Oh dear. I dressed up as Raggedy Ann for Halloween, in a short little polka-dot number. Ms. Finch outdid me, and everyone else, by wearing a skin-tight Starfleet uniform. Incredibly sexy. Turned every head in the school.
When I asked Lawrence what he thought of her costume, I figured he would rant about it being unprofessional for a teacher to dress like a Starfleet slut. But that’s not what he said at all.
He told me that a couple years ago some of the teachers had a book club. They held it after hours, either at someone’s house or at a restaurant. All the English teachers were part of it, but it was open to every department, and Ms. Finch was an active member.
One month, when they were reading Fall On Your Knees, everybody dropped out, or said they couldn’t come or hadn’t read the book, etc. It was down to the two of them, Lawrence and Ms. Finch, and they knew if they didn’t cancel, that would have some deeper meaning. And did they cancel?
“We knew what it meant.” That’s what he said. “We didn’t acknowledge it, but we both knew it was a date.”
I couldn’t breathe. I asked him, “Did you kiss? Did something happen? Did you cheat on Victoria?”
I’d asked him that question before. He’d always told me no. And this time he gave me the same answer, but I’m not sure I believed him. He was basically admitting that he’d felt desire for Ms. Finch. He wanted her.
“Would you have slept with her?” I asked. “If she wanted to?”
He didn’t confirm that he would have. He didn’t deny it, either.
That whole conversation made me feel dizzy. He’d betrayed me. He didn’t think so, since this happened years before we met, but he’d always given me the impression that he’d never looked at another woman until I came along. Now I find out that he went on a date, of sorts, with Ms. Finch?
And it doesn’t even matter if she didn’t see it as a date. I hold no grudges against her. Perhaps, in her mind, it was just another book club meeting. I’ll never know what was going on in her mind, and it really doesn’t matter to me whether or not she was a party to Victoria’s deception. I’m hardly one to judge.
It troubles me, right to my core, that Lawrence looked at her the way he looks at me. And he never told me about all this. He made me think I was the only one.
And I believed him.