I think that I fell in love with him the moment he opened his mouth.
I sat in my Psychology class that I was probably not supposed to be in yet, but I needed something to offset the rigor of my Biology program. I found this class through the genius of my academic advisor. “You’ll like this class,” she said. She had short brunette hair and purple cat-eye glasses. Her crows feet broke through the veneer of her smile. Susan Harrison had been doing advising for lost, academically lusting people of the College of Arts and Sciences for better than twenty years. “It’s Shakespeare, and I think you’ll like it. Dr. Clark is one of our best instructors.”
My mouth had gotten dry, and my ears popped. It was how she said instructor that caused this whole body flush to go through me. I licked my MAC glossed lips and took the schedule she handed to me so I could leave her office. I smoothed my jean jacket and black Maxi dress. “Thank you, Ms. Harrison.” I smiled, adjusting my purse on my right shoulder before leaving.
I left UM-St. Louis’s College of Arts and Sciences and headed to the bookstore to price my book for my Shakespeare class. I walked at a brisk pace, happy for the warm breeze to disperse the heat which was overwhelming me. I just needed to price my book and leave campus.
I made it to the campus bookstore and all but sprinted to the English section. I gathered my box braids to one side and put them in a loose ponytail. I needed every possible avenue for this heat to be gone from me. I thought about Dr. Clark. I had hoped I would have gotten Dr. Gaston for this class. I had a crush on Dr. Clark since I saw him at the Shakespeare festival last Spring. He was standing by the other faculty, all tall and with his fresh haircut.
I remember I bit my lip as I memorized his hair color. Blond, no. Strawberry blond. Beard neatly trimmed and wearing a black Polo shirt. He was laughing with Dr. Schreyer and Dr. Vega–all of them retired US Navy. Dr. Schreyer and Dr. Vega looking like everything tall, dark and handsome. My friend Brienna told me they all took turns teaching the 4,700 Shakespeare classes.
All of them handsome as hell.
I had watched them talk, how they were so regular and easy together. His voice sent ripples through me. Brienna, the reason why I was there, and the reason why I wanted to stand behind Dr. Clark and see what cologne he wore, smiled at me.
“Oh, you found the love the my life, Dr. Clark,” her laugh resonate and knowing. I grinned at her, sure my walnut brown face was turning red. She smiled at me, her green eyes in her light brown face flickering. I licked my lips and looked back over at Dr. Clark laughing again, touching Dr. Schreyer’s shoulder. “Girl.” I looked over at him, and could only think of being pinned to his office door. With his hands everywhere.
I knew that he was a Southern gentleman. Brienna had told me as much, which let me know that he knew how to eat a peach: Knows how sweet they are, when they are ripe…and how best to eat them. I thought how his mouth would taste. “He wears Polo Black too.” I looked back at her, and we laughed. Loud. Maybe a little too hard.
I looked up from my inappropriate giggle to see Dr. Clark looking at us and smiling. I smiled back like the polite girl I am.
From that festival, to registration, to finding these books, I was about to find out why Brienna, Jasmine and Halle nicknamed the accomplished Dr. John Clark ‘Pantysoaker.’