so much. Miss Cole thought Andrew walked on water and everything he wrote was of great literary worth. I'm almost certain she didn't give him extra points for being hot because that would have been completely inappropriate. Whatever the reason, he was definitely her favorite student. I was depressed. English had always been my best subject. I had forever been the designated "teacher's pet" in all my past English classes. Maybe she just really enjoyed hearing his irresistible accent while he read. I had to admit it did make listening to him much more appealing. After school, he drove me home and stayed to help me with my precalculus deficiency. "Is there anything you can't do?" "What do you mean?" "How come you are so competent at absolutely everything? It's unnatural, and it's unfair!" I threw my arms up in the air with a melodramatic flourish.
"I'm hardly perfect." He laughed at my theatrics. "I can't figure you out. You are so observant and sensitive to everyone around you, but you can't see yourself with clarity. You look at the world in this funny, fresh, and unique way. I find you completely irresistible." He reached across the dining room table, took my face in his hands, and kissed me softly. This was our first real kiss. It was sweet and gentle, and I felt a sudden flash of energy surge through my body all the way to the soles of my feet. I had the compulsive urge to leap over the table into his lap, but somehow I managed to control myself. I was still afraid I might ruin the moment if I reacted with too much ardor. I didn't want him to jump up and run away. That night after he left, I washed the concealer off my face. The bruises on my face were no longer visible. They had completely faded away.
The rest of the week rushed by at breakneck speed. Maybe it was because I wanted to savor every minute I got to spend with Andrew. I was so afraid that he would suddenly realize I was hopelessly unworthy of him and disappear into nothingness, leaving me lost and alone again. He came for me every morning, and each time I opened the door, the thrill of seeing him there on my doorstep completely unnerved me. Every time he took my hand, my heart turned cartwheels, and my stomach tightened as if I were riding the roller coaster or some other whirling carnival ride. Move over, Disneyland! Hurricane was now the happiest place on earth!
He walked me to all my classes. He drove me home and stayed until just before my parents came home from the clinic. He had to work in the evenings most days. That saved me from the kind of discussions I didn't want to have with my parents, and I was very pleased about that. Parents tend to over react to such things as steady boyfriends. Alexis had been suspended for the week, so there were no more hateful words scrawled on my locker door. I hoped she wasn't at home plotting her next diabolical and vengeful move. I ordered that scary thought down to the basement of my mind so I wouldn't have to think about it. I didn't want that unpleasant stress to invade my current state of blissful euphoria. We got out early on Friday for Teachers' Preparation Day. Andrew drove past the street that led to my house. "Where are we going?" I didn't really care. I was up for anything as long as I was with him. "We're going to my house. There is something I think you will enjoy seeing." He was acting secretive. He kept his eyes on the road and avoided making eye contact. We turned off the highway at the winding road to his family's house on the hill. "Are you taking me home to meet your family?" I grinned. "No, they're at work, and Evelyn's shopping in St. George today. No one is home." He grinned back at me. "Don't worry; you are perfectly safe with me. I'm completely trustworthy." We stopped in front of the gleaming white house with marble columns. Palm trees and red oleander bushes lined the cobblestone walkway. Pomegranate and lemon trees were