A Different Breed

Part 5: Instagram Stalking Isn’t on the Syllabus

The last weeks of May went by in a blur. Katrina did what she did best; teach. She welcomed the lecture days taking pride in teaching African American Literature to her pupils, opening their minds to a word of literary works that were usually foreign to them during years of high school only being taught about Frost and Hawthorne but rarely Langston and Wheatley.

The lecture hall was empty but she knew it wouldn’t be for long. Professor Haynes Descartes to Kant’s class was at three and students would be claiming chairs in fifteen minutes. Still, she wasn’t ready to storm out of the room. It was comforting. Being at the front near the podium with her Powerpoint still displaying a quote from bell hooks. She didn’t have to glance over her shoulder to remember what the words were. They had been carved in her brain since her eyes rolled over them.

“But love is really more of an interactive process. It’s about what we do not just what we feel. It’s a verb, not a noun.”

The words spoke to her when she started the outline for the section on bell hooks. She knew it wasn’t a coincidence but rather her present situation that made the words resonate within her. She had heard the four-letter term from her husband every morning he went to work and every night he pulled her close to him in bed. But his actions, all his actions didn’t line up with the things he told her.

He said he loved her but his body professed something quite different. She wanted to move on. She wanted to forget about it all. Being cheated on. Being lied to. Loving someone that could betray your trust. She wanted to heal from the hurt with the swiftness of a snap of the fingers. But it didn’t work like that. She didn’t need to sit across from a therapist to know that. Her heart was still at war although she gave him a decree of divorce. Half of her still loved him while the other half abhorred his existence of him. She wanted to claw his eyes out and fuck his brains out. A complete dichotomy of emotions sent her body and hormones into a tailspin.

If her latent thoughts didn’t wander themselves to him then they went to her. Sage Abernathy. The surgeon was under her husband’s tutelage. The woman she was sharing her husband with, unbeknownst to her.

Last night she did something that was stupid. Downright idiotic. Opened Instagram and typed the woman’s name into the search bar. She didn’t actually expect to find anything but apparently, the woman was a rarity because her profile popped up within seconds. It shouldn’t have been a surprise though it took a very unique individual to carry on a pleasant conversation with the wife of the man you were screwing while in their home. Right? Or was that a talent most people had?

Katrina wasn’t too sure but what she was sure about was that Sage couldn’t have any man she wanted with her yoga-sculpted body, blond beach wave tresses with ocean eyes, and girl next door smile. This made Katrina wonder if Sage had pursued him or if had he told her an elaborate story to dismantle her defenses or did they just fall into an affair together. After thirty minutes of contemplation in the late-night hours, she said fuck it knowing the Instagram stalking wasn’t on her syllabus, and exited out of the sight.

Having the answer to those questions wasn’t going to absolve her pain. Only prolong the hurt

“Professor Evans.”

The deep husky voice pulled Katrina from deep thought. She blinked her tired eyes before setting them on the young man approaching the desk with a leather satchel hanging from one shoulder, khaki pants that fit nicely over his long-toned thighs, and a burgundy colleague sweatshirt. The lush ringlets of curls that framed his face like a halo glistened with a sheen of moisture as if he had just jumped out of the shower. He probably came there straight from the campus gym.

She gave him a simple smile, not surprised to see him. Keir Ahmed was a philosophy grad student and T.A. to one of her colleagues Harris, who took a sabbatical every Friday and today was Friday.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Ahmed.” She said, sliding her sleek laptop into her briefcase that looked more like a designer purse. “

His lips curved up in a charming smile as he placed his satchel on the desk, standing across from her. “I”m not a professor and don’t think I’m old enough to be a mister.” His lips evened out but the humor still lingered in his honey eyes. “You can just call me Keir, you know.”

“The students call you mister.” She reminded him, putting the orange blazer back on. She slipped it off during the middle of her lecture, getting heated under the lights and the numerous eyes on her. “Professor Harris calls you mister. I’ll do the same.”

He let out a sigh and the glimmer in his eyes seemed to dim. “I guess you’re right.”

“I am.” She went over to the podium grabbing a book. “Will Harris be here for the final or will you be standing in for him also.”

Keir pulled out a stack of pages with the words Essay Quiz at the top and slapped it on the table. “No final. They just have to submit their favorite philosophical quote and explain it.”

“Sounds…” Katrina thought of a word as she joined Keir at the desk to get her briefcase. “Educational.”

“He calls it activating critical thinking without the pressure.” He handed her the coffee cup she started to reach for. His eyes lingered on her fingers, the vacant ring finger that usually sported a hefty diamond and an exquisite gold band. “Were you robbed?”

“Huh?” She sounded, confusion causing her eyebrows to pull together.

He gestured to her left hand. “I heard that a few people had their windows broken and cars ransacked.”

“No. I was…” She shook her head, clearing the worry that painted his face. She wasn’t ready to tell people that she was going through a divorce especially not the brazen young man that had the nerve to ask her out, so she went with something generic. “It needed cleaning so…”

He nodded, then sounded a quick, “Oh.”

“Thanks for the concern though.” She spoke the words as she headed for the door.

“Professor Evans,” He called as if it was urgent. She stopped and turned back to him. “If you need someone to walk you to your car tonight…or any night…I’m available because you know..crime and all.”

“Thanks, Mr. Ahmed.” A smile spread across her lips. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

She spun back on her heels and went out the door just as students started to file in. She knew he wanted to do more than walk her to her car for safety and she wasn’t sure if she wanted what he was offering; separated from her husband or not. She’d been extremely horny recently but she didn’t want the twenty-six-year-old T.A. No matter how handsome he was. She wanted her husband. Soon-to-be ex-husband and that for sure as hell couldn’t happen.

Does it matter who initiated the affair? Why do you think Katrina cares?

Should she let the T.A. walk her to her car or just call campus security?

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