Selected

    She was a good student, but vulnerable, and that was the most important thing.  That was why the teacher picked her.

    Separating her from her classmates was not particularly difficult, because she’d already done that of her own accord: she did not have many close friendships, or any close friendships, as far as he could tell (and you better believe that he looked very carefully).  She spent a lot of her free time reading or drawing in a notebook with colored pencils.  Her concentration was fine during class and he seldom caught her attention wandering–she had a lot of discipline for a girl her age, actually–but in Church, she seemed to daydream a lot.  People would call her name and she wouldn’t hear them right away.

      So, it was very easy for the teacher to become her friend. Especially since he actually enjoyed her: he told himself that they had a lot in common and that he reminded him of his younger self, which might or might not have been true.  It was easy to talk with her about what she was reading in the library, or when the students sat in the Churchyard garden during lunchtime.  And it was especially easy to talk to her because it never would have occurred to her to rebuff the conversation of a teacher: if an adult authority figure wanted to talk with her, she talked, and that was all there was to it.  He’d met both of her parents–had sat down for coffee with them, even.  The mother was stern, concerned primarily with her daughter’s grades, and worked 60 hours a week.  The father was borderline rude and, curiously, jealous of any other adult’s affect on his daughter’s intellectual development. The important thing was that the daughter seemed afraid of him, which was optimal, as far as the teacher was concerned. 

      So, the teacher started talking to her outside of class.  It started with books, goings-on about town, and things that were happening on the news, but in time, as the weeks passed, the conversation shifted to other things. He talked to her as nobody had ever talked to her before: he asked her the right questions, the questions someone would ask if they really cared.  He would listen to her answers carefully, and look for insights to her character and personality.  He treated her with more respect than she had ever known.  He would bring special foods to give to her at lunch, none of which she had ever eaten before.

     In no time at all, the teacher had become very special to her.  In fact, one could say that he became one of the most important parts of her daily life. She cared about him and wanted to impress him.  She did, in fact, flourish under all of the attention, which was, after all, not dissimilar to real love.  It is probable that the teacher told himself this often as a justification for the actualization of his true desires, which were rather less altruistic. 

      Perhaps other people noticed how much time the two of them were spending together outside of class, but nobody ever said anything about it…except for one older boy, who’d displayed a romantic interest in her the previous year (and been rejected).  He cornered her after gym class one day and asked:

       “Hey.  What’s going on with you and Mr. Teacher?”

       “What do you mean?” she asked, honestly confused.

       “There’s nothing going on with you and Mr. Teacher?”

       “I don’t understand what you mean,” she said.

       She thought about it later that night and decided that the boy was just jealous because the teacher liked her more.

       Then the day came when the teacher asked her to stay after class.  She was confused, because he seemed tense, and she hadn’t done anything wrong that she could think of.

         He told her to go stand in the corner, and when she did, he pressed up behind her and put his hand underneath her skirt.  She could feel his erection through his pants.  She’d never seen an adult man’s penis before, but she knew what an erection was.

       She was terrified and bolted for the door.  She shouted after her, but didn’t chase her.

       She went home and didn’t tell anybody what happened.

       And just like that, everything changed.

      From then on, he ignored her completely.  All of the affection and attention he’d lavished on her previously was totally revoked. He did not make eye contact with her, he did not call on her in class, and her essays and homework assignments were returned to her with the minimum amount of grading possible. 

      She was, of course, devastated, and very confused.  She wanted him to not be angry with her anymore.  One time, she tried to return a book to him and talk about it, like they used to do, and all he said was, “I don’t have time for you right now.”  

     She thought about what happened all the time. She kept wondering if she had misinterpreted something, or if what happened hadn’t actually happened as she remembered.  And, naturally, she came to wonder if it was her fault. 

       One day, she went to his office when the others were in Church.  She heard him typing on his word processor.  He looked up when she came into the room.

       “Yes?  What do you want?”

      “I want it to be like it was before!  I’m sorry!” she said, wondering if she was going to cry.

      He leaned back in his chair and put one of his ankles up on his knee, and asked the question that sealed her fate:

     “Well, what are you going to do to make this up to me?”


4 thoughts on “Selected”

  1. How will she make it up to him? Serenading him with “Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog” sung in Latin, accompanied by ukelele, at 2:38 AM. Foolproof!

  2. Wow! This “teacher” was, to use your word, a “scumbag”! Something like this happened to my sister in high school and she didn’t tell us until last year. Our mom still doesn’t believe her, but I do.

    Did this happen to you? It doesn’t read like one of your pornos like the owl story. is he still teaching?

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