“Let me help you with that”, a polite and familiar voice urged me as I struggled with a pile of books. That was when my eyes met his. How could it be? It was him: my eighth grade English teacher.
Within that brief gaze I experienced a flashback. It took me to 1999, when I was in eighth grade. I remembered how I would enter my class, cheerfully greeting the middle-aged man in a tie seated on the teacher’s desk, and make my way to the seat next to him. How I had fought for that seat, arguing with my classmates as I described my inability to see and hear from the back, proclaiming that just one seat out of thirty-five in the classroom was fit enough for me. In truth I had other reasons. The seat got me close to my favourite teacher and my first crush. One day when he asked me to distribute some worksheets, my hands actually touched his. The effect was magical enough to spread its warmth all over my body, butterflies that flew out of nowhere into my stomach. With that brief touch adrenaline gushed into my bloodstream, blushing me from head to toe. I remember how he commented on my sudden transformation, “Girl you’re going red!”
I would stare at him for the forty-five minutes he spent in my class, eying his every move and listening to his every word. He was the only teacher I did listen to which likely explains why the only A on my report card came from his class. English, as it turned out, was one subject I struggled to score a good grade in. It was the only subject where my heart assisted my brain.
I remember a particular class when he asked us to describe our greatest fears. When it came to my turn, I said my greatest fear was losing my favourite teacher. Despite trying to sound dramatic, I still managed to get a host of “hooooooes” from my classmates and a “that’s adorable’’ from my teacher. He didn’t know I meant him; I was interrupted too soon. I had so much to say. He was more than just a teacher to me; I practically worshiped him. He was all I ever thought about day and night, and was the only reason I could never miss a day of school. I admired him for his incredible accent and his thick hair. His hazel eyes had a magnetic attraction and would force me to stare right into them. My love for him was a secret which I could not confess, even to my best friend.
Then on Valentine’s day I decided to leave him a secret note. Writing ‘I love you’ and a few romantic lines I had heard in movies, I slipped it in his staffroom locker and ran away before being noticed. Sometime later I learned that he was getting married to the French teacher. It turns out my love note was taken to be from her. Though it was later discovered that she hadn’t written it, by then they were married it was too late for him to start hunting for his secret admirer. My heart shattered at the discovery and I forced my mother to shift me to a different school. She did. I left it all behind me, my friends, the school and him. I decided to live a different life from then onwards, convincing myself to never make the same mistake of setting my heart on a teacher.
As my memories of the past whirled in my head, I unconsciously pushed the pile of books into his hands. Then I felt the same touch. Surprisingly the butterflies still managed to play around in my stomach and the same gush of adrenaline made my cheeks blush. And then I heard those same familiar words,“Girl you are going red!”
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Guest Author Bio
A sparky teen who likes to put her heart out only on paper.
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