Angus Hardy’s heart beat only for the imported American teacher, Miss Anderson. Her Southern accent, as thick as honey, tantalised his pubescent ears and left him silent and still in his appointed place in the classroom.
Her green eyes, set in her lightly freckled face, mesmerised him. He was deep in adoration when she startled him with, “Angus, why are you staring at me?” A hint of amusement played around her mouth as his fellow students mocked him for his crush having been so comprehensively sprung.
During lunch, in a boisterous game of chasey, a boy clutched at Angus’s shorts, with a resulting tear up the seam that exposed his leg up to the waistband. He returned to the classroom, holding together the tear the best he could.
He’d almost made it to the protective cover of his seat when Miss Anderson said, “Angus, what have you done to your shorts?” Amidst general tittering, he said, “Nothing, Miss.”
“Nonsense, young man. Come here and let me see.”
Angus presented himself at Miss Anderson’s desk. Opening her desk drawer, she produced a sewing kit, told Angus to stand still, and proceeded to sew up the tear.
Angus floated on the delicate perfume emanating from Miss Anderson. He was hypnotised by the heart-shaped locket that swung gently back and forth from her neck. As her fingers brushed against the skin of his thigh, the embarrassment that had begun to plague him night and day arose and announced itself in no uncertain terms.
Clearly flustered, Miss Anderson grabbed for a pair of scissors, snipped the thread, and ordered Angus to return to his seat. With his hands covering his crotch, Angus stoop-walked to the safety of his desk.
After school, his mother’s razor-sharp eyes spotted the hasty sewing job and he was forced to relate how that had occurred.
Next morning, as the students entered the classroom, they faced their officious Principal, who announced that Miss Anderson had returned to America, for personal reasons. He then commanded that students turn to Page 43 of their English books.
That night, in the golden glow of his bed lamp, Angus summoned all of his imagined telepathic energy to assure Miss Anderson that he would come and find her and marry her one day. As he drifted off to sleep, he closed his eyes and gently kissed his pillow.
lives in Yankalilla, Australia. He’s a husband, father, and grandfather, an avid cook, vegetable gardener, and incurable punster, as well as an occasional stand-up comedian. He has lived and worked in many places, and has traveled extensively overseas. His work has appeared in several anthologies, including Friendly Street’s New Poets 21. He blogs at Six Crooked Highways: