Garry set down his stack of graded papers and let out a sigh of satifaction. He looked at the wall clock behind him with a grin. It was six 'o' clock and he could go home already. Sure- he loved his job. Becoming a teacher was one of the best things he had ever done. But Garry loved the days when he could go home and not go straight to bed. He didn't know what he would do, but it was nice to know he could do something. With a chuckle he packed up his things and set off for the front entrance. The soft pitter patter of rain could be heard through out the building, and as the man neared the large double doors, he could hear another pitter patter. The distinct sound of shoes tapping on the tile. It was a soft sound- but there was a rhythm. Pacing.
"Hey. Why are you still here? Do you not have an umbrella?" He called once he saw that it was a student pacing. She turned to face him, startled.
"Oh. Hello Sensei. Yeah. I didn't watch the forecast this morning." Her voice was soft and pleasing to the ears.
"Ib, you should really bring an umbrella everyday. Did you call and ask your parents to come pick you up?" He chided with a small grin. The small brunette was in one of his english classes, always quiet and courteous. She's such a nice girl. Shy as they come though. It's concerning that she has no friends.
"I know sensei. Uh, no. My parent's… They're not going to pick me up if I ask." She sighed as she sheepishly scratched the back of her neck.
"Why not? Don't they know you can't walk home in weather like this? It's dangerous." Garry inquired with slight frustration. She was a good kid, even if she made mistakes and forgot things sometimes. She smiled weakly and held up her palms.
"It's not like that Sensei, they are not punishing me. Mother and Father are in France at the moment at an art exhibition." Ib explained with a small laugh. He inwardly breathed a sigh of relief.
"Okay. Come on- I'll drive you home."
"You don't have to do that. I can just wait until the rain stops. Thank you for the offer though."
Does she think she bothers people? Does she think they don't want to be around her?
"It's supposed to go on through the night. What are you going to do, sleep here? Trust me, it's no problem." He insisted. She flicked her eyes down towards the floor and nodded.
"Alright Sensei. Thank you."
The car ride was long and uncomfortable. An awkward silence hung between the two, interrupted only by the sound of windshield wipers and the occasional 'Turn here'. Garry's growing concern began to reach it's peak as he neared the house. How long will her parents be gone? Do they leave her often? Doesn't anyone visit her or make sure she's alright? His thoughts rushed with every heartbeat as he stole sullen glances at the girl in the passenger's seat beside him.
"Sensei." He was startled out of his slight stupor when Ib suddenly spoke.
"Hmmm?" Garry hummed questioningly.
"That is it." She said quietly- gesturing to the humble two story home outside of her side window. The neighborhood seemed quiet enough- but the man still didn't feel comfortable leaving her all alone.
"Will you be alright Ib? By yourself I mean. Doesn't it bother you?" It was a slow and steady stream of words that slipped from between his lips. " I'm a bit worried about you. I don't like alone you are."
"But sense-" She began to interject- but she was cut off by her teacher continuing his tangent.
"I'm not just talking about you being left at home- you seem to always be by yourself. Do you even have friends to make useless small chat with? Why are you so isolated? I really hope you aren't a victim of bullying. Is that what it is? Are the other students bullying you? You can talk to me Ib, and we can fix it. You don't have to be so alone." He wasn't even really talking to her at that point, he was just vocalizing his concerned thoughts.
"Don't worry about me sensei. I am not being bullied and I actually choose not to have friends. I'm okay with being by myself- because I like it." Ib said quietly with a weak grin. She gently rested a hand on the man's shoulder. "Would you like to come in for tea? It's the least I can do to repay you for your kindness." Garry's gaze bore into her crimson eyes as he tried not to pull her into a tight embrace.
"I would love to."
Garry knew that what he was doing was completely inappropriate. Just driving her home could have gotten him in deep trouble. But he couldn't resist her pleading, lonely eyes when she had asked him to come inside.
"Is there a certain kind of tea that you like most Sensei?" Ib questioned politely as she led him to the quaint living room in the middle of the house.
"Uh, green tea if you have it." He answered shakily. He was nervous- and he had every reason to be. She grinned brightly.
"Okay, I'll be right back then. Please- make yourself comfortable." The girl chimed before scampering towards what could only have been the kitchen.
Garry let out a troubled sigh once she was out of his sight. She's so sweet and kind and cute. Why doesn't she have… Wait. Cute? No, well yes, but no… What are you thinking?! You cannot think of your student as cute. No matter how cute they are. Especially when you are alone with them. At their house. While their parents are out of the country… Nope. He internally argued with himself as he waited. Each moment made the man grow fonder of Ib, and his concern began to overwhelm him. What am I going to do?
"Ow… " Came a small cry and then a hiss from the kitchen.
"Ib? Are you alright?" Garry called. He could hear water running, and what sounded like a sniffle.
"Yes sensei. I am fine." The waver in her voice could be heard even from the other room. He stood up and navigated his way to where she was and knew immediately that she was crying.
"Ib, what happened?" He asked quietly after rushing to her side. He could see that she was holding her small, red hand under the water gushing from the sink faucet.
"Oh nothing. I just burnt myself on the stove. I'm sorry." Ib was obviously trying not to let out a sob. Garry was slightly taken aback by the girl's response. He lightly put his hands on her shoulders and looked her in the eyes.
"Now, why in the world would you apologize to me for accidentally burning yourself?" He demanded genteelly.
"Because you seem worried." He wanted to cry.
"Listen to me Ib. Don't you ever let me hear you say that again. Do you understand me?" He said coldly. She nodded, and then let out a small squeak when he pounced on her with a bone crushing hug.
"Oh! Se-Sensei… You're hurting me…" Ib whispered. He let go of her immediately and almost ran for the door.
"I apologize- that was completely inappropriate. Not to mention that it hurt you. I wasn't thinking." Garry muttered, disappointed in himself. His thoughts and actions were not something he was comfortable with- but he was just so damn worried about this girl.
"I should leave."
"Sensei! It's alright- you don't have to go. I haven't even poured your tea yet!" The girl laughed quietly. It was a soft and tinkly noise- like metal wind chimes in a spring breeze. Of course that was Garry's exact thoughts, thus making his need to leave more urgent.
"Ib, I really need to go. I should have never come inside. Just driving you wasn't right. I'm sorry." He felt like he was choking. It had been a bad idea, an irrational choice. Maybe if he hadn't finished grading so early he would have never ran into her? No- that wouldn't have changed a thing. Denial, anger and now bargaining. He was going through the steps of grievance in a matter of minutes.
Good God, I think I am falling for her. Why? Why is this happening?! I know her- I see her everyday. Why am I just now noticing her little quirks and mannerisms, and how God damn cute they are! Why did I offer to drive her home?! I have always felt a little… fond of Ib… Just as I am of all my students, but this is just absurd! His thoughts rushed through his mind like water down a hill as he made his way to the door.
"Shit." Garry groaned breathlessly.
I am in love with Ib.
He left of course, once the fact of his feelings slapped him like a brick wall. The next morning was quite awkward for him when he arrived to the school next morning. Each time he saw or heard a colleague the hairs on the back of his neck would stand up. He was afraid and when Ib arrived to class- he was terrified. Garry watched as she came into the classroom and sat down in her seat just like the other students. She was silent as always, and her bland expression was usual. It was as if nothing had happened. Like she hadn't found it odd for her English teacher to flip out and run away for, to her, no reason. He stood up and brought the class to attention.
"Good Morning everyone."
"Good morning Sensei!" They all called in unison with bright smiles. Except for Ib. Her lips barely moved and they definitely weren't a smile- not even a grin.
Ahh no. No no no. Are her feelings hurt? Shit. Shit! I'm going to have to talk to her and apologize after school aren't I? Alone… God Dammit.
"Alright class, today we are going to review the different English dialects." He mumbled as he sat down. He quickly covered the student transfer paperwork he had requested with his laptop, and carried on with the period.
Should I post moooooooore?