“CAN I COME IN?” Roger glanced up from the homework he was grading. Then at his watch. Office hours were almost over. If there had been a knock, he hadn’t heard it. But the source of that interruption wasn’t waiting for an answer. She closed the door behind her and sat down on the other side of the pile of papers he’d been working his way through. Oh, the joys of teaching. Five years into it and he was already wondering how much longer he could stand it. But of course teaching had its rewards. One of which, perhaps, had just turned up.
“Miss Keane.” Thank goodness he had remembered her name. “What can I help you with?”
No answer. It had taken all her courage, it appeared, to enter the office. “Please, sit down.”
She touched the chair on the other side of his desk as if it were going to electrocute her, then, reluctantly, settled into it. Still no word from her. She’d been like that in his class all fall, sitting in the back of the room, making herself as small as possible, as quiet as possible, never asking a question or volunteering an answer, barely talking to the other girls. A little flower child, but born too late. The Sixties had sputtered to an end almost a decade ago.
“Miss Keane. Sarah. Your work has been quite good. If that’s what you’re worried about.”
“I only had a B plus at midterm.”
“You’re in college now. All the girls in your class were A students in high school or they wouldn’t be here.” Unless their parents are filthy rich, he added silently. “You have signs of some real talent. I give a few problems that require understanding, not just memorization or rote study, and you’ve done well on those. Really, Sarah, you’re doing just fine, in my course, at least. I just wish you would participate in the class a bit more.”
“My friends call me Sally.” She smiled then, and he realized she could be very pretty. Not a girl you would notice, somehow, the shape of her body muffled in a heavy sweater, long straight hair, not quite blonde. Could she really be old enough to be in college? Each year they seemed younger and younger.
“Sally.” He repeated the name, wondering if that made them friends now.
“Professor Wilson …”
“You can call me Roger.”
That provoked another smile. “It’s, like, a personal problem.”
“Oh. Well girls come in with those all the time. More than the math ones. Trouble with their boy friends. Or girl friends.”
That last was enough to turn her very pale complexion a lovely light pink. She looked like she was about to get up and flee. But she caught her breath and continued. “It’s about my boy friend. At least, he was my boy friend. In high school. I haven’t seen him since we went off to college. I, uh, sort of made a promise to him.”
“We’re not talking about Calculus.”
“No.” She flashed that smile again. “Definitely not Calculus. Thanksgiving is next week. I want to be able to go back home and see my boyfriend and fuck his brains out.”
Those words coming out of that quiet little mouth were enough to make Roger choke on his coffee. “Oh.”
“There’s just one problem.” She was back to being the little mouse again, just like that.
“Wrong time of the month? That I cannot help you with.”
“No, not that. My mother made sure I was on the pill before I went off to college, so I know when that’s going to happen.”
“You need money for the trip?”
“What?” That provoked another blush. “You think I would come in here to…well I suppose you’ve seen everything. No, it’s the other part of it.” She paused again. “We, like, never could get it to work, you know? Each time we tried, it like wasn’t happening. So, I like promised that I would get it figured out…” She trailed off.
“Oh. And that hasn’t happened?”
A shake of the head.
“What about him?”
“He’s off at some boys’ school in the middle of nowhere. I don’t think he’s seen a girl since he left home.”
“Oh. Well there’s always Christmas.”
“It’s his birthday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s supposed to be his birthday present. And…and…I told him everything was all set. It’s going to be so horrible.” She actually started to cry. “I’m so embarrassed. Tonya said you maybe, maybe could help me.”
That was enough for Roger to feel his own face redden. At that, Sally seemed to gain confidence. She leaned back in the little wooden chair, brushed her hair back, and opened the sweater, revealing perky little breasts somewhat hidden by a white knit top.
“Tonya.” Yes, that was where else he had seen her, eating dinner with Tonya and her friends. Part of Tonya’s circle. Tonya was a senior, but she had collected a group of freshmen. Her harem, was the gossip around the dorm. “Haven’t seen her for a while.”
“We come over and eat at your dorm all the time. You mean you haven’t fucked her for a while.”
Who would think the little mouse would have a potty mouth when she did start talking?
“I thought she was into girls now.” Roger tossed out the retort, wondering if he would get another reaction. Had Tonya seduced the little mouse? Not that it was any of his business.
“Maybe. What difference does it make? All the girls are into girls. At least a little bit. You must know that. Anyway, I want you to help me the same way you helped her.”
“Oh?” Roger was drawing a blank. There had been a lot of girls, since Tonya. So many girls, so little time. And now this one, sitting between him and lunch. What would it be like to fuck her? Any different than Alice last night, Tricia set up for this evening? Or maybe it was Alice again.
“She was a virgin. Her boyfriend couldn’t do anything about it. You could. I want you to do the same thing for me.”
“Really.” Roger started to stack up the graded and ungraded papers into piles. It was time to shoo away the little mouse, very gently. His stomach was grumbling.
“You know, the Boston area is full of horny college boys. I’m sure one of them would be glad to do it.”
“You think I haven’t been trying? I’ve been to God knows how many mixers, frat parties, you name it. Nothing ever happens.”
“Really? You’re very pretty.”
“Why thank you. I look even better without clothes on. The one time a guy did have the courtesy to take me back to his room he was so wasted he couldn’t get it up. At least not enough to get it in. He sort of rubbed against me for a while and sort of came and said how great it was.”
“You can get pregnant that way.”
“That’s why I’m on the pill. My mother didn’t want me bringing anyone extra back home.”