By the time I reached home, Paige had prepared dinner. I went to dump my bag in my room, freshened myself, and joined her in the kitchen.
Paige was an excellent cook. So she took care of cooking while I took care of the cleaning. My thoughts were around the discussion with Mr. Martinez today. There was something in his actions, which I could not pinpoint. That made me anxious.
I jerked back to reality as a hand waved in front of my eyes. I saw Paige looking at me.
“What?” I asked her.
“I was calling you for the past 10 minutes, and you were not responding. So what happened?” Paige asked back with a smile.
“I was thinking….” I stopped as Paige started laughing.
“I know you were thinking….” I looked at her deadpanned. Then, finally, she raised her hand in surrender.
“Ok. Ok. Tell me.”
“It regards my project. But, unfortunately, Mr. Martinez is new, and I am not sure how fast he can understand my project and guide me.”
“Why? Hasn’t he understood the project when you discussed it with him today?”
He never discussed the project. I could not say that to Paige.
“Not like that. But I am concerned about the deadline.” I told her instead. “Will your project guide, Mr. Robert can take my thesis along with yours?” I asked her.
“Your project will be new to Mr. Robert, too, right?” Paige asked me.
I nod at her without knowing what to answer.
“Hanna?” I looked up to see Paige again.
“Nothing. I was worried if Mr. Martinez can guide me in such a short time.”
“Haven’t Mr. Michael spoke to Mr. Martinez regarding the project?”
“Mr. Martinez said he had.”
“Then what are you worrying about.”
I did not answer because I was not sure why I was worried.
I woke up at the shrill of my alarm. Something is off, and I could not catch it for a moment. Then I realized. I haven’t woke up in the middle. I felt refreshed because of a night of good sleep and got up to get ready for the day.
Paige and I went inside the classroom and sat in our regular place. Till now, the day was going smoothly. Then, I looked up, hearing footsteps near the door, and my heart skipped a beat seeing Mr. Martinez entering the class. His eyes met mine for a minute, and he moved towards the teachers’ table.
“You can breathe now” I turned to see Paige whispering at me with a smile. I blushed at her words, and she chuckled at my reaction.
I shushed her and turned towards him. On the entire session, Mr. Martinez had his attention at all of us, but he took his own time to turn whenever he looked at me. My heart galloped fast every time he looked.
Even though he did not say it, his face showed his thoughts. “You are a dangerous woman Miss Johnson” his sensual voice ringed in my head, and I blushed at that memory. A slow smirk on his face told me that he found what I was thinking.
After the classes, I bade farewell to Paige and went to the coffee shop. I saw him sitting at the same table, but this time alone. I moved towards him. He was engrossed in his mobile.
“Mr. Martinez,” I called him.
He looked up and smiled at me.
“Miss Johnson. Please take your seat.” I sat in the same chair as yesterday. Once I sat, he handed the pen drive I gave to him.
“I have checked your paper and made some corrections. I also have noted some pointers.”
I was surprised at that. The anxiety I felt regarding the timeline lessened a bit.
I plugged the pen drive and started opening the document.
“Before that, I have a question.” He spoke.
I looked at him. “What?”
“Why this project? You have chosen a different topic. I am curious.” He said.
I looked hesitant in answering. Seeing my reaction, he continued.
“I am impressed with the project you have chosen. So I am curious about why you want to explore this area.”
I sighed and looked at my monitor.
“When I was in my grade 6, a new family shifted to my neighborhood. There was a girl my age who cannot hear or speak. But she had the most beautiful smile. Initially, everyone moved friendly with her, but in days people could not understand her easily. So she was slowly avoided and isolated. And I saw her smiling lesser and lesser. And I forgot about her slowly. Then, one day when I was traveling by bus, I saw her sitting with her friends. All of them were having the same physical challenge. They were talking in sign language, and I saw her face brightened with such happiness. I understood that it was because people can understand her and communicate with her in her way. I used to think often, what if others can communicate with her and could understand her. That is the thought which sowed the seed for this idea.”
He looked at me with surprise-filled eyes.
“You surprise me.” He said.
“I am surprised to see someone who remembered the pain of a girl and wanted to find a solution for that.”
“But this is not my idea. Even though I have experienced this, it was my friend’s idea to do this. She is no more with us, and I decided to do this project in the memory of her.” I stopped seeing his face changed with anger. I blinked and saw him smiling at me. Was it my imagination?
“Well, you can check the corrections I have mentioned in the document. Also, I want to look at the working model of the project. So can you copy the code and give it to me.”
“But why? I can run and show it to you.” I said in confusion.
“The timeline is very less, and I thought we could finish the project soon if we work in parallel.”
I thought for a moment and said. “Can I bring it tomorrow?”
He shrugged his shoulders. I closed my laptop and was about to get up and leave. His voice stopped me.
“Miss Johnson. You intrigue me. I would like to know more about you. Will you have dinner with me?”
I was stunned at his words. A sudden delight burst into me, but I controlled myself.
“But…. But…. You are my professor.” I said to him.
“I will not be you professor in two months. I like you and want to know about you. But if you are not interested, I am not going to pressure you. Moreover...” He stopped.
“Moreover?” I asked him
“It is just a dinner, right.”
I nod at him.
“So, what is your answer?”
“I would like to.”
His face brightened at my answer. My stomach fluttered at his bright smile.
“How about tomorrow?” He asked.
“Thank you. I will pick you up tomorrow at 8:00 pm.
He stood and left the place. And then I realized that I hadn’t given my address to him.