Ms. Bowman (PG-13)
I was two weeks away from high school graduation and counting the days until I got out of Greenville High. Grades had closed and work was basically done for us Seniors who could slide and guide for the final two weeks. But my English teacher Ms. Bowman was harassing me because I kept blowing her off about a commitment I had made weeks earlier.
Ms. Bowman had assisted me with some helpful research for an essay I was writing for Advanced Politics. She had done me a favor and the information she provided really put my work over the top and I had agreed to spend some time after school with her underclassmen journalism workshop as a pay back.
Of course I never followed through with the promise, caught up in end of the year social activities and other good off events. Ms. Bowman continued to hound and guilt me, reminding me that I was only as good as my word and that she was holding me to my obligation even though I repeatedly tried to back out of it.
The thing was I really liked Ms. Bowman. She was by far my most favorite teacher, a mentor who had gone out of her way to help me through high school and get me involved in the school newspaper and literary magazine. She was my biggest fan and my most ardent supporter and I owed all my success to her. I liked her both as a teacher and a person. She was energetic, spunky, humorous, good natured, and she brought life to her classroom. I knew I would never forget her and the difference she made in my academic high school career.
Ms. Bowman was also an attractive woman and while I liked her appearance it was never a sexual attraction. She wore her black hair curly and frizzy, she had a nice figure that the guys often commented about behind her but I liked her because she was a good teacher who cared about her students and made sure we learned as much as we could.
I really thought Ms. Bowman had a hair up her ass about this whole underclassmen journalism workshop thing and that she was being unfair in going out of her way to make me follow through with it. She kept stopping me in the halls and telling me to report to the workshop after school and of course I never did. I figured I could ride it out until graduation and then I would be free.
Ms. Bowman cornered me by my locker one morning and I could tell she was not happy.
"Listen, Paxton," she said, controlling her anger. "A commitment is a commitment. You said you were going to do this for me and I expect you to follow through on your word. You will be in Room 207 for the workshop today after school at 2:40 or I will have your diploma pulled," she threatened.
"You can't do that," I protested.
"Watch me," she said with stern face. "I don't want to go to the mat with you on this but you leave me with no choice with your poor attitude. Today is my last workshop. Either show up or you don't get your diploma"
She marched down the hall and I had to admit I was a little hurt by her strong arm tactics. She had never been that forceful with me before and I resented her for suddenly turning into a bitch. I knew she really liked me and that I was her favorite student and I couldn't understand why she was giving me such a hard time in the waning days of my high school career.
I had gym ("Physical Education") the last period of the day and I goofed off in that class just as I had been goofing off everywhere else. Final grades were closed and posted and there wasn't a whole lot teachers could do with us big deal Seniors except wait for us to get the hell out.
I spotted Julie Hathaway and Annie Andrews sitting in the bleachers at the end of PE Class so I went over to them and shot the shit for a while, harmless flirting with stupid banter because it was fun to do and I was running out of opportunities to be the class ladies man with graduation right around the corner. Then I remembered that I was supposed to be in Ms. Bowman's stupid workshop at 2:40. I glanced at my watch and saw that it was 2:34 so I said so long to the girls and beat feet to the locker room.
I had wasted so much time that the rest of the class had already showered and cleared the locker room so I stripped out of my stinky sweating clothes and trotted naked into the open showers to quickly wash off and get to Ms. Bowman's workshop. Annie would later tell me that a frustrated and stoned faced Ms. Bowman bolted into the gym looking for me.
"She looked like she was constipated," Annie reported. "I could tell she was really pissed."
Ms. Bowman asked the girls if they had seen me and Julie told her that I had just gone into the locker room so the teacher started for the door like she was on a mission from God.
"Hey, you can't go in there!" Julie said she called out but Ms. Bowman just waved her hand at her as to say 'Shut up and mind your own business.'
I had taken a quick shower but in my haste to get it done I had inadvertently left my towel in my locker so I headed there naked realizing I was almost out of time. And as I came around the corner I almost ran into Ms. Bowman who was standing there with her hands on her hips. She obviously didn't expect to find me naked but there I was in front of her in the raw. I stopped dead in my wet barefooted tracks and gawked at her totally stunned and embarrassed into paralyzed frigidity.
Ms. Bowman tried to maintain her composure and act as if nothing was going on but I could tell that she was just as awkwardly shocked as I was. She tried to look me in the eyes but I was pretty sure she glanced down once or twice and I think I got a little bit hard. Ms. Bowman was a beautiful, attractive, and desirable woman and here she was gawking at me in all my vulnerability.
I suppose I should have tried to cover myself up with my hands or duck behind a row of lockers or something but I just couldn't move and I stared at my teacher as if I was about to die. Actually, I would have preferred if she just pulled out a gun and shot me dead where I stood.
"Didn't I tell you to be in my workshop by 2:40?" Ms. Bowman demanded.
"Yes, you did," I said. "I was just on my way."
"This is your last chance, Paxton," she said. "I'm done dealing with you. You have five minutes to get up there or you won't be graduating with your class. Do you understand?"
"I understand," I replied, not sure where to look.
"Thank you," she replied forcefully. "We will be waiting."
Ms. Bowman gave me one last look before she turned and walked out of the locker room and I probably stood there for a good thirty more seconds before I finally moved toward my locker wishing I could melt into a puddle on the floor. It was the absolutely the most embarrassing, awkward and humiliating moment of my life and the last thing I wanted to do was go see Ms. Bowman. I wished I could just go home and hide for the next two weeks.
I dried off and dressed as quickly as I could and as I exited the locker room, I glanced at the exit door at the end of the hall and I wondered if that was the right way to go. But I wanted my diploma and I really did make a commitment to Ms. Bowman. I knew I owed it to her to show up even if she had seen my dick.
Walking into the workshop classroom was the most difficult thing I'd ever done. I couldn't even look at Ms. Bowman as I entered. There were six or seven Freshmen and Sophomores sitting around a table and they looked at me with anticipation and interest.
"Guys, this is Paxton Rivers, one of the most talented writers I've had the pleasure to teach." I heard Ms. Bowman's voice from somewhere in the room but I didn't look to see where she was. "I asked him to spend some time with us and give us some of his insight and lessons learned from his four years as a journalism and English student here at Greenville High. Go ahead, Paxton."
I kept my eyes on the student and found myself cupping my hands over my groin as I stood in front of them and talked about my experiences as a high school journalist and writer and what I learned along the way. I told them they had to read to be able to write. I told them to write everyday, to keep a journal, to be aware, and to observe. I told them to research their work, to back up their facts, to have dependable sources and to be accurate.
I actually enjoyed talking to the kids, answering their questions, and looking at some of their work, and I wasn't sure why I had been so resistant in the first place. But now I had ruined everything with Ms Bowman, first by being a jerk and giving her a hard time about meeting her workshop students and then putting both of us and our student-teacher relationship in a compromising position because of what happened in the locker room.
I don't remember if I even looked at Ms. Bowman when she thanked me for coming and I escaped the room as fast as I could, glad that it was all over. I avoided Ms. Bowman for the rest of the school year because I didn't know what to say to her and I was beyond humiliated.
I never told a soul about what happened that day. I'm sure some of my friends would have thought it was funny, or a turn on, or a hall of fame moment but I didn't want anybody to know. I didn't think it was funny or sexy or sexual. I as ashamed and shamed and it was not something I wanted anybody to know about. I have no idea what Ms. Bowman was thinking in the aftermath but I wasn't going to ask.
I went off to college at Syracuse University and I graduated with a English and journalism degree, returning to Greenville where I landed a job at my hometown Greenville News and Dispatch. I covered local politics and I was given a weekly column. Five years into my career, things were going pretty well. I had established myself as a reporter and as well liked co-worker with my fellow journalists on the paper. The paper organized a team for the annual Relay for Life Cancer Walk at the Blue County Fairgrounds and I signed on to be a member, partly to get to know my co-workers better and partly because my grandfather had recently withered away and died a somewhat gruesome death to an aggressive form of cancer. I got my sponsors and committed to walking a certain number of miles round the horse track and showed up at the fairgrounds on Friday evening with my sleeping bag and a lounge chair to participate in the 20 hour event.
The Greenville News and Dispatch Team ("Let's Dispatch Cancer Now!") was spotted next to the Greenville High School team ("Giants to Crush Cancer") on the inside of the track. It had been ten years since I graduated from Greenville High and I hadn't thought much about it since moving on. Maybe I didn't want to think about those last two weeks so I forgot about everything. I didn't even know if Ms. Bowman was still teaching at Greenville High and I figured the chances were pretty slim that she would be here at the Blue County Fairgrounds on a Friday night with a bunch of high school kids although I saw some parents and teachers chaperoning the event.
When I thought back on my sex life since the ill fated and embarrassing locker room incident I realized that I was timid and almost shy. I rarely got naked in front of my lover, usually waiting until I was under the covers before pulling off my boxers or I would make sure we did it in the dark. I suppose that was a result of Ms. Bowman seeing me that day - I'm not sure but I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it.
I set my chair up and greeted my co-workers and fellow relay participants, content to enjoy myself and raise some money for the cancer charity. But I found myself peering toward the Greenville High School camp several times while I shoot the breeze with my Dispatchers. I didn't want to be paranoid but for some reason I had a feeling that something was going to happen.
And sure enough, it did.
"Hi, Ms. Bowman!" I heard some kid yell and I looked across the race track to see a woman in her late thirties strolling across the dirt with a several bags of stuff. She was wearing bagging jeans shorts, the team tee shirt and white running shoes. Her hair was still black and frizzy and she still had the same smile I remembered. She had put on a couple of pounds and her chin was a little pouched but she was still an attractive woman.
I froze for a moment and all of a sudden I felt like I was that kid in the locker room all over again. I turned my back so Ms. Bowman wouldn't see me and I felt my heart begin to beat harder in my chest. Yeah, there's Ms. Bowman - the teacher who saw my dick!
I could spent the next twenty hours trying to avoid her hoping she didn't see, notice, or recognize me and even though there were thousands of people at the fairground participating in the event I knew the chances of that happening were pretty slim so I decided to confront my fears and embarrassment and once Ms. Bowman had settled into her camp I turned and walked toward the Greenville High School set up.
Ms. Bowman was sitting in her chair and she glanced up when she saw me approaching.
"Paxton Rivers," she said before I arrived and I was surprised she recognized me so quickly.
"Hello, Ms. Bowman," I replied. "It's been a while."
"Yes, it has," she agreed with a smile. "You're walking with the newspaper?"
"I am," I verified. "You walking or chaperoning?"
"Both," she answered. "Gotta make sure there's no hanky-panky tonight."
I glanced at some of the teenagers. "Ah, yes, Friday date night," I joked.
"Not on my watch," Ms. Bowman said forcefully. "I've been following you in the newspaper," she said cheerfully. "You're still the best writer I've ever had as a student."
"Thanks," I replied. "You had a lot to do with that."
She smiled with pride. "Hey, I don't have a partner," she said. "You want to walk together?"
I wasn't sure what the answer should be. No, I'm too embarrassed. No, you saw me naked. No, you're my teacher.
"Okay," I agreed.
We went to our team captains and arranged it so our times for walking matched. Then we hung around together on the boundaries of both camps. I saw some other teachers I recognized and recalled and I said hello to new ones Ms. Bowman introduced me too and I had her say hello to some of my newspaper colleagues.
We took a practice walk around the track one, checking out the thousands of luminaries (small paper bags with small candle on the inside with photos of loved ones with their names and brief messages on the outside). The number of cancer victims and survivors was staggering and it was touching to see so many names I recognized. There were at least 100 teams participating and it was easy to bump into someone I knew from high school, or the old neighborhood, or around town. There were acts (dancers, solo singers, musical groups, comedians, jugglers, etc.) on a couple of stages around the track to entertain all night long as well as other activities (Contests, competitions, etc.).
Ms. Bowman and I watched them light the thousands of luminaries at dusk which was rather breathtaking when they were all glowing in the dark and we talked as we did our scheduled laps. I told her about my college successes writing for the school newspaper and getting a few short stories and articles published. We chatted about what it was like for me to come back and work for my hometown newspaper too. Ms. Bowman talked about a few changes that had taken place at the high school since I graduated and how her marriage had fallen apart.
"Man, I'm surprised," I admitted. "You were telling a new Mr. Bowman story almost every day of the week," I recalled.
"Well, I was a lot younger and hopelessly in love back then," she said with a shrug. "It was all genuine."
It felt a little weird talking to my old teacher as an adult instead of a student. Suddenly, I didn't see her as a teacher as much as a contemporary with like experiences and interests. She was an interesting person, and much more human than I remembered. I was so busy idolizing her back then that I forgot she was a real person too. I was 28 years old and my only frame of reference regarding Ms. Bowman was that she was my teacher and those were the memories I had of her, especially one traumatic one that I prayed to God she didn't bring up.
When we weren't walking laps, we were hanging around the tents chatting with other team members, folks walking by, and students who were hanging out and maybe looking for a little fun times. I accompanied Mrs. Bowman a few times to check on the smaller tents to make sure everything was kosher there with the teenagers.
We'd walk for an hour or so and then take an hour off, sitting in our chairs drinking water or power drinks, granola bars and hot dogs cooked on a grill while talking with others who stayed awake to chat or walk. It was a long but fun night.
At about 4 a.m., Ms. Bowman and I were sitting alone under the stars. Most everybody else was out on the track walking or in the small tents cat napping or watching the teens. We were sitting with our heads back in our chairs watching the night sky and the bright stars.
"I would have lost my job that day if somebody had come in," Ms. Bowman said out of the blue and my heart skipped.
"I really don't want to talk about that," I said awkwardly, suddenly nervous.
"If a coach or a teacher or another student had come in there would have been a scandal and I surely would have been fired," she said.
"It was the most humiliating moment of my life," I revealed.
"Oh, you shouldn't feel that way," she assured me.
"You weren't the one who was naked," I pointed out forcefully.
She didn't say anything for a long moment, as if she was considering my situation at the time.
"You never told anybody?"
"Of course not," I groaned. "I would have been the laughing stock."
"I don't know what I was thinking that day," she admitted.
"It was the boy's locker room," I stated with annoyance.
"I was just so frazzled that you were blowing me off again and not taking me seriously," Ms. Bowman tried to explain. "It never occurred to me that you might be in the shower. I just wanted to get you to my workshop."
"Whatever," I sighed, hopelessly embarrassed.
There was another long pause.
"I became a better teacher after that," Ms. Bowman finally said. "I was so grateful that I didn't get caught or fired that I was much more grounded and much less emotional about things after that. I didn't take things quite as personally. I didn't let students get under my skin like I allowed you to."
"Well, glad I could help out," I said sarcastically.
She knew I wasn't happy about the ten year old situation. She gave me a long look in the dark.
"I'm sorry I embarrassed you, Paxton," she said quietly. "It was mortifying for me too."
"Yeah, but you weren't naked," I said again.
There was another long pause and then it was our time to walk some laps. Things between us were a little different now. I felt like that vulnerable naked kid back in the locker room and Ms. Bowman sensed that I was upset so she didn't talk quite so much. Of course, we could have been tired too!
We watched the sun rise in the eastern sky and that was a beautiful sight to witness. The track started to become more crowded with walkers and runners and it was a nice early morning feeling to be a part of it all. One of the teachers made a coffee and donut run and I sat in my chair long hand writing out a draft of my walk story. Each reporter participating was going to write a first person account of the experience. My angle, of course, was Ms. Bowman, writing a long over due salute to my high school mentor who was responsible for me being there to write the story in the first place.
We finished our lap commitment by eight o'clock but we hung around and cheered on our teammates and other workers, watched some of the entertainment acts, and made sure the teenagers were behaving themselves.
It turned out to be a glorious early June day and it felt like it was 80 degrees by ten o'clock. We walked some extra walks to keep others company and I was feeling kind of sweaty and grungy by the time we called it a day at around noon. We picked up our camp and made sure everybody was accounted for and all set before Ms. Bowman and I started walking for the main gate.
"Well, it was nice to see you again, Ms. Bowman," I said as we reached the grassy parking lot across the street from the fairgrounds. "Thanks for walking with me."
"Take a ride with me, Paxton," Ms. Bowman said.
"My car's over there," I remarked, confused by her offer.
"We'll come back for it later," she replied. "Come with me this way," she said.
She was still the teacher and I was still the student so I followed her without question. We piled our stuff into her SUV and I climbed into the passenger seat. Neither of said anything as we drove out of the lot and I wasn't sure if I cared if anybody saw us or not.
She drove us to her house in one of the quieter streets of Greenville, a small ranch with a fenced in pool in the back. We were both hot and sweaty from the long physical night and she led me into the back where the in-ground pool was.
"I got the house, of course," she replied. "The pool has been nice."
I nodded but I didn't say anything. Ms. Bowman had her back to me and I was stunned when she peeled off her shirt, dropped her bra, and stepped out of her shorts, standing naked with her revealed ass for me to see. She slowly turned to face me and she offered a small smile.
"Now I'm naked, Paxton," she said quietly.
I tried not to gawk at her beautiful nudeness.
"And now we're even," she added before she dove into the pool and swam to the other end.
There was a knot in my throat and I didn't know if I should laugh or cry, leave or strip naked and dive in after her. I watched her shiny and glistening body glide through the pool water and I swallowed nervously before I peeled out of my clothes and stood on the edge of the pool. This time, I didn't care that she was seeing me naked.
She stopped swimming and looked up at me, smiling invitingly so I dove in and joined her.
"This water is perfect!" I said when I reached her.
"Yeah, it is," she agreed. "I thought we could use it after our long night."
"It feels nice," I said.
"Are you okay with this?" She wanted to know.
I nodded my head yes.
"You're not embarrassed this time?" She asked.
I nodded my head no. "Not with you with me like this," I admitted. "To be honest, it feels good to be so naked but I can't help but feel like we're breaking some unwritten rule." I felt a bit sheepish.
"Feels good huh?" Ms. Bowman asked.
"It feels…healing," I replied.
"That's good," she said.
Then she leaned into me, put her arms around my neck and kissed me. Her lips were soft on mine and then the kiss got increasingly deeper and I returned the gesture by pressing even harder against her as I put my arms around her waist. Her mouth slightly opened and I took it even further by sliding my tongue into her mouth as my hands began going up and down her back and finally made their way down to her beautiful ass. A small moan escaped Ms. Bowman's mouth as she grabbed a tighter hold around my neck and wrapped her legs around my waist. I could feel her mound against me, barely an inch above my dick.
She broke from me and swam away seductively and I followed her. She left the pool and I followed her.
"I think it might be time for a shower," she said as she led me inside the house.
I followed her dripping into the bathroom and we rinsed off the chlorine and track dirt and then we dried off and she took me into her bedroom where we collapsed naked on the bed and fell asleep from our long exhausting night.
It was late afternoon when I woke up, spooning Ms. Bowman from behind as she remained asleep. I moved down and kissed her ass and she stirred, rolling over to look at me.
"What now?" She wondered with a warm smile.
"I can think of something," I grinned, as I pushed her onto her back.
"And then what?" She wanted to know.
"And then I'll write about it," I replied as I mounted myself over her.