Home » Archive » Miss Chapman » Page 1

Miss Chapman

Page 1

Laura Fulton

The teachers’ lounge reeked of cigarette smoke. Finding no one she knew well enough to talk to, Miss Chapman slid into the last available plastic moulded seat in the room, a stray chair near the window, and opened her lunchbox. Another bologna sandwich and apple, compliments of her mother, which, Miss Chapman supposed, was better than making her own lunch.

With any luck, she’d be out of here soon anyway, married and carrying on with her real life. She still couldn’t quite believe how wrong a turn her life had taken. She thought she’d done everything right – gone to the Christian college, met a nice boy, got engaged. Paul Rhodes, son of a minister, was exactly the kind of boy her mother said she should look for. Only it was HIS ding dang fault that she’d walked in and found him with her roommate. It was HER ding dang room, after all.

After what she’d seen that rotten afternoon, she’d had no choice but to appear outraged. She wasn’t supposed to mind, and she didn’t – her mother told her that that sort of thing was just what boys do and if you don’t let them do it, you end up having to do all sorts of nasty things. But she wasn’t supposed to KNOW, either. She wasn’t supposed to see it, anyhow.

But then she’d walked in and found him with his pants down around his ankles and HER roommate sitting in front of him on the bed doing GOD knows what but it sure wasn’t anything SHE’D learned in the First Baptist Youth Group for Young Godly Women. And she’d demanded to know the meaning of this, and he’d said she deserved better and called the whole thing off and that had been that.

And now here she was, with a college degree and a job and another bologna sandwich and no husband. It was just not ding dang fair.

How many times have we told those goddamn kids not to climb up that goddamn slide the wrong way? I’ll tell you one thing – if another one of those little shits falls off and breaks their arm again, I ain’t gonna be the one to drive ‘em to the goddamn hospital this time.

Miss Chapman was shocked at the sort of language Carl Johnson always used in the teachers’ lounge, but she could see his point. They’d all told the children over and over not to climb up the slide backwards – at least, they had on numerous occasions since that little third grader had had that fall and broke his arm in three places – but of course there they all were, doing it again.

Who’s supposed to be out there?

I think it’s Caroline Newsom, but I don’t see her anywhere. I don’t see anyone.

Page 1

This edition