It was the first day back from break and I was not ready at all. My time in Greece, although it was short, was fun and I wish I could go back pretty soon but I have a job to do. If only I were Casper’s age again, then maybe I could travel like she does.
“Morning, Emily. Cute outfit,” Caroline greeted as she walked into my room. Today, I had decided on a plaid, dark green midi skirt, a black sweater that I had tucked into the skirt, and a pair of comfortable black ankle boots. For accessories, I went with a gold necklace and a pair of matching gold earrings. My hair was pulled into a half up and half down style as well.
“Thank you,” I smiled, “Casper picked it out for me before she left.”
“You’re lucky to have two sisters and a brother-in-law as your fashion advisors,” She sighed.
“I know and they’ll give you advice if you ask,” I giggled.
“I don’t want to bother every single time I have a dilemma,” She replied.
“True,” I nodded.
“Anyways, you’ll have to tell me about your trip to Greece. I’ve been dying to hear about it,” She told me.
“Alright, but I’ll have to do it during our lunch break,” I answered.
“Okay and I’ll tell you about mine,” She smiled.
“Did you hear that Jessica is pregnant?” I asked.
“Jessica who? There’s a bunch of Jessica’s working in this school,” She responded. That is true. We have a Jessica or two working in each grade level and they were all excellent teachers.
“The music teacher,” I added.
“Ohhh. Wait. I thought her name was Jenny,” Caroline said.
“No. Her name is not Jenny,” I chuckled, “How long have you been at this school?”
“For three years now,” She answered.
“And yet you still don’t know the name of our music teacher?” I questioned.
“I’m bad with names, Emily. You know that,” She replied.
“I know because you kept calling me Erica for six months when we first became friends,” I shook my head.
“Are you still on that? Let it go,” She rolled her eyes.
“No way. It’s really hilarious how you kept calling me Erica, even though I corrected you every single day,” I giggled.
“And yet we’re still friends,” She remarked.
“Because you stood up for me against those neighborhood bullies and because your mom got tired of you playing with the boys all the time,” I chuckled.
“I don’t know why when those guys taught me how to be tough,” She said.
“Caroline, you kept coming home with cuts and scrapes every single day, not to mention that you broke your arm playing football, you also beat up three of the boys you hung out with, and even wrestled one to the ground and made him eat dirt,” I recounted. Caroline laughed for a moment with a proud smile on her face.
“Those were the days,” She contently sighed.
“For who? You or your victims?” I muttered.
“Oh shut up. You act like those guys didn’t deserve it,” She waved me off.
“They mostly definitely did deserve it and they didn’t at the same time because you were a complete and utter menace,” I responded.
“Whatever. I did what I had to do to survive,” Caroline said.
“We lived in the suburbs. What the hell did we have to survive other than bake sales?” I replied.
“Bake sales were a dangerous enemy,” Caroline said.
“That’s because you used up a week’s worth of allowance to buy half of the brownies,” I rolled my eyes.
“And I don’t regret it at all,” Caroline proudly stated.
“Hm. You sure did regret it when your mom yelled at you,” I mumbled.
“There was some regret there when she did, but afterwards I still appreciated all those delicious brownies that put me into a food coma,” She said.
“I bet you did,” I muttered.
“Did you see Alex today?” Caroline asked.
“No. Why? Did something happened?” I looked at her.
“He seemed to be out of it,” Caroline answered, “What did your cousin do to the man?”
“Knowing her, it was probably something that rocked his world,” I chuckled.
“From the way he looked, I’d say that might be the case,” Caroline giggled.
“Caroline,” Monica Turner, the history teacher, said from my door.
“Yes?” Caroline responded.
“Do you mind helping me with something real quick?” She asked.
“Sure. I’ll be right there,” Caroline answered, “I’ll be back in a minute.”
“Okay. Take your time,” I nodded. As soon as she left, I went right back what I was doing, which was getting the classroom ready for my students. Thankfully, I didn’t have to do any work over the break since I had my lesson plans prepared for this week. All I have to do is just follow them and things will be running smoothly.
A knock sounded on my door as I was organizing my desk. I looked up briefly and smiled after seeing that it was Mischa. She had one hand behind her back as she stood there, which let me know that she had something in it.
“Good morning, Mischa. You’re here early,” I said.
“Dad got so used to the morning tutoring schedule that he forgot that today was the first day back from break,” She informed.
“I bet he did,” I giggled.
“Yeah, but he wanted me to give you this,” She walked over to my desk and handed me a beautiful bouquet of lily-of-the-valley. They were so beautiful and well cared for. A large smile formed on my face as she handed the flowers to me.
“My dad wanted me to give these to you,” She informed me, “He got them from our greenhouse.”
“Is he here now?” I inquired.
“No. He had to go on to work because of a meeting,” She answered.
“Oh,” I said with a tinge of sadness in my voice.
“Don’t feel too sad,” Mischa replies.
“Is it showing?” I asked.
“A little,” She responded.
“Well, I’ve gotten so used to seeing him in the morning that it’s a little sad that he’s not here today,” I confessed.
“I understand, but don’t worry. There’s always tomorrow morning,” She assured me.
“You’re such a sweet, sweet child, Mischa,” I smiled.
“Thanks,” She smiled back. She took out her phone, which looked like it had been ringing nonstop.
“Speak of the devil,” She muttered. She pressed accept and then faced the phone towards me.
“Good morning, Emily,” August greeted with a smile.
“Good morning, August. How are you?” I greeted back with a smile. Mischa handed her phone to me and I took.
“I’m doing alright. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there this morning to see you in person,” He responded.
“It’s fine, August. I’m not too upset,” I assured him.
“Emily,” He said.
“Fine. You caught me. Maybe I’m a little upset,” I sighed, “Happy?”
“No. I hate having to hear that you’re upset because you couldn’t see me,” He replied.
“It would have been nice to see you in person, even though we were together all last week,” I sighed.
“I know, but we have tomorrow morning to look forward to,” He said.
“Mischa said the same thing,” I smiled faintly.
“She’s thinking on the bright side like I taught her to and you should do the same,” He said.
“I’ll try,” I mumbled.
“No. You will,” He replied.
“I will look on the bright side today,” I recited.
“That’s my girl,” He smiled. Hearing him say “my girl” made my heart flutter and it gave me such a warm feeling inside. I felt like such a teenager in that very moment as he spoke. This man doesn’t know what he does to me at all.
“As for the flowers you sent me this morning, I’m absolutely in love with them. Thank you so much,” I beamed.
“You’re welcome. Beautiful flowers for a beautiful woman,” He replied.
“Somehow hearing you two flirt doesn’t make me want to barf,” Mischa chirped.
“She acts more like me from when I was around her age than anything,” He muttered. That made me laugh.
“Well she gets it from her daddy,” I giggled. Hearing me say “daddy” must have triggered something within him because his blue eyes darkened. Uh-oh. I might have awakened a beast within him that was probably lying dormant.
“I’ll say what I want to say later,” He murmured in a low voice to me.
“Okay,” I nodded silently.
“And now I feel like I’m intruding somehow,” Mischa added.
“Shouldn’t you be studying?” August asked his daughter.
“Shouldn’t you be working?” She quipped. Mischa is such a feisty little girl that it’s funny. August must be driven crazy every single day because of her.
“Oh ha ha ha,” August rolled his eyes.
“Also, dad, today was the first day back. There was no need to drop me off early,” Mischa informed.
“Yeah. I kind of forgot about it being the first day from break. My bad,” He apologized.
“It’s not really fine considering how I could have slept in,” Mischa said.
“If you had slept in, then it would have been harder to wake you up and who wants to deal with that?” August responded.
“If I miss school for one day, then I miss school for one day,” She shrugged.
“Well, today is not the day in which you’ll miss it,” He told her.
“Darn it,” She snapped her fingers.
“This is very entertaining to witness,” I chuckled.
“I’m sorry for ignoring you. Once I get sucked into talking with her, then it never ends,” August said.
“I could say the same for you, dad,” Mischa added.
“If I ignore her, will I get reported?” He asked.
“No,” I giggled.
“That’s what I’m gonna do,” He said.
“You’re on my phone, mister,” Mischa pointed out.
“That I pay for,” August said. She went quiet for a moment because knew that his statement held truth to it. The financially obvious truth.
“August,” I said.
“What? I was just making a statement,” He feigned innocence.
“Apologize,” I replied.
“Mischa, I apologize for my statement. I may pay for the phone, but you own it yourself,” He said.
“Thanks, dad. It’s nice to see you feeling guilty and apologizing to me. Now bow down at my feet,” She grinned.
“Who’s child are you?” He asked.
“Yours, dear father,” She answered innocently.
“Satan’s,” August muttered.
“That’s not a good nickname to call yourself, dad,” She countered.
“Oop,” I murmured.
“Mr. Flores,” A female voice said.
“Alright, you two. Have a great day and I’ll see you both later on,” August told us.
“You might see me a little early at lunch,” Mischa mumbled under her breath.
“No funny business, missy,” August firmly stated.
“Yes, dad,” She sighed.
“Have great day, Emily,” He smiled at me.
“You too, handsome,” I grinned, then blew him a kiss. He caught it and placed it over his heart. This man was a dream and so much more. We said our goodbyes once more before the call ended.
Once it ended, I felt a sense of yearning coming over me. If only this day would end quicker, then maybe I could see him as soon as possible.
“There you go again with that sad look,” Mischa said.
“Gosh. You’re determined to point this out, aren’t you?” I asked.
“Mhm. I want to see you smile today. None of that sadness stuff, okay?” She responded.
“Okay,” I answered.
“Good. Now, what are we doing today and why are you torturing us like this on the first day back?” Mischa questioned.
“Ha ha ha. Very funny, Mischa,” I rolled my eyes.
“What? I’m just asking the hard questions,” She said.
“These hard questions of yours just come from a place of laziness,” I replied.
“And wanting to go home and lay in bed while watching dumb cartoons all day,” She added. That causes me to give her look, which made her laugh.
“Okay, okay. I’ll stop,” She smiled.
“Good. Anyways, we’re not doing anything too hard. Your first morning assignment will be a brief essay about what you guys did over the break for those who went somewhere or an essay about where you want to travel someday for those who didn’t go anywhere,” I informed.
“Wow. That’s very inclusive of you,” She remarked.
“Thank you. Inclusivity can go a long way,” I told her.
“It sure can,” She agreed.
“I won’t grade you guys on things like format so just do your best,” I replied.
“Okay. Mind if I get started on mine?” She asked.
“Sure. I don’t mind, but another thing is that every one of you gets the choice to either read your essay or not read it at all. Either way, I’m not going to force you guys to get up and do that if you don’t want to,” I explained.
“Wow. You’re a really cool teacher. Most of my other teachers force us to do that,” Mischa said.
“I was a student once like you and I know how horrible it can be to have someone force you to speak when you don’t want to. I’d rather you guys have a choice on that matter no matter what,” I responded.
“Thanks for being so understanding, Miss Emily,” She smiled.
“You’re welcome,” I smiled back, “I’m just doing my best to make learning as easy and comfortable for you guys.”
“You’re the best teacher in the world and I’m going to be glad that you’re my teacher for the rest of my life and so are my classmates,” Mischa said. That made me feel so happy to hear. I’m glad that she feels this way about me along with her peers. I didn’t think they appreciated all that I did for them, but to hear that they all do warms my heart so much and makes me feel like I’m doing my job properly.