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The New Begining

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The school term started with a vengeance today. I took it easy on my students during the first term but I will have to intensify my efforts in the second term. As it is I will need a divine intervention to achieve the prescribed level of reading and writing skills for my students.

The first day is a lesson in frustration. I spend whole day settling the kids in back to school mode. Luke is no help at all. He keeps telling all the kids how I am going to become his new mom. All the kids want to talk about me becoming Luke's new mom and what it means.

I come with an idea of writing a story to explain it all. Every kid has to contribute with an idea for the story, write it down if they can or draw a picture if they can't. The best idea will be displayed on the classroom board.

Amy has a story idea for "The Most Wicked Stepmother ever" and Luke is left in tears. There is no getting around this problem so I encourage the topic. Soon everyone is discussing the meanest thing I can do to Luke.

I ask them to draw a mean face mask. Soon everyone including me is wearing the scariest face mask they can draw and acting the part of a wicked stepmother. For my part I turn the performance into a farce and all the kids start giggling at my antics.

I manage to change the subject from wicked step mother to fairy tales at this point. I ask the kids to choose one of the picture books and help them to read it aloud to the whole class. The learning is back on track before the day ends but it has been exhausting work.

I am going home with Joe. Luke is excitedly chatting to Joe in a mix of Serbian and English. At least someone is happy. As for me I am tired and cranky. I still have to arrange parent teacher interview in next two weeks to give out the student reports. One of the interview will be with Sam. I am so not looking forward to that meeting.

Joe says good bye to me at the bottom of the stairs to my room. I climb the stairs with Luke.

At the top of the stairs I am confronted with Alex. It looks as if he is hiding here for some time. He had left me alone after our exclusive interview to the second monthly edition of the Block News. Numerous threats from both Sam and Joe helped as well. I guess it's 'That time of the month again' in more than one aspect.

I start turning back to avoid him. He sees my reaction and blocks my exit. I don't want to shout and create a scene unless I have to. We are both at a stalemate.

"Alice listen, I am not here for a story. Allah Qasam. I am here just to meet you. Sam has already threatened to close the newspaper down if I write anything about you without a express written permission from both of you."

"Ok if you are not here for a story then why are you here?"

"Alice I come here in peace. Can we talk for the old times sake please"

I reluctantly let him come in the room and offer him seat on the sofa. I am still standing up.

"I give you 5 minutes. State your piece and go away"

"Alice what happened. We used to be such a close friends. In fact newspaper was your idea. You gave me purpose in my life and helped me fulfil my dream"

He should know why I don't like him anymore so I don't answer this question and remain silent.

"I know, I know, why you are angry. I printed something about your love life which you think is an infringement on your privacy rights but what I printed is a factual news. It wasn't exactly a secret either. Lot of people saw you on that day." He continues on.

"After I received your email I was so excited by the idea. I took it on straightaway. I worked day and night and had enough material to print the paper within days. What I was missing was a front page. I was frantically searching the area for the item. That's when Monique told me about seeing you together. I saw a sensational news and grabbed it with both hands."

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