hey, didn't forget about you.
I know its late, but i've been hustling like a pimp trying to raise my target of $800 for the new year to publish my book.
good news to come for deceptive nights so get ya free read in while you can, LOL.
Austin came over during the dance to thank her for helping out with the decorations. Dwayne was not around and she had made the grading deadline just in time. The grading office assistant didnt even look at what she had submitted, he just took the sheet and fed it into the scanner and then filed it. Knowing that she had done the right thing took a lot of weight off her shoulders and when Austin asked her to dance, she first told him no, but then thought about it and agreed.
She heard Laura say to her group of gossipers, Dont they make a cute couple.
Austin heard her too and told Rachel to ignore the queen of gossipers.
I take it you dont like Laura and all her charms?
Who can when she waves them in your face like its going out of style and you need to jump aboard now.
Rachel laughed. So you know about Lauras reputation?
I know enough to stay away from something like that, but you on the other hand, he said flirtatiously, swinging her in a dip and quickly brought her back up. When are you going to leave that husband of yours for me?
She blushed hoping that he was only kidding and couldnt stop smiling because it did fell so good to be flirted with. With Derrick she couldnt show her pleasure at knowing another man thought she was attractive and wanted her, but with Austin it was okay. A flash caught her eye and she could see Derrick, Arwin and Tony standing by the stage staring at her. Tonya looked really happy for her, while Arwin and Derrick didnt look so pleased.
So consumed with his flirting, she forgot that she had wanted to speak to him about Derrick again.
When the song ended, Austin whispered, I was serious about that comment, Rachel.
Her blush grew deeply as she watched him walk away. Tonya came over to her.
Our principal is so hot. Dont you think, Mrs. Herlong?
I wouldnt know, Tonya, she said evasively. Im a married woman.
I know that, Tonya chuckled. But its alright to look at the menu, you just cant order from it, right?
Rachel relaxed and laughed feeling very comfortable. I guess youre right, Tonya, when you look at it like that. Your metaphors are coming along very well.
I think Im going to become a teacher just like you, Mrs. Herlong. You think Ill make a good one?
I think youll make a great one. She looked down at her watch to read that it was nearing seven-thirty. She could hear the strange tones of a cell phone and spotted Austin pull his phone from his pocket to place on his ear. Watching his reaction to the phone call, for some reason she just knew that the call would have something to do with her.
Austin caught her eye and motioned for her to come to him.
Rachel looked over by the stage and just aw Arwin standing there. Looking back at Tony, she said, Do you know whats going on?
Tonya frowned looking honestly confused. What do you mean?
Not wanting to give out anything or hint the girl on what was going on, Rachel just shook her head as if it were nothing and went over to
Austin just as he was hanging up his phone.
Why dont you let the clean up staff handle everything? Austin suggested. You dont need to stay until the end. Once they crown the king and queen of the Winterfest, the kids are going to get out of there.
Are you sure? I dont mind staying.
Im sure. Have a good night and make sure the guard walks you out to your car. He smiled appreciatively. Ill see you tomorrow.
She looked back at Arwin. Tonya had joined him and they were dancing to the music. Leaving the gymnasium, she reached into pocket and pulled out the envelope. Inside were instructions and a clue that told her to go to the girls locker room where she needed to find the back closet. The locker room was deserted and she found the back closet. Following the instructions, she pushed against the left wall. It moved under the pressure of her hands and she went through the secret passage way. There was a miniature flashlight inside the envelope and she used this to read the rest of the instructions in the dim passageway in front of some steps. Taking the two flights of stairs to a landing that was right above the gymnasium. The sounds from the gym could be heard and the music was loud and clear because the speakers were near the ceiling of the gym.
There was a clear sentence on the page warning her not to look over the landing and rightly so, because if she did everyone in the gym would see her.
Going past the landing, she walked to an enclosed space where candles were lit and illuminating the room. There was graffiti on the walls, but she could see that Derrick had tried to use fabric to cover it to give the space a romantic feel.
Warnings in her head screamed out for her to leave, but Rachel couldnt. She wanted to know what he planned and if Derrick would keep his word.
I dont know what more attractive, he said, coming out the dark towards her. Seeing you confused or knowing that you really like surprises.
What is all this about? she asked.
Me and you.
I told you there is no me or you, she said impatiently.
Arent you going to wish me a happy birthday, Rachel? he asked perturbed.
Biting her tongue, she was upset that she had allowed her nervousness to come out as anger when she wasnt mad at him. Yes, Derrick. Im sorry. She pulled a wide gift box out her purse as she approached him and handed it to him.
Derrick was momentarily speechless and she felt a little better.
It was very hard to get something for a man who has his fathers bank account in the palm of his hands, she said teasingly. The shocked expression was still on his face as he just held the box as if it were the gift itself. Frowning, she asked, Its not what you expected?
It wasnt what I wanted you to do to greet me properly, he said with a devious look in his eyes.
Rachel couldnt help but blush again. Arent you going to open it? As he opened the box, she explained, There was a poetry convention in Chicago last weekend and my baby sitter had to go there anyway. She was happy to take some copies I had and have them signed by the author just for you. I thought youd like them.
He removed the first three books by Nikki Giovanni all inscribed to him. Howd you do this?
I just told you, silly, she said, chuckling at his astonishment.
She nodded and before another second had passed, she was swept in his arm and kissed until she was breathless. When he finally released her, he swung her around and started to sway to the music. Rachel giggled at his happiness.
Modestly, she said, I know its not the most expensive thing youve ever received.
I love it, he whispered, nuzzling her cheek. Its the best gift Ive ever received.
Rachel allowed herself to relish in the closeness of her body against his. She hadnt danced in so long and the feeling of Derrick, pressing against her, felt wonderful. Derrick, I wanted to talk to you about everything.
Theres nothing to speak about, Rachel, he said.
Theres a lot to speak of. My job is number one.
And Ive been keeping my distance, but I had to try for my birthday. He looked down in her eyes seriously. After this, I can assure you no one will think there is anything between us.
She relaxed knowing from the look in his eyes that he would keep his world. I do want to discuss the gift you gave me, Derrick, she said as they began to sway to the music again.
Hush, Rachel, or I wont have a happy birthday, he murmured.
Rachel waited until the music took a break before speaking again. Derrick, we need to talk about a lot of things, she persisted, looking up at him.
About what? Things that cant be controlled, Rachel? Itll only make use depressed and angry. Im not living in some dream world. He moved away from her showing his frustration by running his hands over his head. You were right. I was selfish. I was only thinking about my feelings. These past two weeks have been hell for me because of all the damn thinking Ive been doing. He approached her and she noticed there was a stain not to touch her.
In an unusual voice, Derrick said, Although I dont get to see my father, he calls me every once in while. He always spoke that if its meant to be it will be. This was to go with almost every life situation. Fondly, he caressed her cheek as his eyes glowed with the candles around them. I used to say he was full of shit and that most of the crap he philosophized to me wasnt to be taken seriously. He said that fate will eventually work in my favor when I accept the responsibility of being a man.
What are you getting at? Rachel asked.
Im ready to accept that responsibility, Rachel.
And you think thats going to change the path Ive taken in life? she asked incredulously.
He smiled as if he knew some big secret. I know that my fate is in my hands and that you and I are meant to be.
I thought you said you werent going to live in a dream world anymore.
Derrick took a deep breath and said, Its late, Rachel. Go home. Take care of your babies. He kissed her forehead and stepped away.
Rachel wasnt going to admit that she had wanted more than a kiss on the forehead. You arent going to do anything crazy, are you? she asked worriedly, remembering what Tonya had said about Derrick.
Im leaving it n the hands of fate, because I trust what is to come.
His odd behavior gave her a weird chill down her spine.
She started back down the darkened pathway, but heard Derrick call her name. Turning around to look at him, Rachel waited for him to try to take advantage of her.
No matter what you hear, whatever they tell you, know that sacrifices had to be made in order to get what I wanted, he said.
What are you being so evasive, Derrick?
Because I like it and because it makes you crazy.
She huffed. Goodnight. Walking away, she wondered if this would be the last moment they would spend together alone. To take any more chances to see each other, she felt it would be even more dangerous after what she had done when marking his grades.
Getting home, Rachel retrieved the pendant out her jewelry box and fondly looked it over. What was to come? What did Derrick know that she didnt? Her thoughts screamed in wonder as these questions repeated inside her head over and over.
Would he really be able to change the path she had chosen? And if she chose his path would it hurt the twins? Derrick knew how much they meant to her. It was why she was still in this horrible marriage. He wouldnt allow anything to happen to them, but what were his plans?
Teach Me To Love - Chapter 11 Part 3
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