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Together We Rise/Alone We Fall

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Sometimes, Diana felt there were eyes everywhere

 

She would walk through the hallway and be startled by the sound of her own phone. Because she knew herself, she knew that if it was Mike, she would just let herself talk to him with the dumbest smile on her face and anyone who could see her would know the truth. She would look around to see if somebody was watching her before picking up the phone, or just have a conversation, and afterwards she would still not let him get close to her.

 

Having an affair with a student's parent would do that to you. Not that they were dating. They wanted to be, but they weren't. Diana wished for nothing more than to kiss Mike without being afraid that, if she got in too deep and wouldn't be able to stop, someone would catch them.

 

She walked with him on the sidewalk and looked around nervously in case somebody recognized them. Mike didn't seem to mind, fully understanding why she acted so anxious. He had given her a bouquet, and she stared at him like he was the moon and the stars for the rest of the date.

 

She felt silly, having those feelings for Mike. She wasn't like this. She didn't fall head-over-heels for the parent of a student she had barely met. Diana was always collected and cold-headed, and losing control in the way she currently was was terrifying for her, not to mention embarrassing.

 

(She had a school girl crush. How disgusting.)

 

Mike loved to hold her hand. She let him, didn't tell him that she didn't do handholding. The feeling of his hand holding hers was nicer than she had imagined. Mike gave her gifts. It was cheesy and too much ‘rom-com’ for her liking, but somehow she loved it.

 

They had nothing in common, and Mike was either unaware of it or didn't give a shit about it. Diana was willing to give it a try as long as he did too. Considering he was also annoyingly persistent, that was not a problem.

 

“So he blew up my kitchen,” he told him, both upset and amused in that way you could only be at somebody you were used to. “Again.”

 

She laughed. His eyes seemed to brighten at her laughter. This was one of those moments where she was afraid at how obvious they were. Anybody could tell how in love they were with each other by a single look.

 

“Typical Charlie.”

 

“Yeah. I made him clean up his mess by himself. Though I'm pretty sure Kally gave him a hand when I wasn't looking.”

 

She couldn't help but smile because, yes, that sounded like Kally.

 

“Has she been practicing for the next test?” She asked him. The teacher was never off. “She needs to be ready and I don't want her to take it for granted.”

 

“All day long,” he assured her. “Thanks for coming over so often to help her.”

 

“It’s no problem,” she waved it off. “I don't have much to do these days, anyway.”

 

“How so?”

 

It was personal and she ached to tell him, to bare her soul to him. She wanted to tell him so bad and yet she stopped on her tracks, eyes widening.

 

“Shit.”

 

“What?” Mike turned to her.

 

She pointed forward with a nod of her head. Lucía was there, having yet to spot them. “That is one of my students,” she told him, panic washing over her voice. She looked at him. “And one of Kally's friends.”

 

“Oh, shit.”

 

“Hide,” she said.

 

“What?” He looked at her like she'd grown a second head.

 

“Hide!” She hissed, and he ran across the street, almost getting himself killed, and hid behind a tree. Diana pressed the palm of her hand against her forehead in exasperation.

 

Sometimes, Mike couldn't get the meaning of subtlety even if his life depended on it.