My path crossed with his when I had two years left in law school. His salt-and-pepper hair and crinkly eyes distracted me, and I distracted him. Our mutual attraction was transparent and soon became the talk of Constitutional Law 101. I mean, the class was super dull and the only thing that kept us from skipping was that our prof was so fine.
It wasn’t long before things crossed the line, and then there was no turning back. We’d buckle into his truck and drive to his hometown on weekends. I’d paint my toenails on the porch while he graded papers, and then we’d while away the afternoons horizontally.
Midweek, we’d steal moments between classes, adjourning to his office, door bolted, to debrief each other. We came close to getting caught more times than I can count, but people didn’t want to see what they didn’t want to see and so we carried on.
The day I graduated, he put a rock on my finger. I took him home to meet my dad—they had a ton in common—and mom who, I think, caught a little crush. In a quiet ceremony under the autumn stars, we vowed that to each other we would cleave right to the point of death.
I got a job at a little firm in his hometown, drafting lease agreements and reviewing title searches. It was as boring as it sounds. I was bored working, and he was bored teaching, and it was the boredom, I guess, that threatened to cleave us apart.
Before too long I started to see signs that would rock the boat. He’d come home late, and later, and sometimes not at all. His cell phone turned facedown, his email password changed, and I could sense the slightest inkling of his wanting to bolt.
He told me it was my imagination, swept everything under the rug, and brought me a sad bouquet from the grocery store. He said we’d have more time together once he had his grading done, and I thought back to how much time he used to have for me when my papers were in the stack that needed graded. Our whole relationship was starting to buckle—had it been flimsy all along?
These days I say I’m good, but really I’m barely fine. I’ve gone transparent in his eyes, invisible. I know there’s talk around town that he’s been misbehaving, but people only see what they want to see.
Wouldn’t it just prove them right, if I just up and left?