Teach Me (The Gentlemen's Club)

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The Cup


To say the professor was relentless was an understatement. They, the students, became slaves of the subject.

And he was taking no prisoner. They only had two options. Passed or failed.

He was a freaking slave driver.

And to think Sinclair loved literature. All along she thought it was the easiest of amongst her major subjects but it was not.

The research, the debate, and the dissection of each piece were mind-boggling. On top of that, she had to make a thesis with one old poem, and from there a short story with a minimum of seventy thousand words. Basically, a novel. Who in their right mind would do that?


Her professor.

-Wait? What?-

Where did that thought come from? Well, she didn’t mean it like that. She meant in a purely professional way.

This conversation with herself was getting old.

And he was looking at her again. Not in a perverted way. Nope. Not like that. Like he was thinking of something to say. And she was the dictionary.

“What you do think of Charlotte Brontë, Ms. Yuan?” Christ! Can’t he call someone else?

The spice girls were already tripping at her. They saw her as a teacher’s pet and just yesterday that Sandy girl cornered her in the bathroom to splash water on her. Typical, cliche bullies.

Well, in retaliation, she dumped her OJ on the bitch’s expensive top. So, they were even. For now. She mentally smirked.

What? She knew how to fight when cornered.

He cleared his throat to gain her attention. She had zoomed out once more. Her cheeks redden. What to say?

“I think Charlotte Bronte based her poems and novels on how she and her sisters survived adulthood. The way she spun her works that have combined moral realism with gothic views was a reflection of how they grew up. Poor but with morals. A good example of that is Jane Eyre written in 1847. Sir.” She licked her dry lips nervously. His eyes pierced her even more. She tried to suppress her shivers.

Hoping it was the assessment he was looking for, she waited.

Their discussion centered on famous novelists and authors. Today was no exception.

Uncomfortable from his serious scrutiny, she looked away. Embarrassed all of a sudden.

He nodded and moved back to his generic classroom table.

“Great, Ms. Yuan. Before we go -- I know all of you are excited, frat party and all that -- please find time to read Shirley this weekend. Exams on Monday.” Everyone groaned from the announcement. It was not surprising to her anymore. They had been doing this for a month now. Every Monday was exam day. Yehey! -Sarcasm once more.-

“You’re dismissed. I was a frat boy once so I will be kind to you on a Friday night. Ms. Yuan get your paper before you go.”

No! She didn’t want to be near him. He smelled so good, she will have nightmares later. -Really, Sin. Nightmare?-

-Okay. Wet dreams. Happy?-

With small timid steps, she approached his table. People were filing out of the room. The two of them were the only ones left behind.

He looked up at her. Waiting. His dark brown depths were serious yet kind.

She glanced at the paper he was holding. Damn! She got an A+.

“I like how you interpreted To Celia. Just like what I did back in college.” He murmured. She shuffled on her feet. Eyes cast down. She blushed at the compliment. Uncomfortable with his undisguised appreciation. To be compared to his accomplishments was bliss. He was an expert.

“Thanks...um...professor.” Does she go now? With slightly trembling fingers, she retrieved her paper from his outstretched hand but he held on to it.

“Are you going to parties tonight?” Stunned, she met his eyes. Confused. Huh? Why question her that? Didn’t he know she was an outcast and therefore was not invited to any of the parties her peers were enjoying every weekend? Not that she would go.

She shook her head instead of voicing her thoughts.

“No plans?” His voice grew deeper. As if he wanted to tell her not to attend college parties. She never did and she didn’t plan to.

“Umm, I have work, sir. Tonight and weekends.” Why was she telling him this?

-Can I go now, please?-

“Hmmm. Okay. You take care, Sinclair. See you soon.” God! She had to go or she would surely fall at his feet. She nodded her head.

Without saying goodbye, she almost ran out of the classroom in her haste to be as far from temptation as possible.

Only then she realized she doesn’t have the paper in her hands.

-This is bad. Really, really bad.-


Determined to forget a certain someone with dark eyes and handsome body and even a marvelous brain, she did an impromptu general cleaning.

She knew her old house in Rose Hill was beyond hope. The roof was leaking and she had to climb on it to fix it several times. It will be okay for a while. But it will only last for a month or two.

The carpets were worn out. Though always freshly scrubbed and cleaned. She only had one sofa, one old rocking chair, and a side table. No tv. Can’t afford that nor cable. No phone. Just her old cell phone.

Old appliances and old kitchen table, again with two working chairs.

Sometimes, she had to bathe in cold water since she would run out of gas from time to time before the pay date. So the heater wouldn’t work.

Her body had gotten used to everything. She even budgeted her food. Meals will only be twice a day with minimal snacks in between.

That’s why she looked like a stick. A pale undernourished babe.

Who would want someone like her? Certainly, not the professor.

-My professor.-

Shit! There it was again. A possessive form of the noun.

Scrubbing the pans vigorously, dispelling the thumping in her heart, she kept analyzing her preference for a certain someone.

-Her professor.-

Not going there. Nope. Not her heart.

-You have a crush on him.-

She doesn’t. Someone like him had girlfriends left and right. She can bet her meager savings on that.

And he would never be interested in her even if she stood naked in front of him.

Which will never happen. He will puke in disgust if he saw her like that.

Deep in thought, she almost jumped out of her skin when someone rapped his knuckles on her door.

Who could that be? It’s 8 o’clock in the evening.

A delivery guy? She didn’t order anything.

Running to the front door, she opened it a few inches and peeked.

“Hi. Ms. Yuan?” She nod. Uncertain.

“Yes. That’s me.” She gasped at what was held before her. It was an expensive-looking box, a huge teddy bear, and perfect pink roses. Huh?

“Please sign here.” He held out a tablet.

“Wait, there must be a mistake. I didn’t order anything. Who sent this?”

The guy shook his head. “I just deliver, ma’am. Anything else, I leave it to my boss. You must have a wealthy relative.”

Oh. Maybe Aunt Lydia. She sometimes sent her packages. Mostly canned goods, worn bags, and shoes. But not this type of expensive-looking gadget.

Having no choice, she signed the receipt. He tipped his cap and handed her the items.

This was really unexpected. No name anywhere.

The huge bouquet of roses was very pretty. Like what one would see on Pinterest. And the teddy, wow, it was bigger and taller than her. So soft and cuddly.

-I will call you professor. Shit!- The thought made her laugh.

-I’ll cuddle with you later, professor.- She bit her cheek. It was really an insane idea.

Now, what was in the box? Curiosity eating at her, with trembling fingers, she lifted the lid and she almost dropped the whole thing.

Her eyes widened. Expensive pieces of chocolates surrounded a MacBook Air.

Oh, God! Where did her aunt get all this?

She made a mental note to buy minutes to call her this weekend and thank her properly.

-Thank you, Jesus!-

Doing her homework will be fun with a new gadget.

Except, she was having second thoughts.

-Who did really sent her these?-


Sinclair rubbed her temples while she reread the same chapter. God! She was tired. And lonely. And sleepy.

The graveyard shift at the diner was taking its toll on her. And it was a school day tomorrow.

It’s 1 am. Taking advantage of the empty place, she had taken out her borrowed books to study.

That was an hour ago and nothing had occupied her mind except her...the professor.

He must be busy with a lady’s company tonight and her thoughts were with him. An ache had made known on her chest at her own imagination.

-Just get over it, Sin. Your infatuation will lead you nowhere.-

With a heavy sigh, she slammed her book shut.

Her tired eyes fell on the clear glass window, her attention was caught at the odd sight outside the diner.

Five expensive-looking cars were parked outside. She didn’t know the names of each but she remembered from the magazines and newspapers the diner has kept for the male regulars.

One of the car’s doors opened and a man decked out in designer casual got out. A very handsome man with russet hair and ocean blue eyes. Wow.

Hmmph. Her professor was more handsome.

-God, Sin! Stop it!-

“Good evening, love.” Yup, panty-dropping voice combined with a toe-curling smile. No effects on her.

She cleared her throat. “What can I get you, sir?”

“Just five black coffee to go,” he murmured while he observed her. His eyes filled with...curiosity? Surely this guy was rich and he wouldn’t rob her, right? She had no idea what she would say to the sweet old Mrs. Samson if that happened.

“Um... Coming right up, sir.” Working efficiently, she handed him the hot beverages carefully in no time. He left a hundred on the counter.

Gods! Rich people always made her look for smaller bills. She was about to request a 20 when he turned to leave.

“Sir,” Sinclair was unsure.

“Keep the change, love. It’s yours.” He winked at her then left.

She looked at the cars once more. One, in particular, caught her attention. The vehicle was in matte black and the windows were equally tinted heavily.

Why did she feel like someone was watching her behind those heavily tinted windows?



Damn! It was 6 AM and she had to walk home because she missed the bus once more. In a few hours, she will have to be at the uni for her first subject of the day.

Almost in a zombie mode, hungry, dragging her feet, she fumbled for her keys, three paper bags at the corner caught her peripheral vision.

Turning fully, puzzled, she reached for one of the bags and fingered the note attached to it.

'Breakfast then sleep.'

What the...who...

What the hell was going on?

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