Oca 01

Apple for the Teacher

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It’s strange the things that you miss. For Sara Markham, it had been the coffee. Her husband had always made better coffee than her, and she had looked forward to drinking it every morning. She wasn’t sure what his secret was, but it always turned out perfectly each time. The aroma that had filled their kitchen had been her wake up call lifting her out of sleep. In the seven years they had been together, Sara had lost track of how many cups of his coffee she had enjoyed.

She wouldn’t taste it again.

Sara sat the steaming cup in her hand aside still wincing from the bitter flavor on her tongue. Kyle might have been a wizard with ground roast, but she most certainly was not. The sunlight shining through the small kitchen window was too bright by half making her eyes ache, and she slammed the blinds down with a loud crack. Her bare feet made only the smallest whisper of a sound as she walked back over to her dining room table picking up the envelope for the tenth time since it had arrived the day before, and once again sitting it down without opening it.

In her mind to see it all in black and white would make it real, and she wasn’t ready for that, not yet.

What had her mom said to her on her wedding day?

The memory was hazy now, but something about being careful not to depend too much on Kyle to be there. Her mother had never been a Kyle Markham fan, so the comment hadn’t been that big of a surprise even coming on what was supposed to be the happiest day of Sara’s life. Sara had ignored her mom’s doom and gloom. The ceremony had been perfect. In her mind, she could picture it so clearly like it had all happened just the day before not many years ago.

The first year had been wonderful, precisely as she had imagined it would be. She and Kyle had been happy and content in their life. Well, at least that was what Sara had believed. As it turned out, Kyle was leading a double life, one that he kept carefully hidden from his new spouse. Sara had spent years being blissfully unaware of her husband’s extra-curricular activities. This was especially annoying in light of the fact that she was a school teacher, and typically very adept at spotting a lie.

Who knows how long it might have continued if it hadn’t been for one innocent phone call. Sara had reached out to the wife of Kyle’s best friend, Mark, to help her arrange a surprise party for Kyle’s upcoming thirty-fifth birthday. Kyle and Mark were supposed to have been out on a fishing trip, so Sara thought it was the perfect time to sit down with Mark’s wife, Janine, and make plans. There was only one problem. When Janine had answered the phone, she had no idea what Sara was talking about at all. Mark wasn’t with Kyle fishing. He had just run up to the store for groceries, and Janine assured Sara that he had not even seen Kyle that weekend.

Sara had cut off the conversation staring numbly into space.

Where was her husband?

Why had he lied about the trip with Mark?

That one phone call had started a boulder rolling downhill that every day after seem to pick up more stray rocks along with it until Sara felt that she was going to be buried under a deluge of lies. It turned out that her husband had been concealing a whole plethora of sins from her. A simple check of his computer had revealed profiles on a number of popular dating sites. Then she had started to turn the house upside down and discovered receipts for things they had never bought, souvenirs hidden away from trips they had never taken.

The notes had been concealed in a manila envelope beneath a pile of old fishing magazines in Kyle’s desk. Sara had sat on the floor her face a mask of disgust and anger as she read through letters and cards thanking her husband for the hours of sexual pleasure he had given to women whose names were foreign to her. She had read and cried and then read some more not quite able to make herself stop. By the time Kyle returned from his trip on Sunday he had found his bags backed in the entryway.

The crazy thing was he hadn’t even tried to deny it or make up some story to save himself. In the end, he tried to lay the blame on Sara. He spouted off a laundry list of ways that she had been inadequate as a partner, or even more to the point as a lover. Kyle had been vague about why he had not come to her with his problems in an effort to fix things.

If he had indeed been so unhappy shouldn’t he have at least said something to her about it?

It seemed a reasonable thing to ask, but Kyle hadn’t been able to provide an answer. The truth was it had never been about her at all.

The ensuing months had brought more revelations to Sara to the point that she began to go numb after a while.

How could she have been so wrong about the man she married?

The humiliation of discovering that her husband had been a closet sex addict had done little to assuage her guilt. It seemed to Sara that she should have known. She should have seen the signs long before she did.

Sara had watched her Ankara escort husband walk away down the winding sidewalk that rainy Sunday five months earlier to get in his car not fully comprehending that her marriage was over. The envelope on the table would make that official. She picked it up once more turning it over in her hands feeling the weight of it. Then again she dropped it on the table.

“Not yet…” she thought absently.

The ringing of her phone jerked her out of her dark thoughts.


“Sara. It’s Marie. I was wondering if you could give me a ride to school this morning my car won’t start.”

“Oh…Yeah…I guess, Marie, give me a few minutes o.k.?”

“Sure, and thanks you’re a lifesaver!”


Sara had almost forgotten that she was supposed to teach that day. It seemed a bit ridiculous in hindsight, but perhaps she could be forgiven in light of all that had happened to her in the past months. She made a beeline for her bedroom throwing off her robe and hunting in her top drawer for a bra and panties. The reflection of her in the mirror made her stop for just a moment. She stood staring at the naked body that her husband had rejected.

It wasn’t all that bad, was it?

Sara was no college kid anymore, and the years had taken a small toll on her curvy figure. She had gained a pound or two here and there on her thirty-six-year-old frame, nothing egregious, but the extra weight had added a few more curves to the picture. It helped that she was a tall woman close to five-foot-ten inches giving her more real estate to spread things around. Her hands strayed momentarily to the substantial bosoms that rested on her chest. She lifted them a bit remembering a time when they had stood a hair firmer than they did now. They were still holding up pretty well all things considered. A bit larger than a good-sized cantaloupe, each fair-skinned mound was capped with a wide, light pink areola of bumpy, soft flesh. The center of each sported a thick nipple about as big as a sewing thimble, the flesh a bit darker than the surrounding skin.

Sara’s fingers moved downward toward a stomach that was still mostly flat then further south to the curly, dark blond hairs of her Venus mound that nearly matched the ash-blond hair on her head. She had thought about shaving the thick nest of hair, but Kyle had always told her he liked it.

“I wonder if his girlfriends are shaved bare?” she whispered.

Could that have been the problem all along?

She shook her head laughing at herself, “This is silly.”

The smiling face looking back at her in the mirror didn’t show the years as much as its owner probably imagined it did. Sara still had smooth, youthful skin with just a few wrinkles around her green eyes. Her generous mouth was filled with rows of perfectly even white teeth, and if she had to criticize anything, it would have been her nose which was perhaps a bit too big for the space it occupied on her long, narrow face.

The phone call from Marie jumped back to the forefront of her thoughts reminding her that she needed to get a move on not stand there gawking at herself. She slipped into her underwear and quickly chose a simple, conservative brown dress from her closet. The door to the closet slid shut, and she pulled a brush through her longish, straight hair untangling it so that it fell just past her shoulders in one even length. She touched up her makeup adding a bit of maroon colored lipstick to darken her light pink lips then grabbed her purse and book bag as she fled out the door.

Marie Flores lived just a few miles up the road from Sara’s home, and as she coasted to a stop out front of Marie’s apartment, she spotted the tiny Hispanic woman standing on the sidewalk waiting patiently.

“Good Morning, Sara. Thanks again for the ride,” said Marie as she slid into the passenger seat.

“No problem.”

They pulled away from the curb, merging back into traffic.

“How is your morning going?”

Sara hesitated to answer, the envelope still fresh in her mind.

“That bad?”

“No…Not really, it’s just…I got the papers from my lawyer today.”

“Oh…I’m assuming that’s good news? You know, light at the end of the tunnel.”

“I suppose it is.”

“You don’t sound convinced. Come on, Sara. The man was cheating on you with more women than I can count and I teach math. You should be excited to get away from him.”

“I know it’s just a big change. I never saw us ending up this way. I guess my Mother was right after all.”

“I bet she likes rubbing it in.”

“You have no idea…”

The red brick building of Carter Randolph High School came up on their right sooner than either teacher would have liked and Sara steered them into the teacher’s lot. The area was full of teachers pulling boxes out of trunks, or already making their way up the long sidewalk toward the front of the building.

“Ladies! Ready for another year in paradise?”

“Can hardly contain myself, Ankara escort bayan Jerry,” answered Marie.

Jerry Sloan was the physical education teacher at Carter Randolph and an unabashed flirt. When he wasn’t leading the football team into last place, he spent a great deal of his time trying to hook up with any willing female educator he could find.

“When are you going to break down and admit you can’t live without me, Marie?” he said falling in beside her and Sara.

“How about we go out on a date after the first time your team manages to win a game.”

“Hey! The lack of current success is no reflection on my abilities as a coach. I can only go as far as the talent pool around here will take me. Believe me, ladies, it’s a shallow pool.”

“I thought a coaches job was to teach his kids to play better?”

Jerry made a face, “The sculptor is only as good as the clay. I mold these boys as best I can.”

“I’m sure you’re doing your best,” cut in Sara, though privately she thought if Jerry worked as hard at coaching as he did at getting laid the team would have been state champions by now.

The trio joined with another group of teachers all of them eventually ending up in the lounge on the second floor of the main building. Sara went to check her mailbox while Marie stowed her lunch in the fridge that stood in one corner making sure her name was prominently displayed on the container. Teachers could be the worst thieves in the world when it came to other peoples yogurt.

“Oh, you have got to be kidding me…” moaned Sara.

“What’s up?” asked Marie.

Sara passed the official-looking memo she had received from Assistant Principle Carver over to Marie who skimmed it. Her face dropped into a frown by the time she reached the bottom of the document.

“A student teacher?”

“Looks like it’s my turn in the pickle barrel,” said Sara shaking her head, “I don’t need this right now. My life is difficult enough without having to nursemaid some kid right out of college who doesn’t know a lesson plan from their elbow.”

“Maybe it won’t be so bad.”

“What don’t you take them then?”

“I had one two semesters back I’m not ready to climb that mountain again,” laughed Marie in mock horror.

Sara took the memo back and picked up her book bag.

“I should get to my room. See you for lunch?”


It was still early enough that only a handful of students were milling around campus and Sara made it to her room without being stopped. She unlocked the door and absently flicked on the lights illuminating the long rows of equally spaced desks that ran toward the back of the rectangularly shaped classroom. The room always seemed just a little spooky to her when it was like this all empty and bereft of its purpose. Sara went over to her desk and opened her bag to lay out her materials for the day. As a history teacher, she knew that her class wasn’t exactly at the top of the list for any students favorite, but she had always had a passion for learning about what the world had been like in the past.

This semester the focus was supposed to be on the 1960s. Sara was keen on getting the kids excited about the time period. There was plenty to look at including the Cuban Missile Crisis and the race to the moon against the Russians. She started going over her notes for the lecture that day when a knock on her door pulled her away. The door swung open before she could get out of her seat and Assistant Principle Carver stepped into the room with someone standing close behind him.

“Good, Mrs. Markham, you’re already here. I’ve brought your new shadow for this semester with me. I think that you two might know each other already. Mr. Ralston?”

Sara stood up from her desk wrinkling her brow in confusion until the shadowy figure behind the assistant principal stepped into the light. There was a brief pause while her brain struggled to make sense of the man that was standing in front of her. He did look vaguely familiar, but she couldn’t quite place where she had seen him before. Then like a thunderclap the memory hit, so hard that she almost flopped back down in her chair.

“Ricky? Ricky Ralston?” she stammered.

“I go by Rick now. It’s a little more…Um…Dignified I guess.”

Sara tried to make sense of what she was seeing. Ricky Ralston had been one of those quiet students that haunt the back of every classroom. A shy, timid, boy who even at eighteen had barely stood five-foot-five inches and weighed perhaps a hundred pounds dripping wet. He had hardly spoken in class unless she called on him directly and then only in a whisper that barely reached the front of the room. The work he turned in was top notch though. He had a keen mind, and his writing skills were a cut far above the other students.

That had been five years prior, and perhaps she could be forgiven for not recognizing her former student since the years away had changed him radically. Gone was the skinny boy that sat hunched over his desk. Escort Ankara In his place, this new Ricky, that is Rick, stood a well proportioned six feet tall his dark hair combed back off a broad forehead. Rick’s lean frame had filled out with enough muscle to stretch the long sleeved black and gray shirt he was wearing showing a definition he had never possessed in his youth. The years had matured his face which now sported a bit of manly stubble. He still had the same piercing blue eyes that surveyed Sara with an intensity that made her slightly nervous.

“It’s good to see you again, Mrs. Markham,” he said reaching out with one hand.

Sara slipped her hand into his feeling the surprising strength and power in his grip. She smiled trying to get her bearings after this sudden shock.

“You can call me Sara, Rick. You’re not in the back of the classroom anymore.”

“Right…Sara,” He replied, trying the name out like a shirt he wasn’t sure was going to fit.

“Well…I will leave you two to get acquainted then. Don’t forget to stop by my office later today, Mr. Ralston. I have some more paperwork for you to sign.”

“Thank you, Mr. Carver. I’ll do that.”

The heavy door closed leaving the former student and teacher standing quietly.

“Uh…So how have you been, Rick?” asked Sara in a rush to break the silence.

“Fine. I just graduated last semester from Greenwald. I took the summer off to kind of rest up, but I knew I had to get my student teaching in at some point and what better place than my former school. At least I won’t get lost trying to find the lunch room.”

It wasn’t much of a joke, but Sara laughed loudly anyway still trying to wrap her head around this strange turn of events, and feeling like she should do something to put Rick at ease.

“I have to say I was surprised to see you standing there I never figured you for…That is I…”

“Didn’t see me as a teacher?”


“I get that. The shy kid in the back that never spoke to anyone. The socially awkward boy who had few friends. I never saw myself as a teacher either, at least not back then. My mom kind of pushed me in that direction. There was a long line of educators in our family before I came along. It was considered a noble calling. My Dad is a college professor and his sister taught English for thirty years. It was sort of inevitable that I would at least have to give it a try.”

“You don’t sound all that enthused by the idea.”

“Oh…Don’t get me wrong. Once I started down the path, I found I enjoyed the learning process and saw it as a challenge to get me out of my comfort zone.”

Sara still felt uneasy as she observed her former student walking around the classroom studying walls and desks. He appeared to be recalling old memories of when he had been in this room many years earlier in a very different capacity. She knew that teaching was as much a calling as it was a job. The work was much more difficult than most people appreciated. It took a real commitment to be successful, and she didn’t hear that in Rick’s voice.

“I know you always loved history,” she commented.

“My favorite class by far I loved learning about the past, and you were easily my favorite teacher. I loved your…passion for the subject.”

He had stopped and turned back toward her when he said those words. His steely gaze seemed to bore right into her, and the word “passion” made goosebumps pop up all over her skin. She swallowed brushing a stray hair out of her face.

“That’s so nice of you to say. I always valued you as a student.”

“Well, I still am your student…sort of…”

“Yes, right…Why don’t I show you my lesson plans for this week and we talk a little about what you can expect from the student teaching experience.”

Rick joined her at her desk pulling a chair around to sit close enough to see her notes. The strong smell of his cologne filled her nose in a very pleasant way. Her hands shook as she tried to turn the pages in front of her and she admonished herself to calm down. It was starting to dawn on her that the surprise of discovering she knew her student teacher already wasn’t the only thing making her nervous. The truth was Rick had grown into a very handsome young man, and she was embarrassed to find herself reacting to him.

“Knock it off, Sara! He is still out of bounds. Might as well be a student here plus he is like fourteen years younger than you anyway,” she reasoned with herself.

She took a deep breath and moved on with her explanation finding that it got more comfortable to be around him as the time passed. When the kids started arriving Rick took a seat in the back of the room to observe Sara going through orientation with her first class. She spied him occasionally as she paced back and forth his head on his hand’s eyes narrowed in concentration looking nothing like the young man she used to teach. His handsome face broke into a smile at one point, and she found it so distracting she lost her place for a moment in her lecture.

“Jesus…Why did he have to grow up to be so damn good-looking?” she thought and then pushed it out of her mind. This was just her neglected libido paying her a call best to ignore it and move on.

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