She's late again.
The infamous Professor Hollstein is late again, for the 6th time this semester. I'm the beadle, so I've been keeping count.
She just sent me an e-mail, telling me that her wife fell asleep on her again and she couldn't wake her up. It's probably more like wouldn't, but eh.
It's adorable and all, but I'm starting to get fed up. Who really was this Laura that kept on taking Professor Hollstein's time? Sure, I know she's her wife, but I actually want to learn more about epistemology. I wish Professor Hollstein would take us more seriously. We're philosophy majors, for fuck's sake.
And surely, no one can be that in love with their wife.
"Hey Alexa, what did she say this time?" one of my classmates, Trent, asked.
"She's gonna be late. Again," I said.
"I hope she just cancels the class. I wanna go to the arcade," another said.
One of my classmates, a guy that shared last names with one of our PE instructors, Mr. Kirsch, actually took off his hat and started going around the class, telling everyone to place bets on whether we'd still have a class. I already told everyone that she'd just be late, but still, this wouldn't be the first time that she made us wait for nothing.
I think to myself: chances are, they're still doing the do. I decide to throw in five dollars.
Professor LaFontaine from the Biology department passed by, recognising us as Professor Hollstein's class, and asked what we were doing. I told them, and they threw in fifty dollars, giggling all the while like a little child.
"Your beloved Professor Hollstein will be coming, just not in the way that will get her here." They said while snickering.
"Won't she be mad if we keep on calling her Professor Hollstein?" I ask, ignoring the dirty joke.
"Oh she most definitely will, so don't tell her I nudged you into calling her that." They laughed. "She's gonna kill me."
I wanted to laugh as well, but I was also afraid of Professor Hollstein. Sure, she's hot, and totally everyone's type, but there's something very intimidating about her. All I keep hearing from upperclassmen is that she has a terrible temper and we shouldn't ever cross her because of some incident; but I was also told that she's like a totally different person when her wife is around. She also got amazing scores in the evaluations, so I know she's a very good teacher. I was also told that she turned out to be surprisingly chill despite all appearances.
"Take it easy, Alexa," Professor LaFontaine told me, perhaps sensing my apprehension about joking about our professor. They were about to say something more but I interrupted them, knowing where it was gonna go.
"No, I won't play despacito."
Professor Lafontaine and my classmates, who were apparently listening in, burst out laughing.
"Anyway, how are you guys doing in this class? Pretty good?"
"She's great but she's always late," I said.
"Ooh, that rhymed." Professor Lafontaine chuckled.
"What's so funny, Laf?"
The whole class went quiet. It was Professor Hollstein.
"Nothing! I thought you were gonna be late?"
"And I am. Do you want to be late, too?"
Professor Lafontaine checked their watched and panicked.
"Whoops. See you later, Karnstein!"
"It's Karnstein-Hollis now, little Holtzmann."
"Whatever, little Hollstein!" They then ran out of the room, presumably towards their class.
Our professor rolled her eyes at them and turned back to us to check our attendance. My classmates discreetly tried to hide the money pot; Brandon Kirsch was particularly red-faced. No one bet on her still coming.
Because of that bit of banter between Professors Hollstein and Lafontaine, I didn't notice that there was someone sitting on the professor's chair behind Professor Hollstein. It was a gorgeous woman with blonde-brown hair, who looked a bit shorter than our professor. She was holding Professor Hollstein by one hand, her other hand rubbing her eyes.
Professor Hollstein turned away from us and turned to who I can only assume is Laura, because of just how surprisingly soft she is with her. I strained my ears to try and listen to what she's telling her wife.
"You okay, cupcake? We can go home if you want to." Cupcake! She said cupcake!
"No," Laura said. "I can't take you away from these kids again. I'm still a bit sleepy but I can manage."
"Are you sure? Do you want to stay in the faculty lounge instead?"
"No, I want to be here with you." I see her squeeze our professor's hand and bring it to her face, and kiss it. I looked around and saw that the entire class was quiet, looking on with awe at how intimate this moment was.
Professor Hollstein gently kissed her forehead and turned back to us, clearing her throat.
"We have a guest today." She stepped away to show everyone who was behind her. "This is Laura, my wife."
The class erupted as it was apparently that famous Laura, the anchor for international news and current affairs and guest lecturer in the Journalism Department. I didn't recognise her; serves me right for not watching T.V.
"Shush. I'm giving you a pop quiz on transcendental idealism if you don't shut up. I know how much you guys hate Kant."
She was scolding us, but she was still holding Laura's hand.
"How did you guys meet?" One of my classmates shouted from the back row.
"I'll answer that never."
"We were roommates in college," Laura said, rubbing her thumb across our professor's knuckles. I thought Professor Hollstein was about to get mad, but she simply smiled warmly to her wife. Fucking soft.
I willed my classmates to ask more questions. This may be our only time to know more about their life, and I am so incredibly curious.
"How did you become girlfriends?" Another one of my classmates asked.
"Enough," Professor Hollstein said.
Still, Laura came to our rescue, with her sleepy eyes and mind-numbingly warm smiles to us.
"Your professor was such a sloppy girl to live with, but she grew on me. I had a crush on her about two months into knowing her. As you could probably tell, she's very popular, so I didn't think I had a chance. Turns out, she's been crushing on me the entire time, too! I really thought she hated my guts because she kept teasing me."
"So you're like an elementary schoolboy when you have a crush, professor?" Trent asked.
"Yes! She was so mean!" Laura said, laughing, bringing Professor Hollstein's hand to her face to cup her cheek.
"Cupcake, you're the mean one now, telling my students about all this." Our professor pouted as she whispered to her wife. She actually fucking pouted while calling her 'cupcake'! Unbelievable.
"I'm sorry, Carm. I can't help it, you're just so cute." She said 'Carm'! It's 'Carm' for her! I look around again and see my classmates all giddy about this whole interaction. It is so priceless, and I'm so sad for everyone who's absent today. They missed so much.
'Carm' turned back to us, her eyes sharp again. We all straightened our backs and sat up. We didn't make eye contact with her out of fear that she'd turn us into rocks.
"Alright, class. Have you all reviewed the reading assignment?"
"Yes, ma'am." We all answered in unison. We had troublemakers in our class, but when it's time for Professor Hollstein, we all do what is asked.
"Good." She turned back to her wife and shared a look with her. They seemed to have been having a moment in the middle of class yet again, and I'm starting to believe in love again after a very long time. She then turned back to us. "Is it okay if we have a lecture like this?"
By 'like this,' she obviously meant holding her wife's hand all the while. We all looked at each other and nodded, trying to hold back our grins. Everyone's absolutely giddy and I know it.
She proceeded with the class and called one of my classmates for recitation. It was hard to take her seriously, holding her wife's hand like that and never once letting go. She's so whipped. I wonder if Laura knows.
They looked at each other from time to time, Laura just sitting there behind her. I'm fucking shipping them so hard right now, and I know my classmates are, too, judging from the looks we all shared.
If they look that in love in the presence of so many people, I wonder how they are when it's just the two of them?
Now I know what we're betting on the next time she's late.