Study Break

Submitted into Contest #198 in response to: Write a story about an unconventional teacher.... view prompt


Drama Crime Speculative

This story contains themes or mentions of mental health issues.

I looked outside the window watching the wind blow the petals that had fallen from a tree nearby. They lifted gently and fell again as if the wind found them too heavy to carry and put them back on the ground, decorating the grass like polka dots.


 My boyfriend woke me up from my trance with his deep voice.

“Yes” I answered quickly as if I was pretending to be listening the whole time.

“You know if you didn’t want to study, I know of something else that we can do to occupy our time.”

He grinned, lifting his eyebrows for approval and turned his attention to my bare legs while I blushed, matching the petals outside.

He continued, “I can’t say that I haven’t been distracted this whole time either”.

“But here? In the classroom?” I answered bashfully.

I looked around at the openness, if anyone were to come in they would be able to catch us right away. I wouldn’t say it was the most discreet of all places.

“The custodians don’t come to clean until around six, we would have time.” He assured me like it was no big deal.

I looked at the clock, it was a little after four. My mom would be picking me up at 5. Without the fear of the custodians and knowing we had time, I started to think it wasn’t such a bad idea but I was still nervous. The thought of a lost student wondering in and catching us caused me to hold my breath until I realized I wasn’t breathing and I gasped for air like I suddenly developed asthma.  

Noah noticed my anxious behavior like an animal predicting bad weather before it happened. He could just tell something was off.

“Of course if you’re not ok with that we could just study” He said playfully.

He was teasing me now and I knew it, I couldn’t help but smile.

“I’m just a little worried we’ll get caught” I replied still in my jittery voice.

But it wasn’t just that, we hadn’t explored too much with one another and I wasn’t sure how far he was planning on taking it today.

“How about this? We can go to the corner of the room over here” he proceeded to walk to the corner adjacent to the door to show me and continued “and if anyone starts to come in, we’ll stop right away and just pretend we were organizing some boxes or something.”  

He was right, no one would see us right away, they’d have to turn their heads first and we wouldn’t be visible from the window that was placed in the middle of the door. But still, I scrunched my face up like a pile of laundry ready to be washed. I wasn’t entirely convinced.

“We’ll even keep our clothes on” he answered his final plea to convince me to do whatever it is he had in mind.  

“Ok” I breathed out and my face relaxed like a freshly ironed shirt.

 I could handle kissing. I had hoped we wouldn’t become so distracted with each other that we wouldn’t hear the door opening and made a note not to make too much noise. Since I was done studying, I put my book away in my backpack and put it in front of the door. If anyone were to come in, they would have to push through my backpack and I would certainly hear that. Noah nodded in approval when he saw what I was doing, not questioning the reason behind it.

After setting the perfect trap, I made my way towards Noah slowing down with every step like a bride walking down the aisle. He waited in the corner, watching me glide towards him, examining me like I was a statue at a museum. Embarrassed, I looked away from his gaze and focused on my crossed arms, then down to my legs. Just then I remembered I was wearing a dress and how easy it would be for him to touch underneath my dress, which he has never done before.

I looked up and was now facing him. I took a big breath and saliva began to pool in my mouth, when I looked up at him I swallowed loudly like a frog ribbiting. I uncrossed my arms and noticed sweat starting to form on my hands and quickly rubbed them on my dress so he wouldn’t notice. I wasn’t sure I was ready for this but then again, I thought that maybe everyone felt this way when trying something new and hoped the feelings would disintegrate like sugar in hot water.  

Noah tried to relax me by taking my face in his large hands, looking me in the eyes and saying sweetly “You’re so beautiful”.

I smiled in return and couldn’t look down this time, he was still holding onto my face like I was a piece of food he was about to eat. Being a foot taller than me, it was him that had to lower his face to mine for a kiss.

As he kissed me, I felt comfort, secure and wanted. I didn’t feel much desire. I wasn’t sure if it were my nerves that prevented me from this feeling or the taste of coffee that remained in his mouth. I like coffee but Noah was constantly drinking it making me think he was probably dehydrated which contributed to the other foul taste in his mouth. The only thing saving his mouth was the slight flavor of a mint he had popped in right before the kissing began.

Our tongues did the usual dance that we had done before and our hands remained around our backs for what seemed ten minutes becoming closer and closer as if two walls were closing in. When the walls had met, Noah’s hand slid to my lower back, to then to the side of my hip. I started to get the prickly feeling that his hand wasn’t going to stop there.

My mouth began to close without even realizing it and I pulled away.

“Noah, what are you planning on doing?” I asked in a serious and urgent tone.

“I want to touch you” he answered, hoping I’d get the hint.

“I don’t know if I’m ready for that” I admitted but instantly felt guilty for letting him down. “I’m sorry” I said with sympathy.

“I understand” he said.

He looked frustrated but was trying to hide it. I placed my hand on the counter next to us to lean upon but my hand landed on Noah’s badge, knocking it onto the floor. I leaned down to pick it at the same time as Noah and we did the classic bonking of heads. This broke the ice a bit as we laughed.

I handed him the badge that read “Noah Edwards, South Bend Staff” and sat down for a rest before I got ready for my mom to pick me up. 

May 12, 2023 19:06

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Audrey Lewis
15:03 May 25, 2023

Hi Nichole! I got your story in my critique circle email and am so happy I did. I always ask beforehand but please let me know if you’d like time me to provide feedback and if so, if there is anything specific you are looking for feedback on. Great job!


Nichole Anderson
13:27 May 26, 2023

Hello, thank you for responding! I would love any feedback you're willing to give. I am writing a book at the moment and receiving critique can only help me become a better writer.


Audrey Lewis
16:28 May 30, 2023

Hi Nichole! Sorry for the late reply here. In terms of feedback, I liked how you told the story from a first-person POV. It's personally my preferred narration style because it allows us as readers to really feel what the character feels. I think one thing you could work on is balancing showing and telling. That said, while the metaphors definitely helped amplify the feelings of your main character, I think you could cut back on them and just describe anxious behaviors the character does without naming them as well. As readers, we are able t...


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Philippa Hibberd
16:15 May 20, 2023

Oooh nice creepy twist! You did a good job of dropping little hints throughout that the relationship was far from a healthy one, and the last line reveals the situation is even more screwed up than it initially seemed. I second that the line "I scrunched my face up like a pile of laundry ready to be washed" is great - it gets across that Nichole feels dirty. And the kiss scene hints that the bad breath isn't the only reason why she's uncomfortable. One bit of criticism I have, if you're ok with it, is towards the end you start telling rath...


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William Richards
06:10 May 20, 2023

Yes, good twist at the end. Also good tension with the threat of someone walking in. And the feelings she was feeling, and his creepiness came through well


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Timothy Rennels
04:45 May 20, 2023

"I scrunched my face up like a pile of laundry ready to be washed". I loved this line. This was a very impactful story with a jaw dropping revelation at the end. Bravo!


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J. D. Lair
04:41 May 20, 2023

I was curious how this was labeled crime and not romance for most the story. Made sense at the end! Nice little twist I didn’t see coming. :)


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