I ran down the hallway, doing my best to get out of the building as quickly as possible. Charlie had told me that if I ever showed my face here again, he’d kick my ass. As self-critical as I often was, I did not think that my ass needed kicking, and so had resolved to stay away. Despite what I had thought were my best efforts, one look at her face and I went running back into her arms. Only this time I came running back and slammed into Charlie, which constituted much more than showing my face.
I could hear Charlie’s cursing echoing down the hallway behind me. I could also hear what sounded disturbingly like the clatter of a metal baseball bat bouncing off the walls. When I reached the end of the hallway, I paused and risked a glance back. Charlie burst around the corner, waving a metal baseball bat around like he trying to make a tornado with it.
I took off running again, taking the stairs right in front of me and vaulting over the railing onto the next set of stairs as I reached the bottom. I kept this up for 10 more flights of stairs, getting a little further ahead each time. On the ground floor, I had almost two whole flights of stairs on him. As quickly as I could in order to preserve my advantage, I darted down one of the three hallways that branched out from the foyer I was in and ran until I turned the corner. Pressing my back against the wall, I looked around for someplace to hide. Twenty feet down, there was a janitorial closest.
Moving as quickly and as quietly as I could, I slipped down the hallway and tested the knob. Locked, Damn! I gave the door a sharp tug in frustration and, to my surprise, it swung open a few feet. I ducked inside the door and pulled it closed behind me, making sure to listen for the click! that told me it was completely closed.
Crouching behind a pile of rags, I took my cell phone out of my pocket and silenced it. The last thing I needed was for my it to go off and give away my position. I can’t believe I’m hiding in the janitor’s closet from Charlie. God, it’s not like I slept with his wife or anything…
Just then, I could hear the heavy tread of Charlie’s booted feet. I held my breath, not trusting the door to hide the noise of my ragged breathing. “Where’d you go, you bastard professor?” I heard. “When I find you I’m going to rip you open and smear you all over the sidewalks!” The footsteps got ever closer. He was moving slowly now, as if he could sense that I was nearby and he didn’t want to spook me into running again.
I started and nearly fell over when the doorknob jiggled. I waited, breath held, hoping that the door stayed closed and my hiding place remained undetected. I’m getting too old for this… was all that ran through my head. The jiggling stopped. The heavy steps moved away and I sighed with relief. This is the last time I sleep with one of my students…