If you didn't read the fist 2 parts, click here: The choices of love part 1, and here: the choices of love part 2
When I arrived at school, I hung some of the old, but nice, curtains above the window and put some of the student’s art work on the walls. I also put some flowers on my desk that I had picked on my way there. The students began to arrive one by one then two by two and then a big group of children ran up the road just before I rang the bell. We began with arithmetic, then continued on with spelling and reading. In the midst of all of the students reading aloud, I heard a loud knock on the sturdy wooden door. My heart began to pound as I walked towards the door, I straightened my skirt and made sure my ribbon was still in my hair and my bun had no stray hairs. Right before I answered the door, I said in a calm but commanding voice, “Children, please be on your best behavior for our guest.”
Then I answered the door. At the door was a man dressed in a button-down shirt with pin-striped pants and black dress shoes. He greeted me very kindly by saying, “Good morning Miss Stanton. My name is Mr. Howell, I am the superintendent of the schools in this area and I have come to observe your teaching. It looks as if you have a very nice classroom here.”
“Why thank you, Mr. Howell, you may call me Elizabeth if you wish.”
“No thank you. I prefer to call you Miss Stanton, if you don’t mind.”
“Not at all. We are in the middle of reading. Do you mind if they finish reading before we break for lunch?”
“No, I am here just to observe so continue on as if I was not here.”
I thanked him and went back to the front of the room and told the children to continue on reading. The rest of the day was a blur except when Mr. Howell told me at the end of the day, “Your class was superb ma’am, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I will be back in the morning to observe arithmetic and spelling.”
“That will be wonderful, thank you Mr. Howell.” we said our goodbyes and when I arrived home I told everyone about the whole day and the arrival of the superintendent. They listened intently as I told the stories and how he was to return the next day. Papa played on the fiddle for a few minutes before we all went to bed.
The next day went very well in my eyes. The superintendent arrived very early that morning just as I got there. He looked very intrigued as I taught like he was thinking about something. After school that day, I found out that he had been thinking of something, and it had been about me! When school ended, he asked if he could take me out for a cup of coffee. I did not deny, because he was the superintendent and I was honored that he would ask. When I arrived at the hotel restaurant, he kindly brought me in and pulled out my chair motioning for me to sit down. After we each ordered our coffee and talked about school and teaching for a few minutes he asked me question that shocked me so much I thought I would fall out of my chair and onto the floor, “Miss Stanton, I believe you are too great of a teacher to be teaching at such a small country school. If you are not interested, I understand, but at the Girl’s Boarding School of Boston we have a fine teaching opening. You would be teaching a writing, spelling and grammar class. The school is very nice, all of your clothes will be provided, along with food and housing. If you would like to stay here I understand, but I will need to know in the next three weeks if you would like to take the job. I will be leaving tomorrow so you can just send me a letter at this address.” after saying this he slid a piece of paper across the table with his name and address.
“Oh, my. That is quite an offer, I am honored that you would ask me Mr. Howell. I will discuss it with my family and get back to you, if that is all right?” I responded, trying not to sound surprised.
“That would be great, I am glad you are considering it. I must be going though, I have to rest for my trip home tomorrow. Thank you so much for letting me visit. It was a pleasure.”
Come back in a few days for the next part, it starts to get REALLY good....you won't want to miss it!
~Your Author~ Bailey