This is the first of many stories I wrote for friends back when I began dabbling in erotica. Like other recent offerings, I’ll post it here in pieces.
Steady rain had been falling all afternoon. This was one of those bleak, cold, discouraging rains of mid-winter. A few degrees cooler and the ground would have been powdered white. Nathan had watched from the classroom window all day. The gloom outside seemed to creep in through the glass. Although he was relieved to be done with work, he didn’t want to go out into this mess.
Nathan left while the students were leaving. He came to the building early every day, but staying late was for other teachers. At the end of afternoon homeroom, he grabbed his attaché and made for the exit. He always caught a few smiles on his way out. Some were from colleagues. Some were from students. He would hear calls of “See you tomorrow, Mr. M.” from around corners. He would smile, wave, and offer well wishes. These exchanges, though subtle, were reassuring after a tiring day in the classroom. The reciprocal relationships were part of what kept him working at this high school.
Today, however, Nathan felt a sense of being watched. He felt eyes all over him as he made his way into the crowded hallway. Throughout the day, his nerves had been on edge. He had felt like this for the past few days. Reason told him otherwise, but he couldn’t help sensing someone knew what he had been carrying with him all week. Someone knew what she had written for him. Someone knew what he had read. While he figured it would be another student who knew, he feared some colleagues knew, too. Telling himself they couldn’t possibly know didn’t calm him.
Trying to be stealthy, he took a route he normally wouldn’t have taken. Why was he so nervous? With certainty, only one other person knew. She knew. She wrote it. She gave it to him directly. Today, he just wanted to avoid her. He had been trying to do so since she gave him the story. This, of course, wasn’t possible. He saw her every day in class. Seeing her renewed his anxiety every time. Knowing her—and he did know her—he didn’t expect her to tell any of her friends. She didn’t have many friends to tell. He couldn’t know for sure whom she had told. This bothered him. Waiting as long as he had to confront her about it was making everything worse. The simmering unease got to him, but it wasn’t the worst part. If this got out and people knew he had hesitated, it could cost him his career.
Nathan raced around corners. Bottlenecks of milling students clogged the halls. Standing amid the crowds heightened the tension. He had time to contemplate the consequences of keeping her story a secret. He should have told one of the guidance counselors. He should have told the principal. Something kept him from doing so. He knew what this was and it bothered him more. He waved goodbye to a fellow teacher and shouted “Good night” to her. As he did, he pictured his frowning mug shot on the evening news.
His heart shot up into his throat when he saw her. She clearly saw him. Damn it. He actually started to turn to walk the other way, but that felt even clumsier and more revealing. At first, he wasn’t sure she would engage him. She was with another student. Wait—did this other girl know? He grinned uncomfortably and shuffled around her. While passing her, she quipped up.
“Hey Mr. M. You ignoring me?” she asked.
“Nope. Just on my way home. Long day and I’m done. See you tomorrow, Ms. Snyder,” he said.
And that was that. He kept walking. He wondered how nervous he appeared as he did so. He didn’t look back to gauge her reaction. In the din of the hallway, he couldn’t hear if she had said anything else. This exchange had been simple, but it wasn’t the end of it. So much was left unaddressed. The exchange couldn’t erase all the tension. He mulled this over as another thought arrived. Had anyone been watching? Were coworkers whispering to one another about this brewing scandal? Enough of this insanity, he thought. Ally Snyder is the only person who knows, he told himself. With that, he made his way to the train.
Exiting campus, a colleague stopped Nathan to discuss some aspect of the yearbook. His mind was completely elsewhere. Why would she wear a skirt like that on such a miserable day? And no tights? He pictured goose bumps on her thighs. He found himself wondering about her underwear. He couldn’t even hear his colleague. What the fuck was wrong with him?
The conversation was agonizing. Nodding along, he half-heartedly entertained the question, doing his best to not seem rude. He had lost valuable time and had surely missed his train. Finally, he wrested himself from his colleague and trudged towards the exit. No longer was there any need to rush, but he did want to get away from the school. Nathan got out of the building and onto the sidewalk. He had a block to walk to the entrance to the subway. Then, of course, her car passed. And, of course, she got the light red. She had a passenger with her. It was the same girl she had been with in the hallway, who happened to be in the same class Ally was taking with him.
Seeing the other girl with Ally surprised him somewhat, as she generally kept to herself. Other students didn’t shun her so much as she kept her distance from them. She was kind beneath her gruff exterior and standoffish aura. This other girl probably just needed a lift. They weren’t conspiring, he told himself.
Part 2 in a few days…