We were standing so close. Too close for people who were just friends. Too close for a teacher and their student. But we seemed to not be able to look away from each other. It was like there was this invisible force keeping us from moving away. I could feel my heart beating so fast, it could easily jump through my chest. And the butterflies. The butterflies were flying in all sorts of directions. But, I still couldn’t look away from him.
After a moment, Efrem lifts his hand and places it on my cheek. And while looking into my eyes, he took a step forward. It was the only step that was between us. And to be honest, there was no way that I could see my surroundings. It was just Efrem and his eyes. His dark eyes. Eyes that were trustworthy. Eyes full of emotions. Full of passion. Full of life.
'You don’t see yourself very well, do you?' He whispered.
And then before I could speak, he kissed me. I felt myself stiffen up because this was my very first kiss. And it was Efrem who was giving me that very first kiss. If Efrem felt me stiffen up, it didn’t stop him from kissing me. And then after a moment, I loosen up and began to kiss him back.
I could feel my blood heat up. My whole body felt like it was on fire. But it just made me want to kiss me harder. So, I wrapped my arms around his neck, which made Efrem pull me tighter against his body.
'You are so beautiful,' He broke away, just to whisper. And then he crushed his mouth to mine again.
I awoke startled. Because that was the first time that I had dreamt about kissing Efrem. I swear, I could still feel it on my lips as if it happened in real life. It felt amazing. And I have never felt so excited before about kissing someone. That’s how it felt in the dream.
But now that I had woken up, it made me realize that I had to find someone else to have a crush on. Or even just like someone else. Because Efrem, he was unsuitable in every way. We were allowed to be anything because he was my teacher.
But also, I shouldn’t like someone who has had many life experiences. He was a man and I was just a girl. It would be different if I was at least two years older and have lived a little. Instead, I was seventeen and a school girl. I haven’t even begun to live my life yet. Whereas Efrem, he has had at least five years or so to be living his life.
Hell, I probably shouldn’t be his friend.
I slowly sat up making sure that my headache was gone. It was for now. And I could only think, finally. And when I checked the time, I was surprised to see that I have been asleep for more than six hours. I hated that I had slept for so long. So I threw the blankets off me and jumped out of the bed. And then I left my room.
My first stop was to the kitchen. Usually, I would have a coffee. But instead, I stuck to a glass of water. I was surprised though when I stepped into the kitchen because Efrem was sitting at the table having his dinner. Storm was nowhere to be seen. But when Efrem saw that I walked in, he quickly stood up.
'How are you?' He asked.
'My headache is gone. I can’t believe I slept that long.' I tell him. And then walked up to the sink and poured myself a glass of water.
'That’s good to hear. I have never seen someone with a bad headache before.' He says. I don’t know if he just wanted to make conversation. Or if he really meant it. He had also walked over to me.
'I get them all the time. That’s why I was able to work through it a bit. But why they are so bad is because I literally cut my head opened.' I tell him and then I turned to face him and showed him my scar.
It wasn’t a small scar either. Nobody notices it because I always push my hair over it. So, to show him, I pulled my hair up. Though at first, he stared into my eyes. I could feel some kind of tension between us, I didn’t know what it was. But it made me nervous and I felt butterflies swarm around in my stomach. I had to blink to release the hold, and that’s when he looked up to my forehead. I watched him, as he tried not to frown. And because I saw that, I made my hair fall back down and then turned back to the sink. It was silent for a moment before I heard Efrem speak.
'You shouldn’t hide it. I think you’re still a beautiful woman.' He says.
I literally just stood there. Because I didn’t think, ever, that I would be hearing that from him. I didn’t know what to think about it either. And for him to say, 'Still beautiful.' I couldn't comprehend what to think.
'I made some dinner, I’ll serve you some.' He said when I didn’t say anything.
'Ok, thank you. Where’s Storm?' I asked, turning to face him.
'She has a date.' He says, smiling. I wondered why.
‘What?’ I asked.
‘Storm checked on you before she left. She told me to tell you that she loved you and she would see you tomorrow.’ He says as he was serving out my dinner.
‘Oh,’ I say, making my way to the table. ‘I need to get my car.’ I say. I couldn’t help frowning. Because now I didn’t know how I was going to get my car now. It was just another stress that I didn’t need.
‘Your car is already here.’ Efrem says, smiling at me while placing the plate in front of me.
‘Oh.’ I say, not knowing what else to say.
‘Storm dropped it off after I drove her to the café.’ He tells me. It was almost like he wanted to explain so I wouldn’t get upset, thinking that I thought he drove my car. Maybe Storm told him that I didn’t like anyone driving my car. It may be an old car, but I worked hard for it.
'Thank you. And for dinner as well.' I say. There was nothing else to say.
'What are friends for?' He says, grinning at me. I wanted to say that I didn’t know because I haven’t seen Storm that much lately. But I guess I knew what he meant. ‘So, I bet you have plans tonight. Hang out with your boyfriend or something.’ He says, after a moment of silence.
‘What makes you think I have a boyfriend?’ I say before I thought about it.
‘Because you are a beautiful young woman.’ He says, without thinking. And I don’t know what to think of it. It was just minutes ago that he called me beautiful. Twice in a matter of minutes.
‘Storm mustn’t talk about me that much.’ I tell him. But it made him smile. ‘What?’
‘You are all she talks about.’ He says, smiling wider.
‘Well, I don’t have a boyfriend. I've never actually had one yet.’ I say, shrugging like it wasn’t a big deal. Though it embarrassed me, to tell Efrem. Because I didn’t want to look lame, in front of Efrem. ‘Sure, I get asked, but I can’t get distracted.’ I say, feeling the need to defend myself.
‘Distracted about what?’ He asked. He sounded like he was really interested.
‘My ticket out of here.’ I simply say. ‘Also, it’s what got my sister killed. She was arguing with her boyfriend on the phone while she was driving.’ I felt it sting, talking about my sister. And for a split second, he frowned. But recovers before speaking to me.
‘You want to know what I think? I don’t think you will get distracted. I’ve seen you at school. How dedicated you are. Yeah you come to school late and I swear you purposely do it,’ he says and then grins. ‘But I know, that every time you hand in your assignments without fail.’ It was a compliment. But, I hated how we had to talk about me being a school kid. It just made me kick myself and tell myself that and it reminds myself, how out of his league he is for me.
‘Now you make me sound like a nerd.’ I say, keeping my voice low.
‘It’s not that bad of a label. I was one and look how I turned out.’ He says grinning.
'So, I bet you have plans tonight. Hang out with your girlfriend?' I say, throwing his question at him. And he knew it because for a moment he just smiles.
'What makes you think I have a girlfriend?' He says, using the same words I said to him. And I don’t know. It was like he was flirting with me. But then again, it could be me just being delusional.
'Because my girl mentioned it last night.' I say, making him chuckle. And I couldn’t help thinking, did he think I was going to say something like because he was gorgeous. Which, there was no denial here.
'Right. And to answer your question, she lives in Russia.' He says. He smiled, but there was something in his eyes. I couldn’t work out what it was though. I wasn’t very good at reading people.
‘ When was the last time you went to Russia?' I asked. I was interested in knowing. It was one of my dreams, was to go there.
'I was there, just before I started working at the school.' He says smiling. He liked it that I was showing interest in wanting to talk to him.
'I bet you miss it.'
'I did. But I am getting used to it. Having been close to Storm and Finn, it helps.' He says. But I think I did see the sadness in his eyes.
'One day, I am going to go there.' I tell him. It was the truth. But I really only said it so it made him feel better. And I guess it did because he smiles.
'You’ll love it. Though, not a lot of people speak English.' He says.
'You think I don’t know how to speak Russian?' I tell him, in Russian. I could tell that it surprised him. But at the same time, I saw his eyes light up.
'Impressive.' He says back in Russian. 'How do you know how to speak Russian?' He asked. This time speaking English.
'You probably think that Storm taught me. But she didn’t. I learnt it all by myself. I know many languages. It's what I do. It's part of being a nerd.' I tell him. Feeling proud of myself.
'You surprise me, Emori.' He says, offering me a warm smile.
'I’m full of surprises, Efrem.' I say back.
And all he can do is chuckle. And all I could think is, that he had a nice chuckle. It made my heart beat faster. It made me happy.
I couldn’t believe how easy it was to speak with Efrem. Sure I get that nervous feeling. But talking with him, I didn’t realize that another hour had gone by. After that hour, we went our separate ways. One because Efrem had a call. And I, well I wanted to get ready for bed and make sure I was set for school in the morning.
I know before I was hesitant and wasn’t sure about being friends with Efrem. But after speaking with him now, I was glad that he was my friend. It was like he was meant to be my friend. Because, and I never had said this before, but I was always depressed, I suppose you can say. But having Efrem as my friend, I didn’t feel that so much. I wasn’t silly enough to stop my medication. But it was nice to feel happiness for a change.