Chapter I

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February 1, 2016

First days were always—to me that is—sort of nostalgic, especially seeing as it was the first day back on campus after a two-month break doing close to nothing, at least, nothing relevant.

I wonder though, can someone be nostalgic over something that has yet to happen? I am not quite sure. Even so, I hoped this year would be different.

I still remember my first year.

Getting accepted into law school at seventeen while all your freshman-year classmates were at least two years older than you was not exactly a bed of roses.

To start with, back then I was not at legal age yet to drink, so they basically looked at me and saw a goody two-shoes, not to mention how they thought I was one of those know-it-all kind of student, and, therefore, their direct rival at anything related to their career.

How could I be that at seventeen though? I mean, does anyone know what they want to be at that age? I felt scared shitless, I probably shook more than a chihuahua stepping inside the classroom on my first day ever of law school.

I still remember my first class vividly and that by itself should say enough.

I had the not-so-great luck to get one of the scariest professors not in one of my courses, but rather in two out of four, and not to mention the two that did matter further on.

Let me just say, Political Science and Introduction to Law Studies were difficult enough to grasp by their own, but with a professor who would look at you with deep blue eyes, a stern face, an evil smirk and reeked of expensive cigarettes even from three rows away, well, that made the possibility of failing those two lessons a whole lot more intimidating.

Professor Nero was the typical lecturer only applied students sought to learn from, which meant every single person in that class on my first day wanted a chance to be noticed by him.

It certainly did not help my case when only five minutes into class—after he terrified us about the nth ways of failing his course—, the first question he dared to utter was directed to me by my full name.

I do not remember what his inquiry that day was, but even now, three years later, whenever we cross paths and he acknowledge my presence, it still sends a creepy chill all over my spine.

He was and still is, a great mentor and dear friend to me, but his military past blended with the rigid upbringing in various boarding schools, ended up being the perfect foundation to the cold and heartless demeanor usually associated to challenging professors.

Now, five semesters later, over twenty courses taken and passed, and I still felt as lost and uncertain of whether law school was really what I wanted.

I felt scared of disappointing my mother, worried I had wasted the sour-earned money my parents had spent on my education, and petrified of discovering that now, with twenty years on my shoulders to call my own, I did not have a clue on what to do with my life.

Everyone looks at me and see someone collected and with their life figured out, yet inside my brain cannot stop overthinking every step I ever took in order to get here. I did not see those qualities in myself most people told me I seemed to have, but I most certainly saw it in her the second she walked inside the classroom.

Her presence took hold of every single person inside that room, that kind of power over people was inebriating. She reminded me of a fox looking right at its prey and still, even though the prey knows the intentions of the fox, it cannot help but stop and admire the beauty of the predator until it becomes too late to flee.

I had my sunglasses still on—this damn migraine just will not budge—and the computer screen blocking my face from whoever walked in, both of which helped the not so discreet movement of my eyes to go unnoticed.

For the first time in five semesters, I felt like one of my classmates from freshman year, I was feeling both envious and insecure over someone else's presence.

I had decided this morning that comfort was more important than looks, so I opted for a plaid flannel button-up shirt, jeans, and some sneakers, which was not the most suited outfit for someone on my semester. That was because we were all expected to dress like that.

She had a tight black sheath dress with yellow stilettos and a matching trapeze bag, and I could not help but sink in my seat and hope not to be noticed so she would not take the one seat right beside me, because I knew most professors would probably comment on my choice of clothing and make a harsh comparison between mines and something like hers.

Lucky seemed to be by my side earlier today—or so I thought, for a whole thirty seconds I may add.

Instead of sitting beside me or in any of the other seats still unoccupied, she walked straight to the front of the class, discarding her things on the professor's desk, and apologizing for her five-minute tardiness before starting hers and the subject's introductions.

That must have been the precise moment I started feeling like one of those eager students who desperately desire to own their professor's attention. Once again, I had to compare myself to my freshman-year classmates.

I had made a conscious decision earlier before my first class to sit on the front row close to the door, because I knew it meant professors would still assume, I am one of those applied students, yet I'd be able to fuss on my computer just in case they ended up being another dull old man.

During my first semester I had undoubtedly gotten my fair share of those professors and so I knew how to operate around their tedious lectures, but from now on I would be damn sure to take the troublesome effort of waking up earlier than my usual just so I would be the one sitting right in front of her.

If she can be alluring just by explaining how Family Law could be interesting and what she had planned for the course, I can only imagine how well she is going to do once she does start to teach it.

For the very first time in three years, a professor made me feel like their course was more than just learning how to snatch your client's money 101 or how to get your playboy clients out of incarceration. For she had made it seem as if finding a favorable result to a client was not half as important, as making sure said result did not turn out to harm the children involved.

She had a more humane view of things, which was one I had yet to learn myself, seeing as, for me, the whole profession, and even law school itself, seemed to be more like a never-ending music video of the Guns N' Roses' Welcome to The Jungle.

This first day was promising to be the possible light at the end of my tunnel of doubts, not to mention the light was beautiful, sexy, and inebriating.


If only I had known back then you would end up being exactly like the fox, maybe the scars wouldn't be all over me now.

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