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As I was driving home from school, I tried to think about who I could go to for real "Sex-Ed". The only guy I knew in that age range was my former gymnastics coach, and while he was excellent at teaching gymnastics, he was a total jerk of a person. I started listing the qualities that I would want in my ideal "Sugar Daddy". It had to be someone who I respected, safe from disease, experienced enough to really teach me, with nothing to lose. That was going to be a hard combination to find. I decided that if worst came to worst, I would go back to school with some "how to" books and learn with John, or someone else.

I had decided that in addition to working out at my old gym for summer break, I would also take some classes. I hated math and had two more required semesters to go to complete my degree requirements. I enrolled with the local university and found out that I could get both semesters out of the way during their two summer sessions. As the summer started, between gym 4 hours a day, 6 days a week and a crammed in calculus courses, my Sex-Ed project got put on hold, until I started getting behind. I have never been bad at math, but not great either. I usually struggle to get Bs, but at the pace the summer sessions were going, I knew that I needed help. It was then that I realized one of my friends, Ashley, a year behind me in school wasn't in the gym that summer. People come and go, so I hadn't thought too much about it, but she was a genius at math, and I remember she said her dad had taught most of it to her. When I asked about her I got a shock. A drunk driver had killed Ashley, her mother, and her sister in November. I felt awful, she had been a good friend, and I didn't even know that she had died.

That next day, after gym practice I decided to stop by and express my condolences. I knew heard that he had moved his office into his house and now spent the day working out of his home. I got there at about 1:00 and almost chickened out as I started to ring the doorbell, but I had known them for several years and felt that this was something I had to do. When he answered the door, I felt all tongue-tied. He looked at me without recognition then asked, "Can I help you"?

I managed to stammer out that I was so sorry to hear about his wife and kids, that I had just heard and that I wanted to stop by and say that I was sorry.

"Oh, god Molly, I didn't recognize you. Please come in."

"I'm so sorry, my parents didn't tell me or I would have come to the funeral."

"That's okay, you weren't the drunk driver, and I appreciate the sentiment. Please come in for a few minutes, how did you like your freshman year at college?"

We talked about living away from home, how my classes had gone, how college gymnastics differs from junior Olympic competition. We talked a lot about how much we both missed Ashley and her love of life.

"Mr. Nickels, I also wanted to know if you would tutor me in calculus, I remember Ashley saying how much you helped her. I hope to get 2 semesters worth done during summer session and I could really use the help."

"Sure, what do you have?"

We then spent about 2 hours going over the first week's assignments and straightening out my misunderstandings. This guy could teach, he presented the subject so much more clearly than my professor, and if the first way that he explained it didn't take, he would find a different way or example to teach the concept. I left feeling much better, not only because of the math, but because of the chance that I had to get to know him

Fiction & Literature
August 9
Kate Van