Wednesday, May 21, 2014

chapter 2

Chapter 2

Living On

“All of what we see and seem, is but a dream within a dream.”
-Edgar Allen Poe

The thought of finding that old observation still fresh in my mind, the second day at work surprisingly went by pretty smoothly. My kids were pretty much all in school on time, I had received phone calls from parents if they were home sick, and once again documented everything. EVERYTHING.
It’s the best feeling when work ended without a hitch and everything was accomplished to my liking. I really don’t want anymore drama and was hoping that the situation in aforementioned rebuttal would never resurface.
When I got into my car (a green Mercedes. Used, thank you very much. I’m only a guidance counselor, after all. Not a media mogul, though that would be awesome.) I turned the key into the ignition and waited for Eddie to warm up, excited to have experienced such an easy day and ready to go home and relax.
Yes. I’ve named my automobile Eddie. Once I found this car, I realized it was a match made in heaven and went for it. We’ve been happy ever since. Another thing going right in my life. Meanwhile, hating the cold, I pushed the button to the CD player to load my Jimmy Buffet songs and began driving home-dreaming of a life where me and Michael were happy and together and under a palm tree enjoying tropical beverages from inside of coconuts.
When I pulled up on the block by my apartment 30 minutes later, I was more than a little tired. I picked up my bag, this week my large tan Kenneth Cole tote, big enough to fit everything in it and began to make my way to the apartment building.  
As I went to turn the key into the lock, I heard a scratching noise from the other side of the door followed by a snuffle.
Mooshoo! I hurriedly picked up my mail and unlocked the door to my apartment.
“Hello, my baby! Did you make a mess everywhere today?” I ask. Mooshoo wags his tail in response.
Mooshoo is my baby (other than Eddie. 2 of the few things that brighten up my day.) He is a white Maltese puppy who has a big black nose and a character all his own. I adopted him from a couple of actors when he was only eight months old, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. I also knew it was a match made in heaven, since I am such a Disney movie fanatic, and he happens to be named after the small and fiesty dragon in Mulan.
I’m sure he hopes that his original owners become famous one day, but right now, I think he’s pretty happy with just me. He continues to dance around in joy with his pink and white striped T-Shirt. So what if he was a boy? The funny thing was, given a selection of clothing to choose from, he always went after the pink stuff. Mooshoo points at anything that’s pink (could be a sock; could be a bra) and runs around with it. Such a happy puppy.
As I scoop up Mooshoo, I feel the waggling of his tail behind my arm. He is wiggling out of control. Pretty soon, Mooshoo began his daily routine of one thousand licks before retreating to his spot under the big chair to lick himself. Ick, I thought to myself as I began to push through the refrigerator. Puppies. Well, at least he seemed to be satisfied with himself.
I take off my black Coach pea-coat, and take a look around the place. Home. My home. Unlike other peoples humble abodes, anyone who walks in here knows that it’s MY place. There’s no way that someone would not be able to tell.
The walls are painted a fire engine red, and the big chair appears as if it was taken out of a well-known lawyers office, circa 1800s. The couch is brown and looks sleek, until you attempt to sit in it and get sucked in by the luxury that is fluffiness. It would make anyone feel better, even if just a little, at the end of a long day.
I sit on that couch for a minute to gather myself and notice the books stacked on the coffee table, next to my magazines. Of course, not far off from those is a pile of various books: books of fashion, psychotherapy texts, and the DSM-IV. I take a look at where I dropped the mail that I bought in, on my marble table that I only purchased because it looks as if it came from a castle way back when.
I move on to the kitchen after kicking off my shoes (Guess faux-snakeskin stilettos). I wander into my bedroom and take a deep breath. I’ve always read in magazines that bedrooms are supposed to make you feel serene and calm, and put you to sleep easier. I’ve always loved this room just because it made me feel that way. My walls are painted a deep yellow, that I imagine you would find in a Spanish-style Villa in New Mexico. It’s a habit of mine, peeling off my clothes from the day in here and pulling on my pink Victoria’s Secret PINK pajama top and sweatpants which I always leave conveniently on my four-post California King sized bed.
It was a must to have such a big bed, and I had figured not so long ago that it would have been mine and Jim’s- never forgetting about the fact that I sleep like I’m insane. I toss and turn and stretch in an unnatural position. Jim always woke up asking me if I had hurt myself in the middle of the night.
Now, here’s the toughie- should I snuggle under the covers and then pass out? No, that would lead me to getting absolutely nothing done.
Changing my mind, I quickly walk into the kitchen. The good thing is, walking into my kitchen also gives me a great relief. It‘s where I sometimes take out all my frustrations on cooking, and I LOVE my own food. I enjoy cooking for others, like my friends and family (and back then, Jim). It makes me happy to know that at least what I’m cooking, I enjoy eating. Which is weird- I know a great many people who cook but can‘t stand to eat their own food. Jim’s mother used to be one of them and she was such a fantastic cook, that the only woman she claims to rival her was her husband’s mother. It‘s something I‘ve never understood.
Great. I haven’t gone food shopping in about a week. I suddenly realize that there is also nothing in the cabinets. As I feel myself give in to the temptation of making Macaroni and Cheese, I figure that it was a good choice since Mooshoo is going to eat most of it anyway. He loved most of the things that I ate, and wasn’t picky one bit. About food, that is.
Most of my portions went to him as well, and he was just about the tiniest Maltese you would ever see. Ironically, when I heard when Rachael Ray came out with a puppy food line and I went to go purchase it for Mooshoo to try, he didn’t even go near the stuff. Go figure. He thinks he’s people.
My train of thought was interrupted when the telephone rang. Trying to juggle a dish and the strainer for the pasta, I struggled to pick up the hot pink phone. The caller ID box said it was my parent’s international cell phone number.
“Hi, Mom. What’s up?”, I said, as the strainer clattered into the sink.
“Hi. How’d you know it was me?”
“Caller ID, Ma.”
“Oh. Well, it could have been your father.”
“He doesn’t call at this time”, I answered, shaking the lime green strainer about so excess water can drip into the sink.
“Blah, blah, blah. Your sister is complaining about the kids again”, Mom says between sounds of chewing.
“What else is new? What are you eating?” My mother loves to call me when she’s eating.
“ A crepe. She says that your nephew received another 27 on a vocabulary test. She’s wondering why you don’t go over there and help him out. You do leave work around three”, she swallows, obviously still eating.
I sigh. “Ma, we‘ve been over this before. I go over there, and he yells that he‘s playing video games. I get him to stop, get a good half hour of work in, and then his mother comes home and distracts him. He whines when I make him study, and we end up arguing until I leave.”
“He looks up to you.”
“Then, he could suck it up and do homework. I‘ve told you, I‘m only going over there a couple of times a week because my sanity can‘t take it after the days I‘ve been having.”
“What’s wrong? What‘s going on?”
“Ma, where are you calling from?”, I question while mixing butter with the Mac-and-Cheese cheese into the pasta.
“We stopped in Turkey to look around…”
“Well, when are you coming back home?”, not even hesitating about this location. My parents go everywhere, and there’s rarely a lull in their travels, business or other.
“Oh, well that’s what I called to tell you! This weekend.”
“Alright, don’t worry. I’ll come by Sunday,” I stated, twirling a curl around my finger.
“Come by whenever Sunday. Mi casa es su casa. We can catch up. But what‘s wrong with you?”
“Ugh. I had a dream again.” I cringed at the thought of what my Mother would say, because there was no way to ever know for sure.
“Oh.” Silence. “Which dream?”
There we go.
“Great-Aunts came back. This time in an elevator.”
Silence. Then, “Well, what did they say?”
“I don’t know. The brunette was livid. I wish I knew her name.”
“Again? She’s getting on my last nerve…livid about what? Maybe she could tell you what it is AND offer you her name!”
“I don’t remember.”
“Darla! I told you that you have to…”
“Ma, I can’t control what I do or don’t remember after I wake up. If they really wanted me to, don’t you think I’d remember SOMETHING?”
“No. They’ve been driving you crazy since you’ve been young.”
“Yes. Whatever it is though, I feel as if I should be careful…”
“Of what? Honey, are you OK? I don’t need to stay in Turkey…” How she was going to get back home as soon as possible was already running through her mind, I could just tell.
“Relax, Ma. It’s not some horrible feeling. Just a dull ache, that’s all.”
Yelling in the background. Daddy’s home. Here’s my chance…
“Love you, Ma. Say hi to Daddy. Have fun.”
“Wait! Ugh. Fine. Love you. I’ll have fun.“, she half-growls into the phone.
“Bye, Ma!”
Sigh. Sunday. It seems like it’ll take an eternity to get here!

Sitting in front of the television with my luxe dinner of the Macaroni n Cheese, I wondered if it was better to have a roommate to share these things with. Food, talks of first dates, last dates, someone to watch late-night movies with…or was it better to keep those things to yourself while pondering over the meaning of life in your underwear? Hmm.
Forking my pasta, I think to myself how there are times (plenty of times) when I wondered if my life would ever change. It felt like the same routine day in and day out. Ugh.
After dinner, I begin taking the remaining macaroni from my copper pot (from France. It was my Grandmothers but she gave it to me as a housewarming gift, stating that practically my entire family tree from her side had eaten food from that very pot!), and sticking it in a Tupperware, I think about my life never changing.
That’s what gives me the feeling as if I’m crazy. I wondered why there were times where I felt like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Belle always wanted more, just like me. When I set a goal for myself, I stuck to it, and I got it. Usually. I was always happy and never bored. Right now, feeling like there is nothing more to work for in the near future. I have my career, and my friends, and a roof over my head. Good, sturdy furniture, great clothes, money in my pocket. Shouldn’t that be enough?
“I guess not”, I thought to myself. I finished the last forkful of Macaroni and Cheese and got up to quickly wash the plate, and Mooshoo’s bowl, and crawl into bed.
Deep down inside, I am proud of the life I’ve created for myself. When I graduated from junior high school, it was with the same 25 kids in class that had been there since the beginning of the 6th grade. High school seemed to be a high and low point in my life, high since that’s where me and Mariah bonded, and learned what it meant to be a true friend. I decided to open my journal and begin writing:

Dear Journal:
I know that at this point in time, the 25 other classmates I had back in Junior High, are either raising their children already or at least trying to get settled in their career/job choice. I was past that…or procrastinating that.
My train of thought was interrupted when the telephone rang. The caller ID said it was Mariah.
“Hey, sorry I had to run out before. I wanted to tell you that my schedule has cleared up for Thursday, so I'm going to call Nick today to see if he will be able to meet us in Brooklyn.”
“How don’t you breathe while saying all that?”
“Don’t be cute. Anyway, Isabel is going to see if she has a promo that night, and if not she is going to come. Stacey can’t come ‘cause she has bridal fittings. Should I invite Vicky? Then again I don't want to see her crew. Sara is in Brooklyn right? Give me ideas of who else to invite.”, she seemed to say in one breath.
“I can’t believe you talk that fast. Anyway- oh my god!! Don't call him, that'll make you seem desperate!!” Nick was this guy who she had been involved with on and off for the last year. I didn’t like him because he didn’t treat her the way he should have. That, and it seemed like he wasn’t going very far with his life.
“Hm. I don’t know. I just got a text from Vicky. She said she has an overnight call, so who does that leave us with?” Mariah muttered.
“Ask Sara. We should make for a fun night.”
“OK. I’m also calling Nick to make sure he’s there.“ She giggled. Sigh. You can’t win them all I thought, especially with Mariah.
She continued, “I’m going to actually see him after a month! Call you back!” She said before I heard the click of the phone disconnecting.
That’s one quirk Mariah’s got. It seems like she's got everything going for her, but not a brain in her head when it comes to men. I went back to journaling.
Me and Mariah were always very different. Mariah is doing well for herself except in the department of men. It’s as if she believes that she doesn’t deserve to be treated well. She wants a guy who can create such a challenge for her that she winds up getting hurt. Worst, she claims that without lust, that she’ll never be in love. That’s something I don’t understand, and I’m sure something that she doesn’t quite understand either. Eve and me have spent years fighting her on this to no avail. We have come to accept her as she is…and just try to change the subject really quick.

The phone rang again. “Alright,” Mariah said from the other line, “Sara gets home from work at 7:30 and wants to meet up with us. She’s excited. I’ll call up Jodie and find out the details of Level and whatnot. I had a really bad day at work.”
“I know. So you deserve peace and quiet, and to relax.”
“Yeah. Whatever. I just need to do something different.”
“Aren’t you always doing something different? Try sleeping instead. Try giving yourself some more respect. It could be fun.”
“Yes. Well, bye! Love you!”, another click disconnecting the line.
Sometimes, I know Mariah feels the same way I do. That she too, feels in the depth of her soul that this is not where we ultimately want to be, and I have no idea what it is that I really want, and she probably hasn‘t a clue what she wants either. I know I want to be in love, traveling, planning a family, be happy…
And shop. Big addiction. Sometimes big problem. Not to be taken lightly on a guidance counselor’s salary. Sometimes, I feel that I’ve made it a pastime to search the internet for shopping deals, and sample sales. This is what I usually do on nights that I am the most bored, and do not want to succumb to the temptation to the chocolate and red wine. Even though I always keep them in the apartment, I don‘t go near them unless I absolutely have to. Lately, my quick grocery shopping usually consists of these two things, for what better dessert can one have than chocolate and red wine?
No, I say out loud while closing my journal. That’s probably what I usually do on the nights that I was most seeking comfort. Bubble bath, glass of red wine, some chocolate and sleep.
Sleep was something that only came when I think about Michael.  My mind is like a ticker tape that I can’t shut off once head hit pillow. Me and Michael on a vacation, on a cruise, tanning, dining, wine tasting. Sometimes I can't see the face and I'm always left wondering if it's Michael or Jim I'm truly thinking about. It is a list of things that I want for myself, with a little tidbit of the work I have to do the next day mixed in. Before bed, I think about how hard it is to find someone who loves me, who loves doing the same things as I do. Since I was a little girl, I dreamt about the perfect mate.
Amongst other things.
Sigh. Doesn’t everyone?
Tucking myself under the covers after throwing Mooshoo on the bed was not an easy task. Reason being that Mooshoo always gets comfortable first and then I have a hard time trying to move away the big lug. Yes. He’s small, but mighty.
Once he gets on the bed he likes to pretend that he’s out cold and weighs a ton, so that it’s more difficult for me to move him over. Sometimes I think of it as my nighttime exercise routine, trying to accomplish comfort and trying to settle Mooshoo at the same time. When it takes longer than usual, I know that I’m going to be in for a long day again tomorrow.
Of course.

From: Isabel
To: Mariah;
Subject: 10 Quirky Facts About Kissing
10 Quirky Facts About Kissing

By Laura Schaefer; the author of Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor: The Best and Worst Personal Ads of All Time.
Think you know a thing or two about kissing? You probably do. But the facts below are so off the beaten path, we'll bet you don't know them all -- and they could come in handy. Not only could they provide some steamy "Did you know...?" chit chat, but they'll help you see all the benefits a satisfying lip lock can bring into your life. Happy smooching!

1. Two out of every three couples turn their heads to the right when they kiss.
2. A simple peck uses two muscles; a passionate kiss, on the other hand, uses all 34 muscles in your face. Now that's a rigorous workout!
3. Men who kiss their partners before leaving for work average higher incomes than those who don't.
4. Kissing is good for what ails you. Research shows that the act of smooching improves our skin, helps circulation, prevents tooth decay, and can even relieve headaches.
5. The average person spends 336 hours of his or her life kissing.
6. Ever wonder how an "X" came to represent a kiss? Starting in the Middle Ages, people who could not read used an X as a signature. They would kiss this mark as a sign of sincerity. Eventually, the X came to represent the kiss itself.
7. Talk about a rush! Kissing releases the same neurotransmitters in our brains as parachuting, bungee jumping, and running.
8. The average woman kisses 29 men before she gets married.
9. Like fingerprints or snowflakes, no two lip impressions are alike.
10. The longest kiss in movie history was between Jane Wyman and Regis Tommey in the 1941 film, You're in the Army Now. It lasted 3 minutes and 5 seconds. So if you've beaten that record, it's time to celebrate!
What was wrong with her? I always found it hysterical that for one who has claimed to be a workaholic, that she always has a time for scheduling and executing her own social gatherings, and actually sending out forwards as well as actual e-mails.
Isabel is my first cousin on my Father’s side. She knew Mariah for about a minute when we were young, but met her again during an elective course in college. They had hit it off, and when I introduced Mariah and Isabel to each other they wound up becoming the best of friends.
Isabel has a huge personality, amusing even for her petite frame. Of course, her red hair that always hangs in waves to her shoulders and piercing green eyes might sometimes suggest a hint of temper. This is the reason I believe that we get along so well.
Our distinct personality characteristics bonded the three of us ladies: workaholics, shopaholics. Shopaholics when we had the means, of course. There were times where a few months can go by for the three of us where the only connection we’ll have to each other is telephones and e-mails and the like.
Isabel works with a PR company in Manhattan. It suits her, and she actually has a lot of chances to meet up with Mariah if she is still in Manhattan for lunches, and to prep for company parties. I, too, had attempted to pursue my career in the wonder that is Manhattan, but my path had kept me in Queens for the time being. Though I have no complaints about Queens (it is where I’ve lived my entire life, so how could I?) I sometimes wondered if I am missing anything in Manhattan. Would I enjoy the hustle and bustle? The noise and the endless crowds of people rushing this way and that way during every season? Would I love to look out the window at the snow-covered sky scrapers during the winter, and the foliage in Central Park in the fall?
Of course I would. I’m not that big of an idiot.
Needless to say, when the three of us have the chance to get together, one can have a hard time trying to get us to shut up. We are always gossiping and making plans, talking about recipes for a great comfort dinner or the future, or men. There were times I thought about where I’d be without my friends. I’ve been blessed with great ones who have never led me down a wrong path. If anything, they put me on the right path while chasing me with their stilettos in hand!

The next morning had started off all wrong anyway.
First, I awoke dreamless and realized that my alarm clock didn’t ring, mainly because I fell asleep watching Sex and the City reruns until the wee hours. Lately, that’s the way I’ve been falling asleep, which lets me KNOW that I’m at a stand-still.
Then, I got stuck in traffic trying to get to work in time. This is when I started thinking to myself how my career/job was the only thing that was going right in my life right now.
Of course, the first day almost ever that I was late for work, the principal had decided to call a first ever recorded, first period meeting to which I had to be even more late for by the time I ran to my office and obtained all my records.
I knew I should have stayed in bed.
Before I even realize it, it’s the next morning again.
“How I loathe thee, work week,” were the first words I spoke upon waking.
Thankfully, it’s about an hour before I’m officially supposed to wake up. I figured at this point I can boil some spinach for my spinach and rice dinner and read some of my e-mails. I flip open my pink laptop and log on. Apparently, in one day I can receive over 50 e-mails (from friends and for fun: Victoria’s Secret, Daily Candy, Frommer’s…) and sometimes I’ll receive none at all.
It was a 50+ e-mail kind of day.
The next one I get is from Doug at work, who, although he was Michael’s best friend, has also become a good friend of mine. That’s the nice thing about working where I am, the fact that the staff has somehow formed this family, like the Brady Bunch. That’s probably because the students drive us crazy and the amount of drama within the building, but anyway…
I opened up Doug's e-mail:

From: Doug Glanow
To: Darla Finch

I hope I get to see you, & P at my show!! This show might knock the earth off its axis!!! It’s 2 Saturdays from this weekend, so put it down in that ridiculous agenda book everyone sees you carrying around! It’s going to be at my place is Brooklyn.
People been getting excited about it, and Keith, he says he'll try to be there, but- I’m gonna keep pressuring him. Haven’t seen you around work lately, where’ve you been?

From: Darla Finch
To: Doug Glanow

I can't wait! I miss you! Me and the others have been locked in our offices trying to get everything done from the powers that be, and actually service these children all at the same time. We'll see each other soon... I will try to make my way down to the first floor for lunch today. It’ll be the first time I’ve had lunch in 3 days. And my agenda book is not ridiculous, but thank you for noticing my organizational skills!

The following e-mail was one of the many documents to hit my hot pink files the next morning:

Requests of the UFT Executive Board
November 29, 2007
The UFT executive board, as representatives of the teachers at Middle School, request the following:
1)there should be clear distinctions between formal and informal observation reports. A labeled listing whether the report is formal or informal would be sufficient.
2) if the observation is informal, no lines for a teachers signature should appear anywhere on the report.
3) ratings should be uniform throughout, and based only on numbers, rather than a combination of numbers and letter grades.
4) observation reports, both formal and informal, should contain both commendation and recommendations to support the teachers improvement.

Wonderful. Just like the dreams I’ve been having since birth, the onslaught of these list-type memos were almost too much for me to bear. Thank you for informing the faculty of these facts, but shouldn’t they be forwarded to the principal and his “committee”? In my opinion, they left much to be desired.
Our monthly family dinner back home couldn’t come fast enough. I needed to unload my 

stress, fast. It looked like things would be crazy until next Friday night.

(See you two weeks from today with chapter 3-- thank you so much for reading!!)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

The Story Goes

“…and miles to go before I sleep…”

-Robert Frost

To Whom It May Concern:

I have over four years experience in the education field and have obtained my bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from Hofstra University as well as my Masters of Science in School Counseling. I have had the opportunity to work with students in kindergarten through the 12th grade. I have been a mentor to students when I was in high school and have also taught Sunday School. All my experiences have taught me the importance of listening and learning, not only for my students, but for me as well. I have obtained various techniques from seasoned school counselors and educators all over New York state, and have incorporated them into a counseling and education style with which I have found great success.
I welcome challenges and obtain my biggest rewards while working with students. Even with sparse resources and pressures from all levels, I have accomplished so much more than I ever thought possible.
My ability to reach out and connect with students, faculty, and even parents has taught me so much more than what I learned throughout the school counseling program.
My experience in counseling has allowed me to recognize the many problems that students are facing in today‘s society and has strengthened my resolve for the need of knowledgeable, competent and caring school counselors.
Darla Finch

That was the cover letter that got me the position I’d been waiting for.  Finally! I was going to be a guidance counselor at a junior high school.
I was sincere in the letter. Never in a million years did I think I would meet a whole different set of challenges. Challenges that I couldn’t have made up in my wildest dreams.
Oh yeah. Speaking about dreams…

Dear Journal:

My name is Darla Finch and I’ve always been a skeptic.
Not about world religions, or the concept of aliens, or spiritualism. Never things of that nature. I was taught better than that.
I’ve always been a skeptic about people.
I’ve only really trusted two people outside my immediate family. My best friend Mariah, and my ex-boyfriend, Jim. Truth be told, I even doubted Mariah’s life credibility most of the time. In any case, all people mentioned always warned me about the real world…
“Be careful when crossing the street!”
“You have to listen to your gut instinct!”
“Make sure you don‘t have a boogie hanging out of your nose!”
And other things of that nature.
I put my pen down as the thoughts swirl around in my head.
When I was still seeing Jim (who is technically the love of my life), we would get into deep and serious conversations about the future. Usually, about our future. But when he learned that I wanted to be a school counselor and enter the Board of Education, he told me, “To all the head honchos, whatever difference you could make will never count. To them, it‘s only about the paycheck.”
I should have listened to Jim, but regardless of my skepticism: I had more faith in people at that time. Now it’s about four years down the road, and the words that he said that day still stick out clearly in my mind. Just as clear as Jim’s face and hands – sigh. Moving on…
Let’s face it: all the good educators that everyone knows about have had problems with the powers that be. Anne of Green Gables (fictional? Who knows, really. Everything is always based on SOMETHING), the woman who Freedom Writers was written about, and Ron Clark. Then, Ron Clark finally went and opened up his own school! Too bad it’s in Virginia, while I’m stuck suffering in New York. I so would have applied to work at his school.
I guess I should start at the beginning, before any drama even manifested.
I had a picture perfect childhood. Our little family crammed into a two story house on a rural suburban block. They used to pool together for block parties, picnics, neighbors dropping by whenever, you name it. One of my childhood friends even had a shortcut from my house to his house through a gap in all the neighbors’ fences. Great hiding places. Sometimes I wish that I can see those kind of carefree days again, and I find myself hoping that at least that my children will experience those kinds of days.
By the time I was in the first grade, I knew that I wanted to work with children. I used to dream that I was teaching students out in this beautiful, open field and I wanted to make the dream a reality.
Actually, I felt oddly sure about this fact. My sister laughed at me. By the time I got to seventh grade, I knew that I needed a job for me to get the things I wanted. That was something that my parents had instilled in me since I was a little girl- to work for what I wanted.
Overall, I had the kind of childhood that you see in movies. Other things you should know is that my family totally denies any connection to the world of magic.
Our ancestors have been fabled not only to have psychic abilities but also to heal people and have empathic abilities, which made a lot of them ill at some point in their lives. Most of the ancestors we know about and present relatives have led their lives as priests, nuns and teachers. Mothers and nurses are the number one career choice for the women in my family. Totally family oriented on all sides of my family, we never discovered the truth about who we were no matter how hard we looked. It was a secret lost in time.
Being a mother is the ultimate job that encompasses all careers. Of course, being a father figure in this whole family is also a pretty important job. Knowing these facts prepared me for the future. Knowing these facts also led to countless fights between my parents and my sisters.
Fast forward to high school, where students and teachers alike thought I was an undercover cop placed in order to nab a drug ring. I would get tapped on the shoulder during class, and be asked, “What‘s your assignment?” and “So, who are you here to arrest?”
No matter how many times I would adamantly state that I was not an officer of the law, they persisted. Before that, when I was in elementary school, I barely spoke. I barely participated just so I wouldn’t speak out loud. Not that I didn’t know how to, but I didn’t want to. I wanted to be left alone to learn and to work.
Oh well. At least they never mistook me for impersonating a teacher.
Somehow, the way I had carried myself throughout life prepared me for how to behave in High School, though I still managed to get myself on my junior year history teachers radar. Come to think of it, her name escapes me now. Would you really blame me? I’m probably traumatized.
Within the first 5 minutes of a class I took in junior year of high school, we were already being assigned seats in alphabetical order. Mind you, I was in a private school so we were all wearing pretty much the same uniform (shudder). The teacher began to do role call, gets to my name and says, “Darla Finch, hmm? You must think you’re something with such a name!”
I looked up to the Heavens and silently thanked Jesus for having such a sense of humor. I knew I was going to have it bad that year. That was just my instinct.
My feelings worsened throughout the year. That woman’s vendetta against  me got increasingly worse until I had to transfer out of the school. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Needless to say, this part of my life wasn’t boring. I learned a lot of valuable lessons:
  1. Transfer out of a class if you think the teacher has it in for you.
  2. Transferring to a new school is not a bad thing.
My experiences senior year of high school really pushed me to want to work with children. I had completed volunteer work at churches and daycare centers and knew it was the right path.
I didn’t understand it either.
My life goal was solidified when I got to the public school system. It had more seasoned teachers there, and I loved how they just taught as though it was their great calling in life. Thanks to my sociology teacher in my senior year at that Public School, I enrolled to a university in the fall for my bachelors in Criminal Justice.
Again, I went about ‘the College Years’ pretty much the same way I went through the rest of my school years. Never spoke in class, sometimes participated, but picking up a few good friends along the way. I was not in a sorority, and I never made any extra commitments.
While fellow classmates were scrambling with their majors, I went about my busy weeks effortlessly. I had a job, a large family to keep me occupied, and I was going steady with Jim.
Life was perfect.
Finally having obtained my bachelors degree, I knew that I still wanted to work with kids but didn‘t know how to go about it.
My mother was the one who actually came up with the idea of me continuing my education but pursuing a career in School Counseling. Maybe it was a guilt trip on her part (she’s Greek so she’s GREAT at the guilt tripping), but I felt a little jolt at her words. Maybe that’s what I’d wanted to do all along. I wasn’t sure about the concept, but I decided to try it anyway.
Panic arose in me like tiny bubbles the day I interviewed to get into the school counseling program at the University. I was so nervous. My interviewer, who was the head of the school counseling program, drilled me until I blurted out that all I had ever wanted to do was to help children succeed with their lives and to help them realize that only they have the power to make themselves happy. She ended the interview by laughing, shaking my hand, and saying that she knew she would hear the name Darla Finch echoed throughout the years.
I’ve wondered what that meant ever since.
I lay back on my pillow and try to put it all together.
All this, and still… I wondered where life was trying to lead me.
“Ugh, here we go again.” An exasperated voice states and wakes me up.
Huh? What?
I look up from my bed…except I’m not in my bed anymore. I’m standing up in my fuzzy PJ‘s, now gaping at the teenage brunette on my right.
I’m dreaming again.
“Not you again…”, I mutter.
“No. Not JUST her. Me, too”, says the blonde to my left, twisting a curl around her finger.
“I have really had just about enough of you interrupting my sleep.”
“Well, deal with it. We’re here for a reason.”
“I see. And…where is here?”

Looking around, there's not much to it. A hum of light music in the air and the gentle whirring of a machine beyond that.
“An elevator.”

Duh. What are we doing in an elevator?, I think to myself as I notice that the elevator buttons that should have floor numbers on them instead have tiny photos that resemble hieroglyphs.
“Listen, great-niece. We have no reason here other then to say what we came to tell you. We have no idea why your subconscious chose the elevator. Will you listen or NOT?”
“What good does it do for me to LISTEN, when I never remember what you’ve come to say after I wake up?”
“We’re here to tell you to open your eyes. Get out of whatever bad situation it is that you’re in. Get out of it as fast as you can. History has begun to repeat itself. On you…”
“We don’t want to see you hurt…”
“If you get hurt, you’ll hold yourself back.”
“Hold myself back from what?”
“The rest of your life. What you’re meant to do.”
“What am I meant to do?”
“We can’t tell you,” stammers my blonde Great-Aunt, turning her startling blue eyes to the floor. The same eyes that I had seen when my Grandfather used to be alive.
“We don’t know!”, shouts the brunette.
“Why are you mad? What did I do? What’s going on…”, I feel a heavy pressure in the middle of my forehead.
My Great-Aunts touch my shoulder simultaneously.
“Wake up!”, they yell.
I do.
And find myself on my bedroom floor.


From the Desk of Darla Finch
Guidance Counselor
Rebuttal: May 4, 2007
To Whom It May Concern:
A new meeting and notice was held with Mr. Tuft on May 3rd, 2007. In the beginning of this meeting with Mr. Tuft, he asked me what are my plans for my future? When I asked Mr. Tuft to clarify once more, he asked me if I was staying in this school. In response to the attached letter written by Mr. Tuft, during our recent conversations, the only thing stated to me is that Mr. Tuft was dissatisfied with one student meeting I’ve had, not that any ‘particular skills are not those from children of this middle school can benefit.’ This statement was not explained to me by Mr. Tuft.
I am a Guidance Counselor, and as such, my job description is to guide the children in the direction most suited to their dispositions. There was never any Staff Development implemented that should have honed my existing skills and developed new ones. However, Assistant Principal Burgess has held meetings with me and the rest of the Guidance Department as to what we are to do in various situations. If this is what Mr. Tuft meant by Staff Development, it was never clarified.
Mr. Tuft stated in this letter attached that, “my level of ongoing teacher development has not proceeded at a rate that meets the needs of our students, or the goals of our school.” Again, I am a Guidance Counselor and not a teacher. This generic letter that Mr. Tuft has handed me has again not reflected what I am doing wrong as a counselor, nor did he suggest any ways I could improve my behavior.
The fact that I am facing a possibility of a U rating for the school year is outrageous since there has not been a legitimate reason. I have considerable counseling skills. I will not be changing schools even though Mr. Tuft is adamant on that topic, with the only he provided is one meeting a student re-registering to the school.
Darla Finch

I know what you’re thinking…
What a wonderful letter to show your future children and family members about the trials and tribulations you went through as a young adult just entering her career!
This alone should give one enough information about my boss, Mr. Tuft, at this moment in time. Rest assured, he doesn’t only have it out for me. He has it out for about half the faculty of the school I‘ve found myself working in.
My luck just keeps improving.

Dear Parents/Guardians:
Our school’s guidance department believes that all students are unique, each with special abilities, talents and needs. Our students should function at their highest level, both academically and personally. Our mission is to create a safe and caring environment that fosters responsible and academically motivated students.
Upon entering New School, every student is assigned a personal guidance counselor. The counselor is the person with whom your child can discuss academic and personal problems.
Your child can make appointments to see his or her guidance counselor before class, upon entering school in the morning, or after the school day is over.. The guidance staff works collaboratively with the administration, faculty, parents and students in many ways through our comprehensive counseling program. Each service is aimed at helping students learn and develop to their highest potential and the hopes of making a smooth transition to high school.
As a guidance counselor, I encourage you to stay involved with your child’s school and its staff. It is advisable that you meet with your child’s counselor on Open School evenings and afternoons. If such a time is not convenient, please schedule an appointment either by phone or e-mail. Lastly, feel free to join the Parent’s Association and attend its monthly meetings. These meeting are informative.
I extend a heartfelt welcome to all parents and guardians.
 Very Truly Yours,
L. Parsons, D. Finch, K. George

“Holy crap! Doug, I’m telling you- if you don’t stop sneaking up on me like that…” I retort, pushing a curly hair out of my eye.
“Relax! Who else is it going to be? We’re the only two down at this side of the building with an office. Why are you so on edge today?” Doug asks, looking at me quizzically with an eyebrow raised.

Doug is almost 6 feet tall with sandy blonde hair, kind blue eyes and a careful grin. We have been working together for some time at this point, and working together in a chaotic environment will bring some people closer together. I feel that connection over crazy with Doug.
“Oh, same old. Didn’t sleep well, found my old observation…”
“Ah. ’Nuff said. I thought you were on edge because of a certain someone who always wanders down this way at this time of the day”, a sneaky smile appears on Doug's face, suggesting something secretive.
“Douglas. Sweet Doug. There is nothing going on between me and Michael. You know that, you have the connecting office! If there was anything, I would assume you’d be the first to know it. You are his best friend.”
“There’s a lot that he doesn’t tell me. So far as I’ve heard, you are both just pining for each other. So my question is, why not just do something about it?”
“You know, Doug? I have never in my life known a man to be such a busy-body. Besides, it would be ridiculous to get caught up in a relationship in the work place. It’s crazy enough as it is in this building. I can’t add to it,” I raise my eyebrow as I wait for Doug's response. How did the books on my shelves fall over?
“Secrets, secrets. Later, Finch!” He turns on is heel and quickly makes way down the staircase, leaving me alone rearranging the wilted novels.
“Wait. What do you mean, secrets?” I turn to follow him with one novel in my hand and stop myself.
I hear Doug speaking with Michael outside the staircase door. I turn on my heel and walk away.

September is a happy time for both students and teachers, I like to believe. Sure, the summer is over, and it’s back to the routine, and kids would rather be home. The teachers, administrators, and support team, however? That’s a different story. They are the ones who are looking forward to cooler weather, new adventures…new school supplies! Pens, pencils, bulletin board borders. You name it. There is heavy-duty school shopping going on from about August until November.
It always overjoyed me walking into a store as a student to buy a new pack of pens, but now? As a counselor? I can buy the pens and then some, paid for since I’m in the city’s system, and hang on to them to distribute to the students if need be!
It’s kind of like… a studious Christmas. I don’t even need to put a bow around a bunch of freshly sharpened pencils. Just the smell of freshly sharpened pencils bring back ghosts of school years past. These would so be my Christmas Gifts of choice.
The not-so-great parts about the first few days back at work are the meetings. No one wants to sit at work for over 3 hours at a time listening to one man (the principal) going on and on about procedures, and himself.

Honestly, who wants to hear the ranting of a lunatic? No one wants to hear him make a commotion of how it’s his school while he’s banging on the desk to make a point? We’re all professionals, we’ve been to school. Wouldn’t a half an hour of that 3 hour meeting suffice? To me, that would be the only logical thing, since you have to prepare with the teachers in your cluster, prepare your classroom, brainstorm lesson plans, and all the rest of it.
The remainder of the week goes by uneventfully. I move along as if in a daze. I can’t believe I actually get through any part of the first week of such long and grueling meetings.
Driving home from these meetings always get me to thinking about the way my life was going. Was I truly happy this way, or could I be happier? I started this job at a junior high school (not 15 minutes away from my apartment, might I add) about 10 months ago, and wouldn’t you know it? Problems!
I don’t want to cause rumors, or like it when people spread rumors. I don’t want to cause people angst. I really try to stay clear of drama, and distance myself from people who create it. I’m too tired to do that, especially when I work out.
The truth is that lately, I am feeling out of place. Not in the concept that was guidance counseling but in the concept of myself. Part of me is panicked because I feel as if I should have accomplished more at my ripe age of 28. By now, I thought that I’d have written that book and traveled some of the world with my husband who was to be the man of my dreams!
I always imagined that man to be Jim. Since the change of events, I haven’t even tried to replace him in my fantasies. As much as I think of Michael, it’s just not in the same way. I don’t see Michael as the man I would be with for the rest of my life, but there is this draw that pulls me to him that I cannot explain.
Yet, I can explain everything there is to explain about Jim. The way he talks, his dreams and his life goals mirror my own. Deep down, I know that I’ll never find someone who would compliment me so well.
It hurts.
Through the years, these thoughts would sneak up on me. I figure that I have a great family, great friends, and a great career, so everything else is probably not in the cards for me. Yet. But sometimes impatience gets the better of me.
It was on one such impatient morning later that year, when I decided to act more like myself. So, it was the first time that I wore jeans to work, ever. Just to be clear, you’re allowed to wear jeans to work when you’re a teacher. I’ve worked in schools where teachers wear sweats. Not that I would wear sweatpants to work, but it’s not written anywhere that you can’t. I’ve visited a lot of schools, and I’ve seen most teachers wearing jeans. I run down to the main office from my office and come face to face with Principal Tuft, who quickly turns around and says, “How do you feel that your students look more professional today than you do?”
Say what??
I re-examined my outfit choice.
I’m wearing a dark wash pair of Seven jeans and a blue button down shirt, for crying out loud! There are no stains or holes anywhere, and I’m wearing heels!   HEELS! Do you know what it’s like to travel around a school building that has no elevator with heels on? My office is on the fourth floor, for crying out loud!
COULD YOU DO THAT, Principal Tuft? Could you teeter around on 4-inch heels walking through marble staircases with mountains of stuff in your arms? You can’t be serious!
I can’t believe that now not only do I have to create an assembly about bullying, I probably have to teach Tuft a thing or two about it.
As I get back to my office (yes, teetering up the stairs in those 4-inch heels), I document this comment which came out of left field from Principal Tuft. I even double checked to make sure there is nowhere in the school counselors contract that says one is not allowed to wear jeans. I was right. School Counselors are not really that much different than teachers. We just teach students different things.
Why did I document this interesting blip of a statement? To tell you the truth, it’s because I was told to. I remember when I started working at this school, that someone had told me if I started hearing or seeing anything weird throughout my career, just keep documenting it! “Make sure you try to keep all this information safe and in one place so you can keep adding to it.” For the life of me, I can’t remember who it was. Might be getting old timers too early, but it’s a piece of advice I took to heart.
The rest of that day had pretty much gone by in a blur, with thankfully just the students to keep me busy. The students, as usual, were a godsend! No meetings, no conferences, nothing. Just my sessions with the kids, which were really the highlights of my day.
After such an interesting dream and first few days back, it was Friday and I just had to go vent to my best friend after work.
I met up with Mariah at one of our favorite cafes, Le Brick Café.  
Le Brick was a quaint little coffee shop located in one of the trendier neighborhoods of Queens, New York. There were comfy couches in various jewel colors, little tables, great food…but the best part was in the summertime, when it opened it’s doors and set tables outside. It looked like a café that should have been placed in Europe with its wrought iron chairs and decorative wall hangings on a full brick wall, which created such a relaxing ambiance. That was exactly what I liked; the European feel of it. Mariah had actually had a business meeting here once, then dragged me here the next night, and it has been our hangout ever since. Not that we didn’t enjoy going to other places, but here it just suited our style. At least, we liked to think so.
I was lost in thought when who comes strolling in? Janet Wyckoff. Another sign that I should have stayed in bed, I quietly sighed to myself while looking up to the heavens.
“What’s wrong?, asked Mariah, whose hair was looking especially glam after her visit to the salon. It hung in long black waves over her back, with side-swept bangs gently shading her eyes.  
Some girls just have good hair genes.
I was of the other population where I would rather shave off all my hair than deal with it. Sometimes.
I looked up at Mariah through my mess of dark curls while trying to shield my eyes from Janet. I leaned back into the sofa.
“Janet Wyckoff just walked in sporting new arm candy. Take a good look, we’ll be hearing all about him and his dark and sordid past in a few months. Poor thing. Doesn’t even know what he’s getting himself into.”
“I say we toast to the fact that we’ve been through it and don’t have to deal with her anymore!”, Mariah lifted her Martini glass to her MAC clear-glossed lips.
I pushed my bangs out of my face and took a sip of my hot chocolate, knowing full-well that in order to keep my now-trim-thanks-to-the-gym figure I should cut back on the chocolate. Caffeine. It was one of my life‘s weaknesses.
Janet Wyckoff had recently joined the staff at Mariah’s law firm last year. Though she was a complete newbie in every aspect, she thought she could act as though she were Queen of the World. With her too-tight suits and snappy comebacks, she seemed to learn how to manipulate other people into taking care of her responsibilities, leaving her to free up time in her schedule enough to schmooze up to Mariah.
Mariah and Janet quickly became friends, and started spending every minute together. Janet had quickly gotten Mariah to open up to her and, with her manipulative skills, started going out with Mariah and all of her friends, including me.
“I can’t believe we went practically everywhere with her. And how did she wind up showing up to all those places? Not even Isabel knows how she got to the fashion show she was hosting. There was not a cab available in the city that day.”
I’m shushed as Mariah picks up her phone. Quickly getting lost in my thoughts, I let my eyes drift around the room, taking everything in. There’s a little 3 year old girl sitting with her parents at the neighboring table. From the looks of it, she’s taken a liking to me and waves. I wave back.
At first I had been interested as Janet spoke about her life and her travels, but there was always something that bothered me about her. I thought maybe I was losing my mind, but every time we were out, and Mariah, or anyone else for that matter, eyed someone, Janet would immediately seize the opportunity to jump up and go make conversation with that person. Eventually, it would turn into something more, until she would move on to the next victim.
There was a time when Mariah and I had decided to take a road trip up to Connecticut, to visit the casinos. Mariah offered to drive, so I made plans for MooShoo, my puppy, to be taken care of for the night.
In the car on the way to a diner that morning, Mariah had told me that Janet would be joining us. I really wasn’t in a place to voice my opinion, so as I ordered my chocolate chip pancakes I kept my mouth shut. Soon enough, Janet showed up. She wasn’t alone; she had decided to bring a friend of hers, too. When I looked over at Mariah, she just shrugged her shoulders, as if this was something she was used to from Janet.
Janet also seemed like she was all up in Mariah’s face, constantly asking her for a ride, for some days off here and there, and even communicating with Mariah’s friends behind her back. The only reason things blew up between Mariah and Janet, is because someone told Mariah that Janet had been frequenting one of the local hangouts with her ex-boyfriend. Thus, Mariah kept her cool until one thing went wrong at work, and Janet was history.
Until now.
While Mariah is ending her phone call, I begin thinking to myself: how is it that my luck just seems to be getting worse? I smile as Mariah apologizes for the last phone call and hear a shrilling beeping noise.
She looks at me with an apology in her eyes and answers it.
“Hello. Yes. Yes. What? What are you talking about? Those statements had to be faxed yesterday. YESTERDAY. Are you kidding me? Well, what did I hire you for? Excuse me? Excuuuseeee… That bastard. He hung up on me!” Mariah’s pretty face was scrunched up in fury.
“What is…”, I started.
“That incompetent bastard! I knew he couldn’t stand it when women were in power in the workplace. Who does he think he is? Me? He’ll never work for another firm again! And to think he was going to join us in South Korea. What a big mistake I made!
“Let me get the check, Dar. I have to go and hound human resources into getting someone who can work for me who has a brain. Call me later? Oh, and say hi to Mooshoo!”
With that, Mariah threw down some bills on the table and hurried out the door. I too, stood up while wrapping my hot pink scarf around my neck. Rapidly walking past Janet, who I prayed was too busy entertaining her new man-friend to spot me. I hurried my steps.
With those thoughts, I made my way out of Le Brick. I thanked the heavens that she didn’t see me because I was not in the mood. I also thanked the Lord that He, once again, showed us who our true friends were.
Speaking of…crap.
I never got the chance to tell Mariah my dream. I would have to try her again later on via phone call, I thought as I pushed the door open and stepped out into the night.
All thoughts were quickly swept away by the weather outside. It was so cold for this time of the year, damnit. The weather was always another reason why I wished I was anywhere else.
Somewhere warm, with a drink in my hand, hanging out on the beach. Should it be that wishful thinking is what gets one through the day?
I flip my hair over my shoulder and turn the corner to where my car is parked. I stick my gloved hand in my pocket.
I open my bag, close to freezing, and swish it around looking for my keys.
Why can’t I ever find my keys when I need them? Then there’s the times when I don’t need them and they’re the first thing I grab…maybe I should just be thankful that I’ve never lost them. Especially in weather like…
And that’s when I ran smack into someone.
And my stomach fell to my feet.
“I’m sorry. Forgive me?”
I look up in surprise and blink. I could swear the person standing in front of me is wearing a white…toga? Standing in front of hot, endless land? He’s holding out his hand to me. I reach out to take his hand.
I blink again.
Cement under my feet. Whew.
Trying to get myself together, I find myself looking into the eyes of Michael Cartise. I take back my hand.
“ Oh, Michael. How are you? Sorry about…”
“About the elbow you gave me? No problem. How are you doing? I didn’t get to see you at work today. Were you even in?”
“Uh. Yeah. I was in today. I just-I guess- It’s been a long day. You know, one thing after the other and before you know it, the day is finally over. How is everything with you? Since when do you venture to this neck of the woods?”
“I was meeting a couple of friends for dinner,” He smiled while pushing his hair back.
Where in the bloody hell are my keys?!
“The new students in your history class must be- interesting”, I mutter, though it comes out more like a grumble.
“You know it. Thanks for fighting for me to keep my classes. It means a lot to me that-”
“HA! GOTCHA!,” I pulled my keys out of their hiding place.
“Haven’t I told you to get a long key chain for your keys? You’re always losing things, especially those!”
“I haven’t gotten around to it yet,” I said, smiling up at him.
“Seriously, and stop stealing mine when I’m teaching.”
“You know I do that because it keeps the students on their toes!”, I lied.
Of course I lied. I did it just to freak him out. It serves him right to have them on a string dangling out of his pocket.
“Right. Later, Finch.” Shaking his head, he walks away.
“See ya, Mike.”
As we part ways on the corner, I thought about how badly Michael took it when his favorite class was disbanded and spread throughout the entire building.
The new class that he had been given was somewhat of a challenge since the
students all had behavioral issues.
Since picking up this class about a month ago, Michael had been taking special care to get his students up to speed by providing worksheets, homework help website information, and parent conferences during his personal time.
At times, Michael reminded me of myself but then I remembered about how he talked about having some sort of interesting life story at one of the school’s socials. I don’t have an interesting life story, which is partly why I went into guidance counseling. I knew it would bring me closer to people who had real lives and were interesting.
Michael had talked about all the traveling he and his family did when he was younger, how he and his brothers were always fighting with each other, and the interesting events that occurred to him throughout high school. The memories he spoke of that stuck out in my mind is when he and his family had stood amidst 30,000 penguins in Chile, and swimming with dolphins in the British Virgin Islands, and visiting the pyramids in Egypt…
Maybe that’s why I had that flash?
I had barely ever traveled as a child and that was all I had ever dreamed of doing as far back as I could remember. I’ve always researched about the places I’ve wanted to go see and the things that I want to go do. So, I was fascinated that Michael lived through some of that.
Honestly speaking, I sometimes think about doing those same things with Michael. I always try my best to stay away from him as much as I can help it. Every time that I see him, I get drowned by the pools of deep brown of his eyes. They always seem to see right through me. He has dimples, and a full mouth that, during daydreams, I imagine what it would be like to kiss…
“Hmm? Oh! What?”, I blushed. Apparently, Michael had turned back around and had been walking behind me while I was lost in my daze.
“I was just asking you if you were going to be attending the social on Friday after school, but then you started blushing and now we’re here.” Michael smiled and those dimples winked at me.
“Most likely, I’ll try to be there. Will you be going?”
“Only if you do. Take care, Darla.”, Michael said and hurried off, leaving me alone once again. Leaving me confused on that street corner.
Confused- the way he always made me feel.
For crying out loud, I thought to myself. I hate it when he does that. He acts so arrogant and always says things like that and continues to throw at me the fact that he’s out and about and happy and seeing people. What’s wrong with him?
What’s wrong with me?
Easy, I thought to myself. I act like that all the time with my friends. I say the same things. Maybe he values my friendship.  
I try not to work myself up anymore, which is a bad habit of mine that I’ve been working on. Though, I think this is the most working up I’ve done in one day since the last time that Michael side swiped me with kind and almost human remarks.
The problem is, I don’t think of him as just a friend. I want more. It’s been a long time since I’ve had more.  
Ever since the first day he started at work, when he rolled up his sleeves in front of me because it was still summer weather and hot as all hell. He looked up at me and smiled. Then that was it. I was gone. Me. An educated woman.
Me- someone who tries their best never to be flustered.
God. This is probably another reason I became a guidance counselor, I thought.
So I could get some help myself while I’m at it.