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    comicfan
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

A prompt a week - 13. Dr. Barron's Problem - Prompt 323

When a former student shows up at final times to talk Dr. Barron thinks nothing of it. Little does he know the problem he is about to have dropped in his lap.

“Can I talk to you?”

I looked up to find Tina standing in my office doorway.

“Sure. What’s up?”

Tina entered and closed the door behind her. She had always been a very conscience student and was due to graduate in less than a week. I knew she had big plans for her future and was already accepted for her master’s degree.

“Dr. Barron, um, this isn’t really my place to say it, but someone has to do something.”

I sat wondering exactly what Tina could possibly be worried about. I watched as she adjusted her legs and kept playing with the edge of her shirt. This is the girl I’d watched take on the president of the college to get new classes in women’s study, an equal seat for the female teachers on the board, and demanded that a LGB club be formed on school after her close friend tried to commit suicide when he was bullied by the football team he was on. Seeing her nervous was not the Tina I was accustomed to dealing with.

“Tina, you don’t usually take the quiet route. So what is the problem?”

She blushed before she finally looked up from the floor.

“I’m sorry. If it is something for me I’m usually in good shape.” She looked down and I heard her rapid intake of breath. “Travis is the problem.”

I sat back and had to think. I only had two students named Travis. Travis Robinson was the school’s star basketball player. Tall, thin, and whiz on the court, Travis was a walking God with more than his share of women and men waiting in line for a chance to climb into his bed. Then there was Travis White. Travis was a very intelligent young man, but he hid. I don’t think I’d ever seen him in class where he wasn’t in a hoodie that looked three sizes too big. He wore a cap with the hood pulled over it, and glasses. If you could get him to speak he was always on point, but to say he was shy, well that was something of an understatement. I still remember the in his freshman year teaming him with Tina on a project. It had started their friendship.

“Well, that has to be Mr. White. What is his problem?”

“You do know he has been accepted to the Master’s program here. He is going to be a teaching assistant.”

I was surprised. I’d only ever had Travis in two classes. The first was my Introduction to World Literature which fulfilled a basic one hundred level English class that had more students taking it for that then for the basic knowledge I was trying to give for those who might be building on it. The other was my Short Story course. Both classes he had aced, but he was never one of those who took time to find his way to my office or spend time when I held the coffee house readings. To find that he was an English major and planned to go on with his education was news to me.

“I know you’re not the head of the department, but you are usually very friendly with the students.” Tina bit her bottom lip as she looked at me. “You have been so helpful and offered a lot of great advice to so many of us.”

Now it was my turn to blush. “Thank you. All I ever do is try to help my students. Sometimes just having someone who will listen and not judge is what they need most.”

“Travis has become close. To be honest, he is like the brother I’ve never had. But there is something ….”

I watched as trailed off. I wasn’t sure if she was afraid to expose a confidence or what.

“Dr. Barron, may I ask you a question?”

“Of course.”

“No, I mean a personal question.”

I sat back unsure where this was going. “You can ask me anything … I do however reserve the right not to answer.”

“Are you gay?”

I couldn’t help but laugh. I would have thought in a school as small as this that my personal life would be well known.

“I’m sorry.” Tina turned a deep shade of red and was starting to stand up.”

“Sit down. You didn’t offend me.” I had to pause while I tried to control my laughter. “Yes, I’m gay. I came to the college eight years ago with my ex. After I had been here for almost nine months we broke up. It was sort of the college scandal. He was found in bed with five people and none of them were me.”

Tina sat wide eyed across from me. “Oh.” She was still beet red, but now she seemed a bit calmer.

I knew that there was an article in the local paper and even the college paper had a clip. There had been a fire in an apartment a few blocks from the college. When the firemen had to break into the apartment two floors above the fire and they couldn’t be heard over the loud music playing. They finally found everyone in the bedroom in the middle of a gay orgy. Things probably wouldn’t have been too bad but one of the guys was the Mayor’s son. The mayor had run on his perfect family image and his devotion as upstanding member of his church. The scandal about his son soon had people looking into his background where it was soon discovered that he had two mistresses and an illegitimate child. Politics, being what they are soon had other scandals about him coming to life. I ended up as a footnote in it. This would be the first graduating class not to have to deal with the constant news updates where the mayor and his family had their dirty laundry hung out for all to see.

“Don’t worry. I just expected it to be common knowledge. So why did you ask if I was gay?”

“Why didn’t you offer to become the Teacher Advisor then for my club?”

I had a feeling we had just gone off topic, but figured I would have to wait till she got back to her real reason for coming to my office.

“Because Lisa, I mean Ms. Ludwig wanted to do it. You do realize I am not the only gay person on staff?”

“I know, just figured …” Tina shook her head for a moment. She sat up straighter and looked me right in the eye. “Travis is gay.”

“Okay.”

“That is part of his problem. He has come out to so few people, and is terrified to tell his parents.”

“Coming out is different for everyone, Tina. For some it is very easy, and for others the people who have said they love them cut them out of their lives forever more.”

Tina nodded and bit her lip again. “Yeah, but that isn’t the real issue.”

I raised my eyebrow and waited for Tina to continue.

“He has liked someone since his first day here. He is pretty sure the guy is gay too, but figured he there wasn’t much he could do because he was younger.”

“Younger and older aren’t always an issue. Problem would be who he had his crush on. I mean there are a number of things he would need to know like whether they were single, what his crush’s taste in men was, and all of the regular human relationship issues. I mean if he goes for it most of those will be addressed.” I shook my head as a wild idea passed through it. “His only real problem would be if it was with a professor. That would be totally unprofessional.”

Tina nodded. “Yeah. Good thing he can’t have him as professor.” She smiled and stood up. “Thank you Dr. Barron.”

I watched as Tina swooped out of my office. I wondered if I was ever that young and turned back to finish grading the last few papers from my Advanced Greek Literature course. Time seemed to fly and soon I realized I needed to put the light on in my office or I wouldn’t be able to see. I had just clicked on the light when there was a knock on my door. I looked up to see a strange young man standing in my doorway.

“May I help you?” I couldn’t help but notice how his tight tee shirt showed off his chest and arms. His curly blond hair still looked wet and there was a slight smile to his lips. He slipped his hands into his back pockets sort of putting his body on display for me.

“Dr. Barron, I wonder if you have time for me?”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t think I know you.”

The gentleman smiled brightly. “Guess I didn’t make much of an impression on you. I’m Travis White.”

So what do you think of Dr. Barron's problem? This is based off prompt 323 which asked the reader to use following as the first line of the story - “Can I talk to you?” Comments are always welcomed. If you enjoyed my little prompt story feel free to click the like button. Thank you for reading. :)

Copyright © 2017 comicfan; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Travis is sure getting noticed now ;) I'm sure there's a way to work around the problem. I'd love to know what happens next. Nice story. :)

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On 05/17/2014 09:24 AM, Valkyrie said:
Travis is sure getting noticed now ;) I'm sure there's a way to work around the problem. I'd love to know what happens next. Nice story. :)
I'm glad you liked it. I just know from my master's level classes the massive change you see in the guys from freshman to going into these courses.
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As long as Dr. Barron has nothing to do with Travis as a student, I don't see a problem. Since Travis is going for a Masters, he is no longer an undergraduate.

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On 05/17/2014 10:16 AM, avidreadr said:
As long as Dr. Barron has nothing to do with Travis as a student, I don't see a problem. Since Travis is going for a Masters, he is no longer an undergraduate.
It is a case of Dr. Barron being a little gun shy. He was already part of a major scandal due to his ex. Of course, Travis isn't his student and is making his intentions known now.
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There´s one thing wrong with your story, it´s too short, I want to know what happens to Travis and Dr. Barron :P

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On 05/29/2014 01:38 AM, Suvitar said:
There´s one thing wrong with your story, it´s too short, I want to know what happens to Travis and Dr. Barron :P
Well that is Dr. Barron's problem isn't it? :lol:
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Ooohh, nice :P

Well, Travis seems to have gotten over his shy and hiding stage, and I think Dr. Barron is more than ready for romance, so what's the problem ? :lol:

But I'd love to see your version of a sequel, even if it's probably a lot more innocent than my images right now.

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On 10/26/2014 10:07 PM, Timothy M. said:
Ooohh, nice :P

Well, Travis seems to have gotten over his shy and hiding stage, and I think Dr. Barron is more than ready for romance, so what's the problem ? :lol:

But I'd love to see your version of a sequel, even if it's probably a lot more innocent than my images right now.

Thank you Timothy. I usually do play it rather tame with my stories. :lol: At least until you read some of the rather more racey ones.
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