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CHAPTER 1: PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE
Georgia was relieved that Quentin didn’t show up to the parent-teacher conference. If he had, one of a three scenarios would have played out. Georgia knew this because Delilah was their youngest child, and so she had been to many of these conferences with Quentin.
Scenario 1) He would fall asleep, but not snore.
Scenario 2) He would fall asleep, and snore.
Scenario 3) He would try to impress the teacher. He would do this by going on and on about his ideas about teaching. (Ha! He had taught high school for one year – and barely made it through that year.) Or about what the teacher should do to engage Delilah more in the class. Or about – –
Fuck this, Georgia thought. Our divorce is final, he’s out of the house, and this PTSD bullshit is not getting me anywhere. It’s over. Just hold onto your joy that it’s over.
The door to the conference room – a room that had been a closet until a year ago, when the previous conference room had been repurposed to an art room – opened. Georgia blinked, trying to remember the name of the teacher. She was new to the school so her older kids hadn’t had her. Ms. DeWitt, that was it.
“Hi! You must be Georgia’s mom!”
My god, she can’t be more than 25, Georgia thought. And her boobs are magnificent.
Ms. DeWitt held out her hand for Georgia to shake. Eyes up here, Georgia reprimanded herself. She tried to remember what Delilah had said about Ms. DeWitt. She liked her, she was so nice, she gave out suckers as treats. Or was that Miranda’s teacher?
Ms. DeWitt sat at the table, shuffling some papers in front of her. She went through the tired rigmarole. Delilah was a great kid, these were her math test scores, this was her improvement, these were her reading scores, this was her improvement, in the spelling program she was on level K which was very good for a first grader, not that it mattered, every kid was taught to her own level. Oh please. Georgia thought.
Their ten minutes were up. Georgia hadn’t said much of anything. She knew the drill.
There were two more meetings like that during the school year. Each time, Georgia noticed that Ms. DeWitt’s breasts were magnificent, chided herself, and then sank into the doldrums of No Child Left Behind test scores.
But Quentin showed up to the fourth and final parent teacher conference. He went with scenario three. The ten-minute meeting stretched into twenty minutes, and was threatening thirty. He veered off track (of course), going into how wrong Georgia had been for demanding a divorce, and how he knew that it had affected Delilah terribly (not terribly enough for you to spend any time with her, Georgia thought), and that Ms. DeWitt (but he called her Trish) should do a unit on kids of divorce and how divorce is bad.
Georgia tried to intervene, knowing it would not do any good, once offering a, “there are other parents waiting,” and later saying, “Ms. DeWitt doesn’t actually make the curriculum.” He talked over her (of course). Georgia sank into her chair.
Ms. DeWitt stood up. “Mr. Tanner,” she said, “I’m only going to tell you this because I’ve given my notice that I’m leaving the school at the end of the year for a job I’ve accepted in another district. What you are saying is completely inappropriate. I’m sorry that you’re unhappy with your divorce, but from everything I’ve observed this year and from what Delilah has confided in me, it’s for the best. I suggest that rather than using this conference as an excuse to berate and humiliate your ex-wife, you focus on showing up for your parenting time and giving her a break. I really don’t think that spending one afternoon a week with your kids should be that onerous, and frankly Georgia looks exhausted.”
Am I dreaming? Georgia wondered. It was like a blast of pure mountain air had come through the room, blowing away all of Quentin’s bad energy.
Quentin, of course, started to protest, and to go into his predictable rant about how Ms. DeWitt needed supervision. “Thank you for your thoughts,” Ms. DeWitt said. She stepped past him and opened the door pointedly. She looked out. “I’ll be right with you,” she said to whatever parents were in the hallway.
To Georgia’s surprise, Quentin left. She didn’t know what to say to Ms. DeWitt. “I’m sorry,” was what came out.
“Don’t apologize for him,” Ms. DeWitt said sternly. “I need to get on to my next meeting now.” Georgia meekly left the conference room.
Georgia was enjoying some alone time in the grocery store. Max, her oldest, was watching the younger two. She wasn’t sure what she would come home to, but having spent a week on “vacation” with the kids she was desperate for an hour away from them. Day camp would start in a few days, and she would go back to work and her regular routine, and this shopping trip was going to have to tide her over until then.
She had opted for the closer grocery store rather than the nicer one. If she needed to race home the extra ten minutes would matter. And if she didn’t, she istanbul travesti could spend more time in the produce aisle.
“I’m envious of that mango you’re fondling.”
Mortified, Georgia put the fruit down and turned to see Ms. DeWitt. “Oh, hi -” she said. “I, um, was shopping for my kids.” Duh. Of course she was.
Ms. DeWitt was wearing denim shorts that barely covered her ass. And a plain white t-shirt that had not one single stain on it. “They’re real,” she said.
“The mangoes?” Georgia asked, confused.
“Well, those too, but I mean my tits,” Ms. DeWitt said.
Georgia blushed. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I was just admiring how you can keep a white blouse clean. I haven’t worn white since my oldest son was born.”
Ms. DeWitt tilted her head. “At the parent-teacher conferences, when you stared at them, I’m pretty sure I was wearing patterned tops.”
Georgia’s face burned. “I’m so sorry,” she apologized again. “I wasn’t trying to make you uncomfortable. I just -” She broke off. What could she possible say?
“You’re the reason I quit, you know.”
“What? Oh my god, no, I’m so sorry.” She was babbling.
But to Georgia’s surprise Ms. DeWitt laughed. “Not because you stared at my breasts. Almost all the parents do that.” She winked. “You were actually more surreptitious about it than a lot of them.”
Ms. DeWitt reached into the mango display and rubbed her finger against the skin of one. She didn’t seem to realize she was doing it. Georgia was mesmerized by the site of the golden skin of her finger moving up and down the red of the fruit. “You would drag yourself to these meetings, obviously exhausted, and you would listen politely. You do know that only parents of problem children come after the first parent-teacher conference of the year? But Delilah was well-behaved and her grades were good, and you still dragged yourself in, and your eyes would glaze over as you listened to me give meaningless information about her test scores. And there was this one time when I told you she had scored 100 on the pretest for the unit and then scored 90 on the post-unit test and all you said was she wasn’t feeling well during the second test instead of asking the obvious question which was why she had to do a unit at all if she already knew everything, and wouldn’t she be better off reading a book of her choice?”
“That is what I was thinking,” Georgia said. For the first time she looked Ms. DeWitt full in the face. She was startled by how beautiful she was. Her eyes were a deep brown, much darker than her skin, her nose was aquiline, and her hair had luscious curls that fell to her shoulders.
“So I quit,” Ms. DeWitt said. “I found a job doing curriculum development and educational policy. I love the classroom and I love the kids, but I felt really called to this.”
“That’s wonderful,” Georgia said, and she meant it. “I admire you for chasing your dreams.” Her cell phone vibrated. It was Max, texting to ask when she would be home. “I should go,” she said, adding some mangos to her cart.
“Do you want to have a drink with me sometime?” Ms. DeWitt asked.
Georgia blinked. “A drink?” she said stupidly.
Ms. DeWitt nodded. “Sure. Or whatever would be fun for you. Coffee, dinner…”
“I do,” Georgia said, “but it’s really hard for me to get away. Between work and the kids…”
Ms. DeWitt frowned. “Seriously? You can’t handle hiring a babysitter for a couple of hours? You could just say no.”
She is so young, Georgia though. She still has no idea how hard life gets.
Ms. DeWitt leaned took a step closer and whispered in Georgia’s ear, “I’ll let you feel my breasts.” Georgia dropped the mango she was holding. It fell onto the floor and rolled. Ms. DeWitt leaned in again. “I’ll let you put you mouth on them if you keep it open just as much as it is now.”
Georgia took a step back and cleared her throat. “I’m straight,” she said.
Ms. DeWitt laughed. “Honey, you may not be all the way queer but you are definitely not all the way straight,” she said. “And what’s the harm? My boobs won’t get your pregnant or give you any diseases.”
“Umm, okay,” Georgia said, trying to act this whole conversation was no big deal – although she was absolutely certain that Ms. DeWitt knew how much she had made her pussy tingle. “Maybe Friday? I’ll see if I can get a sitter for then.”
“You will get a sitter,” Ms. DeWitt said. She handed Georgia the mango she had been fingering.
Georgia spent an inordinate amount of time stressing over what to wear on Friday night. She didn’t have many clothes that were not either business attire for work or mom attire for everything else. Even if she couldn’t justify new clothes on top of a babysitter, she didn’t have time to shop. Finally, way at the back of her closet she found a sleeveless green dress that used to be a bit big for her and now was a bit tight. It was four inches above the knee – daring for her but nothing to write home about. She went light on the makeup – no foundation, because that was a work look, and no mascara istanbul travestileri because what if she cried, which she did easily. Just lip gloss, which she actually loved, concealer for under her eyes, and some blush.
She looked at herself critically in the mirror and saw an average, somewhat but not excessively dumpy middle-aged white woman looking back at her. Brown hair that could use a trim – it kept getting stuck on her purse strap – average height, largish stomach, smallish chest, goodish butt.
At exactly 7 PM she walked into the restaurant Ms. DeWitt had suggested, a not-too-pretentious, not-too-expensive Mediterranean place owned by a local family. Ms. DeWitt was already there, and waved her over. “Am I late?” Georgia asked, although she knew she wasn’t.
“I ordered us drinks,” Ms. DeWitt said. The waiter appeared just then with two margaritas.
“Oh,” Georgia said. “I wasn’t really planning on drinking tonight -“
“Are you an alcoholic?” Ms. DeWitt asked.
“No, I drink sometimes. But the babysitter is new and she –“
Ms. DeWitt frowned. “Look, we’re here on a date. I’m happy to talk about your kids a bit if you want, but I expect you to be present here with me. Your children will be fine. I’m sure you checked the babysitter’s references, and it’s not like the kids don’t outnumber her. And all of them have cell phones.”
Proving her right, Georgia’s cell phone vibrated. With an apologetic glance to Ms. DeWitt, she glanced at the text. “Delilah wants to know if they can have the chocolate ice cream for dessert.”
“Don’t answer it.” Georgia blinked. Ms. DeWitt reached her hand across the table and took Georgia’s cell phone. “I’ll look at the texts as they come in. If anyone broke a leg I’ll give you your phone back.” She typed something into the phone in that rapid way that Georgia had never mastered. “I told her you won’t be responding to non-emergency texts, and she should tell the others.” She put the phone face up next to her plate. “Now, have a drink.”
Georgia looked around uncomfortably. “I think this was a mistake,” she said. “I haven’t dated since -” She stopped. Ms. DeWitt just looked at her calmly. “I’m always in charge of everything. I have to be. I’m not good at – at this.”
Ms. DeWitt looked nonplused, but then comprehension dawned on her face and her expression changed to an almost wolfish leer. “Ah, a petulant child,” she said. “Excellent. I’ve had a year of dealing with misbehaving kids with calm words and timeout chairs.” She took a sip of her drink and licked her lips. Georgia was fascinated by the movement of her tongue before her words sank in.
“How else would you deal with a petulant child?” she asked.
Ms. DeWitt seemed pleased at the question. Georgia realized that she had stepped into her trap. She met Ms. DeWitt’s eyes and could not look away. Ms. DeWitt spoke slowly. “With a petulant child who is actually an adult, who has agreed to meet me for a date and then been quite rude -” She grinned lasciviously. “Oh, the possibilities are endless.” She seemed to lose herself in thought for a moment. “It’s time for you to choose.”
“You mean between calm words and a timeout chair?”
Ms. DeWitt clucked. “There’s that naughty girl again. I mean, you choose whether you want to continue with me. If you don’t, go ahead and leave now. You can catch a movie or something since you’ve got the babysitter.”
Georgia thought about it. She should go. She didn’t belong here. But – “You said you’d let me touch your breasts.” She was shocked by how whiny she sounded. She looked around again to make sure no one had heard.
“You should be more accurate,” Ms. DeWitt said. “I said you could touch them and suck them.” She jutted them out a bit. She was wearing a tight black tank top that was cut low enough that Georgia could see the tops of the luscious curves. “And you’re right, I shouldn’t go back on my word. So if you want to end this date we can go into the restroom and you can have one minute in a stall with me.”
“That sounds sordid,” Georgia said.
“Oh, such a sophisticated word for a petulant child,” Ms. DeWitt said. “You can always go with choice number 2.”
“Which is?” Georgia asked, torn between nervous and – hopeful?
Ms. DeWitt sat up ramrod straight in her chair. “Which is that you stop being annoying. You have a sip of the drink I ordered for you. You eat the meal I will choose for you, with some limited input from you. You will be polite and ladylike the entire evening. You will do your best to be a good conversationalist. And, then, after dinner, we will go to my place. You will fondle and suckle my breasts. And then you will allow me to punish you for your insolence earlier this evening in a manner of my choosing.”
Georgia’s mouth went dry. “Will I have a safe word?” she asked.
Ms. DeWitt grinned. “I see my little brat has read Fifty Shades of Grey and thinks she knows something about the life.” Georgia sputtered in protest. Her smut reading had begun long before Fifty Shades came out, and back when she had time for friends some travesti istanbul of them had been into kink. Ms. DeWitt ignored her. “Yes, you will have a safe word of your choosing and I will always honor it. Do you trust me on that, Georgia?” Georgia nodded. “Say it out loud,” Ms. DeWitt demanded.
“I trust you, Ms. DeWitt,” Georgia said. She picked up the margarita and took a sip.
Georgia couldn’t remember the last time she had had so much fun. She barely minded that Ms. DeWitt ordered for her, since she had asked about her allergies and preferences beforehand. She probably would have chosen the same chicken margherita for herself, and it was delicious.
Ms. DeWitt asked Georgia about herself, and she found herself rambling on a bit. She tried to make it a point not to complain about Quentin, or her life situation in general. It made people think she was a loser. It made her think she was a loser. But she revealed to Ms. DeWitt some of the better aspects of her defunct marriage, and her current life. Quentin had some good qualities (not in bed, she responded to Ms. DeWitt) which over time had been outweighed by his narcissism. Her kids were loves. She rarely spoke about her work life to people who were not forensic accountants like herself, but the fact was that she was stellar at her job, and she loved it. Yes, she could earn a lot more if she worked in the private sector instead of for the state, but the benefits were good and the hours allowed her to be a mom. She found herself adding that when the kids were older she planned to open her own practice. She was amazed she had said that – she hadn’t even realized it herself until that moment.
Ms. DeWitt shared about herself. Her father had been an army intelligence officer who had been killed in Afghanistan when she was eight. He had been a bit of a weird match for her hippie mother, but they had worked. After her dad died her mom did her best to raise a mixed-race child in an almost exclusively white town. Ms. DeWitt had escaped to Howard University, which she loved. She didn’t realize she wanted to be a teacher until she graduated, so she had waitressed while getting her teaching certificate. She actually missed waitressing. She had thought about going back to it for the summer, but she wanted to take a break before starting her new job.
When Georgia didn’t comment Ms. DeWitt asked her what she was thinking. Georgia was silent for a moment before answering. “It’s a little rude,” she said. “I don’t want to break the rules.”
“I give you permission. Go ahead and tell me.”
“It’s just that you’re so young,” Georgia said. “You see life as so full of possibilities, with door after door opening for you.”
Ms. DeWitt rolled her eyes. “You feel okay saying that to a black girl?” she asked. Georgia stammered something. Ms. DeWitt cut her off. “It’s okay, sweetie, I’ll let you off on that one. We’re too new to have the race conversation. Just don’t tell me that you don’t see color or we are done.”
“Can I tell you that I love the color of your skin?” Georgia asked. “It’s like the color of the really good honey at the farmer’s market, the unfiltered amber kind.”
Ms. DeWitt signaled the waiter for the check. “But you also think I’m green,” she said. Georgia smiled in appreciation at the pun. “And I get that. But maybe your experience has taught you the wrong lessons. Maybe you need to go back to being open to possibilities. Maybe that will help you be less exhausted, and to find the fun again.”
To her embarrassment Georgia’s eyes pricked with tears. “I would like that,” she said.
The waiter put the check between them. Georgia reached into her purse for her credit card but Ms. DeWitt shook her head. “Give some of your power over to me,” she said. “Tonight is my treat.” Georgia started to protest. Ms. DeWitt interrupted her. “The proper response is to say thank you,” she said sternly.
“Thank you, Ms. DeWitt,” Georgia said.
They each drove their own cars back to Ms. DeWitt’s apartment. What am I doing? Georgia asked herself. Being open to possibilities, she answered. She smiled.
She was a bit taken aback by Ms. DeWitt’s somewhat rundown apartment, although she wasn’t sure what she had expected given Ms. DeWitt’s age and the housing market. She immediately knew what the layout would be because it was a standard apartment in a three decker. To the right of the front door was the living room, which had a large opening into the dining room. The small kitchen was behind. A hallway to the left of these rooms opened into three bedrooms and a bathroom.
“You have roommates?” Georgia asked.
“Yeah, but they’re both away for the weekend.” Ms. DeWitt led Georgia to the second bedroom. Georgia stopped in the doorway, surprised. While the rest of the apartment seemed secondhand, with its wood flooring that badly need polishing and mismatched thrift shop furniture, Ms. DeWitt’s bedroom was… well, as luscious as her boobs. A queen sized, extremely comfortable looking captain’s bed was covered by a scarlet-colored satin bedspread, a color that was repeated in the pattern of a throw rug and the abstract paintings of the wall. There were a couple of bookshelves and a large antique dresser. And a tall, off-white plush chair with no arms that gave Georgia a thrill. Altogether, the room gave off an aura of opulence and taste.
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