Emma has returned to her high school to teach art and literature. Despite painful memories close to a "Carrie" experience, she agrees to chaperone the school Christmas dance. She is barely holding it together, and then it gets worse. Johnny B. Goode, the jerk from high school who caused her so much pain, has just been hired as the new P.E. coach. It is hard enough to return to the scene of the crime, but to have to look at the cause of all her adolescence angst is too much. Though Emma makes sure Johnny knows she wants nothing to do with him, he isn't easily deterred. Can Johnny be good this Christmas, or will Emma experience the same heartache again?
She blinked, wondering if she’d somehow been transported back in time. There, standing across from her, framed by a sea of people, stood her Johnny. Or, not her Johnny, but the jerk who ruined her life. “No way.”
Ginger glanced around. “Where?”
“Am I imagining him? Do you see a guy with dark messy hair, a goatee, and way too attractive to be a thirty-three year old man? Or am I having a hallucination brought on by a traumatic experience in my adolescent years.”
Her friend followed her gaze and smiled. “Who, Jonathan Goode?”
Emma spun around and slumped to a nearby bench. Her chest constricted. In, out. In, out. Just breathe. Her vision blurred. This is only a nightmare. Nothing more.
“Honey, I think you’re about to hyperventilate. You have to slow down and breathe.” Ginger grabbed a water bottle from the refreshment table and handed it to her. “You’re really worrying me. Are you okay?”
She focused on a crumpled yellow candy wrapper on the floor and exhaled deep. How stupid was it that he could still make her legs wobble like gelatin? “Is this some sick joke? What is he even doing here?”
“He’s the new health teacher and football coach. I met him in the hall this morning. He’s super nice. Cute, too.”
“What?” Emma jumped to her feet. “You aren’t serious!”
Ginger put a finger to her lips. “Ssh…we’re supposed to be the adults here, and the kids are staring.”
“Sorry,” Emma said, lowering her voice. “It’s just…you have no idea what that man put me through.”