My Uniformed Tiger

By: Riley Moreno

Chapter 1

The school bell went off at three o’clock, to rapturous applause from all the school kids, and also a few staff, signifying the end of the school day. Yuri, calmly waited by her desk, smiling, and nodding to the farewells of the kids as they made their way to, and through the door and into the weekend rest. As usual, there was Tommy Grear, trying to maneuver his way to the side of Stacy Wilkins, no doubt he delighted in walking her home. A similar thing could be seen about to take place throughout the throng, as they unconsciously separated into pairs, and slightly larger groups. Yuri inwardly smiled at this; the observation brought back a lot of fond memories of boys jostling for her attention during, and after school, back in her school days.

“Can I walk you home Ms. Jansen?” a small, unsure voice squeaked around her, dragging her from her reverie. Yuri smiled despite herself. Among all her students, Patrick Dillon was the smallest, yet the bravest. He was petit, smaller than most, but his liquid brown-almost black eyes possessed a depth in them which suggested boldness, and a wisdom that belied his years. He also had a major school crush on his biology teacher Ms. Yuri Jansen. Ms. Yuri smiled when she saw him; she thought his courage made him look even more adorable than he already was.

“Aww Patrick how nice,” she began, squeezing his jaw, “but I have some work to do before I go home and I am sure your uncle will be waiting for you at home, won’t he?” She watched the light die in his eyes with some regret. “But maybe you can help me carry my books to the faculty room.” She added as a consolation.

The light was back in his eyes in an instant, and he scooped her books up in one surprising movement. Sometimes he proved himself far more agile than his small frame suggested. She grabbed his small hands in hers, and made a show of a majestic walk out of the classroom. She did this so as to encourage him against the inevitable calls of teacher’s pet and cry baby that were sure to follow. She thought Patrick cast a heroic figure, chin raised high in defiance, as he carried her books to the faculty room.

Thirty minute later, the halls were a lot more quiet, and the faculty room almost empty. It had been a gloomy day, and she could see through the window that lay ten meters in front of her desk, the overcast sky, stretching forever into the horizon. She hoped the weekend was going to improve, starting with tonight. She had finally agreed to go on a date with David the local bank manager; she was not in love with him no, she found him quite boring in fact-much like this town itself. However, two years after moving to her ancestral home town, she needed something to fill the ever-growing void of loneliness that was encroaching around her heart. She took her time updating her books, there was nothing to rush to except her grandfather whom she lived with, but he was fine. She fancied he could live another 88 years easily.

“Have you heard?” David Cornwall asked over his second wine glass, and across the table at Yuri. They were at the tail end of a delicious meal at a neighborhood restaurant which in Yuri’s opinion was rather classy given its location. It was certainly classier than the name it carried which was The Fighting Claw.

“No, but I am sure you are going to tell me anyway,” Yuri replied sassily. She was on her second glass as well, and was feeling a bit flippant. She also thought that David’s unwitting role play as the village bulletin was a ploy to hide his insecurities. She suspected it was his own way of hiding the fact that he was overwhelmed by her presence in front of him. It was the fifth time that he had piped have you heard? , that evening and despite the fact that she thought him kind of cute, as far as men in the small town went, she had long decided earlier in the evening that this was as far as their association was going to go.

David, having the time of his life, chose to ignore the sassy comment and unwittingly ploughed on in his happy role, “We are expecting an esteemed visitor in our midst sometime next week; a descendant of one of the founding fathers, in fact. It has been more than thirty years since anyone moved into the big mansion in the south end, but that is about to change it would seem.”

Finally some mildly interesting news she thought callously, “you mean the big mansion on the hill that overlooks the entire city?” The house, situated on the highest point for miles in the vicinity, had the uncanny ability to rise highest in the sun, while remaining bleak at the same time. How was that possible? Yuri had thought to herself severally, intrigued, “You mean the house has been bought? By whom?”

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