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Jason Dookeran Jason Dookeran
Recommendations: 12

Broken


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For Fools

There was a flash of lightning as the sky turned darker. The rainy season had come early this year. Usually it was well into the latter half of the year before the rains would come. He sat on the steps outside the school, brooding. It was late in the evening. The darkening sky made it seem later than it already was. He sighed. A year ago life had been so simple. A year ago he was just coming into the teaching staff at Christ Memorial...


Four years he had spent slaving away at the university to finally get his degree. How he had celebrated. It seemed as though life was all roses. As though everything was the way it was supposed to be. He had applied to Christ Memorial, along with a few other schools to be a biology teacher. Biology had been his life and passion for a decade at least. He loved learning how things work; the intricacies of living organisms intrigued him.


Christ Memorial had taken him and he signed on with them. He was scheduled to start teaching the exam-level class almost immediately. They had been terrified they would be going into the Ordinary Level exams without a Bio teacher, but he had rescued them. He had seen them through and shown his skill at carrying a senior class through exams. He was now stuck with the job.
This time he had them from the first term. He had walked into the class, full of excitement and energy. This was a new class, a new year. Things were going to be perfect this time around, he was going to see to it. Now he didn't have to worry about what they knew and didn't know, it would be his job to get them safely to exams and successfully through them. Their faces were shining and their eyes were alert.


"Hello class", he had said, "welcome to biology, the only class where you can be taught everything you need to know about how your body and everything in it works."


"We know what Bio is sir", said a girl from the back, not quite flippantly, but bordering on it.


"Well, my dear, did you know that biology is the only class that allows you to both pleasure your significant other and kill your rival without being caught?" He grinned at them. The class had fallen silent and he could almost hear the gears in their heads working as they thought about what he said.


He had dived into work and they had responded well. It seemed as though they were quite attentive about the course. He was glad he had made an impact. As they filed out after class, one girl remained behind packing her things. He waited politely for her as she did her bag catch and hoisted the mass unto her shoulders. He looked at her as she plodded across the room, her black hair strewn behind her. Her eyes were dark and downcast, and her skin pale, but her lips were red, as though she were wearing makeup. Her ears had little diamond stoppers in them, the glint of one reaching his eye as she passed through a ray of sunlight on her way out the class.


"Excuse me Miss..." he said and stopped. He didn't know the names of these kids yet.


"Madelyn, Madelyn Drummond", she said. "Yes?"


"I see you're wearing makeup", he pointed out. "That's against school regulations."


"I'm sorry", she said. "I just wanted to be noticed, y'know? Everyone just passes me by."


"Oh you'll be fine; you're quite noticeable as it is." He smiled at her.


She blushed. "Thanks Mr. Argyle", she said and left hurriedly. He chuckled to himself as she almost ran through the door.


Over the course of the week, he took interest in Madelyn and her studies. She wasn't particularly gifted in biology, but she was far from a dunce. He pegged her as an underachiever who needed a little coaching to realize her true potential. Her answers were pretty succinct, unswerving from the topic at hand. She considered things with a very narrow scope. He kept her back one evening late into the third month of the semester to discuss what he had discovered about her. She had come to his desk with the same downcast eyes. It was her 'look', not something she was doing on purpose. He realized that later on in life, she was going to be a very irresistible woman, and something stirred inside him. He gave it no thought.


"I asked you to stay back because I wanted you to know that I've taken a very special interest in your education", he said.


"That's nice", she said and she looked away from him.


"You're a very brilliant young woman Madelyn", he said, "but you're not living up to the kind of scholar you can be."


"I know that", she said, looking at him again. "But, it's just...I'm nervous."


"What are you nervous about?" he asked.


"I don't want to, y'know, make a fool out of myself in front of...certain people." She blushed.


He smiled. "So it's a guy huh?"


The fear danced in her eyes. "No...Not really. He doesn't even know how I feel."


He remembered the way that went. Story of his life in the Secondary school system. "Don't worry about it, maybe it's just a temporary feeling. Hormones or something."


She fixed his eyes with hers. "Feels too permanent to be temporary." She looked out the window. "Do you...have a girlfriend?" she asked haltingly.


"Last girlfriend I had dumped me some time ago for a pretty boy", he informed her. "I never have any luck with the ladies."


"That's too bad", she said.


"However," he said, resuming his official-like voice, "it seems as though you can do better. I expect to see some improvement in your test scores young lady."


"I'll try", she said. "Maybe you can help me, like, can I get private tuition from you on the side or something?"


"I'm not so sure about that Madelyn", he said. "People would think something was going on between us."


"Going on?" she asked. Her mouth formed a perfect o and she blushed. "Oh! Like that..."


"Yes, like that. I could lose my job for that." He looked at her test scores again. Just average. But she could do so much more.


"I think my parents would be okay with it if you would be okay", she said. "I really do want to do better and I think if I don't have certain people looking at me, I'd be able to learn easier."


"I think", he said, "that I should talk to your parents and see what they have to say about it."


"Please do", she said.


They arranged a meeting day and they left together, Madelyn promising to tell her parents about the evening's proceedings.


A week later, he met her parents. Her father was the bookish type, large, powerful glasses standing out on his face. His beard was turning grey but he still had a commanding voice. Madelyn's mother was a very good looking, (although older) woman. Her face was strong and she had the same eyes as her daughter. She was more vociferous than her husband and dominated the entire proceedings.


Madelyn had told them that she wanted to start taking Biology lessons from him at a nominal fee. Mr. Drummond was all for the idea, but Mrs. Drummond was a bit cagey, asking all sorts of questions as to his background. He answered everything they threw at him the best he could and at the end of it all, Mrs. Drummond could find no reason why he should not teach her daughter.


As her husband went outside, she told him to go get the car and she'd meet him as he swung it around the front of the school. "Mr. Argyle", she said, fixing his eyes with hers. "My daughter is a very shy girl and I would appreciate it if any...feelings you may have for her go unrewarded."


Madame", he said, "I do feel something for your daughter, but it is toward her work, not toward her as a person. I see her as a student and nothing more."
"Make sure of it", she said as she walked down the stairs and to the front of the school to meet her husband.


He had met Madelyn the next day and scheduled their first class for the next Saturday. She had eagerly agreed, and her eyes lit up. He wasn't sure what to make of it, aside from she was seriously happy to have him as a personal tutor. He felt rather happy for that entire week.


On Saturday, the sun came out scorchingly hot. Promptly at eight, she was deposited on his front porch and he opened the gate to let her in. He lived in a modest, two bedroom house which he had inherited from his grandmother. He showed her around for a bit then led her to his living room table which he had prepared for the occasion. He had set up a whiteboard complete with tripod at the front of the table and arranged the table so that she would be able to see exactly what was going on.


The day passed so quickly, before they knew it, it was lunchtime and Madelyn's father had honked his horn. She packed up, hugging him briefly before she ran out of his front door. He set about clearing up his notes as he heard the door in front his house slam and the car pull off. He was surprised by her sudden hug, but at the same time something inside him stirred.


On Monday, the staff room was abuzz with gossip that drifted and silenced as he walked into the room. He looked around a puzzled expression on his face. On his desk lay a note saying the principal required his presence in her office.


He knocked on the office door and she beckoned him to enter. "What this I hear about private tuition?" she asked as he sat down.


"One of the girls in my exam Biology class proposed that I tutor her privately", he said. "I discussed it with the parents it's all above board."


"I see", she said, looking at him with the penetrating gaze which she subjected so many others to. "See that nothing inappropriate happens."


"Why is it", he said, "that every woman thinks because I'm teaching a female student that something inappropriate would happen?"


"Because", she replied, "The student in question is probably the single easiest person one would choose if one would go about having illicit relations because of her social ineptitude."


"What?" he asked.


"The girl is a wallflower", she said, still fixing him with her piercing gaze. "That makes her very low on the self-esteem scale and the perfect candidate to end up in a relationship with someone of authority. Be careful Argyle."


"I know what I'm doing", he said as he left, but did he really?


Weeks passed and the novelty of the private lessons he was giving to Madelyn died down as new and juicy things surfaced to gossip about in the staff room. Male teachers would still give him a sullen stare as he passed them by, a look signifying that he had done something no one else had been able to. As far as they were concerned, he was having sex with Madelyn, no matter what he said to the contrary.


On the second Saturday of the second term, they were working on a structured paper mock exam when she surprised him.


"Do they think we're having sex?" she asked.


"W-w-what?" he stammered, caught totally off guard.


She repeated her question.


"Who said that?" he asked. "Who have you been talking to?"


"It's just that everyone in my class tells me I'm so lucky to be...sleeping with a teacher." She blushed.


"Have you been telling them that we have?" he asked.


"Well, no, because we haven't", she said as though it was obvious.


"Does it bother you?" he asked her.


She thought about it for a moment. "Not really", she said, looking up to meet his eyes, "but if we're being blamed for something, don't you think we should at least do it and see what we're missing out?"


Red lights went off in his head. "Madelyn!" he said in a shocked voice.


Her expression hardened. "Don't think I haven't been watching you look at me", she said. "I'm not some ignorant teenager you know, despite having less than stellar social skills I DO notice things. I've seen how you stare at me sometimes when I'm talking to you. I've seen the way your face narrows and that guilty look crosses your face when I turn back to you after I've been on the board. I know you want me."


"Madelyn!" he said again, but with less conviction. She had noticed his staring. He was a fool. "I'm sorry, I apologize..." he began.


"Don't apologize to me", she said. "I only want one thing from you."
"What?" he asked, prepared for anything.


"I want you", she said simply. "And if I don't get you, I'm going to tell my parents that you touched me."


"You what?" he half-said, half shouted, amazed and confused at the same time.


"You heard me", she said. "Sleep with me or else I'll tell everyone you were anyway."
He looked at her. He had underestimated her. She had planned all this from the start. "You wouldn't."


"Yes", she said. "Yes I will. And you know it."


"Please", he started.


"Shhh", she said and kissed him.


He kissed back.


Time flew as they had their way with each other. Madelyn was very versed in the things she was supposed to do, for what he had thought was a sheltered child. Hours passed as they explored each other, pleasuring and being pleasured until finally, exhausted, she fell asleep. He slipped out of the bed. He was aware that she had not cried out in pain when he entered her. Someone had been there before him. For a split second jealousy swelled in him, then it resided. The full weight of what he had done had come crashing down on him as he sat there. He had risked everything. But he had had no choice. His only option was to say no and be damned for sure. He sighed as his mind drifted, ending up on Madelyn's lithe, naked body spread on his sheets. Try as he might he had to admit he liked it.


"What ya thinkin?" she said as she wrapped her arms around him from behind.


"That your father's going to be here soon and you should get ready", he said. "And not a word of this to anyone else."


"Yes sir!", she said flippantly as she ran back into the house.


Week after week it continued. He found that he was looking forward to Saturdays with much more expectation than if it had simply been for lessons. Oh he certainly taught her Biology for an hour, sometimes an hour and a half. Then they had sex. On the couch. On the table. On the floor, In the kitchen. I was hard pressed to think of a place they didn't have sex. He felt guilty afterwards, but she was always there to console him, to make him feel better. During the week they were teacher and student. On weekends they were lovers. It seemed too good to be true.


Then things fell apart.


He had walked into the staff room that Monday and had found a copy of a book written by Nabokov on his desk. It was called 'Lolita'. It dealt with a professor who had a sexual interest in a twelve year old. Madelyn wasn't twelve but the parallels were uncanny. He looked around, guilt flooding his face before he got it back under control. Who? Who could possibly know? He had to see Madelyn.


She had been walking to class and he called her out.


"Someone knows" he said, his voice low.


Her face paled. "Who?"


"I don't know", he admitted. "I found a book on my desk this morning..."


"That could mean anything", she said.


"It deals with a teacher who has inappropriate feelings for a younger child", he said.
"Maybe one of those other male teachers in there wanted to use it as a slight on you", she said. "Everyone thinks we're sleeping together anyway."


"Yes, but this time we REALLY ARE" he said, stressing on the last bit.


"They have no proof", she said. "Besides, I'd never say we were. They have no case."


He let out a sigh. "I suppose you're right", he said. "Still, be wary. I think we should cancel this Saturday."


Her face fell. "Wouldn't that just make them more suspicious, the very day you got this book you cancelled the next set of classes?"


"Fine, we'll go on as planned. Now, I have a class to teach." He walked back to the staffroom, got his things together and tossed Nabokov into the trash bin.


Saturday found him welcoming Madelyn into his house again. He had a short chat with her father, but figured out that he had heard nothing about what his daughter was actually learning in her Saturday morning Biology class.


They went inside and started. He tried to keep his mind and hers on the work, but she started teasing him and before too long they were locked in an embrace, rolling around, shedding clothes. They went at it like rabbits in heat, again and again, as if by some gift of premonition that they knew it was over.


Monday he found a letter-sized envelope lying on his desk. Unsealing it, he slide a handful of colour photographs and a letter. He winced at the photographs. They were of him and Madelyn, in all their contorted glory. What little clothes they had on placed the date of the photos at the last Saturday.


The note was cut-and-pasted to say "I've already mailed these to the district supervisor. They should get it within a week. You are a sicko. Burn in hell."


He went around the rest of the week in a trance, barely seeing anyone, not even Madelyn. Friday night he found himself sitting silent and alone, nursing a glass of whiskey. He had tortured himself during the week and realized what he would have to do now. He went to his bedroom and took out his personal pistol. Usually he had it lying around, unused, unloaded. He had bought ammunition for it on Wednesday when he first started considering the situation. If he was dead then it didn't matter what they had on him. Madelyn would be untouched because no scandal would come out. He had decided it was all for the best. He loaded the gun and walked back to the table. The ice had melted in the glass. He gazed down at it forlornly. Slowly, agonizingly, he put the muzzle of the gun to his temple. "Pop goes the weasel", he said, smiled wanly and pulled the trigger.


Saturday Madelyn dropped out of her father's car, waved to him and walked inside. She was slightly late, but she doubted her teacher would mind. What she was worried about was the fact that she had taken five pregnancy tests and they were all positive. She was pregnant. She walked up the stairs, trying to figure out a way to tell him about the child he had helped create and hoping he would understand. She turned the corner, looked into the living room. Then her world unraveled.


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