I loved staring at her small, maroon-colored lips as she read aloud to the class from The Catcher in the Rye. Her brown eyes would shift from line to line in the those squared glasses. Light freckles were sprinkled on her cheeks. Her long black hair would drop past her shoulders all the way to the small of her back. At times, she would wear it in a bun or pigtails.
She would step out from behind the podium exposing her outfit for the day. Her style was neither trendy nor outdated. It was professional and nerdy while maintaining her artistic flair. I’d occasionally catch a glimpse of her neck tattoo. No matter how conservative, no outfit could conceal the shape of those huge breasts. I would imagine squeezing them, sucking them, and using them as pillows. She’d give me a boner at the most inopportune time—right before the bell rang so I would have to put my hand in my pocket to hold it down and hide it as I walked out of class. Later on at night, my mind would fill with thoughts of Ms. Salazar as I masturbated.
On Valentine’s Day, her desk was piled up with roses and flowers that other male students brought for her. The single rose I bought, pathetic in comparison, was lost among them.
My friends and I would speculate about her.
“You think she has those nice little nipples or those ugly pancake types?”
“No fucking way, man; she for sure has little, half-dollar-sized pink ones.”
“I’m sure she has a little landing strip on her pussy. I like that.”
“You’re a fucking virgin; you don’t know what you like.”
“So are you. I’ve seen plenty of porn, and I know what gives me a boner.”
“How are you going to fuck her?”
“Doggy style and then cum all over her mouth.”
“Ha-ha, no you’re not. You don’t even know how to talk to girls. You’re only going to fuck her after I fuck her. You can enjoy my sloppy seconds.”
“Fuck you! She’s mine!”
She was only there for a semester. She was a student teacher working on her credentials. On her last day she gave a sweet goodbye speech and thanked us. After class, I went up, said I’d miss her, and gave her a hug. I wouldn’t see her again for ten years.
“Hey, man,” I said to my best friend Sleazy-E, “remember I told you about the teacher named Ms. Salazar I wanted to fuck in high school?”
“She’s in my summer chemistry class.”
“What’s she doing there?”
“I guess she wants to be a nurse or some shit now.”
“Does she remember you?”
“Yeah, I reminded her she was my junior-year English teacher, and she said she thought I looked familiar.”
“Are you developing a scheme to fuck her?”
The plan of action was to play the long game. It would be a multi-stage operation. I’d acquire her as a lab partner and then a study partner. When time permitted, I’d work in bite-size pieces of humblebrag—but not so much that I’d stir any suspicion into my ulterior motives. With these little kernels of Felix propaganda, she would be impressed by my unique set of life experiences since we last met, how well traveled I was, and that I have lived in foreign lands. She was an English teacher who loved to read books, so she would also see I have the deep creative soul of a writer. I got this covered. Just need to play it cool and not fuck it up.
I am one hour late to meeting her at Starbucks for our study session. She was already there with another fellow student. We are two weeks into the class, and I was already fucked. I just failed our first exam. I was going over some of the rudimentary stuff we had learned during Week One trying to catch up. We take a little study break.
“So you have a boyfriend now or what?” I ask.
“Yeah, we’ve been together for four years,” she says.
“Oh, shit—long haul, huh?”
“What does he do?”
“Well, not much of anything. He’s kind of in a weird spot in his life. He’s really smart. But he is slacking on completing his master’s degree. He only needs a few units, yet he keeps making excuses.”
“He doesn’t have a job?”
“No. He’s also never lived on his own.”
“How old is he?”
She continues to give me more details about him. I make the educated conclusion that I’m not going find out whether she has half-dollar-sized or pancake-sized nipples or whether or not she has a landing strip in the foreseeable future.
A text message awakes me at 10:37AM.
“Why aren’t you in class?” asks Ms. Salazar.
“I’m too far behind. I dropped it.”
One Friday night a few months later, I’m working as a bouncer at one of the bars on Main Street in Huntington Beach. I’m performing my job with the utmost professionalism while scrutinizing every female specimen that enters the establishment to borderline-creepy degree. Amid the crowd in the dim lights of the bar appears that petite little body that I spent many an English class ravaging in elaborate daydreams instead of paying attention to the class discussion. I walk up to her.
“Raul!” she says as she gives me a hug. “You work here now? You still in school?”
“Yeah, just a few classes, but I’m focusing more on my writing now. I even had one article go viral.”
“Ah, good for you! I remember you told me about that. I never got around to reading it.”
Then a guber appears from the shadows, hosting a drink for Ms. Salazar.
She introduces him: “Raul, this is my boyfriend.”
“How you doing, bro?” I shake his hand.
“Good,” he says.
I talk to her a bit more and walk back to my post. I never expected her boyfriend to look like such a dirtbag. His demeanor reeks of fecklessness. His dirty blond hair spills sloppily from the brim of his sweat-stained baseball cap that he wears backwards. His slight belly protrudes over an ill-fitting shirt. An unearned sense of self-worth is plastered on his shit-eating smirk. I continue comparing and contrasting us visually; I am superior to him in every way.
“I need a man, not a boy,” she had said to me during the study session. “Someone who has his act together.”
I recall all the things I’ve done to be a self-sufficient man since I was 18. I’m superior to him in that regard also.
I had admired Ms. Salazar as a woman of high intelligence, good taste, and sound decision-making skills. But this healthy dose of reality smashed those delusions. She was as flawed as any other chick I’ve encountered. She was just another woman: driven by emotions and love, even if it involves a man who’s a piece of shit. I may have been superior to her man in all aspects, yet he had me beat at the most important one: He got to her and won her heart first. Sometimes, that’s the only quality a man needs to have.