Chapter 16

10/02/2012 17:44

It was November, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving break. It was open house at my school and my parents insisted we go and meet my teachers. Usually they never go to these type of school functions. They went to my freshman open house, so they said they wanted to go to my senior year open house and meet my teachers. We went to each classroom starting with my first period Algebra class. I ran into Katie in the hallway before we got to my last class. We hugged and compared her parents’ and my parents’ reactions and feedback from the meeting the teachers. “Ooh you’re going to see Mr. Hernandez next!” Katie said excitedly. “I wonder what your parents will say about him.” She walked with us to the music department and told me to call her later about how it went. 
We went into the classroom. I heard the girls from my class giggling while the boys looked like they rather jump off a bridge than to be in the classroom. The classroom was packed with parents and students. There were even other female students who didn’t have him for a teacher but was just taking in the eye candy. Mr. Hernandez was at his desk, talking with some parents about the class curriculum. “So where’s your teacher?” My dad asked. “Is that him?” He pointed to one of the parents who was wearing a suit. I looked over at Mr. Hernandez, who was wearing brown slacks, black converse, white t-shirt, and of course his favorite fedora. He looked so handsome. I shook my head. “No there’s Mr. Hernandez.” I pointed towards him from the other side of the room. “That’s your teacher?!” My mom said in shock. “He’s looks so young!” My dad said in disbelief. “He’s just 26.” I said walking though the classroom. Mr. Hernandez made eye contact with me and smiled. I waved while he walked towards us. He took off his hat in respect and took out his hand from his pocket. He reached out and shook my dad’s hand. “Hello I’m Mr. Hernandez.” He greeted my mom and dad and they seemed more at ease about him. “So you are the Music teacher who’s been giving my daughter nothing but ‘A’s?” My dad asked, with a big grin on his face. Mr. Hernandez laughed. “Sir, your daughter is the brightest in my class. She’s basically the only girl who really pays attention to the lessons I teach.” My mom turned her head after hearing giggles from the other side of the room and saw the girls in a corner sighing at the sight of their hot teacher. She looked at me and raised her eyebrows. “Well, I can see why my daughter is a good student.” My mom said. “She isn’t boy crazy at all!” Oh God let me die right now. I turned my face away from Mr. Hernandez and softly said “Mom don’t embarrass me!” Of course Mr. Hernandez heard what mom said. He laughed but kept his composure. “Either way she is a good student and such a good person. She has a kind heart.” My heart melted at the complement. “Wow.” Was all my parents said. “Well, we are so proud of our good and perfect daughter.” My dad said patting my back. “Keep up the good work, Mr. Hernandez. I think schools should have more teachers like you.” Mr. Hernandez beamed with pride.

Today was Friday. I was awake but laid in bed quietly until I heard the door slam knowing my parents were gone. I got out of bed and got my cell phone. I called into work and lied that I couldn’t go in because I was sick. I thought if my parents find out I called in, which is something I rarely do, I’ll just say I switched days with a coworker or something. I just couldn’t go to work on a stressful day like today. 
I took a shower and washed up. I didn’t feel like eating anything, my stomach is knotted too much, so I just made a toast with peanut butter. I called Bruno and asked if I can come over. I explained that I called in. “You want me to pick you up?” He asked. “Nah, it’s okay. I’ll take the bus. I just need to go over my thoughts.” 
On the bus, my mind was going 55 miles per hour. I keep thinking why Bruno seems so into this meeting. Why is he so nervous? I should be the nervous one; they are after all my parents. And it’s just awkward because I know with his age and good looks that this isn’t the first time he’ll be meeting a girlfriend’s parents. “Yeah but this is different because you were a student of his.” Jo said through a text message. All week I’ve been seeking guidance from my friends. “The age isn’t the main factor; it’s that you were a student.” Jo added. “Remember that.” It was this that concerned me. How am I going to face my parents after they know the truth? I would feel so ashamed even though I am not doing anything wrong. But am I doing anything wrong? I kept this question to myself because I just don’t know anything anymore. All I know is that Bruno loves me and I love Bruno.

I got to Bruno’s apartment. It was already a quarter after 11. Even though I had all day to spend with him and normally in this situation, we would have sex. But we both noticed in each other that we were just too drained to do anything. We sat on the couch and cuddled. He was wearing green plaid pajama pants, no shirt. My head was on his bare chest. I felt his heart beat in rhythm. His breathing was perfect. Now my breathing was different paces. I would move my face closer to his chest and he would pull his arms in closer. From the corner of my eye I watched his arm muscles flexed. “Are you still worried?” I asked. His arms shifted to loosen me up. “Not really. The guys gave me some good advice.” I sat up from his arms. I smiled. “Like what?” His eyes sparkled. “Well, I’m going to come in a nice suit, no hat.” I gasped playfully. “No hat?!” I exclaimed. Bruno laughed and continued. “No hat babe. And I’ll bring you a dozen roses and an extra rose for your mom.” I leaned into my prince’s arms. “That sounds so perfect.” “I just hope it will break the tension and it will go easier from there.” “I think with that and my explanation to them that I’m not a little girl anymore, it may work.” Bruno kissed my forehead. “I’m not giving up on us. On you.” 
I got home a few hours later. I completed my chores and waited for my parents to come home. I even had set the table and even took out mom’s special candles. I was ready to face the music. My dad got home first. He came inside the kitchen where I was putting the dishes away. He gave me a hug. “So you excited about tonight? I can’t wait to meet the guy.” I paused for a second and carefully thought of what to say next. “Um, dad.” I said cautiously. “Will you try to be nice to Bruno? Remember he’s, um, different.” My dad made a funny face. “You keep saying he’s different. What do you mean by that?” Before I could respond, my mom walks into the house. “Where is everyone?” She called out. She came into the kitchen with some groceries. “I thought I’ll make my lemon chicken.” She said as she was unpacking. My dad greeted her and left to take a shower. 
It was just my mom and me. She was taking out pots and pans from under the stove. “Mom?” I begun to get my mom’s attention but she just said “Go change! We only have 45 minutes until Bruno comes and I have a lot of cooking to do.” “But mom I really need to talk to you.” Mom shook her head while getting the spices from the cabinet. “Sweetie, we can talk during dinner. I don’t have time right now. I’m running late.” She got her ingredients in order. She put her finger to her chin in deep thought. “Mom it’s about Bruno. I need to tell you-“ My mom put her hands on my shoulders and smiled. “Bruno will be fine tonight! I’m sure we will love him!” “But!” “No buts! Now go up to your room and change!” She gently pushed me out the kitchen and got to work. I sighed and slowly went upstairs.
It was a few minutes before 7. I was wearing a red, knee length dress. I had put my hair in a high ponytail. I slowly crept from my room down the stairs. I heard my parents chatting while putting the food on the dining table. I made it to the room where my parents glowed at the sight of their daughter. I shrugged while my mom came over and told me how beautiful I looked. I thought I shall try to tell them about Bruno again. “Look before he gets here, I-“ The doorbell rang. I gasped. The doorbell rang! He was finally here. My hands got sweaty and I thought I was going to faint. I ran to the door but realized my dad beat me to it. “Dad! Please I need to tell you something about Bruno!” But it was too late.

Bruno looked more handsome than I could ever imagine. He wore a dark gray suit with a white button up shirt underneath his blazer. He took my breath away. I guess the feeling was mutual because when he saw me, he had such a silly grin on his face. But then my father spoke out. “Mr. Hernandez? What are you-,” And then he saw Bruno holding the roses. My father’s face turned into stone. “Mom, dad, this is Bruno.” Bruno walked into the house and tried to smile. Dad’s face was frozen while mom looked confused. Both Bruno and I looked at each other in worry. He slowly held my hand for dear life while my parents looked at us in disbelief. “Why is your teacher here?” My dad turned at me from the door and slammed it hard. “And you get your hand off my daughter! When did this start?!” Bruno responded by pulling me closer to him, I guess to prove he wasn’t afraid. “I thought your name is Peter? Why did you say his name was Bruno San Pedro Bayot?” My mom asked, with a stern look on her face and arms crossed. “Bruno is a nickname my family gave me and San Pedro Bayot is my mom’s maiden name.” My dad’s face turned red. “So you lied to us so we won’t know you are dating your music teacher? What is wrong with you?!” “And when did this start? Because I swear I will get the school board on this!” My parents were asking so many questions I couldn’t think. Bruno even tried to settle the awkwardness. “How about we just sit and talk.” But my parents ignored him. “It happened after graduation! I swear to you guys nothing happened during the school year!” I pleaded. “Please don’t blame Bruno on this!” “Damn hell!” My dad said, raising his voice. “So you like to take advantage of teenage girls, huh Mr. Hernandez?!” Bruno stepped forward. “Sir, I respect your daughter and I want to respect you. Your daughter is such a kind hearted person with a good head on her shoulders. She is more mature than other girls her age.” 
“Dad, please just listen to us! Mom please do something.” My mom had disappointment in her eyes. “Mom, look, I’m sorry I lied to you guys but I was just afraid.” She sighed. “You were trying to tell us this the whole time.” She looked at my dad. “Maybe we should listen to their side.” Both Bruno and I sighed with relief until my father had a look on his face, like he finally found the missing puzzle piece. We were about to go into the living room until all hell broke loose. “J-just let me get this straight.” My dad said, looking at Bruno and me square in the eye. “Now you tell me the truth. During those times you said you were staying the night at Katie’s house, don’t you tell me you were spending the night with him?” He pointed at Bruno. “Because I got a good damn feeling you did.” Bruno looked at me. We’ve been caught. I then remembered what Katie said. I got the courage to speak up. “Only a few times.” Bruno closed his eyes in disbelief while my dad put his hands on his head in shock. “I’m 18 years old and responsible! I’m not a little girl anymore!” My mom looked surprised but looked at Bruno and me and sadly smiled. “Mom, please don’t be mad. We have been safe. I promise mom, please.” I whispered to her so dad wouldn’t hear. 
“So you take advantage of my daughter?! I can’t believe he took something so precious from you!” My dad said, raising his voice. “He didn’t take anything! I lost my virginity to Nate, remember him?” It was so awkward getting into this type of conversation but I was trying to do anything to protect Bruno from my dad’s wraft. I looked over at Bruno and saw that he didn’t look too comfortable. I should change the subject. 
“Look, Bruno treats me so special and great! Y’all even said he sound great before you found out who he is.” My dad was pacing again while my mom came up to Bruno and me. “Marcus, maybe we should listen to them.” But my dad wasn’t having it. “Oh well just wait until the next school year when he moves on to a freshman student!” “Dad stop it!” I yelled. Bruno step forward. “Sir please try to understand nothing happened. I may have had a crush on her during the semesters but that was it. I kept my distance until the last day of school.” “Oh wow a crush!” My dad said sarcastically. “You do know she was 17 before the last day of school? Do you know it is illegal for a much older teacher to be with a student?” Before Bruno could say anything, dad went on. “And we openly invited you among our family and friends for her party when you both were probably going behind my back!” “Dad we are sorry but please leave Bruno alone!” I stood in front of Bruno to protect him. Bruno held my waist. “Sweetie I’m okay.” He whispered in my ear. I wanted to cry from all this commotion. “Dad please stop!” My voice cracked. 
My mom seemed to finally had enough. “Look let’s just stop this and either have our cold dinner or everyone goes home.” Then suddenly an outburst of overlapping arguing. Mom was telling dad to shut up, Bruno was defending me, and dad was telling my mom he wasn’t finished yet. I pulled Bruno out of the arguing circle and held him close to me. 
“You know what?!” My dad raised his voice even higher. “Now I know why you got straight As in his class.” He was sweating with anger. I had never seen my dad react this way. My mom tried to calm him down. “You probably slept with him, huh you little slut! Sneaking away, sleeping with a fucking teacher! Who are you?!” We all froze. My whole body shook in fear. My own father called me a slut. “Marcus! What did you call my daughter?!” My mother had tears in her eyes. I wanted to die right then and there. I pushed my father out of my way and ran up to my room. Bruno called out my name but I kept running. I could hear my parents yelling and screaming downstairs. I got to my room and slammed the door. I collapsed on my bedroom floor and covered my ears. I screamed and sobbed into the carpet. I heard the door slam downstairs and seconds later there was a light knock at my door. “GO AWAY!!!” I screamed and continued to sob. I wasn’t expecting tonight to happen like this. I can’t believe Bruno had to see all of this. I closed my eyes tight, praying that it was all just a nightmare.