Monday, August 30, 2010


 by Isabelle Gray

I want you to sit in the first row, right where I can see you. Don’t be coy. You’re too smart for that. We both know it. Wear something low cut. I want to see as much of you as possible. Bare yourself for me in plain sight. Give me that. Give me everything. When I look your way, pull your shirt just a bit lower, let me remember the smell of the warm, slightly sweaty skin between your breasts that holds the scent of your perfume so well. I’m going to perform for you. I’m going to look so good doing it. I’m going to deliver the kind of lecture that will keep your classmates buzzing in their seats even after class has ended. That’s the kind of teacher I am. I command attention. Your classmates won’t want me to stop. You won’t want me to stop.  I’m going to step out from behind my podium and I’m going to talk with my hands and I’m going to make charming jokes and I will make eye contact with the frat boy in the back row who is staring at me with bright eyes and the overachiever in the eighth row who is frantically typing my every word into her laptop while fidgeting in her seat because I won’t look at her the way I look at you.

Every so often, I’m going to look at you the way I look at you. You’re going to want to look away but you won’t. You will not look away. I won’t stop talking. I will pace toward you and then I will stop. I will stand so close our knees will touch and I’ll look out toward the rest of the class and I will make an important point. As I move away, I’m going to brush my fingers across your knuckles. My touch will be light but you will feel me.  

When you come to my office I smell you. You always linger. I never allow anyone into my office for hours after you leave. I don’t want them to disturb your absence. We are very good at tormenting each other. We sit across from one another. We say one thing and mean another and pretend we aren’t having two conversations at once. Students stop in to ask questions and I provide them with answers. They are always oblivious to the electricity wrapping itself around and between us as we hide in plain sight because we’re both young and as such, we are sheltered from the cliché we could be under different circumstances.  

Twice a week, we meet in a motel. You always arrive first. The keys are the old-fashioned kind with a large hard plastic diamond keychain bearing the room number.  As I drive to you twice a week, I run my thumb over the firm imprint of the room number until it feels smooth. We stay in Room 33. It is our room. I pay to rent the room year round. The cost is outrageous but the room is a worthy investment. I don’t want anyone to disturb our absence. I often find you watching television, sitting against the headboard, naked, your knees pulled to your chest. When you look up at me, you spread your knees apart. You say, “Teach me something.”  

I step out of my shoes and crawl onto the bed. I press the palms of my hands against your inner thighs and spread you wide open. I kiss the inside of your knee and draw my lips toward your cunt. I take my time to teach you patience.  I touch you everywhere but where you want my touch most. I kiss your shoulders and your collarbones, which are sharp against my lips. I drag my tongue along the undersides of your breasts. As I lie on top of you, my body sinking into yours, your hands find mine. Our fingers lace together and I can feel your pulse throbbing into the palm of my hand. I am rough, to teach you humility.  I take your hair in my hand and pull your head back, watch the muscles of your neck stretch and strain. I watch your shoulders drop as you resist then surrender. I slide my other hand beneath your body, push my fingers against your spine. I sink my teeth into your neck and pull at the skin and bite until I taste blood. I make a necklace of red and purple bruises and admire the beauty of your broken skin. When you moan, I teach you kindness. I hold your wrists over your head, and slide two fingers inside you, then three and four and feel how you hold me inside you, how you pulse, how you are hot and wet and whole.  

When you are trembling, and your body is covered in a thin sheen of sweat. When your voice is frightening and low and I can see anger in your eyes. That’s when I teach you about desperation. I tell you to beg. I teach you how I want you to beg, shamelessly, extravagantly. I tell you what terrible names you should call yourself and as you say them, I explain what they mean. I explain you are mine. I still don’t give you what you want. I teach you about what you are able to endure. I tell you to get on your hands and knees. I push you down so your leaning on your elbows. I press a firm hand to the back of your neck to hold you down. I drag my fingers along the backs of your trembling thighs. I teach you about the ugliness of the sounds you can make. I raise my hand high in the air then bring it down on your ass. I teach you about punishment. I make you pay for all those times when you are not with me, for all the things we can never be. I don’t stop until my arm tires and your skin is so hot it burns me. I mark you to teach you possession. You never protest. I never ask about how you explain the memories of me I leave on your body. You never ask about how I explain the memories of you left on my body. When I finally fuck you, I take you from behind. I feel your body open to me. I close my eyes and try to make this last as long as I can. Just before I come, I tell you to get on your back. You lock your ankles against the small of my back and hold me deep inside you and finally I am gentle. We kiss and your mouth is sweet and warm and it breaks my heart. Sometimes, there are tears in your eyes and streaming down your face and taste them. When we come, I teach you about love. I hold you.  

The weekends are the hardest—getting through two days without seeing you in the front row of my class or sitting on my office couch with one leg crossed over the other or smelling you or hearing you laugh in the distance—is nearly impossible. I go for long runs while listening to loud music that makes my ears ring. I push myself until my chest feels like it’s going to break open because my heart is pounding so hard. I stop and stare into the sun until the world explodes into a shower of white light and then I start running again. I try to sweat you out of my skin. You are a drug. When I am not with you, I have no desire to speak to anyone at all. I do not want to disturb your absence. 

Isabelle Gray's favorite word in the English language is not a word but a name and she will not share it with you. Her second favorite word is fuck in both it's positive and negative connotations.