story prompt: [Forever Knight] the girl in the photo on Captain Amanda Cohen's desk
word count: 810
disclaimer: I'm only borrowing them, no money is being made. Ownership lies elsewhere. Forever Knight was created by Jim Parriott & Barney Cohen.
author's note: written for the oldschoolfic "Back to School" challenge back in 2008 (9 years ago!), but I never posted it anywhere else...so here it is
links: LJ | AO3 | original post
summary: even the best laid plans can go awry
8:13 a.m…that was what her wristwatch reflected back at her. It was exactly four hours and ten minutes since she’d signed off her shift at the precinct and handed the reigns over to her daytime counterpart. It was about two hours since she’d woken up from her cat nap to prepare her daughter for her first day of Grade 1, and it was also 45 minutes since they’d arrived at Oakridge Jr. PS. Most importantly, however, it had been ten minutes since they’d been told the chances of Jessica Cohen registering for Grade 1 that day were decreasing as the minutes went by and the day was just getting started.
It was a nice school. It was bright and cheerful. The sheen of the recently polished floors presented a possible safety issue when combined with rambunctious children, but all in all the school received high marks from every member in the Cohen family. Particularly the youngest, who was presently kicking her Mary Jayne clad toes against the wall in disappointment.
“I’m sorry Mrs. Cohen. There seems to be a mistake,” the slightly overwhelmed teacher aide assisting with registration had told her.
“Well mistakes can be fixed. We’ve got the time,” she’d replied and affixed her with a stare that intimidated rookies and twenty year veterans of the police force alike. It was probably unfair to target the young teacher in training but the young girl who’d tugged on her suit jacket was rather insistent.
“Mom…mom…mom. I wanna go now. They’re gonna start.”
“I wish I could but there’s a glitch in the system. The records won’t come up. Our tech guy is on his way. My suggestion would be to sit and wait. It shouldn’t take too long. I hope,” she added meekly.
That was now 15 minutes ago her watch told her and the plastic, child sized seats they currently sat in were no more comfortable then when they first sat down. She shifted uncomfortably and stifled a yawn. It shouldn’t be long now she decided as she rose to stretch her limbs.
Plenty of parents still lingered in the hallways and classrooms. Some soothed away tears and fears of abandonment. Other documented the moment with a flurry of camera flashes. Every step, every glance was thoroughly documented to the delight of some children and the embarrassment of others. Several teachers were already shuffling students out towards unknown destinations. Long, meandering lines of kids filed out of their classrooms. Large eyes took in every bit of their surroundings. Some were laden with backpacks, threatening to topple them over. Stiff, unused straps precariously kept them in place. Almost every child in sight had a name tag. All except her child.
She turned on her heel and headed back to the small row of chairs. Jessica had stopped kicking the wall but a small back smudge had appeared in its place.
“Jess,” she said softy, taking a seat next to her once more. Jessica was trying hard not to cry. She could tell, but her lower lip quivered every now and then.
“Everybody is going to school besides me,” she mumbled.
She couldn’t help but smile at her daughter’s statement. On the morning of her first day of junior kindergarten, she and her husband had to practically drag her out of bed. That morning she’d hoped the scenario wouldn’t continue into Jessica’s teenaged years. Thankfully it was a one time occurrence. Jessica loved school. She’d meticulously picked out her clothing a week in advance and she’d “practiced” carrying her Lion King backpack around the house, filling it with magazines and coloring books. Yet, it was that same enthusiasm that came to a crashing halt now twenty minutes ago.
“That’s not true,” she responded simply to Jessica’s declaration. As if to punctuate her statement a mother and young boy passed by them, the boy in temper tantrum mode. He fought her every step of the way, refusing to be led along. The mother smiled apologetically at her before leading the child into the relative safety of the boys’ restroom. His string of complaints were muffled by the closed door.
That tiny display of theatrics apparently amused Jessica. When she’d turned back to her she found that a tiny smile had crept onto her face.
“Now is that a smile I see?”
“Sorta,” she answered sheepishly.
“That’s my girl. Hey let’s say we go visit your classroom,” She stood up and reached for the abandoned, half empty backpack on the floor. “We can meet your teacher.”
The smile Jessica graced her with made her wish she’d thought of it sooner. The school administration will just have to find them later. Right now they’re on a mission to find a classroom, a desk to park Jessica’s Lion King backpack, and a name tag made just for her…even if they were 25 minutes late.
This entry was originally posted at https://abby82.dreamwidth.org/69121.html, where there are comments. You may comment there using OpenID.