To Sir With Love
“Hi, do you have any books by,” I paused to consult my note. “Shel Silverstein?”
“The guy who wrote ‘a Boy Named Sue’ and ‘Sylvia’s Mother’? Sure.” The old guy behind the counter smiled and nodded so I nodded along like I had any idea what he was talking about. Sue, Sylvia, Shel? You wouldn’t wan to have a lisp!
I followed him through the store to the … kids section?
“This is very popular,” he told me, selecting a slim tome and handing it to me.
“Really? ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’.” I read the title, surprised. I’d expected … maybe some philosophical writings or deep and meaningful reflections on life, not a book of poems and drawings. I had a flick through but didn’t really take much in. If this was what he wanted, I was going to buy it anyway.
“Great!” I smiled at the guy who was watching me expectantly. His smile dimmed a little so I guess I hadn’t been properly appreciative. “It’s for my friend, well boyfriend,” I amended with a blush. Well I thought he was my boyfriend, who needed labels anyway!
“Ah.” His smile grew. “I’m sure he’ll love it.”
I declined the gift wrap, I wanted to add a personal note after all. Scott was usually so serious and intense, had he told me he wanted this Silverstein book to show me his lighter side? I would respond in kind. Instead of a card I could make a collage inside the book for him. People got rid of cards all the time after all but he’d keep the book forever.
I grabbed a stack of magazines and got to work. I needed lots of letters to spell out his name and birthday. The word ‘Libra’ so he’d see I knew his star sign. We were so compatible since I was a Gemini! A sexy picture of a woman, hopefully to remind him of me. The word ‘Imagine’ because he’d said once that he liked that song. I would spell out ‘no rules’ since us dating was technically breaking the rules. Teacher and student relationships were frowned upon after all! Hmm, no extra s so a z instead. ‘No Rulz’ was better anyway, more fun!
I arranged my bits and glued them in then added the personal note:
Here’s a little something to remind you what it feels like to be a kid … to be free or a small escape from all the madness … oh wait, how could I forget you still are a kid!
Perfect! He would remember when he read it how he said we were going to ‘drive him to madness’ then later would confess, ‘it’s okay, I’m still a kid at heart too’, and would laugh with us.
The next day it was all dry so I wrapped it up and got myself ready for our date. I’d heard him say he would be at a certain coffee shop at 11am so that’s where we’d meet and I could give him his present. I was a little early so I went into the charity shop across the road and browsed the books and clothes. Vintage was so chic right now and I’d heard a girl at school say she’d found a pair of Louboutin shoes in a second-hand shop and only had to pay $5 for them.
No such luck for me but by the time I finished browsing it was almost 11am so I went outside. Scott hated tardiness so I wanted to be right on time. I got out my compact and checked my lipstick and practised my smile. “Hi Scott, happy birthday,” I practised saying it in a sexy voice.
“Scott, happy birthday!”
My head jerked up, there he was! He was so gorgeous, with his messy blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes. he wasn’t in his usual slacks and shirts either and those jeans and tshirt … wow, he had a better body than I had ever imagined.
“Thanks darling,” I heard the familiar low rumble of his voice and I watched as he opened his arms to a woman, hugged her to his chest. What the hell was this, who was she?
“Happy birthday Daddy!”
There was a kid, my mouth dropped open as I watched him pick it up.
“Thanks pumpkin. What have you and mummy been up to?”
“We got you a present Daddy!”
I stood there and watched as he was handed a small parcel, tore the wrapping from it and exclaimed over it, kissing the woman and hugging the kid. From across the road I could see the cover of the book, it was the same as the one I was holding. Though I bet it didn’t have the meaningful collage inside.
Not that he would ever see it or care. Look at him, with his family. He should have told me about them, I shouldn’t have had to find out like this!
I watched as his head turned towards me, recognition lit up his face and he smiled. At me. That was my smile dammit. Then he turned to his wife and said something and she nodded and he jogged across the road to me.
“Hey Heather,” he said with a smile. “What are you doing down town alone. Are your parents here?”
My parents? Who cared about my parents? Couldn’t he see my heart was breaking?
“Ah sure Mr Marshall. They’re just inside,” I lied with a gesture at the charity shop.
“You look very pretty Heather, are you going to a party?” He looked at the wrapped present in my hand.
“Ah yeah, I am.” I nodded and gripped the book tightly. “I’m just waiting for my parents. You don’t have to wait, they wont be long.”
“Are you sure?” He looked across the street where the woman and kid were watching us.
Of course I was sure. I just wanted him to go away so he didn’t see my heart breaking. Plus I wasn’t a kid that needed looking after!
“Yeah I’m sure. Go on Mr Marshall, your family is waiting,” I smiled and waved to the kid who waved back. “I’ll go on and find my parents,” I added.
“Well okay. I’ll see you in class on Monday then.” He looked at me expectantly so I turned to go back into the shop.
“Yeah, see you Monday sir,” I walked inside then turned to watch him go back to his family.
Right next to me was a donations box. I looked at the gift wrapped book in my hand for a long moment. I couldn’t take it back with the collage inside and there was no way Scott was ever getting it now! I dropped it into the box, what a waste of money!