who witnessed the dragging episode.

He shoved me into his office and locked the door. He walked around the small space with a frustrated look on his face.

“Sir, I’m sorry,” I said.

But why the heck am I sorry. You aren’t my father or my man

Mr. Enrique didn’t say a word. Instead, he kept pacing the four corners of the office. I had never seen him so angry.

Unlocking the door, he said, “Get out!!!!”

I looked at him. He wasn’t making any jokes about it.

I guess he is upset that after all Vaughn did to me and how he treated me, I would allow myself to fall into another trap.

Even if Mr. Enrique saw me as a kid, I knew that he cared about my wellbeing. He is my teacher, and he has gone out of his way to help me.

He tried to protect me at school as best as he could. He is now trying to help me with my self-esteem and health.

So I understood why he would be angry. I would be angry if I were him, seeing all his efforts go down the drain.

I know, and he knows, and all the school knows that Vaughn is bad news. He isn’t your average gangster, but he is a conceited, pompous, vain, full-of- himself womanizer.

So, I get why Mr. Enrique would want someone else for me, and not a character like Vaughn.

I walked out of the office feeling ashamed.

“See you in the morning,” I said.

But he never answered.

I heard a smashing behind the door from the corridors. It sounded like a broken glass to me

I had caused humiliation to myself and the one person who’d shown that he genuinely cared about my future.

Sigh!

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