First-year teacher Olivia Wynn stepped inside the copy room.
“Goddamn piece of crap,” muttered Ron Grizdowski, an older teacher in a Hawaiian shirt and sandals. He tinkered with the guts of the machine a bit longer before he stepped back, wiped his brow, and looked at his much younger colleague. “Pardon my French.”
“No worries,” Olivia replied. “I take it it’s not working?”
“You got that right. They’re all down – all of them in the building.”
Olivia’s palms began to sweat. She needed her copies for her first-period class in twenty minutes. Oh, first-year teacher woes.
“Oh well,” Ron said. He crumpled his piece of paper and shot a free throw into the recycling bin, whistling. When he noticed the distraught look on Olivia’s face, he paused. “Hey, keep that chin up, alright? Give the kids some silent reading time or something.”
“No, I can’t…they have that on Fridays,” Olivia said as she let out a deep exhale.
“Guess you’ve got to stand and deliver like me, then. Sometimes you just have to wing it.” He paused. “By the way, we have fifty-seven days to go.”
“Until the end of the year?” Olivia asked. Teaching truly felt like running a marathon at times.
Ron nodded. “And for the rest of my career.”
Olivia smiled at him despite her slumped shoulders. “I don’t know if I can make it that far.”
“Oh, you’ve got it – I know you have it in you. You’re a wonderful teacher, Olivia. The kids love you.” Ron’s words became slow and deliberate – father-like, almost. “But there’s nothing wrong with not making it, too.”
He patted her on the shoulder on his way out the door. Before exiting, he stopped and faced her. “You know where I’m moving, by the way?”
Olivia shook her head. She still clutched the original copy of today’s lesson in her hands.
Ron pointed at his sandals, then at the flowers on his shirt. “I’m not wearing these for nothing!” He smiled at her and winked, then was gone.
Olivia took another deep breath as she looked at her lesson again. She crumpled it up and took a shot at the recycling bin, too. It went in.
Thank you so much for reading “The Copy Room Conundrum” — I hope you enjoyed it.
I am looking for some feedback regarding the writing prompts I tend to post after my stories. Would you like to see them continue, or do you prefer to simply read my work? Or…does it not matter to you either way? I’m just trying to get a feel from you, my dear readers! Thanks for any ideas/comments you can provide.
Take care. I hope you all have a great week!