After 15 minutes, we all knew there wasn't going to be any class. That is, what was left of us knew. Many of the students had left 10 minutes after my lecturer didn't show. I packed up and took a train to Chapel St to see if I could catch Star Trek: First Contact. It was mentioned on the news the night before because Australia had the somewhat silly distinction of being the first country in the world to see it due to some time zone fluke.
I joined the queue at the box office, which wasn't very long (so much for the news coverage). That's when I saw her. She paused for a moment, but resumed that same cocky stare I see in class.
SM: You should be in class.
Me: So should you.
SM: You could get 2% cut off your grade.
Me: And you could lose your job if I reported you.
SM: We have a dilemma.
SM: I will pay for your movie ticket. And your silence.
Me: And dinner.
The movie was actually pretty good. Star Trek movies have this strange (but consistent) 'win some, lose some' quality. First Contact being watchable practically guaranteed the next one being shite. Dinner was at an Italian place and I actually felt a little bad. My turn to be in a dilemma – I couldn't offer to pay cos:
a) It would mean losing.
b) I had nothing to pay with.
Not offering to pay of course placed me slightly below the line marked 'gentleman.'
"It's alright. I'm rich," she said as the bill came. That was her way. She liked to see you squirm. I'd never seen a student prepared enough for her class, not even the law nerds. Everyone got skewered sooner or later, at least once, and badly.
Me: Let's take the train to Flinders. I'll buy us some ice cream.
SM: Oooh. Big spender.
She had an apartment overlooking the Yarra River.
I said goodnight and thank you for dinner with all the charm and grace of a corpse.
SM: Come up for coffee.
Me: Why can't we have coffee here?
SM: Because I don't want coffee.
Me: I have a girlfriend.
SM: That's the stupidest reason I've heard.
But this time she wasn't mean.
She smiled, turned and went up.
I never saw her again.
I saw someone with her name, wearing her face and her clothes and teaching her class.
But I never saw her again.