Christmas Love – A shy teacher falls for her new assistant

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I love my job, I want to be absolutely clear about that. But sometimes being a teacher for second grade is beyond frustrating and there have been moments where I thought I would quit right then and there. I must have been too vocal about my struggles because after a few months into the school year, my bosses hired a paraeducator to assist in my classroom.

For those who are unfamiliar with the teacher world, a paraeducator (para for short) is a fancy title for teacher assistant. There’s a lot more to it than simply handing out papers when the teacher doesn’t want to, but I’m not going to get into the depths of it all. The most important thing is that when Caleb arrived, everything changed.

Having just returned from the way-too-short Thanksgiving break, the weather was starting to turn so it was a brisk November morning when the Principal walked into my room. I had just finished passing out the morning work papers the students would be working on when they arrived and was just about to sit down and finally drink my coffee.

“Good morning Angela,” The Principal greeted. Normally when the students weren’t around, all the adults used first names.

“Good morning,” I responded kindly, flashing a smile as I grabbed my Starbucks cup. I was about to speak when I saw the man behind my boss.

I don’t want to say meeting Caleb for the first time left me speechless. It did, but not for the reasons you would think. It was moreso because I was just not sure what to say and I always freeze up when confused.

Standing behind and slightly off to the side of the principal was a rather handsome man. I couldn’t lie even if I wanted to, the man was damn good looking. Shaved head, a well maintained beard full of dark hair, light coffee colored skin and brown eyes that seemed to just stare straight into my soul. He wasn’t big or exceptionally muscular, but it was clear he took care of himself, physically.

“This is Caleb Parker, new para we hired.” The principal stated, stepping aside to let the other man walk into the room. “I sent you an email that he’d be with you…” I guess my face had a confused look because the principal’s tone shifted into worry. I quickly averted my eyes from Caleb and formed a smile.

“No. Yes!” I fumbled over my word as I let my brain process what I was trying to say. “I did see the email, I just forgot about it in the moment.” I said before sipping from my cup. The principal chuckled at that.

“Good thing Winter break is coming up then, give you some time to recharge that noggin’.” The principal was corny, but it made me laugh regardless and I nodded my head in agreement. “Alright, well, Caleb here is yours to do with. Any questions just come find me.” The principal gave Caleb a pat on the shoulder and stepped out of the room.

“Go easy on me, Miss Reyes.” Caleb remarked.

“Oh it’s not me that you have to worry about,” I responded. We both laughed and I looked over the man in front of me once more before taking another sip of my drink.

Right then and there I knew I was in trouble. He had a nice laugh, infectious even, and he already knew my name. Probably because he saw my name plate above my door, but that just meant he paid attention to details. That was a good sign that he was going to be a good assistant. But that wasn’t the issue I was having. As I looked over at Caleb, I was suddenly feeling self-conscious.

I’m not going to say I’m this bombshell of a teacher, the kind that plagues every male’s fantasies. But I took pride in how I looked, I took care of myself and worked out every morning, wore outfits that looked professional but were still cute, and maintained a decent figure. I had had plenty of dates in my 32 years of life, even almost got married one time before. I had curly light brown hair that flowed to my shoulders, brown eyes, and olive skin.

All in all, I considered myself attractive without being conceited about it. Unfortunately, I remained spectacularly single. Meaning I couldn’t keep a guy no matter how hard I try. See, I have the absolute worst anxiety when it comes to men. I don’t know where it stems from, or why, but despite everything I do that is supposed to help it, the works out and confidence boosting outfits, my anxiety just never leaves. I’ve had plenty of suitors, single dads and co-workers mostly, but I always made it a point to not date within my bubble of of work because I didn’t want them to see me as the mental wreck that I am. Which made my initial attraction to Caleb even more worrisome.

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