This afternoon I had planned to attend the civil wedding ceremony of a close friend where I was meant to be one of the witnesses. I was teaching this morning but there was ample time for me to get back home, change into more appropriate clothes, jump back into my car, drive to the station and take the train. Or so I thought…
I left the class after the last lesson and went home. As I was leaving, the phone rang. I hesitated but thought it was wiser to get it. I suppose it has to do with having aging parents (although not that old) whom I find quite vulnerable since the death of my brother almost four years ago. I am constantly worried something might have happened to one of them. I suppose being the eldest child does not help.
When I picked up the phone, I realized that I was talking to the school bursary. I assumed he was phoning about the exchange as their arrival is close and he is the one who deals with all its financial aspect. I was ready to ask him whether he could call back or whether I could go and see him the next day since I had a train to catch.
Unfortunately, this was not the reason for his call. He was phoning because one of my students had drawn a big graffiti on a table in the room where I had taught this morning. I am not usualy in this room but had been asked to move for this morning’s lessons due to the mock exams which were starting today. Apparently this room had not been used since september and was meant to be a new IT room. The tables were spotless as they had been cleaned yesterday. From what I understood the maths teachers were supposed to take possession of this classroom in a very near future.
I guess I must have felt very guilty about this; I tend to pride myself on the fact that my students don’t write on their desks during lessons and I have never had to deal with such a problem before. So much for lacking modesty! I listened to the explanations, even asked where the inscription was, promised I would be at the school tomorrow morning before the first lesson so as to try and remeber who was sitting there. The fact that I was getting late was at the back of my mind but I didn’t dare to interrupt my interlocutor. We agreed to meet tomorrow and I hang up. It was too late.
I still tried to catch the train but got stuck in a roundabout and arrived just in time to see the train leave. I immediately phoned my friend, guilt-ridden. I felt, and still feel awful. This is the first time I have missed a train, I hate being late, and now feel I have let my friend down and even wonder if he believed me when I phoned. it seems such a foolish story.