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People reading this story may think that what I did was not right and I understand that too... But that did not stop me from falling in love with one of my students.
I was 25 years old when I started teaching in high school. I was teaching Ukrainian. It was my first year teaching in high school and I was very nervous. When I applied for the job, they told me that I was too "young and inexperienced". However, since they really needed a teacher, they hired me. On the first day, a group of boys walked into the classroom laughing loudly and giving each other high-fives. I told them a couple of times to take their seats as I was standing in front of thee room waiting for everyone to arrive. As I repeated it for the third time, one of the guys looked at me intensely and continued to stare. His face was full of surprise. Then he looked at the other boys and told them to take their seats. I felt kind of embarrassed by the way he looked at me.
Later, I found out his name was Landon. He was a senior required to take a foreign language in order to graduate. Landon was the head of the boys swimming team and was very handsome. He had girls swooning all over him. In the first week of school, I felt that I was treating him differently. He was serious in class and although the girls in class were all over him, he did not pay any attention to them and it surprised me.
Time passed quickly and soon, I had done about 2 months of teaching. One day, he was absent for a test and had to go for a makeup test. I gave him the test after school. He sat down quietly and worked on the test for about 15 minutes. After which, he stopped and stared at me. I asked him what was wrong and his answer gave me a shock.
"Miss S, doesn't it bother you that these guys talk to you that way." For a minute I could not find an answer. Then I said,
"What way?" and he said,
"The jokes they make."
The guys in the class did always joke with me that I was to pretty to be a teacher. To this, I won't say I'm really pretty but I can tell that I am pretty attractive and was a lot different from other teachers. Not only was I thee youngest, I dressed differently too as I got my suits and clothes for school from tailors.
I answered saying, "They don't mean it and I don't mind it. I know they are just fooling around."
We continued to talk for some time until I remembered he was supposed to do his test and I said, "Finish your test, it's getting late."
Landon just smiled and said, "I'm done."
"Really?" I asked in surprised. I shouldn't be worried as he got full marks for it.
After that day he started to stay back after school for additional help, claiming he needs more help for his schoolwork. He would be the last to leave and we would often leave together to thee parking lot. We talked about many things and often joke around. After that day, his friends who are the same guys in his class did not joke around with me as much.
Some time passed and one day I got a phone call from the office. They told me there is something for me and asked if I would send a student or two to pick it up. I said yes and picked a girl and a boy. The girl came back minutes later smiling and told me to close my eyes. I protested for a while before relenting. I heard a "Bring it in!" and "Open your eyes!" and also "Wow... Ohm...” When I opened my eyes there was a huge bouquet of red roses. At that time, I felt that there were probably about 50 roses. However, I found out later that there were only 26 roses as for it was my 26the birthday. There was an envelope on top of it and when I opened it, I recognized Landon's handwriting right away. I blushed and when I looked at him, he was smiling and he winked at me.
He stayed back after class and wished me, "Happy Birthday Miss S".
I blushed again and said, "Why did you do it?"
"Because it's your birthday."
He started to walk to the door and I asked, "Why to school?"
He turned around and I saw a smirk on his face and he said, "I wanted to assure the rest of the guys that you already have someone in your life." Following that, he left the room.
Time passed and he would come to me after classes and we would talk. I knew it was wrong but I could not stop myself. When I told him to stop coming because he did not need any additional help,
He said, "But I need you."
Somehow he manages to get hold of my cell phone number and started texting me. He would text me in class when there were other students. Once, I burst into laughter when he texted me something funny. It caused the students to look at me bemused.
Soon, he asked me on a date and I said yes. We went out of town for ice skating and that was the first he kissed me. However, all the fun did not last long.
Before long, thee students started gossiping about us.
One guy said, "I treated Landon differently."
More rumors started to fly around the campus. We had some hard times and I went to the principal and told her everything.
She only answered me, "That's what I feared of right from the start. I didn't want to hire you not because you are inexperienced but because you are so young."
She followed up by saying that maybe there is a way to solve it.
Landon got switched out of my class. The entire school and his friends started to look at me funnily. He tried to talk to me. It created scenes and resulted in more rumors being created. I didn't know what to do. A school board meeting was held and before the board told me to quit, I said it myself within 5 minutes of thee meeting. I told them I would quit and though it's not good to leave the school without an immediate replacement, it would be the best choice. They were relieved with my resignation and assured me glad-fully that there would not be any problems and they would find someone else as replacement. I expected that kind of answer. Some of my colleagues had tears in their eyes and I also felt like crying. I left the school right away. I got a good recommendation from the school but thee principle advised me as a friend to start teaching from middle school before progressing to higher levels. I simply smiled at her. She gave me a hug and started crying. She went on to say how life isn't fair.
Within two weeks, I moved away. Landon tried contacting me. He left messages and I felt like dying as I erased them. I did not want to be influenced by them and refused to meet him. After I left, thee land-owner called me and said that there was a letter in my mail box for me. I gave her my new address so she could send it to me and I got it within 3 days. It was a letter from Landon. My hands were shaking as I opened it and started reading. He wrote that he loves me and that he will never love another person as much as he loves me for his heart is with me forever. He apologized for creating trouble for me and there was also a picture of us smiling in happier times. I cried for days. I took a long vacation for the rest of the year and started working the following year in a new middle school.
Years passed. I could not date any other man even when there were many who showed interest. I started to become a cold person.
Four years passed and an old friend from Landon's school was about to get married. She requested for me to go back and be her maid of honor. I was terrified at the thought of meeting him. However, I still went. I was shopping for dresses for the wedding when a young girl in her early 20s asked us if we needed help. I took a closer look at her and recognized her as one of my former students. I was trying to remember her name while looking at her and she beat me to it by saying, "Miss’s?"
I smiled and said, "Yes".
We started talking about how life was for her and I told her a little about myself.
The conversation turned into an awkward silence and she asked, "Don't you want to ask about Landon?"
I looked at her and she continued.
"After he got switched out of your class, he was very distressed and wanted to talk to you and kept requesting us to pass you letters. However, you took 2 days off and the next thing we know, we heard that you quit. He ran to your class when he heard that you were at school and when he did not find you there, he ran to the office to look for you, which was in vain. He had a look on his face when he was standing there in the office which I don't think I'll ever forget. After that, he skipped school a lot. One day, some guys started talking badly about you. He jumped on them and beat them up badly. It was very scary seeing him like theat. After the fight he got kicked off the swimming team. He didn't do any work. The only thing that saved him was his excellent grades from classes that he took previously. We graduated and I heard that he enrolled into the army. During the summer before he was enlisted, he was partying very hard and became a total playboy. Half year ago, news came that he was killed in Iraq. He became really engaged in the whole army thing and was making quite a career. The funeral was very grand and everyone was crying and saying that it's hard to believe that he is gone. Some people talked about thee two of you. One of his friends said that Landon was right when he once said that you are his first and last love."
The girl was crying when she was done with the story. Tears rolled down my cheeks uncontrollably. I wept for days and was depressed for weeks. My friend did me a favor by getting another maid of honor and showed a lot of support for me.
Two years have passed since I met that girl. I am sitting alone right now with 26 red roses and a picture of Landon and me. I felt like I need to cry but am no tears. I have many regrets right now for not fighting for my love, not protecting it like Landon tried to. I simply gave up on him and our love. Tears start to run down my cheeks for I knew I will never love anyone like I loved Landon again.