- Genre: Romance
- Age: 18+
- Status: Completed
- Language: English
- Author: Amaryllis Ravenn
My mother has constantly told me not to trust men and to be cautious when they are near me because you never know what they hide behind those lovely smiles they offer every woman.
My mother’s remarks that men are all ravenous wolves pretending to be good-hearted sheep have been instilled in me from an early age.
She stated that men would only be good at the beginning. That they will only show you their positive aspects at first, that they will give you everything you want, show you everything you want to see, say you the words you want to hear, and make you feel special with their love—but only until they have your whole trust and heart.
Everything guys do or say is a ploy to get a woman to say yes.
And it is only when you ultimately enter a relationship with a man that you will begin to notice and see the truth behind those lovely words, chocolates and flowers, and fleeting pleasures. You will witness a wolf disguised as a sheep, waiting for the ideal chance to bite your heart into bits, leaving you all alone as they look for their next victim while you are left behind, struggling to mend your broken heart on your own.
My mother taught me many things, especially about men, and I have all of those things engraved in my head, and it has always served me well as a weapon against those men. But now, I’m not sure I’ll be able to protect myself against a wolf lurking around me, let alone the temptation that this strange man offered me. Every night, this man comes to me in my dreams and whispers my name in my ear in his seductive voice.
A man whose face I shall not remember long after I’ve opened my eyes.
The sun’s brilliant light woke me up early in the morning. As I opened my eyes, I noticed my bedroom window was open, allowing a fresh gust of air into my room as well as the sun rays that passed through the sheer curtains.
I carefully stepped down from my bed and moved towards my window when my eyes had acclimated to the brightness. I pushed the curtain back, stretched, and peered out the window to see the magnificent view outside my own bedroom.
“Hmmm... that explains why it’s a bit chilly this morning. It was because the rainy season had already begun,” I uttered. Then I noticed the dream catcher that was hanging just next to my window.
It has been a long time since I had this thing with me. This dream catcher was a gift from my mother when I was a child, and she told me that this dream catcher would catch any bad dreams that might enter my bedroom.
She kept reminding me always to put this on my window or anywhere near my bed, and that is probably why even though she’s not here with me, I still have a habit of placing a dream catcher inside my bedroom even though I’m old enough to know that dreams are just dreams and nothing more.
I guess old manners do lingers until old age, huh? I thought to myself as I started to fix my bed sheets and blanket. I looked at the dream catcher one more time and remembered my mother. I have been an orphan for a long time since I was still a child when my parents divorced, and I have no idea what the reason was.
My Aunt told me their breakup was because my mother was already losing her mind during that time, which is why my father left her. Others said it was because my father already had a new wife and chose to abandon us and go to his new family.
But, sometimes, I think maybe my Aunt was right. Because back when I reached High School, my mother’s paranoia worsened. She became so strict with me when it came to men and always told me to stay away from them. She even guards me at night and always reminds me not to hang out with any man.
Her condition became much worst when I hit my puberty stage. Sometimes she will suddenly scream at night and run her way toward my room, and then she will lock me in a tight hug. I still remember when she started shouting hysterically inside my room as if she was arguing with something that could not be seen with the naked eye. And most of the time, she whispers to herself as if she is talking to someone else, even though it is just her and me in the house.
Her paranoia reached a time when she would not allow me to go outside or leave her side, which greatly affected my studies, and worse, even my mind was affected by her.
At that time, my Aunt, Auntie Kaylie, decided to admit my mother into a mental facility so that the experts could help her and cure her mental illness and for my own good.
When my mother entered the mental facility, Auntie Kaylie was the one who took me in and took care of me. She was the one who supported my financial needs until I graduated from college, and when I finally landed a job, I decided to live on my own and be independent.
And today is the first day of the new semester, and I need to fix myself now so I can go to school earlier before the bell rings, not as a student but as a teacher majoring in arts.
“Hurry up, Katelyn! You can’t be late on the first day of the semester, or your students will take you as a joke and might lose respect for you!” I lectured to myself as I hurriedly walked out of my room. With my newly ironed uniform on and neatly combed hair, I ran towards the door, grabbed the black stiletto from the shoe rack just at the side of the door, and then put it on. After that, I grabbed the group of keys from the key holder and opened the main door. Then, I locked the door behind me, quickly stepped down the stairs, and rode my car to the school.
“Oh, wait, did I lock my window in my bedroom?” I asked myself as I tried to recall if I was able to close the window in my room at least.
“Hmm, even if I did forget to close my window, no one will still be able to enter my room since it is located on the fourth floor of the building,” I assured myself as I nodded my head and focused on driving my way towards the school.
After a few more minutes, I finally entered the school grounds. Then, I quickly stepped out of the car and went to the faculty room where my office was.
Perfect! Just fifteen minutes before the first-morning school bell rings. I thought to myself as I placed my things on my desk and finished arranging them based on the things I would need for my first class this morning.
“Good morning Ms. Hernandez,” one of my co-teacher in the Elementary Department greeted me as she walked into her desk, which is located just beside mine.
“Good morning Ms. Hensley. How was your vacation?” I asked her as I watched her place her things on her own desk.
“It was fine, I guess, but I was just a little bit disappointed with the vacation because of my boyfriend,” she answered with an unsatisfied facial expression as she gave me a paper bag filled with some goodies and souvenirs from her vacation.
“He’s taking so long to propose to me. I thought he was going to do it while he and I were on vacation, but he did not,” she complained as she took a deep sigh of disappointment.
“Hahaha, why are you in such a hurry anyway? You don’t have to worry about anything. You and Charles have been in a relationship for a lot longer than any other couple here, so I’m sure the time will come for that proposal that you are so looking forward to,” I said.
“Oh, and thank you for these,” I also did not forget to thank her as I checked the contents of the paper bag.
“Oh, Katelyn, you don’t understand what I am feeling right now, but when the time that you finally have a boyfriend, I’m sure you will realize how frustrating it is to wait for a proposal and to expect something big but receive nothing in return,” Aimee replied to me. Still, I just shook my head at her as I continued to look inside the paper bag.
“Look, you’re still two years younger than me, so you don’t really feel the pressure of getting married and settling down, but if I were you, I would start looking for a good-looking, responsible boyfriend unless you want to waste that beautiful face of yours and stay single for the rest of your life,” she added to which I laughed at.
As if it was that easy to find a partner. I thought to myself as I placed the paper bag of souvenirs on my desk.
Well, I do want to experience a serious relationship with the opposite sex, but due to my trauma and fear, I don’t think it will be possible for me to find a good partner. I thought to myself, and when I was about to grab my things for my first period in class, Aimee spoke again.
“Oh! Before I forgot!” she said. So I looked at her and saw her approach me. Then, she leaned closer and covered the left side of her lips before whispering something in my ear.
“Did you know that two new teachers were in the High School Department? I heard they are both handsome and single, so maybe this is a sign for you to finally have a boyfriend,” she whispered to me and grinned at me as if telling me to give it a try, so I raised my left eyebrow at her, not because of her expression, but because I was surprised about this sudden news.
“Huh? Are they going to start today? In what grade will they be teaching?” I asked so that I would be able to avoid them just in case since the offices of the Elementary Department and High School Department are just sitting beside each other.
“I’m not sure about that, but I think they will teach the Senior High Schools. Oh well, for sure, there will be a lot of teenagers who will fall for those handsome hunks,” Aimee answered, and I just laughed at her reaction. Then, I quickly grabbed my school lessons from my desk since I did not prepare myself to gossip here in the faculty room this early. I came here early to leave a positive impression on my students on their first day of class this semester.
“Haha, alright, you better prepare for your class, Ms. Hensley. Anyway, I’ll go ahead now since my classroom is a bit far from here,” I replied to her and started walking towards the door.
“Okay! Good luck with your first semester, Ms. Hernandez,” she responded, and I just waved my hand at her.
As I walked in the corridor, I kept wondering why I did not hear any news about the new teachers in the High School Department. I mean, it was usually announced on the teachers’ bulletin board, but I did not see anything. And those two newbies are also starting their lessons on the first day of the semester.
Were they transferred here in an instant? Also, who were the teachers that they exchanged with? This is such sudden news to me. But I should not get so indulged in that matter anymore since I’m sure I will not be able to see them on this vast campus, right?
This is a big campus that both Elementary and High School students attend. The left side of the campus was designed for Elementary students, and the right side belonged to High School students. The only thing separating the two is the long teacher’s building in the middle of the two departments.
I might bump into them a few times in the hallway, but it will not be awkward or frightening to greet the new teachers, right? I mean, it’s just for formalities’ sake. I reminded myself then I tried to practice in my head how to properly and formally greet my two new co-teachers on this campus.
Also, I somehow got used to some men around me ever since I started living with Auntie Kaylie and when I entered college. It’s just that I am not used to sitting at a table with a man beside me, and I am still a bit aloof to any man. That’s probably why I still have had no boyfriend since birth.
Also, nowadays, I have the same dreams every night, where a man’s shadow was standing at the end of my bed, silent while watching me sleep.
When I was a kid, I always dreamed of a man standing in front of my window or at the door of my room. Sometimes, there are four men, sometimes two, or some other times, it’s just one. But when I reached the age of fourteen, in most of my dreams, I only saw one man, and until now, I am still unsure of who or what that shadow in my dream was.
“I think I am too traumatized by men that even when I am sleeping, they still show up in my dreams,” I muttered and breathed a deep sigh.
I really am too traumatized due to what my mother did when I was young. Now I remember the words she kept warning me about when I was still a kid, and sometimes, I admit that I am starting to notice that I am also starting to be paranoid, just like her.
Sometimes, I overthink things and fear that my mother’s sickness is hereditary. I might have started to manifest the same imaginations and hallucinations she had seen before. I fear myself more than I fear men. I fear the real me and am scared to discover that I am slowly manifesting the same disease my mother has. With that thought in mind, I tightened my grip on my lesson plans while looking at the ground in front of me.
“Good morning!” My heart almost jumped out of my chest when a man with wavy brown hair suddenly appeared in front of me. He’s so tall that if I stand next to him, I will only reach his chest line, he also has a broad shoulder, and he’s wearing a plain white polo and an ID lace that looks the same as mine.
“Ah, hello? Did I surprise you? Hahaha, I’m actually one of the new teachers who just transferred here, so, uh, I’m a bit lost; so can you, please tell me where I can find the faculty room? I’m sorry for startling you. I don’t know anyone who might help me. That’s why I called your attention,” he explained, and that is when I realized that I had been staring at him for quite some time, so I quickly shook my head to snap my thoughts away and looked away from him.
Did my heart skip a beat due to being surprised earlier, or was it because of his handsomeness? I asked myself but decided not to mind that question anymore.
“I-It’s fine. J-Just goes s-straight this hallway, t-then turn right at the e-end. Y-You will find the f-faculty building from t-there,” I stuttered as I gave him directions towards the faculty room while pointing the direction with a shaky hand and without looking at him.
“I’m not so good with directions, so would you mind accompanying me? If it’s alright with you,” he asked and smiled at me, but I quickly shook my head and refused.
“Y-You’ll be fine. J-Just follow the directions in the pathway, t-there are signages there as well. I’m sorry I can’t accompany y-you because my class is about to s-start, and I don’t want to leave a bad impression on my students on their first day of class,” I answered him.
And why am I even explaining to this guy? Now, it looks like I am really bothered by him.
“Ah, is that so? Well, I guess it can’t be helped. Anyway, thank you for helping me, Ms. Katelyn Hernandez,” he said and smiled at me, but I did not mind him anymore and quickly walked away from him because I started to feel nervous.
But when I was finally some steps away from that man, my mind was suddenly filled with questions.
“Huh? How did he know my complete name?” I muttered to myself and looked down at my ID card, but then I saw it flipped back, making it impossible for anyone to see and read my name.