“That’s okay, Hillary.” She was staring at the floor, and I walked over and put my arm around her. “You don’t have to be embarrassed. It’s normal to wonder about these things,” I continued. Then I led her gently to the door and added, “I’m actually going with someone, by the way.”
Her face brightened, and she looked at me. “I’ll bet he’s very nice.” She smiled.
I smiled back. I should have left it at that, but there was something in her eyes. They were so full of hope. “Yes, he is,” I said.
Hillary looked relieved. Perhaps at the idea of not having an adult chastise her after being so personal. Or was it her relief at the prospect that maybe I wouldn’t end up an old lady schoolteacher after all? Or maybe it was something else. I wondered what the other kids at school thought of me. Or the faculty for that matter. Mid-twenties, blonde, attractive—by most accounts anyway, nice figure, smart dresser. What’s wrong with this picture?
I felt very curious, gossipy, and guarded all at once. I so wanted to ask her what the kids at old L.A. High thought about “old” Miss Dorothy Johnson. But, of course, I couldn’t.
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