Ever have a crush that was so secret that you didn't dare tell your friends about it?
And when my friends finally did find out, it wasn't long before pretty much the entire school knew about my dream guy...including him!
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The Set Up
Picture it. High School. Mid 1990s. (If you have ever watched The Golden Girls, you know who I'm referencing.)
Big hair was still in fashion, but quickly dying out. I was the girl who got along with most everyone. Lot's of friends, but only a few close besties. There were a couple of cute boys interested, but I had turned them down for one reason and one reason only:
My heart was already taken by a young-ish, handsome teacher (at least to me) with dark hair, deep brown eyes, and a side-smile that oozed confidence.
At first, it started off small in the middle of my junior year, but by senior year when fate put me smack dab in his med science class, I was toast.
I found myself doodling in my notebook, drawing little hearts around his initials. I daydreamed about what could be after I graduated - although, there were times I did fantasize about kissing him even before then, but that was only for fun.
The truth? I wouldn't have dared trying to push boundaries, mainly due to inexperience. I was the only one left of my friends who was still a virgin during our senior year of high school.
(Which is where I initially got the idea for my first published book, The Virgin Club, written under my pseudonym Kayley Wood. A lot of that angst and humor came directly from experience!)
Well, one day, my friends had found my little doodle on the back of my notebook. All five of them passed it around and grilled me.
"Who is it?"
"Who the hell has those initials?"
"Why are you being so secretive?"
"Is he already seeing someone?"
"Just tell us already!"
With my face a bright, crimson red, I begged for them to give back my notebook. After about fifteen minutes of all the back and forth on who it could possibly be, one of them finally figured it out.
That picture I have above of the girl in shock, yet laughing while hearing a secret...that was the expression on all five of their faces when they found out I had the hots for a teacher.
It wasn't long before practically everyone knew...including Mr. Hot Teacher, himself.
He was cool about it, and there was some light flirting, but nothing that crossed a line. I was too inexperienced to even try to go there in real life...fantasies were another story. ;)
Overall, I think he was flattered. But my friends? They were so into it, and wanted something to happen.
Which leads me to the day I wanted to literally disappear into thin air...
My Embarrassing Day
Spring was finally in the air and graduation day only less than a month or so away.
By this time there were other girl's who had tried to claim a crush on Mr. Hot Teacher, but most everyone who knew me said things like, "Back off, that crush is already spoken for." I'm not even kidding. It was nuts!
It was like people were waiting to see if it could really happen after I graduated.
My friends would try to scheme up things I could do or say to see if he at least had some real interest. Of course, I was too shy in the love department to ever really go through with any of that.
But, I had one friend who wasn't so shy.
On that fateful day of embarrassment, I had worn a pretty spring dress, and paid close attention to whatever Mr. Hot Teacher had to say. One of my friends, who I will name Big Mouth, had raised her hand.
"Mr. Hot Teacher, I have a question."
"Sure, Big Mouth, what is it?"
"When Kayley graduates, would you go out with her out on a date?"
Oh. My. Gawd.
I don't even remember his initial reaction because my hand was hiding my face in an instant.
I can't believe she just asked that.
Someone kill me, now.
My other friends and some of the other girls in class laughed in shock. They couldn't believe she asked that either.
Since no words came out of his mouth to answer her, I could only imagine it was due to shock. This time, I did dare to look up, my face hot and probably three sheets of red.
When he did manage to find words it was "Is it hot in here or is it me?"
It's definitely hot in here.
And it's you. You're hot, too.
After that, he went straight back into teaching the subject at hand as if nothing happened.
And yes! This is a true story...only the names have changed.
How It Ended
We never did go on that date after I graduated.
In the end, I think he genuinely did like me, maybe not in the way I did, but there was a soft affection that never crossed a line. It came in the form of his smile and fist pump when it was announced over the speaker that I had won the Best All Around superlatives. And the sweet, but innocent notes he had left on a few pages in my yearbook.
But after high school, came college and a whole new, bigger world than I was used to. And eventually, new crushes and romances would form.
I will never forget those days of my first forbidden crush, and a memory I still cherish to this day.
With my Best For Last (formerly Unbroken) series, I never originally planned to have two parts of past and present, but when I wrote the first book, Mean Crush, I knew I had to make this a theme within the series.
Those days of youth - before we have to worry about bills and all the responsibilities of family, work, and home - there is an innocence and magic about those days. Everything was a big deal, and we lived in our own bubble of a world.
I strive to capture that time in our youth with my Best For Last series and hope I've done it justice.
Interested in checking out my three book series? Here they are in order...
And if I say so myself, I really did save the best for last. ;)
Although each story has it's own couple and happily ever after and can be read as a standalone, fans say it's way more fun to read in order.