Reader. Writer. Romantic.

A Promise to Milton

Prompt: Create a piece that connects to a previous piece you’ve done, either in this challenge or before it started.
Piece I’m responding to: http://www.wattpad.com/21382867-life-of-a-school-girl-poor-little-fly-on-the-wall
NOTE: This is like an epilogue to the piece above. For background information that you will need, please read the story above first.

As I stood to leave, Dr. Maxwell called me back, “Mira, do you remember what I said in class?”
I furrowed my brow. Class had meant a week ago. I had been occupied by my thesis defense to think about much else.
“Not really,” I admitted.
“No?” repeated Dr. Maxwell raising an eyebrow.
I shook my head, “I’m sorry. I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night let alone what happened almost a week ago.”
Dr. Maxwell laughed, “Milton? Does that ring a bell?”
I thought for another minute, then groaned, “I have to read the entire second book of Paradise Lost.”
Dr. Maxwell nodded, “And because I know you love it so, I want an essay on it, on my desk, on Monday morning.”
“Do you know what a weekend is?” I asked incredulous.
“Yes, they are the days that come at the end of a week on a calendar. There’s nothing that says I cannot assign you work, nor is there any rule saying that you can’t be writing an essay on those days,” said Dr. Maxwell simply.
“Can’t you give me a break? Or at least an extension?” I exclaimed, “I just finished defending my dissertation!”
Dr. Maxwell pretended to give it some thought before answering, “No.”
“Come on! Christian! Please!” I begged, “I need sleep! I can’t read all of book two and write an essay in one night! If I do, it’ll be no good!”

Dr. Maxwell sighed, “Wednesday evening. In my office.”

“Thank you!” I exclaimed, running over to give him a hug.

He brushed his hand against my leg, “Will you be free for dinner after?”

I smiled, “Of course.”

Dr. Maxwell nodded, “Congratulations again Mira. Good luck on that essay.”

I laughed, “Enjoy the rest of your weekend.”

***

When I got home, Valentine was stationed in front of the T.V. with a headset on and a controller in his hand. He looked as though he was in deep concentration and I suppose he was. I tiptoed by to grab some lunch, trying not to break his concentration, but I never did do quiet well.

“Hey, how’d it go?” asked Valentine.

“I’ll tell you when you’re not playing,” I answered rummaging through the fridge.

“I’m done,” said Valentine, tossing off the headset and turning off the console.

“Really? Weren’t you playing that with friends? Can you just leave them like that?” I asked doubtfully.

Valentine shrugged, “It’s just a game. How did it go?”

I shrugged, “Okay I guess. Made a total fool of myself at the start. I mean, after all I was late. And Dr. Maxwell was so furious with me.”

“Then what happened?” prompted Valentine.

“Then apparently I started seeing ghosts and recited my entire piece from memory,” I answered, closing the fridge, heading over to the stove to make a grilled cheese.

“What really?! That’s kinda scary!” exclaimed Valentine.

“Which part?” I asked.

“Well…both,” admitted Valentine.

“It was just my mom,” I said quietly.

“Oh…” said Valentine unsure how to respond.

“It’s fine…sorry for making it awkward,” I said.

We were silent for a few minutes as Valentine watched me grill the sandwich.

“Did you already eat?” I asked, flipping the sandwich.

Valentine nodded, “Yeah, I didn’t want you to have to worry about me once you got back.”

“Thanks,” I smiled, “I have a lot of work to do this weekend since I spent so much time perfecting my thesis.”

“I bet,” said Valentine dryly.

“Dr. Maxwell assigned the entire second book of Milton’s Paradise Lost plus an essay for me, due Wednesday. Plus I’ve still got a couple assignments left to complete for Monday. I’m so tired, I just want to sleep. UGH!!!!” I complained.

Valentine laughed, “Probably nothing I can—”

“I’m home!” declared my father grandly coming in.

I turned around and glared at him.

“What?!” exclaimed William.

“Don’t even pretend,” I said accusingly.

“Oh…crap…I missed it didn’t I?” asked William.

“Yeah, I’ll be upstairs,” I said taking my sandwich with me, “Writing an essay on Milton.”

“Was it any good?” I heard William ask Valentine.

“Should have gone,” was all Valentine said before I closed my door.

I pulled out my copy of Paradise Lost and began reading. It was late evening before I finished reading. I had forgotten dinner entirely, but I wasn’t that interested in food at this point. Exhaustion was hazing all abilities to function normally. I went to sleep though there was still so much to be done.

***

I woke up early the next morning and got straight to work. The weekend was too short for everything I had to do and before I knew it, it was Monday and I was assigned even more work. I knew I had to get to the Milton essay, but I just wasn’t feeling any motivation to write it. I sat down and started my first draft on Tuesday night. Dr. Maxwell was going to kill me for the crap I was writing.

“Here,” I said, handing Dr. Maxwell my paper in class the next day.

“I said you could give it to me in the evening,” said Dr. Maxwell looking up at me as he was setting up for class that day.

“I have classes till six thirty today,” I said, “There’s no point to hold onto it. I’m scared I’m going to crease the paper anyways.”

“Alright,” nodded Dr. Maxwell stuffing the paper into his briefcase.

I was so tired, but happy I had finally got that paper out of the way.

“Meet me in my office when you’re done your class,” whispered Dr. Maxwell.

I nodded and slumped into my seat.

***

“Mirabelle!” called a voice as I made my way to Dr. Maxwell’s office.

I spun around and did a double take. Why was my father at the university? And more importantly, how did he find his way to the English department.

“What?” I called back.

“I heard that you scored very high on your work,” said William, “Congratulations. I was thinking we should go out to celebrate your success and mine.”

“What did you go back to write?” I asked.

“I call it Macbeth!” said William proudly.

“Oh…I see. Well dinner tonight is not possible, I already have a commitment,” I said.

“Oh? And what would that be?” asked William.

“Dinner with my supervisor,” I said flatly.

“Who? Christian?” asked William surprised.

“Yeah,” I nodded.

“Well, why don’t we make it a family thing? Invite Natasha and Valentine and all celebrate your success together,” suggested William.

“I’ll have to talk to Christian about it,” I grumbled, leading the way.

I knocked on his door and he looked up at me in the same way he always did.

“Come in,” he said.

“I brought my dad, I hope you don’t mind,” I stated.

“I thought we were having dinner together,” said Dr. Maxwell confused.

“Yeah, so did I. My father suggested that you invite Natasha along and we all go out together,” I repeated.

“Uh…no. William, I mean no offense, but uh, I’d like to share this evening with Mirabelle. You know just between supervisor and student…I mean…” said Dr. Maxwell stumbling.

“Excuse me?” asked William raising an eyebrow.

“Okay, what I mean to say is that we have worked so hard on this and that it was an effort that only the two of us put in. Therefore, it only seems right that we share this private victory together before we share it with our families, does that make any sense?” clarified Dr. Maxwell.

Dr. Maxwell sure had a way with words.

“Alright, that sounds reasonable. How about a BBQ at our house this weekend to celebrate?” suggested William.

“Certainly,” agreed Dr. Maxwell smiling.

He rose, grabbing his coat and ushering out of his office.

“I’ll be home sorta late,” I told William, “Don’t worry about it, Christian can give me a ride home.”

William nodded, “No problem. Enjoy your dinner. Where are you taking her Christian?”

“Earls,” answered Dr. Maxwell.

William looked at him in surprise, but said nothing.

***

Away from prying eyes in a place where no one knew us, Dr. Maxwell finally relaxed and became his affectionate self.

“You know you spoil me,” I whispered, as we walked from the car.

“I love to see your reaction,” returned Dr. Maxwell, “Besides, this is nothing. Wait until you see what I have planned for you later.”

My jaw dropped, did he just say what I thought he said.

“Isn’t Natasha at home?” I asked.

“Who said anything about going to my place?” laughed Dr. Maxwell.

“You paid for a hotel room?” I asked.

“Of course,” said Dr. Maxwell.

“Oh Christian!” I exclaimed.

“Would you prefer the backseat of my car?” asked Dr. Maxwell.

“Well, no, but…you don’t have to spend that kind of money on me,” I said.

“I want to,” reassured Dr. Maxwell.

Dr. Maxwell had previously made reservations. That was why it was so important my father, brother and his wife, Natasha, couldn’t come along. We were seated off from the main “traffic” in a place we could enjoy our dinner in relative peace. After dinner, Dr. Maxwell drove us to Hotel Alma, situated on the university campus.

With the door safely locked behind us, Dr. Maxwell lost all restraint, pinning me to the bed and attacking my neck with his kisses.

“Christian,” I whispered softly, “Your suit’s too nice to get wrinkled, take it off will you?”

Dr. Maxwell smirked, tossing his suit jacket and tie onto a nearby chair. He undid his pants and tossed them aside as well. I reached up and helped him undo the buttons on his dress shirt and discarded that too.

“Much better,” I teased.

“Your turn,” he returned, tugging at my blouse.

I slipped it over my head as he tossed it onto his pile of clothes.

***

It was close to two in the morning by the time Dr. Maxwell had dropped me off. I tiptoed inside and hoped that I wasn’t disturbing anyone. My father, being the creep he was, was still sitting in his study writing.

“Why are you home so late?” he questioned.

“We got caught up in a conversation about work,” I lied.

“You’re always caught up in your work. You and Christian both,” sighed William.

“I guess that’s why he’s my supervisor,” I shrugged.

“I guess,” repeated William, “Or maybe because you belong together.”

“Excuse me what?!” I exclaimed, “Dad! You can’t just say things like that.”

“Don’t think I don’t know,” smiled William, “I’ve written plenty on human nature, I know.”

“Yours are just generalizations…I’m not just another story,” I argued.

“You know I’m right Mirabelle,” said William, “You just won’t admit it. Or maybe you can’t. There is so much to worry about I know. And I’m not condoning the fact that you are helping Christian cheat on Natasha, but as your father, I just want to see you happy.”
“Not condoning,” I laughed, “You write all about the mess of relationships. There must be some truth behind your words.”

William shrugged and gave me a small smile, “Go to bed, it’s getting late.”

***

Like every day and week before, time flew by faster than I expected and it was the weekend. Valentine agreed to stay home and make the place presentable while I went out grocery shopping with William for all the essentials. Dinner was to be served at six thirty, but William had asked for Dr. Maxwell and Natasha to be at the house at four for some mingling. They were never early or late. They always arrived precisely on time.

“Hey!” I exclaimed opening the door for them.

“Congratulations!” exclaimed Natasha giving me a hug, “I heard you ranked first or is that just Christian exaggerating?”

I laughed, “I don’t think they have rankings, but I scored pretty high.”

Dr. Maxwell and I exchanged a look as he passed by. Natasha didn’t notice, she headed straight for William.

“Hey, Will, heard you wrote up another piece. Macbeth is it?” called out Natasha.

“Yeah!” exclaimed William excitedly.

Bragging ensued. I didn’t care to listen. I had heard it a hundred times. Dad always threw a “party” after he published something so that he’d get praised. And Natasha was such a suck up. Or maybe she was flirting with him. Either way, she always seemed to be interested in what he was doing.

“Can I get you something to drink?” I asked dully.

Dr. Maxwell laughed, “Some things never change do they?”

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