Keeping Secrets

By: Kristol Locks

He laughed. “I told him the same thing. He built it two-summer ago. He says it gives him a good workout on the water. He also says Samantha loves it. The great news is that he does not go far in it.”

“I guess-it’s good that he does not go far in it. I think he should use it for firewood.” I was only joking. It was not that bad, but it did not look great.

“Well, it was good seeing you, Charlotte. I guess I’ll see you in class on Monday.”

“I would never miss your class. Anyway, I loved meeting Samantha. And thanks for talking to me, professor.”

As I jogged away, I felt Professor Andrews’s eyes on me. Then I started wondering if I was only imagining him staring at me. So I stopped and turned around to look. I was right. He was kneeling next to Samantha and watching me. I waved, and he waved back. Then I continued on. I knew he wanted me, but getting him to admit that was going to be a challenge.

Chapter 2

He seemed to be speaking more to himself than me. “I am thirty-eight and . . . married.”

I smiled at Professor Andrews. Then I sat sideways on his desk and looked down at him. “What is your point?”

“Charlotte, I have never seen you like this. You have caught me off guard and at a bad time. . .”

I closed his laptop. “I have never wanted anyone like I want you, but I am not here to force you to be with me. . .”

His warm voice seemed to float through the air. “It’s not unusual for a student to have a crush on her professor. I’m flattered, but I am not interested. I want to be clear, Charlotte. I have no interest in you, other than as a student. I am going to forget that this conversation ever happened, and I think you should, too.”

I twisted a strand of my long blonde hair around my finger. “Professor. . .”

He crossed his arms. “Do you not remember what I said to you, last Saturday, at the lake? I told you then to stay away from married men. We are not getting involved with one another. You are one of my students. That’s where things end with me. My advice still stands. Find yourself a nice single man on campus.”

I walked around to the front of his desk and picked up my purse and jacket. Then I took a deep breath in and slowly exhaled out of complete frustration. “I know you feel the chemistry between us.”

“I don’t . . .”

“I see how you look away when you have realized that you have been staring at me in class for too long. Last week, when I helped you pick up the papers you dropped, your hand touched mine. You pulled it away as if you had just touched poison.”

He was now standing. “Charlotte, you are confused. . .”

“I want to have sex with you. I am not confused about what I want.”

Professor Andrews nervously smiled. “You don’t know what you want . . . or how I could hurt you.”

“Hmm. Hurt me? I am hurting now. I have been hurting for a long time. I hurt every-single-time I lie to myself about what I am feeling. And now I am hurting even more, because you are lying to me. So, if you are worried about hurting me, you will tell me the truth. How hard is it?”

His eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. “Charlotte!”

I licked my lips in an attempt to look sexy. “We are adults here.”

“My life is complicated. . .”

“If you think I want to take you away from your wife, you are wrong. We will never belong to each other. I would never want that. I have no desire to take you away from anything.”

He looked confused. “Charlotte, what exactly are you proposing?”

I looked directly at him from across his desk. “I am running out of time. I have six-months left at this university. After graduation, I will be busy climbing the corporate ladder at Jennings and Timberline. . . I am only asking you to be honest with me. You can lie to your wife and the world. I just want you to be honest with me about your feelings. Do you want me? I am proposing that we have sex. And I am talking about doing it right here and right now.”

Professor Andrews put his hand on his forehead and then brought it back down. He was clearly thinking about the possible ramifications of my proposal. “I am going to give you some advice. Stay away from married men. Date single men your own age. Develop a relationship with someone who you care about. See where that goes. Be with someone who can and wants to cherish you.”

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