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Our school secretary woke up every day, begging for unhappy.
By her daily face, I knew she was almost always able to find it.
By her heart, I understood how terribly hurt she’s been at one time by others.
Because she loved to glower, and fuss, and mean-face us, especially the little ones.
One day when I was called into her cubicle, for a scolding or a frown, probably instigated by herself,
But we both tried to pretend, it was by the principal, so she could save face. Because she was not
ACTUALLY my boss,
But she felt like it.
Until new boss lady came along.
New boss lady had already grown a pair and was not afraid to chase her right out of there, 
But that’s another story.
Anyway, I was called in by S.A.S.S. (Silent Angry, Satisfied Secretary)
And I knew when I opened the door, I had not won the lottery or anything.
“HER TEACHER SENT HER DOWN!” She snapped at me; the emphasis on her sounded like mouse.
I could not see her, because her was sitting behind the chair I was holding open.
It’s funny, but I never did walk into the office willingly after that first week.

S.A.S.S.’s face got even more severe and she yelled at an unseen entity,
This has to be yelled in the same tone as “You will have to go with the corrupt police officer who is going to kill you, preferably to a black teenager who is scared to death anyway.

Suddenly, a red-haired girl, a thinking girl, a happy-no-matter-what-happens girl
was whirling in front of me.   She and I had been spending a great deal of time together,
as I had noticed her teacher who was a rule-follower completely and utterly loathed her.
Truth revealed,  this little 8-year-old sprite was so like me, that when I had any free time at all, I sought her out, and grabbed her away from the meanness of the room.
You see, the children of mean teacher also had to pretend to hate Little Sprite, who had a mind of her own, and a thinking brain, and was creative and kind, and loved to have fun.
I tried to act tough when I arrived in the doorway, so Mean Teacher would let her go because Mean Teacher was convinced Little Sprite should be severely beaten or eaten because her parents do not show up on time or at conferences. 
I tried to wipe the abject delight off my telling face, but it popped up so fast, I could not smack it off.  Little Sprite let out a giant faerie-like laugh, jumped into my arms and yelled, “Oh, goody! DISNEYLAND!” I wish I could capitalize DISNEYLAND even bigger, clear across the page and up the wall, because this is how it really was.
I have never forgotten it, and that was 1996, my first year as a school counselor.
Peter Pan proud?
Damn straight!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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