Some people are generally put together, no matter what. The kind that can sit in a storm, as though they were having a tea party. Sayo was one of those people.
He hadn’t seen her in months. She had been terrible to him – and she knew it. Yet there she stood, looking as if this was a planned visit. As if she were just popping by to say hi.
He couldn’t deny it though. She looked angelic. Her coat was open, and he could see the tan dress she wore, with a belt accentuating her curves. It took him back to the first time he snuck into the back of one of her hybrid classes.
“There is a large likelihood that before the term is out a number of you would have dropped out of this class. And that’s okay.”
She smiled. Clearly, she had said this multiple times.
“I understand that Physics isn’t for everyone. I flunked out of Art class… I should have known that it wasn’t my thing. Instead, I attempted to make it work…. And I failed terribly!”
The students all chuckled. KB just stared at her. She was stunning, and she was great at this! He was utterly mesmerized. Not only by how attractive she was, how her body constantly made him happy, how she moved, owning the space she was in. It was also how confidently she spoke, how she enthralled these people, keeping their attention teaching such difficult things!
“So, every year, I tell this class, that I will put my heart and soul into teaching. And my teaching assistants will offer extra tuition if necessary. And I expect that you put in your work, because that’s not something we can do for you. But if this is not for you, don’t force it. We’re all adults here. One of the important lessons in the adult life, is to learn what’s for you, and make it work!”
“That being said… let’s start off today with a small taste of one of my favorite things!”
She grabbed her iPad and clicker, took off the suit jacket to place on the table, and walked from the lectern to the whiteboard. She had on a dark blue pantsuit, and the usual pencil heels that had KB wondering how she even managed!
“Folks on Zoom… I understand that online school is great ‘cos you get to be in bed. This is not a topic to be appreciated in bed… so get up! Let’s see your cameras on.”
There were a few snickers.
“As scheduled, we are going to talk about Einstein’s special theory of relativity.”
There were some groans from the class… She expected it, lifting her hands, as if in surrender.
“It might not be your favorite theory, but it’s mine… and I gave you resources to make it easy. So, no more groaning.”
“Oh, and the math is elegant, I promise you!”
He jolted out of his seat, as if that memory had startled him.
Be cool KB. Be cool
“Hi KB.” she paused. “I know this is unexpected.”
He walked to the window behind his seat, saying nothing. The whole while, his heart racing as if he was running a sprint.
“I know you’re upset. And you have every right to be… but, would you please talk to me!?”
Outside the window, some man was walking with a little girl, holding her hand and hopping with her after every few steps or so. They looked so happy! He smiled looking at them walk out of view.
“I’m not upset…I’ve only learnt to uhm… manage my expectations with you. And I haven’t asked you to leave, have I? Isn’t that talking?”
“I am so sorry. I… I really didn’t mean to; it didn’t even mean anything. I assure you!”
He turned around from the window to look at her. His mind knew this was not going to be the last time she hurt him. But his heart and body both just wanted to gather her into his arms and feel her heartbeat against his chest, feel her legs wrap around him, feel….
He cleared his throat, wishing it was enough to clear his mind.
“Don’t be…. It’s okay”
He hoped he sounded more convincing than he felt.
She started walking towards him, and he panicked.
“Do you want a coffee?” he asked, moving to the kitchen area.
“KB. I said I’m sorry. It’s almost as if you don’t care, and that upsets me.”
That stopped him in his tracks. He narrowed his eyes.
“Wait, Sayo… you’re upset that I’m not upset? You did all of this because you want me to be upset?”
He swallowed hard.
While he’d never had much of a temper, Sayo brought out emotions in him that had him reeling and questioning his entire life.
“What do you really want from me, Sayo?” He was this close to slamming his hand on the desk!
She seemed to flinch at his tone, and that brought him back to his senses.
KB do not let her rile you up! She’s going to make you do something that will make you look like the bad person.
He exhaled loudly. “Sayo, you know…”
Just then, he was saved by Tim walking in. He had his phone balanced between his left cheek and shoulder, and was carrying his camera bag, a tray of three coffees from the coffee place two blocks away, and what looked like a box of bagels.
Just seeing that coffee brought a rush of even more memories. What had this woman done to him?
A couple months ago, after she’d mentioned she had a quick doctor’s appointment, he’d gotten her a hazelnut latte from that place same for her. He got to hers, and she was bent over the toilet seat, retching. His heart had stopped, and his first instinct was God she cannot be pregnant!
She turned and noticed him, then called over her shoulder in a muffled voice. “I am not pregnant! If that’s why you look like a ghost!”
It didn’t change the fact that she was throwing up at 10am, after seeing a doctor. Isn’t that what they called morning sickness?
“I forgot to take the pre-meds” she said calmly, staring into the toilet bowl.
It didn’t make sense to KB. And as always, his face said it all.
She turned to look at him. “We women constantly have to deal with the consequences of the weak ‘pull-out’ game of you men.” He snorted instinctively.
“So, for that, there’s something called contraceptives… and their side effects can be a little outrageous! I had an appointment this morning to have some device placed in my uterus. I forgot the pain meds I was asked to take prior, and I do not do well with pain. It always makes me sick.”
KB had felt relief initially. Then he’d felt an odd sympathy.
“I was… Uhm, I am fine with the condom.” He said softly, dropping down on his knees to be somewhat closer to her level, and leaving the coffee up on the space next to the sink.
“I wouldn’t want to…” He stuttered. “I am okay with condoms.”
“Well, I am not.” She said, matter-of-factly, getting off the floor, and grabbing her toothbrush.
“And you don’t know if my pull-out game is bad or not.” He said with a smirk. She eyed him, washed her mouth, and walked into the bedroom, vigorously brushing her teeth.
It had struck him in that moment just how much responsibility women shouldered in general when it came to these things.
“I had a girlfriend who got injections every couple of months because we were having sex.”
“Injections? Do you mean shots?” her voice was muffled from the foam in her mouth. He made the physical motion of injecting something into his arm.
She walked back into the bathroom and spat in the sink. “Ooh yes, shots? Right!”
He nodded, wondering if shots were not the strong liquor they drank in the bars? He continued, marveling at how unruffled she looked, when a few minutes ago, she was pouring her guts into the toilet.
“She had these horrible side effects. Gained an enormous amount of weight, even had acne from that… she would get so upset that people were constantly talking about her face and her body when all she was trying to do was not get pregnant.” He looked at her, searching for a reaction.
“And mind you – her sister got the very same shots and had absolutely no side effects!”
“Welcome to the life of a woman, KB. We can’t enjoy sex without planning for consequences.
He opened his mouth, about to say something.
“And if you say anything about the male pill, being researched, I will wrestle you!? Imagine me telling you: Hey we can’t have sex today, baby… you missed your pill…”
And though she looked deadpan serious, he couldn’t help but laugh at that. Before long, they were both laughing.
“Oh, hey Sayo,” Tim looked skeptical. As if he wasn’t sure she was actually there. “I didn’t know you’d be here, I’d have got you that hazelnut latte you like.” She beamed at him.
Well, if you didn’t make yourself so scarce, you wouldn’t be surprised that someone remembered your coffee order.
She turned back to look at KB, and he understood. Finally understood why people did such stupid things in the name of love. He was proof that people in love weren’t stupid people. Love made them fools. Sayo made him a fool!