Love Story

Love Story (March 2020, Week 3 Day 5)

“If you’re happy and you know it…” Trina May looked at the circle of four year olds with her eyebrows raised, waiting for someone to finish the line. There were five minutes left in the day and all she wanted was to see the back of the children before she broke down into tears.


Masking a sigh, Trina May echoed, “Clap your hands,” and the song continued with the wobbly voices in their own interpretations of the tune. They made their way through sad, mad, and hungry before the bell rang.

“That’s our bell! Say goodbye to your friends and pick up your backpacks.” Trina May stayed in her chair at the top of the rug while the children ebbed and swirled around her and the room. She loved them all and she would miss them. 

When the last child cleared the threshold, Trina May closed her eyes and let the silence fill her up. This room had been hers for seven years and she could picture ever inch of it without opening her eyes. The pattern of the circle time rug, the placement of the alphabet letters, where the climbing stones were in Iggy the iguana’s habitat. The only things that changed were the pieces of art the children made and even that followed certain patterns. She put almost as much care into the room as she put into teaching the children themselves, and she wasn’t sure if she’d ever see it again. 

“Ms. Taylor?”

Trina May’s eyes fluttered open. “Yes, Ms. Abbot?” Looking over her shoulder was out of the question – she was determined to be off the school grounds before she let tears flow. 

“I don’t mean to disturb you, I just thought, well, I just wondered if you might need, might need some help with…things.”

Keeping her voice low and even, Trina May got out of the chair keeping her back to the other teacher. She answered, “thank you, no. I’ll make do on my own.” If things had been different she would have welcomed the help. If things had been different, though, she wouldn’t be packing up her room and leaving the school unlikely to return.

Trina May began dismantling the board furthest from the door and was blissfully unaware of when the other woman left. It only took three boxes to collect all she’d made for the room, all her personal touches. When she finished, she stood, rocking, in the center of the room with her arms wrapped around her middle.

“Ms. Taylor.”

The brusk voice was like a slap in the face and Trina May spun around to face the principal. It was satisfying to watch him whither under her glare even though it didn’t change anything. 

“You didn’t have to take everything down.”

Trina May picked up her boxes. “I didn’t touch anything that wasn’t mine to begin with. Do you need to check for yourself?”

“There is no need for hostility, Ms. Taylor. I’m sure you know we are not enemies here.”

6 thoughts on “Love Story”

  1. I think I have to go with this one, this week. I definitely liked pieces of all of them though – tough choices!

  2. This one has my attention. Getting kicked out of teaching pre-schoolers—that’s solid.. Also, the principal has the opportunity to either be an ass or something intriguing.

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