The Twilight Twenty-Five
Prompt: #13/High School
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I’d been hesitant to keep the appointment for my job interview at the school because I wasn’t ready to work, but there was a little over a month before school started, and I hoped that I’d be ready by then. So I’d borrowed Carmen’s iron, pressed the outfit Charlie had bought me for interviewing before I did my student teaching, and drove to the school.
I hadn’t been on very many job interviews in my life, but the one I had at Forks High School had to rank up near the top of the weirdest interviews, ever. Two teachers met me in the office and took me into a small conference room, introducing themselves as Mike Newton and Angela Webber. I recognized Mike from Garrett’s memorial and assumed they’d gone to high school together, but Angela didn’t look familiar at all.
“I just want to say again how sorry I am,” Mike started. “I can’t imagine how hard this is for you.”
Fuck. I couldn’t do this if he started talking about Garrett.
“Mike.” Angela gave him a look, actually more of a glare. “We’re very sorry, Isabella, but I’m sure you don’t want to talk about that during your interview.”
“Yes, thank you.” I swallowed back my sadness and focused on her smile. “And please, call me Bella. I’m really interested in hearing about the position here.”
“Well, it’s really more like positions.” Mike laughed and I think Angela hit him under the table. “What? Oh! Not like that. There’s a sort of epidemic of pregnancies with the teachers here, so we have several long-term sub positions that are opening up this year.”
“Mike, you can’t call pregnancies an epidemic,” Angela groaned.
“What? That’s what it is.” He looked at her like he was challenging her to argue with him, and from the look in her eyes I didn’t think it was a wise choice on his part.
“You’re making it sound like a disease, moron.”
“Oh, that’s rich. You can call me a moron but I can’t say epidemic.”
“You are a moron, four pregnant teachers is not an epidemic.”
“I’m sorry,” I interrupted before they either started punching each other or making out. The intensity was that high. “Are you looking for a full time teacher?”
They managed to rein it in and focus on the interview after that, asking me about my student teaching experience and, more delicately, about my time teaching in Italy. By the time we were finished they seemed much calmer. I was definitely more excited about the prospect of working than I had been when I walked in the door. The four pregnant teachers taught english and history and I was certified in both.
“I think you’d be a great fit,” Angela said as we wrapped up the interview, “but our principal needs to meet you before we can make any decisions.”
“Right. Let me see if he’s in,” Mike agreed, then stepped out of the room for a second before poking his head back in. “He’s available now if you have a minute.”
I followed Angela out of the conference room, thanking them again for interviewing me and stopped in my tracks—shocked.
“Oh, you know each other?” Angela sounded excited. “We think she’d be great for the long-term sub spot.”
I couldn’t form any words to describe how surprised I was to see him there. Granted, we hadn’t talked a lot during our time together, but I had no idea that Edward was the Forks High principal. How had I not managed to ask him what he did? How was it that Garrett had never told me? Was he the reason I’d been interviewed at all?
Edward saved me from looking like an idiot and smiled at Angela. “We do know each other. Bella, why don’t you come in my office and we’ll talk about the job?”
Nodding, I said goodbye to Angela and Mike and followed him. He took a seat behind his desk and gestured to one of the club chairs in front of it. I sat down, straightening my skirt and trying to gather my thoughts.
“What do you think?” he asked, as if I should know what he was talking about.
Maybe he didn’t realize how many questions were going through my head.
“The job,” he laughed, again acting like it was obvious.
My fingers were still on the hem of my skirt, gently rubbing the satin liner against the outer fabric as I tried to form my words.
I lifted my head and put my shoulders back wanting to seem confident but not accusatory. “Did you have anything to do with this interview?”
I watched him, looking for some kind of tell, but there was nothing.
“I don’t think Garrett even knew I took over the principal job.” He ran his hand through his hair and pinched the bridge of his nose. That was serious for Edward. “I knew you had an interview but it was after the fact. Obviously, Mike knows who you are; he graduated with us and I saw him at Carmen and Zar’s after the memorial. I didn’t get you the interview, and I didn’t say anything to Mike or Angela about hiring you. If they liked you it was based on your interview.”
I was a little stunned after his rant.
“Oh, um, I think it sounds like a great opportunity then.”
Edward threw his head back laughing and I found myself smiling back.
“Good, good. I’m glad. It’s hard enough to get teachers interested in coming to Forks, but then to tell someone they’ll have to change classrooms…you know how it is.”
“Right. I think it will be good though. I could use this year to see if this is really where I want to be. Then, if I decided to stay, I’d be an internal candidate if something opened up.”
Edward agreed and we finished talking, discussing the start of the school year and the when I could expect to hear back about the position. He stood and walked me out.
“Hopefully Mike didn’t scare you off,” he teased. “He can be a bit much.”
I laughed, remembering the way Mike and Angela had bickered. “He was fine. Angela put him in his place when he referred to the pregnancies as an epidemic.”
“He what? I’m going to kill him.” Edward’s eyes practically bugged out, then he laughed, too. “He thinks if he acts like a fool he’ll get out of sitting in on interviews.”
“And you’re not going to let him off the hook?”
“Not a chance,” he said, shaking his head. “As of right now, Mike is officially participating in every interview we conduct for the rest of the school year.”
“Wow, that’s mean,” I teased.
“Nah, that’s what happens when you’ve known someone forever. He’ll get over it.” We both laughed and said goodbye.
As I left the office I heard Edward’s voice loud and clear, “Newton! My office, now!”
I could only imagine Mike’s face when Edward gave him the news.
When I got back to the cottage I told Alice about the interview and about Edward being the principal. As we cooked dinner, I realized that I was still smiling.
I was looking to the future with a sense of hope, not dread. I wasn’t sure how long I could hold onto that feeling, but it was certainly a good sign.
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