“I’ll see you then, Mr. Gillman.”
“Matt,” he said quickly.
“It’s probably best that I not call you that, don’t you think, Mr. Gillman.”
“You’re probably right, Miss Montgomery.”
“I’ll see you this afternoon,” I say before taking off in the direction of my English class.
That was when my obsession with him began. I’ve taken every class he’s taught and joined every elective and club he oversees. Thanks to him, you’re looking at the only female wrestler this school has ever had. I’m also the captain of the chess, golf, and bowling teams. He has to know that I’m in love with him by this point, but he’s never said anything or done anything that would make me think he knows or reciprocates my feelings.
I’m the first to arrive in Chemistry IV. He’s there, though. He’s already sitting behind his desk, wearing a blue corduroy blazer with leather patches on his elbows. I love how he looks in it.
“Good morning, Miss Montgomery,” he says without even looking up from the papers he’s currently grading. It’s like he can sense me. It’s always Miss Montgomery, never Tiza.
“Good morning, sir,” I say, causing him to make a low noise in his throat. I know he likes it when I call him sir. He only reacts when I call him that, though. Every other person in class has called him that at some point, and nothing. When I do it, he almost growls. It makes me feel powerful, so of course, I do it as often as I can. I like to do it when he’s teaching. After I do it, he moves behind his podium. I like to think that I’ve caused him to get hard, and he has to hide it. He stands and moves around his desk, stopping in front of me.
“How was your birthday?” he asks. My birthday was yesterday. Sierra brought me a cake, but that was all I did for it. The cakes she’s given me in the three years I’ve known her are more than was ever done for my birthday before. Gifts were not exchanged in the Montgomery household.
“It was good. I read two books and had some cake.”
“That’s nice. I’m glad you weren’t alone.”
“How’d you know I wasn’t alone?” I ask, confused.
“I got you a present. I hope you don’t mind,” he says instead of answering me, and I light up, forgetting all about what we were just talking about. I love presents. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. I like knowing someone is thinking about me.
“Are their people who mind presents?” I ask, holding out my hands to him.
“Probably,” he says, pulling a long black velvet box out of his pocket. I immediately recognize a local jewelry store logo. I only know it because it's right next to my favorite shoe store in the mall.
“You didn’t have to do this, Mr. G,” I tell him, but I’m just being polite. I want whatever he wants to give me.
He opens the box and shows me the diamond-studded choker. Holy heck, it’s gorgeous. I know shouldn’t accept such an expensive gift, but I want it because he picked it out.
“Thank you,” I say, turning my back to him. He puts the necklace on me. His fingers trail down the column of my neck, and I shiver.
Is this finally happening?
“You’re welcome,” I murmur, knowing I should step away from her but also knowing that I won’t. I’ve been a patient man. I’ve waited three agonizingly long years for this girl to grow up. At first, it felt all kinds of wrong, but I was instantly enthralled by her. It had never happened to me before. I had just started my second year of teaching when she ran into me on her first day at McCrays; I looked into her soulful green eyes and knew she would be mine. I can’t explain it, but I know that love at first sight exists now. I used my limited power as her teacher to look into her file, and what I found there about her family and religious upbringing told me everything I needed to know about her. It also told me why I sensed an incredible sadness in her that has lessened day by day. I like to think that I have something to do with that.
She quickly and discreetly became my whole world. I never again looked at another woman since I met her. I will never, either. I’ve dated some before, but I never slept with anyone. Now I know it’s because I was waiting for my forever.
I knew it was wrong because she was so young, only five years younger than me, but I never touched her or said anything untoward. The more I got to know her though, the worse my obsession became. So much so that I follow her to her dorm room at night to make sure she gets in okay. It doesn’t help matters that she’s everywhere I am. She’s a member of every club and sports team that I oversee. She even works at the pizza place under my Northshore apartment. I swear fate is putting us together at every turn.