Something short I started this this past Spring. I might turn it into a short story. But for now, it’s just a short. something.
He began to send me emails. Telling me how wonderful he thought I was. How much different I was, that I seemed like an “old soul,” and that he couldn’t believe I was only 18. He would call, when I was out with my boyfriend, and say, “I really would like to talk to you later, do you think you can call me later?” It was uncomfortable, and of course, I lied straight through my teeth, saying it was a guy in my class, and he must have had some weird crush on me or something. Wrote it off like it was nothing, of no concern to me. I had to. I wasn’t really sure what kind of relationship I was having. I knew it wasn’t a blatant sexual one, a physically sexual one, but there were so many undertones, and we actually went out on dates. He told me I was an intellectual, that I was funny and that he was extremely drawn to me, and he couldn’t quite figure out why. I was barely legal and had a tight ass. And I absolutely worshiped him. I loved his writing, how he focused on the gothic; how everything in his world was always half-empty. I had never read anything like his before, and quite frankly, some if it scared me.
He would come by the office where I worked, slink in when the other secretary was taking her lunch, and talk to me. Sit on my desk and laugh with me, ask me questions. I did find him attractive. He had a long face with dark wavy hair and dark eyes. His voice was soft but firm, and I loved that he was already a father. He would tell me stories, and I would listen intently, thinking that he was already so worldly. He taught in the Middle East, although I can’t remember how long.
He told me a story about how, once, he cut his hand really badly. It was a deep cut, and the only thing he had were some old scraps of cloth, so he wrapped up his thumb in them. Well, his thumb healed, but he forgot about the scraps. They grew moldy in the back of his car in the hot sun, and one day, he got in to drive to the store, and it reeked so bad he had to stop the car, thinking there was a dead animal stuck up in it. Turns out, the blood and cells had clumped together in the cloths, and had formed its’ own bizarre clump of living tissue.
Pretty disgusting. But I loved that story. He only told it once, and I remembered it well. He would tell me about his ex-wife, their relationship, why it didn’t work out. And he would tell me about his son, and I never saw pictures of him but I imagined him being beautiful like his father. He often told me how much he liked Shakira. He loved bellydancing and the whole culture, and the sensuality behind it. How fluid her movements were, and how she wasn’t a cookie-cutter celebrity. He loved the growl in her voice, how raw she was. For a while, I thought he wanted me to be that way. Granted, he and I still weren’t seeing each other. It was a huge secret, and I liked to keep it that way. He made sure of that, too, saying, “maybe it’s a good idea if we keep this between you and I. I don’t think other people would understand our relationship.
It all came to an end when I tried to cover my own ass by saying that we should probably steer clear of going on any more “dates,” because I wasn’t sure if they were “dates” or actual dates. And then the onslaught of “I can’t believe you’d think that,” followed by “you’re such a child, I can’t believe you’d think I would be attracted to you.” And really, I did. And it hurt. I felt more appreciated with him around, after he disappeared, I became vindictive and said nasty things about him. So ok, that proved that I was still an unpolished youth, but I knew in my heart that he was genuinely interested for a while. And that kept me going. I’d pass by him in the hallway and he’d look over my head. I was ghost-like.
I found out that he ended up switching universities a couple years after that. I was a senior by that time, and rarely ever saw him. It’s a time in my life I would never trade, and, if nothing else, he certainly gave birth to my appreciation for the gothic, the edgy, and above all, the intoxicating relationships students and teachers can have.