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Foxy

Simple Kind of Life

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oOo5rcG.gif And all I wanted was the simple things

✓ Treasure maps

✓ Hidden clues

✓ Treasure chest with prizes for everyone

✓ Camera

For the last two weeks, Melissa read and repeated those words to herself in order to have everything ready for the big day: her first day at a new school. Not only was it an important moment for Melisa, since she would be meeting the children and parents whom she would be working with for the rest of the year for the first time, but this first journey also was crucial to make a good impression on them. Even though she hadn't been teaching for that long, one of Melisa's biggest priorities always was to make children feel like home at school, and that wasn't an easy task. For this particular group, she planned a treasure hunt, so they could explore the school together, get comfortable around each other, have fun and get used to working as a group.

Working as a teacher in Olympia was very different to what she had experienced in Madrid. Here, in Olympia, Melisa felt free to develop her ideas, use more innovative teaching methods and, the most important thing, be herself. For years the pressure of having to please everyone made her job extremely difficult, specially when parents realized who she was... but she always had something, or better said, someone, who kept inspiring her through every difficulty she faced. Smiling, Melisa opened the bottom drawer of her desk, and took something from there, a photo of "her".

"It is going to be an amazing day." Melisa says taking one last glance to the photo. Natalia would have loved Olympia: the people, the night life, the landscape... God... not even moving to a different country was enough to turn the page. Knowing that this day she would need that "extra strength", instead of putting the photo in its place, Melisa kept it in the pocket of her blouse so they could be together through the whole journey.

It was almost time to start receiving the children and meet their parents, so Melisa took another five minutes to check if everything was ready and then stood in the entry way with the rest of the teachers, ready for the big moment. While waiting for them, she took a look at the list of students, their photos and then counted if she had a treasure map for all of them. From her previous experiences, she knew it was better to already know her students' names on her first day, not only it was useful for herself, but also helped make things easier to the parents concerned for leaving their child with an "unknown person".

And just like that families started arriving. Little Melisa knew that a strong bond would be created between her and some of the people she would meet that day. In some cases, probably stronger than they would like.
MONTY
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oOo5rcG.gif Now all those simple things are simply too complicated for my life
"Remember what mommy said..." Emma begins to recite in duet with her cherished, beautiful Lucas, who smiles gleefully back at her. "No cursing, no hitting, no being a smart ass unless asked and listen to the teacher. God," she titters, now solo. "You wouldn't even think I'm talking to a four year old."

"I'll almost five, mommy!"

"My mistake, sweetheart," Emma laughs in time with a twist of her eyes, then tightly wraps Lucas' tiny hand with her own to cross the street toward the new school. As the concrete knocks against Emma's heels, anxiety begins to cast its cloud upon her. The condemnatory stares of wealthy, middle aged women dice through her like serrated blades through ripe fruit, prepared for a medieval feast. A feast which was made abundantly clear she was not invited to attend as a guest, but rather as the meal to tear apart and devour. But being the sole provider for her one and only love, her feelings didn't matter. She had to give her son the best, including education wise. And by her research, this was the best primary school in the city, by a significant margin. Still, she worried not so much of how the other parents would perceive or take to her⁠—a plucky, college-aged, single parent⁠—but rather how they would react to her son and how it would affect him.

Stepping through the front doors and into the main office to complete registration, Emma is met with the visible discomfort of the principal, who she'd vaguely recognize as a patron at Sirens strip club; his specific green eyed, wide mouthed gawking at her fine physical form was particularly hard to forget from her first night. The sweat trickles off his forehead, down his neck, to his collar and tie which he loosened. Then, after a gulp of water, he triggers the intercom to call upon who would be Lucas' teacher for the next five months. "Would you like any refreshments? Coffee? Muffin?" he'd offer, stumbling through his words nervously.

"No. I'm fine, thanks."

She smirks at him, then turns to Lucas to fix his hair, beaming back down at her light. "Um, we'll just head back outside and wait by the playground with the rest of the parents," she'd then announce, taking her cub and escaping from the tense room to await the teacher's arrival outdoors.
MONTY
@Foxy
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oOo5rcG.gif And all I wanted was the simple things
As parents and children started arriving, Melisa checked the names (attached to photos) of those who already were there. Once every single name was checked, the teacher took a look at how many of them were new, just to realize that only one name made up that list: Lucas De Angelo.

That kid should be the first she met. A proper welcome, plus the fact that the teacher approached him before anyone else would probably make him feel more comfortable in such a nerve-racking day. It wasn't particularly difficult to find him, Lucas was on a swing next to a woman, whom probably was her mother. To be honest, that woman stood out from the rest of the parents, it's not like Melisa could explain why she had that feeling, but something about her was setting her apart from the others. Curious about that woman, the teacher checked her list... the only information she had about her was her name: Emma De Angelo. Wait... De Angelo? Checking again, the teacher noticed she hadn't any information about the father... a single mother maybe? No. That wasn't the moment to think or judge her life, it was about Lucas. So, with a warm smile on her face, she finally approached the kid and sat on the empty swing next to him.

"Hello! You are Lucas, right?" Confused by those words, Lucas nodded while staring at her. "Then... Welcome to your new school! I am Melisa, your new teacher." Said with a smile, which was answered with another smile from the kid. "Can you keep me a secret? I am new here too and... Well, I don't have many friends yet. What about you? Have you already met any of your classmates?" An increasingly confident Lucas shook her head as an answer, but this time looking at the other children playing outdoors. "Ummm... then... what if you and I become friends? Because I need someone to help later with the search of a treasure hidden in some place in this school, and you seem perfect for the job." Lucas, excited about the idea, nodded enthusiastically. That kid was one of those who could charm anyone without even talk, but after chatting for a few minutes, Melisa noticed that not only he was charm and kind, but also very smart. To end the conversation, the kid and the teacher high-fived; now it was time to meet Lucas' mother, who quietly watched the scene next to them.

"Hello. Emma De Angelo?" She asked to the stunning woman in front of her, staring directly to her eyes. "My name is Melisa Reyes, I will be Lucas' teacher for the rest of this academic year." After these words, Melisa kindly offered her hand to Emma for a handshake; if she was half as nice as her son, gaining over her wouldn't be difficult.
MONTY
@Mariah.
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oOo5rcG.gif Now all those simple things are simply too complicated for my life
Extremely protective by instinct, Emma becomes studious of this new somewhat maternal figure in Lucas' life, immediately struck with wariness and mistrust. Much like a wild feline surveying another amidst new surroundings, she attempts to absorb everything she can about 'Melisa Reyes' in an instant. Who was she? Where does she come from? What are her beliefs? What are her intentions, pure or otherwise? Even despite her cast role as a teacher, there was no guarantee it would be a role taken seriously. And despite how easily she seemed to take to little Lucas, left gnawing at the young mother's gut was a sense of doubt; perhaps Melisa was just a good actress. Unfortunately, none of her worries could be quelled, at least without engaging in conversation.

Taking hold of the hand before her to shake⁠—the teacher's palm soft as cotton and the breeze rushing from behind her blowing the melon scent from her dark hair⁠—Emma politely responds. "It's an absolute pleasure to meet you. And I think it's safe to say Lucas feels the same since I've never seen him be so comfortable with someone this fast. I'm impressed," she titters anxiously.
MONTY
@Foxy
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oOo5rcG.gif And all I wanted was the simple things
For some unknown reason, Melisa couldn't help but keep staring at Emma. There was something engaging about her, something that went far from her look or her appearance. "It's my pleasure Emma." The teacher answered back. Interestingly enough, something in Emma's voice changed when she started talking about her son, it was like she couldn't stop worrying about being away from him a this new environment, even if it was just for a few hours. "And thank you, it's always difficult to be the new kid at school, I just try to make it easier for him." Smiling, Melisa takes a quick look at Lucas again. "I'm sure we will be very good friends."

Feeling more secure about herself than she was at the beginning of the conversation, Melisa takes advantage of the moment Lucas left to play in a different place to switch conversations. "And I also hope we can work together on providing Lucas the best education possible." Right after this, the teacher opened her folder and checked her notes to ask whatever was neccesary to know the kid better, even though she already knew what she wanted to ask first. "Sorry in advance for what I am about to ask but... I don't have any information about Lucas' father... is there something I should know in case this conversation happens with him at some point?" The question was finally out, both women kept staring at each other, which made Melisa notice how Emma, just like herself, had no problem on not looking away while having a conversation.

"Once again, sorry for the question, but it is important for me to knows this since kids are always talking about their families. I just want to avoid an awkward situation in case this become a topic of conversation at some point; and kids can be difficult trying to understand things they can't realte to. It wasn't easy, but from her experience, it would be better for Lucas to have this conversation from now, and not wait until it took them by surprise.
MONTY
@Mariah.
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