Music class was my favorite class in my 12th grade year. Heck it was the best class of my whole high school lifetime. It was an easy “A”. We learned about music history throughout the decades. Our teacher, Mr. Hernandez, had such a passion for music. He can go on & on about Elvis & Michael Jackson. The first day of class, he did the Elvis lip curl & the moonwalk and we knew he was a cool teacher, not a regular teacher.
Some of the guys made fun of Mr. Hernandez, because he had his hair poof up like Elvis and had a different style of clothing than regular teachers. And he was always wearing a hat. One day, unexpectly, the principal walked it and cleared his throat until Mr. Hernandez took off his hat. But when the principal walked out the class after inspecting, Mr. Hernandez put the hat back on and continued teaching.
Another reason why the guys in our class hated Mr. Hernandez was because all the girls in our class had a huge crush on him. From his tan caramel skin to his heart catching smile, who wouldn’t had fallen in love with him! But of course there’s that rule about teachers not dating students because it’s against the law or something. Us girls could only see, not touch. One time a girl, Susie Martinez came inside our class to give Mr. Hernandez a note from the band instructor. She straight up asked for his age! “Uh, 26” Mr. Hernandez said with an adorable confuse look on his face. “Well,” Susie the slut said, “I’m turning 18 in 2 weeks wanna go out to dinner sometime?” The whole class busted out in giggles when Mr. Hernandez said “Get out of my class, I’ll email Mr. Page later and about your behavior.” Mr. Hernandez took a deep sigh, shook his head and glanced at me. I saw a twinkle in his eye when he looked at me and a smirk on his face. The class didn’t notice that but I did. My heart skipped a beat.
“Oh my gosh that did not happened!” My best friend Kate exclaimed. “He actually smiled at you!” I told her what happened in class. We’re sitting on my bed going over our Algebra notes. “I don’t think he meant to smile at me, he just, well, smiled.” “He loves you! I’ve noticed!” Kate seemed so positive about it. “I saw the signs!” Kate then went over the so called signs.
“Remember when we had the Valentines dance and you, me, Amy, and Jo were grind dancing and Mr. Hernandez was DJing?” I remembered. We were dancing. The principal took the mic and said “YOU GIRLS STOP SEX DANCING RIGHT NOW!” When we got off the dance floor we were busting out laughing. I looked back at Mr. Hernandez and he was laughing too. He also gave me a wink. I would never forget that.
“OOH OOH!!!” Katie went on. “And that time Mr. Hernandez went to your work!”
I work at a clothing store at a mall in downtown LA. It was just a typical Saturday afternoon when Mr. Hernandez went into the store. I was putting clothes on the racks when he walked in. “Hey I just saw you in the display window. How’s it going?” I was speechless. He was with two guys. “These are my best friends, Ari and Phil.” “Hi um how are you guys?” My voice was shaking. I had the biggest smile on my face. “Oh we’re cool,” said the guy with the black rimmed glasses. “Just getting something for my wife’s birthday.” Mr. Hernandez kept smiling at me. “Well um you are free to look around. The best stuff is in the back.” The guys went along and Mr. Hernandez stayed with me for a while. “Well it was nice to see you here.” He looked so nervous. I nodded my head and he went to join the guys. I rushed to the staff office and jumped up and down giggling.
“Okay okay Kate but he was just probably being just nice.” “Just nice?” Kate stood up. “He likes you! And you better do something about it before school ends!”
Monday and I’m back to school. Even though I love my music class, I am dreading last period. I have to do a presentation about a musician. I picked the similarities between Selena, Michael Jackson and Richie Valens about their poor upbringing, successful career, and sadly their premature deaths. It’s sure gonna get me an “A+” but part of the grade is to do a speech of the subject. I don’t do well in public speaking.
Before class I run into Katie. “Ooh girl let me know how your speech goes” I gave her a nervous smile. “Just imagine them in their underwear or something!” “Heh” Is all I said. She gave me a hug and I went into the classroom and took my seat. Mr. Hernandez was sitting at his desk talking with a student. When the bell rang, Mr. Hernandez stood up. “Okay class we’re gonna do your presentations in alphabetical order.” He sat down at his desk while the first student went up and faced the class.
“Okay your turn” Mr. Hernandez smiled. I bit my lip nervously. I slowly walked up by his desk and turned towards the students. I held my paper close to me while looking around at their faces. “Whenever you’re ready” Mr. Hernandez whispered. Him whispering, trying to comfort me just made me feel worse. My hands were getting sweaty. Suddenly, I quickly placed my paper on his desk, dashed to my desk, took out my inhaler, and ran out the classroom door.
From the hallway, I heard the whole class busting out laughing. I used my inhaler two times while tears running down my cheeks. “I want this classroom silent!” I heard Mr. Hernandez exclaimed from the classroom. “Or you guys will stay after school!” He met me in the hallway. “Are you okay?” I nodded “I’m just not up for public speaking.” He put his hand on my shoulder. “I’ll tell you what, can you stay after school?” Oh God the way he looked at me with those puppy dog eyes was killing me. “You can do your presentation just to me. Will that be okay?” All I could do was nod. We went back into the classroom and I took my seat, ignoring the stares and snickers coming from my classmates.
After class, I went to my locker to switch books. Kate ran up to me. “So how did it go?” “I didn’t do it. Gonna go back and just do the presentation with Mr. Hernandez.” “Oh my god just you and Mr. Hernandez?!” I rolled my eyes. “Girl you know what’s going down!” “No I’m just doing my speech that’s it.” Even though it would be romantic in a naughty schoolgirl kind of way. “Well,” said Kate “Good luck call me after, okay?”
I went back to the classroom and my classmate Edward was there sitting at a desk in the front of the class. Mr. Hernandez wasn’t there. “Um what are you doing here, Edward?” “Got detention, believe that? Called Mr. Hat gay.” he huffed and cussed under his breath. “Better than getting suspended” Mr. Hernandez said behind me. He smiled when we locked eyes “So are you ready?” I smiled and nodded. “Got your inhaler?” he winked. I laughed and took it out of my pocket. “Prepared sir!” I faced him with my back facing Edward and did my presentation.
“Wow that was really good!” Mr. Hernandez said, going over my report. “So basically you are saying, if you grow up poor you will become famous someday?” we laughed. “Yeah,” I said grinning. “and unfortunately die at a young age.” “Well this deserves an ‘A+’ but sadly I’ll have to take some points away for not doing this in front of the class.” I nodded in understanding. “I’ll give you an ‘A’. Will that be fine?” “Oh yes that would be so awesome!” I heard Edward mutter behind me. Both Mr. Hernandez and I ignored him. It was like we were the only people in the room. “Great then! Well enjoy your evening and I’ll see you tomorrow.” We both awkwardly smiled at each other for a few seconds before I waved goodbye and joyfully walked out of the class and into the hallway. I then dashed down the hallway to catch my bus home.
The next day I went into my music class. Mr. Hernandez was at the door talking to a student about make up work from the previous day. He smiled at me while I walked past him. I got to my desk, placed my backpack by my feet and took out my book. When I sat up to face the board, all the girls from my class were right in front of me, smiling like they know something. “Uh may I help you guys?” “I heard you stayed after class yesterday.” Said Casey with her big poofy blonde hair and mascara piled on. “What happened? Tell us the deats!” Before I could react, Hailie added on “Did you get some extra credit?” she winked at me. “Oh God guys,” Lily said. “Did you guys have passionate sex on Mr. Hernandez’ desk?” all the girls giggled and ‘ooh’ and ‘oh heck yes’. “Oh god guys that’s just-you know gross go away!” I shooed them away from my desk. “Okay girls back to your desk!” Mr. Hernandez said. I’m so lucky no one else heard what the girls said.
“Now since next week is finals week and the last week of your high school lives, we are going to be in groups to study for your exams.” Groans went all around the room. “Now now,” Mr. Hernandez reassured us “Well be studying just for a few days this week and on Friday it’ll be a free period.” The whole class clapped and ‘yeahs’. Everyone went into their groups but Mr. Hernandez called me to his desk. “I know this may be too much to ask but would you mind working with Lily, Casey, and Hailie?” I made a face. “I know I know but they need to pick their grades up and you are the only girl who’s has the high marks in the class.”
Thank God it’s Friday. The whole week with those girls was just impossible. For example:
Me: “What is the Day the Music Died about? Who were the musicians?”
Lily: “Oh! Tupac & Biggie! East coast versus west coast!”
But later on in the week they gotten better. Example:
Me: “Who is Stevie Ray Vaughn?”
Casey: “The guitar guy with the hat!”
Me: lol “I guess that’s a good answer”
Friday in class, Mr. Hernandez had us sit wherever we wanted. I just stayed at my desk since I don’t really talk to anyone in class. He had the movie “La Bamba” on but no one was paying attention. Everyone was talking in their groups. Guys were talking about the graduation parties and who’s bringing the beers. The girls were of course talking about Mr. Hernandez’s red pants. “Oh god you can see EVERYTHING!” said Casey pointing at his budge. I was just at my desk reading Eric Clapton’s autobiography. I got it from the library and read to chapter 4 last night. I’m hoping to finish the book by the end of class. Suddenly the girls squealed so loud it startled the whole class. “Girls!” Mr. Hernandez raised his voice. “That is enough!” He shook his head and continued grading papers.
He then stopped and looked at me. I was still reading the book. I am just so into Eric’s story that I barely realized his two beautiful eyes were dazzling at me. He called my name very gently. He asked for me to come to his desk. And to bring the book. “Wow this is impressive” He said going through the pages. “You’re just reading this for fun?” “Yup. He’s one of my favorites” We both smiled at each other. Sparks were totally flying. The bell rang and the whole class rushed out of the classroom. He gave me back my book and whispered “Good luck on finals.” “I will.” I whispered back holding my book close. The next two days I won’t see him. And next week I’m turning 18 and graduating. Perhaps Katie is right. But what if it’s all in my head?
That night, I stood in front of the mirror in my room. Why would Mr. Hernandez want me? My brown hair is straight and boring. I don’t really wear makeup. I mostly wear skinny jeans and t-shirts and vans. “Mr. Hernandez wears vans” Katie once said.
I wear glasses and get nervous in public. I’ve been boyfriendless since my sophomore year. And I have asthma. Mr. Hernandez is the type of guy who has beautiful women on each arm. Who would want to waste their time with a girl who’s 8 years younger than him?
But, again, what if Katie is right? I can’t just go up and ask if he likes me or pass him a note like we’re in middle school. Unless he makes the first move. But would he dare?
“Happy Birthday!” I woke up and put on my glasses. My parents were hovering over me with gifts in their hands. It was my 18th birthday and my last day of high school. This week went by so fast! I’m never gonna see Mr. Hernandez again. Okay this is crazy! My parents are in front of me and all I can think about it Mr. Hernandez. I gotta do something about it but what? “Sweetie, are you ok?” my mom sat beside me. I nodded. “Just thinking that today is a very special day.” And in my gut I felt like something big was going to happen. I opened my gifts, a blue and white mum from my dad and a black slim dress from my mom. “For your graduation birthday party tomorrow.” My mom added a five dollar bill to my mum with a safety pen.
Katie showed up a few minutes later with my gift. I opened it to find a pair of black flats and a beautiful, slim fitting maroon top. “Your mom mentioned you needed some dress shoes and I got you the top to show your boobs off!” I put the top on and did notice how perkier my boobs were. “Ahh! Mr. Hernandez is gonna freak!” Katie said. She helped straighten my hair to make it look more defined and we headed out the door to her car.
Once at school, everyone I walked by wished me happy birthday even people I didn’t even know. “They are just in a happy mood now that school is over” Jo said. She along with Amy got me Hello Kitty birthday balloons, my favorite. In every class, people kept adding money to my mum. Katie was tempted to count how much money I had but told her I wanted to wait until I got home. I wasn’t concerned about the money but concerned about last period: Music Theory class. During lunch I sat with the girls but I wasn’t hungry. Jo arrived with a cupcake for me. “I would’ve added a candle but the whole school would burn down. But make a wish!” I closed my eyes and prayed for a miracle. “What is sh-“ Jo started. “Shh” said Katie “she’s wishing for Mr. Hernandez” “Don’t start that again!” said Amy. “No matter what, if he likes you or not, he wouldn’t try to do anything on school grounds.”
I finally got to Music class. I took off my mum because it was getting so heavy from all the money it was collecting and it was pulling my shirt down. Mr. Hernandez was at his desk when the bell rang. In the middle of the classroom were our desk in a circle. “Take a seat any seat.” Mr. Hernandez said. I sat at one desk and to my surprise he sat next to me on my right side. It means nothing. I thought to myself. Once everyone got to their seats, Mr. Hernandez stood up and explained what we were going to do. “To you guys, it has been a pleasure to have you guys in my class. Now I want everyone to go around the room and tell us what you most enjoyed about the class.” I was expecting to go first but he turned to his left and let my classmate Nick start. We all laughed and shared. Even Casey surprised me by saying “I really enjoyed working with you because you helped me pick my grade up.” I felt so honored. My turn came and I smiled at Mr. Hernandez. “I enjoyed learning about the stories behind song lyrics.” That was a very stupid answer.
Class was ending in 5 minutes. Everyone was getting teary eye. Everyone was hugging each other and then I saw it. The girls went up to Mr. Hernandez and thanked him for the school year. “And we are sorry if we made you uncomfortable in anyway.” Casey said sounding sincere. The other girls nodded in unison. Mr. Hernandez laughed “Oh you girls!” The final bell rang. Everyone dashed out all at once except me. I was taking my time to put my mum back on when Mr. Hernandez called my name. “Can I speak with you?”
We were alone in the classroom. I could hear the students in the hallway running, cheering for the last day of school. Mr. Hernandez’ eyes looked warm and welcoming. This was it. Was he making the move? “Yeah?” “Mind if I close the door?” I swallowed the lump in my throat. “ok”. He closed the door and I walked towards his desk so no one from the hallway can see us. “Did I do something wrong Mr. Hernandez?” “Please, call me Bruno.” My heart was pounding. Oh gosh the first name! This is totally a good sign. “But,” I said “I thought your name is Peter.” “My friends and family call me Bruno. The people I care about call me Bruno.” “Oh” Is all I could say. “Can I tell you something?” Bruno looked so nervous. I nodded and he sat at the edge of his desk.
“You are completely different those other girls out there.” He pointed towards the hallway. “Hell you are different than the girls I knew in high school.” He bit his lip nervously, looking down at the floor. He then looked up at me with those puppy eyes I love so much. “That’s what I like about you. You are yourself. You don’t try so hard to get my attention. You are a wonderful student and I find that really attractive.” My eyes widen. He is totally making his move on me. “Are you telling me you have feelings for me?” Please say yes. Please say yes! He put his hands on my waist and moved me closer to him. “I liked you from the first time I saw you.” Our eyes locked solid. “I may be even falling in love with you. You are so perfect to me. I’ve never felt this way about anyone before, not even my exes.” I was so speechless. Katie was so totally right! “Do you feel the same way?” He looked at me with anticipation for my answer. I didn’t know how to answer. So I pulled him close to my body. He whispered my name and gently kissed my lips, first with lips and then with tongue. His hand gently touched my cheek. We pulled back from each other, still eye contact. He kissed my forehead and said “I’ll never let you go, baby.” He gave me a quick kiss goodbye and said “Happy birthday. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Followed by a wink. Oh gosh he’s going to my graduation! We exchanged phone numbers to keep in touch during the summer and I quickly ran home.
As soon as I got home, I just wanted to run to my room and jump for joy. But my parents called me to the dining room. “How was school, honey?” My mom asked. I was smiling from ear to ear. “Fine! Just so fine.” “Well, we have another birthday surprise for you.” I sat down at the table. “Well,” my dad said. “We hired Mr. Hernandez, your music teacher, to DJ your graduation party tomorrow!” Both my parents face brighten while my jaw dropped to the floor. “Oh I heard how great he is for your school functions and he offered to do it for free.” My mom sounded so excited. Oh. My. God. I was in shock. “That’s so cool!” I said, trying to sound excited. “I’m going to tell Katie.” I ran upstairs while I heard my dad say “See she’s so excited!”
I called Katie, turned on my stereo to a high volume so my parents can’t hear and basically yelled through the mouth piece. “KATIE I KISSED MR. HERNANDEZ AND MY PARENTS HIRED HIM TO DJ TOMORROW!” We both screamed and I started to cry tears of joy. “I told you!!!!” Katie said. My phone beeped and it was a text from Bruno. “Katie I gotta let you go Bruno texted me.” “Who’s Bruno.” I laughed “Oh his nickname. But girl I gotta go!” We hung up and I read the text. ‘Babe, I can’t wait to see you tomorrow. Can we do something over the weekend? I wanna give you your birthday present.’