This is our first day of the year back to school. I’m smiling, wishing all the best to everyone for this New Year. It’s exciting this impression you can start everything over. And I want to give the happy face. I’m wearing my deep pink cashmere sweater, a nice knees-high black skirt, no one noticed I’m actually quite pale from my whole Sunday sleeping or whatever. I still can’t remember, twenty-four hours are missing in my life, and Claire was so pissed off when I got her on the phone.
I’m walking down the corridor to the staff room, holding a pile of books and paper exams. I’ve decided I was going to work hard this year, and hopefully I will get advancement for the next school year, maybe better classes. I’m starting to ask if there is anyone looking for help to work on school project, any trip or show. I open the door and enter the staff room. This is the end of the day, last period is over, but most of my colleagues are still there, this is a lot of work for teachers too to go back to school. I leave my stuff on the big table in the middle of the room and get myself a cup. The kettle is boiled, as usual, and I can have a hot black tea straight away.
I sit down, listen to the conversation. Our PT isn’t there and this is some gossip about how authoritarian she is getting. I don’t fancy gossip today, and I soon leave the room to go back to my classroom. This is a nice one, with all the posters I got, postcards from France, lists of verbs and vocabulary, the verb “être”, and things like this, highly coloured. I hope the room is welcoming. I hung on some pictures of the place I am from, the Touraine, it seemed to me the youngest would like the castle thing. I sit at my desk, start on the smart board software and start typing an exercise. This is an amazing thing French teachers don’t even know yet, the smart board: every classroom in our French department got one now, this tactile screen connected to the computer. It allows so much tricks for the class, the class can be so much funnier than with a blackboard. Once, I even got on the Internet the Pirates of the Caribbean’s preview, in French, they found it so much fun. I smile at the memory, I like when something works out in the classroom. It’s so rewarding to feel like I’ve been useful to those kids. Teaching can be the best job ever.
My mobile phone breaks in my day dream. I take it in my handbag, and read the new text from a number I don’t know: “Let’s meet again at the Viper. Tonight. Mike” How did he get my phone number? You gave it to him… Of course I did. This is pretty strange, to be asked out on a Monday night. It didn’t happen since… since I was a student. Can I still be that person? I think about Saturday night, I’m wearing my school clothes, I’m in my very own classroom, and I remember those few hours when anything might have happened. May I have a double life? I pull away my mobile phone. I don’t want this. Or maybe you do.