Saturday, September 6, 2014

Three Steps Down the Hallway

Written By: Fatima Haroon.

The hour hand made a right angle with the minute hand as the clock struck 9:00 a.m, making the morning school bell ring, for the start of school.  Hearing the bell, Mr. Rivera, the school’s math teacher, got up from his chair, went out of the teacher’s staff room, and made his way to class.  As he turned left and took three steps down the hallway, he placed his foot on the tile that always wobbles slightly because it was loose, smiling and wondering whether he should finally report this matter.  By the time he reached the classroom and turned the door knob, he could hear all those chatterboxes inside go quiet, as they could see his shadow and saw the door knob turn.  He entered the classroom, exchanged greetings with the students, and began the lesson.  Forty-five minutes later, the bell rang again, indicating that second period had started.  So, Mr. Rivera left the classroom and made his way to the second class.

After taking three steps down the hallway, he heard someone behind him slip and fall.  He looked back and saw a new student on the floor with his shirt covered with tomato sauce, along with the rest of his lunch.  He gave the boy a hand in getting back up and gave a silly little smile as he turned back and headed to the second class room.  After another forty-five minutes, he was out of the classroom and in the hallway again, and then again, and then again, each time seeing something that reminded him of the “good old days.”

When the time the clock struck 2:00 p.m., school ended and this indicated to him that it was time to head back home.  He got up from his chair, went out of the teacher’s staff room, and made his way to the school’s exit.  As he took three steps down the hallway along his way, he stood at the same spot where he had taken a picture of himself eight years ago, wearing that much-awaited graduation cap and gown and holding that well-deserved diploma in his hands.  All those memories of that floor tile he loosened once because of a dare his friend gave him, those embarrassing moments when he clumsily slipped and spilled his lunch all over his clothes and on the floor, were now delightful memories, dwelling in his heart.  Smiling to himself, he sighed and went out of the door, the very door which had acted and continued to act as a doorway to education, happiness, and success when he was a student and now, a teacher there.

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