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I'm Not a Child
We flick off all of the lights and lock the door. The room is almost dark except for the bits and pieces of light that crawls through the closed shades, and cracks under the door. I can barely see his outline, but I can here his foot steps come closer to me. He lifts his hand and runs his fingers through my hair. I can feel his hand as it runs over my cheek, callused with wisdom and worn with age.
“I really like you, Natalie.” He sighs and the wind waltzes through my ear. I feel his scratchy beard rub my skin. There is a loud buzz coming from the noisy school hallway. “But I don’t think I can do this with you.” He takes a step back from me, and my whole body seems to go cold without his touch.
I take his shoulders in my hands; his skin is broiling hot under his sweater. I pull him towards me. “You can.” I say. “I want you to.” I pause. “Please, Will.”
“You’re just a child Natalie.” He whispers but responds to my touch. I see him close his eyes, as if this sentence brings him physical pain.
“You aren’t that much older. I’m not a child.”
“I’m your teacher.” His voice is strong with empathy.
“I don’t care,” my eyes adjust to the light and I can make out his blue eyes and brown hair. His hair is thinning at the top but his body is lean.
He told me yesterday that he was a runner. He’d wake up at five every morning to go jog with his dog in the park before it got to hot. He’d go back to his small house about an hour later, the dog panting, his forehead wet with sweat, and take a long shower. He’d make breakfast; something that he could take with him to eat in the car, and something that his wife could eat once she awoke after he left. He told me that they weren’t a very close couple; he said they only talked for a little before they went to bed because his wife worked for absurd hours.
I learned that they were trying to get pregnant a couple months back, but that the father was unable to produce one. She leaned that he’d never cheated on his wife before. They had an honest policy; a police that my teacher had followed up until a month ago. That was the month he met me.
A couple moments passed in silence. I sit on the desk, something he’d never let one of his students do. And he stands in front of me so our faces are almost level.
“If I did,” I slide my hand down his arm so I’m holding his hand. “I would have said something a month ago.” I smile even though I know he probably can’t see it.
“Kiss me,” Will says, his voice is so low I have to think back to make sure he even said it in the first place. “Please.” I take my hands from his and entangle them in his hair. He leans in; eyes closed, and kisses me. His lips are soft and moist. He wraps his arms around my torso, and pulls me up close to him. I can feel my pulse quicken, and his lips move with years of experience. His hands drift a little lower and I hold him tighter, I feel his finger tips against my lower back. “Are you a…” He pauses, flinching with the word.
I don’t need him to finish the sentence. I know what he’s trying to ask me. Stay honest, I think. Stay honest. “Yes.” I say between breathes filled with passion. “I still am.” He holds on for just a moment longer, and then I feel him slowly pull away.
“I can’t take your innocence from you, Natalie.” He moves his hands to my cheeks, cradling my face as if it were a new born child’s. His voice is filled with a mixture of concern and seriousness. “I can’t.” This time it’s quieter.
The hallways outside have quieted down as kids start to go home. “Then I won’t ask you to.” He gives me a quick kiss.
There is a knock at the door and we stand their paralyzed. We look out the window. It’s the school principle. His face is filled with disgust. “Don’t bother moving Mr. Oklan. Another student came to my room and told me he though there was something in your classroom. I’ve got this all on tape.” The principle smiles as if he was a police man that had just caught a criminal doing an offensive horrible crime. Is that what he saw this as?
“No.” I say. “He didn’t do anything wrong. This is my fault.” I feel my voice start to tremble.
“Come on Mr. Oklan. Step away from her. Now,” The principle proceeds as if I hadn’t said a thing. I see him slip away from me in silence. There are police car lights reflecting through the slits of light coming from the closed shades. The rest takes only a couple of seconds.
I’m sobbing, weeping for him to come back. “Will!” I yell. “Please, I need you!” He looks at me and his face is filled with guilt. A police man comes and I here him recite his rights as he handcuffs Will’s hands behind his back like an old cop show. “Will!” I scream, and he takes one last glance at me. “I love you!”
And then he’s gone.