I Dated My Teacher

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It began with my high school English teacher. I was 15 and shy; he was 30 and moonlighted as a poet. He also cursed in class, horsed around with his students, and (despite his age) still had jet black hair. I got nervous and sweaty whenever we interacted, and my childish crush raged until high school ended. I visited him while I was home for winter break, but when he mispronounced my name and forgot which university I attended, my puppy love subsided.

Three years into college, I walked into my Creative Writing class. My instructor's name was Nate.* I sat to the right of Nate around the conference table so when he asked a question, I simply murmured the answer. I looked at his ripped jeans below the table. He rarely called on me as much as he did the others.

The glimpses into Nate's real life were rare. He'd look particularly haggard one day and confess to a hangover, or he'd mention an argument with his girlfriend, but the space between us remained quiet, friendly, sometimes punctured with jokes or questions.

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