JASMINE

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Chapter 5 -Sucked In

Jasmine


My heart was racing to the point where I felt weak. But that didn’t stop me from running as fast as I could out of the school gate.

I refused to be in there for one minute more. I knew my grades would suffer because of that makeup test today, but I didn’t care.

How much more suffering could my body take anyway? As I ran, the tears and sweat made it impossible for me to see much. Thank God school was in full session and the halls were clear.

As I raced to the doorway, I crashed into someone. I felt a strong arm embracing me. I sobbed but I kept my eyes closed. The firm but gentle arms held me in a protective way.

“Jasmine, what’s wrong, where are you running to?”

It was my Spanish teacher, Mr. Enrique. I spoke no words, and I really didn’t have to. He held me and gently rubbed my back as I cried.

My head centered on his chest. His heartbeat was strong and fast.

Mr. Enrique was every girl’s dream at school. They crushed on him. They drooled over him like lovesick calves. He was about 27 years old and he wasn’t married.

But he never messed with any student. He was very respectful and always had a way of evading the constant overtures made at him.

He had hazel eyes, tanned skin. Dark straight hair and …God must have spent a little more time on that teacher.

He was slender, but I concluded that he spent a lot of time working out because his body was so firm and perfectly chiseled.

I always had an infatuation with Mr. Enrique, but so did everyone else, so it wasn’t a big deal.

“Jasmine” he said still holding me close to him. His perfume was mesmerizing me. I don’t know how I was able think of all that when I was going through hell.

I quickly pulled myself away from him and continued my marathon out of the school’s gate.

Although I felt like I was running as fast as Usain Bolt, I must have been going like a snail because my teacher caught up with me.

“Jasmine Stopppp!!!” he yelled, causing me to freeze for a moment.

“Sir, leave me alone. I need to get out of here.”

“Is this about Vaughn?”

Oh no, he knew. The whole school knew. I started running again, and to my surprise Mr. Enrique ran after me.

We stopped under an almond tree a few blocks from the school. There was a bench that literally saved my aching legs from falling apart.

His tall figure stood over me, looking down at the hot mess that was beneath him.

He didn’t say a word for quite a while until finally he sighed, saying, “Jasmine, if you need counselling the school provides it. You can always speak to someone you trust.”

I uttered not a word.

“Jasmine, you can also request time away from school. I can arrange with the other teachers to have your work emailed to you.”

Still, I did not reply.

Mr. Enrique shook his head while he looked down at me. Finally, he turned his back, leaving me to my miserable self on that bench.

“It never happened!” I yelled as he walked away.

Mr. Enrique turned around walking back towards me.

“What never happened, Jasmine?”

“They never had sex with me…They …they tried to, but they didn’t.”

“Do you know that these boys could get expelled for trying to rape you? Attempted rape is a criminal offence too, Jasmine.”

“I already told the principal that it wasn’t true. I have enough trouble to deal with already.”

“You can still tell the truth, Jasmine.”

“Mr. Enrique, do you think I’m beautiful?”

Wow, where on earth did that question come from?

“Jasmine, you are very beautiful. But you ought to know that beauty is skin deep.”

“I am overweight and always felt that nobody would love me. I wish I looked different.”

“Jasmine, you can work on changing whatever part of your physical appearance you don’t like.”

“Will you help me?”

“Jasmine, I am your Spanish teacher. I can’t help you with that. Speak to Mr. Hurst, your PE teacher, and see if he can give you some extra cardio classes. You can also speak with a nutritionist for healthy meal plans”

Mr. Enrique walked away, heading back in the school’s direction. Actually, in about 20 minutes, his Spanish class would begin.

I felt a little better just by speaking with him. In all my anguish and devastation, I noticed how cute he looked from behind.

I decided to go back to class. The teachers would call my parents if I skipped classes. My mother wouldn’t be happy, and my father is working too hard to ensure that I get the best education.

For their sake, I braved the humiliation and strolled back into that school, making it just in time for my Spanish class.

When I walked in, Mr. Enrique had already begun his session. He smiled when he saw me walk in. Everyone turned around and the entire room went quiet.

Breathe Jasmine. Breathe.

I sat next to Mark. We aren’t the ‘bestest’ of friends but he is the one guy who hangs out with me occasionally.

“Jaz, you ok?” Mark queried.

“Yes, yes. I’m good.”

I faced the chalkboard, fixating my eyes to the front of the class. I can’t even recall blinking.

The first period went by quickly. Mr. Enrique would glance at me now and then in a pitiful way.

When the bell rang for the next class, everyone was in a hurry to leave except me.

I think Mr. Enrique realized I was simply scared of going out with the crowd, having to face those who would be in the corridor or near their lockers.

“Jasmine, what class do you have next?”

“History, sir”

“Let’s go. I will walk you to your class.”

Mr. Enrique walked by my side to my next class, pretending we were in a conversation. I think all I heard was a story about his pet dog, Rufus, and… Honestly, I wasn’t listening.

None of the students said anything for fear of being suspended. They saw that Mr. Enrique was with me. I felt safe walking next to him.

Vaughn and his little devils were in their usual spot. Our eyes met for a split second. I really hated Vaughn.

When I got to my class, the other students were just settling in. I saw Mr. Enrique whispering something to my History teacher. His name is Mr. Cerillo.

I knew that they were talking about me. How humiliating that I had to be protected by these teachers. This cannot be the story of my life.

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