It was another school day for Blair Jones. Standing in front of the class made her feel jubilant. After all who wouldn’t be? She was a second year teacher at Brisbane State High School teaching her specialty in being a mathematics genius.
It was Exam block, where she has seen many students pass or fail. All that was left to mark was these final test papers from the 18 students sitting uncomfortably and wagging their pens up and down the lined paper in front of her. She waited until the clock ticked its final minutes for the last test of Term 1 to be completed.
‘Pens down,’ Blair announced to see pens thrown down and heads facing her awaiting for their next instruction. She loved teaching, even if her parent’s didn’t always agree to her motives. They wanted her to be the Co-owner of her dad’s jewellery store, but she wanted to inspire young minds.
An unusual knock at the door interrupted her thoughts. As she looked up there was her boss, the Principal of the school looking at her in a way that expressed, “I need to talk to you.”
She responded by giving a slight nod, before returning to her class. She could hear the thud of his boots trail back down the hallway, until they disappeared into his office.
Just when she was about to continue, the bell rang for the end of the day. She announced for them to leave once they have written their names on the front. With that she was left alone to collect all the papers, she must mark this weekend.
Once packed she left her classroom tidy and headed towards her boss’s door. Could this mean that my transfer for Tara Shire State College in the Darling Downs would be approved? She could finally go home, after eight years. Fingers crossed.
Her parents Graham and Sophia couldn’t afford the bills in Tara and from living so far away from his new inherited jewellery store, they had to sell their homestead and his parents’ next door. She has never seen it again, like a piece missing in her heart.
Now Blair could not wait to go and see the old homestead and her mother’s bakery again would be a wish come true. Of course she would miss her family who were staying in Brisbane but she was ready to go home and start the next chapter of her life.
She lightly tapped on the door twice and walked into the Principal’s office. It felt like old times. She was not always the best student at times that was until she realized that school was important.
This was one way she could always connect with students that did not want to be there at all. She knew what it felt like, especially at a smaller school out in the country and then moving to other schools did make her life difficult. She was a story herself, proving that nothing was impossible.
The Principal was a man of very few words. He gestured for her to sit in the chair opposite him and looked at her in a stern facial expression. This however was out of character even for him. I have never seen him this focused since I have been here, I wonder what is on it mind.
‘There are two things that I must tell you.’ He paused before continuing. ‘The first thing is that you have gotten your transfer approved to teach at Tara Shire State College.’
Blair nodded along and could not hide her smile that was waiting to break through as soon as she heard the news. I finally got it! It took a moment for her, but she questioned the "second thing."
‘What is the "second thing" you must tell me Mr Brink,’ she looked at him confused to what this could be.
Mr Brink cleared his throat before continuing on. ‘The police contacted me trying to get through to you. I told them that you were in an important exam. So they straight out stated that your parents were in a fatal freak accident.’
Fatal freak accident? Blair’s heart started to beat faster and her head became dizzy, before tears flooded her eyes. How could they be gone?
‘I know that today is Friday and the report card marks are to be in by Monday, so I want you to take time off next week. I understand that you have an awful lot of work to do to with moving and now…’
‘Yes I think that is what I need to do. There is so much I have to do? I need to be there for Lydia too. I have to mark those final exams and get the funeral ready before we leave. Then there is the Will and, moving and unpacking,’ her voice quivered to a whisper.
She grabbed her things and ran to the door, she whispered her apologies and dashed to her car. She may have seemed rude to him, but he would understand. Wouldn't he. Blair slammed the door pulling her knees up to her head as she sat in the backseat of her Triton Ute. Her body went numb with fear and confusion.
Her hands were trembling as she tried to wipe the tears from her reddened cheeks. She gasped for air, as she cried out in pain. Her heart was ripped from her chest and thrown out the window and she was left with the mess to clean up.
She couldn't comprehend the news she was given. They couldn't just be gone like that. You see it on television all the time, but when it was apart of your life story it became real. Too real.
All of those memories I was going to have in the future, gone. Vanished into thin air. Like I was a piece of clothing in a washing machine. I keep on tumbling and never have I stopped.
As soon as I think my life will be back to normal it just skips that step and I am left to pick up the pieces, again. Why is my life different from everyone else? Nothing ever goes as I plan; it is planned for me and I have to move on, so I can live a normal life.
Blair's life was turned on its head and she had to continue to be brave and to always have the courage of a lion to its pack. She was now that lion for her sister Lydia. Lydia.
After ten minutes sorting out her feelings, Blair was seated at the wheel heading home. She pondered on her parents last moments before the crash. She knew that they would have died with blissful hearts, as they were going on a weekend vacation to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They didn’t deserve to die. It made her think that life was short and love was powerful.
She made her way up the path to the front door and dreaded to find Lydia collapsed on the couch with a box of tissues engulfing her. Lydia looked up when she heard Blair come closer and she pushed herself up and into her sister’s warm embrace. When they drew back a little and looked into each others eyes having the instant sisterly connection of knowing exactly what each other were thinking.
With a block of chocolate and a bag of plain potato chips later they were tucked under their parents’ bed covers, in each others arms trying to sleep. Lydia eventually did with Blair stroking her flaming red hair.
Blair remembered when they were little always playing with each others hair until Lydia got the scissors out then Sophia nearly fainted. What would have happened if mum did not stop Lydia from cutting my hair? She laughed inside her head.
Now it was just the two of them against the world. She loved the photo of their family portrait hanging in their parents’ room. You can clearly see a resemblance between Sophia and Lydia’s as their eyes were green like a forest that stood out just like their hair.
Blair was a mirror image of her father, curly, sandy hair that was longer than her fathers to about her shoulders and bright blue eyes.
Blair curled up and drifted off to dream about that summer day of the portrait. They went to the beach after the photo was taken and ate ice-cream that was half melted onto the pavement. Things couldn’t get any worse when a seagull poops on their fathers white shirt. She began to giggle in her sleep and was left with a smile on her face.