Shari Knows the Way

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story is a re-written version of a story previously uploaded in 2018. The story takes place in the past. All stories in this series take place in a time before internet and cell phones, but I leave it to you, the reader to decide what year or decade. This story reflects new content that I hope you enjoy. If you do, please check out the other stories from this series. CW: The story contains student-teacher dynamic and large age difference. If this is not your thing, please skip this story. For everyone else, I hope you enjoy it, and Thank You for reading!

*****

Velma Blount was worried.

The veteran gym teacher’s mind was distant; disturbed by her young wife’s apparent indifference towards her. Velma couldn’t deny that she’d been busy—too busy to even take 5 minutes out of her already hectic schedule to check in. She was away from home, attending a tennis coaching clinic at Southern Illinois University. Her department head, Ike Linley, decided to send her with the blessing of Mr. Bowen, principal of Talcott High.

Shari told Velma that she didn’t mind her leaving for a few days. Besides, it was summer vacation, and one of the top men’s singles champions, Robert Velasco, was one of the keynote speakers. Velma figured she could use the time away to pick up some valuable coaching strategies for the upcoming season.

Velma’s 55th birthday was yesterday. It came and went like any other day. But somehow everything seemed to feel a little…off. She called home and Shari answered, mentioning that she was busy at the moment and she couldn’t talk for more than a few minutes. Her beautiful ex-student, the impish young girl she now called her wife seemed unusually distant and cold. Her youthful voice, always chipper, had become strangely lukewarm.

Years ago, Shari Keefer graduated from Talcott High School and had been Velma Blount’s former student. For the last five years, the alluring 28 year old taught Social Studies’ at Walker High. During the last two weeks, the blond beauty had become increasingly moody. Velma chalked it up to nerves brought on by the fact that her wife had applied for one of two open teaching positions at Talcott. Mr. Borland, one of the Social Studies’ teachers, decided to retire, and Shari jumped at the unexpected opportunity to teach at her alma mater.

On the final day of the coaching clinic, Velma decided to call home. But almost as soon as she heard an answer, her stomach tightened up in painful knots.

“What’s up, Vel? You look like you’re going to be sick!” Miss Lusby observed. Velma’s colleague, Diane Lusby, agreed to come along to the clinic.

“Oh nothing…it’s just…”

The prodigious woman’s voice trailed off and her eyes appeared glazed and distant. Almost as soon as she’d said hello, the line cut off! She wasn’t certain, but Velma could have sworn she heard the sound of another woman’s voice on the other end of the receiver!

Who was that? Velma silently wondered as a sickening mixture of anxiety and jealous fury churned in the pit of her stomach. One thing was certain: Velma didn’t recognize the voice on the other end of the receiver. Velma figured there was a possibility that someday Shari might grow tired of their relationship and leave. As the gym teacher dwelled on this, her vision grew increasingly blurry.

“What did I expect?” She muttered softly under her breath. Nothing lasts forever, and besides, Shari was just so incredibly beautiful…and young. Their relationship was downright scandalous in spite of the pains they took to remain discreet. She stumbled past Miss Lusby and stood in front of the large bathroom mirror in the motel room they both shared. That’s it; Shari must have found somebody else, she thought.

Velma wiped her eyes with a small wad of tissue as she stared back at her reflection. For a 55 year old woman, she was in great shape! The butch woman’s intimidating 6’2″ frame was very lean and well-proportioned. Her light sandy hair, cropped in a very short pageboy style with blunt bangs emphasized the roughened, somewhat mannish features of her face. The towering woman looked over at her colleague sitting nearby on the edge of her bed.

“Diane…if I asked you something, would you give me an honest answer?”

“Of course! How long have we known each other, Vel?”

Long—too long! Velma knew it was a stupid thing to ask, but she wanted reassurance. She and Diane Lusby had been friends for decades. In fact, the two of them enjoyed going for long runs together, and often during these runs, they would confide in each other.

“Do you think Shari might be seeing someone else?”

Diane looked surprised for a second. “Oh, I doubt it, Vel.” She replied dismissively. “That girl loves you. She thinks the sun rises and sets on you!”

Velma recalled one day during Shari’s senior year when they began to talk. Most days, the towering gym teacher’s conversation remained limited to one or two word answers and sharp threats of gym make-ups or after school detention for the girls who refused to participate or show up to class on time. But as she got to know Shari Keefer, things began antalya escort to change. Whenever Shari came to class, Velma felt alive. By 3rd hour, she had more pep in her step, and she was sure the feeling had nothing to do with Coach Linley’s coffee.

One Friday afternoon, the class gathered in the main gymnasium for dodgeball because it was raining too hard to go outside. Everything was going well until Shari thought it would be funny to lob the ball straight at Miss Blount. The ball struck the Amazon woman’s chest with a loud thudding sort of smack. The impact caused Miss Blount to stumble backwards a few steps before collapsing onto the polished wood floor in pain.

“Geez, Shari,” Eunice Pearson said. “Didn’t know you hated Miss Blount that much!”

“She doesn’t! It was just a love tap, wasn’t it, Shari?” Rachel Downing shouted. Rachel was one of the popular girls; captain of the varsity cheerleading squad. Leave it to Rachel to try to make things worse!

Shari was mortified by what she’d done. She certainly didn’t mean to aim the ball so high! “Oh my God!” She gasped. “I’m so sorry, Miss Blount! I didn’t mean it!”

Laughter rippled through the crowd of girls who started to gather around their teacher. Shari stooped down and was about to ask Miss Blount if she was okay when the gym teacher suddenly sprang up onto her feet. Before Shari could react, the masculine giantess snatched a ball from Irene Olafson and lobbed it at the apologetic blond senior. The girl fell backwards and landed hard on her butt.

“HA! You’re out, Keefer!” Miss Blount shouted triumphantly. This was followed by another outburst of uproarious laughter.

When class was over, Shari approached her gym teacher. “Miss Blount? I’m really sorry about that.” She said. Her voice was shaking and her cheeks were bright red.

Miss Blount sensed that Shari really meant no harm, but she avoided making eye contact. She retrieved her clipboard from the floor and headed towards the girls’ PE office. “Well, I admit that it didn’t feel too good.” Miss Blount replied. “Bruised my ego a little, but I’m a tough old bird. I think I’ll survive.”

“Are you sure?” Shari asked. The girl sounded anxious. “I didn’t mean to throw the ball so hard…I probably hurt you pretty bad.”

Now Miss Blount’s hand closed over Shari’s small shoulder and gave it a squeeze. Without warning, a strange sensual fire raced up the butch woman’s arm and her breath caught in her throat. “Yes, I’m sure.” She replied. “Better hurry up and get changed now. The bell’s gonna ring in seven minutes and you know that I don’t like writing out late passes.”

Velma snapped out of her daydream. She noticed Diane Lusby had already finished packing and headed out to the car which was parked just outside. When she returned, Velma haphazardly tossed the rest of her things into one of the two overnight bags she’d brought with her.

“Well, everything’s ready to go on my end.” Diane said brightly. “As soon as you get your bags in the car, we can get going.”

The dark haired gym teacher noticed the look on her colleague’s face. She seemed strangely absent from herself as she zipped her bag shut.

“What’s wrong, Vel?” Diane asked. “You’ve been acting really strange these past two days!”

“Someone answered the phone when I called home. It sounded like a woman…it wasn’t Shari.”

Velma’s colleague looked confused. “When was that? We spent this morning playing passing shot after the final speaker and wrap-up.”

“Oh…about an hour ago.” Velma picked up her bags and tossed them in the trunk of Diane’s car. The two of them quickly inspected the room to see if they’d left anything behind before leaving. Once they were in the car, Diane drove around to the front of the motel.

“I’ll get us checked out, and then we’ll be on our way.” She said.

After several minutes, Diane returned and started the car. Velma looked positively nauseous! Her cheeks were hollow and her skin had an almost ghostly pallor. Her thick eyebrows were furrowed, betraying her mind’s internal struggle. But before her colleague could say anything, she spoke. “Diane, I think…maybe Shari is bored. Maybe she’s getting a bit tired of me…”

Diane was about to pull out of their parking spot. Instead, she threw the car in park and waved dismissively. “Are you sure about that? Maybe she’s visiting with a friend, or maybe Mr. Bowen stopped by to let her know if she got that opening she applied for!”

“Bullshit.” Velma huffed. If Shari did get one of the open positions, someone from the district central office would call to let her know. They might even send a letter. There was no way Mr. Bowen would show up in person—even if he brought his wife along. Still, she knew that Diane was trying to put her mind at ease. She appreciated it even if she wasn’t showing it.

Velma sighed. “I guess I can’t blame her. Shari’s a very sweet girl…and so beautiful. I’ve seen the way men look at her sometimes…and I wonder…”

Velma’s colleague mashed her lips together and sucked in her breath. “You know…I honestly didn’t approve of you seeing her.” Diane kemer escort flatly replied. “And if you weren’t ashamed, you ought to be. That girl’s way too young for you—and she was your STUDENT for heaven’s sake!”

“Yeah, Diane,” Velma replied softly. “That wasn’t the wisest decision, was it? But I never acted on my feelings towards Shari. Not until after she graduated.”

“Well, just the same, you have to think about your reputation, Vel!” Diane retorted. “I mean—you have to be careful! What you’re doing is so…wrong!” Just then, Diane caught the anguished expression on her colleague’s face. Immediately she broke eye contact. “I—I’m sorry, Vel.” She said softly. “What I mean is that…most people wouldn’t understand, you know.”

As many years as they’ve known each other, Diane Lusby spoke the plain honest truth and Velma knew it. As far as anyone in Thatcher Blake was concerned, there was no such thing as homosexuality and same sex relationships. Such concepts existed only in pornographic magazines and films; a means to titillate men. It was otherwise dismissed as a form of malignant degeneracy—a disease—which could only be cured through intense shaming or forced institutionalization. And although she had friends and colleagues who liked and respected her, she knew deep down that a few of them thought she was abnormal.

And Velma was aware of the way her own students looked at her sometimes; afraid she might get too close to them, or see too much in the locker room. The parents were even worse. The school grapevine can be very cruel, and on more than several occasions, she’d heard the rumors they’d spread about her sexual predilections. There was no denying the obvious truth. Velma’s chosen occupation, her physical appearance, and even the sound of her voice was considered by some people to be revolting—particularly her students.

Diane gave Velma’s arm a sympathetic pat. She rolled her eyes and let out a sigh. “I know your heart is in the right place and you’d never hurt your students. And I know that Shari is very dear to you, but there’s nothing you can do right now.” Diane put the car in reverse and backed out. “We have a few hours’ drive ahead of us, Vel. I know it’s difficult, but try to put Shari out of your mind for a while…take a nap or something.”

But Velma couldn’t sleep. They drove in silence while the butch gym teacher endured a vicious cycle of increasingly intrusive thoughts: worry—prepare—sorrow—anger—prepare—worry. Meddlesome visions of Shari spending time with another woman consumed her as the car sped down the highway. She imagined Diane dropping her off at home only to discover another woman in bed with the beautiful young blond she called her wife.

Velma Blount strained against the seatbelt, fighting back a threatening onslaught of tears. The endless summer countryside was reduced to a stinging blur of different shades of bright greens and browns. I haven’t been very attentive, Velma thought. She gave in to feeling sorry for herself. Is there something that I could have done differently? God, I knew shouldn’t have gone on this trip!

At one point, Velma must have dozed off. Her eyes suddenly sprang open and she realized she’d been asleep. Diane pulled into a gas station off the highway. “How long have I been asleep?” Velma asked.

“Not that long, maybe a half hour or so.” Diane pulled up to a gas pump and parked the car.

Velma got out of the car now. It looked like they’d stopped at a small truck stop. “I’m going to try to find a phone.” She said. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

There were a couple of payphones at the back of the coffee shop which was next door to the gas station. Velma fished a dime out of her shorts pocket, dialed the requisite numbers, and waited for someone to answer. She didn’t wait long. After the third ring, the sound of an unfamiliar voice burned the skin around Velma’s ear. “Hello?” The voice sounded confoundingly masculine and terse.

“Who is this?” Velma demanded. “Let me talk to Shari!”

“Who? I’m sorry, but I’m afraid you have the wrong number.” The voice flatly replied before the line abruptly cut off.

Velma was furious. WRONG NUMBER? Bullshit! She jammed her hand down her pocket in search of another dime. With a trembling finger, she dialed again, slowly, with her eyes fixed on the numbers. She waited, but this time no one answered. After the 12th ring, she hung up and stood there for a minute or so, trying to collect her thoughts.

Diane walked into the coffee shop and discovered her colleague propped against the crummy looking wood paneled wall next to one of the payphones. She suggested getting a sandwich and a cup of coffee before continuing on towards home.

“Eh…I’m not hungry, Diane.” Velma replied. “Go ahead and get something. I’ve got to use the bathroom.”

Diane Lusby looked really worried. “I think I better use the little girl’s room too.” She said. “You really aren’t looking too well.”

“Just…forget about it.” Velma muttered. “I’ll be okay.”

After using the restroom, Diane ordered a coffee and a turkey sandwich. Velma konyaaltı escort nursed her own cup of coffee in grim silence while her colleague ate. Those terrible visions of Shari alone in the house with another woman—the house they shared together—grew more intense until they metastasized into a horrifying mixture of bitter sorrow and impotent rage. Her thoughts were mercifully interrupted as Diane lightly touched her arm. “Come on, Vel, let’s go.” She said. A waitress came by to clear the table…she looked an awful lot like Shari.

*****

It was early evening when they arrived in Thatcher Blake. Diane mentioned something about stopping somewhere for another cup of coffee, but Velma insisted she drop her off at home right away. The towering butch woman favored her colleague with a sidelong stare. “What’s gotten into you?” She snapped. “We’re almost home! Why should we stop for coffee?”

“I could ask you the same thing.” Diane replied. There was a frosty edge to her voice.

Velma heaved a gusty sigh and turned away from her colleague to stare out the passenger window. “I—I’m sorry, Diane.” She said softly. “That was pretty uncalled for. I’m just so worried…”

“I guess I can’t blame you for that.” Diane conceded. “But we’re almost there.”

They drove in silence for the next several minutes. When they were less than a block away from Velma’s house, they saw that there was an unfamiliar black car parked in the driveway. Diane’s breath caught in her throat and she glanced nervously over at Velma.

“Strange…that’s not Shari’s car, is it?” She asked. “Who do you suppose it is?”

The features of Velma’s weathered face hardened to stone and her icy blue eyes shot daggers at the car’s back wheels. It looked for all intents like the Amazon woman was trying to will both tires to go flat! Whoever that car belongs to, I’ll kill her, Velma thought. She sat there in the passenger seat of Diane’s car fuming, and her fists began to ball up. As God is my witness, I’ll kill her, whoever she is—assuming it is another woman. Up until now, it hadn’t really occurred to Velma that the car might actually belong to a man!

And what if there was a man inside the house with Shari? What if, after all this time, Shari decided that her relationship with Velma was just an experiment? Now Velma recalled that remark she’d made earlier about the way men looked at her beautiful young wife, sometimes ogling her, and Velma could do nothing to stop it lest she betray their secret. Velma knew that it couldn’t have been easy for such a young and desirable girl like Shari to be with another woman—especially her old gym teacher!

What if her suspicion was justified? What would she do? The idea that Shari might be in there with another woman was a hard enough pill for her to swallow, but a man? For a second, the towering butch woman shuddered and fought a sudden overwhelming urge to cry out. She knew that if Shari was in there with a man, she’d clean his clock before tossing him to the curb. As for Shari, well…she wasn’t exactly sure what she’d do.

The car stopped and Velma bolted out of the passenger side. Without bothering to retrieve her bags from the trunk, the prodigious woman made a beeline to the front door.

“Uh, Velma—wait a minute!” Diane pleaded. The dark haired gym teacher scrambled out of the car and dashed after her colleague. “Maybe we should go through the back door—you know—like you normally do?”

“No—front’s just fine.” Velma snarled. “You better come inside with me, Diane. I’m gonna need a witness…”

“Oh dear…” Diane muttered and a defeated groan escaped her lips. For a few seconds, Velma fumbled with her keys until she found the right one. Once inside, the two of them stood there in the darkened living room. A savory, meaty sort of smell filled the space, reminding Velma that she hadn’t eaten anything at all today.

Velma struggled to maintain her composure as she looked around the room. Odd…nothing seemed to be out of place, but it was eerily quiet. For some strange reason, Diane seemed unusually calm about the situation. Velma wondered if she should check the bedroom first, but then Diane brushed past her and headed for the kitchen. She said something about wanting a glass of water before leaving.

Velma ignored her colleague. “Keefer!” She shouted. “Front and center…NOW!” She meant business. She was using her teacher voice, something she only did when discipline problems arose or she needed to maintain order. The towering butch waited for a reply, but the house was still quiet. It was unsettling, and Velma decided she’d had enough. No sooner had she stepped towards the kitchen she was stopped abruptly in her tracks.

***

SURPRISE!!

***

The quickly mounting feelings of anger and dread quickly faded, giving way to an exhilarating rush of excitement and relief. A smile spread across the weathered features of Velma’s face, and she felt the blood return to her cheeks. Warmth. Joy. Solace. The towering butch woman leaned against the doorway to the kitchen taking it all in. Shari stood there in arms reach. And there stood Jude Horst, one of the gym teachers from Kent Junior High and the Reverend Nellie Kling, Head Chaplain of Blake College. Reverend Kling was the officiant of Velma and Shari’s commitment ceremony. The three of them had planned a surprise party with colorful streamers and plenty of food.

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