It's a late summer night, not too hot. The fan and the crickets compete for sound dominance. I'm tired, but I can't sleep and I want to come. Dan is lying perfectly still next to me, hands folded neatly across his belly. I know he's not asleep. He never falls asleep before me. I glance at the clock--six hours and we have to be up. If we fuck, we'll be lucky to get five.
"Okay, that's all for today, make sure you read the assignment for Monday, and bring your paper revisions." John said, standing up at his desk. The class of college freshman quickly filed out. John was just out of grad school, and he had aspirations of being a novelist but the need to pay bills forced him into teaching, at least for now.
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'm Sam. Or at least I was.
I woke up to the sound of an alarm. I'm not sure why I didn't notice at first that something was up, but the only light was a crack in the window curtains and that was on the usual side of my bed. The alarm was a different tone, but my mind was groggy from having just woken up so it didn't register. I sat up, and flicked on the light switch for the lamp to my left. I had to stretch slightly further than usual.
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.
Dave was having a hard time staying focused. The exams were complete, the term papers graded and the students were gone. A few more forms to complete and this school year was over! In just a few days, he'd be in the Keys - fishing with his college buddies.
He didn't even have to look up from his paperwork. He knew the voice all too well.
I had driven 25 of the 50 kilometres of my way home from the Christmas Eve celebrations I had at my girlfriend's home. I decided to call in on old Miss Tomlinson, my old retired schoolteacher, she and I finished school the same year; I at 16 and she at 60. That was 12 years ago.
Why I decided to call in on her I have no idea still. Sure I saw her in her garden and waved as I passed her house on many occasions, but never once stopped.
The sky was low and dark and held an ominous look of snow in it. The winter had already proved to be a cold one, with several inches of snow already accumulated. It was no surprise to hear the weather man say, "...and more snow is on the way...".
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 was always amazed at how someone from my past unfailingly seemed to turn up on opening nights of exhibitions. It didn't seem to matter which city I was in, some old school friend, long lost family member or an acquaintance from the photography fraternity seemed to find the ads for my openings in the small print and turn up to say hi.