Nov. 18th, 2009

"I'm staying late at the library after class," the note read every Thursday night for three semesters. I could not very well write "I'm going to have dinner with my Spanish professor/best friend/surrogate mother/big sister" - even though that was the truth, it would have incited more drama than I could deal with. I needed that escape from my studies. I needed that escape from my conflict-filled home life. She wanted me to stay out of trouble (I had had issues with alcohol prior to meeting her). Telling the truth would have taken all that away from me.

One Thursday night, we lost track of time. It was easy to - we would talk about absolutely anything, share a few laughs, and I felt like I mattered to someone. While we were eating - I had my salad and a Coke, she had a hamburger and camomile tea (normally, our food choices would have been the opposite), I noticed her looking at her watch.

"Jennifer, what time does your mother normally come home?" she asked me.

"Nine-thirty," I replied. "Why? What time is it now?"

"Nine-ten," she said.

I started to panic - we were on the other side of the city from where I lived, and there was no way that my mother could believe that I would be studying all this time. Instead of taking me to the nearby train station (it would take me an hour to get home on the train, plus the bus from the train station), she offered to drive me home. I felt bad about her doing that, but I agreed.

The car ride home felt like an eternity (even though it was only about half an hour). I started crying and shaking. She tried to reassure me that things would be alright. My heart sank as we pulled up to the house and I saw my mother's Cavalier parked out front. I was surprised when my professor shut the motor off and offered to walk me up the steps to my house. I was even more surprised when she rang the doorbell.

My mother answered the door. I introduced the two of them, and I was shocked when I heard these words come out of my professor's mouth:

"I'm sorry she's late - we were discussing her paper, and we lost track of time."

I could not, and still cannot, believe that my PROFESSOR lied to my MOTHER (even though I know I was guilty of doing the same thing!)

Author's note: Where I live, most "traditional" university students live at home while completing their studies.

Edit #1: I changed "college" to "university", as I was in university when this happened.

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Jenn

October 2010

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