Too much fun

“You’re face is as red as a tomato!” Heather exclaimed when Susan was close enough to hear. “Sit down before you fall down.”

Susan Norris was one of the teacher chaperones at her elementary school’s dance. It was hosted by the school safety patrols and only the upper grades were invited, with parental permission slips of course. Susan knew none of her current students would be there, but her previous students might be. That was ok. She was no longer their classroom teacher, day in and day out, for 180 days straight. She could afford to let her hair down, let them see her smile.

Smile she did! From ear to ear as she walked toward Maggie’s mom. Maggie Leonard was Susan’s student three school years ago. Now in fifth grade, Maggie was Susan’s afternoon helper. She particularly liked the afternoons when Heather came in to pick Maggie up after the dismissal bell. Heather and Susan were around the same age and had pleasant chats while Maggie pulled out her homework to get a head start.

Heather had to shout to be heard over the music and the DJ, one of their newest fourth grade teachers. He was like a big kid behind that microphone. Heather couldn’t help laughing at his antics and how he called out the teacher’s names who were dancing on the gym floor with the students.

Susan was pleased to see he’d seemed to have not yet learned her name. Although she was having a fantastic time, she didn’t want to be singled out, not in front of all those students.

Even though she was shouting to be heard, Susan had to read Heather’s lips to fully understand her. “I’m as red as a what?” Susan shouted back.

“A tomato! Sit down.”

Susan could feel her heart beat throbbing in her temples and feel the sweat rolling in streams down the sides of her face. She knew she was overheating, but had no idea it had gotten that bad. It’s the lack of A/C, she told herself.

Some teachers had a brilliant idea and aimed an incandescent light bulb onto the control panel sensor to force it to kick out more air. I can’t be that old and out of shape, she told herself as she shook her head. The air is kicking in now, she thought lifting her face toward the cool air.

When Susan shrugged and sat down. She slumped back and kicked her legs out straight in front of her.

“You’re dancing in those!?” Heather exclaimed.

Susan always wore high heels to school, whether in jeans, slacks or a skirt, her high heeled, black suede boots were always on her feet. They were quick and easy to slip on and off and there was plenty of toe room. “What’s not to love about comfortable shoes!?” she often quipped when asked by fellow teachers how she could wear them all day, every day.

Susan just smiled at Heather enjoying the music and itching to get back out there to dance. She sat bee-bopping to the music in the chair next to her friend. Her normal color slowly began to return to her face after several minutes of a loud conversation with her friend.

The dance was nearly over and Susan wanted to enjoy every minute of it. When a fast paced song from her youth came on, Susan turned to Heather with pleading eyes. Heather laughed at her. “Get out there and show them how it’s done!” Susan smiled widely and her friend, hopped up, and was back out on the gym floor before the first refrain even began.

Susan couldn’t remember when she’d had more fun in a single hour on a Friday afternoon, at school. No, wait, yes she could. It was last year. This same time. A similar safety patrol sponsored dance to relieve the tension mounting over the up coming high stakes state test.

Susan let out a sigh as the last notes of the last song played and dismissal of the students began. That was amazingly fun, I can’t wait for the next one, she thought. Next year, she reasoned to herself as she slowly walked back to her classroom to gather her things and go home.


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