Calvin started the roll call. She had a few more names before he got to her. Deep breaths. He’s just an old friend.
“Stella Hocking,” Calvin called. He looked around the room until he saw Stella’s hand slightly raised. He looked at her, looked back down at the name and then looked at her again before he went onto the next name. Stella couldn’t tell if he recognized her or not. He seemed to, with that double take, but gave no other indication that he knew who she was. She cracked opened her first day of school notebook and prepared to take notes. It was what she was here for. It was a long class, especially long because she was having a hard time staying on task. Her mind kept wandering back to Calvin and high school and college and what might have been.
Get a grip! He’s my professor and I am no longer a twitterpated teenager. Pay attention.
Her pep talk lasted an entire five minutes and then the class was over. Time flies when you’re not paying attention.
“Stella Hocking,” called Calvin. “Could you please stay after a few minutes?”
“Sure,” stuttered Stella.
“Thanks, the rest of you I’ll see on Wednesday,” said Calvin.
Stella sat in her seat and waited while people stormed the front podium to try to add or drop the class or whatever else they needed from Calvin. Kids were moving out the doors and there were no more coming in. There must not be a class after ours since it’s so close to lunch time. Before she knew it, she and Calvin were the only ones left in the room.
Calvin began approaching her desk. He had a big smile across his face. “Stella Hocking. Am I right in assuming that you are the one and only, very famous Stella Smith from Wilbur Cross High School? The most fabulous head cheerleader who cheered on the Governor’s basketball team as we won the championship game in 1974?”
Stella was smiling now. She’d forgotten about Calvin and the championship basketball team. If she were honest, she’d forgotten about Calvin until she’d seen him in the front of her classroom, but she remembered now.
Calvin gave her a smile and went on, “You can’t possibly be the Stella Smith I sent off to college almost 40 years ago? You look way too young to be that Stella Smith!”
“Ahh, Calvin, it’s good to see you again after all these years,” said Stella.
“Yes, it’s great to see you again too. How’d you end up here in my class?” asked Calvin.
“I’m here to finish up my degree. I’m in the Eli Whitney students program. This is my first class.”
“Well that sounds very interesting. What’s your next class?” asked Calvin.
“I actually have a break for lunch and then another class at 1:00.”
“Great. Let’s go get lunch. I’d love to get caught up on what’s happened in the last 40 years.”
“I think that might take longer than an hour!” Stella replied.
“Well, let’s start with lunch and see how much we get through. It’s my treat. I know how you poor college students are always looking for a free lunch. Let’s go,” said Calvin and he swept her along toward the cafeteria.
Check back tomorrow to see how lunch goes!