Sarah and Steve had the most interesting of Summer breaks. After the heroics to save the day, Steve succumbed to his worries and dropped out of sight. Sarah figured she must have sacred the love of her life away. However crazy that conclusion was, it was the least painful of conclusions to hold.
Wondering if Steve was OK was just stressing her out. He made no effort to be known by anyone who was associated with the school. The principal, if he knew anything, was not saying much of anything. His staff was totally zipped or out of the loop and curious.
For his part, Steve focused on just recovering his health. He had taken quite the hit and was nearly out of commission. It was rather stupid and really dumb of him to have turned down medical attention when he did. Fortunately for him, he had his ways of getting the help he needed without drawing any attention to himself. He now owed a few friends in high places a lot of favors.
For those who missed the prior chapters of the Steve and Sarah saga, links to these chapters will be presented at the end of this one. Category searches can help you find them all grouped together if you’d like as well. Enjoy the Roll Call below
Right Before School Starts
Sarah liked being prepared. She loved her job. This year, she was giving a bigger charge and was going to be leading her own classroom in addition of heading the after-school leadership program for young ladies she loved so much. The volleyball coaching was still on the agenda and she now had an assistant coach to help.
To ensure everything was ready, Sarah took some time to set up her classroom very early. Each child was going to get their own special box with supplies, each zone of the classroom had it’s own special themes, and she made sure to be prepared with many extras that children could need. This was rather expensive proposition, however, to her, it was worth investing in the children she would be influencing. The politics of funding was not one she enjoyed, so she was keen on saving up to have extras that the school couldn’t afford to provide.
The matter of how she had been too straight forward with flirting was still bothering her. She had been too open with Steve too early. They were casual friends at best at work. That rainy day, that felt like a long time ago, was something she’d tried to forget. Sadly, most nights, she replayed how her heart had fluttered and skipped as Steve talked to her in the pouring rain.
He had never called to invite her over to wrench on his car with nylons on. After that heroic rescue of his, the man had evaporated. Maybe, just maybe, after he got close, he realized she was not worth his time.
Sarah shook her head to push back those sad pathetic ideas out of mind. This was the new school year. She was going to put her game face on and focus on teaching. If she saw Steve, it would be like old times. Just a polite hello, a friendly wave, idle chat about school policies, and general professional stuff. The waiting eagerly to hear from this man was now archived in the back of her head to be deleted once her mind could pull it’s claws off the memory file.
Steve on his part was a bit nervous. He had taken the time away from everyone to do a lot of soul searching. He finally was getting a grip on why he kept going after the unreachable dates. He was scared to open his heart and get burned. Chasing these socialites was guaranteed fun but also guaranteed failure as they were never going to settle for him.
While his banged up body healed, Steve had time to think and apply the lessons from the coaching lessons of the summer. He had time to learn to love himself fully and accept who he was. He also had time to think a lot about Sarah. She was the one he needed in his life. She was amply capable of life without him yet her flirtatious rescue let him understand that there was hope for him still. However, having had disappeared so long, his experience suggested that Sarah would prefer him dead than see him at school.
He had to adjust quickly to the fact he would be working in the same building with her. She would not want to see him at all. Instead of relying on hope and stupid wishes, Steve came in early to check out the floor plan of the school against the teaching schedule. If he planned correctly, he’d be able to navigate around her schedule without having to see her at all. Not that he didn’t want to see her sweet loveliness walking the halls.
Shaking his head, Steve pulled back from his daydream. He needed to focus on what his core responsibilities would be and how to do them without crossing Sarah’s path. History had taught him this, no matter how much women swore they were different from others, once you let them down, you were scorned for life. They hated you. Nothing short of wishing you dead was good enough for them.
His disappearing act had definitely qualified for the scorn treatment. Sure, the coach tried her best to teach him differently, but he knew that it was all academic rubbish. In the real world, as he had experienced it, you stand up a woman, you’re scorned. Period. He had yet to see differently in his life.
Oh how he wished there was a way to reconnect with Sarah and pour out his feelings and give her his heart.
Wait a freakin’ second here
The slippage of thought rattled Steve hard and rocked him back on his heels enough to make him catch his breath. He couldn’t possibly feel like he’s in love with Sarah? No… no… no.
That is not good. So not good at all.
You can’t be falling for these sweet succulent… never…mind…
It was too close to school year start to find another job. He had to deal with Sarah. Best find a way to avoid her long enough for the hatred to ease off. Maybe then, they could resume some polite forced pleasantries when they did have to meet. Steve was feeling very sheepishly stupid for having ignored his instinct to call Sarah while in recovery.