Romance

Monocular Tutor E4

Couple in backseat

EPISODE 4 – CREATIVE EXPLANATIONS

Lloyd and Rebecca must overcome some challenges to maintain a secret romance.

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Damage Control

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The unlikely couple rehearse potential classroom faux pas that could hinder their romantic subterfuge. “No one but very close friends and family call me Becky. It could signal a problem if you say it on campus.”

“If you’re fearful it might slip out, I can call you Miss Halter here.”

“You better not. That makes what we’re doing seem wrong. Hearing you say Becky reminds me that I’m your fiancé. Can you separate social terms of endearment from my workplace?”

“Of course, Becky. I’m just happy to call you my own.”

“Thank you for saying that. Alone with you, away from the outside world is when I’m most comfortable in our relationship.”

“Here’s an idea for communicating affection in class. When you grade my artwork, add a plus to signal that you enjoyed our recent encounter. Append a minus when you want a visit.”

I love that idea. Some days you may see a plus and a minus after your grade. Let’s switch subjects. Do you have some girl classmates in mind who could divert suspicion away from us?”

“I have a study group that includes a girl named Vicky and my friend Jeff. He may have an interest in the other girl in the group. The four of us could share some social activities.”

“That sounds good and wholesome. Just remember to keep it platonic.”

Informal Inquiry

Later, Jeff catches up with Lloyd between classes to question his whereabouts. “I haven’t seen much of you after classes lately.”

“Yeah, I’ve been studying with a tutor.”

Jeff mentions an observation. “I’ve seen you around that art class quite a bit. What’s that hot teacher’s name? I might need to take some art classes myself.”

In defense of her honor, Lloyd reacts, “Why would you say that? She’s not a slut!”

“Relax tiger. I was just joking. You seem defensive. I’m working on some things that will ease all that tension.”

Southern Exposure

A few weeks later, a neighbor who was away on vacation begins reviewing surveillance camera footage. He urgently rings Rebecca’s doorbell to share his concern.

She opens her door to greet him. “Hello, Miguel. It’s good to see you. Is everything all right?”

“I was vacationing in Fiji. It was magnificent,” he replies. “But I want to show you some of my high-resolution surveillance video. It looks like you may have a stalker.”

Rebecca immediately recognizes the stalker as her fiancé. So she doesn’t have a good reaction, nor is she sure how to reply with anything more than a question. “When was this?”

“As I said, it was during my time away. This creep returned almost every day for a few weeks. The dates are embedded within the video. I can call the police or if you prefer, I can give you copies and you can report him.”

“Miguel, just give me everything on a flash drive and I’ll handle it.”

“Okay. If you need me to testify, let me know.”

During Rebecca’s next date night with Lloyd, she confronts him with the problem. “I was under the impression that when I invited you over, it was my choice and that everything that transpired afterward was a natural flow of events.”

Uncomfortable with her tone of voice, Lloyd replies, “You make it sound like that somehow wasn’t the case. What’s the matter? Our feelings built up over time, leading to our current engagement.”

“Then how do you explain this video footage occurring weeks before I invited you in?”

With his heart playing handball in his chest, Lloyd gathers his thoughts in silence.

“I’m surprised at the detail, which is going to make me keep window coverings closed. But by cropping this shows you looking at me getting dressed. Isn’t that what you were doing?”

“Yes, that’s a good shot of you.”

“Clearly, you were stalking me, Lloyd. Do you peer through the windows of other women?”

“Please calm down, Becky. I know this looks bad. But it’s the evolution of my attraction to you. This is not something I do with others. Always hoping, but never believing what we enjoy now was possible, I admired you from afar. The more I explain, the worse it sounds. Just focus on the fact that my feelings for you are genuine.”

“What is that in your hand in the video? Were you taking pictures?”

“No pictures. I was looking through a monocular. It’s half of a binocular. It’s not even mine. I’ll give it back.”

“Do you have anything else to say about this footage?”

“Honestly? I wish I had that cropped photo.”

“Don’t make light of this. My neighbor considers you a danger to the community that the police should investigate. How do I explain that the pervert in his surveillance video is my fiancé, who happens to be my student? This is a tenuous relationship. You can’t be doing things that invite authorities to investigate.”

“Please lower your voice. You’re attracting the attention of other diners in this restaurant. My admiration began soon after setting eyes on you. I admit to being obsessive about viewing you. But since then, I’ve seen more of you, with permission, than I ever did through a monocular. Don’t magnify reasons to end a good relationship.”

“Do I need to educate you on the differences between voyeurism and admiration? Hopefully, you’ve grown beyond public peeping. But at some point, my neighbor is likely to see me welcoming you into my house. How do we recover from this?”

“Let me think. There are at least a couple of options. I could try to stay away until after graduation. But maybe a better option is to tell him that you were filming a movie, or that the man in the bushes is your lover.”

“What kind of response is that?”

“Without going into detail, you could say that you enjoy role-play. Tell him to keep it a secret and destroy his copies.”

“Wow. Now I’m a teacher with kinky proclivities who’s engaged to her student. We haven’t made it through the first year and my reputation is swirling around the toilet bowl.”

“You have the most education between us. What’s your solution?”

“I can’t think of anything better than your terrible idea. The kinky neighbor story has the advantage of explanation if he sees you entering or exiting my home. To prevent a scandal from escalating, I’ll do it.”

Platonic Relationships

Jeff meets up with Lloyd again. “I haven’t seen much of you around after school. Have you been sticking that monocular someplace you shouldn’t?”

Fearful that Jeff knows about his spying on Rebecca, with wide eyes he reacts, “How’d you—? I mean what are you talking about?”

“I was speaking metaphorically. You need to relax. This weekend, I have a hot prospect lined up. Bring a double date and we’ll watch a movie at the theater.”

“Oh, yeah. I need to do something like that. Thanks.”

Lloyd invites Vicky to join them. After leaving the theater movie filled with romantic scenes, Jeff pulls over to a secluded place on the way home. He and his date, Alice begin kissing in the front seat.

As the windows fog up, Vicky leans into Lloyd. Under duress, he kisses back. Hands get out of control. Vicky now believes Lloyd is her boyfriend.

Continued…

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