„Entangled” by Maria V. Ciletti is not just a coming out of the closet novel for an almost 18 years old graduate in love with her former teacher, but it has a certain profoundness of inter-human relationships, I mean treason : how a woman that supposed to have loved another woman harms her by risking her job as a teacher, patience : on how a young girl develops into a young woman, yet her feelings still persist, judgemental : on how some Christian small groups treat homosexuality, mainly lesbianism.

 entangled by maria v ciletti

Hayden Crissman is  the almost 18 years old graduate who is eager to find a purpose in life after highschool, as for the summer she leaves her native town for Eerie to work in a fast food with her best friend, Cali. Apparently, accidentally, she and Cali drop down at the Zone, the local gay bar, yet Cali is there for a purpose and Hayden surprisingly sees there Miss Spencer, her former teacher, who looks pretty bad, disappointed and hopeless. Hayden is secretly in love with Abbey Spencer and saves her from embarrassing situations quite often lately. She sees Miss Spencer often now as Cali wants to go more often at the Zone to see Joey, who happens to be another woman.

my first love is my teacher

Dear Diary,

I had the dream again: The dream where Miss Spencer and I are walking on a beach and the sun is setting. The sky is ruby red, and I can feel the warm breeze on my skin. We walk out on a sandbar, and Miss Spencer reaches over and takes my hand. She turns toward me and looks into my eyes, then she leans in and kisses me. The kiss is soft and sweet, and I don’t want her to stop…and then I wake up. Why would I be having these dreams, dear diary? Does this mean I’m a lesbian? I don’t want to be gay. I don’t want to be a freak.

 

„The dream about Miss Spencer disturbed her because it aroused feelings in her she didn’t understand. Why wasn’t she like all the other girls in her class who were boy crazy? Was it just general admiration or a schoolgirl crush that she felt? Wasn’t she too old for that? And anyway, why Miss Spencer? If she was going to have a crush on a teacher, wouldn’t it be on Mr. Gennero? All the girls, including her best friend, Calli Karra, drooled over Mr. Gennero. His dark Italian looks set many a schoolgirl’s heart aflame. But not Hayden’s. She had other feelings—feelings she thought separated her from everyone else—and those feelings were so frustrating that they kept her up some nights.

Although Hayden was shy, especially around boys, she did date boys. Well, a boy, if you count going to the spring formal with Jimmy Robson. The date ended badly when she pulled away from him as he tried to kiss her in the backseat of his dad’s Chevy Suburban. What was she supposed to do? His dad was right there in the front seat. It’s not that she didn’t like boys. They could be a lot of fun, like her friends Nick and Don. Nick, who sat in front of her in history class, could make her laugh until tears ran down her cheeks. Don was her lab partner in biology who would sneak in Payday candy bars and share with her. 

 

 

Abbey Spencer is one of the few lay teachers at St. Mary’s and Spencer played a big part in Hayden’s decision to go to college. Miss Spencer’s upbeat personality and positive outlook made her one of the most well-liked teachers at St. Mary’s. She likes Hayden and finds her very special and quite an adult in comparison to her classmates, yet she never considers a relationship or even a fling with her.

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Abbey is in a relationship with one of her former teachers, Ann White who lives in Eerie and now their liason somehow is shattered by Abbey’s decision to go teach at St. Mary’s and move into another town. Their love  has beauty in it, a student fascinated by her teacher falls for her and vice-versa, yet now after few years, even though Abbey’s love hasn’t perished and she found Ann kissing the Dean of her University during Christmas, she can’t let Ann go, as she is her first love. Yet, Ann behaves amazingly cruel this time, Abbey overhears a discussion between Ann and her new lover, Jackson Price, saying that  Abbey was just a fling and she will end the relationship tonight and she actually does, by telling Abbey that her feelings have changed and she isn’t gay anymore (bunch of crap), she wants to experiment her relationship with a man, but she is actually using Jackson for a better position at the University which is lame and makes her the villain of the book. Abbey finds herself in a pretty difficult situation as she loses Ann (actually Anne is losing Abbey) and her home as she was living in Ann’s house and now Ann practically throws her out and Abbey lives at the Holliday Inn. She takes it pretty bad and drinks a lot, while her former student, Hayden keeps saving her from embarrassing situations as being seen drunk around Eerie or getting arrested in the park. She remembered Hayden’s look at her, it was the same as she was looking at Ann, full of love, admiration and fascinating, alluring desire. She was so lost in her own pain and disappointment that she let Hayden kiss her and take care of her adn she just loved it.

hot for teacher loving annabelle

Miss Spencer had honey golden hair, which was pulled back into a neat ponytail, and a killer smile that made Hayden’s knees weak. She looked down at her shoes, finding it difficult to make eye contact with the attractive teacher. She should ask Miss Spencer if she needed help carrying her stuff, but Hayden was so tongue-tied, she could barely speak.

“Great. Well, have a nice summer. And best of luck to you at Mercyhurst. It’s a great school. I know you’ll do well there.” Miss Spencer smiled, and Hayden’s heart skipped a beat. The card, give her the card echoed in her mind. Hayden’s face flushed as she remembered her dream.

loving annabelle

Abbey Spencer graduated two years earlier from Mercyhurst College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education. The oldest of four daughters, she was the first girl from her Irish Catholic family to attend college. Abbey studied hard and fought for every A and B she got. In high school, she had developed a love for literature, and more than anything, she wanted to become an author someday. Her common sense told her she would need a backup plan because it was difficult to make a living as a writer. After all, she was no Stephen King. So she majored in secondary education.

During her freshman year, she met Ann White. Ann was an intelligent and charismatic woman. The moment Abbey laid eyes on her, she knew Ann was the one. The only problem was that Ann was her English professor.

Abbey’s heart would flutter every time she saw Ann standing at the lectern in her tight tweed skirt, matching jacket, and black pumps. Abbey was mesmerized as Ann strolled up and down the aisle, lecturing on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.

Ann White was well known for her tough teaching techniques and athletic ability—she had run the Boston Marathon twice and ran in several local charitable events—but there was a mysterious side to her that piqued Abbey’s curiosity. It had been rumored that some of Ann’s teaching assistants were more than assistants. The fact that they were all girls really piqued Abbey’s curiosity.

Ann and Abbey’s relationship began on the track. Abbey, in an attempt to stave off the “freshman fifteen,” the weight gain that plagued many a freshman girl, took up running after her last class of the day. On those runs, Abbey noticed her professor also enjoyed an afternoon run, calf muscles straining in her flawless stride, sweat glistening in the warm sun.

Abbey made it a point to be at the track the same time as Ann. She tried as hard as she could to keep pace with Ann, which was no easy feat. Occasionally, Ann would smile a note of recognition as she passed Abbey but nothing more. Abbey was sure Ann never gave her presence a second thought. She was just another face in the sea of freshmen in one of her Intro to Literature classes.

After each run, Abbey, sweaty and wheezing, would duck into the student locker room to shower and change while Ann jogged off to her private office, face all aglow, barely out of breath. Abbey pressed her forehead against the cool tile of the shower stall as the warm water soothed her sore muscles. She couldn’t suppress the fantasies of Ann that ran through her mind whenever she was around her.

But then things changed. One afternoon on an exceptionally warm April day, Abbey was trying out a new pair of running shoes. She made it around the track once without a problem, but during the second lap, something kept rubbing and caused a burning pain over her Achilles tendon. Trying to work out the rub, she wasn’t paying attention to where she was going and stepped in a divot. She twisted her ankle, lost her footing, and fell practically face first onto the cinder track.

Suddenly, Ann appeared by Abbey’s side. She was bent over at the waist with both hands on her lean, muscular thighs. Abbey looked up and could see straight down Ann’s polyester tank top. Her small firm breasts were nestled snuggly into a white cotton bra.

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Ann wrapped her arm around Abbey’s waist. “I’ll help you.” She and the escort practically carried Abbey out of the office and helped her get into the golf cart that took her to her dorm. The resident assistant helped Abbey into the elevator and up to her second-floor room.

Once in her room, Abbey lay on her bed and couldn’t stop thinking about Ann and how being so close to her made her heart skip a beat. Pleasure and guilt crashed into each other when she thought about this. Why can’t you just tell someone how you feel about them and let things grow from there? Why is guilt always attached to love, especially when it comes to my love life? Abbey drifted off to sleep with no answers.

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Things started off innocently enough with casual conversation as Ann told Abbey stories of running in Boston and the camaraderie everyone felt at that amazing event, but as time went on, the visits became more intimate. One afternoon after their run, Abbey was admiring a photograph on the shelf behind Ann’s desk of Ann in a vineyard in Tuscany. Ann, who had just returned from showering and changing, came up behind Abbey. Ann was so close, the sensation of her warm breath on her neck sent shivers through Abbey’s body. “Tuscany is a beautiful place. You should really go there someday,” Ann whispered.

Abbey turned to face her, and a delicious shudder heated her body. Abbey’s heart fluttered wildly beneath her breast. Abbey closed her eyes as Ann took her into her arms and pressed Abbey against the mahogany desk.

“I…uh…” Abbey’s words were muffled by Ann’s soft, gentle kiss. Their kisses became more fervent. Ann’s hands slipped under Abbey’s mesh tank top and gently skimmed over Abbey’s cotton bra, brushing the tops of Abbey’s breasts with the tips of her fingers. Abbey moaned into Ann’s mouth, which seemed to fuel Ann’s passion even more.

 Ann lifted the mesh shirt over Abbey’s head. She reached around Abbey’s back and unhooked her bra with one hand, letting the straps fall down Abbey’s arms. Ann gazed at Abbey. “You are so beautiful.”

Abbey felt her face flush with desire. She looked down, suddenly feeling awkward, timid, and unable to meet Ann’s gaze. “I’ve never done anything like this,” she said in a soft and low voice. “I’m not sure I know what to do.”

Ann pulled Abbey close and kissed her again. The kiss was slow and sweet, and Abbey could feel its effects from her head to her toes. After the kiss, Ann stepped back and admired Abbey’s beauty.

Abbey’s skin felt hot as Ann gazed at her. Her exposed nipples hardened, and Abbey tried to cover herself with her arms. Ann gently touched her arm. “Don’t hide yourself. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. You’re beautiful.”

Abbey lowered her arms. As she did, Ann leaned down and lovingly kissed Abbey’s breasts.

Fireworks went off in Abbey’s brain, as well as another part of her body. Her legs felt weak. She scooted backward and sat on top of Ann’s desk. She laid her head back and reveled in the glorious sensations she felt throughout her body. This was like nothing she had ever felt before.

Now lost in the sensations of lust, Abbey reached for Ann and slowly unbuttoned her crisp oxford shirt. She pushed the fabric aside, and her breath caught in her throat. Never had she been this close to another woman, especially in this way.

A wave of guilt passed over her, and Abbey looked away. Ann leaned forward and kissed Abbey on the forehead. “It’s okay to touch me. I won’t break.”

Abbey reached out and ran her hands gently over the tops of Ann’s small firm breasts. Feeling braver, Abbey slipped her fingers under the silky fabric of Ann’s satin bra. A soft moan slipped from Ann’s lips as Abbey’s cool fingers brushed her taut nipples, fueling the fire that burned beneath Abbey’s skin. Ann’s mouth covered Abbey’s hungrily. Her kisses sent spirals of ecstasy through Abbey’s body. Abbey was shocked at her own eager response to Ann’s kisses.

Ann’s hands gently traced down Abbey’s shoulders and arms. Ann’s body trembled as she took Abbey’s hand and slid it down the front of her slacks. “See what you do to me,” she whispered into Abbey’s ear.

Abbey almost fainted as she felt the soft, warm wetness of Ann’s desire.

Ann gently laid Abbey down on the desk where they made love until the golden rays of first morning light came through Ann’s office windows.

Abbey would never forget that night. Or the many nights after that, where she and Ann would steal away and spend precious time alone together. Abbey knew what they were doing was wrong, but it felt so right.

 Abbey truly admired Ann and felt privileged to have her attention. And the fact that Ann picked her over everyone else sent Abbey over the moon. It made her feel so alive being next to Ann in the classroom and thinking about how a few hours earlier she had had sex with her in her office or woken up in her arms that morning. Those thoughts never ceased to thrill her.

Ann, however, made it clear to Abbey that, because of the nature of their relationship, no one could ever find out about them, and Abbey agreed. Abbey would agree to just about anything right then. As long as she could be with Ann, nothing else mattered. Abbey wanted to tell the world that she was in love, but in her heart, she knew what damage it might do to Ann’s career.

In spite of the secrecy, their relationship survived and thrived the four years Abbey spent at Mercyhurst. During her junior and senior years, Abbey signed on as Ann’s teaching assistant, so to the outside world, their being together looked even more legitimate. No one thought anything of it when Abbey graduated magna cum laude and Ann surprised her with a two-week trip to Italy as a graduation present.

bloomington bathroom

Abbey was left by Ann, who choose to experiment a new relationship with Dean Jackson Price and throws Abbey out of her live, but after a short time she realizes that this new relationship will involve new responsabilities for her, like taking care of Jackson’s children and Ann didn’t liked to lose, she didn’t want to lose Abbey for selfish reasons as Abbey was exactly as she had wanted : her human puppy dog.  Abbey was still in love with with Ann and wanted her back and she knew Hayden could do better than her, she is still underestimating herself by taking the second choice : Ann, and while she brakes up with Hayden, Ann shows up incredibly cruel, by embarrassing Abbey in front of Hayden and making Hayden incredibly uncomfortable and also, she takes a picture of Abbey kissing Hayden on her cheek. Abbey doesn’t want to go back to Ann, yet Ann threatens her she will show that picture to Abbey’s school council and make it so that Abbey loses her job and becomes all to dependable on Ann. Abbey is stunned and terrified by Ann’s reaction and she is dragged into an outrageous scandal and trial, which also involves Hayden, both are being set on trial and their sexuality is now open. Abbey, Hayden and Ann are asked to testify, Hayden has to ensure the judge she initiated the kiss and the relationship, as she was under aged (almost 18 years old) and that Abbey is innocent. Ann declares that Abbey’s relationship with Hayden is unethical, yet she get’s involved in the trial’s swirl and her relationship with Abbey is now obvious and her sexuality is open now, things she wanted so much to keep be kept a secret, in the past. Ann loses Abbey and the situation with Jackson is now obvious, not being love of experimental, but taking advantage of. Abbey loses her job, yet she is now free of Ann, free of everything as everyone knows now her being a lesbian  (she felt so captive as she had to keep her relationship with Ann a secret for the sake of Ann’s position at the University).

„As Abbey stepped outside into the bright fall afternoon, sunlight beams seemed to ignite the orange and red maple trees that lined the sidewalk. Abbey’s breath caught in her throat when she saw Ann standing at the end of the sidewalk. Abbey averted her eyes and tried to walk quickly past her, hoping to get to her car before Ann could reach her.

As soon as Ann saw her, she ran up to Abbey and blocked her path. “Abbey, we need to talk.”

“I have nothing to say to you. Please get out of my way.” Abbey tried to shoulder her way past Ann.

“Abbey, please.” Ann grabbed her by the arm.

“Get your hands off of me!” Abbey wrestled her arm from Ann’s grasp.

“Look, I’m sorry. You’ve got to believe I never meant for this to get so out of hand.”

Abbey stopped dead in her tracks. “Sorry? You’re sorry? Really? Let me tell you about sorry. I’m sorry I ever met you.  Had I realized what a selfish, controlling, manipulative human being you were, I would have never wasted my time with you.”

Abbey took a minute to catch her breath and pull herself together. She was determined not to cry. “I loved you, Ann. I loved you with all my heart and you threw that away. I would have done anything for you, but you used me like you used everyone else who comes in contact with you. You know, when we were together, I always felt like I was inferior to you. You were the highly educated professor, and I was the lowly high school English teacher. And when I was your student, every word you said to me was golden. I idolized you. But when I look back at everything we’ve been through, I realize it was all part of your little game. I hope you’re happy that you’ve succeeded in destroying my life, but you know what, you won’t come out of this mess unscathed. The truth about you is finally out. I wonder how the powers that be at Mercyhurst will feel about you now? You’re a user, Ann. You’re mean and selfish and you use people for your own amusement. Hell, my mother even saw it.””

This trial is an amazing example on how harmful  the lack of freedom is, of how our own insecurities, fear of what others think of us can take away all we have for the moment, yet actually the society has to change and acknowledge equal rights of love, equal rights on how love should be, heterosexual or homosexual, it doesn’t really matter, the right to love is universal and it shouldn’t affect professional lives nor the right to love openly whom we want. The cliche of a student being in love with a teacher is an amazing example on how flexible and fluid  love is and how age is just a number and knowing how hard it is to find the right love is, the cliche starts to melt and love is love, and that’s it!

Bloomington-lesbian teacher and student

„” Tears streamed down Hayden’s cheeks as she left Abbey’s hotel. That afternoon’s events only confirmed that what she had perceived to have been the most beautiful experience of her life had turned out to be the most painful. She didn’t want to go home yet because she didn’t want to face Calli, who would ask her a thousand questions. She drove to Presque Isle to the spot where she and Abbey were the previous night…before everything fell apart.

Hayden sat behind the wheel of the Civic and looked out at the lake. It was windy and the white caps were breaking on the shore. Hayden closed her eyes, reliving the pain of that final scene when Abbey told her what they did was wrong. It didn’t feel wrong to her.

She thought about Ann and the awful things she said to her and Abbey. How could you claim to love someone and treat her so badly? Why did love have to hurt so much? Wasn’t it supposed to be the most wonderful thing that could happen to you?

A police car slowly drove by. Not wanting any further contact with the Presque Isle police, Hayden put the car in gear and headed home. When she got there, she was relieved to find that Calli wasn’t there. Finally, she could have some peace and quiet. She made herself a cup of tea and retired to her bedroom. She tried to read but didn’t comprehend a thing. She couldn’t stop thinking about Abbey. How could Abbey have been so close to that woman who treated her so bad? Ann seemed like a big bully and what right did she have to treat her and Abbey the way she did? And just because she was young didn’t mean her feelings didn’t count.

Enough of this pity party, Hayden thought. Even if Abbey and I aren’t meant to be together, there is no way I’m going to allow her to be treated that way. Anger gave her courage as she got back in the car and headed to Abbey’s hotel.”

Abbey and Hayden meet again after some time at Cali and Joey’s wedding in lesbiantown of Provincetown. Abbey is afraid of flight and holds on tight to Hayden, while Hayden’s eyes never cease to leave Abbey, Hayden is still in love with Abbey and always will, as she is a dream to come true.

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„„As Abbey stepped outside into the bright fall afternoon, sunlight beams seemed to ignite the orange and red maple trees that lined the sidewalk. Abbey’s breath caught in her throat when she saw Ann standing at the end of the sidewalk. Abbey averted her eyes and tried to walk quickly past her, hoping to get to her car before Ann could reach her.

As soon as Ann saw her, she ran up to Abbey and blocked her path. “Abbey, we need to talk.”

“I have nothing to say to you. Please get out of my way.” Abbey tried to shoulder her way past Ann.

“Abbey, please.” Ann grabbed her by the arm.

“Get your hands off of me!” Abbey wrestled her arm from Ann’s grasp.

“Look, I’m sorry. You’ve got to believe I never meant for this to get so out of hand.”

Abbey stopped dead in her tracks. “Sorry? You’re sorry? Really? Let me tell you about sorry. I’m sorry I ever met you.  Had I realized what a selfish, controlling, manipulative human being you were, I would have never wasted my time with you.”

Abbey took a minute to catch her breath and pull herself together. She was determined not to cry. “I loved you, Ann. I loved you with all my heart and you threw that away. I would have done anything for you, but you used me like you used everyone else who comes in contact with you. You know, when we were together, I always felt like I was inferior to you. You were the highly educated professor, and I was the lowly high school English teacher. And when I was your student, every word you said to me was golden. I idolized you. But when I look back at everything we’ve been through, I realize it was all part of your little game. I hope you’re happy that you’ve succeeded in destroying my life, but you know what, you won’t come out of this mess unscathed. The truth about you is finally out. I wonder how the powers that be at Mercyhurst will feel about you now? You’re a user, Ann. You’re mean and selfish and you use people for your own amusement. Hell, my mother even saw it.””

We don’t really find out how Abbey and Hayden will find love and how they will fit in together, but it is obvious that Abbey will have a teaching job in Provincetown and Hayden will follow.

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„“Abbey, is that you?”

Abbey turned around. As their eyes met, Abbey felt a shock run through her.

“Hayden? What are you doing here?”

Hayden’s face split into a wide grin. “I’m heading to Provincetown.” Hayden showed Abbey her red plastic boarding pass with a big number six in the middle. “Calli and Jo are getting married this weekend. They’ve asked me to be in their wedding.”

“They’re getting married? Really?”

“Yes, they’ve been together almost two years. They moved to Provincetown last summer. Jo got a job at an art gallery on Commercial Street, and Calli is taking art classes at Cape Cod Community College and waitressing at Bayside Betsy’s. They seem very happy.”

Abbey plopped down into one of the beat-up chrome and black leather seats. “Wow.”

Hayden sat next to her. “So how have you been?” Hayden asked, her voice soft and caring.

Abbey looked at Hayden, and her heart turned over. She was surprised at the tenderness she saw in Hayden’s eyes. An unexpected warmth surged through her.

“I’m doing okay.” Abbey smiled. “I’m on my way to Provincetown, too. I have a job interview at Provincetown High School for a teaching position.”

Hayden grabbed Abbey’s arm. “Abbey, that’s great!” Hayden’s face flushed. She let go of Abbey’s arm, afraid she may have done something inappropriate.

Abbey reached out and touched Hayden’s hand. Hayden looked up and Abbey smiled. “Yes, it is great. I finally feel like I’m getting my life back in order. So how are you doing? How’s school going?”

“I really like it. Made the dean’s list three semesters in a row.”

“Atta girl. See, I knew nursing would be your niche.”

Hayden looked down. “I don’t think I would have gotten there without you. Thank you…for everything.”

“Hey, you’re the one doing the work. You got yourself there. I had little to do with it.”

The two women returned to the waiting area with two huge cups of Starbucks coffee and the biggest cinnamon rolls Abbey had ever seen.

“Hello.” Both women smiled at Hayden and Abbey. “You headed to P-town?” one of the women asked.

“Yes,” Abbey said. “Is that where you’re going?”

“Yes, we live there. I’m Connie, and this is my wife, Kathy.”

“It’s nice to meet you. I’m Abbey, and this is Hayden.””

An easy read and a great lesson of love, betrail, coming out and settling in. Loved Hayden’s innocence, first love and the butterflies in her stomach, also enjoyed Abby’s strength to fight against Ann and the society and the courage to find her way again, and a new love again next to Hayden, not so much younger yet.

blomington jackie and catherine

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