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Amy Aday

Snow Day With Her Professor

Selena tried to concentrate on what her psychology professor was saying, but she was too distracted by the snow coming down outside the window. Unlike many of the other freshmen in her class, she did not live in one of the on campus dorms that were within walking distance. She was going to have to drive about fifteen miles in this mess to get to the house she shared with several other students.

She continued to watch from the window as the snow fell. There was already a considerable pile on the ground and it showed no sign of letting up. Finally, there was a buzz from the overhead speaker at the front of the large classroom in which she sat. She was relieved to hear the voice of the Dean of Students overshadow whatever her professor had been talking about.

“Attention faculty and students: This is Dean Wharton speaking. Due to current weather conditions, we have cancelled the remainder of this afternoon’s classes, effective immediately. We ask that all faculty members release your students at this time in order to allow them time to make it home safely before the pending snow storm worsens. Thank you and be safe.”

The professor tried to get a few words in about assignments for next week’s class, but he was drowned out by the sound of almost one hundred students sliding out of their desks and grabbing their things before clamoring to get out of the classroom. Outside, Selena was concerned to find that the sidewalks were already becoming slick. She had to get home quickly.

She jumped in her Jeep Liberty and headed off campus, trying to beat the rush of other students with the same intention. She was on the road home within minutes. The snow was really coming down now, making it hard to see very far in front of the Jeep, but at least she was on her way.

She had only gotten about eight miles from campus when she heard a strange clanking sound coming from somewhere and then the Jeep began to sputter. She managed to pull it off to one side of the road before it went dead altogether.

Immediately, she felt panic begin to set in. She tried to restart the Jeep but nothing happened. Unbelievable! Her father had bought this for her as a high school graduation present and it was less than a year old. What could be wrong with it and why now? She fished her cell phone from her purse to call for roadside assistance.

Dead. She stared at it in disbelief. Son of a bitch!

Wrapped tightly, she stepped out of the Jeep. The snow was really coming down; she would need to get home as soon as she could before this got much worse. She took a deep breath and began walking.

Less than a mile into her trip, she was already freezing. She was relieved when a car stopped beside her and the driver rolled down the window. She walked over and bent down toward the car.

“Selena?” the man said as he got a glimpse of her face. Thank goodness! It was her American Literature professor, Carl Sansom. “Get in the car, Selena,” he told her, pushing open the door from the inside.

“What in the world are you doing out in this mess, Selena?” he asked as he checked his rearview mirror for any other traffic approaching.

“My car quit and my phone was dead. I was trying to get home,” she said, still somewhat breathless from the breathing the cold air outside.

“You live this far off campus?” he asked.

“Yes, I live out in Emerald Gardens. It’s straight down the highway another six or seven miles,” she said.

“Well, you aren’t going there anytime soon,” he replied. “The news reports are saying that the bridge just down the road is closed due to ice. I hear it’s pretty bad and getting worse. I’m not sure you could even have walked across it at this point.”

Selena looked at him in disbelief. What was she going to do now?

“Don’t worry about it. I live just up the road before you get to the bridge. You can come to my place until this blows over and then we will get you home,” he told her.

Selena let out an almost involuntary sigh of relief. “Thank you so much, Professor Sansom. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t come along,” she told him.

She tried not to fidget or stare at him as he drove. Even though he was only in his thirties, his jet black hair showed signs of graying at the temples. He was graceful, but athletic and incredibly sexy. His dark, piercing eyes made many of his young students squirm in their seats when he addressed them directly. Selena knew, first hand, that many of them spent most of their class time imagining his full lips on their skin.

“Well, here we are,” he told her. Selena looked around at the complex they had pulled into. It was a semi-circle of rustic cabin-like homes built into a horseshoe area which had been carved into a nearby mountainside. They were small, but quaint in appearance.

They got out of the car and made their way to the front door carefully along the slick sidewalks. He placed his hand on her back as they went to prevent her from falling and she felt a little tingle go down her spine.

Once inside, Selena looked around. “You have a lot of books. I take it you have never heard of this new thing they have called an e-reader?” she joked nervously.

“Take off those wet things and lay them over one of the kitchen chairs so they can dry,” he said as he walked toward the kitchen counter.

“I prefer the smell of the old books. I find it much more comforting to curl up by a warm fire with a leather bound book then with my Ipad. Although, I do find e-books handier for transporting a small library over strapping those books on my back before I go out the door,” he said, with a light laugh.

As Selena removed her coats and things, he took note of her wet clothes underneath. “Wow, you really got soaked out there. Let me find you something warm to wear and we will get those dry for you,” he said, not waiting for an answer before heading off toward another room. When he returned, he had a button down flannel shirt and a pair of sweat pants that tie at the waist.

“These aren’t glamorous, but they will do until we can get you into dry clothes of your own. The bathroom is right down the hall to the left. I don’t know about you but I’m starving. I’ll start us a warm fire and some dinner while we wait,” he said.

“That will be great,” she replied, taking the clothes from him and making her way to the bathroom to change. As she stepped out, he yelled down the hall toward her that there was a small laundry room where she could put her clothes in the dryer across the hall. Selena did just that and returned to the kitchen.

“Thank you again, so much, for helping me out. I would have probably frozen my stupid hiney off out there trying to walk home. I don’t know what I was thinking,” she said, a bit embarrassed.

“Don’t worry about it. I’m glad to help,” he replied. She watched as he threw a couple of steaks on a small indoor grill and sauteed the vegetables he had been slicing in a large skillet on the stove. It smelled wonderful and she realized that she was very hungry. It didn’t take long to prepare and he tossed a healthy portion of the vegetables and a steak on each of the two plates he pulled from the cupboard.

“Grab a plate. We will eat in the living room by the fire,” he told her. He set up two tray tables by the couch and sat his plate on one, motioning her toward the other while he retrieved two bottles of water and two clean glasses from the kitchen.

He turned on the flat screen TV in one corner and they began to watch an older movie. Neither of them spoke until he said, “Oh, this is my favorite part of this movie, when he reads an excerpt from a Neruda sonnet.”

“Lovely,” he said. Then, as if to discourage further discussion, he gathered up his empty plate and went to the kitchen with it. She heard his voice call to her from the adjoining room. “Selena, how old are you?” he asked. The question threw Selena off a little, but she answered him.

“Ah, nineteen. I remember those days. I’m going to have a little wine after dinner. Would you like some? You have to promise not to turn me in for contributing to your delinquency,” he laughed.