When I lost my job at the bank, I wasn’t too worried. I assumed something else would come up soon. I called around, searched the want ads, and surfed the net. It seemed as though nothing was available, at least not for someone with my limited experience. A month went by, then two – my savings were running out quickly, as the rent on my Chicago apartment was astronomical.
One bleak afternoon, after another unsuccessful day of job-hunting, I got a phone call from my mother. She knew about my situation, and I could tell she was trying to refrain from saying “I told you so.” She’d thought I was crazy to move to the big city. At any rate, she told me the high school in my old hometown had a job opening. Not a high paying position, at all – but it was something. And best of all, there was a nice little apartment available in Miss Satcher’s building that I could get for a song. I did remember Miss Satcher, didn’t I?
I thought back to my high school days. I had been a timid girl, smart but terribly shy. Miss Satcher was the only teacher who seemed to understand me. My day was spent looking forward to her art class, or wishing I was still in it. She would let me sit alone in the corner, drawing or painting with watercolors. She didn’t force me to join groups and make presentations like the other teachers did. Often she’d tiptoe up behind me, to catch a peek at my work. I remembered the way I would first become aware of her presence – by the warmth of her body. I’d feel her gentle breathing on my neck, a stray lock of hair brushing against my cheek. I secretly reveled in those moments when Miss Satcher was so close. She was late twenties or early thirties, with a gentle round figure. She may not have caught the eye of the men, but her smile sent sensations reeling through me that I didn’t know how to explain. Before leaving my small Indiana town, I’d never heard of women being attracted to other women. All I knew back then was that I lived for those moments of closeness.
My mother’s phone call set me to thinking. I was desperate for money, and to be honest, the city just wasn’t my cup of tea. I longed for the quiet tree lined streets of my younger days. The next day, after I had nearly depleted my bank account with yet another rent payment, I decided to call up the principal at my old high school. Just to see what the job would entail. He was happy to hear from me.
“Did your mother tell you about the position? She mentioned you were looking, and I knew you’d be perfect for it,” he explained. “It’s a straight clerical job, lots of paperwork, requires someone who can work well alone. I know you’re efficient, and responsible. I’d be willing to hire you immediately!”
I was taken aback, but I guess he remembered my fairly good grades. He didn’t come right out and say so, but I figured my anti-social behavior in high school had helped convince him I was suitable for the job. He named a salary, and I almost balked at the figure. It wasn’t even half what I had made at the bank – but I knew that it would cover the rent I’d have to pay with plenty left over. It seemed I had no choice. I told Mr. Barrett I’d take bursa escort bayan it, and that I’d be available to start in two weeks.
The two weeks flew by. Closing up loose ends in Chicago went so smoothly, I was beginning to think this move was ordained. I couldn’t believe how quickly I found myself back in my old hometown, starting to settle in. The apartment lease was signed on Friday, I moved in over the weekend, and I started my new job the next Monday.
Mr. Barrett welcomed me that morning, and had me train with one of the secretaries. The work seemed like it would be easy for me – just processing lots of paperwork. Soon, it was lunchtime, and the secretary said a bit too brightly, “I know you remember where the cafeteria is!” She obviously wanted to be left alone for her lunch hour.
Heading for the cafeteria, I wondered if I’d run into Miss Satcher. Was her hair still the same auburn – or would it have grayed? Would her face be wrinkled? It was only ten years since I’d seen her, but it felt much longer. I wondered if she would remember me. Grabbing a tray, I headed for the lunch line. Standing at the counter, I sensed the familiar presence…a warmth behind me. Turning, I saw that sure enough, she was there. She smiled, took my hand and pressed it between her fingers.
“How are you, Amy? I’m so glad to see you again. I was thrilled when Principal Barrett told me you’d be working with us. You always were one of my favorite students!” Her smile was the same as it always was. There were a few more lines around her mouth, and a few more gray hairs – but I was disconcerted to feel she still had the same effect on me. However pleasant her nearness made me feel, it surely wasn’t proper for me to entertain such thoughts.
Her softness lingered in the air, and I felt it close against me – even as her hand still pressed against mine. I looked down, and noticed faint traces of paint on her fingertips. I smiled back at her. “Miss Satchel, I am so happy to be here. I am doing fine, glad to know you’re still teaching here.”
A gentle flush spread over her skin. “My dear, you must call me Emily now. No need to be calling me Miss! Would you sit with me for lunch in the teacher’s lounge? I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to these past … what is it, nine, ten years?”
I agreed, and after we filled our trays, we walked together to the lounge. Miss Satcher – Emily now – glided gracefully along beside me. I felt so awkward next to her, like a teenager again. My tongue was tied. I wanted to ask her a dozen questions, questions about her I’d never thought of asking when I was her student. I knew I wanted to hear about her life – her likes, interests, outside of this school building.
She kept up a steady stream of conversation though, and I didn’t really have to worry about coming up with things to talk about. She seemed to think me an old friend, despite my reserve. My eyes were focused on her face, so animated. In spite of what she’d said earlier about catching up on my news, it was she that caught me up with the community happenings. She seemed to be so grateful to have someone bursa bayan escort to talk to. Was it possible she didn’t have many friends among the other teachers? Hard for me to believe, with her gentle kindness.
We spent our lunch chatting. Or rather, she spent it chatting. I spent it observing her. An occasional word to let her know I was still interested in the conversation was all the encouragement she needed. She intoxicated me. I watched her mouth – her lips were thin, but soft. Her skin was smooth – sprinkled with freckles. Bold, intelligent blue eyes would have dominated her face if not for the glasses she wore. And the gentle turn of her nose made me want to kiss it. I started a bit in my chair, unnerved at the thought I’d just had. Wanting to kiss Miss Satcher’s nose – was I daft? But indeed, as I listened and watched, I recognized that what I’d felt for her in the past was still there. And more disturbing, I recognized the feeling for what it was.
Too soon, lunch was over, and I knew I had to return to my desk. Emily had offered to help me settle in to my apartment. My place was right over hers. I wasn’t sure I’d be comfortable with her appraising my things – but I also knew I could use her decorative touch. I suggested we get together on the weekend, so she could give me advice. I thought I’d need the time to sort out my feelings toward her.
The afternoon was as uneventful as the morning. My workdays would be rather boring, but I didn’t mind. I figured my lunches with Emily would be the highlight of my day. And indeed, each day that week we ate together. Gradually I became more talkative around her, sharing some of my experiences in Chicago. She knew exactly how to draw me out of my shell. She was so patient, and unassuming, that I was beginning to think of her less as my old teacher and more as a close friend. The closest I’d had in a long while. We even walked back and forth to the school together. Her companionship was welcome after years spent being lonely.
As the weekend approached, I looked forward to our planned evening. On Thursday I’d cleaned as best I could around the few boxes I hadn’t had time to unpack. We walked home together that Friday afternoon, and she stopped by her place to change. I hopped up the steps to my apartment. Inside, I took the chicken I would be baking out of the fridge. I was fairly worried that Emily wouldn’t like my cooking. I’d never been good at it. After seasoning the meat as best I could, I slid the pan into the oven, then set some vegetables on to boil.
I heard her knock at the door. After letting her in, I joked with her about the state of my apartment, and my lack of cooking skills.
“Amy, you should know that doesn’t bother me, my dear. I’ve got enough talent in those areas for the both of us.” Her grin was infectious, and I found my heart doing a little skip in my chest. She looked wonderful – she was wearing a casual skirt and fitted sweater. Her hair hung loosely about her shoulders. The feelings I’d been experiencing around her all week hadn’t diminished.
I showed her around bursa merkez escort my small place, and she immediately started to make suggestions. A picture here, a few candles there – it was amazing what she could do. The rooms began to take on a whole different ambiance. Soft and romantic, just like her. I cursed myself for thinking about her that way. Emily had never married, but I had no reason to believe it was because she preferred women. In fact, my guess was she’d be shocked if I made good on my impulse to kiss the tip of her nose.
After an hour spent together laughing and generally enjoying one another’s company, we sat down to eat the dinner I’d tried to prepare. It actually wasn’t bad, for me. Emily just chuckled at the dry chicken and overcooked vegetables. “I can see I’ll be doing the cooking from now on,” she said, and I stared at her. Surely, she wasn’t thinking along the same lines I was. But I was starting to wonder. She had lit candles for the dinner table, and put on some soft jazz in the background. If a man had done such things, I wouldn’t question his intent. But Miss Satcher?
We managed to polish off the food, despite its less than gourmet status. When she stood up to take her dishes to the sink, I protested. “Let me take care of that, Emily, after all the help you’ve given me.”
“Nonsense, young lady. I won’t be treated like an old woman, you hear? Now you wash, and I’ll dry.” I couldn’t argue with her, so side-by-side we stood at the sink. She poked a little more fun at my cooking, and gently slapped my backside with the towel. I played along and blew some bubbles from my soapy hand at her. We giggled like schoolgirls. Some bubbles lingered on her nose, and I reached out with my dry hand to wipe them off. After feeling her skin, I couldn’t resist – my hand moved of its own accord to her cheek. I caressed her skin with the back of my knuckles. My eyes watched her face closely.
Emily’s eyes were large. I reached up with my other hand to take her glasses off. I could barely believe my boldness. I gazed at her as my fingers touched her cheek, her chin, her lips. She didn’t stop me. Her eyes closed, her lashes fluttering. Her hand reached up to mine, holding it against the side of her face. She pressed her fingers against mine like she had a mere five days ago. But this time, it was different.
She opened her eyes, and I knew it would be ok. What I read in those eyes made me lean forward – and brush my lips across her nose. I felt her breath on my neck. My lips traced their way down to her mouth. Sliding my fingers into her hair, I kissed her gently. Her arms went around me, and we clung together, our lips and bodies touching. I broke our kiss, only to move my mouth to her neck. I tasted her shoulders, back up to her jaw line, brushed her ears, and caressed her temple with my kisses. Emily moaned almost imperceptibly.
We stayed there, for what seemed hours. Our lips and tongues finding and tasting each other. My hands rubbing her back, her shoulders, her arms. The clock struck ten, and I started. The mood broke, and she stepped away from me slightly. I was terrified – terrified that she wouldn’t want this – that she wouldn’t want me. I trembled, waiting for her to speak. She just stood there, her lovely long hair tousled – her clothes snug around her body. She just stood there, and looked at me. Finally, she spoke.
“You were worth the wait – every moment of it.”