Commission for Mystery-hearts
“Miss (L/n)?” You looked up from the paper you were grading to see one of your quieter students standing with the assignment in her small hands. “Could you help me with number 12 on the worksheet?”
With the faintest shadow of a smile of your young face, you looked back at the papers and answered the question you had heard only seven years ago, when you were a junior in high school.
You didn’t even need to look at your answer key to tell the girl where to look. “Try the second paragraph on page 496.”
She flashed you a soft smile, “Thank you!”
Just as she found the answer in her textbook with a bright grin, you noticed the bell would ring soon. Clapping your hands, you stood from your desk and took a seat on a stool in the middle of the classroom.
“Alright! Pack up really fast and I’ll let you start your weekends after you tell me what’s up.”
Rustles and the sounds of zippers running up their tracks muffled the silence of the room. When the class was still again, you smiled at them. “Anyone doing anything special this weekend?”
One student, the eldest son of one of your best friends, raised his hand and waited for your attention. Once granted, he grinned at you.
“Tonight, at the school’s field, my baseball team has a game!”
Smiling back at the boy, you asked him for the details, promising to drop by for a bit.
The bell rang and a few students rushed out of the door, though most hung back to shout goodbyes over their shoulders and meet up with friends before facing the crowds of high schoolers outside your door.
You sat back at your desk, deciding to grade papers until the baseball game started.
The boys were warming up on the field by the time you got there and you were surprised at how many you recognized. Also, how few friends and family were in the stands.
Parents were probably still at work, but students didn’t really have an excuse. You’d talk to your classes about it later.
Finishing whatever warm-ups they had to do before the umpire got there, you watched the teams run excitedly to their dugouts. You were sitting right behind your students’ team, and they noticed. The boy who invited you stood by the chain-linked fence and shouted at you, causing the rest of the team to peek their heads out to see the teacher who wanted to watch a student’s baseball game. While they murmured with each other about you showing up at a non-school team, you cupped your hands around your mouth and shouted back at the team.
Voice hoarse from shouting with encouragement for your team, you took a sip from the soda bottle you had bought at the snack shack. Your dark grey slacks were dusty from you standing to cheer on a home run and your matching blazer had been discarded on the bench long ago.
A foul ball soared over the fence, landing at your feet. Picking it up, you walked it to the dugout, where a man you thought to be one of the coaches was currently ducking out to retrieve said ball. His shaggy blonde hair covered his eyes and he didn’t see you until he nearly ran into you.
You could feel your jaw slacken as you stared into the man’s deep blue eyes, reminded of a boy from seven years ago. He was staring at you in the same way.
Clearing your throat, you stepped back a bit, handing the man the dusty baseball and retreating back to your seat, where you cheers weren’t quite as enthusiastic.
After the game was won by your students, you waited for them to exit the field before leaving. With grins on their faces, the team squeezed through the small gate off of the field, cheering and hollering the whole time. Even the coaches were excited.
All of the boys who you recognized came running up to you. One of them, a thin boy you had known for a while through his parents, lit up even more when he saw you, giving you a fond hug. You embraced him back, a proud smile on your face.
The rest of the boys followed suit, trapping you in their sweaty arms. Laughing, you waited for them to pull away before telling them how proud you were of all of them and how happy you were to have been invited to watch the game. Leaving all of the boys with accomplished smiles on their faces, they caught up to their team, running past the coach from earlier.
Turning to gather your jacket and food trash, you kept your back to the fence where the tall blonde was leaning. You didn’t notice him as he pushed himself off of the fence and strode over to you.
“Thanks for watching my boys. Not many parents come, as you can tell.”
His voice startled you, but you didn’t turn around, instead picking up the trash from the other few bystanders who had left long ago or with the team. “It was fun, I’ll definitely be making appearances at other games.”
You could hear him shuffle closer to you as he spoke, “It’s not often a teacher comes to see a game that isn’t for the school.”
Dumping the trash into a bin you shrugged.
The man chuckled a bit, “My boys talk all about you, it’s nice to meet the infamous ‘Miss (L/n)’.” You sighed in relief, but your heart panged, he didn’t recognize you. “Though I guess I’m not really meeting you, am I?”
Turning around with wide, (e/c) eyes, you stared up into the face of Alfred F. Jones. A bitter smirk was planted on his face. “It’s nice to see you again, (F/n).”
“Likewise,” you said, voice quiet from your strained throat as you held back a rush of emotions.
He didn’t move, and neither did you. “You look good,” he told you, the smile looking slightly more sincere now. What he really meant was easy to tell. ‘You don't look like the little awkward girl you were in high school.’
You smile was just a sarcastic as his own and you voice was sickly sweet. “People change.” ‘I’m not planning on following you like a lost puppy again.’
“Not everyone.” ‘I wasn’t implying that you would.’
A light laugh pressed itself out of your lungs, “Obviously you haven’t changed a bit.” ‘Immature as always, I see.’
Alfred took as step closer to you. “Actually,” he murmured, chest nearly touching your own and head craned down to where he could see you, “I’ve changed quite a bit.”
In a blur of reality, the man you used to have the biggest crush on slammed his lips onto your own, holding your face in his calloused hands. You were frozen for a second, but quickly realized something as you kissed him back.
You hadn’t changed much, either.