This is Debra Lafave, a former middle school teacher convicted three years ago of having sex with a student, even though Bossy isn’t entirely sure she’s not Laurie Partridge:
Debra Lafave was a reading teacher. She got to know her 14-year-old student on a class trip, where she confided in the boy and told him that her marriage was failing and that she was attracted to the student and felt safe with him. They had sex in the classroom. And one time at her apartment. And one time in the back seat of a car. Debra Lafave is back in the news because she violated the terms of her probation—but that’s not what Bossy wants to talk about. What Bossy wants to talk about is this:
His name is Eljo Kuslasik, give or take a Word Jumble.
He was Bossy’s junior high school math teacher, and in the words of Bossy’s friend Diana, Eljo Kuslasik was A Fox. It wasn’t just his piercing blue eyes or the way he whistled Kenny Loggins tunes—you could see the steam emanating from the shirt he rolled up at the sleeves as he scribbled chalky notations about the Surface Area of a Square and Bossy knew he was talking about her:
Bossy was assigned to Eljo Kuslasik’s class three years in a row, which was all the proof of kismet Bossy needed since her inner city school was so enormous. Bossy knew where Eljo Kuslasik was at all times during the day and which hallways he strolled to get to his next destination. He drove a Gran Torino.
Eljo Kuslasik fathered a slew of blonde kids and was married but that didn’t matter much to Bossy because Bossy spied Mrs. Eljo Kuslasik at a school function one time and she was mousy.
Other girls liked Eljo Kuslasik too. Diana of course, but also Lisa and Lauren and Norma Bordley. Bossy passed her junior high school years thus, breaking out in cold Eljo Kuslasik sweats. It didn’t help that Don’t Stand So Close To Me was the most popular song on Bossy’s clock radio.
In September of her last year in the school, Bossy pushed her parents out the door in the direction of the only teacher conference they ever attended, just so they could eye up Eljo Kuslasik. And they liked him—they talked for the entirety of their allotted time about various beach communities and that place to buy seafood straight off the fishing boats.
In June, Bossy sat in Eljo Kuslasik’s classroom for the last time. As the tepid air blew from the barred open windows across the damp curls on his neck, Eljo Kuslasik lectured about fractions. As he erased the chalkboard Bossy thought about how she and Eljo Kuslasik were two parts of a whole, and how their Greatest Common Factor was that Bossy wanted Eljo Kuslasik to denominate her numerator. They said goodbye.
Fast forward two months and 15-year-old Bossy had just returned to her family’s beach house after a day in the surf. Bossy had wild ocean hair, which differentiates it from every other day of her life exactly not at all except it smelled of horseshoe crabs.
Bossy was just about to peel off her sandy bathing suit when what should appear out her bedroom window but Eljo Kuslasik’s Gran Torino and he was climbing out. Turns out Bossy’s parents had exchanged summer addresses with Eljo Kuslasik and. Here. He. Was.
Bossy took off her bathing suit. She threw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. She took off the shorts and the t-shirt and put her bathing suit back on. She put the shorts over the bathing suit. She took the shorts off and tied a wrap skirt around her waist. She pinned her hair up. She let her hair down. She brushed her hair. She tousled her hair. She threw a baseball cap on her head. She removed the cap. A total of fifteen seconds had passed.
Bossy flew down the steps and into the kitchen where her mom was preparing gazpacho. “Mr. Kuslasik,” Bossy said. “He’s here. Outside. Here. At the door. Mr. Kuslasik.”
“And?” Bossy’s mom said, drying her hands. “Aren’t you letting him in?”
But Bossy couldn’t decide. On the one hand she wanted 1+1= 2, but on the other hand she didn’t want to be the third side of Eljo Kuslasik’s triangle.
Bossy’s mom let him in. Eljo Kuslasik and Bossy’s mom sipped iced tea and spoke about inexpensive restaurants while Bossy slumped in her chair and choked on her ice and died.
It was all over in twenty minutes. Eljo Kuslasik stood. Eljo Kuslasik left. Eljo Kuslasik drove away. Because no matter the permutations—when considering the total number of possible outcomes, the probability of Eljo Kuslasik sleeping with 15-year-old Bossy was slim from the get-go. Statistically speaking. Because Eljo Kuslasik was no Debra Lafave.
Even though Bossy still thinks they would have made a cute couple, infinity to the infinity power.