ARDOR Literary Magazine

ARDOR Literary Magazine - Issue Three, September 2013

Issue One, Published January 2013

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Page 13 of 109

ISN'T BUT A LITTLE THING (cont.) "Maybe you can tell me about it tomorrow," she said. "Maybe when you're feeling better." "You could come on out here," he told her. "Just swim. When was the last time you went swimming? I can't remember the last time I did." "I have a class after this," she said. "And last period, too." "That's the baseball period," he said. "Use my sub. The boys won't really need him." "I have to go," she said. "I need to finish my lunch before class starts." "He would've liked you," Dan said. He was surprised he was saying it even as it was coming out. "You know. Kids always have liked you." She didn't say anything, so he kept going, "I could've done some things different, I think. A lot of things." Julie still didn't answer. "Jules?" "I'm here." "Wouldn't you rather go swimming than teach today?" Julie sighed. "I like teaching," she said. And that was true. She had always wanted to be a teacher, going all the way back to middle school. Dan taught history, only because you have to teach something to be a coach. He just followed the lesson plan, and then gave the kids multiple-choice tests. Again she sighed. "I know this is a hard week for you. But you can't." She paused. Dan could hear her collecting her thoughts to choose the right words so she could be clear without being too direct. She made a clicking noise with her tongue whenever she did that, and Dan could hear it through the phone. Finally she said, "Nobody can do anything different. People just do what they do." Then she clicked her tongue again and said, "Don't make me into something, Danny. That isn't fair. Not to anyone." Neither of them spoke until Dan could hear the voices of students entering her classroom. "I'll talk to you later, Coach," Julie said. "When you're feeling better." Dan turned his phone off completely and set it aside. He went down the end of the dock and took his shoes and socks off and rolled up his jeans and dipped one foot down into the clear, green water. It was cool, but not cold, and flecks of sunlight danced along the (cont. on next page)

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