Alexis Haley had blonde hair, penetrating blue eyes and fascinating lips that always seemed to be frowning. She was a graduate student at Priapis State University where I was finishing my bachelor's in psychology. I had met her two years ago when I first switched my major from English to Psych. She had ignored me, which wasn't surprising. I'd had a tendency to blend in and she was a hot, snooty senior who was about to graduate with honors.
I had been teaching at the university for some 30 years, and I had never encountered such an intriguing vision as Soleil in all my days. She is a beauty, and an enigma. She was breathtakingly refreshing and very frustrating...beautiful, yet exasperating. I came to be rather obsessed with this 20 year old vixen from the first time I saw her in class, just something about her that caught my attention: she was half Thai, and half American.
750... 751... 752.
I stood in front of the door, puffing from the exertion of climbing the stairs. This was it. There wasn't much decoration. No comic clippings, or assignment drop envelopes, or notes. Just a business card in a slot.
"Lisa M. Rohdes, Ph.D., Manfred Jamison IV Professor of Finance."
For a few seconds I just looked around like an idiot, afraid to knock. I know what it seems like: the male student goes to see the hot teacher and gets all distracted.
I can't believe I'm smitten by her. Me, a thirtyish professor of psychology at a prestigious liberal arts college—smitten—of all things, by a young counter girl just out of high school.
"May I help you, Miss?" she asked in an inviting tone. I stood silent and frozen, staring like a cougar. In her early twenties, the young counter girl looked like an angel. Almost old enough to be her mother, I felt stupid.
Cat squirmed on the hard wooden chair and watched the seconds tick by on the clock. 4:55 on Friday afternoon. Five minutes until doomsday. She worried at an almost non-existent hangnail, nibbling it smooth. Was she a glutton for punishment? Had a death wish, perhaps? She smiled ruefully to herself. Why, oh why, was it so hard to get kicked out of school?
Kate double-checked her hair in the glass window of Professor Foster's front door. She wasn't sure why, but the 18-year-old wanted to look her best for her teacher. Probably because it was her first day on the job as his babysitter.
"Normally, I'm reluctant to do this during the semester," he'd said at the end of his last lecture, "but my wife and I are really in a bind.
I had graduated and ventured out into that scary void known to college students as "the real world."
My reaction was similar to others in my situation: "Now what?"
After pondering this question for a good amount of time, I realized that six months had gone by and I was still working at one of the campus bookstores, promoted from temp to shipping clerk. Eventually, I realized that it had almost been a year and I still didn't have an answer.
"Hey Lindsay, how's it going?" I asked.
The brunette student sat on the floor outside my office. She was studying a page of class scribblings that had been transcribed into a dog-eared, spiral-ringed notebook. Even in the dim half-light of the hallway I could make out her lush and curvy form. Whoa! This girl knocked the wind out of my lungs. I had spent several sweaty nights recreating her image in myriad naughty ways.
Today was unlike most of Robert's recent days. With one week left until he was expected to hand in the final revision of his thesis to the publisher of the journal, weekends and weekdays blended together to make these final weeks the worst of his grad school if not the worst of his entire life. Today though, was his thesis defense.
Lisa was nervous. Her last test had come back with a multitude of red marks all over it and a big fat F in the corner. If she failed her algebra class, she would have to go on academic probation, and her GPA might even lower enough that she would lose her scholarship and have to drop out - she couldn't afford the college's exorbitant fees without help, and her parents didn't have any money to pay toward her tuition. She shuffled from foot to foot, dancing nervously on the spot outside her professor's office, waiting for him to invite her inside.