The last short story.
Hope you enjoy
If not for you, teacher…
After a long day, the teacher’s meeting was reaching its end.
All that’s left is… Lilia stopped when she saw the last name.
“Amanda Lustosa,” someone said and there was a general groan around the table.
I can’t blame them, Lilia thought, sighing in her head.
No one said anything, waiting for someone else to start.
“She’s hopeless…” someone said after a long time.
There was a murmur of agreement.
Lilia wanted to say something against it, but it was hard. She’s not stupid… if she at least applied herself, the teacher thought as he looked at the student’s grade. But at this rate…
After a long silence, Lilia couldn’t take it anymore and had to break it.
“Isn’t there anything we can do to help her?”
“Not really,” the math teacher said. “She’s flunking every class except yours…”
“I have no idea she’s managing even that… Are you sure she’s not cheating?” the chemistry teacher said, gaining a few laughs.
Lilia held her initial anger. They don’t care about her at all…
“Why would she cheat in only my class? She’s actually smart, if she applies,” the teacher said, looking around for support.
But she found none. All the teachers either averted their gaze or looked at her with pity in their eyes.
The counselor shifted the papers in her hand.
“There’s nothing much to say about her. Even if she improves a lot, she’ll repeat the year. But from the talk we had a few days ago, it doesn’t look like she cares…”
That seemed to convince the other teachers and they began gathering the papers while chatting.
With that, the long faculty meeting was over.
Everyone left the teachers’ lounge. Everyone except for Lilia.
Amanda’s not stupid… From her tests and what she says in the debates in my class, I can tell she’s smart. She’s only lacking a drive, the literature teacher thought.
She pulled her phone from her purse, checking the time. I think she’s still in the library… she’s been there all week, reading.
Lilia turned her wheelchair around and went to the library. Careful to not make much noise, the teacher rolled her chair to the individual desk on the other side.
Ah, there she is, she thought when she saw her student on the desk on the corner.
“Hey, teacher,” the student whispered when she noticed the woman. She pulled her earbuds and save the file she was writing on her laptop. “Is the staff meeting already over?”
The teacher pressed her lips and grew quiet.
The student let out a bitter laugh.
“I’m guessing you’re here to talk about my situation…”
“Then let’s go to a better place.”
The student put away her laptop and pushed the teacher. In a few moments, they were outside the school building.
Amanda put the teacher’s wheelchair under the shadow of the huge apple tree and sat on the bench in silence.
This is more awkward than I thought… How should I start this conversation…?
“I flunked already, didn’t I?” Amanda asked in a low voice.
Lilia said nothing for a long time.
“You don’t need to sound so defeated, teacher. I may be bad at math, but I’m smart enough to know my situation” she said, looking at the sky.
“You… don’t care if you have to repeat the year…?”
“To be honest, not really… Once I’m eighteen, I can get my diploma in a less bothersome way.
“But that degree is a little…”
“I don’t see an academic path in my future. So learning things like how does the digestive system of a worm works or memorize the periodic table has any use for me. It’s a waste of time.”
Lilia looked at her student.
“You don’t plan to go to college?”
“Not really. If my grades, there’s no way I could get in a Federal University. And paying for a private one seems a waste on someone like me. My parents have other children who are better suited for this.”
“Have you talked about that with your parents? Haven’t they said anything?”
Amanda let out a chuckle as she leaned back on the bench.
“I don’t know if it’s good or not, but I’m one of those cases that fall under parentage void. I know my parents love and care about me. But ever since their divorced and remarried, they’re too busy with their new lives and their new children.”
“So, what do you want for yourself?” Lilia asked bluntly.
The student let out a hollow laugh and scratched her head.
“You don’t beat around the bush, do you?” she asked, smiling.
The teacher didn’t share her smile.
After a while, Amanda stopped smiling and looked Lilia in the eyes.
“You’re the first teacher to ask me this, you know that? When the others come to talk, they’re like you have to study. You must get into college. Do you wanna work on WcDonalds for the rest of your life?”
Lilia tried to resist the urge, but she couldn’t help but chuckle.
“I can’t deny my colleagues can be like that.” Among other things. “But I still want to hear you.”
Amanda stared at the teacher in silence for a long time.
Lilia held her stare. I can’t back down and look away. Not now. For my student’s sake, she told herself.
The student smiled and looked at the sky again. “I already know what I want to do. It’s hard. Very hard. Even so, I’ll be a writer.”
“You want to be a writer?” Lilia couldn’t hide her surprise.
But instead of mad, Amanda chuckled. “No, teach. I’ll be one. You’re not the first one I tell, but you’re the first one who doesn’t laugh or say it’s impossible. Thanks, teacher,” she said with a beautiful smile, her cheeks a shade of red.
Lilia blushed and averted her gaze. I’m blushing for a kid ten years younger than me…
“How could I laugh at my student’s dream…?” she said to hide her embarrassment.
“You’d be surprised how many people do…”
“So you want to be a writer… I mean, you’ll be a writer… I’ve never seen your work, but I know how much you love literature. Debating with you is one of the best moment in my class,” Lilia said, smiling as she remembered.
“It’s fun talking about it with someone who likes the subject. Talking about a plot or character or what the author wanted to say… I really love that. And at some point, I wanted to create my own story. My own world.”
“Because you’re going to be a writer, you feel it’s a waste of time to focus on anything other than your story?” Lilia asked.
“Yeah…” Amanda admitted with a sheepish smile, averting her eyes.
Lilia remained in silence as she pondered. After a long time, she knew what she had to say for her student’s future.
“Then, I’ll honest. You should give your all in creating your world but…”
“What? For real?” Amanda’s smile grew. “I can’t believe I’m hearing someone I admire saying this!”
Lilia blushed again.
“L-let me finish first. It’s important to write, but you shouldn’t think other subjects don’t matter. Everything has its benefit. History can inspire you. Philosophy can help you give depth to your characters. Geography, to your world. Physics and chemistry also can give realism, depending on the genre. Everything can help you become a better writer. If you know how to use.”
“I…” Amanda opened her mouth, but then closed it.
Lilia chuckled. “Your face says you don’t think so. But trust me. Even just reading different genres from the one you write can help. And not just book. Movies, plays, music, even cartoons, can help you become a better writer. The world is too vast so you shouldn’t limit your vision or yourself.”
Amanda grew quiet. Then she bit her lips as she hugged her bag.
Is she gonna run away? Lilia wondered, the worry in her face. But even if she does, I can’t go after her… this is as far as I can go for her…
“T-teacher… c-could you… please read this…?”
With her face an alarming shade of red, the girl pulled her laptop from the bag. After she put her password, she handed to the teacher and covered her face with the bag.
With a puzzled expression, Lilia accepted the computer and turned to the screen. The text processor was opened. A story… The teacher widened her eyes when she realized. Amanda was working on it until now… she’s been coming to school to write everyday…
The teacher looked up at her student. Amanda was still red. Despite lowering her bag, she was restless and biting her lips. She’s really serious about this…
And as her teacher, I’ll respond on the same level.
Lilia put on her glasses and read the short story twice. One as someone who loved reading. The second time as a literature teacher.
Amanda kept quiet the whole time. Despite how nervous she was, she never took her eyes off her teacher.
It’s good… but it has room to improve a lot… how can I tell her that without destroying her dream?
The teacher looked up at the anxious face staring at her. Then she smiled. It’s not her dream. It’s her future. And she’s already ready to hear.
“It’s good. Not only the writing style, but the content as well. I can tell you’ve spent a lot of time polishing and improving the quality. I also can tell you spent more time in the first sentence. Typical of a writer,” Lilia said with a smile.
“Really?” Amanda beamed. But then she pressed her lips. “But that’s not all, isn’t it…?”
“You’re right. The characters are well developed, but their actions sometimes don’t match the personality you gave to them. As if you forced them to do what you wanted to make the story progress. And you noticed that, since you made another character question that. But you did it anyway.”
“Few people would’ve noticed that if you didn’t bring attention to it. To me, it felt as if you aware of that plot hole, and did it because you couldn’t figure out how to make the characters advance the story.”
Amanda let out a low chuckle as she scratched her head.
“You’re totally right, teacher. That’s what happened. I tried to think of another way, but everything I came up seemed like I was forcing the characters even more,” she said, lowering her eyes.
“You don’t need to be upset. You’re better than most who walk the path of a writer. Remember other people might see your work in a completely different view. That’s why we have discussions like if Capitu cheated or not.”
“You’re right, teacher…”
“Your short story just confirms what I said before.” Lilia gave back the laptop to the owner and stared into her eyes. “Don’t limit your vision nor your world, Amanda.”
“Thank you so much for reading my story. And for listening to me. You’re the first teacher who ever tried to see my point of view,” Amanda said, showing a heart smile. “I’ll see the world and become a great writer.”
The teacher watched as her student left, her heart thumping slightly louder. It’s been a while since I was moved for such passion, she thought, smiling.
The next day, Amanda stayed until sundown at the school studying. And that happened every day.
With the teacher’s help and an amazing effort from the student, Amanda managed to graduate high school, if barely.
But that was the last time Lilia saw Amanda. The teacher kept in touch with her former student through emails. The girl went to volunteer across the world, seeing everything she could.
But she never talked about her dream of becoming a writer.
Then, one day, Lilia received a package from Amanda.
She was intrigued, but when she opened, she couldn’t help but smile. It was a book with Amanda name at the bottom.
I knew she would become a writer one day, the teacher thought, running her hand at the cover. I wished I could see her again…
What surprised Lilia even more was the hand-written dedication.
To the teacher who believed in me. To the amazing woman I fell in love with.
Whenever Lilia read that, her face became an alarming shade of red. She knows how to make people embarrassed with a few words… guess she was really meant to be a writer…
A few days after Lilia sent an email asking when Amanda would come back, someone rang her doorbell.
The teacher rolled her wheelchair to the front door. To her surprise, Amanda was on the other side. Tanned, with short hair and a few bruises and scratched.
But, unmistakable, Amanda, her student from many years ago.
“Hi, teacher,” she said with the same smile she had years ago, waving.
Lilia blushed and smiled. “H-hi, Amanda. I’m happy to see you’re doing well. What are you doing here?”
“I came to see you, teacher,” she said, and before Lilia could say anything, the young woman hugged her. “I saw the world and became a writer thanks to you.”
Taken aback, she took a while to recover. But when she did, Lilia hugged her former student back. “I missed you.”
When they pulled apart, Amanda took Lilia’s glassed and kissed the other woman.
It was a brief kiss, but Lilia felt her heart thumping louder.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for so long,” Amanda whispered.
“Then why are you blushing so much, teacher?” Amanda asked with a teasing smile.
Lilia blushed a bit more. “You shouldn’t tease your teacher…”
That only made Amanda’s smile grow. “But you’re not my teacher, teacher.”
Lilia smiled. “You’re right.”
Then she pulled her former student closer and kissed her.
Thanks for reading the last Yuri sensei short story
Hope you liked all three
This one was a bit different than the first two, but I enjoyed writing it
I wanted opinions on which story to turn into a web novel, but I’m really inclined with the second one. I like writing this lovey dovey stuff XD
Even if this is over, it doesn’t mean it can come back in the future.
But now I’m gonna focus on My Eyes Can See 2, which is returning this weekend XD