One Person at a Time
Part II - Jon's Story
I teach music at Worthington High because I love music and I found that I loved teaching music. I've never regretted the change from performer to teacher.
Two other colleagues teach band and orchestra.
I teach what could be called music technology – the stuff the cool kids are into. I have five classes: drum, voice, keyboard, guitar and combo. The kids take one of the other classes and all take combo. I'm told I have one new student starting today after he takes the proficiency tests. He's young to be a junior, only fifteen. I understand he is taking these tests in order to take all five classes, which is a first. I only have one other student who is in more than two classes, Luc Baxter. He is an extremely talented musician.
I'm not just saying that because we are friends. We are friends, great friends. Yeah, I know it's a no-no for teachers and students to become friends. I tried not to become friends but with Luc it was hopeless. I found out that I wasn't the only teacher.
How he managed to wheedle his way into my heart I'm not sure but one morning I found myself rushing to get to school. I was standing in front of the mirror making sure I looked good but not really being aware of what I was doing when my partner, Evan Brooks, said, "He must be really special."
When Evan's words sunk in I must have turn ten shades of red.
"Ohmigod, Jon, your blushing.
I blushed even more. I don't think I blushed like this since Evan's mum walked in on us having sex. I looked at my lover I couldn't speak. I was totally flustered. My mouth was opening and shutting but no words were coming out.
"Do I need to be jealous?" Evan teased.
It was then that I realized I was totally infatuated with Lucas Sean Baxter my thirteen year old music student. It was then that I realized that for the last few months I rushed to school every morning to be with Lucas because Lucas always came to school early to practice drums, guitar or keyboard. We would always chat about things mainly music.
"N-no. No! It's – I, uh, I uh -." I didn't know what to say. I slumped down on the bed.
"It's Lucas, right?" asked Evan.
I nodded my head. "Evan, what's wrong with me? I swear I'm not sexually attracted to him but I just realized it's almost like he's a drug that I have to have to be happy. – Oh, this is so stupid! I need to break off this relationship – he's a student, I'm the teacher."
"Are you sure that's wise?" asked Evan who was now sitting next to me on the bed.
"Of course it's wise!" I said with a bit of anger, "He's a thirteen year old boy! I'm a 36 year old gay teacher – I mean –"
"What would people say," smirked Evan.
"Well, yeah, I mean it's not right me having a thirteen year old boy as a friend."
"Are you afraid you'll jump his bones?"
"Well, then I see nothing wrong with a thirty-six year old having a thirteen year old as a friend."
"I am the teacher! This cannot continue and that's it!"
Evan stood and walked off to the bathroom. "I think you're wrong," he said as he closed the bathroom door. That pissed me off. I had made my decision.
I got up and stormed to the bathroom.
"What do you mean I'm wrong! I am NOT wrong!"
He sighed, "Whatever. I am not going to argue with you Jon because you are stubborn when you get like this."
"I'm not wrong!" I yelled.
"Fine. You are not wrong," he said turning on the shower and closing the door behind him.
"I hate you!"
"Okay, I'll move out. But know this I love you and you still turn me on when your not being a bitch," he laughed.
I left and when I got to school I went straight to the teachers' lounge until it was time for my homeroom class. There on my desk was an audio tape and a note from Luc. I shoved the tape and the note into my desk drawer without reading it.
My normal routine for lunch was to brown bag and stay in my classroom. Luc normally would join me and we'd chat. Eddie Mitchell Luc's best friend and a few other students would show up and we would all chat or play music and jam a bit.
Luc walked into the classroom just as I was putting on my coat to leave. I was hoping to leave before he arrived.
"Hi, Mr. Petri, I missed you this morning. Did you get my song and the lyrics?"
"Yes, but I don't have the time to listen to it. You've got an A for the class and this extra curricular stuff isn't needed. So, here take it back." I reached in the door, took out his tape and lyrics and handed them to him. He looked disappointed.
"I-I was doing it as a friend. You're, you're my friend."
"No, Luc. I am your teacher and you are one of my students. That's the way it has to be. I'm sorry there can be no more chats and jam session outside of the regular classroom schedule."
"But why? I don't understand."
"That's just the way it is. I am the teacher; I cannot be your friend." He looked like he was on the verge of tears. I couldn't stand it if he cried. I left the room.
Luc's last two classes of the day were with me. He was absent. I was having a hard time keeping my attention on things. Even though I felt I had done the right thing I knew I had been too hard on Luc. I began to worry.
Everything seemed so subdued and mediocre without Luc. After the last bell rang signifying school was out for the day I asked Eddie where Luc was.
He shrugged his shoulders, "I don't know. Someone said they saw him run out of here at lunch time. I think he went home. Class is sure different when he's not here. I better go find him it's not like Luc to cut classes especially your classes."
Maybe Evan was right. Maybe I was wrong.
I was wrong.
I hadn't seen Luc since lunch and my day seemed empty. I should have listened to Evan.