"Knock, knock. Is Ms. King in?" Alex smiled from my the doorway. Ever since he started working here as the new gym teacher, Alex and I have gotten pretty close as friends. It was nice to have someone else to mostly talk aside from Caroline.
"Hey, Alex. What brings you by?" I smiled back.
"Pure boredom since I'm free during this hour," He responded.
"And here I thought that you would have come up with new ways to make those kids active during your class period," I smiled.
"Well I have something planned for all of my class periods that I'm sure they'll enjoy," He said.
"I'm glad you're making it enjoyable for them now. Once they reach middle school, that's when it becomes pure torture for them," I responded.
"You're exactly right. I don't remember a time during middle or high school where I enjoyed gym class," He chuckled.
"And yet somehow you're a gym teacher," I giggled.
"I'd rather work with kids. They're a little more easier to deal with," He shrugged.
"They are. You just have to have a little more patience with them and be able to listen to them at all costs," I explained.
"You know with the way these kids just flock to you, you are an angel to them," He remarked.
"Really? I've never been told that before," I said.
"The kids get excited talking about you a lot, especially the younger ones who hope to have you in the future," He replied.
"While I'm glad that they consider me as such, I'm also just your regular, everyday teacher that does what she can to educate the beautiful, young minds of her students," I said.
"And that explanation is the reason why these kids love you," He smiled.
"Since we're on the subject of who these kids love, do you know who they hate? They won't say any specific names and I can't think of who-"
"It's Mrs. Clark, the third grade science teacher. She is kind of a-how do you say-hard ass to the kids," He cut me off. That answer kind of made me see why the kids avoided the woman like the plague. Hell even some of the teachers did the same, but somehow I've never seen her act like that. She's always looked to be a nice woman, but I guess looks can be deceiving.
"So the stories I've heard from the children are linked to her. How come they've never told me?" I asked.
"Because you guys are friendly with each other and they don't want you going back to tell her what they said," He answered. A look that said "yikes" formed on my face as soon as he said that. I've definitely gone back and told the woman what the kids told me, which I'm guessing resulted in them getting into trouble with her. I'll have to make a formal apology to the children and have a talk with Mrs. Clark about how she treats them.
"You went and told her what they said?" He inquired.
"Yeah," I answered, "Now I feel terrible for doing that to them, and her."
"Just apologize to them and everything will be okay," Alex said.
"Emily, we haven't hung out in so long and it's honestly starting to make me feel like I've been-oh hey, Alex," Caroline greeted, "Like I was saying, I'm starting to feel a little written out of the story of your life. It's like I'm some best friend character in a book that's there for shits and giggles for a couple of chapters and then poof. I vanish."
"I'm sorry that you feel that way and we can hang out this Saturday," I murmured.
"That sounds good. I'm honestly tired of sitting at home with Patches and eating chips while watching Vampire Diaries for the millionth time," She replied.
"Wow, Emily. How neglectful," Alex remarked from beside Caroline.
"Shut up. I feel bad enough as is," I told him.
"You should. You've been getting romanced while I'm falling for fictional vampires portrayed by already married men," Caroline said.
"Okay, Caroline. We'll definitely hang out this weekend," I chuckled.
"And what about me? What am I supposed to do?" Alex inquired.
"Your neighbor that you were telling me about," I quipped. Alex's playful expression to turned to one of Shock at my response. This man told me all about his beautiful neighbor that he couldn't keep his eyes off of.
"Ooh! Your neighbor? What's that all about?" Caroline smirked.
"Nothing. We're just friends," Alex said looking away. He was lying for sure because there's no way in hell that a man talks about a constantly without liking her. There's just no way.
"So you mean to tell me that this beautiful neighbor of yours is just friends with you?" Caroline cocked an eyebrow.
"Yes," Alex answered quickly. The blonde and I exchanged knowing looks. We knew that this beautiful specimen of a man had a crush on that girl.
"Will you two come off of it? She's just my neighbor. Nothing more, nothing less," Alex muttered.
"Caroline, you oughta hear about how he talks about her. He always telling me about how beautiful she looked on her way to work, how beautiful her smile is, how funny she is, and just how wonderful her overall personality is," I ignored him.
"Hm. I bet he does," Caroline giggled, "Alex, there's nothing wrong with admitting you have a crush on her. It's perfectly fine, even though my dreams of having you to myself are crushed."
"You just haaaaaad to throw that out there didn't you?" I asked.
"Yes. Yes I did," She laughed. Alex just smiled with a shake of his head.
"So, Coach Hernandez," Caroline smirked, "What does the lucky lady look like?"
"You've already met her," I murmured.
"What? Really?" Caroline asked in confusion.
"Mhm," I nodded, "A couple years ago when we were children to be exact."
"What? I don't remember meeting her," Caroline said.
"I'm being too vague," I muttered under my breath,"She's my cousin, Caroline."
"Ohhh. Wait. You mean Na-Na?" She inquired.
"Mhm. That's the one," I answered.
"Wow. Small world," Caroline said.
"Yep. I have half a mind to tell her that Alex is interested in her, but I've been sworn to secrecy on account of the fact that he'll bring me green tea from Starbucks once a month," I smiled.
"Such a large price to pay for keeping a secret," Caroline giggled, "Don't worry. We won't say anything to NaNa."
"Thank you," Alex smiled.
"You're welcome," Caroline smiled back," But make sure you add Kristen Kreme doughnuts to that order."
The gym coach groaned loudly as soon as she said that.
"It's only a small price to pay for our secrecy," I chuckled.
"My wallet says otherwise," He muttered.
"Anyways, what are we going to do about this Christmas party for the students? We haven't told the parents what to bring and we haven't even decided on whether or not to merge classes for it," Caroline said. The Christmas Party that we did every year slipped my mind. I've been so focused on spending time with August that I haven't even thought about that. I feel terrible for not even doing anything till now. Of course we only had two months before the party, but I still wanted to at least get everything set.
"Honestly, it slipped my mind. From August asking me to go to his cabin with him and Mischa during our fall to some other personal issues, I haven't had time to even think about. Let alone plan anything," I explained.
"You're fine. We all have things in our lives that need our attention," Caroline assured me.
"Thanks. As for the party, we can merge the classes like we usually do. Have a nice set up for them ready when they come back from gym class with a lot of food, we can watch a couple of Christmas movies on Netflix, and play some games too," I said.
"That sounds like a plan. As for the food, do we have the students pay for it?" Caroline inquired.
"No. A couple of our students may not be able to give us the money to pay for the food due to certain circumstances at home," I replied.
"That sounds good," She nodded in agreement.
"I know you're going to ask about students who love to act out as if there aren't any consequences, but don't worry. That will be handled accordingly," I said.
"How so?" She asked.
"Anyone who continuously acts will have their name written down a sheet that says 'Those Not Allowed to Participate'. They can try to redeem themselves before the Christmas party, but if they don't then participation is automatically taken away," I said.
"That sounds effective, but where do we send them?" She asked. My eyes went over to Alex who was texting whoever on his phone.
"Alex," I said.
"Yes?" He looked over at me.
"If we have some who are not allowed to participate in the Christmas party, do you mind watching over them for a little while? They can help you tidy up around the gym," I informed him.
"Sure. That sounds good to me," Alex nodded. I turned back to Caroline.
"There you go. We have something to do for those who choose to act out while everyone else is having a good time," I replied.
"Since we have that out the way, we just need to write down this plan and then have a meeting to discuss this," Caroline nodded.
"Or we can just skip the meeting and send an email to everyone on this hall," I suggested.
"That sounds like an even better idea," She agreed.
"I'll send out the email after I finish grading these last three papers," I told Caroline.
"Alright, but don't forget to include that we need students to write down on a list what they're allergic to," She said.
"Dang. I almost forgot about that," I snapped my fingers.
"That's very important. We need to at least make sure that nobody has an allergic reaction to just about anything," Caroline said.
"Okay. I'll be sure to add the list to the email as well and we can get started on it a week before the party," I replied.
"As for movies, how about we show them some old classics instead of the ones from the early 2000's and so forth?" Angel inquired.
"Ooh. That sounds nice," I answered, "The older Christmas movies for children always got me in the spirit."
"Me too. As for students who don't want to watch it and still want to enjoy the party, they can just do these coloring papers too," Caroline said.
"Now that would be nice," I nodded.
"We can also pass out candy canes when they're all leaving too," She replied.
"Those children do love themselves some candy canes," I chuckled.
"They do. No matter how old they get, they will never be able to resist the temptation of those red and white treats," Caroline smiled.
"Alright. We have everything set for this Christmas party," I said.
"That we do, but tell the students they can bring blankets if they so desire," She murmured.
"I most definitely will," I nodded.
"Cool. Now I'll see you two later," Caroline informed.
"Where are you scampering off to?" I asked.
"Remember that interview at the high school?" She inquired.
"Yeah," I answered.
"Remember how I also didn't get the job either?" She questioned.
"Uh-Huh. Where is this going?" I asked.
"Well I met this really nice guy at the school who was also being interviewed there as well. He didn't get the job either, but we bonded over it and now we're kind of, sort of dating," She explained.
"Caroline!" I cried out.
"What?" She asked.
"Why didn't you tell me?" I hissed.
"Because you were so busy with August and other things that I didn't want to interrupt," She answered.
"Caroline, I'm sorry for not paying that much attention to you or even hanging out with you as much, but you could've straight up told me to shut up and told me about him," I scolded.
"I know and I'm sorry," She murmured.
"Uh-uh. Sorry isn't going to cut it, Missy," I shook my head, "You're going to bring him in here to meet me. Immediately."
"No ifs, ands, or buts, Caroline. He's meeting me today whether you like it or not," I firmly stated. She hung her head low and exited the room without a word. Alex looked at me with wide eyes.
"What?" I said.
"Nothing," He shook his head, "Yo just scared me there for a minute."
"Shut up," I rolled my eyes. He laughed at my response.
"You were like an angry lion ready to pounce," He told me.
"Yeah well this lioness will pounce on you if you don't stop," I muttered.
"Emily, by now you must know that I like it rough," Alex said.
"You may like it rough, but you're telling the wrong person. My cousin is one phone call away, Mister," I quipped.
"Ouch. This lioness has claws," He said.
"Alex!" I hissed lowly. He laughed and got off the desk he was sitting on.
"Sorry, sorry. I'll take my leave," He held up his hands in mock surrender.
"Mhm. Bye, Alex," I said.
Now it's time to meet Caroline's new beau.