The school bells chimes; everyone in the class runs off to the playground and started to play. These little rascals have too much energy in them; I always wonder where they hide that amount of energy in that tiny body. That is one of the mysteries I still can’t figure out.
“Ms. Wilson” someone called and approaches me.
“Oh! Good afternoon Mrs. Lopez” I greeted her.
I sat on my chair and smiled, “what can I do for you?” I asked
“I know this is unexpected but could you please help me with my son Juan” she said
“Juan? What might be the problem?” I asked
“He is always in a daze; when I talk to him he always tells me nothing and lately he has not been eating.” Mrs. Lopes worriedly said
“I find that weird Mrs. Lopes your son Juan is great in class actually he is making a good progress” I explained
“No! No! Ms. Wilson I think there is something wrong with my son, as if he is mind is always away and another thing I say a girl’s picture in his pocket.” Mrs. Lopez said
I smiled at her and stood.
“Come take a look Mrs. Lopez” I asked
I pulled the window curtain and their we saw Juan and Isabel on the swing talking to each other.
“Is Isabel Adams the girl in the photo?” I asked
Mrs. Lopez let out an easy sigh and smiled t me.
“I thought my son as problem in school” She said
“Mrs. Lopez, your son Juan is great and I think Isabel became his closely friend here.” I said
“I think so, sorry for the bother Ms. Wilson” she said
“No worries Mrs. Lopez, it is my job as Juan’s teacher to monitor him and make him feel safe here.” I replied
It has been five years since I became a teacher at Woods Elementary school. It is only natural for me to choose these professions for my parents are active volunteer members of our community. I have been exposed to a lot of social work activities, that I myself became aware that helping and teaching was my calling.
“Elizabeth, let’s have our break” Jenny called me
“Okay” I replied
Jenny Jones is a Science teacher at Woods Elementary school, I am one year older that her in terms of work, but and I are good friends.
“Hey! Have you watched the news last night?” Jenny asked
“No why?” I asked
“So you miss his interview” Jenny said
“Who?” I asked again
“Well, at the late night show, mayor candidate Edward Jackson was the guest. He is so handsome” Jenny said
“Jenny, please a mayor candidate handsome as if the world started to turn upside down.” I said
“Elizabeth, he is the youngest New York running candidate for mayor; how could you not know him?” She asked
“Sorry for not knowing, I am busy with work not like other that watch television late at night.” I teasingly replied
“You are missing one-third of your life Elizabeth” Jenny said
“Maybe, but I do not have care for such things” I said
I didn’t mean it literary, there is so much to do rather than be intrigue with a young mayor candidate or any other things. I have to focus on work and that is it.
It was already time for the students to go home. I collected my things from my table.
“I better go guys” I said goodbye
“Yeah! See you tomorrow” Jenny said
I walked straight out from Woods Elementary School and walk along the sidewalks. I reach the diner three blocks from the school.
“We are here!” wave and called to me
“Mom & Dad” I greeted them
“Lizzie, how are you?” mother asked
“I am fine mom” I replied and sat across them
“Did you become thinner than last time” father asked
“Dad I have been eating three times a day so please I am fine” I replied
“You are working too much” mother said
“No I am not mom” I insist
“You need a man to take care of you” mom added
“Let’s order now please” I said
My parents are very nice people; they are both social workers and have been helping other people for a cause. That what’s lead to their marriage and until know they still do social work. One thing that bugs me about is that; they keep on insisting I find man to care for me.
I am busy enough to be concern about that and a lover at his point of my career as an educator is basically a distraction.
“Oh! Lizzie I forgot I have listed you name at the soup kitchen even this Saturday” mom said
“Mom, how may time do have tell you not to volunteer me on events without my consent” I said
“I know but we need extra hands in the kitchen, we are feeding two hundred homeless people his time” mom explained
“Two hundred is that too much?” I asked
“We have get extra help” father said
“From whom?” I asked
“From some mayor candidate, what is his name?” mother tried to remember
“I think his name starts with the letter E” father said
“Mayor Candidate, so it is happening. They are using social work as a campaign strategy” I said
“It might be a campaign strategy but as long they help more people will get help.” Mother said
“I do how this mayor knows what he is going into” I replied
I am not into political matters but, sometimes I think people running for position are opportunist; they just want people to love them so they shower them with momentary promises. Don’t get me wrong we do need them but not too much of them.
After a lovely dinner with my parents, I went straight home and as a ritual I do some work at home.
“Sigh! I better turn on the television.” I press the on button of the remote, and sat at my sofa. Even if I knew that I will be focusing on checking my students paper I just what some noise to keep me awake.
“Next! Is a one-on-one interview with candidate Edward Jackson”
I looked at the television as it announce about Mr. Edward Jackson; Jenny was talking about him all day. I am curious who might this man be?
“Ladies and gentleman, the youngest New York mayor candidate Mr. Edward Jackson”
The host of the show called him and as I stare at the television, I stood in surprise as the Mr. Edward Jackson being called is the most unexpected person in the world.
Ten Years Ago – September 2004……
“Lizzie, Lizzie!” he came running to me in a rush.
“Ed! What is the problem?” I asked
“I was calling for you to wait for me.” He said
It was my last year in the Abraham Lincoln High School; it was a great high school year with my good friend Edward Jackson. We have been friends since start of the school year. I will admit it was weird to have a popular friend but he was the one sticking with me.
“Did you pass our due essay paper to Mr. Kingston?” I asked Edward
“Is it due today?” He asked
“Seriously Ed you forgot to pass” I said in a panic
He smiled and looked at me “just joking I passed it” He said confidently
“You are such a pain you know that” I said to him
“Don’t be like that Lizzie, it was a harmless joke” He said teasingly
“Yeah sure!” I sarcastically said
He came near me and put his arms on my shoulder.
“Why don’t I treat you this lunch?” He said
“No thanks! I pass” I replied and put his arms away from me.
“Come on Lizzie, don’t be such a sour-girl” Edward tease me more.
“Edward!” A call coming from our back caught our attention.
“I miss you babe!” Amanda came to Edward and hug him
“Amanda” Edward said
“I better go” I replied and run off
“Hey! Lizzie” Edward shouted
“Leave her be Edward, she is nothing” Amanda said and pulled Edward away.
I know already that Edward sees me as a friend only and nothing more. Who am I? Compare to his hot cheerleader girlfriend Amanda Fisher. I mean it was already a total mystery how he became my friend and yet our relationship is like that.
We are just friends.
I woke up the next morning, in a major confusion. Edward Jackson the person I knew from high school will be running for mayor. How unusual was that?
I didn’t finish checking the papers of my students and watch the entire show; he answered every question related to his advocacy to run as mayor of the city. One thing I have notice is that Edward is that he still looked handsome like in our high school.
“Elizabeth!” Jenny called me
“Yes!” I said
“Are you alright, you are in daze and you have been checking the same paper” she said
“Oh! Sorry I was just thinking” I said and turn to the next paper.
“Mr. Edward Jackson is one of the fast rising mayor candidates in New York…”
I looked at the television on the teachers’ lounge and there is a news about Edward.
“Sigh! He is so handsome” Jenny said
“He is too young to be the mayor” Mr. Anderson said
“But he is quite charming” Mrs. Madison said
“He might be just another pretty face” Mr. Brett said
“Come on Mr. Brett, he is might be a good mayor” Jenny defended
“What do you think Elizabeth?” Mr. Anderson asked
I shook my head “I don’t really care about politics that much” I replied
“But, you agree his handsome right” Jenny insisted
“If that is what you think Jenny, then be my guest” I replied
As much as possible I want to avoid a topic about Edward, I might spill something out that would reveal my past with him. I will just focus with my work and for sure 99.09% that our chance of meeting is a total failure. Our world long drifted away when high school ended so why should I care about this.
When the school days are out, I like to spend my time at home but for today I was drag by my parents to help out at the soup kitchen. It was one help of a preparation.
“Thank you for coming to help Elizabeth” Mrs. Leyden said
“No need to thank me, I am happy to do this” I said
“You better be!” mother said
“We are lucky this time for we had a sponsor” Mrs. Leyden said
“Really, then who might be must have a golden heart” I said
“We are about to open soon” father said
“Yes!” I said
Everyone started to carry pots on the table and prepare bowl and spoon. The line of people outside is already crossing the street; and once the door opened the soup kitchen was alive.
“Here you go!” I scoop a soup on the bowl
“Thank you!” The old lady said
One by one people eat to their hearts content, it was a wonderful feeling.
“The man that sponsor this will be her soon” Mrs. Leyden said
“Really, I am excited to meet him” I said
“You might know him, he is a mayor candidate” Mrs. Leyden said
“Mayor Candidate?” I said
“Yes! His name is Edward Jackson” Mrs. Leyden said
I freeze when she said Edward’s name and looked at the entrance door opening up. Like a slow motion, body guards and loud media outside the soup kitchen filled the area and Edward entered the hall.
“Mr. Jackson” Mrs. Leyden called and approached him
The first thing I thought of doing was hiding but where?
I tried to move backward and pulled my mother who was beside me.
“What is the matter Lizzie?” mother asked
“Shhh! Be quite mom; just take over for me” I said
“Thank you for coming here Mr. Jackson” Mrs. Leyden said
“Please just call me Edward” he said
“This mean a lot for us here, a lot of volunteer came to help this make happen” Mrs. Leyden said
I slowly creep away from that place, but it was difficult. People keep passing my way.
“Could I help is giving out food” Edward said
“Sure! Follow me” Mrs. Leyden said
I panic when he came close the serving table; I was quick enough to move.
“Lizzie! Come here!” mother pulled me “help him”
Mother pulled me and as the opposite effect I was now beside the man I am trying to avoid.
“Can you give me a bowl?” Edward asked
“Sure!” I gave him a bowl while looking downward
This is the weirdest thing ever, how could this happen?
People slowly again fall in line to get some food, a lot of cameras are flashing over Edward who is giving food. I just stood there like a frozen worm; I really want to leave.
“Looks like everyone is happily eating.” Edward said
“Yeah!” I reply hesitantly
“Mr. Jackson” called and approach by Mrs. Leyden
I took that opportunity to move away and leave them.
“Lizzie, where are you going?” mother called me
When I turn around I saw Edward looking at me, at a panic state I run in the prep area.
“Could you please excuse me” Edward said to Mrs. Leyden
“Sure!” Mrs. Leyden replied
“Wait Edward, where are you going?” Paul asked
“Shhh! Just wait for me here” Edward replied
I went to the prep room in a panic mode, did he just saw me? Did he recognize me? Did he remember me?
These are the questions I ask myself as I panic more. I better get out of here that is the thing I need to do right now.
“Elizabeth” a call from behind came and as I turn around it was Edward looking at me.
“Elizabeth Wilson is that really you?” he asked and approaches me.
I froze and looked at him, sigh I need to be calm, I need to react fast.
“Hello, long time no see” I replied
“God! It has been how many years, eight years?” Edward asked
“Well nine years and a half to be exact” I replied
“It is good to see you” Edward said
“Yeah!” I replied
I really don’t want to have this moment, or even the slightest scene with him.
“I better leave now” I said to Edward
“Wait!” He said and pulled my hands
“Why leaving so fast, let’s hang for a moment” He said
“I really need to go now” I insist
“Edward” a call outside the prep room called our attention
“Just a minute Paul, we need to catch up Elizabeth so don’t go” Edward said
“Come on, the press are already here” Paul said
“Wait for me here” Edward said and left.
Wait for him? I don’t think so I collected my things and head out using the backdoor. A lot of people had gather at front and has been anticipating him. I just held out and grab the first taxi I could call.
This was so wrong!
“Where to ma’am?” asked by the cab driver
“Please take me to the 23rd Avenue” I replied
The cab driver drove away; I think I am worried for nothing. I mean what is the reason I am panicking like this? I didn’t do anything wrong.
My mobile phone suddenly rang…
“Hello mom?” I answered
“Where are you?” she asked
“I have to leave, I am sorry I will call you I promise” I said and hang up
I lean backward the cab seat and looked outside the window. I thought fate really do play a very awful chance. To meet him again right now is very cruel. After everything that had happen. I do not need to concern myself with him, we are both in a different world right now.
That is for the better.