Deisha was doing her stretches before going for her morning jog, thinking about Griff Cunningham. He was twice her age but that didn’t matter to her. He was easily the most gorgeous man she knew. And she was madly in love with him.
The fact that he was her Math teacher wasn’t a problem, either, although she was aware that the school had a strict policy against teacher-student relationships. She was graduating next week. After that, she wouldn’t see him. She didn’t have any plans for the summer. In September, she would be going to Columbia University. Today was going to be the last day she would see Griff and then they would go their separate ways. The thought of never seeing him again was unbearable.
She wondered if it would be presumptuous of her to ask him if they could keep in touch. They could friend each other on Facebook but would that get him in trouble even though she was no longer his one of his students? Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. Besides, he might not want to keep in touch. On the last day of school before graduation, she would just ask him to sign her yearbook. She was sure that he wouldn’t have a problem doing that. And whatever he wrote would be always be treasured by her. And it shouldn’t be a problem having her picture taken with him. She would frame it and keep it on the table beside her bed.
She knew he wasn’t married. There wasn’t any wedding band. She made sure she checked but she was sure he had a girlfriend. A man with his looks couldn’t possibly be single. She imagined that his girlfriend was beautiful and smart. Suddenly feeling discouraged, she stopped jogging and dragged herself home. She went straight upstairs to shower and get ready for school.
He was leaning against the building when she was walking towards the entrance. Her heart began to pound. The other students filed past her, oblivious. They greeted him and went inside the building. As she approached, she noticed that he wasn’t wearing a jacket. His was in a white shirt and black trousers. He had his arms folded. She tried not to stare at his bulging arms. It was like trying not to breathe or blink.
He was watching her as she approached, a slight smile on his face. “Good morning, Deisha.” How she adored his British accent.
“Good morning, Mr. Cunningham.” She felt shy and awkward standing there in front of him.
“You’re graduating next week,” he said. “Are you excited?”
She shrugged. “I guess I am, a little.”
He looked surprised. “A little? I thought you would be ecstatic.”
“I’m looking forward to graduating but not to leaving this school.” I’m not looking forward to leaving Townsend Harris because of you. “I’m going to miss my friends and teachers…”
“I’m going to miss you, Deisha. You’re my top student.”
Is that the only reason why you’re going to miss me? She managed a smile. “Thank you.”
“They’re handing out the yearbooks today. If you like, you may stay for a few minutes after class so that I can sign yours.”
“I will.” She was thrilled that he wanted to sign her yearbook.
“Well, don’t let me keep you. I’ll see you later.”
“Yes, Mr. Cunningham.” She brushed past him and hurried into the building. The entire morning was a blur. All she could think about was Griff and that he wanted to sign her yearbook. She wanted him to be the first to sign it. When it was time for her to go to History class, she couldn’t get there fast enough.
He was already there when she walked in and their eyes met, then his gaze shifted as other students went in. She sat down and watched him as he interacted with a couple of the students before the class began. They spent the period talking about summer plans. After it was over, the students signed each other’s yearbook, had Mr. Cunningham sign them and then, they filed out. It was the last class of the day so many of them were going to the Mall or the park or somewhere to hang out.
Deisha stayed behind and when they were alone, she got up from her desk and took her yearbook over to Mr. Cunningham for him to sign it. He looked at her before he opened the book and signed it. When he was done, he closed the book and handed it back to her. He leaned back in the chair, arms folded, his eyes meeting hers in a steady gaze. “You didn’t say much today,” he remarked. “What’s the matter?”
She avoided his gaze as she stood there, clutching her yearbook tightly. Her heart was pounding. Maybe she should just say goodbye now and bolt. “Nothing’s the matter,” she lied.
“Why were you so quiet in class today?” he asked.
“I didn’t have much to say,” she said.
“So, you don’t have any plans for the summer? No trips or a summer job?”
She shook her head. “No.”
“So, what are you going to do all summer?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know. Catch up on my reading, I guess. Go jogging, swimming.”
“What about a boyfriend?”
She looked at him then. “I don’t have one.”
His expression changed and he leaned forward, making her more nervous. “Deisha, now that you’re no longer my student, would you have a problem going out with me?”
She gawked at him, thinking that she hadn’t heard him correctly. Did he just say that he wanted to go out with her? “No, Mr. Cunningham,” she said quickly, breathlessly. “I–I won’t have a problem with that at all.”
He smiled. “Good. And, please, call me Griff. Are you in a hurry to get somewhere now?”
He stood up. “Let’s go to the Italian restaurant I know and over their amazing pasta dishes, we can talk about the plans you and I will have together for the summer.”
Deisha quickly shoved her yearbook into her satchel and followed him out of the classroom. She couldn’t wait to tell her sister, Brandi that she was going to be dating the hunky teacher she had told her about ad nauseam.
Source: State Impact