Security barks HEY! as I push out the front gate during 4th period. I smile at him, wave. His face softens immediately. His bad. We wish each other a good rest of the day.
Someone chuckles behind me, and we walk in the same direction for a bit. You look young, this new man said.
I shrug. Happens all the time. I motion back at the sheepish security guard. We’re actually buds.
Yeah, this other man said, appraising me. You look just like one of the kids. But that’s good for them. You’re not all old and worn out.
I laugh. Well give me time and I’ll get there.
He laughs too. What do you do here anyway?
I’m a student teacher.
Oh? Hi, I’m (name).
Hey (name). I look back, scan the horizon for my bus. Man’s still at my side.
I’m a probation officer, he says. Hands me his card. You might need to give me a call someday.
Frowned at his card the entire bus ride home.