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Author's note: A true romance story about a man my father used to know, though the part about Jack's past is fictional. If I were to continue this short story, I would make it a sci-fi/fantasy romance. I hope readers find the story fascinating and heart felt.
My eyes switch nervously from my fumbling hands buttoning up my shirt to her graceful ones clasping the back of her bra. Her highlighted blonde hair rippled down her back with every small motion. It seemed incredulous that I had only known this woman for three months. Which brought me back to the question that haunted me; who was she? I cleared my throat “Why do you cheat on your husband?” I asked lightly; as if it wasn’t a pressing question that kept me up every night.
She froze, her long tan leg stopping midway before she composed herself and slid it through her skirt. “Why do you assume I have a husband? I never said I had one.” She asked coolly.
I smirked, “Oh please. You never talk about anything personal; I don’t know where the hell you live, what your email is, I don’t even know if Grace Sinclair is your real name!” I was beginning to get frustrated and it showed.
Her deflective sigh sped my heart beat. “A woman's desire for revenge outlasts all her other emotions, Jack.” She answered quietly. She might as well have slapped me across the face, I felt my cheeks burn. I nodded slowly pulling my black dress pants around my waist. She turned around, her cold blue eyes suddenly colder “This doesn’t mean we’ve broken some kind of new barrier. Were not friends Jack, this is purely physical; I told you that from the beginning.”
I nodded solemnly, I couldn’t find anything more to say. She grabbed her business jacket and briefcase “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings” She said with a bitter, sarcastic tone. “I understand if you want to stop seeing each other.” For a fraction of a second I could have sworn I saw fear in her eyes, maybe even a little regret, but she washed it away the second she turned to grab onto the gold door knob, “We’ll be in touch.” Then she swiftly opened the door and walked out. I stood there dumbfounded with my undone pants and tousled hair. I gathered my items and rushed out of that modest, cigar smelling hotel room.
My last period class began in two minutes and here I was pushing kids out of the way, half running through the halls; I myself was now a hypocrite. I bumped shoulders with some kid from my second period music theories class, his red hair seemed to burst into flames the second I flew by him “Hey! Mr. Joletteson, no running in the halls!” I smirked, smart ass. I pushed open the door just as the bell rang.
“Ahhh, your lucky Mr. Joletteson, we were all getting ready to harp on you for your tardiness.” Colton Scott, the class wisecrack, gently mocked.
I smiled, “Yeah, yeah, Scott, sit down.” I joked “I have a proposition for you all; next week we have been invited to join Mr. Doberson’s, and other music classes-who we will not be direcctly joining-for this yearly band camp trip. You are all very acquainted with it, it's a very big competition, many of you have already been practising. It’s first-come first-serve, there are 19 spots left. Who’s interested?” Not to my surprise the whole class raised their hand. I laughed lightly, and began handing out forms.
The bell rang and I dismissed my class, receiving a few pat on the backs, some high fives and many quiet ‘bye’s, or later Mr. J’s’. I have a very close knit relationship with my students, it’s why I love my job so much, and my friendly student-teacher relationships have won me various ‘Best Teacher’ or ‘Teacher With Highest Student Achievement’ plaques. Those plaques of course come with various sums of money, which is always a bonus. My job was the only source of communication or social life I had, other than Grace. It was really the only place I could stand to be around for a long period of time. Small confinements nerved me. My small two bedroom apartment along the outskirts of downtown San Francisco constantly seemed dark and empty, even my fat cat Bobby was barely any company.
I entered the small, grungy, and dimly lit bar that was nestled in between an alleyway downtown. I nodded in acknowledgement to the bartender and a few of the regulars like me. They tipped their beer’s up in recognition. I sat down in my regular spot burrowed in the dimmest corner of the bar. From this point I could see everything: the people that were soliciting themselves, the people too drunk to comprehend where they were, and the people like me; the people who came to this bar to sulkily reminisce their pathetic, mournful lives-but to compare and take pride that there were others more pathetic then themselves in this bar. I felt the vibration from my phone through my pants and reached to answer it. The caller ID revealed it to be Grace, I hesitated, she was the one thing I tried not to think about all day, well almost the only thing. I decided to be an ass and play on my foul turned mood. “Need a fix already, baby?” I asked as soon as I pressed the talk button.
I could hear a small chuckle on the other end, “I don’t like how I left thing’s, I’m sorry.” This was unexpected, she was talking to me as if she cared about what I thought or felt; something she never considered to show before.
“Yeah well… It’s fine.” Dammit, I should just drop her. But I couldn’t, I needed her too much. Not because I loved her, I just needed somebody. “I mean, it’s not like you didn’t warn me. It’s only physical, I get that.”
A few moments passed and she let out a sigh of relief. I could make out her smiling on the other end, “Want to get a room?” She asked.
I waited a few minutes pondering- stay here in this depressing bar or- “Yeah, sure.”
I passed a dark tinted window, rearranging my dark brown tousled hair and scratching my scruff of facial hair; my bronze skin basically blended the facial hair, making it look like only a shadow. I lifted my dark bold eyebrows, making facial expressions for the hell of it. I turned around as if I was Michael Jackson; pointing my fingers into guns “Ready to load up? Common single file, there ya go, got all your stuff? Good okay.” We drove an hour and a half to reach our destination. The destination concluded to one large 4 story cabin the size of a hotel, four smaller brown buildings, with a beautiful lake, and trees every colour of the season surrounding it. As we drove into the parking lot the crowd, a total of 70 students, cheered and began singing a band song. We unloaded, set the ground rules, and shepherded the students to their rooms in the large cabin.
A short girl who looked about 17, carrying a violin caught my eye, her long golden locks blowing in the crisp fall air. Her baby white skin reddened at the cheeks to a beautiful rose colour. She was laughing with her friends who seemed unimportant and inconclusive next to her. I stared in awe, unable to take my eyes off of her. I grabbed the kid walking closest to me, “Who’s that girl there?” I asked still staring at her, when I looked at the boy who stared at me incredulously and suspiciously, I immediately straightened up and took defence. “I’ve never seen her before, I was just wondering whose class she was in so I can make sure I have the proper count in students.” I rambled.
“Well if she’s not in your class, then obviously she’s in Mr. Doberson’s…” He remarked. Impatiently I remained standing there, expecting him to answer my direct question, until he unemotionally sauntered off.
“Alice.” Another boy remarked as he walked by, “Alice Calivari.” I nodded in appreciation, but resumed to helping kids get sorted out in their bunks, they were going to be here for a few days. As all students from both classes clustered around the main foyer in the cabin entrance, I stood at the front with Doberson and cleared my throat, “Students, students! Can I have your attention please? I’m Mr. Jolettson, and this is Mr. Doberson for those of you who don’t know, we will be your supervisors on this trip. I’d like to remind you that our show is in Kraigmens Stadium in just three days. I hope you all went over the music a little bit beforehand, but if not- no worry's that's why we have six hour practices each day until then. On the fourth day we will get up early, have a group breakfast, have a small practice then head out to the stadium around noon. Once were there, we'll have a few leisure hours, then we'll begin to get ready, and finally be ready to go on at 6 pm sharp!” A few hollers arose though out the crowd. I scanned the room, my eye's catching Alice's. I froze, my heart thumping hard against my chest her oddly familiar blue eye's unabashedly bore into mine. Her head tilted slightly as if to ponder why I wasn't looking away. Her friends whispered in her ear, but her eyes pinned me; trapped me. Mr. Doberson finished his small speech as the crowd clapped and rose. Alice sat there still staring at me until one of the younger girls in the band stood in front of me blocking my view so much that I had to adjust my eyes,
“Ready to practice Mr. J?” She piped up. I nodded inattentively, gathering my stuff.
I set up the string instruments around the small log room that included one whole wall made up of tall glass windows overlooking the crystal blue lake. As students piled in, Alice nervously walked though the door. My palms began to sweat. S***, I forgot she was in my class. I nervously arranged my desk and smiled unusually wide at all the students. As all the students sat down, I began to rant. I mean, it was planned, but I unexpectedly threw even myself off by trying to relate pathetic personal experiences, which seemed to make them laugh, but my cheeks burned nonetheless. After a couple hours of boisterous music unevenly colliding together, I gave them room to work on the music themselves. As my eyes scanned around the room, I realized that Alice had already learned the music and was seeming unchallenged. I decided to call her up to my desk, asking her to play once for me. Her cheeks flushed embarrassed, but silently, she sat down, took a breath and began playing. As the notes merged fluently together I found myself caught up in the beautiful harmony that seemed to come naturally to her. I sat back in my desk, relaxing to the very sound of her symphony, as she finished I, along with the rest of the class began clapping. Her cheeks began to swell with colour as she smiled shyly. As the rest of the class returned to their boisterous music, I leaned forward, ``That was amazing! Where did you learn to play like that?” I asked with enthusiasm.
She smiled broadly, “I've been playing since I was six, I've had some time to practise.”
I shook my head in disbelief, and leaned in close, the smell of her strawberry shampoo filling my nostrils. I pushed away thought's, “Why are you here? You should be at an advanced level. This is un-challenging for you, anyone can see that.” I saw an opportunity, “Would you like to me to give you lessons? I doubt there's hardly anything more I can teach you, but I'm sure I could help in some way?” I asked nervously.
She smiled softly, showing her straight white teeth, she must have had braces. “That would be great. Never hurts to go over the pitch range.” She added sweetly. I nodded smiling hugely.
That night the large group of 70 students gathered around the comfortable sized cafeteria to share dinner. The large red and brown bricked fireplace lit up the whole room, giving off the cozy, sultry vibe of fall. The large rectangular tables made of Oak lined up row by row beside each other, still making everyone feel as if they were apart of the group from across the room. Laughter and chatter rang out through the room in mixed tones. I sat at the teacher's table, laughing and mingling with teacher's from different music classes that I rarely got to chat with. Alice and two of her friends passed me, smiling and giggling like fools, “Hi Mr. J.” The girls squealed. Alice smacked them lightly, as they giggled, putting their heads together whispering rapidly.
“Quite the ladies man Mr. J.” A woman teacher whispered jokingly from across the table.
I laughed lightly and shrugged, pretending not to understand what they saw.
The next afternoon as the small group I was teaching began playing independently, Alice confidently walked up to me, “I don't understand that trick you showed me yesterday Mr. J, my fingers are too small.” As I showed her finger movements, I placed her hand in mine and moved them to each note.
“See how each note flow's better? You can get to this string much easier if you place your finger's here.” Her hand was soft and delicate, smooth as silk.
She smiled as I gently lingered there, my hands tingling.
She nodded slowly, “Yes, I think I've got it now.” Well that was quick.
That night I lay in the cabin bed, across from me Mr. Doberson who peacefully snored. It must have been nearly midnight, yet my stomach growled and my lips ached for something liquid. I decided to sneak away and grab a drink from the kitchen in the cafeteria. As I arrived in the kitchen, I opened the fridge and stared blankly at it before closing it. I heard quiet footsteps approaching behind me and I spun around quickly.
Alice froze in the doorway, her long blonde hair hanging slightly in front of her face. I shone the flashlight in her eyes and she squinted “Could you maybe put that down please.”
I dropped it away from her face, “What the hell Alice, you nearly gave me a heart attack!” I chuckled and she smiled. Then I realized she was breaking ground rules. “What are you doing?” I asked suspiciously. Her cheeks swelled with colour.
Then she stood up straight. “What are you doing?”
I raised my eyebrow smirking slightly, “I don't think you have the kind of authority to ask me that kind of question.”
She sheepishly smiled “Worth a try.” I chuckled. “I was hungry” She simply murmured.
“It would be considered stealing if you took food from the staff kitchen you know.” I lectured, pacing around the kitchen.
“Then why are you rummaging through the fridge?” She asked defiantly. I raised my eyebrows again in astonishment, she was ballsy around this time of night. Then she stuck out her arm and opened her palm, revealing a five dollar bill, “I was going to pay.” She murmured.
I looked at her bemused and fascinated until my teacher instincts kicked in “ You do know that we put tape on the door to see who's been sneaking out right? There's always consequences.”
“I thought that was a rumour...” She replied quietly.
“But you decided to take the chance and try anyway? Alice-”
“I know I know,” She gracefully swept a piece of hair from her face and tucked it behind her ear. This delicate movement made me want to act on an impulsive behaviour that would be inappropriate, however innocent. She stepped closer and I had the sudden reaction to step back, she was definitely crossing personal boundaries. She smiled weakly, “I'll take any punishment I deserve.”
I looked at her innocent face and my heart broke, “ Might as well get you something to eat, you came all the way down here.” Her smile shone a little brighter. “Our secret though.”
She nodded solemnly as I pulled out a tray of muffins, some milk, and two plates, we set up the kitchen in perfect unison, swiftly moving around the kitchen and around each other not talking the whole while except for the polite 'would you pass me those', or 'how about this'.
We sat down and I began inhaling the food; she quietly nibbled.
“So are you're parent's coming to the show?” I asked easily.
“Yeah, though I don't think they really want to though.” She shrugged.
This intrigued me, “Why not? Your a beautiful violin player, I can't imagine anyone getting bored of hearing you play.” I murmured genuinely.
She laughed lightly and shrugged again, “Guess it's a little different when you've been listening since the start, I wasn't always so beautiful.” She laughed shyly.
“I find that hard to imagine.” I softly whispered hoping she wouldn't hear my double intention. I think she did though, because she gave me a soft quizzical look, but she ignored the comment.
Then her expression changed and her brows drew together. “No, it's not that, it's just that my parent's don't really... get along.” I gave her a questioning look “I'm pretty sure they're both having affairs.” She got quiet but lightly laughed, “I mean, doesn't it get a bit crowed with four people in a marriage?” She joked, though sadness pooled in her eyes.
I impulsively reached up and stroked her head for comfort, though the feeling was anything but platonic.
She locked eyes with me “What' are you doing?” She asked helplessly, as if it pained her.
I drew my hand away and looked down. “I'm sorry, I didn't mean to cross personal boundaries, that was inappropriate.” I wanted to slap myself, the guilt began eating away at me. She was only seventeen.
She paused “How old are you?” She asked curiously.
I kept looking at the table, “Excuse me?”
“You heard me. I know you can't be over the age of thirty, your too good looking for that.”
Her random compliment took me by surprise and I jerked my head up. She smiled sheepishly. “Everyone thinks you like twenty six or something. Your Brazilian; tall, dark and handsome. Every girl in the school has a crush on you you know.” She sarcastically reminded me, seeming jealous. I half smiled.
“That bothers you?” I asked flirtatiously. “That other girls in the school find me attractive?”
She rolled her eyes while a blush crawled across her face. “Of course not. Why would it bother me?” She asked defiantly. “That would be weird... right?”
I smirked and paused a minute. “Twenty five, you're a year off.” I confirmed nodding. “I should be offended.” I joked.
Her petal shaped lips made an 'O'. “Holy s***! I mean, crap! That's so young!” Well, duh. She really sounded like a teenager there, but I laughed at her unintended use of language.
”Why are you a teacher, aren't you too young to be a teacher?”
“I skipped a few grades, but no, I'm not too young.” I chuckled.
She stared at me amazed, then scooted closer with her chair dragging along the ground. “So why don't you have a wife?”
I smiled amazed at her confidence. “Long story.”
She looked at the clock on the beige wall adjacent to her. “We have some time.” I smiled and sighed, but my smile faltered as I reminisced the past. She back-tracked “Unless it's too personal, I don't need to know.” Her benevolent behaviour prompted me to want to tell her.
I smiled weakly, “I almost had a wife... Her name was Sarah...” My hands shook and I rubbed my hands in my face, my body quivered, “Sorry, It's just-I haven't talked about it in so long...”
Her small delicate fingers clasped my shaking hands, and one hand was brought to cup my face, “It's okay, take your time... Did she leave you?”
“No, no...We were planned to wed in June, three years ago. She wanted a small wedding, she was the traditional type,” I smiled remembering, “we met at her sisters wedding, funny enough I was the best man. She was so radiant, I remember thinking she had to be the most beautiful girl I had ever laid eyes on, I wanted so badly to marry her, right on the spot.” I laughed, and Alice smiled politely, “We dated for five years after that, we were content, we had our whole lives planned out...Then a couple nights before our wedding day, a few of her friends threw her a bachelorette party. She hated drinking, she was pure to the bone. A few of her friends were drinking, so obviously she made sure she took the wheel... While they were driving, her friend needed to throw up, so they stopped near a bar, but her friend didn't make it and threw up. They were close to an ally way, but they weren't that far in so I guess she felt she was safe.” I looked at Alice, her eyes wide, preparing herself for the worst part, “I really shouldn't be telling you this. It's... Dark, really intense, and I did some things I regret.”
She hesitated, “I won't think of you any differently, I mean, I'm kind of prepared.... there's been rumours...”
“There's been rumours?”
“Yeah, just that you did some bad stuff after someone close to you died.”
“Student's have been talking about that? Well then, since you already know everything-”
“No! I want to hear the story from you, I wont judge you, I swear. They were just rumours.”
I laughed bitterly, yeah right. I hesitated but decided to continue, if not for her, for my sake; I felt as if it was time to share my story with someone. “She was in the alley way with her her friend when three guys came up to them, she was always very cautious in situations, so she told them to give them some privacy, but they wouldn't listen... two of them took her friend, I don't know where to, but one man stayed, the biggest man, pack leader...and he...” I felt tears pool in my eyes, “He forced himself on her- he raped her, and then he killed her.” The tears violently streamed down my face, Alice's cold fingers gently wiped them away. I looked at her through blurred vision and her eyes were wet too. “They left the friend alive, but my fiance was left lying in the streets, cold with a knife through her stomach, she bled until she died...” That wasn't even the worst part, there was still more.
“I would've killed him.” Alice bitterly remarked, the bitterness and violence in her voice was something I was all too familiar with.
“I did.” I whispered hoarsely. Alice froze, I looked at her face, unreadable emotions sprawled across her face in a fury of movements. “He was sentenced to life, but my lawyer said he'd get out in five or ten years time. I couldn't bear to have that happen. He wasn't even remorseful. As he passed me in the court house, you know what he whispered to me? He said 'She smelled of strawberry's, and the look on her face when I plunged the knife into her was priceless, but the best part was finding out that she was a virgin. I bet she liked it.' I clawed at him, calling him every name imaginable, but the guards held me back.” I shook my head. Dark, vicious words of the devil.
Alice listened with an intensity so great you could hear a pin drop. “My lawyer told me he was going to be given forty five minutes to go back to his home, now I know that stuff is confidential. I followed the car he was in and parked on the back street. I climbed his fence and missioned towards his bedroom. The guards waited outside his bedroom, unknowing. Lucky for me he had a bungalow. I waited until he went into his bathroom to slip through his window. When he returned I was standing there with a PSS silent pistol-ready...He seemed surprised that I was coming for him, but he laughed, he said 'I didn't think you'd really have the balls' I said 'Revenge is a confession of pain, ass hole'. He laughed at me and said it would eat away at me, he quoted the Chinese proverbs 'he who seeks vengeance must dig two holes; one for his enemy and one for himself, I asked him why he did it and he said 'cause he could', and so I pointed the gun to his chest but he never once called for the guards, so I said ' I can too' and shot him in his heart. Though I didn't feel guilty at first cause to me he didn't have a heart. ”
“But now?” She whispered.
I looked at her straight in the eye, “Dumb stuff seem smart when your doing it.”
“Every new day is another chance to change your life, and you did, your a different man then you were then.” She consoled.
I looked at her “Am I? I mean, I'm the man who I am today because of the choices I made, but sometimes I don't regret it, at one point I wanted it, it didn't solve anything, I was still in pain... but after that I realized sometimes it's right to do the wrong thing. He would have gotten out and done it to more women. I don't feel heroic, but I don't feel like the villain either.”
She nodded, “I don't think you're a villain, I can understand why you'd do that. I admire it.” She whispered.
I sharply looked at her, “Murder is not something to admire Alice. It's still murder and I payed for it.” I shook my head and stood up, what kind of message was I sending her? Why was I even talking about this, it was five in the morning, everyone would be getting up in a couple of hours.
I cleaned the dishes and put everything back in sharp motions. Alice came up behind me and put her hand on the small of my back “ I didn't mean to upset you. I only meant to comfort you. I wanted you to be assured that I don't judge you, or think differently.”
I snorted “Well you should. And you should go back to your room, get some more sleep before tomorrow, we'll be practising all day.” I put the last of the dishes back in the cupboard and turned around to see Alice still facing towards me. “Alice please...” I sighed.
She was quiet for a minute until she stepped towards me and wrapped her arms softly around my waist, her head only reaching the top of my chest. All the sudden my anger melted away and I slowly wrapped my arms around her head gently pressing her to me.
“This isn't right. You need to go.” I reluctantly sighed, stepping away from her.
“Your only eight years older, that's not-”
“I'm your teacher Alice. You're a minor. This is illegal.” She sighed frustratingly. “Please go back to your room, I'm going to come around and tape it back up so no one knows you were out here.” She nodded reluctantly.
Then swiftly and gently she stood up on her tiptoes and kissed me lightly on the cheek, her lips soft and pouty lingered until she turned back around and gracefully slid out of the kitchen. I stood there stunned, my cheek tingling.
Morning shone with a bright orangey-pink colour that hid behind fog and mist. I met my group on the shore of the lake, thinking we could change things up. As they travelled down the hill to meet me I watched their faces move in awe, the beauty of the lake took every ones breath away. I began talking to the students setting up, but stopped mid-sentence when Alice caught the corner of my eye. She stopped halfway down the small slope marvelling at the beauty; her hair was pulled up into a high pony tail which displayed the delicacy of her collarbone and showed more of her face. It was hard not to keep my mid from straying.
As I dismissed everyone for lunch, Alice strayed behind until her friends gathered around her allowing me to quietly slip away, I couldn't afford to be seen alone with her like that.
As the students gathered in the foyer again, I prepared myself to speak “How ya'll doing tonight? You ready to perform a kick ass show tomorrow night?!” Cheers rang out through the crowd, people were banging on floors and whistling; it was the most enthusiastic band I'd ever seen. “Remember to pack all your stuff tonight so that we can practice and be ready to go tomorrow, parents will meet there in the afternoon and we'll have some free time before the show, so let's get all our practice out today!”
As the sun went down and students packed up to go back to their rooms, I stayed back to watch the sun go down, Alice approached me and sat down quietly beside me, thankfully from a good enough distance. We sat in a comfortable silence, while kids began surrounding us and sitting down as well. Everyone gathered silently just to admire the scenery. Alice looked at me with all her emotions plainly laid out on her face, I wanted so badly reach out and touch that face. I just smiled weakly.
As every one cleared away Alice stayed back, “Mr J?... Jack?” I turned around surprised as to who would use my first name. When I realized it was Alice I scanned the forest, paranoid, for straying students, “I wanted to thank you for everything...” She stepped forward again, her face red as a tomato, “Summers going to be here within a couple weeks after camp... I'll be eighteen in August, legally able to make my own choices... and I want to see where this goes, I'll be going to university so you won't see me next year in class or around school, I think we might have something really special... I don't want to sound like a naive teenager, but... I think I'm- I could see myself falling in love with you.” Her eyes met mine for a brief moment and then dropped again.
I realized in this moment that I wanted to try to, I didn't want to keep people at a distance anymore, especially Alice. “Alice, I thought that after Sarah I was afraid I wouldn't be emotionally close to someone again, but with you coming into my life... You've already made a difference.” I took her face in my hands and kissed her passionately.
As I held her face away from mine she smiled with her eyes closed, then slowly opened them. I realized then that I must have been her first kiss. I smiled brilliantly. I heard the childish laughs of her friends travelling down the hill and I quickly dropped my hands and took a step back. Her face shifted into a torrent of hurt, but she composed herself before her friends arrived.
“Not until you're eighteen.” I whispered smugly.
She nodded but couldn't remain eye contact with me, I desperately wanted to erase that frown and pulled down corners from her face, I wanted to kiss her with even more passion that built up inside me. She ran to join her friends, turning back once more to give a slight apologetic goodbye.
As we arrived at the stadium all the students spilled out of the bus, meeting their parents who were parked all around. Alice pulled my arm and dragged me around to the side of the stadium far enough in so that no one would see us. I laughed, pulling her close while nestling my nose in her hair. We talked lightly about the show, and joked quietly about our pasts.
All of the sudden a familiar woman's voice came out from behind us, “Alice? Is that you?” I jumped back stepping as far away from Alice as I could, I looked up coming face to face with Grace's horrified face.
“Mom?” Alice asked confused.
I tumbled back a step; did she just say mom?
Grace's eyes looked murderous “What the hell is going on here?”
Grace stepped in front of her, “Mom, this is Mr. Jolettson, my music teacher.”
I telepathically sent Alice a thousand thank you's.
“Yes, I guessed. What are you doing cuddling in a dark corner?”
“We weren't cuddling... we were just going over the music.”
“In private? Why couldn't you do it over where all the other student's are?” She asked bitterly.
Alice was drowning in her lies.
“Stop lying to me Alice Marie Calivari.”
Alice hesitated, shot me an apologetic glance, and my stomach dropped. Alice kept steady eye contact with her mom as she blurted, “We're in love.”
I wanted to slap myself, then her, then run and hide in a ditch.
Grace looked as if she was the one slapped, then she laughed bitterly, “You two don't even know each other! Its been a week for Christ sakes!” She turned her deadly stare towards me, “Is this your idea of fun Jack? Prying on innocent seventeen year old !?” She screamed.
“What?” Alice asked confused.
I looked at her desperately. Grace's eyebrows raised devilishly, her eyes savage with betrayal and jealousy, “You mean you never told her? She doesn't know?”
“I didn't know you were her mother!”
“And that makes it alright? What kind of monster are you?” Then she turned desperately to her daughter, “Has he forced himself on you? Oh my god I can't believe this is happening.”
I stepped in, eager to defend myself, “We haven't done anything Grace, I swear. I never touched her.”
Alice looked panic stricken, “How do you guys know each other?! What's going on?!”
Grace look softly at her daughter, I shook my head uncontrollably, “Grace don't. You dn't know the whole story. I care very deeply for Alice and I would never do anything to hurt her I promise you that.”
“You don't think she should know about the special times we shared Jack?” She asked sadistically.
“Like you said Grace, it wasn't anything.” I stared at her intensely silently begging her not to say anything to Alice.
Hurt splashed across Grace's face, but she quickly composed herself and turned to Alice who looked helplessly lost.
Just then, realization flashed through Alice's eyes, and her composure twisted into a mask of treachery and indignation. She shook her head in denial and began backing away.
“Alice, I love you. Stop, Alice please. It's complicated, I never knew she was your mom, I swear. I didn't even know she was married until just before camp started.”
Tears pooled in Alice's eye's.
“Never seemed to stop you though.” Grace snorted. I shot her a ferocious glance.
Grace looked as desperate as I felt, torn, I shook my head and reached for her,
“Get away from me you family-wreaking-murderer. I never want to see you again. You should have died in jail.” Alice choked as she ran away.
Grace turned to get close up to my face, “This is adultery, you will pay. I will make sure you lose your job, go to jail, and face social exclusion. I will make you life a living hell Jolettson.”
My voice caught in my breath as she ran after her daughter. I stood there trembling with fear and the only two things I could think of was 1. I was never going to gain Grace's forgiveness and I was going to loose her, and 2. I was going to go to jail, again. And this time for much longer than a year. I began to spiral downward into a coma of depression.
I shakily walked to the dressing rooms where the students were to get changed but Mr. Doberson put a firm hand on my chest. I looked questioningly from the hand to his serious and disappointed face.
“We can't let you in here, Jack.” He concluded firmly.
“I beg your pardon?”
He shifted to stand in front of the door crossing his arms. “ We've had a complaint Jack. Your not allowed to be anywhere near the kids.”
My eyes bulged, “Jesus Craig, you know me! I would never do something to hurt these kids! This situation with Alice was blown way out of-”
He shook his head, “I was advised to make sure you were within a certain distance.”
My depression deepened as I noticed the kids scurrying past me as if I was poisonous.
“You told everyone?” I asked incredulously.
“No, most kids don't know, but a few happened to hear from Alice I suppose and, well, you know how things spread like wild fire with these kids...”
“It was blown way out of proportion, no one has heard my side of the story!”
“I suspect they will.” He said, nodding his head towards the group of police men who were beginning to gather around the Calivari family.
“Listen Jack, I know your a good guy, I'm sure this is just a misunderstanding, but I was given direct orders...”
I nodded absentmindedly, “Just doin' your job Doberson. I'd do the same in your position.”
He nodded solemnly, “You should just go sit in the stands and watch your student's play, then call someone for a ride. The police will probably want to talk to you at some point.”
I nodded understandingly then began walking back out towards the field where Alice was but stopped midway. Alice looked uncomfortable and seemed to be tugging at her mom to stop from proceeding with the police, but Grace was too furious to listen. The father looked ruthless, eyeing every man that walked by with a savage glare. I decided I didn't want to be the direct attention of that gaze. Just as I was about to turn around Alice slowly turned her head towards me, as if sensing me. I froze. Her eyes were a blaze of hate and suffering.
I slipped behind the bleachers pacing back and forth aggravated, feeling as if both my head and heart were about to explode. I knew where the future was headed. I would never again be allowed to be a teach with Adultery on my record, it was a miracle to be able to do it after being in jail the first time. Plus, I would never be with Alice. The very thought tormented my soul. My hands rushed through my hair in a torrid of movement.
I heard a bunch of footsteps approaching behind me.
“You should leave. You're unwanted here.”
I turned around to face Alice, “Alice listen to me. You have it completely backward.”
“Do I? You're cheater, or male mistress, a murder and a paedophile.”
“Alice... You need to drop the charges, I don't think you understand, you know about the murder, I told you that under confidence, you can't use it against me...”
“Did you ever really care about me?” Her eyes filled with tears of sorrow.
“Are you crazy? I do-”
“The cops are looking for you. You should probably stay away...For good. They're talking about serious consequences. I can't stop the charges.”
“Alice listen to me-”
More voices approached in the distance.
“Go...” Alice whispered. “And don't come back.”
“I do love you Alice.” I whispered as I touched the side of her face gently.
A tear squeezed through her shut eyes. I turned around and began walking through the back of the bleachers, The back of the bleachers created a tunnel; the other side being the brick wall shielding the inside of the stadium. I walked back and forth constantly, running my hand through my hair, muttering inconsistent words about my crap life, when from the corner of my eye I saw a long thick bundle of white rope bunched up. I assumed the janitor must have left it there unintentionally. A thought passed through my head; a vicious image of ending my troubles spurred through my brain. It was crazy, but I was crazy. I was a bad man. I caused so much pain to people; I murdered a man. I slept with a married woman knowingly. Then I preyed on a seventeen year old girl. I was a monster. My only option was to finally be heroic. I snatched the rope and glided towards the small practice field located at the side of the stadium. I rapidly organized a plan in my mind, sorting through different scenario's. Along the way I noticed a silver ladder lying against the side of the wall. It must be heaven sending me a sign, so that finalized my decision and I grabbed it. As I reached the field, I looked around edgily. The dimly lit field was empty except for the two football posts standing at either side of field. I stared dumfounded at the posts, then at the rope which seemed to burn in my hands. I needed to do the right thing. Alice said I should be gone for good. I was living in hell, surely there was a place better than this. I swung the rope around the top pole that was farthest from the big field, securing the knot I created. I pulled the latter underneath the pole and climbed up. I felt oddly at peace. As if I had made the right decision. I slipped my head through the small knot, preparing for the world to shut me out for good. I looked to the ground below me, it wasn't far, but it was enough. I crouched on the top step of the latter, I heard a piercing scream from behind me but it was too late, my feet had already left the step. The rope seemed to take forever to cling around my neck, greedily sucking the air out of my lungs. Then, just as I had wished, pitch blackness.
TO BE CONTINUED....