“Take me home and you won’t need those”
I turned round, was that aimed at me?
Oh shit, one of my sixth-formers, I forgot she worked here.
“Oh, Hi Chloe, what did you say?”
“Those condoms you just put in your basket, you won’t need those with me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m on the pill, no need to bag up with me.”
How do I reply to that?
“Mmm very sensible, I’m sure your boyfriend appreciates that.”
“I don’t have a boyfriend, that’s not why I’m on the pill, they’re for painful periods.”
“Mmm right, do you know how we’ve spoken in the past about how some details are best kept private.”
“Oh yeah, sorry, this is one of those times, right?”
Chloe gave a nervous giggle, and I was struck by how pretty she is. I’ve taught Chloe on and off since year 7, soon she would be leaving at the end of year 13. I try to resist getting too close to students, sometimes the temptation is very strong, but so far I’ve resisted it. Chloe though was always quiet, and I’d not previously thought of her as being particularly pretty, but today, out of the context of school I changed my mind, she is very pretty indeed.
I had to get out of this potentially messy situation, “Well, nice meeting you Chloe, but I have to be going.”
“See you later Mr Hughes,” Chloe replied, in a very low sultry voice.
I paid for my purchases and quickly left the store.
After that trauma I needed a drink, and up the road is my very favourite pub, it’s only small but they have live music most of the day and the best beer in town. I ordered a pint of Wobbly Bob and a bowl of sweet potato fries with chilli dip then took my usual table by the window.
On Saturdays they have a pianist in, she plays a mixture stretching from easy listening standards to improvised jazz, whatever takes her fancy. It’s an almost perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
I was part way through my second pint when the door opened and Chloe walked in, turning her head from side to side, checking out the room. She saw me and beamed, and I’m ashamed to say so did I.
“Hey Mr Hughes, fancy seeing you here.”
“Hey Chloe, what I surprise, I’m in the same pub I visit every Saturday, and I suspect I’ve mentioned this more than once.”
“Busted, although this is the third place I’ve looked.”
“What do you want Chloe?”
“A Bacardi & Coke please.”
“That’s not what I meant, why are you following me around?”
“Get me a drink and I’ll explain.”
“You are 18 right?”
“Yep, for a couple of months now.”
I returned to the bar for Chloe’s Bacardi, I ordered myself a double of Four Roses bourbon, I also ordered another bowl of sweet potato fries, they really are delicious.
Back at the table I handed Chloe her drink, her fingers brushed mine as she took the glass and I felt a spark, oh god, don’t let this happen.
“So, what’s this all about?”
“I think you know.”
“Well, I’ve got an idea, but why now?”
“Because in a few weeks the exams start, then a few weeks after that we all leave and I might never see you again, and there’s something I need to do or I’ll regret it for ever. Or more accurately, something I need you to do.”
“And what would that be?”
“It’s not really something I want to discuss here, it’s a little personal.”
“OK, where can you discuss it?”
The second bowl of fries arrived at this point, Chloe took one and dipped it in the chilli sauce, “mmm delicious, but wow that dip is hot. Anyway, as I said, private and delicate, so somewhere a little more private.”
Maybe this isn’t what I expected, so I took a deep breath and plunged forwards.
“All right then, I’m free tonight, so I’ll take you out for dinner, an early celebration of exam success.”
“Cool, that’ll be really nice. So ... if you’re free tonight, why’d you by those condoms?”
“Well, my girlfriend is away at the moment, but she’s back on Tuesday, and I won’t be shopping between now and then.”
“Ahh, planning a hot night on Tuesday then, nice, Oh shit I have to get back to work, I’m already late. Here’s my number, call me to tell me where and when to meet.”
As Chloe left I hung my head, what have I done? At least Chloe is 18, so I’m not in danger of jail, but I could lose my job, and be disqualified from teaching, so I had to tread very carefully tonight.
Chloe obviously wanted somewhere quiet to talk, so I booked a table at a wonderful family owned Italian restaurant, they serve you and disappear, just what was needed tonight. I phoned Chloe with the where & when, didn’t want a text from my phone sitting on hers, and I didn’t want her having my number either, so I called from a payphone, then I went home to shower & change.
Chloe was right on time, meeting me at the restaurant door, we were led to a table near the back, overlooked by none of the other tables.
I took a long look at Chloe, which is wrong, but I’m a man, so what can you do. She was wearing a white Ted Baker top, open a couple of buttons to show some cleavage, a pleasing sight.
A waiter arrived as we sat, brandishing a couple of menus and a basket of garlic bread.
“Oh, this is nice, I had no idea this restaurant was even here.”
“I’ve been coming here since I was at university, it’s never busy, but they must make enough to keep going, all the staff are family. The pizzas are divine, very thin bases, cooked in a wood stove.”
We both ordered pizza, I had the chicken and mushroom, Chloe ordered goats cheese and spinach, I ordered a bottle of Barolo.
The pizzas were, as always, delicious, the wine was superb, but maybe a little overpowering as an accompaniment to a goats cheese pizza, then again it’s not the ideal match for chicken either, but I like it.
Chloe ordered an orange gelato for desert, I ordered a grappa and an espresso.
“So Chloe, what exactly is this favour you need from me?”
Chloe licked her spoon clean and placed it in her now empty bowl, “Well, this is kind of embarrassing”, although the light was poor in our corner, I could tell she blushing.
“I can keep a secret Chloe, I keep many secrets, I know things about your classmates that would make your eyes water, and they will remain secrets.”
“Okayyy, let’s plunge in head first ... I want you to take my virginity Mr Hughes.”
“Right let’s stop right there. Firstly, ending that sentence Mr Hughes is all kinds of wrong, so for the rest of this conversation please call me Danny.”
“OK Mr Hughes, sorry, Danny.”
“Secondly, are you out of your mind? That’s not something I can do, I could lose my job, and besides, losing your virginity, that’s a job for someone you love.”
Chloe had tears in her eyes.
“That’s the general idea, I love you. I have since, well since you were my form teacher in year 8. It’s the Prom coming up, a guy’s asked me, I don’t really like him, but I’m not going on my own. I’m assuming he’ll try to get me into bed at some point during the night, I do not want that to be my first time.” This all came out in a rush, almost as if she had to say it in one breath or not at all.
“Oh my, I see. I’m afraid I’ve still got to refuse.”
“Don’t you think I’m pretty?”
“Well yes, you’re very pretty, but as a teacher I’m bound by certain rules, even though you’re 18 I can still lose my job if word gets out.”
“Look I can keep a secret, for instance, I bet one of the secrets you know is about Tracey White, a cucumber and the Food Studies kitchen. I’ve known about that for 5 years and never told anyone.”
“It’s not you I’m worried about, my neighbours have eyes, and you don’t look anything like Lorraine.”
“How different are we?”
“Well you’re about 6” taller and, err, quite a bit bigger up top, and she’s blonde, you’re a redhead. I think they’d guess I was bringing a different girl home.”
“Heels, wig & a booster bra, problem solved,”
“What’s a booster bra?”
“It’s a girls version of putting a pair of socks in your underpants, it lifts and squeezes your boobs, makes them look bigger.”
“Cheating you mean? No Lorraine wouldn’t wear one of those, way too proud of her petite frame.”
My resistance was wearing thin, and, it was gone.
“OK, but if word gets out you’re in deep shit lady...”
“My lips are sealed Mr Hughes.”
“Oi, tonight I’m Danny remember.”
I paid the bill, Chloe tried to chip in half, but I’m a gentleman, a gentleman who’s about to break all kind of child protection rules and cheat on his long term girlfriend, but still a gentleman.
“Hey Danny, let’s get a couple of drinks first, will it be safe for us to go to that bar again.”
“Oh yeah, it’ll be fine, everybody is cool there.”
We had a couple of drinks, Chloe back on the Bacardi & Coke, I had more of the wonderful Four Roses, then we wandered over to the Best Western across the road from the pub, they had a deluxe double available, I’ve stayed here before with Lorraine, the rooms are tired but comfortable, Chloe was impressed with the view of the castle.
“So, what now?” She asked.
.... There is more of this story ...