Hot For Teacher(194)By: Mandee Mae
I face the wall of lockers and this time my fists make contact.
The fall leaves crunch beneath my feet as I climb the hill overlooking the football field. I spread the small blanket on the ground and sit down, folding my legs into my chest. The chill in the air makes me shiver. The hole in my heart leaves me aching.
I told myself I shouldn’t come to watch the homecoming game today, but I had to see Daniel one more time. Besides he’ll never know, because I’m outside the fence. Faraway from the crowds and his parents.
I’m a true outsider now. Mr. Dorsey called me last night after I fled the school. He found my letter and asked if I wanted to reconsider. I told him that I need a fresh start and that my return to my old school was a big mistake. When he wished me the best, there wasn’t a shred of anger in his voice. I am thankful he was understanding with the hasty decision.
I haven’t told a soul I’ve quit, not even my best friend. I’ll never be able to tell anyone about Daniel. Keeping it a secret makes it seem more like a dream. A beautiful dream, about a beautiful boy. Maybe it’s better this way.
The cheerleaders are warming up the crowd as the announcers call out the names of each player. My stomach flutters as I wait for them to say Daniel’s name. He’s the only remaining player and the entire stadium is silent as he stands at the end of the field.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Scholar Athlete, All-State, and All-American. Number fifteen, Daniel Johnson.”
The crowds roar as Daniel runs across the field to join his teammates. One by one they hit hands as he passes them. When he gets to the last player, he looks up at the hill I’m crouched down on. He stops and raises his hand in my direction. I can’t believe he can see me sitting here.
I fight the tears but it’s no use, I’m a weeping mess as I wave back at him. He blows me a quick kiss before turning away and meeting his coach at the sideline. I collapse into myself and let the rivers flow.
I know I made the right decision to leave the school and let Daniel go on with his life. He needs to find his own future. Not one for his parents or a teacher who can’t let go of her past, but my heart is tearing in two.
“Daniel has a big announcement. One that I think all you hometown fans will be happy to hear, “ his coach says into a microphone.
I peek up and wipe my nose with my sleeve. I have no clue what Daniel is about to share with everyone. Usually athletes choose their colleges at the end of their sports season.
Daniel takes the microphone into his hands. The strong hands that only yesterday held me tight. I close my eyes at the memory.
“I wanted to celebrate homecoming by letting everyone know I’m staying in town and attending the University of Alabama next year. I have a special friend that’s keeping me here.” Shouts break out everywhere. “Go Crimson Tide!”
The stands come alive at the news, but I can’t move. It’s as if I’ve been turned to stone. I can only stare at the field in disbelief. I shake my head as I see him give his helmet to his coach and run across the field toward me.
He stops at the fence and grabs hold of the metal. I look down the hill at him and smile through a flood of tears.
“I’m staying here for you Staci. I’m staying for you.”