Thursday, March 15, 2012
2012 Slice-of-Life Story Challenge | 15
I got ready, like always, just later. I enjoyed breakfast sitting down, which I found far superior to desperately snarfing down a granola bar between morning commitments at school. I cuddled with Reid while he watched The Wiggles, which was nice because 98% of the time I leave without seeing him first-thing. We walked out to the car together as my husband prepared for their daily jaunt to the sitter's house.
In the far recesses of my mind (while enjoying these mundane, yet fabulous indulgences), I heard a little voice of self-doubt. Calendar doubt.
"It's Wednesday. What if you really did have a meeting? You'll never make it in time now."
After kissing the little one and the big one, I hopped in the car content to have 20 minutes to myself. A concert maybe...? Winding down the trip, the calendar doubt seeped deeper and deeper and the internal dialogue became more oppositional. I pulled into the parking lot only to notice it full. FULL. At 7:50, the parking lot is never full. Cars were there that I don't see speed in until five minutes before contract time.
The doubt became panic. No small whisper inside; only yelling now. IF THERE'S A MEETING, YOU'RE FIVE MINUTES LATE ALREADY!!!
I couldn't park and whisk all my belongings out of the back seat with enough speed. I fumbled into a dead-quiet hallway. My eyes darted from one classroom to the next. Darkened spaces, unoccupied pods. I mentally reconciled this data with cars I'd seen in the parking lot. At this point, I knew there was only one staff meeting indicator left.
I picked up my speed, focusing on the last door ahead of me. Mine.
Is it open? Is it open?
You see, my room connects the primary hallway to the media center, where all our staff functions are held...so many times my room serves as a thoroughfare into these events. An open door would mean mistake pure and simple. I'd have to suffer the inevitable embarrassment of walking in alone and late.
The seconds turned to minutes. I glanced through the connecting door only to see intent faces pointed toward our guest speaker.
Geesh. What do I do? Should I walk in late from the front, my classroom door? People already noticed me drop my bags by the desk and contemplate next moves... Should I walk around the library and be even later so I could enter from the back? Should I skip it completely?
The clock got the better of me. Tip-toeing in from the front, I tried to gracefully slide a chair behind my colleagues. It was a pipe dream to go unnoticed. More sympathetic eyes darted my way than judging ones.
I'm late and my calendar's blank. It was an honest mistake. Sorry Mr. ING; I'll have to catch up on retirement info later in my career.
I let myself sleep in. I did. And it was glorious.