Update: I should have said that this post is based on one true event, the rest of it is my imagination. I did wait in a car for himself and I did write a story on my phone….but nothing else is true….I can’t tell a story without making….more. So I guess this is kinda flash fiction!
I sat down about a year ago and wrote a story*. It was a Monday. I was studying for my post grad in teaching. And I was parked in Limerick, in a cold, coffee stained, car – packed to the brim of balloons, coloured paper, pages of stickers, and was feeling blue.
You see, I was waiting for the stock market to chill-out so my hubby-to-be could leave and grab lunch with me. I rocketed through the radio. I messed with my nails and hair. I tapped my fingers like loud drums against the steering wheel and 30 minutes later, I was still waiting.
I finished my story* as I surveyed my car. Full to the brim and boot it was, I may as well have been a travelling stationary and book seller.
I investigated a hissing sound; it was a green balloon slowly deflating under the passenger seat. I stared at the dull, dreary, bleak, building that held my man and thought of my time, captive, in a similar place in Dublin. I was a coward for staying in the accounting world for so long. Pure yellow I was! But, the King and I…we studied the same degree and then worked in the same industry and change is bad, right?
Wrong! I smiled, because my life is now so different. Changed utterly, a terrible beauty it is now. My eyes glazed over as I stared into my engagement ring, the rays of light held me. And I reflected.
I thought of TP, my teaching assignments. Then past pupils and then my thoughts flitted back to Teaching Practice. Teaching practice are two words that most teachers say in hushed and snarly tones, and I had just been through one. Forget about auditors, the financial regulator and having the IFSC bond with Mr. King. TP was a different beast.
Can you imagine leaving the world of lattés and numbers for the world of little people and words and TP? I complained on my first day of TP. ‘It’s like leaving the one dimensional world of the IFSC; to step into this 2-D world of words and little people saying…’teacher, teacher,’ all day long!’ The listening teacher smiled and said, ‘It suuuure is…what was it like…the number world?’ I may have been over zealous in my IFSC tales but, what harm? This teacher, who was younger than I, hopped up from the child’s seat beside me and asked, ‘1 D plus 2 D equals?’ I answered as I swung my legs back and forth, ‘3 D.’
My sparkling day-dreaming thoughts were interrupted by the sound of Mr. King’s steps reverberate as he crashed over puddles and zig-zaged the plopping Limerick rain – I stared up; my engagement rings’ light releasing me as he dazzled me with a smile. The car door was pulled open in one movement and in he hopped, full of tales of the index, bloomburg, pricing, excel macros, x-dates….It sounded exciting, this world of numbers he talked of. Questions ping-ponged back and forth of the number world and the word world variety through out lunch.
‘The grass is always greener’, they say. But maybe ‘they’ got it wrong! I merged my yellow IFSC with my blue teacher side….and it was a shade of 3-D green that even Scarlet O’Hara would be proud of.
And now, sometimes in class I ask the children to write their hopes for the day on paper and fold the paper into one balloon. We hang this one balloon from the board and at the end we pop it just to see what hopes were realised. And the colour of the balloon….why green of course!
* I developed the story I wrote into a children’s middle grade book and I am half way through editing it. I added some sparkles to my green!