in other words… by juleshg

13 Jun

Linda sighed as she heard her cell phone start to ring again.

The first time it rang she had ignored it.  Usually she turned her phone off during school hours but she had been getting a pep talk from her sister when the bell rang and had quickly thrown the phone in her desk drawer as the kids started to file in.  Now it was circle time and she was clear across the room sitting in the old rocking chair with eighteen pairs of eyes staring at her.

When it first rang the kids giggled.  She knew it was him.  ‘Fly me to the moon’ was their song and she had set it as his ring tone the night they met and danced all evening at the old jazz club on Main Street.

She tried to ignore the interruption by diverting their attention.

“Samuel?  Would you like to be Miss Linda’s helper today?  Why don’t you come up here and pick a book for the class to read this morning?”  Samuel happily scrambled over the bookshelf and considered his choices with glee.  Oh, to be five again….

They were on page three when the phone rang the second time.  Damn it, why did he keep calling?  Linda made a face and pointed at a silly squirrel on the bright color page hoping that the kids laughter would drown out the tune that now made her want to cry.

If the kids noticed, no one said anything and she continued with the story.  With a quick glance at the clock she noticed that it was only 9:30: it was going to be a long, long day.

She had wanted to call in sick; to pull out the list of substitute teachers who could save her from putting on her happy face for the eighteen little people who sat in front of her.  Her sister convinced her to soldier on.  “Linda, you need to go to work.  Get up, splash some cold water on your face, load up on the Visine and face the world.  What else are you going to do?  Sit at home and cry for that cheating bastard?”

By 10:30 the kids were sitting at their tables to work on printing.  She had spent the last hour singing loud songs and doing silly dances with them in an effort to drown out the constant calls and she knew they all needed a little downtime.  But with the kids concentrating on making neat and precise R’s the phone’s ring seemed so loud it almost echoed.  Enough.

“Excuse me boys and girls.  Miss Linda is just going to answer this call so we can get rid of the interruptions.  Everyone keep working on their printing.  You are all doing such a good job,” she said in her best kindergarten teacher voice.

She placed her hand over her mouth as she slid open her cell to answer the call. “What do you want?” she growled much louder than she intended.  A few kids at a nearby table looked up with alarm but she smiled back at them.  “I am very busy right now,” she said returning to her melodic teaching voice in an attempt to reassure the kids.  It was not the voice she would have chosen if she hadn’t had an audience.  The words she wanted to use were also off-limits in a classroom full of five year-olds.

“I’m sorry.  I know… I just, I needed to talk to you, to explain.”

“There is nothing to explain.  Your, ahem, partner explained it quite clearly when we spoke on Friday.  There is no need for you to keep calling.”

“Look I didn’t know that my wife was going to call you.  I am so sorry.  That should never have happened.  I was going to explain.”

“I don’t think any further explanations are necessary.  In fact, I think the whole situation is quite clear,” she said choosing her words quite carefully.  “I was surprised to find out that another venture existed so I have decided to invest elsewhere.”

“Why are you talking like this?  Oh shit, are your kids there?  Is the whole class listening to you?  Damn it, I should have thought about this before I called you.”

“Yes, I agree.  There are numerous issues that should have considered beforehand but it’s too late to change it now.”

“I’m going to leave her.  I love you, I swear, I just need time.”

“That won’t be necessary. I have already made my decision.  Thank you so much for following up,” she let the sarcasm drip from her voice.  “I don’t think you need to call again.”

Linda snapped the phone closed and took a deep breath steadying herself against the tears that threatened to fall.  “I am sorry boys and girls.  I am turning my phone off right now.”

Samuel looked up from the table in the centre of the room.  “My mommy hates it when people call on the phone to sell us things we don’t need.  She says they always call at the wrong time and that they are a ‘pain a butt’.” The kids all giggled.

Linda looked over at the little blond-haired, boy with the thick glasses who had handily changed the subject and saved her from having to make more excuses to the young class.

Yep, she had picked the perfect helper today.

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2 Responses to “in other words… by juleshg”

  1. ingridfnl June 14, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    Absolutely fantastic! You used the device of the interrupting call so well! 🙂

  2. jmforceton June 14, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    Enjoyed reading this piece.‘Fly me to the moon’ eh.

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