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Alice Parker

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It's nearly one in the morning, and I couldn't bring myself to sleep.  In a few hours I would have to bare more pain by seeing her again.  I stared out from my window breathing in the sadness of the rain.  It has been nearly two weeks since I have been involved in the accident that made the headlines.  Since then, my recovery hasn't been that easy.  I have been on medication and have been receiving weekly visits from a psychiatrist. The school president has also been kind enough to give me a two-month leave from my job as a teacher.  My doctor told me that rest would play a great role in my recovery, but I couldn't stop thinking of the sight of her blood all over the street.

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Today is the first day for classes to resume, and my first day at work as a first grade teacher.  I was nervous since it was my first day on the job.  I went in the classroom that I was assigned to, and found that it had already been decorated with paper cut-outs, drawings, and everything else that a first grade classroom would have.  I sat on the desk that had been labeled "Teacher's Table", put my  things down, and watched as my students poured in the classroom one by one until the bell rang.

"Okay, children.  Settle down, now," I said, giving them the widest smile that I could muster from all the nervousness.

"Who are you supposed to be?"  A pudgy-faced boy from the back row asked, clenching his fists.

"I am Ms. Sarah, and I am your teacher," I said, hoping that I showed no fear towards them.  "Sit down, please."

"No," the boy said, and threw crumpled pieces of paper at me.

"Young man, what is your name?" I glared at him, but I knew that I was being mean.  I just couldn't help it.  I turned around and buried my face in my hands.

"Ms. Sarah is crying!  Look what you did, Bubba!"  A girl screamed at the boy who was actually named Bubba. 

I took my hands away from my face and looked at the children, who were now bickering over such trivial matters.  This was the life of a first grade teacher, and I eagerly signed up for this, but now, I'm not too certain of my decision.

"Class, please, just stop quarreling with each other.  I-I came here to teach children because I love children, but if this will be your attitude, then I don't think that I will teach again."  My walls finally broke down.  This was more than I could take.  I ran out of the classroom, leaving the children in there, and to the parking lot.  I searched in my pockets for my car keys and after five minutes without success, I realized that they had been in my bag, which I left in the classroom.

I groaned, got up, and decided to face them again.  I walked to the classroom, dreading what they might do next.

"Good morning, Ms. Sarah," they said in unison, catching me be surprise.  They didn't look like they had caused trouble at all.

"Good morning to you, too," I said and gave them the biggest smile I could make.  "Come here all of you, and give me a hug," I said and all of them got up from their respective seats and gave me a big hug, including Bubba.

"We're sorry, Ms. Sarah," they said, and went back to their seats.

"It's okay, class," I said. "I will call out your names one by one, and when you hear your name just say 'present'." 

"Julie."  I started at the top of the list.

"Present, Ms. Sarah!"  A tall girl in pigtails squealed from the back.

"Cameron,"  I said, searching between them on which one could be Cameron.  I knew that I'd have to memorize these names and faces by the end of the week.

"Present," a chubby little boy in the third row with blond hair said.

"Andy."

"Present, ma'am!" A girl with a southern accent stood up and handed me an apple.

"Thank you." I mouthed to Andy.

"Amelia."

"Present," she said, and I noticed that she was the only student with such expensive things.  I placed a mental note at the back of my mind to keep an eye out for her.  She just might be a naughty child.

Name after name, I called them, and checked their names on the attendance sheet that had been handed out to all the teachers.  So far, as I was almost through the list, all the kids were present.

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Alice Parker

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