Though I have some ideas about where I'd like to take this story, I'd like to hear from the people out there. What are your thoughts as to what happens with Emmy?
Never one for creating such abundant drama, the choice to act on her true feelings forged a milieu that was awkward and uncomfortable. Nevertheless, she continued on with her distressing monologue. “I... I just feel like it would,” she gulped, “uh, be better for BOTH of us if I, uh, was moved to a different classroom.” Mrs. Chester stared at her with squinting eyes. They crinkled unpleasantly as her thin lips smacked together deliberately. “What I mean is...” Emmy stammered as the older teacher leaned back against her desk, her arms crossed haughtily across her chest. Mrs. Chester had decided to show no mercy for Emmy.
Fresh out of the education department at Glenola college in upstate New York, Emmy had some definite beliefs about how a classroom should be run. Her position as a teacher's aide for Mrs. Lynlee Chester, however, illustrated the opposite of these contemporary philosophies. Stubborn and inflexible, Mrs. Chester insisted that an atmosphere of terror and the general unease of her students were a necessary component in their education. The eight pupils that comprised Mrs. Chester's seventh grade special education class took to this method by evading her questions and attempting to stay out of her line of vision as often as possible. Emmy tried to reassure the kids when working one on one with them, but the truth was that she was scared of Mrs. Chester as well. Emmy continued, “It's just, uh, not a good fit.”
“I see.” The older woman glared diabolically into her core, and Emmy's stomach seemed to be doing hurdles over her heart. “Did you speak to Mr. Bell yet?”
Breathing deeply to assuage her fidgety organs, Emmy nodded. “I spoke to the principal earlier. I just wanted to go over it with you.”
“Go over what? You've made your decision. See you in the hallway.” Mrs. Chester ushered her out the door with her acrid voice. Emmy stood in the empty corridor of Addams Middle School. It was good to be alone.
Downstairs was a bit more enlivened. The excitement of Friday afternoon created a rather jubilant mood among her coworkers, of which there were many. There were only 15 classes in this school, each with between six and eight students, but since each classroom was teeming with adults (teacher, assistant, aides), in addition to hallway administrators, there was a lot of staff, all of which had apparently convened in the lobby area of Addams. “So... did you talk to the demon lady?” Theresa had sidled up to her.
“Yeah. Shh- I'll tell you about it later.”
“I think people are going to find out about the transfer when you're assigned to another class on Monday. Come to happy hour at Ty's and we can chat.”
Emmy looked at her watch. “It's 3:00. Do you really think it's wise to begin drinking now?”
“Yes. Stop being so old.”
“Fine, but I'm leaving at a decent hour. I'm still in work clothes.”
Ty's was empty but for a couple of people from work perched on barstools and prattling animatedly to each other. The old tavern was dark and kind of musty. When Emmy breathed in through her nose, the odor of stale beer, dust, and french fries filled her nostrils. “Remind me to refrain from inhaling,” she remarked covertly to her friend. Pulling up stools to the mahogany bar, the girls ordered their drinks then turned toward one another.
“Okay.” Theresa said. “I'm ready.”
“You're ready? For what?”
“For you to tell me everything that happened upstairs. Did she yell? Did she breathe fire? You don't seem at all charred.” Her chubby fingers grabbed at Emmy's shirt, pretending to look for signs of burns on her skin.
“Oh, stop. It was fine. I just clearly explained that my pedagogical ideas were different than hers; that I needed to use this T.A. position as a learning experience that I can one day transfer into my own classroom.” Wistfully, Emmy thought about how these were the things she had wanted to say, had rehearsed in her head over and over, to Mrs. Chester.
“Right. Clear and simple. Did she take it well?” Theresa inquired.
“It was fine. Can we please talk about something else?” They both turned to accept the bottles of beer from the waitress. “I got this round,” Emmy said, pulling her purple wallet out of her purse and retrieving the cash. “You can get the next one.”
“Ah- so you are staying. I thought you were 'leaving at a decent hour.'”
“Yeah, well, I didn't realize how much I needed this until I got here. I'm gonna throw some songs on the juke box.” Emmy walked toward the front of the bar as a group of acquaintances from work came in the door. She smiled at the three guys, who offered her quick nods in greeting. Watching them approach Theresa's stool, she let a sigh of contentment escape her lips. If they stayed for a while, the conversation would surely turn around. She walked over to the group, exceedingly aware of her steps on the wood floor. They all turned as she moved in on their little circle. “Hey, what's up?”
“What did ya put in?” Pete asked, accusingly.
“I played all love songs. I thought that would be a good idea.” Everyone, except Pete, chuckled. Along with Mike, Pete was one of the gym teachers at Addams Middle School. Often he would take a situation way too seriously (such as this particular moment), but Emmy still liked him. He was sweet. She looked over the rest of crew: Theresa, of course, with her long brown hair, paunchy little belly, and warm, inviting smile; Mike and Pete, both fit, both wearing identical athletic pants that swished loudly every time they moved; and Paul- older, more experienced as a person. And seemingly knowledgable of everything before their occurrence.