"Da doo ron ron ron, da doo ron ron ... "
"Emma, would ye kindly turn down the radio?"
She glances up from the paper she's grading. "It's fine," she mutters calmly.
"But I cannae stand that song."
"Deal with it." She marks a fat red "C-" atop the paper and moves on to the next. Why oh why is she grading papers?
"Da doo ron ron ron, da doo ron ron ..."
"I'm goin' te change the station now." He reaches over but as he is about to turn the dial a delicate hand with white-lacquered fingernails grabs his tightly.
He's confused. "But --"
"I really dinnae like the song."
"I know." She smiles to herself, paying all her attention to the task before her. And what she doesn't let on -- what she can't let on -- is that she knows this isn't right. Why does she agree to play an integral part in a dream she doesn't subscribe to? Could it be because she feels there's a price she has to pay for -- for her past?
Of course not.
"What's on yuir mind?"
The question has invaded her and she can't stand the invasion -- ironic, for all the space she's invaded herself.
"Nothing," she replies casually as she flips the page, in the disinterested tone one uses when one truly does have something on one's mind.
A curious look from him -- why won't she tell him what's going on?
She needs to remove herself from the situation -- silence and unasked questions often build tension and pressure. Placing her red pen down beside the sloppily handwritten essay that was supposed to be typed (an automatic deduction, not to mention the plethora or spelling and grammatical errors), she unfolds white-sheathed legs in one motion and stands beside the table for only a single moment.
Her gait exudes the power she once wielded; it screams of a frightening talent one cannot place one's finger on -- somehow one knows to be afraid of this woman. She will use any tools she can get her hands on. She doesn't care about anyone's "feelings". She is hungry, starved, emaciated ....
Stale coffee lingers in the air, some old morning scent from the coffeepot hiding in a shadowed corner of the next-door kitchen. These things shouldn't bother her -- her life has changed, she's learned a compassion. Hasn't she? She pours the thick black liquid into a fresh white ceramic mug and heads back to the essays that await her pen.
The radio is the first to welcome her, with its chipper beat and bright harmonies.
"Do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do ... "
She sets her mug on the table and seats herself in the exact reverse of the motion she used to rise earlier.
"Coffee?" he inquires, doubtful.
Absently she nods. Her mind is still elsewhere, contemplating. Curious as to her own past so erased it may very well not have existed at all.
"It's 85 degrees out," he informs her.
"And school should not be in session," she decides with a quiet indelible conviction.
Sighing, she takes up the next paper and begins to check for errors. Her pen hardly touches the crisp paper; it remains pure white, untainted ....
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