Recently a student began showing interest in me. He’s probably closer to his 40s with an incomplete high school education and an intermediate grasp of the English language. Obviously a match made in heaven, but seeing as he’s a student, I knew it would kinda sorta be inappropriate. However, he persisted.
It started out as him walking me to the train despite living next door to where the institution is located. He’d walk three or four blocks out of his way to go with me. I would make comments saying he didn’t have to do that, and show my obvious discomfort, yet he didn’t care. He said it was the perfect opportunity to practice his English, because I guess the two hours I just spent teaching weren’t sufficient. In the beginning, it seemed innocent enough and I didn’t think he would act on it. Until he asked me for my number. I turned him down and said that I couldn’t give him that. He then rode the train with me to my connecting station, because he conveniently had errands to run in the area. I sat on my phone the entire time showing little interest in what he was saying, and I was hopeful that things would dissipate, although deep down I knew they wouldn’t.
The next week he walked me to the train again. As I descended the stairs, he said he had something for me. I knew immediately what it was and looked around with impatience as he dug through his pockets for it. He gave me a note with his number and email on it, and I told him I couldn’t take it. “At least take it and throw it out, don’t make me take it back.” I told him that I would be throwing it out immediately.
He then goes on to tell me he’s very interested in me. He knows it’s wrong because I’m his teacher, because of the age difference, that I’m very beautiful. I told him no. I couldn’t do this. He’s right — it is wrong. Clear and straight to the point. He asked if there was someone else and I lied, saying I had a boyfriend. He asked if I swore to god and I looked him in the eyes and said yes, damning myself to an eternity in hell. He became choked up and told me it was hard to hear, but he’s glad he knows.
The next class I had with him, I left before my students (the organizers of the institution were making an announcement and I was no longer needed), and he ran down the street to catch up to me and give me another note. I pocketed it without looking and he apologized for his actions the prior week. He wants us to just be student and teacher now. Although annoyed, I felt confident that the situation was finally over and done with.
Due to a family emergency, I missed a week of class. When I came back, I wasn’t in the state of mind to deal with any bullshit. So when he followed me in the rain for eight blocks while I talked to a friend on the phone, I snapped. I told him to go home, I’d be awhile, I’d talk to him Friday. He held up his finger trying to get a word in and I walked away, leaving him to soak. His chance to explain never came because I reported him to my institution and had him removed from my class.
What pisses me off the most about all of this is that he doesn’t KNOW me. I’m almost certain this student doesn’t even know my last name (they refer to me a “teacher”). He doesn’t know any of my interests, my favorite TV shows, what music I listen to, what I enjoy doing in my spare time. What he knows is that I’m pretty, which means he’s interested. He also realizes that I’m a nice person who doesn’t like to hurt people’s feelings, even when I probably should, so he’s persisting until I break and give in. “How did you meet mommy, daddy?” “Oh, I relentlessly bothered her until she felt desperate enough to give me a chance!”
There’s also the fact that I have to lie about my life. I’m almost tempted to start wearing one of my rings on my ring finger, but the act of having to change my routine and lie about a huge part of my life is beyond irritating to me. I’m single and yeah, fuck it, I’m happy that way. Why should I have to put on a charade in the hopes that maybe someone will respect my fake relationship? Even when I told people the truth when I did have a boyfriend, they didn’t stop acting like creeps.
I try to be polite and friendly to all of my students. They’re in a new country where they don’t know anyone. The language seems daunting and they’re nervous. I want to dissolve that anxiety and provide them with some comfort in this new place. A person to turn to with any issues that arise as a foreigner here, someone they can trust. I tolerate more than I probably should, but I don’t like pushing people away — especially if they need help with something that I can provide assistance to. Now I just feel like what I’ve offered has been taken advantage of.