Always there

And I walked out, smiling, knowing he would always be there for me.
I brought him coffee this morning, a medium vanilla latte, hot from Starbucks. I walked the old hallways of my high school, feeling yet again strange and alien. But I walked determinedly this time, making my way to room D-60, my heels echoing in the quiet halls. There I was again, a stubborn writer, standing by his classroom, peering into the darkness. I faced the wall and busied myself, looking at a posted schedule of his classes for that day. “Hi,” a hesitant voice said. I turned around and he exclaimed his hello. I gave him the coffee almost too hurriedly, anxious to see his reaction. He looked happy and let me inside. The sight of orderly desks and chairs was familiar, welcoming even. I had always liked his classroom, the way it was set up, the questions he had on the side board, his unreadable handwriting that covered the boards. The first thing he said was about my publication in the Washington Post. He talked about it enthusiastically, showing me the multiple copies he had made of the piece. I placed my coat aside, sat on a desk, my legs swinging back and forth as I tried to take lead of the conversation. I didn’t say how much I missed him, but babbled about college life and interrupted him on occasion; I had too much to say and too little time since the bell had already rung. I was there to talk, to speak, to see how he was. In the end, I said most of what I wanted to say, although I wished the bell had never rung.
And I walked out, smiling, knowing he would always be there for me.

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