by Al Steiner
I first met her when I arrived for a staff meeting, three days before the start of the new school year. We arrived at the door to the conference room at the same time and our eyes met. Hers were a beautiful shade of green, catlike, the kind of eyes you could drown in. She smiled as we both reached for the doorknob, a radiant, friendly smile.
"Hi," she said, her hand halting in its quest, as did mine. "You must be the new third grade teacher."
"That I am," I replied, my eyes surreptitiously taking in her form. She was quite attractive, of that there was no mistaking. Her hair was a light shade of blonde, her lips full and alluring. She had the kind of face that radiated innocence. Her body was well formed and soft looking, with pert breasts that poked out from the sleeveless blouse she wore in a most mouth watering way. "I'm Tom Baker."
"Amy Darling," she said, her smile flashing again. "I'm one of the kindergarten teachers."
She held out her right hand to me and I shook it. As I did, my eyes dropped to her left hand, taking a quick glance at the ring finger there. It was bare of a wedding or engagement ring. This perked up my interest immediately. Having been divorced for just over two years now, I had not been in a serious relationship, or even a not-so-serious relationship for that matter, for well over eight months. Here, right before me on my first day, was a potential prospect. I gave her my own smile.
"It's very nice to meet you," I told her. "I don't know many people here yet. This seems like a very nice school."
"Its great here," she assured me. "The principal is nice, the kids are mostly from middle class families and well behaved. You came from Edison, right?"
"Oh yes," I said, a hint of dramatic weariness in my tone. Thomas Edison Elementary, my last assignment, was in the very worst neighborhood that the Heritage Unified School District covered. A year there was like five years elsewhere. "How did you know that?"
"You're friends with Greg Rollins, aren't you?" she asked. "He was telling me about you the other day. He said you were desperate to get out of Edison."
"Yes, Greg was a great help getting my transfer approved," I said. "And he's right. I was getting pretty fried at Edison. It'll be nice to teach somewhere where most of the kids don't have parents with prison records."
"I hear horror stories about the inner city schools," she almost whispered. "I don't know how people can teach there."
"The stories are true, I assure you. Have you been here long?"
"About three years," she said. "I think I just might stay my career here. Trust me. You're gonna love it."
I looked directly into her eyes, letting a flirtatious light come into mine. "I'm sure I will," I told her.
She smiled in return and I felt the first stirrings of a connection between us. As we entered the meeting I felt a warm glow. Several times, while the principal welcomed us to the school year and went over some new policies and procedures that we would be expected to follow, I glanced over at her. Twice she returned my gaze and smiled. The warm glow increased. Yes, there was definitely a connection there.
Greg Rollins had been one of my classmates at CSUH and we had been friends ever since. Both of us had decided to use our college degrees not to pursue riches or fame but to get teaching credentials and take on the challenge of elementary school education. We both taught third grade, which is perhaps the most favored grade to teach in our profession. The kids in third grade are old enough to have learned manners but young enough not to have reached the rebellion stage. Greg had been at Winthrop Marks Elementary in the fashionable suburb of Whispering Oaks since his first year. He had connections on the school board, you see. Greg was one of those guys who had connections for everything. It was after a drunken night in a bar the previous year that he'd offered to use his connections to secure a transfer to Marks for me. I'd been just drunk enough to take him up on his offer. And now, true to his word, here I was, the newest member of the faculty in a position it might otherwise have taken me another six or seven years to achieve on my own.
After the meeting that first day, Greg and I went out for a beer at a nearby pub with a friendly atmosphere. As we sat down to enjoy our brew I marveled at the fact that I wouldn't have dared walk into any drinking establishment within ten square miles of Edison.
"It looks like you caught the eye of our little Miss Darling," Greg told me as we sipped and listened to modern rock coming from the jukebox. "She was making goo-goo eyes at you all through the meeting."
"I noticed that," I said, still thinking of that innocent face, that soft body. "What's the story with her? She single or what?"
He chuckled, shaking his head a little. "Oh, she's single all right," he said. "And for very good reason."
"Oh? What is it? Is she a bitch or something?"
"No, she's not a bitch. She's actually one of the sweetest, nicest, most even tempered women you'll ever meet."
"Then what's the problem?"
He took a sip of his beer and looked at me pointedly. "The problem is that she doesn't give it up."
I shrugged. "So she's hard to get into. All you have to do is put in a little work."
"No, you don't understand," he said. "I mean she doesn't give it up at all. Ever. To anyone. She's a virgin."
I looked at him suspiciously. "A virgin?" I said. "You've got to be shitting me."
"No shit," he said. "She's religious. Goes to church every Sunday and Wednesday night. She took six months off last year so she could go on a missionary assignment and bring the word of The Lord to some natives in Brazil. And she most assuredly is not going to let anyone inside her heavenly gates until they walk down the aisle with her. Believe me. Many have tried. Miss Darling has herself a perfect record."
"How do you know all this?" I asked, unable to believe that a beautiful woman in her late twenties, no matter how religious, could possibly be a virgin. I mean after all, she'd gone to college, right? How could one go through four years of college without getting laid at least once?
"It's common knowledge, my man," he told me. "Ask anyone. Hell, ask her, she'll tell you. She's saving herself for her husband. She has dated most of the single teachers here, she's dated some of the divorced professionals whose kids go to the school, she's dated one of our assistant principals and even a member of the school board. All of them have said she's a sweetheart, the ideal woman, but they've all broken up with her because she won't do anything more than kiss them goodnight. And we're talking after the tenth, twentieth, hundredth date here. Hell, one of the divorced guys she dated was a doctor, a fucking doctor, and she wouldn't give it up to him."
"A doctor couldn't score with her?" I said in fearful awe. "My God."
"So unless you're into terminal frustration, I'd leave her alone. She's good to have as a friend, she's a great kindergarten teacher, and she's always tops in fundraising for the PTA drive, but she's a lousy girlfriend."
The school year began and I found most of my expectations of what teaching at Marks would be like were met quite nicely. For the most part my kids were polite and well-mannered eight and nine year olds, their parents were helpful, naïve professionals, and the problem families were the exception instead of the rule. I was accepted quite readily as a member of the faculty, most of whom were like a close knit family to each other. And of course as I made more friends, particularly among the male teachers, I received multiple independent confirmations of Miss Darling's status as resident churchgoing virgin. The tales of sexual frustration at her hands were told to me by those who had personally experienced it and those who had witnessed it. The furthest anyone had ever gotten with her had been Jack Balentine, who taught sixth grade. After five solid months of dating her he had progressed to the point where he was able to occasionally-when things became really heated between them-fondle her breast through her shirt.
"It's the softest, most squeezable tit I've ever had the privilege of putting my hand on," he told me as we played racquetball one afternoon in late September. "And she's really a lovable, sweet woman. The kind you're proud to take home to meet your mother. But finally I just couldn't take it anymore. All those nights of blue balls just got too much for me. It got to where I was thinking of asking her to marry me just so I could bang her. That's when I knew it was time to get out."
I commiserated with him and with the others who told me their sad tales of sexual frustration. And I made a vow to myself that I would not become involved with her in any manner beyond simple friendship. Though I was certainly not the sort of man who expected to get laid just because I took a woman out for dinner once or twice, neither was I the sort who was prepared to maintain an extended, monogamous relationship with a woman that did not include sex until the marriage vows were spoken. I was, after all, a healthy, virile man in my early thirties. I needed to get laid once in a while. And I sure as shit wasn't ready to get married again after the hell of a marriage that I had left behind. Such thoughts did not even bear contemplation.
The problem was, she was not that easy to just dismiss as merely a friend. Something clicked between the two of us, of that there was no doubt. That moment of electricity we experienced at our first meeting was only the beginning. We saw each other every workday and my infatuation with her grew until it was almost an obsession....