20th chapter

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- Thank you for coming, we will definitely contact you as soon as we're done with all the interviews.

- Thank you for the opportunity. Have a beautiful day – Nora said with a completely fake smile on her face. But she had to fake it for the interviews. Who in their right mind would hire a person who does not care about leaving a good impression? Who would employ a desperate person?

She came out of another interview and felt miserable. She would spend the rest of that day mechanically doing chores around the house. Feeling terrible, Nora did not want to talk to anyone or do anything, she just wanted to sleep. She could feel that she was holding back the tears, and that made her scared depression would crush her again. She must not allow herself that, but could she even fight it? Jana was refusing to put on her pajamas because she knew that meant going to bed soon. As soon as Nora managed to slip her on the second pajama leg, Jana ran into the kitchen like a bullet. She wanted to play, but Nora just did not have any strength left. She could feel every heartbeat and the pressure in her lungs. Her head was hot, and she lacked air. She just wanted to run out into the cold and let it all out. Nora wished somebody shook her so she could forget everything and start all over. She was afraid of not able to do this alone and that her daughter would suffer if anything went wrong. All night long, Nora was in and out of some damn half-sleep, sweaty and panicking. Was she losing her mind? What to do next? She finally fell asleep an hour before Jana woke her up in the morning.

Today was one of the three days of the week she was going to see Robert. She helped him with studying and writing homework that he had problems doing on his own. His mom Zdenka would pick him up from school and wait for Nora with him in their apartment, after which she would return to work. Nothing in that apartment was out of place, but then, Nora walked into Robert's room.

There was a sea of toys on the floor, but Robert moved through them as if they were exactly where they were supposed to be. The first time she was here, Nora observed his behavior both while he was playing and while he was studying. He was a great kid, but he had a completely misguided view of studying, doing homework, and going to school. Robert perceived it as punishment, but in fact, he was an inquisitive child who enjoyed learning. Nora noticed that he would turn each toy in 10 different ways and that every time he was playing, he managed to come up with a new purpose for the same toy, so it could fit the game he had imagined. So Nora decided to design his tasks the same way. Together, they came up with a game where each task represented one level of a game. Between each assignment, he had special missions that required him thinking, and this helped him concentrate on learning.

- Hello! – Zdenka shouted cheerfully as she walked into the apartment with four bags in each hand.

- Hi, mom! – Robert ran towards her as Nora was packing up her things.

- Hi, honey, how was it?

- Great, I've crossed the last level fastest so far.

- Okay? – she said questioningly and looked at Nora.

- He was great, we went over everything.

- Good job, kiddo.

- Zdenka, could I ask you for a favor?

- Please, don't be so formal. Come on, ask.

- I have a job interview on Wednesday, so I was hoping if I could come an hour later?

- Sure, no problem. And good luck, I hope someone will recognize what you are capable of achieving in your work with kids. But that doesn't mean we're losing you, right?

- Thank you for that, it means a lot to me. And I would certainly like to keep coming here because I applied for a vocational training position.

Nora received a resolution of that interview that Wednesday, just as she was leaving their apartment. They chose her. Finally! She got a job for the whole year. For one full year, she would have at least some money she can count on. Plus the lessons. Immediately she was enthusiastic and felt that rush of happiness she had not felt in so long. This could be her chance. And as slim as it was, she was going to grab it. She would do anything she had to become irreplaceable in that job. She had a year to prove to them that they would be crazy to let her go. Yes, that was going to be her mindset from now on. She just had to make the best out of her financial situation for a year, and then everything would slowly fall into place.

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