Day 355 – The Way Home – Part 8

Word count: 730

Morning again: Debbie woke later than her alarm. The ringing was still going off as she came to consciousness.
“Shit!” she launched herself out of bed. She had never been late in all her life and today might not be her first if she could get ready quickly. She had fifteen minutes to shower and get her stuff together. Breakfast could be grabbed on route or at the school.

Debbie felt that she had not slept at all. Whatever she had been dreaming it wasn’t pleasant – she had a feeling that it involved death somehow. It was one of those dreams that kept the emotions high and the internal panic process on full alert. Debbie was finding herself worrying about her mum, whom she hadn’t heard from in ages. She was tempted to dial her up in the car and make sure she was alright, but it was far too early for that.

At quarter to nine Debbie arrived, rushing passed the school mums dropping off their children. Her head was in such a mess – she hadn’t remembered her lesson plans, she hadn’t remembered to take the bins out; she had forgotten where her marking was and she had no clue as to what she was going to do after registration.

The children filed in at nine o’clock. Most of them had some form of a cold – running noses, blocked noses, rosy cheeks and an exhausted complexion. It was that time of year again. Tomorrow most of them would be off ill. Today, Debbie wished they were all off. Today, teaching would be so much easier if there were no children. However, they were here and so she snapped herself out of it and got on with it.

Registration taken, she descended into a little bit of reading with them – something she would normally do later on in the day, but until she could organise herself mentally, was the easiest option. The class were behaving well today – no strange whispers or notes being passed; no fighting or taunting and no talking when they were meant to be silent. However, there was one little girl who Debbie found she was glancing at more often than the others. She could not understand why – this girl, Maria, was being absolutely pleasant, but there was something in the back of Debbie’s head that kept reminding her to look after the girl.

Lunch and the rest of the day went well. By afternoon she had ensured she had had enough coffee to get her through the rest of the day. To say she was awake was a slight understatement. The amount of coffee she was piling in to the mug was slightly more than required: Debbie was a little wired.
In the afternoon she decided she was going to teach them what they would have been doing tomorrow morning. Nature and the Outside World she called it. She was going to be teaching them all about the food chains and basic biology – how plants grow, when the door burst open. A man barged into her classroom and headed directly for Maria’s desk.
“Excuse me! Sam what do you think you are doing?”
The man stopped two seats away from Maria and turned sharply at Debbie, “What did you say?”
“I asked you what do you think you are doing?”
“No, no you said something else?”
“What are you doing, sir?”
The man advanced on Debbie, “You called me Sam?”
“Well that’s your name isn’t it? You can’t just come in here and take your daughter away…”
“How did you know my name was Sam if we’ve never met?”
Debbie’s insides dropped into a hole and plummeted towards the ground, free fall. He was right – Sam was right. They had never met. But if they had never met, how on earth did she not only remember his name, but recognise him and who he was instantly? What was happening to her? Why did this feel familiar? Why was everything in this moment so familiar?
And then something clicked in her brain. The dream, the memory of the dream: death. Terror struck her as she remembered what had happened….. what might have happened. Her brain was beyond frazzled trying to fathom what was going on.
“Oh my god, she’s dead isn’t she?”
All the blood in Sam’s face vacated his face, leaving an empty shell of shock.

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~ by S.G. Mark on September 25, 2012.

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