Teaching in China

boy

Ed and I sit in the stairwell smoking. A security guard walks in the door. He bums a light off Ed.

“I love China,” Ed says.

I nod. We finish and walk back to the Kindergarten. The school is between a piano shop and a Costa Coffee. It is colorful. Inside the door, our boss approaches us.

“Hi Justin.”

“Hi boys.” Justin smiles. He always smiles at us, as a kind grandfather might smile toward his fat and greedy descendants.

“Where are your uniforms, boys?”

I look at Ed, Ed looks at me. We are both wearing casual dress-shirts.

Ed turns to Justin.

“We don’t want to wear them.”

Justin’s smile twitches, only a bit. “Why?”

“Well, they make us look like pedophiles,” Ed explains.

“Oh!” Justin says, then frowns “what is a pedophile?”

“It means you want to do things to kids, bad things.”

Justin’s eyes go wide. “You guys aren’t pedophiles, are you?”

“What? No,” Ed says.

Justin looks at me. I try to shake my head and roll my eyes simultaneously. It’s nauseating.

Justin takes a huge sigh, “Oh, good,” he says. “If you were,” he says, “we’d have to have a chat.”

He smiles. He pats me on the shoulder. He leaves.

I turn to Ed and frown.

“Does this mean we have to wear those stupid uniforms?”

Ed frowns after Justin.

“Haven’t a damn clue,” he mutters.

13 Comments

    1. Wow. Thank you very much. I’ve spent a long time trying to get to the point where I know when to cut things and what is needed to make a story work. This makes me feel like I’ve achieved something. So thank you

      Liked by 2 people

  1. As always very nicely written, flash and the illustration of “invisible or should I say not palpable mother with child” is also wonderful. Linguistic problems or not, the conversation has probably become independent and distracts from the actual question!

    Liked by 1 person

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