For me, the name Dante conjured up two images. The first was the epic depictions of Hell from Dante’s Inferno, with people burning for their sins. The second image was a sexual depiction. I don’t know where it came from, but as far back as I can remember, I had always associated the name Dante with a beautiful and sexy man. I’d imagined a dark-haired, dark-eyed, gorgeous lothario, the type who could capture a woman’s heart with just one look. Dante was the Fabio of my generation, the heartthrob that got women’s hearts beating fast, made us want this man to rip our clothes off and to throw us onto the bed.
Little did I know that the Dante that walked into my life was very different from the one I’d imagined. Oh, he was dark-haired, dark-eyed, gorgeous, even a lothario … just … he wasn’t a man. He was a fifteen-year-old boy who was going to send me to the Hell his namesake had written about.
And I was his teacher.