It’s TRUE! @devikafernando and @avenger-nerd-mom are posting a SEQUEL for Educating Thalia, involving Professor Hiddleston and Professor Evans! In Being Thalia, the two rivals are still vying for their right to claim the lovely Thalia Bareo. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago is all grown up now, holding down a job, continuing her studies and freelancing as a consultant for museums around the world. Story updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Warning: As a whole, this work contains adult content. If you proceed you have agreed that you are willing to see such content. Each chapter will not be coded with individual warnings. The overall story contains no hidden triggers.
Summary: Thalia has an off-day, feeling out of sorts, and retreats to her office to let her mind wander.
Word count: 970
This opening chapter follows the events in the one-shot story, The Bet, originally posted in August 2018.
If you are new to the series and characters, click here to the beginning of Educating Thalia.
“Why are old lovers able to become friends? Two reasons:
They never truly loved each other, or they love each other still.”
Whitney Otto- How to Make an American Quilt
2020, Early Spring
Trouncing down the stairs, Thalia momentarily stops. Two students leaning against the window ledge are arguing points for class, one clutching a copy of Coriolanus to her chest.
A cold ache fills her heart, as it always does when her former professor and former lover, Tom Hiddleston, crosses her mind. “Fuck him,” she mumbles under her breath, hitting her fist on the bannister. She waves it off when the young woman asks if she’s okay. She sighs and continues her path down the hallway. Unlocking the door to her small office, she slams it behind her. Her love of languages and Shakespeare lost their shine when her light left. Tom took it away when he walked out of her life, nearly two years ago.
Plopping in the chair, she props her dusty boots up on the desk, swiveling the chair to face the windows, looking out across campus. The trees are beginning to bud, and soon things will be green again. Moving a file, the tennis ball she keeps on her desk rolls towards her and she picks it up and begins bouncing it against the wall. Methodically her thoughts drift as she gets lost in the repetition.
Slamming around their small apartment in Paris, Tom throws his clothes into the two large suitcases on the bed, the sheets still rumpled from their lovemaking the day before.
“Tom! It’s not like that! Dammit, why you gotta be such a hard ass?” She shouts back at him.
“America, Thalia? I thought we were done with that? I thought you let it go?” Tom’s voice is tight and controlled, his accent clipped. He opens the top drawer, reaching in and scooping out all the clean socks and underwear. Slamming it shut, the clock he hung just days before rattles against the stucco wall. “That we had a life here, together.”
“It’s just for a few months, a semester.” She replies, stepping in front of him.
He pushes around her. “And right back in Evans’ bed, no doubt. Of all the Ivy League schools that want you, offer you teaching positions, why do you think they keep calling you? It’s him, isn’t it?”
“Tom, I haven’t seen him in months. I’ve been here with you, you fool.” She rests on the end of the bed, trying to make light of his anger. She shuts out her thoughts and feelings about Chris cancelling their Spring Break plans at the last possible minute because he’d met someone new…
“Don’t bloody lie to me, woman. I know you still talk. I hear you on the phone with him, and his little girl. I know you still send her cards and gifts.”
Thalia nods. She can’t deny it. She made one promise ages ago, and that was to never abandon Avery. And she held true to her word. The relationship with her other former lover and professor, Chris Evans, had cooled, but they had still remained friends. She says so out loud, but it falls on deaf ears while Tom roots around in the closet, pulling out shirts and dress clothes, tossing them haphazardly on the bed.
“So you’ve taken a job at our old school, where he still works? Where he still pines for you? And you want to keep me?”
“He’s moved on, Tom. If you’ll stop for one damn minute-”
“I don’t give a rat’s arse about him. I care about you and how you let him get to you after all this time, Thalia. It’s too much.” He stands in the doorway, seething with a frightful energy she’s never seen before. Another moment of his rage passes through her thoughts, when he found out she had been seeing Evans. But this fury is unmatched; there’s a finality in it. He throws his hands up in the air. “You know what? I’m done. I’m fucking done. I’ll be back to get the rest of my things tonight, when I know you’re teaching your class. I’ll change my flight, and head back to London early.”
“Tom, you’re being ridiculous. My dad is sick, you gotta understand that,” she pleads. “I have to be back in the States, closer to home. Field Museum wouldn’t hire me, and I can’t just quit working and go home. I have college debt and bills to pay. It’s just a damn job,” Thalia says, throwing a pillow to the ground. “It puts me closer to home, closer to my dad. You don’t have to leave,” she says, anguish choking her throat.
“I do. I can’t fucking stay here a moment longer, be in your presence, knowing you still love him. I won’t do it anymore, Thalia. I can’t. Since you’re not ready to grow up and give up your other toys, I’ll take one away. I’m gone.”
She catches the ball in her hand, gripping it tightly. He’d meant what he said. Other than the occasional professional email, Tom Hiddleston was no longer in her life. He wasn’t even someone she could call a friend anymore. He had totally cut her out. The wounds had been deep.
When she’d first accepted the teaching position at their former place of employment, to cover another professor’s maternity leave, returning to the arms of Professor Chris Evans had not been her plan. She had made a point to stand on her own and it had worked well, for the first few months. Chris had moved on, a new girlfriend taking up space in his bed. But he and Thalia had been able to resume their friendship, and Thalia enjoyed spending time with his young daughter. The girl was so inquisitive, beautiful eyes and a sharp wit, like her father. When she was offered a more permanent teaching job at the university, she had nothing in Paris to return to, so she’d gladly accepted.
Copyright © 2019 avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando. All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom