For the past fifteen years, I had hated September 21st with a fucking passion.
I stared emptily into the bathroom mirror and glid my razor across my jaw, careful not to nick myself with the blade. Sunlight flooded into the bathroom through the large window that overlooked our pool.
Bottles of champagne littered the backyard, probably from Georgina who had been out back until four in the morning last night doing God-knew what. She had been on the phone, giggling with her girlfriends, the shrill sound waking me from my sleep multiple times.
Growling to myself, I pressed the razor harder against my skin and gritted my teeth. A decade and a half of pure fucking torture with that bitch, waking up in the middle of the night to her crying or screaming or cackling, listening to her complain about how we needed a fucking private jet because she hated flying first class, sex maybe once this past year. And that was after she had come home with another man’s cologne on her neck.
But I didn’t give a fuck about that anymore. I had stopped caring about her years ago.
Our bedroom door opened, and Georgina waltzed into the room with glazed over hazel eyes and drenched into ten thousand dollar perfume. Without saying a word to me, she snatched her shampoo, conditioner, and toothbrush and thrust them into her travel bag.
After deciding that it wasn’t worth the time to ask where she was off to this time on our anniversary, I averted my gaze and continued shaving until my facial hair was trimmed and evened out. I wiped off the excess shaving cream with a towel and turned.
“Where are you off to like that?” she asked, rummaging through the bathroom closet.
“You should quit.”
“And do what? Stay home with you all day?”
No fucking thank you.
“You would rather teach some kids about geography?”
“I teach literature.”
She waved dismissively. “Same thing.”
Of course, it was the same thing to her. She didn’t even have to study in high school because her daddy had all the money in the world to pay off teachers and principals and even me at that time.
“You always complain about me not asking you to go out with me, but you always blow me off. There’s no point in asking. You’d much rather spend your time with a bunch of kids who don’t know left from right than sip on drinks in Paris with me. It’s like you don’t love me anymore, Callan.”
I suppressed an eye roll and stepped into my walk-in closet to dress for the day. If I didn’t want to get away from that bitch, I would’ve gladly quit working at Redwood Academy and traveled to Paris with her to sip drinks.
But I rather not watch her get drunk and flirt with every french man in sight.
“Why don’t you love me?” she asked.
Did I ever love her?
Ignoring her, I fastened my tie around my neck and adjusted it in the mirror. She always had to pick a fight, but especially on our anniversary. She knew I hadn’t loved her for years now, but couldn’t do anything about it. She fucked with me every chance she got.
Once I finished dressing, I stepped out of the closet to see the bedroom and attached bathroom now empty. Good. I grabbed my wallet from the nightstand and hiked my bag over my shoulder, walking out of the bedroom and through the mansion Georgina’s father had gifted us years ago to the garage.
After I deposited my bag into the passenger seat, I drove to Redwood Academy–the only place in this fucked up world that I had some peace in quiet. Ironic, wasn’t it? Being around seniors and those asshole teachers every day was easier for me than being around her, which was precisely why I hadn’t quit.
We had the money. I just couldn’t handle that bitch.
Fifteen long minutes later, I parked my car in the teacher’s lot and dragged a hand over my face. Students strolled from the senior parking lot to the buildings, some gathered out front. I scanned the crowd, searching and searching and searching for… her.
Sakura Sato–soon to be valedictorian and literature lover–walked from the student parking lot to the front entrance of Redwood Academy with her hands fastened around her backpack straps, her straight hair pulled into two braids, and her wire-framed glasses sitting high on her nose.
I followed her with my gaze, spotting Gunther Zurn and some of his friends in her path to the doors. He said a couple words to her to which she smiled softly and nodded, weaving her way through the group and into the building.
Before I could stop myself, I leapt out of the car and grabbed my shit. My hand tightened around my leather messenger bag strap as I quickened my pace to the front entrance. Gunther Zurn had sat next to Sakura in my class since the beginning of the year, but they had never once spoken to each other.
When I walked past Gunther and his goons, I gripped my leather bag even tighter, desperate to hear what he had to say about Sakura, aching to know what he had said to her after years of not even looking in her direction.
“She’s fucking sexy with those braids,” Gunther whistled to his friends, leaning against the front stair railing and shaking his head. He kicked his skateboard up and held it by his side, leaping down the steps to head to a secondary building. “Catch you guys later.”
Forcefully, I yanked the door open and stepped into Redwood Academy.
I didn’t like him talking to her. I didn’t even like him looking at her.
Sakura Sato was the only student at Redwood that gave me her full attention while in my class, the only student who actually fully read the material that I assigned for homework, the only student who’d ever ask me for extra credit when she already had an A+.
And fuck, had I wanted to give her some extra credit for a long time now. But she was my student, so those fantasies were off limits. Against my morals. Shamefully wrong. Yet so fucking sweet.
Those corrupt thoughts fed the attention starved man my wife had carefully constructed for the past decade and a half, the monster she watered with manipulative lies and cruel judgment, the villain who would one day have Sakura Sato.
Author's Note: Let me know what you think of Callan so far in the comments <3