The Wanting by Christina Strigas (a book excerpt)

My book is in our estore. Here’s the excerpt:

Who was that girl Miss Moss was talking to five years ago? Every time I wanted to ask Miss Moss about her, something stopped me; my shyness? No. It was probably the ridiculous idea of pining over some girl I’d seen for a mere few seconds, and felt like an idiot to ask about her. Miss Moss would probably look at me as if to say, Are you serious? It took you five years to ask? Besides, I did have a few girlfriends during these past five years, so to ask about some other woman—someone I’d caught only a glimpse of—would have seemed so preposterous.

I’d forgotten about her for a while, until recently. I guess the lack of meeting anyone worthwhile always brought me back to her, that beautiful girl who had taken my breath away. I’d never looked at a girl like that before. In those few seconds, I saw the possibilities but did nothing about it. Heat enveloped my body the moment my gaze met hers, this insatiable thirst to have her and to feel her close to me.

I’ve played out several scenarios in my head on how that could have actually happened:

Scenario Number One:

“Excuse me for interrupting, but can I ask you a question?”

She looks at me and responds, “Sure.” Then she looks at Miss Moss and says, “Excuse me, will you?”

Miss Moss nods.

“Yes?” her lovely voice sings to me.

“I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful you are. What’s your name?” She would be Aphrodite, or Belinda, or Cassandra, or Samantha or…


“I’m Teddy. Can I have your number? I would love to take you out on a date.”

She gives me a dazzling smile and recites her phone number. I memorize it. No need to write it down. No need to type it into my phone. It would be engraved on my heart forever. “Don’t you want to write it down?”

“I have a great memory.”

She grins and then excuses herself to go back to her conversation with Miss Moss, who is standing by calmly.

Scenario Number Two:

She grabs my arm. “Sorry, I thought you were someone else,” she says with a smile.

“I can be anyone you want me to be,” I reply, smiling back.

She laughs, stepping away from Miss Moss, who seems to understand the seriousness of this first meeting and leaves us alone.

All the sounds of the day disappear as I look into her light violet eyes and study her cute button nose and full lower lip. Her brown hair blows wildly in the wind, and she has no reply. She stares at me and then asks, “Did you go to this high school?”

“No, I’m a teacher here. Actually, it’s my first day.”

“Oh! That’s great.”

“What’s your name?”

“Naomi,” she says in a sexy voice. “You?”

“I’m Theodore, but everyone calls me Teddy.”

Her gaze shifts slowly to give my body a thorough look-over. I try to make out the image of a woman’s profile on her grey shirt. Naomi’s leggings outline the shape of her legs. Her heavy eyeliner adds to her beauty, and my thought is lost in hers. My eyes travel from top to bottom. She’s wearing tan-colour booties. Her outfit is well coordinated.

“Can I call you sometime?” I ask.

Of course, the scenario ends with me memorizing her number, but even in this one, I still have no clue why she was at that spot at that precise moment.

Scenario Number Three:

As I stop walking, she stops talking. My smile reaches her and she reciprocates. I bravely walk up to her. Miss Moss remains still, glancing from me to her.

“Hi,” I say to Miss Moss, not remembering her name. I continue smiling at the girl.

“You’re a new teacher here, aren’t you?” Miss Moss asks. “I saw you at the staff meeting, but we haven’t been formally introduced. I’m Arianne.”

“I’m Theodore Neros.”

Throughout this exchange, she remains quiet.

Miss Moss looks at both of us again. “Theodore, this is Katrina, your soul mate.” Arianne smiles. “I have to go,” she says to Katrina, and then whispers something in her ear.

I turn to Katrina and say, “Hi.”

“Hi,” she replies in a sweet voice. “What is she talking about? Soul mate…? Where did she get that idea?”

“I have no clue, but can I have your number so we can find out?” I quickly ask. She looks at me for a split second, and I don’t know if she’ll say yes or no, so I add, “I would love to take you out on a date.”

She looks shy, and then responds, “Okay.”

Pulling out a piece of paper and a pen from her purse, she writes it down before I can memorize it. I take it and hold on to it tightly.

“I have to catch my bus,” she says and begins to quickly walk away.

“I’ll call you,” I shout after her, and we wave good-bye to each other.

And that is the beginning of the affair.


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