“Mr Sands had that messy rugged look that girls died for back in 2013, the stubbly-yet-strong beard, with a jaw line as sharp as a kitchen knife; he wore skinny jeans with Chelsea boots, and muscle-fitting shirts that showed off his tattoo sleeve – he was the coolest teacher I have ever set my eyes on.
He was passionate about everything he spoke about, he had me hanging off every word he said, he wasn’t like a regular 37 year old man, he was cool and had something about him that just made him so different, and so attractive.
He always spoke about his wife, and their son, about their little road trips off to the countryside at the weekend, and I couldn’t help but just feel completely jealous and bitter of what his wife had.
I knew he would never go near me, but I wouldn’t let that be the factor that stopped me.
I confided in my friend about how I felt about Mr Sands, and she just shut me down and told me how wrong it was that I was sexually attracted to my tutor, but she also knew that I always got what I wanted in life.
Whilst I ignored all of the warnings from my friends, I found myself staying behind during my lunch breaks, and at the end of college. Mr Sands understood me the way no other boy my age had. We would talk about indie bands, and classic films, nothing of the likes of Kanye West and the latest horror films that everyone my age was passionate about.
I still remember our first kiss like it was yesterday, it was a Wednesday evening in November, it was pitch black outside and I had stayed behind to use the computer programming software in Mr Sands’ room, he offered to buy me a Chinese whilst I finished my work, he sat next to me as we ate our food, and he began to tell me about an argument he had with his wife the night before, and that she had left him.
That was my chance! I leant across the chicken curry on the side between us and kissed him, as he pulled me closer I felt something switch inside me, I just wanted to be with him from that point.
As the weeks went by, we were developing a relationship, he had started renting a flat in town, after officially separating from his wife, and he would invite me around at the weekends to watch new films he had found, our relationship was finally there – I would clean the flat up, and eventually he cut me a spare key.
But we couldn’t tell anyone about our relationship, and I just wanted to scream it from the rooftops, I was so passionate about it and so in love.
As the two years passed many people commented on how I would flirt with Mr Sands in lessons, or that he looked at me differently to the other girls, but there was no way I was going to confirm anything, or hint at anything, we could lose our relationship, and he could lose his job. Nobody would ever be able to understand us, instead we would just be told that it was wrong and dirty, but it’s what we both wanted.
When I finished college I couldn’t help but just feel a sense of relief, during the summer we didn’t see each other much, instead he spent the summer with his son, and I focused on trying to find a job in the city, as September drew in I started my first job not far from Carnaby Street, and on the Friday of my first week Mr Sands met me for cocktails, and to have a proper catch up – I thought he was going to end it with me, find somebody younger than me, a new student that he wanted to be with.
Instead, he sat across from me with a flicker of the candle lit on the table in front of him shine across his face, he passed a small box over to me, with a key inside and asked me if I wanted to move in, I was so surprised, all day I had been dreading meeting him and now he was taking our relationship to the next step!
Of course, I agreed to it, and he posted a picture of me posing with the key on Facebook – and that was when it started. My family saw the pictures, my old teachers were commenting on it and I was getting constant messages from former classmates about it. We got a huge amount of backlash.
My parents contacted the police, they knew I had a secret relationship going on, but they just thought I was being silly hiding my first real boyfriend – they wanted me to tell the police that Mr Sands had groomed me and assaulted me, but that wasn’t the case at all.
But the fact that our relationship had been announced after I had left college and was 18 years-old, there was nothing they could do, and the investigation was closed.
Mr Sands on the other hand was advised to hand his notice in and nothing would happen, he decided to leave teaching and began working as a professional barber not far from where I worked.
For months we had anonymous messages of abuse sent to us, we had people sniggering about us as we walked through the town, and even had a phone call from a popular daytime television programme that often aired people’s dirty laundry out to the public to laugh about. Everyone knew about us, and everyone wanted to know the details.
It took us two years for our relationship to eventually be announced, and it was even worse when everyone knew about what was happening, when nobody knew about us, we were happy and we didn’t have anyone else peering into our relationship, and in the end it all got too much – we moved far away from London to a sleepy seaside town not far from Bournemouth.
It took us a while to settle into life away from home, but we were happy again, we made friends with all our neighbours, nobody would make comments about us, and everyone loved our little relationship.
We are currently preparing for the birth of our first child due to arrive in January 2018, and we could not be happier.
Many people still ask me now if I regret the relationship, how I was sort of “the other woman” for months whilst Mr Sands was married, and in any other case, that it would have been classed as child abuse and grooming, but I can sit here confidently and say that I found nothing wrong with our relationship then, and I still find nothing wrong with our relationship today, maybe if I was a lot younger, then yes, I would see something wrong, but I was in a consensual relationship with him.
Now, I am having my teacher’s baby, and we are happily in love.”
All names have been changed
Featured image by Victor Björkund via Flickr CC