"On Saturday I'll have a party."
Jamie smiled at me and I was surprised.
He laughed a little bit and I think he blushed.
"My parents and some friends come to my house. It's my birthday."
Okay? Why did he say that information to me?
"Twenty-five years..." he mumbled. "Time go fast."
At last I knew how old he was now. I smiled and I tried to collect my thoughts.
"Congratulations in advance?"
"Thank you!" he said happily and then he looked at me again. "You will soon be seventeen?"
I nodded. My birthdays thus far hadn't been some fun days. For me, it was still only about one more year.
He pointed to the book and he proceeded to read to me. My mind was spinning around. Why was he telling me about such a topic? He would celebrate his birthday with his parents and friends. I was only a student and he didn't even invite me? Still, he took it up as if it was important.
We finished school and I would go home. I always went with Jamie to his car, which was a habit. He looked almost dreamily at me this afternoon. He didn't say much and I wondered right away if I had done something wrong. He wasn't himself and I didn't like the new Jamie. When we arrived to the car, he turned around to face me and he looked straight into my eyes.
"Want you to come to my party on Saturday?"
I felt my entire stomach started to tingle. The blood was hot and I realized that he really wanted me to come.
"Is it appropriate for me..."
He interrupted me.
"I'm honest when I say that my parents want to meet you." he said quickly. "I've talked about my work with them and..." he paused for a few seconds. "They want to meet you."
Okay, I was disappointed. His parents wanted to meet his pupil? I didn't understand why but I didn't ask that question.
"It would be wrong of me to come." I said. He quickly shook his head and he still hesitated.
"I want..." he looked down at the ground. "I understand you."
I nodded and I was ready for the discussion to be over. I would leave him to go to my bike, but he stopped me. Soft he grabbed my arm and he looked at me again with his gorgeous eyes.
"Can't you come for my sake...?"
Something happened. It was as if time stopped and I saw at him that he wanted to ask me on his knees. It was as if he put all the power of words and he really meant what he said. "Please!"
I swallowed. I felt my legs were weak and I couldn't help but blush. I chose to only nod in reply. He seemed to take a breather and he smiled awry.
"I'll pick you up at five o'clock and I promise to take you home afterwards."
I used to never wear make me, but on Saturday, I made an exception. I put on one of my newer dresses that my grandma had bought for me. I put on my shoes and all the things that I otherwise wouldn't have.
Grandma stood in the door and she looked at me closely. I blushed quickly and I tried not to show that I disagreed.
She came up to me and stood at the middle of the floor.
"Jamie will be here soon."
I nodded and I tried to calm my nerves.
"I know!" I said quickly. "And what did you want me?"
She smiled and she looked down at the floor.
"Maybe I'm just a grandma, but I see things." she said. I frowned.
"What do you mean?"
She blushed quickly and she took a deep breath.
"According to me, an old woman, it looks as if Jamie has feelings for you."
I froze. I didn't know if I should smile or what I would do.
"No he has..."
She interrupted me.
"I didn't come in here and talk about it, but I just thought to mention that I suspect that he really cares."
"He's my teacher and he's so much older than me."
"But sometimes an age doesn't stop a man from to fall in love." she looked at me. "He always looks at you in a special way, and I see that he's struggling to not go over the limit."
I trembled. Why did I trembled? I nodded a little bit and then I shook my head.
"No, he thinks that I'm his job."
"Sure!" she said and I understood that she dropped the subject. "I hope you have a pleasant evening."
Grandma's words echoed in my head. When I came into Jamie's apartment, it felt like the thrill was total. He smiled and he made sure I felt at home. I had no idea if I would think on my grandma's words or listen to my head. Jamie wasn't in love with me.... he made me tremble with desire. Talk about me being double.
"So nice to finally meet you."
I almost fainted. Jamies mom hugged me and she smiled at me.
"My name is Cath," she said cheerfully. "And this is Jamies dad Jon."
I was overwhelming by the feelings that fell over me. It was as if I was already was his girlfriend and this was the first meeting with his parents. I just blushed and I tried to collect myself.
"Nice to meet you." I got out of me. It came after his friends. Anton, who was a big guy who really knew how to talk. Simon, a more reserved guy and then came Andy, who also was Jamies brother.
He had put up food in the kitchen and all sat down at the table. I ended up between Jamie and his dad. It felt odd and I tried to follow the conversation. Everyone was talking loudly and it was as if everyone had been longing for this day.
"Is it okay?" Jamie whispered to me. I just nodded and I tried to get in some food. He smiled and I noticed that he seemed to understand me. Cath looked at me often and it was as if she had been looking forward to getting to know me.
When all was done, I helped Jamie to clear the table. The other went into the other room and I heard that they were talking about world politics. I knew nothing about the subject and I would rather help him.
"Your mom's so kind." I said kindly and closed the door to the dishwasher.
He looked at me with his gray eyes, and he looked pleased. I hesitated.
"Why does it feel as if they already know who I am?"
He trimmed calm and he quickly leaned against the bench. He looked at me and I felt how my stomach tingled.
"I may have said a little about you."
He laughed, a little embarrassed, and he looked down at the floor.
"The facts that I can't read and that I have a mother who abused me?"
He quickly shook his head and I noticed redness on his cheeks.
"No, or maybe. But I have instead said that you are a nice person and that you're struggling." he looked at me. "My mom's the principal of a private school and she also works with students who have different problems. I believe that she's one of the best at taking care of the students."
I was surprised.
He swallowed, and his eyes were so intense. I leaned against the counter and I waited for him to tell me more.
"When I was little and I heard how she really burned for students who needed help, she convinced me that I should become a teacher." he looked at me. "My goal is to be as good a teacher like her."
"You are already a good teacher?"
He smiled wryly and he looked down at the floor to avoid eye contact.
"I'm doing my best."
"Want to know a secret?"
He looked up at me again. He looked curious at the same time amazed.
"Do you have secrets?"
"Yes, I can actually keep secrets, even those who you don't know about?"
"Okay, tell me!"
I swallowed. I tried to let proud of myself.
"I have borrowed books from the library." I whispered quickly. "It's just children's books, but I've almost read through one of the books." I swallowed. "It's the first time I have read a single book from cover to cover."
Jamie just stared at me. He almost seemed not to believe me.
"What's it about?"
I blushed again and I looked down at the floor.
"It's about a rabbit who lives in the woods. He has many friends who help him find the carrots."
I didn't see that Jamie came up to me. Not until I felt his arms around me and he hugged me.
"Sara?" he got out of himself, and I felt his stubble against my cheek. "It's just wonderful?"
I giggled and I took my arms around his body. Damn, he smelled good. He smelled as if he was freshly showered and I even felt a faint scent of soap. His body was so wonderful to hug and I could feel his muscles under my hands.
"Am I disturbing you?"
Quickly he released me and we both blushed. His mom came in and she looked more than curious at us.
"No!" Jamie replied, almost irritably, but he didn't seem too be mad at her. "Sara has read a book."
I noted that he took it as an explanation for the hug. Cath smiled big and she came up to us. She looked straight at me.
"Congratulations!" she said quickly. "I know what it's like to struggle with words."
"It was just a children's book?"
She didn't agree.
"No, it's not just a children's book, it's also an adult book." she said. "There are adults who write the books and anyone should be able to read them."
I liked that she was defending me. She laughed and she looked just as happy as Jamie had been, when I had told him.
"She's a good student!" he said quickly. "And I see progress every week."
She smiled and she looked at him with a warm gaze. It was those eyes that a mother gave her son when she was proud of him. I had never seen my own mom look at me in that way and it hurt inside me. We lived two different lives. He had everything that I hadn't. I was a little jealous of him.