Darkest Before the Dawn

The next day dawns sunny and gorgeous.  Fantastic.  We head into school late morning, hoping to catch up with the boss and start getting organised for the start of term in a few days’ time.  Hmm.  Not so much.  The school is quiet – although we do get cake from one of the receptionists, who is getting married soon – and the boss isn’t in.  When Alex calls him, he is given a bit of an earful and told that the meeting is at 5, as organised (no, actually, it wasn’t, but never mind …).  George and I start to poke around the teachers’ room to see what the books are like.  Alex seems worried and self-deprecating, and very keen to point out that he’s not the senior teacher.  OK, fine – but you’ve been here an awful lot longer than we have, so how about you give us an idea of the setup?  No, it’s not happening.  He is wrapped up in his own private misery for the moment.  This will pass, but at this point in time it seems worryingly ominous.  Coupled with this, George is becoming twitchier and twitchier by the minute, and looking increasingly likely to jump ship before Christmas.  To top it all off, the weather breaks and it starts bucketing it down with rain.  I am wet, miserable, and homesick.  This really isn’t the way things are supposed to be panning out.

George and I go for coffee in town, and he confirms what I suspected: he can’t see himself coming back after the Christmas holidays.  My heart plummets.  By the next afternoon, when we have had a day sitting inside the flat watching the rain, with nothing to do, he is saying that he can’t see himself lasting the week.  We spend Sunday cooped up indoors, trapped by the weather and lack of transport.  On Monday, a day when I am hitting my personal lowest ebb, he goes into school and hands in his notice.  He catches the train to Milan the next day.  I spend the night crying.

This has been the longest – and possibly loneliest – 4 days of my life.

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About Kate Bailward

Kate Bailward is a cat-loving, trifle-hating, maniac driver. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
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