I was the robotic specimen made flesh and blood, learning day in, day out like a slave. You were the freedom I longed to have, smoking each day away while reclining in the back seat of a metal box in the parking lot, a little like a prince.

I wrote and scribbled quite often. I was pretending to be scholarly. A master of literature. You drank coffee (with whisky, of course) from a polystyrene cup because you broke all the ceramic ones. A master of temptation, alcohol, sex and maybe, just maybe, wiping your own ass on a rare but highly celebrated occasion.

Oh, and you weren't such a terrible teacher, either.

You wrote "logical" equations on a large, dusty blackboard which hung off the wall in the left corner ever-so-slightly and smelt of calcium carbonate. Twenty pairs of eyes bore through the back of your greasy and unkempt head as the chalk screeched across the surface. The twenty-first pair of eyes were buried in a copy filled with notes about the geometry of a circle and you.

A is not equal to B

I was X, you were Y and we didn't blend, like brandy didn't blend with beer, although you still tried.

And so did we.

You approached me after another hour long imprisonment (or "lesson," as my masters preferred to call it) on an Autumn afternoon. You talked to (at) me about my progress. I'm slacking, you said. I need to try harder, you said. I must be given extra work, you said. You also said something about giving me further assistance and we were to meet in your cell at precisely 5PM. I obliged hesitantly. You grumbled a few sentences, presumably awkward parting phrases, before shuffling away. I stared after you for what seemed like a decade as my heart grew wings, flew out of my throat and into the air.

I arrived at the designated time. You arrived thirteen minutes late, much to my disappointment.

Similarly, C is not perpendicular to D

The metal legs of a plastic chair raked across the floor as you seated yourself without offering an apology. I muttered a greeting, chose the chair across from you and pulled out a large, battered book decorated with mindless doodles and miniature works of art here and there which were numerous enough to almost conceal its cover's original sky blue colour. You traced your fingers along the defilement and your nails dug in with disapproval. I patted down my already perfectly boring, brown hair whilst yours hung wildly and freely at your shoulder blades. Ebony patterned with thick lines of shimmering silver. A flowing, untamed mane that had never been violated. Your rough, bass vocal grated my ears and was sporadically complimented by my halcyon, soprano croon. Your elegant writing graced an unmarked, A3 page and starkly contrasted my scrawls.

Therefore it can be concluded that you + me = catastrophe

My hazel eyes which were marked with specks of black gazed at your sharp, clear, steel-coloured eyes. They shone like metal victimized by a bright, hot sun midday in summertime. My eyes burned and I looked away. That scorching sunlight of yours was far too intense for my sensitivity to confront.

Our conversation steered from mathematical to personal within the space of approximately 1800 seconds.

We chattered about your confidence, my insecurity, watermelon bubblegum which I loved but you thought was disgusting, music (I liked rock, you preferred soul) and the lack of purpose we have in this "prison" (and planet) so we thanked God for the logic of maths which somehow retained your last thread of sanity.

You drove me home in your little, white metal box and we bid farewell, except this time we weren't so formal (you said "See ya dear" and I nearly fell out of the passenger seat because you seemed so human).

And so it began.

The next day you smiled at me as you stood at the blackboard. A genuine, broad and mildly distorted smile. I cut out a winged paper heart with my ruler and placed it on your desk long after everyone left (including you). The detention for missing the class that ensued was worth it.

We often found ourselves side by side, trapped in the hallway traffic jams. What was once pleasantries and stuttered excuses escalated to avid discussions about our broken relationships, seeking psychiatric counsel in the corridor. Being stuck in the middle with you wasn't so bad.

We both ceased our love lives at the same time…

Promptly.

We entered a weekly routine. I arrived at your room at 5PM sharp every Wednesday. You were always late. The entire 3600 seconds were spent speaking of our lives. Our passions, our families, our work. Maths consumed a quarter of that period. 900 seconds. I didn't want it any other way and to my knowledge, you didn't either. We were in our own little world, and in this one we had meaning.

One Wednesday Winter evening my parents were at a meeting. My mother left a barely audible and cracked voicemail message saying that their arrival home would be severely delayed. I simply grinned and kept my phone switched off for the rest of the day. I wasn't going to reject more time with you.

You invited me to your place for a cup of coffee. I agreed. Your house was a white, dusty shack. Layered with cigarette ashes and misplaced quadrants, but it felt like home. I sipped my coffee too soon and it scorched the tip of my tongue. You offered to kiss it better. We both laughed at your joke. I drank the remainder of my beverage very gradually, not wanting to ever leave as my body spoke as volubly as your voice.

Once again, you drove me home. Your little, metal box skidded to a halt in my driveway as the moon peeked from behind the clouds, watching us intently. Your narrow features and metallic eyes glowed. We basked in the silence and I listened to your breath, slightly hitched and broken from all the time you spent smoking.

"I never thought a student could be such a good companion." (A lingering whisper)
"Y-yeah…" (A girl too dumbfounded by your beauty to respond)

Our eyes locked and so did our lips. I drank the whisky in your mouth as if it was honey and ran my tongue along your lips in the shape of the number 2. My mind was filled with disbelief and interrogated me, asking me if I should withdraw and walk away. I didn't.

You weren't joking after all.


Since then our weekly private sessions became daily as we slithered into dark corners to steal kisses and made love silently in the toilets during lunchtime. Unromantic but exhilarating nevertheless, at least to me. Sometimes we skipped an entire day to be together as one. It was all I could ever ask for.

You were never late for our meetings ever again.

"There she is."
"It's the teacher's trollop!"

Are the first words that greeted me when spring approached. My lips quivered and my teeth chattered as my heart bounced violently, but I sat down. When you arrived (13 minutes late), your corneas were a red hue. Your irises were a dull grey and our pupils refused to make contact.

You didn't turn up after school.
You didn't call me.
You didn't kiss me in dark corners or make love with me in the toilets.
You didn't invite me home for coffee.
You didn't let me drink the whisky on your tongue.
You didn't tell me how much you hated watermelon bubblegum.

After a month of heartbreak I was forced to move school. I never saw you again. I never had the chance to touch your skin or tell you I loved you one more time.


I was the robotic specimen made flesh and blood, learning day in, day out like a slave. You were the freedom I longed to have, smoking each day away while reclining in the back seat of a metal box in the parking lot, a little like a prince.

I wrote and scribbled quite often. I was pretending to be scholarly. A master of literature. You drank water (with lemon, of course) from a glass. A master of temptation, punctuality, sex and maybe, just maybe, wiping your own ass on a rare but highly celebrated occasion.

Oh, and you weren't such a terrible teacher, either.

You wrote about history on a large, dusty blackboard which hung off the wall in the right corner ever-so-slightly and smelt of calcium carbonate. Twenty pairs of eyes bore through the back of your perfectly neat and well-groomed head as the chalk screeched across the surface. The twenty-first pair of eyes were buried in a copy filled with notes about the first world war and you.