A Friendly Face

I was getting myself prepared for a busy night. Hyping myself up while simultaneously wondering if I was going to make a mess out of everything. I had a huge list of reservations that were going to come in to the restaurant where I now work. It was going to be my task to seat everyone. At the moment all the tables were empty for the most part, so I wasn’t too worried. Although, secretly I was a little nervous.Shortly before all the reservations were to arrive, a couple walked in and waited for me to seat them. It took me a couple seconds to place the face of the gentleman before me. A teacher from the high school I went to. Admittedly at the moment his name eluded me, but that didn’t really matter. His was a pleasant face from my past. Although he’d never been my teacher, he’d been the head of the History club during my last years at Westdale. And I, well I was the History club scribe.

While I couldn’t just stand there at his table and catch up, we shared a few pleasantries as I served them their water. He’d ask me questions as I made my rounds with coffee or water. How were my sisters doing, how long had I been at this job. I’d answer and keep on moving around tables, seeing what needed to be done. At some point I asked him if he was still at Westdale. He answered that he was, but then his face got this sad look on it.

“It’s not the school it used to be.” He told me. He shared with me how students can swear in his face with no consequences. It just wasn’t the same. I joked that maybe I shouldn’t have left, but inside, my heart was breaking to hear those words. While he told me I could always come back and visit, I couldn’t forget the look of disappointment on his face. I couldn’t help feeling sad for him. I’d always bragged about how awesome Wesdale is as a high school.

The night went on, more people came, and Mr. Barret and his wife left. Work got busier as the night went by, but the moment stayed with me. Not to mention the memories that all came to surface with his appearance. Happy memories of a time that seemed so stressful, but in essence were rather carefree. I didn’t have to worry about having enough to pay phone bills or rent. Instead I was playing rock paper scissors with this teacher every time I passed his classroom. He kept a score sheet on the inside of his door. By the end of the year Mr. Barret had to accept his defeat. Ah, that is a good memory.

Perhaps one of these days I will go back. Just to visit those teachers who made a difference in my life.

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