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Sometimes the forbidden can be too hard to resist. Even for someone like me…
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“I can’t teach jocks.” Elizabeth Parks dropped her bag onto the visitor’s chair in the Principal’s office before pacing back and forth in front of the other woman’s desk
“Why not? It’s not like they’re delinquents. These kids are actually the brightest and the best of the senior class this year. They just happen to be football players.”
“I think it’s rather admirable what they’re doing, I’m very proud of them.” Her words were not having the desired effect on the younger woman. Not that she really expected things to be that easy. But she knew just what approach to take to get the result she wanted, so she kept at it.
“And that Drake kid deserves an award. It’s been a long time since we’ve had one with his kind of spirit and drive around here if ever.” Elizabeth had been hearing that same refrain in some form or another since moving to the small New England town.
Drake Davenport seems to be everybody’s favorite pupil. He’s the star quarterback of the local high school football team, an A plus student, and supposedly he has the manners of a gentleman; something rarely seen in this day and age, especially in someone with his many accolades and accomplishments.
And that was just the half of it. Apparently there was no end to the young man’s good deeds. To hear the locals tell it, whatever there was that could be done, he’s done it bigger and better than anyone else.
And he seemed to have an uncanny ability to excel at everything, so that it was almost impossible for anyone else to surpass him. It was hard to go anywhere in the small town and not hear his name mentioned at least once.
As a newcomer, Elizabeth had never had the honor of meeting him. She taught Grade school in another building on the other side of the school complex. And since she hates sports, she’d never attended a game. So there was no way for the two to ever cross paths.
Plus, she found it hard to believe half the stories that were told about the young man. In her experience, no one can be that perfect or even close to being half the person everyone else was making out this Drake kid to be.
She’d not cared one way or the other, until now. Since she’d seen no need for her to ever have any dealings with the boy, she’d let the stories go in one ear and out the other. But now the high school principal, her friend, seemed ready to throw her into the fray.
“Look at me, I’m five two and they’re all… overgrown.” That was her perception of all football players from what little she knew of them.
“Oh hogwash. You’re more than qualified to teach those kids. Just because you chickened out and went to the grade school instead doesn’t change that fact.”
It’s times likes this that she wished the principal didn’t know her as well as she did. “It’s going to be a breeze. These kids are taking their SAT subject tests this year and just want to be sure they have the right stuff. I think the fact that they’re the ones who took the initiative should tell you that they’re serious and won’t give you any trouble.”
Only a friend would put you in a position like this. She was having anxiety just thinking about it. At twenty-three she was in her first year of teaching. She’d excelled in school and had been offered a teaching post in some of the most well paying districts in the country.
She’d picked this little town not only because the offer was very good, but because she liked the look of the place. Since she had no real family to speak of and had spent the five years before moving here in a dorm, she had no real home to go back to either.
The aunt and uncle she’d lived with, after losing her mom when she was twelve, were only too happy to be rid of the unusual child who was so unlike their own offspring.
While her cousins were like your average teen, staying out all night with friends, getting into things they ought not to. Elizabeth was home in the attic bedroom which had been hers since she moved in, with her nose in a book.
She never felt like she was missing out on anything though, because she preferred walking through life unnoticed. Which wasn’t too hard with her diminutive height and petite frame.
And because she escaped most of the unnecessary notice from the rest of the world, it was easy for her to breeze through life and excel in ways most of her peers could only dream of.
She wasn’t aware of her beauty, or the fact that those who ever truly got a glimpse of that beauty were usually left stymied. But she was usually gone long before they recovered enough to make an approach.