BOISE, ID—Seventh-grader Rebecca Hodgson—who recently developed a crush on her English teacher Douglas Patterson—would very likely be horrified to learn that the 47-year-old has similar romantic feelings toward her.
"Mr. Patterson is so smart and nice," said the Lakeland Academy student, completely unaware that the man five years older than her own father not only finds her equally attractive, but also has long and involved fantasies about her. "I really like his smile. And his eyes are gorgeous."
"I know it's silly, but I think Mr. Patterson is kind of sexy," continued Hodgson, blushing with embarrassment and not nearly as frightened as she might be upon discovering that her teacher has a well-worn copy of her yearbook photo next to his bed.
A two-time member of her school's honor roll, Hodgson was placed in the entry-level course at the beginning of the year. Since then, she has been charmed by her teacher's passion for the English language, a passion that pales in comparison to his late-night longing for her.
"Not only is he handsome, but Mr. Patterson is funny as well," said Hodgson, who would never laugh again were she to guess what the 230-pound adult does with her class assignments in his car. "He's not like all the other lame teachers we have at Lakeland. Mr. Patterson is different."
"He doesn't treat us like kids, you know?" added Hodgson.
According to sources, this is only the second crush the seventh-grader has ever had, and the first to be reciprocated by a man who, sometimes after class, likes to sit down at her desk and slowly close his eyes. Excited as she is by her new crush, Hodgson has thus far informed only a few of her classmates about her amorous feelings.
"I told Cynthia that I bet he's a really good kisser and she agreed," Hodgson said less than an hour after field-hockey practice—a practice run by the team's new head coach, Douglas Patterson. "I shouldn't have said anything, though. If he ever found out, I'd probably be in big trouble."
While she remains blissfully unaware of his secret desire for her, Hodgson has expressed excitement over recent events that suggest she might be Patterson's favorite student. According to a smiling Hodgson, her teacher has complimented her dress at every school dance this year and, just last week, held her after class to extol the qualities of her writing, which, Patterson said, shows she has "maturity beyond her years."
In addition, Hodgson reportedly noticed Patterson staring at her from his classroom window during lunch on Monday, but ultimately dismissed the strange incident, claiming that the 47-year-old was "probably just seeing if there were kids smoking on school property."
"I must be completely infatuated with him or something. It's like, everywhere I go, I think I see Mr. Patterson," Hodgson said. "Just yesterday, I looked out my window before going to bed and I could've sworn I saw his Honda Civic parked right across the street. Isn't that crazy?"
When asked how he feels about his students, Patterson said that he loves shaping young and inquisitive minds, enjoys preparing the next generation for the challenges that lie ahead, and has been very happily married for 23 years.
"Rebecca is a very bright and enthusiastic student," Patterson said. "I look forward to following her development at Lakeland Academy for years to come."