When I was in Bacolod, I had a teacher–my Theology teacher–who married her student. Or I guess it was the other way around. Her student wooed her, until she finally said yes. I remember one time, her husband (her student) would tell me a story how he shouted her name while his wife (my teacher) was holding her class–just to get her attention. Talk about zeal. In other words, he courted my teacher publicly, that is, everyone in school, knew about it. Right now, they are happily married. I once became a witness of that love, since I lived in their house while I was still studying in Bacolod.
I used to have this notion that a student-teacher “romantic” relationship could never happen. or at least, it only happens in movies. And more often than not, it is portrayed as illicit to the point of being immoral. Most teachers, when found guilty of having relationship with their student with or without the other party’s consent, were fired from their job or even looked at as criminals.
In reality, there is a policy that prohibits a teacher to enter into a relationship–romantic relationship–with his or her student. If not unethical, such act is considered immoral.
Lately I found myself encumbered in this quandary: is it really possible that a teacher can go beyond his role and cross the line, condescending affection to his student? It somehow burdens me with both delight and pang, affirmation and guilt. Along the way, I dodge between reason and folly–that somehow what I’m feeling springs from mere physical attraction. The fact is, I don’t even know when or how it began.
Will it suffice if I tell you that she is different from all the students I have? Ah, how I try, I try to dig deep within my sanity all the reasons which drew me to fall into her. It might be her smile that showers me with strength to continue teaching when ennui lulls the class to sleep. Maybe it is her Chinese eyes that glint with interest as she rests her palm against her chin, as if her life depends on what I teach. Ah, these shallow physical things that drive me to speculate. Speculate. And yet, why is there a part in me that pushes me to believe that somehow I am treading the right path? That Fridays keep me grounded at school. That despite the erratic hour of the day I still have the energy to hold the class. All because of her? Her embrocating presence. Her eloquent silence. Her soothing voice that hushes the hoopla inside the classroom.
There is no single moment that she never crosses my mind. I pull the days and wish it’s Friday. Everytime I go to school, I wish we would encounter on the corridors,exchanging our customary hi’s and hello’s, meeting glances before she turns her back away from me. But it never happened. I guess, really, absence makes the heart grew fonder. But lately, she has been filling my mind, my dream. Slowly I found myself en-drowned, drawn to her, as if she is all I could ever hope for. Reason seemed to relinquish me, left me believing in this far-fetched fairy tale. I almost felt, obnoxious as it may seem, I am no longer a teacher, but an amorous high schooler.