The Luxury I Used to Have

It’s nighttime.
After my nightly routine, I get on my bed and see a necklace someone made and gave me a few months back. I never knew it glowed in the dark until last month. I’m laying on my bed thinking how much I miss him. These thoughts aren’t new; they were never expressed.

He smells nice even when the temperature is high. It was an unusually hot day for spring Open House. He and I are sweating but he doesn’t sweat as much and doesn’t smell bad, while I’m sitting with a large fan fanning me and my deodorant decides to stop working earlier that day.

He never complained about me complaining about our students almost every weeknight, and then making me feel better about myself and my abilities, and providing solutions. One distinct night I told him about a normally good student was keeping his hands and mind busy while distracting others, because he was bored in class (insufficient rigor). The guy made me feel better by choosing students around this particular student to read to the class, since the said student liked reading to the class (we share these kids at different times of the day).

He used to make me laugh ALL THE TIME. He’s silly at times. I remember him doing this jump thing with his hands beneath his chin. You had to be there; I don’t know what to call that move and I was laughing uncontrollably for the longest time.

He’s ridiculously optimistic. Before our classrooms were moved (we were classroom neighbors), he would visit me after school every day to see how the last class was, and just about every day was disastrous. I know it’s from poor lesson planning and doing the job improperly on my part despite my obvious uncalled for blame on the kids, but he was always quick with support.

He shared food with me (food is vital to me because I get hungry every hour or sooner). I remember a time he got up early (he spent about 45 min. getting through morning traffic) to bake Asian chicken wings with sesame seeds and shared. Other times he shared snacks (cookies, Goldfish crackers with colors, fruit snacks, egg tart, the list goes on).

I faced a huge blow when I failed the Teacher Performance Assessment. I gave him a hug to congratulate him for passing, but that hug was really for me because I needed someone to console me. Not too long afterward, he got me my favorite drink at a coffee corp. That night, I told him about my serious consideration of quitting the program because it was too expensive, and he wrote that he supported me no matter if I chose to stay or leave, after he tried to convince me to stay. He suggested lots of things to make me feel better on a day I was still down about failing this assessment.

That hug changed our friend/colleague/peer/classroom neighbor relationship into something I didn’t know. Every day after school, he would come see me as usual but I noticed that he wouldn’t leave without a hug from me. I wasn’t sure if I should be flattered or if he’s a pervert (we’ve only been friends/colleagues/peers/classroom neighbors for 2.5 months). Too afraid to ask for clarity, I put a stop to it about 2 weeks later.

I’ve missed having him around. Even as I lie on my bed at 3:33am, the pillow I hold onto is the best substitute I have for him – similar shape and consistency. He’s the luxury I used to have.

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