NOTE: This is part of the new novel I am writing. I am posting it here as a diversion for readers who may be living under shelter-in-place policies while the world waits for the coronavirus pandemic to pass. For an explanation of this project, please click here.
Aug. 20, 2018 ~ Coldwater Public School, Coldwater, N.M.
Morgan watched quietly from the bleachers as Dr. Scherer got up to welcome everybody to Coldwater Public Schools. The annual districtwide assembly and back-to-school pep rally was a longstanding tradition. Morgan had never been fond of it — as often as not, she’d have a headache that day, and all the stomping and clapping and cheering made it worse — but she didn’t normally dread it the way she had this year’s. Even if Dr. Scherer was nice enough not to mention Morgan by name, he was sure to mention her father, and everybody would turn to stare at her. People always stared at her when someone mentioned Daddy’s name, and she never knew how to respond. It made her uncomfortable. Today would be worse, because they’d probably be watching to see how she was going to react to Daddy’s replacement.
She could have come up to the school this summer to meet her father’s successor, but as a fourth-grader, she didn’t expect to have much trek with the woman, and she couldn’t think of a good reason to pay her a visit. If Morgan had just gotten a new job because somebody died, she didn’t think she’d like it very much if that person’s daughter showed up at her office for no apparent reason. It would feel too much like being judged. Morgan had decided to spare herself and the new principal that awkwardness. Today, she wondered whether that had been a mistake. Meeting ahead of time might have made today a little less weird. Continue reading Dr. Kavanaugh