Teacher's Pet Complete Series

BOOK: Teacher's Pet Complete Series
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Teacher’s Pet Complete Series




By Avery Phillips


Copyright © 2015 Avery Phillips

All rights reserved.


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This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, actual events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters and names are products of the authors imagination and used fictitiously.


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Part I
Lesson # 1
Life happens when you’re busy making other plans

“I have no idea why I’m here.” -Lynora Minnelli


“So… do you know why I asked you in my office?”

Professor Nora Temple was sitting behind her large oak desk, twisting left to right in her chair, as she tended to do when she had something serious to say. Her office was in complete disarray. For a self-proclaimed neat freak, this was a rarity. Papers were strewn from her desk to the floor, and any remaining space was littered with boxes and other belongings. There was barely any room to move around.

I carefully pulled up a chair, tucked in my legs and stretched my sweatshirt down around my knees. My nerves were on edge. I hadn’t the slightest clue why she would call me into her office. It could be to let me know that I was fired; I'd probably do the same if I were her. Last week, I had fallen asleep in her class while grading test papers for midterms. I was so tired, I just couldn’t help it. To make things worse, I hadn’t even awoken from my slumber until class was already done and over with. The room was completely empty.

Once I realized I had been asleep, I shot up out of my chair, wondering where everybody had gone. It obviously amused Professor Temple, because she laughed so hard she had to sit down in her chair for fear of clutching her stomach and doubling over on the floor. I didn’t think it was that funny, but her laugh was so infectious, I was caught with a case of the giggles myself. Soon, we were both red-faced and busting out laughing like a couple of crazed hyenas on the hunt in the African jungle.

I tried to look as innocent and unknowing as possible as I answered her. “No, I’m sorry. I have no idea why I’m here.” I started picking at a small splinter of wood sticking out of the right arm of the chair I was sitting in.

Professor Temple tucked a stray strand of pin-straight hair behind her ear. It was a layered chestnut brown and cut short in a flat-to-her-face bob. “You seriously have no clue why you're here?”

“Nope.” I squirmed. “Not at all.”

“Well, that’s certainly interesting. Things get around this campus pretty fast these days, so I was sure you would’ve heard the news by now.”

I wrung my sweaty hands, sure that my anxiety was apparent by the dampness on my sleeves.
People know I'm getting fired?
The more I rubbed my hands, the more they seemed to sweat. Embarrassing amounts of moisture were seeping out my pores. “I haven’t heard a thing. Why? Should I have? Is something wrong?”

Professor Temple gazed directly at me and grinned. This confused me even more. Did a person normally grin when they were about to fire someone?

She pushed away from her desk and rolled back in her chair until it touched against the off-white wall behind her. She stood up slowly and straightened the folds of the bright yellow dress that rested on her very swollen tummy.

“Now do you know why?” she said, rubbing her stomach like a proud pregnant woman, which she was.

I was confused. I gave Professor Temple a quizzical look. “Well, I’ve known you were pregnant for months, Professor Temple. Is the baby all right? I mean, it's not coming right now, is it?” I gripped hard on the armrests. I was an economics major, not a doctor. Surely she wasn’t expecting me to help her with that issue.

She wobbled her way toward the front of her desk and sat on the edge, looking uncomfortable. “No, the baby’s not coming, silly, but
I am

“Leaving? You mean for good?”

“I don’t know. It’s possible. I sort of doubt it, me being a workaholic and all. But it’s very possible I could not be returning. I was prescribed to go on leave immediately. Being pregnant and close to forty doesn’t always mix. I’ll be out for the rest of the year, at least. It depends on how I feel, really. You know us old birds can’t recover like a spring chicken. I need some time.”

“Ha! You’re far from an old bird, professor, but I understand.” I wiped my forehead with the back of my hand, feeling relieved. “Whew! For a minute there, I thought you were going to fire me.”

“No, I wouldn't do that, ever. You're the best assistant I've ever had. But…” Her face scrunched up. “If you want the truth, I’ll give it to you.”

“Shit!” I shot my hand over my mouth. “I’m sorry.”

She was amused by my sudden burst of profanity. “No, it’s perfectly okay. I didn’t mean to scare you. What I’m trying to say is whether you continue to be a TA or not is going to be left up to my replacement. I’ve talked to the department chair to see what he could do to try and keep you on, but that’s as far as I could go. And, it’s really not up to him in the first place.”

“Who is it up to, then? Who is your replacement going to be? And, please don’t tell me it’s going to be that guy who subbed for you last year after you caught the flu for a week. Remember? Professor Nijam? He had that weird problem where he had to clear his throat every other word. It took him thirty minutes just to introduce himself. He could hardly get through an hour lecture. He was the worst. It made my throat dry just hearing him try and speak.”

Professor Temple laughed and gave up sitting on the corner of the desk. It seemed she couldn’t find a comfortable position. Not that I would expect her to with a human being growing inside her abdomen. “No, it won’t be Professor Nijam, I assure you. My replacement is a young man, a new and budding professor named Simon Foster. He comes highly recommended from Berkeley and is supposed to be extremely intelligent and charismatic. I’ve also heard he’s a no-nonsense kind of guy and gives out a lot of assignments. He requires class participation, acute focus, that sort of thing. You might have your hands full with this one. So, I thought I would give you fair warning.”

I dropped my head heavily in my hands, rubbing circles around my temples. “I appreciate the warning, professor. I really do. So, when is all of this supposed to go down? When is your last day?”

“Well, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about. Today
my last day.” She swept her hand around the room. “As you can see, I’ve begun to pack up already. I know I told you I wouldn’t leave for another month or so, but it’s gotten difficult for me to get around campus, and my obstetrician is a tyrant. She suggests I get off of my feet as soon as possible and try to relax, or the baby could come sooner than expected.”

“Oh! Well, that’s no good. We wouldn’t want that to happen, but telling me today is pretty short notice, don’t you think?”

“I know it is, and I’m sorry to hit you over the head like this, Lynn. If I could stay as expected, I would. You know that.”

“I do.” I sat back in my chair and eased down into a slouch. I didn’t know what else to say. I was totally unprepared for this to happen. I had known Professor Temple would be leaving soon, but I didn’t know it would be
soon. I thought I had another month or so to prepare, at least. Now I would have to scramble and possibly look for another job just in case something went wrong. In fact, I was almost positive something would go wrong, because with me, it always did.

“Okay.” I stood up and walked around her desk to meet her. I spread my arms wide and gave her a gentle hug. Her perfume had a warm vanilla scent that totally reminded me of my mother. It seemed fitting. “I wish you luck with your birth. I’ll come and visit you if I can scrape together enough change to make it downtown. Do you know what you’re having yet?”

“No, my husband and I decided we wanted it to be a surprise.” Professor Temple hugged me back and then looked me over, head to toe, as if she might never see me again. With my faded black jeans, my old mesh New Balance shoes and my shoulder-length mop of ash blonde hair, I stood as the picture of imperfection.

Professor Temple eased her expanding bottom slowly in her seat, like she was lowering herself in a hot tub of water. “Sorry, I get tired being on my feet after too long. Why are you in such a hurry to leave? Where’s the fire?”

“There’s no fire. I just thought we were done. You seem to have a lot to pack up. Do you need my help?”

“Oh, no thank you. I’ve got it covered, but I’m in no rush at the moment.” She picked up a blue pen and held it between her fingers, tapping on her desk like she was anxious. “Actually, I was wondering something.”


She hesitated just for a second. “Would you like to meet him?”

I backed up a few steps toward my chair and the door. “Meet who?” I responded. But I knew exactly whom she meant.

“Professor Foster. I thought maybe you two could meet early; you know, see how you get along.”

“Um, I’m not sure if that’s a good idea, professor.” My hands began sweating again. I hate surprises. I always have. “I need to get to my other job soon.” I looked at my wrist for a watch I didn’t have. “I’m closing tonight, and I left my key card in the room, so—”

“It’ll only take a second, Lynn. Relax for once.” She pointed to the door. “Can you crack that open a bit for me, please?”

I reached for the door, but I didn’t want to. Mainly because I had a bad feeling he was out there waiting to ruin what was left of my day. I turned the doorknob and pulled until the door barely opened, holding my breath the whole time.

“You can come in now, Simon!” Professor Temple shouted, leaning back in her chair with a one-sided grin.

As the door opened, I caught a glimpse of my best friend, Bobbi, who was sitting across the hall on a bench, waiting for me to leave. Her eyes went wide as she mouthed “oh my God” and cut her eyes hard to her left. I followed the direction of her eyes and saw that sitting on a bench against the opposite wall was a dream of a man who looked nothing as I expected and nothing like I’d seen in real life.

He wasn’t an old fart, fat or graying like most professors. He had a head full of thick, sandy blond hair and looked as trim as the statue of David. He wore an old brown leather rider jacket, blue jeans and boots, with a motorcycle half-helmet cradled in his hand. He brushed past me as he walked in, exuding pure confidence.

“Hi, I’m Professor Foster.” His smile was hypnotic. He had ice-blue eyes––almost devoid of any color—surrounded by a sea of pearly white, with two dimpled crescents on the sides of his face.

He held out his hand expectantly toward me, but I couldn’t bring myself to raise mine and shake it. I was afraid that I would slime him with my cold, nervous sweat and he’d give me a humiliating nickname like Clam Hands or something.

“I, um…” I couldn’t think straight as he held his gaze on me, with his sparkling eyes and shadow of stubble manicured along his well-formed jaw. The words I needed wouldn’t come out my throat. Instead, I made funny noises that sounded more like I was choking.

Professor Temple interjected. “Her name is Lynora Minnelli, but we call her Lynn. It seems my assistant has found herself at a loss for words. It’s an anomaly, I assure you. I’ve never seen that happen to her before now.”

My face warmed with embarrassment and probably turned a deep beet red.

An alluring smile curled along his full lips. “It’s okay. I know it must be a bit of a shock to be told at the last minute she was out of a job. I’d be at a loss for words, myself.”

“What do you mean I’m out of a job?” I blurted. The numbing fog in my head lifted quicker than a rocket. “You’ve already decided? I don’t even get a chance to prove myself to you or anything? How is that fair?” Blood rushed to my face in a strong liquid heat. It went from very warm to perspiration hot. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d gotten so upset so quickly.

“Now, Simon, I’m sure we can come to some agreement that would benefit all concerned,” said Professor Temple.

“I’m sorry, Professor Temple, but I’ve had TAs before, and they don’t work out so well with my style of teaching. I’m very hands-on and involved with my students. An assistant would just get in the way.” He turned to me and had the nerve to keep smiling. “No offense to you, of course.”

BOOK: Teacher's Pet Complete Series
3.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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