"Bye Ms. B!"
"Bye Ms. Berkley! See ya!" I heard my multitude of kindergarteners call out to me after I walked them out for dismissal.
"Bye my babies! I'll see you tomorrow!" I waved to the last few of them, as they walked of hand in hand with their mothers and fathers. After seeing the last child off, I turned around, beginning to walk back to my classroom to clean up some more until I felt a little tug to my hand.
I looked down and was surprised when I saw one of my students staring up at me with wide eyes and a pout. Her smooth mahogany skin glistened in the sun and the bobbles in her hair were still clacking like she just ran back over to me.
"Nayeli, what's wrong sweetheart? Where's your mommy?" I asked her, kneeling down to her level so she wouldn't have to crane her neck up at me.
"I don't know, Ms. B, she said she was coming," she spoke in a perplexed tone, looking around as if she may have missed her mom's car. I was a little confused too, because her mother was usually punctual, and called when she'd be running late or having someone else get her.
"Okay, let's call her, come on we can wait in our classroom," I told her, reaching for her small hand to lead her back down the short hallway of our elementary school. Once we reached room 231, she instinctively sat at her desk in the front row.
"What's your mommy's phone number, babygirl?" I asked her, getting ready to dial. Once she recited it, I tried calling her maybe three or four times to no avail. Her dad was on file as well, I remember meeting him once but I meet so many parents I can't remember who's daddy is who unless I see him weekly.
"Do you wanna try calling your daddy, Nayeli?" I asked her. She lifted her head from the book she was reading with a huge grin, nodding furiously, making me chuckle. Once she prattled off his phone number, I called and he answered on the second ring.
"Gionni Cartier," he answered in a smooth tone, like he'd been answering phones all day.
"Hi Mr. Cartier, this is Ms. Berkley, Nayeli's teacher," I greeted in my professional teacher voice. "I was calling to make you aware that Ms. Slater hasn't come to pick Nayeli up today, and I'm not able to reach her by phone, is it possible that you could come get her?" I inquired, picking at my nails.
I need a fill in...
"She what?! Oh my fu-okay." he let out a deep breath, "I'll be right over, I'm about a half an hour away, is that alright?" he asked. I could hear a car door slamming in the background and the engine coming to life.
"Yes Mr. Cartier that's completely fine, we'll be waiting in the front drop off area," I informed him as I waved Nayeli over to me. Once I said goodbye, I let her know her father was coming and her little brown eyes lit up in excitement.
We walked back out to the front area, and sat on the bench together, as she told me all about her ballet class from the previous day, twirling one of her beautiful twists around her finger. We sat and talked for a little while, before a sleek all black audi rolled up in front of us.