My Heart, Your Decision
Today was worse than yesterday. My anxiety level had reached its limit. From the moment Ric and I parted and up to this moment, I couldn’t remember anything. My mind had been occupied by countless imaginations of things to come, whether good or bad. I haven’t eaten anything nor do I recollect what I had for dinner last night. These thoughts seemed to have filled up my stomach.
My only Wednesday class was pointless at that moment. Though I was present, my mind wasn’t. I may have taken down notes but the knowledge wasn’t absorbed. I began to submerge into my seat while looking at the clock. The one and half hour seemed doubled by the time the professor had dismissed us. I collected all my materials and headed out the door. Just when I turned the corner I almost ran into this beautiful form.
I didn’t recognize him at first. Ric looked more casual than any days I have seen him. Jeans and a V-neck shirt wasn’t a familiar sight for any teacher on campus. He had traded his usual moccasins for a pair of boots and at the center of it all was his leather jacket. Anyone would have easily mistaken him for another student. I mistook him for a fictional protagonist in any literary work.
He looked at each direction of the hallway while clearly stating, “Ms. Sullivan, may I have a word with you in my office?”
There was no choice but to do as told. His office wasn’t too far from where we had almost collided. I was afraid of others glaring but none was directed my way. The feeling of being under suspicion had taken the best of me. I paced a bit faster as I caught up to Ric at the front of his office door. I wanted to step in as soon as I can without putting myself in an awkward situation with him. Then we were alone once again.
He pulled up the chair and guided me into my seat. I probably could never get used to his chivalry. He walked around his desk and leaned on a bookshelf. There was something on his mind that needed to be said. This wasn’t good for my heart. Whatever it was that was bothering him it was affecting me. I knew I had feelings for him but I’m definitely beginning to care. I tried to read his face but it wasn’t much help. I decided to give him privacy and quickly glanced down at his desk. I noticed his glasses were a different pair. My vision gradually began to blur; tears were about to come out.
“Do you know what this is?” He started to speak.
I looked up at him and was able to hold back my emotions. I was also able to hold back words.
He continued, “I came into the year thinking it’s just going to be another year: nothing new and nothing old. I’ve been away from teaching for almost two years and I almost didn’t come back. This is the life I chose to keep. I am, by comparison, an outstanding professor. I am very good at what I do. The choices I make are guaranteed to be for my own benefit without negative effect on others. I am essentially always sure of my actions.
“Now I’m not sure at all. I’ve been selfish. I disregarded the policy of our relationship and my actions have been advantageous. The purpose of this talk is to find a common ground because I really don’t know what’s going on. All I know is that you’ve made something out of nothing out of my days. My weeks seem to find its full worth just from the hours I see you in class and commuting home. I need to know what happens next because my conscience is telling me to quit but a part of me wants to stay where you stand.”
His silence was my cue to talk.
“Hi.” That was all I had managed to say. I thought humour had saved us in other occasions and this could be one that needed it.
He let out a sigh and smiled. He lowered his head in delight.
“I’m sorry if that wasn’t the answer you were looking for. It’s just that I haven’t seen you all day and I just wanted to say that.” I shrugged my shoulders with honesty.
“I feel like this is inappropriate and…” He paused at his thought as he must’ve seen me shake my head.
I couldn’t let his conscience win, or mine. There was nothing normal about our situation and I believed there wasn’t a normal way of dealing with it. A simple yes or no was not satisfactory. I knew that if I let him reason with himself that the psychology factor of his existence will way heavily on it. I wanted to avoid all of this.
“Ric,” I didn’t know what had gotten into me, “I want a date.”
“OK.” He gladly acknowledged.