This is just a draft. Keep that in mind. I have major editing to do.
PAST AND FUTURE: A Conversation with Myself
Yesterday I sat impatiently on a park bench overlooking a small creek, checking the time on my phone after every few seconds. I was early – a rarity – and I was anxious. After another few time-checks, a rustling of leaves caused me to jerk my head to the left. Approaching was a young girl with messy brown hair, wearing a purple button-down and denim capris. She had grass stains on her knees and was missing a button on her shirt. She was looking at me, but she wasn’t totally focused on the surrounding environment, or me for that matter. A daydreamer.
When she finally focused herself on me, she gave me a grin and waved. She was missing a bottom tooth. The gap in her smile gave her a slight lisp when she addressed me, and proceeded lightly skip to her seat on the bench, next to me. We sat, immersed in small talk about school and other particulars, until our other company joined us.
“School is pretty fun!” she said. “I have a really nice teacher, but I don’t really like doing homework. My mom gets so mad at me, but I always complain about doing it.”
“That’s not a good way to look at homework; it will stick with you until you are my age. You have to learn to pace yourself, and complete things over time or at the right time,” I told her.
She explained the way that most of the girls in third grade really had best friends, except her, but that everyone was fairly friendly to each other. The boys were weird and annoying, though. I told her that boys don’t change; they will be the same in high school. She also quietly spoke a few words about how her dad was living in a small house, away from her family. She said that she doesn’t think he is going to be allowed to come home. Separation with parents is hard, I told her, but it does get better over time. She was quiet for a moment, and smiled. She told me that she was thinking that she was thinking about wanting to be a teacher when she was older, or a doctor; she explained how she had begun to love her science class and her English class.
Just then, our other company arrived, wearing khakis and a sweater. She had a pager attached to her hip. Her face was still fairly young, but the exhaustion was tangible in the soft grey circles under her eyes. She gave a hello and a smile to us, and sat on my other side, pulling her long brown hair into a ponytail. She explained how she had been up for hours, going over paperwork for her child patients. “I thought that after so many years of school, I’d get a break. Not the case,” she said with a laugh. “But it’s so rewarding, working with kids.” I asked about education, about what comes after high school. “Years of studying”, she replied. She explained that schooling had caused her to become more of a realist, but the good that she can do for children has made her a more positive person than she had been as a teenager, when cynicism overtook much of her personality.
We had to bid each other goodbye, as it was the evening when we finished talking. We hugged, and said farewell.
“See ya, Molly!”