When you fall in love with your teacher, that's taking a chance. When your teacher falls in love with you, that's taking it to a whole new level.
Taking a deep breath, Ken squeezed my hands again. “Open it.”Nervous, curious, I peeled off the wrapping paper.It was, in fact, a book. It was the book of Keats’s poems that he’d taught us from. Reaching out a hand that I suddenly noticed was trembling, he opened it to the title page, where I saw three inscriptions, including one in handwriting that I knew very, very well. He tapped that, and I read it: To Allison,A glorious student with the soul of a teacher.A thing of beauty is a joy forever: Your beauty (inner and outer) has brought me to life again.Ken “Ken?” I looked up from the book, unsure what to make of it.His face was flushed. “My senior year in high school, my English teacher gave it to me.” He tapped her inscription, which was small and flowing, and then tapped the other one, which was blockier. “Her English teacher had given it to her.”“Oh.” Disappointment settled heavily on me.He took my hand. “When John gave Dana this book,” he said, his warm voice sounding strained and thin, “he became… her lover. Her first lover. And when she gave it to me, she became mine.”Where I had felt crushed under a leaden weight, now I felt as if I were made of air. Drowning in air. Air and flame. “Ken?”He grunted. “Don’t… It doesn’t… There’s no obligation….” He stopped and stared at me, his gaze dark and even more piercing than it had ever been in class.“Ken,” I asked, “what do you want?”His eyes widened and his lips moved, but he couldn’t speak.“Name it, Ken. What do you want?”“You,” he said as if it took him an enormous effort. His eyes were locked on mine. “I want you, Allison.”My middle turned to goo, but I needed to finish this. “What… what’s in the way?”“Your age,” he grunted. “Our… school relationship.” [...]Nervousness fluttered through me, but I pushed on before it could overwhelm me: “Well, Ken. What are you going to do… to get what you want?”He answered me without words, raising his free hand to my face and pulling me in for a kiss.I had been dreaming about that kiss literally for years. You wouldn’t have thought it possible for it to live up to my expectations.It did.With Lucas, kissing had been a kind of a dance: I do this, then you do that, and where do I put my hands again?There was no uncertainty in kissing Ken, no dance. His mouth was warm. His body was solid and completely present. His arms engulfed me, and I knew where I was, and I felt utterly, completely safe.We lay there kissing for what must have been a long time — until my lips were beginning to feel raw, though I had no interest in stopping.We talked. He told me that he hadn’t had had another sexual partner in a very long time [...] and that he’d had a vasectomy, but that I shouldn’t just trust him, that he had condoms.I laughed and told him no. Told him I trusted him.He nodded and talked some more. Saying that there was no hurry. We could take our time. He was very serious, even in his joking.But I was only happy. And my body heard his. And so words seemed secondary.
Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.