Alrighty, then, with May’s and Soleil’s mad reading skillz, I was able to spank out (haha) the revised draft of the “final exam.” Here’s the plan: I’ll post a letter today, the “real” final exam tomorrow, and then on Friday, the “final” final exam begins in his office. It ends on a humdinger, but that’s not the whole story. If you want the rest, I’ll post a complete pdf on the Free Reads page that finishes the final final exam, a final letter from Rae, and her “extra credit” poem. It all sets the stage for the five year break and will hopefully leave you chomping at the bit to see how they can possibly go about “Making it Right” in Dear Sir, I’m Yours.
Letter Four: the day of the final exam
Dear Dr. Connagher:
We made it.
In less than an hour, I’ll be sitting down for your final exam. I just finished printing out the last page of my essay detailing how I’ll personally use poetry in the future, not just at college but my whole life. Do you know how many versions I had to go through to get something clean enough for the dean to read? Because I want long hours in bed with you, listening to you quote poetry in that rough, ragged voice against my ear.
Now all I have to do for the actual final is write a letter to you in the blue book about my favorite poem and make suggestions for next year’s class. For extra credit (ha), we can submit an original poem of our own. Even if I’m not quite brave enough for that, you’ve accomplished the impossible, Dr. Connagher. You took a student who knew absolutely nothing about poetry and made me love the rhythm, images, and feelings so wonderfully disguised in a few simple lines, and no, I’m not saying this because of the future I hope to have with you. I’ll always remember this class and your passion for poetry.
You’re a phenomenal teacher.
I love you, Dr. Connagher. I know that sounds strange since we’ve not had a single “official” date, but it’s true. You did your worst to me as a professor, and as your student, I survived. I think I even excelled, at least far beyond my personal expectations. But as soon as I turn in your final exam, it’s time for you to leave.
I want you to remove that professor mask and show me the real Conn underneath.
However, you made me swear to always tell you the truth, no matter how awful or pissed off I thought you’d be. So here’s the truth, Conn.
You bruised me that night in the lecture hall. I wore your fingerprints in my thigh for days. Every time I looked at those bruises, I shivered with the memory. I wanted you there with me so you could do it again, and maybe this time, you’d kiss me. Maybe you’d pin me flat on top of your desk and have your wicked way with me.
When the bruises faded, my first thought was to do something bratty just so you’d have to do it again. Without those marks, I felt empty and lost, as though I didn’t belong to you anymore.
That’s what scares me. You said you’d give me just a taste of the real you. Are you going to hurt me so badly I’ll have bruises all the time? Will I want those bruises, cry when they fade away, and then beg you to give me more?
When you pulled off your Dr. Connagher mask, you also pulled off mine, and I have to admit that I don’t know the Rae underneath. She’s weak in the knees for you, Conn, vulnerable, scared to death, and so in love with you that she’ll do anything to be with you. I think she’d let you do anything, Conn. Anything at all.
You gave me fair warning, so I guess I should do the same, although I know you won’t ever read this.
I’m wearing that white mini-skirt to your final.
Dangerous, I know, but when I wear that skirt, I feel powerful. I see the darkness in your eyes. I know I’m flirting with danger, and I just can’t help myself. But I also need to know the truth, Conn. I need to know how far you’ll go when you’re not Dr. Connagher, and how far I’ll let you go when I’m not Miss Jackson.
Are you going to hurt me again? Will I let you hurt me again? How can I protect myself against you when I love you so much?
Because what I’m really afraid of is that I might need you to hurt me.