I think the part that I find, or found, most amazing about the entire ordeal was that we didn't get caught. Not that we thought we weren't going to get caught; I'm sure the both of us went through our separate (or not so separate) bouts of paranoia throughout the entire thing. But no one ever inquired into what I thought was a blatantly obvious relationship, and no one ever asked me why we were so close, or why we always went home together. Not once.
Roxas has to be one of the most amazing people (not children, people) I've ever met. Not only is he ridiculously mature for his age, but he somehow managed to lodge himself into my life, and I haven't been able to dislodge him ever since. Of course, that would imply that I tried to dislodge him, and that would be a lie. I was, and still am, perfectly content with our relationship. I'd even go as far as saying I'm happy; something that happens far too rarely.
Anyway, back to what I had planned on saying. The rest of his freshmen year went by very quickly, but there was only one month left, so that's hardly saying anything. What scared me was how quickly he went from being a young, innocent 14-year-old boy to a…senior. Not that his high school status made me love him any less; it was just interesting to see the way that age, power, and our relationship effected him as a person. There was hardly any change.
In the seventh month of his senior year, Roxas shared with me while we were sitting on the porch of our newly purchased lake house that, at the graduation ceremony after school got out (and, conveniently, a mere week after his eighteenth birthday) he wanted to share with his friends and my colleagues the "news" of our relationship. Naturally, I abhorred this idea, telling him that I would most likely lose my job and respect in the teaching community. He informed me that, over the last four years, those were the two things that I felt were most disposable. After all, he said, I would always have him.
So, despite my better judgment, I finally agreed. He had happily thrown himself into my arms and nuzzled my neck so much that I was sure he wouldn't be able to pull himself away, even if he wanted to. He had thanked me repeatedly (despite how much I told him to stop) and had further expressed his gratitude later that night. So maybe it wasn't a such a bad idea. That is, until the actual day arrived. June 31st.
"Axel!" The call resounded through the entire cottage, coming from his bedroom; the only purpose it served was to store all of his things that couldn't be squeezed into my room.
"What?" I yelled back, setting down my book and standing up in anticipation of having to help him with something.
"How do you get this dumb thing on? I can't figure it out! Come help me!!!" The last part came out as a childish whine, and I couldn't help but grin, quickly weaving my way through the halls and into his room. He was standing there, in a wife beater and his boxers, looking distressed.
"Roxas." I said and walked over to him, picking up the black gown from the floor and unzipping it. "Its really not that difficult."
"Well when's the last time you had to put one of these things on?" He whined again, allowing me to slip it over his head and zip it up behind him. God, he looked great.
"A decade ago. But let's stop talking about how old I am, and start talking about how excited you should be." He turned around and, without warning, threw himself against my chest, wrapping his arms around my waist.
"I'm not excited, I'm nervous. I was excited on the last day of school. Now I'm just…ugh. What happens if I get you fired? Or like, sent to jail or something? Or what if they call me to get my diploma, and I trip and fall on my face?" He looked up at me with his huge, deep blue eyes and pouted.
"And what if none of that happens and you do perfectly well?" I countered, smile steadily becoming wider. "Plus, no one ever said we have to tell them we slept together. Just that we are together." I shrugged to emphasize my point. "Everything's going to be fine."
He groaned and pressed his face back against my chest, and I stroked his hair. "Don't worry, Roxy." I whispered. "All you have to do is walk across a stage, take a diploma, shake someone's hand, and then the after party. It'll be fine. You'll be fine."
"Yeah, yeah." He mumbled, then slowly and reluctantly pulled away. "Well, I'd better start getting ready. Shoo." With that, he waved me out the door.
"Why do I have to leave?" Now it was my turn to pout, but he was entirely unmoved.
"Because seeing me in my graduation outfit now is like seeing a bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony. Out."
"Does this mean we're taking separate cars?"
He sighed in mock frustration, but smiled anyway. "No. We're taking the Ferrari."
Ah, the after party. In case, dear reader, you're wondering, the graduation went like every other graduation since the beginning of mankind; long, boring, and flawless. Well, boring save for the part that Roxas walked onto the stage and received his diploma. That part I enjoyed. He, on the other hand, was more than eager to leave his friends and head over to the party. Naturally, I was more than happy to oblige.
Now I was standing on the edge of this overly crowded room, talking to students who would be moving onto college and offering my thanks and ignoring those whom I never taught. Roxas said that he wanted to wait until he had an opportunity to get all of his friends alone, as not to be disturbed by anyone he didn't want to have this information. Some high school rivalries just never died.
It didn't take very long for he and his small, more intimate group made their way over to me, all smiles and cheer.
"Professor!" He called, and I grinned at him. We had been playing this game for four years; what's one more day?
"Roxas, Naminé, Sora…" I looked between all three of them, and despite the fact that I was not one for these types of occasions, I couldn't prevent the swell of loss the rose inside me. "Its been a good four years, has it not?"
As if on command, Naminé's lower lip began to tremble, and I could see years forming in her eyes. It wasn't very long before she had thrown her arms around me, a small difference in our heights because of her heels, and was crying into my shoulder.
"Professor!" She wailed. "I'm going to m-miss you s-so much!" I hugged her lightly, making sure not to be too intimate (I still had an image to preserve, as outlandish as that seemed). Sora hesitantly stepped forward and placed a hand on her shoulder, and Roxas hung back, his clear displeasure showing on his face. I smiled reassuringly at him, even though we both knew he had absolutely nothing to worry about.
It took about five minutes to dislodge Naminé from around my waist, but we (meaning Sora and I) were finally able to get her to let me go. She came away, eyes red and sniffling, apologizing for not being able to control herself.
"Its okay." I said, patting her shoulder. "I'm going to miss all you guys, too."
Sniffle. "You-you're just such a good art teacher and…I kn-know that my college professor won't be as g-good as you."
"Why thank-you, Naminé." I turned from her, to Sora, then to Roxas, and my smile instinctively grew wider. He smiled back at me, then stepped forward and wrapped his arms around my waist and buried his face in my shoulder. Almost as expected, neither Naminé nor Sora thought this odd.
"We're all going to miss you." He muttered, and I could hear the satisfaction behind his words that he would be seeing me very, very shortly.
"And I'm going to miss you all." I replied softly, hugging him tightly for the briefest of moments. It was quiet for a moment before Sora spoke up.
"So Roxas," He said as the blonde was pulling away from me. "You said there was something you wanted to tell us?"
"See? Didn't I say that it was a good idea?" We were leaving the party, mere minutes after sharing our long held secret with Roxas's friends. It had actually gone pretty well; neither of them seemed too shocked. Naminé even said that she had thought something was going on, but she was too polite to ask anyone. Sora had just shrugged and said that pretty much everyone in the class had seen it coming, but he was glad Roxas had told him anyways.
"You said that it wasn't a bad idea." I replied, smiling softly and holding Roxas's hand with the one that I currently wasn't using on the steering wheel.
"Same difference." He muttered, rubbing the pad of his thumb against the back of my hand. "Did you have a good time?"
"I asked first." I couldn't help but laugh; four years, and we were still together. Sure, we had a rather odd relationship, but we were both happy. That wouldn't change when he went to college, would it?
"I had a good time…at the party." I confessed, turning onto my ridiculously long driveway off the freeway.
"You didn't have fun at the graduation?"
"Axel." I laughed again.
"Graduations, for me, are rather boring. However, I must admit, I rather enjoyed watching you get your diploma. I don't think I've seen you smile that much since I told you that you weren't my 'boy toy'." I scowled a little at the term, but his airy laughter quickly put a smile back on my face.
"Good. And to answer your questions, I did have a good time. At both the graduation and the party."
"Told you so."
Anyone else would probably ask themselves, where do we go from here? Well, I'm not anyone else. I never have been, and I probably never will be.
I know that Roxas loves me, and I know that Roxas knows that I love him. I obviously supported his decision to attend Rochester University, his decision to double-major with the hopes of continuing on to medical school, and most definitely his decision to continue living with me.
After that, we did what almost any other couple would do. We vacationed very frequently at Roxas's request, because he said that he loved traveling to exotic places with me (his reasoning was that every time we came home, he somehow felt closer to me. I never complained.). I quit my job at the art school, both of us knowing that the loss of income would hardly hurt the bank account that we now shared. We lived, loved, and laughed together. And we always will.