Did she have any idea how nervous I was as I took her hand? She pulled away so fast it startled me, and as the paintbrush fell to the floor and eyes turned to us, her face redened in a not unattractive way. I bent down to pick up the brush, giving myself time to settle my beating heart. Come on, stop being stupid. I cringed at the idea that she would be able to hear how fast and loud my heart was beating.
"Sorry... I .... I just want to see you at work..." She looked embarrassed, although the red flush in her cheeks was starting to fade.
"That's okay." I smiled and turned to work on the watercolour. She was an incredibly talented student, I'd give her that. It was strange for her to have chosen watercolours, they were slippery little buggers, but she'd done such a marvellous job so far it was a shame it had been destroyed. As I worked on the painting I noted to her all the technical strokes and techniques she could use to save her painting. I wondered whether she was listening to me, but whenever I looked she was fully concentrated on the painting, nodding her head at what I was saying.
"Done," I said, smiling at her, "see, it was not hard to repair." She stared at the painting, her eyes following brush strokes and sparkling as she viewed our work. I watched her face in fascination; her green eyes were like emeralds and her lips curved so very invitingly. I shook myself mentally for the third time this evening as she turned to look at me again.
"This is beautiful." Her voice was awed and I blushed slightly. I was supposed to be the teacher, not the one getting praise.
"What I did was minor," I said, trying to reassure her that it was her own talent that did this, "your determination pumped me up and pressured me to do a good job. It is all your credit." What was that? Your determination pumped me up? Oh I felt like a teenager again, a teenager with a crush. I looked at Cerice for what felt like an age, and then walked away, unable to look at those eyes any longer.
As I sat at the front once again, doodling on my page, I found my mind wandering to when our hands had touched. I''d felt heat flare up, but I'd pushed it away so quickly. Why?
Because I didn't want to have a crush on anyone at the moment. The last one had caused enough trouble. My last girlfriend had destroyed my confidence and my life. I'd only just managed to get them back, and now here came an attractive girl who had a passion for art and was going to be seeing me once a week every week, and I was crushing on her. Damn.
I glanced at the clock. Five to seven. Time to pack up.
"Thank you everyone. It's time we packed up, but thank you very much, you've been wonderful. If you could all come and write your names and numbers down at the front in case I need to get in touch that would be great. If you can't take your art home tonight I've arranged that we can put them in the store room and they'll be available for you to pick up every day between twelve and four." The scraping of chairs and easels followed, and some people came up to the front before packing away. I discreetly watched Cerice packing away her brushes and easel, then walking up to the front. I turned my attention to the lady writing her details down so that Cerice wouldn't see me watching.
"Thank you Elaine, you look like you enjoyed it."
"Oh very much. It was so friendly and good."
"Aw thank you. I'm glad you had fun."
"I did. See you next week."
"Goodbye." Cerice was at the table now. "And how about you Cerice, did you enjoy it?"
"Yes, it was really good... um, thanks for earlier by the way. The painting."
"No problem. I told you it was all you." I didn't dare put my hand on hers again, incase of the heat or her pulling away. "Thanks for coming, and feel free to bring some friends along if you want." She nodded then went to pick up her painting. I grabbed my stuff and followed the group out of the hall, turning off the lights and locking up with the key I'd been given. Then I opened my car door and put my bag on the back. Several of the class members waved at me as I got in the car, and I waved back smiling. I really enjoyed teaching the class, they were all lovely and chatty.
I drove home, hurrying in to the house as it started to rain. I collapsed on the sofa, and dumped my bag down. Hot chocolate and cheesy pasta tonight I think. Then bed, before I sleep on the sofa. The day's activities had suddenly caught up with me, and I was exhausted.
As the steam from the pasta rose through the air I closed my eyes and breathed the aroma in. An image flashed in to my head; a pair of sparkling emerald eyes. Cerice. Why did you have to be so darn attractive?
I dug in to my pasta, refusing to think anymore about the young woman in my art class. It was nothing, just an attraction. It should go away soon. And anyway, she probably wasn't even gay.