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The Falling

In the action itself, she is weightless and free. The flight is not to be feared, only the impact. A story on the life of Esme Cullen. Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Banner By incredible Iris!

I may submit this to the official site. What do you think?

60. Chapter 60

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Which hides the true fall

This time, I really head to Ashland, still in Charles’ stolen automobile. Neil has everything in it running more smoothly than it did in the shop, I’m willing to bet, and Eileen has shoved the entire contents of her icebox at me.

It is about an hour’s drive, almost due North. My very first stop is at the schoolhouse. Unlike the larger Milwaukee, this tiny one-room log shack looks underserviced and understaffed.

Sad for the children. Excellent for me.

I knock on the door- it’s a Saturday, I won’t be disturbing lessons, and hear a voice that creaks like wind through ancient pines pronounce, “Come in.”

I obey.

There is a very elderly woman perched on a chair behind a desk, her mess of white hair in an extremely precise bun on her head. It sits squarely atop her skull, a perfect round blob. This is quite an impressive feat, considering her hair seems almost as stubbornly wavy as mine. “I am Miss Tindler. You are?”

“I am Mrs. Cullen. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

She grants me an imperious nod, ignoring the hand I’ve extended and my courtesy.

“May I enquire as to the reason for your visit?”

“I’m seeking employment.”

“We do not employ married women as teachers,” she scoffs. I sigh and conjure the appropriate face of woe and agony.

It’s shockingly easy. Then again, I’m a very good actor by now. And this performance is at least slightly based on truth. “I am not married, Miss Tindler.”

“You introduced yourself as Mrs. Cullen. And you appear to be with child. Heavily so, if I am not mistaken.”

I attempt to cover my stomach with my hands. “I am no longer married. Dr. Cullen…” I feel a tear form in my eye at the thought, “gave his life for his country in the war.”

“I see.” She shuffles the papers on the desk. No polite apology for my loss is given, and somehow the brusque rudeness is a relief, that she isn’t pretending she likes me or cares about a man she’s never met.

“I need employment, madam. And I love children, I always have. I also enjoy reading, writing… academic pursuits.”

“Very well. Read me this passage, please,” she says, brandishing a book. I open the thin volume and laugh aloud.

Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare.

“Tis almost morning. I would have thee gone, but no further than a wanton’s bird, who lets it hop a little from her hand-“

“Very well,” she cuts me off, repeating that phrase. “You have the job. Be here promptly at eight tomorrow to start. When the child is born, you will have three weeks leave. After that, I expect you to report daily. Understood?”

I can scarcely believe it. The emotion that floods my body isn’t really happiness. I do want to teach, but in this tiny town, where the only requirement is the ability to read a line or two?

I am, however so very relieved. My son. He will live. He will eat. He will grow up in a nice home where I have a stable job and he will never want for anything. “Thank you, ma’am,” I say, and I mean it.

Waiting for you,