Welcome to Three Word Wednesday.
Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. This is a writing exercise. It doesn't have to be perfect. The idea is to let your mind wander and write what it will. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.
Be sure to leave a comment if you participate.
This week's words are:
"What're you doing over the break?" Professor Russell asked, his back turned as he erased the board.
"Aww, nothing. Just work... watching lots of football. You?" I spoke as if he were a friend rather than my college professor.
"I think I might head down to New Orleans this weekend. Take in some blues. Drink a beer or two."
He wore jeans and a leather jacket. I surmised that he was probably in his mid-to-late twenties. I sat on the corner of the desk and we continued to talk for a few minutes as the class emptied.
"See ya next quarter," I said as I opened the door. I was often the last student to leave.
"Take care. You have my number if you need anything."
Russell was my favorite Professor. He had that rare ability to make each student feel important. Class was laid back and fun, yet it never got out of control. He took an interest in each student's life outside the classroom.
When he found out I was interested in comedy, he asked me to let him read some of my material. And even offered to call some guy he knew at a club to help me out. His door was always open. He was the only professor I ever called at home.
Walking down the hallway of the computer building, I had that feeling of free that only comes with the last day of school. Opening the doors to a three-week winter break, a bitter wind smacked me in the face and literally made me take a step back. I pulled my coat tighter around me and scuttled down the stairs.
Crossing the parking lot, a car stopped in front of me.
Looking up, I saw it was Valerie Hunter. She was also in Russell's class. At some point during the quarter, we both realized I had hit on her a couple of years earlier at the mall. I got her number, called a couple of times, and that was it. It was a not uncommon cycle. She rolled down the window.
"You all done?"
"Yeah. That was my last one. You?"
"I have one more final tomorrow. Psych 101."
"Who do you have?" I asked.
"Ugh. Hitler." I'd had him freshman year.
"He's not that bad."
"Nah, he's fun. Crazy old German guy who may or may not believe in time travel."
She laughed as I continued, "You got Russell for anything next quarter?"
"Uhh, I'm actually not gonna be here next quarter. I'm transferring."
"Oh. Where to?"
"I'm moving to Birmingham to live with my grandmother. I'm gonna go to school and finish my degree there. But I wouldn't take Russell again anyway."
"Why not? He's my favorite teacher."
"You don't like him? I thought everybody liked him," I continued, not believing any student could possibly dislike Russell.
"Yeah, well that figures. Guys usually love him."
"What does that mean?"
"He--," she hesitated. "He hit on me. Did some things that were inappropriate. And then told me if I said anything, it would affect my grade."
"Oh," I was stunned and had no idea what to say.
"And I'm not the first female he's done that to."
"Wow," I raised my eyebrows and tried to sound like I believed her, though I wasn't sure if I did or not. "I had no idea."
"Well, just keep that in mind."
That's the last time I ever saw Val. I went back and forth in my mind over what she had said. I thought it highly unlikely that Russell would ever do something like that. Surely she was making it up. She was probably just bitter about a bad grade or something. But what if she's wasn't?
I thought about it often over winter break and after. I never asked Russell about it. Never said a word to anyone about it. But from then on, whenever Russell would be kidding around with a female student, or when some female would be staying after class, I would think back to what Val told me.
Never knowing whether or not it was true, I still let it affect my view of him. And that is what I hate more than anything.
But to this day, I still consider him my favorite professor.
"Valerie, call on me. Call on me, Valerie. Come and see me. I'm the same boy I used to be..."