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AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story takes place sometime in the past. As the reader, I leave it up to you to decide the year…or decade. The story features large age differences and student-teacher dynamic. If this sort of story is not your thing, skip this. For everyone else…please enjoy!
The once balmy air and vibrant, fiery hues of an unusually pleasant Indian summer gave way to the rainy, chilly beast of fall that devoured this particular October Friday in one great gray gulp. The morning and early afternoon started out partly sunny with a light comfortable breeze carrying the delicious scent of nutmeg, cinnamon, and a hint of burning leaves. But by the end of the school day, the cheerful balmy weather gave way to a more somber mist and cold. It was a gnawing, bone-chilling sort of cold.
During the last class of the day at Talcott High, Emily Franzen watched the chilly raindrops chase each other down the window while her English teacher, Miss Tunison, explained the directions on an assignment about writing satire. This last week had been spent reading and discussing “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift. Now each student was supposed to write a satirical poem or short story which would be due on Monday. Satire and homework were the least of Emily’s concerns at the moment. This weekend her parents were out of town, and they weren’t due back home until Monday. As the heavy raindrops fell outside, her mind was in overdrive thinking of the possible ways to spend her free time. And just when she thought she’d go crazy trying to decide what she wanted to do first, the bell rang for dismissal.
Emily Franzen is a gorgeous amber-haired senior. To many people, classmates included, she appeared to be the gregarious cheerleader type overflowing with beauty and school spirit. But deep down, Emily was shy, pensive, and quiet. She preferred books over people. This was a thing she shared in common with Miss Tunison. As she gathered up her belongings and started to leave, her gaze settled on her teacher as if by instinct.
Miss Lillian Tunison is a pragmatic woman; bookish and prim to a fault. At 40 years old, she maintained a perpetually haughty guise which was amplified by her short, impeccably styled hair, modest make-up, and obligatory pearl necklace that accentuated her slender neck. She was never without a light cardigan, and almost always wore the most beautifully tailored dresses and natty dress flats to match. Yes, Miss Tunison certainly fit the image of the classic uptight schoolteacher. As a matter of fact, most of the kids at Talcott referred to Miss Tunison as downright frigid…and that was putting it kindly!
But Emily disagreed with the perception her classmates had of their English teacher. After spending who knows how many days after school with Miss Tunison, helping the teacher grade papers, and sometimes doing homework while they talked, Emily discovered that she and Miss Tunison had quite a bit in common.
They both enjoyed reading short stories and spending countless hours in the library downtown. One Saturday afternoon, Emily discovered Miss Tunison sitting at a table on the third floor of the library in downtown Thatcher Blake. It was during summer vacation, and it turned out to be one of the most memorable afternoons Emily had spent with anybody. Her cheeks went a little flush when she recalled how Miss Tunison whispered aloud an excerpt to her from “The Well of Loneliness” by Radclyffe Hall. She had no idea her otherwise prim and proper teacher read such things! Just the same, Emily felt a sort of closeness develop between them that afternoon while they read together and traded secrets. It was a closeness she’d never felt before with anyone—not even her best friend, Heidi Solverson. Deep down she hoped that she could experience more of that same closeness with her teacher very soon.
She stopped and wished Miss Tunison a good weekend on her way out the door. After a quick stop at her locker, she saw Heidi and asked her what she was doing after school. Heidi is on the varsity cheerleading squad, and tonight there was a football game. Emily heaved a gusty sigh of disappointment. Oh well, she thought. Maybe she’d just stay home tonight and work on her assignments. Besides, the faster she could get her homework done, the faster she could fill up her free time doing fun stuff later.
“Maybe tomorrow afternoon we could head over to the Comet and bowl a few games.” Heidi said. She slung her book bag over her shoulder and slammed her locker shut. “Who knows? Maybe Roy will be there too. I mean—he’ll be too busy to talk tonight and all…”
Yeah, sure. Heidi has been trying to get Royal Hendricks to notice her for ages. Royal is co-captain of the varsity football team. Past that, Emily couldn’t see what was supposed to be so great about him anyway. Boys are so immature and gross! Emily cast a glance down the nearly empty hallway towards the stairwell. The afternoon light cast from the window was gloomy and gray. The rain for now seemed to have Dokuma Escort let up. A drab, boreal mist replaced the rain. From Emily’s perspective, the gray haze obscured most of the outside world. She zipped her jacket up tightly and shrugged, trying to seem indifferent about having to spend this first night of freedom alone doing homework.
“Tomorrow sounds good I guess.” She replied. “I’ll meet you there around four, okay? Well…hope your game doesn’t get rained out!”
The gloom and misty bleakness of fall threatened to devour Emily Franzen in a single bone-chilling gulp. The beautiful 18 year old senior exited the school through a side door and stepped out across the faculty parking lot in the direction of her house.
“Sheesh, it’s so cold out!” She muttered through her teeth. “Wish I would have brought my umbrella—or a sweater!”
With a trembling fist, Emily bunched up the front of her windbreaker. She readjusted the load in her book bag and scrambled down two different side streets before veering off to the right down another.
About a block and a half away from her house, the rain started. Enormous splashes of freezing cold rain fell from the overcast sky, soaking Emily’s hair and clothes. As she jogged through the worst of it, the icy water formed several puddles on the sidewalks and sloshed over Emily’s shoes. She silently cursed herself for choosing to wear knee socks instead of tights to school today. The wind and rain blew up underneath her dress, delivering a kiss of cruel, chilly air across the backs of her bare thighs.
At last Emily made it home! Never before had she been so glad to see that cozy brick two-story house with the large front porch. The other day, her mother set a few potted mums out on the porch. Their vibrant orange and gold petals added a bit of welcome warmth. Emily cracked a smile now as she ran up the porch steps and dropped her book bag to fish out her house key.
“Oh no! Where is it?” Emily gasped. “Don’t tell me I’ve lost my key! I made sure I had it with me this morning!”
The low-grade panic Emily experienced quickly gave way to full blown horror and despair. She emptied her book bag on the porch, not caring that some of her belongings were starting to get wet. She pulled her pencil bag out now, dumping out the contents and scattering things everywhere. Inside there were a few ink pens, a pencil, her favorite lip gloss, and a small hairbrush. Her house key was nowhere to be found. The beautiful senior snatched up the nearly empty book bag. She tossed her English notebook aside and discovered some loose change, but no key. There were a couple dimes and a nickel. Emily fished these out from the bottom of the bag and thought about what to do next.
She could probably use the dimes to call someone, but she’d need to find a pay phone. For what seemed like several minutes, Emily stood there on the porch, staring in the general direction of the nearest street corner and wondering what to do next.
“I guess I’m not too far from the shopping center.” She muttered softly.
Calloway Shopping Center was within a reasonable walking distance, Emily figured. There were a few pay phones outside the Woolworth’s. If she hurried, maybe she could get a hold of Heidi’s parents and ask them to come pick her up. By the looks of things, that football game isn’t likely to start anytime soon! Emily shoved her belongings back into her book bag. With another gusty sigh, she stepped off the porch and headed down the street in the direction of the Calloway Shopping Center.
She stopped for a minute or so and stared up at the sky while the darkened gray clouds rolled along. The icy deluge persisted. Huge cold drops of water splashed Emily’s face and soaked her hair and clothes. But out of the corner of her eye, she saw a familiar sight rolling into view. It was a car, a Plymouth Satellite sedan. And inside that shiny red car was a woman wearing a light colored coat and a rain bonnet.
“Emily Franzen? What a surprise to see you!”
Miss Tunison’s voice sliced through the steady thrumming of rainfall. Her window was rolled down. She motioned for Emily to approach the car, but for some reason, Emily stood where she was. The poor girl looked miserable!
“Why don’t you get in, and I’ll drive you home?” Miss Tunison said. “Goodness, you’re soaked! Where’s your umbrella?”
Miss Tunison was about to say something else when a sudden loud sob burst from Emily’s mouth. The beautiful teen’s body was trembling as the straps from her book bag slipped from her shoulder. Now the bag hit the rain soaked sidewalk with a dull thud. Its bulky form rested against Emily’s legs.
“My-my parents are gone for the weekend, and I-I lost my house key!” Emily wailed. God, this was so embarrassing, Emily thought. But it’s the truth. She hated that Miss Tunison was seeing her like this; scared, desperate, and totally embarrassed. Miss Tunison appeared to be genuinely concerned.
“Well, why don’t you get Dokuma Escort Bayan in?” The teacher said. “I just stopped by the A&P to pick up a few things before I saw you. You could have dinner at my house while we figure out what to do next.”
Emily picked up her book bag and got in the passenger seat of Miss Tunison’s car. She’d never been in a teacher’s car before. To Emily, it felt kind of weird and awkward to sit in Miss Tunison’s car. It was like she was invading her teacher’s personal space even though she was invited to do so. As soon as Emily closed the door, Miss Tunison started driving without saying a word to her student.
After several minutes of listening to the monotonous ‘swish, swish’ of the windshield wipers, Emily thanked her teacher for offering her a ride. A demure little smile crossed the English teacher’s lips. Funny. Even with that plastic rain bonnet, Miss Tunison looked so polished and refined.
“My first name is Lillian.” Miss Tunison said. “Since you’re the first dinner guest I’ve had in quite a while, we might as well drop the formalities. But remember that I am still Miss Tunison while you are at school.”
“That’s-that’s a very pretty name…” Emily said as her voice trailed off. She really meant it too.
“Thank you. It’s my mother’s name too.” Miss Tunison said.
They drove through solid sheets of gray water and staccato bursts of lightning. By now, it had gotten so dark outside that the streetlights had come on. After several more minutes of almost silent driving, the car pulled up to a lovely Queen Anne style house with large attic windows and a wraparound porch. It was such a grand and glorious house—just the sort of house Emily imagined a woman as prim and graceful as Miss Tunison to have.
“This is really your house?” Emily asked incredulously.
“You seem surprised.” Miss Tunison replied. “Do you think that all of your teachers live at school?”
They got out of the car, and Miss Tunison took her bag of groceries out of the trunk. She made a motion for Emily to go on ahead of her while she got her house key ready to open the back door. Once they were inside, Emily looked around. She smiled in silent approval at the quaint coziness of the rooms. Miss Tunison set her bag of groceries on the kitchen counter. She took off her rain bonnet and coat, disappearing for a few seconds into another room.
Emily set her book bag down on the floor and started to unzip her windbreaker when Miss Tunison returned and started putting away the groceries she bought.
“You can take your jacket off and drape it over one of the kitchen chairs.” She said. Her back was facing Emily when for some reason, the beautiful teen unzipped the right side pocket and stuck her hand inside.
“Oh—oh, no!” Emily wailed.
The second she reached inside that pocket, a familiar cold metal object brushed against Emily’s fingers. She grasped the object and discovered the house key she thought she’d lost.
“Is something wrong, Emily?” Miss Tunison asked.
The older woman turned around now to face her student who was blushing and looking very upset.
“Well…I see that you’ve found your key.” She said brightly. “That’s good!”
Emily cast her eyes down at her feet.
“Yes, that is good, I guess.” She said softly. “So I guess that means that I should probably get going…”
Emily zipped up her windbreaker and started to pick up her book bag when Miss Tunison stopped her.
“Emily…gracious, you’re still soaked from all that walking in the rain.” The older woman said. “Let me find you some dry clothes to put on. I did invite you to dinner! While we’re eating, I can put your wet clothes in the dryer.”
Emily slowly peeled off her rain soaked windbreaker. Miss Tunison took her house key and set it in a safe spot on the kitchen counter. That was when Emily realized how soaked she really got during her trek through the rain. Her skin felt cold and clammy, and the ends of her thick amber hair were still dripping.
“Are you—sure about that—Miss Tunison?” Emily stammered through chattering teeth.
“Yes, I am sure about that, Emily.” Miss Tunison replied. “And we are not at school right now. Call me Lillian. Come on, dear. Follow me.”
For a second or two, Emily’s eyes locked with Miss Tunison’s, and in an instant, she was frozen in a strange cocoon of ardor. A strange sort of shrillness radiated through the beautiful teen’s body, leaving a rush of very pleasant warmth in its wake. She barely nodded her assent through her shivers.
Emily followed Miss Tunison through the house, up the stairs, and to a tidy master bedroom containing the usual feminine touches. The room itself had a cheery sort of warmth and order right down to the floral linens on the bed and the porcelain lamp beside the alarm clock. This entire space—like the rest of the house—smelled strongly of fresh herbs and old linens and books as though everything had been pulled from an attic someplace. Escort Dokuma Miss Tunison went over to the window, pulling the shade and closing the curtains before turning on the lamp next to the bed.
“Hmm…I think I have something that just might fit you in the dresser.” She said. Miss Tunison pulled out the bottom drawer and started going through the contents until she found what looked like an old t-shirt and some sweatpants.
“Here, Emily. Put these on for now.” She said.
She tossed the clothes at the beautiful teen who stood there shivering in silence. From another drawer, Miss Tunison fished out a pair of thick socks.
“Do you—need any help—with dinner?” Emily asked. She was trying her hardest to control her shivers, but it was nearly impossible. Miss Tunison shook her head and smiled faintly at her student.
“I’m going to go downstairs now and start fixing dinner.” She said. “Just bring your wet clothes with you when you’ve finished changing, okay?”
The bedroom door closed behind Miss Tunison, and Emily thought she heard her teacher say something about not touching anything as she heard the older woman’s footsteps fade away down the stairs.
Emily Franzen was alone in Miss Tunison’s bedroom! For a few precious seconds, the beautiful teen let her eyes wander around, but not for too long. Her shivers were becoming too much to bear! She quickly pulled off her damp clothes, leaving only her panties on before slipping into the clothes Miss Tunison gave her. As soon as Emily pulled the t-shirt over her head, she hugged herself in relief. She could tell that the clothes were freshly laundered, but more importantly they were dry and extremely comfortable.
Emily stepped over to the dresser mirror, catching sight of her reflection. For a second or two she tried to assess her appearance. For the most part, her hair had dried and returned to its usual glossy dark amber sheen. On the other hand, her skin looked a little pale and clammy. Her lips still quivered from occasional bursts of shivers. She glanced down at the t-shirt Miss Tunison gave her. It was a faded out blue color, but otherwise the shirt was in very good condition.
Emily turned away from the dresser and was about to gather up her wet clothes when something caught her eye. It was on the night stand next to the bed. The object positively called to her—almost daring her to go over and investigate further, and so she did. That was when she found it; that copy of “The Well of Loneliness” Miss Tunison was reading in the library during summer vacation. Emily remembered when she asked her teacher to read some of it to her. To this day, she wondered why Miss Tunison obliged. Her prim and proper teacher didn’t bat an eye. A sudden rush of warmth radiated from the space between Emily’s legs when she heard Miss Tunison whisper aloud:
“Our love may be faithful even unto death and beyond—yet the world will call it unclean.”
And now something else caught Emily’s attention. A warm, welcome, and savory aroma wafted up from downstairs and filled the beautiful girl’s nostrils. She wondered how Miss Tunison managed to get dinner cooking so fast, but she didn’t really care. She was hungry and whatever her teacher was cooking smelled absolutely amazing! She snatched the book off the nightstand and gathered up her wet clothes and headed downstairs.
Emily set the book on the coffee table in the living room, and then with her wet clothes bundled up in her arms, she walked into the kitchen where her teacher was. Miss Tunison’s back was facing her. The older woman was busily cutting up cucumbers for a salad.
“Miss—um—Lillian…where would you like me to put these?” Emily referred to the bundle of damp clothes in her arms.
“Why don’t you set them on the floor by the basement door?” Miss Tunison faced her student and pointed to a nearby door. “Dinner should be ready in about ten minutes.”
The sight of Miss Tunison standing there and staring suddenly made Emily feel very self-conscious. The beautiful teen went over to the basement door and found an empty laundry basket where she unceremoniously dumped her clothes. This is so embarrassing, Emily thought. Here I am standing in my English teacher’s kitchen dressed in old clothes like a ragamuffin while she looks so…stunning!
It was true. Fridays are designated spirit days at all the high schools in Thatcher Blake. This meant that students were encouraged to wear school colors, cheerleaders and football players could wear their uniforms, and teachers could dress a little more casually provided they chose something with the school colors. But Miss Tunison preferred to look professional no matter what day of the week it was. Today she wore a beautifully tailored print dress which stopped just above her knees. She paired this with a light colored cardigan and the usual string of pearls around her slender neck. The dress was one of Emily’s favorites. She remembered telling Miss Tunison how pretty it was the first time she wore it.
“Is something wrong, Emily?” Miss Tunison asked. “You look like you’re upset about something.”
“Oh—no—um…” Emily’s voice trailed off. An unmistakable awkward sort of silence filled the kitchen for a few seconds, and then it seemed like the older woman made the connection.
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