Crusade of the Director

Belington, New Jersey

1996, July 20th.


Layla Harkens thought long and hard about her day as she sat bored from the never-ending traffic that traps her. She was heading to work and knew she would be late, but she was not worried in fact she almost felt relieved. Layla was a sixth-grade math teacher at Raven Hills elementary, and today was fraction day, A Day all students hate, but not as much as the Layla. She dreaded the day when her students really hated her calm voice and blamed her for their lack of understanding, especially from parents. This was the only day she ever questioned her career and wanted to run out the school screaming and pulling her brown hair out, luckily though she had enough will to avoid that event. Yet as she inched closer and closer in her Volkswagen the more anxiety swelled in her thoughts. She peered over the car in front with her hazel eyes to see if she could spot her turn, but instead saw and endless sea of truck beds and car trunks, she slammed back into her seat with a loud exhale of boredom and put her hand on her forehead. She decided the silence was getting to her and turned on the radio.

”And with that everyone waits eagerly for the Presidents and Congresss special announcement. ” The radio announcer started mid-sentenced. Layla tuned out the radio and remembered she did not much like politics and went back to her thoughts which she knew was more interesting. I would not think she even realized the amount of anticipation America was under, the special announcement that was notified to the public yesterday threw the country for a loop. Sentences like ”Necessary for the country ” and ”Congress excitement ” really peaked the worlds interest, yes, the world. Other countries (especially the U.K.) were very intrigued or was it nervousness? Anyway, none of this even remotely pierced the back of Laylas mind. She was too consumed with hopes of school being canceled, traffic to move faster, and the day to be over. Only one came true. That wasn until she had gotten scolded by her boss for being late, Bullied by her students and their parents, and the seemingly endless drive home. She pulled into her apartment parking space and just sat and wept as she did every time after fraction day. The stress had finally boiled over. After, she got out of her Volkswagen and headed towards the complex. She made it to her apartment door with the fading ”E22 ” written on the face. A dimly lit light hung above with small insects buzzing and circling desperately trying to touch it, she entered, forgetting all about the announcement as she kicked off her shoes and headed straight to her bedroom. Her one-bedroom apartment wasn too bad, but obviously the landlord didn keep up much with the complex, most of the wood and walls were disintegrating slowly to the earth, as flora grew rapidly on the buildings outer wall. The smell of moist mold and the sounds of creaking wood plagued most tenants, but Layla was grateful to have a roof over her head. She made it to her bed, undress completely and just laid naked in the dark on top of her bed looking blankly into the ceiling. She began to pray, hoping that she would never have to experience a day like this ever again, until she had finally succumbed to deep sleep. Not aware of what yesterday would bring.

The next day she sat up and shivered, she had forgotten to cover herself up before she went to sleep and now all she could feel was the bitter bite of the morning cold. She rubbed her eyes and gently rose out of bed and slide her morning gown on as she stumbled to the restroom. When she had entered the kitchen, she notices quite a commotion coming from multiple other apartments, the voices were a mixture of nervousness and heated debate and unknown to her the whole of America just got a rude awakening, but she didn fully realize until it was staring her in the face. She made her breakfast and turned on the tube. She had missed the morning new, or she had thought, she thought it curious that only white noise and static came through the screen and not her daily program. She turned the T.V. off and continued to eat her sloppy cream of wheat. Wondering what today would bring. And if it was going to be a bad as yesterday.

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