Sharing a fiction I've written Enjoy
Chapter One – Meet Again
She stared straight down as the elevator shot up towards the sky. Her finger tips briskly tapping away on her touch screen cellphone. Running through her head was one simple objective.
Let me finish just one more email… She never looked up as the monotone voice of the elevator announced “Thirty-sixth floor.”
Click. Click. Click.
Her black pointy heels clicked across the marble floor, creating a soft echoing down the halls. In her head, images of the excel files she had been working on at work zoomed in and out of her focus. Her email was the center of her attention as she walked, fast paced, down the hall towards her apartment. She was about to be home and it was always her goal to wrap up work related tasks prior to stepping inside.
Ahead of her stood a man, a woman, and a young boy around the age of seven. The boy stared at her but she did not notice.
I need this in to Mark before tonight so he can have it before the weekend… The deadline is coming up soon. If only I can finish this… What was that balance again?…”
As she closed in on her neighbors, her body automatically stepped aside and she slid by along the wall opposite the open door. Her mind still working to recall her client’s information.
“Jordan, have a great weekend with your mom.” The man she had just passed by said. His voice piercing through her focus.
“Bye daddy.” The child’s voice was sleepy and quiet. She came to an abrupt halt and turned around to look. Her heels dragging over the beige colored marble, squealing and leaving behind a black line.
“I love you.” Her eyes landed on the family before her, immediately recognizing the man who was smiling down on his son.
“Yeah dad, I…”
“Professor Lehrer!” She exclaimed, cutting off the young boy mid-sentence. “Do you remember me?”
He looked well, just like he had the last time she saw him at her convocation. The same build, tall and fairly thin but fit with muscle lines clearly visible. Brown hair and deep green eyes with soft creases at the corners.
“Anna.” He said her name, a smile on his face. She had always loved his sincere smile. “Of course I remember. How are you?”
All she could hear is the echoing of her name said by his voice in her head.
“I haven't seen you since your graduation. It's been almost four years now right?" He continued as Anna stood still, looking a little shocked and smiling brightly.
“Yes it’s been four years and I’m well!” Her voice was high and giggly. She couldn’t stop reminiscing the days when she dragged herself out of bed at 8am to attend his lectures. She felt immense relief that he had not only recognized her, but also remembered her. “I've missed your lectures!”
“Really? " He laughed and his eyes shone with the sparkle that she always felt mesmerized by. He was wearing the same knit sweater that he always wore under his blazers. The V shape around his neck revealing just the right amount of his collar bone. "I won't be offended if you admit that you were actually bored out of your mind!"
"No, no! I'm being honest!" Anna laughed, suddenly missing Professor Lehrer's random bursts of humor in the middle of a lecture. “I live just down the hall here, I can't believe you live right here!”
“Ah, I think I’ve seen you running down the hall in the morning a few times," Professor Lehrer began, “thought you looked familiar but never had a chance to say hi.”
“Oh, now I'm embarrassed!" Anna’s felt her cheeks flush red as she pictured how silly she must have looked. “It was probably one of those days when I was running late for work!
“Are you still at the accounting firm?" Professor Lehrer asked. Anna felt her heard pounding with excitement that he remembered the details of her life.
“Yes! I recently qualified for my designation!” Anna noticed that the woman and child were staring blankly at her. Without a thought, Anna extended her hand towards the woman. “You must be Professor Lehrer’s wife, it’s lovely to finally meet you.”
As she blurted out the words, Anna noticed from the corner of her eyes that the shine in Professor Lehrer’s eyes vanished. Instantly, she regretted her choice of words.
“My name is Anna.” She spoke carefully with a smile and a slight nod which she hoped conveyed sincerity.
“My name is Tanya.” The woman spoke after a few seconds without any change in expression. Anna forced a laugh that sounded more like an awkward sigh. She felt her hands turning clammy with sweat.
"Professor Lehrer, umm…” Anna was struggling with the choice of keeping her hand outstretched or dropping it down to her side. “He’s mentioned you in lectures before and… "
“We’re divorced, I’m only here to pick up my son.” Announced Tanya before Anna finished and finally grasped Anna’s hand for a quick shake. “Nice to meet you.”
Tanya gave Anna a tight smiled at last. Her large brown eyes were beautiful and extremely calm. She had shoulder length black hair and despite the heels, Tanya did not appear tall. Anna couldn't help but notice Tanya wiping off her hand on her jacket to dry the sweat that must have clung on from Anna's hands.
"I see” Anna couldn’t hold her expression and instead looked down and waved to the boy peering out from behind his mother’s back. “Hi there!”
“Hi, I’m Jordan.” Jordan said in a very quiet voice. Jordan’s had his mother’s eyes, large and hazelnut brown. Yet his brown curls looked similar to Professor Lehrer's. Only that it was poking out in various random directions .
“Well, have a good weekend Erich.” Tanya smiled at Professor Lehrer. "I'll bring Jordan back on Sunday after dinner."
“Bye daddy” Jordan took a few steps over and walked into his father’s outstretched arms. Professor Lehrer picked up his son and hugged him dearly.
“Have a good weekend buddy, be good to your mom.” Slowly, Professor Lehrer put Jordan back down on his feet. Tanya reached for Jordan's hand and they began walking towards the elevators. Only now did Anna noticed a shine on Tanya’s finger where she wore a wedding ring. Stunned, Anna turned and saw that the ring Professor Lehrer had always worn was no longer there and that it had not been replaced by new one.
“Bye Anna!” Jordan shouted from down the hall and for the first time sounded energetic and childlike.
“Bye Jordan, nice to meet you!” Anna cried out and waved fervently in the air towards Jordan. As Tanya and Jordan turned the corner towards the elevators, Anna believed that she saw a slight smile on Jordan's face.
“Well, now you met them.” Professor Lehrer said softly. "My son and Tanya."
“I’m so sorry.” Anna blurted out and tried to explain, “I didn’t realize that you were…”
“Shh, it’s okay.” Professor Lehrer held a finger vertically across his lips. “No harm done. Go on home and have yourself a good weekend.”
Anna politely said goodbye and wished him the same, promising to visit soon and to catch up over coffee. Still smiling as he shut the door and retreated into his apartment unit. Feeling frozen with emotions that she couldn't quite understand, Anna stood with her eyes fixed on the number 3609 on Professor Lehrer's door.
For the first time in a long time, Anna felt her heart throbbing. She could hear her heart beating loudly in her ears and her shallow breathes in and out. Feeling overpowered by what should have been an insignificant encounter.
All Anna could think about was the moment she saw her professor lose the sparkle in his eye and slip from a smile to a look of sorrow.
Bzzz Bzzz Bzzz …
Anna jumped. Her phone flying from her hand. Bzzz Bzzz Bzzz
Quickly reaching to grab her phone, Anna fumbled as she tried to answer it. The vibration seems to have jolted her back to reality and she began running towards her unit, cursing in her mind that she had mistakenly pressed send on her unfinished email.
“Emily! I’m so sorry, are you already here? …Sorry... okay just give me ten minutes to change…I'll be right there... ” Anna’s voice faded as she rushed towards her door and after fumbling with her keys, entered her apartment.
Erich Lehrer waited until he heard the loud thump of a door, presumably Anna’s, closing shut from down the hall.
He sat with his back against the door of his new home, staring up at the family portrait sitting on the table Tanya had picked for him after he moved out of the house.
Erich’s expression in the photo, captured three years ago, looked foreign to him now. It was an expression of pure happiness. Tanya stood behind him with her arms casually hugging him around his waist. Her head poking out from the side with her beautiful smile. Baby Jordan sleeping in his arms and his world was complete. He could recall the details of those days more vibrantly than he could experience the moments now passing by.
Click. Click. Click. Click.
“I’m on my way down!” Anna’s voice grew louder and quickly faded as she ran in her usual manner down the hallway.
A smile spread across Erich’s face. He had thought that he’s changed so much since the divorce that he was no longer recognizable. Yet Anna didn’t seem to notice much of the change.
Anna’s convocation was 12 days before the evening when Tanya brought home the divorce papers. It was 12 days before the day that his life changed to grey.
Joy(Freud) [Fiction] When heartbroken professor meets student who lost faith in lovelove beauty pursuit of happiness heartbreak lust fiction
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